1 Thursday, 19 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So good afternoon. Madam Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours, this is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. All the accused are here.
10 Prosecution Mr. McCloskey, the Defence teams, I notice the
11 absence of Mr. Bourgon. Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good
13 afternoon to all of my learned friends. I want to introduce our new
14 associate, our assistant Ms. Marie-Josee Barry-Gosselin from Canada who
15 will be working with the Nikolic defence team.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome. You are most welcome.
17 So absent is Mr. Bourgon, Mr. Sarapa, and I think that's it.
18 All right. Before we start, this is a nice occasion, the
19 second -- for the second time that I'm happy to announce that another
20 member of the Defence teams, namely David Josse, has, like previously
21 Mr. Haynes, now been awarded the Queen's Counsel distinction. Our
22 sincere congratulations to you, Mr. Josse. It's a well-deserved
23 recognition of your distinguished career so far, and in a way, I also
24 look at it as a recognition on the part of the authorities in the
25 United Kingdom that bestowed this distinction of the work British or UK
1 lawyers have been doing in this Tribunal.
2 Yes, Mr. Josse.
3 MR. JOSSE: Just to say, Your Honours, I'm sure that is right.
4 I'm personally very glad that this is becoming a habit, and I'm
5 embarrassed and grateful for the kind words of the Trial Chamber. Thank
6 you so much.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So Mr. Zivanovic, and good afternoon to
8 you, and good afternoon to you, Mr. Pandurevic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good afternoon to you.
11 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, while giving evidence, you saw the
15 Prosecution Exhibit 302. This is a piece of construction machinery ULT
16 220. Can we please look at the exhibit?
17 This is a digger, an excavator. The copy is somewhat pale, the
18 B/C/S, but I believe you've seen the document before, haven't you?
19 A. Indeed I have. In my understanding, this is a loader, and it
20 cannot really be used as an excavator to quite the same extent.
21 Q. Yes, I see that excavator is one of the terms used in the
22 translation. I'm not trying to discuss the particular type right now,
23 but can we please go to the next page of this work log.
24 Would you please look at the second entry, the date is the 17th
25 of July. Do you agree with me that what it says is that the machine was
1 used in Branjevo on that day; right?
2 A. Yes, that's right. That's what it says.
3 Q. Can we please go back to page 1 now. Can we please look at the
4 fuel receipt information and the types specified there. You will see for
5 the 17th of July, I think what it says is 100 litres were received at
6 first and then another 70; am I right?
7 A. Indeed that's what it says.
8 Q. Can we, therefore, agree that this is not fuel that was poured
9 over from some jerrycans or anything like that, this was one of those
10 regular powers done at a petrol station; right?
11 A. There is a possibility that the machine went directly to the
12 petrol station and got petrol there, got its fuel there; but it may have
13 been issued in barrels as well, and then the barrels were taken to the
14 place where the machine itself was waiting. I can't really tell which of
15 the two was, in fact, the case.
16 I see that the signatures of the handlers are quite different.
17 Q. You mean the person who actually issued the fuel?
18 A. Yes, that's what I mean.
19 Q. But there was a different document based on which the fuel was
21 A. This is a vehicle work log.
22 Q. Yes, you're quite right, but if you look at column 2, fuel issued
23 there is a document number?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is that the same document?
1 A. It's probably the same document, no distinction being drawn based
2 on how the fuel was delivered in barrels or whether someone went there
3 and got it. This is something that they had to record at the petrol
4 station and draft the appropriate document indicating that.
5 Q. You can see the number of the document 21/3-667 that's also
6 recorded on the face of this document, right, you agree with that, sir?
7 A. Yes, I see that in the translation, but we can't see the actual
8 figure in the original document.
9 Q. Do you agree that the date the document bears the date the
10 15th of July?
11 A. The first time any fuel was received for this piece of machine
12 was in the 15th of July.
13 Q. Based on this document; right?
14 A. Based on this document, yes, and that's when the machine was
15 first used. It wasn't part of the military stock, and it want recorded
16 on the lists. It was borrowed in a way in Glinica company on that very
17 day not having previously been mobilised for a military purpose. The
18 driver or whoever operated the machine, and as it happens it was
19 Veljko Kovacevic was not a man whose name was on the list of the
20 engineering company.
21 Q. Nevertheless, I'm looking at this document, the 15th of July.
22 The fuel was issued twice on the 15th of July and according to the same
23 document on the 17th of July as well. Do you agree that that's what it
25 A. I agree. If you look at other vehicle work logs, you might find
1 the same document number there as well. It's got an entire page there,
2 and there can be several entries in relation to the individual times at
3 which fuel was issued.
4 Q. My impression is that this is not the same document as the one
5 from the materiel list dated the 16th of July, the one that you looked
7 A. It's not the same document, that is the problem, isn't it? Or
8 rather not a problem, it's actually a solution to the problem.
9 Q. What about the document numbers, are they the same? Are there
10 any differences between the documents? If you want, we can compare them
11 directly and see if there are any discrepancies.
12 A. I don't remember the yesterday's number. I can't stretch my
13 memory that far back, I'm afraid.
14 Q. I'm not forging ahead with this, but I would like to go to
15 another exhibit that you've seen already, OTP Exhibit 297.
16 This is the daily order log of the engineering company of the
17 Zvornik Brigade. You looked at page 134 of this document and now can we
18 please go to 137. In the English, it's page 17.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
20 MR. HAYNES: I'd just like to -- is there a new list of documents
21 because everything that's been produced today is not on the existing list
22 by the Popovic Defence.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic, only you can clear this up.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: This particular document was used in the
25 examination-in-chief. This document, this book.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes does that satisfy you?
2 MR. HAYNES: Well, we'll muddle along. I don't think it
3 satisfies the rule let alone me but ...
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's proceed.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. This is a daily order concerning of the work of the engineering
7 company in relation to the 17th of July, 1995. You agree, don't you?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Right there in the middle of the page, in bold, you have the word
10 "tasks," some sort of a header, right, and item 3 reads:
11 "Work with ULT 220 at Branjevo."
12 You agree, don't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Are there any similarities between ULT 220, the type mentioned in
15 this order, and the ULT that we saw being used in another document a
16 while ago?
17 A. There is a similarity, the name of both types is the same.
18 Q. Is this yet another ULT 220 that was dispatched to Branjevo on
19 that day?
20 A. I didn't know at the time what type of machine this was or when
21 it was dispatched, but we heard here this trial that there was a ULT 220
22 that was in the Jasenica quarry, and a while ago we saw that document in
23 relation to ULT 220 belonging to Birac holding which is the Glinica
24 company. So these might well have been two different pieces of machinery
25 bearing the same name.
1 Q. If there is a daily order pursuant to which a machine is
2 dispatched on a mission, does fuel come with that, the fuel required for
3 that particular mission?
4 A. The order should be as follows: This order should be written on
5 the 16th, and it should contain a plan for these machines to do some work
6 on the 17th as it reads, or there should be an attachment to this daily
7 order, an addendum to cover the eventuality of these machines being used
8 as an emergency. However, what we are looking at here is obviously
9 exactly the other way around, someone got the machine, someone filled up,
10 someone dispatched it to be used elsewhere; and then later on it was
11 recorded as part of the daily order reflecting the fact that the machine
12 was used for some work at a location.
13 I'm no handwriting expert, but I'm not sure myself whether the
14 handwriting is the same in the first part of the daily order and the
15 bottom half where we see the tasks. One thing that I can say with
16 certainty is the company commander signed the orders at a later stage and
17 not when they were actually drafted because at the time he was somewhere
18 in the Crni Vrh area.
19 Q. Do you have any misgivings about the substance of these documents
20 or just about the time they were signed?
21 A. He probably didn't even issue this order.
22 Q. Can you perhaps tell what the reason would be for something like
23 this to be recorded at all?
24 A. I can make assumptions about what the reason might have been.
25 Once the machine was used and everything that was done was carefully
1 recorded, then it would only have been logical for this to be recorded by
2 the engineering company. Who was it who told the commander or the
3 clerk in the company to write something like this or this in particular,
4 I really don't know. Nevertheless, in relation to ULT 220, that
5 particular machine, I know that it wasn't used by the Zvornik Brigade.
6 Q. Are you talking about the ULT 220 from this order or the one from
7 the previous document that I showed you?
8 A. I'm talking about a ULT 220, and it's anyone's guess whether
9 we're really looking at the first machine being mentioned or the other.
10 Q. Going back to the previous document, we saw that on the 17th of
11 July, 170 litres of fuel were issued with respect to this piece of
12 machinery, and, if needed, we can go back to the document for
13 confirmation. I do believe you saw that, did you not?
14 Can you tell me whether the amount of fuel was recorded as fuel
15 consumption of the brigade in the regular combat report?
16 A. The fuel that was issued from the petrol station that day was
17 issued by someone who did not particularly want to know what the fuel
18 would be used for, but they had to record it. It would have been logical
19 for something like this to be reflected in the documents as daily
20 consumption in relation to whichever day.
21 Q. Yesterday, you expressed a desire to see what had become of those
22 360 litres of fuel. I would like to know show you a document that has
23 been admitted in this trial. It's also on our list, 1D692. 1D692.
24 If you look at the upper half of this document, you will see that
25 this is an intercept, the 16th of July, 1995. We must focus on
1 conversation number 662, that being the last conversation here.
2 It was intercepted at 1355, a conversation between two
3 unidentified males. Do you want to have back on your screen the
4 conversation which Popovic purportedly requests fuel? That was three
5 minutes later. That's how it was recorded, 1358.
6 This conversation and let me read it because it's not
7 particularly long one:
8 "X: Says 90 litres now 100 litres.
9 Y: Oh fuck it.
10 X: We calculated it on the map, 200 kilometres in one direction
11 and 200 in the other, I don't know. What have you decided?
12 Y: I don't know. I'm thinking about coming here across
14 X: Where is that?
15 Y: That's over there, (town of Dobrun).
16 I'm not sure what this parentheses is supposed to mean.
17 X: That's the direction.
18 Y: Yes, Veto is going to. He will be staying in Uzice for 15
20 X: I don't have that much fuel. I don't know. I'm thinking
21 about telling this guy to put a little in for us as well, so when we go
22 back, which way should we go back?
23 Y: Well, if I have any problems we can at least deliver the old
24 one. Well, I don't know if it's that far.
25 X: Of course it is, I just looked at the map with the traffic
1 policeman. I'll check with my guys if I'll be able to secure petrol, and
2 if I do, we'll go together.
3 Y: I called you to tell you.
4 X: It's 450 kilometres further along."
5 Tell me, does this conversation not indicate that this is some
6 sort of a job, something being taken 450 kilometres from an
7 already-determined route, and the people participating in this
8 conversation need some fuel.
9 A. As far as I can see, this conversation is apparently not recorded
10 from the very beginning because hardly would anyone start a conversation
11 with 190 litres, 100 litres; however, I presume that this is about the
12 transportation job that, according to this, should have gone via Visegrad
13 all the way to Bruno [phoen] and Kotroman and further on to Uzice. So
14 this is an entirely different direction compared to the Vlasenica-Zvornik
15 direction. What this is all about, I honestly cannot tell you.
16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pandurevic, I would like now to go back to a
17 portion of your evidence which relates to another intercept of a
18 conversation that took place on the 22nd of September, 1995. Just a
19 moment, please. It was at 1844, and that's Prosecution Exhibit 2391.
20 I apologise, it's 2319. I think the most legible version is the
21 one in B/C/S, which is version D whereas version A is in English.
22 [In English] It is 2391. [Interpretation] That's 2391 D in
24 Can we please go to the bottom of the document in B/C/S, it
25 begins at the very bottom of the document and goes on, on the next page.
1 I'm sure you remember this conversation, but let us remind
2 ourselves, it took place on the 22nd of September, 1995, the time is
3 1844. Can we please look at the next page in B/C/S. I don't think it's
4 necessary for me to read the whole conversation to you because it's
5 already been read and entered into the transcript; however, can we
6 confirm that the person marked as P, Popovic, is asking whether the fuel
7 had arrived. He's also inquiring about Trbic, et cetera, and then he
8 says, line third from the bottom, he says:
9 "Could you please find out if it came, if it arrived. Call the
10 gas station."
11 Can we say that he wants to know whether fuel had arrived at the
12 petrol station?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. I will now ask you to look at regular combat report dated the
15 22nd September, 1995, that's 7D676.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: To clarify the record, could we get who the
17 questioner thinks the "he" is because it's not clear from the record, and
18 I think it's important he should put his case to who he's talking about.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: May I remind you, Mr. Zivanovic, that the B/C/S
20 version is under seal, and cannot broadcast it, okay?
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I don't know that it is under seal, is it? The
22 one before is under seal?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay, it wasn't broadcast, don't worry. I was
24 just drawing your attention.
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: To clarify, yes.
1 Q. [Interpretation] From this transcript, can you discern who the
2 person marked P is?
3 A. A certain Popovic and a certain Nidzo.
4 Q. I'm sorry, but I think that this certain Popovic is clearly
5 identified in the preamble to this conversation. If you don't
6 remember --
7 A. No, I don't have this transcript in front of me, this intercept.
8 Q. Never mind. Can we please now look at -- yes, here, it says --
9 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic.
10 Q. Can we now move to document 7D676, please.
11 If we look at this regular combat report, the lower part on the
12 very end of it -- can we please just scroll up the B/C/S version a
13 little. I think that we can see that this report was dispatched at
14 1600-and-something hours. I wonder if you can help me with that; do you
15 agree with that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. We can also say that that was two or two and a half hours before
18 the conversation that we saw a minute ago which took place at 1844?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can we now look at item 6 of this report. If you can just zoom
21 out the B/C/S version a little.
22 This is a standard clause relating to the consumption of fuel and
23 other things on that day, and it says that 397 litres of diesel was used
24 up. However, I would like you to look at item 8 and it reads:
25 "Requests: We request your approval for oil for four freight
1 trucks which will be transporting troops to relieve units in the area of
2 Kacar-Spiljanska Stena (area of responsibility of the 2nd Romanija
3 Infantry Brigade.) The unit from the Bratunac Brigade will return using
4 the same vehicles."
5 Mr. Pandurevic, I've noticed that only in this particular combat
6 report of all the ones that we have seen so far, there is a precise
7 explanation of the reasons why an increased amount of fuel is being
8 requested. In all other reports, it is just said that the requests are
9 made based on the requests coming from the command. We can look at these
10 other requests -- reports and see exactly what it is all about.
11 Can you understand the reason why, in this particular report, we
12 have specific reasons for requesting a certain amount of fuel?
13 A. I will describe to you what the practice was in place relating to
14 item 8 in this report. If a brigade was engaged in carrying out missions
15 under the orders of the corps, outside of its defence zone, we would do
16 our best to acquire additional amounts of fuel in order not to use our
17 own fuel for the missions carried out in somebody else's zone. This is
18 one of such instances, and it was not the only one. It happened on
19 several occasions.
20 If you want to establish a correlation between item 8 and the
21 intercept, I can also tell you a few things about it.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear what the counsel
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. The interpreters didn't hear you at
1 all this time.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat whatever you said. If it was a
4 question, could you repeat it, please.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Yes, go ahead, please. That's what I said.
7 A. Yes, I'll go on. This is a new thing for me. If these two
8 engaged in a conversation are people from the security organ that we
9 think they are, in addition to clearly described jobs that they have,
10 they are additionally engaged in logistics and operations duty like
11 provision of fuel, transportation of units, et cetera. I find that to be
12 surprising; therefore, the rules of service would have to be amended
14 Q. Wasn't your understanding that this conversation was probably
15 having to do with prevention of theft?
16 A. The war lasted four years. This is another possibility, another
17 mode of stealing fuel. However, this is nothing to do with theft and has
18 nothing to do with security organs whatsoever.
19 Q. You were absent at the time?
20 A. Yes, I was.
21 Q. But you were well informed that this was not a theft.
22 A. Can you tell me how do you know that this was a theft?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, we didn't hear what the
24 counsel said.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, Mr. Zivanovic, the interpreters didn't hear
1 what you said.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are kindly asking the speakers
3 not to overlap, please.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a question of overlapping. It's a question of
5 overlapping, so please allow a pause between question and answer and try
6 to speak in the microphone.
7 Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And also I think the parties are assuming,
9 without saying in the question or putting the case to the witness, who
10 these people are. I think we've identified Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic,
11 but there is, from the record we see a Nidzo Mihalic, so if there is
12 someone -- they are assuming this is besides Nidzo Mihalic, I think it's
13 incumbent upon them to say this otherwise we're guessing what they're
14 talking about.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It might be on Mr. McCloskey to do in his
17 cross-examination to clarify this.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead but please don't overlap and
19 that applies to you and Mr. Pandurevic, and try to speak into the
20 microphone which is not switched on at the moment.
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I said that this was a suspicion.
23 A. Yes, Mr. Zivanovic, and I would also kindly ask you when you see
24 me waiting, it doesn't mean that I need an additional explanation of your
25 question, I'm just waiting for the translation.
1 As for your question, I asked you where this suspicion comes
3 Q. Do you recall that there was a document relating to the receipt
4 of 5.000 litres of fuel on the 14th of September, 1995?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know how this fuel was used up?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Can we now please look at 668, 7D668, please. I'm sorry, it's
9 7D669. Let us just note that this is the usual consumption of fuel and
10 let us look at item 8 that I mentioned to you a short while ago.
11 Can you please scroll down the B/C/S version. [In English]
12 Another page. [Interpretation] Next page. [In English] I believe it is
13 the third page of this document in B/C/S version.
14 [Interpretation] Would you agree that item 8 in all regular
15 combat reports is being formulated identically and it reads: Requests
16 pursuant to the command organs request with the exception of the one that
17 I showed you a while ago which was dated the 22nd of September?
18 A. Yes, this item was often phrased like this, but sometimes no
19 requests like this were made by the command organs.
20 Q. Can we please now go to 7D669. [In English] May we go back to
21 the first page, please.
22 [Interpretation] Can we now look at the fuel consumption for the
23 15th of September, D-2, 6.702 litres, I think. 6.702.
24 It was 5.000 on the 14th; right?
25 A. I might as well take your word for it, but I don't know what
1 document you're talking about. I know about a document dated the 14th
2 mentioning 5 tonnes of fuel, but that wasn't for the Zvornik Brigade, it
3 was for a very particular purpose; and it was by the commander of the
4 Main Staff, if that's what you have in mind.
5 Q. Is this fuel that never reached the Zvornik Brigade?
6 A. I don't know where it ended up.
7 Q. It reads here that on this day, the 15th of September, the day
8 after, 5.000 litres of fuel came but you don't know where to, a total of
9 6.702 litres were used up. Do you agree with that?
10 A. Yes, that is reflected here, I see that.
11 Q. I can tell you why this was written and why so much fuel was used
12 up; do you know why?
13 A. No. Please explain.
14 Q. I will, as long as you don't know, but if you do, then perhaps
15 you would like to explain this to us.
16 A. I can only assume why.
17 Q. Part of the brigade went to the area covered by the
18 2nd Krajina Corps, a large amount of fuel was needed for that and I think
19 if you look at the first part of the report, you will see that or perhaps
20 the next combat reports if we look at it.
21 Nevertheless, you see such a large amount of fuel was used up
22 that followed the 5.000 litres that we talked about. Would that not give
23 rise to suspicions that maybe there was some sort of malpractice at work
24 here since such a large amount was used up, 6.702 litres?
25 A. If your illusion is to the 5 tonnes and then you mentioned the
1 6.702 litres, and you talk about malpractice, then someone used up these
2 6.702 litres to their own detriment, but I think you are right when you
3 assume that the fuel was used for the purposes of the units that were
4 dispatched to the Krajina area. In addition to this large amount of
5 fuel, there are large amounts of ammunition being used up too; whereas as
6 in item 1 and number 2 of this report, we don't see any major combat
7 operations in progress.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at 7D670,
9 I think that is the number.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The document is under seal, Mr. Zivanovic.
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Oh, sorry.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters can't hear counsel.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's speaking to himself, actually.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I think it's the previous report,
15 but if you look at the exceptional occurrences we can see that there were
16 some casualties in the area covered by the 2nd Krajina Corps, which I
17 think indicates that the Zvornik Brigade was there. It may have been in
18 the previous report or the one before that, I might as well have a look
19 and then you'll tell you. Nevertheless you will see again that now
20 the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not hear the figure
22 mentioned by counsel.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what it says.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: The interpreters didn't hear the figure that you
25 mentioned, Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You can see here that the consumption on that day was
3 1.930 litres of fuel?
4 A. Yes, that's what it says.
5 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, do you perhaps see that for some reason, the
6 security organs were monitoring this fuel shipment perhaps in a bid to
7 prevent any malpractice? For example, that seems to have been the case
8 on the 16th of July with those 500 litres.
9 A. I don't see what it is that you're talking about.
10 Q. Well, it's not mentioned in the document, that's true.
11 A. Yes, it's not mentioned and on top of that, I don't know what you
12 are talking about.
13 Q. You don't understand my question about the risk of theft when
14 major amounts of fuel are shipped; is that what you don't understand?
15 A. Well, generally speaking, this whole notion of fuel being stolen
16 and all that, it's very difficult for me to get a handle on, at least
17 from where I stand.
18 Q. I fully understand what you are saying. Can we go back to where
19 we left off, item 8 of the request. You see that the wording here is
20 quite peculiar. It was explicitly requested that the purpose for this
21 fuel be stated.
22 Item 8 is quite differently worded, and there is a very specific
23 explanation of what the fuel would be used for and this is entirely
24 different from all of the other combat reports; do you not agree?
25 A. I agree. If you go back to the previous item, it also says that
1 the Zvornik Brigade trucks would be bringing back soldiers from the
2 Bratunac Brigade, which means they had to take them to Bratunac not to
3 Zvornik. So in order to avoid using their own fuel for other people's
4 business, we requested this amount of fuel.
5 Q. You weren't there at the time, were you?
6 A. No, I wasn't.
7 Q. Again, you seem to really know the low down on what was going on
8 with the fuel in those days.
9 A. If you look at item 8 of that other report, and I'm not sure what
10 the date is, it reads that a request was submitted for fuel. The
11 change-over was probably supposed to take place on the following day.
12 If you read between the lines and see theft, then your
13 observation and your perception is different from mine, and I feel the
14 need to apologise for that.
15 Q. What about this conversation that we've been talking about. Do
16 you associate that conversation with the 14th September fuel or this
17 other fuel shipment on the 22nd of September?
18 A. Well, if you insist, there is mention of Mr. Trbic in the other
19 conversation, and then if we look at the order dated the 14th, the one
20 dispatched by General Mladic, and pursuant to instructions on control
21 over the security intelligence organs in the VRS, paragraph 5 says that
22 the commander of the Main Staff or the chief of the security and
23 intelligence sector may dispatch security officers on special missions.
24 Therefore, in that order, General Mladic puts Trbic in charge of a
25 mission like that, the mission being to look after the 5 tonnes of fuel
1 and to keep records on how those 5 tonnes were used. Was there any theft
2 involved in this process, I really don't know.
3 Q. Do you believe that Mladic's order on the 14th was not carried
4 out on the 22nd?
5 A. I don't believe either of these. I don't know when this was
6 begun. I don't know when it was completed. I don't know who carried out
7 the engineering work or indeed where.
8 Q. Based on Trbic's name alone, because he's mentioned in this
9 conversation, you associate him with the 14 September fuel.
10 A. You asked what my opinion was, and I am telling you that that is
11 one way for me to see that conversation. My inference is not necessarily
12 accurate although it strikes me as logical. It still doesn't mean that
13 it's accurate.
14 Q. Do you see any links between the conversation that we talked
15 about, the 22nd September intercept, 1844, and the request that was
16 dispatched only two and a half hours earlier? Do you see any links, for
17 example, about whether fuel arrived?
18 A. No, I don't. If you go back to that conversation, you will see
19 that work was in progress and apparently there was no fuel at one point.
20 So the other guy asks, Has any arrived in the meantime? And the
21 respondent says he doesn't know. That is what Trbic is doing.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know they were mentioning
24 work in progress. I don't know what exactly.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't hear the question.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: For the second time running, the interpreters
2 haven't heard your question, neither have we. I mean the problem is
3 because you need to cooperate a little bit better, I'm sorry I have to do
4 this. The problem is that you are almost the only one who forgets about
5 the microphone and speaks directly at the witness, so I mean there is no
6 reason for that because I think Mr. Pandurevic and the microphone is
7 exactly in the same line between Mr. Pandurevic and yourself; so you
8 speak in the microphone, you will help us a great lot.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pandurevic, you saw the 22nd September
11 conversation that was quoted back in 1995. Did you see anyone mention
12 the fact that someone had run out of fuel? If you want, we can go back
13 to that conversation, that's 9321 -- or 2391.
14 A. Yes, bring it back, please.
15 Q. 2391. I think we can move on to page 2 in the B/C/S because
16 page 1 is only the beginning, but let's make sure we don't skip anything.
17 [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... B/C/S version.
18 A. May I?
19 Q. Sure, please go ahead.
20 A. If you look at this bit where it says M:
21 And then M says: "I am not up to date on that, fuck it."
22 And then B says, "Does Trbic know, is he there, someone?"
23 "M: He left.
24 P: He is working on that, right?
25 M: Yes, he is working, but I think he said that not much work
1 will be done today," which means that worked had stopped on that day or
2 was about to stop probably because of the fuel, and that's why he wants
3 to know whether any fuel has arrived.
4 Q. Excuse me. As far as I know, Trbic was busy doing something
5 else. Why do you think that this is anything to do with fuel or any
6 business that was fuel-related?
7 A. Because the people taking part in this conversation associate
8 Trbic's work with fuel. It is obvious that the sort of work he is doing
9 depends on fuel.
10 Q. How come that is so obvious to you that his work depends on fuel,
11 based on what?
12 A. Well, it's based on this exchange.
13 Q. Excuse me, but the person marked as P, Popovic, is he asking
14 about Trbic or is he asking about fuel?
15 A. He is asking whether --
16 THE INTERPRETERS: The interpreters did not hear counsel or
17 witness because counsel overlapped.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic, Mr. Pandurevic, you are causing a
19 lot of distress for the interpreters who couldn't follow because you
20 overlapped, so we need to go back. Where should we start from. Should
21 we start from line 7 again, page 22, let me read:
22 "Excuse me," this is your question, "but the person marked as P,
23 Popovic, is he asking about Trbic or is he asking about fuel?"
24 Now, your answer, please, Mr. Pandurevic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this conversation we can see
1 that P established contact with Nidzo, and he's asking him if fuel had
2 arrived. Nidzo doesn't have that information. P then asks whether Trbic
3 knows anything about this, and then they go on to mention that Trbic was
4 doing some work but that not too much work would be done on that day.
5 Probably P was aware of what Trbic was doing and probably he had
6 dispatched fuel to him and fuel had arrived.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Excuse me, did he send fuel to Trbic or to the brigade? Was that
9 fuel intended for the brigade or for Trbic?
10 A. If this conversation took place between the assistant for the
11 logistics of the Drina Corps and the assistant for logistics of the
12 Zvornik Brigade, I would understand that the fuel is part of the regular
13 tasks carried out by the brigade and the logistics department.
14 During my whole career and my experience in war, I never received
15 fuel for my brigade through security lines.
16 Q. Was this fuel sent down the security line?
17 A. To put it plainly, these two men are after some fuel. They don't
18 know its whereabouts but they need it.
19 Q. Maybe they were bent on stealing it.
20 A. I wouldn't go that far to accuse them of such a thing.
21 Q. Thank you very much. At any rate, you are not able to deduce
22 from this conversation, and it doesn't occur to you that this is -- this
23 conversation relates to paying attention to the fuel relating to the
24 requests mentioned earlier; is that correct?
25 A. Well, these are poor counter-intelligence methods if they are
1 operating in this way.
2 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, so far, I haven't asked you anything about
3 counter-intelligence method of work because you said you were not
4 familiar with that; however, since I see that you are quite familiar with
5 that, tell me, is one of the duties of security organs to provide
6 protection against sabotage or rather covert enemy activities within the
7 Army of Republika Srpska?
8 A. Yes, that's what we used to call in the SFRY an internal enemy.
9 Q. So you were familiar with the regulations governing security
10 activities concerning enemies from within? They were similar?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As I understood you when you gave evidence, you said that when
13 you arrived at the brigade, you were not at all familiar with those rules
14 and regulations that you didn't know how security organs were used. Can
15 you correct me? Am I right when I say that?
16 A. I was not that ignorant.
17 Q. Based on your understanding of the notion of an enemy within,
18 could anyone undermine the army by stealing large amounts of fuel during
19 the war? Can such person be deemed as an internal enemy? How do you
20 perceive that?
21 A. No, I see them as ordinary thieves.
22 Q. If such person holds such a position in the army that allows them
23 to take large amounts of fuel and abuse their position, you would still
24 deem them to be ordinary thieves; isn't that right?
25 A. No. An internal enemy was a completely different thing in the
1 communist era. Those were all those who were opposed to the socialist
2 order, even if there existed none, they should have been created.
3 Q. What was the situation in Republika Srpska?
4 A. There was no such category as internal enemy.
5 Q. What about sabotage activities?
6 A. Sabotage activities are activities that are planned and organised
7 either by individuals or groups within VRS units with the aim of
8 undermining combat readiness of the units. It can be carried out in a
9 variety of ways.
10 Q. So if we have a group of individuals taking for themselves such
11 vitally important fuel and thereby weakening the units of the VRS, is
12 that a sabotage activity as you see it?
13 A. Yes, it is possible, but it doesn't have to be the case always.
14 Q. If it is possible, would that be the jurisdiction of security
16 A. It is their duty to keep an eye on that and if possible to
17 prevent such activities.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... I will
19 consult my client, and I believe it is time for a break.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break now. Thank you. How
21 much longer do you think you have?
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I will consult my client, and let you know after
23 the break.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Twenty-five minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zivanovic.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'm almost done, but I need just five minutes
4 more, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We grant you four. Let's proceed. It took three
6 hours instead of two, so let's proceed and finish.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. General, can you please look once again at Exhibit 302 that's the
9 work log that you gave evidence on. Can you tell me who usually opens
10 such a work log?
11 A. An organ with the traffic service.
12 Q. So that applies to this work log as well?
13 A. To all of them, even the form has been designed by the traffic
15 THE INTERPRETER: Or the transportation service, interpreter's
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. If you look at the bottom of this document where we can see
19 somebody's signature, can you tell us what this signature signifies?
20 A. You have here line 1 and line 2. Line 2 is the signature of an
21 officer from the transportation organ, and in this specific case, it was
22 signed by a man called Pantic, which means that he was responsible for
23 issuing this work log.
24 Line 1 should contain the signature of the officer from the unit
25 where this work log is being used.
1 Q. Just one more question. At the top of this document, we can see
2 a stamp. Is that normally the brigade stamp put in when the work log is
4 A. This is the stamp of a military post. I am not sure that a stamp
5 is required here or should a stamp only be put at the very end of the
7 Q. My last question: These vehicle work logs are not opened for
8 privately-owned vehicles that are not used for official purposes?
9 A. If someone specifically requested from the transportation service
10 or the technical service to be issued fuel, in order for them to have
11 proof and certificate of issuing fuel, they have to open a new work log
12 and to enter the quantity of the fuel issued.
13 Q. And here at the bottom, we see the figure 270 litres. Can you
14 see that, that that is the usual quantity and the usual consumption?
15 A. That is a total quantity of fuel and the actual consumption as
16 per norm, this is a rather precise figure for this type of machine that
17 works by the hour, and it was very difficult to fit all this together but
18 I believe that this machine -- excuse me, this machine had already come
19 with a certain amount of fuel in its tank and that it reached the
20 Zvornik Brigade in such a condition; and then on the 15th of July, 60
21 litres were added to it, whether it happened before or after the work was
22 done, I don't know.
23 Q. This machine had arrived from Birac Holding company; is that
25 A. Yes, that is exactly what I said in examination-in-chief, that is
1 what Jokic told Obrenovic and the way these machines were taken.
2 Q. And this machine came from the holding with a tank filled with
4 A. Of course nobody pushed it.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic. Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pandurevic?
12 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Ostojic.
13 Q. As you know my name is John Ostojic, and I'm here with
14 Mr. Predrag Nikolic and we represent Mr. Ljubisa Beara.
15 Sir, earlier at the start of your testimony, we were kind of
16 challenged by your counsel and you, I suppose, to put our case to you;
17 and let me start off by telling you off the bat that I do not believe,
18 with all due respect, you on several issues. I think what you've
19 testified to is a post facto construct in order to create a defence, a
20 failed defence, which was used by the Krstic defence team as well as the
21 Blagojevic Jokic defence team, and you're not surprised at all by our
22 position; would I be correct?
23 A. Would first kindly ask you not to speak so loudly. You are too
24 close to me and I'm hearing both your voice and the voice of the
25 interpreter, and I find it difficult to follow both. As far as your
1 question whether I'm surprised by that position of yours, knowing your
2 views and after following this trial, I'm not very much surprised.
3 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, I will try to keep my voice down or move the mike
4 a little lower.
5 I don't mean to yell at you, but we are close to one another
6 here. Sir, I also just want to tell you that I don't agree on a number
7 of issues and so there's no surprises, I'm going to highlight some of
8 them and we'll have a discussion about them in the next few days.
9 For example, these aren't an exclusive list but, for example, I
10 don't agree with your position or your theory on absence of commander and
11 this senior officer issue that you raised. I don't agree with you on
12 your zone of defence versus zone of responsibility. I don't agree with
13 you with the issue of POWs and whether they are "my POWs," or Main Staff
14 POWs. I don't agree with you about the contents of the purported
15 conversations you had with Mr. Obrenovic on the 16th, 17th, and 18th
16 of July, 1995.
17 Further, I don't agree with you for the reasons you gave us as to
18 the opening of the corridor. And also, on small issues, I don't agree
19 with you on the issue that you raised with respect to brotherhood and
20 unity as well as your tenure in Slovenia.
21 So if I can begin first, because as I'm sure you noticed, I
22 always like to have a time-line of certain events, so can you tell us at
23 the outset when did you first prepare to retrace or recount your actions
24 relating to July of 1995?
25 A. I hope, Mr. Ostojic, that you agree with my full name, if nothing
1 else. I was a participant in those events and I do recall a lot of them,
2 even without the documents that I had seen post festum here in The Hague.
3 As I said, my decision to testify in this trial was made on the very
4 first day I reviewed the indictment. More than two years ago, I told my
5 defence team about the facts that I have knowledge about and that I
6 stated here in examination-in-chief. It was up to them to put it in a
7 proper legal form and refer them to proper legal paragraph, and I don't
8 agree with you about what you don't agree with me.
9 Q. Sir, when was the -- did you ever have an occasion to talk to the
10 Krstic defence team before you were indicted?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On how many occasions?
13 A. I don't know. I can't say. Twice, perhaps three times, no more
14 than that.
15 Q. And when was that?
16 A. In Belgrade.
17 Q. When?
18 A. I think the trial was in progress already, therefore, I can't say
20 Q. As I mentioned to you, I'm just trying to establish a time-line.
21 We know that you met with Eileen Gilleece on October 2nd, I belive, 2001.
22 Prior to that, in May 2001, is when the Krstic trial judgement was
23 rendered; correct?
24 A. I don't understand.
25 Q. I'll --
1 A. Who was it that I met in May?
2 Q. I'll break it down. I'm sorry. In October of 2001, you met with
3 the OTP investigator Eileen Gilleece; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Several months before that, in May of 2001 is when the Krstic
6 trial judgement was rendered. Were you aware of that?
7 A. I was aware of the fact that there was a judgement, but I was not
8 aware of the substance of that judgement.
9 Q. And immediately prior to that, I think on April 15th, 2001, your
10 Chief of Staff at the time July 1995, Dragan Obrenovic, was arrested
11 April 15th, 2001; isn't that true?
12 A. Well, if you know the exact time-line and all the dates, I have
13 no reason not to trust you.
14 Q. Well, thank you for that. And I do have that little bit of
15 time-line down. But what I'm curious to know is when you met with the
16 Krstic defence team in Belgrade, when was it? Was it in 1999 before or
17 after your meeting with Dragan Obrenovic?
18 A. Well, as I said, I met Mr. Petrusic in his office two or three
19 times during the Krstic trial.
20 Q. Well, help me with that. Was it before or after your meeting
21 with Dragan Obrenovic?
22 A. I'm not sure. I think I met Dragan Obrenovic in Belgrade after
23 his statement to the OTP, which I believe occurred in 2000.
24 Q. How about the Blagojevic-Jokic defence team, did you ever meet
25 with them?
1 A. No, never.
2 Q. How about Dragan Obrenovic's defence team, did you ever meet with
4 A. No.
5 Q. Who is the first person you ever shared this purported
6 conversation that you had and the contents of it regarding July 16th,
7 1995 to the best of your recollection?
8 A. There are many things that happened. I didn't single out this
9 date as something special to tell anyone. I told my own lawyers as I
10 said over two years ago.
11 Q. Have you talked to anyone else about your activities or conduct
12 in July of 1995 other than that which you've shared with us here? I mean
13 your lawyers, the Krstic defence team, Obrenovic, and other than family,
15 A. As for what happened in 1995, more specifically July 1995, and my
16 own involvement, I discussed this with my defence team, with Ms. or
17 Mrs. Gilleece according to that report and the way we interpreted to that
18 report here. I spoke to Obrenovic as events were unfolding. In addition
19 to that, I never shared with anyone the details of my involvement at the
20 time. There were general conversations about things that happened at the
21 time but in a general way.
22 Q. How about one month before your meeting with the OTP and
23 Ms. Gilleece, did you have a meeting with Mr. Mijatovic to discuss your
24 involvement in July of 1995? Do you remember that at all?
25 A. I used to see Mr. Mijatovic. I saw him from time to time. We
1 did not go into any details. I think he mediated on one occasion in
2 establishing contact with Semso Muminovic, he gave me his phone number,
3 so that I could then go on and phone him.
4 Q. And did you, in fact, call Mr. Muminovic on September 5th, 2001,
5 to discuss the issues of Srebrenica a month before your meeting with the
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please in the microphone, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the exact order in
9 which these things happened, but I think that my meetings with the OTP
10 have nothing to do with my previous conversation with Semso Muminovic. I
11 think I spoke to him once over a mobile phone and once I used a land line
12 to call his private number at home.
13 MR. OSTOJIC:
14 Q. Why in 2001, I'm curious to know, were you so anxious to talk to
15 Semso Muminovic, to the OTP, to the Krstic defence team, if you hadn't
16 even been indicted yet at that point?
17 A. I spoke about some things that I knew about the indictments,
18 there were suspicions at the time that there were secret indictments
19 being prepared. I didn't know at the time whether I was one of the
20 potentially indictees or not, but I was simply looking the to the
21 progress of the Krstic trial. I didn't follow this in the media because
22 there wasn't much in that way, and I didn't really hear much about this
23 in my conversation with Mr. Petrusic. I wanted to speak to Mr. Muminovic
24 in order to refresh his memory of our joint activities back then. There
25 was a large-scale campaign in the media and otherwise that was in
1 progress at the time. I was embarrassed to be publicly associated with
2 certain events for which I did not consider myself responsible.
3 Q. Did you ever get a letter from General Krstic while he was at the
4 UNDU because he sent it to several Generals regarding his activity or
5 actions relating to Srebrenica; were you one of the recipients of that
7 A. I think I sent him a copy of my book, the fundamental doctrine on
8 the defence of Republika Srpska, and then he sent back a letter to me
9 less than a page long to thank me for sending him a copy of my book; and
10 some exchange of purely private information such as health, that kind of
11 thing, and that was the extent of it.
12 Q. Then we'll move away from that. Did you at any point, sir, read
13 the trial judgement in the Krstic case?
14 A. I read it here in The Hague. The trial judgement but not the
15 final one.
16 Q. And obviously since you've read it, you know your name appears on
17 it in several instances specifically relating to the events that we've
18 discussed during your direct and through the entirety of this trial, does
19 it not?
20 A. That's true. But I did not stand indicted in that case and my
21 role was seen in quite a different light at the time. I had realised
22 that there were a number of things that were mis-inferred at the time and
23 misconstrued as far as the activity of the Zvornik Brigade was concerned
24 and my own.
25 Q. Now, when you met with the Krstic defence team, did they share
1 with you what their theory of defence was?
2 A. No, those were brief meetings. I asked some questions about how
3 the trial was going and what the atmosphere was like, what exactly was
4 going on. Mr. Petrusic told me nothing about their defence strategy if
5 that's what you're driving at.
6 Q. Tell me when was the first time you learned that the defence of
7 General Krstic was to shift the responsibility to the security organs,
8 when did you first become aware of that?
9 A. I didn't learn about their intention to shift the responsibility
10 to the security organs at all. There is a newspaper in Belgrade which
11 brought some parts of the interview that he gave to the OTP. I read
12 those portions that were published. In addition to that I knew nothing
13 else -- or rather beyond that, I knew nothing about his appearance before
14 this Trial Chamber or what he actually said.
15 Q. I want to ask you just preliminarily a couple questions regarding
16 the July 16th and July 17th purported conversations and the alleged
17 contents of those conversations that you had with Obrenovic.
18 Correct me if I am wrong, you believe that the contents of that
19 conversation are important and, in fact, vital to your defence; correct?
20 A. It isn't just that. There are a lot of things that I believe to
21 be vital for my defence and I have addressed quite a number of these
23 Q. And you have and we'll touch upon them, I'm sure, in the next
24 couple of days.
25 There was no reason, was there, sir, for you to hide the contents
1 of that conversation with anyone; correct?
2 A. Such as who?
3 Q. From anyone, from let's say your lawyers, the OTP, other people
4 that you met? It's something that you had no reason to hide.
5 A. I told my defence team about that, and I did not discuss the
6 details of what happened at the time with anyone else. This is just a
7 single day, but there are a number, quite a number of other dates that
8 are vital and that we have been talking about.
9 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, I'm just focussing right now just on those
10 particular conversations. We'll get into the other stuff, but for right
11 now, I know there's other material that you believe is vital. And we'll
12 try to get to that. My point is actually because this vital and
13 important information that you had relating to this alleged conversation
14 with Obrenovic and this supposed contents of that conversation, you would
15 have disclosed it because it's the truth to just about anyone; correct?
16 A. Well, do you have any information on me disclosing anything else
17 such as something that I've been talking about in chief, for example, and
18 throughout my entire evidence here?
19 Q. Let's see if I can put my finger on it. How about if we take a
20 look at 2D646, please. I know as we've all sat here for almost three
21 years we've become very accustomed to learn these procedures and what
22 92 ter and 92 quater and 65 ter rules are.
23 This, sir, as it's coming up on the screen is your filing of your
24 65 ter list and again it's 2D646, and we're going to go to page 13
25 because it summarises, in essence, your testimony that you're going to
1 give in this case. Have you seen this document ever before?
2 A. Yes, I have.
3 Q. And I note from Mr. Haynes' comments yesterday even -- I'm just
4 going to find this so I don't misquote it. On page 32 of yesterday's
5 transcript, line 19 through 20 he states:
6 "We are all creatures of our instructions and all the decisions
7 we have to take have to be taken in consultation with Mr. Pandurevic."
8 Did you consult with them regarding your summary about your
9 testimony and the testimony of other witnesses?
10 A. I certainly did. Nevertheless, if you look at our pre-trial
11 brief, the 65 ter, and the theories about my evidence, this is far more
12 detailed than the overall theories that you had in your pre-trial brief.
13 I remember certain objections being raised. You see that 18 hours were
14 planned and what we actually ended up with was 30. I consulted with my
15 lawyer on this, but, please, Mr. Haynes proceeds in the following way.
16 He hears me out. He listens to me on -- as far as professional aspects
17 of my work were concerned. He got all the facts from me, but it was his
18 call eventually to determine how things would proceed in a purely legal
20 Q. Thank you for that, and I'm not looking for you to explain that
21 to me, but in any event, thank you. What I'm looking at here is your
22 65 ter summary. If we turn to page 15 which is the third page of this
23 document that is in e-court, and it's not in B/C/S, so I'm grateful that
24 you do know English.
25 In the third bullet point, and this is, as it's being brought up,
1 is really a rundown of what you're going to testify. It's chronological
2 with dates and basically some background information but in the -- as you
3 can see from the first bullet point on that page, and then the second
4 bullet point talks about the 15th of July then we go to the next bullet
5 point which talks about the 16th of July; do you see that?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. The bullet point right underneath that kind of talks about the
8 16th and 17th.
9 Nowhere -- and you can look through the whole document which
10 you've already seen, I'm sure -- nowhere in the 65 ter summary does it
11 mention that you had a conversation purportedly with Mr. Obrenovic on the
13 A. If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting that the
14 summary contains nothing on the conversation that occurred on the 16th.
15 Am I getting you right, the conversation with Dragan Obrenovic, that's
16 what you're saying; right.
17 Q. And the 17th just to make it go a little quicker.
18 A. Yes, there's only a small portion in relation to the 17th, but I
19 can't see the next page.
20 Q. I'll give you the next pages because the next page is it
21 continues about the 17th, and then we go on to the period of the 18th
22 through the 21st; but my focus is really on those two conversations that
23 allegedly occurred with you and Mr. Obrenovic on the 16th and 17th. And
24 I'm lumping them together just for the sake of trying to speed up this
25 minor point.
1 But if it's true, Mr. Pandurevic, that you shared this with
2 people, and it's the truth, and it's something that there was no reason
3 to hide it, why wouldn't it appear on a summary of the testimony you were
4 going to offer this past month? Because certainly if you keep reading
5 the conversation you had with Obrenovic on the 18th is expressly stated
6 there. Do you see that?
7 A. The print is too small, that's probably what it says, but I'm not
8 sure what it says exactly if it claims that there was a conversation on
9 23rd because there was another one on the 23rd that actually took place.
10 I'm not sure if it's part of the summary or not.
11 Q. It's not. But really I'm just focussing on trying to understand
12 or if you can reconcile for me why was it your decision to omit or not to
13 place the contents of this purported conversation with Mr. Obrenovic on
14 the 16th and 17th of July; but you chose only to share with us and the
15 Court and the Prosecution the contents of a purported conversation on the
16 18th of July?
17 A. Before the 65 ter summary was drawn up, I had a meeting with my
18 defence team. We agreed on a witness list and generally on the substance
19 of the summary. This was done and a copy was forwarded to me.
20 I was not involved in the actual production of these points here.
21 It was something that was done by the defence team. I consider it hence
22 to be part of our defence strategy.
23 Q. I could appreciate that given your comments about our team and
24 our filings. But let me ask you this, I suggest to you, sir, that your
25 defence team didn't know about the conversations you purportedly had with
1 Mr. Obrenovic on the 16th and 17th, and it didn't include it; and it was
2 merely as I said in my opening introduction it was construct by you and
3 you looked at some of the evidence; and you fit this neatly in a package
4 in order to prepare your defence; wouldn't I be right about that?
5 A. Not right, I disagree. At the outset, you were saying that I had
6 many contacts even before this with the Krstic defence team and something
7 to do with the Blagojevic-Jokic trial and all sorts of conversations, and
8 that I had already drawn up this construct at the time; but now you're
9 saying something that means quite the opposite. I informed my defence
10 team, and they were the ones that took the decision for this summary to
11 take the present form.
12 Q. We'll switch gears a little bit here, Mr. Pandurevic.
13 You told us briefly that you received your doctorate degree; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes, sociology.
16 Q. Where did you receive that doctorate degree?
17 A. East Sarajevo.
18 Q. And when, please?
19 A. I believe late June 1998.
20 Q. And what was the theme of your dissertation or thesis that you
21 defended or passed with high honours, I think you shared with us?
22 A. Fundamental sociological hallmarks of the VRS.
23 Q. Now, earlier in your testimony, you spoke about brotherhood and
24 unity or perhaps even in the opening remarks by your counsel. And then
25 you told us that you were in Slovenia at the beginning of the war, and
1 you even meanings mentioned that you spoke Slovenian; and now isn't it
2 true that while you were in Slovenia, you did not assimilate with the
3 people there? And assimilate is, I think, the technical word that
4 sociologists should know?
5 A. Well, we are looking at something that we call cooperation
6 processes, assimilation and aculturation are two such processes. I was
7 subject to aculturation, which means accepting the norms and the culture
8 of life in your environment. I did not assimilate to the degree of
9 compromising my own original identity or precisely the core of what made
10 up my own ethnic background.
11 Q. I looked up the word assimilate, and it actually says it's "to
12 absorb into the culture or mores of a culture or group." A little bit
13 different of what you said in terms of the definition of that word versus
14 another one; and in fact, while you were at the JNA in Slovenia, you
15 continued to maintain your Serbian nationalism; correct?
16 A. I don't know exactly what you mean when you say Serbian
17 nationalism. I was an ethnic Serb, that was my nationality back then and
18 it still is.
19 Q. And are there certain attributes of a Serbian national?
20 A. A Serb?
21 Q. That's it?
22 A. I'm not sure what you mean by "attribute."
23 Q. I'll give you your quote because you used that phrase in a
24 minute, but first let me lay a little foundation.
25 Do you remember giving an interview to, I think, either a
1 television show or a newspaper called Srna?
2 A. I have got to give you a hand with that. Srna was a news agency
3 and there was the Serbian radio and TV; and yes, an interview with me was
4 published for that TV station, an interview conducted in Zvornik. I
5 don't remember the exact date, but I know that it was summertime.
6 Q. Maybe I can help jog your memory. Do you know that it was with a
7 producer or a journalist by the name of Risto Djogo?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you remember the name of that programme, by chance?
10 A. My guest, his truth.
11 Q. And you were Mr. Djogo's guest and you were talking about your
12 truth, right, at that interview?
13 A. I was answering his questions.
14 Q. Now you gave us the approximate season of the interview, how
15 about the year, when was that interview conducted, what year?
16 A. Possibly 1994, but I'm not certain.
17 Q. Let's look at it, if we can, and it's 2D638.
18 Sir, it's page 4 in B/C/S that I'm just going to point out and
19 it's page 3 in English of this exhibit.
20 I think that's the start of your interview with him if I'm not
21 mistaken, but you are certainly free to look at the first several pages
22 if you like.
23 Just tell me, is that the interview we're talking about?
24 A. This is probably a transcript of the actual recording.
25 Q. It doesn't have the year. At the time the Prosecution was not
1 helpful at all with providing us with the year of that although they
3 Sir, I want to just direct your attention if I can to the next
4 two pages and just to get this issue about whether you assimilated with
5 the Slovenians and what are the attributes of a Serbian national. If we
6 can go to page 5 in the B/C/S and the English version; and I believe the
7 B/C/S on page 5 is the last paragraph, so if we can perhaps highlight
8 that for you.
9 The journalist there as you can read for yourself asks you if
10 you've learned Slovenian and then you answer and you say:
11 "Yes, I did. I spoke Slovene very well, and I integrated. But I
12 did not assimilate to use a technical term. I kept all the attributes of
13 a Serbian national."
14 Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, that's right. I would still answer the question the same
16 way. But let me tell you, you gave a definition of assimilation a while
17 ago, but one of the forms of assimilation is aculturation. I was
18 subjected to that particular process, and that was fine by me; but I
19 could at no point in time declare myself to be a Slovene. The best way
20 to have myself accepted by the others was by being what I was. I was
21 spending all of my time amongst Slovenes in a Slovene environment going
22 to conferences, going to political rallies, doing sports with them and so
23 on and so forth.
24 Q. And at that time, sir, when you were there, I think it was 1991,
25 you were with the JNA. Yugoslavia, as it was at that point, had not yet
1 fallen apart, if you will. Were you considering yourself a Serbian
2 national or a Yugoslav given that you were in the JNA?
3 A. Well, you are an American national, and it's probably easier for
4 you to understand nationality as citizenship and then ethnicity which is
5 a different thing. I think the original citizenships in Yugoslavia were
6 the republican one and the federal one. I had that of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 and the SFRY. There is nationality, and there is citizenship if you
8 like, and ethnicity and these are different things.
9 Q. Let's talk a little bit about your rank, and I'm very impressed
10 with that which you have achieved both professionally, militarily, as
11 well as your schooling, sir.
12 From 1982 to 1995, a period of approximately 13 years, you
13 achieved seven ranks in the military hierarchy; is that correct?
14 A. If that is what your calculation appears to indicate, then it
15 must be right.
16 Q. It does. But I'm going to go through the ranks anyway. The
17 lowest rank which is a 2nd Lieutenant, then you went from that rank to a
18 Lieutenant, then to a Captain, then to a Captain 1st Class then to a
19 Major, then to a Lieutenant-Colonel, then to a Colonel. I stopped at
20 1995, I know you have other ranks, you were a Major-General as well as a
21 General in the Army of Yugoslavia, but I'm limiting you to 1995. Those
22 are seven ranks in a course of 13 years that you achieved; correct?
23 A. Well, if that's what you counted, it's seven. You listed them
24 correctly. Major, Colonel, and Lieutenant-Colonel, I became during the
25 war. I started the war as the Captain -- as Captain 1st Class.
1 Q. We have 1991, you were Captain first class; December of 1995, you
2 ended up with the rank of Colonel. Do you know of any one soldier in the
3 VRS or JNA that was able so quickly to achieve seven ranks over a course
4 of 13 years?
5 A. I know some who started with the rank of Major. I know some who
6 started with the rank of Captain. I know many who skipped quite a few
7 ranks and went to a very high rank. There were also other officers who
8 had such a speedy promotion line as I had.
9 Q. Now, on June 28th, 1997, you became Major-General in the VRS;
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Up until --
13 A. In 1997. That's correct.
14 Q. Thank you. Up to what point, sir. How long did you stay as a
15 Major-General in the VRS, from June 28th, 1997 to what date?
16 A. I stayed as a Major-General in the VRS, and I think my rank was
17 verified in the Yugoslav army in 2001 which, according to the Yugoslav
18 rules I stayed Colonel for six years.
19 Q. I'm not sure that I followed that entirely and it isn't really a
20 major point, but maybe we should just clarify. If you became Colonel in
21 December of 1995, then you became Major-General a year and a half later,
22 June 28th, 1997, I'm not sure if we got it translated properly, you said
23 that you had to stay to be a Colonel for - I forget what you say - four
24 years or so? Six years. Thank you.
25 A. In 1995, I acquired the rank of Colonel both in the VRS and the
1 Yugoslav Army. I became Major-General in the VRS in 199, and in the
2 Yugoslav Army in 2001, so for six years I was a Colonel in the
3 Yugoslav Army.
4 Q. Thank you for that. It helps with my time-line. So in 1999 when
5 you met with Obrenovic, what position or positions did you have with
6 respect to both the VRS and the Army of Yugoslavia?
7 A. I don't know whether I was not assigned to any duty at the time
8 or whether I was the head of the centre for military strategic research.
9 It could be either.
10 Q. Help me understand this better. These two staffs that were known
11 at the time for a brief period of time. One was called the
12 "djeneralnista," and the other one was called the "generalnista"; do you
13 remember that or know anything about that? I know I mispronounced it,
14 forgive me?
15 A. There were no two staffs. There was a Main Staff during the war;
16 however, it was renamed General Staff in peacetime. It had to be the
17 Supreme Command or the General Staff during the war as well as, as I
18 understand things.
19 Q. What I want to know is did you sit on that staff, which ever name
20 it was on, in 1999?
21 A. I was a member of the Main Staff in 1996 and a member of the
22 General Staff in 1999.
23 Q. Who in 1999 was the assistant commander for intelligence and
24 security at the time that you were there, if you remember?
25 A. It was not a single function. When the General Staff was set up,
1 there was security administration that had its head, and there was
2 intelligence administration separate from it; and it was subordinate
3 either to the chief or the chief of the staff sector, I'm not sure which.
4 Q. What are their names? Who are these people?
5 A. The head of the security administration was Mr. Milomir Savcic,
6 and the head of the intelligence administration was Colonel, a man with
7 moustache, dark hair; but I will remember his name later during this
8 trial, I promise you.
9 Q. Thank you. I'm really just interested in Mr. Savcic for the
10 moment and leading up to it. He's also what you described, and I think
11 your counsel has used the word, he's your "kum," your best man or best
12 friend, if you want to translate it strictly?
13 A. He was not my "kum" at the time. We finished academy together
14 and we saw each other during the war only at the front. We became "kums"
15 only later.
16 Q. Did you at any time including the tenure that you sat on the
17 staff with him, did you ever share with him the events of July 1995 and
18 the purported conversations that you claim you had with Mr. Obrenovic on
19 the 16th and 17th of July, 1995?
20 A. There were some suspicions and suppositions that there was an
21 indictment against him. However, we only discussed general topics we
22 never discussed any details relating to this.
23 Q. How about Mr. Zivanovic. I note that he attended the meeting
24 with the OTP in 2001 with you. Did you ever share with, I think it's
25 Mr. Milenko Zivanovic, the contents of this purported conversation you
1 had with Obrenovic on the 16th and 17th of July 1995?
2 A. Not this conversation, nor any other conversation, nor any
4 Q. Help me with this: Did you know if Mr. Zivanovic at any time met
5 with the Krstic defence team?
6 A. I learned about this by reviewing materials during this trial.
7 Q. Okay. We're going to switch gears again. I'm just telling you,
8 so you know where I'm going, so it doesn't come as a surprise, which I'm
9 sure it won't.
10 I want to talk a little bit about the time that you spent in
11 Visegrad, if you will. Now, at the time, you referenced or mentioned
12 that you were a commander of a battalion sent to Visegrad from March
13 through June of 1992 and then again from April 1st, 1992 to
14 May 18th, 1992, and that's just so the record, everyone has it, it's on
15 page 30675 and 30676 of your prior testimony.
16 Then there was a question put to you by your counsel and that
17 appears on page 30676, it goes like this:
18 "Q. How did events develop in Visegrad while you were there?"
19 Answer, and you quote among other things:
20 "Peace and order had been established."
21 What I'm curious to know, sir, that is it true that peace and
22 order was established there because you as the commander of a battalion
23 were involved and working with the political leadership, the SDS, and all
24 other top officials in Visegrad and were determined to engage in an
25 effective combat; and thanks to that, you were able to succeed and bring
1 peace and order in Visegrad? So it wasn't just the military, it was your
2 cooperation with the civilians, would that be accurate?
3 A. Allow me to give you an elaborate answer to match your question.
4 There is some mix-up with the months April, May, June, et cetera. I
5 arrived or rather was sent to the area of Visegrad in mid-April 1992 on
6 the 12th or 13th of April as a member of the still-existing JNA as a
7 commander of the battalion of the mountain brigade of the Uzice Corps.
8 My task was to lift the blockade of the hydro-electric power
9 plant in Visegrad and the storage house in Visegrad as well. The entire
10 brigade was engaged in this in addition to another two battalions and
11 some support units. We carried out our mission successfully.
12 Order and peace were restored in Visegrad. Before that, the
13 Serbs had been expelled from the town. Later, they came back and while
14 the JNA was in the area of Visegrad including myself, that is until the
15 18th of May, over 95 percent of the residents of Visegrad were -- came
16 back and lived together. So I don't take all the credit for that. I was
17 just one of the participants.
18 Q. And what I really was interested in and thank you for that
19 detailed answer, was did you also find it important to be coordinating
20 and cooperating with the SDS
21 as the top officials in Visegrad in order to accomplish this?
22 A. One has to cooperate with the authorities, either at the level of
23 a republic or the local level. I didn't organise elections nor had I any
24 input in the make-up of this authority. Whether these authorities were
25 made up of members of the SDS
1 irrelevant to me.
2 Q. Okay. Now, how important was it for you at that time to maintain
3 good relations with that entire political leadership, the SDS, and other
4 top officials in Visegrad while you were commander of that battalion,
5 meaning the civilians, how important was it?
6 A. While I was with the JNA, I had no contacts with them at all. I
7 had contacts with my brigade commander and whether he had contacts with
8 them, I don't know.
9 Q. Let's take a look again at that interview you gave, 2D638, if you
10 don't mind. And it would be on -- I'm sorry, page 13 in English and
11 page 16, I believe, in B/C/S.
12 Sir, it's on the first part in the English when it has -- where
13 it has your initials VP, and it's the latter part of that paragraph that
14 I wanted to just briefly discuss with you because it relates to 1995,
15 your cooperation with the civilians based on other questions just so you
16 know. It says here:
17 "We formed that brigade and we had enough equipment, ammunition,
18 all the potential, but most importantly, the entire political leadership,
19 the SDS
20 engage in effective combat, and thanks to that, we succeeded."
21 Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, I've seen that. This refers to a different period, that is
23 when the JNA withdrew and when I went back to Visegrad and became
24 commander of the Visegrad Brigade that had been formed at that time. It
25 is only natural to make such a statement during war that can certain --
1 can have certain impact on people to defend themselves because it was
3 These speeches made during war do not have a long life. As I see
4 it, I had to cooperate with everyone on whom I depended in organising
5 armed defence. I couldn't do that on my own.
6 Q. Did you also implement the spirit of cooperation with the
7 civilians and probably the SDS
8 Zvornik Brigade?
9 A. I tried to establish cooperation under the same basis as I did in
10 Visegrad, however, not all people are the same. I didn't meet with
11 understanding and the cooperation was not as nearly good as it was in
12 Visegrad and not as good as I had expected it to be.
13 Q. We'll move away from Visegrad. Let's talk about the liberation
14 of Glodjansko Brdo. Maybe I should just spell it so I don't have to
15 later. It's G-l-o-z-d-a-n-s-k-o [sic]; are you familiar with that?
16 A. Yes, I am.
17 Q. When was it?
18 A. It was in February 1993.
19 Q. And where is Glodjansko Brdo if you can tell us?
20 A. It is 15 kilometres or thereabout south of Zvornik.
21 Q. And just because some of these names -- how far is it from
23 A. Could be 25 or 30.
24 Q. Kilometres?
25 A. Yes, kilometres.
1 Q. Because we've had witnesses tell us it's X amount as the crow
2 flies so I just didn't know exactly what you meant. Now where is Glodi,
4 A. Glodi is a village south of Glodjansko Brdo on the slopes of the
5 Glodjansko Brdo and close to the River Drinjaca.
6 Q. Now, at that time, the liberation of Glodjansko Brdo, and again
7 it's in the article, and we'll come to it in a second, you identified
8 after that liberation that it was a powerful stimulus and inspiration to
9 all citizens, soldiers, and residents of Zvornik municipality and the
10 broader area to later move forward more resoundingly; do you remember
12 A. I remember. As people say, nothing succeeds like success. If
13 you achieve success in combat, it will be motivation for new successes.
14 Before that, dozens of civilians and soldiers went missing, their
15 families knew nothing about them. Zvornik was under threat, the economy
16 was in distress. Some soldiers had been demobilised, and the front line
17 had been shortened; so once the success was achieved, it affected the
18 whole morale of the brigade.
19 Q. Well, I was really interested more of the civilians and the
20 residents, but at that time, what was your purported zone of defence?
21 Was it as limited as it was in July of 1995 or did it cover the entire
22 Zvornik municipality?
23 A. We have to make distinction between two notions that you
24 disagreed at the very beginning. The Zvornik Brigade has an area of
25 responsibility for conducting combat activities. It was beyond the
1 borders of Zvornik municipality. Within this zone of responsibility for
2 conducting combat operations, a brigade had a fortified the zone of
3 defence which is a piece of territory in which units of the Zvornik
4 Brigade were deployed. In other words, and for better understanding,
5 wherever there were soldiers, that was the area that I was responsible
7 Q. What about where there was civilians or population, the residents
8 of Zvornik. You weren't responsible to protect that? Again we're
9 talking still about February of 1993, and we'll get to July 1995 in a
10 short time.
11 A. The civilian population and the town of Zvornik could be
12 protected by defending the territory. And it is precisely this defence
13 zone was the territory from which we defended the town of Zvornik and its
14 population behind the frontlines. I had no other responsibility with
15 regards to the civilian authorities.
16 Q. Sir, did you also insists that the area of responsibility of the
17 brigade does not cover just the borders of a municipality but went
18 behind, beyond - I'm sorry - did you insist on that?
19 A. It wasn't me who insisted on that. That is what we received from
20 the corps. You could see in the map that it stretches over the front
21 line into the territory controlled by the 2nd Corps of the BiH Army, so
22 if you consider me responsible for that as well, I can't help it.
23 Q. Okay. I'm not here to hold anybody responsible for anything,
24 sir. Let's take a look at your interview on page 14 in English and it's
25 page 17 in B/C/S. I'll read it because I'm not sure where it is in the
1 B/C/S, but I'm sure you'll find it and please if you need more time, just
2 tell us.
3 This is again the first full paragraph where the journalist asks
4 you a question and then you respond with your initials VP and you state
5 in the latter portion of that exchange:
6 "I also insisted that the area of responsibility of the brigade
7 did not cover just the borders of a municipality but went beyond."
8 You go on, but for right now I'd like to focus on that. I can
9 give the page number again, it's page 14 in English and page 17 in B/C/S.
10 I'm sorry if I misspoke.
11 A. I can't see that page. Can I have it, please, on my screen in
13 Q. I'll see if I can get you a hard copy, if I marked it properly.
14 There's markings just highlighted on the B/C/S, but I'm sure --
15 A. Yes, I can see it now.
16 Q. I'm sorry.
17 Now, did this zone of responsibility, whether or not you insisted
18 on it, it doesn't matter that much, did that change at any time from 1993
19 up until July of 1995?
20 A. If you look at this sentence which ends "... the zone of the
21 brigade," without specifying either defence or responsibility stretches
22 beyond the board borders of the municipality; what I meant by this is,
23 what I meant is that one cannot successfully defend Zvornik if you do it
24 from your doorstep. You have to push the enemy a little further on in
25 order to make the defence effective and efficient.
1 As for the second part of your question, the zone of
2 responsibility for conducting combat operations of the Zvornik Brigade
3 assigned to it in 1992, I believe remained throughout the whole war, but
4 the defence zone did change, however. I mean the area where the Zvornik
5 Brigade was deployed.
6 Q. Okay. Now I'll address that but first you say here on line 23,
7 "You have to push the enemy a little bit further on," in fact you want to
8 push them as far away as possible, don't you? Not a little further, far,
9 far away.
10 A. Well, the point of fighting is to push the enemy, to fight the
11 enemy. That's the essence of a war. An armed conflict is the core of
12 the war.
13 Q. Let me ask you this, sir, did your zone of responsibility or zone
14 of defence, as you defined it in the maps, and we'll take a look at those
15 again tomorrow, did that change at any time from the time you first came
16 to Zvornik on the 18th of December all the way through July of 1995?
17 A. I just told you, Mr. Ostojic. You are hearing me both in the
18 Serbian and in English. The zone of responsibility for conducting combat
19 activities did not change. What does that mean? If a Muslim group had
20 infiltrated the town of Zvornik, I would have to fight it first because
21 that was my obligation and duty. However, it does not make me the mayor
22 of Zvornik. Just like the 28th Division appeared, once they crossed the
23 Drinjaca and Glode and entered the zone of responsibility of combat
24 activities of the Zvornik Brigade, the Zvornik Brigade engaged in combat
25 with it.
1 That was the responsibility of the brigade to engage in armed
3 Q. I'm confident you weren't the mayor of Zvornik, but what about if
4 it was infiltrated in July of 1995, let's say, with POWs. What role does
5 the Zvornik Brigade have?
6 A. I don't know what you mean by the group of POWs infiltrating the
7 area. Can you be more specific.
8 Q. Let's take away the word or the "POW," and let's just say if
9 there were Muslim forces that infiltrated the Zvornik Brigade at some
10 schools, regardless of what their identity was, meaning whether they were
11 POWs, civilians, or military, does the Zvornik Brigade get involved in
12 that at all?
13 A. Hold your horses, this is not exactly how it is. We cannot mix
14 up infiltration by groups, civilians, and prisoners of war. If anyone
15 captured prisoners of war, they knew exactly where they were taking them,
16 and they knew whether they were exposed to any risk. Since the Zvornik
17 Brigade wasn't ordered to receive POWs, and they were accommodated in the
18 area of Zvornik does not necessarily impose any obligation on the Zvornik
19 Brigade. It is the duty and the obligation of those who brought them
20 into the area and not the Zvornik Brigade.
21 Q. And I know that's your position, and I would beg to differ with
23 Do you know whether or not the Drina Corps, Mr. Milenko Zivanovic
24 or General Krstic ever informed the Zvornik Brigade while you were
25 commander or when you were away on this tactical group mission to
1 actually capture the Muslims who were trying to flee through the area
2 near or around Zvornik?
3 A. We have seen here thousands of documents and heard many
4 testimonies, and we all know how these events evolved. We never heard
5 that either General Zivanovic or Krstic ordered either Obrenovic or me to
6 receive the POWs, provide them with accommodation, or anything else.
7 Q. Well, it might have got translated a little awkwardly, but not to
8 receive them, but did they give you instruction to capture enemy Muslims
9 who were trying to get across to their territory?
10 A. Well, you can show the order dated the 13th to prevent the break
11 through of Muslim forces from Srebrenica to Tuzla, that's what this order
13 Q. Does it contain the word "capture," that it was the
14 responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade to capture them?
15 A. Yes, those who were not taken prisoner already, not those who had
16 already been taken prisoner because it would be tantamount to retaking
17 them prisoner, as it were.
18 Q. That's the way you defined it, that it's a capture or a retaking
19 or whatever way; but you got specific instructions, did you not, from
20 Krstic on the 15th of July, 1995, to capture Bosnian Muslims, did you
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait. Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: I really don't want to interrupt, but it may well be
24 that this line of examination is based upon a mistake in the transcript.
25 I'm told that at line 55 or page 55, line 14, what the witness actually
1 said is the one who brought the prisoners not the one who captured the
2 prisoners. Perhaps that ought to be checked because that's the whole
3 premise of this line of questioning.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Pandurevic, perhaps you can clarify that
5 for us.
6 Mr. Haynes is referring to the part of the transcript where you
7 were answering the question and you told Mr. Ostojic:
8 "Hold your horses, this is not exactly how it is. We cannot mix
9 up infiltration by groups to civilians and prisoners of war. If anyone
10 captured prisoners of war ..." this is what is submitted to being wrong.
11 Did you say if anyone captured prisoners of war?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, I said if anyone
13 brought them.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Does that change your situation,
15 Mr. Ostojic?
16 MR. OSTOJIC: We'll deal with it. Thank you. Thank you very
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Thank you.
19 MR. OSTOJIC:
20 Q. We'll just stick with this unique distinction you make between
21 zone of defence and zone of responsibility. What I thought and I got
22 from your testimony in direct on the 27th of January 2009, you said:
23 "Defend all inhabited places and the town of Zvornik at all
25 And this is on page 30697 and it related to Exhibit P280 and the
1 time period was January of 1993 that you made this statement. Quote,
2 again I'll just -- for your benefit:
3 "Defend [Realtime transcript read in error, "depend"] all
4 inhabited places and the town of Zvornik at all costs."
5 Do you remember saying that?
6 A. I don't, but it's true, it was recorded those were my words and
7 that was my task, I agree with you.
8 Q. That was in June of 1993. My question really is: When did the
9 mission or the goal of the Zvornik Brigade change to simply be this
10 limited zone of defence that you claim was solely and exclusively under
11 your command in July of 1995 from that which it was in 1993 basically to:
12 "Defend all inhabited places and the town of Zvornik at all
14 When did it change?
15 A. There was no change. In 1995, in Memici, at Pandurica, at
16 Baljkovica, Boskovici, and everywhere else, we defended each village and
17 town in the Zvornik area from those positions. I couldn't defend Zvornik
18 from a residential building. I defended Zvornik at a distance of 20 or
19 30 kilometres from Zvornik itself. It wasn't my task to protect a single
20 school building from having POWs accommodated there if that is what you
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, it's time for a break, Mr. Ostojic.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Just for the record, I was just told on page 57
24 line 24, the word "depend" was used, but I think it should be "defend."
25 I don't know if it was his answer or my question.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We'll have a 25-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.20 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.50 p.m.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: May I? Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, we're going to address some other issues and
6 maybe come back to some of these themes, hopefully. I'd like now to
7 discuss briefly the civilians in Zvornik, really the population as a
8 whole and who lived there in 1995, et cetera; but first you mentioned, I
9 think yesterday, of a person by the name of Misko Vasic; do you recall
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How, if at all, is he related to Colonel Vasic?
13 A. I think no relation at all, as far as I know. The family name is
14 the same. He came from Zivinice municipality, Dragomir Vasic and
15 Misko Vasic, I think, was a loca from Zvornik.
16 Q. And Colonel Vasic, would that be Dragomir Vasic?
17 A. Yes, Dragomir Vasic is a Colonel, but whether we both mean
18 Colonel Dragomir Vasic, I don't know.
19 Q. That's what I was referring to, that's why I just wanted to
20 clarify that.
21 Where was he a colonel, sir?
22 A. In Zvornik.
23 Q. And at what period of time?
24 A. I know that he was demobilised from the army and appointed chief
25 of the security services centre in Zvornik, when the introduction of
1 ranks occurred in the MUP, I don't know. I heard something about that
2 during this trial. I think he turned up with that rank sometime late in
3 1995. As you see first rank and a colonel immediately. I myself wasn't
4 nearly that good.
5 Q. I want to discuss the influence of the civilian authorities in
6 Zvornik in July of 1995, in particular, but if you can demark for us when
7 the influence in Zvornik by the civilians started, feel free to do so.
8 When you talk about the influence that the civilian authorities
9 had over the brigade, when did that commence?
10 A. I believe the influence existed from the time it was first set
11 up, simply because the municipal authorities were involved in the setting
12 up of the TO units which later evolved and became the brigade. Their
13 influence was indirect because a lot of the logistics and the supplies
14 required for the work of the brigade came from the ranks of the local
15 community. It was for that very reason that the local authorities
16 believed they had every right to interfere with the command processes as
17 well, simply because they were providing some of the supplies that were
18 used for the brigade to be able to get on with its life and work.
19 Q. Did you agree or disagree with this right to interfere with the
20 command processes, et cetera?
21 A. I tried to remain in keeping with the procedure of command from
22 the very top, the commander down to the lowest-ranking unit. If you look
23 at that hierarchy, if you look at the chain of command, I don't think you
24 are likely to come across municipal bodies anywhere in it.
25 Q. So just so I fully understand you, I take it you did not agree
1 with their impression or what they thought was their right; correct?
2 A. When it comes to commanding the brigade, yes, I disagreed.
3 Q. How about the influence it may have had over the brigade? Do you
4 think they should have any influence over a brigade or the Zvornik
6 A. Well, there were a number of ways for them to exercise influence
7 over the brigade. They viewed me as an outsider because I was no local.
8 That's how they saw me. As for the relationship between the municipal
9 authorities and the brigade members there used to be various kinds of
10 links and interested involved through the local communes and all the way
11 up to the municipality itself; then there was party line, the political
12 line, the local economy, and a number of other ways as well.
13 Q. We know the political party there was the SDS in 1995; correct?
14 A. Yes, that's true they were in power but there were other parties
15 around as well.
16 Q. Help me understand this. This influence that the civilian
17 authorities had on the Zvornik Brigade, did it continue to maintain
18 throughout the period that you were there meaning from 1993 or if you
19 will, the 18th of December, 1992, all the way through and after July of
21 A. Yes, the influence continued throughout the war.
22 Q. Now, in some of your testimony you referenced "senior officer."
23 Would Colonel Vasic fit in your definition of a senior officer?
24 A. He was an officer of the MUP.
25 Q. Help me understand some of the personal difficulties you had with
1 the civilian, civilians in Zvornik in 1995 and if necessary, you can
2 share with us from 1993 when you first got there.
3 A. Well, to be perfectly clear and accurate, I myself had no
4 problems with the civilians in Zvornik whatsoever.
5 Q. Okay. Well, let's take a look at 2D646 again which is your
6 65 ter summary, and we can just stay on the first page which is 13. And
7 it's the first bullet point -- I mean the fifth bullet point, I'm sorry
8 under the description of the summary of your testimony. I don't know if
9 it's up -- here it comes. I'll read it for you because I apologise for
10 not having it in B/C/S. The fifth bullet point. It says:
11 "He," meaning you, Mr. Pandurevic "will describe the influence
12 enjoyed by the civilian authorities over the brigade and his own personal
13 difficulties with the local civilian authorities."
14 So really I just want to, because I don't know that you covered
15 it much in your direct other than when you mentioned Brano Grujic, but
16 we'll get to him in a few minutes, I just want to generally know what
17 personal difficulties did you have with the civilians and specifically -
18 I apologise if it's a compound question - with whom and when?
19 A. It may be an interpretation issue. What I see mentioned here is
20 relations to the municipal civilian authorities and not civilians as
21 such, by which I mean the locals, and I didn't have any problems with the
22 locals. That's what I meant when I answered your question.
23 When I say that I was facing some difficulties with the municipal
24 political authorities, the local authorities, those weren't problems in
25 the sense of an ongoing and interrupted conflict. There were situations
1 where misunderstandings occurred depending on some situations that needed
2 dealing with, situations of general interest and of interest to the
3 brigade specifically. I was in touch with the municipal president, the
4 president of the executive board, and through them with certain local
5 company managers.
6 Q. And when was that that you had those personal difficulties with
7 the civilian authorities?
8 A. Soon after my arrival, the military situation in the Zvornik area
9 was what it was. The town was facing direct threat. A lot of the
10 civilian population such as women and children would leave the Zvornik
11 area over night to go to Serbia. There were certain problems involving
12 mobilisation, bringing up manpower levels in the brigade, organising the
13 brigade in the proper way.
14 There were thousands of civilians in the brigade and very few
15 soldiers, if you understand what I mean. I tried to work with the corps
16 command and the appropriate bodies of the defence ministry in order to
17 try and resolve those issues. I did not always meet with much
18 understanding on the part of those bodies.
19 Q. Let's go back to influence by the civilian authorities over the
20 brigade. Did that influence that the civilian authorities had over the
21 Zvornik Brigade exist in July of 1995 as well?
22 A. I told you that those influences existed throughout the war. I
23 cannot remember exactly what kind of influences were there in July.
24 Q. Okay. Well, specifically from whom, meaning which civilian
25 authorities, had this influence in the Zvornik Brigade from the time that
1 you were there up through December 1995, if you remember?
2 A. As I told you, that was the president of the municipality, the
3 chairman of the executive committee, some members of the executive
4 committee. I had soldiers on the front without boots. They were only
5 wearing trainers. I asked them for money to purchase boots but they
6 didn't understand my request or they bought some cardboard boots that
7 disintegrated after the first rain, et cetera, et cetera.
8 Q. I'm just -- I know that might be personal difficulties. I'm
9 trying to focus now for the time being on the influence those civilian
10 authorities had.
11 I know you gave me their title, but give me their names if you
12 would be kind enough, who were these people who had influence on your
14 A. For a time, Brano Grujic was the president of the municipality.
15 He was succeeded by Jovan Mitrovic, the chairman of the executive
16 committee were Dragan Spasojevic, Zoran Zekic a certain Budim Acimovic
17 and many others. They changed frequently.
18 Q. Sir, maybe it's my fault, but I just want to know of the people
19 who had influence, civilian authorities who had influence on the Zvornik
20 Brigade. I want to know who those people are, and I know some of them
21 may be included in that. Is that all the people who had influence in the
22 Zvornik Brigade?
23 A. Yes, in a certain way, and indirectly. If they go to their
24 native village and talk to the soldiers who are mobilised from that
25 village and then they tell you, We are giving you everything that your
1 commander is asking for and he doesn't give that to you, they created a
2 rift between the commander and the soldiers by spreading this kind of
3 rumours and hearsay. That was one form of influence.
4 Another form was, look, Pandurevic is sending you outside of
5 Zvornik to give your life for someone else. They would assemble these
6 soldiers, talk to them, et cetera.
7 Q. And now, you yourself stated in your testimony at page 30703
8 while describing this one exhibit 7D1001 at the commencement of your
9 tenure at Zvornik approximately March of 1993, I think was the issue, you
10 said the following:
11 "Soldiers and officers" and I have, in parentheses, of Zvornik
12 Brigade, end parentheses, have demonstrated a considerable amount of
13 wilfulness and also the desire to lead on the basis of their own
15 Do you remember that testimony roughly?
16 A. I remember speaking about their self-management way of thinking
17 and acting in which a platoon commander or a company commander was turned
18 into a courier after talking to soldiers. Before I issue an order, they
19 would come, this is -- and say this is not what the soldiers want, they
20 have some other ideas and suggestions.
21 Let me just give you one example. When it comes to carrying out
22 tasks in the place where you live, they were ready to carry out any task.
23 When I had to divide the battalion into two sections and confine one half
24 of the battalion into undefended area, 100 percent of them came to the
25 area in the morning because they thought that whoever came first, they
1 would remain there.
2 If I order them to leave the area, I don't believe that they
3 would gladly do that.
4 Q. When, if at all, to the best of your recollection, did this
5 "self-management" end?
6 A. This had never been -- has never been uprooted altogether.
7 Q. And really, what you're saying, I think, in the quote, and you
8 correct me if I am wrong, is that some soldiers and officers, as you have
9 identified, in that brigade from time to time wouldn't even follow your
10 orders, and they would do things independently with no regard to the
11 course of action that you may envision; would that be fair?
12 A. My orders did not apply to one soldier only. My orders referred
13 to the unit and it was important to me for the unit to carry out its
14 task. There would always be soldiers who would either fail to disappear
15 or will fail to carry out the task or would rather choose the task that
16 they think they could perform best.
17 Q. Well you identified some officers in that sentence that I quoted
18 from your testimony. What officers were those that kind of had this
19 self-management style and made their own decisions, as you identified?
20 Or led on the basis of their own decisions? Which officers were those of
21 the Zvornik Brigade?
22 A. Each officer or unit commander has an inherent right to issue
23 orders, it does not have to amount to wilfulness if it is in the spirit
24 of general rules and regulations. But there were those who didn't have
25 any rank or any military training who were holding positions of command.
1 Such individuals were always prepared to protect their "unit" and their
2 position instead of carrying out my orders and leaving their place of
4 Q. Let me just go back to the quote:
5 "Soldiers and officers have demonstrated a considerable amount of
6 wilfulness and also the desire to lead on the basis of their own
8 Please identify which officers you were referring to of the
9 Zvornik Brigade?
10 A. I can't give you names. There were over 50 company commanders,
11 there were 12 or 13 battalion commanders, and there were huge differences
12 among them. Some of them were very conscientious and responsible and
13 skilled, some of them weren't.
14 Q. And this continued on throughout your tenure at Zvornik Brigade,
15 correct, all wait through, I think, December 1995 or thereabouts; right?
16 A. Yes, only it wasn't so prominent in 1995 as it was in 1993.
17 Q. I'm going to come back to this topic, just I had a thought. When
18 was your meeting with Morillon that you escorted him back and forth, what
19 year was that?
20 A. In 1993.
21 Q. I wasn't sure if it was 1994 or 1993.
22 Now, sticking with this civilian authorities theme, if you will,
23 what was your relationship like with the MUP of Zvornik?
24 A. Official.
25 Q. Can you describe it for me?
1 A. I would meet Mr. Vasic occasionally at meetings in the
2 municipality hall or at the assembly meeting. If it was necessary for
3 the MUP and the army to be engaged somewhere, we would discuss that,
4 although it happened very seldom. They had their own chain of command.
5 We cooperated in the sense if it happened that soldiers were --
6 left the front line with weapons and caused some troubles we would
7 address these problems together; however, we didn't have any other joint
8 operations or obligations.
9 Q. Was there, in your opinion, cooperation and a joint operation in
10 July of 1995 with the Zvornik MUP?
11 A. One unit of the Zvornik MUP, one PJP company commanded by
12 Mr. Borovcanin in July 1995, was under my command through Borovcanin in
13 the fighting at Baljkovica, I think until the 18th of July. I know that
14 in June, they took part in the defence of the Vis feature in the area of
15 the Sekovac [as interpreted] Brigade where one of my units also took part
16 under the command of Colonel Andric.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Just focus.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could get the Sekovici Brigade is what we
20 MR. OSTOJIC: In the transcript as you see it says Sekovac but
21 you said what, sir.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The brigade from Sekovici or the
23 1st Birac Infantry Brigade that's its proper name.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay.
25 Q. And taking aside the one PJP company that you mentioned in
1 July of 1995, what was the other units or MUP members doing in July of
2 1995, was there any cooperation or assistance that they were providing
3 in -- during the war when the Muslims were trekking from Srebrenica
4 through Zvornik to Kladanj or Tuzla; do you know?
5 A. About their engagement in the general area of the public security
6 centre of Zvornik until July the 15th, I knew nothing; however, as of the
7 15th, I know that they were searching the terrain, the area of Snagovo,
8 Crni Vrh, and the asphalt road. I remember that some time after the 20th
9 or the 24th, we saw in one of the reports, I requested through the corps
10 command for a coordinated cooperation to be established with the MUP
11 because we were doing things independently.
12 Q. Just so I'm clear, but before the 24th, there was no coordination
13 or cooperation with the MUP authorities with the exception of the one
14 that you mentioned already; correct? In July, I'm sorry.
15 A. I believe that in July, at the level of the public security
16 centre of Zvornik, there was the police forces staff commanded by Vasic,
17 and he was in command of all the MUP forces deployed in the area at the
19 Q. And then we'll come back to this topic, there are several
20 documents that I'm confident that you've already seen through other
21 witnesses of Mr. Vasic, and we'll go over that possibly tomorrow. I want
22 to go back to the civilian authorities of Zvornik. You stated or page
23 30983 when you testified that you were not on good terms with
24 Brano Grujic, can you describe that? Why and -- why were you not on good
25 terms with him?
1 A. While he was the president of the municipality, we had to
2 maintain an official relationship, whether we liked each other or not.
3 That was in the interest of the brigade and the defence of Zvornik
4 itself. We were not on friendly terms. We did not visit each other.
5 There was -- were lots of misunderstanding on his part with regards to my
6 request. Therefore, the relationship was rather tense when it came to
7 finding solutions.
8 Q. Okay. What about your relationship with Colonel Dragomir Vasic
9 of the MUP, can you describe that for us?
10 A. For a period of time after I came to Zvornik, he was a company
11 commander in the brigade. My plan was to appoint him assistant for
12 morale in the battalion; however, a request for his demobilisation
13 arrived, and he was subsequently demobilised and became the head of the
14 security centre in Zvornik. We were not friends. We did not socialise.
15 We did not visit each other. I did not know his family. We just
16 maintained an official relationship.
17 Q. Did Colonel Dragomir Vasic have any influence over the soldiers
18 and officers of the Zvornik Brigade at any time when he was with MUP and
19 not specifically with the brigade?
20 A. The MUP as an institution had no influence on the brigade. Vasic
21 had a certain influence on some of the soldiers from a company from the
22 6th Battalion who were refugees from his village. He supplied some
23 relief and assistance to their families, but he never interfered with the
24 command of the brigade.
25 Q. Now, this 6th Battalion, that's at the time in July, that was
1 when Ostoja Stanisic was the commander and his deputy was
2 Marko Milosevic; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Let me just ask you briefly about Milos Stupar, what was
5 the relationship between you and Milos Stupar at the time that you were
6 at the Zvornik Brigade?
7 A. I saw that man maybe twice in my life, and I can't tell you
8 anything about him.
9 Q. Just so we know who we're talking about, ones of the times was in
10 July -- on July 15th, 1995 when you came back to the Zvornik command;
12 A. Yes, and I believe I saw him once before that at a celebration in
13 Sekovici, the anniversary of the brigade.
14 Q. Thank you. I appreciate that. Let me just quickly turn to a
15 couple of documents I want to introduce, and then we can talk about it in
16 a little greater detail tomorrow.
17 First, if we can have P117 please. We'll spend some time talking
18 about POWs and the orders that you may have received tomorrow, but I just
19 want to bring this one to your attention now. I'm looking -- I don't
20 know if it's up yet, Mr. Pandurevic, but it should are shortly and just
21 so I give you background on it, it's dated July 13th, 1995. It's from
22 the command of the Drina Corps, and it seems to be signed or at least a
23 block signature from Major-General Milenko Zivanovic.
24 When you've had a chance to look at it would you please tell me
25 and I'll put some questions to you?
1 A. Yes, I can confirm everything you said.
2 Q. Were you aware of this order in July of 1995 on or about the
3 15th of July, 1995?
4 A. I didn't know about this order on the 13th. I arrived at Zvornik
5 on the 15th with the order of General Krstic and with the task similar to
6 those stated here and that is to block and to destroy the 28th Division.
7 Q. I notice that your testimony, even on direct you always talk
8 about block and destroy, but does it at all mention capture?
9 A. That's not the same notion. We took prisoners after and during
10 the fighting and during the search of the terrain. Of those soldiers
11 were the prisoners under the jurisdiction of the Zvornik Brigade, they
12 were put up in the military remand prison in the Standard barracks, and
13 the Zvornik Brigade was responsible for those prisoners. Unfortunately,
14 with regard to the overall number of the casualties, those were the only
15 ones who survived including a small number of the ones that survived from
16 the execution sites.
17 Q. Okay. We'll get to that a little bit. Thank you for that. But
18 if you look at paragraph which is numbered 3, after the declaration of "I
19 hereby order," Major-General Zivanovic seems to be using the past tense
21 "Put captured and disarmed Muslims in suitable buildings that can
22 be secured by small forces and immediately inform the superior command."
23 Do you see that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Are you telling us that Mr. Zivanovic was ordering you guys to
1 use suitable buildings, but you would only use one building for potential
2 or captured disarmed Muslims?
3 A. At the time, I did not act on this order. This item was copied
4 for the most part from the order that came from the Main Staff.
5 Q. Well, regardless of whether it was copied or not from an order
6 from the Main Staff, the instruction, and I realise you weren't there on
7 the 13th, but when you came back on the 15th, did Obrenovic or anybody
8 else give you this and tell you, we got specific instructions on the 13th
9 of July from Major-General Zivanovic, X, Y, and Z; did they discuss it
10 with you at any time?
11 A. No, because this order refers to certain forces that were not
12 nearly as those that Dragan Obrenovic knew when he reported to me on the
13 15th and by that time, this order became pointless.
14 Q. So then let's just quickly, since we're on the topic and have
15 some time, look at 7D686, please. And we have both actually. This is an
16 order, sir, as it's coming up and you see it that you've given evidence
17 on. It's dated the 15th of July, 1995, from now
18 Major-General Radislav Krstic and did you receive this order prior to
19 returning to the Zvornik Brigade command on the 15th of July, 1995 at
20 approximately noon, I think is just testimony? Did you receive that
21 order prior to you coming to the command?
22 A. I received this order orally from General Krstic at the Krivace
23 IKM, and it was encrypted and forwarded to Zvornik.
24 Q. And it was forwarded as we can see at approximately 1041 by the
25 little box on the right-hand side; do you see that? And then in
1 handwritten form on the outside box it says either 10.00 C, which I think
2 is time or "casova" [phoen] or approximately 10.41; would that be about
4 A. Yes, that's what it says, at 10.00.
5 Q. In this order, the first paragraph, doesn't General Krstic also
6 tell you to capture Muslim forces?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Well your testimony in essence was that when you got there, your
9 assignment was to block and destroy the enemy Muslim forces. How do you
10 reconcile that if he told you you should take measures to block,
11 break-up, and capture Muslim forces?
12 A. Well more or less that would be it.
13 Q. Okay. Now just looking at the second paragraph, and we'll come
14 to it a little later, because of your zone of defence that you need
15 distinction with the zone of responsibility. In the second paragraph of
16 the order, do you see what I call kind of an expansion, if we accept your
17 zone of defence theory, an expansion of your zone if he says here, in
18 order to protect the population and material goods, are you going beyond
19 the borders that you described for us when you had the map behind you?
20 A. At the time, you had to act at the place where the enemy
21 appeared, and I had to engage in fighting with them. This all happened
22 within the boundaries of the zone for conducting combat operations.
23 Q. Okay. Now, I want to briefly introduce this document so we can
24 touch on it and that's P1172, and it's an intercept that was purportedly
25 captured with you, sir, on it and you can clarify that for us if you
2 I'm just curious about a couple of things there, and really I'm
3 going to focus your attention but you obviously have the right, and you
4 can look at the whole thing, I really want to focus on the second or the
5 latter third portion of this intercept where apparently you with either
6 Milosevic or Mijatovic are having an exchange. And again, sir, I don't
7 know if it's you, but that's what the Prosecution is alleging, and this
8 is again it's just for the record is the 15th of July, 1995, at 0855
10 A. Yes, I took part in this conversation.
11 Q. I just want and I'm curious, we'll get back to this, I'm curious
12 in this line where you talk about:
13 "When is that information from?" The answer is: "This morning."
14 Then you respond: "This morning. And when was the dawn? Give me an
15 overview now, brother."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Are you referring to this part when it says what the situation
18 is, where did you find this word "svanolo" [phoen] or the dawn.
19 Q. I'm reading it from the English translation.
20 A. Can you give me the beginning of the line where you started
21 reading from?
22 Q. Sure: "P: This morning, and when was the dawn? Give me an
23 overview now, brother."
24 It's really a minor point but I'm just -- haven't really asked a
25 question yet just to see if you found it.
1 A. If you look up one line, the person is confirming that the
2 information came that morning.
3 Q. I'm not really concerned with that right now, actually I haven't
4 put a question to you, I just want to orient you to the exhibit itself.
5 A. So what I am asking here is for this information to be verified,
6 the 4th, 6th, and 7th Battalion and when that information came; and he
7 said, This morning, and I said, This morning? At daybreak. Meaning very
8 early that morning.
9 Q. And you're telling him it's basically you wanted up-to-date
10 information, and this is at 8.55 I think as we said, in the morning, and
11 the information perhaps that he was conveying to you was dawn and you
12 wanted some up-to-date information, isn't that basically the essence
13 regardless of what the information is; right?
14 A. Well, probably, my collocutor was trying to confirm that the
15 situation was still the same at the time of my call as it had been that
17 Q. You strike me, sir, from listening to your testimony these past
18 few weeks and looking at this intercept by way of one example that you
19 were the type of commander or officer who wanted to see things for
20 himself. For example, like going immediately to the IKM, the forward
21 command post, on the 15th of July, 1995 to see for yourself the size of
22 the enemy column, to see for yourself the strength of the enemy column,
23 and to see for yourself, among other things, the specific whereabouts of
24 the enemy column. Would I be correct? Is that the type of officer you
25 were, and commander?
1 A. Talking about my specific problem, my focus was the 28th Division
2 and I went there to see for myself what all of this was about.
3 Q. In fact, sir, you didn't, as a commander then -- you didn't rely
4 on secondhand information or information from a tertiary source, did you?
5 You went and wanted to see for yourself what the problem was, what your
6 options may be and how best to address them; would that be fair?
7 A. Well, I was sent back there with a specific mission. There was
8 no way I could remain at the Zvornik command and exercise command from
9 the barracks.
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the last
11 part of the witness's answer.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went straight to the IKM.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay now, in other words, or not? You need
14 to repeat your answer, particularly because the interpreters didn't get
15 the last part of it. What we have here:
16 "Well, I was sent back there with a specific mission. There was
17 no way I could remain at the Zvornik command and exercise command from
18 the barracks."
19 How did you finish your answer?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, by way of
21 illustration of the degree of failure that would have been involved in me
22 trying to exercise command from there, I said it would have been
23 tantamount to Mr. Ostojic cross-examining me from the corridor and not
24 from behind a lectern. I do apologise for the comparison.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
2 Q. Now, would you agree with me that a commander and officer such as
3 yourself relying on secondary or tertiary information is unreasonable?
4 And that's why you, in fact, in this instance, although I'm not
5 particularly talking about your activities on the 15th yet but that's why
6 you went to see for yourself, you went to be able to digest the
7 information yourself; would that be correct?
8 A. The best situation is if you get your information in real time.
9 That's what the forces of NATO can afford to have today, but the VRS
10 commanders could in no way obtain that. I had information on my own
11 location that was all the firsthand information I had. All the other
12 information that came from elsewhere was necessarily secondhand
13 information hearsay or information from my associate's assistants and so
14 on and so forth.
15 Q. I'm going to get to that. I don't think it was just secondhand.
16 I think it was actually fourth removed when you talk about some of the
17 things that people like Obrenovic allegedly told you.
18 So maybe we could address it now. I just want to find out from
19 you, do you agree with me that it's unreasonable to rely on second or
20 thirdhand information or information that is even more so remotely
21 conveyed; would you agree with that?
22 A. If you have no other choice you rely on the information that you
23 have. I received information from my associates and the procedure for
24 obtaining this information was the usual one.
25 Q. I'm not criticising you about that at all, sir. And I understand
1 the situation. Let's talk about some of these people that Obrenovic
2 purportedly told you certain things and let's take, for example, the
3 first one, Dragan Jokic. You said on page 30951 on the 2nd of February,
4 2009, lines 9 through 11, sorry:
5 "I knew him well. I knew that he was a man who was faced by
6 complicated situations and he is not able to convey the real picture of
8 Do you remember giving that testimony approximately?
9 A. Yes. That was in reference to the combat situation on the
11 Q. When -- I still don't understand. What do you mean he was faced
12 by complicated situations?
13 A. When he faces a situation like that, Jokic cannot find an
14 appropriate solution. This newly arisen complicated situation overpowers
15 him as opposed to him taking control of it.
16 Q. Okay. Let's -- and we'll get back to it more specifically.
17 Let's talk about the late Ljubo Bojanovic for a second. On page 31587
18 from yesterday, I think, you mentioned that he was an elderly man who had
19 a drink occasionally or all that. Was he a reliable source of
21 A. Well, when he was in his right state of mind, and when, on a
22 specific mission, he could sometimes be reliable, yes. Nevertheless, he
23 was particularly skillful at dodging his duties and commitments.
24 Q. And I like you, sir, would never think of speaking ill of
25 departed, but can you describe for me if he had a drinking problem to the
1 best of your knowledge?
2 A. He liked the occasional drink, he wasn't above it as people say.
3 He could hardly control himself in terms of when he chose to have one. I
4 said yesterday or two days ago that I tried to keep him in the command
5 itself and whenever he felt like it, he could just knock on my door. I
6 was there. I would allow him to have a glass just in order to keep tabs
7 on him so as to make sure I knew exactly how much he'd had on that
8 particular day. But sometimes he was off and he would just enjoy
9 himself. I cannot say that he was a notorious alcoholic though.
10 Q. Well let's talk about this firsthand knowledge, secondhand
11 knowledge, et cetera; and I want to talk about three specific areas when
12 it relates to that. That is I want to talk about the POWs, the
13 executions, and the burials. Now you, sir, did not personally see for
14 yourself the POWs; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. And you, sir, did not see for yourself the executions; correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you, sir, yourself, did not see the burials and I just want
19 to be fair to you because I think you mentioned once when you drove back,
20 you may have seen some bodies, I'm not referring to that. I'm talking
21 about the burials that are the heart of the case, I guess; correct? You
22 did not see it?
23 A. Correct, I didn't.
24 Q. If you came here and testified giving firsthand knowledge, so you
25 don't have any firsthand knowledge of any of those three things; correct?
1 A. Correct, none.
2 Q. Now, let me just -- I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you but
3 it's really -- and I don't have a debate about that at all, sir.
4 Now, you received information from a secondhand source, among
5 others, and we'll get through to it, Obrenovic, purportedly. Just so you
6 know, that's a secondhand source, would you agree?
7 A. Yes, Mr. Ostojic. You have very good mastery of all these facts
8 that have nothing to do with the essence of the case. You stick to form.
9 I appreciate your approach, but everything that I've been saying and
10 everything that Obrenovic told me, if we take that and compare it to
11 things that have nothing to do with any contact between Obrenovic and me,
12 all this tallies to a large extent and what I mean specifically is the
13 intercepts on the one hand and the duty officers' log book on the other.
14 Q. With all due respect, we're going to go through both of those
15 tomorrow; so you'll have your opportunity to give us your opinion and
16 your thoughts on that.
17 Now this secondhand information that you were receiving from
18 Obrenovic, he got that information from one source according to you was
19 Jokic, who you described as being faced by complicated situations and was
20 not able to convey the real picture of events; right? And this
21 information would be considered thirdhand information, would it not?
22 A. When you categorise this information like that, your viewpoint is
23 probably a legal one concerning the giving of evidence or something like
24 that. A commander receives information in the middle of fighting,
25 depending on the level of command for the most part this could be
1 secondhand, thirdhand, fourthhand, even fifthhand but a commander has no
2 choice but to trust his associates in situations like these.
3 Speaking of Mr. Jokic, nothing is further from my mind than to
4 say that this person is retarded. Of course he's perfectly able to
5 describe a situation that happened in a room 3 by 4 metres big.
6 Q. Well, let's leave Mr. Jokic aside. Let's talk about the late
7 Ljubo Bojanovic. You described him here. Do you think that's reliable
8 information that Obrenovic could use to say that here he is as you've
9 described him "an old man who occasionally drank but was not an
10 alcoholic." Do you think that's a reliable source?
11 A. It all depends on whether he's sober at this particular point in
12 time. I would much prefer to talk to you about an independent source,
13 something that comes neither from me nor from Obrenovic nor from Jokic,
14 and that is very easy to verify in terms of truthfulness because what we
15 are doing here is spinning around in circles, firsthand, secondhand,
16 Jokic, Bojanovic. I told you how I felt about that and I stand by it.
17 Q. And I'm not challenging that. I just wanted to highlight the
18 level of knowledge that these people had and the reliability or
19 unreliability of the sources.
20 Let me ask you this, sir: Now, you said at one point that you
21 were surprised by Dragan Obrenovic's plea agreement. You were surprised
22 by his plea agreement because at that time in July of 1995, and soon
23 thereafter, you had no idea that he was involved as he so pled in any of
24 the executions or the capturing POWs or maintaining of the POWs or the
25 burial of the POWs; correct? And when I say maintaining, really housing,
1 I'm sorry, it's getting late for me as well.
2 A. When I look at his statement of facts, there are very few facts
3 that I come across that have to do with him and his responsibility.
4 There are more things and more facts there that have to do with others.
5 I stand by my position. I don't know what he took as his guiding idea
6 when he reviewed his situation, his role as it was. Only he knows about
7 his real personal involvement in certain things, but from a commander's
8 perspective in terms of his responsibility, receiving and handling
9 prisoners of war, one thing that I fail to understand is what appears to
10 be his understanding of that particular role.
11 Q. Well my point is in essence that based on the information he gave
12 you, and you've seen and read his plea agreement both before and after
13 you were detained and brought here to The Hague, did he lie to you then
14 in July of 1995 when he was telling you other people were involved and he
15 didn't say anything about himself? I mean surely you don't expect that
16 someone would just admit to their guilt and not be guilty. What benefit
17 would that serve?
18 A. He told me that he had agreed for Drago Nikolic and another five
19 police officers to be put on that job. Any information he shared with me
20 about the presence of other persons outside the command of the Zvornik
21 Brigade was confirmed by the log book and the intercepts, and that is
22 entirely true. When talking about the other co-indicted.
23 Q. You highlighted for us instances when Mr. Bourgon was questioning
24 you when Dragan Obrenovic lied and specifically instances if you recall,
25 I think there were 10 or 11 of them if not more, now what I'm asking you
1 though now given that you know and you've seen and you've reviewed his
2 plea agreement and the statement of facts that he's agreed to and
3 accepted his culpability in the events that transpired in July of 1995.
4 In July of 1995 he obviously either lied to you or misrepresented to you
5 what his involvement was with both let's say the 4th Battalion as well as
6 the 6th Battalion, wouldn't that be a true statement?
7 A. I told you the story that I heard from him. His admission of
8 guilt, his statement of facts is something almost like a net which he
9 spun in such a way as to involve all the other accused in different ways
10 and to different degrees. I don't know what his reason for that might
11 have been.
12 Q. I'm sure he was spinning a web to try and get himself out of the
13 reality and -- with his involvement, but all I'm asking you, sir, do you
14 believe him now that he's accepted his responsibility and he's pled
15 guilty to the crimes that occurred at Orahovac, Petkovci, and Pilici or
16 do you dispute that as you sit here today?
17 A. I believe the story that he told me at the time, if he believed
18 in his own guilt, if he admitted to it, then there is nothing more for me
19 to think about then, is there?
20 Q. Let me just briefly since we have a moment discuss two exhibits
21 if I can. P378 which is, I think, the Zvornik Brigade duty operations
22 officer diary; but it may have come under a different name from time to
23 time, it's from the 12th of February, 1995 through the 3rd of January,
24 1996, and I believe the Prosecution will assist in providing you with the
1 The war diary. Thank you. So with leave of Court, if the usher
2 can assist us so that Mr. Pandurevic can have that. It's P378.
3 Who, sir, when you -- and you've looked at this before, who is in
4 charge of maintaining that book?
5 A. This is the operative log book. It's not the war diary. This is
6 the log book kept by the operations duty officer. You will hardly ever
7 come across anything in this diary that you wouldn't come across in an
8 interpret combat report or regular combat report or the working notebook.
9 This is a document that is normally produced post festum following the
10 dispatch of the regular combat report. It can also be taken down as
11 events unfold simultaneously following any entries that are made to the
12 working log.
13 Q. I didn't like the words war diary either but in any event, who
14 maintained this book; do you know? I know we have a period that was
15 covered but who maintained that in July of 1995; do you know?
16 A. I don't know, it was a different man every day. If you look at
17 the signatures, you will realise that. Operations duty officer.
18 Q. I have before me the 13th of July 1995, please. Maybe if we
19 could try to get that one up on the e-court as well, the 13th of July.
20 And if you can't find the 13th, maybe you could try and find the 14th for
21 me, Mr. Pandurevic, and also with the court's assistance.
22 A. To cut this short, nothing between the 12th and the 15th so no
23 13th, no 14th.
24 Q. And why is that? It looks like it's a meticulously-kept book
25 that has dates after July 15th, although admittedly it misses the whole
1 period of August and goes into September from what I can gather and it
2 has a period immediately before that discussing the 12th or the 11th, the
3 10th of July. Why do you think, sir, because it was your Zvornik Brigade
4 does it not have any information in this book relating to the 13th and
5 14th of July, 1995?
6 A. Based on the records, I know that it was Sreten Milosevic who was
7 the duty operations officer on the 13th. I don't know why he made no
8 entries. I could only guess, and I wouldn't like to go there. Between
9 the 14th and the 15th, it was Jokic. Why no entries, I don't know. Even
10 if any entries had been made in relation to the 13th and the 14th, they
11 would have been identical to the entries made in the regular log and the
12 regular combat report.
13 Q. You don't want to speculate why they're not in there, we probably
14 shouldn't speculate as to whether it would be identical or not. But in
15 any event, let me just change the subject quickly just so we can have
16 this for foundational purposes for tomorrow.
17 We saw the tactical intercepts, which for the record is P2232 and
18 I just wanted to know some code-names that were used in that tactical
19 intercept. Can you tell me what your code-name was when you were using
20 or being captured on these tactical intercepts. What was your code-name?
21 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Ostojic. Just to address your first comment
22 before you asked the question, it is not quite the same thing me not
23 being able to guess why something wasn't recorded, but it's a matter of a
24 totally different order of things if I assume why something was not
25 recorded. If you compare the 15th, the war diary entry, the regular log
1 book and the regular combat -- interim combat report, you will see a high
2 degree of similarity. The overlap would probably amount to 100 percent.
3 That is the reason for my previous statement, and now I think you can
4 take it from there.
5 Q. Thank you. I will and I shouldn't have remarked, and thank you
6 for advising me accordingly.
7 Now, on the tactical intercepts, we can pull them up but we don't
8 have that much time, do you as you sit here remember the various people
9 who were captured on -- who they were. They used code names. And first
10 I want to know what your code-name was? For example they used Lovac,
11 Lovac 1, Vuk, Ikar, Pavle?
12 A. The communications plan and the radio network that we used during
13 the blockade of the 28th Division at Snagovo and Crni Vrh were both
14 produced by Dragan Obrenovic, both the communications plan and the radio
15 network had code-names being used for the units involved in these
16 activities. I was not part of the communications plan, and you won't
17 find my code-name there.
18 My code-name was Palma, which coincided with the code-name of the
19 Zvornik Brigade command. As for any other code-names being mentioned
20 here and the ones you mentioned, I only know as much as provided in
21 Dragan Obrenovic's explanations.
22 Q. Who was Lovac 1?
23 A. I learned about that the same time as you, Dragan Obrenovic.
24 Q. Who was Lovac?
25 A. The radio communications centre of the Zvornik Brigade.
1 Q. Who was Ikar?
2 A. I don't remember that one. I'm not sure.
3 Q. Who was Pavle?
4 A. I don't know about Pavle either.
5 Q. Who other than you talked to Semso Muminovic regarding the
6 activities on July 16th, 1995?
7 A. I believe before the 16th, it was Dusko Vukotic.
8 Q. What was his code-name?
9 A. I think Vuk, V-u-k, I think that was the one he used most
11 Q. A couple more questions, we'll get back to this tomorrow,
12 specifically the tactical intercept. Do you know just in the last
13 minute, there was some testimony, I know you've heard of it, I think you
14 have, when they talk about the unofficial Zvornik Brigade operations duty
15 officers' notebook or log book which is P377. Do you know who had
16 possession of that immediately after the events of July 1995? Who took
17 physical possession of it?
18 A. As for where this book went and who used it, I only heard here
19 during some of the evidence that was given following the removal of the
20 Zvornik Brigade all of the documents remained and nothing was removed at
21 least for as long as I was still commander.
22 Q. Okay. Now, in 1999 when you met with Obrenovic on the one or two
23 occasions, did he ever tell you that he had possession of these books at
24 any time?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did he at any time tell you when you had your meeting in 1999
2 that he was writing in the book after the fact, post facto like the post
3 facto construct that I talked about earlier. Did he ever tell you that?
4 A. I think we met in Belgrade in 2000, but he never told me anything
5 about this documentation or what was done with it.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. I think that we could probably end
7 today with the Court's permission.
8 Thank you, Mr. Pandurevic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic, we'll continue tomorrow morning at
10 9.00. Thank you.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m. to
12 be reconvened on Friday, the 20th day of February,
13 2009 at 9.00 a.m.