1 Monday, 9 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So all the excused are present today.
11 Prosecution, Mr. McCloskey. For the Defence teams I notice the absence
12 of Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Krgovic. I think that's about it. Yes.
13 Okay. Good morning to you, Mr. Haynes and good morning to you,
14 Mr. Pandurevic.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Later on after the first break we'll hand down an
17 oral decision on the joint motion regarding the sequence of
18 cross-examination and also on the Popovic motion for certification, but
19 in the mean time let's start.
20 Mr. Haynes, good morning to you.
21 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 MR. HAYNES: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
24 everybody else.
25 Examination by Mr. Haynes: [Continued]
1 Q. Perhaps the easiest way to retrace our steps just a little bit is
2 if we go back to P 377, the duty officers' notebook at page 155 in the
3 e-court version, and page 773 in the hard copy for you, General
5 And this is an entry that relates to the morning of the 17th of
6 July of 1995, and this is precisely, I think, where we left off last
7 week. The entry at 510:
8 "Milenko Jovanovic to send food and soft drinks to the IKM, the
9 IKM called, Milenko Jovanovic was informed."
10 What did you have to do with that entry in the officer's
12 A. As I've already said it, this was a request for certain
13 quantities of foods and drinks to be sent from the command and those were
14 for my men, the men who were at the forward command post.
15 Q. And who was there that morning?
16 A. Besides myself there was the signalsman, security, a driver, and
17 probably Milisav Petkovic, the chief of communications, and I don't know
18 who else.
19 Q. Did anybody else arrive during the early part of the morning?
20 A. Dragan Obrenovic arrived at forward command post in the early
21 hours of the morning.
22 Q. About what time?
23 A. I believe that it was soon after 5.00. Sometime between 5.00 and
24 half past 5.00.
25 Q. Were you able to speak to him?
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. What -- were you alone when you spoke to him?
3 A. I was indeed.
4 Q. And what did you talk about?
5 A. I asked to be briefed about the events for which he had been sent
6 to Zvornik earlier, and he told me what had happened in Rocevic, Kozluk
7 and Bilici.
8 Q. What did he tell you?
9 A. He told me that he had met that evening with Milorad Trbic who
10 was the duty operations officer, Dragan Nikolic wasn't there on that day
11 because his brother had been killed; and Trbic conveyed to him, or
12 rather, confirmed the killings in Orahovaci and Petkovci, also he said
13 that prisoners were accommodated in the schools in Pilici and Rocevici
14 and that they were executed there. And also Trbic told him that
15 Mr. Beara had been in the area and was in charge of that business.
16 Q. Did he tell you anything else?
17 A. He mentioned some machinery from the engineers company and some
18 companies that had been used in order to bury the dead bodies, the bodies
19 of those who had been executed by shooting.
20 Q. Had he found out any locations where excuses had taken place?
21 A. I believe that he said that the executions had taken place in the
22 vicinity of Drina
23 been executed at Branjevo. And that the executions had been carried out
24 by the soldiers from the 10th Sabotage Detachment and some soldiers who
25 had arrived from Bratunac.
1 Q. Leaving aside what you had told him to go and find out about, did
2 he tell you anything else that had been going on at brigade command
3 during the 16th of July?
4 A. He also told me that there had been a number of calls by the
5 corps command of the Main Staff, that even the president of the republic
6 showed interest in the events in Baljkovica, the opening of the corridor,
7 and letting the column of the 28th Division go through.
8 Q. And did he tell you what the reaction of those people had been to
9 your opening of the corridor?
10 A. What we could conclude at that moment was that it was not
11 something of the ordinary, to receive so many calls on one single day
12 from the corps command. And we were aware that our action had not been
13 approved and that there would be more reactions after the initial calls.
14 Q. After you had been briefed by Obrenovic, what did you tell him to
15 do? What did you decide you would do?
16 A. Since on the previous day the column was going through and this
17 was stopped when the dark fell, it was our plan to continue with the same
18 procedure on the 17th, and in that sense I sent Mr. Obrenovic to the
19 command of the 4th Battalion to make sure that everything was organised
20 there, and to monitor the work of that battalion. And later on I
21 established communication with Semso Muminovic and we continued the
22 process to let the column go through.
23 Q. What action did you decide to take about the information
24 Obrenovic had given you about the prisoners?
25 A. I told him that we would resume that conversation later, as soon
1 as our job was over, and our job at hand was to let the column of the
2 28th Division go through.
3 Q. Where did Dragan Obrenovic go after this conversation?
4 A. He went in the direction of Parlog to the command of the 4th
5 Battalion that was there.
6 MR. HAYNES: Can we look now in e-court, please, at P 1206. And
7 the best version of this document is C, but that is under seal in the
8 Serbian, so the appropriate measures will need be to taken. The English
9 is A. I am being corrected, we should use D in the Serbian.
10 Q. Now, this is a record of an intercepted radio communication which
11 apparently involves General Krstic, Captain Trbic, and you at about 6.15
12 on the morning of the 17th of July.
13 Do you recall having a conversation with General Krstic at about
14 6.15 on the morning of the 17th of July?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. And it's been pointed out to me that the conversations you need
17 to look at actually start at the very bottom of the page. Now, just a
18 couple of things about this conversation. Captain Trbic you've already
19 referred to him in with your evidence this morning. What position was he
20 fulfilling at brigade command on the morning of the 17th?
21 A. He was the operations GT officer.
22 Q. And we see in the middle of this conversation that General Krstic
23 appears to ask him:
24 "Do you have communication with your commander?"
25 He says: "Yes.
1 "You have?
3 "Good. Put me through to him.
4 "Well, I can't connect you now, you have to go through the
5 switchboard again."
7 And then General Krstic asks him if he will do that.
8 Can you explain what that aspect of this conversation
9 demonstrates to us?
10 A. Could I please be shown the following page in the Serbian version
11 where the conversation continues?
12 MR. HAYNES: I can probably make that easier for you by giving
13 you a hard copy of this.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this part of the intercept
15 that you are showing me shows that I was at the IKM, and that I could be
16 spoken to via the switchboard, and that's why Krstic had to get in touch
17 with the switchboard and the switchboard in turn established
18 communication with me at the IKM.
19 MR. HAYNES:
20 Q. Which report is General Krstic referring to in this conversation
21 that he has initially with Trbic before he is put through to you?
22 A. They probably meant the interim combat report that I had sent on
23 the 16th.
24 Q. And just so that we can put this conversation into context, is
25 your recollection that you had this conversation before, during, or after
1 your conversation with Dragan Obrenovic on the morning of the 17th?
2 A. I think that was after my conversation with Dragan Obrenovic.
3 Q. Did you mention your conversation with Dragan Obrenovic to
4 General Krstic?
5 A. No, not on that morning. When we were talking, I expected him to
6 say something about my report that I sent on the 15th or 16th. This did
7 not happen, and I thought it was necessary for me to meet with him in
8 person and to discuss that topic in person.
9 Q. What did you do after you'd had this conversation with General
11 A. After that I established communication with Semso Muminovic and
12 we relaunched the process to let the column go through.
13 Q. Did Semso Muminovic have any particular concerns about the
14 process on the morning of the 17th?
15 A. Semso wanted this process to start as soon as possible, and as
16 per our agreement, the corridor should have been opened 24 hours, and
17 during that conversation he suggested that the time should be extended,
18 and that all those who were in the territory of Baljkovica
19 surrounding area to go through, and we agreed that the dead-line should
20 be extended and that all those who found themselves in the territory on
21 that day would be allowed to let go.
22 MR. HAYNES: Can we go back to the duty officers' notebook for a
23 little while. For you, General Pandurevic, page 774. In e-court that's
24 page 156. And can we have a look at the entry, please, for 8.15 in the
25 morning of the 17th of July.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see that entry.
2 MR. HAYNES:
3 Q. And there's a linked entry a little further down which begins
4 with the name Miladen Mijatovic, which is substantially to the same
5 effect. Can you explain who gave the order for that to be done and what
6 the purpose of doing it was?
7 A. The order for Captain Mijatovic to be engaged in calling members
8 of the column of the 28th Division and direct them to the corridor was
9 mine, since the column of the 28th Division was broken up into several
10 parts and Semso had lost communication with most of them, and that's why
11 we had to use the -- we had to use the loud-speakers to call them and to
12 direct them -- direct them in the right direction.
13 Q. I just sense, General Pandurevic, that you might be speaking a
14 little bit quickly this morning, so if you could slow down.
15 And while we're there, the entry at the very bottom of that page,
17 "Send details of the dead and wounded in an interim combat report
18 to Zlatar. Requested at 9.30."
19 Did you become aware of that request on the morning of the 17th
20 of July?
21 A. Yes, at the time that request was communicated to me.
22 Q. And what did you understand your obligation to be as a result of
23 that request, and what was the purpose of it?
24 A. I'd assumed that the Drina Corps asked for information from me as
25 to what had really happened, what were the reasons behind my decisions
1 about the opening of the corridor. However, I decided that on that day I
2 would not send an interim combat report. I decided to hold on and wait
3 and only do it the following day.
4 Q. Well, we'll come back to that.
5 MR. HAYNES: I'd like to look at one of the other documents that
6 record events in the brigade, and that's the duty operations officer's
7 diary, P378. In the B/C/S it's page 89, in the English page 4.
8 Q. And if the hard copy is available, I think you'll find, General
9 Pandurevic, you are looking for page 688. Those being the last three
10 digits. I'm sorry, 691.
11 I see. The English translation is 688 of this document, that was
12 my mistake.
13 Now, on the page you are looking at, while we wait for the
14 English to come up, is there an entry for 8.45 in the morning of the 17th
15 of July, which we now have which reads:
16 "A group of commanding officers led by Colonel Trku lja came
17 to the brigade's forward command post in order to review the conditions
18 in new situation and they returned at 1500 hours."
19 Do you have that in front of you, General Pandurevic?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Do you recall this event?
22 A. Yes, I remember this team of officers were at the IKM on this
23 day, the 17th of July.
24 Q. Where did they first arrive in the area of the brigade so far as
25 you were aware?
1 A. From what I remember, first they arrived in the Parlog area, and
2 their first contact was with Dragan Obrenovic, and then with me.
3 Q. How many of them did you meet?
4 A. I met three of them. Mr. Stankovic and Mr. Sladojevic were
5 people that I saw for the first time at the time, and I knew of
6 Mr. Stankovic. I had -- I never heard of Mr. Sladojevic before. And as
7 for Mr. Trkulja, I'm not sure I had seen him before or not, but in any
8 case I did know that such a person existed at the Main Staff. And I
9 think that perhaps a few moments later Colonel Lazic also appeared, who
10 was in the operations of the Drina Corps.
11 Q. What was the situation on the ground at the time they arrived?
12 A. At the time the situation was calm, quiet. The column was in the
13 process of passing through.
14 Q. And what did you understand the purpose of their visit to the
15 brigade's area and the forward command post to be?
16 A. None of them expressly told me what the purpose of their visit
17 was, but they told me that they had received certain information from
18 Dragan Obrenovic before about what was happening, but I was able to
19 conclude simply that the purpose of their arrival was to review the
20 justification for my actions, or the absence of thereof.
21 Q. And what form did your meeting with them take?
22 A. Well, it was just spontaneous. Since I didn't know these two
23 gentlemen, like I said before, I introduced myself to them. I asked them
24 if they needed any other information other than what they had already
25 received from Dragan Obrenovic.
1 Q. Were you able to conclude whether they had read your combat
2 reports of the previous few days?
3 A. They didn't ask me anything outside of the events that happened
4 in the area of Baljkovica. I really didn't know or had any information
5 if they had received those reports or if anyone had informed them of the
6 contents of those reports.
7 Q. Did you say anything to them about prisoners in schools?
8 A. I'm not quite sure about that event. The logic of it would be
9 for me to say something about it, but at that time I was acting in such a
10 way that I was just giving answers to what I was asked. I didn't really
11 state any of my personal impressions or information or thoughts.
12 Q. Why were you behaving like that?
13 A. I knew that they had been sent by the commander of the Main
14 Staff, and that it was better at that point in time for them to receive
15 as little information as possible for me in relation to the reasons why
16 they were there.
17 Q. How long did they stay?
18 A. I think they were there for a few hours. Since the situation was
19 calm, we were just monitoring the passage of the 28th Division column,
20 all kinds of conversations were going on of an official and personal
21 nature. I was continually in contact with Semso Muminovic, and after the
22 official part, I didn't really participate that much in their
24 MR. HAYNES: Can we just now have a look at another intercept.
25 It's P112 [sic] A in the English, and C in the B/C/S, which is again
1 under seal. It should say P1221 in the transcript, please.
2 Q. No great significance to this intercept, General Pandurevic.
3 It's a conversation apparently between the Zlatar duty officer and the
5 17th of July, in which the Palma
6 called the commander a little while ago, he is not at the forward command
7 post, he was down in the field, and he couldn't give any information.
8 Help us as to where you were and what you were doing at about
9 quarter to 2.00 in the afternoon of the 17th of July, please?
10 A. At that time I was immediately above the corridor through which
11 the Muslim forces were passing, and there was no communication between
12 the IKM and me, and that's why the operations officer could not get in
13 touch with me directly.
14 Q. Now, how long had it originally been anticipated that the
15 corridor would be open for?
16 A. The original agreement was for 24 hours, so approximately until
17 1400 hours on the 17th. But this time was extended until 1800 hours.
18 Q. Was that the subject of any further negotiation?
19 A. Yes. We were in touch, Semso and myself, throughout the whole
20 day, and we saw that there was still people arriving from the woods and
21 we decided to extend the time, and in case certain groups should appear
22 throughout the day, they would be able to pass unhindered through our
24 Q. So that we get an impression, what did the closure of the
25 corridor practically mean? What actually happened at 1800 hours on the
1 17th of July?
2 A. At the time on the 17th of July, our forces, or rather the
3 soldiers of the Zvornik Brigade, entered those three trenches again that
4 had been emptied earlier, and literally the continuity was -- of the
5 defence line was re-established. Later the minefields were being
6 ordered, the ones that had to be removed when the corridor was open.
7 Q. And what was the flow of people like at 1800 hours on the 17th of
9 A. At the time the people were not passing, and that's when I had a
10 conversation with Semso about the Jankovic capture, the person who was
11 captured, and I asked him to return Jankovic.
12 Q. Can we leave Jankovic to one side for a minute. In your
13 recollection, when had the last groups passed through the corridor prior
14 to its closure?
15 A. I think that this was sometime between 16 and 1800 hours.
16 Q. Now, let's come back to Jankovic. What did you say -- what
17 happened in relation to Jankovic?
18 A. I asked Semso to release Jankovic, to tell me when he was going
19 to set off, and along which routes so that we could pick him up. He
20 agreed to my request and told me that he had released Jankovic, that he
21 was going down a field, and it's true that we did see a man heading in
22 our direction. However, shortly Semso called again and he told me that
23 he had to return Jankovic because he had received such an order from
24 General Delic.
25 Q. What happened on the evening of the 17th of July after the
1 corridor had been closed?
2 A. Nothing in particular. All the Zvornik Brigade units remained at
3 their positions, precautionary measures were taken, measures of combat
4 readiness also. I issued assignments to the units for the night. I also
5 issued an assignment to Dragan Obrenovic who had stayed at the IKM
7 Q. When and where did you see Obrenovic on the evening of the 17th?
8 A. I think that we met at the IKM, and we discussed that day's
9 activities, and I issued him overnight assignments that were supposed to
10 be completed during his stay at the IKM, and we also talked about the
11 drafting of the interim combat report.
12 Q. When you say you discussed the day's activities, what do you
14 A. I meant the letting through of the column and the visit of the
15 colonels from the Main Staff.
16 Q. And what did you, between you, conclude about the drafting of an
17 interim combat report?
18 A. We concluded that the report should be written on the following
19 day, and that we should just summarise all that had taken place over the
20 previous two or three days, and to also formulate in the appropriate way
21 in the report what we knew about the executions that had taken place in
22 the Zvornik area.
23 Q. And, well, you've touched on this twice already. Why was it that
24 you wanted to delay the sending of a report which we've already seen had
25 been asked for at 9.30 that morning, the 17th of July?
1 A. I expected that I would perhaps receive some other information or
2 some more information about the events, and also about the format and how
3 to actually draft that report in order to satisfy the request of the
4 corps command, and also to provide rational explanations for our acts,
5 first of all, my action of opening the corridor.
6 Q. Were you in possession at the forward command post of all the
7 information you needed for the sort of report you wanted to draft?
8 A. I had enough information in any event that I had received from
9 Dragan Obrenovic, and I had enough information about the actual events in
10 the Baljkovica area because I had taken part in them.
11 Q. What about brigade losses?
12 A. We didn't have the exact figures for casualties, even on the
13 16th. And as far as I can recall, on the 16th I said that there were
14 about ten killed, but I wanted to hear from Mr. Galic who maintained
15 those figures. I wanted to receive the precise information because I
16 believe that the corps command wanted on the basis of the losses to
17 evaluate whether my actions were justified or not.
18 Q. Where did you go on the night of the 17th of July?
19 A. On the night of the 17th of July I left the IKM. I think that I
20 briefly stopped off at the brigade command, and then after that I went to
21 Celopek to my girlfriend's place which is where I spent most of my free
23 MR. HAYNES: Can we just briefly have a look at page 777 for you,
24 General Pandurevic, in the duty officers' notebook. Page 159 in e-court.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see the page, yes.
1 MR. HAYNES:
2 Q. At the top of the page in the right-hand corner we see a number
3 589-991. What or whose number is that?
4 A. This is the number of the person that I had gone to visit. And
5 this number often appears in this log-book.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, what did you do on the morning of the 18th of
8 A. In the morning of the 18th of July, I went to Baljkovica again to
9 the command of the 4th Battalion.
10 Q. Now, you told us that the corridor had been closed in the early
11 evening of the 17th, but in practical terms on the morning of the 18th
12 what was the situation for any persons or groups who arrived at
14 A. That day on the 18th of July all the groups that had appeared in
15 the Baljkovica area were allowed through our disposition and directed
16 towards Nezuk. I remember well one group of teenagers, or young men of
17 some 18 years of age, a group of perhaps seven to ten of them was at the
18 4th Battalion command post. Somebody had given them spades, shovels, and
19 told them to dig fortifications for the command post. I immediately told
20 them to stop that. I contacted Semso Muminovic and told them the route
21 along which I was sending him a group of young men and whence they
22 arrived at his end, he was to call me back to let me know if they had all
23 reached that place alive.
24 Q. And were they left to walk on their own or were they escorted?
25 A. Since the minefields had already been laid in front of our
1 forward sector, I ordered Mr. Jokic, the chief of engineering, that he
2 personally should guide them through the minefield and take them so that
3 they could pass through safely, and this is what he did.
4 Q. And did you receive any subsequent communication from Semso
5 Muminovic about the welfare of this group?
6 A. Yes, as soon as they arrived he called me that all had reached
7 his end safely and that everything was all right.
8 MR. HAYNES: Can we take another quick look, please, at the duty
9 operation's officer's notebook. It's the same page you were just looking
10 at. Page 777. Page 159 for the rest of us, it's still on the screen.
11 Q. And at the very bottom of that page we see an entry which reads:
12 "R Battalion reported movements of Muslims. Column towards Crni
13 Vrh, told how to act pursuant to commander's orders."
14 What does that mean?
15 A. It mean that is those groups were also being sent to Baljkovica
16 and the 4th Battalion command so that they would be let through our
17 disposition in the direction of Nezuk.
18 Q. So that we understand this, when the corridor was closed on the
19 17th of July, what was your belief as to whether they had all got through
20 or not?
21 A. We didn't have precise information about how many of these forces
22 were left, but we knew that in any case there were some groups. We also
23 knew that the Muslim command of the 2nd Corps was trying to infiltrate
24 fresh groups and forces that would link up with the stragglers, and make
25 it possible for them to get through to the area of responsibility of the
1 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Thank you. Well, we'll leave that to one side for a moment.
3 What was the principal task you were engaged in during the day of
4 the 18th of July?
5 A. On the 18th of July I was in Baljkovica for a certain period of
6 time, Obrenovic was also there, and it was his assignment to assist the
7 4th Battalion command in setting up the command post and the
8 communications. Jokic was also there, the chief of engineers, who was
9 overseeing the mining tasks. And after a brief conversation with each of
10 them, I went to the command and wrote the interim command report. I
11 mean, the interim report on the 18th of July.
12 Q. What was the state of the terrain around the 4th Battalion on the
13 18th of July?
14 A. On the 18th of July there were no particular activities of the
15 group -- well, the groups that I mentioned appeared in the area. Some
16 small parts of the Zvornik Brigade were sent to complete the search of
17 the terrain in the Planinci-Cetino Brdo-Pandurica sector.
18 Q. Were there any sanitation issues?
19 A. While they were searching the terrain, dead bodies of soldiers
20 who were killed, soldiers of the 28th Division were discovered, and it
21 was necessary to collect the bodies in the broader sector of Motovska
22 Kosa and bury them. I told Obrenovic that they should not be doing that
23 job at that time and that I would ask the chief of the civilian
24 protection from Zvornik that they do that task. However, a certain
25 gentleman by the name of Mirkovic, the head of the Zvornik civilian
1 defence, refused my request, and I later ordered our soldiers to collect
2 the bodies and to bury them in the sector of Motovska Kosa.
3 Q. And can you now recall what the size of that task was?
4 A. I don't recall precisely. I was not present when this was done,
5 so I am not able to provide you with any details.
6 Q. Now, before we come on to the irregular combat report of the 18th
7 of July, I just want to ask you to explain to us another document which
8 is our P333.
9 In the Serbian version, General Pandurevic, it's all on the one
10 page. This document bears your signature. Did you write it or dictate
11 it or were you the author of it in any way?
12 A. I'm the author of the document in the following sense, I ordered
13 the assistant for morale to draft the information of this kind in order
14 to boost the morale of the fighters by pointing out the successes and
15 results that had been achieved during previous fighting, and I also
16 mentioned the units that had to be cited. This document was later on
17 drafted by Mr. Simic and I signed it.
18 Q. And to whom was it distributed and how?
19 A. It was distributed to all the units of the Zvornik Brigade and it
20 was distributed by courier.
21 Q. Thank you. Well, I'm not going to ask you any more about that
23 MR. HAYNES: But can we come on now, please, to P334.
24 Q. Firstly, can we just deal with the creation of this document.
25 How did it come to be written, by what method?
1 A. I dictated this document to Mr. Miomir Tinovic [phoen].
2 Q. Where did that take place and at about what time of day?
3 A. It was at the command of the Zvornik Brigade around noon on the
4 18th of July.
5 Q. This may be a question you've answered already, at least by
6 inference, but why was it necessary on the 18th of July to send an
7 interim combat report?
8 A. It should have been sent already a day earlier, the day before.
9 However, on the 18th of July, I decided to do it because I believed that
10 I had enough information and that I had enough sense to be able to draft
11 the report in an adequate way.
12 Q. Can we start, please, with paragraph 3 of the report, in which
13 there are three, as it were, separate subparagraphs setting out the
14 losses within the brigade. What was the source of your information for
15 the figures you placed in that paragraph of the report?
16 A. When it comes to losses, as I've already told you, it is the
17 organ for organisation and mobilisation and personnel affairs that
18 monitors losses. At the time it was Mr. -- or rather Major Mihajlo
19 Galic. So when it comes to losses, it was my decision not only to show
20 the losses that we suffered on the 15th and 16th of July or maybe the day
21 before that. I decided to provide a broader overview of our losses to
22 provide the corps with a bit broader picture of the overall situation of
23 the Zvornik Brigade and its engagement in the first half of 1995.
24 Thus, the bullet point in question mentions reversible and
25 irreversible losses, i.e., dead and wounded, in the operations around
1 Srebrenica and Zepa, in the fighting in the zone responsibility of the
2 brigade and outside of it during the Krivaja 95 operation, and so on and
3 so forth. As a result of that the command, the corps command could have
4 realised that the Zvornik Brigade had been under a lot of strain in the
5 course of that year.
6 It seems to me that, or as far as I can remember, I mentioned in
7 this report towards the end that I demanded that my suggestions and
8 proposals should be taken into account with a lot more consideration as
9 of that time on. And I may have been a bit more outspoken than I should
10 have been when I mentioned that.
11 Q. As far as you were aware, the figures for dead, wounded, and
12 missing that you had relating to the combat activities in July, were they
13 accurate and reliable?
14 A. In the first part of bullet point 3 where a reference made is to
15 fighting around Srebrenica, Zepa, and the engagement with the reigning
16 parts of the 28th Division as well as of the 24th and the 25th Brigade --
17 divisions of the 2nd Corps, is something that I was provided with by
18 Mr. Galic, and so for the missing that turned up later, the rest of the
19 information should be correct.
20 Q. But when we are looking at the first category of losses which
21 begins with the dead numbered at 27, does that include those who had died
22 in operations Krivaja 1995 and Stupcanica 95, if indeed any did in latter
23 of those two operations?
24 A. There were dead in Srebrenica as far as I can remember. There
25 were between five and seven. I'm not sure, there were also some ten
1 wounded, and there were also a few wounded at Zepa, but again, I don't
2 know their exact number.
3 Q. And it may be obvious, but if we look at the third category that
4 you've cited there, headed: "During Operation Spreca 95, Krivaja 95,
5 Stupcanica 95, and the Defence of Sarajevo," where the number of dead is
6 put at 69, is that paragraph as it were the total of the two that are
7 above it?
8 A. Yes, we had suffered a lot of losses in Spreca 95 operation.
9 This operation lasted for awhile, a lot of soldiers deserted during that
10 period, a lot of them were killed and a lot more wounded.
11 Q. Why did you set out these losses in this detailed way and to
12 record everything that had happened in the first seven months of the
14 A. I believe that that was the way to justify my decision to open
15 the corridor. I wanted to draw the Court's attention from the events
16 that took place on the 16th and make them look back at what had preceded
17 that day, what had happened before.
18 Q. Did you have any other purpose in drafting this report in the way
19 that you did on the 18th of July?
20 A. Different other things are mentioned in the report, and we cannot
21 see them at the moment on the screen. I wanted to make a record of all
22 of that. I wanted this to be recorded, and that's why I drafted the
23 report in the way I did.
24 Q. Well, let's come on to paragraph 4 then.
25 Paragraph reads:
1 "The situation in the territory: During the last 10 days or
2 so the municipality of Zvornik
3 It is inconceivable to me that someone brought in 3.000 Turks of military
4 age and placed them in schools in the municipality, in addition to the
5 7.000 or so who have fled into the forests. This has created an
6 extremely complex situation and the possibility of the total occupation
7 of Zvornik in conjunction with the forces at the front. These actions
8 have stirred up great discontent among the people, and the general
9 opinion is that Zvornik is to pay the price for the taking of
11 When you said in your last answer you wanted to make a record of
12 that, what was it you were referring to?
13 A. I believe that this is the only written trace in any of the
14 official documents of the Zvornik Brigade of the Drina Corps which makes
15 a reference as it were in a euphemistic way what was happening in terms
16 of the execution of the prisoners of war. I believe that the Zvornik and
17 Zvornik municipality did not deserve for something of this sort to happen
18 to them. I wanted to leave a written trail of all that, and the only
19 place where this is recorded is here in this report, and as I was reading
20 other documents issued by the corps, I did not find this anywhere. In my
21 previous report issued on the 15th, I mentioned the prisoners, the corps
22 command never reacted to that, nobody ever told me anything, not with
23 this regard.
24 In the meantime I'd received information from Obrenovic that I
25 have spoken about here, and I believed that for the corps command this
1 was explicit enough and that they should be able to understand what I was
2 talking about. I really could not grasp or understand all that, and
3 there were no words for me to be able to describe what had happened, why,
4 and how.
5 Q. Just on a practical level, remind us what happens when an interim
6 combat report is sent? Does the brigade retain a copy of a combat report
7 that is sent to the corps?
8 A. Yes, and that would be the one. A typewritten report such as
9 this one. When I left the command of the Zvornik Brigade, i.e., when I
10 handed over my duty, I did not allow for any document to be removed or
11 destroyed in any way. They all remained in the archives of the Zvornik
13 Q. And the copy that is sent, what should happen to that?
14 A. Since the corps command on the 17th asked me to write an interim
15 combat report, when they received this report from me, they should have
16 compiled their own interim combat report and copied the contents of this
17 report and incorporate that into that report of theirs, and send their
18 report to the Main Staff. This is what they should have done.
19 Q. Thank you. But what about the physical copy of the report that
20 you sent to the corps that arrives on their teleprinter, what should
21 happen to that?
22 A. The report that arrives in the corps is printed on the
23 teleprinter in the corps command. The person who does that places his
24 own stamp and records the time and the date when he received the report,
25 and then he hands the report to the authorised person.
1 Q. On the 18th of July when you dictated this report, did you have
2 any reason to believe, for example, that General Krstic knew anything
3 about the killing operation of the prisoners?
4 A. I did not have any kind of explicit information that would point
5 to the fact that General Krstic knew something about that. However, I
6 was thinking logically since he had not reacted to my report sent on the
7 15th, since in the course of the conversation that we conducted in the
8 morning on the 17th, since never happened after my report on the 16th, I
9 fully believed that he was in possession of certain information, but I
10 did not know to what extent he had been informed and what information he
11 was privy to.
12 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Can we take a break now, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that will be of 25 minutes duration. Thank
15 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, we told you earlier on that after the first
18 break we'll down with two decisions. The first one deals with the urgent
19 joint Defence motion requesting the Trial Chamber to order the
20 Prosecution to proceed with its cross-examination of co-accused
21 Pandurevic before the joint Defence. This was filed on the 3rd of
22 February. The motion was replied to orally by the Prosecution in the
23 course of the sitting of the 6th February, and we promised to come down
24 with our decisions orally today.
25 In joint motion, the co-accused asked the Trial Chamber to
1 consider the urgent joint Defence motion on an expedited basis, grant the
2 urgent joint Defence motion, and order the Prosecution to proceed with
3 its cross-examination of co-accused Pandurevic before the joint Defence.
4 The Trial Chamber first of all grants the motion insofar as it requests
5 that it be dealt with and decided with urgency.
6 Now, the arguments brought forward by the co-accused are intended
7 to convince the Trial Chamber to depart from the practice regarding the
8 sequence or order of cross-examinations that has been in force following
9 its order regarding the sequence of cross-examination by the parties
10 during the Defence case rendered on 26th of May of last year. The
11 practice before the Trial Chamber, as you know, thus far has been for the
12 Defence teams to conduct their cross-examination of the Defence
13 witnesses, if any, prior to the Prosecution's cross-examination.
14 The main argument of the co-accused is that the testimony of a
15 co-accused in the context of a trial involving multiple accused is
16 different from that of other Defence witnesses. For this reason, the
17 joint Defence submits that the cross-examination of co-accused Pandurevic
18 by the Prosecution must take place prior to the cross-examination of any
19 conducted by the other co-accused. Having examined all the submissions
20 put forward in support of the motion, and particularly the argument that
21 the situation is now different from what it was prior to the 26th May
22 2008 decision, since the witness is a co-accused, the Trial Chamber comes
23 to the conclusion that the basic arguments remain the same and that any
24 apparently new submission is, in reality, another way of representing the
25 same arguments heard and determined before --
1 The Trial Chamber is not convinced that the --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. President, would you mind slowing down,
3 thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The Trial Chamber -- all right. So having examined
5 all the submissions put forward in support of the motion, and
6 particularly the argument that the situation is now different from what
7 it was prior to the -- to our 26th May, 2008 decision, since the witness
8 is the co-accused, the Trial Chamber comes to the conclusion that the
9 basic arguments remain the same and that any apparently new submission is
10 in reality another way of representing the same arguments heard and
11 determined before.
12 The Trial Chamber is not convinced that the fact that the current
13 witness is a co-accused should change the effects of its 26th May, 2008
14 decision which consequently will continue to be operative also in regard
15 to the testimony of the present witness.
16 For these reasons, the motion insofar as it seeks an order to the
17 Prosecution to proceed with the cross-examination of co-accused
18 Pandurevic before the joint Defence is hereby denied. However, as we had
19 pointed out on the previous occasion, should a new issue arise from the
20 Prosecution's cross-examination, Defence teams that have already
21 cross-examined the witness may, upon showing good cause, be permitted to
22 put additional questions to the witness. This will remain the position
23 and the Trial Chamber will consider such request on a case-by-case basis.
24 We now come to our second decision of the day. On the 15th of
25 January of this year, accused Pandurevic filed a request for
1 certification to appeal the Trial Chamber's decision -- Popovic, sorry,
2 accused Popovic filed a request for certification to appeal the Trial
3 Chamber's 14th January oral decision dismissing the Popovic request for
4 guide-lines on the Defence's disclosure obligation of documents obtained
5 during the Defence investigations on the basis that it was of a
6 hypothetical nature.
7 The Prosecution filed a response on the 29th January arguing that
8 Popovic's request for certification does not meet the test for
9 certification under Rule 73(b). The Trial Chamber finds that a decision
10 on granting guide-lines on hypothetical situations is not an issue that
11 would significantly affect the fair and expeditious conduct of the
12 proceedings or the outcome of the trial. Consequently, the Trial Chamber
13 denies the request for certification to appeal.
14 Mr. Haynes, you can now proceed.
15 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. We were focusing just before the break on paragraph 4 of your
17 interim combat report of the 18th of July, and it might just be useful if
18 you could reasonably briefly summarise what the state of your knowledge
19 was at the time you dictated that report about the treatment of prisoners
20 in the Zvornik area?
21 A. On the 18th of July when this report was being written I had the
22 following information available to me: I knew that prisoners of war had
23 been brought to the territory of Zvornik
24 of the Main Staff, and that they were actually prisoners of the Main
25 Staff. Further on, I knew that they had been brought in an organised
1 convoy under armed escort, and that this had been organised by the
2 security organs.
3 I also knew that the organisers of that convoy had the authority
4 bestowed upon them by General Mladic. I knew that the prisoners had been
5 accommodated in the facilities which were not military facilities, i.e.,
6 facilities which were not within the jurisdiction of the Zvornik Brigade.
7 I knew that there would be no execution on the spot, that there would be
8 the screening followed by an exchange. I knew that the execution or
9 shootings started out of the blue.
10 I didn't have any information to the effect that the Zvornik
11 Brigade had received from the corps any order with regard to the
12 reception of the prisoners or an order with regard to their execution by
13 shooting. I didn't know of any members of the Zvornik Brigade having
14 participated in the execution. And the only thing that I did know to
15 that effect was the fact that Obrenovic placed at Dragan Nikolic's
16 disposal five or six police officers who were to be involved in the
17 reception of the column of the prisoners of war with a view to screening
19 I also received information that the machinery BG-H700 from the
20 Zvornik Brigade as well as two other pieces of machinery from public
21 companies had been used at the request of the security organs to bury the
22 dead bodies, the bodies of those who had been executed by shooting.
23 This is more or less the information that I was privy to at the
24 time. In addition to that, I had been informed that members of the 10th
25 Sabotage Detachment had participated in the execution, and also soldiers
1 from Bratunac as well as some other people that were unknown to me.
2 I incorporated that information into my interim combat report on
3 the 18th and I sent it to the commander of the Drina Corps.
4 Q. What other courses of action did you consider?
5 A. Before I wrote the report, I also thought about the following:
6 On the 14th the interim combat report arrived from Dragan Obrenovic to
7 the corps command about combat problems. On the 15th I sent a report
8 about problems in combat. No one reacted either on the behalf of the
9 corps or the Main Staff in terms of providing any kind of assistance to
10 the Zvornik Brigade, but when they found out about the opening of the
11 corridor, then three, or rather, four colonels came. I asked myself why
12 didn't they come earlier.
13 That is why I believe that this report written in this form was
14 sufficiently explicit and that General Krstic would know what I was
15 talking about, and I also believed that it was necessary for me to meet
16 with him in person and to speak with him openly about these matters.
17 Q. What authority or ability did you believe on the 18th of July you
18 had to investigate any criminal offences that might have been committed?
19 A. It was my duty as the commander, once I learned that a crime had
20 been committed, to inform my superior and then he in turn would inform
21 the prosecutor and the court, and I also had the option to engage the
22 security organs -- or, rather, I knew that the security organs had
23 instructions laid down by the military prosecutor on how to act in legal
24 criminal matters when a crime was committed that was under the
25 jurisdiction of the military court. It was their official duty so that
1 they could launch and conduct an investigation.
2 It would be pointless for me to engage any kind of security organ
3 of the Zvornik Brigade to -- and order them to investigate the crimes in
4 question in which, according to the information that I had, the security
5 organs of the immediately superior and the secondary Superior Command
6 took part. So I did not have the authority to investigate officers from
7 higher commands. All I could do was to inform the corps commander and to
8 expect him to initiate the appropriate mechanisms and to launch an
9 investigation into these crimes.
10 Q. And what did you hope or anticipate General Krstic would do in
11 response to the report you wrote on the 18th of July?
12 A. I expected that in a way to a certain degree or entirely the
13 contents of my report would be passed on to the Main Staff, or at least
14 he would get back to me and ask me for supplemental information. And
15 then other measures pursuant to the law would be taken when these matters
16 are involved.
17 Q. Just one minor thing. You've told us what your understanding of
18 the position was in relation to the prisoners in the Zvornik area. Can
19 we just be explicit about the sources of your information?
20 A. The main source of my information was Dragan Obrenovic, and on
21 the 18th in Baljkovica Jokic confirmed to me the engagement of the
22 engineering machinery BGH-700 and one machine from the Birac holding
23 enterprise and one machine from the stone quarry from Josanica.
24 Q. Had you by the 18th of July seen any physical evidence to support
25 what Obrenovic had told you?
1 A. On the 17th in the evening when I was returning from the IKM and
2 on my way through Orahovac, I saw that the ground had been disturbed, the
3 earth next to the road from the villages of Krizevci to the village of
4 Orahovac, and I saw that on the 17th in the morning. On the 18th of the
5 morning when I was going back to the IKM, I was not closer than that and
6 I did not visit or tour any of the locations where the executions were
8 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Now, I want to move on to consider with
9 you what happened to your reports, and could we start please by having a
10 look at P329, very, very briefly.
11 Q. And all I really want to confirm with you, General Pandurevic, at
12 this stage, is the time at which this report was sent on the 15th of
13 July. So if we can look at the bottom of the document in both the
14 English and the B/C/S.
15 A. In the Serbian version on page 2 I think it's 19/2500 hours as
16 far as I can remember from the last time.
17 Q. That's very helpful of you and will help us to move on more
19 MR. HAYNES: So I want now, bearing that in mind, to have a look
20 at some Drina Corps reports. And we'll start with P138, the Drina Corps
21 regular combat report for the 15th of July.
22 Q. And I think we can dispense of this document fairly quickly by
23 again just looking at the bottom of it and seeing the time of dispatch of
24 this report to the Main Staff.
25 A. Again, the time is on the following page, 19/1500 hours.
1 Q. Thank you very much. That's read as 19/1500 hours but what you
2 really meant is 19/15; is that right?
3 MR. HAYNES: Now, can we have a look at --
4 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
5 MR. HAYNES: -- P150 which is a Drina Corps interim combat report
6 for the 15th of July.
7 Q. And again let's start by looking at the time that this document
8 was dispatched to the Main Staff?
9 A. At 1945 hours on the 15th of July.
10 Q. So this document was dispatched about 20 minutes after your
11 interim combat report of the 15th of July was sent. If we look at the
12 first page now quickly.
13 A. The contents of this interim combat report of the Drina Corps
14 mostly contains the elements from the regular combat report of the
15 Zvornik Brigade of the 15th of July. There is no information from the
16 interim combat report of the Zvornik Brigade from the 15th of July.
17 Q. Thank you. I think if we --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we, just to clarify there's a 2010 under
19 "process," could we explain what that means. This is a document in the
20 Drina Corps, it looks like, signed by someone from the Drina Corps.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Where is it?
22 MR. HAYNES: There are two times at the bottom of the report, one
23 is 1945 which appears in the English to be alongside something which says
24 "received," and then there's a time lower down, alongside two words
25 "processed" and "delivered" where the time is 2010.
1 Q. General Pandurevic, can you help us as to why there are two times
2 at the bottom of that Drina Corps document?
3 A. I will try. This report was signed by General Krstic himself, I
4 know his signature. The first time, 1945, is the time when the telegram
5 was received in the encrypted version at the Drina Corps. 2010 hours is
6 when the encryptions person had completed his work and sent the telegram
7 to the Main Staff.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, you were just telling us, which I'm going to
9 demonstrate, that the Drina Corps interim combat report of the 15th of
10 July is pretty much exclusively drawn from the Zvornik Brigade regular
11 combat report of the 15th of July, and if we start looking at the second
12 paragraph, it says:
13 "At about 0440 hours on the 15th of July the enemy started a
14 heavy artillery attack on the 4th, 6th, and 7th Infantry Battalion line
15 of Defence."
16 In the third paragraph it mentions three wounded soldiers called
17 Peric, Stevanovic, and Ristic. And the penultimate paragraphs ends:
18 "... the units which took part in combat operations in the
19 Srebrenica and Zepa sectors returned to brigade zone of responsibility
20 during the day and were involved in operations against enemy groups
21 pulling out of Srebrenica?"
22 With that in mind, can we have a look please at P328.
23 And this is, is it not, the Zvornik Brigade regular combat report
24 of the 15th of July?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And we can see that it begins on the evening of the 14th of July,
2 but if we go to the second paragraph, it says:
3 "On the 15th of July at around 440 hours, the enemy launched a
4 heavy artillery attack on the Defence lines of the 4th, 6th and 7th
5 battalions. The attack ended at 530..."
6 And then in the next paragraph it mentions three wounded
7 soldiers, in this document, called Pekic, Stevanovic and Ristic. And the
8 last substantive paragraph under paragraph 2 reads:
9 "Units which participated in combat activities in the Srebrenica
10 and Zepa areas returned during the day to the brigade area of
11 responsibility and are involved in action against enemy groups retreating
12 from Srebrenica."
13 And it's by reference to that, is it, that you conclude that the
14 interim combat report of the 15th of July sent by the Drina Corps is
15 pretty much a verbatim copy of the regular combat report sent by the
16 Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. Yes, I agree.
18 Q. And can you glean from the Drina Corps report, interim combat
19 report of the 15th of July, any information that you sent to them in your
20 interim combat report of the 15th of July at 25 past 7.00 in the evening?
21 A. I think that the information pretty much overlaps, because the
22 information from the interim report of the Zvornik Brigade of the 15th of
23 July and the regular combat report of the 15th of July does overlap to a
24 certain extent. There are no other elements from the interim combat
25 report of the 15th of July there.
1 MR. HAYNES: Well, let's move on a day and have a look at P139,
2 please. The Drina Corps regular combat report of the 16th of July.
3 Q. I should perhaps just ask you this: That in relation to what we
4 saw by comparing those two documents, the Zvornik Brigade regular combat
5 report of the 15th July, and the Drina Corps interim combat report of the
6 15th of July, is that what you would expect to happen with information
7 that you sent to your corps command?
8 A. I think that the regular report of the 15th of July was somewhat
9 late, so probably the regular combat report of the Drina Corps to the
10 Main Staff was dispatched before, and that is why they - when I say
11 "they" I mean the Drina Corps - wrote their own interim combat report on
12 the basis of the regular combat report of the Zvornik Brigade of the --
13 for the 15th of July.
14 Q. Now, here we come to the Drina Corps regular combat report of the
15 16th of July said to be urgent. Can we go through the same exercise,
16 please. Let's just look at the dates and times which it was received and
17 processed at the bottom of the document which is page 3 in the English?
18 A. Yes, we can see that the report of the 16th of July arrived at
19 1637 hours and it was encrypted meaning that it had been written a minute
20 or 10 minutes before that, before it arrived at the encryption station.
21 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Haynes. Mr. Haynes, I'm just not clear, the
22 record says - and I heard - 1637, but I'm seeing 1937.
23 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much.
24 Q. What is the time that the document was received according to you,
25 General Pandurevic?
1 A. From what I can see it's 1937 hours.
2 Q. Now, if we go back to the top of that document, we can see that
3 it begins by reporting that:
4 "The enemy has grouped large forces before the front defence
5 lines of the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade on the Tuzla-Zvornik axis and
6 launched a very strong artillery infantry attack in the early morning
7 hours against the defence sector of our units from the
8 Baljkovica-Rijeka-Pandurica axis. The enemy is coordinating action with
9 forces pulling out from the former enclave of Srebrenica in an attempt to
10 break through our defence line and thereby create conditions to withdraw
11 a large number of armed soldiers and civilians from the Kamenica sector
12 via Crni Vrh, Cetino Brdo, and Baljkovica..."
13 This is a report sent on the evening of the 16th of July. How
14 accurately does that reflect the military situation in the Drina Corps
15 area of responsibility at that time.
16 A. I think that it reflects to a large degree what is written in the
17 interim report of the Zvornik Brigade of the 15th of July. Could we
18 please scroll up so that I could see paragraph 2 about what the Zvornik
19 Brigade is doing? Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think there was a mistake, probably
22 translation. In fact, I'm sure it was translation seeing my B/C/S person
24 MR. HAYNES: Help me.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: In terms of the numbers, the date I believe is
1 what we are talking about.
2 MR. HAYNES: Well, that's --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it says the 15th report, I think he meant
4 -- I think he actually said the 16th report.
5 MR. HAYNES: Well, I'll ask him because I don't think he did.
6 Q. Does this Drina Corps report of the 16th of July reflect
7 information which you had given on the 15th or the 16th?
8 A. The interim combat report of the Zvornik Brigade of the 15th of
10 Q. Now that the document is scrolled down, we can see just above
11 paragraph 2, Combat Readiness, that the report reads:
12 "According to reports submitted by subordinate units, there are
13 around 3.000 armed soldiers and civilians in the Pandurica, Planinci,
14 Crni Vrh, and Glodjansko Brdo sector."
15 And then under Combat Readiness:
16 "All corps units are in a state of full combat readiness. The
17 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade with attached units blocked the Crni Vrh,
18 Planinci, and partly the Kamenica sector where large enemy units and
19 numerous civilians moving from Srebrenica over Glodjansko Brdo in the
20 direction of Krizevici are located." We'll leave that there for a minute
21 because I want to finish with this document before, as it were, drawing
22 the comparison. But can we read down through the whole of this document?
23 MR. HAYNES: And if there's an unmarked B/C/S copy for the
24 general, it would be simpler than scrolling down through e-court. Thank
1 Q. And when you've read through this, would you tell us whether this
2 Drina Corps report of the 16th of July makes any mention of prisoners in
4 A. This regular combat report of the 16th of the Drina Corps command
5 does not mention the prisoners of war in schools, but it only talks about
6 the situation in the front in the area of responsibility of the Zvornik
8 MR. HAYNES: And if we can now quickly go to the well-known
9 document P329.
10 Q. And rather than direct your attention to the whole document, just
11 the first paragraph, and see if we can find some familiar words.
12 "There are about 3.000 armed and unarmed enemy soldiers, brigade
13 forces are sealing off and searching the aforementioned region. A few
14 hundred enemy soldiers have so far been liquidated in the territory of
15 the 1st Zvornik Infantry Brigade area of responsibility in the wider area
16 of Pandurica, Planinci, Crni Vrh, Kamenica, and Glodjansko Brdo."
17 And then down in the third paragraph:
18 "With all available forces we have sealed off the wider area of
19 Crni Vrh, Planinci, and partially the area of Kamenica."
20 So in which report do we find that information reported by the
22 A. We'll find this information in the regular combat report issued
23 by the Drina
24 Q. Thank you.
25 Now, let's move on please. Can we look at P140, the Drina Corps
1 regular combat report of the 17th of July. And again, if we can go
2 straight to the bottom of the report to have a look at the received and
3 processed times.
4 A. Received at 1940, processed at 1952 hours.
5 Q. And can you just remind us what time of day it was that you sent
6 the interim combat report on the 16th of July?
7 A. On the 16th of July, I sent the interim combat report from the
8 Zvornik Brigade at a 2010. As far as I can remember, we had some
9 problems with the encryption device, but that was one day earlier.
10 Q. Thank you. Now if we can go to the top of this document and have
11 the opportunity probably all to read it through, and I will simply
12 address two questions to you. Do we find anywhere in this Drina Corps
13 report of the 17th of July any references to prisoners in schools in the
14 Zvornik area?
15 A. As far as I can see there is none.
16 Q. Do we find anywhere in this Drina Corps report of the 17th of
17 July any reference to the opening of the corridor to allow the forces of
18 the 28th Division through to Nezuk?
19 A. No.
20 MR. HAYNES: Let's move on a day, shall we, and let's have a
21 look, please, at P141; the Drina Corps regular combat report of the 18th
22 of July.
23 Q. And while we're waiting for this document to come up, you've not
24 long ago given the evidence, but just remind us what time of day it was
25 that you sent your interim combat report on the 18th of July?
1 A. I believe that that report was sent around 1300 hours. Maybe a
2 minute later, but I'm not sure.
3 Q. Okay. Well, let's go through the regular practice then, please,
4 of identifying at the bottom of this document, and somebody is thinking
5 ahead of me, I can see, the date and time that this document was received
6 and processed in the Main Staff.
7 A. The document issued by the Drina Corps, the regular combat report
8 for the 18th of July was received at 1900 hours and processed at 1946
9 hours, and I believe that a few minutes later it arrived at the Main
11 Q. So that would be something like six hours after you sent your
12 interim combat report; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Again, I'm sure we can all take the time and trouble to read
15 through it, I'm not going to read it all out to you, but in that report
16 is there any mention of prisoners in schools in the Zvornik area?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Is there any mention of the opening of the corridor by you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And is there any mention of losses that the Zvornik Brigade had
22 A. I'm not sure. Could you please scroll up a little. No, losses
23 in the Zvornik Brigade are not mentioned.
24 MR. HAYNES: Well, let's just complete the picture, shall we, and
25 have a look at P151, the Drina Corps interim combat report of the 18th of
2 Q. Again, just very briefly let's have a look at the bottom of that
3 document at the time it was received and processed.
4 A. Received at 1535 on 18 of July, and processed at either 1550 or
5 1556, I am not sure, which is before the regular combat report for the
6 18th of July was sent by the Drina Corps.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 Now, if we go back to the top, what I'm going to do, General
9 Pandurevic, is not read from this document, but I'm going to read from
10 your document, P334, your interim combat report of the 18th of July,
11 which reads as follows:
12 "On the 17th of July, the enemy carried out offensive low
13 intensity combat activities in the 7th Battalion area of defence with
14 occasional artillery fire on the right wing of the brigade area of
16 How does that correspond to the first paragraph of the Drina
17 Corps report of the 18th of July?
18 A. What I have just read out from the interim combat report of the
19 Zvornik Brigade for the 18th of July has been incorporated in the interim
20 combat report by the Drina Corps on the same day, on the 18th of July.
21 Q. The second paragraph of your report reads:
22 "The Zvornik Brigade forces reinforced by a company from the
23 Krajina 16th Brigade, a company from Bratunac, two platoons of the
24 Bijeljina military police, and one platoon from the Vlasenica Light
25 Infantry Brigade successfully repulsed all enemy attacks from the front."
1 How does that correspond to paragraph 2 or the beginning thereof of the
2 Drina Corps report?
3 A. Again this was taken from the interim combat report of the
4 Zvornik Brigade and incorporated into the interim combat report of the
6 Q. Paragraph 3 of your report reads:
7 "In combat activities with Muslim forces in Srebrenica, Zepa,
8 with parts that remain behind as well as with the forces of the 24th and
9 25th Infantry Division of the 2nd Corps of the so-called BH Army, the
10 Zvornik Infantry Brigade sustained losses as follows: Dead 27; seriously
11 wounded, 24; slightly wounded, 72."
12 How does that correspond with the report that the Drina Corps
13 sent to the Main Staff?
14 A. Again, like in the previous two cases.
15 Q. Paragraph 4 of your report reads:
16 "During the last ten days or so the municipality of Zvornik
17 been swamped with Srebrenica Turks. It is inconceivable to me that
18 someone brought in 3.000 Turks of military age and placed them in schools
19 of the municipalities in addition to the 7.000 or so who have fled into
20 the forests."
21 How does that corresponds with the report that the Drina Corps
22 sent to the Main Staff?
23 A. Item 4 from the interim combat report of the Zvornik Brigade was
24 not incorporated into the interim combat report of the Drina Corps for
25 the 18th of July.
1 Q. Now, General Pandurevic, you've spent a lifetime in the army, can
2 you imagine why your corps commander would not have included that
3 paragraph from your report in his report to the Main Staff?
4 A. I know that a Superior Command, when they draft their report -
5 and I'm talking here about the Drina Corps - that sent its reports to the
6 Main Staff, cannot incorporate everything from the reports of the
7 subordinated units. They compile their own reports and point out the
8 most important things to do with combat operations. However, in any
9 case, the things that are mentioned under item 4 of the Zvornik Brigade
10 for the 18th of July is something that should have found a place in the
11 report of the Drina Corps that was sent to the Main Staff. As we have
12 seen here, that paragraph is simply missing from that report, and thought
13 by the experience of my work in the army, I can conclude that General
14 Krstic had been aware of this even before my report arrived. Also, I can
15 conclude that General Krstic that -- knew that his superior, the one who
16 he was supposed to report to, was also aware of the situation, and in my
17 view, that would be the only reason for him not to include my information
18 into his information. Or maybe he had reasons unknown to me, known only
19 to him.
20 Q. Were you under any orders not to mention the existence of
21 prisoners in any reports you wrote?
22 A. No, I never received any such order.
23 Q. Why did you mention them in the 18th of July report?
24 A. Because I believed that this was important and that this is
25 something that should be reported on and also that should be
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. HAYNES: I'm going to leave that topic and discuss something
4 rather more specific about your report of the 18th of July, and I'd like
5 again, please, to look at P334, the interim combat report of the 18th of
6 July, and just look at the first paragraph.
7 Q. I'd like to focus, please, General Pandurevic, on the last few
8 lines of the first paragraph of that report which read:
9 "The enemy sustained serious losses and dozens have been
10 captured. In fighting with our forces they showed the utmost impudence,
11 unexpected moves, and an animal instinct for survival. Forces from the
12 front are still determined to coordinate action in enabling the
13 withdrawal of the remaining groups at any cost. Increased combat
14 activity may be expected in the afternoon."
15 When you talk in that couple of sentences about unexpected moves
16 and an animal instinct for survival, did you have any particular
17 incidents in mind?
18 A. I believe that I received this type of information from Mijo
19 Dragutinovic who spent some time covering the grounds before we drafted
20 this report, and there were -- there was a case when enemy soldiers were
21 taken prisoners. One soldier activated a hand-grenade and one of our
22 soldiers was either killed or seriously injured. In any case, I know
23 that on that occasion one of our soldiers lost an eye.
24 Q. In the wake of that, did you give any particular orders to your
1 A. An order was in place that during the scouring of the terrain,
2 all those who surrendered should be treated fairly in compliance with all
3 the conventions and that they should be transported to the barracks in
5 MR. HAYNES: I want to have a look very briefly please at a
6 military document, at text P409, B/C/S page 57 and English page 63.
7 Article 213.
8 Q. Which reads:
9 "Capture. It is prohibited to wound or kill a member of the
10 enemy armed forces from the moment he stops offering resistance and
11 visibly shows that he is willing to surrender, or when due to wounding or
12 sickness, he is not capable of fighting. He becomes a prisoner of war
13 when he falls into the hands of the enemy.
14 When capturing a member of the enemy armed forces, the commanding
15 officer of a unit of the armed forces of the SFRY shall take all
16 precautionary measures for the security of the unit."
17 Did you take any measures based on that responsibility while the
18 operation to search the terrain was going on?
19 A. I would like to emphasise three aspects of this item 213 on the
20 regulations of the application of the International Law of War in the
21 Armed Forces of Yugoslavia
22 to show his willingness to surrender. It has to be visible. It has to
23 be obvious. Second of all, he becomes a prisoner of war at the moment
24 when he falls into the hands of the enemy. In this specific case, Muslim
25 soldiers became prisoners of war at the moment when they were in the
1 hands of the Army Republika Srpska. And the third aspect of that, which
2 you will find in the second paragraph, it is ordered to an officer of the
3 armed forces of the SFRY to take all the necessary measures to secure the
4 safety of his own unit, which means that he is responsible for the lives
5 and well-being of his own men who are participating in capturing the
7 I was governed by this item 213 when I issued my order as to how
8 to proceed during the process to take prisoners of war.
9 Q. I wonder if you could give us a sort of overview of the sort of
10 people that your troops might have encountered in the period say the 18th
11 to the 26th of July in the territory behind your frontlines?
12 A. When searching the terrain, the forces of the Zvornik Brigade
13 with the reinforcements that it had at the moment, came across the
14 elements of the 28th Division that were left behind, as well as the
15 combat group that were infiltrated by the 2nd Corps in the rear of the
16 Zvornik Brigade.
17 Q. What was the position so far as those who wanted to walk to Nezuk
18 were concerned during that period?
19 A. On the 18th everybody who appeared in the area could go through
20 without any problems.
21 Q. What about combatants who were prepared to lay down their arms
22 and surrender?
23 A. Combatants who laid down their arms and surrendered were taken
24 prisoners and brought to the Standard barracks.
25 Q. And what about those who didn't want to surrender but wanted to
2 A. There were some combat groups of that sort, especially supported
3 by the groups infiltrated from the direction of the 2nd Corps. We
4 engaged against such groups, and in that fighting some individuals lost
5 their lives, they were killed.
6 Q. What steps did you take, and I'll use the words of the article,
7 to take precautionary measures for the security of your units during that
9 A. I knew the terrain which was being searched. It was a very thick
10 wood, very dense vegetation, high grass, a lot of crevices, brooks, and
11 streams, and any scouring of the territory was risky activity. That's
12 why I ordered that thing, that -- that my men should proceed with caution
13 making sure that they were safe, and I was also counting on all sorts of
14 perfidities [phoen] that might have been used by the enemy soldiers.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, can we move on to the 19th of July. What combat
16 activities were going on on the 19th of July?
17 A. On the 19th of July there were attempts to -- of forceful
18 breakthrough to the troops of the 4th and the 7th Battalion. Our
19 soldiers engaged with the enemy soldiers during the scouring of the
20 terrain and both sides sustained losses. Both the VRS as well as the
21 Muslim side.
22 Q. Can we return then to our duty operations officer's notebook.
23 For you General Pandurevic, page 780. For the rest of us page 162. And
24 the first entry for the 19th of July that I want to draw your attention
25 to, but just wait until we have the document on our screens, would you.
1 The entry reads:
2 "At 0620 one person from the Zeljava company was killed and one
3 was wounded. 4th Battalion. The commander of the 7th Battalion called
4 personally and reported that information," and then there are some
5 names, Milenko Milosevic killed, Nenad Acentic wounded?
6 What does that reflect in relation to what was going on on the
7 19th of July?
8 A. A reference is made to the Zeljava company. It's a nickname for
9 a company that was composed of soldiers, refugees, hailing from village
10 Zeljava in central Bosnia
11 another wounded on that day, and the commander of the 7th Battalion also
12 reported the names of one fallen soldier and one wounded. And this
13 reflects the combat operations and what was going on on the 19th of July.
14 Q. And if we go forward a couple of pages in that book, General
15 Pandurevic, page 782 for you. 164 for the rest of us. Firstly the very
16 top entry, "Another 28 were liquidated and three were captured." What
17 does that reflect?
18 A. During the scouring of the terrain, there was an armed combat, 28
19 enemy soldiers died or were killed and three were captured.
20 Q. Do you recall which of your unit were involved in that, and where
21 that took place, or was it generally across the whole terrain?
22 A. When the terrain was being scoured, the Podrinje detachment took
23 part of the 16th Krajina Brigade, also the unit from the East Bosnia
24 Corps, and also some units from the 4th and the 7th Battalion and their
25 intervention platoons. I don't know the location of every particular
1 unit for that day though. Dragan Obrenovic was heading the terrain sweep
3 Q. Thank you. You've led me on to the next question which is, where
4 were you throughout the 19th of July?
5 A. I think that I was at the command.
6 Q. Pretty much the last entry from the 19th of July, 2239:
7 "In the area of Staro Selo there was a contact between
8 intervention platoon and Turks and everything is under control for the
9 time being."
10 Do you have any recollection of what that was about?
11 A. Staro Selo is in the 7th Battalion defence sector and it was
12 noted that there was a conflict between the intervention detachment of
13 that unit and members of the 28th Division or infiltrated units in that
15 MR. HAYNES: And lastly, in relation to that day, can we look at
16 P1261, A in the English, and B in the Serbian. I've got no flag to say
17 this is under seal or anything.
18 Q. Just in case we don't know this from earlier evidence, who is
19 Colonel Cerovic?
20 A. Colonel Cerovic is the assistant commander of the Drina Corps for
21 morale and religious and political affairs.
22 Q. And just, if we go through the early parts of this, he says
23 "hello." Do you recall speaking to him on the 19th of July in the
25 A. I talked to Cerovic during that period of time several times, and
1 had it not been for this conversation, it would be hard for me to
2 actually confirm the date and the time.
3 Q. Very well. He says:
4 "Good morning Vinko.
5 "Good morning. How are you?
6 "Well, I'm running around here since last night we --" something,
9 "They are up there at Crni Vrh, over there at Potocari, Planinci,
10 the part towards Baljkovica."
11 And he says:
12 "Ah ha, you mean the ones who are coming out on this side; is
13 that right?
14 "Yes, from there. And all of them are rushing over here to us."
15 What are you talking about there?
16 A. I am probably talking about the sweeping of the terrain and the
17 problems with the straggling and infiltrated groups. Not everything is
18 written down here word for word, but that is what it refers to in any
20 MR. HAYNES: And can we just have a look at page 2 in the
21 English, please. And page 2 in the B/C/S.
22 Q. Where is Nisici?
23 A. Nisici is an elevation or a plateau close to Sarajevo
24 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps area north-east of Sarajevo.
25 Q. Then we can go on down there and you said:
1 "No, seriously, I've sent a report yesterday. You could see what
2 kind of losses we sustained."
3 Well, we can probably work out what report you are referring to,
4 but Cerovic said to you:
5 "Yes. And I presented that to Krstic and wrote him a special
6 report based on your interim and daily reports."
7 What did you understand was being conveyed to you there by
8 Mr. Cerovic?
9 A. Cerovic was telling me that he had absolutely informed Krstic
10 with my interim combat report of the 18th of July.
11 Q. Now can we move on, please, to the 20th of July. What was going
12 on the 20th of July on the ground?
13 A. On the 20th of July, the terrain was scoured as also the
14 fortification of positions along the defence line.
15 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a look, please, at 7D93, the regular
16 combat report of the 20th of July. 7D93. 93. That might be a good
17 moment to take the break because that's certainly not the document I'm
18 looking for.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll have a 25 minute break now, thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. I think we can proceed precisely where
24 we left off and have 7D93 in e-court. And this is the regular combat
25 report of the 20th of July of 1995.
1 Q. Well, we can see from paragraph 2:
2 "The R Battalion is providing permanent protection for traffic
3 along the Orahovac-Crni Vrh road while the ground search is being
4 performed by units of the rear Podrinje detachment, intervention units of
5 the 7th and 4th Battalions and the 16th company of the Krajina Brigade,
6 together with the Zvornik intervention unit of the Ministry of Interior."
7 Is that the sort of thing that the R Battalion would routinely be
8 used for?
9 A. Yes, this Battalion was mobilised with the intention of securing
10 the terrain and that's what it was doing here, securing the Zvornik-Crni
11 Vrh road, meaning that it was deployed there so that the traffic would
12 proceed safely and without impediment, that was one of its functions at
13 the time.
14 Q. And again, it's a document in Cyrillic, but what is the word in
15 Serbian used to describe what its task was?
16 A. The word is "Obisberdze [phoen]."
17 Q. Thank you. And from this document can we glean what, as it were,
18 the main concerns and tasks of the brigade were on the 20th of July?
19 A. It says here that the search of the terrain in the indicated area
20 and to control and secure the road in order to smash the stragglers and
21 infiltrated groups.
22 Q. Where were you on the 20th of July?
23 A. I think that I was at the command.
24 Q. And who was in command of the operation to search the terrain?
25 A. Obrenovic.
1 MR. HAYNES: Now, can we have a look at P377, the duty officers'
2 notebook again please. For you, General Pandurevic, page 783 and 784.
3 The rest of us pages 165 and 6. So we'll start with page 165, please.
4 Q. And obviously from the fact that we've got to go over the page,
5 we're looking at the entry at the very bottom. Now, who was the duty
6 officer on the 20th of July?
7 A. Several handwritings appear here for the 27th [as interpreted].
8 The only one I recognise is this one that is quite distinctive, the one
9 by Major Galic. I don't know whether he was replaced at one point but it
10 seems that he might have been on duty the whole day.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just, it says the 27th.
12 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
13 Q. Can you just flick back in the book for us and confirm what date
14 this entry is written?
15 A. This is the 20th of July.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, we'll just have a look at this entry.
17 "Since contact with the other side has been established through
18 the radio communication and the other side has posed question that we are
19 not competent to answer at our level, I suggest that competent organs
20 from the Superior Command come to the forward command post of the 1st
21 Zvornik Infantry Brigade and get directly involved in the work. The
22 other side has asked for the following:
23 "Allowing passing of the rest of the column, exchange the
24 prisoners from Vis
25 in the area of a trig point."
1 What is the trig point? It says it's illegible, can you read it?
2 A. It says trig point in the Osmace sector of the tactical group
3 from Sekovici. So it's a kilometre or two away from there, so it's
4 between the Zvornik and the Sekovici Brigade, in between those two
6 Q. All right. Well, that's probably not the most important aspect
7 of this entry in the book, but what is the reference to contact with the
8 other side through radio all about?
9 A. At that time and after the closing of the corridor, we had
10 contacts with the other side through our premier listening station. And
11 as I can see here, the deputy -- the assistant Chief of Staff for
12 operations, Dusko Vukotic, was the one who received the information
13 because this radio listening station was under his jurisdiction.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he said,
15 the last sentence.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The interpreters didn't catch the last part of your
17 last sentence. If you could repeat it, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. The other side or the
19 2nd Corps demanded radio contact with the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
20 MR. HAYNES:
21 Q. And this entry is written in the first person, "I suggest that
22 competent organs from the Superior Command come to the forward command
23 post." Whose views is this entry expressing?
24 A. It's possible that Vukotic made this proposal and sent it to
25 Galic or someone informed me and then I conveyed it to Galic, so it was
1 either Vukotic or myself, one of us.
2 Q. And what did you mean by "not competent to answer" and your
3 invitation to Superior Command get directly involved, if it was yours?
4 A. In any case, I wasn't competent for exchanges of prisoners at the
5 level of the brigade; although, on the 16th and the 17th I did do that
6 and tried to do that together with Semso when we are talking about
7 soldiers from the Zvornik Brigade. After all the events that had taken
8 place on the 16th and the 17th, I believe that it would be too much to
9 continue to maintain contacts with the Muslim side and try to negotiate
10 exchanges, and for that reason as far as I can remember I sent an interim
11 combat report to the corps command pointing to this problem and asking
12 that the corps from now on deals with these matters.
13 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Now, can we just briefly go forward a
14 couple of pages in the book, which for you, General Pandurevic, is page
15 785, and the rest of us page 167.
16 Q. Would you please confirm to us firstly that we are still looking
17 at an entry for the 20th of July? And would you explain what is meant to
18 us by the reference there to "commission of exchange"?
19 A. The commission of exchange -- well, this was written by the duty
20 operations officer as a note for him to put into the regular combat
21 report because already we had a certain number of prisoners of war and we
22 were already thinking and seeking a way to have them exchanged or to
23 allocate a location where they would be sent.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. HAYNES: Can we move forward now to the 21st of July and will
1 you turn one page forward in the duty officers' notebook to page 786. We
2 can all go to page 168.
3 Q. And we see there there is an entry at 0440:
4 "Zlatar informed that the situation is normal."
5 But then at 0555:
6 "The attacks started at the adjacent unit on the left - the
7 juncture between us and Duricic (Vukotic) premier 5 - 6 network it
8 appears to be Vis.
9 What happened in the early hours of the 21st of July, 1995
10 A. Our radio listening station premier discovered in time the radio
11 networks of the 2nd Corps which were not functional before that, and on
12 the 21st early in the morning on 5 a.m. an attack began by forces of the
13 2nd Corps. Perhaps the strongest force up to then that had ever carried
14 out an attack on the Zvornik Brigade positions. Our neighbour to the
15 left in the V section was attacked first, and then moved to our 7th and
16 4th Battalions.
17 Q. You said that probably the heaviest attack yet. How did the
18 attack on the 21st of July compare with that on the morning of the 16th
19 of July?
20 A. As for the forces engaged at the front, these were much stronger
21 forces. All were intervention units of the 2nd Corps which previously
22 were engaged in some other sectors of the front, but the objective at the
23 time of the Muslim forces was to cut off the Zvornik-Snagovo road, to
24 capture that section, and then continue the attack towards Zvornik
1 Q. And what form did the attack take?
2 A. The attack began with artillery support, as usual, then there
3 were infantry attacks which lasted until 12.00, and then these forces
4 later pulled back.
5 Q. How long in total did the attack go on for?
6 A. I think it lasted until noon
7 time at our positions and fire at Zvornik itself. And I think that there
8 was some civilians who were killed and were wounded in the town.
9 Q. What effect did it have on your defence lines?
10 A. The lines of defence remained where they were and all the attacks
11 were rejected.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Repelled, interpreter's correction.
13 MR. HAYNES: Can we go forward, please, three pages in the duty
14 officers' notebook to page 789 for you, General Pandurevic, and the rest
15 of us page 171.
16 Q. And there's an entry there:
17 "Stara Drina equals: 1, at market did not explode. 1, Biljana
18 Lackovic; 2, Borka Lazarevic, Rocevic; and 3, Zoran, surname illegible,
19 1967. Five wounded," and at the side, "one equals two women."
20 Who were those people and what does that entry record?
21 A. This was information from the duty operations officer that he
22 received at that point in time, and Stara Drina probably means the hotel
24 did not explode. As for the precise information about those killed and
25 wounded can be found in the regular combat report.
1 Q. Where were they killed and wounded?
2 A. In the town itself, the town of Zvornik.
3 Q. We can probably tell from the names, but what sexes are those
4 people listed as being killed?
5 A. The first two are women and the third is a man.
6 MR. HAYNES: And just to confirm the picture, can we have a look
7 at 7D94, please.
8 Q. And we can see at paragraph 1, the regular combat report records
10 "During the night there was enemy provocation by infantry fire.
11 Early in the morning, the enemy carried out a strong artillery and
12 infantry attack on the positions of the 6th, 4th and 7th Battalions.
13 Four 82 millimetre mortar shells hit the 6th Battalion in the area of
14 Goluboviji. Tanks, self-propelled guns, and mortars fired at Pandurica
15 from the areas of the Ekonomija, Brdo, Zukiji, Lazareviji and Borainovac.
16 Two soldiers were wounded."
17 And then if we can go to the bottom of the report. There we see
18 the same names listed as being killed in Zvornik.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. HAYNES: Okay. Well, let's move on, please, by looking at
21 P339 to help us understand what happened the following day on the 22nd of
23 "In the evening, the enemy opened fire at the positions of the
24 4th and 7th Battalion. It also opened artillery fire at Zvornik and
25 Velika Glavica. During the night and early in the morning enemy groups
1 from behind the positions of the 4th and 7th tried to pass through our
2 positions --"
3 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you for slowing down.
4 MR. HAYNES: I'm very sorry.
5 Q. "-- and reached Muslim controlled territory. During the day the
6 3rd Infantry Company combed the terrain from Crni Vrh to Orahovac road to
7 Snagovo and Kamenica."
8 Considering that, give us an overview of what was happening on
9 the 22nd of July after the strong attack on the 21st.
10 A. More or less all that time after the 18th or the end of July, the
11 forces of the 2nd Corps opened artillery fire from the frontline and in
12 that way they allowed the elements that were left behind and that had
13 been infiltrated to break through towards Nezuk. They were also very
14 often there were infantry attacks to help the forces that were left
15 behind and are trying to break through.
16 Q. We will come on to another document because on the 22nd of July,
17 you sent an interim combat report, which is P340, which we can have a
18 look at together. The original is handwritten. Whose handwriting is
19 that, sir, General Pandurevic?
20 A. This document was written by Major Mijo Dragutinovic.
21 Q. At your dictation or at his own volition or what?
22 A. I believe that I tasked him with writing it but that he himself
23 put it together and signed on my behalf.
24 Q. And we can see that under paragraph 1 he records "in engaging
25 enemy groups along the Planinci-Perunika-Brezik village line, 10 enemy
1 soldiers were liquidated, armed mostly with automatic weapons, while 23
2 Muslim soldiers were captured."
3 And we look at paragraph 3:
4 "We request from the corps command that the exchange
5 commission start work as soon as possible. We also require instructions
6 as to what do with the prisoners, where to put them, and to whom we
7 should hand them over."
8 Why did you write an interim combat report and the 22nd of July?
9 A. I believe that already on the 20th we had informed the corps
10 about that, there was no reaction thus we insisted on this activity
11 starting as soon as possible because our prison in the barracks was full
12 of prisoners and they could no longer be kept there. I didn't know what
13 the corps would decide, whether they would decide for them to be sent to
14 Batkovic or perhaps Vlasenica or perhaps an exchange would be organised
15 at the separation line in Memici, and that's why we decided to issue this
17 Q. Thank you. Just looking at the document, did the interim combat
18 report on the 22nd of July have anything to do with combat?
19 A. It shows that the terrain had been scoured in the area referred
20 to herein. That there were both killed and captured in combat. In other
21 words, the first part of this report does concern combat activities.
22 MR. HAYNES: Now, I want to go back briefly to the duty officers'
23 notebook, page 793 for you, General Pandurevic. For the rest of us, page
25 Q. And conveniently the dates at the top here, the 22nd of July. I
1 just want to ask about two entries here, please. Firstly, the one at
3 "A company from the 16th headed out to Trnovo from the barracks."
4 What does that relate to?
5 A. This refers to the company from the 16th Krajina Motorised
6 Brigade from the 1st Krajina Corps. Up to that time, that company was on
7 the strength of the Zvornik Brigade, and as far as I can remember, an
8 order had arrived for this company to be referred to the
9 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
10 Q. And secondly the penultimate entry on that page:
11 "2nd Battalion Gotovac called the commander regarding
12 negotiations with Semso, is there anything?"
13 Who is Gotovac and what was the call about?
14 A. I believe that the person in question is Dragan Gotovac, reserve
15 captain. His brother, relative, or somebody else had been either
16 captured or gone missing. I kept in contact with Semso and I asked for
17 any information about that person. Dragan Gotovac had probably asked for
18 an update on that person as far as I can remember.
19 Q. And on the 22nd of July, were you still speaking regularly to
20 Semso Muminovic?
21 A. I wouldn't say that it was regular communication. However, if he
22 wanted to talk to me, he could via our radio surveillance device, and I
23 could do the same if I wanted to talk to him.
24 Q. The entry we read on the 20th of July in which you or Mr. Vukotic
25 expressed the view that the other side was asking questions you were not
1 competent to answer, do you recall whether you expressed that to Semso
2 Muminovic at any time, and if so, when?
3 A. I don't remember exactly. However, I do believe that the message
4 had arrived from Semso and it that was it message for me. So it was
5 either I who said it to Semso or actually asked Vukotic to convey the
6 message to Semso and tell him that I could no longer be involved in that
8 Q. If it had been down to you, General Pandurevic, if you'd had the
9 authority, what would you have done with these prisoners at the Zvornik
10 Brigade command?
11 A. I would have organised exchange Memici at the separation line
12 there. I would have exchanged them and sent them to the 2nd Corps.
13 Q. What was preventing you from doing that between the 20th of July
14 and the 22nd?
15 A. Well, the situation prevented me from doing that. There was
16 combat ongoing, and I had already done two many moves on my own at my own
17 risk, and it would have just been too much both for me and my superiors
18 had I done that.
19 Q. What was the situation so far as the number of prisoners you had
20 by the 23rd of July?
21 A. The information about the number of prisoners may be found in
22 regular combat reports in the duty officers' log-book, and even in the
23 duty officers' log-book of the barracks. I believe that on the 23rd, the
24 prison unit was overcrowded and those people had to be moved urgently to
25 one of the collection centres for prisoners of war. There may have been
1 even over 30 of them there.
2 Q. And how many were you equipped to hold?
3 A. It was not even a special room. It was just one part of the
4 building that could be used to keep soldiers of the Zvornik Brigade who
5 had been involved in a disciplinary offence or transgression so that that
6 room, so to speak, could hold a maximum of 30 or maybe 40 people, but
7 that was it.
8 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Can we now have a look, please, at P1307
9 at B.
10 Q. And this is a record of an intercepted radio communication
11 between apparently General Krstic and Major Bojanovic. Do you recall
12 whether he was in fact the duty officer at Standard on the morning of the
13 23rd of July?
14 A. It says in this intercept Major Bojanovic, Palma duty officer.
15 Most probably he was. If were to look at the log-book, I could tell you
16 with certainty whether he was duty operation officer on the 23rd because
17 I know his handwriting very well.
18 Q. Well, very well then. Just turn to the 23rd of July in the book
19 you have in front of you. We won't bother getting it up on the screen,
20 and you tell us if you can recognise Major Bojanovic's handwriting at
21 about 6.00 in the morning of the 23rd of July?
22 A. I had a log-book and the entry made on the 23rd, and the complete
23 first page save for maybe the last two lines is indeed Ljubo Bojanovic's
24 handwriting, which means that he was on duty on that day.
25 Q. Very well. And he is recorded as saying to General Krstic that
1 the detention facility is full. There are more than 30 of them as well
2 as saying that six Turks were captured on the previous night. And does
3 that accord with your recollection of the situation on the 22nd and early
4 23rd of July?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. HAYNES: Can we now look please at P1309, A in the English
7 and B in the Serbian which is under seal.
8 Q. Now, this conversation is the same morning, an hour and 20
9 minutes later if all the times are correct. And it's a conversation
10 which apparently involves you. Do you recall having such a conversation
11 as this on the morning of the 23rd of July?
12 A. I remember having been engaged in a conversation like this, and
13 the other person was Colonel Cerovic as far as I can remember.
14 Q. Thank you. I just want to ask you a few questions about what we
15 see here. You apparently said:
16 "Well, we are still catching Turks. I have some prisoners. I
17 have some wounded, and I don't know what to do with them, where to send
19 The first question is, do you remember if you called Cerovic or
20 he called you?
21 A. I can't be sure of that.
22 Q. And did you on the 23rd of July have some wounded prisoners as
23 well as ordinary prisoners?
24 A. Yes, there was a group of wounded who had been brought earlier
25 and were kept at the dispensary of the Zvornik Brigade, and I referred to
1 them in this conversation.
2 Q. Thank you. And going on down the conversation you ask:
3 "Did anybody talk about an exchange for those guys from --" is it
4 Lisaka [phoen] or Lisaca?
5 That's a place which appeared in the duty officers' notebook a
6 couple of days ago? Who were the guys from Lisaca?
7 A. It's correct that on the 20th, this word, "Lisaca," had been
8 mentioned as it was again in the report on the 22nd. These were soldiers
9 from the East Bosnia Corps who had been captured in March or sometime
10 earlier that year at Lisaca facility. I wanted to speed up my exchange
11 and that's why I remembered them and mentioned them to Mr. Cerovic.
12 Q. And the conversation goes on. You say:
13 "Yes, yes, so does anybody know who I should send them to?"
14 And Cerovic says:
15 "Well, I can tell you what to do with it if there is because
16 Begovic says he has, you know --"
17 And you said: "Well, what about Matkovic?"
18 Did you say Matkovic or mention Matkovic in that conversation?
19 A. I believe that this conversation has not been recorded well
20 because here when reference is made to Begovic, I must have mentioned him
21 because he was the head of medical personnel in Zvornik. He was an MD by
22 profession, and here where it says "Matkovic," I believe that the word I
23 used was actually "Batkovic" which is the name where of the place where
24 the prisoner of war camp was.
25 Q. So I mean, we may all recall him. There was a doctor at the
1 Zvornik Brigade called Begovic, wasn't there. What were you saying in
2 this conversation that linked together the name Begovic and the camp at
4 A. Yes, you are right, yes.
5 Q. Well, I might be right but I was asking you a question. It's
6 plain that the conversation is incomplete here. What were you saying to
7 Mr. Cerovic about Dr. Begovic and Batkovic; what was all that about, if
8 you remember?
9 A. When I mentioned Begovic, I must have mentioned the wounded as
10 well. He was aware of their condition and he knew that they could be
11 transported. I insisted on that future transport to include both the
12 prisoners of war and the wounded.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. HAYNES: Now can we go to P1310, B in the B/C/S under seal,
15 and A in the English.
16 Q. And just to save a little time, General Pandurevic, would you
17 turn in the duty officers' notebook to page 795.
18 Now, here we have another intercept 5 minutes after the last one
19 in which you were apparently a participant, where the participant in the
20 previous conversation, which if that is right, must be Mr. Cerovic called
21 and asked for Vinko again but Ljubo answered:
22 "... told Ljubo to pass on to Vinko what Vinko and I were just
23 talking about. Will arrive at your place by 1700 hours. The boss,
24 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, will arrive and say what needs to be done
25 regarding the work we talked about."
1 Did you receive a message to that effect from Ljubo Bojanovic,
2 the duty officer that morning?
3 A. Let me first say that between the conversation that we just saw
4 and this note in the work book, recorded at 8.30, there is a link between
5 the two. After having talked to me, Cerovic probably spoke to Krstic or
6 somebody else who could make a decision for the people to be transferred
7 to Batkovic. And then he again called Ljubo Bojanovic and gave him the
8 message that is recorded in the note, and this is also confirmed by the
9 intercept that we can see on the screen.
10 I'm not sure whether at any time during the day, at that time or
11 later Ljubo conveyed that a message to me. However, I did know about the
12 approval for all the prisoners who were kept at the Zvornik Brigade
13 including the wounded to be transferred to Batkovic. Here a reference is
14 made to Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. I am absolutely sure I did not see
15 him at the command of the Zvornik Brigade in the course of that day.
16 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. And so that we can all see what you are
17 looking at, can we have a look at P377. You've got the correct page,
18 that's 795. We need to see page 177 in the e-court version.
19 Q. And the entry you were looking at is the one that we can see at
20 0830, "Lieutenant-Colonel Cerovic relayed a message for commander that
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic will arrive by 1700 hours."
22 Let's leave that behind us. The next entry is at 10.00, and that
23 refers to a "... briefing at the brigade command with the commanders of
24 the infantry and artillery battalions."
25 Was there a briefing morning at 10.00?
1 A. Yes, there was a briefing which involved the commanders of the
2 division battalions.
3 Q. What sort of meeting was it?
4 A. Pursuant to the monthly work-plan, there were regular monthly
5 briefings of the commanders of the battalions, divisions, and
6 subordinated units and the inner circle of the brigade command. At that
7 briefings, we analysed the combat readiness and the implementation of the
8 plan for the previous month. The briefing that took place on that day
9 was a combination of the regular monthly briefing and a briefing about
10 particular activities that were very important and that had taken place
11 over the past several days prior to the briefing itself.
12 This briefing did take place and the emphasis was on the events
13 that immediately preceded the briefing.
14 Q. Who was present?
15 A. All the battalion and division commanders. And when I say
16 "division" I mean the commander of the mixed artillery division Milos
17 Maksimovic and the commander of the light infantry division of the
18 anti-aircraft defence, Albert Markovic [phoen]. There was also the
19 commander of the Podrinje Detachment, Jolovic. The assistant commanders.
20 The Chief of Staff was there as well. The operations officer,
21 Dragutinovic. Major Galic. Most probably the chiefs of various
22 services. I would say that those were the people that were present at
23 the briefing.
24 Q. Where was it held and how long did it last?
25 A. That briefing as well as all the others was held in the ops room
1 which was between the office of the assistant for logistics and the
2 office of the operations organ, which means that it was on the first
3 floor of the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
4 Q. What was discussed?
5 A. As usual, the meeting would be opened by the commander, that is
6 me, and then the battalion commanders and the division commanders would
7 refer -- report on the combat readiness of the battalions, the
8 implementation of tasks. Then the command organs would discuss each
9 their own sectors of work and submit their reports. Then the chiefs of
10 services would state what the situation was in the staff units. The
11 Chief of Staff would discuss command and control problems, and then at
12 the end of the meeting I would summarise everything that was said and
13 issue tasks for the forthcoming period.
14 Q. And you didn't fully answer my earlier question. How long did
15 all that take?
16 A. I cannot say exactly how long it took, but at least an hour, I
17 would say.
18 Q. What happened after the meeting?
19 A. After the meeting everyone would go back to their units and the
20 command organs would go back to their officers [as interpreted] and the
21 Chief of Staff Obrenovic and myself would go to our office.
22 Q. I'm just curious, General Pandurevic, you appear to be talking in
23 the conditional tense throughout the whole of that. Is that what did
24 happen? Did you go back to your office or offices with Major Obrenovic?
25 A. I said that we went back, Obrenovic and myself went to my office
1 and the rest went to their own places. This would be the past tense.
2 Q. Thank you, I thought you probably did.
3 Which office did you go to with Major Obrenovic, yours or his?
4 A. To the brigade commander's office, that is the office where I
6 Q. And what did the two of you talk about?
7 A. We went back to a topic that we talked about on the 18th of July.
8 We were particularly interested in knowing how come that nobody from the
9 corps command in the meantime had called back or sent a return document
10 requesting more detailed information from us, or to inform us about
11 anything that had to do with that.
12 We also talked about how come that none of the battalion
13 commanders or those present at the meetings did not mention the prisoners
14 of war at all, or referred to the events relating to the executions.
15 Q. Just so that we understand the position. Between the 18th and
16 July and this meeting on the morning of the 23rd, where had Dragan
17 Obrenovic been?
18 A. On the 18th, Dragan Obrenovic was at the command of the 4th
19 Battalion in Balkovica, and for the most part until the 23rd he was in
20 charge of the search of the terrain in Baljkovici-Planinici-Tarabic.
21 Q. And where had he been spending his nights?
22 A. From time to time he would spend the night in the barracks and
23 sometimes at home, I'm not sure which night he was where.
24 Q. Had you had an opportunity before this to speak to him about what
25 he had told you earlier again?
1 A. After the 18th and the conversation in Baljkovica, this was our
2 third conversation or our fourth conversation relating to the prisoners
3 and their fate. Also the conversation that we had on the 23rd after the
5 Q. Did he have any further information to that which he had given
6 you on the 18th?
7 A. He didn't have any special additional information. He simply
8 stated his opinion and his thoughts about the events that were discussed.
9 Q. And what was his opinion and what were his thoughts?
10 A. He simply said something like what happened, how did it happen,
11 how is it that it happened precisely here. I happen to agree with him
12 and I asked him what did he think, what did he suggest in terms of what
13 we should do next, and I mentioned the interim combat report that I had
14 sent on the 18th of July.
15 Q. But what did you mention about it?
16 A. I told him and I think in the meantime he had also seen that
17 report, I told him what I had written in the report and that I was
18 surprised that the corps command didn't react to that. We agreed that at
19 that point in time that was all that we could do. I was expecting any
20 day to return to Zepa and to talk to Krstic personally, among other
21 things, about this matter as well.
22 Q. What sort of mood were you in when you had this discussion with
23 Obrenovic on the 23rd?
24 A. It's difficult to describe the whole situation. The anger, the
25 rage, the nausea a person feels at a time like that. It was our
1 conclusion to the effect that where is this leading us, what sort of a
2 brain could have decided something like that, but according to the
3 information that we had, we knew that the order had come from General
4 Mladic. And I don't know if it was me or him who said that this is not
5 going to take us far, this manner of work.
6 Q. Did in that discussion express your anger or rage? And if so,
8 A. I did. I said something to the effect who put this in our laps?
9 Who placed this in Zvornik, because if something like this happens in the
10 area of Zvornik, everybody would logically assume that this was something
11 that was committed by the Zvornik Brigade, leaving aside the gravity of
12 the crime itself.
13 Q. Did you discuss what action you should take?
14 A. We did think about that too, whether to conduct an investigation
15 and what sort of investigation, and then at the time we concluded that
16 the report that we had sent on the 18th represented at that stage the
17 most that we were able to do, and that after I personally meet General
18 Krstic, we would be able to know if we would do something more or not.
19 Q. What were the main reasons for that conclusion?
20 A. Already earlier today I said what I knew about that, and the
21 information was discussed at this meeting also, and we understood that it
22 would be illusory to conduct an investigation in the usual way that it
23 should be conducted. It was also our position that sometimes the truth,
24 if it comes too early, can have more negative consequences than if it
25 were to be a bit delayed.
1 Q. You said that one of the things you discussed with Obrenovic at
2 your meeting was the fact that nobody in the briefing had mentioned
3 prisoners or killings. Did you raise it with those at that briefing?
4 A. No, I didn't raise that issue.
5 Q. Was that a deliberate decision?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Why did you not raise the question with the assembled commanders
8 at the meeting on the 23rd of July?
9 A. In the meantime, I didn't receive any information back from the
10 corps command. I wasn't able to launch or initiate such a major issue in
11 front of such a large number of people for a number of reasons; one of
12 them being that matters like that when the concealment of evidence is
13 possible and other kinds of actions are possible, should not be then
14 launched other than in a much smaller circle and in a different way.
15 MR. HAYNES: Do you mind if we lose a couple of minutes today
16 because that really is the end of a topic?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Not at all. So we are going to finish here today.
18 We reassemble tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.
20 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day of February, 2009,
21 at 9.00 a.m.