1 Tuesday, 12 April 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.39 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom,
6 especially to you, Ms. Lindsay, now on the other side of the room.
7 Due to technical problems with a very important computer, we are
8 sitting in another courtroom today, and we have a delayed start. We will
9 try not to lose too much courtroom time today, so that we should have
10 shorter breaks, only for 20 minutes each, and we will conclude our
11 hearing today, I think, shortly after 2.00 in the afternoon.
12 The witness should be brought in, please.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please sit down.
17 Good morning, sir. Again, we have a late start --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- and sitting in another courtroom because of
20 technical problems in Courtroom III.
21 Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination.
22 Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 I would like to greet everybody, and I wish for this trial and
25 this day of trial to end in accordance with God's will, and not my will.
1 I would also like to greet Ms. Lindsay and Mr. Nikolic, and I
2 hope they are going to have a pleasant stay among us here. Thank you.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, yesterday we looked at a document,
6 I would like to have D64 in e-court.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Nikolic, I think it's not necessary, but I
8 have to remind you again that the affirmation to tell the truth still
9 applies also today.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 We have the document now, "Strictly Confidential," "12th of
12 July," and I told you what it was about briefly because we were in a
13 hurry. The document is about Muslims leaving Srebrenica and crossing the
14 territory controlled by the VRS. They want everybody, including
15 able-bodied men, to cross through those corridors, and at the same time
16 they want to present the situation as if they were attacked by the VRS.
17 And we also ordered that everybody present in the Potocari base was
18 supposed to be registered, and that as large as possible a number of
19 persons should be captured. So this document went to all the corps,
20 including the corps that controlled the territory of the evacuation.
21 We can see that this is a document that contains proposals to the
22 commanders of units whose territories were along the direction of the
23 evacuation of Muslims from Srebrenica. They were supposed to capture
24 them and register them.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now, I would like you to tell us whether you knew that this
2 document arrived and whether this document also arrived at your brigade.
3 Thank you.
4 A. General, sir, when it's about specific documents, I can talk
5 about them only based on what I see now.
6 In those days, my command and my organ received an endless stream
7 of information and documents. Now I can see this document, and I see
8 that it was addressed to all security/intelligence organs of all the
9 brigades, including my brigade. It arrived on the 12th -- or, rather, it
10 is dated the 12th of July. As far as I can remember, on that day I was
11 duty officer, so that is one more reason to conclude that this document
12 arrived at my brigade, that I saw it, and that I knew its contents.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Did you see that this document contains
14 a proposal to the commanders? Did you, based on this proposal, propose
15 to your commander to register all men that were trying to leave
16 Srebrenica? Thank you.
17 Can we have page 2 in e-court so that the witness could see it.
18 Thank you.
19 The proposal is on the first page, and on the second page,
20 towards the end, under the stamp, it says that it is necessary to
21 register all able-bodied men that are being evacuated from Potocari and
22 the UNPROFOR base there.
23 So did you, in line with this, propose to your commander that
24 they should be registered?
25 A. I will answer this question in two parts; first, the part
1 pertaining to all able-bodied men in Potocari that are mentioned in the
2 document, itself.
3 I am sure that I did not propose to my commander to register
4 those persons.
5 Now, as for this sentence under the stamp, that it is necessary
6 to register all able-bodied persons that are being evacuated from the
7 UNPROFOR base in Potocari, this could also have a different meaning.
8 This could relate to another group of people; that is, the able-bodied
9 Muslims who were in the UNPROFOR base and who are technical or other
10 personnel working in the base.
11 There is also another document, another query from my department,
12 that relates to the able-bodied men who were working as technical
13 personnel in the UNPROFOR base. They were all of Muslim ethnicity, they
14 were all Bosniaks, and all the people who worked there were, I think
15 95 per cent of them, younger persons and able-bodied men. This group,
16 the group that was in the UNPROFOR base, we queried about them, and we
17 received the answer related to them, their registration and their fate.
18 Now, this thing that you are asking me about now, I am almost
19 sure that I did not propose to my commander to register able-bodied men
20 in Potocari and in other locations on the 12th of July.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
22 Can we have the first page again.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Here we have the first page, and we see the fourth paragraph from
25 the bottom, where it says:
1 "Organs for intelligence and security affairs attached to the
2 brigade commands will propose to the commanders of the units positioned
3 along the line of withdrawal of elements of the routed
4 28th Muslim Division from Srebrenica to undertake all measures to prevent
5 the withdrawal of enemy soldiers and to capture them."
6 And then at the bottom, the last paragraph on this page:
7 "Muslims wish to show that Srebrenica was demilitarised and that
8 it contained only civilian population. That's why they ordered their
9 soldiers to evacuate and move from the area, cross the RS territory, and
10 reach the Muslim-controlled area ..."
11 Do you have any information that other units who were engaged in
12 co-ordinated action with you around Srebrenica registered those persons
13 that they captured on the positions where they were preventing their
14 evacuation? Thank you.
15 A. I don't have information that anybody was registering able-bodied
16 men. To be honest, up to this moment I haven't seen any document along
17 that vein, or a document showing that somebody did register people, or a
18 document containing such names of able-bodied men. I haven't seen such a
19 document, and I also haven't heard that anybody else organised this in a
20 planned manner.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether those who are pulling out
22 from the base in Potocari were registered in some way? Do you know that?
23 Can we have the second page.
24 A. When I was in Potocari while the separation was going on, I did
25 not see anybody registering individually people who were being separated.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you see, under the stamp, the following sentence:
2 "It is necessary to register all able-bodied persons who are
3 being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base in Potocari"?
4 Do you see it, and can you tell me, was there any registration of
5 able-bodied men who were leaving the base, because they were all
6 civilians and they were all in the base? Thank you.
7 A. General, sir, I have to correct you.
8 You know, the fact is that they were not all in the base. A
9 large number of people was outside the base in various other buildings in
10 Potocari. They were temporary accommodation facilities. They were
11 buildings belonging to the former factory. And captured people were all
12 around the place. They were not all in the base. That's simply not
14 Q. All right, thank you. That's what you say.
15 A. If you'd permit me just one more thing.
16 I know for sure, because I saw it, because I was there, I know
17 for sure that the people who were being evacuated on the 12th were not in
18 the base. They were in the street, they were close to the base, and they
19 were within the factory perimeter in Potocari, they were in courtyards in
20 Potocari, because it was a large number of people. My estimate is that
21 it was about 30.000 people. They were all gathered there on the 12th
22 before the evacuation. It's a huge number.
23 So I have to express one reservation. Where I was, where I saw
24 the evacuation every time that I arrived there, I never saw that anybody
25 was being registered, that any lists were being made. I really don't
1 know anything about that.
2 Q. Thank you. Could you tell the Trial Chamber: These other
3 facilities around the UNPROFOR base, the warehouse, the factory, was it
4 also under the control of the UNPROFOR unit that was stationed there?
5 A. I can say what I know for sure, and that is that UNPROFOR
6 controlled the building where it was accommodated. I don't know what
7 exactly you mean when you say "under its control," because if you follow
8 that logic, we could say that it controlled everything within the
9 enclave. However, the actual situation at the time was such that the
10 UNPROFOR forces had their own base that was fenced, physically secure,
11 and I consider this building to be under the control of UNPROFOR. All
12 other buildings were outside this perimeter, and they are not connected
13 in any way -- physically, they cannot connected to the UNPROFOR base.
14 Now, members of UNPROFOR were present there, they were there.
15 However, I saw that the UNPROFOR forces, as they were, and in the numbers
16 in which they were present there, were simply insufficient. Even if they
17 wanted to secure all this, they were not able to secure it.
18 If you want to hear my opinion, I can tell you that all that
19 people, 30.000 of them, could not be physically secured and controlled.
20 Q. Thank you. I don't want to waste any more time. We don't have
21 much time. You said that you did not see any document relating to the
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have D152. It should
24 not be broadcast outside the courtroom because it comes from a protected
25 witness. I would like to take a look at page 3, paragraph 1, and the
1 witness's name should not be revealed. D152. In Serbian and in English,
2 page 3.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. We can see it in the first paragraph:
6 "I knew that it was Mladic because I recognised him, and I was
7 told he would come. I was about 10 to 15 metres from him when he gave a
8 speech, standing by the side of the pitch. He spoke without a megaphone,
9 just normally, as it was very quiet. He stated that he was
10 General Mladic, and said that we would all be exchanged, and that there
11 were hundreds of Serb lines between here and Tuzla, and that not even a
12 bird would be able to get through the lines. He said we would be
13 organised into groups to collect all the bodies from the hills, and then
14 we would be taken to Bratunac to have lunch there. He then chose five of
15 his men to begin making lists of our first and last names, which lasted
16 nearly an hour. One person stood up ..."
17 And so on and so forth, end quote.
18 So, have you seen now the document in which a Prosecution
19 witness, a survivor, describes that there was registration at this
20 particular location? Thank you.
21 A. General, sir, I don't claim to have the right to comment the
22 statements of other witnesses. This is what this witness said. I'm not
23 disputing it. I'm simply stating what I saw. I'm not disputing it, and
24 I'm not going to comment on it. If you insist that I should comment a
25 statement, then I would have to read the whole statement to see its whole
1 content, because this way you can give me excerpts and segments on the
2 statement which confirm what you are talking about. I can tell you that
3 I have not seen anybody carrying out any planned or organised
4 registration, and I'm being very precise here. I'm talking about taking
5 down the names of the able-bodied men.
6 Now, there were other registrations of a different kind, but
7 while I was in Potocari, there was no registration individually by names
8 of able-bodied men.
9 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Let us not waste any more
10 time about this. You should bear in mind that it may have not been
11 carried out the way that it was proposed to be done in this document.
12 Now, first of all, talking about D64, the document we've seen a
13 moment ago, information distributed to all intelligence/security organs
14 and commands, D64, does it say anything else except the registration and
15 making of lists of people who are leaving the base in Potocari? Thank
17 A. Of course, you directed me to certain paragraphs, and I did look
18 at them, but I should not like to make any hasty assessments about
19 whether something else is contained in those documents before I see them
20 in their entirety.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
22 A. You directed me to the list or the registration. If you want my
23 opinion, please give me time to see the entire document and I'll tell
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since we don't have enough time, I
1 abandon this question.
2 Can we now display D41.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, although we have received another
4 list of documents, D152 is not included in these lists; at least in my
6 Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning.
8 I think this is the second time that General Tolimir has referred
9 to not pursuing a certain line of questioning because he claims he
10 doesn't have enough time. Maybe the message didn't get through to him,
11 but I thought the Trial Chamber is pretty clear that we are going to sit
12 a little bit extra today, we are going to take shorter breaks. And from
13 my calculations, from my math, that should provide the accused with more
14 than enough time even to accommodate the additional time that he's been
15 allocated, given the Prosecution's additional time in its
16 examination-in-chief. So I want to disabuse -- or I would ask the
17 Trial Chamber, if the message wasn't received clearly enough, that the
18 accused should be disabused of the idea that he's got to hurry or abandon
19 lines of questioning because he's under some kind of time pressure which,
20 frankly, the Prosecution does not see.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was always a condition of the Chamber. Only
22 one small correction. We don't have additional time today, because we
23 started late and we just don't want to lose court time.
24 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
1 you, Mr. Thayer.
2 Could we now display D41 in e-court for the witness to see. The
3 document was used yesterday as well.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Since you saw the document yesterday, tell me -- in your
6 statements, you said you had seen references to the Geneva Conventions
7 somewhere in the document. You said that somewhere in
8 examination-in-chief. In this document -- could we scroll down, please.
9 This is a document from the Main Staff, dated 9 July, and the bottom part
11 "In accordance with the order of the president of
12 Republika Srpska, issue an order to all combat units participating in
13 combat around Srebrenica to offer maximum protection and safety to all
14 UNPROFOR members and the civilian Muslim population. Order subordinate
15 units to refrain from destroying civilian targets unless forced to do so
16 by strong enemy resistance. Ban," that is to say "prohibit," "the
17 torching of residential buildings and treat the civilian population and
18 prisoners of war in keeping with the Geneva Conventions of 12
19 August 1949."
20 My question is: Did you perhaps see excerpts from this document
21 that was sent to the Drina Corps, to Generals Gvero and Krstic, and
22 references to the Geneva Conventions of 1949?
23 A. If I understood you correctly, you are asking me if I saw
24 excerpts related to the Geneva Conventions, or perhaps you're asking
25 whether I saw at the time this document referring to the
1 Geneva Conventions.
2 Q. Tell us whatever you have seen, Mr. Nikolic.
3 A. This order, this document, I did not see before. I can only
4 assess documents if they had been sent to my organ. Otherwise, there was
5 a huge inflow of documents. Whether I am familiar with
6 Geneva Conventions as a teacher/instructor in Civilian Defence and
7 Protection, I did have some knowledge about what the Geneva Conventions
8 of 1949 imply, without knowing the details, but I can use those documents
9 and I can find my way around them. I can find out how certain issues are
10 regulated by Geneva Conventions.
11 Q. Tell us, Mr. Nikolic, did your brigade drive out civilians from
12 their homes and bring them to Potocari, or did they come on their own?
13 A. As far as I know, the units of my brigade did not drive out
14 civilians from their homes, for the simple reason that two battalions of
15 my brigade never moved from the lines where they were assigned, whereas
16 one additional battalion was introduced later on a certain axis. I did
17 not have information then, and I do not have information now that anyone,
18 on that route belonging to my brigade, drove out civilians from their
20 Q. By interviewing those who were able-bodied men who were
21 registered, did you gain information that able-bodied men took the road
22 to Susnjari, whereas women and children headed for Potocari? Did you
23 have such information? Did you work with such information?
24 A. I was kept informed all the time during the combat operations,
25 and I knew that on the route where Serb forces were engaged and that as
1 Serb forces were advancing, everyone else, able-bodied men and civilians,
2 were withdrawing.
3 Q. Did civilians arrive at Potocari before the
4 Army of Republika Srpska?
5 A. Yes, the civilians were already there before the VRS came to
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now look at D002 in
9 We don't see it yet. It's a document of the Republic of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina, their Main Staff, dated 12 July 1995, where they report
11 the number of Muslim soldiers on the base.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Look at line 5 from the bottom:
14 "They organised an attack at Potocari. Around 11.00 p.m., we had
15 15.000 refugees sitting in the area of combat, together with 300 soldiers
16 of the BH Army on the base in Potocari."
17 Are these the people you mentioned earlier, people who were
18 able-bodied men and who are mentioned in this report by the Army of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina to their president, Alija Izetbegovic, via the
20 1st Corps on the 12th of July? Did you have the same information, and
21 did you mean those military-age, able-bodied men?
22 A. As an intelligence man, I knew that there was a corps - that's
23 what I called it -- a commander of one of their units, one of their
24 brigades, and I knew there were military-aged, able-bodied men in
25 Potocari. However, when I spoke about military-age, able-bodied men, I
1 meant those who arrived together with civilians, those who came to
2 Potocari together with their families, women and children. And in my
3 testimony over the past few days, I believe I once explained a point that
4 I believe to be very important.
5 When I'm talking about military-age, able-bodied men who found
6 themselves among civilians, together with those who came into Potocari, I
7 said, and I can say the same now, that it was my evaluation that a
8 certain number of those people were not militarily engaged. They were
9 able-bodied men, but they were not part of the 28th Division, they were
10 not soldiers. And I am still convinced that a rather large number of men
11 who arrived at Potocari were military age and able-bodied men, but they
12 were not members of the units of the 28th Division.
13 Q. Thank you. This registration of able-bodied men, and checking
14 their names against the list of those who had committed war crimes, was
15 that all in keeping with rules of warfare and military regulations?
16 A. If we mean the same thing, General, and that is the so-called
17 triage after a military operation, I am aware that that is in keeping
18 with military regulations and with Geneva Conventions as well. Triage,
19 itself, and separating those who are found to be on the list of suspected
20 war criminals, are not illegal acts.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. We've had a number of witnesses here who
22 testified that Muslim men were checked against the list of persons
23 suspected of having committed war crimes or any other crimes. One of
24 them was Mr. Kingori, who was a military observer and who testified on
25 the 16th September 2010; page 5509 of the transcript. I asked him:
1 "When you saw that some sort of checking was going on and that
2 Mr. Nikolic was going into a house with a list, did you see him checking
3 against the list of suspects?"
4 And his answer was:
5 "I remember that I spoke about Mr. Nikolic, that he had been to
6 the UNPROFOR base and checked whether some people were to be found on a
8 And then comes my question:
9 "Precisely. Did you have access? Did anyone stop you from
10 taking a look at the men who were being checked against those lists?"
11 And then Kingori answers:
12 "Yes. I was there. I was able to see him."
13 He means you:
14 "I was able to see him approaching those men. He would call out
15 a name."
16 And then on page 55 -- I don't know which:
17 "He would approach that man and check him. I think his main
18 purpose was to check whether that person was a soldier or not, because
19 the list was a list of persons whom they knew to be Muslim soldiers."
20 Let me read one more sentence by Kingori, and then I'll put my
22 I asked him then:
23 "Did Nikolic single out any man who was under UNPROFOR control
24 after checking him against that list?"
25 And he answered:
1 "If I remember well, I believe there was only one person that he
2 singled out. That one person was injured. That's to the best of my
4 And on page 5510, lines 1 to 10, he says:
5 "Major Nikolic suspected, based on the list he had, that he was a
6 soldier, and he took him away."
7 That is what all the accusations boil down to, as made by various
8 people against you, Mr. Nikolic.
9 Now, my question is: Do you remember what he is talking about,
10 and do you remember that one person was singled out because their name
11 was found in the list of those who were involved in the war in combat?
12 A. I remember Mr. Kingori, and I know exactly who that person is.
13 We worked together. I think we co-operated well, we worked well
15 As for my engagement in inspecting/separating people and having
16 certain lists, what I would like to state here is that I did not have any
17 kind of list in that time that I used. I didn't have any written names
18 or anything like that, in terms of somebody's membership of the
19 28th Division.
20 I did have in my office, as part of my activities, a record of
21 members of the 28th Division who, according to our information, had
22 committed certain crimes. Amongst them, they were also charged for war
23 crimes. But the list that I had was a list that was not dated on the
24 12th, nor was it used for that purpose. That list existed from 1992 and
25 was constantly updated. It was not a final list until the end of the --
1 the fall of the enclave. Even then, it was not a final list. When I
2 handed it over to the Institute for War Crimes in Belgrade, I gave it to
3 Mr. Ivanisevic. I think that Mr. Ivanisevic still has a list of those
5 When we're talking about separating people, I know very well in
6 one instance what it's about, and I think that Mr. Kingori made a mistake
7 about the location and the officers who separated that person. We're
8 talking about one member of the Muslim armed forces. I don't know his
9 exact name right now. I have that record in my documents. That person
10 was separated by the State Security Service, and the State Security
11 Service, after separating that person, moved the person to the
12 Zvornik Security Centre and processed him after that.
13 The next person who was separated that I know of, but I think
14 that he was not an active-duty member of the armed forces in Srebrenica,
15 was Mr. -- I will remember his name. He's a politician. Later, he was a
16 deputy in the National Assembly, Ibrahim Mustafic. That's the man who
17 was separated. But, once again, Ibrahim Mustafic was not separated by
18 the army or anybody from the security organ, but he was separated by
19 people from the State Security Service. And I think that
20 Zlatan Celanovic also had a part in this separating of Ibrahim Mustafic.
21 I think that, as far as I know, he recognised him and then they singled
22 him out.
23 What I want to say here, for the sake of the truth, is that one
24 single time when I came to the base, they asked me to check a group of
25 people, and that was when the Dutch Battalion was supposed to leave the
1 base, and the base -- the technical personnel who worked at the base was
2 also supposed to leave together with DutchBat. At the time, I said that
3 we did have a position on that. I knew what our position was, and that
4 those people should leave together with members of DutchBat, and there
5 was no need for me to carry out any kind of check. I saw those people at
6 the base. I didn't make any kind of check, inspection, or did not
7 separate anyone.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I please put a short question to the witness
10 just to understand something more precisely.
11 On page 16, lines 18 and the following, you were talking about a
12 list. You said:
13 "I did have in my office, as part of my activities, a record of
14 members of the 28th Division."
15 Could you please tell me who compiled this list, and from whom
16 did you get it?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the intelligence/security organ,
18 I was monitoring and recording and investigating crimes that were
19 committed by the 28th Division or by the Muslim side against units --
20 members of my unit as well as against civilians.
21 For example, in 1992, there was an attack on the village of
22 Kravica. After that attack, as the person who is supposed to deal with
23 that question, I recorded the casualties on the Serbian side, and then I
24 did a classification saying 20 soldiers and 3 civilians were killed.
25 Then later, in my work, by questioning detainees and by gathering other
1 intelligence data from other structures, I learned the names of those
2 who, according to statements, could possibly be the perpetrators of these
3 crimes. If I had any indications that those persons did commit crimes, I
4 would place them on the list of those who could potentially be the
5 perpetrators of a given crime.
6 And then I recorded the combat actions that were carried out on
7 territory under the control of Serbian forces, and where certain crimes
8 were committed, and I did that covering the period practically until the
9 fall of the enclave. I did it according to periods 1992, 1993, 1994,
10 1995, and I did this on the basis of statements, on the basis of gathered
11 information, on the basis of exchanged information, on the basis of
12 information by collaborators, on the basis of information of those who
13 switched sides, fled to the other side with their whole family. Based on
14 all of that information, I placed certain persons on that list, and that
15 was the method that I used to come to that.
16 And Celanovic, Zlatan, this lawyer, was helping me to do this
17 work, and in the bulk of the cases he's the one who did the
18 investigations, who interviewed the witnesses. He helped me in my work.
19 And each time when he interviewed or questioned a certain person, a
20 detainee, somebody who had fled to the other side, if there was a name
21 that was given at such a time, we would place that name on the list of
22 potential perpetrators of crimes. That was the way we worked in my
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that explanation.
25 That means you and some of your colleagues were the authors of
1 this list. You compiled this list according to the information you
2 received during your work; correct?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The list that was in my office was
4 drafted in the way that I described. I know that it turned up -- a list
5 turned up on the 12th. I know that. But that list had the heading of
6 the Bratunac Brigade. The date was the 12th. There was no signature, no
7 stamp, no nothing. And I assert that I did not see that list, and I
8 don't know who drafted it. I know that there was such a list. However,
9 that is not the identical list that I had in my office.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The list you had in your office was a list you
11 personally compiled; is that correct? That is my understanding of your
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is a list that I drafted.
14 That was always in my office, and that was handed over -- actually, to be
15 more precise about this, the names of potential perpetrators of crimes
16 were given and informed about to the State Security organs who were doing
17 the same type of work. The final list for that period is with
18 Mr. Ivanisevic at the Institute for War Crimes in Belgrade, because he
19 was the one who was dealing with those matters, he investigated only war
20 crimes, and I felt that it was my responsibility to hand this list over
21 to him.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Tolimir, please -- Mr. Thayer first.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Before we close this sub-chapter and while we're on the topic, I
1 notice that at page 18, line 17, when the witness was describing an
2 attack on Kravica, he referred to a year of 1992. And we've heard a lot
3 of testimony about the attack on Kravica on Orthodox Christmas
4 January 7th of 1993. And just so we have a clear, accurate record, I
5 would just ask if the witness could clarify whether that's a different
6 attack that he was referring to when he said "1992" or whether he
7 misspoke, just so we can have it clear, what he's talking about, and
8 I can maybe save a little time so I don't have to go back on redirect, as
9 long as we're here on the topic. Again, it's at page 18, line 17.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In my view, the answer was very clear,
11 Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: All right. Well, then I'll deal with it in
13 redirect, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, fine.
15 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I didn't wish to interrupt you while you
18 were talking about this because I felt that you had a need to respond to
19 charges directed at you, and I asked you to talk about this topic.
20 On the 6th of April of this year, the Prosecutor asked you, on
21 page 12401 and 12402, about Mr. Rase [phoen] who was also questioned here
22 by Mr. Celanovic at your office. Can you please tell me if you made any
23 kind of threats against Mr. Celanovic, or did you, in those
24 circumstances, make sure that Mr. Celanovic was treated correctly?
25 Sinanovic, Sinanovic. I apologise, it's Sinanovic.
1 A. Yes, this is what I wanted to point out.
2 All that I did in the Sinanovic case, I am now stating here
3 before this Trial Chamber that I would do exactly the same thing in
4 relation to any other prisoner of war. I took him over. He was on the
5 list of potential perpetrators of war crimes specifically relating to the
6 operation in the village of Bjelovac. We had him on our records. I took
7 him over. I brought him to the Bratunac Brigade Command, to the police,
8 handed him over to the authorised person who was authorised by the
9 commander to investigate, to question, to find out if there were any
10 indicia. And I do not see anything there where I made a mistake or
11 should have acted differently. I did what I would have done in any other
12 case, and I would do it again.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Please, as the security organ, did you
14 also ask your security organs in the brigade and ask Mr. Celanovic, who
15 was authorised by the commander to investigate such crimes, to work
16 professionally, all of you, and did you mistreat anyone? Thank you.
17 A. Those who were detained and were brought to my brigade, that I
18 know of, were people that I never saw mistreated in any way. I never
19 permitted any of my people to mistreat any of the prisoners. I wouldn't
20 do it for my own sake, and I believe that the people who were working
21 there were working and doing what they should have been doing, and
22 I think that they were working well. As far as I know, nobody who was
23 brought into my brigade was ever beaten, abused, or mistreated. They
24 were correctly treated. They were interrogated. And for the benefit of
25 the Trial Chamber, the Bratunac Brigade didn't have any kind of detention
1 facility or a prisoner -- prison. We did the best we could. We did
2 question prisoners at the Bratunac Brigade, and after that we would ask
3 the superior command for instructions as to what to do with them. And
4 then we would act pursuant to the orders that came, because, I repeat,
5 there was no prison at the Bratunac Brigade. We would keep the people
6 until they were processed, until they were interrogated, and until we
7 received instructions about what to do with them.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
9 Please, can we now look at P1143. Thank you.
10 While we are waiting, I just want to say this was on the 2nd of
11 September, 1992. It's a statement to NIOD, given by Mr. Egbers, who was
12 a witness in this case.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1999.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at page 2 of P11143
15 [as interpreted] - that's an exhibit - so that we can see what he says.
16 This is paragraph 287 on page 27. Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You probably know Mr. Egbers. He was an UNPROFOR soldier in
19 Potocari. He states that he also had contacts with each of the sides.
20 287, thank you.
21 Paragraph 287. Yes, we can see it in the English, and now we're
22 going to see it in the Serbian. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
24 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps I can help a
25 little bit.
1 This number has three versions of the document; in Dutch, in
2 English, and in Serbian. Now we're seeing it in the Serbian.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, thank you. We can see
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Egbers says:
7 "No. But one thing about Nova Kasaba is mentioned. I have it
8 here before me. It says, 'Thursday, 13th of July. At least one of the
9 convoys was stopped at the football field in the surroundings of
10 Nova Kasaba. The BSA set up a place there where able-bodied men were
11 gathered. A number of men were allowed to get in the buses and were
12 transferred to Kladanj.'"
13 Then in paragraph 288, he continues:
14 "Yes. That was another convoy. I was not with it, but I did
15 hear the story that some men were allowed to get in the buses. Maybe
16 they were friends, or acquaintances, or something like that."
17 I am going to put the question to you after Mr. Thayer says what
18 he wants to say. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think we need to be accurate for
21 the record.
22 Paragraph 287 is not Ms. Egbers' words. That is the -- those are
23 the words of the questioner who was putting that as a question to
24 Mr. Egbers. And we went through this when Mr. Egbers came and testified,
25 Mr. President. The italicised text are the questions and the
1 non-italicised text is the answer.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was my observation as well. You see
3 different writing, and one person is asking questions, the other person
4 is answering.
5 Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: I'll just wait for the next question, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, is it correct that only
8 paragraph 288 is the answer of Mr. Egbers?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's correct, Mr. President. I
10 read both the question and the answer. The question is 287, and the
11 answer is 288. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And now, please, the question for the witness.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, did you have information or knowledge that some
15 buses were stopped along the way, that some prisoners were put in the
16 buses, like in this example in Nova Kasaba, and that there were cases of
17 friends putting their friends on the buses and sending them straight to
18 Kasaba? We also saw that at check-points, there were also people who
19 were putting people on the buses, regardless of who they were? Thank
21 A. I really don't know what was going on in the territory of Milici.
22 Kasaba is the territory of Milici, controlled by the Milici Brigade.
23 I can only speak for myself.
24 Yes, I did that, I did help some of my friends. I put them in
25 the bus in Potocari, and everybody knew it. Whether some people in the
1 Milici Brigade were doing the same thing, I wouldn't know. Whether they
2 used to stop buses at the check-points, I also don't know that, and I
3 have no information about it.
4 Q. Thank you. Now we see the words of Mr. Egbers on the screen, so
5 let us also read paragraph 292, where he says -- 292, can we have that in
6 Serbian as well. It's page 28. Thank you.
7 Where he says the following:
8 "No. Yes. Right. When we stopped by that bus that was burning,
9 you could see also that the Muslims and the Serbs, who had lived together
10 for a number of years before that, still knew each other and were still
11 on friendly terms. They hugged each other. I can very well imagine - it
12 was such chaos - somebody saying, 'These Muslims you just have to stay
13 alive,' stopping a bus and putting these men in it. That's possible."
14 So this is also what Mr. Egbers said.
15 My question is: If you helped some of your friends, do you allow
16 for the possibility that other people at other places, if they had the
17 possibility to do so, also helped some other people, and that's how some
18 people were put on the buses at the check-point in Nova Kasaba? Thank
20 A. I allow for this possibility, and there is a logical explanation
21 for it. We used to live together, all of us, beginning with me and
22 including all other people. We socialised, we had friends among the
23 Bosnians, we were neighbours, we went to school together, we worked
24 together, we played sports together, and many other things. So it's
25 perfectly normal.
1 I have to emphasise one thing here. Those who did not have any
2 victims, any losses in their families, those whose houses were not set on
3 fire, whose property was not destroyed, those people did not have some
4 additional motive to hate the Bosniaks. I can say for myself that I had
5 friends among the Bosniaks both before the war and after the war. I
6 didn't hate that people, and I still do not hate those people. I'm now
7 speaking about myself, but I do allow for the possibility that there are
8 other people in Kasaba, Milici, and Vlasenica and elsewhere who had
9 friends whom they wanted to help. But in order to avoid any
10 contradiction, yesterday I also said that a large number of people, a
11 large number of families, experienced losses. They lost their children,
12 the members of their families, their property was destroyed, and those
13 people truly felt hatred and intolerance. That's very indicative.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Do you remember that you stated, in the
15 interview conducted by the OTP, that on the first day, there was no
16 separation, and that you spend only about 10 minutes there at that place
17 where the evacuation was being carried out, together with Jankovic, and
18 that after that you left for your unit? Thank you.
19 A. If I remember my statements correctly, and I gave a number of
20 statements, I was there at the beginning, when the first convoy was
21 supposed to leave. It is true that in that first convoy, there were some
22 men, and there was no separation in the manner that the separation was
23 carried out later. So I claim what I saw. In the first convoy, men,
24 women, children, complete families were admitted, but that is true only
25 for the first convoy. Later on, they began to separate all the men who
1 tried to leave.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I just wanted you to confirm what you
3 said and to confirm what Mr. Egbers said. He escorted the convoy from
4 Srebrenica to Tuzla.
5 Can we raise the text so that we can see paragraph 296, where he
7 "Yes. But in the beginning, there was no selection. In the
8 beginning, they let everybody in. Only later did they start to select
9 people; on the second day."
10 So Mr. Egbers confirms this.
11 Please, while we are on the subject, I would like to ask you to
12 take a look -- or maybe we don't even have to look at it.
13 Do you remember, is it correct that you separated only about 600
14 to 650 able-bodied men in Potocari, as opposed to that other huge number
15 mentioned by you?
16 A. Yes, I can confirm that that's approximately the number. So out
17 of approximately 30.000 people present in Potocari, according to my
18 estimate, then during those two days, 600, 650, or maybe 700 men were
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
21 Now, let us take a look at 65 ter 7280, a Prosecution document,
22 page 11 in Serbian and 11 and 12 in English, line 8 to 13.
23 Here in line 8, you say:
24 "Around 650 during both days."
25 And then the investigator asks you:
1 "Both days?"
2 And you say:
3 "Yes, the 13, or, rather, the 12th and the 13th. The first day,
4 between 300 and 350, the next day between 600 and 650. I'm not sure, but
5 this is the approximate number."
6 Then the investigator says:
7 "Around 650 people in both days?"
8 And you say:
9 "Both days. So the first day, what I just said, and then the
10 next day there was again the process of separation."
11 And then in line 13, he says:
12 "Between 600 and 650."
13 Now that you remember this interview, my question is: Was that
14 the total number of people separated from the mass? Were they handed
15 over to the military police in Bratunac later on? Thank you.
16 A. Yes, I can confirm that this is the correct number that I stated
17 earlier. Later on, they were transferred to facilities for temporary
18 detention. And they were secured there, among others, by the military
19 police, but it wasn't only the military police. The civilian police was
20 also engaged in securing this facility.
21 Q. Thank you for this supplement, Mr. Nikolic. Now that we are on
22 the subject, do you remember whether people were brought to you from
23 other locations? Were those people also brought to Bratunac? Thank you.
24 A. General, sir, if you are referring to the 12th and the 13th, then
25 my answer is, yes, people were being brought from other locations, and
1 they were also accommodated in those buildings.
2 Q. Thank you. Before we move on to the next question: On the 3rd
3 of November, Mr. Baraybar testified here. On the page 7219 of the
4 transcript, lines 18 to 20, he said the minimal number of exhumed bodies
5 from the mass graves was 2.541. In the summary of the testimony of
6 Mr. Baraybar in the Popovic case, the Prosecutor stated that at least
7 2.541 people were exhumed. It means that he confirmed this number. The
8 exhumations were carried out between 1996 and 2001.
9 So considering this number, that's the number of people exhumed
10 by the International Tribunal, whose representative Mr. Baraybar was,
11 could you tell us whether that's the approximate number of people who
12 were brought to you in Bratunac from various locations? Thank you. Or
13 was it maybe a lesser number?
14 A. General, sir, I really know nothing about the numbers that you're
15 quoting. I can only say that it was really very difficult to assert the
16 precise number or even an approximate number of people brought to
17 Bratunac. I know where they were accommodated, I know what the situation
18 was like, and I know where, in the town, they were. So besides the
19 facilities I mentioned earlier, the town of Bratunac was full of buses
20 and trucks in all the parking spaces in all the streets, including the
21 parking in front of the municipality building, so it is really very
22 difficult to determine the exact number. We are talking here about a
23 large number of buses and trucks. They were coming in all the time, and
24 people were put up in the facilities that had been designated for that
25 purpose. So I don't know the number. There were many of them. I didn't
1 count them, and I didn't register the people being brought in, and I
2 really cannot answer your question in any precise way.
3 Q. Thank you. Since you are testifying here and you are the witness
4 who had most information about the situation in Bratunac, I wanted to ask
5 you because maybe you've discussed the number with the Prosecutor's
7 My question is: Bearing in mind what you stated yesterday on
8 page 79, lines 3 to 5, answering the question from Judge Nyambe, and I'm
9 not going to repeat the question because your answer was approximately
10 similar to your present answer, but then you mentioned that your estimate
11 was based:
12 "... also on the count of all the people separated in Potocari
13 and all the people who were detained and brought in Bratunac."
14 So bearing in mind your yesterday's answer and what you just said
15 now, bearing in mind that you also went to Zvornik, do you remember
16 whether that number was larger than the number mentioned by Mr. Baraybar?
17 Was it larger or smaller than 2.541? Thank you?
18 A. I can only describe what I saw, and maybe that could be the basis
19 for your estimate, just as mine. I wasn't going into details, but let me
20 give you an example.
21 The convoy that left Bratunac on the 14th carrying the prisoners
22 was about two kilometres' long. Mostly, it consisted of buses. So if we
23 look at the transport from the school, then we can see that the convoy
24 was approximately two kilometres' long. Now, how many people could have
25 been in that convoy? Bearing in mind that one convoy left Bratunac
1 towards Drina and Zvornik before that day, then I really don't know what
2 the number could be. Maybe that number is higher, according to my
3 assessment, which means that the total number of persons who left
4 Bratunac could be slightly higher. But I'm really not sure. I am just
5 speculating. I don't know. I told you the size of the convoy, I told
6 you what I know.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir --
8 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to interrupt you for a moment
10 to correct the transcript.
11 On page 29, lines 22 through 24, you put to the witness the
12 testimony of Mr. Baraybar, and you said:
13 "On the 3rd of November, Mr. Baraybar testified here. On
14 page 7219 of the transcript, lines 18 to 20, he said ..."
15 In fact, that part of the transcript was the summary of the
16 Prosecutor and not the testimony of Mr. Baraybar, just to correct that.
17 Please carry on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That's
19 quite right, and thank you for correcting the transcript.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I just wanted to ask the witness: Do you think it's close to
22 that number, 2.541, as Baraybar said? Is that the minimum number? Is
23 that the number you meant in your previous answer?
24 A. Yes, I said I really don't know the number. But if that's the
25 number determined by experts, I really have no reason to doubt it. I,
1 myself, wouldn't know. I don't want to guess.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I don't have any more questions about
4 Could we now move to the issue of --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you used 65 ter 7280, which is not
6 on the list of documents you wanted to use with the witness. What shall
7 happen with this document?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 This document was on the Prosecution list, and that's why we used
10 it. We thought that once it was proposed by the Prosecution, it may be
11 used by the Defence as well. And we would like to have it admitted, if
12 there is no objection.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Firstly, Mr. Tolimir, the list -- the purpose of
14 a list of documents to be used during cross-examination is to enable the
15 other party and the Chamber to prepare for the examination. It should be
16 a complete list. Of course, we received long lists of documents of the
17 Prosecution, but if you want to use some of these, you should include
18 them in your list.
19 Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I just want to note that -- and
21 Mr. Nikolic is no different from a lot of witnesses who have a lot of
22 prior testimony and prior statements. In order for either party to be
23 able properly to cite to a page or put it up on e-court, of course we
24 have to give it a 65 ter number and it needs to be up-loaded in e-court
25 so that we could do that mechanically. That doesn't mean automatically
1 that the Prosecution wants to introduce every single prior statement,
2 transcript of testimony, for every witness for whom it puts these things
3 on its witness list. It's a matter of mechanics, being able to work with
4 these documents, should the need arise.
5 With respect to this transcript, for example, I would just note
6 that it's 130 -- 140 pages in the English and 142 in the B/C/S. I think
7 the accused cited from three or four lines from one page, which the
8 witness confirmed. Again, for us it's, generally speaking, the more the
9 merrier, but, on the other hand, it is a huge document to up-load for the
10 purpose of three or four lines which the witness has confirmed. But I
11 just wanted to make that observation that simply because we have
12 something on our list of exhibits doesn't mean it's something we
13 necessarily want to tender at the end of the day.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this explanation.
15 Mr. Tolimir, is it perhaps possible just to tender this page of
16 the document instead of more than 140?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 We only started examining on this document. We still have time.
19 If we were to stop here, we could perhaps ask for that page, but we will
20 continue going through that statement.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine. Please continue.
22 Perhaps it's -- I heard your comment. I think it's a good time
23 for our first break, and we will resume at half past 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.07 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, to move from this subject of prisoners of war on, I
4 would like to take you back to that part of the examination-in-chief
5 where you said that there occurred a disagreement between the civilian
6 authorities and the members of the army at the meeting which you attended
7 about whether the prisoners of war should stay in Bratunac or be moved.
8 Do you recall that?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you: Did the representative of the army
11 at that meeting advocate that they should stay in Bratunac, while the
12 civilian authorities wanted them moved to Zvornik?
13 A. Yes. From what I heard, the civilian authorities wanted the
14 prisoners to be moved to Zvornik from Bratunac, whereas the
15 representative of the army advocated that they should stay in Bratunac.
16 Q. My question is: Was that perhaps influenced by the meeting in
17 Belgrade on the 14th, attended by General Mladic, among others, who
18 insisted that all prisoners of war should be registered and visited by
19 the ICRC?
20 A. General, I don't see much sense in what you're asking. I really
21 don't know about that meeting in Belgrade on the 14th. I know nothing
22 about it. But all those who were captured in Bratunac had already been
23 moved to Zvornik on the morning of the 14th. The convoy had left on the
24 morning of the 14th. But I really don't know about that meeting in
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see D3 in e-court. It's my
2 fault that I didn't show it to you before, Witness. It's a statement of
3 Major General Elliott, secretary to Mr. Carl Bildt. Once we see the
4 document, and it's on the screen now, we'll see the second paragraph.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You see it's the statement of Major-General Elliott. It says:
7 "I'm a professional officer of the British Army and hold the rank
8 of major-general."
9 Now, paragraph 2:
10 "On 14 July 1995, I travelled to Belgrade with Mr. Bildt,
11 General De Lapresle (another military adviser to Mr. Bildt) and others.
12 Mr. Bildt attended a meeting with President Slobodan Milosevic of the
13 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between approximately 1300 and 1700 hours.
14 At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Bildt debriefed the other members
15 of his delegation, including myself, on issues relating to his meeting
16 with President Milosevic. Later that same evening, at approximately 1900
17 hours, Mr. Bildt and General De Lapresle met with President Milosevic and
18 General Ratko Mladic, commander of the Main Staff of the
19 Bosnian Serb Army. This meeting concluded at approximately 2200 hours on
20 14 July 1995."
21 My question: Since this gentleman is referring to that meeting,
22 and you know that meetings are always prepared and planned, do you allow
23 the possibility that Mr. Mladic was informed in advance that this demand
24 would be made and that he had conveyed it to Mr. Beara, and could it be
25 possible that it is because of this that Beara demanded that they should
1 stay in Bratunac?
2 A. I think you're asking me to do something that I don't want to go
3 into; namely, speculation, guess-work. You're asking me, Is it possible?
4 Everything is possible, including what you say, but I don't know that.
5 So, yes, it's possible, but I don't know anything about it. I didn't
6 have that information. I knew nothing about that.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
8 Could we now look at P192, paragraph 17. And that's the
9 statement made by General Rupert Smith to the representatives of NIOD on
10 the 12th of January, 2000. It's P192, paragraph 17. It's D192,
11 paragraph 17. Thank you.
12 Could we see paragraph 17 of this statement.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Line 4 from the bottom:
15 "As Mladic said, all this happened quite unexpectedly."
16 This refers to the fall of Srebrenica. The sentence before
18 "The BiH Army fled, and Mladic, with his troops, found himself in
19 the centre of Srebrenica. He was sorry about the death of one Dutch
20 soldier. He was enraged about the air-bomb that nearly missed -- that
21 nearly hit him, and Smith said later, 'I'm sorry I missed you.' Mladic
22 said that men were being captured as prisoners, and Smith said to that
23 that they couldn't all be soldiers. Eventually, Mladic gave permission
24 for the ICRC to visit the prisoners. At the time, he was not concerned
25 about the reports that the BSA had separated men and women in Srebrenica,
1 as the BH Army did exactly the same when they captured large villages.
2 At that time, there was no knowledge of the mass killings."
3 And so on.
4 It says here that Mladic was surprised by the fall of Srebrenica,
5 it was unexpected, and you said the same in your statement. You said the
6 VRS was surprised, taken aback, by the fall of Srebrenica. Is it exact
7 that everyone, including the UNPROFOR, was taken by surprise by the
8 sudden fall of Srebrenica and the gathering of large masses of people in
9 the base in Potocari?
10 A. I can only speak in my own name. I, as an officer of the
11 Bratunac Brigade, was surprised by the way in which Srebrenica fell. And
12 later, when talking to other people, other officers, they turned out to
13 share the same opinion. All the prior knowledge and all our prior
14 evaluations about Srebrenica and what is contained in there, the
15 conclusion was that it fell very quickly and with much smaller losses
16 than could be expected, in view of the situation.
17 Q. And then we see the last bit of this paragraph 17:
18 "Eventually, Mladic gave permission for the ICRC to visit the
20 Did representatives of the ICRC come to Bratunac following this
21 approval, and did they display any interest in the prisoners?
22 A. What I know for a fact is that the ICRC came to visit the
23 wounded, but I have no information that the ICRC visited those who were
24 detained in those installations and had the status of prisoners. In
25 other words, I know that the ICRC came to the area of Srebrenica and
1 Bratunac. I know that it was Colonel Jankovic and the physician of the
2 Dutch Battalion who contacted the ICRC, and they were also the ones who
3 supervised the wounded. And I know that it was in the organisation of
4 the ICRC that the wounded were evacuated.
5 Q. So they were moved between the 13th and the 14th, and you said
6 the military wanted them to stay in Bratunac and the civilian authorities
7 wanted them moved. Was there anyone at that meeting who said -- who
8 resisted the idea of them staying in Bratunac, who wanted them moved to
9 other locations?
10 A. Nobody said they didn't want them registered in Bratunac. It's
11 as I said. Miroslav Deronjic was adamant that they should be moved from
12 Bratunac. That's what I heard with my own ears, and that's what I can
13 testify to. I was saying, in a different context, when they quarrelled,
14 both sides invoked the instructions received from their superiors as to
15 the status of the people detained in Bratunac, but I don't remember
16 hearing anyone opposing a registration of those detained. It's possible
17 that somebody said that, but not in my hearing.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 For the record, I must say that we were discussing what was said
20 on transcript page 12416, lines 12 to 14, and 1 to 7, and 46, all the way
21 up to page 12424.
22 When we look at page 12421 to page 12424, I don't want to quote
23 from the transcript, not to waste time. It's a decision -- a meeting
24 that was held on the SDS premises.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you help me.
1 Are you referring to the page numbers of another trial? And if
2 so, which one?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I asked the question
4 based on the conversation that took place at the headquarters of the SDS,
5 attended by Beara, Lasic and Deronjic.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it was a very precise question. You
7 gave a page number, and I wanted to know from which document from which
8 case. That's all.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 I'm quoting transcript from the examination-in-chief of this
11 witness. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly request that the microphone
14 be pushed a bit to the right, the left-hand microphone.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Nikolic, the Prosecutor asked you about 65 ter 728. The
17 Prosecutor asked you whether you were conveying information first to the
18 security organs and only then to your commander, and you said that you
19 would always inform your commander first, and that you never informed the
20 security organs first and your commander only later. Do you remember
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have just mentioned 65 ter 728.
24 I think that was a mistake. Perhaps you were referring to 65 ter 7280.
25 I have no idea. Look on the screen. There is a certain document. I
1 don't know if that is the right one. Please check the number.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 You're right, 7280, yes, 7280. I also noticed that something was
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Nikolic, was there a general principle in force in
7 security/intelligence organs that they should inform first their
8 immediate superiors, their commanders, and then after that the
9 appropriate commands? Thank you.
10 A. General, sir, as far as all the rules of service and the
11 relationship you just mentioned, I can answer in the affirmative. I can
12 tell you that in almost all cases, when my commander was in the brigade,
13 when he was present there, when he was available for me, all the reports
14 and everything I had to tell him during the day, I would first give to my
15 commander in my brigade. And then after that, all the information I
16 considered relevant I would include in my written daily reports which
17 were sent to the intelligence/security organ of the Drina Corps.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Now let us take a look at 7280, page 15 in Serbian and 16 in
20 English, lines 11, 12 and 13. That's where you say that. I didn't read
21 it out aloud on purpose, because I wanted you to give your answer without
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So lines 11, 12 and 13:
25 "Q. Was there ever a situation that you skipped informing the
1 commander and went straight to security/intelligence organs in the corps
2 or the Main Staff ..."
3 And then you answered:
4 "No, I did not do that."
5 And that's exactly what you just said.
6 So based on all this, my question is: Did you maybe get the
7 impression, during the investigation and during the trial, that everybody
8 wanted to think that you had some superiors outside of the brigade and
9 that your superiors were not organs of the command of the brigade? Thank
11 A. What I can say, based on my own experience during that period, is
12 approximately as follows: There was some misunderstanding about who
13 commanded the security/intelligence organs, also a misunderstanding about
14 to whom they reported, and there was one more misunderstanding or lack of
15 understanding related to command and control, on one side, and
16 professional control or directing of units. People didn't quite know
17 things in those areas, and of course I tried to explain these issues,
18 within my abilities, the relations between me and my commander, the
19 relations between me and my immediate superior professional organ, our
20 duties and our competences in that field.
21 Q. Thank you. Now we are going to move to another subject.
22 This same document, 7280, page 17 in English and 16 in Serbian,
23 lines 23 to 26. Thank you.
24 I quote from line 23 - maybe you can see it too - where you say:
25 "I was informed that on the evening on the 11th, there was going
1 to be a meeting in the Fontana Hotel. For the first time, I heard about
2 this meeting from Colonel Jankovic. We were told then that the meeting
3 was going to be between General Mladic and the representatives of the
4 Dutch Battalion."
5 Do you remember this first meeting, held in the evening on the
6 11th of July? Thank you.
7 A. Yes, I remember that meeting.
8 Q. Thank you. On page 19 in Serbian of this same document, page 22
9 in English, lines 15 and 16, you were asked:
10 "Did you know that your commander, Blagojevic -- did you know
11 where your commander was when you left the brigade?
12 "A. I didn't.
13 "Q. Was he present, and did he have command within the zone of
14 his responsibility on the 11th of July?
15 "A. Yes, he was present."
16 Now we have to clarify this.
17 Do they think -- do they intend to ask whether that he was
18 present at the meeting or whether he was present in the zone of
19 responsibility of the brigade? Could you clarify this for the record?
20 A. I think that the question was about Colonel Blagojevic being
21 present in the zone of responsibility of the brigade. That's what I
22 thought at the time, and I still think so. And I answered, yes, he was
23 present in the zone of responsibility of the brigade. As far as I know,
24 Colonel Blagojevic was not in Fontana, he did not attend the meeting.
25 Q. Thank you. I wanted to clarify this before we moved on.
1 Now, can we take a look at P591. That's a video or, rather, the
2 Srebrenica video. It lasts for 46 minutes, and we are going to see
3 that --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the numbers.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 "What do you want?
7 "I've been asked for a meeting --"
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like the video to be
9 stopped at 46:32.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you hear the first sentence, where they say General Mladic --
12 where General Mladic says:
13 "You wanted to have the meeting. What do you want?"
14 A. Yes, I heard it.
15 Q. My question is: This meeting on the evening of the 11th, was it
16 requested by Karremans or by General Mladic?
17 A. I don't know that, I don't know who requested the meeting. I was
18 only informed by Colonel Jankovic what I was supposed to do about the
19 meeting. But who asked it -- who asked for it, I wouldn't know.
20 Q. All right. But did you hear it now in the video that it was
21 Karremans who asked for the meeting?
22 Can we play this segment again. Thank you.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 "What do you want?"
25 "I've been asked for the meeting. I had a talk with
1 General Nicolai two hours ago, and also with the national authorities,
2 about the request on behalf of the population. It's a request, because
3 I'm not in a position to demand anything."
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We stopped at 47:18.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Did you hear now that Colonel Karremans says that he spoke to
7 General Nicolai in Sarajevo and also with the representative of the
8 civilian population, and that he speaks in their name, and that he
9 requests those things in their name because he's not authorised to demand
11 A. Well, I heard what it is possible to hear in this video.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We don't have the sound.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 "... and that I've been ordered by BH Command to take care of all
16 the refugees, and are now approximately 10.000 women and children within
17 the compound of Potocari. And the request of the BH Command is to --
18 let's say, to negotiate or ask for the withdrawal of the battalion and
19 withdrawal of those refugees, and if there are possibilities to assist
20 that withdrawal. There are some women who are able to --"
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 We stopped at 48:34.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Did you hear Karremans say, and the interpreter interpret, that
25 he had received an order from the UNPROFOR Command in Sarajevo to
1 negotiate about the evacuation? Thank you.
2 A. Yes, I heard it.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Can we now see this video from 48:34 further on. Thank you.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 "And what I've heard from all those soldiers who are now working
7 to -- let's say, to ease the pain for the population ... a lot of
8 people -- a lot of persons, women, said, 'We are waiting for the buses
9 and can we leave the enclave,' because they are sick, tired, they are
10 very scared --"
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we stop.
12 We stopped at 49.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
14 Q. Did you hear when Karremans said that the population was waiting
15 for the buses so that they could leave the enclave?
16 A. Yes, I heard it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we move on from 49:05. Thank
19 [Video-clip played]
20 "And I've been asked by General Nicolai -- asked for, let's say,
21 for a kind of humanitarian assistance, like food and medicines, because
22 even in my battalion I don't have fuel, almost nothing, fuel left,
23 because of the rejection of all the clearances of the last four months.
24 We have been --"
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In your conversation with the Prosecutor, you said that you were
2 present at all three meetings held in Fontana. You said that you secured
3 all the three meetings with the police forces, and that you were in
4 another room, but that the door between the larger and the smaller room
5 was open. Is that so? Thank you.
6 A. General, sir, you said something probably by accident. You said
7 that I was present at all three meetings and that I had declared that
8 before. If you're talking about the organisation of the three meeting,
9 then I would agree with you. I was present during the preparations for
10 the three meetings, and I secured the participants of all three meetings.
11 However, during the first two meetings, I was inside Fontana, inside the
12 building, while during the third meeting I was not inside with the
14 Q. Yes, I agree with you, that's exactly what you said, but I wanted
15 to avoid quoting all the pages.
16 Now, since you were present at the first meeting, tell the
17 Trial Chamber at whose initiative the first meeting was held. Was it the
18 initiative of General Mladic or Karremans? And who was it who demanded
19 the evacuation of the civilian population?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have asked this question some
21 minutes ago. You received the answer. The witness didn't know. He just
22 was only able to confirm what he heard in the video. Please, no
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 On the basis of the video, and since he said that he was present
1 during the first meeting, I'm asking you -- I'm asking him if he knows,
2 since he was present, who requested the meeting, Was it Mladic or
3 somebody else? I leave it in your hands. If you believe that this
4 question is not important, then I will move to another one.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you misunderstood.
6 You put the question several minutes ago to the witness, and he
7 said he didn't know. That's all. Please, don't put this question a
8 third or a fourth time, and continue, please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I stopped the video and asked you whether you heard,
12 whether you heard, whether you heard. Now, based on the entire video,
13 could you please tell us who asked for the evacuation of civilians from
14 Potocari? Thank you.
15 A. General, sir, you are insisting on an answer. I just want to be
17 After -- or looking at this video footage and reminding myself of
18 the events that are recorded here, I can completely answer your question
19 that the meeting was initiated by Mr. Karremans, the DutchBat commander,
20 and I can say that after looking at the video, but I want to be very
21 precise. I didn't know that when I got the assignment to secure the
22 Fontana, and I didn't go it, I didn't pay attention to particulars. I
23 did observe what was going on, but I didn't pay attention to who
24 requested the meeting and things like that. After looking and listening
25 to the footage, I can say that it was Mr. Karremans.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to put a correction on the record.
2 This document is not P591, but P991, the trial video.
3 Please continue.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Nikolic, can you please tell us when the second meeting at
6 the Fontana Hotel was held? Why was it held, and at whose initiative?
7 A. The second meeting at the Fontana was held on that same evening
8 at about 2200 hours, 2215 hours. I don't know the precise time, but it
9 was approximately then. And I think it was held at the request of
10 General Mladic, who insisted that they bring representatives of the
11 28th Division of the Muslim army to the meeting. That's what I heard,
12 after the first meeting and the request by General Mladic to return that
13 same evening.
14 Q. And were you there that same evening on the 11th, at the second
15 meeting held at the request of General Mladic, who requested
16 representatives of the Muslim army? Do you know what happened at that
17 meeting, what was discussed?
18 A. I was at the Hotel Fontana. I know that at the second meeting,
19 that evening the Serbian side was present, General Mladic, and a group of
20 officers with him. It was also attended by representatives of DutchBat,
21 the commander and his associates. There was also a representative of the
22 Muslim side. I think his name was Nesib Mandzic.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know what the representatives of the Muslim
24 side requested at the meeting between the UNPROFOR, Mladic and them?
25 Thank you.
1 A. I don't recall the details from the meeting. Generally, what I
2 remember is that there was discussion about their status, the fate of
3 those people, their possible evacuation, and the issue of fuel and
4 problems relating to the overall situation in Potocari. I think that one
5 of the requests was, and that was something that General Mladic insisted
6 on in particular, that the Muslim army had to surrender, lay down their
7 weapons. So other than the question of the status of those in Potocari,
8 there was also emphasis on this second issue.
9 Q. Thank you. Was there a third meeting held the following day?
10 A. Yes. The third meeting was held the following day, the 12th,
11 also at the Fontana.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Since you were not at
13 the third meeting, can we now look at the video from 1:47 -- 1 hour and
14 47 minutes and 8 seconds to 1 hour, 50 minutes and 36 seconds. Thank
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 We've stopped the video at 1:49:32.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. My question is this: Have you heard now whether General Mladic
21 asked everyone to lay down their weapons and then would be permitted to
22 go anywhere, in all the four directions, according to their wishes?
23 A. Yes, I heard what General Mladic stated.
24 Q. Did you hear that General Mladic asked the Muslim representatives
25 at the second meeting to inform the soldiers, and the woman in the
1 delegation asked him how they should get in touch with them, and then he
2 answered her, You should know that? Did you hear that?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. This is my next question: Did the Army of Republika Srpska
5 persistently insist that weapons be handed over and that the civilians
6 could go wherever they wanted, in all the four directions, or that they
7 could remain in their homes? Thank you.
8 A. General, sir, I can confirm what I heard at the second meeting,
9 and that is that General Mladic insisted that members of the Muslim army
10 be disarmed, that they hand over their weapons, and that he would
11 guarantee their safety. This is what I can confirm. And, of course, if
12 this is the third meeting on the 12th, I don't know what happened at that
13 meeting, I don't know any details. But now I'm looking at this footage.
14 These are details from that third meeting on the 12th. And a part of
15 what I heard on the first meeting on the 11th, in the evening, is
16 repeated, and that is the surrender, his guarantee of safety, demand for
17 fuel and assistance. This also was talked about at the second meeting.
18 I don't recall all the details, but that was the gist of it.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Yes, this was the third meeting. This
20 is why I wanted to show it to you, because you said that you were busy
21 with other things, that you were not at the meeting room. I wanted you
22 to hear what General Mladic demanded, and I wanted to ask you: Did he
23 keep on asking for the weapons to be handed over and then they could go
24 wherever they wanted? And you replied to that. All right, thank you.
25 My next question is this: During the first part of the first
1 meeting, did you hear Mr. Karremans say that there was no fuel, that the
2 reserves were running low, and that General Mladic then said at the
3 meeting that he would provide the vehicles and that the fuel should be
4 supplied by --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of that.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard that Mr. Karremans
7 complained that he did not have fuel, and I heard Mladic's proposal at
8 the third meeting, when he again insists that they should provide the
9 fuel and the Army of Republika Srpska would provide the vehicles, the
10 trucks and the buses.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Do you know who provided the fuel for the evacuation of this
13 population from Potocari to the territory under Bosnian control, through
14 the territory of Republika Srpska? Thank you.
15 A. The information that I have from the logistics organs from my
16 brigade is that the fuel was provided by UNPROFOR, and that buses and all
17 the other transport vehicles that were used were mobilised by the
18 Defence Ministry of Republika Srpska, and that those vehicles were used
19 in the evacuation.
20 Q. In view of this, and in order to avoid going again through the
21 statement you gave to the Prosecutor, is it correct that you were
22 frequently placed in the role as if you made the evacuation, as if the
23 VRS did the evacuation, and nobody is saying that the UNPROFOR requested
24 the evacuation and that they provided the fuel for that evacuation?
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note: We did not understand
1 the end of the sentence. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot reply in the
3 affirmative in that context, that I -- as you said it now. I believe
4 also, and I think there was no dilemma or discussion about that, is that
5 the Army of Republika Srpska and the police did carry out the evacuation
6 of the population from Potocari. The details that you are referring to
7 about who requested the evacuation, and so on and so forth, are something
8 that I do not recall. I don't ever remember discussing the question who
9 asked for this first. Or if we did, I no longer recall that. What is
10 important for me, though, and what I'm sure of is that the army and the
11 police conducted the evacuation, but that the members of the UNPROFOR
12 force did take a substantial part in all aspects of that evacuation.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. We only have half an hour left, so I
15 would like to ask you to look at a document that deals with convoys.
16 Before that, can you please tell us whether there was --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. -- a Captain Novakovic who dealt with humanitarian activities and
20 convoys? Thank you.
21 A. I'm sorry, Your Honours. Can I just be permitted to see on the
22 monitor when the general completes his questions, because I have the text
23 of a statement on both of my screens.
24 All right, thank you, thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. I will repeat my question. I asked if you know of a
4 Captain Novakovic. I'm going to say his name now, Slavko Novakovic. And
5 did you have any contacts with him during the period before the convoys
6 were supposed to depart?
7 A. I know him, more or less. I'm familiar with the name Novakovic.
8 I did hear of it. I don't know if he was a captain or had some other
9 rank. I know the name, though. And what I know pertains to the officer
10 who was the commander of the Drina Corps and who was dealing with the
11 passage of convoys and anything that had to do with humanitarian aid.
12 I would just like to provide one more piece of information. I
13 know who he is. However, very frequent contacts, in the sense of
14 resolving problems, were part of the duties of a chief who was at
15 Zuti Most. They would get in touch with each other and deal with these
16 matters very frequently to resolve the problems there.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at the document that
18 says "Movement of Convoys." The document was drafted by Mr. Novakovic,
19 and we will now see here where he talks about routes and movement of
20 convoys. And then he emphasises, in the second part, where he talks
21 about Zuti Most, Bratunac towards Srebrenica. This is the route that
22 he's dealing with, and this is the document movement by convoys, teams
23 and individuals from UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisation. And before
24 this "B) Manner of Control," I'm reading:
25 "One person, a reserve captain at Drina Corps Command, daily
1 monitors the entry and movement of convoys from UNPROFOR and humanitarian
2 organisations, and addresses immediate problems, and reports to the VRS
3 Main Staff on the passage of convoys, in accordance with the orders and
4 instructions of the VRS Main Staff."
5 So he is talking about his own post and his own duties.
6 Do you recognise here whether he's talking about himself or if
7 he's talking about somebody else? He's saying that there is somebody in
8 the Drina Corps who is constantly carrying out these checks or is
9 monitoring this.
10 A. General, I didn't look at the heading of the document, so I don't
11 know what it says. At the top, I don't know what kind of a document this
12 is. Ah, all right, very well.
13 Again, I don't see anything other than movements of convoys, and
14 so on and so forth. There is no heading. But if this is signed by
15 Novakovic, I assume that this is the officer who was in charge of the
16 convoy, and he was part of my superior command, the Drina Corps Command.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you.
18 Can we move to --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, before you move on, I would like to
20 know the number of this document. You just mentioned the title,
21 "Movement of Convoys."
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 The number of the document is D73, D73.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
25 Please carry on, and help the witness to find the title or the
1 author of something like this.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Could e-court please show the last part of the document, where we
4 will be able to see the signature of the person who drafted the document.
5 And that is "Captain Slavko Novakovic," that's how the document is
6 signed. Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. On page 2, in paragraph marked "C," he talks about the conduct
9 and abuses by the UNPROFOR.
10 Can we look at page 2 now, please.
11 And then we have the dashes here. Above the dashes, it says:
12 "Transport of goods which are not permitted at all; transport of
13 goods which did not constitute humanitarian aid in convoys of
14 humanitarian organisations; and transport of goods and quantities greater
15 than those permitted; attempts at border crossing without VRS Main Staff
17 My question is: At the Zuti Most check-point, did you establish
18 similar problems in convoys that were coming through there?
19 A. Yes, our problems were similar to the problems listed here;
20 transport of goods that were not permitted and then over-shooting the
21 quantities allowed. And at the Yellow Bridge, there were cases where
22 people tried to transport the goods that did not come under the
23 humanitarian aid. The problems were similar. My answer is that this is
24 a good depiction of the problems related to the convoys.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Our time is limited.
1 Could you take a look at the tables attached to this document, tables
2 containing the data about the 8th that came in in 1994.
3 Can we take a look at 65 ter 5284. Thank you. 65 ter 5284.
4 Thank you. Now we see the table.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Let us just take a look at "Flour." 305 tons for Srebrenica,
7 362 tons in March for Gorazde, 72 tons for Zepa. Then in April, again
8 387 for Srebrenica; then fuel, 531 tons for Gorazde and 77 tons for Zepa,
9 and so on and so forth. So this is an overview that he made for all the
10 months. Here, we only see 1994, but he also made the same overview for
12 Please -- yes, we can hear it, March and April 1995.
13 Did you have similar tables or this kind of information which
14 testified that these are the quantities of flour and other products that
15 arrived at Srebrenica? Thank you.
16 A. Before I answer this question, I just want to add something to
17 the previous answer. I just want to be precise about these violations
18 and infringements of discipline. I want to emphasise that these were
19 individual, one-off cases due to the lack of discipline of individual
20 members of the convoy. It was not common practice. And based on what we
21 were able to discover, the offenders did not have approval or the consent
22 of those in whose name they were acting. And I am aware of only
23 individual cases which were disciplined and punished, those who breached
24 the rules applying to the entry of convoys.
25 Now, whether we, in the Bratunac Brigade, made summaries and
1 itemised overviews of this kind, I don't know. We kept in our
2 documentation the original approvals and listings so that at any time,
3 anyone who wanted to was able to make an itemised overview for any period
4 they were interested in. But I didn't make any such overviews in this
5 period, and I didn't see any at the Yellow Bridge. Maybe the leader of
6 that check-point did, but I haven't seen any.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, maybe we don't have the right page on
9 the screen, but at page 56, line 20, General Tolimir was reading from the
10 document, and he said that then for April again, some quantity for
11 Srebrenica, then fuel, 531 tons for Gorazde and 77 tons for Zepa. He
12 specifically said "fuel," according to the transcript, anyway. And I am
13 looking at this exhibit, and those amounts of 531 and 77 are for flour
14 for Gorazde and Zepa for April. So unless he misspoke or unless we've
15 got a transcript problem, I don't know where he's getting fuel from, from
16 this chart, anyway. Maybe he's looking at a different chart, but I don't
17 see a reference to fuel. It's all food.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, item number 1 is "Flour." Do you want to
19 clarify that, Mr. Tolimir?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 I may have made a slip of the tongue. If I did, I'm happy to be
22 corrected. I was reading the quantities of flour for Srebrenica, Gorazde
23 and Zepa for March and April, as expressed in tons.
24 Could this be admitted so I can move on in the few minutes I have
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 5284 shall be
3 assigned Exhibit D209. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now have 65 ter 7290,
6 page 1 and page 5 on a split screen, because both the English and the
7 Serbian are in the same document.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We see on the screen one statement that you addressed to a
10 Trial Chamber of the ICTY. It says: "13 March 2009." For what purpose
11 did you write this statement?
12 A. General, from the first paragraph you can see for what purpose
13 the statement was written. It says on 13 March, 2009, I received an
14 order from the Trial Chamber to submit a written statement confirming my
15 statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility, or indicating parts
16 of the statement of facts which I wished to change or clarify, providing
17 an explanation. So it was written with the purpose of clarifying certain
18 words and the way in which certain things were phrased and defined. I
19 wanted to make it absolutely clear what I meant to say, in which way I
20 wanted to say it, so that it be a reflection of what I actually said and
21 did. That was the main intention behind writing this statement; namely,
22 clearing up matters with which I did not agree entirely in the way they
23 were phrased.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Just tell me, who formulated the
25 provisions of the statement of acceptance of responsibility, your plea
2 A. All the facts and everything else was phrased and prepared by my
3 legal counsel. They were in charge of writing all these agreements and
4 of making sure that everything is written correctly.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Can we see the next page in the Serbian, while the English should
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We'll look at the paragraph which begins: "Paragraph 1 of the
10 statement (lines 4 to 5, paragraph 1)":
11 "The intentions of the VRS forces ... to cause the forcible
12 removal of the entire Muslim population from Srebrenica ..."
13 "The (first) intention of the VRS was to physically separate the
14 two enclaves, Zepa and Srebrenica, and to liberate the
15 Zeleni Jadar-Jasenova-Milici road, and, in phase 2, to reduce the
16 Srebrenica enclave to the town area."
17 And then you say:
18 "The forcible removal of the entire Muslim population from
19 Srebrenica was the result of the fall of the enclave and subsequent
21 Now, my question on this would be --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. What was the purpose of attacking the enclave? Do you remember
25 that? What was the main objective?
1 A. Concerning the reasons for attacking the enclave, I believe I've
2 already spoken about that earlier in my testimony. But if you want me to
3 repeat, it's not a problem. However, if you're asking me about
4 paragraph 1 of this statement, I should like, before you and before the
5 Trial Chamber, to explain what I meant and what I understand by this;
6 that is, what I knew before the attack on the enclave. Namely, as I
7 wrote here, the first intention of the VRS was to physically separate the
8 two enclaves, Zepa and Srebrenica. That's what I knew, as a soldier, and
9 I believe I heard that from General Zivanovic and other officers I was in
10 contact with. But I certainly heard it from General Zivanovic. And, in
11 truth, I believe that when one is explaining the situation, one should
12 separate this first part, the combat operations, the offensive actions,
13 the attack on the enclave and its capture, from the second part which
14 relates to the activities and decisions and events that followed the fall
15 of the enclave. In other words, all that I knew before the attack was
16 that we wanted to separate Zepa from Srebrenica.
17 In my view, this entire operation, at least the combat/military
18 aspect of it, began approximately on the day when the check-point in
19 Zeleni Jadar was taken over. That was followed by a pause and the
20 introduction of armed forces, and that was the first part. Then came the
21 second part after the combat operations had already started. That was to
22 enter the enclave, narrow it down and reduce it to the urban area.
23 However, I said in prior testimony, and I said today, I believe,
24 that the resistance from within the enclave was poor and that the VRS
25 forces took the enclave with an unexpected ease. In my understanding,
1 based on what I saw and what I lived through there, the combat aspect of
2 the attack on Srebrenica ended with the fall on the enclave.
3 Now, the other part and all the decisions regarding the status of
4 prisoners and civilians, and their transfer and forcible removal, all
5 these decisions, in my deep conviction, were taken after the fall of the
6 enclave, at the meetings where Mladic met with DutchBat, international
7 organisations, representatives of the civilian organisations, et cetera.
8 It is from these meetings that decisions followed what to do with the
9 civilian population. That was what I intended to explain in my testimony
10 and in my statements. That's how I see things.
11 Q. Let us look at the last two sentences of this paragraph one. You
13 "The forcible removal of the entire Muslim population of
14 Srebrenica was the result of the fall of the enclave and subsequent
16 My question is: Could removal be forcible if the population had
17 expressed their desire to leave, and even the UNPROFOR conveyed to the
18 VRS, as represented by General Mladic, the wish of the citizens to leave?
19 A. General, formally and legally speaking, you are right only if you
20 think -- only if you view things from that point of view. But what I'm
21 saying, I'm saying from the viewpoint of what I saw. I'm saying this
22 because I saw the actual result of all these agreements.
23 The Muslims, formally and legally speaking, had the choice to go
24 or to stay. But in practice, I assert with full responsibility they had
25 no choice, in view of the entire situation, the hatred that prevailed, in
1 view of all the killings and conflicts that preceded this, the mutual
2 desire for revenge. I assert there was no practical possibility for them
3 to survive. The only way to resolve this was for all of them to leave
4 that area which was their home.
5 And let me say one more thing. I have never known -- never met
6 anyone in my life who would, of their own free will, abandon everything
7 they had, their entire life as they knew it. Nobody would do that
8 overnight of their own free will. And that's why I stand by my statement
9 that it was a forcible transfer, that perhaps 95 per cent of everyone who
10 was then in Potocari really wanted to stay there and were transferred
11 against their will. I saw all that, and it is my deep conviction that it
12 was a forcible removal, regardless of the formally-expressed consent of
13 their representatives and the desire to -- they expressed to leave. They
14 had to leave Potocari to leave their homes and property, to take their
15 families with them and leave.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. I didn't want to interrupt you, and now
17 we heard your opinion.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. An opinion different from the actual fact and the things that
20 were going on and the demands posed by the Muslims.
21 Now, let us take a look at P1004 -- P1104.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
23 Just for the record, we don't have the record in e-court at the
24 moment, it is not going on. But in LiveNote, everything was recorded
25 correctly, so that we can continue. But it's not possible to have the
1 document on the screen at the same time with the transcript on LiveNote.
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender into
4 evidence what we now see on the screen so that we can move on to another
5 document, because we are running out of time.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are referring to 65 ter 7290; is that
8 It will be received as a document.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7290 shall be
10 assigned Exhibit D210. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You can maybe postpone other decisions on other
12 documents, but there are still some pending.
13 Please continue your examination now.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have P1004. Thank you.
15 And while we are waiting for it, I will say that on page 897,
16 line 15, until page 898, line 5, transcript in the Krstic case, while
17 explaining the events on the 12th of July, 1995, he said the following,
18 and I quote:
19 "Of course, the refugees were scared to death when they saw the
20 buses. For them, it was a sign. We are going to be taken to safety, so
21 let us quickly board the buses. We have to board the buses as fast as
22 possible. I have to be the first. That's what I talked about in
23 relation to the buses. First, the wounded people - that's what
24 Mr. Mandzic requested - then elderly people and women. After that, the
25 remainder also had to be evacuated."
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you for a moment.
2 I don't know what you are reading into this transcript. If this
3 is P1004, it is a transcript of a witness in Krstic under seal. It
4 should not be broadcast, and it is a problem if you read it into the
5 transcript. But I think it is a witness which is not protected.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was told by the Registrar this is now a public
9 Please continue, Mr. Tolimir. I was only referring to your own
10 list of documents.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will continue to quote the
13 "At that moment, everybody was able to stand up, pick up their
14 things and enter the buses. They over-crowded the buses. We tried to
15 arrange at that moment to put a UN soldier in each bus to accompany and
16 escort them, but that was not possible because the buses were too
18 And then Mr. Rave was asked -- and so on and so forth.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. My question is: Did you see the same situation in Potocari
21 during the evacuation of the civilian population from Potocari towards
22 Kladanj? Thank you.
23 A. Yes, I saw general chaos and all the problems that were there
24 related to the transport.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have D147, D147.
1 This document is a UN document. It is dated 11th of July, 1995.
2 I made a mistake. I have to repeat the number. D147. Maybe I
3 misspoke. D147. Thank you.
4 Thank you. I wanted to show to the witness the document entitled
5 "The UN Policy and Documents Related to the Security Council," dated
6 11th of July, but it seems that I've given the wrong number, and that's
7 why we cannot call up the document.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My question is: Mr. Nikolic, did you know that the
10 United Nations, as far back as the 11th of July, 1995, promulgated an act
11 entitled "The Policy of the Peacekeeping Forces of the United Nations,"
12 in which they considered the withdrawal of the civilian population from
13 the protected area? So that is on the 11th, the same day that Nicolai
14 ordered Karremans to negotiate about the evacuation of civilians. Did
15 you know that or not? Thank you.
16 A. I didn't know that.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you know that the policy of the UNHCR was also
18 defined in this document, and they also reported that 80 to 90 per cent
19 of the population of Srebrenica was made up of displaced persons who
20 wanted to leave Srebrenica and go to Tuzla as soon as possible? Thank
21 you. Did you know about this assessment of the UNHCR, UNPROFOR, and
22 others who were present in the area? Thank you.
23 A. I did not have a chance to see those assessments. I don't
24 remember seeing a single document containing something like that.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Oh, my assistant just
1 told me that I permitted [as interpreted] the number. It should have
2 been 174 and not 147. That's why we couldn't call up the document.
3 Now we can see the document on the screen. So that's a document
4 sent by Mr. Annan. It was received by Mr. Annan, and it was sent by
5 Mr. Akashi.
6 I would like to take a look at B, page 2 in Serbian, and in
7 English it's also page 2. I'm only interested in the paragraph marked
8 with the letter B.
9 Now we can see it. I'm going to quote just the first sentence,
10 because we don't have enough time, so that we can see what were the views
11 UNHCR about the situation:
12 "UNHCR reports that 80 to 90 per cent of the population of
13 Srebrenica (total population is 40.000) are displaced persons who fled
14 fighting earlier in the war. Thus, they do not have long-standing ties
15 to homes and property in the enclave and will probably be interested in
16 leaving for Tuzla. A UNHCR local staff member in Srebrenica reported
17 today that virtually everyone in the enclave wishes to leave."
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. My question: Did you have information about the assessment made
20 by the UNHCR and UNPROFOR about this situation? Did you know that they
21 had explicit information that the population wanted to leave the enclave
22 even on the 11th of July? Thank you.
23 A. General, sir, I did not have their assessments. I did not have a
24 chance to see that. But if you are interested in the conversations I had
25 and what I learned there, I can tell you that I heard from the members of
1 the Dutch Battalion that a large number of the civilians wanted to leave
2 the Srebrenica enclave. That's what I knew.
3 Now, talking about these political decisions and assessments, I
4 have to say that I never saw this document or any other document by UNHCR
5 or the Dutch Battalion that would contain something like this.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Nikolic, for all the
7 effort that you made, for the fact that you put yourself at the disposal
8 of the Prosecution and Defence during all this time. Do excuse me if I
9 in any way contributed to anything that might hurt you. You are in the
10 same position as me. I apologise. I wish you a safe journey, and I wish
11 a speedy return to your home.
12 Mr. President, Defence has finished. We do not have any more
13 questions in the cross-examination. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. Excuse me.
16 Thank you. I would also like to thank you because you performed a very
17 correct cross-examination. I respect you very much as a general and an
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have our second break now, but I would
20 like to ask the Defence to check the documents you have used during the
21 cross-examination during the break, especially which part of 65 ter 7280
22 you want to tender. There were very few pages out of this huge document
23 we have used with the witness. And I would like to refer you to
24 65 ter 7274 you used as well during the cross-examination, and I would
25 like to know what shall happen to this document.
1 We adjourn and resume 12.35 [sic] sharp. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 1.12 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.39 p.m.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir or Mr. Gajic, could you indicate the
5 page numbers you want to tender?
6 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, even though we had a
7 little bit of a problem with the transcript during the break, we did,
8 nevertheless, manage to get the required references.
9 When we're talking about document 65 ter 7280, the Defence would
10 request that pages 11, 15, 16 and 19 be admitted in the Serbian, and the
11 corresponding pages in the English would be 11, 12, 16, 17 and 20.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 Let me ask you the following: I received in the meantime a
14 proposal by the Registry that you perhaps up-load these pages as a
15 separate document, so then it is very clear that we have only these pages
16 as a document admitted into evidence. And if there is a need to deal
17 with this document at a later stage, the original document, it's easier
18 for the Registry to use it. Would that be possible for you?
19 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I absolutely agree
20 with your suggestion. And then, in that case, the Defence would -- in
21 reference to 7280 and 7284, would like to also go through the transcript
22 again and check whether our reference are correct, and would read only
23 those pages into the court under the 65 ter Defence number, and then we
24 would ask for that to be admitted. We would like to ask, for the purpose
25 of preparations of the next witness, to be permitted to do this on Friday
1 so that on Monday we can definitely resolve this matter.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a good proposal. We should do that
4 But I see on page 69, line 9, a wrong number, I think. It
5 shouldn't be "65 ter 7284," but "7274." Is that correct?
6 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Then we have everything
8 clear on the record. But I can tell you the documents in this format
9 will be received as exhibits.
10 Now it's the turn for the Prosecution to commence the
12 Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
15 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Nikolic.
16 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Thayer.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I would like to indicate that we are inclined
18 to sit the full three-quarters of an hour for the remaining of the day.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you for that information, Mr. President.
20 Q. Just one quick follow-up from a question General Tolimir put to
21 you earlier today, and this was with respect to the ICRC coming to
22 Bratunac. And you answered at page 38 that:
23 "What I know for a fact is that the ICRC came to visit the
24 wounded, but I have no information that the ICRC visited those who were
25 detained in those installations and had the status of prisoners."
1 You say:
2 "I know it was Colonel Jankovic and the physician of the
3 Dutch Battalion who contacted the ICRC, and they were also the ones who
4 supervised the wounded."
5 I'm just going to wait until that gets translated to you.
6 Do you remember that answer from earlier today, sir?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. My question is simply: Do you recall when, in relation to the
9 two days of the removal of the civilian population, the 12th and the 13th
10 of July, the arrival of the ICRC to look at the wounded and the
11 transportation of those wounded occurred? Do you remember whether it was
12 the same days as the 12th and the 13th, a few days later, a few weeks
13 later? Can you give us some time-frame for when this visit by the ICRC
14 of the wounded occurred that Colonel Jankovic, as you said, was involved
16 A. The ICRC came to Bratunac, from what I remember, after those
17 days, and it was about evacuating all the wounded who had been placed at
18 the Health Centre in Bratunac. I believe it was a few days after the
19 12th and the 13th.
20 Q. Okay. One other quick follow-up. In answer to a question from
21 General Tolimir and, I think, The Honourable Presiding Judge about this
22 list that you had in your office, you referred to the attack on Kravica,
23 where you gave a certain number of civilians who were killed and soldiers
24 who were killed, and in the transcript we had you saying that that attack
25 occurred in 1992. The Trial Chamber has heard a lot of testimony. I
1 believe you, yourself, may have testified about an attack that is well
2 known on Orthodox Christmas on January 7, 1993. My question to you is
3 simply: When you were answering the question earlier today, were you
4 describing another attack on Kravica from 1992 or were you referring to
5 the well-known Kravica Christmas attack of January 7th, 1993?
6 A. I think you misunderstood me about that answer I gave to the
7 Presiding Judge. I said, "For example," and then I mentioned the attack
8 on Kravica, so I wasn't speaking about a specific attack on Kravica. And
9 for you present in the courtroom here, the attack of the 7th of January
10 may be the most prominent, and I know about it, but I was just citing an
11 example, saying in case of attack or attacks on villages such as Kravica.
12 And in 1992, there were about 30 attacks of that kind. So I wasn't
13 talking specifically about the attack on Kravica of the 7th of January,
15 Q. Okay. That's all I wanted to clarify.
16 Now, let's go to D210, please. You were just shown this
18 You testified about this shortly before the break. You've
19 identified this as a supplementary statement. General Tolimir drew your
20 attention to the language that you were trying to clarify, and in your
21 statement here, you specifically refer to paragraph 1 of the statement,
22 lines 4 to 5, paragraph 1.
23 And I think we need to scroll down in the B/C/S to catch that
24 part. There we go.
25 Do you see where you've written:
1 "Paragraph 1 of the statement (lines 4 to 5, paragraph 1)"?
2 This is what you were shown by General Tolimir earlier.
3 A. Yes, I can see that.
4 Q. Let's take a look at the original statement of facts and
5 acceptance of responsibility that you were attempting to clarify and
6 correct with the document that we're looking at right now.
7 If we could look at 65 ter 7291, please.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just for the record, this is
9 Exhibit P2157. Thank you.
10 MR. THAYER: And we will need page 19 of the English and page 27
11 of the B/C/S, please.
12 Q. Now, we have here what's headed "Statement of Facts and
13 Acceptance of Responsibility." Is this the document that's referred to
14 in D210, the supplementary statement that we just saw a moment ago?
15 A. Yes, that's the document.
16 Q. Okay. And in the document we saw just a moment ago, in the
17 portion that General Tolimir asked you about, it refers to paragraph 1 of
18 this statement that we're looking at, lines 4 to 5. We just read that
19 out on your supplementary statement, so let's look at that language here.
20 And, again, it's -- and I'll just read it into the record:
21 "During the attack and take-over of the Srebrenica enclave by VRS
22 forces in July 1995, it was the intention of the VRS forces to cause the
23 forcible removal of the entire Muslim population from Srebrenica to
24 Muslim-held territory."
25 Do you see that, sir, in paragraph 1?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Okay. Do you remember being asked about these two exact portions
3 of this document and the supplemental statement that we just looked at a
4 moment ago in the Popovic case, in cross-examination by the counsel for
5 accused Vujadin Popovic? Do you remember having these same portions put
6 to you in the Popovic trial? Do you remember that, sir?
7 A. I can't remember that I was shown excerpts from that statement in
8 parallel with the statement of facts and acceptance of responsibility. I
9 may have been shown that, but I've been shown hundreds of documents. I
10 may have been asked about this, and I may have been shown this, but I
11 really don't remember.
12 Q. Okay. Well, let me see if I can help you out.
13 Can we take a look at 65 ter 7301, please. This is the
14 transcript of Mr. Nikolic's Popovic testimony, and we'll need to look at
15 22 April 2009. I believe it's his second day of testimony in that case.
16 Specifically, page 33001.
17 A. Sorry. What I remember -- and it's good that the Presiding Judge
18 in that trial asked me to clarify this issue, namely, what I meant. I
19 remember that clearly, but I don't remember this.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is really illegible.
21 MR. THAYER: Yes. I'll just read it, Mr. President.
22 Unfortunately, we've got a bad copy here.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. In fact -- and again, Mr. Nikolic, I'm referring to your
1 testimony in the Popovic trial. And beginning at page 33001,
2 Mr. Zivanovic, who was the lawyer for Vujadin Popovic, put your statement
3 of facts on the e-court and looked at the same paragraph 1 that we just
4 looked at. And a few pages earlier, he had put the portion of your
5 supplemental statement that General Tolimir asked you about on the screen
6 as well.
7 And if we scroll down all the way to the bottom, please.
8 Mr. Zivanovic asks you:
9 "Statement of facts in item 1, paragraph 2, it says: Intention
10 of the VRS during the attack on the Srebrenica enclave and its taking
11 over by forces of the Republika Srpska in July 1995, was to cause the
12 forcible removal of the entire Muslim population from Srebrenica to
13 Muslim-held territory."
14 And Mr. Zivanovic had shown you your supplemental statement about
15 this portion, and he asked you:
16 "What I questioned you about a moment ago, do you believe it to
17 be the same as is contained in this document?"
18 And your answer was:
19 "What we can find in the previous statement and the subsequent
20 statement is something I believe to be the same, the same goal and the
21 same results of the attack on Srebrenica enclave. You can interpret it
22 any which way you want, but the goal of the VRS forces was to have the
23 Srebrenica enclave empty of Muslims. Whether it was achieved this way or
24 that does not matter. The enclave of Srebrenica became empty of any
25 Muslims, and that was the final goal. No one can deny that."
1 And I'll just stop there for a moment.
2 My question to you is: Do you stand by that answer you gave in
3 the Popovic trial?
4 A. Yes, I do stand by that answer. I don't think differently now.
5 And with the additional statement, and I said this in today's testimony
6 as well, I just attempted to clarify that in stages, the way I understood
7 it and the way it happened, I tried to explain the combat part, and then
8 after combat was over, the forceful transfer operation, that second part,
9 as well as the decisions that were made after the fall of Srebrenica.
10 And I still believe that the ultimate goal was to have Srebrenica, as an
11 enclave, cleansed to carry out the forcible transfer of Muslims from that
12 territory. I believe that today, too.
13 MR. THAYER: Okay. And if we could scroll down just a little bit
14 so I can pick up the rest of your answer and we can all read it. And
15 just a little bit more, please. Great.
16 Q. In fact, sir, you continue with your answer, and you explain, and
17 I'll quote:
18 "What I was trying to make clear to everyone, to make it clear
19 for the Bench and everyone else, was to explain the flow of the
20 operation, the way it developed. I tried to explain in which way the
21 attack took place and how it came about that people began leaving
22 Srebrenica and forcibly transferred to the Muslim-controlled territory.
23 That was my goal, and you should see that as my answer. The goal is the
24 same. The final goal was to have the enclave empty, and all documents,
25 if you look at them, starting with the directive from the Main Staff and
1 the information of Commander Ognjenovic, points to the fact that this was
2 the goal of the attack on the enclave."
3 My question is, again: Do you stand by that portion of you
4 answer in the Popovic trial, sir?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 MR. THAYER: Now I want to show you -- before I do that,
7 Mr. President -- oh, I see it's already an exhibit. Never mind. I was
8 going to tender the original statement of facts.
9 May we see 65 ter 2478, please.
10 Q. Sir, take a moment and have a look at this document. Please let
11 us know when you're ready to move on.
12 A. I've looked at the document. And if you need me to go into it in
13 more detail, just let me know.
14 MR. THAYER: Okay. If we could just go to the last page of the
15 document, please, just so we can see who this order is from.
16 Q. Do you see that it's signed by General Zivanovic, Mr. Nikolic?
17 A. Yes, I see that it's signed by General Zivanovic.
18 Q. Okay. And at the bottom, it shows that one copy is going to the
19 commander of your brigade. Do you see that, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay. Now, could we go back to the first page of
22 this document in both versions, please.
23 Q. We can see that it's sent in the "To" line to your brigade's
24 command, to the commander of the chief of staff personally. Do you see
25 that, sir?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. And it makes specific reference to a 19 November 1992 Main Staff
3 order. Do you see that reference?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. It says, in paragraph 1:
6 "Cause as many losses as possible to the enemy with the active
7 involvement of main forces and equipment. Wear the enemy out, break it
8 up or force it to surrender, and force the Muslim population to leave the
9 area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde."
10 Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir, how this portion of
11 General Zivanovic's order corresponds or doesn't correspond to what you
12 just told the Trial Chamber was the ultimate goal of the VRS, which was
13 to have Srebrenica emptied of its Muslim population? How does this order
14 from General Zivanovic fit into what you said earlier about the ultimate
15 goal of the VRS?
16 A. Before I answer your question, I have to say that on this date,
17 the 19th of November, I came back from the hospital, and that's when I
18 came back to Bratunac. So we're talking about something that I probably
19 did not see, even though it's addressed to my brigade.
20 However, this first section:
21 "Cause as many losses as possible to the enemy, with the active
22 involvement of main forces and equipment. Wear the enemy out, break it
23 up, or force it to surrender ..."
24 In my opinion, this is a military task, so there's nothing of
25 dispute there.
1 The second part:
2 "Force the Muslim population to leave the area of Cerska, Zepa,
3 Srebrenica --" I can't see what's written there, "... and Gorazde."
4 That, of course, can be connected with the activities or, rather,
5 the intentions that materialised later.
6 Q. And when you say --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, a short moment, please.
8 Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to underline that this
10 is a document from 1992.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's correct.
12 Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. And when you say, sir, "the intentions that materialised later,"
15 what are you referring to?
16 A. I'm thinking of what we discussed a little bit earlier, and
17 that's from paragraph 1, where I said that the intentions of the
18 Army of Republika Srpska is to cause the forceful transfer of the
19 civilian population from the Srebrenica territory. This is what I'm
20 thinking of when I make the connection between this second part of this
21 paragraph here, stating that the Muslim population is to be forced to
22 leave the area of Cerska, Zepa and Gorazde.
23 MR. THAYER: Okay. Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender
24 65 ter 2478.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 2478 shall be
2 assigned Exhibit P2169. Thank you.
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Nikolic, General Tolimir showed you a couple of times
5 D41 - if we could see that on e-court, please - which was a
6 9 July document type-signed by General Tolimir. And on a couple of
7 occasions in your cross-examination - if we could scroll down to the
8 bottom in both documents, please - General Tolimir called your attention
9 to the inclusion of references to the Geneva Conventions in this
10 document. Do you remember those questions, sir?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Do you recall being shown this same document in the Blagojevic
13 case and being asked about this same language concerning the
14 Geneva Conventions? Do you remember that, sir? And if you don't, I can
15 give you the reference.
16 A. I remember being asked about that. I don't specifically remember
17 the document, but I do recall being asked questions about the adherence
18 to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
19 MR. THAYER: If we could have 65 ter 7300 on e-court, please. We
20 will need Day 4 of Mr. Nikolic's testimony in that case, 25 September
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do we know the page number?
23 MR. THAYER: I do, Mr. President. It's page 1959 in the
24 Blagojevic trial. And, again, it's the fourth day of testimony, 25
25 September, transcript page 1959.
1 And if we scroll down a little bit. And I'll just read it for
2 you, since we don't have a translation.
3 Mr. Karnavas points your attention to the Geneva Conventions
4 portion of this document, and he asked you:
5 "So you weren't aware that that's what the order had? You were
6 free to treat the prisoners in whatever manner you, Momir Nikolic, saw
7 fit at the time?"
8 And your answer was, and I'll just quote it to you:
9 "No, Mr. Karnavas. I was not able to treat the prisoners in
10 whatever manner I saw fit, and nobody ever in an order would write
11 anything other than was written in this order. Do you really think that
12 in an operation where 7.000 people were set aside, captured and killed,
13 that somebody was adhering to the Geneva Conventions? Do you really
14 believe that somebody adhered to the law, rules and regulations in an
15 operation where so many were killed? First of all, they were captured,
16 killed, and then buried, exhumed once again, buried again. Can you
17 conceive of that, that somebody in an operation of that kind adhered to
18 the Geneva Conventions?"
19 And we need to scroll down just a little bit:
20 "Nobody, Mr. Karnavas, adhered to the Geneva Conventions ..."
21 If we could go to the next page:
22 "... or the rules and regulations. Because had they, then the
23 consequences of that particular operation would not have been a total of
24 7.000 people dead."
25 Q. Sir, do you stand by that answer that you gave in the Blagojevic
2 A. Yes, I do, absolutely. Everything that I stated then, I still
3 think today.
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, may I inquire when we're breaking
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. I indicated three-quarters of an hour.
7 That means 2.25.
8 MR. THAYER: 2.25. Okay, thank you.
9 Q. General Tolimir, earlier today in his cross-examination,
10 Mr. Nikolic - and we're done with this document, thank you - quoted to
11 you some testimony by Dr. -- or a Dr. Baraybar, and he put to you a
12 figure of, I think it was, 2400 or 2500 bodies -- 2541 bodies that
13 Mr. Baraybar had talked about at one time. Do you remember those
15 A. I remember the questions that the general put to me today. I do
17 Q. Okay. That's what I'm getting at, sir.
18 Now, I'm not sure if General Tolimir mentioned this to
19 you - perhaps he did - but were you aware that this figure from
20 Dr. Baraybar was as of 2001? Were you aware of that?
21 A. No. I told Mr. Tolimir, and I'm telling you now, that the name
22 that you are mentioning just now doesn't mean anything to me, and I think
23 that I've never seen that statement. I don't even know if I was supposed
24 to see it. I don't know when the figures and the data originated, when
25 the date is for these figures.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I waited for the end of the translation.
2 Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I did state that it
4 was up to 2001, so I would like Mr. Thayer to give us a reference so that
5 the Trial Chamber could see and that the witness would know what he's
6 asking him about. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Well, Mr. President, I think we have it there. If
9 the general thinks he gave him the figure of 2001, that's fine. As I
10 say, I'm not sure if he did.
11 Q. The point is, Mr. Nikolic -- and maybe you're not aware of this.
12 We'll find out in a moment. General Tolimir certainly is aware of this,
13 because he has all these documents. Let me ask you: Do you know whether
14 or not since 2001, in the 10 years that have passed, there have been
15 continuing exhumations of mass graves and identifications through DNA
16 analysis that have been made?
17 A. Sir, you know that from the beginning of 2002, I have been in
18 prison, so I can answer your question only as a person who's following
19 this, watching it on television. Of course, I have information also from
20 my family, friends, relatives. So I can give you an answer from that
21 point of view, that I do have information and that I'm aware that
22 exhumations are ongoing to find those who were killed and buried, and
23 then after the identification they are buried in the common graveyard in
25 Q. And, sir, when you refer to "common graveyard," are you referring
1 to the cemetery at Potocari, where you can see the rows of graves and
2 where they have a commemoration every summer in July?
3 A. Yes, that is what I'm referring to. The Memorial Centre, that's
4 what it is called.
5 MR. THAYER: Okay. Now, if we could have P170 on e-court,
7 I can just tell you what we have here is a report by an OTP
8 investigator summarising and updating the exhumation of mass graves and
9 the numbers of DNA-verified remains that are coming out of those graves.
10 And if we could go to page 34 in the English, and it will be,
11 I think, the second-to-last page in the B/C/S. If we can -- it will be
12 six more pages in the English, please. The ERN will be 6011, X019-6011.
14 And what we can do is just work with the English version, because
15 I'm just going to take you through a number of totals here.
16 Q. We can see this is a chart, and I'll just explain it to you and
17 it will be translated to you, Mr. Nikolic, where Mr. Janc has totalled up
18 the number of DNA-identified bodies coming out of various mass graves
19 which were associated with execution sites. So right here, we can see
20 1334 identified individuals with respect to the Kravica execution.
21 If we could go to the next page.
22 We can see 830 so far with respect to the Orahovac execution.
23 If we could scroll down.
24 809 with respect to the Petkovci mass execution, 761 with respect
25 to the Kozluk execution, 1656 in connection with the Branjevo Farm and
1 Pilica executions, with a total of 5390 identified bodies coming out of
2 these mass graves.
3 My question, sir, to you is: In answer to Mr. Karnavas' question
4 that we saw a little while ago, you referred to 7.000 people being
5 killed. Here, we have a total coming out of mass graves of 5390 people
6 coming out of mass graves. General Tolimir showed you a figure from 2001
7 of approximately 2500 bodies at that time. Can you tell the
8 Trial Chamber, based on your observations at the time that you've told us
9 about, whether this figure of 5390 is closer to your estimate of how many
10 people were executed or whether 2541, I think was the figure from 2001
11 that General Tolimir put to you, is closer to the figure?
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I didn't show the witness the
14 number in order to assert something about that number. All I did was ask
15 the witness whether it was his estimate that there were more or less or
16 that number of victims in Srebrenica, since he was going to Zvornik as
17 well and that he was in Bratunac, and that he had said that he knew how
18 many people were captured. Mr. Thayer is now trying to present the total
19 number of those exhumed throughout the whole theatre of war and to try to
20 get the witness to say something about that number.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think everybody who is interrogating a witness
22 tries to get something out of the witness. I don't see a great
23 difference from your interview with the witness to the question
24 Mr. Thayer is putting to the witness.
25 Go ahead, please, but bear in mind that we are at the end of
1 today's hearing.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you've told us that all of the prisoners who were
4 temporarily detained in Bratunac were taken out in that convoy to
5 Zvornik, and what we're looking at here is a total of bodies identified
6 from mass execution sites. My question is simple: Is this number of
7 5390 closer to your estimate of how many people were captured along that
8 road and detained in Bratunac and taken up to Zvornik, or is the 2001
9 number given to you by General Tolimir of 2541 closer to your estimate of
10 approximately how many people were brought to Bratunac -- captured along
11 the road and brought to Bratunac and detained, in addition to the men
12 from Potocari who had been brought to Bratunac?
13 A. Well, I can answer this question very briefly and simply.
14 All that I said before the exhumations and the identification of
15 the bodies of those killed are my estimates. I based my estimates on
16 information that I had and on the basis of what I saw.
17 Now, I'm seeing this for the first time. Now, when I see all of
18 these numbers and the identifications, I cannot make any more assessments
19 or evaluations. I do not doubt that what is stated here is correct and
20 that that is the number. After the things that I know here, there is no
21 need for me to make any assessments as to what is closer to what.
22 According to everything that I saw, and in view of these figures
23 here, I think, of course, that the 5.390 number of those killed and
24 exhumed is closer to being accurate than the figure that was presented to
25 me from 2001.
1 And, of course, I want to add one more thing. If all of this
2 information -- if all of these identified bodies are -- if that's
3 correct, according to what I know, if they all came from Bratunac, then
4 these people were transferred by convoy from Zvornik as well, because I
5 see a group from Zvornik here in the document. Then it's clear that this
6 is the total number of those separated in Potocari, temporarily detained
7 in different buildings, taken to Bratunac and detained there, and then on
8 the 14th were transferred to the territory of Zvornik.
9 At the top, I saw "Kravica" in this overview, and so that
10 includes people who were also from the Srebrenica enclave who were killed
11 and exhumed from a mass grave. So this is, then, the number that I can
12 talk about on the basis of this information. Everything before that was
13 my estimate.
14 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 I will end my re-examination there. I had a couple of questions,
16 but we're over time.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Have you any idea how much more you need for
18 re-examination? It was -- you concluded?
19 MR. THAYER: We made the undertaking that we would finish today,
20 and we're going to keep that, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This is appreciated.
22 Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this now concludes your --
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This now concludes your examination here in this
25 trial. The Chamber would like to thank you that you were able to provide
1 us with your knowledge. And it was a long period, several days, you had
2 to testify here. Thank you very much for that. It was extremely helpful
3 to us. And on behalf of the parties and the Chamber, we would like to
4 thank you and wish you a good journey back. Thank you.
5 We adjourn and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in Courtroom III.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.33 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day of
10 April, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.