Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 24634

 1                           Tuesday, 14 February 2012

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The witness takes the stand]

 4                           [The accused entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Good morning, everyone.

 7             Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

10                           WITNESS:  MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]

11                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

12             MR. NICHOLLS:  Good morning, Your Honours.

13                           Examination by Mr. Nicholls:  [Continued]

14        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.

15        A.   Good morning.

16        Q.   Now, we -- when we left off yesterday, we were still talking

17     about 12 July, events of that day and what you saw and experienced in

18     Potocari.  One thing you talked about, you told us yesterday about the

19     conversation with Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic before you went to

20     Potocari about what would happen to the men and to the women and

21     children, and you told us about what you saw when you were there in

22     Potocari, the mistreatment and that you realised that things were not

23     going the way they should have, and you talked that there were some men

24     placed on the first convoy but only on the first convoy.

25             Can you tell me about whether that first convoy was filmed and

Page 24635

 1     your conclusion as to why it was filmed, if it was?

 2        A.   I'm not receiving any interpretation, and something of what you

 3     said I understood, but ...

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nikolic, are you now hearing me?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  Yes, I can hear the

 6     interpretation now.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

 8             MR. NICHOLLS:

 9        Q.   I'll ask it again, Mr. Nikolic.  Yesterday, we were talking about

10     the 12th of July and what you saw and experienced in Potocari with the

11     separations of the men.  You told us about your conversation with

12     Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic before you went to Potocari, the

13     mistreatment of the men in Potocari and that you realised things were not

14     going as the way they should be done.  And you talked about how some men

15     were put on the first convoy out.  Now, I want to ask you whether that

16     convoy -- that process of men getting onto the first bus, I should say,

17     not first convoy, that on the first group to leave there were some men.

18     Was that process filmed, and if it was, why did you conclude that that

19     part of the process had been filmed?

20        A.   Yes.  What I know, in fact what I saw is that for some time in

21     Potocari the press centre from the Drina Corps command was present.  I

22     know those people personally, and I know their chief, their head,

23     Captain Zoran.  There were other teams as well, but I'm referring to this

24     service that is part of the Drina Corps command of my superior command.

25     They were filming that, and all I can do is express my opinion, which I

Page 24636

 1     have done on numerous occasions to date.  I will repeat it.  In the first

 2     convoy alone there were men, and this was filmed.  Given the way in which

 3     events subsequently unfolded, the only conclusion I could draw was that

 4     this was filmed for the benefit of DutchBat representatives and for the

 5     purpose of spreading propaganda by this press department, by the

 6     journalists who were part of a given command.  And, in fact, in that

 7     film, in those videos, one attempted to demonstrate that everything was

 8     fine, that everything was being done in accordance with the rules, but,

 9     in fact, my impression was that all this was done for the purpose of

10     propaganda, because only the first convoy and only one convoy was filmed

11     and nothing else after that, apart from that process of film being

12     certain soldiers and officers who gave statements about all the events

13     were also filmed.  Positive opinions were expressed.  I would say that no

14     one who participated in that operation was incriminated.

15             JUDGE BAIRD:  Mr. Nikolic, can you clarify for me.  Were the men

16     on the first bus or the first convoy?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The men were in the first convoy.

18     I won't claim that they were in each and every bus, but in -- in terms of

19     percentage, 90 per cent of the buses in the first convoy there were a few

20     men at least.  I can't really provide you with any precise figures, it is

21     impossible, but I could see in the buses of the first convoy there were

22     men.  They would enter as the buses arrived.  One bus would arrive and

23     then the family with a man would enter the bus.  A brother, a father - it

24     doesn't really matter - would enter.  Then the next bus would arrive and

25     some men would enter the next bus as well.  So I am speaking about the

Page 24637

 1     first convoy, not the first bus.

 2             JUDGE BAIRD:  Thank you very much.

 3             Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 5        Q.   How long did you spend in Potocari that day?

 6        A.   On that day, on the 12th, as I have already said I was the duty

 7     officer on at that day, and occasionally I spent some time in Potocari,

 8     and when I wasn't in Potocari, I was in the operations room where I was

 9     the duty officer.

10        Q.   Let me stop you.  When you arrived in Potocari on the 12th after

11     the last Hotel Fontana meeting, how long did you stay there before you

12     returned to Bratunac?

13        A.   On the first occasion not very long, perhaps 30 minutes, perhaps

14     a little less.  But I didn't spend a long time there.  The first time I

15     went there I didn't spend much time in Potocari.

16        Q.   And when did you come back that day?

17        A.   Well, I went to Potocari on a number of occasions on that day, so

18     I really cannot tell you exactly when I returned.  I can't give you the

19     exact hour or minute.  I returned on a number of occasions because I

20     would do so whenever it was necessary to return to deal with certain

21     questions or certain problems that had arisen.  I can mention a few

22     problems that I, myself, dealt with, but the first time I went there I

23     know that I saw Mr. Kingori, Major Kingori, who was part of the military

24     observers team.  He said that they had no water.  So I went to Bratunac

25     and water was delivered to Potocari by truck.  I know that he also

Page 24638

 1     complained that the soldiers who entered Potocari had taken equipment and

 2     food and other things from them at a check-point in Potocari.  He also

 3     complained that the soldiers who entered disarmed some UNPROFOR soldiers

 4     who weren't at their base in Potocari, who were outside their base.  So

 5     that was the first time.

 6             The next time I went there was because there were problems

 7     regarding the passage of convoys.  The convoy transporting Muslims from

 8     Potocari to Kladanj was targeted.  They threw stones at it, in fact, and

 9     I was told that there were problems with the convoy that was passing

10     through urban areas.  So that's about a distance of 700 metres or

11     1 kilometre, and it was on that stretch of road that they stoned the

12     convoy.

13             I contacted the civilian police, I contacted the command of the

14     military police, and we provided security for that stretch of road so

15     that the convoy could pass through safely and so that we could prevent

16     the buses, the wind screens from being broken and so on and so forth.

17             So these were practical problems I had to deal with when I went

18     to Potocari.

19        Q.   Okay.  And you were there when the transport began.  Can you tell

20     us about approximately what time that was in the afternoon?

21        A.   I think it was between 1.00 and 2.00 that the buses started

22     arriving one by one, and as they arrived, the transport command -- or,

23     rather, they would fill up the buses.  When the buses arrived, they

24     formed a convoy out of the buses that arrived.  This was a continual

25     process.  New buses kept arriving.  Some left.  They formed these columns

Page 24639

 1     and then they would leave and others would arrive.  So this is how this

 2     evacuation was done -- or, rather, this is how these people from Potocari

 3     were moved.

 4        Q.   Okay.  And when do you remember it ended on that day on the 12th,

 5     when the last buses with people on them left?

 6        A.   In the evening hours, but I really don't know.  Don't ask me to

 7     tell you but it was in the evening hours.  I knew exactly when.  I knew

 8     the time because I was the duty officer on the day and I made a note of

 9     such things.

10        Q.   All right.

11        A.   Well, I don't want to speculate, but it was in the evening hours

12     of that first day.  It took a long time.  It was before night fell.

13        Q.   All right.  Could I have 65 ter 22820, please.  While this is

14     coming up, I don't want to go over it again because you explained it, but

15     you talked yesterday about Vujadin Popovic being in Potocari, as well as

16     members of state security or RDB.

17             This document is dated 12 July 1995, headed Drina Corps IKM,

18     forward command post.  It's from Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic.

19     Very urgent.  And it says:

20             "To the Main Staff of the VRS, sector for intelligence and

21     security affairs.  Security administration.  Command of the Drina Corps.

22     Security Department."

23             If we could scroll down so that the witness can see paragraph 3.

24     It is on the next page in the English.

25             There we see:

Page 24640

 1             "A refugee group of about 30- to 35.000 women, children, elderly,

 2     and infirm and the sick is located after beyond the UNPROFOR base towards

 3     Srebrenica, on the road and inside the facilities of the former

 4     factories.  The security was established and the evacuation to Kladanj

 5     started.  About 5.000 women and children were evacuated so far.  We are

 6     separating men from 17 to 60 years of age and we are not transporting

 7     them.  We have about 70 of them so far and the security organs and the DB

 8     are working with them."

 9             And it's got a stamp.  It's hard to read.  It sayings received

10     January 12, 1934 on the bottom right.  And I should have said on the

11     top -- if we go back up to the top of the front first page in the

12     English.  We see that under the date of 12 July it says 1730 hours.

13             You spoke about after the first convoy all the men were separated

14     and detained.  I want you to comment on whether this paragraph 3 written

15     by Vujadin Popovic, the Drina Corps security chief, that he is reporting

16     up to all these different organs is accurate.

17        A.   Yes.  You can see who Mr. Popovic is reporting to at the top of

18     the document.

19        Q.   And the numbers look accurate to you that he quotes, at that

20     point in time?

21        A.   I think it was a higher number -- or, rather, I don't think so.

22     I'm sure, I'm absolutely sure because I saw this myself.  Could you just

23     scroll up so I could see the figure.  Is says that about 70 of them.  I

24     am claiming that there were between 350 and 400 of them who had been

25     separated on that day, singled out.  That's what I know for sure.  And at

Page 24641

 1     the time that the report was made, well, the hour is 1730 hours.  At that

 2     time, my claim is that there were far more than 70 of them.  And in the

 3     last paragraph, it says that the security organs and members of the state

 4     security sector were involved in this process of separation.

 5             MR. NICHOLLS:  May I tender this document, Your Honour?

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

 7             Mr. Nikolic, the last sentence you read, i.e., We have about 70

 8     of them so far and the security organs and the state security are working

 9     with them.

10             The security organs refer to -- refer to you.  So security organs

11     on the ground means you.  Am I correct in so understanding?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The organs on the ground -- at the

13     time there were several security organs on the ground at the time.  It's

14     true that I was also part of the security organs, and I was also present

15     in Potocari.  That is also true.  But there were other security organs

16     there.  Security organs from the Drina Corps were present, or the chief

17     of the intelligence organ from the Drina Corps was there, and there were

18     other security organs there, not just myself and Popovic.  There were

19     others from other units, because all units have -- this includes those

20     from Potocari.  All units have security organs as an integral part of

21     them.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  We'll give the next Prosecution exhibit

23     number.

24             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit P4388, Your Honours.

25             MR. NICHOLLS:

Page 24642

 1        Q.   Now, yesterday as well, you gave your estimate of a thousand,

 2     1.500 or 2.000 men at the time who were in the column moving from

 3     Srebrenica towards -- to Potocari and then who gathered there, and you

 4     stated that it was your assessment that many of them -- or that they were

 5     not all soldiers.  As security and intelligence chief in Bratunac at that

 6     time, all these men who were separated after the first convoy left,

 7     amongst them, were there men - the men referred to in Popovic's report -

 8     who were not soldiers, who had not committed any crimes against the Serb

 9     people?

10        A.   Either the interpretation is not correct or there's some other

11     problem, but I don't really understand what your question is.

12        Q.   Let me ask it again.  I'll make it simpler.

13             Among all the men who were separated in Potocari who we have been

14     talking about, were there men who were just plain civilians, who were not

15     soldiers and had not committed any crimes?

16        A.   In my assessment, and this is what I have always claimed and I

17     still make this claim, most of the people, the men who were separated in

18     Potocari, this is on the basis of what I know, most of them shouldn't

19     have been separated for any reason or any military reason.  To single

20     someone out, to separate someone, you have to have information according

21     to which there are reasonable grounds to suspect that person of having

22     committed a crime.

23             Given the way in which they separated these people, well, there

24     were no controls.  Nothing was checked.  As far as I know, they had no

25     evidence against those people, yet they were separated.  And yet again,

Page 24643

 1     I'm claiming that it wouldn't have been a problem even if they had been

 2     separated.  Had they been checked and if it wasn't shown that they had

 3     committed a crime, then they could have transported them somewhere.  That

 4     wouldn't have been a problem.  But my claim here is that most of those

 5     people were not members of the ABiH.  Perhaps they were men who were fit

 6     for military service, but they were not members of that force.  And I can

 7     say for certain that everyone who participated in a crime or war crime,

 8     everyone who killed civilian -- civilians, Serbs, or put fire to their

 9     property didn't arrive in Potocari.  No one arrived in Potocari.  Those

10     who arrived in Potocari were people who certainly did not do anything and

11     had no reason to flee across the forest.  They went to Potocari to be

12     safe with their families and to be evacuated to the liberated territory,

13     which is what had been agreed.

14             So that is my opinion as far as the -- as these people are

15     concerned, the sort of people who were separated.

16        Q.   I have one follow-up question from yesterday's transcript.  This

17     was at 24621, lines 24 and 25.  You were talking about this process and

18     how you thought that there would be some type of screening of the men,

19     and you said:

20             "That was my first thought when I heard about the separation.

21     After that, of course, you know what happened."

22             I just want to ask you what happened?  What did you mean when you

23     said "you know what happened," to all the men who had been separated?

24        A.   Yes.  What I wanted to say is that as someone from the security

25     organ, I know what the security organ's duties in Potocari should have

Page 24644

 1     been.  Military selection involves the sort of process I've mentioned

 2     earlier on.  It involves identifying those who have committed a crime or

 3     those whom you suspect of having committed a crime, a war crime, or any

 4     other kind of crime, crime against the civilian population or against

 5     prisoners, soldiers, and so on and so forth.  So I'm convinced that this

 6     is a legitimate military process that is done in all armies when dealing

 7     with prisoners, and naturally this screening concerns soldiers who

 8     surrenders to you and concerns individuals who may have committed crimes,

 9     so individuals that you suspect of having committed crimes.  But no one

10     else should be the subject of screenings, civilians who have nothing to

11     do with the military.  If you have no information on them, there is no

12     need to separate them.

13             When I mentioned those who were separated in Potocari, when I

14     heard what Popovic was saying, I understood what was going to happen was

15     what in fact happened, what we were discussing, but all those who

16     remained in Potocari were separated.  They were first detained in

17     Potocari in houses, in certain facilities, and afterwards they were

18     transferred to Bratunac, and they were detained in the primary school

19     Vuk Karadzic, mostly in that school on the first day.  And then what I

20     know for sure is that these very same people, in the morning on the 14th,

21     were transferred to the territory of Zvornik municipality, and all those

22     who were separated in Potocari were temporarily detained, transferred to

23     Bratunac and then to Zvornik, and after they'd been taken to Zvornik,

24     they were executed in the territory of Zvornik municipality.

25             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to intervene for the

Page 24645

 1     transcript.  In the first sentence, the witness said that when he heard

 2     Popovic speak, he thought that what was to ensue was what he described,

 3     which is the legitimate military screening, whereas we don't see that the

 4     way the first sentence is recorded.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nikolic, can you confirm what Mr. Karadzic said?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't speak English.  I cannot

 7     compare what I said with what's in the transcript.  I can only repeat

 8     what I have stated.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, please.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said this:  When I heard what

11     Mr. Popovic said, it was my understanding that by going to Potocari a

12     military screening process was to take place, which is a legitimate

13     military procedure entailing identification -- the identification of

14     those who need to be separated, and checks are carried out because there

15     is a possibility of those who committed war crimes and crimes against

16     humanity being present.  That was my understanding, and that is what I

17     said.

18             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, and that is why I

19     intervened for the transcript.

20             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nikolic, what is it that you heard from

21     Mr. Popovic by when you say, "When I heard what Mr. Popovic said"?  What

22     word of Mr. Popovic did you refer to?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When Mr. Popovic, on the 12th in

24     the morning, before the 10.00 meeting, said that the women and children

25     were to go to Tuzla, to free territory, and that the military -- the men

Page 24646

 1     who are fit for military service would be separated in Potocari.

 2             JUDGE KWON:  I'll leave it to you, Mr. Nicholls.

 3             MR. NICHOLLS:

 4        Q.   And just to clarify this, yesterday at 24621 you said that

 5     Mr. Popovic also said, you've testified about this before, that all the

 6     men should be killed, and that after that there was a discussion of

 7     execution sites; right?

 8        A.   Yes, that's correct.  I have testified to that yesterday.  He

 9     said that all Balijas should be killed.  That's what I meant, and I

10     didn't think I needed to explain again.

11        Q.   Thank you.

12             JUDGE KWON:  No.  Mr. Nikolic, if that is what Mr. Popovic said,

13     how is it consistent with separating them and screening them?  I meant

14     screening them.

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In order to kill someone, that

16     person must be separated from the rest of the group.  In other words, the

17     Muslims separated at Potocari were previously part of a group of 35.000

18     civilians.  That was the context I tried to describe when the separation

19     of men is concerned as well as the transport of women and children from

20     Potocari.  That is the context I was describing yesterday and today.

21             Popovic was perfectly clear that in Potocari able-bodied men

22     should be separated who were there.  However, as I have explained

23     yesterday, not only able-bodied men were separated but all men were

24     separated in Potocari.  All those who tried to board the buses,

25     irrespective of whether they were able-bodied or not, it was enough that

Page 24647

 1     they were men and that's why they were separated.  And all the separated

 2     men were Muslim.  There was no one else there in Potocari.  And when I

 3     asked him what would happen with the people, Mr. Popovic said that

 4     Balijas, referring to them, ought to be killed, every one of them.

 5             JUDGE BAIRD:  Mr. Nikolic, after Popovic said that they should

 6     all be killed, you said there was a discussion as to the locations where

 7     they should be killed, did you not?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 9             JUDGE BAIRD:  Who took part in those discussions?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Popovic, Mr. Kosoric, and I

11     participated in the conversation.

12             JUDGE BAIRD:  Thank you.

13             JUDGE KWON:  Just one more clarification, because I wasn't clear

14     about this.

15             After having heard from Mr. Popovic that all men are to be

16     killed, or all Balijas are to be killed, how could you think what would

17     ensue is a legitimate military procedure entailing identification -- the

18     identification of those who need to be separated and checks are carried

19     out because there's a possibility of those who committed war crimes and

20     crimes against humanity?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've also answered similar

22     questions before.

23             At the moment when he said that, to be honest, I did not believe

24     that all the men, all the Balijas in Potocari, would be killed.  I have

25     testified to that before.  I believed then, and I couldn't even presume

Page 24648

 1     that things would develop the way they did.  That was my belief.  At the

 2     moment he said that all the Balijas should be killed, I thought that as

 3     many times before, because I heard many people, many officers say similar

 4     things, that Balijas should be killed or this or that, I thought this was

 5     yet another statement by Popovic who had the habit of saying things like

 6     that.  So I thought that it wasn't exactly what he meant and that we

 7     would indeed do what was prescribed under the rules.  However, things

 8     developed quite the other way following what he said, and what followed

 9     is what I have testified to before.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

11             MR. NICHOLLS:

12        Q.   But again, after Popovic said all the Balijas should be killed,

13     there was a discussion of where these men could be executed, including

14     Sase mine and Ciglana brick factory; right?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Thank you.  I leave it there.  65 ter 01947, please.

17             While it's coming up, I'll say this is a document from RDB head

18     Dragan Kijac, 13 July 1995, to the RS deputy minister of the interior

19     personally and the head of the RS MUP Bijeljina RJB

20     Public Security Department personally.

21             First of all, do you know who the deputy minister of the interior

22     was on 13 July 1995?

23        A.   I knew -- I think it was Mr. Kijac, or perhaps not.  I'll think

24     of the name later on.  I can't off-the-cuff.

25        Q.   I was talking about the deputy minister of the interior.  If you

Page 24649

 1     don't remember, that's all right.

 2        A.   I even know him personally, but I can't recall his name.  I

 3     really can't.

 4        Q.   Do you know a man named Tomo Kovac?

 5        A.   Yes, yes.  Precisely.  Tomo Kovac was either his deputy or acting

 6     in that capacity.

 7        Q.   All right.  You spoke yesterday about how state security -- that

 8     one of the separated men they took custody of was Mr. Mustafic.  If we

 9     look at the first paragraph, first full paragraph of this document, we

10     see it begins talking about the events of the night of 12-13 July, saying

11     that members of the VRS and the MUP have started capturing large numbers

12     of Muslim soldiers in ambushes set up in the general Konjevic Polje area.

13             Further down it states:

14             "The operation to detect and neutralise the Muslim troops is

15     continuing.  Earlier information regarding their intentions and the axis

16     of movement towards Kladanj and Tuzla

17     (Buljim-Pobudje-Konjevic Polje-Kaldrmica-Cerska-Snagovo-Crni Vrh) has

18     been confirmed many times in interviews with prisoners."

19             Now, very simply, is that just a reference to information that

20     the security organs have learned from interrogating captured Muslim men,

21     or separated Muslim men?

22        A.   This is mostly intelligence information to the effect that in the

23     period referred to -- well, we had that information at the command and as

24     well as in the police structures at the time.  In other words, my answer

25     is yes, this is the intelligence information that was in use at the time

Page 24650

 1     at the level of army commands and the police.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  And at the bottom of that paragraph it states and

 3     it's written here:

 4             "Ibgan Mustafic, a former SDA deputy in the former BH Assembly

 5     and a great opponent of Naser Oric, was among the prisoners and can, with

 6     the necessary preparation, be used well in the media. "

 7             What I'm just asking you is:  Is this the same man, the same

 8     Mustafic, that you referred to him as Ibran, that you discussed

 9     yesterday, had been taken into custody by state security?

10        A.   Yes, Ibran Mustafic, who was a SDA deputy in the Assembly of

11     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

12             MR. NICHOLLS:  I would tender that document, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, that will be Exhibit P4389.

14             MR. NICHOLLS:

15        Q.   All right.  Moving on chronologically, Mr. Nikolic, I want to get

16     to the 13th of July now.  Is it correct that the night of the 12th to

17     the -- into the 13th you were duty officer at the Bratunac Brigade?

18        A.   Yes, that is correct.  As of 7.00 on the 12th of July until 7.00

19     on the 13th of July; that is to say, 24 hours.

20        Q.   All right.  Now, I'd just like to go through the 13th of July,

21     what you did that day, the places you went, the people you saw.

22             Let's start off with the morning.  Where did you go, what did you

23     do first thing on the 13th?

24        A.   On the 13th -- or, rather, I was duty officer between the 12th

25     and the 13th.  At around 3.00 on the 13th, 3.00 a.m., that is, I went to

Page 24651

 1     sleep.  I slept for an hour or two.  And at around 7.00 I was back at the

 2     Bratunac Brigade command.  I was there first in the morning at around

 3     9.00 or 9.30.  There was a meeting at the command attended by

 4     General Ratko Mladic, Colonel Vasic of the police, General Krstic,

 5     Popovic, my commander, as well as a number of other officers.  I wasn't

 6     present at the meeting, and I don't know what it is that they discussed.

 7     Before I had a hand-over of duty the meeting took place.

 8             Following the meeting, I spoke with my commander in his office,

 9     and he told me that on the 13th, I was to continue with my activities of

10     the 12th, which is basically the area of Potocari and the operation that

11     was underway there.

12             Having concluded that conversation with him, I went to Potocari

13     where I saw that, much as the previous day, the transport of people who

14     were there resumed.  I saw and was in contact with Dusko Jevic of the MUP

15     special brigade.  I told him then -- so it's the 13th.  By that time we

16     already had information that on the road between Konjevic Polje, Sandici,

17     Pervani, and Kaldrmica, as well Nova Kasaba, people were already

18     surrendering and that many Muslim soldiers and civilians were being

19     captured.  I said that if he was in radio contact with the units, the

20     police units, along that route to tell them that all those who

21     surrendered or were captured be transferred to the facilities designated

22     for detaining those who were captured.

23             After a short stay in Potocari, I returned to the

24     Bratunac Brigade command.  I went to the seat of the military police.

25     Mirko Jankovic, the MP commander, told me that on that day, the 13th,

Page 24652

 1     along the road Bratunac-Kravica-Konjevic Polje and further afield,

 2     Ratko Mladic was to travel there together with his team.  The MP

 3     commander also told me that the unit of the Bratunac Brigade military

 4     police, which was escorting and securing General Mladic from the moment

 5     of his arrival, was to accompany him further and that they will continue

 6     to act as his security detail.

 7        Q.   Let me stop you for a minute.

 8        A.   [In English] Okay.

 9        Q.   And then we can continue on that trip.  You referred to at the

10     morning meeting on the 13th, which you did not attend, Colonel Vasic of

11     the police.  Is that Dragomir Vasic of the Zvornik centre?

12        A.   [Interpretation] Yes, Dragomir Vasic from Zvornik, chief of

13     centre in Zvornik.

14        Q.   Thank you.  And you also explained to us that when you spoke with

15     Dusko Jevic, this is on page 18 at lines 15, if he was in radio contact

16     with the units, the police unit, along the route to tell them that all

17     those who surrendered or were captured be transferred to the facilities

18     designated for detaining those who were captured.

19             My question is:  Were these men who were captured along the road,

20     were they going to be treated the same way as the men separated in

21     Potocari, detained in the same facilities in Bratunac, or was there

22     something different about the way these captured men were going to be

23     processed?

24        A.   I didn't know of any other or different intention.  All those

25     separated in Potocari and all those captured along the route had the same

Page 24653

 1     status.  I don't know of any other or different treatment or intentions.

 2     As far as I know, all the men were treated the same way.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  And I'd interrupted you, and you were starting to

 4     tell us how you learned that General Mladic was in the vicinity and was

 5     going to be travelling along the Bratunac-Kravica-Konjevic Polje road.

 6     So can you just tell us what you did with Mirko Jankovic in regard to

 7     Ratko Mladic's security.

 8        A.   As regards General Ratko Mladic's route, it is an obligation on

 9     the security organ that for as long as the commander of the Main Staff,

10     Ratko Mladic, was in Bratunac in the AOR of my unit, it was my

11     obligation, in addition to undertaking additional security measures,

12     which he otherwise enjoyed in terms of immediate security as well as the

13     additional military police detachment from our unit.  On top of all that,

14     I was under an obligation to verify security situation along the route he

15     was to travel at any given point in time.

16             On this occasion, I took a military policeman, and we went

17     together by vehicle to the road itself between Kravica and

18     Konjevic Polje.  I wanted to check the safety of the road and whether any

19     traffic could move along.  I had information that by that time there were

20     already police forces deployed along the route.  In any case, I wanted to

21     see it for myself.

22             At around 12.00, perhaps, I set off from Bratunac and arrived in

23     Konjevic Polje some half an hour later at an intersection or a crossroads

24     which takes one to Bratunac, Vlasenica, or Zvornik, and the crossroads is

25     called Konjevic Polje.

Page 24654

 1             If you want me to tell you what things I saw along the route, I

 2     can tell you.  There were police forces there by that time at Sandici.

 3     The special brigade was deployed.  They were easy to identify.  They had

 4     heavy weaponry, APCs, and a tank.  En route, I also saw Mr. Borovcanin in

 5     Sandici where the heavy weaponry was deployed.  Further along the route

 6     there was nothing in particular on my way there as opposed to on my way

 7     back.

 8             Once in Konjevic Polje, I saw something I had already known,

 9     which is that there was a check-point manned by the police.  It was

10     manned by the men of the public security station from Bratunac.  The

11     policemen were at the check-point in Konjevic Polje, and it was a

12     permanent check-point even before the operation began and Srebrenica

13     fell.

14             I waited there for some 40, 45 minutes when General Mladic

15     appeared.  He arrived in Konjevic Polje, parked in front of an old yellow

16     building which is there no longer on the right-hand side as one entered

17     Konjevic Polje.  His security detail came out as well, as well as the

18     military policemen of the Bratunac Brigade.

19             I reported to him that the road was safe, and it was an official

20     military report, which is something I was obliged to do upon his arrival.

21             Do you want me to go on?

22        Q.   [Microphone not activated] Let me ask you, on --

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

24             MR. NICHOLLS:

25        Q.   Let me ask you, on the trip to Konjevic Polje, in addition to the

Page 24655

 1     MUP forces you've described, did you see any prisoners on the way to

 2     Konjevic Polje?

 3        A.   I think that on the first occasion in Sandici there were some

 4     prisoners.  They had surrendered in Sandici.  There was a group of about

 5     10 or 15 people who had already surrendered, and they were at that place

 6     in Sandici where Ljubisa Borovcanin was also present.  So on that first

 7     occasion, I don't remember there being a large number of imprisoned

 8     individuals at some other place.

 9        Q.   At Konjevic Polje, were there prisoners when you saw

10     General Mladic there?

11        A.   Yes.  There was a slightly higher number of people who had

12     surrendered in Konjevic Polje or who had been captured.  Some people were

13     in Konjevic Polje in a facility in a meadow at the crossroads itself, or

14     not too far from the cross roads, in fact, and some of the prisoners were

15     somewhere in a house or in a facility that belonged to the

16     5th Engineers Battalion, and that's where they had been provided with

17     accommodation and where security was being organised for them.

18        Q.   And did you see whether General Mladic had any interaction with

19     the prisoners?  Did he speak to them?

20        A.   Yes.  After he got out of the car, after I had reported to him,

21     he approached those people in the meadow at the crossroads in

22     Konjevic Polje, and he addressed them and said, and I paraphrase, Don't

23     worry.  Everything will be fine.  There won't be any problems.  He

24     addressed them very briefly.  He promised that nothing would happen to

25     them.  He said that they would be transferred to where they wanted to go,

Page 24656

 1     and that was the essence of what he said to those people.

 2        Q.   And you heard that?  You heard him saying those words?

 3        A.   Yes, I did, because I was with him all the time.  I was by his

 4     side or right behind him.  So I was with him all the time that he was in

 5     Konjevic Polje, because those are the military rules, or wherever he

 6     went, I went too.

 7        Q.   Now, did you have any discussion with General Mladic after he

 8     gave those reassuring words to the prisoners?

 9        A.   Yes.  I spoke to General Mladic after he had finished speaking to

10     them and went to the place where his car was parked.  At that point in

11     time I asked him something.  I said, General, what's going to happen to

12     these people?  That was my question.  And General Mladic didn't reply.

13     He just looked at me and gestured with his hand in this manner.  He then

14     smiled and got into the car.  So that was his reaction.  He didn't make

15     any comments of any kind.

16             MR. NICHOLLS:  And just for our record, the gesture he made was

17     kind of sweeping at his waist with his right hand from the left to the

18     right.

19        Q.   Now, after that --

20             JUDGE KWON:  Have you heard the answer, Mr. Nikolic?

21             MR. NICHOLLS:  The question is:  Mr. Nikolic, is that correct the

22     way I described the gesture?  Let me put it that way.

23             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, we need your verbal answer for the benefit of

24     the transcript.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I showed you what I saw.  There was

Page 24657

 1     no comment.  General Mladic didn't say anything, so I showed you the

 2     gesture he made with his hand.  It was a gesture with his hand from the

 3     left to the right, and that's more or less what I said.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

 6             MR. NICHOLLS:

 7        Q.   Can you tell us what happened next, and specifically I'm asking

 8     if you met a man named Resid Sinanovic about this time and what happened.

 9        A.   Yes.  In Konjevic Polje, after the meeting -- or, rather, after

10     General Mladic had left and went his way, members of the police told me

11     that they had an important prisoner.  When I asked who it was, they told

12     me that it was Resid Sinanovic.

13             Do you want me to tell you what then happened, or will you put

14     questions to me?

15        Q.   I'll -- I'll put the question.  What -- did you meet

16     Mr. Sinanovic, and what did you do next?  Where did you take him?

17        A.   After I had been provided with that information, the military

18     policemen and myself took charge of Resid Sinanovic.  The civilian police

19     delivered him into our hands.

20        Q.   Who was he before the war?  What is his position and -- I'll ask

21     that first.

22        A.   Resid Sinanovic was, among other things, the chief of the public

23     security station in Bratunac before the war.

24        Q.   And do you know why he was considered -- the MUP who had custody

25     of him, why did they consider him an important prisoner?

Page 24658

 1        A.   Well, I can only make an assumption.  The chief of the public

 2     security station in a small town, that's an important person.

 3     Resid Sinanovic was important probably for another reason, too, because

 4     before the war he held high positions in the MUP, inter alia, and the

 5     reason why he was taken over was the fact that Resid Sinanovic was on

 6     that list of persons from Bratunac who were considered to be -- or,

 7     rather, there was reasonable doubt that he had committed war crimes

 8     during the war.  That's why he was an important prisoner, and that's why

 9     I took him over as a man who was a war crimes suspect.

10        Q.   And where did you deliver him to?

11        A.   I brought Sinanovic to Bratunac, and I personally handed him over

12     to Zlatan Celanovic.  That is the person that I told you about yesterday,

13     that I testified about yesterday.  So he was a law -- lawyer who was in

14     charge of interrogating suspects, and also then criminal charges were

15     supposed to be brought against individuals and then this person would be

16     prosecuted by the appropriate authorities.

17        Q.   Did you find out from Zlatan Celanovic whether he interviewed

18     Mr. Sinanovic and whether he found that he -- that there was cause to

19     prosecute him as a criminal?

20        A.   Yes.  Zlatan Celanovic had a duty, and that was the standing

21     practice in my brigade; that is to say, after dealing with each detainee,

22     prisoner, each person who was brought in, the results of the interview or

23     the report involved should be submitted to the commander and to myself.

24             This time, Zlatan Celanovic, I think even on the very same day

25     when I brought him -- or perhaps the next day, in the morning, informed

Page 24659

 1     me that on the basis of everything that he had, on the basis of all the

 2     statements, on the basis of what he heard from Sinanovic during the

 3     interview, that he believed that there were no grounds for keeping him

 4     any longer and that there was no reason to bring criminal charges against

 5     him or to file an indictment.  That's what he said to me at his own

 6     initiative.  He made that decision at his own initiative after some Serbs

 7     from Bratunac who were his friends who used to work with him came to

 8     visit Sinanovic, and after that visit he decided to transfer

 9     Resid Sinanovic to the Vuk Karadzic school where all the other prisoners

10     were kept.  And according to the information I have, that is where he was

11     transferred to.

12        Q.   And briefly, to the best of your knowledge, what happened to

13     Resid Sinanovic after he was transferred to the Vuk Karadzic school on

14     the 13th of July, 1995?

15        A.   After he was transferred to where the other prisoners were, this

16     is what I know:  On the 14th, in the morning, within the convoy that went

17     to Zvornik, Resid Sinanovic left together with all the other prisoners

18     who were in the Vuk Karadzic school and at the other buildings in

19     Bratunac.

20             Now, in Zvornik, I don't know.  I have no information.  In

21     Zvornik, like all others, he was executed, shot dead, brought out to be

22     executed.  And then I heard that he was wounded, and although wounded, he

23     swam across the Drina River.  That is the river that is a natural

24     boundary between Bosnia and Serbia.

25             He swam to the other bank and reached a restaurant in

Page 24660

 1     Banja Koviljaca, a small place there.  People recognise many him because

 2     they're neighbours and Sinanovic often went there.  They recognised him

 3     and they transferred him to a hospital.

 4             Everything that happened after that and everything that has to do

 5     with his medical treatment, my lawyers investigated that.  They took the

 6     medical documents that had to do with his treatment in hospital.  I think

 7     that later he was transferred to Loznica, but there is this complete

 8     documentation that my lawyers handed over to the OTP.

 9             A lady doctor who worked in the hospital there was his neighbour

10     from Bratunac.  So when the war started, from the Bratunac health centre

11     she went to Loznica and worked as a doctor there.  She recognised him.

12     Then also -- I mean, they lived on the same floor in this apartment

13     buildings, so they literally lived next door, a metre away from each

14     other.

15             She called the station in Bratunac.  She informed them about

16     this, and they probably, I assume, informed the centre or the police in

17     Zvornik, and according to the information I have, the police, the

18     civilian police, took him over in Loznica.

19             I'm saying this only on the basis of this information.  I mean, I

20     don't have any reliable information.  I'm just telling you about the

21     information that I heard.  The police who took him over killed him on the

22     bridge between Zvornik and Serbia, in that area.

23             That is what I know about that particular case.  My lawyers

24     directly investigated all of this, and there is documentation concerning

25     his stay and medical treatment in Banja Koviljaca and Loznica.

Page 24661

 1        Q.   Thank you.

 2             JUDGE KWON:  For the purpose of scheduling, although I'm not sure

 3     whether we can sit until 3.00 today, but the first break will be at

 4     10.30.

 5             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 6        Q.   All right.  Now, if we can go chronologically through the rest of

 7     13 July.  After you delivered Mr. Sinanovic to Zlatan Celanovic, I

 8     believe you made another trip out towards Konjevic Polje; is that right?

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  We did not hear the

10     witness.

11             MR. NICHOLLS:

12        Q.   Could you repeat your answer, please.

13        A.   Yes.  I said yes, that's right.  I went once again.

14        Q.   Why did you go out again this time?

15        A.   I went once again with the commander of the military police and

16     with the deputy, with Mirko Jankovic and Mile Petrovic.  In the brigade

17     command we had a few APCs from the Dutch Battalion.  Mirko Jankovic knew

18     how to drive a APC, so we went there because at that point in time that

19     is where everything was happening, everything that had to do with combat,

20     prisoner-taking, and so on.

21             So from Potocari the focus moved to that area, Kravica,

22     Konjevic Polje, Kasaba.  So I went there.  Mirko Jankovic took that APC,

23     the commander of the military police.  Mile and I got into the APC and

24     went to Mirko, to that area, together.

25        Q.   Now, did that APC have a loudspeaker, some kind of broadcast

Page 24662

 1     system?

 2        A.   Yes.  All the APCs that were there had loudspeakers as part of

 3     their regular equipment.  In addition to other things, they had

 4     loudspeakers too.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  And in your previous answer, we heard the

 6     translation that "Mile and I got into the APC and went to Mirko, to that

 7     area, together."  Could you clarify that, Mr. Nikolic?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that that's what I

 9     said.  Well, possibly.  So Mirko Jankovic knew how to drive an APC.  He

10     took this APC.  Mirko Jankovic drove it, and Mile Petrovic and I entered

11     that APC, and together with Mirko Jankovic we went to the area of

12     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje.

13             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

14             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

15        Q.   Did you -- was that loudspeaker used on the trip, and, if so,

16     what was it used for?

17        A.   Yes.  Mile Petrovic, after Kravica, roughly from the village of

18     Sandici and further on, that is to say towards Konjevic Polje, used that

19     loudspeaker, and from time to time, I mean the APC was moving slowly, he

20     called upon the Muslims to surrender.

21        Q.   Did any Muslim men surrender to you and Mirko and --

22     Mirko Jankovic and Mile Petrovic?  Did you take any prisoners?

23        A.   For the sake of the truth, I have to say that I'm not sure now

24     whether what you want me to say was a consequence of the call over the

25     loudspeaker.  Now, whether somebody surrendered because Mile Petrovic was

Page 24663

 1     calling them to surrender, I cannot say that that's the way it was, and I

 2     cannot deny it either, but --

 3        Q.   Let me stop you again and ask the question, okay, because maybe

 4     it was mis-interpreted.  I didn't talk about the process and there's

 5     nothing I want you to say other than what you remember.  Let me ask you

 6     the question again.  Did any Muslim men surrender to you?  Did you take

 7     any prisoners?  That's the question.

 8        A.   If that can be defined as surrender, I will explain what happened

 9     and then we can discuss whether that is surrender.

10             So along the road towards Konjevic Polje, Mirko Jankovic,

11     Mile Petrovic, and I were in this APC, and along this road we caught up

12     with six Muslims who were moving towards Konjevic Polje.  We stopped the

13     APC.  We stopped it, and we took them into the APC.  That is the absolute

14     truth.  That is what happened.  We took them into the APC and drove them

15     to Konjevic Polje.  That's what happened.  There was no fighting.

16             Surrender is something that you force people to do.  That's what

17     I think.  They did not offer any resistance.  They did not attack us.

18     They did not shoot at us.  We did not shoot at them.  We quite simply

19     took them into this APC and drove them to Konjevic Polje.

20        Q.   Thank you for explaining the way that worked.  What happened at

21     Konjevic Polje?

22        A.   The second time -- or, rather, when I returned to Konjevic Polje,

23     in Konjevic Polje, indeed there was already a large number of prisoners

24     who had already been taken prisoner, between 250 and 300 people, roughly,

25     in one area.  In another area, there were, say, 10 or 15 people.  So in

Page 24664

 1     this area, people, Muslims were surrendering en masse already.

 2             As we arrived in Konjevic Polje, Mirko Jankovic parked the APC

 3     there and I said to Mile Petrovic, Mile, please, these people who are in

 4     the APC, take them there together with this group that is already there.

 5     After I said that to him, I went -- say, 50 metres away from the

 6     crossroads there's a burned house, and I sat underneath part of that

 7     burned house.  There were five or six Muslims there, and they were even

 8     roasting something there.  There was a fire there, and there was the

 9     civilian police, there were these Muslims, and I sat on this slab of

10     concrete that was there.

11             After a while, I heard a burst of gunfire that could be heard

12     from some place that was very, very close.  After this burst of gunfire,

13     perhaps five or six minutes later, Mile Petrovic showed up and addressed

14     me with the following words:  Boss, today I revenged my brother.  And I

15     said, What did you do?  And he said, I killed him.  That was the

16     conversation between myself and him.  I did not ask him anything.  To be

17     quite frank, I didn't even know that his brother was killed.  I mean,

18     quite simply, I did not make any comments.  I did not ask him anything

19     else.  After that they went towards Kuslat with this APC, and that was

20     the entire conversation, the dialogue between him and me as far as the

21     fate of these six men is concerned.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nicholls, if it is convenient, shall we take a

23     break now?

24             MR. NICHOLLS:  That's fine.  Thank you, Your Honour.

25             JUDGE KWON:  There's one matter I'd like to deal with before we

Page 24665

 1     break.  I can say it in public session.

 2             Mr. Robinson, in light of yesterday's filing by Germany, the

 3     Chamber is of the view that before it starts considering your motion to

 4     report Germany to the Security Council, the best way to proceed would be

 5     for you to set up another interview and see how that plays out.  Also, I

 6     note that Germany's offering you the option of providing the German

 7     authorities with written questions for Mr. von Bezolt.  This may be worth

 8     considering by you and your team.

 9             MR. ROBINSON:  Thank you, Mr. President.  We'll do that.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.  We will have a break for half an hour

11     and resume at 11.00.

12                           --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.

13                           --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.

14             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Robinson.

15             MR. ROBINSON:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I would like to

16     introduce Kirsten Schelwitz, who is from the United States and working as

17     an intern with our case managers.  She will be joining us this session.

18             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

19             I now confirm that we will be sitting until 3.00 today.

20             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

21             JUDGE KWON:  Please continue, Mr. Nicholls.

22             MR. NICHOLLS:

23        Q.   Now, before we move on, just a couple questions, Mr. Nikolic.  Do

24     you know a man named Nenad Deronjic?

25        A.   Yes, I do.

Page 24666

 1        Q.   And what was -- what was his position, or what unit, if any, or

 2     group was he a member of in July 1995?

 3        A.   In June 1995, he was a policeman at the public security station

 4     in Bratunac.

 5        Q.   And what about July 1995?

 6        A.   In July 1995, he was also a policeman, but -- or, rather, he was

 7     in the unit at the check-point in Konjevic Polje.

 8        Q.   And what about a man named Mirko Petro -- Peric?  Excuse me.

 9        A.   Yes.  I know Mirko Peric personally, too.  Mirko Peric was a

10     policeman as well.  He belonged to the public security station Bratunac.

11     On that day, the 13th, when I was in Konjevic Polje, I saw Mirko Peric as

12     well at the check-point in Konjevic Polje.

13        Q.   Okay.  And just to be very clear, as well as, you mean you saw

14     him as well as Nenad Deronjic at the check-point in Konjevic Polje on

15     13 July 1995?

16        A.   Yes, that's right.

17        Q.   All right.  After this trip to Konjevic Polje which you've

18     described to us, did you return to Bratunac that day?

19        A.   Yes.  I returned on the same day, in the evening.

20        Q.   And what happened when you returned to Bratunac in the evening?

21     Who did you meet?  What did you do?

22        A.   When I returned to Bratunac, I went to the command of my brigade.

23     I think I was in the kitchen when I was informed from the communications

24     centre that I should report to Bratunac, to Colonel Beara.  After dinner,

25     say between 8.00 and 8.30 p.m. on that day, I went and met up with

Page 24667

 1     Colonel Beara in town.

 2        Q.   Let me ask you about the time.  In your previous testimony in the

 3     Tolimir case, at 12409 is the page, you said that it was around 5.30 or

 4     6.00 p.m. that you were told in the communications centre to meet with

 5     Colonel Beara.

 6        A.   I don't think I ever said anything even similar to that.  The

 7     interpretation I heard was that I met with Colonel Beara at the

 8     communications centre.  I never stated that, but that is the

 9     interpretation I heard just now.

10        Q.   That's wrong.  That's not what I said.  Let me ask it again.  I'm

11     just trying to talk about the timing.  In your previous testimony, you

12     said that you were told at about 5.30 or 6.00 p.m. that you should meet

13     with Colonel Beara.

14        A.   That is the time when I returned to the Bratunac Brigade from

15     Konjevic Polje and that is correct, that is to say in that period, but

16     then, again, every time I testify I say this.  I do not want to specify

17     exact times because it's been so many years.  I really can no longer

18     remember whether it was an hour or half an hour here or there.  At any

19     rate, I can speak specifically and precisely about with a happened about

20     events, but this is tentatively the time when I returned from

21     Konjevic Polje.  I went to eat in the kitchen, and that is when I

22     received this information from the communications centre that I should

23     report to Colonel Beara.  That is correct, and that is what I testified

24     to every time, and I confirm it this time as well.

25        Q.   All right.  And did you meet with Colonel -- you say you went up

Page 24668

 1     and you met with Colonel Beara in town.  Tell us what happened then.

 2        A.   Yes.  I met up with him.  Colonel Beara ordered me, told me,

 3     whatever you wish, but I think that this is a kind of order, to go to the

 4     command of the Zvornik Brigade to find Drago Nikolic, the chief of

 5     security of the Zvornik Brigade, and to convey to him his order to have

 6     facilities prepared as well as people for providing security and to

 7     convey to him the decision that the prisoners who are in Bratunac would

 8     be transferred to the zone of the Zvornik Brigade and that conditions

 9     should be provided for taking them in, detaining them, and that there

10     should be physical security provided for them.

11        Q.   And did Colonel Beara order you to inform Drago [Realtime

12     transcript read in error "Dragan"] Nikolic about anything else that would

13     happen to the prisoners once they reached the Zvornik Brigade area of

14     responsibility?

15        A.   Colonel Beara and I spoke very briefly.  I told you what the

16     essence of that was.  Then on the 13th, I already had information,

17     meaning I already knew on the evening of the 13th what would happen to

18     these people who had been taken prisoner.  It wasn't necessary to say

19     anything directly, but from the conversation with him, I did understand

20     that that was the message roughly of Colonel Beara, that these people who

21     were going down there would be executed in the territory of the

22     municipality of Zvornik.  However, I can say that already then --

23     actually, the situation was clear as regards their fate.

24        Q.   Thank you.

25             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nicholls, your question at line 5,

Page 24669

 1     "Dragan Nikolic" should read "Drago Nikolic."

 2             MR. NICHOLLS:  Yes, Your Honour.

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:

 5        Q.   All right.  Well, I want you to be a little bit more precise if

 6     you can.  You said, It wasn't necessary to say anything directly, but

 7     from the conversation with him, I did understand that that was the

 8     message roughly of Colonel Beara, that these people who were going down

 9     there would be executed in the territory of the Zvornik Brigade.

10             Now, did Colonel Beara order you to convey to Drago Nikolic that

11     the men would be executed in Zvornik?

12        A.   Well, really, I cannot.  I mean, I always have this dilemma when

13     I testify about that, but I think -- it's not that I think.  As far as I

14     can remember -- actually, when he ordered me to go to Zvornik, among

15     other things he said that these people should be transferred down there

16     and that they would be killed in Zvornik.  However, the dilemma I've had

17     all of these years is that I do not remember exactly the way in which he

18     communicated that to me.  I cannot be specific there.  However, what I

19     understood and what I conveyed to Drago was -- I mean, my understanding

20     was that these people were being transferred there in order to be killed

21     in Zvornik.  That was my understanding.  That was the message that I did

22     convey to Drago when I saw him.  What I knew was that these people would

23     be transferred and killed in the territory of Zvornik.

24        Q.   Thank you.  Now, if you could briefly describe for us the trip to

25     Zvornik and how you met up with Drago Nikolic and conveyed this

Page 24670

 1     information.

 2        A.   Yes.  After I received the order I got into the car and drove to

 3     Zvornik.  The trip to Zvornik took about an hour and 15 minutes.  It's

 4     40, 42, 45 kilometres to the brigade command.  I reached the HQ of the

 5     Zvornik Brigade, went to the reception and asked to be taken to see

 6     Draga [as interpreted] Nikolic.  The soldiers at the reception assigned a

 7     soldier to me who escorted me to a room in the Zvornik Brigade command.

 8     I arrived there, and in the office I met an officer.  I told him that I

 9     needed to contact Drago Nikolic directly.  I sat down there, and two or

10     three minutes later he called an officer, a man who came to the office.

11     He asked me whether he could help me since Drago Nikolic wasn't there.  I

12     said that my orders were that I should convey the order directly to

13     Drago Nikolic, and I said that what I had to convey to him could not be

14     said to him.

15             Afterwards, the officer in the room told the policeman, ordered

16     the policeman, in fact, to escort me to the forward command post, and I

17     was told that Drago Nikolic was there, that he was the duty officer

18     there.  I was told that the policeman would escort me there.  We left the

19     command.  We got into my car, and first we drove down the asphalt road

20     and then down the macadam road to the place.  I arrived there, parked in

21     front of the house where the command post of theirs was located.  The

22     policeman entered the house, called to Drago Nikolic, then came back out,

23     and my conversation with Drago Nikolic took five, six, seven, ten minutes

24     at the most, and I told him that I had been sent there by Colonel Beara

25     for a certain reason.  I told him what the reason was.  I conveyed the

Page 24671

 1     order to him, and then I told Drago that I had information according to

 2     which the people who were going to his area would be killed in Zvornik.

 3     Drago Nikolic didn't make any comments.  He said, I'm the duty officer,

 4     I'll contact my command, and then I will see what action should be taken.

 5             At the door with Drago Nikolic there was a communications

 6     officer, and afterwards the policeman and myself got back into the car

 7     and returned to Zvornik.  I left the policeman in Zvornik and continued

 8     my trip to Bratunac.

 9        Q.   Had you met Drago Nikolic before this night?

10        A.   I know Drago Nikolic in private capacity.  He is from my village.

11     I had no meetings with Drago Nikolic.  Never.  Perhaps we had seen each

12     other one or two occasions at the most, but over those days, no, I didn't

13     meet or speak to Drago Nikolic.

14        Q.   That's right, but my question was just more simple.  That wasn't

15     the first time you'd met Drago Nikolic that night.  Had you met him

16     before?

17        A.   Yes.  That question is different to the one I answered.  I know

18     Drago from before, and that was not the first time that I had met Drago.

19     Yes, I know Drago from before.

20        Q.   Now, on -- you continued, you said, your trip to Bratunac.  Did

21     you see any buses heading towards Zvornik area as you were going back

22     towards Bratunac?

23        A.   Yes.  When I was returning to Bratunac, the Kuslata sector, the

24     village of Kuslat, I saw three or four buses heading in the direction of

25     Zvornik.  They were full of people who were going to Zvornik.

Page 24672

 1        Q.   And do you have any information of whether prisoners, Muslim men

 2     prisoners from Bratunac were taken to Zvornik at about this time?  Is

 3     that the same buses or is it something else?

 4        A.   No.  The buses that I have just mentioned are buses which were

 5     heading towards Zvornik from Konjevic Polje,

 6     Konjevic Polje-Drinjaca-Zvornik.  When I arrived in Bratunac in the

 7     evening, on the 13th in the evening, from the command of the military

 8     police and of the police I was told that a convoy of Muslims, five or six

 9     buses, as far as I can remember, I was told that such a convoy had taken

10     a different route which also led in the direction of Zvornik.  It's

11     Bratunac, the bridge over the Drina-Polim-Zelinje-Drinjaca-Zvornik

12     direction.  So that is the road that leads to Zvornik along the Drina

13     River.  It's the old road towards Zvornik.  It's not an asphalted road

14     but it was a practicable route that could be used.

15        Q.   Thank you for at that clarification.  Now, when you returned back

16     to Bratunac that night, what was the situation in town?

17        A.   I returned to Bratunac around 12.00.  At the time, the situation

18     in Bratunac was terrible.  It was chaotic.  Those are the right terms to

19     use.  There were many problems.  The situation was such that it was very

20     difficult to control anything under such conditions.  It was very

21     difficult to organise anything under such conditions.  When I arrived in

22     Bratunac, at that time all the facilities for detention were more or less

23     full in the town, in all the streets from the centre of the town.  From

24     the municipality building in Bratunac and onwards, none of the roads,

25     none of the roads, the main roads or the side roads were empty.  There

Page 24673

 1     were buses or lorries parked in those roads.  The football stadium, for

 2     example, the parking places, a kilometre and a half outside the town on

 3     the periphery, you could also find buses and lorries with people who had

 4     been brought in from the direction of Nova Kasaba and Konjevic Polje.

 5     The situation was chaotic, and that is putting it mildly.

 6        Q.   And just to be clear, when you're talking about these buses and

 7     lorries, people brought in, these are prisoners, Muslim men prisoners;

 8     correct, held on those vehicles?

 9        A.   On the whole -- well, in fact, not on the whole, but in a

10     hundred per cent of those cases, all those who were in the buses and in

11     the lorries were prisoners who had been captured on those axes, and on

12     the 13th in the evening hours and in the course of the night, they were

13     transferred to Bratunac.

14        Q.   Where else were prisoners held in Bratunac that night on the

15     13th, besides buses and lorries?

16        A.   As far as I know, on that night they were also kept in the

17     Vuk Karadzic primary school in the physical training hall of that very

18     same primary school, in a hangar as well.  And, also, as far as I know,

19     another school was made use of.  It's the old school, the secondary

20     Djuro Pucar school.  It's an old building that was there before the war,

21     and it was the secondary school in Bratunac until a new school was built.

22     And in those facilities there were these prisoners who were being held

23     there.  They had been separated in Potocari or they had subsequently been

24     transferred from Konjevic Polje and Kasaba to Bratunac.

25        Q.   And what about the playground or stadium?

Page 24674

 1        A.   As far as I know, a few buses were parked in the direction of the

 2     stadium and in the area immediately after the entry; but if you're

 3     referring to the pitch itself, as far as I know, there were no prisoners

 4     there.  There were buses, but the prisoners were in the buses, and in

 5     that part of the stadium, but in the stadium itself, on the pitch, in

 6     fact, there was no one according to the information I have.

 7        Q.   At this point in time, around midnight, the night of the 13th of

 8     July, who was guarding these prisoners?  Who was securing them?

 9        A.   Well, I can say the following:  I can refer to the buildings.

10     Perhaps that will be the best description of what was taking place there.

11     The security for the Vuk Karadzic school was provided by part of the MPs

12     from the Bratunac Brigade and also members of the public security station

13     in Bratunac.  As for the other facilities, the hangar, the physical

14     training room, and the secondary school, the security was provided on the

15     whole by the police from various formations, units.  Police from the

16     public security station in Bratunac or policemen from special purposes

17     units or there were even policemen from the special companies, these

18     companies from special brigades, they provided security in the evening

19     hours.  I don't know how this worked exactly, but I know that the

20     military police, members of the military police, members of the civilian

21     police from various structures were providing security.  There were also

22     soldiers who provided security and civilians to whom weapons had been

23     distributed since there weren't enough people for security.  So they

24     would provide security for the buses and the lorries for these vehicles

25     that had been brought into Bratunac.  So on the whole, everyone who was

Page 24675

 1     available and who could be engaged participated in addition to those

 2     whose task it was to provide security, and it was their task to provide

 3     security for the Muslims who had been taken to Bratunac in buses or in

 4     lorries.

 5        Q.   And did you hear whether any prisoners were killed during that

 6     night in any of the detention facilities in Bratunac?

 7        A.   After all this came to an end, after a certain period of time had

 8     passed, when speaking to Dragan Mirkovic I found out that on that

 9     evening, between the 13th and the 14th, people were killed in the hangar,

10     mostly in the hangar, and also in the physical training hall, the sports

11     hall.  As far as the Vuk Karadzic primary school is concerned, according

12     to my information there were no killings, but in the hangar and in the

13     sports hall in the Vuk Karadzic primary school people were taken out and

14     killed.

15             In addition to those cases in which people were killed, I had

16     information according to which certain individuals were taken out and

17     certain people were killed in revenge.  Serbs whose family members had

18     been killed wanted to find Muslims according to -- they wanted to find

19     Muslims who had allegedly kill members of their family.

20             I had evidence about such killings -- or, rather, I had evidence

21     from -- about individuals who had taken Muslims out of buses in order to

22     kill them for purposes of revenge.

23        Q.   All right.  Thank you.  You've described the situation that

24     night, and you'd started telling us that you were told to meet

25     Colonel Beara.  Where did you meet -- well, what happened next?  Did you

Page 24676

 1     meet with Colonel Beara?

 2        A.   If I've understood the question correctly, did I meet

 3     Colonel Beara?  Well, I have already spoken about the meeting and about

 4     what happened.  If the question is whether I met Colonel Beara after the

 5     return from Zvornik, well, in that case that's a different question.

 6        Q.   That's the question.

 7        A.   Yes.  Having returned from Zvornik, as I've already said, I

 8     returned about 12.00.  I went to the Fontana Hotel which is where

 9     Colonel Beara was, and I gave a report to Colonel Beara.  I told him that

10     I had gone to Zvornik and I had carried out his orders.

11        Q.   Then what happened?

12        A.   After I had told him that I had carried out his orders,

13     Colonel Beara asked me to take him to the SDS office in Bratunac, and

14     naturally it's not far from the Fontana Hotel to the SDS office.  We got

15     up, left the Fontana Hotel and set off in the direction of the SDS

16     office.  I arrived there and when I enter the office, Miroslav Deronjic

17     and Colonel Vasic were already there.  I arrived can Colonel Beara and we

18     entered those premises.

19        Q.   Again, this is Dragomir Vasic?

20        A.   Yes, Colonel Dragomir Vasic, the chief of the centre.  He was

21     present at that meeting.

22        Q.   Then what happened?

23        A.   When we entered the premises, and I have to say this for the

24     benefit of the Chamber, these premises consist of two offices.  One of

25     the offices is an office in which there's a desk and a number of chairs,

Page 24677

 1     and the other office is a small reception area.  There was a small table

 2     and a couple of chairs as well.  I arrived with Colonel Beara.

 3     Miroslav Deronjic was in the office.  I told Miroslav Deronjic, This is

 4     my boss from the Main Staff, Colonel Beara, and I entered that room.  I

 5     sat down in the reception area.  In between the reception area and

 6     Deronjic's office, well, there was just a distance of about a metre and a

 7     metre and a half between those two offices, so there's a very small area

 8     there.  And at the very beginning they started discussing things, and

 9     they started quarreling.  Colonel Beara said that he had received

10     instructions from his boss as to what should be done with the prisoners,

11     and Miroslav Deronjic referred to the instructions he had received from

12     his boss, President Karadzic.  He said he had instructions from his boss

13     regarding what was to be done with the prisoners.  For the sake of

14     informing the Trial Chamber, I have to explain something because I know

15     this is contradictory, but I'm telling you exactly what happened.

16     Colonel Beara sent me to Zvornik to say that the prisoners would be going

17     to Zvornik.  This happened when I arrived in the centre and received

18     orders.  And when I arrived in the SDS office, Colonel Beara insisted at

19     that meeting that those prisoners should remain in Bratunac.  Why was

20     this happening?  Well, since I was the duty officer on the 12th and I

21     know exactly how the information was distributed and how orders were

22     given, well, on the 13th the decisions taken, especially on the 13th,

23     changed rapidly.  So first you would receive one order and half an hour

24     later the order was amended, you would receive a different order, and

25     that was the situation that prevailed in Bratunac at the time, and in

Page 24678

 1     particular on the 13th when there were many problems.  Miroslav Deronjic

 2     was insistent and he said that he had received instructions according to

 3     which all prisoners in Bratunac should be transferred to Zvornik.  First

 4     they quarreled.  They confronted -- they had a confrontation of opinions,

 5     and then they sat down at the table.  Miroslav took out some glasses, put

 6     alcohol into the glasses and had a drink and continued to speak to each

 7     other.  I have testified to this previously.  On the 13th in the evening

 8     at about 12.00 or between 12.00 and half past 12.00 when this meeting was

 9     being held, the status or the fate of the prisoners was certain, and no

10     one no longer asked about what should be done with the prisoners.  It was

11     openly said that these prisoners would be killed.  The only issue was

12     whether these prisoners should be killed in Bratunac or in Zvornik.  That

13     was the dilemma.  That was the subject of the dispute.  Miroslav Deronjic

14     insisted that he had a sufficient number of problems in Bratunac.  He

15     said he didn't want anyone to be killed in Bratunac.  And that is why he

16     was insistent.  And finally they reached an agreement.  At the end of the

17     meeting everyone, agreed that the prisoners should be transferred to

18     Zvornik or to the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade in the

19     coming days.

20             In addition to these issues that were discussed, a number of

21     other issues were discussed, issues that concerned dealing with the

22     current problems in Bratunac.  These issues concerned providing security

23     for the prisoners.  They concerned the threat if they came out of the

24     buses or the lorries, the risk.  So these were the security issues that

25     were discussed and that they attempted to deal with that evening.  So in

Page 24679

 1     brief, that is what happened at that meeting.

 2        Q.   All right, sir.  I just want to be extremely clear.  You've

 3     testified about this before.  What did Miroslav Deronjic say his

 4     instructions were that he had received from President Karadzic regarding

 5     the prisoners?

 6        A.   Miroslav Deronjic claimed that he had received instructions

 7     according to which all prisoners from Bratunac should leave Bratunac in

 8     the following days.  That is what Miroslav Deronjic insisted on.  He

 9     said, I have received instructions from President Karadzic according to

10     which the prisoners in Bratunac should be transferred to Zvornik, and

11     Deronjic then said that he did not want anyone to be killed in Bratunac.

12     He said he had enough problems as it was and he didn't want this.  That's

13     what I heard in relation to the prisoners.

14        Q.   Thank you.

15             JUDGE KWON:  Just to be clear, Mr. Nikolic, your previous

16     evidence, testimony, is not in evidence in this case.  So probably you

17     may have to repeat, but what did Beara insist upon?  I'm not sure whether

18     you talked about it.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Beara was at the meeting and at

20     half past 8.00 he had issued orders to me, but it was different later.

21     He said everyone would be transferred to Zvornik.  I should tell

22     Drago Nikolic about that.  But at that meeting he insisted that these

23     soldiers should remain in Bratunac.  It differed from his previous order.

24     That is what I was telling you about, because I know that there is a

25     difference.  I know that it is contradictory.  He was insisting, first of

Page 24680

 1     all, that they should remain in Bratunac and then -- or, rather, at the

 2     first meeting, he insisted that they should go to Zvornik; and at the

 3     second meeting, he insisted on them remaining in Bratunac.  So this is

 4     contradictory.  All I want to do is tell you the truth about what

 5     happened.  I know that this is contradictory, but it's the truth.

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to intervene.  In line 18,

 7     it says "contradictory."  Later the witness said the one excludes the

 8     other, and that wasn't recorded.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  Did you say that Beara told you that

10     these soldiers should remain in Bratunac?  Did he use the term

11     "soldiers"?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Prisoners.  Prisoners.  Perhaps it

13     was a slip of the tongue.  I'm referring to the prisoners who were in

14     Bratunac.  Among the prisoners, there were soldiers, of course.

15             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to say that prisoners and

16     captives doesn't mean the same thing.

17             JUDGE KWON:  Because we heard "soldiers."

18             Yes, please continue, Mr. Nicholls.

19             MR. NICHOLLS:

20        Q.   All right.  You've explained that the agreement was reached in

21     the end between the parties present.  What happened next?  What did you

22     do after this, after what you've finished telling us what happened?

23        A.   After that, it was late.  I went to the Bratunac Brigade command,

24     and in the command of the Bratunac Brigade the colleagues of mine in the

25     operations room and others who were present, and I told all of them that

Page 24681

 1     we all had to work up until the early morning hours, and I told them that

 2     I had information according to which these captives and everyone in

 3     Bratunac, all the Muslims, should be transferred to the area of

 4     responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade in the following days.

 5        Q.   Well, let's move to the following day, 14 July.  Tell us what

 6     happened with the prisoners.

 7        A.   The next day, in keeping with what had been arranged the previous

 8     evening, during the morning buses began arriving for the most part,

 9     although there were some trucks as well.  In any case, in the column that

10     was formed, there were trucks which came from that direction, and those

11     who were already on those trucks remained there and simply joined the

12     column.

13             In the early hours of the 14th -- or, in the morning of the 14th,

14     all those who were held in detention buildings and facilities entered the

15     buses and boarded the trucks.  The column was headed by an APC driven by

16     Mirko Jankovic, MP platoon commander.  The convoy was about 1 or

17     1.5 kilometres in length.  It included all those who were captured on the

18     12th, as well as those taken prisoner and brought to Bratunac on the

19     13th.  All of them went to the AOR of the Zvornik Brigade on the 14th.

20        Q.   If you know, can you tell us if you know at all about escorts,

21     guards, of these transports, which -- whether there was military police,

22     MUP, Bratunac Brigade, or who provided the escort to the prisoner convoy

23     on the 14th?

24        A.   The escort of the convoy, that is to say the buses and trucks and

25     all the people on them, resembled any similar security detail.  Some of

Page 24682

 1     the military policemen who were available were included, as well as

 2     members of the civilian police.  It also included those who had guarded

 3     the trucks that were outside the facilities.  So it included members of

 4     the military police, civilian police, soldiers, and even civilians who

 5     stood guard and had weapons.  They all escorted those they had guarded

 6     the previous night.  That was how the escort was organised.  The column

 7     was headed by an APC driven by the military police commander and the APC

 8     belonged to DutchBat.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  I'm going to move on now a little bit and talk about

10     an issue that came up a few days later, past the 14th, and that's about

11     the question of local staff of UNPROFOR and international organisations

12     from the enclave.

13             MR. NICHOLLS:  Could I have 65 ter 02123, please.

14        Q.   Now, that's not a very good copy, but I think you're familiar

15     with this document.  It's from the command, the 1st Bratunac

16     Light Infantry Brigade intelligence organ dated 18 July 1995, situation

17     in the Srebrenica region.

18             If we can go to the bottom of both documents, please.  And to the

19     left for the Serbian version.

20             Can you see your name there on the bottom, sir?

21        A.   Yes, I can see it.

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  Is there another page in the Serbian in e-court?

23     Could we go to that if there is one?

24        Q.   There's a handwritten copy of the same document, sir.  Can you

25     tell us about why there's two versions of this, a handwritten document

Page 24683

 1     and a teleprinter or typed version?

 2        A.   I need to correct you.  There are no two versions.  There is a

 3     single version.  This is how all such documents were sent.  You, an

 4     operative, sending the report writes it by hand, sends it to the

 5     communications centre.  They type it out and send it on.  Then you

 6     receive your handwritten version and the typed version back.  That was

 7     standard procedure in submitting reports to your superior command or

 8     whoever was to receive such a report.

 9             This report was specific, though.  I said yesterday that in my

10     office there was Colonel Jankovic from the intelligence administration of

11     the Main Staff.  The two of us usually sent all information to our

12     superior commands together.  In practical terms, it meant once we had

13     enough information, we sat down and made a draft of what we wanted to

14     report about.  This is not my handwriting.  Colonel Jankovic wrote this

15     report by hand, and after he did that, I took it and since it was the

16     headquarters of my brigade, I took it to communication -- to the

17     communications centre to be sent.  This was done automatically.  The

18     person in the communications centre typed it out and sent it on,

19     including my name on the report.  So you have Colonel Jankovic's text

20     with me in the signature block.  That's the explanation.

21        Q.   Thank you for that clear explanation.  If we look at the bottom

22     of this document -- we need to go to the next page of the Serbian,

23     please.

24             There's a question about local staff and the international

25     organisations, and it says:

Page 24684

 1             "Will you please tell me what stand to take in terms of

 2     authorisation for evacuation of the international organisation Medecins

 3     sans Frontieres, in fact, how to deal with so-called local staff.  This

 4     also applies to the interpreters of military monitors and UNPROFOR.  RDB,

 5     regional state security, passed on to us an opinion that

 6     President Karadzic had allegedly abolished all local staff who used to

 7     work for UNPROFOR.  It is our opinion that they should not be held."

 8             But first of all, what was the issue here about local staff?

 9     What does that mean, "local staff," of international organisations?

10        A.   The term "local staff" of international organisations, including

11     DutchBat, because they, too, had people working for them from the local

12     community of Srebrenica, this included for the most part all technical

13     personnel; first and foremost, people in charge of maintenance such as

14     plumbers, electricians, mechanics and different types of tradesmen who

15     worked on either maintaining their buildings or their technical assets.

16             When we brought this question up, we had those people in mind who

17     worked with UNPROFOR, the ICRC, the MSF, the UNHCR, and -- am I

18     forgetting anyone?  Yes, and the military observers.  They were Muslims

19     from the Srebrenica enclave, and we asked what to do with them.

20             Here you see what the position was and that we believed they

21     shouldn't be held but, rather, allowed to leave with those who employed

22     them.

23        Q.   And just this sentence:

24             "RDB passed on to us" --

25             JUDGE KWON:  Just a second.  Should we ask the witness to read

Page 24685

 1     that sentence?

 2             Could you read out the last sentence for us, starting from "RDB."

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mm-hmm.

 4             "RDB conveyed to us the position that allegedly

 5     President Karadzic pardoned all local personnel working for UNPROFOR.  It

 6     is our opinion that they shouldn't be held."

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  That's helpful.

 8             Mr. Nicholls.

 9             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you --

10             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] An intervention for the transcript.

11     The witness said that the international observers, too, had such

12     personnel, so does it include the international observers or only the

13     local staff working for them?

14             MR. NICHOLLS:  Your Honour, I completely object.  I ask that you

15     cut this off.

16             JUDGE KWON:  If it is not a translation issue, it is not a

17     appropriate moment for you to intervene, Mr. Karadzic.

18             Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

19             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

20        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, the last sentence you read out, can you -- when you

21     wrote this -- or, excuse me, when Colonel -- when Jankovic wrote it and

22     then it was sent off, what is the meaning of that that President Karadzic

23     has abolished or pardoned all local staff, as you put it?

24        A.   I did not receive interpretation.

25             JUDGE KWON:  Now do you hear me, Mr. Nikolic?  Okay.

Page 24686

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 2             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 3        Q.   I'll ask the question again, Mr. Nikolic.  I'm sorry you didn't

 4     hear it the first time.

 5             When this last sentence that you read out was written by Jankovic

 6     and then it was sent out, what's the meaning?  What did you understand

 7     that to mean, that President Karadzic had allegedly abolished or pardoned

 8     local staff?

 9        A.   I am not sure what it is that you want me to explain.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nikolic, let me explain.  When you read out, it

11     was translated in English as "Mr. Karadzic allegedly pardoned all local

12     staff," but in the English translation, in written form, it says,

13     "Mr. Karadzic had allegedly abolished all local staff."  I do not know

14     the difference in B/C/S between "pardon" and "abolish," but that's the

15     origin of confusion.

16             Do you have any observation, Mr. Nikolic?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is absolutely clear now what the

18     problem is.

19             Without going into any explanations as to what "pardon" or

20     "amnesty" mean in my country, I will say this:  In my language, this

21     means to me that the RDB sent information that Mr. Karadzic let them go

22     free.  In other words, that they should not be held and that they should

23     not be separated.  If it were the other way around, they would not have

24     been allowed to leave with UNPROFOR or those they worked for.  They would

25     have been separated.  That is one thing I wanted to say.  Due to language

Page 24687

 1     differences, I wanted to also say this:  In my country, where I live --

 2     well, this was written by Colonel Jankovic.  The term "to pardon" in the

 3     Serbian language, well, for that, one would have to have been sentenced

 4     first in order to be pardoned, but these people were not, so no pardon

 5     was necessary.  They only needed to be permitted to leave the territory

 6     of the enclave together with those they worked for.  There was no need

 7     for any pardon, because they had not been sentenced.  They were simply

 8     employees of international organisations.  Perhaps this clarifies things.

 9     If you require any further explanations, do ask.  In any case, it does

10     not mean what was in the English translation.

11        Q.   Thank you.  I'm now going to move to another topic.

12             MR. NICHOLLS:  May I tender that, Your Honours.

13             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit P4390, Your Honours.

15             MR. NICHOLLS:

16        Q.   What I'd like to ask you about now, sir, is what you can tell us

17     about any operation that you know of to move the bodies of Muslim persons

18     who had been killed after the fall of Srebrenica, the reburial operation.

19             JUDGE KWON:  Just one clarifying question, Mr. Nicholls.  The

20     Prosecution's estimate for time for the examination-in-chief was nine

21     hours.  Is this still the case?

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  I'm going to finish quite soon, Your Honours.  To

23     be honest, I'm not sure how much time I've used exactly, but I'll be

24     wrapping up in -- I think I've got less than an hour.

25             JUDGE KWON:  You, I think, used about six hours --

Page 24688

 1             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

 2             JUDGE KWON:  -- roughly.  Yes, please continue.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Nicholson [sic], I'm not sure

 4     what the Chamber is interested in.  There is a lot of things I can say

 5     about this, because I know exactly how the operation developed.

 6             MR. NICHOLLS:

 7        Q.   Well, let me put it this way:  Let's start in September 1995.

 8     Did you discuss this topic or receive orders on this topic from

 9     Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic?

10        A.   Yes.  Sometime in September 1995 my brigade was visited by

11     Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic from the Drina Corps command,

12     including myself.  He conveyed an order or information that the

13     Main Staff ordered a -- that relocation be carried out of the mortal

14     remains of the Muslims buried in the graves in Glogova.  They were

15     supposed to be taken out of the grave and placed in another location in

16     the municipality of Srebrenica because Glogova was in

17     Bratunac municipality.

18        Q.   And did that ordered relocation take place?

19        A.   Yes.  The order was carried out, and the operation naming my

20     brigade was called "asanacija," sanitation and hygiene measures

21     operation.  It was implemented in keeping with the orders of the

22     Main Staff.

23        Q.   And which bodies took part or assisted in this, talking about

24     VRS, MUP, civilian protection?  Which of these different bodies took

25     part?

Page 24689

 1        A.   In this operation, starting with the idea of bodies being

 2     relocated and ending with the relocation itself, the following structures

 3     were involved:  It included representatives of the political

 4     predominantly executive authorities in Bratunac; that is to say, the

 5     Executive Council and its president, the municipal president, and the

 6     chief of MUP.  Then it included representatives of companies which had

 7     machinery such as ULTs, excavators, and other construction machinery that

 8     was needed for such an operation.

 9             In terms of construction companies, it included the Rad Bratunac

10     public utility company.  Then there was machinery from the state-owned

11     company, the brickworks, in Bratunac.  Next, from Srebrenica, there were

12     also some companies taking part, such as the socially owned construction

13     company Radnik and their machinery, and the Sase mine construction

14     machinery as well as trucks.  There were also trucks of the Autoprevoz

15     company in Srebrenica.  I may have forgotten some, but probably not.

16     That's which companies took part.  As for the military, the task was

17     issued to the Bratunac Brigade because the graves were in its area of

18     responsibility.  The military police of the Bratunac Brigade take part.

19     They secure the road between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac and Bratunac and

20     Ljubovija.  In addition to the military police, the civilian police took

21     part as well, that is to say the public security station from Bratunac.

22     They were engaged on the same tasks with the military police.  They

23     secured the roads together between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje and

24     Bratunac and Ljubovija.  They diverted all traffic to another road.

25             As for the Drina Corps, there was the 5th Engineering Battalion

Page 24690

 1     with their machinery, and it is also important to note that the fuel for

 2     the operation was provided by the Drina Corps command on two occasions:

 3     The first time around 5 tonnes of oil and the next time about 2.5 tonnes

 4     of oil or fuel.  All that was preceded by a number of meetings held at

 5     the Bratunac municipality premises in the office of the municipal

 6     president.  He undertook upon himself to communicate with the companies

 7     so that the part of work not related to the military be carried out.

 8     They needed to provide machinery needed for the operation.  It lasted

 9     from September on, for some two months, with several breaks due to a

10     number of problems.  In any case, the whole thing took about two months.

11             Right at the outset, it was supposed to be secret, and I knew

12     that as the chief of security.  However, given the number of participants

13     and the number of workers from the public utility company and the number

14     of military and civilian policemen and other bodies, also given the

15     number of assets that was required such as trucks, excavators, ULTs and

16     other machinery from a number of construction companies, it was for

17     all -- because of all that that the operation was no longer secret.  That

18     was the original intention.  But, in my view, it cannot be deemed covert

19     because everyone knew that the implement -- that the operation was

20     implemented or carried out.

21             That is it in briefest possible terms.  If there's anything else

22     you want to know, please ask.

23        Q.   Thank you.  I'll just quickly show you a document, 65 ter 02084.

24     Can we have the first page, please.

25             Now, in the translation which will come up in a minute, I hope,

Page 24691

 1     it says, "Reports, meetings, 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade."  Thank

 2     you.

 3             Just quickly, do you recognise this document, Mr. Nikolic?  This

 4     book, rather.

 5        A.   Yes, I do.  These are briefings from my 1st Bratunac Light

 6     Infantry Brigade.

 7        Q.   What was the purpose of this book, or who took the notes in this

 8     book or how was it used?

 9        A.   These briefings, or, rather, minutes from meetings of units from

10     brigades including my own were written up for the sake of keeping records

11     so that people could see what it was that was discussed at meetings, and

12     it was basically the command of the brigade, the commander and his

13     assistant commanders, and sometimes at such a briefing commanders of

14     battalions would also be present and also of other units depending on

15     what the meeting would focus on.  So this is a document that is

16     permanently kept in a brigade, and there are minutes kept at each and

17     every meeting of this kind that is held.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Could the witness please

19     make sure to speak into the microphone.  Otherwise, we cannot hear him

20     well.  Thank you.

21             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Nikolic, could you speak into the microphone for

22     the benefit of the interpreters.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.  I do

24     apologise.

25             MR. NICHOLLS:  All right.  Can we go to page 11 of the English,

Page 24692

 1     24 of the B/C/S, please.

 2        Q.   Now, here we have in the working meeting of commander with

 3     command staff and battalion commander from 16 October 1995.  We see at

 4     the top Colonel Blagojevic speaking.  Can we roll down to the bottom of

 5     each page, please.  This is an 8.00 a.m. meeting that ended at 10.00 a.m.

 6             First of all, Mr. Nikolic, we see the name Nikolic written there

 7     in the notes of this meeting.  Do you know if that's referring to you or

 8     if it's somebody else?

 9        A.   Yes.  Yes.  These are minutes from a meeting in my brigade, so

10     Nikolic, that is me.

11        Q.   And we see the three points that are recorded that you said, and

12     I'm looking at the third one today at the moment, which states in the

13     English:

14             "We are currently engaged in task issued by Army of

15     Republika Srpska Main Staff (hygiene and sanitation measures)."

16             Is that what it says in your version?  I don't -- if you could

17     read out the last point under your name.

18        A.   We are currently working on obligations given by the Main Staff

19     of the Army of Republika Srpska, and then in parentheses, hygiene and

20     sanitation measures.

21        Q.   And the word in your language is "asanacija," is that right,

22     that's written there, if I pronounced it correctly?

23        A.   Yes, excellent.

24        Q.   All right.  And what does this entry refer to?  What are you

25     saying -- what are these tasks?  What's going on?

Page 24693

 1        A.   If you're asking me about what I read out just now, then at this

 2     meeting I reported to my commander saying that currently I was working

 3     on -- I mean, I meant the military police, because when the komandir is

 4     not there, then I usually do what they do.  I usually say what it is that

 5     they were doing.  So I informed my commander that I worked on the tasks

 6     that we had been given by the Main Staff, and they have to do with

 7     sanitation and hygiene measures.  I already explained that the operation

 8     of relocation from Glogova was called "asanacija" in my brigade.

 9        Q.   Right.  So this entry, just to be clear, refers to that

10     relocation operation in Glogova.

11        A.   This point that I read out just now refers to what you said, but

12     the note refers to many other things, but specifically the point that we

13     discussed just now has to do with the relocation from Glogova.

14        Q.   Thank you.

15             MR. NICHOLLS:  Your Honours, could I tender perhaps the cover

16     page and that page or whichever parts Your Honours --

17             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, two pages, the first page and the last page.

18     That will be admitted as the next Prosecution exhibit, i.e.,

19     Exhibit P4391.

20             MR. NICHOLLS:  I don't know if it is acceptable to Your Honours,

21     but I wonder if we might take the break now.  I'm just about done, but I

22     wouldn't mind taking a quick look to check over my materials.

23             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.  We'll have a break for an hour and resume at

24     1.25.

25                           --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.22 p.m.

Page 24694

 1                           --- On resuming at 1.28 p.m.

 2             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please continue.

 3             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honours.

 4        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, yesterday we discussed in the beginning that you had

 5     entered a guilty plea before this Tribunal and taken responsibility and

 6     accepted responsibility.  I just want to ask you if you'd like to tell

 7     the Trial Chamber how you feel about what happened in Srebrenica and what

 8     happened to the Bosnian Muslim population in July 1995.

 9        A.   Yes.  Whenever I testify, I take the opportunity to express my

10     regret for everything that happened over there.  I am absolutely aware of

11     the fact that a terrible crime was committed in Srebrenica, that people

12     were killed, that many families lost their children, their sons, their

13     fathers, their brothers and sisters, and everything else.  I personally

14     feel responsible, and it's particular difficult for me because I worked

15     in the school where many of those who lost their lives were provided with

16     an education, and I quite simply wasn't able to help those who lost their

17     lives, though I had -- I didn't have the courage to do that.  Perhaps I

18     helped certain individuals, my Muslim friends who were friends even

19     before the war, but that wasn't sufficient, and yet again I'll use this

20     opportunity to apologise to all the families and to all the victims of

21     the crimes that were committed there.

22             I want to say that I'm extremely sorry for having been there, for

23     having carried out the orders I was given and for having contributed to

24     the perpetration of the crimes committed in that way.  I want to

25     apologise to all the victims of the crime once more, and I'm very sorry

Page 24695

 1     that I did not flee when it became certain that these things were going

 2     to happen.

 3             MR. NICHOLLS:  No further questions at this time, Your Honour.

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.

 5             Yes, Mr. Karadzic.

 6             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Good day, Your Honours.

 7     Good day to everyone.

 8                           Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic:

 9        Q.   [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Nikolic.

10        A.   Good day, Mr. Karadzic.

11        Q.   First of all, I would like to thank you for being so kind as to

12     meet with me and the Defence, and I believe that we agreed that we should

13     try to determine the truth with as much precision as possible, whatever

14     that truth might be, and I believe that you will assist us in attaining

15     this objective.  Thank you once more.

16             Could we see P4391, a fairly fresh item, and I would like you to

17     have a look at a detail in that document.  E-court, P4391, and I would

18     like to ask you whether you knew many of those people, Serbs and Muslims.

19             I apologise.  4390, the previous one, 4390.

20             Did you personally know many of those people?  You said a minute

21     ago that you taught some of them.

22        A.   I have in front of me -- well, now I have nothing in front of me.

23             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 4390.  02123 is the 65 ter number.

24     That should be the one.

25             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

Page 24696

 1        Q.   Could I ask you --

 2             JUDGE KWON:  Why don't we show the witness the written part,

 3     handwritten part.  Probably page 3.

 4             Yes.  Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.

 5             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we enlarge this?

 6             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   Can you see the part that concerns wounded Muslim out of 23 who

 8     remained after the evacuation which was organised by the ICRC, and he was

 9     handed over to the Zvornik CSB.  This is dated the 18th of July; isn't

10     that correct?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Halilovic, Osman is the name of the enemy soldier.  Did you know

13     this gentleman?

14        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I knew quite a lot of Halilovics from Bratunac and

15     Srebrenica.  To be quite frank, I can't tell you whether I knew this

16     particular Halilovic, but I can tell you that I knew a lot of people

17     personally from the area of Bratunac and Srebrenica.

18        Q.   Thank you.  And do you remember how old this Halilovic was, the

19     one referred to in this report?

20        A.   There's something I have to say for the benefit of the

21     Trial Chamber, and this has to do with Halilovic.  He is referred to in

22     this report, but there is also a written report that concerns him alone

23     that I provided to the Drina Corps command, and it's a man who is

24     middle-aged or perhaps even younger.  I don't want to speak off the top

25     of my head, but I know exactly who is concerned, and I know what happened

Page 24697

 1     to him.

 2        Q.   Was he arrested and handed over to the CSB in Zvornik in the area

 3     of responsibility of your brigade; is that correct?

 4        A.   No, he wasn't arrested.  He was one of the wounded who were

 5     provided with accommodation in the health centre in Bratunac, and then

 6     the CSB officials took charge of him.  He was on their list as someone

 7     who had committed a war crime.  And operations officers from the

 8     State Security Service in Zvornik took charge of him and took him for

 9     further processing in the Zvornik centre.

10        Q.   Thank you.  And what happened in the end?  You don't know?

11        A.   Well, of course I do.  Osman Halilovic was interviewed.  He was

12     processed, and I don't know what the results of the process were, but

13     according to the information I had, he was processed or he was taken

14     before the judiciary.

15        Q.   Thank you for that information.  We'll try and locate that case

16     to see which Osman we are actually dealing with.  Thank you very much.

17             As you've already told us in the interview, you don't know much

18     about police affairs, but very briefly, you held an important position

19     from 1986, and that position had to do with the system of

20     All People's Defence.

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  You don't know much

22     about political events.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In order to be precise for the sake

24     of the Trial Chamber, in our interview I said that I was not someone who

25     officially participated in political events because I wasn't part of the

Page 24698

 1     legislative or executive authorities, but naturally with regard to the

 2     political events, I, as someone who was involved in intelligence work,

 3     know many things about such political events, but I have told you that

 4     I'm not a credible witness when it comes to such matters because I wasn't

 5     a participant in the political life of the country, and I wasn't a member

 6     of a single political organisation -- or, rather, of the SDS which was in

 7     power at the time.

 8             And in response to your second question, yes, in 1986 I left the

 9     secondary school I was working in and started working in the

10     Territorial Defence Staff, and I was assistant commander for intelligence

11     in the Territorial Defence Staff in Bratunac.

12             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   Thank you.  I'm waiting for the end of the interpretation, so

14     please could you try to do the same.

15        A.   Yes.  I'll try and take that into account.

16        Q.   What subject did you teach in secondary school?

17        A.   I was there for about five academic years, and during that period

18     of time I taught defence and protection.  That was the name of the

19     subject that was a regular subject in secondary schools at the time.

20        Q.   Did that subject have to do with the laws on All People's Defence

21     and of the self-protection of a society, and did it have to do with

22     Tito's doctrine as a whole on an armed people?

23        A.   Well, that subject, the subject of defence and protection, had

24     its own curriculum, and it also included the field that you have just

25     mentioned.  I could agree with that.

Page 24699

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Then tomorrow we will ask you to clarify certain

 2     matters with regard to that subject, but something that we could have a

 3     look at now is the following:  On page 59 the order "asanacija" was

 4     mentioned taking sanitation and hygiene measures or cleaning the terrain.

 5     Would you agree that "asanacija," taking such measures, is something that

 6     is covered by the law, and the civilian protection has to take such

 7     measures in peacetime and in wartime, in peacetime after catastrophes

 8     have occurred and in wartime after there has been a battle?

 9        A.   Yes, Mr. Karadzic.  I am a professor, and I dealt with that

10     field.  I know exactly what measures of sanitation and hygiene concern.

11     It's a measure for civilian protection that is taken as a preventive

12     measure.  If that's not possible, hygiene and sanitation measures are

13     taken in order to remove the results of catastrophes, natural

14     catastrophes, or the results of war and so on and so forth.

15        Q.   Thank you.  This includes removing the corpses or remains of

16     animals or people.  It also has to do with removing the results or

17     eliminating the results of any kind of extraordinary activities or

18     events.

19        A.   It depends on the event, on the misfortune.  So what taking

20     hygiene and sanitation measures involves depends on the event itself.

21        Q.   This is a legal obligation, taking such measures is a legal

22     measure that has to be taken.  It is not a matter for someone to decide

23     on voluntarily; is that correct?

24        A.   Every social community takes sanitation and hygiene measures

25     because it's in their own interest.  I agree with you that this is a

Page 24700

 1     legal obligation and it is not a matter of someone's individual will.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  With regard to the period prior to the war, very

 3     briefly, you were in that position from 1986 up until the time when the

 4     war broke out, and during that period of time you had the opportunity,

 5     did you not, to report on or find out about reports on the possibility of

 6     threats to the security of the country or threats to the security of the

 7     armed forces; isn't that correct?

 8        A.   If your question were more precise, perhaps I could provide you

 9     with a more precise answer.  But as a rule, given the position I

10     occupied, I had the opportunity to obtain information of that nature as

11     well.

12        Q.   Am I correct if I say that the Territorial Defence at all

13     territorial levels was an integral part of the armed forces of Yugoslavia

14     and at the same time it was administratively considered to be part of the

15     municipality's defence, and the president of the municipality, given his

16     position, was the president of the council for defence and there was also

17     a municipal brigade for the Territorial Defence, for territorial

18     protection, in fact?

19        A.   Yes.  What you said contains some precise elements and some

20     imprecise elements.  I'll try and assist you.

21             The armed forces of the former SFRJ were supposed of the JNA and

22     the Territorial Defence.  These were two parallel and equal components.

23     So the TO - you asked me about the TO, the Territorial Defence - was one

24     of the component parts of the armed forces of the former

25     Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.  It was organised, on the

Page 24701

 1     whole, at the republican level.  Every republic had its own

 2     Territorial Defence, and every municipality at its own level had

 3     municipal Territorial Defence.  The highest level of organisation in the

 4     municipality in terms of command was the Territorial Defence Staff, the

 5     Municipal Staff, of course; and the highest level of organisation for the

 6     units on the territorial or municipal principle were the

 7     Territorial Defence detachments.  So these were units the strength of a

 8     battalion.  In brigades or in independent battalions they were a little

 9     more numerous than is the case for classical traditional battalions.

10     Within the municipal Territorial Defence, in addition to these municipal

11     staffs, there were sector staffs which were formed in local communes that

12     covered a large territory and a detachment would be formed in that kind

13     of a local commune which was extensive in territorial terms.

14             In addition to detachments, there were Territorial Defence

15     companies and there were independent platoons within the

16     Territorial Defence system.  So that was the structure of the

17     Territorial Defence from the top to the municipal level, and it's true

18     that the Territorial Defence was led by and supplied by the organs of the

19     social and political community.  The president of the municipality, in

20     fact, was the president of the council, as you have said.  But when it

21     comes to command, the next level of command is the level of

22     District Staffs and the district staff of Bratunac and Srebrenica was the

23     Tuzla district staff.  So that is the staff that was responsible for the

24     training, the control, and the equipment of the Territorial Defence at

25     the level of the municipalities of Bratunac and Srebrenica.  And then

Page 24702

 1     there was the republican staff with the centre in Sarajevo, and this was

 2     the highest level of supervision.

 3        Q.   Thank you for that information.  It will be useful.  Am I correct

 4     in saying that this entire structure that you have just described is a

 5     structure that also exists in peacetime not just in wartime, and it

 6     functions in peacetime and keeps one in a state of combat readiness for

 7     the defence of the country?

 8        A.   You know it all, and I am going to explain this for the benefit

 9     of the Chamber.  You know that the JNA and it's staffs, commands and

10     units for the most part were units that were manned up to the maximum

11     levels in principle.  As opposed to the units of the JNA, staffs and

12     commands and units of the TO were not a standing force.  There was always

13     a nucleus of such formation only and frequently they differed.  For

14     example, a peacetime TO staff greatly differed from a wartime TO staff.

15     But in any case, your statement that there were staffs within the

16     organisational schemes as well as commands and units that were manned, it

17     meant that they could mobilise personnel.  The weapons and equipment was

18     provided as such at Municipal TO staff levels and in case of need there

19     were draft calls and the manning was brought up to necessary levels.

20        Q.   Thank you.  I will try to put simple questions that will

21     hopefully be answered with a yes or no.

22             You agree then that there were weapons in the municipalities and

23     companies belonging to the TO and that the whole country was basically

24     packed with arms.  There were depots in municipalities, local communes,

25     and companies?

Page 24703

 1        A.   I understand the thrust of your question.  The weapons of the

 2     units, staffs, and commands of the TO was in TO warehouses that were

 3     controlled.  Some of that -- those weapons, since in addition to the

 4     units I mentioned there were companies which had their own TO units,

 5     which meant that those weapons held by companies, for example, the Vihor

 6     company had a company in my area the weapons were their property and was

 7     stored on their premises as well as the equipment they had.  So there is

 8     a slight difference between what you said and what I have just explained.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  It means that they paid for it with their own money

10     with the agreement of the TO, of course, and then they used the weapons

11     to arm their own company.  In other words, the weapons were their

12     property.

13        A.   Yes.  There was a legal procedure which was to be followed which

14     prescribed the way in which a company could procure military weapons and

15     equipment, and there was -- there was also regulation in place as to its

16     safekeeping.

17        Q.   Thank you.  Do we agree that between the beginning of the war in

18     Bosnia and Herzegovina and the establishment of Republika Srpska and the

19     VRS when it split from the JNA on the 19th and 20th of May, that the TO

20     municipal brigades and staffs existed as a tactical reserve of the JNA

21     and that they continued to exist within the VRS as regular units?  Or to

22     be more precise, who defended Bratunac before the VRS was established?

23        A.   Until the brigades of the VRS were formed, all defence activities

24     were under the competence of the units, commands, and staffs of the TO.

25        Q.   Thank you.  Do we agree that not only in Bratunac but across the

Page 24704

 1     republic such brigades became municipal units, basically enjoying their

 2     logistical support and payment?  In other words, they had very strong

 3     ties with their respective municipalities.

 4        A.   I can agree with that.  The mechanism of manning such units even

 5     before the VRS brigades were formed and following that was based on the

 6     territorial principle.  In other words, if you were to form a brigade in

 7     the area of Bratunac, it automatically meant that you manned your unit

 8     with the people from the municipal territory, and this functioned at all

 9     levels up to the level of the republic.

10        Q.   Thank you.  As an officer, do you see a difference between a

11     people's army which is distributed territorially because it meant that

12     people had their families there who were under the attack of another

13     side's army which was again based on territorial principles, as opposed

14     to a regular standing army where we have professional soldiers and their

15     families are not involved in all that is happening?

16        A.   That's a very complex question, but I'll try to be brief.

17     Concerning your question, I can say that there was a huge difference

18     between TO units and professional JNA units which were present there.

19     Now, as for any analysis of everything else you've mentioned, I'd rather

20     not go there, but in any case, my answer is that, yes, there was a

21     noticeable difference between the units manned by such soldiers as

22     farmers, teachers, musicians who were there to man the TO as compared to

23     professional units of the JNA.

24        Q.   Thank you.  I put this question because of what you said at

25     page 20 yesterday where you said that there was some irresponsible people

Page 24705

 1     who used snipers to shoot around Srebrenica, contrary to what the orders

 2     were.

 3             This element, this fact that people knew each other and that they

 4     had personal motives such as revenge and because of the fact that their

 5     families were at stake, did it all multiply the possibility of such

 6     irresponsible incidents of people who did not wait for any orders to

 7     start shooting or even disobey it?  I'm trying to gauge the contribution

 8     to this whole tragedy of the fact that these were not professional armed

 9     forces but, rather, simple people who were literally in the midst of a

10     civil war.

11        A.   Mr. Karadzic, I'd rather not go into such speculations.  To each

12     and every one of your questions I could go into a deep analysis of what I

13     think of the matter, but in this specific instance, in my understanding,

14     what you are referring to cannot be included as an element in the whole

15     situation.  I don't think there is a causal relationship between the fact

16     that someone was not a professional soldier but was still on a front line

17     and fired upon a non-military target.  My understanding of this whole

18     thing is the following:  It is completely irrelevant whether someone is a

19     professional or not.  If you wish to engage a non-military target, you

20     may do so no matter how professional you are.  So I see no direct link

21     between what you are trying to establish, that is to say, between

22     amateurism, so to speak, and illegal opening of fire from the enclave.

23        Q.   I did not mean to involve amateurs.  What I meant to say was that

24     a professional soldier's family was far away from any theatre of war,

25     whereas this people's soldier was in the middle of it, and you mentioned

Page 24706

 1     yourself in a number of cases that there was this danger of personal

 2     revenge, and you said that you had to secure the prisoners.

 3             I'm interested in the following:  I am not referring to specify

 4     incidents, but was there this element of personal revenge which was

 5     increased multifold in this situation where we had two people's armies

 6     opposing one another as opposed to an international conflict?

 7        A.   I did not have occasion to take part in the professional force.

 8     I can only cite my experience from the people's army, as you call it,

 9     which existed at the level of municipalities.  I can confirm that revenge

10     was one of the causes of people being killed on both sides, but again

11     I'll strive to be precise.

12             I think that taking revenge only involved individual cases.  And

13     in this specific situation of Srebrenica and Bratunac, it did not play a

14     role.  There were individual instances of revenge and murders, and we are

15     aware of that.

16        Q.   Speaking of uncontrolled shooting, on page 20 yesterday, you also

17     referred to that.  I wanted to clarify this.  Is it more difficult for an

18     officer to control such an army when there are soldiers whose families'

19     lives are at stake than it would be for an officer to command a

20     professional army?  As an officer, would you agree that it would be more

21     difficult to control?

22        A.   Of course there is this military rule:  The more professional

23     your army is, the better trained it is, the less problems you have and

24     the easier they are to control.  And the other way around:  If you have

25     amateurs in your units, people who are unprofessional or poorly trained

Page 24707

 1     or who have been trained a long time ago, of course it is much more

 2     difficult to command and control such a force as opposed to a

 3     professional force.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  Another brief question.  During that period between

 5     1986 and 1991 when Croatia and Slovenia seceded, through your

 6     intelligence channels did you receive information that perhaps a

 7     situation might occur in which a civil war was imminent or at least

 8     possible?  Did you follow developments in your area and did the army and

 9     the TO -- well, in other words, you, as an intelligence officer were,

10     busy doing something at the time, were you not?

11        A.   As an intelligence organ in the pre-war period, I worked on

12     similar things as during the war.  I have already told you what it was I

13     did during the war.  However, there is another situation which is an

14     imminent threat of war and the situation which makes it possible.

15             The year when I joined the staff, or two, three, or four years

16     later, it was the specific situation during -- because of which I kept

17     receiving information such as the things you refer to.  At the municipal

18     level, that is to say my level, I also received information about a

19     possible conflict, a possible war and inter-ethnic clashes in our

20     municipalities.

21        Q.   Thank you.  During the pre-war period, did you take note of the

22     fact that the Drina division was established?  I think that's the name it

23     had.  It was established by a former professional officer,

24     Nurif Rizvanovic.

25        A.   I know Nurif Rizvanovic personally, and I know what activities he

Page 24708

 1     engaged in.  We did have information that Nurif Rizvanovic, who otherwise

 2     hails from Glogova, that during the time just before the war, was busy

 3     arming, raising funds, and bringing in weapons to the people in the area

 4     of villages around Glogova, including Hranca, Konjevic Polje, Sandici,

 5     et cetera.

 6             In that regard, I did have information about his activities, and

 7     I reported it to my superior at the district staff in Tuzla.

 8        Q.   Thank you.  Perhaps slightly less importance, but nonetheless

 9     important for the Chamber to know, is it true that he was one of their

10     leaders at the beginning of the war and that Oric and Tursunovic

11     literally killed him off?  There seems to have been some court-martial

12     involved?

13        A.   You asked me about the 28th Division.  I did not have such

14     information, and I think his activities cannot be put in the context of

15     the 28th Division activities during that time.  Later on, yes, but not

16     during the time you refer to.  I know of an incident, and I do have

17     information about what happened with Mr. Rizvanovic.

18        Q.   Is it true that he was liquidated by Oric and Tursunovic, members

19     of his own ethnic group?

20        A.   All of the information I was able to gather during the war and

21     later point in that direction.  It seems that during a visit by Oric and

22     Tursunovic to Konjevic Polje where he was commander, they took him along

23     on route to Tuzla but killed him along the way.

24        Q.   Thank you.  As an intelligence officer, did you have insight into

25     the formation of the Patriotic League and the Green Berets, or, rather,

Page 24709

 1     what Sefer Halilovic was doing already from April 1991 onwards?  And from

 2     that point of view, was Podrinje, the Drina River Valley very important

 3     for them?

 4        A.   Yes.  At the time, I had information about the establishment of

 5     units and staffs by the Patriotic League.  However, I never dealt with

 6     that level, if you will.  I dealt with the activities that were at the

 7     level of my municipality.  I knew -- actually, I knew things that were

 8     important in relation to the establishment and formation and arming of --

 9     actually, that were a consequence of the orders that came from the

10     leadership of the Patriotic League.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Was my information correct, and we heard some of that

12     here, namely that Muslims in Bratunac itself were not that militant?

13     However, in Hranca, Glogova, and other Muslim concentrations they had

14     units that were armed and that they had a parallel organisation of their

15     own even before the war?

16        A.   It is true that in the territory of the municipality of Bratunac

17     there are villages or local communes that were more militant than the

18     centre of town itself.  I can mention a few of them.  For example,

19     Glogova - you've mentioned it as well - a very militant area, a big local

20     commune; and Konjevic Polje, likewise; and part of Voljavica and Zaluzje,

21     extremely militant.

22             Anyway, the town of Bratunac itself and the inhabitants of the

23     town of Bratunac were less quarrelsome and less militant when compared to

24     Glogova, Voljavica, and so on.

25        Q.   Is it correct that Osman Malagic from Voljavica, before he got

Page 24710

 1     killed in July or August, already gained fame as a military leader who

 2     led actions against the Serbs?

 3        A.   I know of the Malagics from Voljavica, but believe me -- well, I

 4     had records of all excessive conduct and activities, but it's been 20

 5     years now and I really cannot recall each and every instance, names and

 6     incidents pertaining to that period.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Just one more political question:  Did you notice

 8     that just before the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina the Serb side gave

 9     up on its struggle for Yugoslavia and that it was the reorganisation of

10     Bosnia that was on the agenda, and from at that point of view there were

11     political agreements that were conducive to the establishment of two

12     municipalities in Bratunac.

13        A.   Yes, I know.  I know all of this that you've mentioned.  I also

14     know about the initiative in Bratunac to establish the Serb municipality

15     of Bratunac and the Muslim municipalities of Bratunac.  And if you're

16     interested, I even know the details in that regard.

17        Q.   Is it correct that agreements were already underway and that

18     peacefully and lovingly the transformation of the police into two police

19     stations had already taken place in these two municipalities, or give us

20     another detail of your own choice.

21        A.   Well, what I heard here was peacefully and lovingly.  No, there

22     was no love.  Peace, yes.  There was no love whatsoever, and it wasn't

23     naive at all.  And it wasn't peaceful at all.

24             I'll tell you what the truth is.  The truth is that the quarrels

25     broke out precisely because of these divisions.  In a police station --

Page 24711

 1     or, rather, in this single building, there was the police, public

 2     security station, and the Muslim public security station in the very same

 3     building.  In the very same office you'd had a Serb duty officer and a

 4     Muslim duty officer.  One would be the duty officer of the Muslim police

 5     station, and the other one of the Serb police station.  And then there

 6     was this division of the territory of the municipality of Bratunac into

 7     the territory of the part of the municipality of Bratunac that was

 8     declared the Serb municipality of Bratunac, and the other one was the

 9     Muslim municipality of Bratunac.  You know what it was like to divide

10     Bratunac in that way?  Practically that was impossible.  It is not

11     possible even in theory to make that kind of division.  I'll just give

12     you one example:  You have Bratunac towards Kravica and Konjevic Polje,

13     and then the next village is Vekocvac [phoen] which is Serb village.  The

14     next village Hranca is partly Muslim, and then the next part, about

15     20 per cent of that village is Serb, and then the next village is Glogova

16     where there is a 100 per cent Muslim population, and then the next

17     village is Kravica that is 100 per cent Serb, and so on and so forth.

18     And now you're trying to divide something and then you also have these

19     villages where the percentage is half/half, 60 per cent/40 per cent, and

20     so on and so forth.

21             Well, furthermore, what was very wrong was the fact that this

22     division went on.  Then they even divided companies.  When they divided

23     companies, then Serbs who worked in Muslim companies, I mean those that

24     were given to the Muslims, then they started laying off Serbs, and they

25     started replacing them by Muslims who then got jobs in these companies.

Page 24712

 1     This was chaos.

 2             After all of that, when all of this was created, this total

 3     confusion, then they established check-points.  So say you set out to

 4     Konjevic Polje, you're stopped in Repovac after 2 kilometres first, and

 5     then after 3 kilometres you're stopped in Glogova, and then after

 6     4 kilometres you're stopped in Kravica, and then in Sandici after yet

 7     another kilometre.  So that was it.  I am telling you practically what

 8     was happening on the ground and this happened in all directions.  So

 9     there would be a Muslim village that had its own guards, its own

10     roadblocks, its own check-points.  Every Serb village would have its own

11     check-point and roadblock.  So you had a town that was absolutely

12     divided.  Bratunac is a very small town.  So you have this political

13     division, and it was exactly on an ethnic basis.  All the Serbs were on

14     the side of the SDS, all the Muslims were on the side of the SDA, and

15     then there are police institutions that are divided, then the business

16     sector is divided, and then there are these check-points, police

17     check-points, and there is restricted movement, there.  And within all of

18     that you have activists that are being armed on both sides.  The Serbs

19     are arming their own, the Muslims are arming their own, and all of this

20     is done illegally, under quotation marks.  I follow this professionally

21     and I knew exactly how these weapons were being brought in and how all of

22     this happened and I reported on that.

23        Q.   Thank you.  Let me ask you this:  If you were chief of police or

24     at the position that you did hold, as for Glogova, would you send ethnic

25     Serb policemen or ethnic Muslim policemen to chase criminals there?

Page 24713

 1     Would it become complicated if you were to send a Serb team or a Serb

 2     patrol, a predominantly Serb patrol, say, to Glogova?  Or if you would

 3     send Muslims to a Serb village at that time, in those times of distrust,

 4     would that have been a risk?

 5        A.   Yes.  If you take that context, the one that you are referring to

 6     and the time and all the divisions that were carried out, of course my

 7     answer is going to be negative, that I would never send Serb policemen to

 8     Glogova.

 9        Q.   And the other way round?

10        A.   Of course, the other way round as well.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that the first division occurred on the

12     31st of August, roughly, when the JNA was prevented from obtaining

13     mobilisation documentation from the military department in Bratunac?  Did

14     about 10.000 SDA supporters assemble then, preventing the JNA from taking

15     these documents?

16        A.   What I know for sure is that members of the JNA -- or, rather,

17     the team that came over to take these documents from the Secretariat for

18     National Defence from Bratunac were prevented from doing this.  This was

19     the first organised conflict and protest in Bratunac that had been

20     organised by the SDA.

21        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct, do you agree, that there were quite a

22     few armed actions already in March and that they were organised by Muslim

23     paramilitaries, including sabotage and armed actions as such?

24        A.   Please, Mr. Karadzic, could you be more specific.  Can you give

25     us the year you mean?  March which year?  What is the year that you have

Page 24714

 1     in mind?

 2        Q.   I apologise.  1992.  March 1992.  That is to say, before the war

 3     break out.  During the Lisbon negotiations, is it correct that already

 4     from the month of March onwards the Muslims were organising these

 5     actions?  During the interview I handed some material over to you where

 6     they specify all the things that they did.

 7        A.   Conflicts, armed conflicts, in the month of March 1992.  As far

 8     as I know, there weren't any in the territory of Bratunac.

 9     Disagreements, quarrels, protests, yes, that kind of thing did happen.

10     If you jog my memory, if you remind me of a specific action from that

11     period, perhaps I may remember, or if you show me a document.  However,

12     as far as I know, there weren't any armed conflicts in the month of March

13     in the territory of the municipality of Bratunac.

14        Q.   Thank you.  If you are going to restrict yourself only to

15     Bratunac, then I am not going to pursue the matter any further.  However,

16     can I count on the following, that after the war broke out, you knew

17     quite a bit about Srebrenica as well, not only Bratunac?

18        A.   As for Srebrenica, once the war broke out, I knew quite a few

19     things, and of course I will tell you about everything that I know, and

20     if I don't know about something, I will tell you I don't know about that,

21     so I'm not going to speak about anything that I'm not familiar with.

22        Q.   Thank you.  On the 18th of April, 1992, as you said to us

23     yesterday, you were mobilised and you became assistant commander for

24     intelligence affairs.  Let me ask you the following:  Do you remember at

25     the time you were in the Territorial Defence, do you remember that

Page 24715

 1     Mr. Izetbegovic declared general mobilisation on the 4th of April, 1992?

 2        A.   I don't remember the exact date, but I know that in April general

 3     mobilisation was declared.  I don't know the date exactly.  I do not

 4     remember -- actually, I didn't focus on that, but I do know that

 5     mobilisation was declared.

 6        Q.   Do you remember that on the 8th of April the commander of the

 7     republican Territorial Defence, General Vukosavljevic, was dismissed, and

 8     on the 8th of April, Izetbegovic established a new Territorial Defence

 9     that did not include us, and he declared a state of imminent threat of

10     war, and we did that on the 16th of April?

11        A.   As for these activities at the level of the republican staff or

12     at the level of the Presidency, what Alija Izetbegovic did I cannot give

13     you affirmative or precise answers there, but I was informed about the

14     activities that had to do with the Territorial Defence, namely the

15     disintegration of the existing Territorial Defence and the establishment

16     of a new one.  That I did know at the level of my municipality.  I took

17     part in the establishment of the Territorial Defence of the municipality

18     of Bratunac.

19        Q.   Thank you.  You became assistant commander for intelligence, and

20     I think that yesterday you said that for a while you also worked on

21     security affairs as well; is that right?

22        A.   As the Bratunac Brigade was established, that is to say in 1992,

23     from its very establishment until the end, I was the chief for

24     intelligence and security affairs in the Light Infantry Brigade in

25     Bratunac, that is to say throughout.

Page 24716

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Did you have an assistant for intelligence and

 2     another assistant for security, or did you do all of it, because it

 3     wasn't a big brigade?  Did you do it separately, or did you do all of it

 4     yourself?

 5        A.   According to the establishment of the Light Infantry Brigade, the

 6     organ for intelligence and security has a chief and also an officer for

 7     intelligence affairs.  At one point I did have such an officer.  From

 8     time to time I would have one, and then there were some periods when I

 9     did not have anyone else, when I was there on my own.

10        Q.   Thank you.  You did tell us, didn't you, that you reported to

11     your brigade commander, according to the chain of command, and that

12     professionally you had your chain to the same kind of service in the

13     corps command; is that right?

14        A.   Yes, that's right.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Was the same valid in the other direction as well,

16     that is to say that down these chains from the corps command you would

17     get orders or instructions?

18        A.   Yes.  In the sense of command, one receives orders from one's

19     superior command.  In terms of professional reporting, one receives

20     instructions from one's superior instance.

21        Q.   Thank you.  To be more precise, if you received two contradictory

22     orders from the brigade commander and from the corps command, from your

23     intelligence and security superior instance, which of them would take

24     precedence?

25        A.   Mr. Karadzic, it's a hypothetical question which is exactly that,

Page 24717

 1     hypothetical.  There is a rule.  There is a law.  Security or

 2     intelligence organs are managed and commanded by the commander of the

 3     unit that you are part of.  Immediate command over security organs is in

 4     the hands of my brigade commander.  He was authorised to manage, control,

 5     and command.

 6             In professional terms, there was also professional management

 7     which follows the other line, the intelligence and security line.

 8             At brigade level, there was no one who managed me professionally.

 9     The next higher level that was in charge of that was the chief of intel

10     and security organ from the Drina Corps.  That was the rule.  There are

11     exceptions, though, if you are in the field or in combat, as well as when

12     the commander is absent, but there are officers there from a senior

13     command, and each of those exceptions is then considered separately.

14        Q.   Thank you.  If I understood properly, if there is a senior staff

15     member visiting, he has primacy.  He calls the shots if he's there;

16     correct?

17        A.   Generally speaking, no.  I'll use a practical example.  There is

18     the Bratunac Brigade.  If the corps commander is there and tells the

19     brigade commander, As of today I'm here, and I will command and control

20     the operation, then as was his right, he undertook upon himself to

21     command in the AOR of my brigade.  However, irrespective of his presence

22     in the AOR, if he did not take over responsibility, it is the brigade

23     commander who continues to command the brigade that he is in charge of.

24     So there is no delegation of responsibility or command by virtue of your

25     arrival in the area.  That's the rule.

Page 24718

 1        Q.   Let me see if I understood that correctly.  The security

 2     component is in a way more attached to the brigade, because the task is

 3     to secure the brigade, its soldiers and assets.  You discussed that in

 4     the Blagojevic case in 2003 at page 1606.  You said there that the duties

 5     involved were to plan and propose security measures with the aim of

 6     protecting the forces and assets as well as equipment and everything else

 7     that may be in danger in case of an enemy attack, or in case of any

 8     operation coming from outside of the unit.  In that sense you are linked

 9     to the brigade and its security; correct?  Your tasks also included any

10     potential threats or acts of treason, et cetera.

11        A.   Excuse me.  When it comes to intelligence and security matters, I

12     am, first and foremost, attached to the brigade, linked to the brigade.

13     In all intel and security matters, as well as counter-intelligence, I am

14     exclusively tied to the brigade.

15        Q.   Thank you.  In that regard, as was probably the case, you were

16     supposed to know everything about your brigade and soldiers.  It's about

17     ability, dangers, and operations aimed against the brigade from the

18     outside.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpret's correction:  From outside.

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we look jointly at intelligence

21     and security, the priority task was to know the dangers, something that

22     threatens the units.  It is one's primary duty as an intel officer to

23     know who is in front of you, who is your enemy and what his force is.

24     Once you know that, once you know about the enemy, his intentions,

25     operations, and strength, when you have had assessed all that well, based

Page 24719

 1     on it all, you plan or propose to the commander what needs to be done to

 2     repel or deter enemy activity in order to protect one's own units,

 3     personnel, equipment, assets, et cetera.

 4             MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Thank you.  At transcript page 24568, said yesterday that there

 6     was an additional obligation, in terms of counter-intelligence, was to

 7     gather evidence, documents, and information about the crimes committed in

 8     the area of responsibility which included all units.  Did it include any

 9     crimes committed by our soldiers as well as enemy soldiers?

10        A.   I can tell you what the practice was in my brigade.  Documenting

11     crimes was a permanent task.  It had no time limit.  That is to say, from

12     the beginning until the end of the war, as security organ I gathered

13     intelligence information and documented instances of crime which took

14     place in the area of responsibility in my brigade on both sides.

15        Q.   Thank you.  So irrespective of who committed them; correct?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Did it also include any crimes which took place outside of

18     combat, which had nothing to do with the hostilities in question in times

19     of cease-fire if such crimes included military personnel?

20        A.   My activities predominantly covered military personnel.  When

21     speaking of our unit, it included the soldiers and officers of my

22     brigade.  I did not have a single case file which involved members of

23     civilian structures or those who were not in the ranks of the unit.  In

24     that sense, I know nothing.  As for the officers and soldiers of my

25     brigade, I basically knew everything that went on.

Page 24720

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Next you said that given the fact that you are not a

 2     lawyer, you had an assistant who was supposed to put it in a legal

 3     framework.  You said so on the same page of the transcript, 24568.  The

 4     person in question was Zlatan Celanovic, who was a lawyer.  He was

 5     supposed to draft a criminal report and include all the material you gave

 6     him in a legal procedure.

 7        A.   I'll try to be more precise in answering your question, because

 8     not everything you said is correct.

 9             Zlatan Celanovic was a desk officer of the morale, religious, and

10     personal affairs.  He is a lawyer by profession, but he had an office

11     with the police.  All matters related to criminal law was something that

12     he was in charge of.  It meant interviewing POWs, people who fled to the

13     other side, collecting documents about crimes committed by members of the

14     Bratunac Brigade, drafting criminal reports, and submitting all evidence

15     and reports to the brigade commander for signature.

16             I took part in all that by way of information I had.  I forwarded

17     all such information to Zlatan Celanovic so that he could use that to

18     further corroborate any criminal reports he was going to submit.  That

19     was my part in assisting his work.  He, in turn, was obliged that once

20     such documents were signed by the commander to forward them to the

21     competent military prosecutor and military courts for further processing.

22        Q.   Thank you.  When you said in line 8 that he had an office with

23     the police, did you mean the military police?

24        A.   Yes.  He had an office in the MP building, that is to say the

25     military police of the Bratunac Brigade.

Page 24721

 1        Q.   Thank you.  You discuss your role vis-a-vis the military police

 2     in the Blagojevic case on page 1606.  In that regard, you had the ability

 3     to propose the use of the MP company - or was it a battalion? - in

 4     keeping with any brigade commander's orders.  You were also in charge of

 5     communicating with the civilian police; is that correct?

 6        A.   I have to correct you.  It was neither a company or a battalion

 7     of the military police.  It was an MP platoon that was part of the

 8     Bratunac Brigade.

 9             As regards my relationship with the military police, it mostly

10     had to do with the professional management of the

11     Military Police Platoon, professional management.  As for command and

12     control of the military police, that was in the hands of the commander.

13     The brigade commander was the officer who directly commanded and

14     controlled the military police that was within his brigade's

15     establishment structure.  In this case it was

16     Commander Vidoje Blagojevic.  He was the officer who commanded and

17     controlled Mirko Jankovic, commander of the military police.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Let us not forget to mention something from 1992 as

19     we are to move to another year.

20             Were you in Bratunac when different groups terrorised the town

21     and did many things against the wishes of the Bratunac people before the

22     28th of May and then later on in late 1992 and early 1993?  Can you tell

23     us something about that situation?  If not, we'll just move on to the

24     next topic.

25        A.   I was in Bratunac in early 1992.  When we had an interview

Page 24722

 1     together, I told you during what time I was not in Bratunac.  I was also

 2     there in late 1992, early 1993, and onwards.

 3             All I know from that period is something I'm willing to share

 4     with you.

 5        Q.   Thank you.  Do you remember April 1992?  Do you remember some

 6     unrest?  Do you remember the arrival of a group from Voljavica which

 7     demonstrated and fired weapons all around Bratunac in early April?

 8        A.   In early April in Bratunac municipality, I don't know what

 9     specific incident you have in mind, but there were lots of cases of

10     demonstrations, violence, shooting, although there were no killings.

11     However, the situation of April 1992 was very serious, very tense, and it

12     was only a question of moment when there would be an armed conflict or a

13     clash.

14        Q.   Thank you.  Do you recall that as of the 17th of April on, some

15     volunteers appeared, most of whom refused to join the JNA, and they

16     terrorised both Serbs and Muslims around town?  Do you have any such

17     information or knowledge?  The period I have in mind is the six weeks

18     between the 17th of April and the end of May.

19        A.   Yes.  I know exactly that in this period of time that you refer

20     to volunteers appeared in Bratunac.  They called themselves different

21     names, from the White Eagles to Arkan's men.  I don't even know all of

22     their names any more.  At any rate, these were people who were not from

23     the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  This is what I know about these groups.

24             What I'm saying to you now is based on the information I received

25     from the state security organ from Ljubovija.  I talked to them, and I

Page 24723

 1     simply wanted to check to see who this was.

 2        Q.   Sorry, just for the Trial Chamber, so for information or help,

 3     you turned to a neighbouring municipality in Serbia.  Ljubovija's in

 4     Serbia; right?

 5        A.   Yes, yes.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Please proceed.

 7        A.   Since I received information that they were from Serbia, it was

 8     easiest for me to check through their organs who these people actually

 9     were, and on the Drina Bridge where people were crossing from Bosnia to

10     Serbia, they would take these people's documents and check each and every

11     one of them individually, and then they informed me about who they were.

12     On the basis of the information I received from them, most of the people

13     who came there were criminals.  They were multiple offenders who had

14     spent several years in prison several times.  There were also psychopaths

15     among them, sick people, people like that.

16             So these groups that were there did the worst things in the

17     beginning.  First they started with looting, then abusing Muslims, then

18     when there were no Muslims left, that is to say when the Muslims left the

19     territory of the municipality of Bratunac, then they started stopping

20     Serb people, barging into their homes, attacking Serb girls, women,

21     et cetera.  So we had lots of problems with these people who arrived in

22     the beginning of 1992, and they spent quite a while in Bratunac.

23        Q.   Thank you.  Is it correct that the municipal authorities did not

24     have the strength to deal with them and that individuals and

25     representatives of the authorities advised Muslims to stay away until

Page 24724

 1     these groups would get expelled?  If you knew about that, tell us.  If

 2     you didn't, then we'll move on.

 3        A.   Of course I had this information.  I personally asked for a unit

 4     to come from Serbia and expel these people, and indeed when there were

 5     problems.  An officer came from Pancevo.  I will remember the name.  I'm

 6     a bit tired now, I will remember the man's name.  This was an officer who

 7     came with a unit of the military police, and the police stayed at a motel

 8     in Ljubovija, and he came to see me at the staff in Bratunac.  I

 9     explained all of this to him.  Beforehand, since on the other side in

10     Serbia, in Gucevo, there was the Drina operations group and it was

11     commanded by Commander Milosevic, I asked Milosevic to send someone there

12     to place these volunteers under their control and expel them.

13             He came and a meeting was organised between the president of the

14     Executive Board, I think the president of the municipality was there as

15     well, then the chief of the Ministry of Defence was there, I was there,

16     then this officer who had come from Belgrade, and there was a priest.

17             When I asked for that, Rodoljub Djukanovic, the president of the

18     Executive Board, and the priest declared that I was a traitor who wanted

19     to expel their liberators.

20             During this meeting, the priest organised a group of women and

21     men who came to protest in front of the municipality building while we

22     were in that meeting.  And then of course the man said, Mr. Nikolic, you

23     see how people feel.  I don't want to go into this.  He got his police

24     escort, and he left, and then they were simply no longer there.  So

25     that's the story about the volunteers in that period.

Page 24725

 1        Q.   Thank you.  Then this priest left the church later on as well;

 2     right?

 3        A.   He left everything.  He was one of the men who abused the church,

 4     humanitarian aid, everything that went through him, and also he took

 5     advantage of these unfortunate people who went by what he said.  And now

 6     because of Rodoljub Djukanovic, these same people who were involved in

 7     this protest in front of the municipality building were later abused by

 8     these people who they did not want to see expelled.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  In the beginning of 1993, was there a group of

10     important instructors there that imposed a reign of terror in Bratunac?

11        A.   Yes.  In 1993, there was this group of instructors, and as for

12     this group and their activities and everything they did, I wrote a

13     report.  I'm not sure whether I also sent it to the Main Staff of the

14     command of the Drina Corps.  I'm not sure about that, but there is this

15     report of mine from 1993 about their activities and everything that they

16     did in Bratunac.

17        Q.   After a while you got rid of them, too, in a way; is that right?

18        A.   After lots and lots of problems that we had there, I personally

19     had all these problems with them as well, but we did have very many

20     problems that had to do with abusing people, beating up officers, beating

21     up the brigade commander, kicking the brigade commander.  And also we had

22     this group of criminals that had come there.  Quite simply, their basic

23     objective was to take over power totally.  There is a report to that

24     effect.  They did not dare attack the command of the brigade because I

25     threatened that if they tried to do that as they did to the police, I

Page 24726

 1     threatened that I would come with the unit and with our combat resources

 2     and that I would destroy them.  So they left me alone, and they left the

 3     brigade alone, but in this report it says that they looted, abused

 4     people, detained people.  They beat the president of the municipality.

 5     They beat the president of the SDS.  Your Miroslav Deronjic, they

 6     physically beat him, abused him.  It was chaos.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  Jokic was a man's name, or whatever from Srebrenica,

 8     is also a high official from the SDS.  They led him with his hands tied

 9     through town.  Was this the first group or the second group?

10        A.   This was the second group from 1993.  And it's not only Jokic

11     that they had tied up, also Delivoje Sorak, who was commander of the

12     Territorial Defence Staff of Srebrenica at the time.  They took him

13     through town.  They put a board around his neck in front of him and it

14     says, Sorak Delivoje admits that he killed Goran Zekic -- or, rather,

15     Delivoje and Goran Zekic were in the same car when Goran Zekic was

16     assassinated, and then they put this board around Zorko's

17     [as interpreted] neck and they took him out and paraded him through town

18     for days and people spat at him because on that board it said, I killed

19     Goran Zekic, but actually Delivoje is an honest man and he had nothing

20     whatsoever to do with the killing.

21        Q.   Yes.  This is Zekic, who was an MP and a judge, and he was killed

22     on the 8th of May, and isn't it correct that he was killed by the Muslims

23     after all, not Serbs?  There's no dilemma about that; right?

24        A.   I have no dilemma in this regard.  On the basis of all the

25     reports, all the interviews, all the evidence gathered, I'm sure, I'm

Page 24727

 1     convinced that he was killed by the Muslims and that Delivoje Sorak had

 2     nothing to do with it.

 3             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.  Excellencies, tell us,

 4     what is your next move?  Are we going to call it a day or do we have more

 5     time left?

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Very well.  We will adjourn for today and resume

 7     tomorrow at 9.00.

 8                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.01 p.m.,

 9                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 15th day

10                           of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.