1 Tuesday, 8 February 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody.
6 We are in the middle of re-examination. The witness should be
7 brought in, please. And then, Ms. Hasan.
8 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I just want to address briefly --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First you should address and then we go into
10 closed session to enable the witness to enter the courtroom.
11 MS. HASAN: I just wanted -- I wanted to address my estimate that
12 I gave yesterday at the end of the day of the length of my
13 re-examination. I did go over the yesterday's transcript and there's
14 three main areas that I'd like to cover with this witness on
15 re-examination. One taking -- going back to where I left off about the
16 region where the minefields were set, the securing of the barracks; then
17 I'd like to discuss -- ask him some questions about the communication
18 facilities as well as the communication with the MUP in the -- in that
19 area; and then, finally, to touch on some of the documents that were --
20 General Tolimir put to the witness about communications going up to --
21 from the Drina Corps to the Main Staff.
22 Those three areas, I estimate each area will take ten minutes,
23 so, in total, if I could request 30 minutes to complete the
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Hopefully we will manage in that time and there's
1 no objection to that.
2 We turn into private session. In fact, into closed session.
3 [Closed session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome back to the
13 courtroom. May I remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth you
14 made at the beginning of your testimony still applies.
15 And Ms. Hasan is continuing her re-examination.
16 Ms. Hasan, please.
17 WITNESS: MILE SIMANIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Re-examination by Ms. Hasan: [Continued]
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Simanic.
21 MS. HASAN: May we have Exhibit P44 displayed on our screens.
22 Page 37 in e-court.
23 THE REGISTRAR: This is a single page only document.
24 MS. HASAN: Sorry, I ...
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I assume that you are, in fact, referring to
2 another document which is plain and without markings. Is that correct?
3 MS. HASAN: That's correct. It's 104.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: P104. We would like to have that on the screen.
5 MS. HASAN: No.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MS. HASAN: Apologies, it's P94. Page 37.
8 Q. This is the photograph of the school we took a look at yesterday,
9 and you identified it as -- that a part of that school -- behind the
10 school was used as a dining hall and a kitchen where your battalion ate
11 their meals.
12 You also testified that behind the school there were some smaller
13 buildings, including the offices of the battalion, as well as a
14 warehouse. Then the logistics security, as well as the logistics
16 MS. HASAN: May we turn to page 36 in e-court.
17 Q. Sir, if you take a look at this photograph, this aerial image,
18 the Prosecution has determined through its investigations that that
19 building in the centre of that image is the school that you have
20 identified as having used.
21 Now, if I can just -- actually, at this moment ask the
22 Court Usher to give the witness a pen in order that he may mark this
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the completeness of the record, you're
25 referring to the Konjevic Polje school, aren't you.
1 MS. HASAN: That's correct.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 The witness said yesterday that his unit, the unit to which he
5 belonged did not use the school. Other forces used the school. However,
6 the Prosecutor just now said that he said that they had used the school.
7 I would like the transcript to reflect accurately what the witness said.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, Ms. Hasan, in my recollection, it was
10 slightly different what the witness was saying yesterday from what you
11 were putting to him just a moment ago. If I remember correctly, he was
12 referring to buildings behind the school where the little office was
13 situated, where parts of -- where the administration of his unit was
14 located. But you --
15 MS. HASAN: Perhaps I can just clarify with the witness.
16 Q. Where was the dining hall and the kitchen that was used by your
18 A. Should I answer?
19 Q. Yes, please.
20 A. I said that we used just one small part behind the school. This
21 is a boiler room that was adapted into a kitchen. And there was a
22 classroom that had its entrance from the top side, and we only used that
23 when there was a large number of soldiers in Konjevic Polje. When there
24 were fewer soldiers, then there was no need for that. It wasn't
25 necessary to cook meals in large quantities, so then the logistics
1 organised itself differently in that case.
2 Q. Could you just draw a circle around the part of the building
3 that -- the boiler room that you're referring to where the dining-room
4 was held.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Now --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
8 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would just like to
9 ask the Prosecutor, if possible, because I see a large blue circle in the
10 centre of this photograph which was not something that the witness
11 marked, so I would like Ms. Hasan to explain what this circle is, and can
12 the transcript reflect that the circle was not drawn in by this witness.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think by your remark it is now stated on the
14 record that this was prepared before showing this photograph, aerial
15 image, to the witness.
16 Ms. Hasan.
17 MS. HASAN:
18 Q. Mr. Simanic, the box to the left, top left of this image, can you
19 tell me what you see there? What is that?
20 A. Well, I can see some buildings at the base of it. And I think
21 that our offices were in this building here that I'm going to mark now.
22 Q. Could you please mark that with a 1.
23 A. Can you see it?
24 Q. Yes.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And could you please mark the other locations you
1 have marked earlier and put a number 2 next to this earlier marking, in
2 the school building.
3 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 Ms. Hasan.
6 MS. HASAN:
7 Q. And can you tell me what those buildings below the offices are?
8 A. I don't know what those buildings were below the offices.
9 Q. Perhaps I can give you a closer view of that area?
10 MS. HASAN: Could we please have 65 ter 1068.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering this marked aerial photograph?
12 MS. HASAN: Yes. I'm going to come back to this document, but we
13 should mark it as the next exhibit.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering it?
15 MS. HASAN: Yes, I'd like to tender it as the next exhibit.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received with the markings.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
18 Exhibit number P1770. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The reason why I ask for that is you will lose
20 the markings if the aerial photograph will be removed without admission.
21 Please go ahead.
22 MS. HASAN: May we have 65 ter 1068 displayed on the screen.
23 And, again, just for the record, these markings in yellow are not -- were
24 not made by the witness.
25 Q. Sir, this is a closer view of that box we were just looking at.
1 Does that help you tell me what -- what this depicts?
2 A. Well, you cannot see precisely what is shown here. I really
3 can't tell what this is. There are four rectangles.
4 Q. Our investigations show that these are pontoons that you have
5 previously testified about. And as ...
6 A. These are not pontoons. Perhaps this is your error. I remember
7 now. We had a set of heavy launcher bridge -- bridges. I think each of
8 them were 10 metres long, each of the vehicles. So that's a total of
9 40 metres. That's how long this bridge was. The truck that was
10 transporting these launchers was not functioning properly. There had to
11 be some repairs made for the trucks to be -- for the engines to be turned
12 on so that they could be turned in the direction that was ordered.
13 I think these were Karazov [phoen] vehicles. The biggest problem
14 with that, at least this is what the hydraulics craftsmen told us, was
15 that the oil was leaking in the vehicles, and we couldn't keep the oil in
16 there. They had been standing there for too long.
17 Q. So these vehicles were the property of your battalion?
18 A. Yes, yes. They were -- belonging to our battalion.
19 MS. HASAN: May I offer this aerial image as the next exhibit.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
22 Exhibit number P1771. Thank you.
23 MS. HASAN: If we could revert back now to P1770.
24 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will take a moment to upload it again with the
1 markings of the witness.
2 [Prosecution counsel confer]
3 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
4 Q. Sir, you testified about minefields that were on the left and
5 right of the road. Can you show us on this photograph, this aerial
6 image, where the minefields were laid?
7 A. I think that that area cannot be seen on this photograph.
8 Q. Can you tell me relative to this area where the minefields were
10 A. As I explained yesterday, this is to the left and to the right of
11 the road that is indicated here. On one side, on the left-hand side,
12 where the school is, and then above the school, there's a small road and
13 a slope, and then that went down towards the road again. And then on
14 this side closer to us, the right side of the road, there was an
15 electricity transmission power line and it went to the guard-post
16 number 6, but it was on that side in the hill. Guard-post number 6 was
17 between the road and the small river. There's a small river here.
18 Q. So, sir, the guard post number 6, if I understand you correctly,
19 is it below this road towards the bottom half of this image?
20 A. Yes, approximately. I cannot indicate it precisely. You can't
21 really see the place in this photograph, But it is below the road. It's
22 between the road and the small river. You can't see the river on the
23 photograph but there is it a small river there.
24 Q. Was your battalion defending this entire area that -- from the
1 A. There was a system of guard posts and minefields that we had.
2 This was done before we had guard duty up to the minefield and then we
3 also had guard duties at pre-arranged, appointed guard posts. This is
4 something that I didn't do. This was already there before.
5 Q. And these guard posts and minefields, were they there for the
6 purpose of protecting this compound facility of your battalion?
7 A. Yes. That was the goal of the guard posts and the security.
8 Q. Now, sir we -- I showed you a photograph yesterday and we briefly
9 looked at it today which depicts the school as well as the shed. And I
10 mentioned yesterday that there was a witness who was held in that shed in
11 the morning to the afternoon of July 13th, and this would be reference --
12 would be referenced -- the reference for that is Exhibit P441, the
13 transcript page number is 3253, line 15.
14 This shed that we looked at is in the centre of that light blue
15 circle on this aerial image which seems to be located in the heart of
16 your facilities and the area you were protecting.
17 I'd like to ask you whether you knew that, in that shed or shack,
18 right by that school, close to your offices, close to your dining hall,
19 close to your property, and within your protected area, whether you were
20 aware that there was one -- and actually more people held within that
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan, I think your reference can't be
23 correct. Page -- you were referring to page 3253. Yesterday's
24 transcript didn't have this page number. Must be something with 9.000.
25 MS. HASAN: I was actually referring to Exhibit P441, which is
1 the -- which is where the evidence of this witness is contained. And
2 it's from the Krstic trial. And so this is a reference -- the reference
3 I gave is from that trial, which is now -- that transcript is now an
4 exhibit in our case.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you give us a reference to the
6 cross-examination of Mr. Tolimir yesterday?
7 MS. HASAN: The question about the shed and the person held in
8 that shed actually was a question I put to the witness at the beginning
9 of my re-examination. And the basis is to -- to ask the witness about
10 the coordination between the MUP and his battalion, which was -- there
11 was several questions asked about that during the cross-examination.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 I would like to greet everybody who is present and I would like
15 these proceedings to end in accordance with God's will and not my will.
16 I think that this subject that is currently discussed here, it
17 wasn't simply part of cross-examination. There are no references to my
18 cross-examination and no basis for this re-examination now.
19 I would like the Prosecutor to always mention the reference from
20 my cross-examination. Thank you.
21 This witness never mentioned this house yesterday.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan, as I indicated yesterday at the end of
24 our hearing, we would really appreciate to give -- to get a reference to
25 the specific part of the cross-examination. If I remember correctly, the
1 cooperation between the unit of the witness and the MUP was part of the
2 examination-in-chief and the questioning by the Chamber.
3 You may check with Mr. McCloskey and your Case Manager, where you
4 will find the reference but we need it, and the -- this must be the rule.
5 MS. HASAN: There -- General Tolimir, at page 9504, line 10,
6 asked the witness whether he made any kind of decision or conclusion
7 regarding the cooperation of his unit with the MUP forces. And then
8 subsequently, at line 15, asked whether the person who wrote the
9 14th July 1995 report for their activities that day, whether that person
10 stated anything about their cooperation with the MUP.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: My problem is that in my e-court system I still
12 have the pages from that day and this was not changed to the ... oh,
13 thank you very much.
14 Page 71, line 1. I'll check that.
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: During cross-examination yesterday, Mr. Tolimir
17 put the following question to the witness -- yesterday's transcript,
18 page 70, line 22:
19 "My question is: In paragraph 8, 'Conclusions, Forecasts and
20 Decisions,' did you make any kind of decision or conclusion regarding the
21 cooperation of your unit with the MUP forces?"
22 "A. I didn't bring -- make any conclusions or issue any orders
23 in relation to cooperation with the MUP."
24 The next question of Mr. Tolimir:
25 "The person you wrote the report for, your activities that day,
1 did they state anything about your cooperation with the MUP?
2 Answer of the witness:
3 "There was nothing else written about cooperation with the MUP
4 other than what is written here."
5 I think now we have a reference, Mr. Tolimir.
6 If you are dealing with that, please carry on, Ms. Hasan.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone not on.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 The references that you mention speak about the contents of the
13 document. It's 65 ter 0284. The witness said that he didn't do anything
14 about it. He gave a negative answer to both my questions. He never
15 mentioned the minefield, the prisoners, the people being kept there or
16 anything like that.
17 Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it is the right of the Prosecution
19 during re-examination to challenge this statement of the witness, that he
20 doesn't know anything about that, and Ms. Hasan is dealing with that now.
21 Go ahead, please.
22 MS. HASAN: Thank you.
23 Q. Mr. Simanic, I'll repeat my question, which is: Were you aware,
24 did you learn anything about a person and other persons who were held in
25 this shed on the 13th of July, which is located in the middle of your
2 A. First of all, I have to correct you. This shed was not in the
3 middle of our facilities. I said that we never entered the school. We
4 did not know who was in the school, when, how, or what was the system of
5 exchange of the people therein. We had nothing to do with the school or
6 the access to the school. That's how I found the situation when I came
7 there. There was only one police check-point at the intersection in
8 Konjevic Polje, and they were guarding the lower part of the minefield.
9 I couldn't have known anything about what was going on there because, as
10 I have already stated yesterday, on the 13th, when two of my soldiers
11 were wounded, I wasn't there. I returned only later. I was most
12 probably in Vlasenica at the construction sites. I returned later. I
13 don't know exactly when.
14 Q. But, sir, you knew who was there. You told us yesterday at
15 page 9515, line 19, 18, you said:
16 "It's the first time I hear that, because we were not using these
17 premises at all. The police were there, those who came and who had
18 shifts there and at the check-points. We were not using these premises
19 at all."
20 So you were aware that the police was there.
21 A. Look, I didn't know. I assumed it because of their uniforms and
22 other things. And that's why I said that. I did not cooperate with
23 them. I did not have any contact with them. So I couldn't have known
24 what they were doing, when they were doing it, how they were doing it,
25 and what was their system of shift exchange.
1 It was the police. They had their own organs, their own
2 commands, and they did not belong to the army. Indeed, I have already
3 stated that the police and the army did not have good relations because
4 the police was better supported and had better logistics.
5 Q. I'd like to show you a record of an intercepted conversation.
6 MS. HASAN: This intercept is under seal. So if it may not be
7 broadcast. Could we have Exhibit P2921A. Apologies, that's a
8 65 ter number. The P number would be 1538A.
9 Q. Sir, this is an intercepted conversation from 7.40 in the morning
10 of the 12th of July, 1995. It's a conversation between an unidentified
11 person and someone identified as "O." And it reads, the unidentified
12 person says:
13 "Obrenovic, O, we don't have any communication there recorded.
14 The unidentified person asks: "Where is your commander?"
15 O responds: "As far as I know, he's here.
16 He's not -- the unidentified person replies:
17 "He's not, he isn't answering. Listen, please tell him that I
18 called. That Mane, Laco's deputy, will call him, that the police in
19 Konjevic Polje have been told to the same as the Engineering Battalion
20 are doing, and that he can give orders to them through the commander of
21 the Engineering Battalion."
23 "That's it. Take care."
24 Sir, can you tell me what this is talking about?
25 A. This is the first time that I hear this and that I see this.
1 Q. It refers here that the orders to the police located in
2 Konjevic Polje can go through the commander of the Engineering Battalion.
3 And according to your testimony, the commander of the Engineering
4 Battalion was absent and you were stepping in his place.
5 Did you deliver any orders to the police during this time-period?
6 A. Never. Not a single order did I give. But, here, if you look
7 closely, you will see that it doesn't say the 5th Engineering Battalion.
8 They talk about Obrenovic here. I don't know which Obrenovic that would
10 Q. Okay, sir. I'm going to move on to another topic now.
11 General Tolimir, at page 9508, lines 3 to 10, asked you the
12 following question. He showed you -- sorry, he showed you some documents
13 and then he asked:
14 "Witness, on the basis of the documents that we've seen of the
15 13th, 14th, and 15th, that was dispatched to the Main Staff, does any of
16 those documents contain any information about your unit, its activities
17 or anything else other than the data about the wounding of two soldiers?"
18 Now, I'd like to ask you about those two reports that were shown
19 to you. You were shown one report from the 14th of July, going from the
20 Drina Corps Command to the Main Staff, and a subsequent report that was
21 sent from the Drina Corps Command to the Main Staff on the 15th of July.
22 And on page 9502, lines 3, in answer -- after having read portions of the
23 July 15th combat report of the Drina Corps, you answered that there was
24 no information that was passed -- that was contained in that report about
25 anything that was in your July 14th, 5th Battalion report.
1 MS. HASAN: If we could turn to P1604.
2 Q. And under item 1, "The Enemy," paragraph 3, halfway through that
3 paragraph, it says:
4 "The remains of dispersed Muslim formations from the former
5 Srebrenica enclave are moving towards Kravica and Konjevic Polje with the
6 objective of crossing into Mount Udrc sector and on towards Tuzla and
8 Is this not information that was contained in your 14th July 1995
9 report that there were Muslims who were coming from the Srebrenica
10 enclave and had infiltrated the Konjevic Polje-Pobudje area?
11 A. Well, when somebody speaks about Konjevic Polje, it's a pretty
12 wide area. That's why I didn't consider that the Engineering Battalion
13 was specifically mentioned. That's why.
14 Q. Sorry, I'm not -- my question is not about whether the
15 5th Engineering Battalion was mentioned. I'm asking whether the
16 information contained in your report, at -- which reads, for instance, a
17 large enemy group infiltrated from the direction of Srebrenica into the
18 region of Pobudje-Konjevic Polje, is that not reflected in this statement
19 here in the Drina Corps Command report? Are we not talking about the
20 same region, the Konjevic Polje region?
21 A. I have to emphasise one thing. We did not have an intelligence
22 organ. So this could have been taken from somebody else's report. From
23 a report made by some other infantry unit. Infantry units have things
24 like that and it is quite possible that they have given this information
25 to the higher command. Here it doesn't specifically say that they took
1 it from our report. That's why I said what I said.
2 Q. Would you say --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Because the witness is here in the process -- the Prosecutor is
6 here in the process of trying to connect this witness with lots of other
7 things, I think that maybe the Prosecutor should specifically mention and
8 show the documents that were yesterday shown to the witness.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a good proposal but we have a problem.
10 We can't put both documents on the screen at the same time.
11 You should figure out how to deal with this problem to connect
12 the two documents, Ms. Hasan.
13 Please continue.
14 MS. HASAN:
15 Q. Would you say, sir, that the information contained in this
16 Drina Corps Command report to the Main Staff is consistent with what is
17 contained in your July 14th, 1995, report?
18 A. I can't discuss a document which I didn't draft and did not take
19 part in drafting it. That's why I don't know what is he talking about
20 here in this document. I don't know whether he took it from
21 Konjevic Polje. I don't know whether it is actually the same
23 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you any question that's any different from
24 what General Tolimir asked you yesterday when he took you through this
25 document. I'm simply asking you to respond to the same question, which
1 is: I'm showing you information in this document and asking you whether
2 that information reflects what was in your 14th July report.
3 MS. HASAN: If we could turn to page 2 of this same report, 2 of
4 the English version, and it's still page 1 of the B/C/S version.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask
7 for this document to be shown to the witness. And then we should see the
8 exact words from this document which were then part of the report from
9 the Drina Corps, because she is now telling him that some of his info has
10 entered the report of the Drina Corps. But if we simply look at the
11 route taken by the Muslims, well, that's really nothing special.
12 Everybody knew where the Muslims were going.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
14 MS. HASAN: I can give the reference to -- I quoted exactly from
15 the report itself, the 14th of July 5th Engineering Battalion report,
16 where it says -- I can read it out again. Item 1, we looked at this
18 "A large enemy group was infiltrated in the region of
19 Pobudje Brdo and the region of Konjevic Polje."
20 And then on page 3 of the English version, under item 4, which
21 deals with the situation on the territory, it states:
22 "A large enemy group infiltrated from the direction of Srebrenica
23 into the region of Pobudje-Konjevic Polje."
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan, it's quite time-consuming the way you
25 are dealing with the documents again. We will soon have completed
1 one hour of our today's hearing, and I think we have all these documents
2 as documents admitted into evidence. Everybody, the parties, as the
3 Chamber can draw conclusions from them. Everybody can compare the text.
4 We have the witness -- the answers of the witness. You should try to
5 complete your re-examination quite soon.
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the document that was
9 sent from Drina Corps to the Main Staff only contains the location or the
10 direction of the movement of the Muslim forces. It doesn't mention the
11 fact that they have stopped somewhere or that they have engaged in some
12 activities. And also I didn't see any mention of Pobudje. So I don't
13 think that that should be quoted as a reference. Because, what, somebody
14 says the Tribunal so everything can be connected to the Tribunal?
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Many people do that. But, in fact, we shouldn't
17 continue in this way. We have the documents, and it is up to the Chamber
18 at the end of the day to -- to give weight to that and to compare the
19 original text.
20 My question for the Prosecution is to look at the clock and to
21 see -- to hurry up with your re-examination and to conclude it as soon as
23 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I simply wanted to go through these
24 documents that General Tolimir went through yesterday and he had skipped
25 over certain parts that referred to information that is -- that is --
1 comes from or is identical to or consistent with the information that is
2 contained in the 5th Engineering Battalion 14th July 1995 report.
3 And if that exercise of comparison can be done, then I can
4 conclude my re-examination at this stage.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This exercise can be done, if you want to have an
6 interpretation by the witness. The -- the text of the two documents are
7 in evidence. This is not the problem. If you want to have a comment by
8 the witness, then put a question to the witness. In a way he can really
9 answer it, but you -- I think we quite -- we can anticipate the position
10 of the witness.
11 MS. HASAN: I agree, Your Honour, and I think that I can conclude
12 my re-examination.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
15 Sir, this concludes your testimony here in the courtroom. Thank
16 you that you were able to come to The Hague again and to assist us. You
17 are now free to return to your normal activities, and the Court Usher
18 will assist you leaving the courtroom. Thank you very much again.
19 And first we turn into closed session.
20 [Closed session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 Good afternoon, Mr. McCloskey. Is the next witness ready?
6 MR. MCCLOSKEY: Yes, he is, and just one second before we get to
7 that witness, if I could just request one thing of General Tolimir, since
8 I don't really get a chance to see him and Mr. Gajic, that if there --
9 and to the Court that if there are issues, significant issues related to
10 CLSS official translations, as there was in the last cross-examination
11 and examination, that those issues be brought up to the Court outside the
12 presence of the witness and well in advance so that we can all deal with
13 them. Clearly the explanations that were given in front of the witness
14 may have affected the witness's evaluation of the document himself. We
15 didn't object in that situation. There was no harm done at all because
16 all of these issues related to this document and the words and the
17 translation had been fully discussed in the previous trial so it was
18 nothing new to him.
19 But I'm just asking the General and Mr. Gajic that if they do
20 have significant issues with the CLSS official translation, let us know
21 and we'll try to sort them out and allow the Court to see those as well.
22 But, really, I would prefer it not be done in front of the witness like
24 The second point I don't want to forget is this next witness
25 is -- he is fully open and all, but he will need a caution. I would
1 request a caution. He is the commander of the Zvornik Brigade Rocevic
2 area battalion. I believe it's the 2nd Battalion. And also something I
3 discussed briefly with Mr. Gajic is, you will hear from this witness and
4 from my summary that his memory about exact dates was not good and that
5 he knows that the first time he learned of prisoners at the Rocevic
6 school was a few days after the fall of Srebrenica but he doesn't
7 remember the exact date. And I just wanted to offer that it's the
8 Prosecution's position that that date that he first was made aware that
9 there were prisoners at the Rocevic school is 14 July. I don't know if
10 they want to agree with me on that, but there's voluminous evidence and
11 indications of that. But that's so that it helps make more sense out of
12 the chronology when -- because he doesn't remember it himself. We
13 believe it's the 14th of July that will be the -- fundamentally the
14 beginning of his chronology.
15 My summary of this witness is a little bit longer than I prefer
16 but my questioning will be shorter than I prefer -- or not that I prefer
17 but that I -- shorter than what is needed and I think we should get
18 everything done relatively quickly so that we can get on to Mr. Brunborg,
19 hopefully start him today, if we're lucky.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are very optimistic. And, of course, this is
21 affected also by the length of the summary. I hope it is really a
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, when you look at the length and
24 the detail and the cross-examination of these witnesses, these are very
25 summary in nature, though I try to give you the most specific facts as I
1 can so that you and anybody that is looking at this testimony will be
2 able to make as much sense as they can out of the cross-examination.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 The witness should be brought in, please.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the courtroom
8 and the Tribunal.
9 Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is
10 shown to you now.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, and thank you.
12 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
13 and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: On the request of the Prosecution, I would like
17 to give you a caution. You know, in our Rules of Procedure and Evidence,
18 there we have Rule 90(E) which I would like to read out for you. I
20 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
21 incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to
22 answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used
23 as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
24 offence other than false testimony."
25 Did you understand that, sir?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 Mr. McCloskey has questions for you.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 WITNESS: SRECKO ACIMOVIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
9 Q. And first can you state your name for the record slowly so that
10 we can get it down.
11 A. Srecko Acimovic.
12 Q. All right. And did you testify in this courtroom in the case of
13 the Prosecutor versus Popovic et al?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. This, as I'm sure you recall me telling you, will be
16 a little different. We will try to make this a little shorter for you
17 and us, so I'll ask you a couple of questions.
18 Have you had a chance to listen to your Popovic testimony in the
19 last couple of days?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And did you tell me that there was one addition or clarification
22 that you wanted to make the Court aware of today?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So aside from this addition or clarification that we'll get to in
25 a minute, if you were asked the same questions today as you were in the
1 Popovic case, would your answers basically be the same?
2 A. Essentially, yes.
3 Q. All right. And ...
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. In that event --
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I see the General's hand.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 I apologise, it's not clear to me if the answers would be the
11 same, then does the addition include these topics or does the addition
12 contain some other topics?
13 Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's the same topic as always and I think it's an
16 addition and clarification as he stated. And he will soon tell us that,
17 and that will be very clear.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. So given that basic record, I would
20 like now to offer, and all I have is 65 ter numbers this time,
21 Mr. President, the transcript of his testimony in Popovic which is 0663,
22 and 0664.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both documents will be received, the first one
24 under seal.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please, a moment.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 06663 shall be
3 assigned Exhibit P1772, admitted under seal.
4 And 65 ter document 6664 shall be assigned exhibit number P1773.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: And then associated exhibits admitted through
8 this witness would be a "Drinski" magazine article, 06077, and a
9 Zvornik Brigade transportation record, 00283. I'd offer those and I'll
10 wait for the number.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you sure that the last number is correct in
12 your list? This is 65 ter 03440.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Our number is 00283 but we'll, of course -- I'm
14 getting confirmation of that.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: There's an older version of the sheet,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. And I have heard that this is already an
20 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter document 00283 was assigned exhibit number
21 P1596 as part of the 92 bis Prosecution witnesses' associated documents
22 pursuant to the Trial Chamber's public oral decision dated
23 31st January 2011.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The "Drinski" magazine article will
25 be received as an exhibit.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the other exhibit on that list is already in
2 evidence and we don't wish any others to come in, so that should do it
3 for the exhibits.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. We would like to receive the number
5 of 65 ter 06077.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The mentioned document shall be assigned
7 Exhibit P1774. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now, Mr. Acimovic, I have a summary of a -- of
10 your testimony. It won't contain everything in it, but I think if I can
11 read that summary first, then you can offer your addition and the summary
12 may help make your addition put it in context, all right?
13 Srecko Acimovic was born in the village of Rocevic in the
14 Zvornik municipality in May 1967. In July of 1995, Mr. Acimovic was the
15 commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade and held the rank
16 of reserve lieutenant.
17 Mr. Acimovic did not recall the exact date but testified that in
18 the days following the fall of Srebrenica, he learned from locals from
19 the village of Rocevic that Muslim prisoners were being killed in front
20 of the elementary school in Rocevic and that a local Serb woman had been
21 injured during the killings.
22 Sometime between 8.00 and 9.00 p.m. that day, Mr. Acimovic,
23 together with the local priest and the president of the local commune
24 went to the Rocevic school and noticed soldiers there who appeared to be
25 under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Acimovic testified he did not see
1 the prisoners but heard people shouting from the school gym, pleading for
2 water and permission to use the bathroom. Acimovic asked the soldiers
3 where the prisoners had come from and who had brought them to the school,
4 but the soldiers did not answer his questions and denied him permission
5 to talk to their commanding officer.
6 After about half an hour, Mr. Acimovic left the school and went
7 towards the battalion command in the village of Malesici. On his way, he
8 stopped at Kozluk and called the duty operations officer of the
9 Zvornik Brigade located in the Standard factory near Zvornik. He asked
10 about the prisoners that were being held in the Rocevic school. The duty
11 officer told Mr. Acimovic that he had no knowledge of the situation, and
12 Acimovic asked to be connected to the Zvornik Brigade commander, or to
13 Dragan Obrenovic, the Chief of Staff of the Zvornik Brigade. The duty
14 officer told Mr. Acimovic that neither of them was present at the time.
15 Vujadin Popovic, the assistant commander for intelligence and
16 security of the Drina Corps, arrived at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters
17 while Acimovic was still on the telephone with the duty officer and was
18 put on the phone. Mr. Acimovic spoke to Popovic and explained that
19 soldiers were killing prisoners in front of the school located in the
20 centre of Rocevic. Popovic told Acimovic that the prisoners would be
21 exchanged the following morning.
22 After his conversation with Popovic, Acimovic returned to Rocevic
23 to convey the information he had just learned about the exchange of the
24 prisoners to the local priest and the president of the local commune.
25 Acimovic spoke to the president of the local commune and together with
1 him went back to the school. At the school, Acimovic testified that he
2 tried to persuade the soldiers to provide water to the prisoners and to
3 give them access to a toilet. Acimovic testified that the soldiers
4 eventually agreed to this.
5 After this second visit to the school, Mr. Acimovic left and
6 returned to his battalion command where he informed Vujo Lazarevic, the
7 assistant battalion commander for morale, legal and religious affairs,
8 and Mitar Lazarevic, the desk officer for general affairs at the
9 battalion command, about the situation in Rocevic.
10 Between 1.00 and 2.00 a.m. the next day, while still at the
11 battalion command, Mr. Acimovic received a coded telegram, ordering the
12 detachment of a platoon of soldiers to be used for the execution of the
13 prisoners at the Rocevic school. Mr. Acimovic testified that he decided
14 not to detach any of their personnel for that purpose and sent a response
15 to that effect. Mr. Acimovic testified that he could not recollect who
16 the signatory of the order was, but that his response was sent to either
17 the duty officer or the assistant for security and intelligence of the
18 Zvornik Brigade.
19 Forty-five minutes to an hour later, Mr. Acimovic received
20 another telegram that once again ordered the detachment of personnel to
21 carry out the execution of the prisoners and stated that Acimovic was to
22 inform his company commanders and the battalion command of the order.
23 Mr. Acimovic consulted with his assistants, Vujo Lazarevic and
24 Mitar Lazarevic -- excuse me, he consulted with his assistants.
25 Mr. Acimovic testified that they reaffirmed their agreement not to obey
1 the order and again sent a response setting out their refusal to dispatch
2 personnel to carry out the execution of the prisoners.
3 Thereafter, Mr. Acimovic contacted the company commanders to
4 determine whether they had received the telegram and to inform them of
5 their response to the order. Mr. Acimovic received confirmation that
6 Mr. Stjepanovic, commander of the 1st Infantry Company, and two other
7 company commanders had received, possibly through their deputies, the
8 subject telegram.
9 Ten minutes after receiving the second telegram, at approximately
10 2.30 a.m., Drago Nikolic, who Mr. Acimovic described as the assistant
11 commander for intelligence and security of the Zvornik Brigade, contacted
12 Mr. Acimovic by phone at the battalion command. Nikolic told Acimovic
13 that the order had come from above and had to be followed. Acimovic
14 testified that he explained to Nikolic that they did not have enough
15 people to allocate to this task and that they would not be carrying out
16 the order. As the conversation drew to a close, Nikolic gave Acimovic
17 until 7.00 a.m. to carry out the order.
18 At around 7.00 or 8.00 a.m. that day, Nikolic called Acimovic to
19 check whether he had complied with the order. Acimovic testified that he
20 once again told Nikolic that they would not follow the order. In
21 response, Nikolic told Acimovic that if he did not gather the men as
22 ordered, that he - meaning Acimovic - would personally have to engage in
23 the task with his people. Nikolic told Acimovic to meet him in Rocevic
24 at 9.00 or 10.00 a.m.
25 After speaking to Drago Nikolic, Acimovic called the brigade duty
1 officer and told him of the prisoners at the school and asked for the
2 Chief of Staff of the brigade to call him back. Shortly after that,
3 Acimovic drove to the school in Rocevic to meet Nikolic. However,
4 Nikolic wasn't there. While at the school, Acimovic saw many more
5 unknown people and soldiers in the school-yard and at least a dozen
6 corpses lying on the grass in front of the school bathroom.
7 Mr. Acimovic then encountered Vujadin Popovic at the school, whom
8 he had spoken to over the telephone the day before. Popovic yelled at
9 Acimovic for not having brought men with him pursuant to the order.
10 After threatening and pressuring Acimovic to comply, Popovic instructed
11 Acimovic to see whether there was anybody in the school-yard who was
12 willing to take part in the executions. Acimovic testified he refused to
13 do so. Acimovic then left Popovic and did not follow his order.
14 Acimovic testified that he returned a short time later and suggested to
15 Popovic that the prisoners should be returned to where they'd come from
16 or evacuated to the barracks in Kozluk. Popovic then called the brigade
17 duty officer and requested that they urgently send vehicles and trucks to
19 Approximately 30 to 40 minutes later, one truck arrived in the
20 school-yard. Popovic told Acimovic he needed more trucks, but Acimovic
21 testified he refused to help Popovic with this task. While present at
22 the school with Popovic, Acimovic heard Popovic tell one of the soldiers
23 that all the prisoners were to be killed somewhere nearby the school.
24 Sometime between 11.30 and 12.15, Acimovic returned to the
25 2nd Battalion headquarters. Dragan Jovic, Veljko Ivanovic and
1 Djordje Nikolic, all members of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, stayed behind
2 at the Rocevic school.
3 When he arrived at the 2nd Battalion headquarters, Acimovic
4 informed Mitar Lazarevic and Vujo Lazarevic about what had happened and
5 attempted to establish contact with Dragan Obrenovic. He did not manage
6 to reach him but briefed the Zvornik Brigade duty officer on what was
7 happening at the Rocevic school. At some later stage, Obrenovic told
8 Acimovic that he was in the field at the time and was not aware of the
9 events happening at Rocevic.
10 Q. All right, Mr. Acimovic, in that context of the summary, can you
11 tell us what it is you wanted to add and why it is you wanted to add it
12 to this testimony?
13 A. Well, I would say just one detail which has to do with my
14 departure from the school-yard.
15 During my first testimony here before the ICTY, I said that I
16 passed by these three drivers and did not stay there or talk to them.
17 However, after the testimony of these same witnesses here at ICTY,
18 specifically I mean one of these drivers, who said that as I was leaving
19 the school in Rocevic, I told them that I couldn't watch that with my own
20 eyes and that they had to drive the prisoners, that reminded me what I
21 actually did say on this occasion and I feel that it is my duty to tell
22 that to the Trial Chamber.
23 As I was going by these drivers, I said, Let me just warn you
24 that our unit has nothing to do with this. I shall not take part in all
25 this, nor can I watch this with my own eyes. I'm leaving and I'm going
1 to Malesici.
2 And one of these drivers, who testified here, said, Sreco, what
3 am I going to do? I have to do it because I was sent from the brigade.
4 Once again, I drew their attention to this. I said, Just let it be clear
5 that I warned you and I'm going to leave now. So I left for Malesici.
6 This is the detail which I felt the need to clarify. Thank you.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we go into private session just for a
8 second out of an abundance of caution.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, we turn into private session.
10 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I've just one question. Today's
25 transcript during your reading of the summary, page 29, lines 8, 9, and
1 10, I'm not sure if you were recorded correctly. I see here:
2 "Mr. Acimovic consulted with his assistants, Vujo Lazarevic and
3 Mitar Lazarevic." And then you said, which is not recorded, "Excuse me."
4 I don't know what -- if it refers to this sentence, because then you
5 continued: "He consulted with his assistants."
6 Is that correctly recorded or was there something different, what
7 you read?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's correct and I -- the summary was
9 meant to mean that his assistants were the two Lazarevics. And I -- just
10 let me check with the witness.
11 Q. Is that correct, are those -- the Lazarevics your assistants?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Let me just ask a couple of questions to clarify some things.
16 You've mentioned that you heard that a local Serb woman was
17 injured outside this school that day. Can you tell us what is your
18 understanding -- you know, what kind of injury she suffered, from who or
19 from what source?
20 A. That is precisely what the president of the local commune and the
21 priest informed me about. It was the president of the local commune of
22 Rocevic. And it was close to my family house.
23 They told me that the local woman sustained an entry and exit
24 wound and that she was hit by a bullet from an infantry weapon, that this
25 was done by the soldiers who had brought the prisoners and who, while
1 killing the prisoners, shot in the direction of the place where the local
2 woman was, and as a result, she sustained the entry and exit wounds.
3 Q. Did you ever confirm that that actually happened as it was
4 described to you, to that woman?
5 A. No, I didn't check that, but it's definitely true.
6 Q. Okay. You also testified at length about receiving what you've
7 described as a telegram, and I believe "telegram" is the same in Serbian
8 as it is in English, a telegram, a coded telegram ordering you to form an
9 execution squad to kill the prisoners.
10 Telegrams can be different in different places. So could you
11 explain to us what a telegram is in the context that you meant, how it
12 was transmitted, how it was received and all that, so we can get an idea
13 of what you mean when you say your battalion received a telegram.
14 A. On that occasion, and at that specific time, I was sleeping. My
15 assistants, whom we already mentioned, woke me up. One of them woke me
16 up and told me to get down to the battalion command and to be informed as
17 we had received a telegram, that they should tell me what this was all
19 When I came down, they told me that the telegram was encrypted
20 and that they had decoded it. I then read it and it ordered the command
21 of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, that is to say, myself, to provide one
22 platoon of soldiers for the execution of prisoners.
23 Q. The Trial Chamber has heard about various means of communications
24 available; the PTT telephone, the induction telephone, the RUP radios,
25 the teletype communications.
1 What kind of communication did the telegram come over?
2 A. Over an induction telephone.
3 Q. So when the -- your soldier or communications person or whoever
4 picks up the phone, what kind of information does he get that is this
5 telegram? Does he get a series of numbers, does he get -- words, does he
6 get Morse code? What is he actually hearing that is the telegram?
7 A. It all depends on the kind of telegram. If the telegram is
8 encrypted, then the communications officer notes down the codes. When he
9 notes down the entire contents of the telegram that means all the codes
10 which have been forwarded, he then calls the duty officer at the
11 battalion command and in the same manner, over the phone, he forwards the
12 contents of the telegram which he also notes into the notebook which
13 contains the telegrams.
14 Q. I'm almost done. I see it's time to break. Let me just almost
15 finish this topic.
16 So when this officer answering the phone gets the verbal code and
17 writes down those verbal codes, what are those verbal codes usually? You
18 know, what kind of numbers or letters are they or -- just for our
20 A. Probably letters, numbers, alternately some expressions and so
22 Q. Okay. And is it fair to conclude that a person with a code book
23 that can decipher those coded numbers or letters takes the code book and
24 can decode the telegram to figure out what it actually says in Serbian;
25 is that right?
1 A. In any case, a telegram cannot be decoded without a table which
2 every battalion command had for certain specific times of day, and it was
3 usually something that the battalion command had.
4 So when it was that sort of telegram you would take the table for
5 decoding a telegram and then, in accordance with the table, the very same
6 telegram would be decoded.
7 Q. Did you have someone special in your battalion that did that or
8 could anybody do it?
9 A. Well, every signalman is trained to decode various kinds of
10 telegrams, and I believe that every member of the battalion command
11 should have known how to use the table, though there is suspicion that
12 these people were not always able to do that or capable of doing it,
13 because these were privates who were deployed to command duties within
14 the battalion command. Possibly they may have needed help or not. It
15 all depended on the particular person and the particular moment in time.
16 Q. Last question. Do you recall who deciphered the telegrams that
17 night that we're speaking about?
18 A. I think that these were the persons we have already mentioned,
19 namely, Vujo Lazarevic and Mitar Lazarevic.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's break time.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We must have our first
23 break now, and we will resume 20 minutes past 4.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.21 p.m.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please carry on.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. Mr. Acimovic, go to that -- sort of that second day that you've
4 spoke of briefly, where you had just said a few things to your drivers
5 that you clarified for us and then you left the school. Was it that day
6 that -- that the prisoners at the Rocevic school were eventually
7 transported away, or did they stay at the school longer?
8 A. I think that that day they were transported, yes.
9 Q. All right. And where -- what -- where were they transported, if
10 you -- if you learned?
11 A. As you learned in the course of these proceedings, it was a
12 location in Kozluk where they were executed.
13 Q. All right. And now let me go back to that first day, where you
14 have said that this -- you first became aware of the prisoners at the
15 school about 8.00 or 9.00 p.m. Then you eventually said that you've gone
16 to Kozluk and that's where you called the brigade, a duty officer, and
17 you said they put Popovic on the phone.
18 Do you remember roughly what time of day it was that they put
19 Popovic on the phone? Was it still light out? Was it dark? Just your
20 best recollection of, you know, when that was.
21 A. It was dark, definitely, but the only thing is I wasn't looking
22 for Popovic. I asked -- when I was asking to speak with the commander or
23 the Chief of Staff, when they told me that they weren't there, what I
24 said was, Were any other members of the command, of the Zvornik Brigade,
25 available. And I was told that none of them were present, and that was
1 when I asked, Is anyone there that I could speak about this matter with?
2 And then the duty operations officer said that Vujadin Popovic was there
3 from the Drina Corps. The security chief.
4 Q. Okay. So it was -- it was -- was it dark when they put Popovic
5 on the line?
6 A. I think that it was.
7 Q. And --
8 A. But I'm not 100 per cent sure. I cannot assert that
9 100 per cent. I cannot say that it was dark. It was summer, so it gets
10 dark a bit later. So it was possible, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.
11 Q. Can you tell us about what time it gets dark in Bosnia in -- you
12 know, in July?
13 A. From 9.00 to 9.30, that would be the time. 2100 hours.
14 Q. Okay. And so if you were correct when you say you were first
15 alerted to the prisoners in the school at 8.00 or 9.00 p.m., roughly how
16 much later did you make your way to Kozluk to -- and end up talking to
18 A. Just one moment, please.
19 When I found out about the situation at Rocevic, I spent maybe
20 some 15 minutes there and then I needed another 15 minutes to get to
21 Kozluk, so this is 30 minutes. And then the conversation itself, perhaps
22 lasted for about 15 minutes, and that would be my approximation.
23 Q. All right. So that -- I'll just call it the first evening
24 when -- when Popovic told you that the Muslim prisoners at the Rocevic
25 school would be exchanged the next day, had you heard any reports of
1 Muslim prisoners being killed in the 4th Battalion area around Orahovac
2 or anywhere else, most of the day that day, beginning in the afternoon?
3 A. I didn't have any information at all about any prisoners in the
4 Zvornik Brigade area of responsibility. And up until that time, I didn't
5 know about it in Rocevic either, until I saw it with my own eyes. Any
6 kind of information or report from the brigade or any other kind of
7 information was really not available to me. I did not have any access to
8 any kind of information about this.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. I have no further questions.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I would end at this point.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. McCloskey.
12 Mr. Tolimir, now you may commence your cross-examination.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Once
14 again, I would wish for peace in this house and for these proceedings and
15 my cross-examination of this witness may end according to God's will and
16 not according to mine. I would like to welcome the witness, wish him a
17 pleasant stay here and I would also like to him to have a safe return
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir, for coming. I would
21 like you to respond to certain questions according to your best
22 recollection. If you find that I am stating something erroneously,
23 please feel free to correct me or to mention if something does not
24 comport with the way you remember it.
25 I have one more thing to ask you. When I put my question to you
1 I'm going to say "thank you" after I complete putting my question to you.
2 You can monitor the screen in front of you. When the letters stop
3 moving, then you can begin answering, because that will give the
4 interpreters enough time to translate everything that I'm saying and that
5 you are saying, because everything has to be entered correctly into the
6 transcript. And I'm thanking you in advance for your assistance.
7 A. Thank you.
8 Q. At the beginning of the transcript for today, on page 1, when we
9 were dealing with the summary, Mr. McCloskey said -- he actually asked
10 you when you found out that Muslim civilians were being killed in
12 My question is this -- this was on page 25, actually, when the
13 summary was read. I am going to identify the passage. He said, Are you
14 aware that Muslim civilians were being killed?
15 So my question is: He said the Muslim population, I apologise, I
16 have to be precise. He asked about the Muslim population, when you found
17 out that the Muslim population was being killed in Rocevic.
18 So my question is: Sir, did you find out that the Muslim
19 population in Rocevic was being killed or were they Muslim prisoners that
20 were being killed? Thank you.
21 A. Muslim prisoners.
22 Q. Thank you. And did you see those Muslim prisoners in order to be
23 able to tell for yourself whether these people were citizens or
25 A. I wasn't close to the location. When I came to the school, this
1 is some 40 metres away from there, so I wasn't able to definitely see
2 whether those people had any kind of military insignia or whether they
3 were just wearing civilian clothing. It was summer. So I really
4 couldn't tell you for sure.
5 Q. Thank you. Well, the question was long and I would like to
6 repeat it in a different format. And that is: Did you see any Muslim
7 prisoners in Rocevic at all? Thank you.
8 A. I didn't see any of them, but I did hear them.
9 Q. Thank you. When Mr. McCloskey was reading the summary, amongst
10 other things, it said there that you said to Popovic that prisoners were
11 being killed in Rocevic. Did you hear that when the summary was being
12 read out by the Prosecutor?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me whether you told Popovic that
15 prisoners in Rocevic were being killed when you spoke with him on the
16 telephone and did you ask him why those prisoners were there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And what did you ask him? Can you please tell us for the
20 A. Before I said anything else, I informed him about the situation
21 in Rocevic. He told me that those same prisoners were going to be
22 exchanged the following day and that I shouldn't be too dramatic about
23 this whole matter because that wasn't my job. I also drew his attention,
24 and I think I talked to him with a raised voice. I asked him, Are you
25 normal? Something to the effect that they were guarding those people,
1 they were killing them in the school-yard, that they were wounding the
2 nearby civilians and things like that.
3 Q. Thank you. You told him that prisoners were getting killed in
4 the school-yard and you told him that one woman was killed -- was
5 wounded. Exactly what did you tell him?
6 A. I told him both of those things.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now look at 02064 in
9 e-court, please. This is a transcript of the conversation of the
10 investigators with this witness in Banja Luka in 2001 and 2002, so that
11 we could help the witness to follow what we're going to be dealing with.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is this a 65 ter number?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. 02064,
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: My question was simply if that is a 65 ter number
16 and not a P or D number. But I think now we can take it that's it a
17 65 ter number.
18 And one remark for the record, you were referring first to page 1
19 of today's transcript. This is, of course, an error. And then you were
20 referring to page 25, but the summary read into the transcript starts
21 with page 26, line 24. There should be another reference. I couldn't
22 find that specific portion when you were referring to Muslim population
23 instead of prisoners.
24 But that was just a remark for the record. You should continue
25 and question the witness.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 25, the witness answers and
2 he provides his particulars, his first and last name, his place and date
3 of birth, and then after that, he is asked by Mr. McCloskey if he had
4 information --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- about the Muslim population
7 being killed.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, there is no need -- thank you very
9 much, but there's no need to discuss it. I just wanted to have it on the
10 record. The summary started on page 26 and not page 25. At a later
11 stage some people would like to find out where it is, and that was just a
13 Please continue your questioning.
14 Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could it be clear, I never said "population," so
16 maybe that's an error, but I think it's an important thing to clarify.
17 I've always said "prisoners."
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I didn't find the word "population" myself, when
19 I was looking for that word which you put to the witness. If you could
20 give us a reference, that would be fine; otherwise, continue, please.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President and I also
22 thank Mr. McCloskey. This is how it was interpreted to me and this is
23 how I wrote it down. Since I take notes, it is possible that I made a
24 mistake, and I thank Mr. McCloskey for correcting it for the record, that
25 he was speaking about prisoners. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine. Go ahead, please.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you please look at the transcript now. We're looking at
4 the page ... I can't see the page number on the screen.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please scroll up just so
6 that I can look at the page. But I can see actually in the English
7 version that it is page 1.
8 Can we now look at page 8? Thank you. Page 8 in the Serbian and
9 that is on lines 7, 8, and 9. Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And now you can see line 6, where it says:
12 "Yes, is coordinating and according to the situation commands in
13 the event that the commander is away or in order to carry out orders
14 pursuant to orders in a specific time-period."
15 And then it goes on to line 9, if I understood you correctly, the
16 Chief of Staff coordinates the security organ and so on. And you answer,
17 yes. In order to be clear --
18 A. I think that this is something wrong with the translation.
19 Something is not quite right and this is what I'm saying.
20 Q. All right. That's what I thought. There was something wrong
21 with the order. So the security organ who was -- who were they
22 subordinated to in your brigade?
23 A. To the brigade commander.
24 Q. Thank you. Well, now let us look at the rule, what it says about
25 that. And then I'm going to put questions to you about that.
1 All right. Now we're going to look at D148.
2 You were explaining it here, and then the translation was wrong
3 so now it's important for us to look at the actual rule. We're looking
4 at the rule on the screen right now. This is the brigade rules about --
5 for infantry, motorised, mountain, alpine, marine and light brigades.
6 This is the rules by the Army of Republika Srpska. Are you aware that
7 these rules were being applied in your brigade? Thank you.
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. I never had the opportunity to acquaint myself with this
11 particular rule.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. We are now going to look at what the
13 brigade command does.
14 In the Serbian, this is page 64, and in the English it's page 37.
15 Can you please look at Article 115, which states, I will read:
16 "The brigade commander has the exclusive right to command all
17 brigade units and attached units. He bears full responsibility for the
18 work of the brigade command and subordinate commands for the state of
19 morale, for security, and combat readiness, for training and for the
20 proper performance of tasks. The commander takes decisions, assigns
21 tasks to units, monitors their execution and demands their strict
22 execution, regardless of difficulties that arise."
23 My question is: These powers that are referred to in the rule,
24 is that something that your brigade commander enjoyed?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And then did he transfer these powers to his deputy or to the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. In view of what it says here, about the duties of the
5 brigade commander, does that also apply to the battalion, in terms of the
6 battalion composition?
7 A. Yes, it's similar.
8 Q. Is there anything different that would be different from what we
9 have just read?
10 A. There are similarities. I think that's more or less that.
11 Q. All right.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at what the
13 security organ does. This is page 66 in the Serbian, and page 38 in the
15 Q. And let us compare with what you said. I don't want to be
16 reading the ten pages of the report where you were explaining to the
17 investigators who does what.
18 All right. Now we're going to look at Article 122, which refers
19 to the security organ, we're seeing it. Thank you, e-court.
20 "The security organ is a specialised organ of the command which
21 organises and implements measures and procedures of counter-intelligence
22 support. It also participates in recommending, organising and
23 implementing security and self-protection measures which concern the
24 command and other subjects of self-protection."
25 Second paragraph:
1 "In terms of expertise, it directs the work of the intelligence
2 and security organs of subordinate units. It organises and directs their
3 work, provides assistance and controls their activities in completing
4 counter-intelligence activities and duties."
5 And so on and so forth. Then it goes on to speak about the
6 cooperation with the brigade forces.
7 My question to you is: Is the bearer of all measures and
8 activities implemented by the security organ the brigade commander or is
9 it somebody else?
10 A. I didn't understand the question.
11 Q. Does the security organ implement measures and organise things
12 for which the main responsibility is borne by the commander and other
13 subjects of self-protection? Thank you.
14 A. Yes, most probably.
15 Q. Thank you. All right. Let us now look at what they do, because
16 we're going to come to that. At one place you were asked what were the
17 powers of the security organ and you told the investigators that that
18 includes work with prisoners of war. Do you remember saying that?
19 A. I don't remember saying it, but if you say that I said it, then I
20 probably did say it.
21 Q. Thank you. Now I'm just going to read out some other regulations
22 and then we're going to discuss the practice that was in force in your
23 brigade. I'm kindly asking you now to look at paragraph -- this is on
24 page 125 in the Serbian, 79 in the English, and this is logistics for
25 prisoners of war.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which document are you referring to?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm speaking about the same
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ...
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And this is paragraph 295 that we
6 can see on our screen. In the English, this is the last one on the page,
7 and in the Serbian it is the one-but-last.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Item 295, I quote:
10 "Logistics support for prisoners of war includes the provision of
11 necessary supplies and health care. Provisions of supplies to prisoners
12 in prisoner stations and other locations while they are under the
13 jurisdiction of the armed forces is organised by logistics and other
14 organs in units which have captured them. The escort for prisoners of
15 war in camps is organised and implemented by the Territorial Defence
16 Staffs, in collaboration with socio-political communities."
17 Based on what I have just read, my question is: Did you, in the
18 brigade or in the battalion, have any forces that could provide logistic
19 support for prisoners of war?
20 A. No. And if you permit me, I would like to say something else.
21 You are reading certain rules of the former JNA which refer to
22 the Territorial Defence. I never had the chance to become familiar with
23 these rule-books. You probably know, you have been informed about
24 specifically how I was appointed to my duties. So, pursuant to that, I
25 would like to inform you one more time that even though I have already
1 been asked about certain rules, if you wish, I could make things easier
2 for you. There's a possibility that I made a mistake somewhere. It was
3 something that I never studied. What I said, I spoke on the basis of my
5 Q. Thank you. I'm not accusing you of anything. I'm merely trying
6 to recall, for the purposes of the record, who had what obligation and
7 duty, and I wanted you to tell us how things looked like in your unit
8 based on your recollections.
9 Now I'm going to ask you a question. Did you have a security
10 organ in the battalion?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did he have anybody else working with him in that organ or any
13 other soldiers subordinated to him?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Thank you. Was he able, on his own, to escort, interrogate, and
16 feed any prisoners that could have been captured by the battalion?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Was the same situation also in the brigade command? Did the
19 organ for security there had any subordinated soldiers or any ability to
20 take care or feed the prisoners? Thank you.
21 A. That's a different story. I think that a unit such as a brigade
22 should have manpower available for that purpose. I mean, soldiers.
23 Q. Thank you. So a brigade can have it but not an organ of the
24 brigade such as a security or some other organ of the brigade?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Does it mean that you're talking here about all the soldiers
2 subordinated to the brigade commander, just like the organ for security
3 is subordinated?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us move now to page 14, if I'm
7 not mistaken -- no, page 10 of your statement, which is 65 ter 02064. I
8 would like to go back to that document. Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Please take a look at page 10 and further on, where you talk
11 about the duty operative officer. I would like to pose several questions
12 in relation to your previous answer. And I'm definitely going to give
13 you a reference, in case that you're unable to remember what exactly you
15 It is not my goal to tell you what my answers would have been.
16 Maybe I would have given the same answers. My goal here is to establish
17 what was supposed to be done. Thank you.
18 Was there a duty operative officer in your brigade?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did your brigade commander command over his subordinate units
21 through his duty operative or directly?
22 A. That would depend on the situation.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you explain this situation then?
24 A. Well, probably the brigade commander, when he has no possibility
25 to directly communicate his orders, then he would do it through his duty
2 Q. Thank you. Would such a situation occur when the brigade
3 commander is absent? For instance, he is in the field without any means
4 of communication so he cannot communicate to a battalion commander or
5 somebody else who is subordinated to him in the brigade.
6 A. It all depends on the situation in the field. It all depends
7 from case to case. It means that there is a number of different options
8 depending on the situation in the field and depending on the task at
10 Q. Thank you. My question is as follows: Is the duty operative in
11 the position to command the brigade if the commander and the Chief of
12 Staff are within the zone of responsibility of the brigade?
13 A. As far as I know, something like that never happened. It would
14 mostly be the Chief of Staff or the commander who would almost always be
15 accessible. Now I cannot claim that something like that never happened
16 but I don't know of such a case.
17 Q. Thank you. My question, based on this answer, is as a follows:
18 Is the duty operative able, in any case, to command the brigade if both
19 the Chief of Staff and the brigade commander are inside the zone of
20 responsibility of the brigade?
21 A. I think that there are some military rules which say that in the
22 absence of the brigade commander and the Chief of Staff, and in case that
23 no communication with them can be established, that in such a case if an
24 order should be issued, it would be the duty operative who would issue
25 such an order. But I think that it never happened that the duty
1 operative would issue some sort of a more serious order.
2 Q. Thank you. Let us now go back to your battalion and make an
3 analogy. Was it possible in your battalion that any officer in the
4 battalion could command the battalion without your approval?
5 A. It would all depend on the situation in the field, as I've
6 already stated.
7 Q. Thank you. So, when leaving the zone of responsibility of the
8 battalion, does that mean that the battalion commander has the duty to
9 tell exactly who is going to replace him?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is the same true for the brigade and the corps and other units,
12 that there should always be a person designated by the commander who is
13 going to replace the commander if he is absent?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is the reason for that the fact that some less experienced
16 officer, like staff-sergeant, for instance, could be filling the place of
17 the duty operative and that is why there is a need for the commander to
18 designate the person who is going to replace him?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. My question is as follows: Does that mean that the duty
21 operative, in your unit and in all other units, would only transmit the
22 orders issued by commanders and Chiefs of Staffs to their subordinated
24 A. I think that is how it was. That is my opinion. Now whether
25 that's correct, I don't know.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, to carry on the analogy, does that mean that the
2 duty operative can be held responsible for the situation in the brigade
3 regardless of whether the commander and the Chief of Staff are present or
5 A. This question demands a slightly deeper analysis. It all depends
6 on the situation. Does this duty operative have already some task
7 assigned to him or not? I think that this is a rather complex question,
8 more complex than I can give you my answer.
9 Q. Thank you. I would like to clarify it now. Was the duty
10 operative, under any circumstances, in a position to command over your
11 battalion and to be held responsible for the activities of your
13 A. There were situations when the duty operative would issue certain
14 orders. I cannot claim now that he would issue those orders in his own
15 name or whether he merely transmitted those orders. It all depends on
16 the situation, you know. I can't really give you a detailed answer and a
17 detailed analysis of these issues.
18 Q. Thank you. All right. Now let us take a look at your battalion.
19 Was the duty operative in your battalion in a position to command over
20 the battalion or a smaller unit in your absence?
21 A. Once again, I wish to emphasise that most probably he would not
22 take it upon himself to issue any more serious order, if he is in a
23 position to get in touch with me.
24 Q. Thank you. So if he, by chance, assigns a task to somebody, does
25 that mean that he has the duty to inform you that he had issued such a
1 task while you were absent?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. So the duty organs in the battalion, in the brigade,
4 can we say that their main task is to regulate the situation in
5 accordance with the rules of service in relation to everyday tasks and
6 that commanding is not within their purview?
7 A. I told that you it all depends on the situation and that you
8 can't apply the same rules every time. In most cases, the duty
9 operative -- or, rather, in the battalion there was no duty operative,
10 there was just a duty officer, duty officer of the battalion. So it all
11 depended on the situation but he would mainly coordinate things.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell us what is this coordination all
14 A. I again have to emphasise that it depends on the tasks.
15 Q. Thank you. So if the duty officer in the battalion or in the
16 brigade is unclear about something, does he have the right to apply to
17 the duty operative in a higher unit? Meaning the one from the battalion
18 to the brigade, the one from the brigade to the corps?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is there a rule -- is there a duty defined in the rules, his duty
21 that he had to consult with others in case he was unclear about what to
23 A. I would not exclude the possibility of such a coordination.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
25 page 17 of his statement.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I'm reading the first, second, third, fourth line. Thank you.
3 This is page 18 in English. The investigator asked you - we can see
4 that - on line 2:
5 "Is there some specific unit within the brigade that would be in
6 charge of taking over these prisoners?"
7 And then you say:
8 "I think that that is the duty of the security organ."
9 And then you go on to say, on line 5 -- well, the investigator
10 tells you: "And then that would take them back."
11 And then you say:
12 "Yes. In any case that is true."
13 And then in line 8, you say, and who, then, would they report --
14 who would they report this incident to in the brigade? One of the two,
15 it depends which one is at the present at the moment. And then you told
16 the investigator, in response to his question, you said the security
17 organs would take the prisoners. Would they physically turn up at your
18 battalion to take the prisoners?
19 And you say, in line 12:
20 "I mentioned earlier that I didn't have such experience. All of
21 this now that we are talking about, it's all just assumptions."
22 So my question is: The commanders, the komandirs, the soldiers,
23 if they learned about the prisoners, would the security organs learn
24 about them as well? Who can find out about these matters?
25 A. It depends on which unit we are talking about.
1 Q. Okay. But in any case, who would be the first person to be
2 informed about a capture? Would it be the person who actually captured
3 him or somebody working in a command?
4 A. Well, we are talking about here about the coordination between a
5 soldier, komandir and commander.
6 Q. Thank you. So does that mean that they have to inform their
7 superiors about the fact that they captured somebody in the zone of their
8 combat activity?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then you, as the commander of the battalion, you would call
11 up the security organ and assign him a task in relation to those captured
13 A. Well, first of all, I could not issue order to security organs.
14 They had their duties and could not take such orders, but I informed the
15 duty operative about it. It means that I tried to inform the brigade
16 organs about such a case.
17 Q. Thank you. And I apologise for asking you, because you did not
18 have such a specific example in your practice and I certainly wish to
19 emphasise that.
20 Now, since you did not have any such example in your practice, as
21 you stated here in this statement, page 18, does that mean that the
22 brigade would be informed about the prisoners from their subordinated
23 units? Thank you.
24 A. Probably.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. If we are talking about individual cases. Individual cases,
2 then, yes, probably yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you have a security organ in your battalion?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, could it be made clear if we're talking
7 about the prisoners that are the subject of his testimony or if this is
8 just hypothetical, because the prisoners of the testimony are a very
9 unique situation and it is impossible to tell from the question whether
10 we're talking about the prisoners at Rocevic school or capturing a
11 prisoner on the front line.
12 If that could be made clear, it might help us with the meaning of
13 his testimony.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I, myself, was wondering where these kind of
15 questions would lead us.
16 Perhaps you can explain that or go ahead with your questioning.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 The witness and I are talking about the situation as it existed
19 in the field. Later on, we are going to talk about specific topics when
20 it is time to talk about specific topics. Right now he was talking about
21 jurisdictions, and I simply want to ask him whether a security organ
22 would receive an order from the commander who -- to deal with the
23 prisoners who were captured within the zone of responsibility of the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I want to ask him whether he had a security organ in the
3 battalion and whether he would assign him tasks in relation to prisoners
4 who appeared within his zone.
5 A. Just a moment. I really want your questions to be direct and
6 more specific so that they would be more clear to me.
7 A moment ago, when speaking about prisoners, you were saying
8 something, but I have to say they were not my prisoners. They were not
9 captured by my prisoners. They were not brought there by my --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: They were not
11 captured by my soldiers and they were not brought by my soldiers.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I thought that you were asking
13 about me about rules in general and not specifically, about specific
14 prisoners in the field.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Yes, exactly, I was asking you about rules. You said
17 that there were no prisoners within your zone.
18 A. Within my defence zone.
19 Q. Within your defence zone. And they were not captured by your
20 soldiers. They were brought there by some unknown soldiers. So that is
21 why I was asking you, so far, only about the rules and general situation.
22 I apologise for not clarifying this sufficiently.
23 My following question is as follows: If the organs of the
24 military police are engaged, on the orders of their superior, on tasks of
25 securing war prisoners which appeared within the zone, such as the case
1 in Rocevici, who would then be in the position to issue them orders about
2 this, or, rather, who -- from whom would they receive their orders to
3 perform such a task?
4 A. Military police?
5 Q. Yes, yes. Military police. From whom does the military police
6 receive the task to engage their forces in support of war prisoners?
7 A. I really cannot answer that question. As I told you, it all
8 depends on the situation. It depends on who specifically was then in a
9 situation to issue such orders.
10 Q. Thank you. To whom is the military police unit within the
11 brigade subordinated? To whom are subordinated all the military
12 policemen in the brigade?
13 A. Well, all units within the brigade are normally subordinated to
14 the commander. However, the military police company would coordinate it,
15 first of all, with the security organs. They had some sort of a close
16 relationship with them.
17 Q. Thank you. So it means that they had a certain relationship with
18 the security organs in addition to their duties and relations with the
20 So their relation with the security organs, was that something
21 that was widely known within the brigade regulated by the rules?
22 A. I'm really not sure about this. I -- I really can't answer this
24 Q. Thank you. In your practice, was it known to the commander, to
25 the Chief of Staff, to everybody in the brigade, that the security organs
1 and the military police have certain relations in -- with the approval of
2 the commander, or did they do these things illegally, secretly?
3 A. Well, of course, it would be with the approval of the commander.
4 Q. Thank you. Thank you, I apologise for this.
5 When you arrived to the school at Rocevici, were you able to
6 identify any person there who was providing security for the prisoners?
7 I mean, did you know any person there and did you know to which unit he
9 A. No. I already stated that earlier, in my earlier statements.
10 Q. Thank you. It is true you said that on page 18.
11 You said that you were informed by the president of the local
12 community and by the local priest that there were some prisoners in the
13 school in the village. Is that true?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were you on duty at the time when you were informed about this or
16 were you outside of the unit, taking rest, or somewhere else for your
17 personal needs? Thank you.
18 A. I was taking a short break. That's how I would put it. I went
19 to my family house to take care of some personal needs but just for a
20 brief time.
21 Q. Thank you. Did you then, as a member of the brigade and an
22 inhabitant of the Rocevici village, engage in order to resolve the
23 situation which had arisen in a positive way, the situation that you were
24 informed about by the president of the local commune and the priest so
25 that you would help them and do something about their concern?
1 A. I was not resolving any situation there but, as I told you, I did
2 what I did. First of all, my duty was to inform the brigade command
3 about the events that were taking place in Rocevici and that's what I
5 Q. Thank you. Did you fulfil your military duty by doing that, even
6 though you were not on duty at the moment? I mean, informing the
7 superior command about the events which were taking place in the
8 brigade's zone of responsibility? Thank you.
9 A. Yes. Because this was an extraordinary event. I felt duty-bound
10 to inform the brigade command about this, especially as such things were
11 happening in Rocevici at the time.
12 Q. Thank you. And then, being humane, did you also engage in order
13 to improve the conditions for the prisoners, did you request that they be
14 given food, water and so on, when you learned that they would be
15 exchanged? Thank you.
16 A. Well, I was engaged about that for a brief time for purely humane
17 reasons, because I felt pity and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Thank you. You explained that on page 23, in line 7, and for the
19 sake of the transcript, I wanted to mention that. Thank you.
20 Now if could you please have a look at page 26, because I will be
21 asking you questions in connection with that. It's page 26. And
22 specifically, lines 8 to 18.
23 Let have a look at lines 17 and 18 about which I will ask you the
24 first question, so that you can find your bearings. It's page 28 in the
25 English version of the text.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Aleksandar.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, when did Mr. Popovic
4 tell you that the prisoners who were at the school in Rocevici would be
5 exchanged? Thank you.
6 A. As I told you, when I had contact with him when I was informing
7 the brigade about the events in Rocevici, that was when he told me, Don't
8 panic too much, these people will be exchanged tomorrow. And on the
9 basis of these words of his, I sensed a sort of relief.
10 Q. Thank you. This is my question: Were you aware that there were
11 also soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska who were taken prisoners by
12 the Army of BiH, and was it logical for you to accept such an explanation
13 that they could be exchanged ones for the others?
14 A. There was probably such a possibility. It was a matter of
16 Q. Thank you. Was it possible that such an exchange be postponed
17 because of one or the other side which may have imposed certain
18 conditions for the exchange so that it didn't take place?
19 A. Well, I really cannot answer such questions because this was not
20 the kind of information that I had at my disposal, and consequently, I
21 think that I'm not the right person to answer such questions. I cannot
22 give any kind of answer to questions of that sort.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I didn't find any mentioning of
25 exchange of prisoners on that page we have in front of us.
1 Can you help me, indicating which part of the -- this OTP
2 interview you are referring to?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 I said on page 26, in lines 8 to 18. Line 17, I quote. I quote
5 line 17:
6 "They said again that on the next day they would be evacuated and
7 would be exchanged."
8 I apologise, it's possible that I mentioned the wrong page number
9 in English. It's page 27 in English and I probably said page 28. Thank
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said 26. And now, hopefully, we have the
12 right page on the screen.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is actually page 29
14 in English version, line 17. I was reading from what I have. Page 26,
15 line 17. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, now we are really confused. Which
17 page is the right one? I have no idea. First you said 26; then 27; then
18 29; then, again, 26.
19 Which is the correct page in English? I don't find the relevant
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It's
22 page 29 in the English version and page 26 in the Serbian language.
23 Line 17.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's wait if we will find it.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And could I ask in the future that we're provided
1 with not only the page in the English version but the line in the
2 English version. That's just normal.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have page 30. It seems to be line 5, or
4 3 through 5 on page 30.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, Mr. President, 3 to 5
6 on page -- is it 30?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have page 30 in English. But I don't know
8 if we have the relevant page in B/C/S on the screen.
9 We need your clear guidance for the Registry so that they can
10 display the right pages, Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
12 read it out for the transcript. It's page 26, line 17, in the Serbian
13 language, and it's part of the 65 ter 02264, which I received from the
14 Prosecution. And my legal assistant says that these are lines 4 and 5 on
15 page 29 in the English version. That is to say, page 30 -- I'm sorry,
16 because I don't speak or read English -- thank you. These are lines 30
17 in the English language. It means 26 in -- what are the lines,
19 [Defence counsel confer]
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Lines 3 to 5 on page 30, as
21 requested by Mr. McCloskey. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is now on the screen. After all this
23 confusion, we found the relevant part.
24 Now put a question to the witness, please.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. My question for the witness before this confusion arose as my
2 mistake, as I can't speak English, was this: When were you told that the
3 persons who were prisoners and held in Rocevici would be exchanged?
4 Thank you.
5 A. After that, when I first contacted the duty operations officer
6 that is to say, when I called the brigade to report to them about the
7 events that I told you about and that were taking place in Rocevici.
8 Q. Thank you. We shall now move to another part of 65 ter 02063,
9 your statement, where you discuss the problems of the so-called encrypted
10 telegram. That's the subject. And it's page 7 of the second section of
11 the statement. The date is the 17th of March, 2002.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see in e-court
13 page 7 about which I will be asking questions, so that the witness could
14 see what I'm asking him in connection with the telegram.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which line in B/C/S and which page in English and
16 line in English, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is page 7 in the B/C/S version.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which line?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Lines 1, 2, 3, and 4.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which line and page in English?
21 Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a suggestion. There's an old rule that
23 statements like this are really not relevant unless they're used to
24 either refresh someone's recollection or impeach them.
25 This witness recollects about these situations. He can answer
1 questions all about it. This going through his statements that's neither
2 impeaching him nor giving him any recollection is -- seems to be a waste
3 of time, especially since we can't find the English version. So perhaps
4 if we went back to some traditional rules and just asked the witness
5 about the topic, which I'm not even sure are in contest, we could save
6 some time. Because I think we have now -- there's a couple of interviews
7 that this gentleman gave, and I think we have 02063 is not the interview
8 we've been talking about, which was September of 2010. This is another
9 one, I think in March.
10 So -- or we could take an early break and have Mr. Gajic really
11 get together on this. I know it's confusing sometimes. But I really see
12 no reason to even be using this. There's no impeachment, there's no
13 refreshing of recollection. Why are we reading this material? It is not
14 relevant, it's not appropriate. Unless the witness is stumped or needs
15 to be impeached, we don't need this transcript.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The most important thing is that you get it clear
17 what you are putting to the witness. If you look at the transcript, we
18 are dealing for a long time now just finding the relevant portion of the
19 OTP statement. And this is really a waste of time. Perhaps a bad
20 preparation of the cross-examination.
21 I -- I would like to know which is the document on the screen at
22 the moment, which is the number, as Mr. McCloskey was referring to a
23 different number at the moment?
24 Which one is it? Is it 65 ter 02064 still?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 I wish to emphasise both to you and Mr. McCloskey that I am the
2 source of the confusion because I can't read or speak English. My legal
3 assistant, who does speak and read English, is helping me. But from now
4 on, because I have no intention of impeaching this witness, nor of
5 checking what he said, I will just quote what I noted from today's
6 transcript, because I'm not to be blamed for not speaking English.
7 So I will leave alone this interview and I will focus on the
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Today, on page 34, line 14, of today's transcript, you discussed
11 an encrypted telegram which contained an order that you should set up, as
12 Mr. McCloskey said, a firing squad. And you explained how you received
13 that telegram.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And how it was decoded while you were sleeping.
16 As you remember that, my question is this: Did your duty organs,
17 on the basis of the code that you had in the battalion, decode this
18 telegram? Thank you.
19 A. Yes, they did.
20 Q. Was the telegram sent to you with the code that was used only by
21 your Zvornik Brigade for communication in this manner?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Were these intimate conversations between the brigade command and
24 the subordinate units of the brigade?
25 A. It was a table for decoding telegrams for a specific time-period.
1 Q. Thank you. On page 34, from line 4 onwards, you talked about the
2 numbers and letters used for the codes which are included in the tables.
3 This is my question: Did every commanding officer in the
4 battalion have training that would enable him to decode all the telegrams
5 that would arrive to the battalion?
6 A. I believe that they were. Each member of the battalion command
7 should be trained in such a way that he can decode any possible encrypted
8 telegram. I say that they should have been trained for that, but whether
9 it was really like that or not, it's something I cannot say with any
11 Q. All right. Thank you. On page 37, line 25, of today's
12 transcript, Mr. McCloskey said that you contacted Popovic. And you
13 reacted on page 38, line 3, and you said that you did not try to contact
14 him but that you reached him accidentally and that he -- you got him on
15 the phone through the duty operations officer.
16 As you remember the situation, this is what I want to ask you.
17 Mr. McCloskey asked you later on whether it was dark at the time and you
18 said that you are not 100 percent sure?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. On the basis of all that, my question is this: What day was
21 that, about which Mr. McCloskey asked you whether it was dark on that day
22 or not?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. And do you know what date it was?
25 A. Please don't ask me about any dates or days of the week. Because
1 in all my previous statements, I said that if you want me to confirm what
2 date or what day of the week it was, I am not certain, I do not remember,
3 and if you insist, I might make an error. So as for the dates and the
4 like, you don't have to ask me anything because I will tell you in
5 advance that I'm not certain what day of the week or what specific date
6 it was.
7 Q. Thank you. Could you perhaps tell us whether it was on the
8 13th or on the 14th?
9 A. I can't tell you anything.
10 Q. Thank you. I --
11 A. Approximately, yes, but -- approximately, on the basis of
12 everything else, it should have been these dates when these events took
13 place in Rocevici, but I'm not certain and I cannot confirm whether it
14 was on the 13th or 14th, when these unfortunate events happened.
15 Q. Thank you. And can you remember what was the date on which you
16 received the telegram?
17 A. Well, I told you that I don't remember any single date, and
18 consequently, I would kindly ask you not to ask me such questions, if
19 that's possible, questions that entail me saying exactly what date it
21 Q. Thank you. I want to apologise to you for asking you that, but I
22 asked you that so that the Trial Chamber would have the information in
23 the transcript, because earlier you talked about the arrival of the
24 telegram and because there were other witnesses here who told us when
25 approximately this could have happened, and you mentioned their names.
1 A. All right. All right.
2 Q. They were talking about the fact that it happened around
3 2.00 after midnight?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So if it was the 12th, it actually the 13th, 2.00 a.m.?
6 A. No, no, I think I was clear. I think I explained that. I spoke
7 about the time in relation to the events in the field. I did not speak
8 about some earlier period.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, we have to look at page 17 of your second
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President requested me to tell
12 exactly which interview that is. It's the 17th March of the year 2002.
13 The interview was held in Banja Luka. And it's 65 ter 02063, page 17,
14 lines 21 to 25.
15 It's page 17 also in English, as my legal advisor just informed
16 me. Thank you.
17 So, everybody can see it, and I'm now going to read it and then
18 I'll ask a question.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I am quoting from the beginning of the sentence, page 17,
21 line 20. You can follow it in Serbian. And in English, that's -- it's
22 line 4 and onwards. I quote:
23 "Well, first of all, we decided regardless of what was happening
24 at the time, because we were expecting that somebody was going to do
25 something because an order had been refused. But most of all we had in
1 mind the fact that the previous day we saw on the television and we knew
2 that it was General Mladic who announced to the public and everybody in
3 Srebrenica that some sort of security would be guaranteed."
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that you were able to follow
5 in English.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We were not able to follow that. I didn't find
7 it on that page. Please check if it's the right page.
8 You said in English, it's line 4 and onwards. It is not line 4.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I do see on line 17 there's the --
11 a discussion where General Mladic is brought up. Perhaps that's where it
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for your assistance for the accused.
14 But I would like to have -- to have it clear when the accused is asking
15 for that document.
16 Carry on, please, and put a question to the witness.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
18 apologise. Thank you to Mr. McCloskey. I quoted what I knew. I knew
19 that it was page 17 in Serbian. And I apologise for not giving the exact
20 reference in English.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So my question is as follows: First of all, do you remember what
23 you stated here in this statement?
24 A. Partially.
25 Q. Did you hear this in the media, this thing that you mentioned,
1 that General Mladic guaranteed the security and safety and so on and so
3 A. I saw it on television after these events, much later. That's
4 when you could see those things in the media.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. I think. I think so, that's what I can remember.
7 Q. But here in line 22, you say, and I quote:
8 "The foremost fact in our mind was the fact that we saw it the
9 day before on the television, and we knew that it was announced to the
10 public and to everybody in Srebrenica that General Mladic guaranteed
11 their safety."
12 From this statement, it turns out that you saw it the day before,
13 on the television. Is that so or not?
14 A. I can't answer your question because it's -- I'm not clear about
15 the question. I can't really see what this is all about and what is it
16 that you're asking me about.
17 Q. Thank you. Is it possible that what you said had been
18 misinterpreted while this transcript was made and that it is different
19 from what I have here as your statement?
20 A. I really don't remember. What you just read out to me, bearing
21 in mind how you read it out, it means that I cannot really say anything
22 about it at this moment.
23 Q. All right. Without me reading out anything, why don't you read
24 for yourself the whole sentence and then tell me whether you saw it on
25 television or not.
1 A. Just a moment.
2 It is possible. Although I'm not sure about exactly when
3 Srebrenica was taken over, it is possible that General Mladic gave some
4 statements immediately after that and that in those statements he
5 guaranteed the safety of the prisoners.
6 So it is possible that we saw it the same night or whenever we
7 watched television. So it is possible that this answer was given in that
9 Q. Thank you. So was that the basis for your decision?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Because you say here:
12 "We were expecting that something would be done about the fact
13 that an order was refused."
14 A. No. We had completely different things in mind.
15 Q. All right. You had completely different things in mind. Then
16 why did you say here that General Mladic gave some guarantees to
17 everybody in Srebrenica? My question was only about this specific point.
18 Did you have in mind that fact?
19 A. Among other things. It was an information. It was something
20 that we knew. But apart from that, I, as a human being and a reserve
21 officer, I would never allow myself or my associates to take part in such
22 a mad idea of somebody else.
23 Q. Thank you. I understand you. But what I'm talking about here
24 is, isn't that also similar to the public guarantees of security given by
25 General Mladic?
1 A. Well, I can't really connect these two things. I don't know
2 whether those things were taken into account or not. We are now talking
3 about the time that had elapsed and if I were now to make a connection
4 between these two things, it would be dishonest for me that I -- if I
5 would say that I remember these things.
6 Q. All right. But were you held responsible for the fact that you
7 did not want take part in something that was illegal and something that
8 was even completely ruled out as a possibility in public statements?
9 A. Could you clarify this question?
10 Q. Was it realistic for you to refuse the order to execute soldiers,
11 bearing in mind, that, in the media, you heard that the superior officers
12 guaranteed the security and safety of those prisoners, saying that they
13 would be exchanged?
14 A. I really did not understand your question fully. I would rather
15 not answer it. I'm not quite clear what exactly it is that you're
16 asking. Could you maybe simplify your question? I'm definitely going to
17 answer any question that you pose. But there is no need to quote
18 anything or anybody else. Just ask me specifically, concretely, and I'm
19 going to answer every question of yours.
20 Q. All right. Let us not quote anything, then. My question is:
21 Could we say that you had some sort of guarantee that nobody would
22 disturb you, because you heard in the media that everybody received
23 guarantees that they were going to be exchanged?
24 A. At the moment, I really did not think about that. If you think
25 that, at the time I considered any guarantees, I have to tell you that
1 probably, at that moment, I did not think about that. Really, I cannot
2 give you an explanation about your question that would satisfy you.
3 Q. Thank you. I don't need anything here.
4 A. All right. All right.
5 Q. What I'm asking you is, had you heard beforehand that there were
6 guarantees of security to the population on television and on radio?
7 A. I'm really telling you, here and now, that if I said something
8 like that in 2001, that I had a recollection of this sort, that before
9 these unfortunate events took place, and if I said that that happened
10 after the takeover of Srebrenica, then, probably, yes, I did say
11 something like that. But I can't remember these things that you are
12 putting to me now. And I don't know whether it's relevant.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we are really running out of time.
14 We need our second break.
15 Before we do that, I have to make a correction. You, on page 71,
16 line 12, you were referring to several pages of a document. That should
17 read, to have it later on clear on the record, English page 17, lines 19
18 through 25 ; and B/C/S, not page 17 but page 18, lines 11 through 18.
19 Just to clarify this situation on the record.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a short question and then we
23 will have our break.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, as a follow-up to the
25 question put by the Defence, I would like to know, since you were a
1 battalion commander, you had received a very important order. You were
2 asked to send soldiers out to execute prisoners. This is not a standard
3 order like going to fetch some bread.
4 What I would like to know is this: In your army, as far as
5 disciplinary matters are concerned, what sanctions were imposed when an
6 officer like you refused to obey an order? More specifically, highly
7 important orders stemming from these superiors in the military.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably in every army there are
9 certain measures for refusing to obey an order. Bearing in mind what
10 kind of order it was, I think that nobody was able, and nobody was in a
11 position to start such a proceedings. That's my answer.
12 On the other hand, truth be told, I can't tell you why such
13 proceedings were not initiated. There is one reason. In relation to the
14 Zvornik Brigade and the corps, there was nobody who could have initiated
15 something like that, because everybody was running around in the command,
16 in the brigade, everywhere. Nobody had enough courage in the brigade
17 itself to stand up against such mad orders. Nobody, either in the
18 brigade or in the corps.
19 I think that those officers knew at the bottom of their souls
20 that this was something abnormal, something crazy, something contrary to
21 the times that we live in. I also think that that was one of the reasons
22 why no disciplinary measures were taken against me.
23 That's my personal opinion.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has an additional question.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just have one question for you.
2 You've testified in your evidence that you received a telegram
3 requesting you to provide a platoon to undertake some executions.
4 Do you know who -- who wrote you that telegram?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already answered, and I am now
6 repeating for the umpteenth time. When the telegram arrived, or,
7 precisely, when I read the telegram, the contents of the telegram was so
8 shocking for me, me and my associates, that, really, really, I'm now
9 repeating it for I don't know which time, I did not remember the
10 signature of the telegram. I may have read it, but then I was far more
11 concentrated on the contents of the telegram, since I have already given
12 some details about it.
13 After the two telegrams that we have received, I said that
14 Nikolic, who was security organ of the brigade, got in contact with me
15 and tried, somehow, to force me to execute the order. So I think that I
16 may have already answered your question, if I told you what I know, what
17 I remember. So I think that that was maybe in the telegram as well.
18 I sincerely hope that you will understand this statement of mine.
19 And I'm going to say it once again. All the company commanders, or if
20 they were absent, their deputies were informed about the contents of the
21 telegram. I'm sure that many soldiers know about the contents, about the
22 telegram. When I talk about soldiers, I talk about the soldiers of the
23 2nd Infantry Battalion.
24 Now, why some individual cannot or do not want to remember these
25 things, well, that's something entirely outside my powers. Thank you.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you for your answer. I have another
2 question for you.
3 How were you appointed to your duties?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By the order of the brigade
5 commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Bosancic, in 1992.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: What particular qualifications or skills or
7 competences do you think influenced your appointment to these duties?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you have in mind the military
9 qualifications, I had none. What influenced Lieutenant-Colonel Bosancic?
10 Maybe he had in mind the previous period when I performed the duty of the
11 company commander. Probably, based on the way that I performed that
12 duty, he considered that I was the best solution at that moment. I
13 really cannot go any further into details right now about this topic
14 because I was not the person thinking about it. It was somebody else who
15 issued orders about it, and that somebody else had some information at
16 his disposal, information about me.
17 I think that the way that I performed my duties of the company
18 commander in the 3rd Infantry Battalion may have acted as some sort of
19 recommendation for my appointment as the battalion commander.
20 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you for your answers.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we, Mr. President, release Helge Brunborg.
23 I see it's getting late and my voice is going out, and I'm not sure how
24 much the General has to go. But it would be great to start with him
25 tomorrow morning.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think there is -- it is very unlikely that we
2 can start with this witness. He should be released, it's my
3 understanding as well. I think Mr. Tolimir has some more questions to go
4 and there will be -- it has to be the opportunity for re-examination and
5 some other questions, perhaps, from the Chamber.
6 We must finally have now our second break and we will resume half
7 past 6.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 6.00 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.32 p.m.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
11 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence would like
12 to offer up a small apology because of erroneous references. Sometimes
13 the lines of the transcript do not correspond the transcript we're using
14 in the courtroom, and the documents that we used as working documents,
15 some of them are in Word format, some of them are in PDF format, so then
16 the order is not the same for some reason. We don't know why that
17 happens, so we would like to apologise for all the difficulties that
18 ensued because of this difference.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for those kind words. I just
20 want to give you a reason why this is really problematic. If the --
21 especially if the interpreters can't follow in the English or in the
22 B/C/S version, and especially for us, we need the English or French
23 translation, we need the clear reference. Otherwise additional
24 translation problems will occur. And also for the court record it is
25 also very difficult.
1 Please continue, Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Since a
3 lot of time was spent on making the lines of the transcript correspond,
4 so we used a lot of time on that, I would just like to process one more
5 topic, and I would like to round off the previous topics.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Since there were problems in establishing the exact date when
8 this happened, I would like to ask you this: Are you saying that the
9 prisoners were, first of all, captured and then they were deployed in
10 your area? Is that something that is logical?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Now we're going to see a statement by one witness.
13 This is 9401. That is the transcript page, 9401, lines 1 to 12, where
14 the witness, who is a Prosecution witness, and who had been captured,
15 said that, on 13th, he was on the playground in Konjevic Polje. He
16 described that General Mladic came to Konjevic Polje on that occasion,
17 that he had a meeting with them, that he said that -- he would go for an
18 exchange, that there were five people there whose names were listed, and
19 that this took one hour. It took them one hour to make a list of people
20 who were going to be exchanged.
21 My question is: If all of this took place on the 13th, on the
22 13th at noon, then that prisoner probably would have been brought back on
23 the 14th. Isn't that right?
24 A. Well, I really cannot answer that question.
25 Q. Well, could that have been on the 12th?
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to give the floor to
2 Mr. McCloskey before you put the next question.
3 Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, just on his -- General's paraphrase of
5 the -- of the survivor witness, I believe he is speaking of the
6 playground or the football pitch at Nova Kasaba. I'm not aware of a
7 playground at Konjevic Polje. There is a building in Konjevic Polje but
8 it's -- it's the playground, football pitch at Nova Kasaba, where I
9 think, he is talking about the list and General Mladic.
10 So I just wanted so sort that out.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you agree, Mr. Tolimir?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, I do agree with
14 Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. All right. Well, you have heard from the Prosecution and he
17 remembers as well that this is something that the witness stated, that
18 this happened at the football pitch in Nova Kasaba and that there, on the
19 13th, General Mladic appeared in the afternoon, that he gave them a
20 speech, and that he took an hour to list the names of the people there.
21 So my question is: If the prisoners were listed, on the 13th, as
22 persons to be exchanged, could they have been located in Zvornik in the
23 afternoon on the 13th, or was that some other day? Was it possible that
24 they had spent the night in Bratunac? Thank you.
25 A. I'm really unable to answer that question. I'm not familiar with
1 the facts relating to those prisoners and a series of other circumstances
2 dealing with those particular prisoners. I really would not venture into
3 giving any kind of statement on that particular topic.
4 Q. Thank you. I understand that. You are a witness. This Court
5 and I, as an accused, we need to establish the facts, the date when these
6 prisoners were exchanged. You've already said that you don't want to do
7 that. I understand why you don't want to do that and it's probably
8 because you don't know. All I'm doing is asking you: Is it logical if
9 somebody was arrested on the 13th but was placed in schools in the
10 Zvornik municipality on the 12th? Thank you.
11 A. I really would not want to say anything about that particular
12 question, if you permit me to say that.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell me, can anyone be arrested a day
14 after being placed in a particular area of responsibility?
15 A. I'm sorry, can you repeat this question again? I'm sorry.
16 Q. This witness of the Prosecution that we mentioned said that on
17 the 13th, he was on the football pitch and that his name was taken down
18 and that General Mladic gave him a speech, that General Mladic said that
19 they were going to be exchanged, that it took them an hour to make a list
20 of these people, that this was something that was done by five people.
21 A. No, no, all of that is fine. Just the last part of the question.
22 Q. If they were on the pitch on the 13th, is there a possibility
23 that on the 12th they were located in Zvornik? Thank you.
24 A. There's no logic to that.
25 Q. Thank you. So now we have pin-pointed that the 12th is being
1 ruled out as a possible date.
2 All right. Let's go on. If you remember, in your statement, you
3 referred to someone telling you that there was an order issued from up
4 high. The Prosecutor also said that. He didn't say who issued this
5 order. Then we need to pin-point who that person could be or rule out
6 somebody who could not have issued that order. Do you remember any
7 possible persons who would fit that description?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Since we've seen now that on the 13th, General Mladic
10 was on the football pitch, that this was something that was recorded by
11 television, that he was making a list of the prisoners and this is
12 something that the prisoners themselves testified to. And I have a
13 statement here, D3.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I please have D3.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And on the basis of that, my question is: So, we don't know
17 exactly who it was who issued that order; is that correct? Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd object. He needs to get his facts straight
20 on this. There are hundreds of people at this soccer field. We have one
21 prisoner that survived. There's not prisoners that I'm aware of that
22 have given this evidence. There is one survivor. So to suggest that
23 there's several prisoners providing this is inappropriate. He needs to
24 keep his facts straight on these crucial issues.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, did you understand the question? No, sorry,
1 there was no -- there was not a question yet.
2 Mr. Tolimir, please put a question to the witness.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. The question was, and I stopped because Mr. McCloskey was on his
6 feet. The question was: If one survivor claimed that, on the 13th, he
7 was on the football pitch, that there was a speech, that his name was
8 written down, and that he was told that he would be going to -- for an
9 exchange, would that indicate that on the 13th the position was to
10 proceed with the exchange and to list the prisoners? Thank you.
11 A. How can I know what the position was? I did not have any kind of
12 insight into that matter, in order to be able to say anything about that
13 question. I wouldn't want to be dealing with any assumptions.
14 Q. All right. All right. Just tell me, is there any logic in
15 listing the prisoners for an exchange, to record them with cameras, to
16 give them a speech, and then for that same person who was organising all
17 of that would then have them killed? Thank you.
18 A. I think that I clearly stated exactly what I think about that
19 particular issue. So as for logic, that is something that I would not
20 really use anymore. I wouldn't use that term anymore, "logic." Had
21 there been any logic in any of that, I wouldn't be here and you wouldn't
22 be here either. Evidently somebody did not want, for whatever reasons,
23 simply to -- well, actually, I really don't know what I could tell you
24 about this question, really.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, may I interrupt you for a moment. I
1 have some doubt if the kind of questioning is -- helps you and your
2 Defence in any way. The witness made very clear that he doesn't recall
3 exact dates. Therefore, it's not helpful to put questions to that
4 effect. And the other thing is, to -- to ask him about events he was not
5 present and to draw some conclusions of different events, and if
6 something is logical, this is a question you should answer yourself and
7 everybody else in the courtroom, especially if it's related to events
8 that the witness has never testified about.
9 Please bear that in mind and put questions to the relevant parts
10 of his previous testimony, and you should continue in that respect.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President, I
12 understand you, and I understand the witness, too. But in order for us
13 to establish the dates, all I can do is ask him whether, on the basis of
14 the references given by the witness who survived, that he was in Kasaba
15 on the 13th, is the witness able to say whether they were people who were
16 prisoners in Nova Kasaba on the 13th. Thank you. I don't want anything
17 more than that.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I that I already answered
19 that question.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
21 Could the e-court please show us D3. Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. We can see the document on the screen. We spoke about the 13th,
24 and this document talks about the 14th and the 15th. Can you please look
25 at the second paragraph of this document. This is a statement by
1 Major-General Elliott, a British Army general, an officer of the
2 British Army. And in the second paragraph of the statement he says:
3 "On July 14th, 1995, I travelled to Belgrade with Bildt,
4 General de Lapresle and others ... Mr. Bildt attended a meeting with
5 President Slobodan Milosevic of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
6 between approximately 1300 and 1700 hours. At the conclusion of this
7 meeting, Mr. Bildt debriefed the other members of his delegation,
8 including myself, on issues relating to his meeting with
9 President Milosevic. Later that same evening, at ... 1900 hours,
10 Mr. Bildt and General de Lapresle met with President Milosevic and
11 General Ratko Mladic, commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb
12 Army. The meeting concluded at approximately 2200 hours on the
13 14th of July, 1995."
14 This was the first paragraph.
15 In the second paragraph, line 4, the same person states:
16 "On the 15th of July, 1995, in Belgrade, Mr. Bildt,
17 Ambassador Stoltenberg, Mr. Akashi ... attended the meetings with
18 President Milosevic and other members of his delegation. In attendance
19 at his meeting was General Mladic. The meeting commenced at about
20 1200 hours and concluded at about 2200 hours. During this time,
21 General Mladic remained in my presence until the conclusion of the
23 So my question is: If the witness that survived says that
24 General Mladic was in this place on the 13th and then he was where he is
25 said to be on the 14th and the 15th, could General Mladic have been
1 present at these locations that you referred to, the elementary school in
3 A. This depends on the transport means that he had at his disposal.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you quoted from paragraph 3, lines 1
6 through 7, and not second paragraph, line 4, just for the record, to have
7 it clear what you are putting to the witness.
8 Please continue.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Should I repeat this
10 quote? I have read the whole of the second paragraph and the
11 third paragraph from the line 5 onwards.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you didn't read from the
13 second paragraph but from the third paragraph. I just wanted to make it
14 clear for the record. And now continue, please. Don't repeat anything.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then I have to read the
16 first paragraph because I want it to be in the record.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are in the record. You were quoting
18 absolutely correctly but you were reading from the second and the
19 third paragraph. I think your -- Mr. Gajic will ...
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And now continue and put a question to the
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So, if General Mladic, on the 14th of July, 1995, had a meeting
1 with Mr. Elliot and Mr. Bildt, and if, on the 15th of July, he had a
2 meeting from 12.00 to 22 hours, could he have been at some other location
3 at that time?
4 A. General, sir, I would like to tell you once again, I had no
5 information about the whereabouts of General Mladic, about whom he met,
6 when he met them. That is something that I know absolutely nothing about
7 it. And I really cannot understand that are you now asking me to answer
8 questions about such details since I have absolutely no idea about it.
9 Excuse me.
10 I certainly could not have had any such information, and now you
11 expect me to talk about something that I know nothing about. I was not
12 privy to such information. I think this is really inappropriate. You
13 cannot ask me about such details.
14 Q. Thank you. I understand you. I understand why you don't want to
15 answer and I'm not going to insist on it.
16 I read you a statement and a transcript of a witness who was in
17 Nova Kasaba, but I understand why you don't want to answer whether
18 somebody can be at two different places simultaneously. The
19 Trial Chamber is going to decide about that, and I'm not going to ask you
20 about this. I'm going to ask you about something that you maybe have
21 some knowledge about.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 65 ter 2063. Thank
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We need 65 ter 2063,
1 page 45 in Serbian, lines 3 to 8. And in English, it's page 44, lines 17
2 to 24.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. This is where you say that you had been warned about the attack
5 that threatened the Zvornik Brigade on the part of the sabotage groups
6 and the units leaving Srebrenica.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you tell us anything about this event or whatever you know
9 about it?
10 A. After the fall of Srebrenica, we would receive information
11 through telegram telling us that enemy armed columns were moving through
12 the depth of our territory. By that, I mean behind our defence lines.
13 Their possible axis of movement went through my zone of defence. The
14 villages of Malesici and Boskovici. We received instructions to take
15 certain measures so that our soldiers would be in the unit and alert, in
16 order to prevent any sort of surprise, such as being ambushed from the
17 back, or being attacked from the front.
18 Q. Thank you. My question is as follows: Did the units of the
19 28th Division from Srebrenica move under fire through the zone of
20 responsibility of your brigade with the intent to cross the zone of
21 defence of your battalion?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Did your brigade have any losses, bearing in mind that they were
24 moving and taking part in action?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did your battalion have any losses?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us how many losses did you have?
4 A. I cannot be sure about it. I think two soldiers, but I'm not
5 100 per cent sure.
6 Q. Thank you. Were there any captured in this conflict, in this
8 A. I have no information to that effect.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have in e-court 1D373,
10 page 3. Thank you.
11 Yes, page 3. Now the last paragraph on this page bears number 3
12 in Serbian. In English, I think it's the following page. Thank you. So
13 it's the third paragraph from the top, yes. So in English, it's at the
14 top of the page, in Serbian it's at the bottom of the page, both
15 paragraphs bearing number 3.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. It goes as follows:
18 "The units of the 28th Division are pulling out of Srebrenica
19 while still fighting. They have remained compact. They have scored
20 success after success in the temporarily occupied territory. They have
21 inflicted great losses on the aggressors. So far, they have
22 eight Chetniks alive in captivity. Units of the 28th Division have
23 linked up with the infiltrated units of the 2nd Corps. Their joint
24 forces have continued fighting in the temporarily occupied territory. It
25 is expected that they will fully link up with this unit. Activities are
1 underway to exploit the success of units carrying out the breakthrough."
2 So this is a document written by Rasim Delic. You can see in the
3 English version that his name appears.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And can we now have the following
5 page, the last page in Serbian.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You can see that this was signed by Army General, Commander
8 Rasim Delic. The report is dated the 16th of July, 1995. You can see
9 that on the second page.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the second page in
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So he informed other units within his army about it. You can see
14 here the masthead towards the bottom of the page.
15 My question is as follows: Was this attack as large as described
16 here and was there a real danger that those compact forces which managed
17 to leave Srebrenica would threaten units such as battalions along their
18 path of breakthrough?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. He mentions eight captured Chetniks. Was there anybody captured
21 in your unit?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Can you tell us what do you know in general about this fighting
24 and were there any captured people?
25 A. No, I was never in those parts.
1 Q. Do you know how many captured or killed members of the brigade
2 were there in that fighting?
3 A. I really don't know any precise data. I really wouldn't dare say
4 anything about it. Right now, these data are not available to me.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you remember which unit from the brigade took part
6 in prevention of this breakthrough of the enemy through the zone of
7 responsibility of your brigade?
8 A. Probably all the units of the Zvornik Brigade took part in it.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, through the territory of which
10 battalion did the Muslim formation accomplish its breakthrough?
11 A. I think it was the direction of the village of Kitovnica, but I'm
12 not sure. I'm not sure about which battalion had this village in its
13 zone of responsibility. I think it was the 4th.
14 Q. Do you happen to know which battalion defended the area of
16 A. I think it was the 4th Battalion. I'm not quite sure about what
17 was the zone of defence of the Zvornik Brigade in that area, so I'm not
18 exactly sure about in which zone of defence which village was.
19 Q. Okay. Delic here says that the units of the 20th Division left
20 Srebrenica while fighting. My question is as follows: Did the Serbian
21 army open a corridor for them, resulting in the fact that there were not
22 other casualties in that particular zone?
23 A. A corridor was opened.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if you look at the clock, we are
25 past 7.00 already. We have to stop it now.
1 And we are in a difficult position. You have nearly used
2 two hours for your cross-examination. Some parts, as we discussed
3 earlier, was a waste of time because figuring out the right documents
4 with the right numbers. I don't know how to continue.
5 Can you tell me what is your estimation, how much time do you
6 need to finalise your cross-examination?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 We announced two hours. We have spent two hours so far, so I'm
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, that's not true. That's not true. You said
11 one to two hours. This is different.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right. So if we use
13 two hours, then I finished the cross-examination.
14 I would like to thank the witness for his answers, and I wish you
15 safe journey home on behalf of the Defence. May God bless him and may he
16 continue his life in joy and happiness. Thank you, Your Honour, and to
17 everybody helping us, to everybody watching this trial. Thank you to the
18 Registry. And I apologise for any technical difficulties while using the
19 transcripts. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. It was not the transcript
21 what was the problem but the OTP interviews, and they are in both
22 languages for a long time at your disposal. This is the problem.
23 Mr. McCloskey, what is the situation according to re-examination?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no questions, Mr. President.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, this concludes your examination in this
2 trial. Thank you that we -- you were able to come to The Hague again and
3 to help us to find out the truth, and thank you for your assistance you
4 were able to provide.
5 You are now free to return to your normal activities, and the
6 Chamber would like to thank you again.
7 We adjourn and resume tomorrow at 9.00 in this courtroom.
8 Thank you, and good-bye.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
12 February, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.