1 Monday, 23 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The Accused Miletic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Madam Registrar, could you call the
7 case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, this is the
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning everybody. I notice the absence of
11 General Miletic, I understand that a waiver is on its way, is indisposed
13 Representation, I only notice the absence of Mr. Sarapa,
14 Mr. Josse. I think that's it.
15 Good morning to you, Mr. Pandurevic.
16 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And good morning to you, Mr. Ostojic. You may
20 proceed with your cross-examination. In the meantime, the sixth
21 Pandurevic motion for addition of documents to the 65 ter list has not
22 been opposed by the Prosecution and it is hereby being orally granted.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic: [Continued]
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pandurevic.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Sir, I still do not believe you when you tell us that you opened
4 the column on the 16th and 17th of July, 1995, because you were either a
5 nice commander or, as you say, a humanitarian, and to go through that
6 point as we ended Friday but were unable to complete, I want us to go
7 through, in particular, three pieces of evidence with you.
8 First, Lazar Ristic, do you remember that he testified in this
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Can you remind us what position he held in July of 1995?
12 A. He stood in for the battalion commander.
13 Q. Which battalion?
14 A. The 4th Infantry Battalion of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade.
15 Q. Now, when Mr. Lazar Ristic was describing the events as they
16 unfolded with a Bosnian Muslim column, do you remember that he painted
17 the description from his personal observations that there were in fact as
18 he says, 32, 84-millimetre machine-guns that he observed, many soldiers
19 within the column that passed through. Do you remember that?
20 And I could -- I apologise, just so we can have it for the record
21 it's on his trial transcript page 10180, line 4, through 10181, line 1,
22 we'll be referencing.
23 A. I don't remember all the details of his testimony. I have a
24 rough idea, rather. These are model 84 machine-guns and the calibre is
25 762 millimetres.
1 Q. I'm not asking you that, I'm asking you do you remember that he
2 testified that the Bosnian Muslim column that was passing through after a
3 cease-fire was agreed to was actually very well armed? Do you remember
5 A. I remember him testifying about everything that he saw. Whether
6 you could qualify it as being well armed, maybe it's your conclusion.
7 Q. Do you remember when he was giving testimony under oath saying
8 that there was a captured Muslim officer who was ultimately returned and
9 that that Muslim officer had seen that the Zvornik Brigade and the
10 4th Battalion was out of ammunition because while that Muslim officer was
11 there, people were coming in and asking for ammunition? Do you remember
12 that testimony?
13 A. Not specifically. This battalion was defending an area in the
14 width of 6 kilometres, and you cannot judge the whole situation of the
15 battalion from only one point.
16 Q. Okay. Let's look at what he says on transcript page 10155,
17 line 9 through 10157, line 9. He says:
18 "Having seen that we were out of ammunition because people were
19 coming in and asking for ammunition and they attacked us, we assumed that
20 we unable to continue defending ourselves after about an hour of combat,
21 thus we pulled back towards," and there was an interruption by the
22 interpreter, your counsel continued to ask, "Would you repeat the name of
23 where you drew back to."
24 Answer by Mr. Ristic: "We withdrew towards the link of the 4th
25 and the 6th Battalion going from Baljkovica Rijeka to Parlog. That was
1 the position of the 1st Company of the 4th Battalion." Do you remember
2 that testimony?
3 A. If you read it as it is, I have no doubts that these are his
4 words, but one can see that he was talking to a group who was at the
5 command post of the battalion that he, himself, had said had evacuated
6 earlier. Therefore, the 4th Battalion did not withdrew or run out of
7 ammunition but that was in fact a group that was together with Lazar
8 Ristic in that area.
9 Q. Let's talk about a witness that we started to on Friday, and that
10 is Semso Muminovic. Now, I've read portions of his interview for you
11 with the Prosecution and you disagree completely with his recollection as
12 to the reasons why the column was -- or the corridor was ultimately open;
13 is that accurate?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: And if we can go into private session,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a short while,
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 31944-31948 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, I'd like now to skip -- staying with the same
19 topic of the purported purpose for which the corridor was opened for the
20 column of Bosnian Muslims to pass. I'd like to focus on the testimony of
21 Colonel Sladojevic who was one of the three colonels from the Main Staff who
22 visited the Zvornik Brigade on the 17th of July, 1995; do you remember that?
23 A. Yes, I remember those testimonies.
24 Q. Now help me understand or follow your logic as you heard him
25 testify. Did he -- nobody punished you, reprimanded you or disciplined
1 you as a result of the actions you took in opening a corridor and letting
2 the column of Bosnian Muslims pass; correct?
3 A. As far as I can remember, in Mr. Sladojevic's statement, which,
4 however, he didn't mention while giving evidence, there was a proposal to
5 remove Pandurevic from his post; however, no disciplinary measures were
6 taken against me later on. However, the entire attitude towards me later
7 on was such that I was never formally punished but due to the ban on
8 education and appointment to appropriate positions imposed by my superior
9 in the army, I was very much hindered. And the big question was whether I
10 could become a General or not.
11 Q. Well, I think that you can have that position if you'd like but
12 answer this: Do you think that the Main Staff and those three colonels
13 didn't punish, reprimand you, because they thought that your decision was
14 a humanitarian decision in opening the corridor?
15 A. I don't know what they thought. We tried to explain the
16 situation to them so that this explanation would coincide with our
17 interim report dated the 16th. We wanted to make them understand that we
18 acted in a proper way.
19 Q. Let's just back up a bit, sir. Opening the corridor was contrary
20 to your mission as you have testified; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And it was contrary to your mission to let the Bosnian Muslim
23 column pass through with weapons; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And despite that, you were promoted in December of 1995; correct?
1 A. Yes, for the results achieved in the Krajina. Later on, that was
2 disputed and I was dubbed the main traitor who brought the fall of the
3 Krajina about. First, they gave me the rank of Colonel, and then six
4 months later, they accused me of being the main culprit for the fall of
5 Krajina. You can find it in the materials here.
6 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Pandurevic. I'm not that concerned about Krajina
7 right now, nor with your testimony. What I want to focus on, though, is
8 Sladojevic, Trkulja and the other member of the Main Staff who came and
9 visited you. You remember in his testimony, actually, which is on
10 page 11380, lines 7 through 22, that Mr. Sladojevic, Colonel Sladojevic
11 explains that as they were driving up with Trkulja they were discussing
12 what, if any, action to take against you because you had disobeyed the
13 order of Krstic and it was contrary to the mission for opening the
14 corridor; but when they came to where you were standing on the 17th and
15 they observed the Bosnian Muslims who were passing through the corridor,
16 they agreed that it would have created havoc and you would have suffered
17 great losses of your men if you engaged this Bosnian Muslim column. In
18 fact, given what Lazar Ristic said that there were 34 or 32,
19 84-millimetre machine-guns, that was the real reason why the column was
20 opened and that was why you were never punished, disciplined or otherwise
21 sanctioned. Isn't that true?
22 A. Let's start this from this last issue that you mentioned, 32 or
23 34 machine-guns. Did they have ammunition, if they were engaged in
24 combat from Srebrenica since 10th of July? Second question, the way I
25 acted at the time was something that was driving me by humanitarian
1 reasons. I wanted to protect lives both of my soldiers and the enemy
3 After the corridor had been opened and during the passage of the
4 column, I could have accomplished the mission that I was sent to do from
5 Zvornik. I didn't do that and this is where I see my humanitarian
7 Maybe somebody in my place wouldn't act in the same way. I
8 remembered the proposal made by Mr. Borovcanin on the -- at the meeting
9 of the 15th in the command and I said, Okay, we have another proposal and
10 if there are any problems, this man is going to support me and testify in
11 my favour.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Can the interpreters turn off their mike, please.
13 Q. Sir, we know from that testimony that you had given earlier when
14 describing that 15th July meeting that you described yourself as being
15 very hands-on, and you said at that time that you wanted to see for
16 yourself, hear for yourself, have a complete understanding for yourself
17 as to what was going on with respect to the activities in or around the
18 1st Brigade. You took that action as it may result to the column but you
19 failed to take that action as it may result to the POWs that were in and
20 around that area; is that fair?
21 A. I'm afraid I didn't understand your question.
22 Q. Let me then give it to you from your words directly, sir. On the
23 22 -- I'm sorry. On the 2nd of February, 2009, at page 30963, you were
24 describing July 15th, 1995
25 Zvornik Brigade and you described how you cut the discussions short. And
1 then you were asked a question on lines 14:
3 "Why did you not feel able to entertain the suggestion that the
4 forces of the 28th Division should be let to pass through at that stage?
5 Answer by you sir which follows on lines 16 through 23 is as
6 follows: "I had quite a lot of wartime experience as regards the
7 information coming on the enemy coming in, and the information I trusted
8 most was the information I obtained personally and convinced myself on
9 the ground that it was true. It would have been irresponsible if the
10 task I had been issued by General Krstic was changed by me in the office
11 without my having gone out on the ground and seen for myself what the
12 situation was. At that point in time I didn't want to accept any other
14 Do you remember giving that testimony?
15 A. I remember and I stand by what I said, but I would like to add to
16 what I said previously. I don't know if anybody at that moment or when
17 they came at the command and heard that proposal would have automatically
18 acted upon that proposal because Krstic or somebody else would have
19 automatically been informed that I had not even tried to accomplish the
20 task that was given to me. I -- or that I rather immediately did
21 something completely different and that would have immediately qualified
22 me as a traitor.
23 Q. Well, being such a hands-on commander, when you were given
24 information about the POWs, why didn't you go out to the ground and see
25 for yourself and obtain the information for yourself and that the
1 information that you would trust is only that information that you can
2 personally observe and convince yourself that that information was true
3 or false? Why didn't you do that with respect to the POWs when you
4 purportedly obtained some information?
5 A. We are talking about two completely different types of
6 information here. I'm talking about the information that concerned the
7 front-line, the theatre of war, the information about intentions of the
8 enemy because this information is usually blown out of proportion, the
9 information about the power of the enemy. When it comes to the prisoners
10 of war and the information about them, it was not them that I was sent
11 from Zepa to Zvornik before that, and the Zvornik Brigade was not put in
12 charge of the prisoners of war. That's why I did not seek this kind of
13 information actively. And this type of information could have been
14 provided by those who were not members of the Zvornik Brigade and who did
15 with those people what they did.
16 It never occurred to me to seek such information from them.
17 Q. Let's turn the topic to Dragan Obrenovic for a second. You
18 stated on page 31524, lines 8 through 16, and you're speaking about
19 yourself here, sir:
20 "I will never understand why he," and in parentheses I added
21 Dragan Obrenovic because that's who you were talking about. So "I will
22 never understand why he, Dragan Obrenovic, changed his opinion and why he
23 decided to take that responsibility upon himself."
24 Do you remember giving that testimony, sir? And to just give a
25 little background you were telling us how during a meeting with -- during
1 the interviews Dragan Obrenovic had with Mr. McCloskey, at one point, he
2 denied involvement and then ultimately, he acknowledged and admitted the
3 Zvornik Brigade and his personal involvement in those he executions and
4 burials. So I'll give it to you again, sir, at page 31524.
5 "I will never understand why he, Dragan Obrenovic, changed his
6 opinion and why he decided to take that responsibility upon himself."
7 Do you stand by that as well, sir?
8 A. Let me explain, Mr. Ostojic.
9 Q. How about you just answer my question. Do you still stand by
11 A. Well, I was going to answer that. I do stand by that with an
12 addition. If you look at all the statements issued by Mr. Dragan
13 Obrenovic including what he has -- he had said to me personally, nothing
14 pointed to the fact that he may have been involved in this type of
15 business. When he provided his statement about the facts and when he
16 provided his statement and explained his statement about the facts, one
17 could see that he was going between two different things. He would say
18 yes, the Zvornik Brigade was in charge and on other occasions, he would
19 say no.
20 I don't know who influenced him but I can't understand this
21 slalom of his, and this is the answer that I am providing. I'm not
22 talking about his responsibility. If he believes that he was responsible
23 then I'm sure he was responsible as he is not a child. He can speak for
25 Q. I know that. That's why I was taken aback by your comment a
1 little bit, sir. But as you sit here today under oath, Dragan Obrenovic
2 has, under oath, admitted and is paying a price with his liberty of 17
3 years of his specific involvement in Orahovac, the way he commanded and
4 ordered executions, as well as in Petkovci and Pilica. Do you dispute
5 any of that? He's saying, sir, and he's paying with 17 years of his
6 liberty that, I did order it, I did control those men, they were men
7 under my command. He acknowledges that to this day. Do you have any
8 doubt whatsoever that the Zvornik Brigade was actually involved in the
9 Orahovac, Petkovci, and Pilica executions?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment before you answer.
11 Mr. Haynes.
12 MR. HAYNES: There is a lot of flower around the question but the
13 question in essence is, Do you agree Dragan Obrenovic is guilty, which is
14 not a question for this witness.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Well, I don't see the flower at all, quite
16 candidly, and I don't know what the objection is. If he wants to --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think once it has been simplified further by
18 Mr. Haynes, the witness can now answer it.
19 MR. OSTOJIC:
20 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, answer the question.
21 A. I'm not sure whether you interpreted Mr. Obrenovic's statement in
22 the proper way, whether interpreted his acknowledgment of guilt in a
23 proper way.
24 I saw his statement in which he says that no single unit, no
25 single platoon as a whole or anybody else from the Zvornik Brigade took
1 part in the executions. He said that he gave five policemen and
2 Jasikovac to Drago Nikolic, and that's all he said. That's the long and
3 the short of it. I never saw anywhere his order that he -- that
4 executions could be carried out. And you know who was in charge of the
5 executions; this has been repeated over and over again. Let me not go
6 over the same ground again.
7 I don't know how Mr. Obrenovic could understand that Mr. Beara
8 was his subordinate at the time. If Lazar Ristic was, Beara I'm sure
10 Q. The Court wanted you to answer Mr. Haynes's question --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. But we're also noticing that in your
12 question you put to the witness that Obrenovic did order the killings and
13 that has never been -- I don't think it's --
14 MR. OSTOJIC: I think if we look at his plea agreement --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: A correct representation of the facts. He has
16 answered the question. Let's move to your next ...
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
18 Q. Sir, let me go back and ask you this: Do you think he's guilty?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No, that --
20 MR. OSTOJIC: I thought the Court said that was the question you
21 wanted. Fair enough, Mr. President, I will move on.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I said the way he has simplified the question, Mr.
23 Haynes, it is obvious to the witness that he should just look at us and
24 say: This is not my business. I am not a Judge.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay. I will, thank you. I'll move on.
1 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, to go back to this, I don't know if you want to
2 call it rationale or reason that you give for opening the column and
3 corridor for the Bosnian Muslims on the 16th and 17th, if you look at
4 what Lazar Ristic says, if you look at what Colonel Sladojevic says, if
5 you look at what Mr. Muminovic says, and then you compare it to your
6 16th July 1995
7 almost the similar situation as they have, yet you told us under oath
8 that the 16th of July interim combat report was just a fabrication or
9 just a creation that had no basis in fact? Isn't it really true that the
10 16th of July, 1995, interim combat report was accurate?
11 A. Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Sladojevic could not give you a different story
12 from the one that I told him and that was identical to the interim combat
13 report of the 16th. Mr. Lazar Ristic, as far as I can remember, never
14 said that his battalion's front-line had been broken through. The only
15 thing that remains is for Semso and I not to agree on certain things. I
16 would kindly ask you to quote and interpret the testimonies in a proper
17 way. Don't mislead us, don't misguide us like you did before when you
18 were talking about the acknowledgment of guilt by Dragan Obrenovic.
19 Q. Sir, I'm sorry if you think I'm misleading you and I think the
20 Prosecution -- and we can look at his plea agreement to see, specifically
21 with Pilica, what his admissions were on that, but I won't debate it with
22 you in the interests of time.
23 I want to stay with the purpose for which you claim under oath
24 being humanitarian that you opened this corridor. Given Sladojevic's
25 testimony that he felt that you would have lost enemy -- your own
1 soldiers would have lost lives, the enemy would have probably perished in
2 some battle, given what Lazar Ristic says with the weapons that the enemy
3 says and the size, given what Mr. Muminovic says, given your July 16th,
4 1995, interim combat report, and also given what you said today on
5 page 12, lines 11 through 13, that you wanted to protect the lives of
6 both my soldiers, meaning the Zvornik Brigade soldiers, and the enemy's
7 soldiers, that your reason, under oath, that you claim that you were
8 negotiating a cease-fire to open a corridor is simply not true.
9 A. Well, this is identical to your previous question. You remember
10 that I started negotiating with Semso after the information that I had
11 received from Dragan Obrenovic, and after his conversation with the
12 Muslim officer who had surrendered and who had told him about the
13 situation in the column of the 28th Division.
14 You saw during the examination-in-chief that testimony of one of
15 the survivors was quoted as saying that the 28th Division column was
16 powerless to do anything. You've also seen the notes from the log-book
17 and you saw that Premijer was reporting on the 28th Division, saying, A
18 few from the front-line cannot do anything, we here can't do anything.
19 So this is the complete situation.
20 And when I tell you that my reasons were humanitarian, it was
21 equally humanitarian for me to save the life of my soldiers as it was to
22 save the lives of the Muslim soldiers.
23 Q. Let's turn to another topic, sir, that I disagree with you and
24 that's your attempt to try and create this issue called absence of
25 commander and senior officer. You gave initially when you testified
1 under oath some scenarios when there would be an absence of a commander
2 and we talked about a joint tactical operation, but help me understand
3 this: Given that testimony, was there ever a time from July 10th through
4 July 15th, 1995
5 their commander was absent, whether it be you or Dragan Obrenovic?
6 A. Between 10 and 15 July 1995
7 was there and he was acting as commander during that period.
8 Q. I understand that. So all this business and all these questions
9 that you were asked about absence of commander, am I correct that at no
10 time during July 10th through the 15th of 1995, was there ever a
11 situation where a commander, meaning specifically Dragan Obrenovic was
13 A. According to my information, he was not absent; he was in the
14 brigade all that time.
15 Q. And he was in the brigade at all time and he was conducting the
16 function as a commander not only from the 10th through the 15th but for
17 any period in July when you were absent; wouldn't that be correct, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now let's talk about senior officer. I want to follow your logic
20 when a battalion soldier gets an order purportedly from a senior officer
21 and he has to comply with it. Are you telling this Court seriously, sir,
22 under oath that if someone from the corps, like the Sarajevo Romanija
23 Corps, would come in with the rank of a colonel, and let's not even talk
24 about a general like General Krstic who was in the Drina Corps, but
25 someone from the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, he can come into your brigade,
1 he can go to your battalion platoon, unit, and he can pluck out a soldier
2 and move him or direct him as to how he should engage into some
3 activities. Is that what you're telling us?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's a fine question. Could I ask Mr. Ostojic
6 to lower his tone a little bit. It's been a long time and it's hard to
7 listen to that volume. That's all.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, could you please --
9 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll try, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: I just don't want him to -- never mind.
12 Q. Can he do that, do you think, Mr. Pandurevic?
13 A. You have proposed an example which differs from the reality of
14 the time. Soldiers from the Zvornik Brigade or any other brigade for
15 that matter would act upon an order of a higher or senior officer from
16 the superior command if they know who that person was and if it is in the
17 presence of some officer from the Zvornik Brigade. We have already heard
18 that that was the case in Orahovac, Rocevic and Pilica as well.
19 Q. So tell me this, can someone from the corps, a colonel or a
20 general from the Sarajevo Romanija Corps come into the Zvornik Brigade
21 and move a battalion, a platoon, a unit or even a soldier and say, Well,
22 come out of the Zvornik Brigade and come and do this for me, like, help
23 me on the front-line where I'm fighting near Sarajevo. Do you think
24 that's prescribed by the rules anywhere, sir?
25 A. It is prescribed but let's not go all the way to Sarajevo, there
1 are events that took place closer. If that was needed by the Sarajevo
2 Romanija Corps, he would have asked for that from the Main Staff and then
3 the order would arrive at the Drina Corps and then at the brigade. We
4 had a very specific situation in which people came from the corps and the
5 Main Staff with an order, probably issued by the commander of the
6 Main Staff, and they got in touch by the functional line of work with the
7 people from the Zvornik Brigade. And that functional relationship became
8 the relationship that binding on both parties upon the request of the
9 people from the corps and the Main Staff.
10 Let me interpret that for you. Drago Nikolic was duty-bound to
11 act upon Popovic -- Popovic's and Beara's orders, and they were not from
12 the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and they did not ask for any men to be taken
13 from somewhere. They just asked for assistance to carry out the job that
14 was given to them, the job that they were given to do.
15 Q. And we'll get into specifically Mr. Beara because you seem to be
16 very anxious to discuss him, sir, but do you know that -- in fact what
17 would that do? You described earlier this unity of command, and if you
18 would have come in over the telephone on the 15th of July, 1995, when you
19 and Krstic were together, and you had this discussion where you saw these
20 three either reports or telegrams about the situation in Zvornik, the
21 question was asked to you: Well, did you instruct anyone or give any
22 orders to anyone? And you said, Gosh, no, that would go against the
23 unity of command, there would be chaos. Do you remember that?
24 A. I remember --
25 Q. Not only would it be chaos, it would be confusion and it would be
1 a total collapse of this unity of command, wouldn't it?
2 A. Well, such things happen in practice. It's a kind of dynamic
3 that aberrates from the rules. And if people came to the command of the
4 Zvornik Brigade and they didn't ask for the commander, either me or
5 somebody standing in for me, and they did not ask assistance from him in
6 manpower and everything else, this means that they had come to do
7 something that the commander at the time was not supposed to know
8 anything about. And I mentioned the 15 July intercept in which Mr. Beara
9 asked from Krstic to provide him with some assistance.
10 Q. You were there on the 15th, though. All the crimes that
11 Obrenovic admitted to with your troops on the 13th and 14th of Orahovac,
12 Petkovci and Pilici were over, weren't they? According to you, anyway?
14 A. On the 15th, I was travelling from the area of Zepa to Zvornik
15 and this is when your client asked for assistance from Krstic.
16 Q. And I dispute that, sir, and thankfully we'll get into it. Did
17 you read in preparation of your case Milos Tomovic's interview with the
18 Prosecution on the 17th of October, 2005?
19 A. I listened to that interview that was provided to the OTP, as
20 well as the statement that you took from him later in order to iron out
21 the previous statement that he provided to the OTP. At least that's how
22 I saw the things.
23 Q. You know who Milos Tomovic is; right?
24 A. No, I never saw him. I only understood from the documents that
25 he was Mr. Beara's driver.
1 Q. Thank you. You must have read in that interview that before the
2 Defence even got an opportunity to talk to Milos Tomovic, the
3 Prosecution, specifically Julian Nicholls and Bruce Bursik, conducted an
4 interview with him on the 17th of October, 2005?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Well, you said you reviewed it --
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. Let's look at that and that's 2D639, please.
9 A. I did listen to that interview but I don't remember when it took
10 place or who the interviewers were.
11 Q. Well, we'll show you right now. I think I mispronounced
12 Mr. Bursik's name. So for the record it's B-u-r-s-i-k. Thank you.
13 Here it says right on the first page who was there and you see on
14 the fifth line down, Bruce Bursik, and Julian Nicholls also introduces
15 himself, among others, the translator as well as the driver Milos
16 Tomovic, with the interview being conducted in Sarajevo. Is that the
17 interview you looked at?
18 A. I listened to the audio version of this interview, I did not see
19 the transcript thereof.
20 Q. Thank you. If we could turn to page 16 of this interview. It
21 would be towards the bottom, lines 23 through 32. Here is a driver of
22 Ljubisa Beara who is being interviewed by the Prosecution before ever
23 meeting with Mr. Beara's Defence attorneys and the Prosecution asks him:
24 "I just want to run through a few places or locations with you
25 and I want you to comment on whether you ever visited these places with
1 Colonel Beara."
2 Milos Tomovic answer: "No problem."
3 BB, who is the investigator Bruce Bursik, says: "And I'm
4 referring specifically to July 1995. The first place, Orahovac."
5 "A. No."
6 Next place, although he mispronounced it we believe that it
7 relates to Grbavica. He says: "Grbavski school," et cetera.
8 "A. No."
9 "The school in Petkovci." Again, the question is whether he
10 visited these places with Colonel Beara.
11 The answer is: "I don't know where that place is, I said."
12 Next, on the next page 17, lines 1 through 17, we'll be focussing
14 The investigator from the OTP continues to ask him:
15 "Did you visit any school in July 1995 with Colonel Beara?
16 "A. No.
17 "Q. Kozluk?
18 "A. I passed through Kozluk but I didn't visit it."
19 OTP investigator: "Okay. And did you stop at Rocevic?"
20 "A. No, we only went through Rocevic on the way to Bijeljina and
21 Banja Luka.
22 "Q. And Pilica?
23 "A. No, we passed through Pilica too, but that's also the way to
24 Bijeljina. Pilica, Rocevici and Bijeljina.
25 "Q. Farm, military farm in Branjevo?
1 "A. I don't know where that is.
2 "Q. It's just a little bit west of Pilica.
3 "A. No, I wasn't there. I just went through that road to
5 "Finally, Kula. The little village of Kula
6 "A. No."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Now do you also -- while you were reading or listening to the
10 audio of this tape, do you remember that the Prosecutor actually knew
11 that at that time that Ljubisa Beara in July of 1995 was in Belgrade
12 You are aware of that, aren't you?
13 A. No, I wasn't aware at the time. When I was listening to the
14 tape, I didn't think or reflected on what the OTP knew and what you claim
15 to be the truth. What I can conclude from the transcript is that this
16 gentleman was not at the places that are referred to herein. Whether
17 there was some other driver who may have taken Mr. Beara to these places,
18 I don't know. I don't even know that.
19 Q. And I know you don't because you are speculating and there was no
20 other driver that was driving Mr. Beara. But in any event, let's go to
21 see what the Prosecutor knew in 2005. Sometimes we can learn it from the
22 very questions they ask, so why don't we go to page 20 of 25 of this
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. If that's the purpose of his
25 questions, it's inappropriate and it's impossible to tell anyway.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
2 MR. HAYNES: I agree. I mean if this -- if the purpose of this
3 is simply to establish an alibi through a witness who has no reason to
4 know the truth of the questions or the answers in relation to a driver
5 who they, for reasons of their own, they chose not to call as a witness
6 who was interviewed in 2005, it's a completely improper line of
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: There's two things here. I take exception with
10 them speculating or concluding whether we chose not to call this driver.
11 We have put him on our list and I think, as you recall, we've asked him
12 to come. He has refused. He's now given a statement approximately 10 or
13 12 days ago that we've given to the Prosecution and to Mr. Pandurevic's
14 lawyer and to him. He's willing under certain circumstances that I would
15 like to address probably in private session to testify.
16 I think it's important -- if Mr. Pandurevic is going to continue
17 to claim his position or shift of responsibility to the security that
18 it's important to know some truth here and the position of the
19 Prosecution when they knew in October of 2005 that, in fact, Mr. Beara
20 was in Belgrade
21 JUDGE AGIUS: How on earth can you convince us that this is okay
22 to be done through this witness?
23 MR. OSTOJIC: He's read it. So I'd like to know -- he's read it,
24 he's prepared for it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: So what? He's already told you.
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Let me finish.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: He can't say anything.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I want this witness not only to say that Obrenovic,
4 Muminovic, Ristic and all the other witnesses are lying but him, I want
5 to see if he's going to add this witness to his list of people who are
6 liars. So all the other people that he's referenced I want to see if he
7 has any --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to your next question, Mr. Ostojic.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: I think it's important to put it on the screen,
10 Mr. President, it will take less than a minute.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, we are not allowing the question. We are
12 not allowing the question with this witness.
13 MR. OSTOJIC:
14 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, are you aware that Mr. Beara had only one driver
15 in July of 1995?
16 A. Mr. Ostojic, before that, I have to say this: I didn't say that
17 Mr. Lazar Ristic lied about anything relating to me, either
18 Mr. Sladojevic or him. You stick to your logic and try to misinterpret
19 things. I don't know how many drivers he said. If he wanted to get
20 involved in something like that, then it would have made sense for him to
21 take another driver, not the regular one.
22 Q. The driver says he was with him during the 15th and that period,
23 sir, but in any event --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in the realm of speculation. Perhaps here,
25 perhaps there. Imagination as well, so let's move to the --
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes.
2 Q. Let's look at your interview that you gave to the Prosecution on
3 the 2nd of October, 2001
4 time when you came with Mr. Zivanovic to meet with Eileen Gilleece;
6 A. Yes, I remember.
7 Q. And in that interview, I know your counsel went through several
8 paragraphs but what I'd like us to focus on is page 5 of 6 of that
9 interview and the notes that Ms. Gilleece took. And we've kind of now
10 captured your testimony to know that you had this meeting on the 15th at
11 the command post, then you had these meetings on the 15th at the IKM,
12 although it's not mentioned in this report, and then you told us about
13 these meetings on the 17th and 18th of July, 1995. You consider those
14 meetings to be important, do you not? Those with Obrenovic and the
15 conversations that you share with us, Jokic, Milosevic, et cetera?
16 A. Well, sir, during a trial, anything might turn out to be
17 important. At the time when I spoke about this, I didn't dwell too much
18 on every detail and didn't go through each and every meeting. I wanted
19 to portray a general picture for you.
20 Q. Well, you portrayed an alibi -- or you portrayed your Defence of
21 shifting the responsibility to the security organs. Looking on page 5
22 of 6, when you went through the chronology of the events, do you see
23 anywhere there mentioned that you had a conversation with any of the
24 individuals you now claim you've had on either the 16th, 17th or 18th of
25 July, 1995? And if not, why not?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
2 MR. HAYNES: The B/C/S and English pages do not correspond. If
3 Mr. Ostojic is referring to page 5 of the English, that will not be the
4 same information that is in front of the witness. Can he point the
5 witness to the paragraphs and the page he wants to ask him questions
6 about rather than throwing out a page and saying, Read that, when it's
7 not going to be the same information Mr. Ostojic is referring to.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Haynes. Yes, Mr --
9 MR. OSTOJIC: We'll try to accommodate him.
10 Q. If you look at the interview that you gave on page 5 which
11 starts, "On the 17th of July, Pandurevic, there was a report from
12 General Mladic ..." Then you take that next paragraph, again it mentions
13 the 17th. Then you talk about Mr. Muminovic. Then you talk about the
14 brigade, how many soldiers it had lost, the casualties in your brigade.
15 Then the last paragraph I'd like you to look at -- then you jump quickly
16 to the 22nd of July, 1995.
17 Do you see that basically?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. In that period of time talking to an investigator, after meeting
20 with all these individuals, knowing Obrenovic was just indicted and
21 arrested and transferred, having the Krstic trial judgement there, having
22 Zivanovic schedule a meeting with the Prosecution, wanting to kind of
23 tell them what you claim to be is the truth, why didn't you tell them
24 about the conversations that you purportedly had with Obrenovic and
25 others on the 16th, 17th and 18th of July, 1995?
1 A. Mr. Ostojic, I would never have gone to this meeting had it not
2 been initiated by Mr. Zivanovic. My intention was not to present to
3 anyone what I did in July 1995. However, since the meeting was convened,
4 I thought that it would be a good idea, relating to my activities in
5 1992, to tell them.
6 I told them a lot but a lot has not been recorded or was
7 erroneously recorded. You can see the mention here of various meetings
8 and contacts on the 16th and the 17th. The fact that not everything is
9 mentioned here, I explained in my examination-in-chief how these
10 conversations took place and how the minutes were taken.
11 Q. Well, it's not only mentioned here, it's not even mentioned in
12 your 65 ter summary with respect to purported conversations you had on
13 the 16th of July?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: Isn't that correct?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
17 MR. HAYNES: It's the previous question. Where is the
18 information that they had the Krstic trial judgement there? I just want
19 to know where that assertion comes from since it's been placed into the
20 transcript by Mr. Ostojic?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm not sure -- I didn't follow his question. Is
23 he saying that the Krstic trial judgement came after October 2001?
24 MR. HAYNES: No. The assertion appears in the question that they
25 had with them at the meeting the Krstic trial judgement. That's how it
2 MR. OSTOJIC: I think it may have been a misstatement if I said
3 it that way. Knowing about the Krstic trial judgement, I think is how
4 the initial questions last week were and certainly I don't think we have
5 established that he had the trial judgement of Krstic with him, but it
6 might be a good question to ask so I'll just ask it to put it away.
7 Q. Did you have the Krstic trial judgement during your meeting with
8 Ms. Gilleece and the OTP?
9 A. I already said that I read the Krstic trial judgement here in
10 The Hague
11 Q. Thank you. We had it just a little different.
12 Now let me go back to this meeting on the 15th at the command of
13 the Zvornik Brigade that you had with Obrenovic, Vasic, Stupar and
14 others. At that time, this was your first trip back from the Srebrenica
15 area. Did you guys ever, as military men, and people who are from that
16 local in Zvornik, did you discuss the victory that you had just attained
17 in Srebrenica?
18 A. I'm kindly asking you to try and understand the situation as it
19 was in the context of that time. I didn't return from Zepa to celebrate
20 with someone the victory of Srebrenica. I had my specific tasks and I
21 needed to receive information and details regarding my going out into the
22 field as soon as possible.
23 Q. So the answer is no, no one discussed that at all?
24 A. Of course we didn't discuss that.
25 Q. Did anyone congratulate you at all, sir, and the Zvornik Brigade
1 tactical group that went on that mission a couple days earlier, or was
2 there no mention of that either?
3 A. No, nobody congratulated me. If you look at the list of the
4 commended officers and soldiers of the Drina Corps in the aftermath of
5 Krivaja 95, there are only five names from the Zvornik Brigade whereas
6 the other -- the majority is not from my brigade and of course I was not
7 among them.
8 Q. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about these people who
9 are from the Zvornik area, knowing that you commanded the tactical group
10 and went to Srebrenica, they must have heard the news that Srebrenica was
11 liberated by the Serbs and the VRS. No one congratulated you at all,
12 that's your testimony; correct?
13 A. No, nobody did.
14 Q. Now, you talk about in your meeting with Eileen Gilleece certain
15 rumours that you heard on certain dates, and I know your counsel went
16 over that to correct some of those errors that she had made. Did you
17 ever hear the rumour about the killings at Kravica?
18 A. Not at that time.
19 Q. So at that meeting at the command on the 15th of July, no one
20 discussed or mentioned Kravica; correct?
21 A. No. While I was there, Kravica was not mentioned once in my
23 Q. When did you first hear about Kravica and the Kravica warehouse
25 A. I'm not quite sure when I received this information. It could
1 have been in late July or even later than that.
2 Q. Who did you hear it from?
3 A. I'm not quite sure whether that was mentioned in the conversation
4 with Krstic on the 27th of July when I met him or if I heard it later,
5 like many others.
6 Q. And tell us what you heard when you were with Krstic or -- to the
7 best of your recollection, about the Kravica killings. Or if you can't
8 remember, that's fine, we can move on to the next topic.
9 A. I'm telling you, I cannot provide you with any details because I
10 heard the details relating to Kravica here in these proceedings.
11 Q. Let's quickly take a look, sir, at Exhibit P77.
12 Sir, I'm going to direct your attention to the first full
13 paragraph but, really, initially just the first full sentence of that
14 paragraph. Where it starts:
15 "During the night of 12-13 July 1995," do you see that?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Just let me know when you've read that first sentence.
18 Were ambushes set up in the general Konjevic Polje area by any
19 members of the Zvornik Brigade?
20 A. As regards the activities of any forces in the area of Konjevic
21 Polje on the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th in the morning, I knew nothing at
22 the time. All I learned about that took place here in this trial.
23 Q. Okay. But do you know if any members, even though you weren't
24 there, did you come to learn that there were members of the Zvornik
25 Brigade who were involved in ambushes that were set up in the general
1 Konjevic Polje area or do you think that they never were involved in it?
2 A. No, I don't think that anyone from the Zvornik Brigade took part
3 in setting up ambushes. I also read a report, I think it was dated the
4 12th, which Obrenovic says that he had dispatched a police patrol in
5 order to regulate traffic.
6 Q. So he was in charge of traffic.
7 Let's look at P886 and as this comes up, sir, this is also from
8 the 13th of July, 1995. You've seen this document, I'm sure, here during
9 the trial. It's relatively short so you read it and then let me know
10 when you've had an opportunity to complete your review of the document.
11 A. I've read it.
12 Q. This is a document that seems to be authored by Dragomir Vasic.
13 He references a meeting with General Mladic in the morning which he says
14 "this morning" so I'm presuming it's the morning of the 13th of July,
15 1995. Now, your morning -- your meeting with General Mladic and Krstic
16 happened, I think, and correct me if I am wrong, sir, happened on the
17 11th of July, 1995; correct?
18 A. That was the meeting that took place on the evening of the 11th
19 at the command of the Bratunac Brigade.
20 Q. At 2000 hours or so, as you say infamously, right? I just wanted
21 to clarify that?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. You were not at this meeting that Vasic had on
24 the 13th of July with General Mladic in the morning; correct?
25 A. No, I know nothing about this meeting.
1 Q. Well, are you aware of this order by General Mladic to
2 Dragomir Vasic that they were leaving all work to the MUP and then he
3 breaks out what that work is? Are you aware of that?
4 A. No.
5 Q. As you sit here, is there any reason that you can think of that
6 Dragomir Vasic would lie about both the meeting with General Mladic and
7 the tasks that he highlights General Mladic gave the MUP in July 13th,
9 A. I cannot fathom as to what was driving Vasic when he was
10 compiling this report and whether he faithfully conveyed the orders given
11 by Mladic. However, judging by how it looks, I very much doubt that this
12 could be Vasic's doing solely.
13 Q. What, writing this short report or engaging in the tasks that
14 were assigned?
15 A. To carry out the tasks mentioned in this report.
16 Q. Now, if we look at P62, which is another document from Vasic,
17 dated the 13th of July, 1995. In this report, in the second paragraph,
18 Vasic is basically complaining that he has no cooperation or assistance
19 from the VRS in sealing off and destroying a large of number of enemy
20 soldiers and that the MUP is working alone in the operation; do you see
22 A. Yes, I see apparently there was no coordination between the MUP
23 and the army, or this is how Vasic perceived it. These are his words and
24 his observations.
25 Q. You knew the man; you probably still know the man. You wanted to
1 appoint him the commander or assistant commander for morale, legal and
2 religious services of the 6th Battalion. Do you know of any reason why
3 he would lie when he would make such a report like this, as you sit here?
4 A. I have no reason to think that he lied or any reason to believe
5 that everything was 100 per cent accurate. I wanted to appoint him to
6 this position for morale and legal and religious matters because he had a
7 university degree which was quite a rarity at the time.
8 Q. Let's look at P60 --
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, I thought we started a few minutes late so I
10 thought I would go a few minutes longer, but if the Court wishes. It's
11 up to you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: How much longer do you have?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Not much at all. I think -- I'm going to consult
14 with Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Beara --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Then let's have the break.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. 25 minutes.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.49 a.m.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. We have no further
22 questions for Mr. Pandurevic.
23 Thank you, sir.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you so much, Mr. Ostojic.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Ostojic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Zivanovic is ready, Mr. Ostojic is ready,
2 Mr. Bourgon is ready, Ms. Fauveau -- there is nothing, no? Okay. So,
3 Mr. Krgovic.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: We don't have questions, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So you have your hour or so, Mr. Gosnell. Thank
7 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President, I hope it will be
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Take your time. And that is also an indication
10 that you will be starting your cross-examination today. Thank you.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Before we
12 begin, I'd like to introduce a new member of our team who will be
13 assisting us, Mr. William Byrne, who is sitting in the front row next to
14 Ms. Tapuskovic.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
17 Q. Good morning, General Pandurevic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. General, you testified that you met Ljubomir Borovcanin for the
20 first time at around noon
21 barracks; is that right?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Gosnell, I don't know, if you prefer -- I don't
23 know, it may be a futile suggestion, but if you prefer to move to the
24 front so that you would be nearer the witness and have Mr. Byrne next to
25 you, it will only take a couple of minutes.
1 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I believe that Mr. Byrne and I are well
2 coordinated but if it's more convenient for the Chamber to have a clearer
3 sign -- line of sight to me, I'm happy to move up to the front.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The reason is that there is already the problem of
5 distance between defence counsel and the accused and having your new
6 associate sitting at seven yards away from you may become a problem. I
7 don't know. It's up to you.
8 MR. GOSNELL: Well, Mr. President, I think we're comfortable
9 where we are --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Then let's proceed.
11 MR. GOSNELL: -- provided that you're comfortable with where I
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. No, no, I am, of course, comfortable with
14 where you are. I can see you at least. If Mr. Byrne sits near you, I
15 won't be able to see him. You are most welcome, Mr. Byrne.
16 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
17 Q. General Pandurevic, let me just repeat my question. You
18 testified that you met Ljubomir Borovcanin for the first time at around
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you've testified that Mr. Borovcanin's units were deployed to
22 block the column of the 28th Division in the area of Baljkovica on
23 15 July and that they remained there, to the best of your recollection,
24 until the 18th of July.
25 MR. GOSNELL: And for the record that's at T3 -- the transcript
1 is 31158, lines 21 to 24, and 31814, lines 9 to 13.
2 Q. What I'd like to ask you is: Do you remember seeing
3 Mr. Borovcanin with his units in the Baljkovica area during those four
4 days between 15 and 18 July?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And as far as you know, Mr. Borovcanin was occupied commanding
7 his units in that area during those four days; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes, and he was subordinated to me and we maintained a
10 Q. And after the 18th of July, 1995, when did you next meet
11 Mr. Borovcanin?
12 A. I'm not quite sure, but it was maybe a year after the war.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, I'd like to come back briefly to the meeting at
14 the Zvornik barracks on the 15th of July. You were asked a number of
15 questions about that meeting. Was -- I'd like to ask you your
16 impressions of the meeting. Was there a sense of urgency during that
18 A. Of course the meeting was set up and held for a very short period
19 of time, already was there the moment I arrived and I added to the
20 urgency of the meeting after the speech given by Dragan Obrenovic. At
21 that point in time, I wasn't ready to go into a lengthy discussion about
22 the situation. My wish was to go to the field as soon as possible.
23 Q. And about how long did the meeting last after your arrival until
24 the time that you dispersed?
25 A. I believe approximately 20 minutes, give or take one or two
1 minutes. I am not sure.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. You were asked some questions earlier
3 today about your motivations for allowing the passage of the column.
4 What I'd like to ask you is when the column was ultimately allowed to
5 pass through the VRS lines, would I understand correctly that regardless
6 of what your motivations may have been, there was no guarantee of safe
7 passage of those men other than your promise to Semso Muminovic; is that
9 A. Yes. Mr. Muminovic only had my word, nothing else.
10 Q. You've also testified that sometime after the 18th of July,
11 PJP units from the Zvornik CJB under the command of Dragomir Vasic were
12 involved in searching the terrain.
13 MR. GOSNELL: Could we please have 4D652 on e-court.
14 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, I've noticed over the course of the last several
15 days that you like to have documents in hard copy so I've provided you
16 with a lovely purple binder which is on your desk which contains each of
17 these exhibits that I will be using today in B/C/S. And so I hope that
18 the first document you have is 4D652. This is an order from
19 Dragomir Vasic as the commander of the Zvornik CJB staff. It's dated
20 19 July and it's addressed to various police stations, the Bratunac,
21 Milici, Vlasenica, and Sekovici SJBs, and several other police stations.
22 It reads:
23 "Based on the demonstrated need, the commander of the Zvornik
24 Public Security Centre Staff hereby orders:
25 "1. That this centre's first PJP company assemble at the Zvornik
1 CJB at 0730 hours on 20 July 1995
2 I believe we may need to go to page 2 of the B/C/S in order for
3 the remainder of that to appear.
4 Just to clarify the interpretation, the word in the document is
5 "assemble" at point 1.
6 Now, given the nature of the addressees, namely these various
7 police stations from which the members of the first PJP company were
8 drawn, and given the use of the word "assemble," would you agree with me
9 that this order appears to be calling back members of the first PJP
10 company who have dispersed to their respective police stations?
11 A. As far as I can remember, the first company of the PJP from the
12 CJB Zvornik was at the time subordinated to Mr. Borovcanin while they
13 were participating in combat in Baljkovica. It arises from this document
14 that this company, after the 18th, was sent home and that Vasic ordered
15 its reassembly to be engaged in the scouring of the terrain.
16 Q. And then at item 2, item 2 would seem to confirm what you just
17 answered; namely, the task of the unit will be to search the terrain in
18 the wider area of Crni Vrh, Snagovo, Zvornik.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I take it you'd agree with me that that confirms your
21 testimony as to their task; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes. It says here scouring the terrain or search of the terrain.
23 Q. Thank you, General. Now I'd like to shift gears and return to
24 early July 1995 and ask you a series of questions about your knowledge of
25 Bosnian forces in the Srebrenica enclave.
1 Now, you've testified that your axis of attack was along the
2 southern approaches to Srebrenica town, but I'd like to start -- and
3 we'll get to that, but I'd like to start by asking you some questions
4 about what you know about Bosnian forces in the northern end of the
6 I'd like to start by asking you about one aspect of your
7 testimony where you said that you had participated in a commander's
8 reconnaissance on the 1st of July and you made reference to having
9 visited three working points. I was wondering whether you can explain to
10 the Chamber what is a "working point" and how does that fit into a
11 commander's reconnaissance?
12 A. A commander's reconnaissance is a manner to convey the
13 commander's order to the subordinated units in the field. A commander's
14 reconnaissance usually happens before a decision by the commander is
15 taken or after a decision by the commander is taken. If it's after, then
16 a commander's reconnaissance can serve to correct certain details.
17 Before embarking on reconnaissance, there has to be a plan of
18 reconnaissance and the points from which one could observe the positions
19 and the deployment of the enemy.
20 During such a reconnaissance, the organs of the command which are
21 engaged in combat have to be present as well as the commanders of the
22 subordinated units.
23 On the 1st of July, we carried out such a reconnaissance from two
24 working points, i.e., from three positions from which one could see the
25 southern approaches to the zone of Srebrenica, the eastern approaches and
1 the western approaches to Srebrenica. We did not carry out any
2 reconnaissance from the northern approaches because the Bratunac Brigade
3 was engaged on that axis and they were very familiar with the deployment
4 of the enemy in that part of the field.
5 Q. And do I understand correctly that you were given information by
6 elements of the Bratunac Brigade as to what those positions were?
7 A. In practical terms from the moment Srebrenica was proclaimed a
8 protected area, the Army of Republika Srpska knew fully well the
9 deployment of the 28th Division forces. From the southern and western
10 approaches to the enclave, we received such information from the
11 Pribicevac tactical group and Colonel Vukota. As for the western axis,
12 we received information from the Milici [Realtime transcript read in
13 error "military"] brigade; and as for the rest of the zone, the
14 information came from the Bratunac Brigade.
15 Q. I think there might be a transcription error. It reads at
16 page 44, line 7, "military brigade." I believe I heard "Milici brigade."
17 A. Yes, Milici.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
19 MR. GOSNELL:
20 Q. Did you learn whether there were any fortified positions in the
21 Srebrenica enclave?
22 A. There were fortified shelters for artillery in the front-line of
23 defence and there are also trenches in certain houses, some of which were
24 complete and some of which were partly destroyed, housed the elements of
25 the commands of certain brigades of the 28th Division.
1 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 4D210 on e-court, please.
2 Q. Now, you've just mentioned that there were commands of certain
3 brigades. Do I understand you correctly to say that these commands were
4 located in residential houses?
5 A. Yes, in different types of facilities, residential houses,
6 industrial facilities, it all depended on the deployment of the various
8 Q. I'd like to focus, if we can, on item B on the first page in
9 English and in B/C/S, I believe, where it reads:
10 "Set up the 280th" --
11 Well, allow me to go back and introduce what this document is.
12 This is the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Armed Forces Supreme Command
13 Staff Sarajevo
14 Siber, who is said to be standing in for the commander. The subject line
15 of the document is: "Order on organisational changes - forming war units
16 in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Corps."
17 Focussing on the paragraph beginning with B, it says:
18 "Set up the 280th Light Eastern Bosnia Brigade with headquarters
19 in Potocari as per provisional light brigade establishment T-412.240."
20 I'd first of all just like to ask you, did you hear the
21 designation 280th Brigade during your reconnaissance, did you hear of
22 this unit?
23 A. Yes, we were shown the exact deployment positions of each brigade
24 and this included the 280th.
25 Q. So did you know or learn that the headquarters of the
1 280th Brigade was in fact in Potocari?
2 A. Yes, as far as I can remember, Colonel Blagojevic pointed to the
3 deployment of the forces on the map and those forces came from the north,
4 from the direction of Bratunac. The command of that brigade was indeed
5 in Potocari but I can't remember the exact location.
6 MR. GOSNELL: With the Chamber's permission, I would like now to
7 play an excerpt of a video and this video is a -- in effect it's a video
8 of a series of Google Earth images, and the purpose of this is to assist
9 the witness in potentially identifying some of these locations. So if we
10 can I would like to play the video up to 56 seconds, please.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 MR. GOSNELL: All right. Let's stop it there, please.
13 Now, just to explain, this is Google Earth imagery with a map
14 over land on to the imagery so what are you seeing in effect is the map
15 with the topographical lines graphically displayed.
16 Q. General --
17 MR. GOSNELL: And I should tell the Chamber that this is 4D682
18 and it has been disclosed, I believe, to all parties.
19 Q. General, first of all, does that video, at least what you've seen
20 so far, accurately reflect the terrain as you saw it back in July 1995?
21 A. Well, during my education, when I had military topography as a
22 subject, some of my education concerned aerial photography. I was not an
23 expert and this is obviously the state-of-the-art technology, much
24 different from the one that we had at the time, but I would say that this
25 clearly depicts the area of Potocari and the topographical elevations
1 across which the 280th Brigade was deployed.
2 MR. GOSNELL: Can we have the image back up on the screen as its
4 Q. I don't think there will be any disagreement about this amongst
5 the parties but is that sprawling factory complex the DutchBat compound
6 in Potocari, at least the rust-coloured building to the north?
7 A. I believe that these are the factories in Potocari which housed
8 the base of the Dutch Battalion.
9 Q. And do you see the name Budak written there on the screen?
10 A. Yes, I see that.
11 Q. And does that correspond to where you understood the village of
12 Budak to have been in 1995, in July?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And would you agree with me that, although unfortunately the ICTY
15 logo is blocking out the compass direction, at least on my screen, that
16 in fact this image is pointing directly north. Would you agree with me
17 that Budak is north-west of the DutchBat base in Potocari?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. GOSNELL: Could we continue with the video through 1 minute
20 25 seconds, please.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 We can stop it there, please.
23 Could we now have 4D135. Just for the record, the video is still
24 is based on Google Earth imagery and the map overlay has been faded out.
25 Can we now have 4D135, please.
1 Q. Now this is a Bosnia Ministry of Defence document, in particular
2 issued by the Department of Defence office in Srebrenica, dated
3 22 February 1995
4 is said to be the chief of the Defence Department in Srebrenica.
5 I'd just like you to focus on section 2, item 1, which is on
6 page 1 of both the English and the B/C/S, where it says:
7 "Family house owned by Meho Hrvacic in Potocari, 10 by 8 metres
8 in size, where the entire ground floor houses the command."
9 A. I can see that, yes.
10 Q. Do you remember specifically whether you were ever told or
11 learned precisely where the command of the 280th Brigade was located?
12 A. I can't remember exactly which house was shown to me at the time,
13 but it was a residential house there. I was not familiar with any of the
14 villagers, I wasn't familiar with the family names of the people in that
15 area. It says here that the house belonged to Meho Hrvacic.
16 Q. Do you recall if you were ever told how far this location may
17 have been from the DutchBat compound in general terms?
18 A. In general terms, I know that the forces of the 280th Brigade
19 were deployed like elsewhere, very close to the base in the surrounding
20 facilities, but as I sit here today, I can't remember where this
21 particular house was exactly.
22 MR. GOSNELL: May we have 4D635 [sic] on e-court, please.
23 Q. General, I also believe you have this in your binder. We only
24 have this document in B/C/S. We recently obtained this document. It's a
25 land registry record of various properties in Srebrenica and Potocari.
1 Sir, if you could turn to page 7 --
2 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry. Could counsel confirm the exhibit number,
4 MR. GOSNELL: I hope that it's 4D653. We're looking at page 7.
5 Q. Sir, do you see the name Meho Hrvacic anywhere on that page?
6 A. Yes, I do. It says the property deed excerpt and it's -- it
7 shows a date of the -- of the owner of the plot and it says here,
8 Meho Hrvacic, son of Abdulah, owner.
9 Q. Thank you. Now let's just turn the page or go to the next page
10 and this is a sketch which shows the location of the Hrvacic house and
11 there are grid coordinates on this sketch. You don't by any chance
12 recognise or this sketch doesn't by any chance assist you in knowing
13 where that house might have been, does it?
14 A. I'm afraid my memory is not jogged in any way by this sketch; I
15 can't tell you where the house was.
16 Q. I'd now like to show you another video and this video shows the
17 location of the Hrvacic house based upon the grid coordinates provided in
18 the land registry.
19 MR. GOSNELL: If we can play it to 15 seconds, please. For the
20 record, that video is 4D683.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. GOSNELL:
23 Q. Now, General, having seen that image zooming in and relative to
24 the DutchBat base, I wonder whether that location is consistent with what
25 you may have learned about the location of the 280th Brigade
2 A. This is a rather dark image so that all the houses resemble each
3 other in a way. And I wouldn't dare attempt to say which house belonged
4 to the gentleman in question. However, according to this image, and to
5 the excerpt from the land books, it is close to the base.
6 Q. Well, fair enough, General. But does the general location, in a
7 northerly direction from the DutchBat base, approximately two fields to
8 the north, would that correspond generally with what you learned of the
9 location of the headquarters?
10 A. I remember that that command was relatively close to the
11 separation line, maybe midway between the UNPROFOR base and the
12 front-line itself.
13 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, General.
14 Can we now have P107, please.
15 Q. This is also in your binder, General, and this is --
16 A. I found it, yes.
17 Q. This is the Drina Corps order for combat, active combat
18 operations dated 2 July 1995
19 next to the first dash in B/C/S, as I understand it, it says, in
20 describing the 280th Brigade which is blocking the Potocari-Srebrenica
21 axis, and is in readiness for active operations against Bratunac and the
22 cutting of the Bratunac-Glogova-Konjevic Polje road. And then it says:
23 "Its command post is in the village of Budak
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you learn whether there was a command post distinct from the
1 headquarters that was in the village of Budak
2 A. I believe that that house housed the command and it was the place
3 that housed the command. However, the activities involved in command
4 took place in this facility in Budak.
5 Q. All right. And this is the same Budak that we were looking at on
6 the image as we were scrolling through the video; isn't that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask you some questions
9 about the positions of the 28th Division in Srebrenica town itself.
10 MR. GOSNELL: And if we can continue with the first video from
11 where we left off and we're going to play until 2 minutes and 43 seconds.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 MR. GOSNELL: Let's stop it there, please.
14 Q. Now, General, you've described in your testimony in some detail
15 about the combat that occurred between the 6th and the 10th of July, the
16 Zivkovo Brdo, other locations. I don't wish to go over all of that again
17 but let me first ask you does that video fairly and accurately reflect
18 the terrain as you knew it in the southern end of Srebrenica in
19 July 1995?
20 A. Yes, although it seems that the sky was overcast when the picture
21 was taken, we can see the factory in Zeleni Jadar, we can see the Zeleni
22 Jadar-Srebrenica road and the facilities of Rajine.
23 Q. And can I focus your attention on the screen at the hair-pin
24 turn, you see there a road that winds down to the valley floor in a
25 series of curves. And then the last turn is a 180-degree turn into the
2 Can you confirm that this -- and I can tell you that north is as
3 marked on the video so you can see the north-south axis there. Can you
4 confirm that that last curve is the southern limit of the urban area of
6 A. Yes. That was the first and the last time that I entered
7 Srebrenica from that direction. I was surprised to see how steep the
8 approaches are, how curvy the road is, and this specific curve which is
9 almost 360 degrees marks the age of the urban and developed part of the
11 MR. GOSNELL: Let's continue now rolling the tape through 4
12 minutes and 5 seconds. And just for the record, again, this is 4D682.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 MR. GOSNELL: Actually let's just stop it here for one moment,
16 Q. Now, I realise that you only spent a very short time in
17 Srebrenica town, but does the layout of the town, the road layout
18 correspond to your recollection of what that was like in July 1995?
19 A. I remember clearly the main street, the department store, and the
20 Hotel Domavija. I have seen those buildings, I passed by them, I also
21 know where the police station is because I spent a night there. I wasn't
22 very much impressed by the rest of the buildings and therefore I cannot
23 remember them. And I also remember the post office, I'm sorry.
24 MR. GOSNELL: All right. Let's continue rolling the video,
1 [Video-clip played]
2 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you.
3 Q. Now, first of all, General, I'd just like to go back to the
4 commander's reconnaissance and you've told us a little bit about the
5 commander's reconnaissance and your observations and your ability to
6 observe. And what I'd like to know is whether you learned that there
7 were Bosnian army positions in Srebrenica town during the commander's
9 A. We knew that the command of the 28th Division was in Srebrenica.
10 We had information that they were using the post office as their
11 communications centre and that they were also using the Domavija Hotel.
12 Also a hunter's lodge was being mentioned, but I don't know exactly where
13 that building is.
14 Q. All right. And did you learn more as your forces approached
15 Srebrenica town? And we've now seen from the video, graphically, how
16 that would have looked and the extent to which those forces would have
17 had a view on the town and vice versa. Did you come to learn from
18 reports or based on your personal observations about whether there were
19 any facilities being used for military purposes in the town?
20 A. We knew that the Hotel Domavija, the post office and the hunter's
21 lodge were used for military purposes. Whether there were any other
22 facilities used for these same purposes, I didn't know at that time.
23 Q. Did you receive any reports of firing emanating from anywhere in
24 Srebrenica town?
25 A. Yes, we were exposed to mortar fire directly from the town;
1 however, at the time I didn't know their exact positions because it was
2 impossible to spot them from the posts or the positions where I was.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 4D210, please, again.
4 Q. This one is still in your binder, General.
5 MR. GOSNELL: This should be page 2 of both the English and the
6 B/C/S version, and we're looking for items D, E, and F.
7 Q. What I'd like to know is did you hear that the commands of the
8 282nd, 283rd, and 284th Brigades were located in Srebrenica town?
9 A. This document that we are talking about now relates to
10 mobilisation and reorganisation of the 28th Division; and here, elements
11 of the 282 and 283 brigades are mentioned and they have their bases in
12 Srebrenica. In other words, that means that elements of these brigades
13 were deployed in the town itself, probably at command posts or the
14 logistic units and communications centre whereas the battalions and
15 companies were deployed close to the UNPROFOR checkpoints on the
16 Zeleni-Jadar-Srebrenica axis.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 4D135 again, please. This is page 1
18 of both the English and the B/C/S. And I'd like to focus on section 1,
19 item 1. It states that:
20 "The command of the 8th Operations Group Srebrenica" -- well, let
21 me back up and explain what this document is again. This is again the
22 defence ministry document, and the subject line is: "List of office
23 space used by the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
24 Item 1, 1, refers to the command of the 8th Operations Group
25 Srebrenica located at a place called Lovac feature, Stari Grad,
2 Does that mean anything to you?
3 A. At the time, I understood that to be a hunter's lodge but since
4 they say Lovac here, I suppose it's the same building where the command
5 of the 8th OG was, whereas in July 1995 that was actually the
6 28th Division.
7 MR. GOSNELL: Can we have 4D671, please. For those of you who
8 have the benefit of the trial books that we have just distributed, this
9 is image number 18, and the title of it is: "Google Earth image
10 Srebrenica town zoomed on the southern end."
11 Q. Looking at this image, can you locate on this image the location
12 of the hunting lodge that you're referring to?
13 A. I'm not quite sure where this building called Lovac is. In
14 addition to that, all I can say is that it was in town. I'd rather not
15 guess by looking at this image; however, it might be or it must be within
16 the reach of main roads.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have the assistance of the usher, please,
18 I would like to have an image placed on the ELMO.
19 Q. Sir, does that refresh your recollection as to where the hunting
20 lodge was located? Was it located where the circle is drawn?
21 A. Well, now it's becoming obvious, I think, that that's it.
22 Q. Well, I suppose I should ask you now that you've seen the
23 marking, does that remind you that that's where it was?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. GOSNELL: We can remove that from the ELMO. Could we have
1 4D8, please.
2 Q. This is an unsigned report by the State Security Service of the
3 Bosnian Ministry of the Interior, it's dated the 28th of August, 1995
4 and in effect, this appears to be a post mortem on the fall of
6 A. Yes, that's how it looks like to me as well.
7 Q. There is a heading which says: "Continued description of
8 negotiations," and then below that, it says: "The division command was
9 in the old town sector and the hunting lodge. On the last day,
10 11 July 1995
11 under constant fire from the Chetniks."
12 Now, sir, my question is do you have any -- now that you've seen
13 this, do you have any independent recollection about whether you received
14 reports of combat going on around this facility?
15 A. No, I don't remember any specific report indicating that units
16 fired at this facility, at least my units didn't. Whether those were
17 units from the Bratunac Brigade or the support units for the corps, that
18 is quite possible.
19 MR. GOSNELL: All right. Can we have 4D135 now again. I'd like
20 to go to page 2 of the English; and on the B/C/S, it's just at the very
21 bottom of page 1, going over to page 2. It's item 4, number 1.
22 Referring to the 282nd Brigade, it says -- this again is the listing of
23 office space used by various units, and it says:
24 "Domavija Hotel, Srebrenica, used by the 282nd Brigade, the area
25 covers 427 square metres; purpose, office space of the brigade command
1 depot, kitchen and training hall."
2 Now, perhaps we could just put 4D670 back up on the screen,
3 please, if it's not still there. This should be image 17 in your books.
4 Q. Now, by any chance can you make out the location of the
5 Hotel Domavija on this image?
6 A. All I know is that Hotel Domavija from this sharp curve that we
7 already mentioned is more to the east or somewhat to the south as well.
8 It's just beneath the slopes where some mineral springs are. However, in
9 this map, it could be here in the upper right-hand corner or even --
10 well, I'm not quite sure.
11 I was near the hotel in Srebrenica when we entered, but I really
12 can't find my bearings with this image.
13 Q. In any event, sir, the hotel is on this image; isn't that right?
14 A. Since you are showing it to me, it's possible and I'm sure that
15 it is. However, at that time, I didn't have a bird's view of the city or
16 the town so that I know exactly which building is. If I were to go to
17 Srebrenica, I would be able to locate Hotel Domavija immediately.
18 It is possible that it's within this complex just below the
19 forest area, because I remember the forest quite clearly.
20 Q. Thank you, sir, that's very helpful, and I'm grateful for your
21 patience because I understand that you did not have a bird's eye view in
22 July 1995.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Now I'd like to go back to 4D135 for one last
24 location. This will be English page 2 and B/C/S page 2. And it's
25 item 6.
1 Q. Referring to the 284th Brigade, it says: "Directorate of the
2 Radnik GP Construction Company Srebrenica. Total area of the
3 284th Brigade is 187 square metres. The feature is used for the command
4 of the 284th."
5 Does the Radnik -- does that name Radnik GP Construction Company
6 mean anything to you?
7 A. I cannot remember now where this building is.
8 Q. Sir, if I were to put it to you that that is the same location as
9 the shopping centre, would that mean anything to you?
10 A. Yes, I know where the department store used to be and where it
11 probably still is. It's in downtown on the main street.
12 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much. We're done with the video and
13 the images for the moment.
14 Q. Sir, during your testimony, you were asked about a mobilisation
15 order --
16 MR. GOSNELL: And that was 1D698. If we could have that put up
17 on the screen, please.
18 Q. As I understand it, this is the mobilisation order for -- from
19 the Drina Corps command, dated the 15th of July. This is a mobilisation
20 of non-assigned conscripts and it's a request -- I'm sorry. It's not an
21 order, it's a request.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now I'd like to -- sir, if you could just take that request out
24 of your binder, please.
25 MR. GOSNELL: And on e-court I would like to have 4D650, please.
1 Q. 1D698 is a request in respect of the Zvornik area --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. This is clearly an order.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Well, I was just reading from the document.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: When you get to the end and General Krstic tells
5 somebody to do something, I think it's pretty clear what it is.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed. I think you've both made things
7 clear and I think we know what we're talking about here.
8 Go straight to your question, please.
9 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: If you wish to refer to any particular part of this
11 document, please do so straight away.
12 MR. GOSNELL:
13 Q. Now, sir, looking at 4D650, whether it be characterised as an
14 order or a request, 4D650 is a request or order in respect of various
15 other municipalities, namely, Vlasenica, Milici, Skelani, Bratunac, and
16 Sekovici. Are these two, when you compare these documents, are they in
17 the same form?
18 A. Both documents have the same purpose, they were signed - if I can
19 read it - Assistant Chief of Staff for organisation and mobilisation of
20 the Drina Corps command, Lieutenant-Colonel Jovicic. And in the heading,
21 he properly said "request." The document which refers to the conscripts
22 in the area of Zvornik is fully in compliance with the legal processes.
23 And the other one that we see on the screen now contains some terms that
24 can be interpreted as orders, and this is not the way to address draft
25 offices. However, since this document was also forwarded to the
1 brigades, Mr. Jovicic decided to use these terms that are stronger and
2 then can sound as an order.
3 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you very
4 much, General.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. You're welcome.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 Do you prefer to have the break now, Mr. McCloskey or do you wish
8 to start straight away?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: We can get started and I can probably just deal
10 with the some of the Borovcanin issues since we can remember those.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So let's start. Your estimate is still
12 of around 20 hours.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll have a better idea at the end of the day. I
14 hope it's less than that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I hope very much that it's less than that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I'd
21 like to say something before Mr. McCloskey takes to the floor.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Before all the Defence
24 teams started their cross-examinations, I had a list of exhibits that are
25 going to be used and therefore I would be obliged if Mr. McCloskey could
1 provide me with a similar list because I would like to know in advance
2 what lies ahead of me.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey, I suppose you have made that list
4 available to Mr. Haynes already?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And -- but that doesn't necessarily mean that the
7 witness has a copy of it. We have a copy of it. So --
8 MR. HAYNES: Well, you'll know it came through a few minutes ago.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. HAYNES: And General Pandurevic is quite correct, we were
11 having some debate as to what the current state of practice was because
12 your original order, in fact, states that lists should be served the
13 minute the witness takes the witness stand, but it's sort of fallen into
14 abeyance. Everybody else provided me with advanced copies, by which I
15 mean days in advance of their cross-examination. The Prosecution list
16 has just come through. Perhaps we can take the break and he can see the
17 list now; and if it is such as he would like to consider it longer before
18 the cross-examination starts, I'll let you know after the break.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MR. HAYNES: I think it runs to 20-odd pages.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: The rule, as we have always understood it, was
23 that the list is sent out at the start of cross-examination. So I don't
24 know where this is coming from. That's the rule we're going on. If the
25 General wants to see the battle plan before the battle, no objection. I
1 think that's consistent with your previous ruling.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break now. Thank you.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
7 MR. HAYNES: Thank you. Well, as you would expect us to do, we
8 have got together to see how best we can proceed without any risk of
9 losing any court time. However, I feel I must say something historical
10 about all this because I was rather surprised to hear Mr. McCloskey say
11 in answer to Mr. Pandurevic's request that he didn't know where this
12 coming from. And for his benefit, where it was coming from was the
13 Trial Chamber's order of the 26th of May, chapter 3 of which reads:
14 "Lists of documents or other material to be used by the
15 Prosecution and the other Defence teams when cross-examining a Defence
16 witness must be disclosed to the Defence calling the witness at the
17 commencement of the examination-in-chief of that witness after the
18 witness has made the solemn declaration pursuant to Rule 90(a) of the
20 "H: Concurrently the Prosecution and the other Defence teams
21 must release to the Defence team calling the witness via the e-court
22 system any documents or other material not already in the possession of
23 the Defence team calling the witness that form part of the lists of the
24 documents or material to be used during cross-examination."
25 I pause there. There are therefore two obligations, mandatory
1 obligations. One, to serve a list; the other to disclose. They are
2 separate and divisible in my view.
3 "I: Should the Prosecution or the other Defence teams seek to
4 use a document or material during cross-examination that has not been
5 listed and disclosed, they may be permitted to do so on sharing good
6 cause for not listing it and disclosing it." I pause again.
7 On the face of it, the however many, 400-and-odd documents on
8 this list would need to have your leave to be used at this point in time.
9 "J: In such a case and if the need arises, the Defence team
10 calling the witness may then request a short adjournment of the
11 proceedings to examine the said document or material."
12 Now, it's none of my business here to cause anybody embarrassment
13 but I have raised the contents of this order with everybody here prior to
14 my client going into the witness box and the response from the Defence
15 teams has been voluntarily to disclose their list of documents well in
16 advance. The practice heretofore, frankly, I don't care about. My
17 client is the only accused who has gone into the witness box, and as an
18 accused, as per your more recent order, he stands in a very different
19 position to any other witness in the case. He's entitled to know, in my
20 submission, all the material upon which the Prosecution rely and that
21 includes all material which they might use in his cross-examination.
22 The list which has just been served, I haven't counted them, runs
23 to 23 pages and I'm guessing something approaching 500 documents. 183 of
24 them are entirely new to this case. They've never appeared on a 65 ter
25 list or any list of exhibits before, and in my submission, Mr. Pandurevic
1 is entitled to see those documents and all the documents that might be
2 used in the case against him.
3 However, as I said, I have no wish to cause a hiatus in
4 proceedings and I've spoken to Mr. McCloskey and the mode of procedure, I
5 think we can agree upon, is that he can get started with his
6 cross-examination, he can deal with what he terms the Borovcanin issues,
7 and we will suck it and see thereafter; but I've made it plain I would
8 prefer it if during the course of the remainder of today, no new document
9 were used in cross-examination. And on that basis, I think we can
10 probably fill the day's proceedings without my needing to ask you simply
11 to adjourn so that General Pandurevic can see all of these new documents
12 that have been placed upon this list at this moment in time.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Do you agree,
14 Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: In part. I don't necessarily read the Court's
16 order exactly how he reads it. I'd have to go back and look at it again.
17 We never received any lists from any Defence for any cross until it was
18 started, according to what I am told. And we have assembled this list,
19 it's been an ongoing thing. We finished it, well, last night and a few
20 more this morning. If they need more time to prepare, I have no
21 objection to that. But I would like to get started and I don't think
22 there is going to be any big surprises here. There's not meant to be
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start and then play it by ear.
25 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I would just like to
2 raise a quick issue concerning the 183 documents which are new to this
3 case and which have been added to this list.
4 A preliminary review of those documents reveals that there are
5 documents to which we will object being used during cross-examination of
6 this witness. Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.
8 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: There are many documents from the 1993 period
10 which I really had no intention of going into; however, they spent days
11 in 1993 as -- on issues of opening the column and there is a lot of
12 documents on those issues and I have brought those documents and other
13 documents in that I did not originally intend to to respond to issues.
14 So I don't know what the 189 really is at this point, but they
15 are in response to issues that have been raised by and large.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: If my colleagues agree we'll deal with that as and
17 if it arises. So let's start with your cross-examination and your
18 claimed rights, Mr. Haynes, for the time are put on hold but reserved, of
20 MR. HAYNES: Thank you very much indeed.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
23 Q. General, good afternoon.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. And we don't, of course, need to introduce each other. We have
1 spoken many years ago now, as counsel brought out; is that correct?
2 A. True, yes.
3 Q. All right. Well, let me start by, just because it's fresh in my
4 mind, some of the Borovcanin issues that were brought up and are related
5 actually to your other testimony in some ways.
6 You may recall that Miroslav Deronjic has testified and that his
7 testimony from a previous hearing is part of the evidence in this case;
8 is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember when Deronjic said that he went to see
11 President Karadzic on the 8th or 9th of July and he was -- said something
12 about requesting Karadzic to bring in Mr. Borovcanin. Do you remember
14 A. In principle, yes, but I can't remember any specific details.
15 Q. What do you remember about that?
16 A. Precisely the few thoughts that you've shared with us, the
17 thoughts contained in the couple of sentences that you quoted.
18 Q. Basically that -- and I haven't looked at the testimony either,
19 I'm going on my recollection, that one of the reasons he went to see him
20 was to suggest he bring in Ljubisa Borovcanin and his unit because they
21 were a good unit and that they could assist in the Srebrenica case -- the
22 Srebrenica battle.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer the question.
24 Mr. Gosnell.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I object to questions being asked
1 about evidence in this case. What's the point of having the witness
2 offer characterisations about statements that are in evidence under
3 92 quater? It's a pointless exercise. It's not what the Chamber should
4 be hearing. It's not evidence. The statement itself is evidence and his
5 commentary or his recollection of what that statement might say really
6 serves no purpose for the Chamber.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've been bringing up facts from other witnesses
9 and evidence to help form the foundation of a question for two and a
10 half, three years. I don't think there's anything prejudicial or
11 problematic about that question.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let me consult with my colleagues,
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: With the understanding that we don't know whether
16 this is a solitary question or whether it's to be followed by others on
17 the same, for the time being, we believe that it is a perfectly
18 legitimate question and you may proceed with your answer, Mr. Pandurevic.
19 Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
20 MR. GOSNELL: Could we at least have a page reference, then?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's coming, I suppose.
22 Yes, Mr. ...
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think I'm required to give a page
24 reference to something that I remember during an hour of
25 cross-examination, and in this situation, if that was a requirement, it
1 would have us to stop and go -- so far the General and I agree on what
2 was roughly said.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed. And if it becomes more complicated
4 then we will ask you for a reference for sure. Thank you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Because the -- I've got some excellent folks
6 here, e-court page is 242, 284 to 290, and the testimony is P3139.
7 Q. Now, in your history from being a commander in Bosnia from I
8 think it was April of 1992 through the end of the war, were you ever in a
9 position where SDS
10 you in your operations?
11 A. I don't remember any such situation. I don't remember any member
12 of the SDS
13 a similar situation, situations of a similar nature. Certain municipal
14 authorities would set their own priorities of the war and they would try
15 to exert influence on the president of the republic and the Main Staff in
16 order to have some priority actions being carried out in the territory of
17 their municipality rather than elsewhere.
18 I suppose that some or most of these municipal leaders belonged
19 to the SDS
20 nature. I believe that such requests were justified by some other
22 Q. But we can agree in this situation that the Borovcanin unit
23 coming to assist in Srebrenica was something that was helpful.
24 A. Before the operation was launched, I didn't know that the MUP
25 would participate in any way. I knew that there was a special MUP
1 brigade. I don't know whether Mr. Deronjic specifically requested for
2 that brigade because it was special and because it was a good combat
3 unit. I suppose that that must have been the reason and I wouldn't say
4 that it was because Mr. Borovcanin was the deputy commander of the
5 brigade. I don't know what reasons governed Deronjic, however, my post
6 festum information says that the keys of Srebrenica had already been
7 obtained before the unit under the command of Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin was
8 introduced into fighting and engaged.
9 Q. The keys to Srebrenica, yes, the keys to Potocari, no?
10 A. In combat terms, Potocari had its door ajar, if we are going to
11 use figurative speech, and Borovcanin had to do some security tasks in
12 terms of controlling the remaining forces scouring of the terrain because
13 some forces had opted for that direction to pull out of Potocari.
14 Q. Where on the morning of the 12th of July, a Bratunac Brigade
15 soldier was killed by a mine clearing a minefield for Mr. Borovcanin and
16 his units; correct?
17 A. As far as I can understand, he was opening a passage through the
18 minefield that had been set by the Bratunac Brigade. On the 12th, we
19 were not aware of all the intentions of the 28th Division. It was only
20 logical because of that for Mr. Borovcanin and his units to be engaged on
21 the direction between Bratunac and Potocari and I mean primarily the
22 village of Milacevici, if my memory serves me well.
23 Q. So you agree with me a Bratunac Brigade soldier was --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Mr. Gosnell.
25 MR. GOSNELL: I return to my original objection, because I
1 believe that what we're now hearing is evidence about evidence. Now I
2 may be wrong.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But we have been doing that all the time.
4 MR. GOSNELL: But Mr. President, there --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: When it is relevant.
6 MR. GOSNELL: If I may, there is a distinction between using
7 evidence in order to provoke a memory of firsthand knowledge of
8 observations of things that really happened. If this is going to turn
9 into a long cross-examination series of questions and answers about this
10 case, well, then I would suggest that that's improper, but of course,
11 it's not improper to ask a question to provoke a memory of what happened
12 at the time.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, as you know, Lieutenant-Colonel,
14 at the time, Pandurevic was in the area that we're talking about. He
15 said he went through Potocari on the night of the 11th. These are all
16 interrelated to this case. This is an absurd objection and it should
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You don't need to use such dramatic and
19 harsh language, Mr. McCloskey. Let us decide.
20 Yes, Mr. Haynes.
21 MR. HAYNES: Perhaps a way out of this is simply if Mr. McCloskey
22 inquires when the General came by the information as to the death of the
23 Bratunac Brigade that may, as it were, help you decide what weight this
24 evidence has got, whether it's direct evidence or a commentary on what
25 he's read in the course of the last few years.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes.
2 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, when the General suggests to me
4 that the fighting is over and that Borovcanin maybe just had a little
5 security work, I think it's perfectly fair for me to remind him of a
6 soldier's death, that this was still going on, that this was more than
7 security work. This is cross-examination. That's what this is -- this
8 is what's going on here. That's what this is about.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We are unanimous on this. For the time being you
12 may proceed, Mr. McCloskey, and I think you were about to put another
13 question, the previous one had been answered. Correct me if I am wrong.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I really don't recall, Mr. President.
15 Q. I was just trying to get him to confirm that an answer to my
16 first question that there was a Bratunac soldier that was killed helping
17 Borovcanin's unit; correct?
18 A. Yes. I will agree with you that I only heard about that during
19 this trial. Srebrenica fell on the 11th but the fighting against the
20 28th Division was not completed and it is in that sense that
21 Mr. Borovcanin was given certain tasks.
22 Q. And you may recall in the discussion that Deronjic said that the
23 president made comments about the solution of Western Slavonia. Do you
24 know what President Karadzic was talking about when he talked about
25 Western Slavonia
1 A. I read this statement by Mr. Deronjic a long time ago. I did not
2 listen to his testimony so it's very hard for me to speak of all the
3 details and we all know only too well what happened in Western Slavonia.
4 Q. Well, I think it's something that from Mr. Deronjic's testimony
5 was very important for him and very important for the president, but
6 could you tell us your perspective, just briefly. I don't want a long
7 story of Western Slavonia, but what was he talking about? What was the
8 Serb perception of what happened to Serbs in Western Slavonia not long
9 before this?
10 A. The Croatian army won a major victory in Western Slavonia,
11 amongst other things.
12 Q. And were there allegations of abuse of civilians by the Croatians
13 against the Serbs?
14 A. I know that the Serbian population left the area, they fled the
15 area, and as far as I know, there were no charges brought for that.
16 Nothing has happened so far to that effect.
17 Q. Didn't President Karadzic think that as those civilians were
18 leaving that they were victimised and shot and killed, some of them?
19 A. I don't know what Mr. Karadzic meant, but we know what the
20 situation was in Potocari. The Muslim civilian population did not
21 scatter and run through the forest. They were not shot at in the forest.
22 Instead they all gathered in Potocari.
23 Q. That wasn't my question. Can you answer my question?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
25 MR. GOSNELL: The question calls for speculation. It asks -- the
1 question is what does -- what did President Karadzic think? How is this
2 witness going to tell us what President Karadzic may have thought?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's based on the statement that Mr. Deronjic
5 said and it's based on what Mr. Karadzic said to Deronjic that Serbs were
6 victimised as they were forced to leave Western Slavonia and as he told
7 this to Deronjic he was very upset and was suggesting the same thing
8 happened in Srebrenica.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's in evidence and I want to find out if any
11 of that from the President got its way down to the troops on the line.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I stand to be corrected by my colleagues but I read
13 your question when you used word "think" is was it as meaning the -- was
14 it the belief of President Karadzic that those civilians were victimised,
15 shot and killed. So as far as I am concerned, unless I -- yes, okay,
16 then please, Mr. Pandurevic, go ahead and answer the question, please.
17 One moment.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's proceed. Thank you.
20 Mr. McCloskey, he has already answered you in a way so do you
21 want to pursue the matter further --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just briefly.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: -- or do you want to move to your next question?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just briefly.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. On July 11th, were you aware of what had happened to the Serbs in
3 Western Slavonia
4 A. I believe that Western Slavonia happened in May of that year but
5 on the 11th of July, I was not thinking of that.
6 Q. But were you aware that it had happened, that Serbs had been
7 victimised in Western Slavonia by Croats?
8 A. Yes, I knew. Maybe the president had in mind that whole
9 situation and didn't want something like that to happen to the Muslims;
10 he wanted us to act differently.
11 Q. Perhaps. Perhaps. Now, when General Mladic, on the 11th of
12 July, looked into the camera and said something like, Now on the
13 anniversary of the uprising against the Dahijes, it's time to take
14 revenge upon the Turks in this area," what do you think he meant by that?
15 And I think we've established what the uprising against the Dahis is, so
16 I don't think you need to go into that.
17 A. At that time, I was not next to Mladic, I didn't watch TV either.
18 I saw that statement of his among the material here at the trial and in
19 my view, this statement doesn't make sense because there were no Dahijes
20 there, there were no Turks there and as to what remains of the past he
21 had in his mind, I don't know. Maybe he was involved in some sort of a
22 third Serb uprising after Karadjordje [Realtime transcript read in error
23 "Karadzic"] and Milos
24 Q. So I take it in your times with him that you described
25 Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vijo Gora, did he give you any indication of what
1 he had in mind for the Muslim population, including the soldiers?
2 A. No, he didn't recount his statements to me. You could see in the
3 footage how my first encounter with him commenced and how it ended.
4 Something similar happened in the meeting in Bratunac on the 11th, in
5 Vijo Gora, it was the same, a monologue delivered by Mladic, therefore he
6 didn't tell me anything.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
8 MR. HAYNES: I don't want to interrupt but there may be a rather
9 important transcription error at line 22. I don't believe --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. He mentioned one of the kings,
11 Karadjordjevic or something like that he mentioned. You have Karadzic
12 there on line 22, and it was certainly not Karadzic; it was
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Karadjordje, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move. It's a simple correction that needs to
16 be done.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Now you have testified that on the evening of 11 July you drove
19 through Potocari through a crowd of Muslims, went through Yellow Bridge
20 and on to Bratunac and you came back the same way later that night;
22 A. Yes, I did go back but I didn't take the same route.
23 Q. And why didn't you take the same route back?
24 A. If I had known what the situation would be on my way in, I
25 wouldn't take it. Since I saw the situation and how dangerous it was, I
1 didn't dare to take the same route but I rather chose a safer one.
2 Q. And as I think you know but it's the position of the Prosecution
3 that you did, in fact, make that trip but that you did it on the 12th of
4 July and we'll get into a bit later. But when you went through that area
5 which you say was the 11th of July, did you see any forces assembling
6 around the area of Yellow Bridge
7 A. No, I don't remember seeing any forces. I know that there were
8 men, soldiers, on the Serbian side at the checkpoint near the Yellow
9 Bridge. I didn't know that any of our forces were being prepared to be
10 brought in from that side.
11 Q. And when you went through Potocari, did you see any German
12 Shepherd dogs amongst any of the troops?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And you didn't see Mr. Borovcanin or his units at all around
15 Yellow Brigade or Bratunac despite the evidence we've heard that they
16 were coming into the area?
17 A. No, I didn't see them.
18 Q. And when Mr. Borovcanin was with you on the 15th at the Standard
19 and you sent him off to Baljkovica, were you aware, did he have dog units
20 with him?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You've seen the film of Potocari shot on the 12th which is the
23 date that we believe you were in Potocari on the evening. You've seen
24 large numbers or you've seen a number of German Shepherd dogs on that
25 video; haven't you?
1 A. No, Mr. McCloskey, I passed through Potocari on the 11th. I
2 wasn't there on the 12th, therefore I couldn't have seen them.
3 Q. But you've seen the video of the 12th where there were dogs in
4 Potocari amongst the crowd being held by troops; correct?
5 A. Yes, I have to be very careful when I speak about what I saw in
6 reality and when I speak about the events from that period and finally
7 what I've seen in the course of this trial. That is why I want to
8 highlight this distinction.
9 Q. I understand and I will try to make sure my questions highlight
10 that distinction as well. So to be clear, what I'm talking about is your
11 viewing the video, did you see the dogs in the video that was shot of the
13 A. Yes, I've seen this footage here and I think that there are dogs
15 Q. And of course it's the position of the Prosecutor that you went
16 through on the 12th, but in that regard, can you tell us who do you think
17 those dogs belonged to? What units?
18 A. Based on the footage that I've seen and the trial so far, I can
19 tell you that they belonged to a MUP unit. At the time, I didn't know
20 who they belonged to.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we see Exhibit 4104.
22 Q. I think this is a one-page document, General. I will have bigger
23 documents for you and I -- this is something that I'm just responding to
24 now. So if you could help us with this, we see that it is from the
25 Ministry of the Interior, dated 12 July, to the commander for centre for
1 breeding and training of police dogs. It's entitled: "In order to take
2 over tasks of the mopping up the terrain in the Srebrenica section."
3 It says: "Urgently dispatch all available guides and police dogs
4 to the Srebrenica sector."
5 MR. MCCLOSKEY: If we could go up in English a bit.
6 Q. "Upon arrival in Srebrenica, contact Ljubisa Borovcanin, deputy
7 commander of the CBP who commands the police forces in Srebrenica and
8 make arrangements on what to do next.
9 "In accordance with the previous dispatch, you need to leave two
10 guides with police dogs at the centre for tasks in the area of Sokolac.
11 "Guides with police dogs need to report to Srebrenica by 0600.
12 "Send a dispatch to the police forces staff headquarters in Pale
13 quoting the above reference to notify them once the engaged troops and
14 police dogs have been dispatched to the terrain." By Tomislav Kovac.
15 So does this correspond to your opinion that these were MUP dogs?
16 A. Well, this dispatch is self-explanatory, it says that dogs should
17 be dispatched. I didn't know at all if they had this centre for breeding
18 and training dogs, where it was. I don't know when this was written. It
19 says by 6.00 on the 12th, whether it's 6.00 in the morning or 6.00 in the
20 afternoon, I don't know, but it's obviously -- the document obviously
21 speaks about police dogs.
22 Q. So this does correspond to your opinion that they -- these dogs
23 on the 12th in Potocari were MUP dogs?
24 A. All I can say is that the footage that I see, I cannot say that
25 it refers to the 12th or not. We saw dogs in this film, dogs are
1 mentioned in this document, and this document was produced by the MUP.
2 Q. Do you know that -- whether or not dogs, MUP dogs were used in
3 the clearing of the -- or sweeping of the terrain from 17, 18, 19 July in
4 the Zvornik area with the MUP?
5 A. As far as I know, they were not in Baljkovica. I didn't see a
6 single dog.
7 Q. Okay. Did you have a good professional relationship with
8 General Krstic during this time period?
9 A. We had a standard official relationship, nothing special about
11 Q. Well, I ask you that because we saw in 65 ter 1206 A is the
12 English, 1206 C is the B/C/S, that's the 17 July intercept where you have
13 a short discussion with General Krstic and we --
14 MR. MCCLOSKEY: If we can get that up on the screen. It's the
15 bottom part in the English that I want to refer to.
16 Q. It's very simple, General -- page 2 in the B/C/S. I'm -- I hope
17 you can see this but I'm just referring to the part when Krstic gets on
18 the radio and says, "This is Krstic." And you say, "Hello, General,
20 He says, "Hello, Vinko, Vinko." So he's referring to you by your
21 first name which is more than just an official relationship; do you
23 A. I don't agree, Mr. McCloskey, and allow me to explain this kind
24 of relationship.
25 Q. Please do.
1 A. If we are talking about what we call military mannerisms by
2 officers, the superior officers normally addressed the low-ranking
3 officers by their first name. Mr. Mladic even called me "little boy."
4 That was just a customary way of addressing, that's why he addressed me
5 as Vinko. Even when we were together as brigade commanders we were not
6 friends, we did not socialise. He was much older than I was and he
7 believed that, in a way, he may treat me as a junior officer not only in
8 terms of my rank but also in terms of my age.
9 Q. And he also says going down further, "It's going fine but it
10 would be better if you were there too." This isn't an official kind of a
11 comment. He's saying it would be better if you were there with him.
12 Then he goes on and says, "Take care of that and we'll see
13 what -- bud," which is another informal way of dealing with someone,
14 page 2 in the English.
15 A. When he says "you" he is not addressing me personally, he is
16 talking in plural which means referring to my unit. Krstic often used
17 the word "burazer," or "brother," one form of the word "brother." He
18 also used the word "chief." I didn't like these terms and I didn't want
19 to call anyone chief, particularly in the army.
20 Q. Well, as you've said, you met with his defence team. Did you
21 meet with him in those days that you were meeting with his defence team?
22 A. No, he was here at the time.
23 Q. Did you speak to him on the phone?
24 A. No, I didn't. It was impossible for me to call him and he didn't
25 call me.
1 Q. You don't think if you had asked the defence team to get him on
2 the phone, they would have been able to do that?
3 A. As far as I can remember, I didn't ask for him to call me so that
4 I can speak to him.
5 MR. MCCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 330, and that is
6 the 16 July interim combat report and I would like page 2 in the English.
7 Q. General, as that's coming up, I hope we don't -- I know we've
8 seen over the years that especially officers, I think, both the VRS and
9 BiH don't like repeating themselves and being asked to repeat themselves.
10 That obviously gets annoying and I hope we don't have to do too much of
11 that but I'm sure you understand that we will be going over some of the
12 same ground and I may ask you, I probably already have, to repeat
13 yourself somewhat, but it is normally because I have, perhaps, a
14 different slant or take on it that I want to bring out.
15 Okay. And what -- you've talked a lot about this interim report,
16 and I don't need to hear all of it again, but what I do want to
17 particularly point out, I believe it's in paragraph 3, and it's where you
18 state when you're talking about the opening of the corridor:
19 "It is likely that a certain number of soldiers got out among the
20 civilians, but all who passed, passed through unarmed."
21 I think you have said that that statement was false, that that
22 was not true.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that as we have seen when the corridor was opened up,
25 everyone that could got out and that would have included soldiers and
1 those that may have had guns took them with them; correct?
2 A. Yes, I have seen them myself passing by and bearing arms.
3 Q. So you boldly wrote down in this report to General Krstic
4 something you knew to be a lie.
5 A. Well, once the passion simmered down I expect people react in a
6 different way. I formulated this as I did at the time because I thought
7 that was a better solution at a given moment.
8 Q. But to answer my question, you boldly told him a rather
9 significant lie in this report?
10 A. Since the decision was mine and I took it on my own, and I knew
11 that he definitely wouldn't agree with it at first -- at least initially,
12 I had no other option but to send him a false report as I did.
13 Q. So you agree with me?
14 A. I agree with you.
15 Q. And my question is this: You've told us that on the 15th of
16 July, you were -- really after you got up there and got a look at what
17 was going on, that you were -- had decided to open a corridor but you
18 didn't do it until the next morning or the next morning, early afternoon
19 on the 16th; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You did not seek authorisation from General Krstic before opening
22 the corridor, did you?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Why, when you opened the corridor on the 16th, why didn't you
25 seek authorisation from General Krstic? You had had many men killed by
1 that point. Why did you not call him up and seek his authorisation to
2 open up a corridor? Why instead did you choose to lie to him? First
3 part -- I'm sorry that's a two-part question. Let me hit you with the
4 first one.
5 Why did you not call him and seek his authorisation?
6 A. Because he had given me a clear task. If I asked him what I
7 would do, he said he would have told me, You know what to do. You have
8 my order. And for that reason, I did this on my own initiative.
9 I already had that idea on the 15th but I was just waiting for a
10 good opportunity and a good reason that people around me would be aware
11 of so that in the future, someone would be able to say yes, Vinko acted
12 properly although it was in contravention of the order that he had
14 Q. General, I understand that on the night of the 15th, you had
15 clear orders and nothing significant had changed. But by the morning of
16 the 16th, the battle had occurred. I don't want to get into the details
17 of that battle with you. You will agree with me that Serb soldiers died.
18 Why didn't you at that time call General Krstic and seek
19 authorisations? Why would you choose to lie?
20 A. Quite simply, by the moment when I resumed my talks with Semso, I
21 had no idea how many men had been killed; however, the decisive
22 information to reestablish contact with Semso was the one given to me by
23 Obrenovic which he had received from Semso Salihovic, an officer from the
24 28th Division, which spoke about a disastrous situation in the
25 28th Division. I didn't seek authorisation from anyone. I took this
1 decision independently and I acted on my own. Simply, it was my personal
3 Q. I understand but why did you not seek authorisation after the
5 A. I didn't seek authorisation because I believed that I wouldn't be
6 granted one. I would just be told, You are not carrying out your tasks.
7 Either you are afraid or what's happening to you?
8 Q. So you felt you knew General Krstic wanted that column fought and
9 destroyed and that he would say no to you; correct?
10 A. That was the task that he had issued me. That's right.
11 Q. And we know that if that's the task General Krstic had in mind,
12 fighting and destroying that column, we can reasonably conclude that that
13 was the Main Staff's order as well, can't we?
14 A. Probably Krstic received such an order from the Main Staff.
15 Q. I think you described "destroy" for us in the military context,
16 and correct me if I am wrong, but in this context it would have meant
17 killing the enemy and taking them prisoner.
18 A. That would mean to bring them into such a state that they no
19 longer pose a military threat. This can be achieved either by physical
20 destruction in combat, certain percentage, but it can also be achieved by
21 taking prisoner.
22 Q. And so as you sit here today, what do you believe would have
23 happened to any prisoners that you would have taken pursuant to your
24 orders to destroy the column on 16 July?
25 A. I didn't have an order first to capture and then destroy. If all
1 these men had been captured, I wouldn't have a solution for them. I
2 wouldn't know where to put them because there were no such facilities in
3 the area of Zvornik capable of accommodating such a large number of
4 people. I would ask the corps command either to arrange for an immediate
5 exchange or to let those people free.
6 I decided to let them pass through without capturing them.
7 Q. If General Krstic and General Mladic had issued orders to have
8 all the prisoners in Zvornik killed from the 14th to the 16th, would it
9 be really possible for you to request of General Krstic to allow
10 military-aged men to walk scot-free through a corridor?
11 A. Since this is a conditional question, "if", I must tell you that
12 this situation did not occur. And we are not talking about prisoners.
13 Some members of the 28th Division could have become prisoners on the 16th
14 but it didn't happen.
15 Q. You see, Colonel, it's the Prosecution's position that you're not
16 a man that issues lies to his superiors lightly and that the reason you
17 did it is because you knew that there was no way they were going to go
18 along with it. That's correct, isn't it?
19 A. Look, Mr. McCloskey, I never lied to my superior officers. That
20 would create serious consequences for the VRS army. I wrote this report
21 as it is in order to assuage the concerns that my superiors had.
22 During the war and my experience, I know that things are easily
23 forgotten after the fact and that nothing would happen with the passage
24 of time. That is why I wrote this report in this form.
25 Q. You didn't seek authorisation from them because you know there
1 was no way they were going to give it; correct?
2 A. Whether they would have given it or not I can only speculate. At
3 that time, I thought that it was best for me not to call them.
4 Q. So you're now saying it's possible they would have said, All
5 right, General, we don't want you to lose any more of your troops, let's
6 let these guys through?
7 A. Well, now, you see this is a situation that we can only speculate
8 about. We will never learn the truth because this was already water
9 under the bridge.
10 At that time, I decided contrary to the claims by certain Defence
11 counsel here who purport that I will walk over dead bodies in order to
12 reach a goal. I could have shed blood in Baljkovica in order to carry
13 out my orders, but that's not the kind of man I am.
14 Q. It's a simple question, General. I'll try it again. Do you
15 think there's any way that Krstic was going to allow you to open a
16 corridor? You've been very clear on that except for your answer that you
17 just made so I want you to think about this carefully.
18 A. If it's a simple question, it still doesn't mean that the answer
19 to it is going to be simple. It's usually just the contrary.
20 I can only assume, based on my experience and my knowledge that I
21 gained during the war, and I can assume on the order given to me that
22 Krstic would have not agreed to me opening the corridor. I have my
23 sincere doubts about that.
24 Q. Another option you had before you was to tell the truth. You
25 could have, in that report, said what you said and you could have been
1 truthful; correct?
2 A. Yes, the truth was communicated to him subsequently.
3 Q. But again, General, why didn't you choose the truth? You had it
4 there. You were in command. Your men were dying. Why didn't you tell
5 him the truth? Why did you choose to lie?
6 A. I sent the report in the form I did in order to repel any danger
7 from myself as a person who refused to carry out an order. That was my
8 decision at that moment, and it could have been different, of course, but
9 it was what it was.
10 Q. You didn't tell the truth because you chose instead to repel any
11 danger from yourself; correct?
12 A. Yes, at that moment when things were happening the way they did.
13 Q. What possible danger was it to you to put the truth in your
14 interim combat report of 16 July?
15 A. First of all, without any previous explanation whatsoever, it
16 would have been clear to everybody that I failed to carry out my orders.
17 Second of all, the situation could have become more complicated,
18 so much so that my initiative could have resulted in such terrible
19 consequences on the Zvornik Brigade and even wider that I would have been
20 in real danger as a result of that.
21 Q. If you told General Krstic the truth, would you have been in
22 danger from General Krstic or his superior command?
23 A. I would first be held accountable by my superior, General Krstic.
24 I don't know; whether there would be any pressure put on him by his
25 superiors, I don't know; however, if we go back to that conversation that
1 we just saw, or the conversation on the 16th in the morning in which he
2 said, They are all armed, boss, keep pounding away at them. So, he
3 told me already back then, keep pounding away at them.
4 Q. My question is again simple and I think we can face it right now.
5 Had you told him the truth that you were -- decided because of your
6 personal involvement to open a corridor and allow the enemy through, you
7 very likely could have been relieved of duty then and there; correct?
8 A. Now, your question is a bit different to your previous question.
9 I said explicitly that I was to be held accountable first by Krstic and
10 then his superior. And as for me being relieved of my duties because of
11 that, if they had wanted to do that, they would have relieved me
12 subsequently. Although I did hear information that some people were
13 thinking along those lines, that that was an option on the table at one
15 Q. I'll go back to it. What danger was General Krstic to you? You
16 are the one that's brought up repelling danger. What danger was Krstic
17 to you? Don't like my answer that you would have been relieved, what was
18 it? What was the danger you were talking about?
19 A. A failure to carry out on order or a refusal to carry out an
20 order especially during the time of war under such conditions imposes
21 certain punishment. He could have punished me. And I didn't send my
22 report in fear of being relieved, because nobody is very happy to command
23 a brigade in the times of war. It's one of the most difficult positions
24 to be in.
25 Q. I understand that. So you're now saying that the reason you did
1 not tell him the truth and that the fear that you had was fear of
2 punishment; correct?
3 A. Well, if I had been afraid -- this was not a classical fear, no,
4 but as a professional soldier, I was not used to refusing to carry out an
5 order. However, I had to find a logical explanation why I had failed to
6 carry out an order. That was what I wanted to do. That's what I
7 eventually did.
8 Q. And I agree with you, General, you had to find a logical way out
9 of this, so you chose to lie. Why didn't you choose just to not say
10 anything? You could have written in your 16 July report nothing about
11 it. "We are still undergoing difficult situation with the enemy." I
12 think I've seen that written about a thousand times, and just leave it.
13 That was another choice you didn't make. Why didn't you just say
14 nothing? Why did you have to lie?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
16 MR. HAYNES: I think we now are in asked and answered territory.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a brand new area of why he didn't say
19 MR. HAYNES: No, you can say why did you lie? Why didn't you
20 tell the truth? Why didn't you say anything, which would in itself be a
21 lie but you just ask him the same question over and over again and it's
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I am not asking the same question. He had that
24 choice. I think we can see that clearly and logically.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We are fine with the question. It's a different
2 question even though it seeks the kind of the same answer.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. General, it's the same lousy subject and I understand it is, but
5 it's a different question. Why didn't you choose that way out, not say
7 A. First of all, it is impossible to send a report without saying
8 something. Second of all, if I had been a lawyer, I -- I may have acted
9 in that way; but I was a commander, a military commander, and my
10 reasoning as a commander in the field and my reasoning as I sit here
11 today in this courtroom are two completely different things. I really
12 appreciate the way you work, the way I see you work and I would very much
13 love to have a Peter on my Defence team in addition to all the good
14 people that I already have, but I have to tell you how I see things from
15 my perspective as I sit here, and I apologise.
16 Q. General, I understand that you were acting as a General, you were
17 taking control of the situation. It's the Prosecution's position you got
18 through this by doing something that was counter to everything you have
19 been raised on in the army, you lied to your superiors because you knew
20 your superiors had death in mind and you had no way out. You had to lie
21 to them so you could get your men safe because you knew Krstic, Mladic
22 were killing people and there was no way they were going to say yes to
23 you. Isn't that right, General? Can't we just deal with it? Give
24 yourself the credit that is due, that we see in your 15 July report and
25 your 18 July report. Stop the lying.
1 A. Well, Mr. McCloskey, I'm not lying. What I'm telling you now is
2 not a lie. Please find a single piece of evidence to prove that I'm
3 lying. These are completely two different things. My report on the 16th
4 and my testimony here is not the same lie. I am not lying now when I am
5 talking to you. Give me some evidence to prove that I am lying.
6 I told you that I have my reservations about the possibility of
7 Krstic approving the opening of the corridor. I'm sure that Mladic would
8 not have allowed me to do that. And if that was the only lie during the
9 war, we should have only been so lucky. Reports are usually fabricated
10 at all levels, they are all lies.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: General, we'll get into the evidence and we'll
12 get into Dragan Obrenovic, I give you Dragan Obrenovic and his guilty
13 plea but I think it's probably a good time for a break.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We'll break now. The sitting will resume
15 tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
17 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day of
18 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.