1 Wednesday, 1 April 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So good afternoon everybody, and good afternoon to
6 you, Madam Registrar. Could you call case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So all the accused are here.
10 Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Vanderpuye. Noticeably absent amongst
11 the Defence teams, Mr. Ostojic, Ms. Nikolic, and Mr. Sarapa, as far as I
12 can see.
13 All right. We have an oral decision to start with, and then I'll
14 ask you if you have any preliminaries afterwards.
15 The Trial Chamber is seised of the Nikolic motion for
16 certification of the further decision on Prosecution's motion to admit
17 evidence in rebuttal and to reopen its case, filed confidentiality on
18 30th March, in which he seeks certification to appeal the Trial Chamber's
19 said decision which was filed confidentially on the 27th of March
20 pursuant to the Rule 73(b).
21 The Prosecution filed its response on 30th March arguing that the
22 certification should be denied as the criteria set forth in Rule 73(b)
23 are not met. The Trial Chamber notes the limited scope and nature of the
24 proposed Stevanovic testimony which has been restricted to two issues:
25 First the 2nd battalion's possession of a code book or otherwise; and
1 secondly, the training and capacity of the 2nd Battalion to code and
2 decode telegrams.
3 These are issues, that though important, are of minor
4 significance to the fair and expeditious conduct of the proceedings and
5 the outcomes of the trial. Furthermore, granting certification would
6 lengthen and not materially advance the proceedings in these final stages
7 of the trial. For these reasons, leave to exceed the word limit is
8 granted, but the motion is denied.
9 Okay. Any preliminaries? There will be a few things that we
10 will refer to you at the end of the sitting about motions and other
11 filings that have arrived in the meantime.
12 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, good afternoon to you and
14 Your Honours --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, go ahead.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I just wanted to
17 apprise the Court that I did make the witness aware of the limitation
18 concerning the scope of his testimony in advance of his -- well, this
19 afternoon, earlier this afternoon.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. And I also understand that
21 he does not -- has not asked for any protective measures --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Vanderpuye please speak into the
23 microphone, thank you.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct, Mr. President, he has not asked
25 for any protective measures.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And there is no case for any caution or anything?
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is not, Mr. President, thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's bring Mr. Stevanovic in, please.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Stevanovic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You're most welcome to this Tribunal and to this
8 trial where you are going to give evidence. Before you start your
9 evidence, our rules require that you make a solemn declaration to the
10 effect that you will be testifying the truth. Madam Usher is going to
11 give you the text of the declaration, please read it out aloud and that
12 will be your solemn making with us. Go ahead.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Please make yourself
17 Mr. Vanderpuye, who I suppose you have already met, will be
18 putting some questions to you. He will then be followed by one or more
19 members of the Defence teams on cross-examination.
20 Mr. Vanderpuye, please make sure that you restrict yourself to
21 the parameters of the Court's ruling.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to you
23 and Your Honours, again. Good afternoon to my colleagues.
24 WITNESS: DRAGAN STEVANOVIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
2 Q. And good afternoon to you, Mr. Stevanovic. We have met before.
3 As you know, my name is Kweku Vanderpuye, and I will put some questions
4 to you relative to a few limited issues. If there is any question that I
5 put to you that you don't understand or is unclear, please let me know
6 and I will rephrase the question or restate it in a way that we can
7 better understand one another.
8 Just for the record, could you please state your first and last
10 A. Dragan Stevanovic.
11 Q. And, Mr. Stevanovic, how old are you?
12 A. 40.
13 Q. And can you tell us a little bit about your military history.
14 Did you complete compulsory service with the JNA?
15 A. Yes, I did my military service in 1988 in Sombor.
16 Q. And what work were you assigned to do during the course of that
17 military service?
18 A. I was trained in telegraphy. After that I was in the soldiers'
19 club. And for a while I worked on the switchboard, the telephone
20 switchboard in Sombor.
21 Q. And what was your position and rank?
22 A. Private.
23 Q. Now, prior to your mobilization to the VRS, did you engage in any
24 communication-related activities, either militarily or in a civilian
1 A. No.
2 Q. And can you tell us when it was that you were mobilized to the
4 A. I was mobilized in early April, 1992.
5 Q. And to what unit were you mobilized?
6 A. Initially it was a unit of the Territorial Defence, and
7 eventually it became part of the Army of Republika Srpska. Eventually,
8 the 2nd Battalion evolved from that unit.
9 Q. And what was your function serving with the 2nd Battalion?
10 A. I was a private through to 1993 -- or, rather, the month of May
11 of 1993 whereupon I was transferred to the communications centre, again
12 as a private.
13 Q. And did you remain in your position with the communications
14 centre throughout the war; that is, until you were demobilized?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And as a member of the 2nd Battalion's communication unit, can
17 you tell us how many members were part of that unit?
18 A. Do you mean on a yearly basis, because the number changed from
19 year to year. It was never the same.
20 Q. Can you tell us in 1995 about how many men were in that unit?
21 A. Around eight.
22 Q. And in 1995 what was your position in the communications unit?
23 A. I was commander of the communications squad from mid-May onwards,
24 I was a komandir.
25 Q. Now, in 1995 did the 2nd Battalion's communications unit have a
1 code book or what we've called in court on occasion a Razgovornik?
2 A. No, we did not have a code book, but we did have a Razgovornik.
3 Q. And can you tell us, when you say a Razgovornik, what do you
4 mean? Could you describe what it is.
5 A. It was a document of some four to five sheets of paper containing
6 codes for certain meanings. You were looking for meaning in that. It
7 was for signification.
8 Q. And was it a document that was used in connection with
9 communications concerning combat?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, Mr. Vanderpuye, try to avoid leading
12 questions, please.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President.
14 Q. And was it used for any other purpose, Mr. Stevanovic?
15 A. We didn't use it for any other purposes. There was no need for
17 Q. In terms of its use concerning combat, was that in relation to
18 communications from any particular unit?
19 A. Yes, it had to do with communication between our units out in the
21 Q. And when you say "communication with our units out in the field,"
22 do you mean the units of the battalion, the company's, or do you mean --
23 well, just tell us exactly what you mean by that.
24 A. I meant the units that were detached from the Battalion and were
25 out of the area of responsibility of our battalion. It was used for
1 their mutual communication and their communication with the brigade.
2 Q. Now, the Razgovornik that was -- that the 2nd Battalion
3 communications unit had, from where was it obtained?
4 A. We got it from the brigade.
5 Q. And was that Razgovornik or the information communicated to units
6 within the battalion?
7 A. We received them from the brigade and would keep them with us.
8 Whenever we went out into the field, we would take a copy with us and a
9 copy would be left behind in the communications centre.
10 Q. And did the Razgovornik that you had in the 2nd Battalion
11 communications unit, did it ever change, or did it remain the same?
12 A. Periodically, yes.
13 Q. Tell us what you mean by that.
14 A. Every two to three months, not that often.
15 Q. And what specifically changed during that period of time?
16 A. The codes in that document, the Razgovornik, would change.
17 Q. And did the 2nd Battalion communications unit maintain a
18 Razgovornik in July of 1995?
19 A. I don't understand the question.
20 Q. Did you maintain the Razgovornik as you've described it in July
21 of 1995?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you have one prior to July of 1995 as well?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And where was it kept in the communications unit in July of 1995?
1 A. In the communications centre.
2 Q. Do you remember where in the communications centre?
3 A. There was a desk with the switchboard console on, and then there
4 was a drawer in that desk where we kept the codes.
5 Q. And was that drawer accessible to all the members of the unit or
6 was it accessible only to a few members of the unit?
7 A. It was accessible to everyone.
8 Q. And when the Razgovornik was changed, was it kept in the same
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And can you tell us who was responsible for receiving the
12 Razgovornik when it changed from the brigade, to whom did it go?
13 A. There was not an individual who was specifically charged with
14 that. The document would be received from the brigade in the command in
15 some way, through a courier perhaps, and we would keep it with us.
16 Q. Now -- I'm sorry, the Razgovornik that you had, you said that you
17 used it to derive meanings, and you've described it as a code. Can you
18 tell us how it worked.
19 A. The Razgovornik contained text that would reflect an order or a
20 request. There would be a set of codes indicating what sort of text or
21 which sort of codes needed to be used for which sort of meaning.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have in e-court please, 65 ter 4465.
23 3893, I'm sorry. If we could just go to page 2 of this document, please.
24 Q. And I wonder if you could, I know you've had an opportunity to
25 see this document before, if you could tell us what, for example, the
1 table on the right shows where you see indicated numbers and certain
3 A. This is the code table for radio communication.
4 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to the numbers and letters that are
5 indicated on the right-hand side, is this a fair approximation of the
6 Razgovornik or the information that was contained in the Razgovornik in
7 the 2nd Battalion, not in substance but in terms of form?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Now, in terms of reading the Razgovornik, does this table operate
10 in principle similarly?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell us how so.
13 A. For instance, if we need letter D, we will write B7, A8.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could just blow this up on the screen to
15 the letter table so that we have that. Okay.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies, I made a mistake.
17 B7, A0 is what we will say.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE:
19 Q. And that indicates the letter D; is that right, sir?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And could this table be used, for example, to spell out text, an
22 order or request as you've indicated in the way that you've described?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did that function in principle similarly to the way the 2nd
25 Battalion's Razgovornik did?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. If we could go down the page, please. Here you can see
3 what's entitled a signals table, tablica signala, and it says "Soca" on
4 it. Can you tell us what this represents?
5 A. This is a signals table where you would look for a meaning, 293
6 means they are sitting in a meeting. And it was on this basis that one
7 would put a piece of text together.
8 Q. And did the Razgovornik that you had at the 2nd Battalion
9 function in a similar way as depicted here?
10 A. There were parts that were similar to this, but the Razgovornik
11 contained integral bodies of text.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. If I could please have in e-court
13 65 ter 4467. I think we have also an English translation of it, but
14 perhaps it's best if we stick with this one for the moment so the witness
15 can ... okay.
16 Q. This is a document that represents code tables, and it's
17 indicated at the top -- if we could go to the top. Razgovornik Jablan it
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, can you tell us what this represents to you?
21 A. This is the Razgovornik, the code table we used in the field for
22 radio communications.
23 Q. And is this distinguished or distinguishable from the Razgovornik
24 that you described that the 2nd Battalion communications unit had in
1 A. It is very similar in form, in format.
2 Q. And does this Razgovornik contain integrated -- the integrated
3 text that you refer to that the 2nd Battalion's Razgovornik had?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In what way, if you could just give us an example by reading out
6 one of the phrases or one of the codes corresponding to the phrase?
7 A. In order for us to receive the following message, we attacked the
8 unit along the right-hand side, we would say A38, B24, A.
9 Q. All right. If we could just blow that up a little bit, it will
10 be on the left-hand side, first box. All right.
11 Now, the record reflects that you said "A38, B24." Did you mean
13 A. 26. 4(a).
14 Q. And could you just read that out so that -- since we don't have a
15 translation before us, just read out what 4(a) says.
16 A. "We attacked with the unit along the right axes."
17 Q. And could you tell us what 4(b) says?
18 A. Along the left axes.
19 Q. And did this function in a similar way to the Razgovornik that
20 you had in the 2nd Battalion?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. At the top of this box on the left-hand side it reads
23 "Information;" is that right?
24 A. I don't understand.
25 Q. Where it says Obavestenje, at the top?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And next to that it reads "order."
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And if we can go to the further right --
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: In e-court, please. All the way to the right.
6 Q. It reads "Requirements and terms;" is that right, sir?
7 A. Requirements and terms.
8 Q. And were you to read A34.
9 A. A34, if I -- and I can't see which one was it in B26, because the
10 B column we looked at initially also had to be used.
11 Q. All right.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could zoom out a little bit just so that
13 the witness can see it.
14 Q. Are you able to tell us how you would code, for example, item
15 number 4 under "Requirements and Terms," which is coded 34 on your right?
16 A. A34, B26(4).
17 Q. And that would read what, just so that we are clear on the
19 A. "We defined or determined the medical station for axes."
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Now if we could go to the very last page.
22 Q. Now, in this document you see three Razgovorniks, one is
23 indicated Jablan, the other is Kesten, and the other is Javor. Do you
24 see that?
25 A. Yes, and then there are numbers next to each. 1-10, 11-20, and
2 Q. Can you tell us what that means?
3 A. This means that from day 1 to day 10 in a month, the Jablan code
4 was used; from 11 to 20, the Kesten code was used; and from day 21 to day
5 31, Javor.
6 Q. Okay. And did the Razgovornik that you had in the 2nd Battalion
7 function in a similar way in terms of limiting duration to a period of
8 time in a month or period of time within a day, day or night, for
10 A. It referred to either the period of day 1 to day 10, or from day
11 11 to day 20, or day 21 to day 31. Depending on the date various code
12 tables or Razgovornik were used.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, in July 1995 did you personally know
14 how to use the Razgovornik that was kept by the 2nd Battalion
15 communications unit?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And can you tell us when and where you were taught how to use a
19 A. I was trained by my colleagues who took me in, in 1993 when I
20 first came to the communications centre. I underwent some training
21 during my regular military service earlier on. That was how I learned
22 how to use it.
23 Q. And did you as a komandir of the communications unit, I think you
24 said from May on in 1995, did you provide any training to the members of
25 your unit as to how to use your Razgovornik?
1 A. Whoever asked me to show them how it was used, I did. I couldn't
2 force anyone to learn this.
3 Q. And given what you've demonstrated to us today and your
4 experience in the unit, how much training would you say is required in
5 order to learn how to use a Razgovornik, particularly the one that you
6 had in the 2nd Battalion?
7 A. Two to three hours.
8 Q. And were there members of the battalion, 2nd Battalion
9 communications unit that knew how to use the Razgovornik besides you in
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. How many other members of the unit knew how to use the
14 A. In my opinion, between two and three.
15 Q. And who are those individuals?
16 A. Ilic could use it very well, Pisic, as well as Peric.
17 Q. And were any of these individuals trained by you on how to use
18 the unit's Razgovornik?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And if you know, how did they acquire the knowledge to use a
22 A. I think I showed the system, how it worked to Peric, and I think
23 it took me only 15 minutes to do that. I don't know about the rest.
24 Q. And were you aware of any other deciphering tables, books, or
25 devices that were possessed by the 2nd Battalion communications unit in
1 order to decode or code telegrams?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Were there any other deciphering tables, books, or devices that
4 were used by the 2nd Battalion or maintained by the 2nd Battalion command
5 in order to decode or code telegrams?
6 A. The communications centre, no. And in July 1995 I learned that
7 the code tables were -- was held at the command.
8 Q. Okay. Bear with me for one moment.
9 [Prosecution Counsel Confer]
10 MR. VANDERPUYE:
11 Q. When you say that it was held in the -- held at the command, can
12 you tell us by whom?
13 A. The battalion command. We did not have any means to access that.
14 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Mr. Stevanovic. I don't have
15 any further questions at this time.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Zivanovic?
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Stevanovic.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. We've had an occasion to meet two days ago, but just for the
23 record let me introduce myself to you again. My name is Zoran Zivanovic,
24 and I represent Mr. Vujadin Popovic in these proceedings. I am going to
25 have just a few questions for you.
1 Could you please tell me how often did you use this Razgovornik
2 in your communication between the battalion command and the brigade
4 A. Almost not at all, almost never.
5 Q. And can you please tell me why do you say not at all? Did you
6 have any other means of communication? Was there any other communication
7 that was safe enough to transmit some confidential conversations?
8 A. Yes, there was a high-quality wire induction communication line.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
11 Mr. Nikolic.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
14 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President. I have some questions.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
16 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. Sir, for the purpose of the record, allow me to introduce myself.
19 My name is Stephane Bourgon, and this afternoon I am accompanied with my
20 colleague Ms. Marie-Josee Barry-Gosselin, and together we represent Drago
21 Nikolic in these proceedings.
22 I have a few questions I would like to ask you this afternoon.
23 And as my colleague put it to you, if there is any question that you do
24 not understand, please do not hesitate to interrupt me and to ask me to
25 say the question over again so that we are proceeding on a sound basis.
1 Do you understand this?
2 A. I do.
3 Q. I have a few questions I would like to begin with before I look
4 into the questions that I had prepared for you, simply, as a follow-up to
5 what my colleague asked you from the Prosecution. My first question is
6 that you mention at page 5, lines 23 to 24, that you were the commander
7 of the communications centre within the 2nd Battalion.
8 And my first question is simply: Can you explain to the
9 Trial Chamber to what extent -- to what extent, sorry, you were the
10 komandir of the communications centre.
11 A. To the extent of being in charge of the technical part of the job
12 rather than of the military part of the job; in other words, I did not
13 have the power to issue orders.
14 Q. So could I use the term that you were something like the first
15 among equals? Would be a term that you would be familiar with?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, today at page 5, line 25, to page 6, lines 1 and 2, in
18 response to a question put to you by my colleague, you said that you had
19 a Razgovornik within the 2nd Battalion but that you had no code book.
20 Can you explain the difference between a code book and a Razgovornik?
21 A. Yes. A Razgovornik has a textual part whereas the code book does
22 not have that part. A code book is an entirely different document.
23 Q. And was there a code book at the 2nd Battalion, whether in the
24 battalion command or in the battalion communications centre, to your
1 A. As far as I know, one night the commander showed me where it was,
2 where the code book was, when I was at the command -- actually, not just
3 to me, he'd showed that place to all the members of the command. I,
4 myself, did not see it. I never perused it.
5 Q. Now, also today in response to a question that was put to you by
6 my colleagues, you stated - I don't have the exact page number - but you
7 stated that there were no other documents beside the Razgovornik that was
8 kept and maintained at the 2nd Battalion; is that correct?
9 A. It is correct that the communications centre did not have it. I
10 did not know of any other documents before July. I can't even be sure of
11 any other thing today, because I can remember only a piece of paper that
12 was hanging on the wall and that the commander pointed to me. I never
13 read it.
14 Q. Now, we will come back to this topic, but I would like to address
15 very quickly something you mentioned in an interview you had with the
16 Prosecution on the 3rd of February of this year. Do you remember this
17 interview with the Prosecution?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And during this interview, you stated that you had one
20 opportunity where you were called to the battalion command and you were
21 asked to decode a telegram; do you recall saying something to that
23 A. I do.
24 Q. And can you tell us why you were not able to decode that telegram
25 on that night?
1 A. Because it could not be decoded with use of the Razgovornik. The
2 terms in the telegram did not correspond to the terms in the Razgovornik.
3 Q. So basically what you are telling me is that you needed the code
4 book in addition to the Razgovornik in order to be able to decode that
5 telegram, and you did not have the book; is that correct?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
9 Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, first it's a compound question.
11 And the second thing is that the witness had previously stated it, so
12 it's a mischaracterization of his previous testimony as well.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, I take it that the witness knows exactly
14 what he would have said or what he said when he was interviewed. And
15 secondly, if he's got a problem with the question, if he thinks it's
16 complicated, he can ask us to divide it into two parts. And I don't
17 think it is.
18 So if you can answer the question, please proceed,
19 Mr. Stevanovic. If you need help, let us know.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer the question.
21 However, not with the Razgovornik. That part had to be excluded, because
22 you could not do anything with just the Razgovornik. One would have had
23 to have the code book in order to deal with the situation at hand.
24 MR. BOURGON:
25 Q. And the second part of the question there is did not have this
1 code book at the communications centre; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And until your commander showed you that night something on the
4 wall, you had no knowledge that the 2nd Battalion had such a code book;
5 is that correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And what your commander showed you on the wall that night, you
8 did not have an opportunity to see if it was the missing code book; is
9 that correct?
10 A. I did not understand your question fully.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, you said earlier on that you never had an
12 opportunity to peruse this code book, and this is a follow-up question
13 which seeks confirmation of this. In other words, that you never had the
14 opportunity to see if this was the missing code book; is that correct?
15 Because you never saw it.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's true, I never saw it,
18 MR. BOURGON:
19 Q. You also said to the Prosecution that the companies of the
20 2nd Battalion also had a Razgovornik; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But the companies of the 2nd Battalion did not have the missing
23 code book. Would you agree with that?
24 A. I can't say that. However, since there was none to be had at the
25 communication centre, then I suppose that the other commanders did not
1 have it either. But that's just my personal opinion.
2 Q. So if that coded telegram was sent to the companies, they would
3 not have been able to decode the telegram exactly for the same reason
4 that you were not able to decode the telegram; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, unless they had the code book.
6 Q. And as you say, in your opinion, they did not have this code
8 A. It's my opinion, but I can't be sure of that. I can't say for a
9 fact that they did or that they didn't.
10 Q. Okay. And now I move, sir, to some of the questions that I had
11 prepared for you today. And first thing I would like to ask you to
12 confirm is that you did meet with the Prosecution for the first time on
13 24 September, 2009
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I apologise, it's 2008. It's been brought to my attention. So
16 it would have been September 2008; is that correct?
17 A. 2008, in September, I'm not sure of the exact date.
18 Q. I did the same mistake, so don't worry, sir.
19 And the second time you met with the Prosecution would have been
20 on the 3rd of February for the interview that was conducted by the
21 investigator Tomasz Blaszczyk?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, according to the information I have, this information --
24 this interview was conducted in a car. And I'd be very interested to
25 learn why this interview had to be conducted in a car and not in a normal
2 A. That was my wish.
3 Q. And was there a reason for this, sir?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And, sir, the next time you met with the Prosecution was the
6 following day, on the 4th of February, and you were again asked some
7 questions by the Prosecution.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the next time you met with the Prosecution was on 23rd and
10 24th of March 2009 when you met on the first day with the investigator,
11 Tomasz; and the second day with my colleague from the Prosecution,
12 Mr. Vanderpuye. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, on the first day, that is the 23rd of March, you had the
15 opportunity to review the transcript of your 3 February interview. Do
16 you recall this?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you confirm on that occasion that what was contained in the
19 interview was accurate?
20 A. There was just two details.
21 Q. Yes, indeed. We'll come to those details, but one of those
22 details was the date upon which you would have received the coded
23 telegram at the 2nd Battalion; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what was the second -- I don't recall, what was the second
1 thing, if you recall?
2 A. In the Serbian version, a sentence was interrupted. It was not
3 finished; whereas, in the English it appeared as being finished. I'm
4 talking about my answers to the questions put to me.
5 Q. Do you recall the question? If not, maybe we will get to it as
6 we go in the questioning.
7 A. No, no.
8 Q. Now, on the 24th of March when you met with my colleague,
9 Mr. Vanderpuye, again you had the opportunity to review the transcript of
10 your 3 February interview; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And other than for the same two discrepancies, you confirm that
13 the interview was accurate?
14 A. I did not have an occasion to see the transcript of the last
15 interview. If the interview was on the 3rd, and on the 4th I did not
16 have the occasion to see the transcript of the interview which took place
17 on the 4th. I only listened to the audiotape, and it was not on the
18 following day.
19 Q. But the audiotape, which was the interview of the 3rd of
20 February, it was accurate other than for the date?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, would I be right in saying -- or, maybe I can ask this in a
23 different manner: How long did your meeting with the Prosecution last on
24 the 24th of March; your proofing session, how long did it last?
25 A. I don't know exactly. It would have been about two or three
1 hours, but I'm not sure. You are talking about the second meeting with
3 Q. Well, I am talking actually the meeting with my colleague
4 Mr. Vanderpuye on the 24th of March, when you were here in The Hague
5 A. Yes, two to three hours.
6 Q. Now, you can confirm that you and I did have the opportunity of
7 meeting yesterday.
8 A. Yes, I can confirm that.
9 Q. And that on that occasion I did show you in your language a
10 translated version of the notes that were given to us by the Prosecution
11 after the proofing session. Do you recall me showing this to you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, at the end of this document, there is a mention that you met
14 with a member of the Nikolic Defence on two occasions. Can you confirm
15 that those two occasions, one was actually a meeting and one was a
16 telephone conversation?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And can you confirm that the first meeting took place after your
19 first meeting with the Prosecution on 24 September, 2008?
20 A. Yes, it was in December 2008.
21 Q. And can you confirm that the telephone conversation took place
22 after the interview that was conducted by the investigator Tomasz with
23 yourself on the 3rd of February?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the only time you and I met was yesterday?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I suggest to you, sir, that the reason why we did not travel
3 to see you before the Prosecution is because we were -- we obtained
4 information that on 14 and 15 July, 1995, you were not present at the
5 2nd Battalion command. Can you confirm this information?
6 A. Yes. I can't confirm the date, but I can confirm the days. On
7 Thursday, after 2100 hours I was not present at the communications
9 Q. Okay. Well, this is exactly what I would like to explore at this
10 point in time. And I'd like for this purpose to show you the transcript
11 of your interview.
12 MR. BOURGON: Which, if I can have in e-court, please, and that
13 would be 3D00566.
14 Q. Sir, I will show you -- this transcript will appear in front of
16 MR. BOURGON: And I would like to have in B/C/S page 1 and in
17 English also page 1, please.
18 And maybe I have the wrong number. I apologise, it's 3D00567,
19 which is the interview of 3 February. I mixed up the six and the seven,
20 I apologise.
21 Q. Sir, I draw your attention in your language to lines 18 to 24,
22 and the same can be found at the bottom of page 1 in English, lines 27.
23 And then we will have to go to page 2 for line 1 for the final word of
24 what I would like to read to you.
25 So I'll just read that question, and I ask you, sir, that you
1 read that in your own language. TB, this is Tomasz Blaszczyk, I hope I
3 "Q. Okay, and you indicated a few minutes ago, and I ask you
4 also again about your knowledge about event from July 1995, and I asked
5 you whether you were called to the Brigade, to the Battalion HQ in regard
6 to the coded telegram.
7 "A. Yes.
8 "Q. And you told me that you were called. Is it correct?
9 "A. Yes."
10 That's the part that is on the next page in English.
11 Sir, do you recall having been asked those questions and giving
12 these answers?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And when you mention to the investigator here that you were
15 called to the Battalion HQ in regards to a coded telegram, I take it that
16 this was before the beginning of the real interview; is that correct?
17 A. I'm afraid I did not understand your question.
18 Q. I'll try to make it more clear, and I appreciate when you do that
19 so I have an opportunity to make it clear.
20 According to the text that we have before us, at lines 18 to 24,
21 and that's the beginning of the interview, Mr. Blaszczyk asked you a few
22 minutes ago:
23 "I ask you about your knowledge about an event in July 1995, and
24 you told me that you were called at the Battalion HQ, and you confirmed
1 What I would like to know is that when Mr. Blaszczyk put that
2 question to you, that was before he put the tape on to start recording?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And how many questions were put to you before the tape was put
6 A. Most of the questions pertaining to that part -- actually, there
7 were not that many. There were -- most of the questions were about going
8 to the command.
9 Q. So the questions about going to the command, there were a few
10 questions or many questions before the tape was placed at on?
11 A. A few, not many.
12 Q. Now, when Mr. Blaszczyk put that -- those questions to you, those
13 few questions, he did not tell you which coded telegram he was referring
14 to; is that correct?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So when he put that question to you before the tape was put in
17 function, he did not tell you that he was referring to any telegram
18 ordering the 2nd Battalion to put together a group of its soldiers to
19 participate in the execution of prisoners. He never mentioned that to
20 you before placing the tape at on; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct, but he also asked me whether I knew anything
22 about a coded telegram that arrived in July. This is what he said to me.
23 Q. But he didn't tell you anything about the content of that
25 A. No.
1 Q. And when you were answering the questions put to you by
2 Mr. Blaszczyk concerning the existence of a coded telegram, you did not
3 know what was the content of the telegram he was referring to?
4 A. I wasn't aware of the content of the telegram.
5 Q. So all you knew at the time is that you had received one coded
6 telegram in July of 1995, and, you, yourself, you knew that you never
7 found out the content of this telegram; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. BOURGON: I'd like to move to page 4 of the interview in
10 B/C/S, and I believe it's page 5 in English. Sorry, it's also page 4 in
11 English. So in English it would be 30 to 33.
12 Q. And in your language, sir, it would be lines 8 to 11.
13 So I will read it in English.
14 "Q. Okay. This everything happened you said in July 1995.
15 "A. Yes.
16 "Q. It was sometime about Wednesday, Tuesday, or Monday?
17 "A. It had to be before Wednesday."
18 Do you recall saying this, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, I would like to show you another exhibit while we keep this
22 on the screen, and I would like the court usher to give it to you in
23 paper, and that is 6D196, and I do have a paper copy to give to the
24 judges, and I've already given a copy on this side of the courtroom. And
25 I will give a copy to the Prosecution simply because I will be referring
1 to this exhibit quite a bit, and it's better if we have it in our hands.
2 MR. BOURGON: If that's okay with my colleague, of course.
3 Q. Sir, you can confirm that what I just gave you or what the
4 court usher just gave you is the calendar for July of 1995. Do you
5 recognise this?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So when you said during the interview "before Wednesday ..." what
8 you actually meant is before 12 July. Would that be correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, if you go down and look back again on the screen for the
11 interview at lines 12 to 15, and for the English it's page 5, lines 7 to
12 10, if I have the right. Sorry, in English it would be line 1 up until
13 line 4. And it reads as follows.
14 Tomasz Blaszczyk:
15 "Okay, I understand, but it was after the fall of Srebrenica?"
16 And your answer was:
17 "We did not know about the fall of Srebrenica, we were not
18 informed. We did not have any information, and we did not know what was
19 going on till maybe some times Wednesday, Thursday, probably."
20 So my question is, looking back at the calendar I just gave you,
21 this would mean that you found out about the fall of Srebrenica on the
22 12th or the 13th of July; is that correct?
23 A. I'm looking at the calendar. Yes.
24 Q. But that coded telegram you say was received by the
25 2nd Battalion, that was before the 13th of July; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I also understand from your interview that when you would
3 have received or when a coded telegram would have been received at the
4 2nd Battalion, you were not aware at the time that there were prisoners
5 of war in the area of Rocevic; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, we can also read this answer which is part of your
8 interview, and that was page 5, lines 7 to 15 in English, and in B/C/S
9 page 4 lines 18 to 24.
10 Sir, would you agree with me that the presence of prisoners of
11 war is something that you learned later on Monday or Tuesday [Realtime
12 transcript read in error "Tuzla
13 home after the battle of Baljkovica; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And if we look again at the calendar that you have, and of course
16 that's 6D196 for the record, so this would be on the 17th or the 18th of
17 July; is that correct?
18 A. I don't understand what the reference to the 17th or the 18th of
19 July is about.
20 MR. BOURGON: Sorry, there is a correction I need to do in the
21 transcript on page 30, line 2. I thank my colleague for that, the word
23 Q. Sir, I will say my question again. In the interview you said
24 that you found out about the presence of prisoners of war in Rocevic when
25 returning home on the Monday or the Tuesday?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So what Monday and Tuesday are you referring to on this calendar?
3 What date is that?
4 A. The 18th of July.
5 MR. BOURGON: I'd like to have in e-court now a different
6 document, which is the supplemental information sheet of 26th March, and
7 the number I have here is 3D00569.
8 Q. Sir, this is the written version of the notes which were given to
9 us by the Prosecution after they met with you. And I draw your attention
10 to the fifth paragraph, those are numbers that were added by the Defence,
11 Mr. President, simply for the sake of being able to go faster.
12 So the fifth paragraph, and it reads here:
13 "The witness added that the events concerning the coded telegram
14 occurred not later than 13 July 1995
15 Can you confirm that indeed -- or, sorry, I have to make my
16 questions more clear. If I look at this paragraph here, I'd like to know
17 which one is it. Earlier you said it had to be before 13 July, and in
18 here, in the information sheet, you said "... not later than 13 July."
19 So can you help us with a more precise answer. Is it no later
20 than 13 July, or is it before 13 July as you said in the interview?
21 A. Not after the 13th of July because at 2100 hours on Thursday, I
22 was not in the communications centre. I was not there. That's the 13th
23 of July.
24 Q. So in other words the telegram you say would have been received
25 at the 2nd Battalion command could not have been received on the 13th of
1 July because you were not there. Is that your testimony, sir?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Sir, can you explain to us why it is not possible that you
4 received that -- that the telegram coded was received on that day; in
5 other words, where were you on 13th July in the evening?
6 A. The telegram I received could not have been received after
7 2100 hours on Thursday because on that evening I set out for Standard,
8 and from there on to Maricici since we were supposed to protect the city
9 from Muslim forces advancing towards Baljkovica and threatening to break
10 through the lines.
11 MR. BOURGON: If I can have in e-court and in B/C/S just the next
12 page so we can cover the sixth paragraph. In English I think we have the
13 right place.
14 Q. Sir, can you confirm that you did in July of 1995 receive a
15 wedding invitation which you were supposed to attend on Sunday, the 16th
16 of July?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And as you just mention, in the evening of 13 July you were sent
19 to Standard. Can you confirm that you went there along with a group of
20 about 30 soldiers? Can you confirm this?
21 A. I can confirm that I was a part of a group of some 20-30 men.
22 I'm not sure of the number.
23 Q. And what time did you depart from the lines of the 2nd Battalion
24 to go to Standard?
25 A. At around 9.00 p.m.
1 Q. And from Standard, would you agree that after waiting some time
2 there, you were then taken to Maricici; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you notice any units, any other units present along with your
5 group in Maricici?
6 A. Yes, there was either a company or a platoon of the military
7 police from Doboj.
8 Q. And do you recall who was in command of the group you were part
9 of on the evening and night of 13 to 14 July?
10 A. That evening it was Ljubo Bojanovic who took us out to the front
11 lines. He was probably in command of that unit.
12 Q. And do you recall during that evening or during that night from
13 13 to 14 July whether you saw Dragan Obrenovic?
14 A. During the night, no.
15 Q. When did you see Dragan Obrenovic, if you saw him?
16 A. I saw him on Friday as he was getting past us and said that
17 nobody should stop us, or something along those lines.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time that's convenient for you, Mr. Bourgon.
19 MR. BOURGON: About two more questions, Mr. President, then we
20 will -- then I can move on to a different topic.
21 Q. Sir, if I look, you just mentioned Friday, so you saw
22 Dragan Obrenovic on the 14th of July; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, in the proofing note that you have before you on the screen,
25 and that is in the bullet number 6 or the sixth paragraph, you mention
1 there what Dragan Obrenovic said. Can you read what you mentioned to the
2 Prosecution and confirm whether this is correct?
3 A. He said that "Nobody should stop these people," and he meant the
4 Muslims, in other words, he wanted them to be released, to be let go.
5 Q. I'm not sure if it's a translation issue, but did he say "Nobody
6 should stop them," or "Nobody can stop them"?
7 A. "Nobody can stop them," that's what he said. That's what I
9 Q. And when you -- do you recall that with this group you ended up
10 in Baljkovica on Saturday the 15th of July?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when did you return to the lines of the 2nd Battalion?
13 A. I returned to the lines of the 2nd Battalion only some two or
14 three days after I got back home. I took some time to rest. I don't
15 recall exactly.
16 Q. And when did you return? When did this group of soldiers that
17 were deployed from the 2nd Battalion, when did the group return as a
18 group to the 2nd Battalion? What day or what date, to the best of your
20 A. I don't recall that. These were company men, and it depended on
21 individuals companies, when they would allow their men to go on leave. I
22 remember that I got there again some two or three days after I got back
23 from Baljkovica. I wouldn't be able to tell you about the other men.
24 Q. Maybe let me make that more clear. When did you return home
25 after Baljkovica, you, yourself?
1 A. I returned home on Tuesday. I think it was a Tuesday.
2 Q. And according to the calendar, this would be around the 18th of
3 July; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you, sir.
6 MR. BOURGON: I think, Mr. President, we can go for the break.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, we'll have a 25-minute break. Thank
9 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
12 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Sir, when we left before the break, we were discussing the fact
14 that you were deployed with a group of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion
15 initially to Standard and then to Maricici in Baljkovica. My first
16 question is --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. -- do you remember any other members of the 2nd Battalion who
19 were with you on that occasion?
20 A. There was Milan Radic.
21 Q. Anybody else that you recall?
22 A. No. I can't be certain, but I know for a fact that Milan
24 Q. Yesterday, sir, when we met you mentioned a name, Savo Acimovic.
25 Do you recall mentioning this?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you recall if he was there also, or you can't be sure?
3 A. I recall him being there, but he was killed. That's why I didn't
4 mention him.
5 Q. It's a very good reason. I'm sorry.
6 Now, Milan Radic who was with you testified before this
7 Trial Chamber, and I quote quickly from page 26162, at lines 13 and 14,
8 and in response to a question he said:
9 "I said that I left approximately on the 13th and that I came
10 back on the 16th or the 17th, which means that I spent five days in the
12 Sir, does that correspond to the dates that you would have
13 deployed with this group?
14 A. Yes, save for the return date.
15 Q. Which would be, according to you?
16 A. That would have been the 18th, the Tuesday.
17 Q. Now, there was a statement which was provided by Milan Radic
18 which was admitted in evidence, and I would like to quote part of this
19 statement. And that is from 3D00457, and Milan Radic said in this
21 "In July 1995 after the fall of Srebrenica, I cannot remember the
22 exact date, the battalion commander ordered me to prepare 12 soldiers
23 from my company to go in the field on the front line. As I only managed
24 to provide 11 soldiers, the battalion commander ordered me to go with
25 them as the twelfth soldier."
1 Sir, is this information that you were aware of?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When did you become aware of this information?
4 A. I learned this on the day of our departure. The commander said
5 that he would go unless he would be able to collect as many men as were
7 Q. And the statement goes on:
8 "That same procedure took place in the other two companies as
9 well, and so one platoon of about 36 soldiers had been formed."
10 Do you recall whether soldiers from the two other companies also
11 were part of that group?
12 A. Yes, they were. I don't know how many, though.
13 Q. And his statement continues:
14 "As far as I remember, that platoon headed towards Snagovo on
15 13 July," but he says in the afternoon. "In the evening we arrived to
16 the Maricici position, where we spent the night of 13 to 14 July 1995."
17 Does that correspond of the information as to your deployment as
18 you recall?
19 A. It does, save for the fact that we set out in the evening and not
20 in the afternoon.
21 Q. And he goes on to describe:
22 "We also remained there, that is in Maricici, the following day
23 and one more night. On 15 July, 1995
24 position in Maricici. There were no combat activities with the BiH Army
25 in that region. The ABiH broke through our lines and left towards
1 Baljkovica. On 15 July 1995
2 thought we were going back to the battalion; however, the order was to
3 continue towards Baljkovica where we arrived in the afternoon. We were
4 immediately deployed along the front line. Those two days were very
5 hard. There were heavy combats until 16 July 1995 when the corridor was
6 open and the Muslim forces crossed the defence line.
7 "After the corridor was opened, we went through the woods towards
8 Ceparde, and we stayed three more days in Ceparde. We could not go back
9 towards Zvornik since Crni Vrh was closed. Three days later we returned
10 to the battalion."
11 Does that correspond to the situation as you lived through it in
12 July of 1995?
13 A. Yes, save for some minor details.
14 Q. Like which ones?
15 A. Well, for example, that already on the morning of Sunday my unit
16 was divided. The Muslims forces divided it into two parts, one was left
17 in the direction towards the headquarters and the other one towards
18 Caparde. We were retreating towards the woods. That's where they were
19 driving us. He said that we stayed there for three days, that means
20 Sunday, Monday, and on Tuesday we headed back.
21 Since Crni Vrh was closed off, the agreement was that the --
22 their rear forces and the units of the Muslim army that were left behind
23 would be leaving the area, passing through.
24 Q. Now, Ljubo Bojanovic, whom you referred to earlier, he testified
25 in the Blagojevic case, and his testimony was admitted in this case. At
1 page 11710 to 11714 in the Blagojevic case, I mention this more for my
2 colleague than for you, sir, he testified at around 2.00 a.m. during the
3 night from 13 to 14 July he was ordered to take forces from Standard to
4 Maricici. Is this information you can relate to?
5 A. Yes. That's why I said that Ljubo Bojanovic was most probably
6 the commander of the unit since he was the one to take us out to Maricici
7 and deploy us there. As for the time, I can't claim with any precision
8 whether it happened a day earlier or a day -- or an hour earlier or an
9 hour later.
10 Q. Sir, do you know somebody by the name of Cvijetinovic, I think
11 his name was mentioned earlier?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, Cvijetinovic testified in this case, and this is what is --
14 this is what he said. At page 25854 to 25855, lines 18 to first line on
15 the next page:
16 "Okay. You know someone named Dragan Stevanovic?"
17 His answer was:
19 "Q. Who was he?
20 "A. He was the commander of the communications section.
21 "Q. Commander of the communications section, was he working on
22 the 14th of July of 1995?
23 "A. No.
24 "Q. Are you sure about that?"
25 "A. No, no."
1 My question is: Were you at the 2nd Battalion command on
2 14 July?
3 A. Is this a question that you put to me?
4 I was there until 9.00 p.m.
5 Standard on the 14th -- or, rather, no, sorry, on the 13th. And on the
6 14th, no. In other words, I was there on Thursday until 9.00 p.m., and
7 on Friday I wasn't there. I had, by that time, reached Maricici.
8 MR. BOURGON: If I can have in e-court, please, P00312.
9 Q. Sir, this is the attendance roster for the 2nd Battalion command
10 for July of 1995.
11 My first question is: Have you seen this document before?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, I draw your attention to line number 1 towards the end of
14 the document where we see your name. Do you see this at line 1?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And it says here for the dates of 13-19, I see the following
17 letters: 13 plus, 14 plus, 15 -- it's difficult to tell, but it appears
18 to be something like a 3. In English it's not there, but we have a V.
19 And then 16 says T, 17 says T, 18 and 19 also say T.
20 Sir, on the basis of this report, it would appear that you were
21 at the Battalion command on 13 and 14. Can you explain this.
22 A. Yes, I can see that, but I wasn't there. I've already told you.
23 Q. Now I -- it's just to confirm, and I just -- and I can understand
24 that. But so that would be a mistake, or how would those letters be
25 there on this report saying that you were there on the 13th and the 14th?
1 A. You have to ask the person who was keeping the record.
2 Q. And do you recall who was keeping this record?
3 A. I know that it was Lazarevic and Jovic, they were in charge of
4 the personnel affairs, but I wouldn't know who exactly was in charge of
5 keeping the records. I don't know which of the two might have done that.
6 I don't know what the two of them actually did.
7 Q. Now, sir, I draw your attention to the next -- to line 4 in the
8 same section, where it says Cvijetinovic. Do you see this, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, under the date 13 July, it says OD, Oscar-Delta. What does
11 that mean, if you know?
12 A. Absent.
13 Q. Can you confirm --
14 A. Or on furlough, something to that effect.
15 Q. And are you aware that on 13 July Cvijetinovic was not in
16 the command of the 2nd Battalion?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. Do you happen to know where he was?
19 A. He was at home.
20 Q. And for 14 July, we have a plus. What does that mean, if you
22 A. That he was present; however, I don't remember when he arrived.
23 On the 13th, if --
24 THE INTERPRETER: The witness could repeat what happened on the
25 13th --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe he arrived in the afternoon,
2 but I don't remember.
3 MR. BOURGON:
4 Q. And sir, does this roster that appears before you, does that
5 change your testimony in any way that the coded telegram you say would
6 have been received at the 2nd --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Sorry to interrupt you like this, I
8 hate to do it, Mr. Bourgon, however, it's in the interest of everyone.
9 Line 17, the transcript -- and line 18, actually, of the previous page,
10 we've got a part of the witness's testimony which is completely missing
11 in the transcript. He -- the question was:
12 "Mr. Stevanovic, and for 14 July we have a plus, what does that
13 mean, if you know?"
14 And then you answered:
15 "That he was present; however, I don't remember when he arrived."
16 And then you continued:
17 "On the 13th if ..." But we don't know what you said because we
18 don't have it in the transcript. If you could kindly repeat it, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was absent on the 13th. I'm
20 sure of that. He was celebrating. I believe that he did return on the
21 14th, but I don't know when; therefore, I cannot confirm anything about
22 the 14th. However, I am absolutely positive that he was absent on the
23 13th. It was his holiday, his religious holiday, and it was common
24 practice to allow people to be absent on their patron saint day, which
25 was, for him, on the 13th.
1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. I repeat the question that I asked just a little earlier, and
3 that is the roster that appears before you, does that change in any way
4 your testimony that the telegram you say would have been received at the
5 2nd Battalion command would have been received before 14 July? Does that
6 change this in any way?
7 A. I'm not changing my statement. The command of the 2nd Battalion
8 did receive the telegram before the Thursday, i.e., before the 13th of
10 Q. Sir, do you know someone by the name of Mitar Lazarevic, and who
11 is he?
12 A. Yes. He was a command member.
13 Q. Sir, Mitar Lazarevic testified in this case, and I refer to page
14 13373 to 13374. He testified about a coded telegram which would have
15 been received at the 2nd Battalion command after midnight on the night of
16 14 to 15 July.
17 My question is the following --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye, sorry.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 I just want the record to be clear that the testimony was not
21 equivocal in that respect, and my colleague has characterised it as that
22 Mr. Lazarevic said it would have been received; in fact, he said it was.
23 It just want the record to be clear on that because it is -- it is in
24 fact what the testimony was. My colleague has stated it to this witness
25 as though it's a conditional issue, and it really just isn't.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think Mr. Bourgon would --
2 MR. BOURGON: I have no difficulty with that, Mr. President.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, just to be clear, we all know
4 Mr. Bourgon's speech and that's the way he speaks and that's what he
5 means, and I think we know that, we just wanted to get it on the record.
6 Many times he says "would have" when I think he means "was."
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, and I didn't want to say it because I was
8 a little bit -- feel offended, but I know that that is the way he speaks.
9 So let's proceed.
10 MR. BOURGON: Not the first and not the last time, Mr. President.
11 I'm trying to do my best.
12 Q. Now, based on what my colleague just said, that Mitar Lazarevic
13 said that the telegram would have been received on -- no, was received on
14 14 July, my question is the following: Based on your knowledge, would
15 you agree that this certainly cannot be the same telegram, the same coded
16 telegram which would have been received by the 2nd Battalion while you
17 were there?
18 A. If he received it on the 14th July, it was a different telegram.
19 If he received it on Friday or during the night between Thursday and
20 Friday, because I wasn't there.
21 Q. Now, sir, you know who Sreten Acimovic is?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And Sreten Acimovic also testified in this case, and I refer to
24 page 12944-12945, to my verification there was not closed session, but I
25 stand to be corrected.
1 Sir, he also testified about a coded telegram which was received
2 after midnight
3 1995. Sir, it's my understanding based on your testimony that this
4 cannot be the same coded telegram you say would have been received by the
5 2nd Battalion when you were there.
6 A. That's what you're saying, but what is the question?
7 Q. My question to you is that do you agree with that, that it cannot
8 be the same telegram?
9 A. If it arrived on the 14th, it's not the same telegram. I
10 received the telegram earlier.
11 Q. Now, sir, do you have any knowledge about a coded telegram which
12 would have been received at the second battalion command during the night
13 of 14 to 15 July?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And sir, when you return to the 2nd Battalion command after the
16 battle of Baljkovica around the 18th of July, did anyone mention anything
17 to you about a coded telegram which would have been received at the
18 2nd Battalion command while you were away during the night of 14 to 15
19 July 1995?
20 A. I did not hear anything. I was not there. We never discussed
21 that. Bygones were bygones, life went on and we never discussed anything
22 that happened before.
23 Q. So Sreten Acimovic never discussed a coded telegram with you that
24 would have arrived on 14th July, 1995
25 A. No, we never discussed that. And we knew about the one that I
1 received -- actually, that I was asked to decode.
2 Q. And Mitar Lazarevic never spoke to you or discussed with you a
3 telegram coded that would have been received in your absence on 14 July?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And did any of the signalmen or communicators in your section
6 discuss with you when you returned a coded telegram which would have been
7 received in your absence on 14 July?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And did anyone else in the 2nd Battalion discuss with you or
10 mention to you a coded telegram which would have been received in your
11 absence on the 14th of July?
12 A. I can't say that anybody did, that anybody discussed the specific
13 telegram of the 14th of July.
14 Q. Now, sir, I would like to move to a different section also
15 dealing with the telegram of 14 July. When Mitar Lazarevic testified -
16 and that was on page 13374 - he said the following:
17 "Q. Okay. Tell us about this telegram that arrived.
18 "A. The telegram arrived, and in that telegram it was requested
19 that a group of people would be sent to Rocevic to execute these men.
20 The telegram was coded."
21 Sir, my question is the following: In July of 1995, did you
22 learn any information or hear any rumors about a coded telegram which
23 would have been received at the 2nd Battalion command on the night of
24 14 to 15 July, but specifically a telegram ordering the 2nd Battalion to
25 provide soldiers to participate in the execution of prisoners?
1 A. No, but I heard rumors about a conversation between the commander
2 and the brigade commander, a conversation about some men that they were
3 looking after, but I don't know when this -- what this was all about.
4 But this was sometime after July.
5 Q. But a telegram in July 1995 asking or ordering the 2nd Battalion
6 to provide men to execute prisoners of war, you never heard about that in
7 July 1995?
8 A. No, I can't confirm that I ever heard that.
9 Q. Just for the sake of clarity, maybe it's a translation. It says
10 here "I cannot confirm I ever heard ..." I just want to suggest to you,
11 you never heard about such a telegram; is that correct?
12 A. No, I never heard of such a telegram.
23 Q. Sir, how well did you know Milisav Cvijetinovic?
24 A. I knew him rather well. We served in the same service for
25 several years, certainly for two years.
1 Q. Now, sir, when he testified - and I quote from page 25836 to
2 25837 - he said the following, I'll just quote a small part:
3 "Q. And during the same period, did you hear any rumors about a
4 telegram being received by the 2nd Battalion asking for soldiers to
5 participate in the execution of prisoners?"
6 His answer, on line 23, was:
8 Sir, my question is the following: Based on your knowledge of
9 the character and personality of Cvijetinovic, if he knew any information
10 about such a telegram in July 1995, do you believe he would have had the
11 guts to speak the truth about it?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: It calls for speculation, Your Honour. I
14 frankly don't see the relevance of the testimony.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Move to your next question, Mr. Bourgon.
16 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, the witness was the commander of the
17 section, he knows the man, he can say if he believes the man spoke the
19 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I move to my next
22 Q. I'd like to move, sir, to a different part of my
23 cross-examination dealing with communications between the 2nd Battalion
24 and the Zvornik Brigade.
25 You can confirm, sir, the existence of an induction phone line
1 between the 2nd Battalion and the Zvornik Brigade; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And when we say "induction phone," first the line goes through
4 the communications centre of the 2nd Battalion and then to the battalion
5 command; is that correct?
6 A. There is a switchboard in the battalion, and there is one in the
7 brigade. A switchboard means that every participant in the battalion is
8 connected to the battalion's switchboard. And every participant in the
9 brigade is connected to the brigade switchboard. And between the brigade
10 and the battalion, there is the encircled induction line.
11 Q. Thank you. And you can confirm that when we say "induction
12 phone," this is a line which is actually a link by a hardwire, and this
13 wire is either buried or hidden and it goes into friendly territory only;
14 is that correct?
15 A. Not hidden. However, it is within our territory.
16 Q. Well, you would agree it is placed so that -- to at least avoid
17 the line from being broken?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So linesmen sometimes would bury the line and sometimes would put
20 the lines in the trees. You agree with that?
21 A. No, we did not bury the line in the ground. We just stretch it
22 through the branches of the trees and towards the brigade. We used the
23 official postal line without any signal.
24 Q. And, sir, the only way communication by an induction phone can be
25 intercepted, you will agree with me, is by plugging into the wire, in
1 other words, by bugging the phone; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. Well, this is as much as I know, unless there is something
3 more state-of-the-art.
4 Q. Sir, when Sreten Acimovic testified, and that was on page
5 13071-13072, he was asked:
6 "This was a secure line, meaning that conversations on such a
7 telephone cannot be intercepted unless you plug yourself in the wire."
8 And his answer was:
10 And a little later at line 22, he was asked:
11 "So these conversations cannot be intercepted once again unless
12 someone plugs right into the wire."
13 And his answer was:
15 So subject to what you just mentioned, you agree that this is a
16 secure line?
17 A. Very secure.
18 Q. And for this reason, when you used the military induction phone,
19 whether between the battalion command and the companies or between the
20 battalion command and the brigade, there was no reason to use codes. You
21 would agree with that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, according to what you said to the Prosecution, there was
24 also a normal civilian phone line between the Zvornik Brigade and the
25 2nd Battalion command. Do you recall saying this?
1 A. The command of the 2nd Battalion had a civilian telephone line.
2 It could dial anybody in Holland
3 who had a civilian telephone line; not only the Zvornik Brigade.
4 Q. Now, can you -- are you sure that this telephone line was
5 operational in July of 1995?
6 A. I can't be sure of that. The switchboard, I believe, was in
7 Petkovci or in Sekovici. I don't know anything about the quality of the
8 line. It varied from one day to the next. It all depended on how good
9 the maintenance people were.
10 Q. And do you recall, sir, that in fact this line was regularly down
11 and not operational. Is that something you can confirm?
12 A. I'm not sure I understand your question. What do you mean "not
14 Q. Well, do you agree with me that during the war, and more
15 specifically in July 1995, there were many days when the civilian phone
16 line was not working, simply because civilian phones were not working.
17 Do you recall this when you were there in your own experience?
18 A. It did happen that sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't,
19 but I don't know when those things happened. That telephone line was not
20 within my range, so I wouldn't know when it worked or when it didn't.
21 Q. And the civilian phone in the 2nd Battalion command is not linked
22 in any way to the communications centre where you work?
23 A. No, unless the brigade was first dialed, and then the brigade
24 would transfer the call to the communications centre which would have
25 been kind of stupid.
1 Q. Now, you can confirm that a civilian line, the one you are
2 talking about, is really a normal civilian phone using PTT assets?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that such a civilian line as between the 2nd Battalion
5 command and the Zvornik Brigade also goes through hardwire?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And one way to intercept such communication on a civilian phone
8 line is basically to tap the line, in other words, bugging the phone.
9 That's one way you could do it? Do you agree with that?
10 A. I don't know in which way a line can be intercepted. I don't
11 have any knowledge of that. I don't have any expertise in that.
12 Q. So you're not aware in July of 1995 of any existing technical
13 capability that will allow you to tap into a civilian line; it's not
14 something you know?
15 A. I don't know anything about it.
16 Q. And, sir, you will agree with me that when people spoke using on
17 that civilian phone between the battalion command and the brigade, they
18 spoke in clear language and no codes were used. Can you confirm that?
19 A. I can't confirm that since the communications centre was
20 100 metres away from the command. I wasn't able to know how anyone
21 spoke. Of course, when one uses a civilian phone line, one engages in
22 normal conversation.
23 Q. Now, sir, you will agree with me that radio communications is
24 entirely different from having a conversation either on the induction
25 phone or on the civilian line because radio signals can easily be
1 intercepted simply by using another radio and a frequency scanner. Do
2 you agree with that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So there is a reason when communicating by radio to use codes if
5 you want to keep the content of your conversation confidential. Would
6 you agree with that?
7 A. Whether there is a reason for something or not, I don't know.
8 But I suppose if something is important, it probably needs encoding.
9 Q. And at the 2nd Battalion command, there was a RUP-12 radio in the
10 communications centre?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But there was no RUP-12 radio in the battalion command itself?
13 A. There was one in the communications centre, but none in the
14 command of the battalion.
15 Q. So any information coming to the 2nd Battalion via radio would
16 first be received by the signalman on duty in the communications centre,
17 and then this information would be transmitted to the battalion command
18 using the military induction phone. Is that how it worked?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you will agree with me that other than for radio checks, the
21 RUP-12 was almost never used while you were a member of the 2nd Battalion
23 A. In the communications centre, no.
24 Q. And the reason for this is quite simple. It's much easier to use
25 the induction phone because you can speak in clear without using codes.
1 Would you agree with that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And one more question about codes. You will agree with me that
4 the object and purpose of using codes or coded language in wartime is to
5 avoid the enemy from intercepting your communications. Would you agree
6 with that?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. And based on the information you provided to the Prosecution, I
9 take it you can confirm that you, yourself, you can only recall three
10 times where codes were used during the period you were a member of the
11 2nd Battalion command. Would that be a fair statement?
12 A. They were used in November and December of 1993 during active
13 combat activities and in April of 1995.
14 Q. And the only other time you recall codes ever being used was when
15 you say a coded telegram would have been received at the 2nd Battalion
16 command; is that correct?
17 A. I tried to use them, but I wasn't able to.
18 Q. I'm not sure I understand your answer. Do you recall while you
19 were a member of the 2nd Battalion whether codes were ever used other
20 than for the occasions you had just mentioned?
21 A. Codes were not used. The Razgovornik was not used. And as for
22 the code table, we didn't have any.
23 Q. I'd like now to quickly go through the manner in which the coded
24 telegram you say was received by the 2nd Battalion, so the manner in
25 which it was received and who actually received it.
1 So in your interview, you stated that one night before 13 July,
2 1995, as you establish, you were called by Mitar Lazarevic and you were
3 asked to come to the battalion command with the Razgovornik to decode a
4 telegram which had arrived. Do you recall saying this?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when you were called by Mitar Lazarevic that night to go to
7 the 2nd Battalion command, the telegram you were asked to decode had
8 already arrived and was in possession of Mitar Lazarevic. Do you agree
9 with that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And at the moment you were called to go to the battalion command,
12 you were then in the communications centre?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And were there any other communicators or signalmen present with
15 you that night at the communications centre?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Who was there?
18 A. I can't be certain, but I believe it was Ilic. Somebody had to
19 stay behind and operate the switchboard.
20 Q. Now, this coded telegram which would have been received, you did
21 not receive this telegram yourself?
22 A. I don't remember receiving it.
23 Q. When you showed up at the command, they gave it to you on paper?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And Mitar Lazarevic, according to what you said to the
1 Prosecution, he did not tell you specifically how this telegram was
2 received, did he?
3 A. No, he didn't tell me.
4 Q. So it's possible that this telegram could have been delivered by
5 courier and you don't know that. Would you agree with that?
6 A. What was possible? Well, several things were possible, and I
7 can't claim with any certainty that one or the other was correct. I
8 don't remember receiving it. But it was, of course, possible that a
9 courier had brought it over.
10 Q. Now, I'd like to address now what happened when you arrive at the
11 battalion command that night and before 13 July, 1995, as you say, when
12 the telegram would have been received. Do you agree that Mitar Lazarevic
13 called you specifically for the purpose of decoding a telegram he had
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you went to the 2nd Battalion command alone. No other
17 communicators went there with you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when you entered the battalion command, you were given the
20 coded telegram on a sheet of paper A4.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So you never saw a coded telegram written in any book. All you
23 were given was a sheet of paper?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And there was another person there beside Mitar Lazarevic, but
1 according to what you said to the Prosecution, you don't remember who
2 that is?
3 A. I don't remember. I can't be sure.
4 Q. Now, according to your interview, there were only the three of
5 you in the battalion command at the time.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you tried to decode the telegram, but you were not able to,
8 as you said, using the Razgovornik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, to the best of your knowledge, the Razgovornik you had was
11 up to date?
12 A. I don't know what you mean by "up to date;" that it was in use?
13 Q. Was it the latest version that you had received from the brigade?
14 A. It was a valid one, yes.
15 Q. But when my colleague asked you the question whether you knew who
16 was responsible to receive this Razgovornik, it could have been anyone in
17 your section who received the latest version of the Razgovornik.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when Mitar Lazarevic saw that you were not able to decode
20 that message, did you tell him the reason why you could not decode the
21 telegram was because you needed another code book in addition to the
23 A. That's not how I explained it to him. I explained it to him the
24 following way: That one could not decipher the text with the help of the
1 Q. And did Mitar Lazarevic tell you, Well, there is a copy on the
2 wall of the code book which is required that you need to decipher the
4 A. No.
5 Q. And what about the third person? Did he tell you anything?
6 A. No, I don't recall him saying anything.
7 Q. So would I be right in saying that to your knowledge, and that of
8 Mitar Lazarevic and the other person present that night, that the
9 2nd Battalion did not have the necessary code book required to decode the
10 type of telegram which had been received?
11 A. Can you repeat the question, please. I don't understand.
12 Q. Yes, I'll try to be more precise. Based on everything you said
13 so far how things happened, while you are there with Mitar Lazarevic and
14 the third person, the three of you don't know of any other deciphering
15 table available other than the Razgovornik that you have?
16 A. I didn't know that, and I don't know if they did.
17 Q. Well, do you agree that if they did, they would have pointed to
18 you, that they would have shown you that -- that thing on the wall?
19 A. Probably.
20 Q. Now, after you establish clearly that you could not decode that
21 telegram, one of the two persons there decided to wake up the commander,
22 Acimovic; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And then when he arrived, that is Acimovic, he was given the
25 sheet of paper on which there was a coded telegram transcribed on it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And this telegram was not decoded, of course, when it was given
3 to Acimovic?
4 A. No, it was not decoded.
5 Q. Now, if Mitar Lazarevic testified that the coded telegram he
6 received on 14 July was decoded by a signalman, of course it cannot be
7 the same telegram that you could not decode?
8 A. I don't know about that statement or about that other telegram.
9 Q. I'll try to be more clear. He testified about the telegram he
10 says he received on 14 July, and he said the signalman decoded the
11 telegram. So given that you could not decode that telegram, of course we
12 are not talking about the same telegram. You agree with that?
13 A. If that's what he said, I agree. I wasn't able to decode it.
14 Q. And when Acimovic testified about the 14 July telegram he says he
15 received, he said you showed up to the battalion command and the telegram
16 was already decoded. So again it can't be the same telegram that you are
17 talking about. You agree with that?
18 A. I can only agree with what I know about it and that's that I
19 could not decode it. I don't know what happened to them that same night.
20 Q. Now, coming back to the telegram that you are aware of.
21 Sreten Acimovic did not ask you to stay and to decode that message using
22 the table he pointed to on the wall. He did not ask you to do that, did
24 A. No, he didn't ask me to stay. Instead, he told me that I was
25 free to go.
1 Q. So you went back to the communications centre without having
2 decoded the telegram?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And to your knowledge there were no other communicators at the
5 battalion command?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And as far as you know, Mitar Lazarevic and the other person
8 present were not able to decode telegrams because they would not have
9 called you in the first place if they were able to decode. Do you agree
10 with that?
11 A. Not before I came -- or before the commander came. After that, I
12 don't know.
13 Q. And you don't know whether Sreten Acimovic was able to decode
14 telegrams, do you?
15 A. I don't know. Probably when he sent me back to the
16 communications centre he could have done that. I'm merely assuming. I
17 don't know if he really did.
18 Q. Because you don't know yourself whether the commander had the
19 technical ability to decode telegrams?
20 A. He pointed to the code table and said that that should --
21 document should be used to decode it, and then he sent me to the
22 communications centre. I don't know what happened afterwards.
23 Q. Now, Mitar Lazarevic, when he testified he said that neither him
24 or Sreten Acimovic were able to decode messages or telegrams. Can you
25 confirm this information?
1 A. I can't. How could I be able to confirm it when I wasn't there?
2 Q. And it's possible after you left that Sreten Acimovic could not
3 decode this telegram?
4 A. I don't know what sort of answer I should give you to that since
5 I left and I wasn't able to know if he decoded it or not.
6 Q. Now, when you went back to the communications centre, no other
7 communicators were sent to the battalion command for the purpose of
8 decoding a telegram?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And according to the information you gave the Prosecution,
11 40 minutes later a second telegram arrived at the communications centre.
12 Do you recall saying this?
13 A. Yes, 30-40 minutes later.
14 Q. But this message, you received it personally?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you also said that you wrote it down into your normal book in
17 the communications centre?
18 A. I did.
19 Q. Now, why would the second telegram be sent to the communications
20 centre if the first message was sent directly to the battalion command?
21 Was there any reason you can think of, technical reasons?
22 A. No. It was up to them to decide how they would be sending their
24 Q. Now, based on the information you gave to the Prosecution, you're
25 not sure whether that second telegram was coded, but you know that part
1 of the telegram said that the first telegram had to be sent to company
2 commanders. That's what you told the Prosecution?
3 A. Yes. I said that it stated that the company commanders were
4 supposed to be acquainted with the earlier telegram.
5 Q. And this part that you identified, that part of was not coded, I
6 take it. You didn't use Razgovornik to identify that part. That part,
7 as a minimum, was not coded?
8 A. Yes, yes. This was ordinary text, ordinary text.
9 Q. And you communicated this message to the battalion command using
10 the induction phone?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, had this message -- this telegram been coded, you would have
13 to say those numbers or coded words over the induction phone?
14 A. Yes, had this been the case, but I don't remember.
15 Q. And you don't remember saying words and numbers to the battalion
16 command on the phone?
17 A. Had you asked me ten years ago, I might have been able to
18 remember. It's been a while now. I saw that the coded part of it was
19 already down at the command.
20 Q. Now, nothing happened until then until the induction phone rang
21 again, and it -- you were asked to link up the battalion command with the
22 company commanders. Is that what you recall, based on the information
23 you provided to the Prosecution?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you established that communication with the company
1 commanders, but you did not stay on the line to listen to what was being
3 A. I established communication with the commands of the companies,
4 and I did not stay there to listen to what their conversation was about.
5 Q. Now, I refer to your interview --
6 MR. BOURGON: And I'd like to have in e-court, and that's
7 3D00567, and I'd like to have, it's page 5 in English and in B/C/S
8 page 4.
9 Q. And, sir, I would like to read what you said in your interview.
10 And I will quote from lines 28 on page 4, until line 7 on page 5. And in
11 English it goes as follows:
12 "Okay. Regarding the second telegram --" this is question by
13 Tomasz Blaszczyk. "Okay, regarding the second telegram, there was
14 information that the company commanders had to be noticed about the
15 previous telegram."
16 Your answer was:
18 "Q. Did you inform the company commanders as the head of the
19 communication of the battalion?
20 "A. No.
21 "Q. Do you know who informed them?
22 "A. No.
23 "Q. Did they come to the battalion headquarters shortly after?
24 "A. I did not see, and I cannot claim in which way they were
25 informed, or if they were informed."
1 Can you read this in your language?
2 A. Yes, I can.
3 Q. So, sir, you, yourself, did not transmit neither the first nor
4 the second telegram to the companies, did you?
5 A. I am sure about the first one; I'm sure that I didn't. And as
6 for the second, whether I transmitted the coded part or not, I can't
7 remember it because the commander asked to be put through and to speak to
9 Q. But you, yourself, personally did not transmit any information to
10 the companies, did you?
11 A. I can't remember. When it was decoded, I'm sure that I didn't.
12 Whether I transmitted the coded part or not, I really can't remember. At
13 one point the commander asked for the company commanders to be informed,
14 and then he wanted to talk to them personally. I don't know whether I
15 sent it or not. I can't be sure of that.
16 Q. And you're not aware of any company commanders coming to the
17 battalion command that night; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct, I don't know anything about that.
19 MR. BOURGON: If I can have in e-court, please, 3D00566.
20 Q. Sir, I refer you to paragraph 5 of this information report. This
21 is information provided to the Defence by the Prosecution, information
22 that would have been obtained by you the day after your interview. And
23 at paragraph 5 it reads as follows:
24 "At one moment during our conversation, Stevanovic suddenly
25 referred to yesterday's interview (3rd of February 2009) and said that he
1 thinks that he was ordered to send the second telegram (with the notice
2 to inform the company commanders) to the company commanders also with the
3 coded message from the previous telegram."
4 Now, sir, this appears to be different from what you just
5 mentioned. Can you explain this paragraph?
6 A. I've just told you, the commander ordered - and I can't be sure
7 of that - that the coded part should be sent to the company commanders.
8 I don't know whether I did that or not because he spoke to them directly,
9 immediately thereafter. And this is the whole -- what the whole thing is
10 about. I can't be sure that I ever sent that. I believe that I had
11 received the order to send the coded part to the company commanders. But
12 then the company commanders decided to speak to them directly. He
13 decided that immediately thereafter.
14 Q. Now, sir, I move to a different topic. And can you confirm that
15 to your knowledge, the 2nd Battalion never sent any telegrams to the
16 Zvornik Brigade command during the time you were a member of the
17 2nd Battalion command?
18 A. Are you referring to the coded telegrams or telegrams in general?
19 Q. In general, sir.
20 A. I really can't confirm that. The telegrams were sent from both
21 sides, but less from the battalion command to the brigade command. More
22 often, telegrams arrived from the brigade command to the battalion
24 Q. Now, sir, the night that you say a coded telegram would have been
25 received, as you say, before 13 July, can you confirm that to your
1 recollection no telegram were sent to the Zvornik Brigade through the
2 communications centre?
3 A. I can confirm this.
4 Q. I move to a different topic, sir, and that is your knowledge
5 concerning the capability of other communicators to code or decode
6 messages. You mention today in your response that you said Ilic could
7 decode messages. Is this something -- did you ever see Ilic code or
8 decode a message before your own eyes?
9 A. Ilic was my mentor because he had become a signalsman before me.
10 That's why I said it. He taught me some of the things that I know.
11 Q. But you never saw him code or decode any messages while you were
13 A. I don't remember. There may have been such occasions. I really
14 can't remember.
15 Q. And if we talk about Cvijetinovic, you don't know whether
16 he was able or not able to decode messages?
17 A. I don't know, I don't know about him. I did not see him engaged
18 in either coding or the decoding of the messages.
19 Q. And did you ever tell specifically to Cvijetinovic, By the
20 way, the Razgovornik is in the drawer. Did you ever tell him something
21 like that?
22 A. Why would I have told him that? It was a notorious fact, it was
23 a document that we were all aware of. We were all aware of its
24 existence. He knew it. We all had to know that.
25 Q. Well, you never saw him with the Razgovornik in his hands, did
2 A. I really can't say that I did or that I didn't. How should I
3 know what people were holding in their hands 15 years ago. You have to
4 appreciate that, I'm sure.
5 Q. And I do, sir. However, the -- my question is, when we talk
6 about Cvijetinovic, he testified in this case when he was asked whether
7 you could code or decode messages, he said, "I say no." Those were his
8 specific words. Is it possible that he did not know that you were able
9 to code or decode messages?
10 A. Is it possible that he didn't know that I knew? Is that what you
11 asked me?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I really don't know what to answer you. I had carried a RUP, I
14 had already coded telegrams in the field. Whether he was aware of that
15 or not, I really wouldn't know. I don't know whether he knew that. I
16 don't know how well abreast he was of all that.
17 Q. Thank you. Just with respect to receiving the Razgovornik, would
18 you agree that, first of all, it was maintained in the communications
19 centre because it was used, if any, for radio communications? Would you
20 agree with that?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And to your knowledge did anyone have to sign? If you receive a
23 Razgovornik and it contains codes, I would imagine someone would have to
24 sign for this, are you aware of that?
25 A. No, nobody ever signed anything. At least I didn't.
1 Q. And how was it transmitted from the brigade to the battalion?
2 Because you can confirm that there is no teleprinter. You can only
3 receive documents physically; isn't that correct?
4 A. Yes, somebody did bring them, either couriers or whoever went to
5 the brigade, and then they would bring them down to the command and
6 where -- that's where we would take them over.
7 Q. So there were -- there were no procedures when a new table was
8 received in terms of telling everybody, Hey, guys, by the way we received
9 a new Razgovornik. There was no procedure like that?
10 A. No, they were always issued a couple of days before they were to
11 be changed. This would be announced. It was always a couple of days
12 before the end of the month, an announcement would come as to the date,
13 when and -- the new Razgovornik would become operational.
14 Q. But you did not, yourself, as the commander of the communications
15 centre, inform specifically the members of your section?
16 A. Are you referring to new Razgovornik documents?
17 Q. Yes, yes.
18 A. Sometimes they would inform me; for example, if I was at home and
19 in the meantime a new document arrived, they would tell me that it had
20 arrived, and I would know exactly where to find it.
21 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I have about no more than ten
22 minutes. If I can have the break now to look at my notes, I will save
23 some time, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. May I ask the remaining Defence teams
25 if anyone wishes to cross-examine this witness? Ms. Fauveau, negative;
1 Mr. Haynes, negative; Mr. Josse, negative. You are not thinking of any
2 re-examination, I suppose, Mr. Vanderpuye?
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'd like to discuss that with Mr. McCloskey.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We need to finish this witness today, just
5 keep that in mind. Thank you.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.43 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
9 MR. BOURGON: I have very few questions, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
11 MR. BOURGON:
12 Q. Just a few more questions, sir, and we'll be done.
13 Sir, about the second telegram which was received,
14 Sretan Acimovic testified - and that was on page 13129-13130 - that in
15 the telegram that he says was received on the 14th of July in the night,
16 it was emphasized to respond by the same means, by coded telegram.
17 Now, my question is the following: The second telegram, the one
18 that you say you received before 13 July, you recall that part of it was
19 the information should be transmitted to company commanders. Do you
20 recall any information to the effect that a response should be sent by
21 coded telegram to whoever had sent -- you had sent the telegram to the
22 2nd Battalion?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So if Sretan Acimovic says that the telegram he received, it was
25 emphasized to respond by the same means by coded telegram, once again we
1 can't be talking about the same telegram. Do you agree with that?
2 A. I know that the telegram I received didn't contain that. I don't
3 know about others.
4 Q. In your interview, and I quote now from the last page of your
5 interview, I won't put it up on the e-court. But that was the last page,
6 lines 1-4, after the investigator Tomasz Blaszczyk said thank you. You
8 "And I really don't remember who signed these telegrams or the
9 exact time when they arrived."
10 Can you recall that you said this during your interview, and can
11 you confirm this?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And of course when we talk about who signed these telegrams, we
14 are not talking about a signature, are we?
15 A. I don't know either the function of the signing person or his
16 first or last name. I don't remember that.
17 Q. And that is for both the first and the second telegram?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. One thing we discuss concerning the use of codes -- and you
20 confirm that codes were rarely used even for radio communication. Now,
21 what I would like to -- maybe I can avoid showing it on e-court, but we
22 have admitted in this case a long series of tactical intercepts. Those
23 are radio communications within the Zvornik Brigade that were intercepted
24 by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. If I suggest to you that within
25 these tactical intercepts that we have no codes are used, would you be
1 surprised with that?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Also with respect to the testimony of Sretan Acimovic, there is
4 something that he mentioned during one of the interviews that was
5 communicated to us by the Prosecution which was not covered during his
6 testimony. And I will quote from the -- his interview of 17 March, 2002,
7 at page 10-11. And he said the following:
8 "Since this concerns written or printed telegram, there was --
9 there is a possibility that somebody outside from the Zvornik Brigade
10 might have used the operations officer because the duty operations
11 officer had to receive orders and to transmit telegrams as they were
12 ordered. So they might have been used for these purposes by somebody
13 outside the Zvornik Brigade."
14 Now, my question to you is the following: The coded telegram you
15 say was received at the 2nd Battalion command before 13 July 1995, do you
16 know where it came from? That's my first question.
17 A. No.
18 Q. My second question is, if it came from the Zvornik Brigade, is it
19 possible that somebody outside, another agency outside of the Zvornik
20 Brigade had the information transit through the Zvornik Brigade and then
21 to the 2nd Battalion?
22 A. I really don't know about that. I can't assess the possibility
23 at all.
24 Q. From a technical perspective, somebody, for example in another
25 municipality, could call the Zvornik Brigade switchboard and relay a
1 telegram to the 2nd Battalion. Would you agree with that?
2 A. I don't think I fully understood your question. They could dial
3 the in-house switchboard or the brigade switchboard. Which are you
4 referring to, to the brigade switchboard and to convey the telegram to
5 the 2nd Battalion? Is that the question?
6 Q. Okay. I may be more clear. Someone is in a municipality other
7 than Zvornik and they wished to send a coded telegram to the
8 2nd Battalion. In order to do so, they would have to call the
9 switchboard in the Zvornik Brigade and then be connected to the
10 2nd Battalion. Would you agree with that?
11 A. That should be the standard procedure, but one can use a civilian
12 phone to call from Holland
13 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness repeat the last part of his
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What the procedure at the higher
16 level of the command was is something I don't know.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Stevanovic, we have as your answer here:
18 "That should be the standard procedure, but one can use a
19 civilian phone to call from Holland
20 you said something else. Do you remember what you said? Because the
21 interpreters didn't catch it.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One can use civilian phone lines to
23 call the 2nd Battalion command from wherever. To what extent the
24 document is relevant for the 2nd Battalion command is quite a different
25 matter, if it does not go via the brigade command.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 MR. BOURGON:
3 Q. Sir, to your recollection, the telegram you say would have been
4 received by the 2nd Battalion before the 13 July 1995, did both telegrams
5 originate from the same source? Do you have any knowledge about that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Then I will move on.
8 The only possibility other than to send the telegram by a courier
9 to the company commanders, you will agree with me, would be to transmit
10 that through the induction phone. You agree with that?
11 A. A telegram from where for the company commanders? From the
12 brigade or ...
13 Q. I apologise, from the 2nd Battalion, from the command, and you
14 want to send a telegram to the company commanders. So my first question
15 is, did you ever do that? Or you just transmitted the information
17 A. The information was transmitted sometimes orally, sometimes in
18 writing. It depended on the situation. Sometimes the battalion
19 commander would write a telegram, and it would then be forwarded to
20 company commanders. At other times they would speak to each other, so it
21 would be done orally.
22 Q. But you will agree with me that if the 2nd Battalion command
23 wants to send information to the company commanders, the only way it can
24 be done is by using the induction phone?
25 A. Yes, to make sure it's safe.
1 Q. Now, when Sretan Acimovic testified - and I refer to page 12948 -
2 he said:
3 "I got in touch with the company commanders, and I asked them if
4 they had received the telegram. I think I asked them if they had
5 received a telegram, and they confirmed that, yes, they had."
6 Now, based on your testimony, did Sretan Acimovic call the
7 company commanders more than once to your recollection?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I object to the
10 question because my friend hasn't established a basis of knowledge for
11 the witness to answer it. He's in a completely different building
12 according to the record of his testimony thus far.
13 MR. BOURGON: I can make it more clear, Mr. President. I don't
14 see the objection, but I can make it more clear.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I am sure you can. Thank you.
16 MR. BOURGON:
17 Q. You testified to this, sir, that at some point you received a
18 phone call from the battalion command while you were sitting in the
19 communications centre. Do you recall saying this?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And this was after the second telegram was received and that you
22 had communicated its content to the battalion command; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did Sretan Acimovic call you in the communications centre at any
25 other time that night to be plugged in to the companies?
1 A. Yes, he did. Perhaps it wasn't Sretan Acimovic himself but the
2 battalion command.
3 Q. On the same night?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But to your knowledge you, in the communications centre, before
6 Sretan Acimovic called you, we established which he called you, do you
7 have any knowledge of those telegrams or the telegram being sent to the
8 company commanders?
9 A. I don't have any knowledge as to the period before his call, and
10 I said that I can't recall exactly whether I first sent the coded part to
11 the lines or not, and whether it was only then that the commander took
12 over the line and talked to company commanders.
13 Q. Sir, the -- the two telegrams that you say were received by the
14 2nd Battalion before the 13th of July, 1995. Would you agree with me
15 that you never discussed these telegrams with anybody else after that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Would there have been a reason based on your professional
19 competence to inform the other communicators about such a telegram?
20 A. No. I spent some time in the office after that. And thereafter
21 everything seems to have been forgotten. Nobody ever spoke about that.
22 Q. No, it's just because in your interview you stated at one point
23 when you were asked whether you remember receiving the telegram by
24 yourself, you said "I don't remember, but I knew for sure that none of my
25 colleagues knew about this telegram." So I'm just saying that you did
1 not discuss this telegram that you received that night with your
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So I take it that it's, yes, you did not discuss it.
5 A. That's true, I did not discuss it.
6 Q. Now, you mention earlier in your testimony that the coded
7 telegram that was handed to you when you arrive at the battalion command
8 was on an A4 sheet of paper, that you never saw this telegram in a
9 notebook. My question is the following: If Mitar Lazarevic testified
10 that the telegram he received on 14 July was recorded in a notebook, then
11 this again would confirm that we are not talking about the same telegram.
12 Would you agree with that?
13 A. I can only agree that this was on a piece of paper, A4. I don't
14 know where the second telegram was recorded. Maybe it was subsequently
15 recorded in the book of telegrams at the command. I suppose it was. I
16 don't know.
17 Q. And, sir, would you agree with me that throughout the time you
18 spent with the 2nd Battalion, the only time you ever saw a telegram using
19 codes other than something transmitted by radio was that night before the
20 13th of July, 1995?
21 A. As far as I know, yes.
22 Q. Thank you sir, I have no further questions.
23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. I confirm that none of the
25 over Defence teams wishes to cross-examine the witness.
1 Mr. Vanderpuye, leave us about five minutes or a little bit more
2 towards the end, because we need them to make some new communications.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good afternoon to you, good afternoon to
6 Your Honours, good afternoon to my colleagues.
7 Re-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
8 Q. Good afternoon to you, Mr. Stevanovic. I have just a few
9 questions for you. Let me start by picking up where my colleague left
11 In his last question to you, he asked you if the only time you
12 ever saw a telegram using codes other than something transmitted over the
13 radio was the night before 13th of July. Your answer was "Yes."
14 Did you discuss with any of your colleagues any coded telegram
15 that was received in July of 1995 at any time prior to testifying here
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when did you discuss this coded telegram with your
20 A. Maybe two or these years ago. I don't remember exactly.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: May I have in e-court please 3D00565 in e-court,
23 please. If we could go to page 2, please. It's the last paragraph,
24 paragraph 11. And if we could blow it up.
25 Q. I just want to read to you a section of your interview with
1 Mr. Blaszczyk on 24 September, 2008. And it reads as follows, this
3 "About a year ago a few colleagues of Stevanovic approached him
4 and asked him whether he remembers or whether he had received any coded
5 telegram from the brigade regarding the prisoners kept in the Rocevic
6 school. Stevanovic said he had no knowledge about it. He did not want
7 to disclose to me the name of his colleagues who had asked him about
9 First of all, do you recall having this conversation with
10 Mr. Blaszczyk on 24th September, 2008?
11 A. Now I do.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 32881-32884 redacted.
8 [Open session]
9 MR. VANDERPUYE:
10 Q. Were you aware whether Mitar Lazarevic or Sreco Acimovic
11 testified in this case concerning the telegram that my colleague has put
12 to you on cross-examination, the two telegrams?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When did you become aware of that?
15 A. I learned that from Mr. Tomasz Blaszczyk, I believe.
16 Q. You never heard that prior to that time; is that right?
17 A. I worked in Montenegro
18 but I never discussed that with anybody. And, no, I did not hear about
19 that before. Tomasz Blaszczyk told me that at our first meeting.
20 Q. You never heard that from any other colleague, anybody where you
21 live, prior till your discussion with Mr. Blaszczyk; is that your
23 A. There were rumors in the village, but I really can't tell you
24 this or that person told me so-and-so. I heard about Sreco but not about
1 Q. And when your colleagues asked you about whether or not you had
2 any information about a coded telegram from the brigade regarding
3 prisoners in the school, it's fair to say you never mentioned to them at
4 all that you ever received any coded telegram at all in July of 1995; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
10 All right. That means your testimony ends here, and you are free
11 to go back home. Our staff will assist you. Before you leave this
12 courtroom, however, I wish to thank you for having come over and wish you
13 a safe journey back home.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Exhibits, Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. 4467, 65 ter 4467, if
17 my colleague is not planning to tender 3D00565, I would like to tender
18 that as well.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, I've lost track of the numbers, so I
20 don't know what he's talking about.
21 MR. BOURGON: I have no documents to tender, Mr. President, and I
22 would oppose that because I quoted -- every single part that I wanted is
23 quoted in the recorded. So there is no use to enter these documents,
24 Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Which document is it?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: It is the last one that I referred to. It is
2 the interview with Mr. Stevanovic, dated 26, 2008. And the interview
3 itself is 24 September 2008.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but if part of it --
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That this document was not used by you, it was only
7 used by Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. BOURGON: That's true, Mr. President. And I allowed the
9 question. I should have basically said that it was not part of
10 cross-examination, but the topic was a bit related, so I let that go
11 through, then the Chamber ruled against me. But I don't see the reason
12 to enter any of these documents. The relevant passages were quoted on
13 the record, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, first of all, the document in
16 question relates to -- directly to this witness's knowledge of the coded
17 telegrams which are the subject -- which are at issue in this case,
18 directly to that, which was the subject of cross-examination beyond any
19 question. The specific issue that was put to him is in paragraph 11;
20 that's true. The document itself, however, puts in context a couple of
21 different things. And I think my colleague is well aware of them. One
22 of them has to do with -- if we can go into private session for just a
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session. Hold it, hold
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 32889-32893 redacted.
2 [Open session]
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Would it be possible to know if we
4 will have a hearing next week?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm -- again I offer you my apologies. If there
6 has been a lapse in the communication channel. We were informed that one
7 or more of you had asked for a confirmation that there will not be any
8 sittings, unannounced sittings, between now and the 21st of April when we
9 start with the testimony of Momir Nikolic. It is not our intention to
10 have any sittings unless there is a catastrophe which is provoked which
11 would make it necessary to have a sitting, but I hope there will not be.
12 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
15 7.04 p.m.
16 the 21st of April 2009.