1 Thursday, 7 April 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom. And,
6 again, welcome, Ms. Lindsay, to this hearing. We have a delayed start
7 because of technical problems we are facing -- were facing today. We
8 hope that for the convenience of both parties these problems will be
10 If there are no procedural matters, the witness should be brought
11 in, please.
12 Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President. While the witness is
14 being brought in, we have some translations that have come in and I'll
15 just put those on the record.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
17 MR. THAYER: That's P1468, P1690, P1952, P1954, P1957, P2081,
18 P2112, P2114.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down for the sake of the record.
20 MR. THAYER: And P2131.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, you should check the record if
22 everything is recorded correctly. Thank you very much for that. These
23 exhibits will now be in evidence.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir, welcome back to the courtroom
1 again. I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth still
3 Mr. Tolimir is now commencing his cross-examination.
4 Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
6 like to greet everybody here, and I wish for this day of the trial and
7 the whole trial to end in accordance with God's will and not my will. I
8 would like particularly like to greet Ms. Lindsay and Momir Nikolic, the
10 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, bearing in mind that you and I
14 speak the same language, I would like to ask you to watch the transcript
15 in front of you which goes out in English and then when it stops, only
16 then should we start speaking. That way we are not going to make
17 problems for the transcribers. Thank you.
18 First of all, I would like to take a look at your statement. It
19 is Prosecution Exhibit 65 ter 7274.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 7274, please. I'm
21 interested in page 3, line 5. Thank you.
22 Q. Now we have it. And we see that in line 5, the investigator
23 asked you --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment.
25 Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Just for the record,
2 because there are a number of statements that Mr. Nikolic has provided
3 over the years, this is from 15 December 1999.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
5 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Thayer. He knows
7 more precisely the exact date. This is a document we received from the
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So the investigator is asking you here what was the basis for the
11 conflict between the Serbs, Muslims, and Croats, and others who lived in
12 that area, and who filled the reserve force.
13 So can you explain to the Trial Chamber how it came about that
14 the conflict broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina and then in the area where
15 you worked, and in the place where you worked, and especially in
16 Potocari? Thank you.
17 A. First of all, I would like to greet you, General.
18 I'm going to answer this question. This is my statement from
19 1999. This is the first statement that I gave to the investigators of
20 The Hague Tribunal, or, more specifically, the Prosecutor's office, and
21 it was given in Banja Luka. If you have some specific questions about
22 this statement, I can answer them. But you now asked me how it came
23 about that the conflict broke out in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 and in my area. I would like to ask you one thing. I would like to talk
25 about things that are very familiar to me, and this is the Bratunac
1 municipality, Srebrenica, and the area where I lived.
2 So I know generally how the political and the military conflict
3 in Bosnia and Herzegovina started, but I took no part in the politics,
4 and I think that there are more competent people to testify about that.
5 In my municipality, where I was born, and where I lived, and that is the
6 Bratunac municipality, there were mostly Serbs and Muslims who lived
7 there. As far as I remember the ethnic composition, there were also
8 people who declared themselves as others in Bratunac, and there was
9 between 2 and 3 per cent of them. The relations between the Serbs and
10 Muslims, and I don't know the exact percentages, but I think that there
11 was about 45 per cent of Serbs, around 52 or 53 per cent of Muslims, and
12 2 or 3 per cent of others. There were very few Croats in Bratunac.
13 Maybe ten people, or two or three families.
14 The conflict in Bratunac officially began before the multi-party
15 elections. As far as I know, in that period, in Bratunac, and by this I
16 mean before the conflict broke out, if we are talking about the political
17 life, there were two main political parties. And it was the Party of
18 Democratic Action, or SDA, which was almost 100 percent Muslim, and SDS,
19 the political party which was almost 100 per cent Serb. What I know is
20 that in Bratunac, both Serbs and Muslims were saying that they are not
21 classical political parties but political movements, and that this was
22 all about life and death. Every Serb was supposed to join SDS and every
23 Muslim was supposed to join the SDA.
24 I have to say one more thing. What I know is the following: The
25 previous system was blamed for everything, the Communists were the guilty
1 party for everything that went bad before. After the multi-party
2 elections, the first problem arose, and that was that the authorities
3 could not be formed. They couldn't agree on the composition of the
4 authorities. The winners in the multi-party elections were, logically,
5 the members of the SDA and the members of SDS. Now, I'm not quite sure,
6 so I'm not going to claim anything about it, I don't know whether there
7 was some other political option present at the time, such as radicals or
8 somebody else, but it is also not that important. So there were various
9 conflicts, and they claimed that they were representing their own
10 national interests. And that is why there were conflicts, and that is
11 why there was -- the idea to divide the power in the Bratunac -- Bratunac
12 municipality. When I say "they," I mean members of the political
13 parties. They divided the Bratunac municipality. When I say "divide",
14 of course, they couldn't practically divide it in territorial sense. If
15 there was a village where both Muslims and Serbs lived, they couldn't
16 move and transfer people. But we can say that in principle there where
17 Serbs were in -- in majority, they would proclaim Serb municipality of
18 Bratunac, and where Muslims were in majority, they would proclaim Muslim
20 So based on the election results, they also attempted to form the
21 executive authorities. I remember that when the election results were
22 recognised they formed the Assembly and the Assembly was also divided
23 along the same lines, just like everything else. Which means that
24 Muslims formed one block and Serbs formed the other block.
25 Now I remember other things as well. I don't know exactly when
1 something happened. Don't ask me about dates. That's something I don't
2 know about. The police station was also divided, so that within one
3 building, the public security station in Bratunac, they formed a police
4 consisting of the Serbs, and on the other side, a police consisting of
6 Q. Thank you. You gave us the basis for understanding of the
7 structure of the power in Srebrenica and the region where you lived.
8 Can you tell us, was it possible for the war to break out only
9 based on the relations in Srebrenica between Serb, Muslims and Croats or
10 was the basis for the war something else? Was the basis for the war the
11 issue of remaining in Yugoslavia or seceding from Yugoslavia? Thank you.
12 A. General, sir, I can state my opinion about this.
13 Q. Thank you. But give us a brief account of the facts and what was
14 the basis for the conflicts in Bosnia in general, including Srebrenica,
15 because Srebrenica alone couldn't be the trigger for the war in Bosnia.
16 The Trial Chamber has heard many stories from witnesses who have been
17 here before, but I would like to hear your account, because you are best
18 qualified to speak about it because you also have a university degree.
19 A. All right. Then I will say that in my opinion, the reason for
20 the conflicts in Bosnia in -- generally were different attitudes towards
21 the state in which to live. The Serbs, and now I repeat that I only
22 speak about what I know, the Serbs, both in Bosnia-Herzegovina including
23 Bratunac and that region, wanted to remain in one state, namely,
24 Yugoslavia, or whatever remained of Yugoslavia. But, in principle, it
25 was Yugoslavia. The Muslims, as far as I remember, demanded an
1 independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina which was -- which would not be
2 part of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. Thank you. I will ask questions and you will have time to answer
4 them all and say everything you want. And since all these things
5 happened, please tell the Trial Chamber which state, internationally
6 recognised state, existed in Bosnia before the conflicts.
7 A. As far as I know, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was a
8 republic, part of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. I asked you about a state, not about republics. So which
10 internationally recognised state existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- you are
11 an expert in these matters.
12 A. No, I'm not an expert in these matters, but I know that
13 Yugoslavia was a state in which all peoples lived before the conflicts.
14 Q. Thank you. Did the conflicts begin after the secession of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina from Yugoslavia or before? Thank you.
16 A. As far as I know, the conflicts began after a series of decisions
17 taken by the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to secede from Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us roughly when it broke loose from
19 Yugoslavia and when it seceded from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
20 the state that existed then and that you and I had to defend under its
22 A. I don't know exactly. But it was after a session in Sarajevo
23 when the Serbs were voted down.
24 Q. Was it in April? Thank you.
25 A. Yes, thereabouts.
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, did the peoples in the former SFRY
2 live harmoniously and were the reasons for the conflict brought in from
3 outside to break up that Yugoslavia? Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... It is
5 difficult for the recorder and the interpreters. Please wait until you
6 see that the transcript stops and the same is valid for you, Mr. Tolimir.
7 You were overlapping.
8 Please now provide Mr. Tolimir with your answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. I did
10 it unconsciously. I'll try to proceed in line with your instructions.
11 Mr. Tolimir, would you be so kind as to repeat your question.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I asked whether the conflicts between the peoples in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina come about because of interethnic problems and their
18 mutual relations or were they generated outside and imported? Were
19 Muslims and Serbs previously able to live alongside each other and what
20 was it that really triggered the conflicts? Was it external influence?
21 Thank you.
22 A. Well, based on my knowledge of the overall situation, I would say
23 that the Serbs, Muslims and everybody else who lived in the old state of
24 Yugoslavia were able to continue living together in that same Yugoslavia.
25 The breakup of Yugoslavia is a consequence of the wish and the engagement
1 of somebody outside of Yugoslavia.
2 Q. Thank you. Since you worked at the Secretariat for All People's
3 Defence before the war, as you said, tell us, did the Muslim conscripts
4 from Bosnia-Herzegovina go to serve their compulsory military service in
5 Croatia and were they deployed into units in the territory of Croatia
6 which was at war with the Yugoslav People's Army? Thank you.
7 A. General, sir, I would like to correct you in this part for the
8 sake of the facts. I did not work for the Secretariat of All People's
9 Defence before the war. I worked at the TO staff.
10 But my answer is: In the former Yugoslavia, everybody, that is,
11 members of all ethnicities, from my town and my area did serve in units
12 in Croatia, Slovenia. They served -- they did their military service
13 there and so on.
14 Q. Thank you. During the war in Croatia, because the Croatia also
15 waged war for cessation from Yugoslavia, were there military conscripts
16 from all of Bosnia-Herzegovina in JNA units in various garrisons from
17 Slovenia, all the way down to Macedonia? Thank you.
18 A. Yes, there were.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, we reached the time when UNPROFOR and the
20 monitors monitored the truce in Croatia. Do you remember where its
21 headquarters was and what was the starting point of their missions to
22 Croatia during the war?
23 A. I don't know. And I believe that I didn't really understand you
25 If you're asking me about the deployment of UNPROFOR forces, I
1 really don't know where they were or where their headquarters were. I
2 probably knew at the time, but I don't remember.
3 Q. Thank you. I probably didn't put my question clearly enough.
4 Do you remember whether UNPROFOR was deployed during the war in
5 Croatia and Bosnia, namely, Sarajevo, and whether they were also present
6 in Belgrade, and did they use these two destinations for the theatres of
7 war near them? Thank you.
8 A. Yes, I know that UNPROFOR, at the time, was deployed in these
9 towns and that from those centres it was -- it carried out its activities
10 that -- for which it had come.
11 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, since you know that UNPROFOR was
12 active in both Sarajevo and Belgrade to go to the theatre of war in
13 Vukovar, and other places in Croatia that were near Bosnia, do you know
14 when the activity of UNPROFOR in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina stopped and when they left Bosnia and why?
16 A. I don't know the exact dates, nor the time-period when their
17 active ceased and when they left.
18 Q. Thank you. Do you remember if UNPROFOR immediately left
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina when the war in Croatia had stopped and when Croatia
20 was recognised by some EU countries?
21 A. I don't know that either, really.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how come that Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 could be a host for UNPROFOR that went on peacekeeping missions to
24 Croatia where there was a war going on in that country and that area
25 turned into theatre of war itself? I mean, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 A. General, sir, I can only speculate about these things you are
2 mentioning. Why, for what reason, I really don't know. I never dealt
3 with these matters myself. I never analysed the situation.
4 I only saw it on television. I wasn't involved in any way, and I
5 wasn't politically active to be present anywhere where there was
6 discussion about that.
7 Q. Thank you. Since you worked at the TO staff, do you remember
8 whether Stipe Mesic was president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
9 during the conflicts in Croatia while Croatia was waging war for
10 secession from that same Yugoslavia where he was president? Thank you.
11 A. Yes, I remember, Mr. Mesic was president of the Presidency in
12 Belgrade at the time-period you are referring to.
13 Q. Thank you. Was he also imposed as president at a time when his
14 republic was waging war for secession from that same country in which he
15 was president? Was he imposed upon the others and what do you know about
16 that? Thank you.
17 A. Whether he -- anything was imposed, I don't know. But I know the
18 following facts: That the members of the Presidency rotated in their
19 positions. That's what I know as a common citizen. And at that period,
20 in that time-period, Mr. President --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, it was Mr. Mesic's
22 turn to become president of the Presidency.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But whether anything was opposed
24 upon anyone else, I really don't know. That's high politics. I don't
25 understand these things. I only understand anything that a viewer of TV
1 would know, and anybody who followed the media.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you. Since you followed these events through the media and
4 since you worked at the TO staff, did you find it strange that only Stipe
5 Mesic remained in Belgrade as president of the Presidency of the SFRY,
6 whereas, all other representatives or members of parliament or deputies
7 from his country had left and his country was at war with Yugoslavia?
8 Did you find that strange? Thank you.
9 A. Yes. In that period, as a man who followed events and was
10 informed through the media, I did find it strange for a person to be
11 president of the Presidency who represented a state which had broken away
12 from Yugoslavia and where there was a war.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now the interpretation stopped. You are
14 overlapping and violating your own recommendation for the witness.
15 Mr. Tolimir, I would like to ask you if this set of questions is
16 really helpful for your Defence. The witness stated several times
17 clearly that he was just a layperson in these matters in this political
18 conflict. You can put these questions to every citizen of the former
19 Yugoslavia. Use the witness to the best of your purposes.
20 Please carry on.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
22 apologise to the interpreters and to you, once more.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please answer another question from this series. Do you happen
25 to remember the words spoken by Mr. Mesic when the war in Croatia ended
1 and when Croatia was recognised and when he left the position of
2 president, he simply walked out before the end of his -- of his term in
3 office? Thank you.
4 Do you remember what he said in rough terms? Thank you.
5 A. General, sir, I can only paraphrase. I, of course, cannot quote
7 As far as I remember, when his term in office expired, he said
8 roughly that he had carried out his task in Belgrade or that he had
9 accomplished his mission or something of that kind.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that we in the armed forces, that is,
11 the army and the TO and so on, found it strange that we were being pushed
12 in a war by those who -- who should have protected the peace until
13 yesterday? Did you find it not strange [as interpreted] too? Thank you.
14 A. Yes, I remember.
15 Q. All right. Let's not go into that anymore.
16 Please take a look at page 3, at 65 ter 7274. That's that
17 statement. And take a look at line 18 where you are being asked what
18 your duties were.
19 And you -- your reply is in line 21.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's remark: It's line 25 in English.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. "Collecting intelligence data on the enemy in accordance with the
23 rule for the intelligence security of the combat activities and the
24 security of my own unit."
25 And then the following question: "So it was a mixture of
1 intelligence and security work."
2 I needn't read it out any longer. I was sure that you remember.
3 So tell us now when this -- when you gave this interview, did you
4 have a feeling that they really didn't believe your words and that your
5 significance in the war was blown out of proportion? Did you -- was that
6 the feeling that you had?
7 A. Yes. When I gave that first statement, I can answer in the
8 affirmative. Yes, I did have the impression that I was expected to know
9 much more than I really do know.
10 However, I can also say the following. I was not prepared to
11 speak about everything I knew when I gave that first statement.
12 Q. Thank you. This is very important because the Prosecution
13 submitted this document as part of their 65 ter set of documents. So
14 you're free to say whatever you want to say.
15 Let me ask you now, on page 12, line 19 in Serbian, which is page
16 13 in English. Thank you.
17 Here we see that you say in line 19 in Serbian: "The commander
18 of the unit."
19 And then the Prosecutor: "Anyone else who was entitled to give
20 you instructions about whatever needed to be done?"
21 And you say: "In the area of responsibility of the brigade, not
22 without the knowledge of the commander."
23 And then continue to say -- or rather the Prosecutor: "You say
24 without the knowledge of the commander. Does that mean that someone
25 could task you after informing the commander?"
1 And so on.
2 And on page 14 in English and page 13 in Serbian, can we please
3 see it, you say. You say that --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Tolimir.
5 Mr. Tolimir. I have to stop you. The interpretation stopped because you
6 were reading too fast, and the interpreters didn't find the relevant part
7 of this document.
8 Could you please indicate where you are reading from?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, I
10 apologise. I'm reading from the Serbian, page 13, lines 21 and 22, and
11 the English, page 14, line 21 and 22 and I quote.
12 "I assumed that all the orders are going through the command
14 Thank you. End of quote. And then we go on to page 14 in the
15 Serbian language, and page 16 in the English language.
16 And there, on lines 20, 21, and 22, you say, and I quote:
17 "As far as the orders go, I said that as a rule, the orders went
18 along the command line, and this is something that only the commander of
19 the unit has the right to do."
20 And then in line 24 you say: "The commander is responsible for
21 all the units and nobody has the right in any of the units, none of the
22 officers has the right to provide information to anybody, either in a
23 written form or in a verbal form, either over the telephone without the
24 commander's approval," and so on and so forth.
25 In all of those lines, all the way up to page 24 in English, this
1 is where you are answering questions and you're trying to convince the
2 Prosecution that only the commanders had that right.
3 My question is this: During the interviews that you gave or
4 before you came here, did you have an impression that nobody believed
5 that you -- did you not have the right of command, either before the war,
6 during the war, or after the war and that you had to act in keeping with
7 the rules and regulations? Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this was really a compound question.
9 You have read from so many different parts of this document, it was very
10 difficult to follow.
11 I would like to ask the witness if he is able to answer the
12 question the -- the -- Mr. Tolimir has put to you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can do that.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Microphone not activated] Go ahead, please.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General, sir, I believe that I have
16 understood your question, and I will answer in the following way.
17 When I provided those statements, when I was interviewed, on all
18 occasions, before and now, I claim, and I still think that nobody but the
19 commander had the right to issue any orders. In other words, a commander
20 is an officer who has the express authority over the control and the
21 command of all units within the zone of responsibility. In my interviews
22 with the Prosecutors, if that is what you asked me, every time when I
23 spoke to the Prosecutor, I said that I knew who had the right of command
24 and control, that command and control, and everything that constitutes
25 the function of command and control, are within the purview of the
1 commander. I thought that at that time and that's what I said to the
2 Prosecutor, and I still think that. However, let me just explain that I
3 was not sufficiently immersed in the discussions about control and
4 command. I therefore wouldn't be able to tell you exactly how certain
5 things are defined. I dealt with my own area of responsibility, which
6 was intelligence service.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. Can we now see D148. Bullet point 115. Let's see
9 what the authorities of the brigade commander are. Which was -- will
10 also show us what the authorities of the others in the brigade are. In
11 that, we have to bear in mind the position of this witness as well.
12 Thank you.
13 I know that --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Tolimir,
15 you have used the OTP statement with the witness, 1999, 65 ter 7274. Are
16 you going to use it again? Are you tendering it? What is your position?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
18 witness said that he had an opinion and the position about that
19 statement. I will leave it until later, after we have heard all the
20 witness's answers. I don't know whether the Prosecutor will want to
21 tender it into evidence. I will defer my decision until I -- the moment
22 I have heard all the answers by this witness. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine. That's all I wanted to know. Thank
24 you. Please carry on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now can we see in front of us bullet point 115, where it says
3 that the brigade commander and this is bold, and then I would like to
4 read the rest of this bullet point.
5 "The brigade commander has the exclusive right to command all
6 brigade units and attached units. He bears full responsibility for the
7 work of the brigade command and subordinate commands, for the state of
8 morale, for security and combat readiness, for training, and for the
9 proper performance of tasks. The commander takes decisions, assigns
10 tasks to units, monitors their fulfilment, and demands their strict
11 execution regardless of difficulties that arise during their execution."
12 My question based on this is as follows. Did all of you in the
13 brigade know that only the commander had the right to issue valid
14 decisions tied to the performance of any task during the war? Thank you.
15 A. As far as I'm concerned, I knew. I was aware of the contents of
16 this bullet point 115. I knew that the commander was authorised to make
17 and issue decisions and that he was in charge of the unit of which he was
18 in command, and I suppose that all my other colleagues, officers, were
19 equally aware of that.
20 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at bullet point 116.
21 In your examination-in-chief, you answered to Mr. Thayer's
22 questions. You said that the chief could also issue orders.
23 And now let's look at the bullet point 116: "The staff is the
24 main organ of the brigade command, and it functionally links and
25 integrates the operations of all command organs.
1 "The Chief of Staff directs the work of the staff. He is also
2 the deputy commander of the brigade. The Chief of Staff, in accordance
3 with the commander's decisions, has the right to assign tasks to
5 And I would like to end the quote here.
6 My question is this: Does it arise from these two bullet points
7 that only the commander and Chief of Staff in peacetime and in wartime
8 have the right to issue orders to all individuals in the staff and in the
9 brigade, because this is the brigade's regulation. This is the
10 regulation of mountain, infantry, and light brigade.
11 Please, was that the case in your brigade as well, that only the
12 commanders and Chiefs of Staff were in a position to issue orders, them
13 and nobody else? Thank you.
14 A. In my brigade, as far as I know, that was common practice. In
15 other words, the commander was the one who issued orders, and the
16 Chief of Staff was the person who could be authorised by the commander or
17 in his absence to command and control the units in the brigade and give
18 them tasks.
19 Q. Thank you. Please, let's look at the duties of the intelligence
20 organ, and we will find it -- this in bullet point 118.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to the following page
22 both in the Serbian version as well as in the English version. And let's
23 display bullet point 118.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We see bullet point 118, where it says and I quote: "The
1 intelligence organ is responsible for and organises intelligence support
2 for combat actions. It provides expert direction for the intelligence
3 activities of intelligence and security organs of subordinate units. It
4 continuously monitors and assesses the enemy and reports the enemy's
5 condition to everybody concerned in the command. It suggests to the
6 commander and Chief of Staff the procedure and resources for intelligence
7 support for the brigade."
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please slow down while reading. The interpreters
9 can't follow. Please slow down while reading.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR [Interpretation]
12 Q. "It provides expert direction for the intelligence activities of
13 intelligence and security organs of subordinate units."
14 I do not wish to go on reading from bullet point 118. It's
15 self-explanatory. We, as soldiers, cannot add anything to it or take
16 anything away from it.
17 My question is this: In the brigade command, were you only the
18 organiser of the professional work of your intelligence service? Thank
20 A. General, sir, in my brigade, I worked in compliance with this
21 instruction, and I believe that in all of my testimony so far I have
22 spoken about my obligations arising from the intelligence support of the
23 unit. However, I can't agree with you that those were the only tasks
24 that I had. In other words, I had other tasks as well, and those were
25 given to me by the brigade commander.
1 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. We will now look at those
2 things that you did as a security organ. We have covered your
3 intelligence duties, but let's see what you did as a security organ.
4 Let's look at bullet point 122.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go to the right page, 63 in
6 Serbian, bullet point 122; and the English version, can we also display
7 bullet point 122. Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm going to quote to --
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please read very slowly. Please, very slowly.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Bullet point 122 of the rules of service in the brigades. I'm
14 reading: "The security organ is a specialized organ of the command which
15 organises, implements measures and procedures of counter-intelligence
16 support. It also participates in recommending, organising, and
17 implementing security and self-protection measures which concern the
18 command and other subjects of self-protection."
19 My question: Were you a specialised organ? Was the person
20 responsible for all those tasks and duties, the commander, and other
21 subjects which you organised and directed in professional and specialised
22 terms? Thank you.
23 A. General, sir, this arises from what you have just read. I can
24 only answer in the affirmative and say that I knew, I was aware of the
25 fact that I was a specialised organ, a professional organ, and that I
1 discharged my duties in keeping with the rules that I had to comply with,
2 and also, in compliance with the orders issued to me by the commander.
3 My -- let me be more precise. Your question was whether I was aware that
4 the commander was responsible. I would like to say that it is only
5 self-understandable that everything that is done in any of the sectors,
6 that all the activities are carried out in any of the sectors are within
7 the purview, exclusive purview of the brigade command.
8 Q. Thank you. Please, Mr. Nikolic, let's look at the second
9 paragraph in the same bullet point, where it says:
10 "In terms of expertise, it directs the work of the intelligence
11 and security organs of subordinate units. It organises and directs their
12 work, provides assistance, and controls their activities in completing
13 counter-intelligence activities and duties."
14 My question is this: Did you have the right only in professional
15 terms to control the work of the intelligence and security organs in the
16 battalions of your brigade? Who were they subordinated to? Thank you.
17 A. In my brigade, I controlled the subordinated organs in
18 professional terms. My subordinates were the assistant battalion
19 commanders of -- in charge of security and intelligence.
20 Along the command line, the intelligence and security organs in
21 the battalions were subordinated to the battalion commanders.
22 Q. Thank you. My question is this: When it comes to the structures
23 of the brigade, corps, and the Main Staff, would you say that security
24 intelligence organs were only professional and specialised organs? Did
25 they have the right to command or not? Thank you.
1 A. At all levels, as far as I know, the intelligence and security
2 organs were specialised, professional organs, and both the subordinate
3 and superior commands were supposed to - I'm choosing my words
4 carefully - they were supposed to adopt that attitude.
5 Q. Thank you. Since yesterday, in cross-examination [as
6 interpreted] - if you remember, okay, if not, I will find the reference
7 number - you said that Colonel Jankovic came and told you that he would
8 take over all the duties concerning UNPROFOR and that you would be
9 carrying out his orders. That's what you said, maybe you misspoke.
10 Maybe you didn't choose your words correctly. However, my question is
11 this: Could any intelligence and security organ, either in the corps or
12 the Main Staff, issue orders to you; or is it the case that all the
13 orders had to come from the commander, who was supposed to direct you?
14 Thank you.
15 A. Yes, General. In principle, it's the way you have put it, and
16 theoretically, it is like that. That is how the rules and the books put
18 But I was speaking about what was happening in practice. I know
19 what should have been done and how things should have functioned. I knew
20 then and I know now. However, I may have chosen too harsh an expression,
21 saying that he came up to me and said, I command. But he came to my
22 office and he said that he had -- he was there upon the authorisation of
23 the Main Staff and that in the coming period he would take over all
24 contacts that I had, and that he was the one who was supposed to be in
25 charge of that, I believe.
1 That's roughly what I said. And I know that, under normal
2 conditions, the intelligence organs or any other professional organs
3 cannot issue any orders, but I cannot rule out the possibility that
4 Mr. Jankovic and, indeed, I suppose that's the way it went, that he was
5 authorised by the Main Staff - I don't know who exactly in the
6 Main Staff - that he could come to my office. So he hadn't come of his
7 own accord, without a plan. But he came because somebody sent him to my
8 office. And I can tell you that I'm a man, an officer, who didn't ask
9 many questions about why anybody had come from a superior command and why
10 he was demanding that something be done. I carried out orders and I --
11 my feeling was, my attitude was that we were doing the same job. I never
12 wondered why anybody had come from the corps command or from the
13 Main Staff, telling me what should be done, especially not in a situation
14 when an operation was being carried out, and somebody was there from the
15 Main Staff, and General Mladic and the others were there, so I didn't ask
16 such questions. Theoretically, though, whatever you said is something
17 that I know too.
18 Q. Thank you. I know that somebody can transgress their
19 authorities, but I want to define how it should have been according to
20 the rules, and then we can discuss what happened in practice, whether
21 somebody did not act in line with these rules and exceed their authority.
22 It is my duty to tell you that on page 51, in lines 1 and 2 of your
23 statement, 65 ter number 7274.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see it.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You said the following. I quote --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 65 ter 7274 in
3 e-court. 65 ter 7274, yes, that's correct. That's the statement dated
4 15 December 1999. Page 51 in Serbian.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Microphone not activated]
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Actually, it's 47 in Serbian and 51
7 in English. Thank you. I apologise. In Serbian, it's 47.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. And you say in the first two lines: "So during all of that day
10 you were passing communications between Colonel Jankovic and the
11 Drina Corps HQ."
12 And you answered: "Colonel Jankovic, what he wanted to be passed
13 on, he would write in -- write it down with his hand, my task was to take
14 this to the communications centre to be typed and sent to the addressed
15 commands: The Drina Corps command, and the Main Staff," et cetera.
16 My question to you is: Did Colonel Jankovic speak English? And
17 on which day did he come to see you? Thank you.
18 A. Colonel Jankovic, as far as I know, spoke some English, but he
19 didn't speak it well. I was able to see for myself during meetings. And
20 he came to the -- my office at the Bratunac Brigade on the 8th of July,
22 Q. Thank you. Since he completed a course of English in the JNA and
23 spoke English, was he appointed to maintain contacts with the UNPROFOR
24 during the operation? Did he come to see you earlier?
25 A. Well, I didn't speak English and communicated with UNPROFOR and
1 anybody who represented the international community in Srebrenica. Of
2 course, I didn't even know that Colonel Jankovic spoke English until the
3 first meeting on the 11th in the evening hours. Mr. Jankovic tried to
4 interpret then, and then I realized that he spoke some English. But the
5 fact that he spoke English, to my mind, can't have been a reason for him
6 to have talks with UNPROFOR and come to my office and use it all that
7 time, write reports and do everything that I used to do until then. But,
8 certainly, it was a good thing that he knew English, and it was certainly
9 easier on him than on me.
10 Q. Thank you. Please tell the Trial Chamber who was it in your
11 brigade who was in charge of communication with UNPROFOR so that we know.
12 Thank you.
13 A. I have already stated that I was the liaison officer with
14 everybody on the other side.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you go about that pursuant to the authorisation
16 issued by your brigade commander? Thank you.
17 A. Yes. My commander authorised me to do that.
18 Q. Thank you. Did General Mladic, as a commander, have the right to
19 authorise Colonel Jankovic for liaison with UNPROFOR as he thought he
20 spoke English excellently, and that's why he eliminated Petar from the
22 A. Well, General, both you and I know that General Mladic could do
23 whatever he wanted, so I really don't know if General Mladic authorised
24 Colonel Jankovic. But if you're asking me whether he had the right to do
25 so, well, to my mind, he could do whatever he pleased.
1 Q. Thank you. I didn't ask you whether he could do whatever he
2 pleased. I asked you whether he, as the commander of the Main Staff, had
3 the right to take with him an officer who spoke English to the zone where
4 there was UNPROFOR. I only asked him [as interpreted] whether he had the
5 right to do so, not whether he could do whatever he pleased. This is a
6 court of law. Thank you.
7 A. Well, you're asking me something that is perfectly clear.
8 General Mladic was the commander of the Main Staff and he had the right
9 to take with him whoever he wanted to, including, Colonel Jankovic.
10 Q. Did your commander know, and General Zivanovic as your second in
11 command, or your -- yeah, whether --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat his question.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters asked you to repeat
14 the question. They didn't catch it.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise for
16 speaking fast and being too far from the microphone.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did General Mladic, General Zivanovic, and General Blagojevic,
19 the commander of your corps, know that it was you in your brigade whose
20 business it was to liaise with UNPROFOR in the Srebrenica demilitarised
22 A. Yes, they knew.
23 Q. Could they then or did they have the right to reinforce your
24 sector as there were many problems with UNPROFOR during the operations in
25 the direction of the Srebrenica protected zone? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, they did have that right.
2 Q. Thank you. We'll come back to this document later. Now I would
3 like to see D202 on our screens.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D202. It's the rule-book on the
5 remit of the commands of army corps in peacetime. And we'll see that
6 these rules apply to both brigades and corps. Since we know that all the
7 regulations prevailing in the brigade and the corps of which Mr. Nikolic
8 was a member have been dealt with here.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do these regulations apply to all officers in the Main Staff?
11 That was the question asked to you, and you replied in the affirmative.
12 Now let me ask you, whether the decisions on the professional
13 work of the security organs --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat the last
15 sentence of his question.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Again, Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters didn't catch
17 the last part of your question. You should -- could please repeat it.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'll try
19 to shorten it too, to make it clearer for the witness.
20 Q. Do all duties of the security organs in a brigade, in a corps,
21 and in the Main Staff, are they all defined by the regulations on the
22 professional work in --
23 THE INTERPRETER: We kindly asked the accused to repeat once
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The interpreters -- there must be a problem with
1 the interpretation, the communication between you and the interpreters.
2 Again, they asked you to repeat once more, especially at the end of your
3 question. I don't know what happened. Please repeat.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
5 Mr. President.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Are all security organs at the level of brigades, corps, and
8 Main Staff, are they in the possession of the exclusive right of
9 directing the organs in the -- subordinated professional units?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, could you provide us with an answer.
11 Perhaps you understood the question better than we did.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood the question. I just
13 waited for the cursor to stop moving. I'm looking at the screen.
14 General, sir, I can answer your question. At my level, it worked
15 the way you presented it. I can only suppose that it worked the same way
16 at the level of the corps command and at the Main Staff level, but, of
17 course, I don't know.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. Since, during your testimony, there has been
20 discussion of the corps level and the Main Staff level, let us take a
21 look at D202, which we see now. Let's turn to page 3 in Serbian and page
22 4 in English.
23 That's page 3 in English, and page 4 in Serbian. Sorry, my
25 We can see it in English now, and we can also see it in Serbian.
1 It says: "Regulations on the responsibilities of the land army
2 corps command in peacetime."
3 We need Article 6. Could we please see it.
4 Thank you. We can see that it says:
5 "The right to command units and institutions of the organic
6 compound of land army corps (hereinafter corps) is under the exclusive
7 responsibility of the commander. Units and institutions outside the
8 corps' organic compound, those temporarily subordinated, are commanded
9 and controlled by the commander only within the limits of the stipulated
11 And the following paragraph of the same Article reads:
12 "The commander may authorise certain officers from the command to
13 command units and institutions of branches services, but the commander
14 shall continue to bear responsibility for the situation in these units,
15 and for the work of the officers to whom he transferred some of his
17 Here's my question to you: Does -- do these regulations equally
18 apply to the command of the brigade and to the command of your corps?
19 Thank you.
20 A. Yes. The answer is yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Bearing in mind the paragraph 2 of Article 6, the
22 commanders of your corps, brigade, or the Main Staff, did they have the
23 right to transfer certain authorities onto the command as well as the
24 specialised organs? Thank you.
25 A. In keeping what you have just read out, yes, they did have that
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I don't have any intention to contradict
3 your opinion. You are telling us what you think, and I don't want to
4 contradict you. I just wanted to show the Trial Chamber the framework
5 within which you worked. This is a Tribunal, nothing else. There's no
6 reason for us to contradict each other in any of the matters. I don't
7 want to contradict you. I'm just quoting from the rules, and I am asking
8 you to share with us your opinion.
9 And now, could we please look at --
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it's time for our first break, and
11 after this general remark, I think it's a good occasion to break and to
12 continue after the break.
13 We resume at 11.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please continue.
17 I have to remind both speakers not to overlap, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Please, since we still have D202 on the screen, can we please
20 look at Article 9. Could the e-court, please, turn to the page
21 containing Article 9. I would like to read it and then I would like to
22 put a question to the witness based on that Article. Thank you.
23 Can we see the right page in the Serbian language and can we also
24 see the right page in the English version.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now in the Serbian, we see Article 9, the first paragraph thereof
2 says this: "The commander shall command and control subordinate units
3 and institutions within the scope of the responsibility received. He
4 shall be responsible to his superior for his work and the situation in
5 subordinate units and institutions and for proper and timely execution of
6 work and tasks in the competence of the command organ."
7 My question is this: This is a regulation on the authorities of
8 the land army in peace, and you have heard my quotation. Can you please
9 tell us whether the commander of the Drina Corps as well was also
10 duty-bound to carry out the command duties over his corps as envisaged in
11 Article 9? Was he duty-bound to follow the same principles? Thank you.
12 A. Yes, he had to work in compliance with regulations.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the e-court now please display
15 bullet point 6 -- or, rather, paragraph 6 of Article 9. These are
16 special provisions.
17 Can you go to the following page in the Serbian version as well
18 as. Now we see bullet point 6 in the Serbian version. I'm reading from
19 it. Now we can see it in English as well.
20 I'm reading. Bullet point 6, and I quote:
21 "Managing the security service, being responsible for the
22 security of the command and subordinate units and institutions and taking
23 measures on the basis of regulations and his responsibility."
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Please, since we can see that all of these were the duties of a
1 commander on page 1, we saw the title "special provisions", then a
2 subtitle "commander". And now we can see his special authorities. Was
3 it the case in all units of the VRS that the commander was the one who
4 was authorised to command the security service? Was he also responsible
5 for the security of his units? Thank you.
6 A. According to the existing military regulations and rules that I
7 was familiar with, commanders were duty-bound to command and control
8 security services.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 16 in
11 Serbian, and page 15 in the English version of the same regulation
12 dealing with the work of security and intelligence organs. Thank you.
13 Thank you. We are looking for page 16. Or, perhaps, maybe we
14 should go in accordance with e-court. It is page 19 in Serbian in
15 e-court, and page 16 in English; again, in e-court.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. We see 2.6, security, or rather, organ for intelligence work. We
18 can see it in both versions and I'm going to read what the intelligence
19 organ does.
20 "The organ for intelligence and reconnaissance work is
21 responsible for, under 1, planning, organising and directing intelligence
22 and reconnaissance activities in the corps' zone of responsibility."
23 Bearing this in mind, would you say that the authorities were the
24 same in the responsibility area of the brigade? In other words, did you
25 have the same responsibilities for the brigade within which you operated?
1 Thank you.
2 A. Yes. Those were the tasks that were regulated by the regulations
3 and rules.
4 Q. Does it say under bullet point 2 that the organ for intelligence
5 and reconnaissance work is responsible for organising the collection,
6 processing and studying of intelligence data about foreign armed forces
7 primarily potential aggressors, providing the competent commands with
8 intelligence information and effecting cooperation and so on and so
10 My question is this: Based on bullet point 2 of this regulation,
11 would you say that the intelligence and reconnaissance organ was also in
12 charge of collecting intelligence pertaining to the enemy side or the
13 aggressor side? Thank you.
14 A. I can answer in the affirmative. In other words, in my brigade,
15 I was in charge of that. In other words, the focus of my work was
16 gathering intelligence about the activities of the enemy side.
17 Q. Thank you. Since you were in charge of intelligence and
18 security, can we look at page 35 in Serbian and page 30 in English so as
19 to see what the -- what were your authorities as a security organ in the
20 brigade? We can see Article 29, both in Serbian and in English. Does it
21 say here, in Article 29, under the title "security organ", that:
22 "The security organ is a specialised organ of the command for
23 organising and implementing security measures and undertaking other
24 specialised work in the field of security ..."
25 Were you authorised only as a specialised organ of the command
1 for organising and implementing security measures and other specialist
2 work within the purview of the activities of the security organ? Thank
4 A. Yes, I can confirm that I was a special organised [as
5 interpreted] and that I performed those duties in my brigade.
6 Q. Thank you. And now if we look at Article 29, bullet point 1, 2,
7 3, 4. I'm just going to read the first sentences from bullet points 1,
8 2, 3, 4. Article 21 [as interpreted], bullet point 1 says:
9 "Uncovering and preventing intelligence and other subversive
10 activities of foreign intelligence services and hostile Yugoslav
12 Under 2. Article 29, bullet point 2: "Uncovering and preventing
13 hostile activities of individuals, groups, or organisations against the
14 armed forces ..."
15 Bullet point 3: "Undertaking counter-intelligence measures and
16 activities to protect work, tasks, documents, material, and financial
17 resources ..."
18 Bullet point 4: "Participating in uncovering and preventing
19 serious crimes ..."
20 Based on bullet points 1, 2, 3, and 4, can you say that the --
21 the security organ also detects and prevents enemy activities undertaken
22 on the part of groups and individuals against the unit that the security
23 organ protects? Thank you.
24 A. Yes, this is quite obvious.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we please look at page
1 30 in Serbian and 31 in English.
2 Article 29, bullet point 9. Could the English version go back to
3 Article 29, bullet point 9. Well, we see it, let it stay like this. And
4 now can now the Serbian version display page 31, bullet point 9 of the
5 same Article, please.
6 Bullet point 9 of Article 29, dealing with the work of the
7 security organ. Thank you.
8 I asked for Article 29 on page 35. I apologise for not having
9 been specific earlier. Page 35 in Serbian. Page 35 in Serbian. I
10 apologise. Apologies to the witness, to the Prosecution, to the
11 Trial Chamber, everybody in the courtroom. Thank you.
12 We can now see page 32. And now can we go to bullet point 9?
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It seems to be on the next page. It is not
14 necessary to repeat many times the same because the poor interpreters
15 have to interpret everything you are saying. Sometimes just wait until
16 it is on the screen and then you may proceed.
17 I think we have it now on the screen. Put your question to the
18 witness, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'll do
20 my best.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Article 9 -- or bullet point 9 says, and I quote:
23 "Expertly directing security organs and the military police in
24 the corps command and the units and in other JNA units in the zone of
25 responsibility ..."
1 Thank you. My next question is this: Was your only authority to
2 professionally command organs and units in the area of responsibility of
3 your brigade? Thank you.
4 A. Within the zone of responsibility of my brigade, in professional
5 terms, I controlled a military police platoon and security and
6 intelligence organs in the subordinated units in the battalion.
7 Q. Thank you. Since you have just mentioned the military police,
8 and since you discussed the same thing with Mr. Thayer during the
9 examination-in-chief, could the court please produce P1297 in e-court?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the document we just had on the
11 screen, D202, is not in your list of documents. At least I can't find
12 it. I would like to see the first page to understand what it is about.
13 The first page, please, of D202.
14 Sir, I see on the bottom of the page the date, 1990. And this
15 was a regulation for the General Staff of the Socialist Federative
16 Republic of Yugoslavia; is that correct? What you see on the screen now.
17 I'm asking --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm asking the witness.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. What I see
21 before me is entitled the Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence,
22 so this originates from 1993. The regulations pertaining to the former
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I didn't understand that. I only see the date,
25 1990. And the headline: Federal Secretariat for National Defence,
1 General Staff of the SFRY.
2 Is that correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you tell me, was this in place later in the
5 Republic of Serbia, and/or in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
6 and/or the Republika Srpska?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say anything about this
8 specific document because I never used anything coming from that level.
9 However, I can say something about other documents. Those
10 documents which pertain to my sector --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm only
12 interested in this document. If you know anything about the validity of
13 this document in the -- in the different republics of the former
14 Yugoslavia after independency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know. I can only
17 assume, but I -- I can't be sure.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Bearing
21 in mind what the witness has just said, could the Court please display in
22 e-court page 23 of 65 ter 7247 [as interpreted]. That was tendered by
23 the Prosecutor. The relevant page numbers are 23 in English and 25 in
24 Serbian. Thank you.
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honours,
1 65 ter 7247 has been admitted as Defence exhibit D193. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can D193 be displayed on the
4 screen. Thank you. Now, what is this now?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is on the screen.
6 Mr. Tolimir asked for page 23 in English and 25 in Serbian. It's
7 the OTP witness statement of the witness Rupert Smith.
8 Mr. Gajic.
9 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have the wrong
10 document on the screen. Mr. Tolimir is going to call out the right
11 number now.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can we have
13 65 ter 7274. Page 23 in Serbian, and 25 in English so that we can
14 analyse what the witness just said.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this is, again, the OTP interview of the
16 current witness.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need page 23 in Serbian and 25 in English.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So now we see page 23 in Serbian and 25 in English.
22 In line 9, the Prosecutor asked you: "Are those books published
23 by the VRS or are they old books? Old JNA books?"
24 And then in the following line you say:
25 "Old books, I think old books. The name is "Intelligence
1 Security of Combat Activities." That's the title of the book, I think.
2 And it regulates those relations. This is a book published by the
3 Yugoslav army before the war."
4 Then the Prosecutor says: "Does it have a little red star on the
5 front page?"
6 You answered: "I think, yes."
7 And then in line 20, you say: "I think there were very new rules
8 in any of the areas. Mostly the JNA rules were used. The rules that we
9 inherited stayed like that."
10 And then later on you say: "And those rules were used" --
11 actually the Prosecutor says: "Those were the rules that were used
12 during the war."
13 And you say: "My experience ...? It depends on the commanding
14 officer -- but I think nothing significant changed in those rules."
15 End quote of what you said to the Prosecutor during that
17 My question is: The rules of the SFRY, were they used in the VRS
18 and does that also mean that these particular regulations about the
19 authority of the land army was also used by the VRS, because 1990 is the
20 year before the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thank you.
21 A. General, sir, what you just quoted relates to the literature and
22 rules on the intelligence security. When I was asked that by the person
23 carrying out that interrogation, I answered that I used the book called:
24 "Intelligence Security of Combat Activities." And I also repeated it
25 here. That's the book that I used. And when I speak about that, I speak
1 about the books from my area of expertise, the books that I knew. And I
2 described that book, "The Intelligence Security of Combat Activities".
3 It has a red star on the front page, and it was published in 1987.
4 Now when you asked me about this particular corps rule, I can
5 tell you that I did not use that. If you asked me, in principle, whether
6 I know which rules were used in the VRS in that period, then my answer is
7 going to be in the affirmative. As far as I know, in my area, in the
8 intelligence and security sector, we used the rules taken over from the
9 former JNA.
10 So there were some new rules and guide-lines and instructions,
11 but in most cases, and as far as I know, in all the sectors and at all
12 the levels, we used the old rules. That's about it.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now can we have P1297. P1297 in
15 e-court. That's the rules of service of the military police of the armed
16 forces of the SFRY.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Thayer showed it to you. I would like to read only page 6.
19 Thank you. Now we can see it here this is the introduction, where it
20 says -- actually, can we first wait for the version in English and the
21 appropriate page, of course. Thank you.
22 So I quote the first paragraph of the introduction:
23 "The service regulations of the military police of the armed
24 forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (further
25 referred to as the Regulations) are placed on the provisions of federal
1 laws and other federal regulations, while those regarding the military
2 police in the Territorial Defence are placed on respective laws and other
3 regulations of the republics and ... provinces."
4 My question is: Bearing this in mind, did all the members of the
5 police forces in the territories where this rule was used duty-bound to
6 comply with these regulations, laws, and other legislation on the basis
7 of which this text was written? Or, specifically, you and the military
8 policemen in your brigade, were you duty-bound to work in accordance with
9 these rules about the military police? Thank you.
10 A. Yes. We were duty-bound to comply with this.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have -- can we now take
12 a look at the second paragraph where it says: "These regulations
13 regulate: The bases of command and control of the military police of the
14 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia armed forces ..."
15 Can you tell us, did these regulations regulate the basis of
16 command and control of the military police in the VRS in accordance with
17 the positive laws? And did the courts apply the same rules and the same
18 laws while performing their duties in disciplinary and criminal
19 proceedings? Thank you.
20 A. My answer is going to follow the reverse sequence, different from
21 your question.
22 Whether the courts applied this, I don't know. Whether the
23 brigade used this rule, yes. My brigade used these regulations and acted
24 in accordance with them.
25 Q. Thank you. The lawyer in your brigade whose name you mentioned
1 the last time you spoke about it, Mr. Celanovic, was he duty-bound to
2 warn all the members of the military police to act in accordance with the
3 regulations and laws, based on which these regulations were written?
4 Thank you.
5 A. Yes. Zlatan Celanovic was duty-bound but also the commander of
6 their unit was duty-bound to do that. And also I was duty-bound to warn
7 them about it. And also, in the professional aspect of my work I was
8 supposed to train them in the same spirit.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now take a look at page 7 in
11 e-court. That's chapter 1, general provisions. Thank you. We can see
12 it now. Can we maybe move the text a little bit so that we can see
13 chapter 1, general provisions. Thank you.
14 And can we also find it in English. It's page 8.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So, general provisions. You were shown item 1 and item 2 by the
17 Prosecutor, Mr. Thayer. So I would like you to take a look now at the
18 second paragraph in item 2 which goes as follows. I quote:
19 "Other units of the armed forces may, in accordance with
20 demonstrated need and the decision of the military officer in charge, act
21 together with military police units, in the execution of their tasks
22 within the jurisdiction of the military police, and they need to be
23 prepared to execute such tasks."
24 My question is: Did all the units that you listed yesterday, the
25 units that were in the area of Potocari and the UNPROFOR base there, have
1 the duty to act in accordance with these rules? Thank you.
2 A. I can answer in affirmative with some certainty to the question
3 whether various police forces engaged in Potocari. Police forces from
4 the brigade and other units, whether they were duty-bound to work in
5 accordance with these rules. I can answer in affirmative that all the
6 units were supposed to comply with these rules, but I cannot confirm that
7 other units, units which did not have anything to do with the police
8 work, actually did that.
9 Q. Thank you. That wasn't what I was asking you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now take a look at chapter
11 9. I think it's page 9.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, chapter 2 on page 9,
13 item number 3.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now move the text so that we
15 can see the right-hand side of the page where it says: "Chapter 2,
16 command and control of the military police."
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Here we have item 12 and item 13 which says that:
19 "The commander commands the military police" --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please be patient. You gave the
21 indication, then wait. It takes some time to bring these documents up on
22 the screen. Just wait a moment and then continue.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Nikolic we can now see it both in English and Serbian.
1 Item 12 says: "That the officer in charge of the military unit
2 and institution within whose establishment," so on and so forth,
3 "commands and controls the military police."
4 Can you tell us who was that officer in charge, specifically in
5 your brigade?
6 A. In my brigade, it was the brigade commander, Vidoje Blagojevic.
7 Q. Thank you. Let us take a look at item 13, which goes as follows:
8 "With respect to specialty, the officer in charge of the security body of
9 the unit or institution within whose establishment the military police
10 unit is placed or to which it is attached controls the military police."
11 My question is: Who was -- who had the competency to control the
12 military police in the professional or specialty aspect, in your brigade?
13 Thank you.
14 A. In my brigade, when we talk about the professional or specialty
15 control over the military police platoon, I can tell that you I was in
16 charge of that.
17 And what was the second part of your question? I apologise.
18 Q. The second question was who performed the duty of the security
19 organ in your brigade? Thank you.
20 A. I performed the duty of the security organ in my brigade. That
21 is, Momir Nikolic.
22 Q. Thank you. Let us read the third paragraph in item 13, which
23 goes as follows. I quote: "When controlling a military police unit, the
24 officer in charge of the security body from paragraph 1 of this item has
25 the same rights and duties which the officers of arms services of
1 military units and institutions have in controlling the units of arms and
3 Please, does this say that you only had the right to control the
4 military police units in the same way that the officers from arms and
5 services controlled the units within the arms and services? Thank you.
6 A. Yes, exactly what it says here.
7 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, did you had any
8 command authority over those units of military police? Thank you.
9 A. I heard the interpretation which said whether I commanded the
10 units. But I have to say here that I did not have the authority to
11 command and control over the military police in my brigade. In this
12 case, the military police platoon.
13 Q. Thank you. That was exactly my question. I apologise if it was
14 misinterpreted. I wanted to know whether you had that right, and now you
15 told us that you did not have that right. Thank you.
16 Now, let us take a look at chapter 3. That's page 11 in both
17 English and Serbian.
18 Thank you. We have it here in Serbian. That's paragraph 17,
19 item 17. Can we have it in English as well. Thank you.
20 I will quote only a part from the first paragraph:
21 "In accordance with the law and regulations passed on the basis
22 of the law, the military police performs certain security duties for the
23 needs of the JNA, and in wartime also performs security duties for the
24 needs of Territorial Defence, relating to the following," and so on and
25 so forth.
1 My question is: Within the VRS, and in your brigade, did the
2 military police have to work only in accordance with the laws and the
3 regulations enacted on the basis of those laws? Thank you.
4 A. In my brigade, and that is the Bratunac -- or, rather, the
5 military police, we worked in accordance with these rules enforced for
6 the military police. As far as I remember, we had no other rule-book or
7 any other rules or regulations, nor do I remember that we used anything
8 else, but I suppose that these rules were in line with the laws and
9 regulations adopted during that period.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see D203.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. For you to be able to see it. Thank you.
14 It's about the rules of service of the security organ in the
15 armed forces of the SFRY, and you wanted to see it.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we rotate it in
17 Serbian. Now please scroll left. Thank you. Please show page 5 in
18 Serbian and page 6 in English now.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So we can see the basic duties of the security organs as set out
21 in these rules of service.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please scroll left. And in
23 English, please also display page 6. Thank you.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So we can now see item 1 in both English and Serbian. I will
1 quote from item 1 of the chapter -- the heading, "The competence of
2 security organs".
3 I quote: "Security organs, as specialist organs of commands,
4 units, institutions and staffs of the armed forces, carry out duties of
5 state security that are placed within their competence by the law and
6 regulations issued pursuant to the law, for the purposes of detecting or
7 preventing activities aimed at subverting or disrupting the social order
8 established by the Constitution of," and so on.
9 My question, based on this, is: Do these rules for the
10 competence -- for the security organs define the tasks of these
11 specialist organs of commands, define their duties the same way as the
12 duties that we saw a short while ago in the rules for the brigades? In
13 other words, as a subject matter, namely, the tasks of the security
14 organs, as specialist organs of commands, explained in the same way?
15 Thank you.
16 A. General, sir, I have never compared the language in this -- in
17 these rules with those that applied to the corps command and the command
18 of brigades. But to the extent that I have read this, I believe that
19 these tasks are defined in the same manner in both rule-books.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Let us go to item 16, which is page 10
21 in English and page 9 in Serbian.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see these on the
23 screens. Then we'll see chapter 2, "Management of security organs".
24 Could we please enlarge this.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Item 16 reads: "The security organ is directly subordinate to
2 the commanding officer of the command, unit, institution, or staff of the
3 armed forces in whose strength it is placed in the establishment, and it
4 is responsible to that officer for its work, while JNA security organs in
5 organisations for NVO are responsible to the competent Assistant Federal
6 Secretary for National Defence."
7 Here is my question: Do the rules of service of the security
8 organs lay down, as we have seen in item 16, that the security organs are
9 directly subordinate to the commands of units and institutions? Thank
10 you. And who was it in your particular case, in your brigade? Thank
12 A. As far as I know, General, I, as the security organ, or, rather,
13 chief for intelligence and security in my brigade was directly
14 subordinate to the commanding officer of the brigade. In my particular
15 case, Momir Nikolic, as chief as the intelligence and security organ, was
16 subordinate to the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, Vidoje Blagojevic.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see item 22 in
19 both Serbian and English. Let's turn to the appropriate page, which is
20 11 in English and 9 in Serbian.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. We can see item 22 in Serbian. It is the last on its page. I
23 quote: "The senior officer of a command, unit, institution, or staff of
24 the armed forces supervises the work of subordinate security organs
25 according to the general regulations unless otherwise determined by these
1 rules for the supervision of certain work by the security organ."
2 Thank you. Here's my question: Under whose authority in --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat his question.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you were asked by the interpreters
5 to repeat your question. They didn't catch it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Nikolic, in item 22, is the supervision of security organs
9 within the remit of the senior officer of a command, unit, institution,
10 or staff; and, in your particular case, who was that senior officer?
11 Thank you.
12 A. As far as I see, General, this item clearly stipulates that the
13 supervision is in the remit of the senior officer which in my particular
14 case was the brigade commander. So I can answer affirmatively that, in
15 my case, the brigade commander had the authority to supervise the work of
16 the security organ. In other words, me.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's turn to the following page in
19 Serbian, because I'm interested in item 23. The page in English remains
20 the same. Please blow it up.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I'm about to quote from item 23. "An officer of a security organ
23 of a command, unit, institution, or staff of the armed forces provides
24 specialist management for the military police unit. He recommends the
25 use of the military police unit to the senior officer of the command,
1 unit, institution or staff, and he is responsible to him for the state
2 and activity of the unit."
3 Here is my question: Does the rule of service for the security
4 organs in the VRS under which you worked lay down that you supervise
5 military police units of only professionally and that you're responsible
6 to the commander only for the professional aspect of its activity? Thank
8 A. Yes. I've already answered this question earlier, but now I can
9 confirm that the security organ is duty-bound and has authority to
10 control military police units professionally.
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Please take a look at
12 paragraph 2 of item 23, which reads:
13 "In managing the military police unit, the security organ officer
14 under paragraph 1 of this item has the same rights and duties as officers
15 of arms and services of commands, units, institutions, and staffs of the
16 armed forces in managing units of the arms and services of those
17 commands, units, institutions or staffs."
18 Here's my question: Did you, as the security organ in your
19 brigade, have the authority to manage military police units
20 professionally the same way as the chiefs of other arms and services had
21 the authority to manage their respective arms or services? Thank you.
22 A. Yes. I was duty-bound to manage the military police platoon of
23 the Bratunac Brigade professionally.
24 Q. Thank you. Did this relationship, which is here defined as being
25 the same that prevails in the arms and services, and we have also seen
1 that it is so defined in the rules for the brigade commands.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the
3 question. The answer was yes.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Since this rule also applies to security
6 organs in the lowest ranking units of, as well as security organs in
7 brigades, corps and the Main Staff I'm going to read out to you item 57
8 and ask you to answer my question with regard to that.
9 It's on page 23 of these rules of service of the security organs
10 in the armed forces which -- the page reference is page 23 for both
11 English and Serbian. Actually, in Serbian, it's 16.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see page 23 in
13 English and page 16 in Serbian. Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Now we can see it in both languages. I'm going to
16 quote from item 57 of the rules of service of the security organs in the
17 armed forces.
18 "The security administration of the SSNO )hereinafter security
19 administration) performs duties as prescribed by these rules and other
21 "The security administration provides specialist management for
22 security organs in JNA commands, units and institutions according to the
23 provisions of these rules and organises and directs their work of
24 importance for security."
25 Here's my question: The security administration at the level of
1 the Main Staff, in accordance with these rules which were in force there
2 was it authorised only to be a professional organ in its relationship
3 with the lower-ranking security organs? Thank you.
4 A. I have no comment. It is regulated by item 57, and I suppose
5 that they did have such authority and were supposed to act in that
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Let us now take a look at item 58 in
8 both languages.
9 I quote: "The security administration provides ... security
10 direction and coordination for the work of security organs of the
11 Territorial Defence, relating to counter-intelligence matters and the
12 counter-intelligence protection of members of the armed forces in
13 Territorial Defence Staffs ..."
14 We won't be needing the rest of this.
15 Here's my question: The security administration, was it
16 authorised only to professionally direct and coordinate subordinated
17 units? Thank you.
18 A. According to what you have just read out from this item, it
19 follows that this is, indeed, the case.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see item 87 in
22 Serbian in English. In Serbian, it's on page 22; and in English, it's on
23 page 31. 87. Item 87. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to ask you something.
25 You know, it's -- you're entitled to put these questions to the
1 witness. On the other hand, you are reading many paragraphs of these
2 regulations and rules. They are already all in evidence. The Chamber is
3 in the position to review them. You can use them with every witness you
4 want. Most of the answers of the witness to these parts of the
5 regulations put to him were: It is what -- what you have read to me. You
6 should consider to shorten this way of putting regulations to the
8 Perhaps there are other matters you could deal with this witness.
9 Just a question if this is a good use of your court time.
10 Please go ahead.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
12 witness was charged with doing many things for which he didn't have
13 authority. I will therefore show what he was authorised to do. But, all
14 right, I will stop quoting. I did that for the sake of the witness and
15 not for my sake, and I did it for the sake of the proceedings. Thank
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness is not tried in this case. He is
18 just a witness.
19 Please carry on.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I know
21 that I am on trial here. However, the witness was a member of the
22 security organs of the VRS, and now I want to ask him about bullet point
23 87, which I'm quoting: "Security organs familiarize the competent
24 military officer with the counter-intelligence situation and, on the
25 basis of the conclusions of the evaluation on the item 86, paragraph 1 of
1 these rules, recommend counter-intelligence security ..."
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. My question to you, Mr. Nikolic, is this: Did you carry out
4 counter-intelligence security assessment in the area of responsibility of
5 your brigade? If you did, did you inform your commander about your
6 findings; and did you recommend measures to be undertaken in keeping with
7 your authorities and the information that you had gathered? Thank you.
8 A. Daily and regularly, I carried out my evaluation of threats. I'm
9 not going to be using the terms written in here, and I mean
10 counter-intelligence situation, counter-intelligence security and so on
11 and so forth. What I'm saying is that I monitored the situation on the
12 opposite side. I monitored the activities of the enemy. I assessed the
13 threats to my units, my positions, the territory under control of my
14 unit, and I did that on a daily basis, or whenever I learned something
15 new I would add that to the overall evaluation that I already arrived at.
16 I briefed my commander regularly about any threats coming from
17 the enemy side, and I also proposed measures that should be undertaken in
18 the area of responsibility of the brigade in order to prevent any
19 negative consequences for my unit.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now could the Court please
22 produce D148. We will no longer quote from any rules or regulations
23 because this is what we have been asked by the Trial Chamber.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I would like to refer you to something that you said on page 35
1 about the prisoners of war. Why did you assume the responsibility for
2 prisoners of war, when it says in bullet point 295 whose responsibility
3 that was?
4 Could you please look at bullet point 295 which deals with the
5 responsibility for prisoners of war? Can you answer my question, or
6 maybe you want me to repeat the question. Can we please look at 295 --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Tolimir,
8 you have given the reference, the number of the document. Please give us
9 the reference to the page number in English and in B/C/S. And then wait
10 until we see it on the screen. And then the -- you may put a question to
11 the witness.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The page
13 number in English is 79; and in Serbian, it is 122. It is bullet point
14 295 of the rules of the brigades. And that is also the unit level at
15 which this witness was.
16 And I quote: "Logistics support for prisoners of war includes
17 the provision of necessary supplies and health care. Provision of
18 supplies to the prisoners in prisoner stations and other locations while
19 they are under the jurisdiction of the armed forces is organised by
20 logistics and other organs in units which have captured them. The escort
21 for prisoners of war in camps is organised and implemented by TO staffs
22 in collaboration with social and political associations ..."
23 In accordance with the rules, are prisoners under the authority
24 of logistics organs? And when it comes to security organs, would it be
25 correct that they only provide physical security of the facilities where
1 they are accommodated? Thank you.
2 A. General, sir, as you can see, and as I can see, bullet point 295
3 refers to the logistics support for war -- prisoners of war. Any comment
4 on my part is unnecessary.
5 In the -- logistics support for prisoners of war is within the
6 purview of logistics sector. However, anything else, as far as I know,
7 is within the authority of the security organs and police forces. I mean
8 their escort, the imprisonment, security. And if I remember it well,
9 every order defines that task as the tasks of the security and
10 intelligence organ.
11 Q. Does every order also define what is regulated in the rules, that
12 they are within the authority of the logistics organs; whereas, the
13 security organs define their location, and then -- that they then provide
14 security for the location that they had proposed to the commander. They
15 also carry out other tasks during the -- interrogation, for example.
16 A. General, sir, I accept that you are much more familiar with than
17 I am. You're a professional. I am sure you are better versed in all
18 this. I'm just showing you what common practice was and what I know.
19 And that is that besides water and food supply and supply of prisoners of
20 all the other material resources, the logistics organs in my brigade were
21 never in charge of prisoners of war. I don't know whether this is
22 correct or not. In any case, that was common practice.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you as a security organ have enough power to
24 realize all duties concerning prisoners of war without any other
25 assistance from the brigade? When all the other soldiers were deployed
1 pursuant to your commander's orders, did you still have enough power to
2 provide enough security for the prisoners of war and to carry out all the
3 other tasks with this regard? Thank you.
4 A. Of course not, especially for such a major operation, during
5 which so many prisoners of war were taken. I could not do anything on my
6 own, not only those things which concerned prisoners of war, but also
7 nothing else.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Nikolic.
9 Let us now look, page 40 in Serbian; and page 42 in English.
10 I'm referring to your statement bearing the 65 ter number 7245.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. The number is 7274.
13 Thank you, Aleksander. I was mistaken when I quoted the first
14 number. The actual number is 7274.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And now we see it, and let's look from line 4 through line 9.
18 Let's see what you say. And you say:
19 "No, that is not so. This is not what I said. I said that the
20 military police is given tasks and it is engaged pursuant to the orders
21 of the brigade commander. The Bratunac Brigade did not have military
22 police platoons. It never had any military police platoons. It only had
23 one platoon. And that was just one platoon with 30 men. 31, or 32. Or
24 30 people exactly. When the commander decides the use of the police, if
25 he needs expertise, assistance from the chief of security, then he asks
1 for the expert advice as to how things are going to be organised."
2 My question to you is this: So even if the commander had
3 transferred the authority over the prisoners of war onto the military
4 police, did you as a security organ, have any other means at your
5 disposal to still be in charge of those prisoners of war? As a
6 professional organ, as a specialist organ, were you still in charge of
7 those tasks? Thank you.
8 A. If the commander issued an order and regulated my tasks in
9 relation to the prisoners of war, then I will do what the commander
10 defined in his order. If this is, indeed, what you asked me.
11 Q. Thank you. I asked you this. If the commander commands the
12 military police unit, and if he engaged them in providing security for
13 the prisoners of war in Bratunac, whose responsibility is it then? Is it
14 the responsibility of military police; or you, Momir Nikolic, as the
15 specialised professional organ? Thank you.
16 A. In that case, it is the responsibility of the brigade commander.
17 He is responsible for every decision with regard to the use of the
18 military police which includes this case as well.
19 Q. Can you please answer me this: When you provided the statement
20 or, rather, if you want to answer the question, okay. If not, you can
21 say whatever.
22 Why did you accept responsibility for everything that happened to
23 the prisoners of war in Bratunac, in view of the fact that you were just
24 an individual who was tasked with professional and specialised tasks, and
25 you, as an individual, did not have either the physical strength or the
1 logistics support to provide anything for those prisoners. You couldn't
2 guard them yourself, you couldn't supply them with food, water, or
3 anything else.
4 So why did you take all responsibility when providing your
5 statement to the OTP?
6 A. I assumed the part of the responsibility that I thought I had.
7 Because the military police did participate in those tasks, in the tasks
8 that I have already described.
9 As far as the police participation is concerned I assumed the
10 responsibility to the extent to which the military police participated.
11 I also spoke about those situations which involved the military police
12 platoon. Besides the military police platoon, I still believe that I, as
13 the chief of security or rather the chief of security and intelligence
14 sector, I bear part of the responsibility for everything that happened in
15 the area of responsibility of my unit. I'm -- thought that in the past,
16 and I still think that I as a reserve captain could not have a higher
17 level of responsibility than my commander or any of the commanders who
18 were engaged there. However, with regard to what happened in Bratunac
19 and everything else that happened there, I believe that we all take part
20 of the responsibility and that is what I tried to explain in my statement
21 and in my further statement. I wanted to formulate everything that
22 exaggerated my role and things that I did in that situation.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. It is your right to answer any way you
24 want. It is your right to take responsibility or part of the
25 responsibility for your brigade or your unit. I only asked you why you
1 did that, since we have just established that was not part of your
2 responsibility. I will not dwell upon that any longer.
3 I would like us to move on to page 54 in the English version of
4 your statement. In Serbian, it is page 49.
5 As soon as we have those pages on the screen, I'm going to allow
6 you to read that part, and then based on that, I'm going to have some
7 questions for you.
8 Let's look at lines 25 and 26, where you say, in line 25:
9 "The military police department, pursuant to the commander of the
10 brigade's order, they were ordered to guard the Dutch battalion soldiers
11 who had surrendered, approximately 30 of them. They were ordered to
12 guard them, as well as their assets."
13 Thank you. And then you explain where other military policemen
14 were deployed, and it's up to the commander to do that. But let me ask
15 you: Why did you guard those 30 members of the Dutch battalion of
16 UNPROFOR that had surrendered? And this is what you stated in here.
17 Thank you.
18 A. We provided security for the Dutch battalion soldiers which you
19 can also see in our -- in this statement. Because that's the order we
20 had received from the brigade commander. Initially, they were
21 accommodated in Hotel Fontana and that hotel is in the centre of city and
22 it is not protected in any other way. That's why we provided security
23 for them. And I believe that later on they were moved to another
24 building and that we continued providing security from -- for them even
1 Q. Thank you. Tell us then why did they surrender to the VRS?
2 Because here you say that you secured those 30 soldiers who had
4 A. The DutchBat soldiers, as far as I know, surrendered during the
5 ongoing operation. By that, I mean the attack on Srebrenica. I spoke to
6 some of the soldiers and officers who had surrendered. They said that
7 they were in a desperate situation. At least those to whom I spoke said
8 that they were caught in a cross-fire between two armies and that they
9 felt threatened where they were, at their check-points, where they used
10 to be.
11 Q. Thank you. We heard other witnesses who testified about their
12 surrender. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, did the VRS force
13 them to surrender; or did they decide to surrender to the VRS of their
14 own free will? Thank you.
15 A. As far as I know, most of those DutchBat soldiers crossed over to
16 the Serbian side voluntarily. However, I do have information that on one
17 check-point - I think it was the check-point at Biljak - that had been
18 attacked, taken over by force, and then the soldiers who were found there
19 were transported away. However, I did not contact directly with those
20 soldiers. The soldiers that I spoke with told me that they crossed over
21 to the Serbian side voluntarily because of their own safety.
22 Q. Thank you. So can we then say that those 30 soldiers that you
23 mention in your statement crossed to the side of the VRS voluntarily.
24 And how were they treated? Thank you.
25 A. I already answered that. Most of them did. And I think that
1 they were treated fairly. They were accommodated and given food and
2 cigarettes and everything else that was indispensable.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you know that UNPROFOR considered the treatment of
4 the VRS vis-a-vis the DutchBat soldiers as one of the reasons to begin
5 the air-strikes on Republika Srpska? Thank you.
6 A. I don't know that that is one of the reasons because of which
7 air-strikes were carried out against Serbian forces.
8 Q. Thank you. Did the Drina Corps command ever request from you a
9 report about those soldiers who had crossed over to the territory of
10 Republika Srpska? I mean the territory controlled by the VRS, the
11 territory of Republika Srpska, from the protected zone of Srebrenica.
12 Thank you.
13 A. I don't remember right now whether the corps command requested me
14 to report on that. But I know that I considered that my regular duty, to
15 report on the DutchBat soldiers. And I did report to the corps command
16 about that.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have D183.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir. Mr. Tolimir, before you move to
20 another document, I think it's time for the second break, and you should
21 use the next document after the break.
22 We will resume at 1.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue your examination.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Can we have D183. Thank you. All right, now we have D183. Can
3 we zoom in so the witness could read it.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So this is a report from your brigade dated the 9th of July.
6 And in it, you report to the Main Staff and your command.
7 I quote: "We hereby inform you that the intervention unit of the
8 Dutch battalion for the protection of the refugee settlement of Slapovici
9 has fled to Serbian territory. This unit was received at the
10 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade command at around 1930 hours. They
11 were interviewed and accommodated at the Fontana hotel."
12 Then you list the soldiers, and say: "The unit was received
13 without their personal weapons. The unit had come in a personnel carrier
14 with weapons mounted onto it. Signature, Chief of the OB organ,
15 Captain Momir Nikolic."
16 My question is: Is this the report that you sent from your
17 brigade to the Drina Corps command and the Main Staff about this
18 activity? Thank you.
19 A. Yes, that's the report I sent.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you receive any instructions in the brigade
21 command about how to behave with the UNPROFOR personnel and what your
22 attitude towards them was supposed to be? Thank you.
23 A. If you are referring to this date, the 9th of July, I don't
24 remember receiving any instructions on that day. But I personally knew
25 very well how to treat the members of the international forces in
2 Q. Thank you. Since you don't remember, let us take a look at D184.
3 After we see that document, I'm going ask you a question based on both
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
6 document into evidence. I apologise, it is already admitted.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. This is a document dated the 9th of July which goes as follows:
9 "We hereby inform you that one UNPROFOR crew composed of eight soldiers
10 and one personnel carrier crossed over to territory under our control.
11 These UNPROFOR members had been stationed at the newly formed check-point
12 in Zeleni Jadar. They crossed over to the Serbian territory in the same
13 sector. Their observation post is called S, Sierra, and was manned by
14 the following soldiers ... " And then you list them.
15 My question is -- could we actually first take a look at the
16 signature block. We can see Momir Nikolic in the signature block.
17 My question is: Did you draft this document and send it to your
18 superior command -- to the superior command of your brigade and to the
19 Main Staff? Thank you.
20 A. General, sir, yes. Everything that you asked me about is
21 contained within this document.
22 Q. Thank you. Is this your document? Thank you.
23 A. I don't see the masthead. Could we maybe move the document,
24 lower it, so that I can see the masthead.
25 Yes, yes. It says the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade
1 command. It also carries my number and my date [as interpreted].
2 Q. Thank you. I asked you this because the Prosecution and the
3 Defence agree that this document should be used when you come to testify
4 and that you should confirm its authenticity. So that's why I asked you,
5 is this an authentic document. Thank you.
6 A. It would be good if we had this document in its original,
7 handwritten original, written by my hand. But everything points that
8 this is the document that I drafted.
9 Q. Thank you. Maybe you could ask the Prosecution whether they had
10 the original handwritten version, and maybe they could supply it to you,
11 if necessary.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now I would like to look at a
13 document dated the 9th of July, D41. Thank you.
14 Thank you. Can we zoom in so that the witness can see that this
15 is document from the Main Staff of the VRS sent on the 9th of July.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And can you please take a look at the last paragraph where it
19 "In accordance with the order of the President of
20 Republika Srpska, you must issue an order to all combat units
21 participating in combat operations around Srebrenica to offer maximum
22 protection and safety to all UNPROFOR members and the civilian Muslim
23 population. You must order subordinate units to refrain from destroying
24 civilian targets unless forced to do so because of strong enemy
25 resistance. Ban the torching of residential buildings and treat the
1 civilian population and war prisoners in accordance with the
2 Geneva Conventions of the 12th of August, 1949."
3 Thank you.
4 My question is: Did you, as the intelligence and security organ
5 of your brigade, receive this document from the corps command? And did
6 you know its contents? Thank you.
7 A. If you're asking me, if I understood you correctly, you're asking
8 me now about this specific document in front of me.
9 Q. Yes, Mr. Nikolic. Were the members of your brigade acquainted
10 with the position of the president of the republic about the way that
11 UNPROFOR and the civilian population should be treated? Thank you.
12 A. Right now, I really can't remember whether this order was
13 presented to the members of my brigade at some official meeting. I don't
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have D41 -- no, I
17 apologise. This is D41. Can we have D69. D69. Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. Now we can see the document dated the 8th of
20 July which relates to the way that the VRS is supposed to UNPROFOR.
21 I quote -- Milenko Zivanovic wrote. I quote: "The UNPROFOR
22 command in Sarajevo has filed a protest note with the Main Staff of the
23 VRS over operations against UNPROFOR observation point UNPROFOR map near
24 Zeleni Jadar. They emphasised that their point was captured by artillery
25 and tank action. The Main Staff of the VRS answered that the Drina Corps
1 command had informed it that the Muslims were using six armoured
2 personnel carriers painted white and bearing UNPROFOR markings ... and
3 that the Muslims had started offensive operations from Srebrenica in
4 order to join up the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa.
5 "The Main Staff demanded that UNPROFOR warn the Muslim forces to
6 withdraw to within the borders of the demilitarised zones."
7 And then the penultimate paragraph:
8 "The Main Staff has ordered you not to attack UNPROFOR, but to
9 prevent any surprises and stop the Muslims in their intention to join up
10 Srebrenica and Zepa.
11 "Good luck in war and best regards from General Tolimir.
12 "Commander, Major-General Milenko Zivanovic."
13 My question is: Did General Zivanovic write this based on the
14 telegram and information received in the Main Staff and did he send this
15 to the subordinate command, that is, the brigade command? Thank you.
16 A. All these things you're asking me, I can't answer you. I don't
17 know from whom General Zivanovic received his information. I cannot
18 comment on that. Now whether it arrived my unit, I can just look at what
19 it says here on the list of addressees, and it says IKM of Drina Corps,
20 but, here in the list of addressees, I don't see that it had been sent to
21 my brigade.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Was the Main Staff supposed to deliver
23 this straight to your brigade and to you personally, or was he supposed
24 to do that through the Drina Corps, and then the Drina Corps was supposed
25 to forward it to the brigades that took part in the action; and can that
1 be deduced from this document? Thank you.
2 A. General, sir, yes, this is a more specific question. This
3 document shows that the Drina Corps command received this document at its
4 forward command post at Pribicevac. It was delivered personally to the
5 Chief of Staff, Major-General Radislav Krstic. He commanded at the time,
6 and he was in the zone of responsibility of, the 1st Bratunac Light
7 Infantry Brigade.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Do you see here where it says "to",
9 "also to Major-General Zdravko Tolimir for information."
10 My question is: Is General Zivanovic informing me that that he
11 forwarded the information that I received from UNPROFOR in Sarajevo; and
12 did he, in the last paragraph, even write, "Good luck in war and best
13 regards from General Tolimir."
14 Thank you.
15 A. Yes, we can see it in the document.
16 Q. Thank you. Please, could you tell us, do you know that UNPROFOR,
17 in Sarajevo, requested that either Nicolai, deputising for Rupert Smith
18 or Gobillard should arrive at Srebrenica? And do you know that
19 General Mladic approved their arrival on the 11th or on the 12th, and
20 were you informed about that? Thank you.
21 A. I know nothing about the previous situations that you mentioned.
22 I don't know -- I had no information about anything at that level. But I
23 did know that, on the 11th and 12th, somebody was supposed to come from
24 the main command to Bratunac.
25 Q. Thank you. Were you told that the UNPROFOR commander
1 personally - in this case, General Nicolai as the one who was deputising
2 for the commander in Sarajevo - wanted to see the situation because being
3 a Dutchman, he didn't believe that the Dutch soldiers had surrendered but
4 he believed that we had taken them prisoner. Thank you.
5 A. I don't believe -- correction, I don't remember that precisely.
6 But I believe that there was doubt expressed with regard to the status of
7 the soldiers in the Bratunac territory. But I don't remember the
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us take a look at document D64.
11 Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We see a document of the Drina Corps command and its intelligence
14 department, drafted on 12 July 1995, and sent to the intelligence
15 department and the commands of the corps mentioned here, as well as the
16 forward command post, personally to the commander of the staff,
17 General Krstic, as well as to the Bratunac forward command post, to
18 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic.
19 In paragraph 2, we read:
20 "On 12 July of this year, at 1945 hours, a radio network of
21 elements of the 28th Muslim Division was activated; during the morning,
22 at around 0500 hours, these elements came across a minefield in the
23 sector of Ravni Buljin at the juncture between the Milic and Bratunac
25 And it goes on to say in the following paragraphs where those
1 making up that radio network are situated, are located.
2 And then we see in the fourth paragraph:
3 "Those who communicated over the radio network were extremely
4 frightened and yet undecided about the direction of breaking through the
5 line of defence of the Zvornik Brigade and the 1st Bratunac Infantry
6 Brigade. In addition, it is not clear whether all elements of these
7 units have been pulled out from the area of the former Muslim enclave of
8 Srebrenica since they were discovered in the early morning hours after
9 they had activated our minefield."
10 In the last two lines of this document - could we please scroll
11 down; I'm referring to the page in Serbian - it says:
12 "The Muslims want to present Srebrenica as a demilitarized zone
13 in which there was only civilian population and that is why they ordered
14 all armed and able-bodied persons to illegally pull out through the
15 territory of the RS to the territory controlled by the Muslims so that
16 they could accuse the VRS of an unprovoked attack on civilians in a safe
18 Before the signature block but below the stamp, we see -- or
19 actually let us read the following paragraph:
20 "Although it is very important to arrest as many members of the
21 shattered Muslim units as possible, or liquidate them if they resist, it
22 is equally important to note down the names of all men fit for military
23 service who are being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base in Potocari.
24 "The intelligence and security organs will brief the MUP organs
25 in their respective areas of responsibility on information received.
1 They will draw up joint plans from breaking up and liquidating the enemy
2 formations trying to escape from Srebrenica enclave towards Tuzla and
4 "Chief, Major-General Zdravko Tolimir."
5 Here's my question: Did you know that the
6 security administration had this information about the intentions of the
7 Muslims, namely, to pull out from Srebrenica and to make it seem as if
8 the civilian population had been attacked; and was this document drafted
9 on the 12th of July; and was it received in your brigade? Thank you.
10 A. What you, in the Main Staff, knew and what kind of information
11 you had, and the same applies to the Drina Corps, I really don't know. I
12 cannot comment on that.
13 I cannot state with full certainty, but I think I have not seen
14 this document before, although I see that my brigade is one of the
15 intended recipients. But I cannot state with any certainty that it
16 arrived or did not arrive. But I don't really remember all its contents.
17 Q. Thank you. But, based on the contents, would -- is it necessary
18 for Popovic and Krstic to brief your brigade commander, since this was
19 addressed to the security and intelligence organ?
20 A. All I have been able to infer from this document during this
21 short time shows that this document should have arrived at the
22 Bratunac Brigade from the Drina Corps, because we see for whom it was
24 Q. Thank you. Did you get any information about the Muslims'
25 intentions to pull out from the enclave, including soldiers and
1 able-bodied men; whereas, women and children were to be transported to
3 A. At this moment, I cannot confirm that this is the exact
4 information we received then. But I can say that our expectations were
5 also that the Armed Forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, the members
6 of the 28th Division at Srebrenica would leave the territory without
7 taking the civilian population with them.
8 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the brigade did have information
9 that able-bodied Muslim men wanted to break through to the territory
10 controlled by the BH army; whereas, the women and children were to be
11 separately taken to destinations in the territory of the Federation,
12 assisted by UNPROFOR? Thank you.
13 A. Well, we can put it that way too.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us see the Prosecutor's
16 document 65 ter number 5908. Thank you.
17 Thank you. The document you want is 65 ter 5908 from e-court.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Registry can't find a document under this
20 Mr. Thayer.
21 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, again, I know these things happen.
22 If there's another list, an amended list, we'd appreciate it. We've got
23 about four or five documents now that haven't been on the most recent
24 list that we received.
25 So we would appreciate it if there is an amended list. It just
1 helps us with our work.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. I find myself in the same situation. We
3 received during this session an updated list. But at least six documents
4 are not listed which were used with the witness during today's hearing.
5 And I would like to indicate the numbers: D41, D64, D148, D183,
6 D184, and 65 ter 7274. I don't find these documents on the list of
7 documents to be used with this witness. And please check again the
8 number of the last document you are asking for.
9 Mr. Gajic.
10 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I apologise, I will
11 check the matter so that, for the following session, everybody will be
12 provided with a complete list of documents.
13 There seems to have been some minor technical problems. At any
14 rate, I will check.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you are in the -- are you in the fortunate
16 situation that you have several days to update the list. Because the
17 next session will be on Monday.
18 Please check the number you are asking for now.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then we will not use
20 this document until it is uploaded to e-court. But as I have referred to
21 it, I want to tell Mr. Nikolic that this is a simple report drafted by
22 him on the 9th of July. It is only five sentences long, about which I
23 wanted to ask him, but then can I do that later. If necessary, we can
24 put it on the ELMO, or use it once it is uploaded to e-court. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's up to you decide if you want to deal with
1 this document now. Then we can put it on the ELMO. If you want to
2 postpone it and deal with that later, it's possible.
3 The court usher will assist you with the document and put it on
4 the ELMO.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Since
6 we're speaking about the 9th of July, and this is the topic we're dealing
7 with, it's better to look at it now so as not to go back to it later.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There seems to be a technical problem with the
10 ELMO at the moment. I hope it can be resolved.
11 Now we have it.
12 Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. We see a document here which was sent from Bratunac on the 9th of
16 July. It was sent by the command of the Bratunac Brigade from the chief
17 of the security and intelligence organ.
18 I quote: "We inform you that the command of the DutchBat
19 requests a meeting with a representative of the Serb side. The request
20 was transferred to the Zuti Most check-point. The liaison officer of
21 DutchBat did not relate the contents of the matter they wished to discuss
22 with the Serb side."
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I just noticed that this document has
25 been used by the Defence as a 1D number and that may be in e-court. And
1 I believe there is a translation, so I think we can get it up on e-court
2 and look at the English as well. And I believe it is 1D00727.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Registry will try to call it up on the screen.
4 We have this document in the list of the Defence, but there's a
5 note that the translation is still pending.
6 MR. THAYER: Yes, I thought there was one available,
7 Mr. President, but apparently it's not -- it's not ready.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 Mr. Gajic.
10 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, only briefly, if I
11 may, in order to resolve the problem.
12 Mr. Tolimir read out the 65 ter number of the Prosecution. For
13 some reason, it is not in e-court but we will see to it that a
14 translation becomes available as soon as possible. But I hope that we
15 can still use it now.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, it is possible to use it. It is in
17 e-court with number 1D727.
18 Mr. Tolimir, go ahead, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since this has not been translated, can you tell us if this is an
22 original document? It has been taken off the ELMO now.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is on the screen because it is in e-court.
24 Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, in the meantime, we have been able to
1 upload this document with a translation under 65 ter 5908. So it is -- I
2 think it's now available under the Prosecution 65 ter number with a
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay. It is -- the system is improving from
5 minute to minute. Great.
6 Mr. Tolimir, now you can use the document.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Nikolic, tell us, please, whether you wrote and signed this
10 document and whether you sent it to the superior commands and
11 corresponding security organs. Can you also explain its contents and
12 tell us why it was that the DutchBat command requested a meeting with
13 you? Thank you.
14 A. Your Honour, I don't see it on the screen in front of me. I
15 don't know how it get it on the screen.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The court usher will assist you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General, sir, everything is quite
18 obvious here. This document was drafted in my command. It bears my
19 number and my signature.
20 As for the contents, you can see it for yourself. You can see
21 what I wrote. I don't know the reasons. I don't know why they requested
22 the meeting.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the meeting was held; and, if
25 it wasn't, why not? We are talking about the 9th of July here.
1 A. I don't know. I have no information to the fact -- to the effect
2 that this meeting took place. If it had, I'm sure that I would have
3 drafted a report about it. I don't know if the meeting took place. I
4 really don't know.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you know who was the deputy of Mr. Karremans and
6 which function he performed and was his name? Did he ever request to
7 meet you?
8 A. Well, the person who was introduced to me and that I consider
9 Karremans' deputy, I think it was Major Boering. I don't know whether I
10 am pronouncing it correctly. He's the officer that used to meet me on a
11 number of occasions. I don't know the exact dates.
12 Q. Thank you. In that case, tell us, do you know that the members
13 of the DutchBat in Srebrenica received so-called green alert, which meant
14 that they were supposed to open fire on the members of the VRS?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Green order.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General, sir, could be more precise
17 about the time-period?
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Could you tell the Trial Chamber
20 whether, on the 9th, 10th, and the 11th, the so-called green order was
21 issued to the DutchBat members to engage in combat activities against the
22 VRS? Thank you.
23 A. I'm not aware of such an order. I have never heard something
24 like that before. This is the first time that I hear it now, from you.
25 Q. Thank you. Did the soldiers who defected to the territory of the
1 Republika Srpska tell you that they were requested to act against the
2 VRS, that the Muslims requested that, and that their command issued such
3 orders? Thank you.
4 A. What I learned in a conversation with those soldiers, I think
5 that I only had one conversation with them, with one group, I learned
6 that the representatives of the Muslim side insisted that the UNPROFOR
7 forces should, together with them, resist the attack of the Serb forces.
8 I also have the information that the members of the Dutch battalion were
9 threatened with weapons. They were told that they had to take part in
10 that. So that's what I learned from them. Nothing more than that.
11 I don't know what assignments they received from their own
12 command because, in those days, I didn't meet up with anybody, and I did
13 not attend any meeting with the representatives of the DutchBat. My only
14 contact was with those members of the DutchBat who defected to Serbian
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in order to avoid me
18 the beginning of the next topic, because I would have to consult some
19 other documents, I propose that we do that the following day of the
20 trial. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir. You have used this
22 document we have on the screen now. Are you tendering it?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. We
24 saved this document for this witness, so I would like to tender it now.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 5908 shall be
2 assigned Exhibit number D204. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
4 Sir, we have to adjourn for the day and for the week. I -- I'm
5 convinced that you will appreciate to have a rest now after four days of
6 testimony. We adjourn and resume on Monday in the afternoon, 2.15 in
7 this courtroom.
8 And the Chamber would appreciate to receive a complete updated
9 list of documents. That would be helpful.
10 We adjourn.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 11th of April,
14 2011, at 2.15 p.m.