1 Tuesday, 5 April 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom, and
6 good morning to you, Ms. Lindsay, again.
7 Unexpectedly, I see you on your feet, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
9 Your Honours.
10 I would like just a brief preliminary this morning. I would like
11 to move to withdraw my previous request to bring back General Obradovic.
12 And the reason for that would be that the main point I was trying to get
13 to with General Obradovic was to take him to the area of the military
14 police and security regarding prisoners of war, their responsibilities
15 and duties, both in the regulations and in the practice. This is where I
16 was going, because that was specifically left out in a cross-examination
17 or avoided.
18 Yesterday, you'll recall Mr. Thayer went over some of those
19 regulations regarding the military police and the security, and their
20 responsibilities in relation to prisoners of war; of course, a central
21 issue to the case. When those rules and regulations were gone over and
22 explained, and I think bringing the general back to re-explain that would
23 be repetitive and, in this context, not essential. So in weighing
24 everything, I thought that it is not essential to bring him back and ask
25 him those very things that just came in, I thought, clearly. The other
1 issues that I had mentioned related to some of the other issues. I think
2 those will be dealt with with other witnesses.
3 So I would ask your leave to withdraw the request from bringing
4 General Obradovic back for the reasons stated. And I've had a chance to
5 explain this also to Mr. Gajic.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 I don't see a need that the Defence wants to respond. The
8 Chamber will consider that for a moment.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
11 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence is
12 satisfied to hear that the Prosecution decided not to recall the
13 Witness Obradovic. The Defence is of the view that it is not necessary
14 to recall him.
15 I would also like to remind everybody that the witness should be
16 notified in an appropriate way that he does not have the duty anymore to
17 observe all those things that he was warned about at the beginning of his
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 Indeed, the Chamber will grant leave not to recall the witness.
21 The witness, and I would like to put it on the record, is released from
22 his duties as a witness in this trial, and he should be notified
24 Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Welcome, Mr. Thayer.
25 The witness should be brought in, please.
1 MS. LINDSAY: Your Honour, I have a request to make on behalf of
2 Mr. Nikolic. Virginia Lindsay, on behalf of Mr. Nikolic.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, again.
4 MS. LINDSAY: Good morning.
5 He was shown a document this morning that he hasn't seen in quite
6 a while, and he has requested that he be supplied a copy of it so that he
7 can use it to refresh his recollection.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, I would like to invite the witness
10 to sit down. Please sit down.
11 Good morning, sir.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning. Thank
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To which document are you referring?
15 MS. LINDSAY: It would be Defence D00203. The title of the
16 document is "Rules of Service, Security Organs for the SFRY."
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber agrees this document should be
18 forwarded to the witness.
19 MS. LINDSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 On your request, you have now received this document you asked
22 for to have the opportunity to look through it.
23 I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth made
24 at the beginning of your testimony yesterday still applies.
25 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before Mr. Thayer is continuing his
3 examination-in-chief, I would ask you for a clarification to a topic we
4 discussed yesterday.
5 We saw a document signed by Lieutenant-Colonel - I'm not sure if
6 I recall the name correctly - Ognjenovic. I don't recall. But he was
7 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade. You qualified his position as a
8 politician, and I asked you about that yesterday. I would like to ask
9 you for some more detailed clarification.
10 Did this man ever have a political post in a political party or
11 the post in the state organisation, apart from his posts in the army? Do
12 you know that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is that
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic only had a function in the military. So as
15 far as I know, he was never in the political parties there. And I also
16 think that while he was in Bratunac, he was also not in any of the
17 political parties.
18 But I want to clarify one thing. Maybe it was I who caused the
20 Mr. President, there are political functions in the military, so
21 within the army, there are political functions. While I was in the army,
22 we used to call them political commissars. The information that I have
23 is that Mr. Ognjenovic, while he served in the army, having graduated
24 from the Military Academy, performed various political functions of this
25 kind within the army. In the army, you have assistant commanders for
1 moral and political work and then assistant commanders for moral and
2 political training. So when I was speaking about him, I meant that kind
3 of political functions.
4 And another thing that I forgot to tell you yesterday: The first
5 time that Mr. Ognjenovic arrived to my brigade, and I told you already he
6 was within the brigade twice on two different occasions, he arrived in a
7 blue uniform. Now, as far as I know, that means that he came from a
8 specific combat branch, and that is air forces and the air defence. So
9 the essence of what I wanted to say was that Mr. Ognjenovic was not an
10 infantryman, that he was not a commander, that he had never commanded
11 such a big establishment as a brigade. That's what I know.
12 Now, what other functions he performed earlier, I don't know,
13 especially not chronologically speaking. I never knew him before he
14 arrived at Bratunac. But what I heard from others is that some time
15 before the conflict, he had been employed in Rajlovac, in the Military
16 High School. He was a teacher in that Military High School. That's what
17 I know.
18 So, in conclusion, why did I say that he was a politician? I
19 said it because I knew at the time, and I also know now, that within the
20 military he used to perform functions of a political character. He was
21 assistant for political issues to the commanders who actually commanded
22 units. That's what I meant when I said that he was a politician. I did
23 not mean to say that he was a member of a political party.
24 While I was in the military and while Ognjenovic was in the
25 military, the military was de-politicised. Members of the military could
1 not be members of political parties, as far as I can remember.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that clarification.
3 Mr. Thayer, please continue with your examination-in-chief.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Good morning to you and Your Honours. Good morning to the
6 Defence. Good morning, everyone.
7 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
8 Q. And good morning again, Mr. Nikolic.
9 A. Good morning.
10 MR. THAYER: If we could have P2158 on e-court, please.
11 Q. And while that's coming up: Sir, do you remember the years
12 during which Colonel Ognjenovic served as the commander of the
13 Bratunac Brigade? You indicated that he served two tours or two terms of
14 duty in the Bratunac Brigade. Can you recall which years those were?
15 Obviously, we have here a document from July of 1994, at which time he
16 was commander. Do you remember what year his other tour as commander
18 A. I'm not sure about his first tour of duty. Now we are talking
19 about the period when Mr. Ognjenovic was the commander of the
20 Bratunac Brigade. I think that before that, Commander Ognjenovic
21 performed the duty of the Chief of Staff, but I am not sure. I wouldn't
22 like to speculate now. I don't know exactly when he was appointed to the
23 Bratunac Brigade, but I know that he was there twice, first as the
24 Chief of Staff and the second time as the brigade commander. I don't
25 know the dates, and I don't want to speculate about it.
1 Q. And in terms of the establishment, do you recall whether, when
2 Colonel Ognjenovic served as Chief of Staff of the Bratunac Brigade,
3 whether that meant that he simultaneously held any other position within
4 the brigade when he was Chief of Staff? Does that mean at the same time,
5 he also holds another position within the brigade?
6 A. I know nothing about this other function. I know that in the
7 military, there is the establishment that puts you in a certain position,
8 and if you are a Chief of Staff, then you cannot be anything else within
9 the brigade.
10 Q. Do you know whether it was -- whether we're talking about
11 Colonel Ognjenovic or Colonel Blagojevic, whichever commander we're
12 speaking about, do you know who would have occupied the position of
13 deputy commander in the brigade?
14 A. When I speak about the establishment, regardless of the brigade,
15 itself, as far as I remember the establishment, every brigade has a
16 commander and a Chief of Staff. Functionally speaking, the
17 Chief of Staff is also the deputy commander, as far as I can remember.
18 However, I'm not absolutely sure about it. I don't know enough about the
19 establishment. If I knew the establishment in its entirety, then I could
20 speak about it authoritatively. But what I do know is in the absence of
21 the commander, the Chief of Staff stands in for the commander. Now,
22 whether the establishment stipulates that at the same time, he has the
23 function of the deputy commander, that I don't know. For that, we would
24 have to look into the establishment.
25 Q. Okay. Now, given the length of time you served in the
1 Bratunac Brigade from late 1992 through the end of the war, can you give
2 the Trial Chamber a sense of the authorities which are invested or
3 carried by the commander of the brigade? You've spoken about your duties
4 and responsibilities, what you were permitted to do, your relationships
5 with various units and other officers, but can you give the Trial Chamber
6 some idea of, really, what the role of the commander, as you experienced
7 it in the Bratunac Brigade, was? And if you need to compare one with the
8 other, if you think that's helpful, that's fine. If not, that's okay
9 too. But please give the Trial Chamber some sense of what the actual
10 role of the commander was, the responsibilities, authorities and rights
11 that that commander had within the brigade.
12 A. It's a rather complex issue. I can only speak on the basis of my
13 personal experience and for myself.
14 I never had anything to do with command and control. I emphasise
15 again that I can speak, in principle, based on my experience about what a
16 commander does, but only about my brigade. Whether the situation was the
17 same in all the brigades, I wouldn't know. I can only tell you with some
18 precision what my commander used to do.
19 So the brigade commander is an authorised official. He performs
20 direct command and control over the units within the brigade. This
21 command and control is accomplished through the commanders of subordinate
22 units. So in my brigade, the brigade commander was the person who
23 commanded the battalions and all other units that comprised my brigade.
24 I'm talking here about the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
25 Moreover, the battalion commander carries out all his tasks
1 through consultations and with the help of his assistants. Those
2 assistants usually have their functions within certain areas of
3 responsibility. The commander plans, organises and commands with the
4 help of his assistants. The assistants in my brigade were the assistant
5 commander for logistics - if you need the name, I can give you the names
6 of all the assistants. Then assistant commander for organisation,
7 manning and personnel. Then assistant commander for moral, religious and
8 legal affairs. Then assistant commander -- or, rather, chief for
9 intelligence/security affairs within the brigade. And assistant
10 commander for operations and training. So they are assistant commanders
11 or chiefs of organs that comprise the inner core of the command. This
12 inner core of the command, together with the commander, plans, makes
13 decisions, proposes anything related about the use and command of units.
14 During the command and control over the units, as far as I know
15 about how it used to be in my brigade, the brigade commander is at the
16 top. I already explained yesterday, regardless of the proposals that he
17 receives from his subordinate officers in the brigade command, it is the
18 brigade commander who has the exclusive right to make decisions about the
19 use of units that belong to the brigade that he commands. Also, the
20 brigade commander is the person who initiates disciplinary proceedings
21 against all those who are in breach of military order and discipline.
22 That's how it functioned where I was. The commander was the person who
23 would sign criminal reports prepared by the organ that he authorised to
24 perform these duties. In my brigade, there was a person authorised to
25 prepare such criminal reports.
1 So to put it in one sentence: The brigade commander is the
2 officer who plans, organises, commands, co-ordinates and controls the
3 units from within the brigade or, in other words, the brigade. This is
4 in the briefest terms.
5 If you have any further specific questions about the practice as
6 it was in my brigade, I am going to try to explain that as well.
7 Q. And in your brigade, sir, what was the practice when the brigade
8 commander issued an order? What was the practice that was followed by
9 the subordinate members of your brigade when the commander issued an
10 order to them?
11 A. In my brigade, this went as follows: After an order would be
12 issued, an order of any kind -- and of course I have to say that before
13 an order was issued, usually there were meetings, consultations and other
14 things. But when an order is issued by the brigade commander, the
15 subordinates - and here I'm referring, first of all, to the battalion
16 commanders - have the duty to carry out the order exactly as it was
17 ordered by the commander. Furthermore, the subordinates must, while
18 carrying out the order, inform the commander if there were any problems
19 in carrying out that order. Of course, if there are no problems, then
20 after the task had been carried out, the subordinates have to report back
21 to the commander that the order had been carried out.
22 Q. You spoke yesterday, sir, in connection with this report from
23 Commander Ognjenovic that went out to all the battalions, and then to the
24 units even below the battalions, and you told us yesterday that one of
25 the results of this report was a lack of discipline among some of the
1 soldiers. And we're going to talk about, in a little while, some of the
2 sniping that happened that you've testified about before, but what I want
3 to focus on right now, sir, is: When you spoke about this order,
4 resulting in a lack of discipline, can you tell the Trial Chamber a
5 little bit how, in your experience in your brigade, serving under
6 different commanders, how the personality of the commander, through his
7 conduct or through his orders, was communicated to you and whether it had
8 any effect on the subordinate members of the brigade?
9 And that's a long question. I'm going to wait a minute, and then
10 I'm going to try to simplify it.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, I would appreciate if you could put the
12 questions in a shorter manner.
13 MR. THAYER: Let me ask the question again, sir.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 MR. THAYER:
16 Q. Can you give the Trial Chamber a sense of how the commanders
17 under whom you served, be it Colonel Ognjenovic, be it
18 Colonel Blagojevic, how their personalities were reflected in their
19 command style? I'll start there.
20 A. I understood your first question, although it was a lengthy one.
21 However, the second one is more specific.
22 My answer is that the entire atmosphere in the brigade, in the
23 unit -- or, rather, in any unit, in my view, depends on the authority of
24 the officer who commands that unit. As for anything else -- I'm saying
25 all of this to you on the basis of my own experience because I lived
1 through all this. Everything else depends on his attitude vis-a-vis
2 certain questions or certain problems or activities. In my case, in my
3 brigade, I certainly do not want to compare Colonel Blagojevic and
4 Colonel Ognjenovic.
5 Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic, in the relevant period of time
6 that we are discussing, as I have said previously, created a true alibi
7 through this information for the lack of discipline that was later
8 manifested along the separation lines facing the enclave. May I support
9 this by saying to you that there were certain things that were actually
10 happening on the ground that were facts. Regardless of all obligations
11 vis-a-vis the protected area of Srebrenica, after this information
12 certain combat activities were carried out by the Bratunac Brigade in the
13 following sense: The border of the enclave was crossed, and the unit
14 entered the area that was under the control of the UN, or, rather, the
15 Dutch Battalion. What I claim with certainty now is that in this period,
16 there was an entry in Perska Kosa, Trig 413. Also, there was another
17 violation of the enclave on the positions of the 1st Infantry Battalion.
18 And what I know and what I recorded was a violation of the separation
19 line within the area of Pribicevac, in the area of the 3rd Battalion.
20 In addition to that, in addition to these incursions, this lack
21 of discipline, these combat activities that were not appropriate in that
22 situation, and they could not really yield any effect, as far as the
23 Bratunac Brigade was concerned, quite simply they, themselves, impaired
24 the relationship that we had with the Dutch Battalion and even the
25 minimum confidence that was there was destroyed between the Serb side and
1 the forces that were in the protected zone; that is to say, UNPROFOR.
2 I was liaison officer - I said that yesterday - and I could not
3 explain in any way why the Serb forces, the members of my own brigade,
4 were entering the safe area and threatening its security. I'm going to
5 be quite frank here. I tried to think of all sorts of explanations; that
6 the Muslims were jeopardising our positions, that we were under threat.
7 These were the pretexts, excuses that I used, because I really had
8 nothing to say to the people from the Dutch Battalion, because they are
9 professionals who record and locate exactly the time of these incursions
10 and everything else. I tried to justify that because I was accused [as
11 interpreted] to do so by Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic. He insisted that
12 every time when I went to these meetings to resolve the problems that had
13 cropped up, that I say over there, quite simply, the Muslim forces were
14 threatening the positions of the Serb forces, that they wanted to enter
15 our territory, that they were ambushing our troops. Of course, there
16 were such intentions during this period of time as well. However, in
17 these three specific cases that I'm speaking about, that was not the
18 intention involved. And there were no activities in Perska Kosa, the
19 1st Infantry Battalion or in the area of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, and
20 that is this lack of discipline. It had assumed the nature of organised
21 incursions, combat activities, and threats to the safe area of
23 In addition to that, what I mentioned yesterday were the
24 so-called sniper activities, sniping that was there from the Serb side
25 but also from the Muslim side, from the enclave. Quite simply,
1 throughout this confusion, there was this lack of confidence that was
2 created. I, as liaison officer, had a great deal of problems in that
3 respect to explain what was going on.
4 MR. THAYER: Okay.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To understand the situation a little bit better,
6 I would like to ask you: When did the term of service as a brigade
7 commander of Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic end? Was it terminated at a
8 certain point in time?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, sometime -- well, what I
10 remember the best is just before the planning of the Srebrenica
11 operation, so I'm not sure. I don't know the date on which he was
12 relieved of duty, but I know that he was succeeded by Colonel Blagojevic.
13 It could be even 1995, but I really do not know the dates; I never really
14 dwelled on that. I never saw their personnel records, I never saw the
15 documents related to their appointments, the termination of their duties,
16 et cetera. At any rate, it was 1995, before the planning of the
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, I think we have some documents
21 that are historical documents that can establish that pretty easily, and
22 I don't think we'll have any objection from the Defence. And we can
23 either offer it from the Bar or get it in through another witness, but we
24 can deal with that, certainly.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We received an answer -- I received an answer I
1 was asking for. Please continue.
2 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could scroll down in the English, please.
3 And if we could go to the second page in English, please, sorry. And
4 we'll need to go to the second page in the B/C/S as well.
5 Q. Sir, at the top of the -- towards the top of the page in the
6 original, Colonel Ognjenovic writes:
7 "We have won the war in Podrinje."
8 Can you just tell us what that word -- that name "Podrinje"
9 refers to? When we speak of -- or when one speaks of the Podrinje, what
10 does that mean?
11 A. When speaking of Podrinje, what is meant is part of the
12 municipality or part of the territory that is along the Drina River. In
13 my state where I live, that area is called "Podrinje," conditionally
14 speaking. It is Zvornik, Bratunac, Srebrenica, Visegrad, Foca, those
15 municipalities. Perhaps I went a bit too far, but, anyway, that is the
16 area that is along the Drina River.
17 MR. THAYER: Okay. We're done with this document. Thank you.
18 Q. You've spoken a couple of times about sniping. Let's have a look
19 at some documents.
20 May we have 65 ter 5906, please. I beg your pardon. Before we
21 do that, I want to look at one other document.
22 May we have 65 ter 1908, please.
23 Let me know when you've had a chance to look at this first page,
25 A. Yes, I finished.
1 Q. Okay. We have here an order. We can see the date is the 24th of
2 July, about 20 days after Colonel Ognjenovic's report was issued, which
3 we just saw. This is coming from the Command of the Drina Corps. The
4 heading is: "Defining tasks from the briefing and urging their
5 completion," and an order follows. And we can see -- and we'll see, you
6 know, in a couple of minutes, the signature page is General Zivanovic
7 signing this order. We can see here that General Zivanovic writes that:
8 "Pursuant to a briefing on 1 July 1994 to the VRS Main Staff
9 commander by the Drina Corps commander and regiment-brigade commanders
10 about the level of combat readiness in units and corps commands ..."
11 He issues the following order. And in this portion, he refers to
12 a prior Main Staff order, and he gives the number, and it's dated the
13 22nd of July, 1994.
14 Do you see that section, sir?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Now, this reference to a briefing concerning the level of combat
17 readiness in the units, can you tell the Trial Chamber what that refers
18 to, this combat readiness briefing?
19 A. I can say that in the Army of Republika Srpska, and I hope that
20 that is the case in other armies as well, but, anyway, I will be speaking
21 about the Army of Republika Srpska, there is this so-called briefing
22 about the state of combat readiness in units. In this specific case, it
23 has to do with a briefing with the commander of the Main Staff. And
24 I think that this is the semi-annual report on the state of combat
25 readiness, the 1st of July, 1994, so the state of combat readiness is
1 assessed twice a year, as far as I know. Perhaps it's done more
2 frequently, but I know the practice that prevailed in my unit.
3 Combat readiness or the analysis of combat readiness is the
4 analysis of the overall state of combat readiness, in terms of all its
5 elements. And the elements of combat readiness are precisely those
6 elements that I spoke of previously. Namely, command and control is
7 analysed, then what is analysed is combat training, then organisation,
8 mobilisation and personnel affairs, then logistics affairs, and
9 intelligence and security activities. When the semi-annual or annual
10 combat report is being written up, then the assistant commanders prepare
11 their own contributions in their respective lines of work. That is to
12 say, every assistant commander and head of organ is duty-bound to prepare
13 a particular part of that semi-annual or annual report on combat
14 readiness in the unit, and we did that regularly.
15 After these contributions are prepared, then there is a briefing
16 to the commander at a meeting. What is presented is everything that had
17 been written up and everything that had been done. Of course, what is
18 presented is the overall situation; namely, the favourable developments
19 that were there and also things that were an obstacle in the path of
20 working better, and proposals as to how work could be improved in the
21 coming period. Of course, once the commander approves of this - that is,
22 the practice of my brigade - then all of that is written up, presented in
23 written form, and then this proposal -- or, rather, this contribution to
24 the analysis on combat readiness is submitted to the commander. He
25 brings all of this together, compiling a single document, and the
1 document is entitled "Analysis of Combat Readiness" for such and such a
2 period. And this kind of report of combat readiness, this kind of
3 analysis, is what the commander ultimately assesses by providing a grade
4 that he believes is appropriate in terms of everything that had happened.
5 This kind of report on combat readiness is submitted to the superior
6 command once the commander had signed it and approved it, and then, of
7 course, at higher levels. I never took part in this, but I do know that
8 at higher levels also -- I mean, I spoke about brigade level. I think
9 that the procedure is absolutely the same at the level of corps command
10 and the level of Main Staff. That is to say, that this is the way it is
11 done at all levels.
12 Q. Okay. Let's spend a couple of minutes and look at this order
13 from General Zivanovic, and then I want to put a couple of questions to
14 you about it.
15 If we can go to the next page in English, and this will -- we can
16 stay on the first page in B/C/S.
17 We just focus on number 3. We can see that General Zivanovic
18 orders that:
19 "No equipment is to be allowed into the enclaves, apart from food
20 and medication, which are approved by the Main Staff."
21 And if we go to the next page in B/C/S and stay where we are in
22 English, do you see, right after -- sorry, we lost part of the B/C/S. If
23 we could scroll to the left a little bit. Right under sub-part C, it
25 "All authorised cargo and people (authorisation from the VRS
1 Main Staff) is to be thoroughly checked at the following check-points."
2 Do you see that, sir? It's about a third of the way down the
3 page under sub-part C.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's on top of the page, Mr. Thayer, in
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see that. I see here that
7 that is on the top of the page, that particular statement. "Detailed
8 checks should be carried out at the following check-points of all
9 authorised cargo and persons."
10 MR. THAYER: And if we could go to the next page in English, but
11 stay where we are in B/C/S.
12 Q. Focusing on number 7, do you see number 7, sir:
13 "All UNPROFOR movements to and from the enclaves without the
14 authorisation of the VRS Main Staff are prohibited ..."
15 Do you see that at number 7?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 MR. THAYER: Okay. And if we can go to the next page in English.
18 And we'll need to go to, I think, the next page in B/C/S for paragraph 9.
19 Q. Focusing for a moment on paragraph 9, sir, we can see that
20 General Zivanovic orders complete mining along the lines reached. He
21 orders that a stone wall is to be built, or a wooden fence, so that the
22 enclave would be completely surrounded, that is, fenced in, and so it
23 would be made impossible for the Muslims to leave the enclave. And
24 there's a reference to:
25 "All artillery weapons, mortars of all calibres, and other means
1 of fire backup are to be fortified at basic and reserve firing
3 Do you see those sections in paragraph 9, sir?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And if we look at paragraph 10, he orders that:
6 "The brigade commands shall pay special attention to the training
7 of snipers and to securing mufflers for sniper rifles so that each sniper
8 rifle would have a muffler."
9 Have you had a chance to --
10 A. Yes, I see that, yes.
11 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could go to the next page in English, and
12 we can stay where we are in the B/C/S. And if we could blow up maybe
13 paragraph 13, although we may lose part of it. So if we can't -- we
14 can't do it in the B/C/S, that's okay.
15 Q. Focusing on paragraph 13, sir, we see that General Zivanovic
16 states that:
17 "Since the Muslim forces and UNPROFOR from the enclaves of
18 Srebrenica and Zepa did not fulfill the discussed agreement on the
19 demilitarisation of Muslim forces, and since they continue to move around
20 armed and to open fire from infantry weapons and mortars against VRS
21 soldiers and our population, the brigade command (independent infantry
22 battalion) and units must take all measures to prevent that and to reduce
23 the enclaves to the area listed in the agreement - Srebrenica (town),
24 Zepa and Gorazde (the town and a three-kilometre area)."
25 Let me know when you've had a chance to review that paragraph 13,
2 A. Yes, I've seen it.
3 Q. Now, based on your experience following Colonel Ognjenovic's
4 report dated the 4th of July, and following the issuance of this order,
5 can you tell us what -- first of all, what is this order about? We've
6 just obviously read a number of portions. Can you tell the Trial Chamber
7 what the purpose of this order was, as you experienced the actions and
8 activities of the Bratunac Brigade during this time?
9 A. As for the content of the entire order, I wouldn't want to speak
10 about it because, quite simply, I'd need a bit of time to read it all in
11 detail and to analyse it. However, as for the particular points that we
12 discuss now, that you have drawn my attention to, it has to do with
13 spelling out, in specific terms, certain activities by way of orders of
14 the Drina Corps that were sent to the Bratunac Brigade. Inter alia, as
15 far as I can remember, the first point relates to the restriction of
16 movement and the entry of convoys in the Srebrenica enclave. The second
17 point, if I remember correctly, has to do with supplying -- or, rather,
18 preventing movement and the communication between Muslims along these
19 roads, Srebrenica-Zepa, Srebrenica-Kladanj, Srebrenica-Tuzla, and I think
20 there's another road as well. And then the next point refers to the
21 training and equipping of snipers in the mentioned units; inter alia, the
22 Bratunac Brigade. That would be it, roughly, these basic points that you
23 have drawn my attention to.
24 Q. And in your experience during this period of time, what was the
25 purpose of these various measures that the Bratunac Brigade was ordered
1 to take?
2 A. The ultimate aim was to prevent, first of all, what was evident,
3 when we're talking about convoys and restrictions relating to the entry
4 of convoys. Since I know, even without this order, what it was about and
5 what the subject of the restrictions was, in my opinion, the basic intent
6 was, militarily speaking, to reduce the combat readiness of DutchBat to a
7 minimum, in the sense that, in my view, and I'm speaking only from that
8 aspect, what I think, and that is that so that the DutchBat would not be
9 able to carry out the duties because of which it was there. The next
10 thing is to create pressure on the Srebrenica enclave so that, simply, as
11 many people as possible would leave the enclave. And the third thing was
12 simply a complete blockade of the enclave, physical sealing off of the
13 enclave, in order to create a chaotic situation in which life was
14 impossible, simply unfit for people. That is my conclusion of sorts on
15 the basics of what I could see from this order.
16 Q. Okay. Now, on the one hand, we saw, in the order, the order to
17 build walls, stone walls or wooden walls, to seal the enclave so that
18 nobody could get out. And, on the other hand, you're saying one of the
19 goals was to create conditions so that people would leave. Isn't that a
20 contradiction? And if it is, if you can explain that. And if it's not,
21 can you explain that?
22 A. Yes, it is a contradiction, linguistically speaking. But the
23 goal was for the enclave to disappear. That was the ultimate goal.
24 Since I know General Zivanovic very well, when General Zivanovic writes
25 that there should be fortifications around the enclave, that it should be
1 hermetically sealed, I mean, I know his style, I know how
2 General Zivanovic expressed himself. And the way it is stated in the
3 order, and based on what I know, and I know the territory very well,
4 practically with the forces that were there at the time, it was
5 practically impossible to hermetically seal off the enclave, to prevent
6 all communication, and anybody from getting out, and so on and so forth.
7 So the sealing also meant that nobody could leave in an organised way, in
8 units. As for individuals, there were certain routes - everyone knew
9 that - which were used by people to move from the enclave towards Kladanj
10 and from the enclave towards Tuzla. These are the directions leading
11 through combat positions of my brigade, more or less, and that's what it
12 states here, absolutely. It states that this should be closed off, but
13 this was actually not possible to do. The declared goal and what you
14 asked me about it being contradictory, yes, if I'm talking about it like
15 that. But many people, Muslims, civilians, especially civilians from
16 Srebrenica, wanted to leave Srebrenica. Many did leave. Many risked
17 their lives and passed through minefields in order to leave that area and
18 go to the free territory of Tuzla. So this was the case with many
19 civilians. There is a difference between what is written here and what
20 the actual situation was in the field.
21 And just one sentence. I don't want to rule anything out.
22 Perhaps General Zivanovic really did, and I don't want to get into that,
23 and perhaps he did think that the territory should be closed off
24 completely. Maybe he did think that. I don't want to go into that,
25 because I don't know what General Zivanovic -- that, what he wrote,
1 according to me, is practically impossible to achieve. And many
2 people -- based on what I know, many civilians went to Zepa, went to
3 Tuzla and went to Kladanj. I know that for sure.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender 65 ter
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1908 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit P2159 [Realtime transcript read in error "2155"]. Thank
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Now, sir, you've spoken a couple of times, sir, about sniping, so
12 let's take a look at a --
13 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. Just to correct the transcript, it
14 should be Exhibit P2159. Thank you.
15 MR. THAYER: May we have 65 ter 590 [sic], please.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you sure that the number was recorded
17 correctly, 590?
18 MR. THAYER: 5906, please. Sorry about that. Thank you,
19 Mr. President.
20 Q. Sir, just have a look at this document. When you're ready to
21 look at the next page, please let us know.
22 A. Yes, I've seen it.
23 MR. THAYER: Okay. If we can go to the next page in B/C/S and
24 the next page in English.
25 Q. While the Trial Chamber has a chance to just look at this second
1 page, let me put a couple of preliminary questions to you, sir.
2 We can see that this document, on its first page, was dated 10
3 July 1994.
4 If we could go to the next page in English.
5 We can see that it's signed by Marko Slijepcevic. Can you tell
6 us who Mr. Slijepcevic was, if you recall?
7 A. Yes, of course I do recall. Marko Slijepcevic was the
8 Technical Service desk officer in my brigade.
9 MR. THAYER: If we could go to the first page again in both
10 versions, please.
11 Q. We can see that the title of the document is "Status of sniper
12 rifle, silencers, reconnaissance radars and infrared binoculars." Can
13 you just tell us what this document is?
14 A. Precisely what it states, the status of the rifles and all the
15 other things that are mentioned with members of the Bratunac Brigade, the
16 soldiers and the officers.
17 MR. THAYER: And if we scroll down in the English a little bit,
18 we can see that it lists the distribution of the sniper rifles by
19 battalion. For example, we can see that there are four distributed to
20 the 1st Battalion, and it looks like eight - and if we go to the second
21 page in English - to the 2nd Battalion, and then a couple to the
22 3rd Battalion.
23 Q. Can you give the Trial Chamber an idea of from which battalions
24 the sniper activity that you've talked about originated?
25 A. I spoke several times in my previous testimony about the sniper
1 activity. I told you that the positions of all the three infantry
2 battalions were places from which sniper fire was opened, and agreements
3 and terms of cease-fires and non-action in relation to the enclave were
4 violated. So my answer is there was sniper fire from the positions of my
5 brigade, from all positions of the area of responsibility of the 1st, 2nd
6 and 3rd Infantry Battalion.
7 Q. And in your experience, was there any battalion in particular
8 from which the sniper fire originated more frequently than others?
9 A. In previous testimony, I talked about problems that I had with
10 the 2nd Infantry Battalion. I don't want to rule out the possibility,
11 or, rather, the specific situation. They were the closest to me, and I
12 constantly had my eye on them. And they were directly in contact with
13 Potocari, with the inhabited area, with the UNPROFOR base, the UNPROFOR
14 check-point. They were within my range of sight. I was often in their
15 positions, in their area of responsibility. I was familiar with all the
16 details. And members of DutchBat most frequently complained, and we most
17 frequently were resolving problems that arose because there was firing
18 from the positions of the 2nd Battalion and they fired in front of their
20 Q. And were people killed by the sniping by the various
21 Bratunac Brigade snipers?
22 A. Yes. I couldn't give you specific examples. I don't recall any.
23 It's been a long time since then.
24 Each time when there were any casualties, when people were killed
25 or wounded, I would speak with the members of DutchBat or with military
1 observers. That was the opportunity to meet with them. We would not
2 meet if there was fire without any consequences. That means that we met
3 when fire was opened from the positions of my brigade, when there were
4 any people injured, people killed, or people wounded, and we would also
5 meet if the Muslims approached, and they did, and fired sniper fire at
6 positions of the Bratunac Brigade, and also in cases when they would pass
7 through certain areas outside of the enclave and fire at the population.
8 So that means when there were killed, when there were wounded, we would
9 meet, we would talk, we would investigate what happened, who did it, why
10 they did it, and so on and so forth. And then, of course, we would
12 This is something that I have to say. Each time, I had the
13 obligation at each meeting -- actually, to report back about each meeting
14 that was held and the reason why it was held to my superior command, in
15 order to report to them or to ask for further instructions or orders in
16 order to deal with the situation. This was something that I did
18 Q. And who were the targets of this Bratunac Brigade sniping, sir?
19 A. If I understood the question correctly, who were the targets in
20 the Bratunac Brigade, is that what you mean?
21 Q. No. Who were the targets of the Bratunac Brigade sniping? Who
22 were the Bratunac Brigade snipers shooting at?
23 A. All right, I understand. If we're talking about overall
24 activities, then there were different targets.
25 It's true that Srebrenica was not a demilitarised zone and that
1 there were members of the 28th Division of the Muslim forces at positions
2 in Srebrenica and other positions. They opened fire a lot of the time,
3 and fire was opened at those positions, those soldiers, soldiers who were
4 on patrol, and there was also sniper action against them. As far as I
5 was concerned, and also the UNPROFOR members, that was never a problem,
6 because it was that kind of sniper fire that was part of the conflict.
7 What was a problem was sniper fire at people, at civilians, at workers
8 who were working, who were cultivating the land, doing their agricultural
9 jobs, digging, doing things around their homesteads, and were not at
10 positions, they were not armed. It's possible -- and I'm not ruling it
11 out, but it is possible that somebody who was wounded in front of their
12 house was a soldier, but at the point in time when they were doing
13 something in front of their house, when they were making a facade or
14 doing some construction work, they were not a soldier. We discussed
15 that, and we had the problem why sniper fire was being directed at people
16 who were not armed, who were not on the lines, who were in their yard, in
17 their house, or they were working on their field, why was -- why were
18 they targets of fire. This is something that we talked about.
19 I'm sorry. There was such a case in the 3rd Infantry Battalion,
20 and I do have information about that, because Mr. Vukota Vukovic -- we
21 frequently privately, informally, generally sat down and talked. Thus,
22 there was such situations in the 3rd Infantry Battalion. There were
23 fewer such cases in the 1st Battalion, but the sniper fire and action
24 against those who should not have been a target in any case was more
25 pronounced in the 3rd Battalion.
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 5906.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we first go, please, to the last page of
3 this document in both languages.
4 We can see here a name, "Momir Nikolic." Is it your name, sir?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is my name.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What does it mean, that you are listed in this
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It should -- or, actually, it means
9 that I had a sniper -- I was issued a sniper and that I had it in my
10 strong box in the Bratunac Brigade.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And it is true that you had one piece of this
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Like it states there, exactly.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 This document will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 5906 shall be
17 assigned Exhibit P2160. Thank you.
18 MR. THAYER: And if we could go back one page in English.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please stay with this document as it is.
20 Judge Mindua would like to put a question.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] There it is. Thank you.
22 Witness, you confirmed that you were given a sniper rifle, a
23 weapon. We know that snipers play a very important part in an army, and
24 it's a well-recognised position. I would like to know whether you had
25 been specially trained to use this weapon, and what were you, very
1 specifically, assigned to do when you were given this weapon?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not quite sure that I entirely
3 understood you, but I will try to answer.
4 I didn't complete any sniper training. I didn't fire the sniper
5 anywhere. I didn't use it, the sniper rifle. But I am on the list.
6 I can explain that.
7 There were several officers, even some from logistics, who were
8 issued the sniper rifle. Simply, the snipers came to the brigade. There
9 were plenty of them in the depot as well outside of this list, so that I,
10 as a security officer, was issued one. I had it in my office all the
11 time like that. I never fired from that sniper rifle or did anything
12 else. I never used it at any point in the manner that it is meant to be
13 used, so the answer is I never went through training -- I am an
14 infantryman, my specialty, but -- I am an officer, but I never went
15 through any particular training, nor did I use it, and I did have it.
16 And I was never the only one who had the sniper. I want to be quite
17 honest. I had the privilege of being the chief of security, and I could
18 ask the logistics guys to have such a rifle. And I did ask for one, and
19 I got one, and I had it throughout that whole period.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe.
22 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes.
23 Just now, in answer to Judge Mindua's question, you've stated
25 "I never used it at any point in the manner that it is meant to
1 be used ..."
2 How is it meant to be used?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that I answered that
4 question, and I will answer it again.
5 A sniper rifle, as a weapon, is used -- a complete sniper with a
6 sight is used to hit specific targets; mainly moving targets, live
7 targets. That is the main characteristic of a sniper. I did take part
8 in combat. I had an automatic rifle, 7.62 millimetres, that I used in
9 combat. And like any officer, I carried the rifle with me all the time.
10 I never was without it. When I went on assignment or on positions, I
11 never went out unarmed. But, as I say, I never used the sniper rifle. I
12 never took it into combat with me when I went. And I've said already
13 that as far as I know, sniper rifles are used to fire at concrete,
14 specific live targets, and "sniping" is the colloquial term for that
15 particular type of action.
16 JUDGE NYAMBE: Does it mean, then, that you never used it because
17 you never had the opportunity to use it, the occasion did not arise for
18 you to use it?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there were situations. In
20 wartime, you can always find a situation in which you can use a sniper
21 rifle. That means I could have behaved just like irresponsible soldiers
22 for whom I requested sanctions and detention for sniping at targets that
23 were not meant to be the targets of sniper fire. Snipers were used to
24 fire at targets at positions and during combat. That would be a legal,
25 legitimate target of those who were firing from sniper rifles.
1 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, you are going to move to another
3 document, I suppose.
4 MR. THAYER: Actually, I wasn't, Mr. President. I was just about
5 to ask to move back one page.
6 I see we're at the break. If I can just put this one question,
7 then we can put this document away.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, yes.
9 MR. THAYER: If we can go back one page just in the English, and
10 I just want to make sure that the record is as accurate as possible.
11 Q. You've told us, obviously, about having been issued a sniper
12 rifle. There's no dispute about that. I just want to make sure that the
13 record is clear about what this document represents.
14 If we look at Roman numeral V, and we just need to scroll down a
15 little bit, do you see Roman numeral V, sir, where it refers to infrared
16 binoculars being issued?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So we have, under Roman numeral V, there are two people who,
19 according to this list, were issued infrared binoculars. Your name is
20 listed at number 2.
21 If we go to the next page in English.
22 We can see that according to this document, you were issued with
23 one set of infrared binoculars. Do you recall actually having a set of
24 infrared or night-time binoculars, sir?
25 A. Yes, I do, I do recall that.
1 Q. Okay. Now, your name isn't on this list as being in possession
2 of a sniper rifle. Do you recall approximately when you requested and
3 were issued your sniper rifle, just so we have a clear record? Again,
4 this is dated 10 July 1994. Do you remember approximately when you
5 requested and you were issued your sniper rifle?
6 A. I know that my name is there in the document in relation to the
7 sniper, but I want to talk about the actual state of affairs. I said
8 before I did have a sniper in my office. It was in my strong box. And
9 sometime in 1993, it was when I got it. These are infrared binoculars.
10 I got that as a present from people who would come to the
11 Bratunac Brigade. I also had that. Well, believe me, I didn't even know
12 how to use it or anything like that. It was simply a set that was given
13 to me by those people.
14 MR. THAYER: Okay. I see we're beyond the break, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that clarification.
16 We must have our first break now, and we will resume five minutes
17 past 11.00.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer, please continue.
21 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 May we have 65 ter 5991, please.
23 Q. Sir, take a moment to familiarise yourself with the document.
24 Let us know when you're ready, please.
25 A. I've seen it. I didn't read it in any detail.
1 Q. Okay. What we have here is an intelligence report written by the
2 assistant commander for intelligence, Captain Salihovic, of the Army of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the date is 3 July 1995. And I just want to
4 focus on the top portion of that first paragraph, where he reports that:
5 "Particularly, fierce sniper fire is coming from the direction of
6 the Buljim ..."
7 And he provides a trig point:
8 "... Zeleni Jadar and Zalazje area, where one woman was killed by
9 a sniper bullet yesterday."
10 My question to you, sir, is: Are you familiar with these three
11 areas, Buljim, this trig point that's listed, Zeleni Jadar and Zalazje?
12 A. Yes, I know about those facilities.
13 Q. And are these areas all within the area of responsibility of the
14 Bratunac Brigade?
15 A. Yes, they are.
16 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber which battalion or battalions
17 would have been responsible for these particular areas?
18 A. Right now, I don't have a map at hand, but the Zeleni Jadar
19 facility was covered by the 3rd Infantry Battalion, and I think that to a
20 smaller extent, it was also covered by the Independent Battalion from
21 Skelani. Zalazje, as far as I know, was within the zone of
22 responsibility of the 2nd Infantry Battalion, while Buljim --
23 Ravni Buljin was, in the beginning, covered by the
24 1st Infantry Battalion. And in this period, approximately, elevation 820
25 at Ravni Buljin, there was also an attached and re-subordinated battalion
1 from the Zvornik Brigade, but this battalion was then within the
2 Bratunac Brigade. I explained it yesterday. It means that it was within
3 the Bratunac Brigade, as far as command and control goes, and also as far
4 as the logistical support was concerned.
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender 65 ter
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 5991 shall be
9 assigned Exhibit P2161. Thank you.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, I want to turn to another topic now, and that was the
12 involvement of yourself, as chief of intelligence and security affairs of
13 the Bratunac Brigade, with respect to the movement of humanitarian aid
14 and DutchBat resupply convoys into and out of the Srebrenica enclave.
15 Can you describe for the Trial Chamber how the convoy process
16 worked, as you experienced it?
17 A. Yes. I'm going to attempt to explain, very briefly, what I know
18 about what was going on in the zone of responsibility of my unit, my
20 When we talk about Srebrenica as a protected area, I can say that
21 various convoys often arrived at Srebrenica, and I would like to describe
22 them now. There were convoys related to the needs of the
23 Dutch Battalion. They were their convoys, which brought in food and
24 other materiel, equipment, fuel, and everything else that was necessary
25 for their proper functioning. Then there were convoys entering the
1 Srebrenica zone organised by the UNHCR. They were humanitarian convoys,
2 and the load was intended for the civilian population of Srebrenica.
3 Then there was something that it wasn't really convoys. They were trucks
4 and jeeps supplying the international military observers, then
5 Medecins Sans Frontieres and other international organisations that were
6 present in Srebrenica. All those convoys would enter with the approval
7 of the superior command. In this case, it was I who received documents
8 in the brigade command with the signature of the co-ordinating body or
9 the signature of General Milovanovic, who was the Chief of Staff of the
10 Main Staff. These documents, these approvals or notifications, contained
11 a very precise description of what was supposed to enter the Srebrenica
12 enclave within a convoy; for example, the number of trucks, their
13 registration numbers, specification of cargo, amount. Everything was
14 specified in those permits.
15 The convoys that would originate in Croatia - I remember that
16 there was a number of convoys coming from Zagreb - would usually be
17 controlled at the point where they enter the territory of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina, which was usually in Karakaj. As far as I know, a detailed
19 control of those convoys would be performed in Karakaj.
20 And now a few words about the Yellow Bridge, Zuti Most. I have
21 to explain what the Yellow Bridge is. That's a place between Bratunac
22 and Potocari. If it is necessary, if Your Honours deem that that is
23 necessary, I can draw a diagram to show you how it looked like. It was a
24 check-point manned by the military police and some people whose sole task
25 was the control of the convoys. That check-point was the place where a
1 control would be performed in accordance with the evaluation of the
2 convoy. They didn't always do a detailed control of the convoy there at
3 the Yellow Bridge because the detailed control would have always been
4 done at the point of entry to Bosnia-Herzegovina. We always controlled
5 the convoys there. At the Yellow Bridge, we would perform a detailed
6 control of all the convoys leaving Srebrenica, going towards Zagreb or
7 other places.
8 As for the obligations of my brigade, all the duties and
9 obligations of my brigade were defined in the orders issued by the
10 Drina Corps Command. I would even say that sometimes we would receive
11 direct orders from the Main Staff. But in most cases, all the
12 instructions and all our obligations would be defined in the orders
13 coming from the Drina Corps Command.
14 As for my personal involvement in this, within my competency and
15 within the tasks assigned to me by my commander, I would be engaged on
16 some of the controls. I wasn't always present at those controls, but I
17 was present quite often; when it was necessary or when I deemed that my
18 presence was necessary. Also, in the period leading up to the operation,
19 itself, I received several orders and instructions specifying that a
20 detailed check and the control should be performed, and in those cases I
21 had the duty to be present. At that check-point, there was a permanent
22 team from the Bratunac Brigade and one or two policemen who would change
23 their posts depending on their shifts.
24 So this was my short description of the entry of the convoys, the
25 controls that we performed, and the orders on the basis of which we
1 carried out our tasks related to the convoys that would enter or leave
2 the Srebrenica enclave.
3 Q. Now, we saw earlier this morning the order from July 1994 from
4 General Zivanovic, which, among other things, spoke about regulating the
5 convoys coming in, restricting the movement of UNPROFOR members, and so
6 forth. And you testified that the measures that were being ordered in
7 that order from General Zivanovic were intended to have the effect of
8 increasing the pressure on the enclave. Can you describe for the
9 Trial Chamber whether or how the convoy procedure that you were a part of
10 contributed in any way to that pressure on the enclave?
11 A. I would like to be precise. That previous order that I looked
12 at, if we are now talking about the same issue, contains an item saying
13 that the entry of everything into the enclave would be limited, except
14 items related to food. I'm now paraphrasing. I don't remember the exact
15 language. And it also says that entries into the enclave should be in
16 accordance with the order of the Main Staff of the Army of
17 Republika Srpska. That is, briefly, the essence of that item. And,
18 indeed, my role, the role of a person who was at the check-point, working
19 and performing checks together with the police and the personnel from my
20 brigade, was nothing else but carrying out the order that was received,
21 while observing all the conditions defined in that order.
22 For the benefit of the Trial Chamber, I want to emphasise one
23 thing. We observed every order that would arrive in written form. There
24 were no problems, because such written orders would contain everything
25 that we had to do, and we only had to observe it and carry it out.
1 However, in the days leading up to the operations, as I had -- as I said
2 a little bit earlier, there were cases that some orders were transmitted
3 through the telephone and that some of the notifications that we had
4 received in written form would then be amended or changed. In the
5 beginning, I would solve such situations, when they became more frequent,
6 by obtaining the approval of the commander of my brigade. The person who
7 worked at the check-point, who was the duty officer at the check-point,
8 Jovan Ivic [phoen] - he used to teach the Russian language - would
9 normally get in touch directly with the Drina Corps Command. I don't
10 know exactly who was in charge there in the command -- in that command
11 for the humanitarian end, but he would call that person directly from the
12 Yellow Bridge, and then he would solve any problem that would arise
13 because of the fact that some of the orders arrived verbally through the
14 telephone and not as a written document, and that contributed to the
15 normal passage -- that contributed to making the situation worse, when it
16 relates to the normal passage of the convoys.
17 Now, you're asking me how that contributed to the situation in
18 the enclave. I can tell you that the effect was negative. I can tell
19 you that it had negative influence to all the representatives of the
20 international organisations present in Srebrenica, because for them, that
21 was the only way to resupply. They had no other way to resupply them.
22 And the representatives of the UNHCR would especially highlight the
23 problem related to the entry of the convoys, which were intended for the
24 population, and which were then detained at the check-point.
25 Q. Okay, sir. I'm going to try to save a little bit of time. I
1 have some documents to show you. I'm going to try to move through them
3 The first thing I want to do, to try to save some time as well,
4 is just to put up on the screen some of your prior testimony, and I'll
5 just read it into the record, since it's not translated, and see what you
6 have to say about it on this topic.
7 MR. THAYER: If we could have 65 ter 7301 in e-court, please.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I would like to draw your attention
9 on your witness summary you provided the Chamber with. This is
10 especially focused on the events in July 1995, just to remind you about
11 the time we've already used with this witness.
12 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 If we could go to page 32966, please.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, just to clarify, this is a document
15 under seal. If you will use parts of this document which are under seal,
16 you should indicate that it should not be broadcast and not read out in
17 the court in open session.
18 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, I will. We were in open
19 session for this portion, so I think we're safe. Thank you.
20 Q. Sir, I'm just going to read your answer to a question that was
21 put to you in the Popovic trial and ask you if you have anything to add
22 to it or take away from it.
23 You said there, and this is at page 32966, starting at line 9:
24 "There were such acts that contributed to the fact that these
25 international organisations and Dutch Battalion became or were rendered
1 incapacitated for carrying out their mandate in the enclave. First of
2 all, I have in mind the absolute and total blockade of -- put on supply
3 lines, first of all to the Dutch Battalion, starting from food, weapons,
4 equipment, ammunition, and everything else that in total contributes to
5 full combat readiness of a unit and its capacity to do its job that it's
6 deployed to do. This blockade was effected by stopping the entry into
7 Srebrenica by convoys, the prevention of rotation of units and companies
8 that were replaced periodically, preventing the supply of fuel for APCs
9 and other vehicles that the Dutch troops had."
10 Do you remember giving that answer in the Popovic trial, sir?
11 A. Of course I remember that. However, either I received a bad
12 interpretation of your question or I misunderstood you.
13 In your previous question, I understood you to ask me whether
14 these limitations had a negative effect on the enclave, and I said that
15 all these limitations on the convoys, and obstructions, and
16 misunderstandings does have a negative effect, and that's true.
17 Now, if you ask me what exactly were the effects of that ban,
18 what exactly was banned, and what exactly we did, then I'm going to tell
19 you what you just read out to me. In this period of time just before the
20 attack on the Srebrenica enclave, every day the measures would be more
21 and more restrictive. I already explained that written permissions to
22 enter the enclave would often arrive as written documents, and then there
23 would be additional instructions coming as verbal instructions, telling
24 us to hinder or to prevent the entry.
25 So I would like to repeat this once again. I am the person who
1 knew what was going into Srebrenica and in what quantities. I had my
2 estimates, which were pretty accurate, estimates of the number of people
3 there, both civilians and soldiers. When we talk about the
4 representatives of international organisations, since I was checking them
5 entering and leaving the enclave, I knew exactly what were the numbers of
6 those international representatives in the enclave. So if, within a
7 certain time-period, you have a limit for the fuel for APCs, and then,
8 according to my estimates, not even 10 per cent would enter the enclave,
9 and I'm talking about the 10 per cent of the quantity that I, as a
10 layman, would consider the necessary quantity, if everything that they
11 want to obtain, such as ammunition and other things, is limited, and if
12 they tell me every time, when they get in touch with me, what they need,
13 and they request me, they ask me to try to organise that their request
14 would be granted, and if I know all this, I can then very easily arrive
15 at the conclusion -- I, as a soldier, can very easily conclude that all
16 these restrictions were introduced with a view to decrease the combat
17 readiness of the Dutch Battalion within the enclave. And then, of
18 course, if the Dutch Battalion does not have enough fuel for their
19 armoured carriers, they cannot perform their patrols, they cannot move
20 around as much as they would need to, and in that period there was a
21 number of problems in the enclave that they had to control and there was
22 a number of skirmishes within the enclave. I knew about it, they told me
23 about it. And if you are then reduced to the situation that you have to
24 ask the Serbian side things that you don't have, then obviously you are
25 not in the situation to do everything that you have to do.
1 So I already said it, and I still stand behind what I said. All
2 these problems influenced the combat readiness of the Dutch Battalion.
3 They also influenced the overall situation within the enclave.
4 And I want to mention just one more thing.
5 If there is a company, and you don't allow for this company to
6 leave the enclave and rotate the personnel, then you can imagine what was
7 the situation like inside the enclave, how dissatisfied those people
8 waiting for the replacement were, and they wouldn't get such a
9 permission. I spoke about all that in my previous testimony, and I still
10 stand by all of this.
11 Q. And, sir, when you -- when you say that the restrictions also
12 influenced the overall situation within the enclave, what are you
13 referring to when you refer to the overall situation in the enclave?
14 A. Well, I think that I've already responded to that question, but
15 let me say this once again. I have mentioned different types of convoys.
16 If a convoy with civilians does not -- or, rather, a supply convoy for
17 civilians does not enter, you can imagine what kind of chaos that will
18 cause in the enclave, if they did not get enough flour, oil, or whatever
19 else they were supposed to receive by way of aid. If the Dutch Battalion
20 does not get enough fuel, then it is certain that the commander of the
21 Dutch Battalion cannot carry out the tasks that he had planned. If the
22 units involved cannot be replaced on time, then you're going to have
23 dissatisfaction among the members of that unit. So all of this has an
24 adverse effect on the situation in the enclave, and the situation in the
25 enclave, to the best of my knowledge, was very difficult as it was.
1 In the Srebrenica territory, according to my assessments, in
2 Srebrenica there was always between 35 and 40, and, in a certain period
3 of time, 60.000 persons all together in that area that was rather
4 limited. Of course, not to speak about the other aspect now, and that is
5 supplies, it was very hard to live and work there and carry out combat
6 tasks in the enclave.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
8 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
9 Your testimony on the situation in the enclave relates to what
10 period, given that in one of your statements, you are quoted as saying
11 that the armed conflict alleged in the indictment referred to the armed
12 conflict that began on the 6th of April, 1992, and ended with the
13 Dayton Peace Agreement signed on 14 December? So, specifically, this
14 situation you are describing is for which period? Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation in Srebrenica, since
16 my primary task as that of an intelligence officer was to follow the
17 overall situation in the enclave in Srebrenica, including monitoring the
18 activities of the military forces or, rather, the forces of the
19 28th Division, then I was aware of the situation roughly. So these are
20 intelligence estimates. I was aware of the situation. I spoke to you
21 about the difficult situation in the enclave of Srebrenica. Well, what
22 I can say to you is that I can speak in more specific terms about the
23 period just before the attack against the Srebrenica enclave.
24 However, to the best of my knowledge, the situation in Srebrenica
25 was no different from when Srebrenica was declared a demilitarised zone
1 all the way up to the fall of the enclave; that is to say, this entire
2 period from sometime in April 1993 all the way up until the fall of the
3 enclave. In Srebrenica, to the best of my knowledge, it was very
4 difficult. It was very difficult to live there. People -- Srebrenica,
5 there was no electricity, there was no water, there was no food. They
6 only had what they could manufacture themselves and what they would
7 receive from the UNHCR. That period from the moment when the enclave was
8 declared as such, up until the fall of the enclaves, at some point it
9 would get a bit better or a bit worse, but, on the whole, the situation
10 was very difficult in the enclave, from the point of view of health, and
11 food, and footwear, equipment, anything. That is what I knew about the
12 enclave of Srebrenica.
13 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
15 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, if I've understood you
16 well, there was a control, a check-up, and restrictive measures for the
17 convoy of the DutchBat, and through these activities, your brigade and
18 the VRS were able to control the activities of the DutchBat, and they
19 could also control the life of people in the Srebrenica enclave. This is
20 what you have said. And you were in charge of the security of this
21 brigade, and you were in charge of this policy. Is that right or wrong?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If your question was whether
23 I inherited, as it were, such orders, then the answer is yes. In the
24 testimony I have provided to date, I have said a countless number of
25 times that I followed these orders, and the control that you are speaking
1 of is one that had been ordered from the Command of the Drina Corps or,
2 rather, the Main Staff. I, as the person carrying out the order in the
3 field, acted exactly in accordance with the order as defined.
4 Personally, or privately, as it were, I was not opposed to that. I
5 didn't make things any more difficult or any easier, in view of the
6 overall situation. I behaved in accordance with the orders of the
7 superior command.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 Well, in fact, you preempted my next question. I wanted to know
10 whether this was a deliberate policy from the VRS and from your brigade.
11 I'm thinking about the restrictions for the DutchBat, and I think that
12 you will answer with a yes to this question. Am I correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the answer is going to be
14 yes, because absolutely -- I mean, well, I wouldn't want to speak about
15 politics now. I, as a soldier, believe that that is no policy. These
16 are specific military measures aimed at attaining the desired objective;
17 namely, that conditions to be created in the enclave are those desired.
18 If you believe that that is a policy, then that was a policy of my
19 brigade and of the army, or, rather, the superior commands that took part
20 in this through writing orders. I participated in that through the
21 execution of orders issued by my superior command.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Witness, you see that I am constantly taking notes. And in my
24 notes, this is what I've written: You complained several times to the
25 DutchBat regarding groups of Muslim fighters who were leaving the enclave
1 in order to attack Serb targets outside the enclave. Yesterday, you told
2 us that you put forward several complaints to the DutchBat about this.
3 At the same time, today you're now telling us that you had to prevent the
4 DutchBat from functioning in a normal way through the restrictions to the
5 convoys. And I would, therefore, like to put a question to you.
6 Why did you complain to the DutchBat then? Was this a farce?
7 Were you acting in some way?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If this was interpreted properly to
9 me, I think that these two questions of yours addressed to me cannot be
10 brought into the same context, as far as I'm concerned. And the fact
11 that I complained to the Dutch has nothing to do with it, the fact that I
12 indicated to them that they were leaving the enclave and firing at
13 various positions. And Srebrenica was a demilitarised zone, at that. I
14 mean, to this day I claim that every time when the Muslim forces left the
15 zone and killed people on the separation line, and opened sniper fire at
16 civilians, I was quite right in asking to have that stopped and
18 As for these activities of the Muslim armed forces, I, as a
19 soldier, don't see that as related at all to this other question that you
20 have put to me; before the operation of Srebrenica, that I carried out
21 the order of my superior command; that the entry of fuel, ammunition,
22 et cetera, be restricted, I really cannot relate the two at all. In the
23 latter case, I simply carried out the orders that I had received, and in
24 the first case, I protected my very own unit from the activity of armed
25 Muslims, Muslims who were supposed to have been disarmed, but were not,
1 in actual fact. The Dutch Battalion was against that, and they kept
2 starting actions to take away weapons and stopping the members of the
3 28th Muslim unit to fire at us. That was the situation on the ground as
4 it was. That's what I did throughout, from the moment when I was
5 appointed liaison officer all the way up until the fall of Srebrenica.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. But a few members
7 of the DutchBat came here, and they said that they didn't have sufficient
8 means. And if I establish the link between the two, I can understand
9 that when they said they didn't have any means, they didn't have
10 sufficient fuel, or food, or equipment, and this was the result of the
11 restrictions that you imposed. There is a link between the two, I think.
12 This is, in fact, my opinion.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I disagree with you. I can only
14 agree with one part of your statement; namely, that that can be linked up
15 in the period just before the operation. However, I disagree with you in
16 terms of this being related to the entire period that started when the
17 status of enclave was granted. It wasn't the members of DutchBat or
18 UNPROFOR who were without fuel throughout their tour there, and it wasn't
19 that restrictions were imposed against them. During most of their tour
20 in Srebrenica, they were regularly supplied with ammunition, fuel, food,
21 et cetera, and rotations took place regularly. So over a long period of
22 time of their stay there, there can be no mention of any restrictions.
23 In that period when there were no restrictions, the Dutch
24 soldiers were not in a position to control the Muslim armed forces that
25 were in the enclave. And when they were supplied as they had wished,
1 even in that period they did not prevent the Muslims from killing and
2 opening sniper fire against the Serb side.
3 So with all due respect, I see that it does make a point to link
4 the two just before the operation, but I do not think that these things
5 are contradictory or senseless in any way.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Fair enough. Thank you very much.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the question was answered. Thank you
9 very much.
10 Mr. Thayer, please continue.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Sir, I want to show you a couple of documents, and we'll try to
13 move through this quickly.
14 May we have 65 ter 1916.
15 What we have here is a document emanating from the Main Staff of
16 the VRS. Its date is 2 April 1995, and it's sent out to the commands of
17 the Drina Corps, Sarajevo Romanija Corps and the Eastern Bosnia Corps.
18 And it starts off by saying:
19 "We hereby inform you that we consent to the request of the RS
20 co-ordinating body as follows:"
21 And then there's a list of various convoys.
22 Sir, we can see that in the top right corner of this document,
23 there's some handwriting and what looks like a signature. Do you
24 recognise the handwriting and the signature?
25 A. Yes. It's my handwriting, I wrote this, and this is my
2 Q. And what you've written is:
3 "Not a single convoy, or ICRC team, or MSF may enter Srebrenica
4 without my permission and presence."
5 A. Yes, that is what I wrote.
6 Q. And why did you write that, sir?
7 A. If I remember the situation as it was at the time, and I think
8 that my recollection of it is good, this position was preceded by an
9 incident - that's what I would call it - that occurred at the
10 Yellow Bridge. It had to do with the entry of an ICRC team or an MSF
11 team. I'm not sure anymore, but there's an official note about this.
12 After this, I wrote up a report to the commander of the Drina Corps. And
13 then after reporting about that incident, I was ordered, quite simply,
14 that in the coming period, I should be present, and that not a single
15 convoy can be allowed to enter before I have a look and before I make
16 sure that I'm present at the Yellow Bridge, where the convoys entered.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 1916.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1916 shall be
20 assigned Exhibit P2162. Thank you.
21 MR. THAYER: If we could have 65 ter 3246, please.
22 Q. We have here another communication from the Main Staff, dated
23 14 April, indicating:
24 "We hereby inform you that we have approved the movement of the
25 following convoys ..."
1 Again, there's some handwriting in the upper right-hand corner.
2 Can you identify who that belongs to and whose signature that is?
3 A. This is my handwriting. I wrote the remark at the top, and my
4 signature is below.
5 Q. And how would you receive these approvals from the Main Staff
6 such that you would be making notifications on the actual document? In
7 other words, would they come to the brigade directly or would these be
8 communicated to you through the Drina Corps from the Main Staff?
9 A. I already answered that question. There were approvals and
10 documents that came directly to the brigade from the Main Staff. From
11 what I can recall, a large percentage of the orders came directly, but
12 there were also those that were first sent to the Drina Corps Command and
13 then to the brigade. But, in essence, that doesn't change anything,
14 whether it was one way or the other. The brigade received orders from
15 the superior command. You asked me how. I explained that as well. It
16 would go to the Communications Centre, and then it would be reviewed by
17 the commander and signed from the Communication Centre. Then it would be
18 taken to the woman who recorded all the documents and distributed them.
19 I explained here -- I gave an explanation about -- it's stating here that
20 the document was not recorded. It should -- the numbers should be
21 reported and then distributed. I don't know why it wasn't recorded.
22 Maybe because it was urgent. I received this document directly. When I
23 looked at it, I wrote some things there. You could see I was adding some
24 things up. When I looked at the document, I wrote that the document was
25 not recorded -- not recorded and that the number of the document should
1 be given to the recording and evidence office, the office that registered
2 all the documents.
3 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 3246.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 3246 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit P2163. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But one additional question to this recording of
8 the document.
9 I see, on the top left-hand corner, in the third line, a number,
10 "06/18-185." What does that mean? Perhaps it could be enlarged in this
11 part of the document in B/C/S.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I still don't see the number
13 clearly. I can't see whether it's "06" or something else, but I see the
14 rest of the numbers, "10-105" [as interpreted]. I explained this
15 yesterday as well. Each of the organs in a certain command, and I'm
16 referring to my brigade now, each organ had its number. If I remember
17 correctly, I previously -- or, rather --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I interrupt you. I'm only interested in this
19 specific document and not in the system.
20 You told us something about the registration of this document.
21 Is this not a registration number? Perhaps you can help me.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 What I know -- what is the practice is that this number that is
24 written here, and the document with the date, is recorded in the register
25 book of documents of the brigade, and this is what I meant, that this
1 document, with this number and this date, was not recorded in the
2 brigade's document register, and that it needs to be recorded.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
4 Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. And just so we're clear, Mr. Nikolic, in this heading here on
7 this document, the number, whether it's a "08" or a "06/18-185," is that
8 a number that the Main Staff generated or is that a number that some
9 other unit generated?
10 A. Based on what I see, this is the number of the Main Staff of the
11 Army of Republika Srpska, with the number and the date that you can see.
12 MR. THAYER: Okay. I'm going to skip a couple of documents.
13 If we can have 65 ter 1958, please.
14 Q. And, again, we have an approval from the Main Staff. It's dated
15 the 15th of June, 1995. To save some time: Is that your handwriting and
16 signature in the upper right-hand corner, where it's written:
17 "Security officers shall witness detailed control"?
18 A. Yes. What it states here, an officer from the security organ
19 will be present at each control, and there is my signature there.
20 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 1958.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1958 shall be
23 assigned Exhibit P2164. Thank you.
24 MR. THAYER: May we have 65 ter 3255, please.
25 Q. Again, we have a Main Staff convoy approval. The date is 18 June
1 1995. Is that your notation and handwriting in the upper right-hand
2 corner, where it says:
3 "Conduct examination of convoy in the presence of the chief of
4 security of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade"?
5 A. Yes, this is my handwriting and my remark.
6 MR. THAYER: And if we could go to page 2 of this document in the
7 B/C/S, and we need to scroll down for a minute in the English. And
8 that's going to be one more page in the B/C/S.
9 Q. We can see that this is signed by then Colonel Radivoje Miletic,
10 standing in for the Chief of Staff. You can see that this approval
11 includes the following paragraph. Can you see where it says:
12 "I demand a detailed check of all vehicles, including the
13 inspection of cargo ..."?
14 And then it continues. Do you see that, sir?
15 A. I do, yes.
16 MR. THAYER: If we could go to page 2 in the English.
17 Q. This language in this convoy approval regarding the demand for a
18 detailed check, how was that treated by your brigade? Was it treated as
19 a suggestion, as something optional, or was it treated as something else?
20 A. I think that I did answer this question several times up 'til
21 now. I can speak for myself and for the Bratunac Brigade.
22 So everything that was undertaken, in terms of control of the
23 convoys, was done pursuant to previous orders. In my brigades, it wasn't
24 understood in any other way, other than an order that needed to be
25 executed. I can tell you that I, personally, because it's about me being
1 present at this detailed check and I'm the person in charge of these
2 activities, I always conducted myself in line with what is written in the
3 order. If a detailed check was ordered, I would be present, and the
4 people who were working there, people from the check-point and the
5 military police, carried out a detailed control. If there was an order
6 for a detailed check and identification of soldiers, then they did a
7 detailed check and identified each one individually.
8 The check-point at the Yellow Bridge, including the people who
9 actually did the checking and including myself, pursuant to an order for
10 a detailed inspection, each inspection there was carried out as it was
11 ordered. After the control was carried out, in the afternoon, when the
12 regular combat report was being sent, I would write also what we did in
13 relation to those convoys, if there were any. I considered that to be
14 one of my duties, as far as I'm concerned.
15 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 3255.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 3255 shall be
18 assigned Exhibit P2165. Thank you.
19 MR. THAYER: May we have 65 ter 1812, please.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we stop for a moment, and leave this on the
21 screen. Could we have the first page of this document again, please,
23 Judge Mindua.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, this is just a point of
1 This document is a document on which I can see your signature,
2 what I believe to be your signature, on the first page, according to what
3 you said. We also had a look at the last page a while ago, and there we
4 saw the signature of Colonel Radivoje Miletic, then colonel in June 1995.
5 I know that in July 1995, he was appointed major general. You,
6 therefore, had approved the entry of the convoys in this document. This
7 document had been signed by General Miletic. Is that how the system
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The system relating to the entries
10 of the convoys didn't work that way. The way it worked, I will try to
11 explain that now briefly.
12 I am not, as an officer, nor is my brigade, nor is my command,
13 the one that would issue the approval for a convoy to enter. All the
14 approvals were issued by the co-ordinating body of Republika Srpska, and
15 what I know is that the members of the co-ordinating body were members of
16 the civilian and military authorities. The Main Staff mainly sent these
17 approvals. There were some of them coming from the Drina Corps Command,
18 but indirectly. Approvals for convoys to enter could only be issued by
19 the Main Staff. This is based on my experience and from what I know.
20 The Main Staff could send an approval to its brigade in Bratunac that a
21 convoy could enter. And I, as the organ for security in the brigade on
22 the ground, on Yellow Bridge, where the convoy would cross, had no powers
23 to permit the convoy through or to stop it. I wasn't asked about any
24 kind of permission or approval.
25 When I received the approval from the Main Staff, depending on
1 the request, whether the convoy should be controlled in detail or not, I
2 carried out -- or was present when people from my brigade would inspect
3 the convoy. All approvals -- all approvals were issued by the
4 Main Staff. Those of us who worked on the ground at the check-points
5 were those who carried out what the Main Staff had already approved.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 So your signature on this document means that you had checked the
8 convoy at the Yellow Bridge and that everything was in order; is that
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. And just so to make it clear
11 so there are no misunderstandings later, this notation is meant for those
12 who worked at Yellow Bridge, because this approval, specifying the convoy
13 that is to enter, is distributed after it comes to the brigade command,
14 it's taken to Yellow Bridge, and those people, that team, together with
15 the police who are working at Yellow Bridge, at the crossing, at that
16 check-point, they have that permit and they have the contents of
17 everything that is going to get in.
18 As for these notations, I said, "Check the control in the
19 presence of the security chief." That applies to the people at
20 Yellow Bridge who have the approval. When the convoy comes, they inform
21 me by telephone, Chief, the convoy has arrived at Yellow Bridge. Please,
22 you wrote that you need to be present during the check. And then I would
23 go to the Yellow Bridge, and I would be present during the check of the
24 convoy that would arrive.
25 So that is the explanation, in the sense of the notation that I
1 wrote down. And then there is my signature so that it's clear that it's
2 me that -- it's me who wrote that.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: What does your signature signify?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will be brief.
7 What it means to me, to see the signature of General Miletic
8 obliging me to act pursuant to what he stated in his order, so this
9 signature obliges the people at Yellow Bridge, the civilian police and
10 the people who are on a daily basis inspecting convoys, it obliges them,
11 when the convoy comes to Yellow Bridge, to call me so that I would be
12 present -- to be present when they inspect the convoy. I never actually
13 did the inspection myself, physically. So I was present. There is the
14 civilian police and a three-man team who is inspecting the convoy, and my
15 signature indicates that they cannot let it through into Srebrenica or
16 let it out from Srebrenica unless I was present.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Am I wrong, then, in concluding that your
18 signature signified approval for the convoy to enter or leave Srebrenica?
19 Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I wouldn't define it like
21 that. Then it would come down to the question that His Honour the Judge
22 put a little bit earlier. I would not agree that it depended on me
23 whether the convoy would enter or leave. It would enter on the basis of
24 approval, but it will be inspected in detail in my presence, or it will
25 leave with the approval that it already has, but it would be inspected.
1 It cannot leave until it was inspected in my presence, because that is
2 what the order says. There is already an order. They have the order
3 allowing them to enter and leave, with a specification of what is
4 supposed to go in and what is supposed to come out.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: May we have 65 ter 1812, please. Thank you.
8 Q. What we have here is another approval. We can see, by looking at
9 the original, that it's signed by, again, now General --
10 Major General Radivoje Miletic. The date is 29 June 1995. We can see
11 from the stamp that it's been received by the Zvornik Brigade, but I want
12 to draw your attention to one portion of this where it states that:
13 "On 29 June 1995, we sent a separate letter to the Drina Corps
14 Command and to the Bratunac Brigade - Captain Nikolic - in which we set
15 out the manner of inspection and requests in this connection once they
16 leave the enclave."
17 My question to you is: Who is the Captain Nikolic referred to
18 here in this approval request?
19 A. That's me.
20 MR. THAYER: Okay. The Prosecution will tender 65 ter 1812.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 1812 shall be
23 assigned Exhibit P2166. Thank you.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Now, before we leave the topic of convoys, because we are
1 approaching July of 1995, albeit somewhat slowly, I want to again show
2 you -- read to you an answer you gave in the Blagojevic case, and I want
3 to use that to follow up on a question that The Honourable Judge Mindua
4 had for you a little while ago.
5 So if we could have 65 ter 7300, please, in e-court, and we'll be
6 looking at page 45. If we could scroll down to the bottom, please.
7 And I'm just going to read out your answer so it will be
8 translated to you:
9 "The final aim of these restrictions imposed against DutchBat was
10 for DutchBat not to be ready for combat, not to be ready for carrying out
11 their tasks within the enclave. This was the chief reason why no ..."
12 And we have to go to the next page, please.
13 "... why no supplies of fuel, victuals, clothes and other
14 staples, and other things were not allowed into the enclave. The
15 rotation of certain units and companies was not allowed either. All
16 these restrictive measures had the same aim as I just described."
17 And then you continue your answer. You say:
18 "My personal opinion, and this was common knowledge, this was one
19 of the ways to make the Muslim population leave the enclave as soon as
20 possible. This was the final aim, the final objective, to make life
21 unbearable for the people in the enclave, to make it impossible for them
22 to live on, and, as a consequence, people would then eventually leave the
24 And I'm just going to wait until that gets translated to you in
1 A. I heard the translation, yes.
2 Q. Okay. My first question to you, sir, is: Do you recall
3 providing that answer, and do you stand by that answer?
4 A. Yes, I recall the answer, and I think that a number of times
5 today -- and, of course, I'm not able to quote exactly what I said a few
6 years ago, but the gist is absolutely the same today. Several times, I
7 did speak about what the final goal was, and that corresponds to what you
8 have just read. That was the final goal of all those measures that were
10 Q. Now, what I'd like to do is follow up on a question that
11 Honourable Judge Mindua put to you, and that was: On the one hand, you,
12 on behalf of the Bratunac Brigade, were complaining to DutchBat that the
13 Muslim forces were out and about, committing combat actions, targeting
14 soldiers, targeting civilians, Serb civilians, Serb soldiers, yet, on the
15 other hand, there was this military objective, as you've described it, to
16 restrict supplies to DutchBat and to the civilian population, and those
17 restrictions, with respect to DutchBat now, were to have the effect of
18 impairing their combat readiness. So therein lies an apparent
19 contradiction. On the one hand, you're complaining that DutchBat isn't
20 doing their job. On the other hand, you're creating conditions where
21 they can't do their job.
22 If I understand your answer correctly, you disagreed with
23 The Honourable Judge Mindua because it was your understanding and
24 experience that the restrictions were in place only for a particular
25 period of time. My question to you is: Did I understand your answer
1 correctly, first? That's my first question there. Did I understand your
2 answer correctly? And then I'll move on from there.
3 A. Yes, I did voice my disagreement specifically on this question
4 that you are referring to now.
5 Q. Okay. Now, you're perfectly free to disagree with the members of
6 the Bench. You're perfectly free to disagree with anybody on this side
7 or anybody you want to disagree with. Let me put the following to you,
8 though: The Trial Chamber has heard a lot of evidence from DutchBat
9 officers who testified that their supplies began to be restricted as
10 early as March, and that there were restrictions in place even before
11 that, but that beginning in March, the restrictions tightened up and
12 continued to tighten up until July. So my second and final question on
13 this issue to you, sir, is: Do you disagree, based on your experience,
14 Do you allow for the possibility that the restrictions began earlier, or
15 do you have some other response? And, again, you're free to disagree
16 with anybody on this issue, but I just want to be sure that we understand
17 precisely what your recollection is, what your experience of this was.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I think Mr. Thayer was referring to March of
20 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Indeed, I was.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said in my answer that the
22 restrictions applied for a limited period. I didn't say whether this was
23 April, May, March, but it was for a limited period. And that limited
24 period, in relation to the overall stay in the enclave, is not a very
25 long one. The enclave was proclaimed on the 18th of April, 1993, and the
1 restrictions began in 1995, sometime in March, according to all the
2 documents that we have. I am not disagreeing with the period. I am
3 asserting the same thing that you are asserting and what the Judge also
4 asked. The restrictions began sometime in March, April, May, June, until
5 the beginning of the operation. And in the beginning, they were not
6 intensive and constant, but then in the coming period they were
7 intensive, frequent, and increasingly restrictive. And all of this I did
8 already say in my previous testimony.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, is this a convenient time for the
10 second break?
11 MR. THAYER: Indeed, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our second break now, and we'll
13 resume five minutes past 1.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.09 p.m.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer, you should go ahead. However, I
17 would like to remind you of the time. Up to now, you have used five
18 hours and forty-one minutes. We have now reached 1995. Try to do your
19 best to stay in the limit of the indicated 10 hours.
20 MR. THAYER: I will, Mr. President.
21 Q. Just one final question on the convoy issue. And good afternoon
22 again to you, sir.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 Q. Do you remember testifying in the Blagojevic case? And this is
25 at transcript page 2296 for the Defence. Do you remember testifying that
1 you heard the name of Captain Milorad Trbic in connection with the
2 movement of convoys?
3 A. Is that a question?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I do apologise.
6 Q. My question is: Do you recall testifying to that effect in the
7 Blagojevic trial?
8 A. Yes. In that trial, I confirmed that I had heard of the name of
9 Trbic in relation to the convoys.
10 Q. And do you have any recollection of what Mr. Trbic's position was
11 and in which unit he served?
12 A. As far as I know, Mr. Trbic was in the Zvornik Brigade, he was an
13 officer of the Zvornik Brigade, and he was deployed in the
14 Sector for Intelligence and Security Affairs. Now, I don't know what the
15 actual situation was in their brigade. However, as far as I can
16 remember, he was desk officer there, or something like that, but he was
17 in that sector.
18 Q. Okay. And I just want to make sure that we have a clear
19 understanding of what your recollection is based on. Do you remember
20 this because you knew this at the time in 1995 or have you learned about
21 Captain Trbic subsequently, either through your involvement in your own
22 case or testifying in other trials? I just want to make sure that we
23 have a clear understanding of what your knowledge of Mr. Trbic and his
24 position and role was based upon.
25 A. What I remember best is, actually, what you asked me about, his
1 name in relation to the convoys. And I'm saying to you that in that
2 period of time, that is to say, sometime in 1995, or perhaps even a bit
3 before that, when these convoys were coming in, I had information to the
4 effect that at the check-point at the entry point in Zvornik, Mr. Trbic
5 was one of the officers that had something to do with the inspection of
6 these convoys that were entering the area, that were coming in through
7 there from Serbia and other places.
8 Q. Okay. Let's turn to a couple of quick topics. The first one is
9 concerning Observation Post Echo, the DutchBat observation post which was
10 located in Zeleni Jadar. The Trial Chamber's heard a fair amount of
11 testimony about the VRS attack on that observation post, and my question
12 to you is: Do you have personal knowledge concerning that attack?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Please share that with the Trial Chamber.
15 A. Yes. I will try to be as brief as possible.
16 The Echo observation point is in Zeleni Jadar. As for its exact
17 position, it was on the crossroads of the road coming from Srebrenica and
18 the roads leading to Milici and Skelani. In that area exactly at the
19 crossroads there, that is where Observation Post Echo was. The Serb side
20 believed that this observation post was outside the enclave. There were
21 permanent requests for these -- for this post to be moved into the
22 enclave, about 300 or 400 metres into the enclave. As for the Serb
23 requests, in all situations, that one included, since I was liaison
24 officer for the DutchBat, I was ordered to convey this request. A few
25 times before anything happened in Zeleni Jadar, I conveyed these requests
1 to those who met up with me at the Yellow Bridge and on other occasions,
2 the people from the Command of the Dutch Battalion. I don't know whether
3 I will pronounce the name right, but I often met with Pieter Boering,
4 with Mr. Rave, with officers who were in the Command of the
5 Dutch Battalion. The Dutch officers almost always said one-and-the-same
6 thing to me; that they would talk to their commander, that they would
7 check with their superior command. And, roughly, in general terms, their
8 position was -- their response was, in these cases, that they do not have
9 permission, they do not have approval from their command to do something
10 like that.
11 After that, into the zone of responsibility of my brigade,
12 Pribicevac to be precise, General Milenko Zivanovic, corps commander,
13 arrived. He was there for a while before anything happened, and then he
14 ordered my brigade commander and me to work on that again, to have this
15 observation post moved to where he thought it should be.
16 As for this observation post of Echo in Zeleni Jadar, I went
17 there with a translator to the commander of the check-point. If I can --
18 or, rather, observation post. This person introduced himself to me as
19 being a captain in charge of that observation post. General Zivanovic
20 conveyed to me what it was that I was supposed to say to the commander of
21 that post. Basically, it is what I spoke of a moment ago; namely, that
22 this observation post be moved from the crossroads towards Srebrenica,
23 400 metres or so. I conveyed that to him, that this is the personal
24 request of the corps commander and that that is what he is asking the
25 Dutch Battalion to do. The first time we met up, he said that he would
1 report back to his commander, and he said that he was not an officer who
2 was in charge and who could make any kind of decision. Of course, this
3 first conversation ended in that way.
4 Perhaps a few hours later on that day, I think we met up once
5 again. I was there with a translator again and with a police security
6 detail. And he conveyed to me that they, quite simply, did not have the
7 mandate or permission to change the borders of the enclave, and that that
8 is definitely their position, the position that they dare not change.
9 That is what I conveyed to General Zivanovic, and General Zivanovic then
10 carried out preparations and wrote up a decision to have that point
11 taken, that post taken.
12 To the best of my recollection, as for the taking of that post, a
13 unit from the Zvornik Brigade was involved, and then from the detachment
14 of the Wolves from the Drina, and it was directly commanded by its
15 commander. I think at that time it was Captain - I will remember the
16 name - Jolovic. No, I don't know. I can't remember the name; the first
17 name, rather. Jolovic is his last name, though, the commander of that
18 detachment. In that operation of taking that post -- a third -- or,
19 rather, the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
20 was involved as well. The observation was commanded by General Zivanovic
21 directly through the commanders of the 3rd Infantry Battalion and
22 Captain Jolovic, who was present there.
23 MR. THAYER: Okay. May we have Exhibit P00625. This has been
24 marked for identification.
25 Q. While we're waiting for the English translation, sir -- there we
1 go. We can see that this is an order dated the 2nd of June, 1995,
2 regarding the restoration of the control over the facilities and the
3 Zeleni Jadar asphalt road. We'll see in a minute that this is signed by
4 General Zivanovic. Let's focus first on Roman -- I beg your pardon, just
5 number 1 under the word "Order."
6 General Zivanovic refers to Deputy Battalion Commander Petrovic.
7 Who is that, sir?
8 A. Mr. Sreten Petrovic was deputy commander of the
9 3rd Infantry Battalion.
10 Q. And we can see that General Zivanovic enumerates a number of
11 steps to be taken by the forces, and we can see that he refers to
12 somebody by the name Legenda. Can you recall who Legenda was or is?
13 A. Yes, of course. I said a moment ago the last name of Jolovic,
14 but Legenda is his nickname. At the time, he was commander of the
15 detachment from Zvornik that I know under the name of the Drina Wolves.
16 Q. Now, we can see that, again, there are a number of steps that
17 Zivanovic -- General Zivanovic orders to be taken, including the use of
18 force, if necessary.
19 We can go to the next page in both versions, please.
20 At number 2, we can see a reference to Captain Milan Jolovic,
22 My first question is: Is this the order that you were describing
23 earlier in your testimony regarding the take-over of that observation
25 A. Yes, that's the order that pertains to the taking of the point or
2 Q. And just above number 2, if you see number 2 from which I just
3 read the reference to Captain Milan Jolovic, Legenda, above number 2
4 there's an item that states:
5 "After that, Petrovic shall call Nikolic, who will take UNPROFOR
7 And this immediately follows the entry:
8 "On a signal that any of the UNPROFOR soldiers wish to surrender,
9 Legenda shall inform them in English, 'You are absolutely safe, my
11 And the next entry is:
12 "After that, Petrovic shall call Nikolic, who will take UNPROFOR
14 Do you recall that particular item occurring, sir, during this
16 A. I do remember this order, in general terms, and I will tell you,
17 quite frankly, how we behaved in respect of this order. First, we
18 laughed at this order, and Jolovic was joking about this order. That is
19 the whole truth. As for these details, when we read them, we laughed.
20 I'm not a professional soldier, but Jolovic is, and he said that never in
21 his life had he seen anything like it. But, of course, it's the content
22 of this order that matters, and I know what happened in relation to this
23 particular situation.
24 Q. And what did Legenda find so funny about the order, sir?
25 A. In this order, the way General Zivanovic wrote it, each word, who
1 was supposed to say what, it seems more like a film script rather than a
2 real live combat situation. So that is a bit inappropriate, and that's
3 why he said he never received anything like it in his career. I don't
4 know if he was correct, as a professional soldier, but I know what the
5 position was in relation to this order. But at no point did he bring
6 into question the task that was stated here, and that is the capture of
7 the Zeleni Jadar check-point.
8 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber what the significance, if any,
9 there was of gaining control over this asphalt road?
10 A. I can now give you my own position and what I think was the
11 essence of the operation, and that is to free the road in that way that
12 goes from Zeleni Jadar to Milici and to free up the road from
13 Zeleni Jadar to Skelani. Of course, by freeing the road and moving the
14 UNPROFOR by some 400 metres inside the enclave, which is what the request
15 was, one would secure a favourable position, from the military aspect, in
16 order to insert forces for combat on that axis.
17 The next thing that is absolutely certain is that by capturing
18 those positions further towards Jasenova and Milici, and by joining up
19 the forces at Milici who were on the other side, from the military
20 perspective, that way you would physically separate the two enclaves, the
21 enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender P00625.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it it was marked for identification,
24 pending translation, or other reasons?
25 MR. THAYER: For other reasons. I think it was originally used
1 with one witness, and we deferred -- the Trial Chamber deferred its
2 decision until we had a more appropriate witness.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will now be received as an exhibit, P625.
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you've testified previously about an operation
6 involving the 10th Sabotage Detachment, in which it was inserted towards
7 the Srebrenica enclave through a mine tunnel. I want to ask you to
8 describe what you know about that operation. And to save some time, I
9 just want to show you one document in connection with that, which is a
10 report by the Armija -- or the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 A. Yes, I can tell you briefly what happened during that incursion
12 into the Srebrenica enclave. Do you want me to look at the document
14 Q. If you would, please, just describe what you know about this
15 operation, who was involved, whether you had any role in it.
16 A. I know of the operation. Actually, it's the only one. We called
17 it "sabotage," conditionally speaking, that was carried out against the
18 Srebrenica enclave, and it was the 10th Sabotage Detachment of the
19 Main Staff that went into the Srebrenica enclave through the old tunnel
20 of the old Sase Mine in the village of Sase.
21 What I know is that the 10th Sabotage Detachment came to the AOR
22 of my brigade. They stayed in the village. They came to the command
23 which was in Sase at the time. It was a command -- the command of one of
24 the Bratunac Brigade battalions. I personally saw and talked with
25 Colonel Salapura, who, according to my information, in that period was
1 the chief of the Intelligence Administration of the Main Staff. They put
2 him up at the Hotel Fontana, and he personally conducted that operation.
3 I also saw the commander of the unit, Mr. Pelemis, who was the commander
4 of the 10th Sabotage Detachment.
5 Besides the 10th Sabotage Detachment, certain members of the
6 Bratunac Brigade took part in this operation; that is, members of the
7 3rd Battalion, one unit, a platoon that is called the Red Berets. So
8 parts of that platoon from that unit took part in this operation together
9 with the 10th Sabotage Detachment. What I know is that their task was to
10 enter through the tunnel and to carry out a sabotage in that sector in
11 the depth of the enclave.
12 If I remember well, that part of Srebrenica is called
13 "Vidikovac." It's on the outskirts. What I know is that they came in,
14 they fired a few Zoljas, or Osas, or hand-held projectiles at the
15 buildings in that sector, and that is what I knew without any information
16 or reports.
17 What I found out from UNPROFOR members after that night --
18 actually, I apologise. The operation was carried out between 2.00 and
19 3.00 a.m. It was done early in the morning. It didn't take long. They
20 fired the projectiles. They fired, and then they pulled back through the
21 same tunnel and came back to the territory that was under the control of
22 the Serbs.
23 What I found out from representatives of UNPROFOR was this: They
24 told me immediately the next day, when we saw each other, that an
25 incident had occurred in the sector that I mentioned. They didn't know
1 that this was something that involved an entry and a sabotage from the
2 Serbian side, because they were fed misinformation that this was a
3 conflict between Muslim factions that exist in the enclave. They told me
4 then that in that incident, during that incursion, two or three people
5 were wounded. One of those civilians was killed. So that was the result
6 of that attack. That is, more or less, what I know about that particular
8 I apologise. I just want to say something else about the
10 The way it was presented to me, they entered clandestinely. And
11 as the commander of my brigade, I knew about the operation in my brigade,
12 and I don't know who knew about it from the superior command. Obviously,
13 Salapura knew about it, because he was there, because he was the
14 immediate commander of the operation.
15 MR. THAYER: May we have P986 in e-court, please.
16 Q. While the English is coming up: We have here a situation report
17 dated the 30th of June, 1995. It's being sent to the 2nd Corps Command
18 of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it reviews a number of
19 sabotage actions that its forces conducted in late June. And if we go to
20 the next page in both versions, I want to draw your attention to the last
22 We can see that it's signed by the Chief of Staff, standing in
23 for the commander, Chief of Staff Major Ramiz Becirovic.
24 And if we can go to page 2 in the English as well, please.
25 I want to draw your attention, sir, to the middle of paragraph 4,
1 where it states:
2 "The aggressor did succeed on 24 June 1995 in using an old
3 corridor from the Sase Lead and Zinc Mine to break through into the
4 Srebrenica town centre. They fired nine zoljas at the Vidikovac suburb
5 and opened infantry fire. They killed one woman, wounded one male
6 civilian and one child, and then managed, from a nearby hill, 300 metres
7 from the town hospital, to fire one Zolja and Osa at the hospital and
8 opened infantry fire on it."
9 Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, whether this is the sabotage
10 action that you've just described for us or whether this describes some
11 other action?
12 A. Yes, this is the operation that I was just talking about.
13 Q. Now, let's move to July 1995, sir. I'm going to show you one
14 document, and we'll spend a little bit of time today on it. We'll have
15 to spend some more time tomorrow. It's 65 ter 223.
16 Can you tell us what this document is, sir?
17 A. I think we talked about this document today at the beginning of
18 the testimony. This is the analysis of combat readiness in the first
19 half of 1995 of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
20 Q. And if we go to the next page in English, and I think it's the
21 next page in B/C/S, but we may have a blank page in B/C/S - I'll
22 double-check -- yes, we'll have to skip a page in the B/C/S and go to
23 page 3 in the B/C/S.
24 We see the heading "Command and Control." And if we go to the
25 next page in English, and we'll need to scroll down in the B/C/S, please,
1 do you see the portion which states:
2 "Teams of the Drina Corps Command have, in accordance with their
3 own plan, visited the brigades in order to evaluate the situation in the
4 area of responsibility, offer assistance and make plans for further
5 combat operations"?
6 A. I see it, yes.
7 Q. Okay. And it states further:
8 "In accordance with this, we carried out the Jadar-95 active
9 combat operation from 31 May to 5 June 1995."
10 My question is: Do you recall what this reference to the
11 Jadar-95 operation is?
12 A. I don't know what my commander meant, because this is the section
13 on command and control and I think that he drafted this. But I think
14 that in the AOR of my brigade, nothing else could have been described as
15 Operation Jadar, other than the operation that occurred in respect of
16 Zeleni Jadar. I don't know what the commander meant, really.
17 Q. Okay. And when you say "the Zeleni Jadar operation," you're
18 referring to the take-over of OP Echo; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is the only operation that happened in Jadar that I
20 know of.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay.
22 I see we're at the end of the day, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed.
24 We have to adjourn for the day, and we'll resume tomorrow, in the
25 morning, in this courtroom at 9.00.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 6th day of
4 April, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.