1 Thursday, 28 April 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom. I
6 see that we have some problems with the transcript in e-court. It is
7 looking very strange. If there's nothing to discuss at the outset of
8 today's hearing, the witness should be brought in, please.
9 Mr. Tolimir, we received your request for an extension of time
10 for your cross-examination. I would appreciate if you could be as short
11 as possible, although this is a very important witness for you, of
12 course, but we will not restrict your time, but please focus on the time
13 especially because we have the last day of the hearing this week.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like
15 to greet everyone present, and may this hearing be concluded in keeping
16 with God's will and not my own. I will try to conclude during the first
17 hour that had originally been assigned to me, but only if I receive short
18 answers. I have only seven questions left, but I keep receiving very
19 long answers, that is why I asked for an extension just to be on the safe
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Ms. Palic. Welcome back to the
24 courtroom. I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth
25 still applies.
1 Mr. Tolimir has some more questions for you. He has the floor.
2 Mr. Tolimir.
3 And again, if you need a break at any point in time, please let
4 us know.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning to you
7 WITNESS: ESMA PALIC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you. Good morning to
11 everyone again. I'd like to greet Ms. Palic and may this be concluded in
12 keeping with God's will.
13 Yesterday you were shown P2192.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see it again in e-court
15 today, please.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Next you were shown another photograph of the 24th of August,
18 which is identical to the previous one.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know what the number is,
20 though, of that photograph. I just want to make sure whether -- that
21 there are no differences between the two and to know whether both of them
22 were admitted under the same number.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In the meantime, can you tell us this: Was this -- was your
25 house destroyed or was your house the one you marked at P2192? You
1 marked on P2187, actually.
2 A. I didn't understand.
3 Q. You were marking your house yesterday.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was your house on the photograph where you marked it or did you
6 mark another house? It is P2187.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's now coming up on the screen.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. We see two red indications, one which resembles an arrow, and
10 another one just in front of the wood. Where was your house exactly?
11 A. The first one.
12 Q. The larger marking?
13 A. Yes. The walls of the house were still standing, given that it
14 had been a solid building. They stood until 2003, when we went back to
15 Zepa for the first time. The roof was gone, and looking from the side of
16 Boksanica, because that's where the shells came from, the walls were
17 simply pierced through, both the outer wall and the inner walls. They
18 all ended up in the rear of the house. The house was basically riddled.
19 Q. Thank you. On this photograph of the 27th of July, can we see
20 your house?
21 A. You can see the spot where the house had been.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at the other picture
24 next, taken in August, on the 24th of August. It is 2187, which I
25 originally asked for.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Ms. Palic, can you tell us whether on this photograph too, from
3 August, we can see your house?
4 A. Yes, we can see the walls of the house.
5 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you discussed your husband being told by an
6 UNPROFOR representative that his house would be targeted and that he
7 should move his family.
8 A. I did say so, yes.
9 Q. Were you on good terms with the UNPROFOR representative and were
10 you on good terms with UNPROFOR in general in Zepa?
11 A. Yes, we were in good relations.
12 Q. Do you know anything about any ABiH attacks on UNPROFOR positions
13 in Zepa?
14 A. There were no such attacks. I don't know of any and I believe
15 there weren't any. Perhaps you can tell us.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us have a look at D55,
17 paragraph 22, item 94.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to interrupt you for a moment
19 to clarify the correct number of the last photograph we have seen. It is
20 recorded that this was P2187, but I was told it should be 2178. Could
21 you clarify that?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
23 permutated the figures, I'm sorry.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We see this photograph which was taken by Mr. Bezruchenko, an OTP
1 investigator who was also in Zepa when you left Zepa. On page 25 of the
2 book, paragraph 94, he describes how on the 20th of July UNPROFOR was
3 attacked by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Paragraph 94, please.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. It says that:
7 "The defenders of Zepa saw the negotiations between their
8 authorities and the VRS as a sign of inevitable collapse of the enclave."
9 These are the words of Mr. Bezruchenko.
10 "In that situation they no longer cared for co-operation with
11 UNPROFOR and did not need UNPROFOR any longer. In an attempt to seize
12 UNPROFOR's weapons on the 20th of July, the ABiH attacked the compound of
13 the Ukrainian company with heavy machine-gun fire and hand grenades. The
14 second floor of the Ukrainian company building was hit with a heavy
15 weapon which destroyed the first aid station and the medicine stock."
16 And then he goes on.
17 Do you know anything about this attack and do you know why it
18 took place?
19 A. What date does this refer to?
20 Q. The 20th of July.
21 A. The 20th of July? Well, I was in Zepa at the time and I should
22 have known had there been any attacks on UNPROFOR. UNPROFOR was targeted
23 by the Serb army from the Serb positions. Mr. Bezruchenko, if I
24 pronounced his name correctly, or whoever it is that wrote the book --
25 well, co-operation with UNPROFOR in Zepa was a good one. It was a small
1 formation of the Ukrainian battalion. In order to clarify, I want to
2 describe the conduct and behaviour of UNPROFOR representatives in Zepa.
3 The representatives of our authorities had a good relationship with them
4 but only because they had great communication skills, and I include my
5 husband and the representatives of civilian authorities. They gave it
6 their all to have a fruitful co-operation. Mr. Dudnjik was the commander
7 of the UNPROFOR unit in Zepa, and Avdo communicated with him well.
8 This obviously concerns another officer. What I'm trying to say
9 is this: Who were the Ukrainians in Zepa, just by way of an example.
10 When shells started falling on Zepa in March 1995, people complained.
11 Avdo tried to intervene with UNPROFOR so that UNPROFOR would ask the Serb
12 side to stop shelling. It wasn't Dudnjik but some other representatives
13 at the check-point at Portici [phoen], when the residents reported the
14 shells landing, responded by saying, These are our brethren. They did
15 not behave as UN representatives. They behaved as members of a religious
16 group, of a faith. I remember being awoken during the night when I heard
17 shots. It turned out to be Ukrainian soldier firing at the hospital
18 because his brother had been killed in the theatre around Sarajevo.
19 To an extent, I can understand their behaviour, but the
20 Ukrainians always took the side of the Serbs. But the representatives of
21 civilian authorities in Zepa and military authorities in Zepa did their
22 utmost to keep that communication going. There were no attacks on them.
23 And as for this Bezruchenko, he can put anything on paper. Anyone can,
24 but I'm telling you the truth.
25 Q. Since I'm short of time, please bear in mind to keep your answers
1 short. If needed, we'll ask for additional time for you to explain
2 things to the Chamber, but just tell us this for starters: Whether you
3 were in Zepa on the 20th of July or not?
4 A. Yes, I was there. You've already asked me that.
5 Q. Were you in Zepa on the 15th of July?
6 A. Yes, I was.
7 Q. Let's look at paragraph 71 of the same book.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 75 in
9 e-court -- 71. So that Ms. Palic can see it. We see it in English.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Paragraph 71, we can see it now in our language as well. It
13 "On the 15th of July, major escalation of situation in the
14 enclave was reported as soldiers of the 285th Brigade surrounded and
15 belonged the base and some OPs and presented Ukrainians with an ultimatum
16 to surrender their weapons. Communication with OP 6 and OP 5 was lost.
17 BiH soldiers blocked the roads between the Ukrainian company base, and
18 OP 5 and OP 9 were blocked by wood and rocks. About 100 soldiers also
19 surrounded the compound and radio station and threatened to open fire if
20 weapons were not surrendered." And so on and so forth.
21 My question is: Do you recall this situation? Since Zepa is
22 small, every shot is heard, including anything that was done against
24 A. This is a silly question. UNPROFOR was 150 metres from my house,
25 the base, and the check-points were at the lines. That's one thing.
1 Another thing, I don't recall any great misunderstandings between
2 UNPROFOR and the representatives of authorities in Zepa. We did seek
3 UNPROFOR's protection because we were a UN-protected area. We sought
4 protection from the Serb forces. Objectively they couldn't provide it.
5 That is why we requested help from the UN in Sarajevo. Nothing occurred,
6 and it was only logical that weapons were then sought and the men were
7 sent to the lines. What were we supposed to do? For you to wait to
8 enter Zepa like you did Srebrenica, for all of us to be killed? No way.
9 Q. Let's look at paragraph 72 next.
10 "The next few days the battle for Zepa was picking up. The
11 situation of the 285th Brigade was becoming progressively desperate, and
12 Colonel Palic decided to disarm the Ukrainian company of UNPROFOR. On
13 the 16th of July, Palic reported:
14 "'They are attacking us more and more strongly. They have strong
15 artillery support as well as manpower and they are pushing further,
16 mostly from the direction of Han Pijesak. We are doing whatever we can.
17 We will be holding out. People are quite exhausted. The territory that
18 we are defending is too big for our unit. I cannot tell you now for how
19 long I will be able to hold out. We are disarming UNPROFOR in accordance
20 with the previously given instructions.'"
21 This probably describes the grave situation you were in.
22 Did you receive instructions from Sarajevo that UNPROFOR should
23 be disarmed and Palic, I believe, worked according to those instructions
24 and not of his own will?
25 A. I don't know that.
1 Q. Let's look at paragraph 73. Let's see what was taken away. This
2 report is consistent with the UNPROFOR Sector Sarajevo report dated the
3 16th of July, 1995. According to the report, BiH army soldiers
4 surrounded three Ukrainian OPs and threatened the OPs' personnel,
5 capturing their weapons and ammunition.
6 "At 1100 hours, the VRS launched an infantry attack supported by
7 tanks and artillery between OP 1 and OP 8. At 1656, the ABiH surrounded
8 OP 5 personnel, demanding their arms and equipment. By the close of the
9 day, the VRS reached OP 2 at Boksanica and threatened to kill the
10 Ukrainian soldiers in case of NATO air presence over their positions.
11 The Ukrainian company also reported that heavy artillery, mortar and tank
12 fire around the enclave persisted. The Ukrainian company UNPROFOR
13 presence was now restricted to the Ukrainian base in OPs 3, 5, and 7,
14 meaning that all the others were seized. ABiH soldiers surrounded OP 5
15 demanding weapons of the OP personnel."
16 I won't read any further, but in paragraph 74 we can see what
17 equipment was seized and from what OPs.
18 Do you know anything about the blockade of UNPROFOR and weapons
19 being taken away from them at their observation post?
20 A. UNPROFOR was blocked, together with the Zepa population, by the
21 Serb army. That's one thing. And apart from that, I don't know what you
22 are trying to say by everything that you read out. I don't know that
23 UNPROFOR was maltreated by us in Zepa. If they had, they would certainly
24 have reported that. And I don't believe that UNPROFOR had any bad
25 experience with the BiH authorities in Zepa. And apart from that, what
1 you have read out only shows the atrocious conditions that we lived in.
2 And Avdo did not take the weapons that were given to the Ukrainian
3 battalion. They were supposed to defend us. But what did you expect us
4 to do? To let you tie our hands and kill us off. Of course we defended
5 ourselves, but never did we take action against either the Ukrainians or
6 the Serb civilians. And, well, the soldiers are something else, of
7 course. Soldiers get killed. That's how it is.
8 Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic.
9 We saw a minute ago that Avdo Palic says that he is disarming
10 UNPROFOR according to instructions. I want to ask you the following. If
11 you look at D53. Can we please see it? Whether Avdo Palic received
12 instructions to attack both UNPROFOR and the VRS. Instructions from
13 Sarajevo. Let us take a look at this document and then you'll see that
14 it wasn't just the will of Avdo Palic but an order by the central
15 authorities and the Main Staff. I'm not attacking your husband. Let's
16 see what it says. D53, you see it reads:
17 "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Army General Staff. 17 June.
18 Preparations for offensive combat operations. Order. Person to verbal
19 order issued by the commander of the General Staff of the BH Army, Army
20 General Rasim Delic. And on the occasion of the great success achieved
21 by the units of the BH Army and the wide area around Sarajevo and
22 Gorazde, as well as on the basis of intelligence that the aggressive
23 forces command of the protection regiment in Han Pijesak," and so on, "I
24 hereby issue the following order:
25 "1: Execute all preparations in the command of the 28th Land
1 Army Division to execute offensive combat operations." Offensive
2 operations means attacks.
3 "Item 2: Plan realistic tasks which will assure certain success.
4 "Item 3: The General Staff of the BH Army will regulate by an
5 order the commencement of offensive combat activities."
6 Here is my question to you: Did your husband complain that he
7 was being pressurised from Sarajevo that they should take military action
8 from Zepa against the VRS? Thank you.
9 A. Avdo was a very rational man and I'm sure that nobody could order
10 him to commit a crime. What you are showing me here, well, it would have
11 been much better for you if you had saved Avdo's life. I suppose that
12 you should have asked him that and you probably did.
13 Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic. If I had his statement, if I had asked
14 him, I would show it to you now.
15 A. Well, you made a big mistake, you see. You should have kept him
16 alive. He would have been much more useful to you alive than dead.
17 Q. Please take a look at D92. Since you are asking me, I must show
18 you a document about that. D92. The 23rd of August, when your husband
19 was in detention.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a criminal report. Let us
21 go to page 3, please. This criminal report was drafted on 23 August
22 1995, and we see the names of some persons, 149 in all. Let's go to the
23 last but one page. The statement of reasons.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you should indicate that this is a
25 criminal report of the VRS to avoid misunderstandings.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It's a
2 criminal report drafted on the 23rd of August and it most probably
3 contains information about Avdo Palic, because Ms. Palic wanted me to
4 show something that he said. It wasn't my original intention to do so.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Let us see. The statement of reasons says:
7 "During the preliminary criminal investigation, the authorised
8 personnel undertook a series of operative activities aimed at documenting
9 the crimes set forth in the disposition of this criminal report."
10 A. I apologise, but what does the disposition say? What were they
11 accused of? I have no idea what this is all about. Obviously you
12 submitted a criminal report against any man in Zepa who was able bodied.
13 This is one of the lists and you can find as many lists of this kind on
14 the internet as you want. Every able-bodied man was indicted by the Serb
15 machinery, indicted for crimes. But where are the crimes committed by
16 the Zepa army, by the troops in Zepa? And you think that the fact that
17 we defended ourselves justifies your attacks. That six brigades were
18 attacking such a small place.
19 I know that you cannot answer this, but I cannot but ask you
20 this: Six brigades are attacking such a small place and you are -- and
21 here you are mentioning some names. I was able to see some names. I
22 guarantee that none of them ever committed a crime. Defending your life,
23 your family, your home, your town cannot be considered a crime. None of
24 them went to attack Banja Luka or wherever you are from. But you came
25 from the other end of Bosnia-Herzegovina to attack us.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mrs. Palic, I have to interrupt you and to tell
2 you it is the right of the accused to put questions to you. This is the
3 way such a trial is going on. It is -- I understand very well that this
4 is a very difficult situation for you and that you are quite emotional.
5 I understand that. On the other hand, we want to hear from you your
6 knowledge about facts, and it is not up to you to qualify the kind of
7 questions Mr. Tolimir is putting to you. It is the Chamber to control --
8 to have control over the way the accused is putting questions to you.
9 And please wait until you receive a question before you start answering.
10 I hope that helps to calm down the situation a bit.
11 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted
13 to read the statement of reasons for Ms. Palic to see that this
14 information was obtained through interviewing eye-witnesses. I will now
15 show why this was all done. Could we please scroll down so we can see --
16 or, rather, scroll up to see the second paragraph in Serbian.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. It says under 2:
19 "On 4 June 1992, at a place called Riza, near Brloznik village,
20 at the Han Pijesak-Godjenje-Stoborani cross-roads, they carried out an
21 attack on a column of military vehicles and soldiers of the VRS. On
22 which occasion they killed 43 VRS soldiers and officers, took 30 soldiers
23 prisoner, burned and destroyed a large number of vehicles and other
24 materiel and technical equipment, perfidiously liquidated injured
25 soldiers from the attacked column at the scene of the incident in
1 contravention of the rules of international law."
2 This is why this criminal report was filed against these
3 149 persons on the list. I don't want to remind you anymore but I'm just
4 telling you that this is -- was done because of the event on 4 June 1992.
5 Do you know anything about that event? Thank you.
6 A. I fail to understand why you are asking such questions. I would
7 never do that if I were you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Palic, it was a very simple question, do you
9 know anything about that event. If you know, please tell us, if you
10 don't know, tell us as well.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, sir, this was one of the
12 first offensives against Zepa. I do apologise, but this man is wearing
13 me out. This was one of the first Serb -- or it would be more rightly
14 called Chetnik offensive against Zepa because they took pride in being
15 Chetniks at the time. A column of Serb soldiers set out from Pale in
16 40 vehicles under the pretext of transporting food to the troops on the
17 Zepa mountain. There was a small facility where there was a small air
18 force unit, five or six soldiers. I have their exact strength in one of
19 my registers. They set off in 40 vehicles, and there was a tank at the
20 head of the convoy, under the pretext of transporting food. Actually, it
21 was an attempt by the Serb army to reach Ozlovrh on the Zepa mountain.
22 If that convoy had made it to Mount Zepa then, on the -- we would have
23 been slaughtered on the 4th of June. The same way that people were
24 killed in Visegrad, Foca and other places. But the people of Zepa saw
25 through their pretext. Why should they need 40 vehicles to do what they
1 allegedly wanted to do?
2 And, yes, there were troops at this place and they used all
3 possible means. We didn't even have weapons at the time. This convoy of
4 the JNA, or rather, the Serb army did not arm us. It's a fact that the
5 Serb soldiers killed each other because they were afraid of being taken
6 prisoner, because for ideological reasons or being ideologically
7 indoctrinated they were scared of being taken prisoner, but whoever was
8 killed their bodies were surrendered. There is no one body that was left
9 behind in the area of Zepa that wasn't handed over to the Serb side.
10 There was no one Serb soldier taken prisoner who was not returned and not
11 one of them was mistreated. Thank you.
12 Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic. Since, as you say, the people attacked the
13 convoy to arm themselves, do you know whether your husband allowed that
14 convoy to go -- to move in the direction of Ozlovrh?
15 A. At that time there were no troops in Zepa. The Zepa Brigade was
16 only established in September. The attack on 4th of June was the moment
17 when the men started to consolidate and create a kernel of troops for
18 Defence. This defence was sporadic. Only those people went there who
19 were brave enough to attack that convoy. They threw rocks, stones, logs,
20 and whatever they had. Avdo wasn't a commander then, nor were there any
21 troops at the time, so he wasn't in a position to allow anything.
22 Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic. Do you know whether at the time there were
23 orders from Sarajevo to create as many excesses [as interpreted] as
24 possible to make impossible the further co-existence of Serbs and
1 A. I don't know that.
2 Q. You said how the hostilities began in Sarajevo once a person was
3 killed. Do you know what it was about exactly?
4 A. I was in Zepa at the time. On the 4th of April there was the
5 first victim. We heard on the news that a police officer was killed and
6 then some persons were killed in a demonstration, two persons, and so
7 there were news about people being killed in Sarajevo.
8 Q. Were they truthful news, do you know who was really killed on the
9 4th of April?
10 A. I don't know. I wasn't there, but if all of Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 believes one thing and if their families know that Olga Sucic and
12 Suada Dilberovic were killed and other victims, why shouldn't I believe
13 that too.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything about the killing of the
15 soldiers in a convoy -- a JNA convoy leaving Sarajevo?
16 A. You are asking me about things that I didn't witness in Sarajevo,
17 but I do know that Bosnia-Herzegovina as an internationally recognised
18 state should have been free from the JNA. And when I was leaving
19 Sarajevo on 29 March, I was leaving for Zepa. I travelled four hours
20 from Sarajevo to Rogatica, and under normal circumstances, it would be a
21 little less than an hour -- a little more than an hour, because a convoy
22 of military vehicles was actually entering Sarajevo which means that you
23 were preparing to take Sarajevo.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
25 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, good morning. I question the
1 relevance of this line of questioning. I've let it go for several
2 questions, but asking every witness who comes here their knowledge about
3 the origins of the war without any direct link to the obvious matters
4 within the knowledge of the witness seems to be a waste of time and
5 doesn't advance any line of defence I can imagine. It seems to be
6 somewhat provocative.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is your position?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this witness said,
9 "You should have asked Avdo Palic." I simply wanted to show her the
10 information gathered through the interviews, the information about an
11 event that was carried out with the intention to prevent the co-existence
12 between Muslims and Serbs. That's why we read out this criminal report.
13 It's not a small thing to kill 40 and wound 30 soldiers in a column.
14 There are other documents about this and that's why I started asking my
16 Yesterday during examination-in-chief, events in Sarajevo were
17 mentioned. It was the witness herself who said how the war actually
18 began, and that's why I'm now asking the witness about the things that
19 she knows about. I'm not asking anything that she doesn't know about.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I don't share your view. You were
22 asking the witness about the truthfulness of media reports. How can she
23 state if that is truthful or not, if these news are reliable or the not?
24 She clearly indicated that at that time she was in Zepa and not in
25 Sarajevo. It is not the purpose of your cross-examination to show her
1 the information gathered through the interviews. You should ask her
2 about her knowledge and not to enter into a debate about your knowledge
3 and her knowledge and what you gathered, what kind of information you
4 gathered about Avdo Palic. This is not the purpose of the
5 cross-examination. Put questions to get information from her she can
6 testify about. Continue, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I asked
8 her whether she knew anything about the killing of the 40 soldiers --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't want to discuss this matter any further
10 with you. Please put questions to the witness.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is very
12 important thing in relation to the beginning of the conflict in Zepa.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, sorry, you may ask her about her knowledge
14 and nothing else. Please continue.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you know anything about the fact that soldiers used to come
18 from Srebrenica in large numbers and then together with the military in
19 Zepa they went to carry out attacks against the Main Staff and the VRS.
20 Thank you.
21 A. Where was that Main Staff?
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we take a look at D145. I
24 would like to show the witness the topics that I want to ask about.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: While this is coming up, I would like to put a
2 question to Ms. Palic. Do you know anything about attacks from
3 Srebrenica against the Main Staff and the VRS? This was the core of the
4 question of Mr. Tolimir. Do you know anything about that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When and where was that Main Staff?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please, do you know anything? If you don't know,
7 just tell it.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, carry on, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. President, I'm
11 going to read out the first paragraph of this information.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. "On the 23rd of June, 1995, at 0200 hours, a unit of
14 approximately 300 soldiers headed out from Srebrenica, led by
15 Ibrahim Mandzic, the commander of the 280th Brigade, Eastern Bosnia
16 Light Brigade; Vejiz Sabic, the commander of the 284th Light Brigade; his
17 deputy, Semso Salihovic; and a guide, a man called Zoran Cardakovic, a
18 Muslim. The unit's task was to insert itself that same day at
19 approximately 2000 hours into the general sector of Ruzina Voda,
20 Han Pijesak municipality, via Zepa and Radava. This group is equipped
21 with automatic weapons, with a couple of 60-millimetre mortars and some
22 RPGs, rocket propelled grenade."
23 So, take a look at this once again to acquaint yourself with the
24 contents if necessary. It says here that they are going through Zepa
25 into the general sector of Ruzina Voda and Han Pijesak, and that's where
1 the Main Staff was. We saw that in the report that we looked at
2 yesterday that mentioned nine sabotage groups, and that's a report signed
3 by Avdo Palic.
4 My question is: Are you aware of this event of the 23rd of June,
5 when a unit comprising 300 soldiers, together with the soldiers from
6 Zepa Brigade, went to carry out one of the tasks that we read about
7 yesterday? Your husband reported about certain number of casualties and
8 his commander said that 60 Chetniks in total were killed.
9 A. I know nothing about this.
10 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Palic. Tell us the following: Is it justified
11 to bring soldiers into the demilitarised zone and then attack from the
12 demilitarised zone the very side which accorded the status of
13 demilitarised zone to that place?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, Mrs. Palic is not a member of an
15 army. How can you ask her about the -- if something is justified, if a
16 military attack is justified? You should ask her questions she can
17 answer. Please move to another question.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to move on to my next
19 question. Can we have P21. Thank you. I would like to see D21, and I
20 have to say what D21 is. It's the agreement about the ceasefire with
21 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed between Ratko Mladic and Sefer
22 Halilovic on the 8th of May, 1993. So the agreement was signed by Ratko
23 Mladic and Sefer Halilovic and the representatives of UNPROFOR, Philippe
24 Morillon. Can we take a look at the second page that mentions
25 demilitarisation. Article 3, that's what I want to see.
1 Can we have the next page in both languages. You can see
2 Article 3 here:
3 "Every military or paramilitary unit will have either to withdraw
4 from the demilitarised zone or submit/hand over their weapons.
5 Ammunition, mines, explosives and combat supplies in the demilitarized
6 zones will be handed over/submitted to UNPROFOR."
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question is: Do you know the reason why not all the weapons
9 were handed over to UNPROFOR, and how could it happen that later on there
10 were still some armed soldiers in Zepa?
11 A. I do not know the answer to this question. I could answer by
12 posing another question, but this is really pointless and it wears me
13 out. What do you mean? If we were a demilitarised zone from the
14 March -- in March 1995, how come then did the Serbian forces were
15 shelling Zepa if we were a demilitarised zone?
16 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Palic. Yesterday you spoke at length about the
17 events up to this agreement. You spoke about refugees, about shelling,
18 and about other things. My question is: Was this agreement signed
19 because both sides committed similar misdeeds, expelled the population,
20 massacred them, and shelled them, and that's the reason why the agreement
21 was signed, do you know that or not?
22 A. What agreement are you talking about?
23 Q. I'm talking about the agreement about the demilitarisation. Was
24 that the reason for the demilitarisation, in order to prevent similar
25 attacks and further loss of life?
1 A. The arrival of the UN in Zepa and the demilitarisation was caused
2 exclusively by the sufferings of people in Zepa. That is what I claim.
3 Maybe we could see some evidence and I mean here relevant evidence and
4 not the evidence generated by the Serbian machinery. There were no
5 crimes carried out from Zepa. The army in Zepa carried out no crimes.
6 From 1992 until May 1993, Serbian army attacked Zepa on a
7 continuous basis, by tanks, by infantry and by aeroplanes. In addition
8 to that, the population was starved out. It was a humanitarian
9 catastrophe that went on for months. There were no medicines. The
10 surrounding terrain was mined. There was a large number of people who
11 stepped on a mine and who lost their limbs and they had to be treated in
12 a very difficult situation because there was not enough medicine. And
13 that was the reason why we continuously sent appeals to Sarajevo, to the
14 Sarajevo authorities, to the UNHCR and to the UN. We wanted them to help
15 the people who managed to resist the attacks of the Serbian army. This
16 is a generally known thing, why the enclaves were demilitarised and
18 Q. Thank you. Can you please take a look at the statement of a
19 Prosecution witness dated 11th of April, page 2542, line 23. And 12543,
20 line 16. This was also a Prosecution witness, just like you, and this
21 was the witness who explained what happened to the Serbs who were in the
22 zone that was subsequently demilitarised. So I will read it out to you:
23 "Everything else in my territory, from Skelani onwards, they
24 attacked, they destroyed and they burned down. There were casualties
25 there. Further on, Ratkovici, Fakovici, Stamatovici, Ducici. There's no
1 need for me to list everything, all the villages in the zone of
2 Srebrenica were attacked, except the two villages that I mentioned
3 earlier, within the four kilometres from the centre of the town and along
4 the Drina River. All other villages were attacked and burned down. In
5 each of those villages there were military and civilian casualties."
6 Now, do you know that all Serbian villages around Srebrenica,
7 except two villages in Bratunac, were attacked, destroyed, burned down
8 and their population was expelled?
9 A. You are now asking me about Srebrenica and I don't know about
10 Srebrenica. That's why I rather wouldn't answer.
11 Q. Thank you. Was the Zepa Brigade within the 28th Division that
12 was headquartered in Srebrenica?
13 A. I said it yesterday, the Zepa Brigade was the East Bosnia
14 Light Infantry Brigade and I was not aware whether it was in some sort of
15 a larger structure.
16 Q. Thank you. Now let us see what the same witness said at 12680,
17 lines 6 to 14, on the 12th of April:
18 "I think you did not understand my answer given to the Presiding
19 Judge. I mentioned the attack on Kravica. I didn't especially mention
20 the attack on Kravica. All those present in the courtroom should know
21 that the attack on the 7th of January was the most well-known attack, and
22 I was simply talking about the attack on villages such as Kravica. In
23 1992, there were about 30 similar attacks. So I did not speak
24 specifically about the attack on Kravica on the 7th of January, 1993."
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
1 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, first of all this seems to be
2 remaining on the subjects of Srebrenica which the witness has indicated
3 is likely outside her knowledge. And secondly, if it's not a protected
4 witness, it may help to inform the witness to provide the name or at
5 least the position of the witness who is giving this statement.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That would be helpful for the Chamber as well.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
8 you, Mr. Elderkin. That was Momir Nikolic, a Prosecution witness. He
9 testified on the 11th and the 12th of April this year.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you know, Ms. Palic, anything about this
11 event, Kravica?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know the details.
13 If I attempted to say anything about this, it would only amount to an
14 improvisation and this is certainly not a place to improvise. I do --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are right. If you don't have specific
16 knowledge, then tell us. It is not helpful for anybody to receive
17 speculation or hearsay evidence.
18 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mrs. Palic, you remember that in relation to this period you
22 showed a letter dated 28th of November, 1993, on page 62, line 3 onwards.
23 It was your letter, and then we also heard five paragraphs of letters
24 sent by Rajko Kusic to your husband. What I want to know is after that,
25 on the 18th of January, 1993, was this agreement on demilitarisation of
1 Zepa and Srebrenica signed?
2 A. I can't remember that. There were such letters between -- before
3 and after demilitarisation. When you talk about the correspondence
4 between my husband and Kusic, they corresponded both before and after
5 that date. That was a letter that Avdo sent via Lari [phoen] and that
6 was before the territory of Zepa was protected.
7 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Palic.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please clarify what you mean by "it
9 was your letter," and what do you mean by page 62, line 3? Are you
10 referring to the transcript of yesterday? We would like to have it clear
11 on the record.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. At
13 page 62, lines 3 onwards, some letters were read out that Ms. Palic
14 provided to the Prosecution.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I want to know if you are referring to the
16 transcript of yesterday or to another document. This is my first
17 request. The second is, what do you mean by "your letter," do you really
18 mean a letter of Ms. Palic, or what do you mean? You should be very
19 clear in your questioning.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'll
21 give you a direct answer. It was during examination-in-chief when
22 Ms. Palic was asked by Mr. Elderkin at page 62 at line 3 about some of
23 the contents of her husband's letter. Secondly, I had in mind the letter
24 she handed over to the Prosecution. It was stressed that it was she who
25 provided those letters.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is at least unclear if you say "your
2 letter," that in my understanding, it's a letter of the witness. But now
3 put a question to the witness, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I didn't
5 mean that she wrote the letter. I believe I mentioned correspondence
6 between her husband and Rajko Kusic. I apologise if it was
7 misinterpreted or if I confused the matters.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My question is this: Ms. Palic, did you know whether after the
10 signing of the demilitarisation agreement of Zepa and Srebrenica, life
11 there became better? Was food supply improved and other conditions as
13 A. Yes, the situation was stabilised. Humanitarian assistance came
14 more regularly. In terms of biological survival, things did get easier.
15 Q. Thank you. Did it continue until July 1995 when the well-known
16 events occurred that you testified to?
17 A. No, I already said that the situation worsened as early as
18 March 1995. That's when Serb provocations became regular and that the
19 peace was gone. It was in early March 1995.
20 Q. Thank you. So as not to have to go back to the document, but I
21 read out yesterday how it was ordered from Sarajevo that attacks should
22 be carried out from the zones. Was this in breach of the agreement as
23 well as against the improved conditions that you lived in as you
25 A. I wouldn't know -- wouldn't have an answer to this question.
1 Q. Did you know of any preparations carried out by the army and the
2 brigades in Zepa and Srebrenica to continue waging war by arming
3 themselves and carrying out sabotage activities?
4 A. I don't know anything about that.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please look at D65 so that
6 the witness could see. It is D67 actually. I apologise.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. It describes how Zepa was being armed by air, by helicopters, and
9 I will put my question after I have read out the introductory part. This
10 document was drafted by the intelligence administration in Sarajevo on
11 the 13th of July, 1995, after Srebrenica had fallen. It was sent to
12 Alija Izetbegovic via the 1st Corps commander. This document was sent by
13 Army General Rasim Delic, at least his name appears in the signature
14 block. In the first paragraph he states:
15 "In view of the situation of our enclaves during the preceding
16 period, the Army General Staff has undertaken a series of military
17 activities and procedures to organise the members of the army and the
18 enclaves and prepare them for possible developments, primarily defence of
19 the existing free territory and planned engagement and preparations for
20 future joint operations and planned operations. Specifically, the
21 following has been done for Srebrenica and Zepa."
22 Bullet point 1: "To start with, lethal assets and materiel and
23 technical equipment were brought in on foot in fairly small quantities."
24 The second bullet point: "Seventeen helicopter sorties were
25 carried out, in each of which the helicopter was hit."
1 The third bullet point: "In this way we transported a number of
2 seriously wounded and residents of Srebrenica."
3 My question is this: Did you know there was an air-lift
4 operation in existence between Zepa and ABiH territory in Tuzla?
5 A. I know that when UNPROFOR arrived in Zepa in 1993 and up until
6 perhaps March 1995, from time to time we did have helicopter evacuation.
7 Especially in 1993 there were several such evacuations of the wounded and
8 sick. A small number of people were also taken out as part of family
9 reunification. All those helicopter sorties were agreed on with the Serb
10 side through UNPROFOR.
11 Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic. How come, then, such quantities of weapons
12 and ammunition was transported on board such helicopters as Mr. Delic
13 specified in this document?
14 A. Well, I needn't know that.
15 Q. Thank you. Well, why were those helicopters shot down if it was
16 agreed upon with the Serb side and why was this kept secret from
18 A. Well, it's up to the VRS to answer that.
19 Q. Let's look at the following pages of the document. I believe
20 there is a table on the next page. Here you can see what weapons
21 arrived, and let's go to the next page. We can see here the totals of
22 what arrived in Zepa and in Srebrenica.
23 THE ACCUSED: Can we see the last page so that we can see
24 Rasim Delic, army general, signed the document. Thank you.
25 Could we next have 1D32, which states that the Serb side did not
1 provide authorisation for such flights and that the position of the VRS
2 was that the flights would be used to transport weapons and ammunition.
3 Could we please have 1D23 -- or 1D32. It's a document of the Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Army General Staff of the 17th of February.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. The third paragraph begins with the word "the aggressor." The
7 7th line from the top.
8 "On the 16th of February, 1995, the aggressor filed a request
9 with UNPROFOR to declare Zepa a non-demilitarised zone with the following
10 rationale: BH Army helicopter flights supplying weapons and ammunition
11 have been registered; movements of the BH Army have been registered in
12 the Zepa sector; accusing members of the Ukrainian Battalion that they
13 are covering up for the activities and intentions of the BH army; on the
14 night between 15 and 16th February 1995, our helicopters were seen flying
15 over and that infantry fire was opened."
16 The document was signed by Enver Hadzihasanovic, Chief of the
17 General Staff of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Let's have a look at
18 the order itself and then I'll have a question.
19 Item one of the order, OG units to be put at full combat
20 readiness. Second item, OG units deployed in Srebrenica to be on
21 stand-by for co-ordinated action with the 1st Zepa Light Brigade. So
22 it's a coordination between Zepa and Srebrenica. Item 3, bringing units
23 to full combat readiness and other measures must be taken under strict
24 secrecy in order to eliminate any grounds on the aggressor's part for
25 violations of the agreement on the demilitarised zone. Item 4, until the
1 helicopter is evacuated, take full measures of camouflaging it as well as
2 security measures as ordered. Item 5, should the helicopter be found in
3 your contacts with UNPROFOR representatives, take the position that its
4 purpose was to transport political representatives of Srebrenica/Zepa.
5 Does this indicate as to whether the VRS approved such flights or
6 were they illegal? Can you see that from the order signed by
7 Enver Hadzihasanovic, Chief of Staff of Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. I'd rather not comment what someone else wrote. I only know that
9 the flights from Zepa to Tuzla and Sarajevo were in -- carried out in
10 agreement with Serb representatives through UNPROFOR.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Ms. Palic, did you hear that one of the helicopters crashed and
14 that there were some 12 casualties?
15 A. Yes, you did shoot down a helicopter.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Palic, you say "you did shoot down." I think
18 you are referring to the Army of the Republika Srpska; is that correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I mean the VRS. I apologise
20 for being somewhat confusing because I'm being confused. Yes, the Serb
21 army fired at the helicopter, bringing it down. There were a number of
22 casualties. Many people died and those who survived were seriously
23 injured. That is what I know.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
25 Mr. Tolimir.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please again
2 have D55. Paragraph 17 at page 6 in the Serbian language, which is
3 probably the same in the English version. Paragraph 17, in any case.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. We can see it now.
6 A. Both versions are in English.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have for the
8 witness a version in a language she understands. Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let's look at paragraph 17.
11 "UNPROFOR's request for a fact-finding mission was rejected by
12 Colonel Palic, further straining relations between UNPROFOR Sector
13 Sarajevo and the command of the 285th Brigade."
14 Did you know why UNPROFOR was not allowed to approach the
15 helicopters to carry out an inspection in order to ascertain why they
16 were shot down and how the people died?
17 A. I'm not familiar with any details, but this seems to be the same
18 author, this Bezruchenko person. It is a fact that this agreement
19 mediated by UNPROFOR was not honoured. Not once did you try to conclude
20 an agreement and then open fire or arrest the negotiators [as
21 interpreted]. Avdo was hurt emotionally by this incident and he never
22 took human casualties lightly. He was well shaken because so many lives
23 were lost.
24 Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic. Mr. Bezruchenko is an OTP investigator.
25 He studied all the documents, both the VRS and ABiH documents. At
1 page 11 of this document, in paragraph 35, he wrote the following. This
2 is paragraph 35, I believe. He says precisely what you did:
3 "On the 15th of June, 1995, the army of BiH launched massive
4 offensive operations to live the siege of Sarajevo."
5 He also states that, in the fourth line, Ramiz Becirovic sent an
6 order on the 20th of June, 1995, to all the brigades of the 28th Division
7 to launch sabotage actions.
8 In item 36 he states:
9 "The 285th Brigade began implementing the order with immediate
10 effect. According to Colonel Palic's report, between the 20th and
11 28th of June, 1995, nine sabotage and reconnaissance groups from Zepa
12 went in the rear of the VRS. These groups killed about 40 VRS soldiers
13 and wounded dozens ..." And so on and so forth.
14 Do you know anything about these military activities ordered from
15 Sarajevo to be undertaken from the demilitarised zone?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you answer this question I would like to
17 ask Mr. Tolimir, you said: "He says precisely what you did," end of
18 quote. I think you are not referring to Ms. Palic, but to the ABiH; is
19 that correct?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I keep
21 having this feeling that I'm being be misinterpreted.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It could be verified with
23 the audio recording.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I had in mind the Army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and not Ms. Palic.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Ms. Palic, are you able to answer
2 this question, do you know anything about the military activities ordered
3 from Sarajevo to be undertaken from the demilitarised zone?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe I said a number of times
5 that I don't know and I keep receiving this question time and again in
6 different shapes. I don't know about this. My husband was a very
7 sensible man and he would never have come to terms with the commission of
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine. If you don't know, just tell us
10 that you don't know. Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Palic.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I didn't even think your husband would do this of his own accord.
14 We had a witness here who said that the population objected to attacks
15 being carried out from Zepa against the VRS, stating that this could
16 worsen and tighten their relations. I just wanted to know whether you
17 were familiar with such rumours and such positions stated?
18 A. No.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness answered this question. Please carry
20 on to the next question. And bear in mind the time you are spending.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. If I have run out of
22 time, then I have no further questions because I want to finish within
23 the time allotted.
24 I thank Ms. Palic for all the answers she gave and I apologise to
25 her if I had to ask some questions not because of her but to defend
1 myself because I've been accused of something I haven't done. I wish her
2 a safe journey and a safe return to her home and family, and may God
3 bless her and protect her. Thank you, Ms. Palic. Have a good trip and
4 God bless you.
5 Mr. President, I have concluded my cross-examination and the
6 Defence has no more questions for this witness. Thank you,
7 Mr. President, for the assistance you provided us.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. However, I would like to
9 stress that I didn't stop you. I just said, "and bear in mind the time
10 you are spending." I didn't stop you. I just want to put it on the
11 record. If you don't have any more questions in your cross-examination,
12 then Mr. Elderkin has the floor for his re-examination.
13 MR. ELDERKIN: If I may just have a moment, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
15 MR. ELDERKIN: Re-examination will be very brief.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Elderkin:
17 Q. Good morning to you, Ms. Palic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. I'd like to follow up on questions that you were asked both
20 yesterday at the transcript page 13331, and the question involved who, in
21 fact, interrogated your husband after his capture by the Bosnian Serb
22 army. And you were asked the question:
23 "Q. Thank you, Ms. Palic, I want to ask you to be precise. A
24 moment ago you said that nobody saw your husband except me, and you
25 should have said when I saw him. You also said that I interrogated him
1 in an apartment. Can you tell us who said that and when?"
2 The question continues. Again this morning you were asked at
3 page 11, lines 2 to 3, in the context of who interrogated your husband:
4 "If I had his statement, if I had asked him ..." Then the question again
6 MR. ELDERKIN: So in the context of that cross-examination, I'd
7 ask, please, to see Exhibit P487.
8 Q. I haven't shown you this document before so I'd like you to take
9 a moment, please, to read through it. The origin, the date at the top,
10 the content, and who wrote it, please.
11 A. I didn't have the document but I had the information. The
12 handicap in my struggle is that I don't have access to such documents,
13 but I do have information that -- and I'll ask the Presiding Judge to
14 give me permission to do so at the end. My husband was actually trapped
15 by Zdravko Tolimir. Zdravko Tolimir was the representative of the Serb
16 side, Avdo Palic was the representative of the Bosniak side. If
17 Zdravko Tolimir would have been taken prisoner, Avdo Palic would have
18 been responsibile. The way it happened, it's the other way around. It's
19 a fact, though, that there are statements that the soldiers who took my
20 husband prisoner handed him over to officers Furtula and Tolimir. In one
21 statement it is said that it was at the source of the Zepa. In other
22 statements there is no such precise information.
23 MR. ELDERKIN: Just because we can't see on the English
24 translation the source of the document, I'd ask first of all that we
25 could see the second page of the English translation, but I just want to
1 read out on that first page the document was dated 28th of July of 1995
2 and it's sent to recipients the VRS Main Staff Sector for Intelligence
3 and Security, General Krstic personally, and the Drina Corps Intelligence
4 and Security organ. It's sent from the command of the Rogatica Brigade,
5 and the title is "Mine Disposition in Zepa." And it starts:
6 "During the conversation with Avdo Palic, we found out that the
7 minefields and individual mines were laid at the following locations."
8 Q. Now I've put that in context, if we could see the rest of the
9 English translation, there should be a second page which has the footer
10 of the document, and we can see that the typed signature block is
11 "Major General Zdravko Polimir." Now, within that context excuse myself
12 for interrupting and ask you to continue whether you have any knowledge,
13 or based on your review of this document, whether it's your understanding
14 that General Tolimir was involved in the questioning of your husband
15 after his capture?
16 A. According to the information I have, General Tolimir was involved
17 in the talks and he was the one with whom Avdo co-operated. To my
18 knowledge, when Avdo was kidnapped from the UN base on the 27th of July
19 in the morning when he was invited to the talks, he was kidnapped from
20 the base and the soldiers handed him over to Furtula and Tolimir, which
21 means that Tolimir was present when the prisoner was brought in.
22 Logically, Tolimir knew about his arrest and possibly ordered it.
23 Then there's information that Avdo was held in Zoran Carkic's
24 apartment in Rogatica for 15 days which fits in because there are
25 witnesses who said that Avdo was taken to the secret prison in Bijeljina
1 on the 15th of August, and I have information from the Ukrainian soldier
2 that Avdo during the first 15 days was at Rogatica and he was being
3 questioned. There's information that -- or, rather, there are
4 testimonies that he was questioned by the officers of the Main Staff of
5 the VRS. This gentleman was one of the most important men in the
6 Main Staff, which means one of those who conducted the deportation of the
7 Zepa population. Secondly, Beara was appointed, but without this man,
8 Tolimir, nothing could happen in Zepa and nothing concerning Avdo
9 happened without Tolimir knowing. This -- I state that with full
10 responsibility and this is proof of that too. I'm in the position to
11 document some things but not others.
12 MR. ELDERKIN: Ms. Palic, thank you very much. I don't have any
13 more questions in re-examination. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we see the first page of the English version
15 again, please.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to ask you an additional question,
18 Ms. Palic. You just said that your husband was kidnapped from the
19 UN base on the 27th of July and then was handed over to Furtula and
20 Mr. Tolimir. What is the source of your knowledge about that?
21 A. The source is the witness statement -- or, rather, the statement
22 of the soldiers who arrested or kidnapped my husband and handed him over.
23 An investigation was conducted by a commission of the VRS and a number of
24 persons were interviewed, among them the soldiers who kidnapped him.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then you mentioned Mr. Carkic and that Avdo Palic
1 was taken to his apartment. What is the source of this information?
2 A. Also the statement of Zoran Carkic that he gave to the
3 investigators of that commission.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Palic, this concludes the questioning for you
5 in this trial. The Chamber would like to thank you that you were able to
6 come to The Hague to provide you -- to provide us with your knowledge and
7 we are very glad that you were able to stand this very difficult and
8 emotionally difficult situation.
9 Now you are free to return to your normal life, and the Chamber
10 would like to thank you again.
11 We will adjourn now for the first break and resume at 11.00 with
12 the next witness. Thank you very much.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome, Ms. Hasan. Good to see you again in the
17 courtroom. Is the next witness ready?
18 MS. HASAN: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honour. The next
19 witness is ready and may be brought in.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And help me, which protective measures are in
21 place for the witness?
22 MS. HASAN: He will be testifying under a pseudonym and with face
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The witness should be brought in,
25 please. We go into closed session to enable him to get into the
2 [Closed session]
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Please wait a moment, we have
9 to arrange something.
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, again, sir. Welcome to the
12 Tribunal. Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which
13 is shown to you now.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
17 yourself comfortable.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan for the Prosecution is now putting
20 questions to you during the examination-in-chief.
21 Ms. Hasan, you have the floor.
22 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, before I begin, the last time this
23 witness testified he received a caution and it may be appropriate to give
24 him that same caution this time around.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Sir, we have in our Rules of Procedure and Evidence a rule which
2 I would like to read out to you as a caution. I quote, this is
3 Rule 90(E) of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence:
4 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
5 incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to
6 answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used
7 as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
8 offence other than false testimony."
9 Sir, did you understand what I have read to you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 Ms. Hasan.
13 WITNESS: PW-064
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Ms. Hasan:
16 MS. HASAN: May we have 65 ter 7336 displayed on the screen,
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which should not be broadcast.
19 MS. HASAN:
20 Q. Witness, without reading anything aloud, could you please look at
21 the screen and confirm whether the name that appears under pseudonym
22 PW-064 is your name?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. HASAN: I offer the pseudonym sheet into evidence.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
1 MS. HASAN:
2 Q. Witness, have you recently --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 7336 shall be
5 assigned Exhibit P2193, admitted under seal. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the number. It is not
7 properly recorded, at least in e-court.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 7336 shall be assigned
9 Exhibit P2193, admitted under seal. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I see it was recorded correctly in LiveNote.
11 Ms. Hasan.
12 MS. HASAN:
13 Q. Witness, have you recently had the opportunity to listen to your
14 testimony from the Popovic case, which you gave on the 23rd, 26th and
15 27th of March, 2007?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And did you listen to that testimony in your own language?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was the evidence that you gave in that trial true and accurate to
20 the best of your knowledge?
21 A. Yes.
22 MS. HASAN: I would then offer Mr. President, the transcript
23 of --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think there's a problem with the microphone.
25 Try it again, please.
1 MS. HASAN: So given that it looks like it was recorded, the
2 answer of the witness was recorded, I would then offer the transcript of
3 this witness's testimony from the Popovic case, namely 65 ter 6517 and
4 6518, into evidence, which have already provisionally been given exhibit
5 numbers P1030 and 1031, respectively.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received, the first one under seal.
7 MS. HASAN: And at this stage I'd also offer into evidence all
8 the associated exhibits admitted through the witness in that trial,
9 namely 65 ter 6519 through to 6529, in addition to 65 ter 1327, 992, and
10 3377. Again all of these exhibits have been provisionally given exhibit
11 numbers P1032 through 1045.
12 And just one other clarification, it seems that 65 ter 1327 that
13 I've just referred to as an associate exhibit, has already been admitted
14 as P1042 in this trial.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Do all documents have a translation?
16 MS. HASAN: I'm told that they do.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the first six documents are under seal and
18 also P1043 under seal; is that correct?
19 MS. HASAN: That's correct.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received. P1032, 1033, 1034, 1035,
21 1036, 1037, and 1043, under seal.
22 MS. HASAN: And with your leave, Mr. President, I will now read a
23 summary of the witness's prior testimony.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please.
25 MS. HASAN: If I may, just for the first bit, go into private
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. Private.
3 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
13 MS. HASAN: In the evening on the day before the witness saw an
14 execution in Kravica, he recalled being in Bratunac at the municipal
15 building with Srbislav Davidovic, the president of the Executive Board of
16 the Municipal Assembly of Bratunac. While there, he saw buses full of
17 men and civilian policemen at the entrance of the municipal building.
18 The men on the buses asked for water, which the witness provided.
19 The day after seeing the buses carrying the men, the witness went
20 to Konjevic Polje. On his way there, he saw buses carrying women,
21 children, and the elderly moving in the same direction, that is, from
22 Bratunac towards Konjevic Polje. En route, he drove through Kravica, and
23 as he passed the farmers' co-operative building, which is what we are
24 referring to as the Kravica warehouse, he saw a man in a green camouflage
25 uniform order five men to lie on their stomachs and then proceed to shoot
1 each of them in the back. The witness also saw a pile of approximately
2 40 to 50 bodies to the right of where this execution took place. There
3 were between 10 and 20 men in camouflage uniforms walking around in the
4 area that this witness saw.
5 That same evening the witness met with Ljubisa Borovcanin, the
6 deputy commander of the Special Police Brigade, Miroslav Deronjic, the
7 president of the SDS Bratunac, and Srbislav Davidovic, the president of
8 the Executive Board, and maybe some others at the Jasen restaurant in
9 Bratunac. A young man with bandaged hands joined them later at the
10 restaurant. The witness was told during this gathering that a member of
11 the Special Police Unit had been killed and that the young man who had
12 joined them later on had burned his hands after seizing a rifle from a
13 Muslim man. The witness told the group about the killings that he had
14 witnessed previously that day at the Kravica warehouse.
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am very sorry, we have to check ...
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We had to check if there is something on the
19 record we have to redact and we will do that. Please carry on.
20 MS. HASAN: After seeing Borovcanin, the witness returned to his
21 office, and while in his office that night, he received a call from the
22 municipality instructing him to report to the SDS premises where
23 Colonel Beara was awaiting him. The witness knew that Colonel Beara was
24 a senior officer of the VRS. Colonel Beara inquired about the machinery
25 and manpower the public utility company had at its disposal. The witness
1 told Colonel Beara that the company had two FAP trucks, a small SKIP
2 excavator and men, which had been mobilised to work for the company.
3 Colonel Beara told the witness to prepare the equipment because "there
4 will be a lot of dead and they need to be buried." After some further
5 discussion, Colonel Beara dismissed the witness and told him to await
6 further orders.
7 During the early morning hours, the witness received a call
8 summoning him once again to the SDS premises. Colonel Beara told the
9 witness that a military policeman would accompany him to show him where
10 the location was where they were to dig out graves. The witness left
11 with the military policeman in a military police vehicle to Glogova and
12 was shown where the graves were to be dug out.
13 In the morning, the men mobilised to work for the RAD company
14 were taken by truck --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, is there any problem with
16 translation or recording?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I extend
18 my greetings to Ms. Hasan. Could I please hear on which day he received
19 the phone call and on which day he was contacted by Beara because that's
20 very important.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, this is not an appropriate interruption.
22 Ms. Hasan is reading a summary and she shouldn't be interrupted by that.
23 Please continue.
24 MS. HASAN: In the morning, the men mobilised to work for the RAD
25 company were taken by truck to the grave-site location. They attempted
1 to dig the graves using a ULT loader excavator owned by the brickworks
2 Bratunac company, but could not do so. The witness informed
3 Colonel Beara of the problem and was told that a backhoe excavator from
4 the Zvornik Brigade would be sent for them to use.
5 A backhoe excavator arrived in the afternoon from the direction
6 of Kravica or Konjevic Polje, which was then used to dig four graves.
7 The work was completed by persons working for the RAD public utility
8 company and members of the civilian protection.
9 That evening, one or two trucks carrying dead bodies arrived, but
10 it was on the following days that the trucks started to arrive in large
11 numbers. In addition to the bodies that were collected from Kravica,
12 they buried bodies that were collected from near the Konjevic Polje
13 cross-road and from around the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac. The
14 witness himself saw some of the dead bodies that lay near the
15 Konjevic Polje intersection and in front of the Vuk Karadzic school. The
16 witness estimated that around 400 to 500 bodies were buried over the
17 three days that he attended at the Glogova grave-site. He does, however,
18 believe that more bodies were buried at the location after he left the
20 Mr. President, that concludes my summary.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 MS. HASAN:
23 Q. Witness, you previously testified that you met with deputy
24 commander of the Special Police Brigade Ljubisa Borovcanin at the Jasen
25 restaurant in Bratunac and that that was the day you witnessed killings
1 in Kravica. Aside from Mr. Borovcanin, who else was present at the Jasen
2 restaurant with you?
3 A. At the Jasen restaurant apart from Mr. Borovcanin and me, there
4 were Mr. Miroslav Deronjic, Mr. Srbislav Davidovic, I think there was
5 Mr. Ljubo Simic. Later we were joined by the police officer who was at
6 the medical centre in Bratunac to be treated, and I think there were
7 other people, actually I'm sure that there were other people present but
8 I don't remember who.
9 Q. Do you recall whether someone by the name of Dragan Josipovic,
10 whose first name is Miodrag, was present?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. And approximately what time did this gathering take place?
13 A. It may have been around 7.00, 7.30, and we stayed maybe until
15 Q. On whose initiative did you all meet?
16 A. Ljubisa Borovcanin and I met somewhere in town. I invited
17 Ljubisa to dinner to the Jasen restaurant and later on I met
18 Srbislav Davidovic, Miroslav Deronjic, Ljubisa -- and I don't know who
19 else and I said that I would have dinner at the Jasen with
20 Ljubisa Borovcanin, so I told them to join us there so we could talk.
21 Q. You just told us and you previously testified about a man who
22 joined you who had been treated at the medical centre in Bratunac.
23 Please tell us what you were told during your dinner about what had
24 happened to that man.
25 A. Before this young man arrived at the restaurant, I think
1 Ljubisa Borovcanin said that he had a policeman from a special unit --
2 that one of the policeman were the special unit was killed and another
3 was wounded. The incident occurred at Sandici or Kravica. One Muslim
4 grabbed a rifle from a policeman and shot him. He killed him. The other
5 policeman was nearby so he grabbed the barrel in order to avoid more
6 casualties. They wrestled for the rifle and the barrel was probably or,
7 rather, obviously very hot from the firing. That's why this lad burned
8 his left hand or more precisely the fingers on his left hand.
9 MS. HASAN: May we have P1042 displayed, and specifically page 2
10 in the English version which corresponds to page 30 of the B/C/S version.
11 Q. Witness, I'm going to show you the log-book, which you have seen
12 before, that shows the admission of patients to the Bratunac health
13 centre in 1995.
14 MS. HASAN: And if I could request the assistance of the
15 Court Usher to hand the witness the original log-book.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please do that. Did the Defence have the
17 opportunity to look into this log-book?
18 MS. HASAN: Not at the original log-book, no.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's given to Mr. Gajic. The witness is now in
20 the possession of this log-book. Ms. Hasan, please go ahead.
21 MS. HASAN:
22 Q. Witness, there's a page that's marked, and I see that you have
23 that open before you, and you were shown this page by Defence counsel in
24 cross-examination in the previous trial. And in respect of the entries
25 marked 1490 and 1491, you testified that those could have been the
1 policemen who were involved in the incident that was related to you by
2 Mr. Borovcanin that evening.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This should not be broadcast because it's under
5 MS. HASAN: My apologies, Mr. President, I didn't catch that.
6 But you are correct, it's a document that is under seal.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In your list of documents to be used with the
8 witness it is not marked as under seal. This is the problem.
9 MS. HASAN: I see that.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And therefore we should put it under seal in this
11 trial as well. P1042.
12 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Now, Witness, have a look at those entries, 1490 and 1491. And
14 you will see there that there is a column which specifies the units these
15 men were in. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you see there that it says they were members of the -- 1490,
18 it says MUP, Special Brigade. And for 1491 it says Special Police
19 Skelani. Does that reflect the information that you received about the
20 two men, the one of which who was injured and the other who was killed,
21 that you were told?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if you could please read the diagnosis and the description of
24 the injury that patient 1490 sustained. And that's the entry -- his name
25 is Rade Cuturic. Are you able to read --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that a protected name? I think the reason why
2 this is all under seal could be that this contains some medical
3 information which is confidential. I don't know. Please check that.
4 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I'm told that there's not very much
5 that's confidential in this hospital log and there's probably no need to
6 go into private session.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I only wanted to know if it is necessary to
8 mention the name of the patient.
9 MS. HASAN: I can -- I don't have to mention the name. I can
10 just refer to the entry numbers, that's fine. That's sufficient.
11 Q. Witness, for patient 1490, are you able to read the description
12 of the injury that the patient sustained?
13 A. The rather illegible and I think that it's in Latin.
14 Q. Well, I can --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could that be enlarged, please, this part of the
16 document in both languages.
17 MS. HASAN:
18 Q. I can assist you with that. What it says, and part of it is in
19 Latin, is, and we see this in the English version, "burns on the palms of
20 the hands and 2 to 4 fingers of the left-hand with," and then there's a
21 note that the rest is illegible. Does that injury match what you learned
22 about the injuries sustained by the policemen who joined you at the Jasen
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And for patient 1491, again the description, the diagnosis there
1 is in Latin. It states "exitus letalis" and I can tell you that that's a
2 Latin medical term for "deceased," as it has been translated here on the
3 English version. Does that accord with what you learned of what had
4 happened to the second policeman?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. HASAN: And for the purposes of the record, after
7 "exitus letalis," in the B/C/S version there's no question mark. In the
8 English version there is a question mark, but it doesn't appear in B/C/S.
9 Q. Now if we look at the birth date of patient 1490, it's recorded
10 as 26 August 1971. This means he would have been 23 at the time. Was
11 that the approximate age of the man who arrived at the restaurant with
12 the bandaged hand?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And as for the time of the admission of both these patients, and
15 it states here they were admitted on the 13th of July, 1995, is the time
16 of their admission consistent with what you had learned had happened to
17 this patient and when it had happened?
18 A. Well, we didn't talk about the time when the wounded patient
19 arrived at the health centre. But I assume, since he came to the
20 restaurant after an hour and a half or about two hours, that this is the
21 correct entry of time.
22 Q. I'm going to turn now to the meetings you had with Colonel Beara
23 that same night. You had two meetings at the SDS premises and you
24 testified about those two meetings at some length in the Popovic trial.
25 Could you please just explain for the Chamber what it is that
1 Colonel Beara tasked you with?
2 A. After we left the Jasen restaurant, I went to my office, the
3 office of my company. After some time I received a phone call. It was
4 the Bratunac municipality. They told me to go to the SDS, or more
5 precisely to Miroslav Deronjic's office. I was told that Colonel Beara
6 was going to wait for me there because he had to tell me something.
7 Should I continue or are you going to pose questions?
8 Q. If you could just please tell us what he had tasked you to do.
9 A. I left my office and went to the SDS. There, in the secretary's
10 office, I found two military policemen at the entrance to the office of
11 Mr. Deronjic. I told them that I came on the invitation of
12 Colonel Beara. They let me in. I entered. In the office I found
13 Mr. Beara and another two officers that I did not know. I hadn't seen
14 them up to that (redacted)
16 (redacted). I told him that we had a small
17 SKIP excavator and two FAP kipper trucks, and I also had people who were
18 mobilised on the work obligation to work in the utility company. He told
19 me that everything should be set up, that we should look into what other
20 resources we had because, during the night or in the morning, all this
21 should go to the territory of the Milici municipality in order to bury
22 the people who were supposed to lose their lives. He assumed that there
23 was going to be a large number of dead. I said how come we are supposed
24 to do this when we have so little of resources and mechanisation and just
25 a few workmen, and we are supposed to do that in a the territory of
1 another municipality. He told that was not my problem. He said that I
2 should just prepare everything. So there was a bit of a quarrel after
3 which he told me that I was free to go and await further orders. Then I
4 left and I went home.
5 Sometime after midnight, about 1.00 or 1.30 a.m., it was, I
6 think, one of the military policemen who phoned me and told me to return
7 to that office. I went there. On that occasion, Mr. Beara was alone in
8 the office. He offered a drink, which I refused. He called the military
9 policeman to come into the office and told that military policeman to
10 drive me to Glogova, that was the place where we were supposed to bury
11 the dead. When he told me that I was supposed to do that, I refused that
12 and I said that I'm not going to go around looking for locations for
13 burial. He said, "You have this military policeman, he'll tell you where
14 the locations is. You just have to dig."
15 So tomorrow, at around 9.00, we came there -- or, rather, the
16 workmen had already assembled at the place where they would usually
17 assemble and I told them that they had to go to up to Glogova. I arrived
18 there, the machine arrived, and we began digging. It didn't go well.
19 That's when I told Colonel Beara that a ULT was not supposed to dig. It
20 was supposed to load, because it was a loader. When we began our work,
21 it became quite obvious that it was impossible to do that.
22 Now, I don't remember whether I did it myself or through a
23 military policeman, but I informed Mr. Beara that his order could not be
24 carried out. He promised an excavator. That excavator was supposed to
25 come from the Zvornik Brigade in order to finish the job. We waited for
1 almost half of the day. Sometime in the afternoon a huge truck came, a
2 flat-bed truck, and the excavator was brought to Glogova. The flat-bed
3 truck went back towards Kravica, Konjevic Polje and Zvornik, that is the
4 place where it came from. And we continued the digging.
5 Q. Thank you, Witness. I'll ask you some more questions about the
6 graves in a moment. Can you --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you continue, I would like to remind the
8 witness not to mention his own name. It is a protected name. It
9 shouldn't be mentioned and that part where you did it will be redacted.
10 Please continue.
11 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Could you please describe for us the location where the graves
13 were dug?
14 A. The military policeman drove me along the road Bratunac-Konjevic
15 Polje. At the place where the old road turned toward Kravica, that used
16 to be an old road that was used until the proper road was built, and
17 that's where we turned. We drove for 100 or 150 metres. First he
18 reversed the vehicle and parked it so that it was facing the direction of
19 Bratunac. We left the vehicle then. He showed me, by hand, where we
20 were supposed to dig the common or mass grave. I said yes, I understand
21 that, and that's when we again took the vehicle and went back.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MS. HASAN: And may we have 65 ter 1031 displayed on the screen.
24 And if the witness could be provided with a pen and perhaps the Bratunac
25 health log can be removed from in front of the witness as well.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, with the assistance of the Court Usher.
2 MS. HASAN: Could we perhaps zero in a bit closer on that image.
3 And if we could turn it the right way up, so 180 degrees, please. Thank
5 Q. Witness, do you recognise the roads that are depicted on this
6 aerial image?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you please -- are these the roads that you just mentioned
9 to us? Is this the site of where the graves were dug?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Interpreters kindly ask
11 the Prosecution counsel to switch off the microphone while the witness is
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I said yes, maybe you didn't
14 hear me.
15 MS. HASAN:
16 Q. Thank you. And could you please draw a circle around the area
17 where the graves were dug.
18 A. It's a bit unclear, looking at these houses, but I assume that
19 it's approximately this here. That was a big one, and right next to it
20 there was a smaller one. And then two of them were across the road, like
22 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, I'd like to offer this aerial image
23 with the witness's markings as the next exhibit.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1031 marked by the
1 witness in court shall be assigned Exhibit P2194. Thank you.
2 MS. HASAN: May we now have P444 shown on the screen, please.
3 Q. Do you recognise this location?
4 A. This is the cross-roads. On one side there is the road between
5 Sarajevo and Bratunac, and on the other side, the road leads to
6 Konjevic Polje.
7 Q. And this the location where you previously testified you saw some
8 dead bodies?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Would you please mark on this photograph where it is that you saw
11 dead bodies?
12 A. Approximately here in front of this building where the gas
13 station now is. This other building doesn't exist anymore, that used to
14 be the agricultural co-operative in Bratunac. It's approximately here.
15 And here -- but here you can't see the place where the church is, but it
16 was approximately here.
17 Q. Did your --
18 A. Or somewhere here. Well, it's thereabouts. But I also have to
19 add that later on, when I sent the driver to pick up the corpses that
20 were next to the road and those ones that I had seen, he told me that
21 next to the school a woman was killed and a little bit further down, in a
22 canal they found another two men. So that's as far as Konjevic Polje is
24 Q. For the purposes of the record, could you please mark the
25 locations you have just marked with an X with the numbers 1, 2, and 3,
1 consecutively from left to right.
2 A. [Marks]
3 MS. HASAN: Thank you. Mr. President, I offer this marked
4 photograph as the next exhibit.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's not very clear. You should put on
6 the record which is number 2 and number 3 because he marked it the other
7 way around.
8 MS. HASAN:
9 Q. Witness, could you please -- the location that you've marked as
10 number 2, could you please describe where that is?
11 A. The place that I marked with number 2 -- or actually 1, 2, and 3,
12 those are the places where I saw several corpses, five or six at a single
13 spot. In total, there were about 10 or 15 corpses on those three places.
14 Q. And the X that you've marked with a number 2, there appears to be
15 a church nearby, was that church standing in July of 1995?
16 A. No, it was built later, this church. You can't see it really
17 well on this picture, but this, the place that I marked on this photo, it
18 looks as if the road goes behind the church, but it goes in front of the
19 church. Today there is a cafe here. Looking from Konjevic Polje towards
20 Bratunac it's on the right-hand side. It's right there on the
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This marked photograph will be
23 received as an exhibit.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Exhibit P444 marked by the witness
25 in court shall be assigned Exhibit P2195. Thank you.
1 MS. HASAN:
2 Q. Witness, did you and your personnel collect these bodies and take
3 them to Glogova, to the grave-site there?
4 A. Yes. Yes.
5 MS. HASAN: May we have P1045 now displayed on the screens.
6 Q. Witness, you previously testified that you saw some bodies also
7 by the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac, and the last time you testified,
8 you were shown an aerial image of Bratunac and you were asked to mark
9 where it is that you saw those bodies. I'm going to show you that aerial
10 image that you had marked. Do you see the red X on the screen?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you confirm that that is the location where you saw the dead
14 A. This is the place where I saw five or six corpses. In the
15 evening when we were giving water to the people who were in the buses in
16 front of the municipality.
17 Q. And this reference you make to the buses that were in front of
18 the municipality, who was in those buses?
19 A. Those were people of Muslim ethnicity.
20 Q. And did you see these buses before or after you met with
21 Borovcanin and Colonel Beara?
22 A. The buses I saw the day before I met with Mr. Borovcanin and
23 Mr. Beara.
24 Q. What did you do after you saw those bodies? What did you do with
25 the bodies, if anything?
1 A. I informed the duty driver in my utility company. It was
2 Milivoj Cetinovic. I told him to take the people who were on duty and
3 pick up those corpses.
4 Q. Were those corpses buried that day?
5 A. No, they weren't.
6 Q. Where were they put?
7 A. They remained on the truck. He collected some corpses the next
8 day next to the school and told me that in addition to the five or six I
9 told him to collect, that he ended up collecting more. When we started
10 digging in Glogova, it was then that we brought a truck that was almost
11 full of corpses from the school and buried them together with the corpses
12 from Kravica.
13 Q. And did the driver or any of the personnel who collected bodies
14 from the Vuk Karadzic school inform you of how many bodies they
16 A. The driver told me that there were far more than I instructed him
17 to collect, but all I saw was five or six of them in the corner of the
18 field next to the Vuk Karadzic school. However, when he went to the
19 location, he told me that there were more corpses than I had told him to
20 collect and that he picked up all of them.
21 Q. Did he tell you where they found the dead bodies?
22 A. In the school-yard and around the school.
23 Q. How long were your personnel engaged in the collection of dead
24 bodies from the Vuk -- in and around -- sorry, around, you've said, the
25 Vuk Karadzic school?
1 A. Two days. They were buried on the third day.
2 Q. Do you know how many truck-loads of dead bodies were removed from
3 the Vuk Karadzic school over those two days?
4 A. One truck-load.
5 Q. Witness, how many days in total were your personnel involved in
6 the collection of bodies that were taken to the Glogova grave-site?
7 A. Two or three days.
8 Q. How many bodies would you say were collected and buried at that
10 A. In total, in my estimate there were between 4- and 500 people
11 buried in the mass grave. However, my final estimate would be that the
12 total was far greater since I wasn't at the site all the time. I went
13 back and forth between the site and my company. Therefore, I can't tell
14 you a specific number, but between 4- and 500 bodies were brought to the
15 location just at those times when I was there.
16 Q. The Prosecution's investigations reveal that there were
17 1.131 bodies that were buried at this Glogova grave-site. Does that
18 figure surprise you?
19 A. It's probably a credible figure because there was work at the
20 location for five or six days. I was there for only limited periods of
21 time, and if my assumption is that between 4- and 500 people were buried
22 there when I was there, then the total you presented may well be a
23 credible number.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a question to the witness for a
25 clarification. You were asked by Ms. Hasan the following question:
1 "Do you know how many truck-loads of dead bodies were removed
2 from the Vuk Karadzic school over those two days?"
3 And then you said: "One truck-load."
4 Two questions. One truck-load every day or altogether?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One truck-load in total. As I was
6 explaining a moment ago, there were five or six bodies for which I told
7 the driver to collect. They spent the night on that truck and the next
8 day he picked up some more. Later on, the truck took all of the bodies
9 to Glogova, so there was one truck-load of corpses collected from the
10 school compound.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is your estimation how many bodies were on
12 this one truck?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw five or six, but the driver
14 told me that there were more. I don't know how many exactly. Maybe
15 twice as many. In any case, a truck full of corpses arrived in Glogova.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
17 Ms. Hasan.
18 MS. HASAN:
19 Q. Witness, you previously testified that you dispatched men to
20 collect bodies from the Kravica agricultural co-operative, what we are
21 referring to here in this trial as the Kravica warehouse, from near the
22 Konjevic Polje intersection and from along the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac
23 road, as well as those bodies that were collected from Bratunac itself.
24 As regards the bodies that were collected from the Konjevic
25 Polje-Bratunac road, were there any bodies collected from the
1 Kravica-Bratunac section -- segment of that road?
2 A. In the course of the few days when we were in Glogova, I sent
3 people -- the people and the truck to Konjevic Polje, and from Kravica to
4 Konjevic Polje, where there was fighting, to collect the bodies. I
5 didn't send them in the direction of Bratunac, and there were no corpses
6 between Bratunac and Glogova or Kravica.
7 Q. How many dead bodies were collected from along the
8 Kravica-Konjevic Polje road?
9 A. A truck-load. A truck full of corpses was brought in, so between
10 20 and 25 on that single truck.
11 Q. And --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. Judge Nyambe has a question.
13 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. At -- I can't pick up the page, but I
14 think it's just now on line 22, 23, you have stated: "... and from
15 Kravica to Konjevic Polje, where there was fighting, to collect the
16 bodies." Have I quoted you correctly. Now, I want you to just clarify
17 for me who was fighting in that location?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were the bodies of killed
19 Muslim soldiers, that is to say, people who had arms in combat against
20 the VRS. They were trying to break through to or along the
21 Kravica-Konjevic Polje road, so there were some corpses which we
22 collected there as well.
23 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
25 MS. HASAN:
1 Q. The figure that you mentioned of the number of bodies in the
2 truck-load that were taken from along the Konjevic Polje-Kravica road,
3 does that figure include the 15 or so bodies that you collected from the
4 three locations that you just marked on the photograph that shows the
5 cross-roads at Konjevic Polje?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you or your personnel collect any bodies from the areas that
8 were mined or that you thought were mined?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Please tell us why not?
11 A. The driver and people I sent to collect the roads [as
12 interpreted] along the roads and nearby the roads were told by me not to
13 go any further afield because the terrain was mined. I didn't want to
14 make things worse than they were. I didn't want the things to become
15 worse so I cautioned them not to do that.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Line 22, it should
17 be "I sent to collect the corpses."
18 MS. HASAN:
19 Q. So do I understand you correctly, were your men restricted to
20 collecting bodies from the road itself?
21 A. Yes, you understood that well. I told them, "Don't stray from
22 the road, go out by mere 2 to 3 metres and not more." We all knew that
23 the area was mined, and this is how they did it.
24 Q. Aside from the locations we've just mentioned where you've
25 collected dead bodies from, were your men assigned to collect -- to
1 gather dead bodies from any other locations?
2 A. I didn't know of any other locations, only Kravica. Our truck
3 from the public utility company, the FAP 13, took the corpses to the
4 Glogova site. There were some other trucks engaged in it from Milici,
5 Vlasenica and Zvornik as well. We didn't go to any other locations and I
6 didn't know of any.
7 Q. Thank you. And we have in evidence your testimony about the
8 collection of bodies from Kravica. Just one final question or -- yeah,
9 just the operation, if I can call it that, of the burial of the bodies at
10 the Glogova grave-site, was that done pursuant to the order that Beara
11 conveyed to you?
12 A. Yes.
13 MS. HASAN: Mr. President, that concludes my direct examination.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 Mr. Tolimir, now you may commence your cross-examination. You
16 have the floor.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Peace
18 unto this house and may this hearing be concluded in keeping with God's
19 will and not my own.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
21 Q. [Interpretation] I'd like to greet the witness and wish him a
22 pleasant stay with us. If possible, I'd kindly ask him to provide
23 answers to my questions.
24 A. Thank you. I'd like to greet you, Mr. Tolimir, as well.
25 Q. Thank you. At page 60, line 20, Ms. Hasan asked you how many
1 bodies were taken from the road between Konjevic Polje and Kravica. You
2 said, in line 21, that there were between 20 and 25, that is to say, a
3 truck full of corpses. My question is whether the approximate figure of
4 20 to 25 bodies can be put on to a single truck?
5 A. Well, I said there was a truck full of corpses and one can put
6 between 20 and 25 corpses on one truck.
7 Q. Thank you. I'm content with your answer. This is precisely what
8 I wanted to ask you. In line 18, page 61, Ms. Hasan asked you whether
9 you collected corpses from the areas that were mined. In line 22 you
10 said, "Yes, I told them not to collect bodies from the areas mined."
11 Since there seems to be a bit of confusion there, can you tell us
12 whether you indeed ordered your men not to leave the road and enter the
13 mined areas?
14 A. I was asked whether I ordered the workers not to collect bodies
15 from the areas that were mined, and I answered yes. I ordered them not
16 to collect any corpses from the areas that were mined. We only collected
17 bodies along the road and immediately adjacent to it. We didn't go any
18 further afield because we were afraid of further accidents.
19 Q. Thank you. That is precisely what I wanted to know. So you did
20 not stray from the road?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. At line 62 -- actually, page 62, line 13, you said that your
23 truck took the bodies from Kravica, as well as some other trucks that
24 were there from Milici and other locations. Do you know approximately
25 how many bodies were transferred from Kravica in total?
1 A. I said a moment ago that when I was present, there were between
2 4- and 500 corpses that were buried in the mass grave. If from the
3 school and Konjevic Polje there were, say, 50 or 40, it would mean that
4 the rest, that is to say between 400 and 450, were taken from Kravica to
5 Glogova when I was present there.
6 Q. Based on all information available to you, do you know whether
7 there was a total of 400 to 500 people buried from Kravica and that there
8 were 50 from Konjevic Polje?
9 A. I said that it is my estimate that there were buried between
10 4- and 500 people when I was present. If there were 50 from
11 Konjevic Polje and the school, it would mean that from Kravica that would
12 have been between 400 and 450.
13 Q. Thank you. Please do not be upset for asking again because you
14 said that it only included your presence. When you were present there
15 were any people buried in the grave?
16 A. I said a moment ago that they were. And there were probably more
17 people buried there than those who were buried while I was there, because
18 for most of the time, I was not at the location.
19 Q. Thank you. At the location in Kravica, in addition to the
20 4- to 500, were there more corpses or was this the total number?
21 A. There were more corpses.
22 Q. Thank you. At page 59, line 4, Ms. Hasan told you that it is the
23 position of the Prosecutor that there was a total of 1.131 corpses in
24 Glogova. In line 7 you said that it sounded like a credible figure.
25 A. Yes, precisely. I believe there were more people who were buried
1 there while I was absent than there were those who were buried there when
2 I was there.
3 Q. My question is this: The number of 1.131, was this the total
4 number of people buried there with or without you?
5 A. Yes, I think that is the correct figure.
6 Q. Thank you. At page 55 to 57 you were asked about the corpses
7 collected from the school compound and taken to Glogova and from
8 Konjevic Polje. Can you recall a total number of corpses that were
9 taken, approximately, from the school-yard in Bratunac and from
10 Konjevic Polje that you saw, and you indicated some locations where you
11 saw them? Can you give us a total?
12 A. In the school-yard of the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac I saw
13 5 or 6 corpses and I told the driver about them. When he collected them
14 that evening, the next day he told me he had collected more. He told me
15 that the figure I told him was incorrect and that there were more. He
16 picked them all up, and on the day when we were digging at Glogova, he
17 brought them there and they were buried there. When he said there were
18 more, we can guess that there may have been twice as many or let's say
19 between 12 and even up to 18, and then there was a truck-load of corpses
20 from Konjevic Polje, that is to say between 20 and 25. It would all add
21 up to around 40 corpses from Konjevic Polje and along the road between
22 Konjevic Polje and Kravica and Glogova, plus the corpses from the
23 school-yard of the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac.
24 Q. I apologise for repeating this because at page 58, line 17, you
25 said one truck. I was interested in whether 40 corpses could be put on a
1 single truck?
2 A. There was one truck from the school-yard which arrived in Glogova
3 to the location and there was another truck from Konjevic Polje to
4 Glogova, that makes two trucks, which we discussed.
5 Q. Thank you. On page 47, lines 13 onwards, you identified two
6 people who were registered in the hospital log-book. One was wounded and
7 the other dead. Since you know who the persons in question were, let us
8 not mention their names. Without revealing their identity, can you tell
9 us what kind of incident it was that one of the soldiers was killed and
10 the other wounded? And what was the cause of that incident?
11 A. I was accompanied by the few men I told you about at the dinner
12 and I was then told that there had been an incident at Sandici in Kravica
13 where a Muslim man managed to seize a weapon from a special unit
14 policeman. He fired at him, killing him. And the other person prevented
15 him from killing anyone else by grabbing the rifle of the automatic --
16 the barrel of the automatic rifle with his left hand. In the fight that
17 ensued, he managed to take the weapon from him but got his hand and
18 fingers burned. He was then bandaged in the hospital and then came to
19 the restaurant in Bratunac.
20 Q. When the summary was read out it was stated that you were also an
21 eye-witness of the Kravica events. Could this have been a cause of the
22 clash between the prisoners and those who guarded them?
23 A. General, if you don't mind repeat the question. I didn't
25 Q. Since there were no dead people before the moment the rifle was
1 seized by one of the prisoners -- up until that moment there weren't any
2 dead, were there?
3 A. I don't think there were.
4 Q. Did that incident when a policeman was killed serve as a reason
5 for revenge or retaliation between the prisoners and the policeman who
6 guarded them?
7 A. I didn't ponder that. I'd rather not provide my opinion. I'm
8 not competent to judge that.
9 Q. Thank you. I appreciate that. In any case, the important thing
10 is that there were no killed people before that moment. Perhaps you can
11 tell us because you were a witness.
12 MS. HASAN: Mr. President.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Hasan.
14 MS. HASAN: If General Tolimir is going to make that statement, I
15 would like to see where that comes from, that there were no people that
16 were killed before that moment.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He is just asking the witness about his knowledge
18 and the witness should answer this question.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ms. Hasan, a moment ago the witness
20 said that as far as he knew, there were no murders up to that point in
21 time. I just asked him again. He didn't know whether that was the cause
22 and he said that he didn't think about that before. I simply asked him
23 to confirm what he had stated previously.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you please repeat the question in a simple
25 term. I don't quite understand.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will simplify my question.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. In your previous answers you said that there were no killings
4 until the incident when a Muslim prisoner grabbed a rifle from a MUP
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is, I think, not a correct quotation of the
7 answer of the witness. He said something different. I have to try to
8 find the page. 67. You asked him:
9 "Since there were no dead people before the moment the rifle was
10 seized by one of the prisoners, up until that moment there weren't any
11 dead, were there?"
12 This was your question. And the witness answered:
13 "I don't think there were."
14 This is nothing about killing of people. But you put to him if
15 there were dead bodies. Please repeat your question in a correct way.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
17 you for reminding me. I consider dead people killed, but I'll repeat.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Were there any dead bodies or killed persons at Kravica until the
20 moment when the Muslim prisoner grabbed a rifle from a police officer who
21 guarded him and who was then killed by him? Thank you.
22 A. General, sir, it's much clearer now and I can say that it's
23 possible that people got killed even before that. It was around 6.00 or
24 7.00 in the evening, possibly even before 6.00, when I drove down the
25 road to Konjevic Polje and saw that incident when the soldier in the
1 camouflage uniform killed those five people. And I don't know when this
2 young man was wounded so I don't know if that triggered the subsequent
3 killings or not. As far as I was able to tell from the medical log-book
4 from Bratunac which says that he was brought there at 1745, which may
5 coincide with the hour when I went there and returned. So that it's
6 clearer now.
7 But I cannot state with certainty whether there were any such
8 incidents or not because I don't know exactly when that killing took
9 place or when that survivor was injured.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we are running out of time. We need
12 our second break and we will resume at 1.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That part will be redacted and, please,
22 Mr. Tolimir, try to avoid to mention his name.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, I apologise to the
24 witness and the Prosecution. I will no longer mention the witness's
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Witness, on page 42, line 4, the Prosecution, while it was
3 reading out the summary, right after your personal information you --
4 they say that -- they said that you witnessed an event in Kravica, and
5 they mentioned what you saw next to the co-operative building. And in
6 line 21 of the same page it was mentioned that you were at the Jasen
8 Here is my question to you: Did you have the meeting with
9 Mr. Beara, which you mention on page 43, line 12, did you have that
10 meeting before you witnessed that incident?
11 A. Before the incident I spent some three to four, maybe five, hours
12 before I met Colonel Beara, because I met him after 9.00 p.m. and I was
13 at Kravica around 5.00 or 6.00, I'm not sure, but it was in the late
15 Q. Thank you. Please tell us if you can remember the date when it
16 was, I mean the incident at Kravica? Thank you.
17 A. If I had given a statement to that effect in Banja Luka for the
18 first time, I wouldn't remember, but being here, I remember it was the
19 13th, day after Saint Peter's day. It happened at Kravica and I had
20 dinner with the aforementioned gentlemen at Jasen and after that I was
21 with Mr. Beara. So it was on the 13th.
22 Q. Thank you. Since you witnessed that incident and you mention it
23 in your statement, and since you first saw that incident and only had the
24 meeting afterward, does that sentence about the use of your machinery in
25 the future events make sense, shouldn't you have referred to past events?
1 Thank you.
2 A. What Colonel Beara asked me, and that's what I said too, I did
3 what he ordered me to do. Whether there was any logic in it, I don't
4 think so because I said to him, "What shall we do in another municipality
5 with this small machine and two trucks," and so on. Why he asked me to
6 do that, I don't know, you should ask him. But I carried out the order
7 issued to me. Whether there was any logic in it or not, well, I don't
9 Q. Thank you. I only wanted to know whether you had seen those shot
10 people before the meeting with Mr. Beara. Thank you.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Were there eye-witnesses until the end of the burial
13 of the bodies in the mass grave about which you confirmed the allegations
14 of the Prosecution that 1131 bodies were buried there, so were there any
15 eye-witnesses who stayed there until the end as long as the mass grave
16 was open? Thank you.
17 A. I believe so. And I think that they are still around, some died
18 but I believe that both persons who used those machines, Mr. Simic --
19 Q. Don't mention names. I'm not interested in the names. I'm only
20 interested in whether or not people -- there are any people who stayed
21 until the end and covered that mass grave?
22 A. Yes, I think there are such people.
23 Q. Thank you. Since there are eye-witnesses --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I request both speakers to pause between
25 question and answer and the next question. Because you are using the
1 same language, it's quite difficult for the interpreters to get
2 everything right. Please pause between question and answer.
3 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
5 Mr. President.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And I thank the witness for saying that he thinks there are such
8 people who were eye-witnesses. Please tell us now whether, apart from
9 these 50 you mentioned or I don't know which number from Konjevic Polje
10 and the school-yard at Bratunac, any other corpses from Bratunac were
11 buried at Glogova? Thank you.
12 A. Not to my knowledge. Except for the school-yard of the
13 Vuk Karadzic school at Bratunac, then Konjevic Polje, then the main road
14 from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac or Glogova, and from Kravica, I don't
15 think any corpses were brought from other places.
16 Q. Thank you. Your people who carried out the sanitation of the
17 places you mentioned, did they transport the entire number of 1131 that
18 you mentioned?
19 A. I said as much, but I'll repeat. The men I had at my disposal
20 used one FAP truck and the others drove trucks that were mobilised at
21 Zvornik, Milici and Vlasenica. And your question was whether I and my
22 men did it, no, we didn't. We only transported bodies on one FAP 13
24 Q. Thank you. That's exactly what you said during the
25 examination-in-chief. Here is my following question: Were corpses
1 transported from the same location on your FAP and on trucks mobilised
2 from other municipalities? Thank you.
3 A. Talking about the location at Kravica in front of the farming
4 co-operative building, mobilised trucks from Zvornik, Milici and
5 Vlasenica plus this FAP 13 of ours were used to transport corpses.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. I'm just interested in whether or not it was the
7 same location. Let us take a look at P1033. That's statement of yours
8 that you gave on 13 October 2000. No date is mentioned there. And I'm
9 grateful to you for saying that those events began on the 13th.
10 Now, let me ask you if you know on which date the transportation
11 from that location at Kravica to Glogova began? Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, just one moment. This document shouldn't
13 be broadcast. It is confidential. Now your answer, please.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The transportation of bodies from
15 Kravica to the mass grave at Glogova was on the 14th, which means on the
16 next day after the first incident at Kravica in front of the farming
17 co-operative building.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you for this information. On page 5 of this document,
20 P1033, I'm especially interested in what can be found on page 4 in
21 English. The investigator who examined you then, on 13 October 2000,
22 said in line 5 that you are not supposed to speak about the people who
23 were escaping through the forest. Did the utility services from Bratunac
24 or anywhere else collect those killed from the column that tried to break
25 through and transport them to any location that's known to you?
1 A. If I understood you correctly, those who were killed during the
2 break-through, whether or not my people collected those bodies and
3 transported them to the grave-site? Well, in that case my answer is no,
4 we did not collect those corpses because we weren't anywhere near the
5 combat activities.
6 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that such bodies were left on the
7 ground where they got killed in combat or otherwise? Thank you.
8 A. Well, you can believe me that there were such cases too.
9 Q. Thank you. Since according to testimonies of witnesses there was
10 a number of corpses along the path used for the break-through of the
11 column in the territory of Bratunac municipality, do you know whether the
12 military ever issued an order to collect those bodies since they were in
13 the territory of the Bratunac municipality? Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed. We will redact the last answer and
24 your comment.
25 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Ms. Hasan, or Mrs. It
2 was my mistake.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you tell us the following: Pobudjanska Kamenica, is that in
5 the territory of Bratunac municipality?
6 A. I'm not sure. I think that Kamenica is in the Zvornik
7 municipality, but I'm not sure.
8 Q. Thank you. Bare, is that in the territory of Bratunac
9 municipality? Have you heard of such a location, Bare, and is it in the
10 Bratunac municipality?
11 A. Well, to tell you honestly, I haven't heard of Bare.
12 Q. Thank you. We had a number of witnesses here who testified about
13 a large number of mortal remains at Bare, more than 600, and at
14 Pobudjanska Kamenica, more than 300. Have you heard or do you have any
15 knowledge about whether anybody collected the corpses along the path of
16 the column which went from Srebrenica to Baljkovica? Thank you.
17 A. If we are talking about the company and the civilian protection,
18 I can tell you for sure that nobody ever took part in the collection of
19 dead bodies in those two locations with my knowledge.
20 Q. Thank you. Tell us, then, do you have any information or
21 knowledge about whether the representatives of Zvornik municipality,
22 since you think that Pobudjanska Kamenica may be located in that
23 territory, do you have any information whether they collected the
24 executed men along the part of the column from Srebrenica to Baljkovica?
25 A. Well, that's a logical thing, isn't it? If Kamenica is in the
1 territory of Zvornik municipality, then it's within their jurisdiction
2 and then its their duty to collect those bodies, but I haven't heard
3 anything like that.
4 Q. Thank you. Then how can it be possible that some of the people
5 who were killed at those locations were found in the mass graves and
6 identified with the help of DNA? It must mean that somebody did collect
7 those bodies after all.
8 A. Well, I'm certainly not going to say that what you are saying is
9 not true, but to say that I know how those bodies ended up in the mass
10 graves together with the people who lost their lives in the area of
11 Bratunac, well, I don't know that.
12 Q. Thank you. You told us what you know. I merely asked you
13 whether you heard something to that effect. On page 7 of the same
14 document that is still on the screen, lines 10 to 12, that's page 7 in
15 English, you said that the workers of the company whose manager you are
16 never carried out either cleaning up or asanacija of any territory or
17 theatre of war outside the communications. Is that true?
18 A. About which period we are talking? If we are still talking about
19 the same period, it is true that we never collected any bodies outside
20 the communications and we did not carry out any sanitation or asanacija
21 elsewhere. As I just told you, we collected some bodies which were 2 or
22 3 metres from the communication but not from any other place.
23 Q. Thank you. Line 12, the same page, 7, you said that you never
24 carried the sanitation or asanacija of Srebrenica. My question is: Can
25 you now state for the record whether the staff of the company whose
1 manager you were, have they ever carried out sanitation or asanacija in
2 the town or municipality of Srebrenica?
3 A. I don't know how many times I already said that. I claim with
4 full responsibility that the workers of the public utility company did
5 not carry out sanitation or asanacija in Srebrenica. The reason for that
6 is that in Bratunac there were many Serbian inhabitants of Srebrenica.
7 They could hardly wait to go back, and as soon as they went back, they
8 established their own company. They had their own vehicles, dumpsters,
9 and everything else that we had in my company in Bratunac, only they had
10 it much better.
11 Q. On pages 9, 10 and 11 of your statement, the investigator who
12 interviewed you asked you on a number of occasions who ordered you to
13 carry out the asanacija of the battle-field. However, you just explain
14 how it went on. So I would like you to state once again for the record,
15 is the public utility service responsible or guilty if it receives an
16 order to bury corpses found in the territory of the municipality at a
17 certain location? Thank you.
18 A. I think that the public utility service has no responsibility
19 whatsoever. The reason for that is as follows: During the war, we used
20 to receive orders both from the civilian authorities and the military
21 authorities and we had a duty to carry out those orders. That is why I
22 think that the public utility service has no responsibility in relation
23 to that.
24 Q. Thank you. I asked you that because you were cautioned here and
25 I simply want it to be known that you did what people who were your
1 superiors ordered you to do; is that true?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Here on page 11, perhaps because you didn't have specific
4 information about the chronology, you stated that you saw Beara on
5 Tuesday, 11th of July. Is it maybe a misprint or you couldn't remember
6 it properly or is it maybe a misunderstanding? Thank you.
7 A. That's the statement from the year 2000 given in Banja Luka,
8 isn't it? When we talk about Banja Luka, I already said that during my
9 previous testimony before this honourable court, I said that I made many
10 mistakes about the dates on that occasion. The reason for that is that
11 Mr. Ruez was giving me dates and I was merely confirming them. However,
12 later on, when I saw that Saint Peter's day was on the 12th, that
13 something, for instance, in Kravica went on on the 13th, that's when I
14 realised that many of those dates were completely false. I don't know
15 whether Mr. Ruez did it on purpose, but he was the one saying out the
16 dates and I was confirming them. So I'm not sure that this statement
17 that I gave in Banja Luka is accurate when it comes to dates and
19 Q. Thank you very much for what you just said. Now, take a look at
20 line 21 and 22. That's page 10 in English. This is where you speak
21 about the 11th or the 10th. So does that mean that it couldn't have been
22 the way that it was described here in the transcript of your interview?
23 A. General, I didn't understand you well. What statement are you
24 talking about now?
25 Q. Thank you. It's the statement under the number 1033. Take a
1 look at lines 21 and 22. You have it in front of you. I want page 11 to
2 be shown to you. It's line 22 on page 11.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page and line in English?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's line 9 in English. You can
5 see it on the screen.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Maybe so that you can connect those things, take a look at
9 line 17 in Serbian, when Ruez asked you:
10 "Tell me, since you said that Colonel Beara said that this
11 operation was planned, do I conclude that this contact was just prior to
12 the fall of the enclave?"
14 "Day before, just the day before they planned to take over
16 Then he says:
17 "Okay, so I don't know if you have a perfect memory of these
18 dates because it was a long time ago, but the fall was on Tuesday, the
19 11th of July. Would it then be Monday, the 10th, that Colonel Beara went
20 to see you and made this request?"
21 And you say:
22 "I don't recall ..."
23 So my question is, bearing in mind everything that you said, that
24 you were relying on the dates that he provided to you and the chronology
25 that he provided, does that mean that you simply confirmed the dates that
1 you heard and that it could not have occurred on the 10th or the 11th?
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think you should put it in a complete manner to
3 the witness. In line 11 in the English version, it reads:
4 "I cannot recall the exact date, but that was the day prior to
5 the fall of Srebrenica, so that would be then." He didn't answer simply,
6 "I don't recall." That would be the complete quotation.
7 Now, sir, please, if you are able to do that, answer the
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already stated, during this
10 testimony as well as my previous testimony, that I met Mr. Beara the day
11 after Saint Peter's day, so that's the 13th. Here I can now see that
12 Mr. Ruez was talking about the 11th, saying was it on the 11th or maybe
13 on the 10th, before the fall of Srebrenica. Now, I'm not quite sure when
14 exactly Srebrenica fell, but I have to say that I had the first meeting
15 with Colonel Beara on the 13th after 9.00 in the evening. The second
16 meeting was during that same night around 1.00 or 1.30 a.m. And that's
17 the truth. I also asked during my previous testimony that I wouldn't
18 like to go back all the time to those dates that I mentioned in my
19 interview in Banja Luka with Mr. Ruez because you can see it quite
20 clearly that many of those dates are inaccurate.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you. That's exactly what I wanted to see. I wanted to
23 clarify those things which were still not clear. Everything else that
24 was also not clear in Mr. Ruez's questions, now you have the chance to
25 address all those ambiguities and all the things that were not clear to
1 Mr. Ruez. So that's the reason why I'm not going to ask you anything
2 about that anymore.
3 So am I right if I say that the first burials at Glogova began on
4 the 14th, yes or no?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Am I right if I say that the victims for the first
7 burials must have originated before the 14th?
8 A. Before and on the 14th.
9 Q. Thank you. On page 22 of your statement, the investigator asked
10 you whether you remember the buses in Bratunac. It's page 19 in English.
11 Lines 1 to 17, you talk about it on the whole page. And you said that
12 you remembered. And at line 22 -- page 22, line 16 to 17 -- excuse me,
13 page 22, line 16 to 17, you said:
14 "Yes, I remember that, but the second day."
15 Now, please, tell us the following: Which buses were you
16 referring to and were those buses full or empty?
17 A. I'll try to answer although the question isn't very clear to me.
18 The first buses I saw were in front of the Bratunac Municipal Assembly
19 building. I was there with Srbislav Davidovic, providing water with the
20 people on the buses. They were thirsty. The other buses I saw were
21 en route to Konjevic Polje. The next day when I saw the incident in
22 Kravica, that is when I saw both buses and trucks full of women,
23 children, and the elderly, that's what I could see through the windows.
24 Q. Since you saw women, children, and the elderly on the buses, can
25 you tell us, if you remember, whether they were transferred to Kladanj,
1 to ABiH territory, or did they end up in a different place?
2 A. While I was in Kravica and when I turned back in Konjevic Polje,
3 at the check-point in Konjevic Polje certain buses were stopped and then
4 released one by one. I don't know how far they went, though. I know for
5 certain that while I was in Konjevic Polje for that brief period of time,
6 that no one was taken off those buses or trucks and that they took the
7 road to Milici. I can't tell you how far they got, though.
8 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to clarify for the transcript something
9 that was unclear from your interview. On page 33 and 34, which is also
10 page 30 in the English, lines 33 and 34. It's page 30 in the English.
11 In line 20 -- sorry, 21, you were asked:
12 "What is it that you can recall about your movements on the
13 14th of July?"
14 When we look up, you were asked by Mr. Ruez about the mass grave.
15 My question is this: Do you recall when the mass graves in Glogova were
16 covered finally and when the people engaged in digging them stopped
18 A. As for the people I had at my disposal, we worked there for
19 three or four days. However, the work was continued later on and I found
20 out that there was some work all the way up to the 19th. It was
21 difficult to believe because I just couldn't fathom that so much time
22 would be needed up there. In any case, I know that I withdrew my
23 personnel after three or four days.
24 As for the other piece of information, that is something I
25 learned from people in Bratunac with whom I communicated, from the
1 military and others. They told me that there was work to be done until
2 the 19th.
3 Q. Thank you. You managed to answer some of my following questions
4 about the time until which there was work around the mass graves. Do you
5 know whether those graves were later on opened again after the 19th? Was
6 anything done with them? Were the corpses taken away? Do you have any
7 knowledge of that?
8 A. I heard some things and some I saw for myself. I know that those
9 mass graves such as the one from 1992 which was some 1 or 1 and a half
10 kilometres away from the Drina bridge in Bratunac downstream, as well as
11 the Glogova grave, I say the grave but actually there were three smaller
12 and one bigger mass grave there in the same location. In any case, as
13 for all those graves, it was Mr. Nikolic with the assistance of the army,
14 were dug out and the bodies transferred to different parts of the
15 municipality of Srebrenica. On two or three occasions, I also saw trucks
16 going through Bratunac en route to Srebrenica that were full of corpses.
17 People were saying that Momir Nikolic was in charge of it, that he was
18 transferring corpses from Bratunac to the territory of the municipality
19 of Srebrenica. That is all I can tell you about the transfer of, as
20 Mr. Ruez put it, stolen corpses.
21 Q. Thank you. I asked you this because the Prosecutor asked you
22 about it on page 36, line 14, and you provided the same answer then as
23 you did now in lines 14 and 15. Thank you.
24 Thank you for having come to testify and for everything that you
25 have said. We'll see through some other witnesses what happened with the
1 corpses referred to by the witnesses at Pobudjanska Kamenica and Bare
2 mentioned by Mr. Ruez. Thank you, again. May god bless you. Have a
3 safe journey back from The Hague to your final destination.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this will be all the
6 Defence has for the witness. We have no further questions of him.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
8 Ms. Hasan, do you have re-examination?
9 MS. HASAN: No, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this concludes your
12 examination in this trial. You are now free to return to your normal
13 activities, your usual life. The Chamber would like to thank you that
14 you were able to come to The Hague and to provide us with your knowledge.
15 Thank you very much again.
16 We adjourn and resume next Monday, 3rd of May, in Courtroom I at
17 2 -- sorry, I made a mistake. It's the 2nd of May in Courtroom I at 2.15
18 in the afternoon. We adjourn.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of May,
22 2011, at 2.15 p.m.