1 Monday, 27 February 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning,
7 General Obradovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Karadzic. Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies. I
11 would like to tender a document that the Prosecutor had on its associated
12 list of exhibits and I overlooked it, but I realise now that it has not
13 been admitted into evidence and it is directly connected to the previous
14 document. So if possible, I would like to tender it now and perhaps we
15 can call it up.
16 That's 65 ter 26 -- 23607, 65 ter 23607. I believe there is a
17 translation, because the document was supposed to be part of a package.
18 And may I put a question in reference to this?
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 WITNESS: LJUBOMIR OBRADOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] General, you recall the document that the
24 Prosecutor showed on the 29th of July that had to do with prisoners of
25 war and their guarding just in case so that we would not be cheated.
1 A. Yes. That was the last document during the examination-in-chief.
2 Q. Thank you. Would you please take a look at this document. This
3 is a document of the following day sent from the same general. In fact,
4 it is just a recounting of what the general had done. So please take a
5 look. It's the command of the 1st Mountain -- Light Mountain --
6 Light Infantry Brigade. It says that -- it comes from the security
7 organ, and it says that these people were in the reception centre and
8 that they had been registered.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I don't think it says anything on
10 the face of this document about anybody being registered.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I haven't received an
13 JUDGE KWON: What is your question, Mr. Karadzic? Do you hear
14 me? Do you follow?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. I can only hear it
16 now. Yes, Your Excellency.
17 JUDGE KWON: What is your question, Mr. Karadzic?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My question for the General is to
19 take a look at this document, and if we can leaf through it and scroll
20 down to the end.
21 Could we have page 3, please.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, do you agree that this also provides a health bulletin,
24 the health status of these prisoners of war, and there is mention that
25 there are several serious -- people in serious condition. And then
1 under (c) it says:
2 "Pursuant to an order and instructions from General Tolimir we
3 have taken all necessary steps within our capabilities. Among other
4 things we have done as follows: We have categorised the prisoners of
5 war. They are housed in three rooms. One room holds the healthy, the
6 other one holds the wounded and injured, and the third holds members of
7 the former leadership. They are receiving medical treatment. They are
8 fed three times a day," and so on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we move on to the next page,
10 the last page. Could we zoom in, please.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
12 Q. Please see below. It says: "These Muslims --"
13 A. Could you please zoom in.
14 Q. "The said Muslims complained to General Tolimir and to me too."
15 Oh, yes. I see. It says: "Confiscated the following: 1.800 marks and
16 $25 USA. These men complained to General Tolimir and me, saying that
17 this was done by people commanded by a small black --"
18 MS. EDGERTON: Sorry, I -- normally I don't interrupt at all, but
19 it looks like we have a technical problem in seeing the English
20 translation because [overlapping speakers] --
21 JUDGE KWON: I was following -- are you not able to follow in
22 your own computer, your e-court?
23 MS. EDGERTON: No. I don't see any display of the English
24 translation at all, and I know it's there somewhere.
25 JUDGE KWON: I hope it will be coming back, but I take it the
1 attorneys should be able to follow the e-court on his own personal
2 computer. Just in case.
3 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
4 MR. TIEGER: Just so your Court is aware, my experience is when
5 we try to use that as an expedient, it then essentially logs us off the
6 transcript so we have to log back in repeatedly. So that's one of the
7 problems. Just to let you know.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Now we have it. We have both pages in both versions.
10 General, please see the portion where it says: During -- we have
11 the subtitle "Issues." It was translated as "issues" whereas in Serbian
12 it says "problems that arose." And it says in the area of the elementary
13 school, Tisca-Kladanj road, some money was confiscated, seized from the
14 Muslims who were checked. And then it says above-mentioned Muslims
15 complained to General Tolimir and then in parenthesis "and myself,"
16 saying that it was done by men under the command of a short dark-haired
17 man wearing a black beret and with a limp. And then the conclusion
18 evidently refers - and I'll skip the name - some kind of lieutenant who
19 arrived on the scene while the Muslims were still being separated and who
20 then conducted a search in the school and schoolyard. General Tolimir
21 demanded that the case be investigated and that the money be found.
22 Now, sir, is this an exception or, rather, a rule within the
23 Army of Republika Srpska to register prisoners of war, to establish their
24 health condition, and then to accommodate them, the leadership in a
25 different area, to provide food for them and to prevent looting? Is that
1 an exception or a rule?
2 A. Well, that was the binding rule.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
6 JUDGE KWON: General, could you read -- could you take a look at
7 the bottom of the document where it says: "Authorised by
8 General Tolimir," sent by Captain Zoran Carkic. So although it was sent
9 by a unit in the Podrinje Brigade, I take it that it was sent upon the
10 instruction of General Tolimir. So actual author is General Tolimir.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I -- it is my
12 view that this intelligence officer from the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry
13 Brigade reported orally to General Tolimir on all these issues and that
14 then he ordered him to report to the Main Staff. Now, because he cannot
15 address the Main Staff directly without the -- without the chain of
16 command, then he had to write this down, "Authorised by General Tolimir,"
17 and that he's reporting on it.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes. This will be admitted as Defence
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2133, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Now Ms. Edgerton.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
23 Re-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
24 Q. General, in your testimony on Friday of last week at pages 25210
25 to 25211, Dr. Karadzic showed you a VRS Main Staff daily operations
1 report to the president for 6 July 1995, and that's D2097. He read you
2 an excerpt from paragraph 6(b) of that have document which said:
3 "The forces have been prepared and grouped for active combat
4 operations towards the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa."
5 And then he asked you:
6 "Do we agree, General, that it's only on the 6th --"
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving interpretation.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Do you hear me, General?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you now, but I
10 could not hear the interpreter at all.
11 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton, could you repeat your question.
12 MS. EDGERTON: I will. Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: In the meantime, why don't you upload the document.
14 MS. EDGERTON: We can, but I actually don't need that document.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please proceed then.
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. In your testimony on Friday, Dr. Karadzic showed you a Main Staff
18 daily operations report to the president for 6 July 1995. That's at
19 pages 25210 to 25211. He read you an excerpt from that document which
21 "The forces have been prepared and grouped for active --"
22 JUDGE KWON: Please slow down.
23 MS. EDGERTON: Sorry.
24 Q. "-- combat operations towards the enclaves of Srebrenica and
1 And then he asked you:
2 "Do we agree, General that, it's only on the 6th that the corps
3 decides to respond more actively to these provocations?"
4 And you answered, "Yes."
5 MS. EDGERTON: And just as a follow-up from that, I'd like to
6 pull up 65 ter number 15583, please. That's the Operation Krivaja active
7 combat reporter -- pardon me, active combat order from the Drina Corps
8 command signed by General Milenko Zivanovic, dated 2 July 1995. Now --
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] While we're waiting for this
10 document, may I just request that the other document be shown, too, after
11 this one, because "towards Zepa" has a special meaning in our language.
12 It doesn't mean into Zepa but, rather, in that general direction,
14 MS. EDGERTON: May I continue?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I think so. Yes, please.
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. If we go over to page 2 in the English and page 2 of the B/C/S of
18 this document, paragraph 2, I'd like to draw your attention to a
19 particular passage.
20 You see in paragraph 2 that:
21 "The command of the Drina Corps corps, pursuant to the directive
22 operations number 7 and 7/1, of the VRS Main Staff and on the basis of
23 the situation in the corps zone of responsibility, has the task of
24 carrying out offensive operations with free forces deep in the
25 Drina Corps to divide the enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa as soon as
1 possible and reduce them to their urban areas."
2 And under paragraph 4 of the same page, the objective of the
3 operation is set out by:
4 "... a surprise attack to divide and reduce in size the
5 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves, improve the tactical position of the forces
6 in the depth of the zone and create conditions for the elimination of the
8 So, General, it's clear from this document, isn't it, that the
9 order for the attack on Srebrenica was completed by the 2nd of July and
10 not on the 6th of July as Dr. Karadzic suggested to you.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, leading.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please reformulate your question,
13 Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON:
15 Q. General, from this document can you see when the order for the
16 attack on Srebrenica was completed?
17 A. Yes. Your Honour, I believe there is a difference in
18 interpreting this. Within the context of reporting, I believe that
19 Defence -- that the Defence asked me whether it was in the reports that
20 it was -- that this date appeared for the first time on the 6th of July,
21 but the task -- the fact itself when I tried to explain the way that
22 directives were drafted, there was also mention of the conclusions and
23 tasks issued by the Drina Corps in the month of January, toward the end
24 of January, and one of their proposals and tasks was the resolution of
25 the issue of enclaves. In other words, there is no -- nothing that is in
1 any way problematic here, because the reporting was -- it started on the
2 2nd of July, but in the report it says that this was implemented on the
3 6th of July, as it was stated there, within the context of reporting.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have this document as a Prosecution
6 exhibit, please, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
8 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be admitted as next Prosecution
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4481, Your Honours.
12 MS. EDGERTON:
13 Q. To move on two days further in time, also last Friday at
14 pages 25215 to 25216, Dr. Karadzic showed you another operations report
15 from the Main Staff to the president, dated 8 July 1995, D2099, and he
16 read you the last sentence of paragraph 6(a), which said:
17 "On the part of the front towards Srebrenica, the --" and I'll
18 spell it because I don't think I can give justice to its pronunciation,
19 T --
20 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we just upload the document. It's easier
21 to follow.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Fine. Thank you. D2099. Paragraph 6(a).
23 Q. On the part of the -- paragraph 6(a) reads:
24 "On the part of the front towards Srebrenica, the Tri Sise
25 features were seized by us."
1 And the seizure of those features were also mentioned in 6(b).
2 He also asked whether those were three hills and you said that they were
3 there elevations.
4 And my first question to you is, General: What does the word
5 Sise mean in your language?
6 A. These are geographic forms that look like a breast, a female
7 breast, three tits, as it were.
8 Q. Do you know what the strategic significance of the seizure of
9 those features was to the VRS at that time?
10 A. Well, they were probably dominant features. I don't know. I
11 can't tell you as I sit here. I don't have the map here before me.
12 Q. Well, maybe we could look at 65 ter 23466. It's a very urgent
13 Drina Corps forward command post report to the VRS Main Staff from
14 General Krstic on this same date, 8 July 1995.
15 Paragraph 2 of this document says:
16 "In a powerful assault on the axis of Zeleni Jadar-Zivkovo
17 Brdo-Srebrenica, our forces seized control over the key installations on
18 this axis (Biljeg, Visovi, Tri Sise, the village of Ljubisavci) and
19 created favourable conditions for an incursion into Srebrenica."
20 So, General, when you replied to Dr. Karadzic, were you aware of
21 the significance of the seizure of these elevations vis-a-vis the
22 take-over of the enclave?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
24 JUDGE KWON: What is the basis of your objection.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the basis is this: This
1 report only says that the conditions were created. I doesn't say that
2 that was the intent. The question is leading in the sense that it
3 assumes that the decision had already been made, whereas it was only on
4 the 9th, in the evening, that I was informed that the conditions had been
5 now created for that.
6 JUDGE KWON: No, I don't think the question is leading. The
7 question was simply whether he aware of this.
8 Yes. Please proceed, Ms. Edgerton.
9 MS. EDGERTON:
10 Q. Would you like me to repeat the question, General, or are you
11 able to answer it?
12 A. I heard your question. I was not aware of the strategic position
13 of these three -- Tri Sise vis-a-vis the protected area, but the issue
14 arises whether this feature was within the protected areas itself or not.
15 I really don't know. And you asked me whether I knew then and I didn't.
16 I didn't know what the position of Tri Sise vis-a-vis the protected area.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have this document as a Prosecution
18 exhibit, please, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: P4482, Your Honours.
21 MS. EDGERTON:
22 Q. Thank you. Now just on the subject of protected areas in respect
23 of that Main Staff report, D2099, we just looked at, you recall that
24 Dr. Karadzic asked you about the -- the area he said is:
25 "... Zeleni Jadar to the south of Srebrenica between Srebrenica
1 and Zepa which was supposed to have been in our territory. It was not a
2 protected area."
3 And your reply was that:
4 "In physical terms it's located between the enclaves."
5 So did you know, General, before you gave that answer that
6 Zeleni Jadar was the location of a manned United Nations observation
8 A. I didn't really have that recollection. I didn't know.
9 Q. So did you know then that that post was attacked and captured by
10 VRS forces using heavy weapons on 8 July 1995?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. Did you know that seven UNPROFOR soldiers from Zeleni Jadar OP
13 surrendered to the VRS and were taken into VRS custody and transferred to
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to make an observation here.
16 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness wasn't there at the
18 time and the president was reported that they had fled over to our side.
19 All these questions have to do with what the president knew.
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, she asked the question and he can
21 answer as far as he knows.
22 Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. Would you like me to repeat the question about the seven
25 UNPROFOR --
1 MS. EDGERTON: I think I'm going to repeat --
2 JUDGE KWON: We are hearing French translation. Could you
4 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
5 Q. Would you like me to repeat the question, General, or do you
6 remember it?
7 A. Could you please repeat it.
8 Q. Did you know that seven UNPROFOR soldiers from Zeleni Jadar were
9 arrested and taken into VRS custody and transferred to Bratunac on the
10 8th of July?
11 A. Your Honours, I did not know, but I think that that is not what
12 the report said, I mean, the part of the report that was quoted.
13 Q. And just one more question about this situation. Did you know
14 that UNPROFOR filed a protest with the VRS Main Staff about this
16 A. I did not come across this protest.
17 Q. Thank you. To move on to another subject, on the subject of
18 convoys Dr. Karadzic, at pages 25270 to 25271, showed you a copy of a
19 document from Momir Nikolic dated 10 December 1994, admitted as D2122,
20 relating to the movement of an MSF convoy into Srebrenica which was found
21 to contain plumbing materials and tools which hadn't been approved by the
22 co-ordinating body for humanitarian aid and was confiscated. And
23 referring to this document, Dr. Karadzic asked:
24 "Do you agree that this is yet further proof of abuse in and by
25 the enclaves?"
1 And you answered: "Yes."
2 And then when asked why this document hadn't been shown to its
3 author when he came here to testify at the Tribunal, Dr. Karadzic said:
4 "We're going to show that potato chips and several other things
5 were used for smuggling ammunition and used for firing at our people."
6 So I'd like to know before you answered Dr. Karadzic, did you
7 actually see that the document he showed from you Mr. Nikolic had nothing
8 whatsoever to do with allegations of ammunition smuggling?
9 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to see the document again, General?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 MS. EDGERTON: D2122.
12 JUDGE KWON: So now whether you can answer the question whether
13 this is related to ammunition smuggling, General.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It relates to other goods that are
15 not in the function of this organisation PMF. However, with appropriate
16 tools, it is possible to smuggle war supplies well.
17 MS. EDGERTON:
18 Q. Maybe what I could do, General, is show you something that
19 Mr. Nikolic, the author of this document, actually did say about
20 allegations of weapon smuggling into Srebrenica, and that's 65 ter 16750,
21 a record of an interview that Mr. Nikolic had with the Dutch Institute
22 for War Documentation, or NIOD, on 20 October 2000. And this is a
23 document that Mr. Karadzic actually did invoke with Mr. Nikolic when he
24 appeared here.
25 MS. EDGERTON: And when the document is up in both languages,
1 perhaps we could go to paragraph 24. In English that's on page 3.
2 Q. Now, General, paragraph 24 says:
3 "The VRS Supreme Command --"
4 A. Could you zoom in.
5 Q. Oh, we have two versions of English paragraph 24. Just one
7 Paragraph 24 reads:
8 "The VRS Supreme Command sent requests to halt convoys on the
9 Yellow Bridge. N," referring to Nikolic, "stated with great certainty
10 that he had never found any weapons on the convoys. Whoever claims that
11 is lying. We should send everyone who makes such claims to Nikolic. If
12 anyone was supposed to know this, it was Nikolic."
13 Would you like to comment, General?
14 A. I wouldn't want to go into Nikolic's statements. However, on the
15 basis of all the reports that we received from our subordinates and from
16 these check-points, their reports were different.
17 Q. So, General, do you, on sick leave from January to July 1995,
18 during which period you were not on active duty, claim to know better
19 than the VRS security officer whose job it was to check convoys actually
20 going into the enclave?
21 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I'm going to object to
22 that question as being argumentative and also quite unfair to the witness
23 given that the Prosecutor brought lots of documents to that period
24 according to which it wanted -- when it wanted to have an answer
25 favourable to its case from this witness.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let us proceed. You can move on,
2 Ms. Edgerton.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
4 Q. I'd like to go on -- or stay roughly with the same topic,
5 actually, and that has to do with levels of food in the enclave.
6 Dr. Karadzic showed you a number of convoy-related documents in the fall
7 of 1993 and 1995. And he said to you at page 25261, General:
8 "If I told you that there were witnesses here who testified that
9 for months on end convoys didn't arrive, would you tell them that they
10 did not say -- state the truth, to say the least?"
11 And your answer was:
12 "Well, I wouldn't need to say anything. It's all here."
13 So I'd like to show you a United Nations report on what the
14 actual food situation was like for the people in the Srebrenica enclave.
15 MS. EDGERTON: So in that regard, could we see P04142. It's a
16 United Nations military observer report, dated 8 July 1995, on the food
17 situation in Srebrenica.
18 Q. So, General, paragraph 1 of this document, line -- or
19 subparagraph (a) or line (a), lists the total population of Srebrenica at
20 42.000, 85 per cent of whom are refugees or displaced persons.
21 And then 2(a) reports that the foot stock in the UNHCR warehouse
22 is almost zero.
23 3(a) says that the UNHCR planned convoy, the planned convoy, for
24 a week is three. However, due to the persistent refusal by the Bosnian
25 Serb Army to allow into these enclaves an average of one arrives per
2 And then it remarks:
3 "Even if the UNHCR planned convoys were implemented, this would
4 have served barely about 65 per cent of the needs of the ... population.
5 However, with the present rate of delivery, less than 25 per cent of the
6 needs is being met."
7 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, just a second. Are we looking at the
8 same document? The B/C/S translation is correct translation?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not all of it. There's a reference
10 here to prices of particular goods.
11 MS. EDGERTON: In B/C/S we need to go over to paragraph 3, which
12 is on the second page, and I think the confusion might have arisen from
13 some odd numbering.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Why do you have it different numbering? Shall
15 we take a look at next page. Yes. I think we -- this is it. Yes.
16 Please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
18 Q. General, so here's the situation also in black and white of what
19 it was like inside the enclaves in July of 1995. So I'm wondering
20 whether this affects your answer, the answer you gave to Dr. Karadzic, in
21 any way.
22 A. The answer given to Dr. Karadzic had to do with a series of
23 documents and weekly convoys with humanitarian aid for Srebrenica and the
24 other enclaves, Zepa, Gorazde. So I don't see anything controversial
25 there. That series of weekly reports showed the period after
1 directive 7. That period of time was involved in that series of
3 Q. General, do you remember the date of this document that I read to
4 you, and we could go back over to page 1, dates from July 8th, 1995?
5 That's also the period after the issuance of directive 7, isn't it?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Could we actually have a look at directive 7?
8 It's P838. Excuse me, could we go over to page 14 in English and the top
9 of page 21 in B/C/S.
10 Q. Now, this is under the heading -- the passage I want you to look
11 at is under the heading "Support for combat operations." Paragraph 6.1
12 which deals with moral and psychological support says, and you see it on
13 the page in front of you, General:
14 "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work with
15 UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations shall, through the planned and
16 unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits, reduce and limit the
17 logistics support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
18 resources --"
19 A. It's not on this part of the page.
20 MS. EDGERTON: It is, actually. If we could pull the B/C/S page
21 down a little bit so the General can see the top paragraph.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had only the heading, "Moral and
23 psychological support," and now --
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. "... the supply of material resources to the Muslim population
3 making them dependent on our goodwill, while at the same time avoiding
4 condemnation by the international community and international public
6 It's -- General, is it clear from this document and the evidence
7 you've seen that this is exactly the policy being followed with respect
8 to convoy movement to the enclaves?
9 A. I don't know exactly whether it reflects policy, but this text
10 that was written by the sector or someone from the sector for moral
11 guidance, religious and legal affairs could be interpreted in that way.
12 But since directive number 7 was implemented to a tiny per cent, I don't
13 know whether this paragraph reflects the situation on the ground.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Again I have an objection.
15 JUDGE KWON: The General has already answered.
16 Let's continue, Ms. Edgerton.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
18 Q. I'd like to move over to events on 16 July 1995, which were dealt
19 with at pages 25232 to 25235 of Friday's transcript, and in relation to
20 that, Dr. Karadzic showed you, General, another VRS Main Staff operations
21 report to him on that date, admitted as D2101. And he read to you, again
22 from paragraph number 6, mention of a corridor for the pull-out of the
23 civilian population which was used by about 7.000 mainly unarmed
24 civilians --
25 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton, it's always easy to follow with the
1 document. Why don't we upload it.
2 MS. EDGERTON: Of course. D2101. Apologies, Your Honour.
3 Q. Halfway through the paragraph 6(a) at the bottom of the page in
4 B/C/S, at the top of the page in English, you see mention of a corridor
5 which was used by about 7.000 mainly unarmed civilians, men, women, and
6 children. And in respect of this paragraph, Doctor asked you:
7 "Do we agree that this is the first part of the 16th of July,
8 informing me that within that column that was breaking through there were
9 civilians as well, that these civilians, except perhaps in the first
10 report, were not mentioned as part of the column," and you agreed.
11 And then he said:
12 "So this could also pacify my advisors that they had gotten
13 through so that they could not alarm me. They had gotten through."
14 And your response was:
15 "Since they had gotten through, there was nothing special,
16 nothing specially dramatic, that is."
17 And I'm just wondering, do you actually know, General, the full
18 extent of the information that Dr. Karadzic actually received about this
20 A. I don't know what extent you are referring to. The extent is
21 provided in this report. I don't know whether he had other information.
22 Q. Maybe we could turn to 65 ter number 32210A, which is an
23 intercept dated 16 July 1995, at 1529, with someone from the Main Staff
24 and the duty officer at a location code-named Palma, which the
25 Prosecution will be calling evidence is the code-name for the
1 Zvornik Brigade. And this, General, is an example of the other
2 information Dr. Karadzic had.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. How could I have had
4 that information available?
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE KWON: It hasn't been released, I was told, Ms. Edgerton.
8 Yes. That was the question I take it Ms. Edgerton was going to ask to
9 the General.
10 MS. EDGERTON: It's going to be released in moments, and
11 apologies for that, Your Honours. 31120A. I've done it again with
13 Q. Maybe -- this is a handwritten B/C/S transcript. If the General
14 could have a look and in the event he doesn't find it legible, we have a
15 typewritten B/C/S transcript as well that we could offer.
16 So, General, the interlocutor in this conversation from the
17 Main Staff explains he has to get permission from the main boss and says:
18 "Well, that's why I'm calling you from the main head of state --"
19 JUDGE KWON: Do you have the typewritten version? Why don't we
20 upload it for the benefit of the General.
21 MS. EDGERTON: 31120C should be the B/C/S typewritten report.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. In the meantime, we -- yes. Yes. Let us
24 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could it just be zoomed in a bit.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. So the interlocutor from the Main Staff says:
3 "That's why I'm calling you from the main head of state," and
4 explains that they got a call from someone by the name of Stanisavljevic
5 from Novi Karakaj, and he advises the Palma duty officer to have Vinko
6 tell him what happened and send it right away. And then later he says to
7 dictate what's been done and send it urgently, right away, to the
8 Main Staff, the conditions and the rest, to the Main Staff as soon as
10 General, who is the main head of state in July 1995?
11 A. Of Republika Srpska? Dr. Radovan Karadzic. If Republika Srpska
12 is what is meant.
13 Q. Indeed that's what I meant. Thank you.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look at also D02002, which is an
15 intercept of another conversation about half an hour later, 4.15 that
16 same date, between the Main Staff duty officer and General Mladic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could it be zoomed in.
18 MS. EDGERTON:
19 Q. So here, General, the duty officer says:
20 "Well, it's like this, sir. I've just sent a telegram to Toso.
21 Well, the President called a short while ago and said that he had been
22 informed by Karisik that Pandurevic has arranged passage for the
23 Muslims ... to that territory."
24 General, who was Toso?
25 A. I assume it was General Tolimir.
1 Q. And who is Karisik?
2 A. A person with the last name of Karisik was in the police, if it
3 has to do with that person.
4 Q. Do you know what his duties were in the police?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. So, General, is it clear from these two intercepted conversations
7 that Dr. Karadzic was briefed by his advisors on the situation on that
8 day and personally intervened with the Main Staff?
9 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton, when -- I used to tell Mr. Karadzic
10 it's a leading question when it begins with "is it clear."
11 Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
12 MS. EDGERTON:
13 Q. General, based on what you've seen in these last two documents,
14 are you prepared to comment on the level of information Dr. Karadzic had
15 available to him as regards this situation?
16 A. Based on these documents, you can see that the participants in
17 the conversation are intermediaries of a kind. Whether this was done in
18 a timely fashion, detailed fashion, whether the information was
19 accurately conveyed I can't say, but this shows that the head of state is
20 referred to and there are third parties who are communicating with each
22 As to whether they're able of conveying this at the same time or
23 whether they will wait for a certain period of time, well, I don't know.
24 I don't know these participants in the conversation. So I don't know how
25 rapidly this can reach the president.
1 JUDGE KWON: When was it that you returned to the Main Staff,
2 General Obradovic?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 17th of July.
4 JUDGE KWON: After you returned, did you not hear about this
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that I subsequently heard
7 about that decision taken by the Zvornik Brigade commander.
8 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. Could I have the first intercept,
10 32210C, as a Prosecution exhibit, please. The second one is already
12 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark the -- yes, Mr. Robinson.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I don't believe the witness
14 confirmed anything about that document. I don't see how it can be marked
15 for identification through this witness.
16 JUDGE KWON: That's very relevant to the question put to the
17 witness with respect to the D document, D2101, is it not?
18 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, it's relevant but the witness didn't have
19 anything to say about it, so I don't see how it can be admitted.
20 JUDGE KWON: Now witness said it was arranged by Zvornik Brigade,
21 did he not?
22 MR. ROBINSON: The witness said that he learned afterwards that
23 the column -- allowing the column to go through was arranged by the
24 Zvornik Brigade, but I don't see how that relates to the admissibility of
25 that intercept.
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Ms. Edgerton, would you like to respond?
2 MS. EDGERTON: I do with your indulgence.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MS. EDGERTON: First of all, just with respect to the threshold
5 that I spoke with Your Honours about on Friday, I wouldn't like to see
6 the threshold to be a moving one, and documents that Dr. Karadzic have --
7 has tendered or offered to the witness have been admitted on the simple
8 basis of the witness acknowledging that what he reads in the document is
9 what he reads in the document. That's the first thing.
10 Not only did he confirm aspects of this intercept, he confirmed
11 in the first one that the president was the head of state, that it's --
12 the obvious connection to the column referred to in the -- in the report
13 to the president, Your Honour, is -- is linkage enough, I would suggest,
14 in terms of relevance to -- for Your Honours to find that we've passed
15 that threshold in this case.
16 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. If I could just be heard
17 briefly in reply. The Prosecution wants to use this intercept to show a
18 certain level of knowledge by Dr. Karadzic. That's a very strongly
19 contested issue in the case. So not only is the intercept quite removed
20 from Dr. Karadzic, second- or third- or fourth-hand or whatever, but this
21 witness hasn't been able to speak to that issue at all. So if they want
22 to introduce the intercept, it ought to be through somebody who had some
23 knowledge so that they could be cross-examined and that so we could
24 advance the Chamber's level of knowledge about that issue, but this
25 witness doesn't advance that knowledge at all and exhibit shouldn't be
1 admitted through this witness.
2 JUDGE KWON: Can we see that intercept again. Can you upload it
3 so that I can see the passage. The only question you put to the witness
4 was -- was who was the main head of state. But let us see how it was ...
6 JUDGE BAIRD: Mr. Robinson, can you assist us with this aspect of
7 the evidence: Based on these documents, you concede the participants are
8 intermediaries of a kind. This shows that the head of state is referred
9 to and third parties are communicating with each other. That wouldn't
10 have any bearing at all, would you say?
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes. I think it does have bearing. First of all,
12 I don't think it can be said that the speaker -- any of these speakers
13 are the intermediary of Dr. Karadzic as the head of state. This is
14 somebody speaking from the Main Staff of the army to the Drina Corps. So
15 if there's somebody purporting to speak for the head of state, I don't
16 think it can be quite linked that closely to Dr. Karadzic. And I think
17 that is another reason for why the document should not be admitted,
18 because it's too removed to be attributed to Dr. Karadzic. Anybody can
19 be invoking his name or his position if they want to convince somebody to
20 do something. So I don't think that this is clear. It's a level of
21 hearsay that we don't know how many times removed, and to that extent, I
22 think it's relevant.
23 JUDGE BAIRD: Ms. Edgerton, may we hear you in reply to that
24 particular point.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Well, first of all, there is no question of
1 remoteness of any of the speakers or intermediaries. One of them is
2 General Mladic. One of them is General Tolimir. So I think those can be
3 linked quite closely to Dr. Karadzic. It's -- it's not removed at all,
4 and just further, in fact, Your Honours, the witness himself has -- if I
5 can have your indulgence for a moment.
6 No. Dr. Karadzic himself has raised the issue of the level of
7 knowledge that he received in his cross-examination of this witness from
8 members of the VRS Main Staff, and this clearly shows that he is not only
9 receiving a greater level of knowledge than he suggested, but his
10 intermediaries in this case are members of the VRS Main Staff. He has
11 directly contacted the VRS Main Staff.
12 JUDGE BAIRD: Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton, I didn't follow when you said that one
14 of them is General Mladic and one -- the other is Tolimir. What did you
15 mean, Ms. Edgerton?
16 MS. EDGERTON: The second conversation that's no longer on the
17 screen in front of us, Your Honour, involves General Mladic speaking with
18 an intermediary from the VRS Main Staff. General Mladic is not heard,
19 but the interlocutor has been identified as General Mladic.
20 JUDGE KWON: You are not referring to this specific intercept.
21 MS. EDGERTON: No. This was the first one, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 MS. EDGERTON: And sorry, I misspoke, Your Honour, when I noted
24 that one of the interlocutors is General Tolimir. General Tolimir was
25 referred to in the intercept.
1 JUDGE KWON: Where? Not this one.
2 MS. EDGERTON: No, no. He was referred to in --
3 JUDGE KWON: In D2002, in CSB report.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Yes.
5 JUDGE KWON: Not here.
6 MS. EDGERTON: No, not in this one.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE KWON: The issues raised in this intercept is -- without
9 doubt has reason from the lines of questioning Mr. Karadzic's
10 cross-examination. In that respect, it is relevant and the issues of
11 weight is something to be assessed by the Chamber later on, and the
12 authenticity will be dealt with at a later stage together with all the
13 other intercepts. On that basis we mark it for identification as next
14 Prosecution exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: MFI P4483, Your Honours.
16 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. And I'd just like to move on to one
17 final area and that has to do with orders.
18 Q. At page 25194 of the transcript, Dr. Karadzic put to you a
19 question to the effect that -- whether you agreed that the Presidency of
20 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a collective
21 presidential body retained only the strategic level of command within its
22 remit. It was a document-based question, and you said, yes, that's the
23 conclusion of this provision.
24 And then following that, you explained to the Chamber the
25 difference between strategic, operational, and command -- and tactical
1 command levels, saying that the corps were at the operational level.
2 They make operational decisions. Whereas brigades and lower ranking
3 units are at the tactical level. The strategic level is at the state
5 I wonder in that regard if you have any actual knowledge of
6 tactical orders issued by Dr. Karadzic.
7 A. No.
8 Q. I'd like to play you one example, please, and it's a recording, a
9 conversation excerpted from a Dictaphone tape seized from the Mladic
10 residence, and the Prosecution believes and will be adducing evidence
11 through other witnesses that the conversation occurred sometime on the
12 afternoon of 8 July 1995.
13 [Audiotape played]
14 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
15 Q. Now, did you recognise the voices of either of the interlocutors
16 to this conversation?
17 A. I'm certain about Dr. Karadzic but not about Zivanovic.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that the witness is
19 barely audible. Could the witness please approach the microphone.
20 JUDGE KWON: Could you speak into the microphone,
21 General Obradovic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I could recognise
23 Dr. Karadzic's voice, but the voice of Zivanovic is not as clear. I
24 didn't speak to him so much. I didn't have the opportunity to listen to
25 him that often, but I think it was his voice.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. When you say Zivanovic, who do you mean?
3 A. The Drina Corps commander.
4 Q. At a certain point in this conversation, Dr. Karadzic asks
5 General Zivanovic:
6 "Are the tits ours?"
7 And he responds:
8 "They are. They are. They are for the first time."
9 And Dr. Karadzic then says again:
10 "That's good. Let's not give up on the tits no matter what."
11 Now, General, given your explanation of what that word means in
12 your language and the documents that we've looked at earlier today that
13 describe a feature called "tits" that was taken over by VRS forces on
14 8 July 1995, do you have any idea what Dr. Karadzic might be referring to
15 in this conversation when he uses that same word?
16 A. I assume that he was referring to a geographical feature.
17 Q. Now, in this conversation, Dr. Karadzic tells Zivanovic that he
18 can probably get reinforcements for him and discusses the deployment of
19 the Zvornik MUP on the Trnovo front. So back to orders. Is organising
20 the deployment of reinforcements from one front to the other answer an
21 exercise of strategic, operational, or tactical-level command?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
23 JUDGE KWON: On what basis, Mr. Karadzic? In the meantime --
24 just a second. Ms. Edgerton, do you have the 65 ter number for this?
25 MS. EDGERTON: 35043A. Apologies, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here there is a confusion being
3 created. The army can't mobilise the MUP. The president has to do that.
4 So the witness has to be shown that this concerns the MUP forces.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it's not a proper objection on your
7 Yes, General, can you answer the question?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this isn't a case of
9 issuing an order. This is the result of certain requests from the corps
10 command concerning the engagement of certain forces. The Ministry of the
11 Interior has responsibility for MUP units, and the supreme commander
12 takes decisions that concern them. So the minister probably told the
13 president about a request to engage the MUP in a certain stretch of
14 territory, and he said that they had been engaged in Treskavica or
15 somewhere. So the army does not have responsibility for commanding MUP
16 units. They can be subordinated to them and -- at some point, but with
17 the authorisation of the president, but the request has to go through the
18 Ministry of the Interior.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. 65 ter number again, Ms. Edgerton.
20 MS. EDGERTON: 35043A.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 MS. EDGERTON:
23 Q. I wonder, General, if you could actually answer the question,
24 because the question was: Is organising the deployment of reinforcements
25 from one front to the other an exercise of strategic, operational, or
1 tactical-level command?
2 A. Your Honours, once again, it's not a matter of deciding at such a
3 low level. It is a matter of a reaction to the requests from lower
4 levels, requests to engage MUP units. The location of engagement for
5 those MUP units depend on the corps command decisions, if he receives
6 authorisation for such units, because he requests such units for the
7 purpose of certain needs since he does not have sufficient forces at his
9 Q. Also in this conversation, Dr. Karadzic asks that instructions
10 for journalists be prepared for him to sign off on. So is Dr. Karadzic's
11 personal involvement in the propaganda aspect of an operation an exercise
12 of strategic, operational, or tactical-level command?
13 A. I wouldn't place that in the category of command. He probably
14 didn't have a spokesperson. For example, NATO pact has Jamie Shea who
15 deals with such matters so that commanders don't have to appear directly
16 before the public.
17 Q. Who is the Krstic and Krle referred to in this conversation?
18 A. I assume that it concerns General Radislav Krstic. I assume they
19 called him Krle. He was the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps. And
20 around the 20th, there was a rotation and he was appointed as commander
21 of the Drina Corps.
22 Q. So in this conversation we heard Dr. Karadzic order Krstic to go
23 "full steam ahead." Now, is an order like this from the supreme
24 commander in the middle of an ongoing operation an exercise of strategic,
25 operational, or tactical-level command?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
2 JUDGE KWON: No.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can you see that this is an order?
4 It's a conversation. The question implies or suggests the answer.
5 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton is asking the question to the witness.
6 Yes. Please proceed, Ms. Edgerton.
7 MS. EDGERTON:
8 Q. I've asked the question. Would we like it to be repeated?
9 A. It's not necessary. I didn't notice such an imperative in the
10 conversation, but in one intercepted conversation when General Mladic
11 spoke to Krle, he said in an imperative manner: "Move ahead." But I
12 didn't hear such an imperative tone here. In this case, it seems to be
13 more a case of encouragement, "Move ahead."
14 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE KWON: We're not hearing any interpretation.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The accused said the question can change the
18 JUDGE KWON: No. Witness has answered the question.
19 Please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
20 MS. EDGERTON: I actually have nothing further in redirect,
21 Your Honour, but I need to correct myself in one regard. When I
22 introduced this conversation, I said it's our belief that it took place
23 on the 8th of July -- pardon me, Your Honours. I need to -- my
24 colleagues are trying to get my attention.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MS. EDGERTON: Now having heard from my colleagues, Your Honour,
2 I'd like to ask this: I would like to go into one further area very
3 briefly, if we could, after the break. I just note what time it is.
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a moment. Have we have not admitted or marked
5 for identification that refers to "full stream ahead," which is a
6 separate intercept?
7 MS. EDGERTON: Not yet, and I wonder if we could do that before
8 the break, Your Honour. But, Your Honour, I'm wondering if this might
9 be --
10 JUDGE KWON: And date is correct, 8th -- on or about the
11 8th of July?
12 MS. EDGERTON: I will check that, because I was receiving notes
13 during the examination-in-chief, so I'll also check that over the break.
14 But if I might make one submission with regard to the intercept,
15 Your Honour. Given that we've had the audio, we've played the audio, the
16 witness has recognised Dr. Karadzic as one of the interlocutors, I wonder
17 if this might exceptionally be admitted rather than marked for
19 JUDGE KWON: Can I hear from you, Mr. Robinson.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. My first thought is I was
21 wondering why this wasn't introduced when Mr. Blaszczyk came and
22 testified to the contents of the Mladic searches. That would have been
23 the logical place to lay a foundation for this exhibit. Having heard
24 from this witness, all he can do is identify a voice, which is relevant,
25 but I don't think he's been able to comment on the substance of the
1 exhibit. So we object on that basis.
2 JUDGE KWON: Apart from tendering this document, how long would
3 you need to complete your re-examination, Ms. Edgerton?
4 MS. EDGERTON: I hope about five minutes, Your Honours, but I
5 would need some time during the break to speak to my colleagues.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well. I was wondering whether you could
7 continue because we need another break before the next witness.
8 MS. EDGERTON: I recognise that, Your Honours, and I --
9 JUDGE KWON: But we will take a break now for half an hour and
10 resume at five past 11.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.
13 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Edgerton, last year on 4th of February in the
14 decision of judicial notice decision, we ruled as follows:
15 "Therefore, declaration from persons who are neither participants
16 in the conversation themselves nor intercept operators are not sufficient
17 for the purpose of establishing an intercept's authenticity. The Chamber
18 is thus not satisfied that the authenticity of the following intercept
19 was sufficiently established."
20 I think this case should be no different. In order for you to
21 tender that intercept, it should have been discussed through
22 Mr. Blaszczyk, who at least could have provided at least some foundation
23 as to how this intercept came into the possession of the Prosecution.
24 Probably you can find a way of having this intercept admitted after at
25 least some foundation has been laid later on. So we will not admit this
1 intercept with this witness.
2 Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
3 MS. EDGERTON: Can it then be marked for identification,
4 Your Honours?
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll mark it for identification as next
6 Prosecution exhibit.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit MFI P4484, Your Honours.
8 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you. Just to come back to the date,
9 Your Honours, I had expressed some doubt in my articulation of that date
10 of that document on the record, and I've looked into it and I was
11 absolutely correct. It is on or about the 8th of July, 1995. Just so
12 that's not unclear.
13 And I have following the break, as I had indicated, one final
14 question for the General.
15 Q. General, in answering -- in identifying who Krle and Krstic was
16 in the intercept that we discussed prior to the break, you indicated that
17 it concerned Radislav Krstic. You assumed they called them Krle, and you
18 indicated he was the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps, and around the
19 20th, there was a rotation and he was appointed as commander of the
20 Drina Corps.
21 Now, in relation to that answer, I'd just like to call up
22 65 ter number 02576, which is a Drina Corps command document dated
23 13 July 1995, informing on the hand-over of corps commander duties.
24 Now, General, I wonder if this document assists you in your
25 recollection of what might have been the date of General Krstic's
1 appointment as commander of the Drina Corps.
2 General, did you hear my question?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Does this document help you in recalling what might have been the
5 date of General Krstic's appointment as commander of the Drina Corps?
6 A. Well, I think that the very fact of the hand-over of duties would
7 enable him to be commander.
8 Q. Did you know that General Krstic was promoted to Drina Corps
9 commander pursuant to a decree of the president of the Republika Srpska?
10 A. I am not sure, but I believe that before I arrived at the
11 Main Staff on the 17th, I heard this official version through the media
12 of his appointment. As for the decree, I've never seen it. I had never
13 seen it.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Could that be the final Prosecution exhibit,
15 please, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4485, Your Honours.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the Defence have some
19 additional time?
20 JUDGE KWON: You can't be so general in requesting for additional
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just two -- just one question, if I
24 JUDGE KWON: No.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because the intercept on the -- on
1 directive 7 and 7.1. The witness was questioned about directive 7, but
2 he should have been questioned about directive 7.1.
3 JUDGE KWON: No. That was discussed in your cross-examination,
4 if I remember correctly. And what is -- without putting the question,
5 let us know what another question is.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My other question would have to do
7 with whether directive 7 or directive 7.1 arrived in the field, as it
8 were, to the corps headquarters, as far as Ms. Edgerton's questions were
10 JUDGE KWON: I don't think that question is warranted from the
11 re-examination. We'll -- yes, Mr. Robinson.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Maybe I could express this in a little bit more
13 detail, what I think Dr. Karadzic is trying to get at. During the
14 re-examination, Ms. Edgerton used directive 7 to try to show that there
15 had been an order that the UNPROFOR and the humanitarian supplies be
16 restricted in an unobtrusive manner so that they were significantly
17 reduced to the enclave. Dr. Karadzic would like to point out that in
18 directive 7.1 that language was not repeated, and therefore the
19 instructions that went to the field didn't contain that provision, and
20 therefore there was no operative instructions to the VRS that the
21 humanitarian and UNPROFOR supplies be reduced, and I think that arises
22 fairly from the re-examination. And when you have an extensive
23 re-examination like this, I don't think it should be that difficult for
24 an accused or any party to be able to clarify one or two points.
25 JUDGE KWON: I think we should have heard from you in the absence
1 of the witness. I don't see the point of putting that question after
2 having that submission, but I will consult my colleagues.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. The Chamber will allow you to
5 put that one question to the witness.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] General, did you know for certain what
9 directive 7 arrived at the corps headquarters? Was it directive 7.1, and
10 is that the directive that was being implemented into these executive
12 A. I believe that after the -- after what the Chamber said and your
13 questions, the contents of directive 7 and 7.1 and the orders from the
14 Drina Corps that I saw in the Tolimir case, because I was shown them by
15 the Prosecution, when I compared them then, I saw that the task, the
16 assignment of the Drina Corps, was not the same in its content,
17 especially the security provided by the Drina Corps. It was not the same
18 in directive 7.1 and 7, and especially not in the orders that were
19 produced at the Drina Corps order for operations.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, General Obradovic. That concludes your
21 evidence. On behalf of the Tribunal, I would like to thank you for you
22 coming to The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE KWON: I was told that we would need five minutes' break in
1 order to have the next witness be brought in given that next witness is
2 protected with only image distortion and -- image and voice distortion,
3 nothing else. So he can be called by his real name.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Correct.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll take a break for five minutes.
6 --- Break taken at 11.22 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, sir. Will you take the solemn
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated.
14 Mr. Mitchell, do we need to give him a Rule 90 warning?
15 MR. MITCHELL: I don't believe so, Mr. President. He wasn't
16 given one in Popovic, and I think the same applies here.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
18 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you.
19 WITNESS: DRAZEN ERDEMOVIC
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Mitchell:
22 Q. Good morning, Witness.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is bearable audible.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Erdemovic, could you come a bit closer to the
1 microphone and speak into it. Thank you.
2 MR. MITCHELL:
3 Q. Can you please state your full name and spell your surname.
4 A. My name is Drazen Erdemovic, E-r-d-e-m-o-v-i-c.
5 Q. I'd like to start off by going briefly through your legal history
6 at the ICTY. Is it correct that on the 14th of January, 1998, you
7 entered a plea of guilty to one count under Article 3 of the ICTY
8 Statute, and that's a violation of the laws or customs of war?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And this was pursuant to a plea agreement that you had reached
11 with the Office of the Prosecutor?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. MITCHELL: Can I please have 65 ter 03763 in e-court and not
14 to be broadcast because it's a confidential filing in another case.
15 Q. Is this -- is this the agreement that you reached with the
16 Office of the Prosecutor? Perhaps we can go to the last page and look at
17 the signature there.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the specific act to which you pled guilty was participating
20 in the execution of Muslim men at the Branjevo Farm on 16 July 1995; is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, you were sentenced by a Trial Chamber of this Tribunal to a
24 sentence of five years of imprisonment; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Have you now served your sentence?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I would like to tender the plea
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We don't object to the
7 tendering of the plea agreement, but we believe that it ought to be
8 tendered as a public exhibit. I would ask --
9 JUDGE KWON: That was the subject I was going to address. Could
10 the Chamber move into private session just briefly.
11 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it under seal.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4486, under seal, Your Honours.
8 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recall testifying in the Popovic case on
10 the 4th and the 7th of May, 2007?
11 A. Well, how can I explain this? I testified in many cases, and I
12 can't remember exactly on what dates or what year that was, especially in
13 the case of Mr. Popovic in particular.
14 Q. Well, without referring to the specific dates, do you remember
15 testifying in the trial with the seven accused?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And did you have an opportunity to review that testimony in the
18 last few days?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you confirm that the transcript you read was accurate?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And if you were asked the same questions today, would you give
23 the same answers?
24 A. Yes. Perhaps I wouldn't use the same words, but the contents
25 would be the same.
1 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I'd like to re-tender that
2 transcript, 65 ter 90049.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 MR. MITCHELL: And there are 13 associated exhibits.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thirteen associated exhibits were admitted already,
6 and we'll confirm that his transcript is admitted into evidence. What
7 was the number, Mr. Registrar?
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: The transcript will be Exhibit P4487,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, his evidence, transcript, was not
13 admitted pursuant to Rule 92 bis.
14 MR. MITCHELL: It was, Mr. President, but my understanding was
15 that we were now effectively re-tendering it under 92 ter.
16 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes.
17 MR. ROBINSON: It should have the same number, shouldn't it?
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I take that to be the case. Yes, we maintain
19 the previous number. What is it?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P332, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
22 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd now like to read
23 out a summary of Mr. Erdemovic's testimony in the Popovic case.
24 Drazen Erdemovic joined the VRS in April 1994 and was assigned to
25 a special unit. In October 1994, that unit was named the
1 10th Sabotage Detachment. In 1995, the detachment had 50 to 60 members
2 divided into two platoons located in Bijeljina and Vlasenica. The
3 witness was a member of the Bijeljina platoon. The commander of the
4 detachment was 2nd Lieutenant Milorad Pelemis, and the detachment was
5 supervised at the VRS Main Staff level by Colonel Petar Salapura from the
6 intelligence centre.
7 On the afternoon of 10 July 1995, the witness and 30 to 40 other
8 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment arrived in the Srebrenica area
9 and spent the night at an elevation above the town. The next day,
10 together with 15 soldiers from another VRS unit known as the
11 Drina Wolves, they entered the town of Srebrenica itself.
12 Before they entered the town, 2nd Lieutenant Pelemis ordered the
13 unit not to shoot at civilians. However, when they reached the centre of
14 the town, an able-bodied Muslim man surrendered to them, and although the
15 man said that he was not a member of the army, Pelemis ordered a soldier
16 named Zoran, nickname Maljic, from the Vlasenica platoon, to kill this
17 man. Mr. Erdemovic saw Maljic slit the throat of this Muslim man.
18 The detachment spent the night in Srebrenica and returned to
19 Vlasenica the next day. When they arrived, they heard that a
20 UN transporter driven by Lieutenant Pelemis had overturned and killed a
21 member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment named Dragan Koljivrat. On
22 13 July, Mr. Erdemovic and others left for Koljivrat's funeral in
23 Trebinje. They returned to Vlasenica on the morning of 15 July.
24 On the morning of 16 July 1995, another member of the
25 10th Sabotage Detachment named Brano Gojkovic came to Mr. Erdemovic and
1 said that he and two other members should get their weapons ready and
2 prepare to go on an assignment. In total, eight members of the
3 10th Sabotage Detachment set off from Vlasenica that day:
4 Drazen Erdemovic, Marko Boskic, Franc Kos, Vlastimir Golijan,
5 Brano Gojkovic, Aleksandar Cvetkovic, Zoran Goronja, and
6 Stanko Savanovic. Brano Gojkovic was in charge of this group.
7 They stopped at some military barracks in Zvornik and
8 Brano Gojkovic and Aleksandar Cvetkovic went inside. Shortly afterwards,
9 they came back out with a tall, corpulent lieutenant-colonel with a
10 greyish hair in a VRS uniform and two Drina Corps military policemen.
11 The Lieutenant-Colonel and two MPs got into an olive green Opel Kadett
12 car, and the eight members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment then followed
13 the Lieutenant-Colonel and the two MPs in the Opel Kadett to the
14 Branjevo Farm in Pilica.
15 At the farm, the Lieutenant-Colonel went into a side office and
16 everyone who was in that office, apart from one man, came out and left
17 the farm. The Lieutenant-Colonel then came back out and spoke with
18 Brano Gojkovic, and Gojkovic then instructed Erdemovic's group that buses
19 carrying civilians from Srebrenica would be arriving and that these
20 civilians were to be killed. The Lieutenant-Colonel and the two MPs left
21 shortly after the first bus arrived.
22 The first group of 10 civilians who were taken off the bus were
23 blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs. They were
24 escorted to a site about 1- to 200 metres away from the bus and lined up
25 in a row with their backs to the execution squad. Once they were in
1 position, Brano Gojkovic gave the order to shoot, and Mr. Erdemovic and
2 the seven other members of the 10 Sabotage Detachment opened fire on the
3 civilians with automatic rifles. A second group of civilians followed,
4 and the executions were carried out like this, in groups of ten, from
5 around 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 or 4.00 p.m.
6 Mr. Erdemovic estimated that approximately 1.000 to
7 1.200 civilians were executed at the Branjevo Farm that day.
8 At one point during the executions, Aleksandar Cvetkovic
9 suggested that they use an M-84 machine-gun because it was faster than
10 using automatic rifles. However, a quarrel soon broke out over the use
11 of the machine-gun because it was causing severe injuries to the
12 civilians without actually killing them.
13 Early in the afternoon, a unit of eight to ten soldiers from
14 Bratunac arrived and joined in the executions. These soldiers from
15 Bratunac kicked, punched, and cursed at the prisoners. They also beat
16 some prisoners with rifle butts and metal bars that they found on the
18 At around 3.00 or 4.00, the Lieutenant-Colonel returned as the
19 last bus of prisoners were being executed. The Lieutenant-Colonel said
20 that there were some 500 prisoners at the Pilica cultural centre who also
21 needed to be executed, but Mr. Erdemovic and some other members of the
22 10th Sabotage Detachment refused this order. Instead, the unit from
23 Bratunac went with the Lieutenant-Colonel and participated in these
25 The witness and the other members of the detachment were
1 instructed to meet the Lieutenant-Colonel in a coffee bar in Pilica just
2 across the road from the Pilica cultural centre. When they arrived,
3 Mr. Erdemovic saw several dead bodies in front of the cultural hall and
4 heard gunfire and explosions coming from that direction. He also saw a
5 civilian check-point outside the cultural centre manned by two or three
6 RS MUP members in blue camouflage uniforms.
7 Mr. Erdemovic sat in the coffee bar while Brano Gojkovic and
8 others sat separately with the Lieutenant-Colonel. After a while one of
9 the soldiers from Bratunac came into the coffee bar and reported that
10 everything was finished.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Erdemovic, I have some additional questions on a number
12 of areas. To start off with, I'd like to go back to 1994 and ask you a
13 couple of questions about the unit that you joined and that then became
14 the 10th Sabotage Detachment in October 1994.
15 MR. MITCHELL: If I can have 65 ter number 23624 in e-court.
16 Mr. President, this is a document that we moved to add to our 65 ter list
17 in connection with the testimony of this witness.
18 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objection, Mr. Robinson?
19 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That's granted, Mr. Mitchell.
21 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recall being shown this document yesterday?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you see it at the time in 1994 when it was issued?
25 A. It's not 1992, it's 1994. Yes.
1 Q. You did see this document at the time in 1994?
2 A. I made a mistake. I first saw this document yesterday. What I
3 meant was my contract with the Army of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. Okay. We'll come to that. At the time that this document was
5 issued in December 1994, what was the status of the
6 10th Sabotage Detachment? Was it fully formed or was the recruitment of
7 new members still going on?
8 A. In October 1994, two platoons had been established. One belonged
9 to Bijeljina, and the other one to Vlasenica. I think that in December
10 the unit had been completed. The entire detachment was there.
11 Q. And does this order about recruiting new members have anything to
12 do with the completion of manning that unit in December 1994?
13 A. I haven't seen this document before. I cannot give an accurate
14 answer to that question, but I think that by October 1994, the unit was
16 Q. If I can ask you to look at the very top of the page, which says:
17 "With a view to establishing and recruiting to the Main Staff VRS
18 10th Sabotage Detachment as the first VRS professional unit ..."
19 Do you know what that means when General Mladic refers to the
20 10th Sabotage Detachment as the first VRS professional unit?
21 A. I think it means that the Army of Republika Srpska would have its
22 first professional unit that carried out tasks that had to do with going
23 behind the lines of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO.
24 MR. MITCHELL: Can we scroll down a little bit and just --
25 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, you can quickly have a look at point 5.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then go over to the next page. And in the very last part of
3 point 7 it talks about:
4 "... the Main Staff organisation and personnel sector shall
5 prepare contracts and all other regulatory documents necessary to carry
6 out this order."
7 Now, did you receive a contract to do with your membership of the
8 10th Sabotage Detachment?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. MITCHELL: Now, Mr. President, I'd like to tender that
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be admitted.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P4487, Your Honours.
14 MR. MITCHELL: Can we now please look at 65 ter number 19906.
15 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recognise the document that we see on the
16 screen, and if so, can you tell us what it is?
17 A. I recognise the document. This is my contract with the Army of
18 Republika Srpska.
19 Q. Can we go to the last page. Can you see your signature on this
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the signature in the bottom right-hand corner, do you
23 recognise whose signature that is?
24 A. There are two signatures in the lower right-hand corner. There's
25 the signature of General Mladic and the commander of the detachment,
1 Milorad Pelemis.
2 Q. Can we go back now and -- to page 1 and just look at point 4.
3 And point 4 says that the Main Staff:
4 "Is obliged to pay Drazen Erdemovic, sergeant, an extra cash
5 award for participation in any individual sabotage action according to
6 the order by the authorised commanding officer."
7 Is that what actually happened in practice when you went into a
8 sabotage action?
9 (redacted) Not in each and every
10 action, because I think that Pelemis decided who would get a financial
11 compensation and who could not.
12 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, could I go into private session
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
16 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Now, can you just look briefly at point 5, Mr. Erdemovic, where
18 it says that the Main Staff:
19 "Is obliged to ensure Drazen Erdemovic, sergeant, a priority in
20 allocation of the apartment for his use through the competent authorities
21 by the order of the president of RS."
22 And my question for you, Mr. Erdemovic, is: At the time when you
23 signed your contract, did you actually see a copy of the president's
24 order that you be given a priority allocation of an apartment?
25 A. No.
1 MR. MITCHELL: I'd like to tender this document, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4488, Your Honours.
4 MR. MITCHELL:
5 Q. I'd like to move to a different area now. In your Popovic
6 testimony, this is at transcript page 10947, you described how
7 Commander Pelemis ordered a member of your unit to slit the throat of a
8 Muslim man in the town of Srebrenica. I'd like to show you a short piece
9 of video and then ask you a couple of questions about it.
10 MR. MITCHELL: This is P4351.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 MR. MITCHELL: If I can stop there.
13 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recognise this location?
14 A. Yes. That is the centre of town in Srebrenica. That is my
16 MR. MITCHELL: For the record, we're looking at counter 50:9.
17 Now, can we go back about 10 to 15 seconds, please. Okay. We're now at
19 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recognise what we can see in this still
21 A. Yes. That is the person that surrendered to the unit in
22 Srebrenica. The commander of our unit ordered Zoran, nickname Maljic, to
23 slit that person's throat.
24 Q. Is there anything particular about the body that -- that you
1 A. As far as I can remember, he had an American army jacket, and I
2 remember that he had jeans, that he was wearing jeans.
3 Q. Did Pelemis say why he gave the order for this man to be killed?
4 A. I cannot recall. No. No, he didn't say anything about why.
5 Q. Do you know why he was killed?
6 A. I don't know why he was killed. I could only assume then why he
7 had been killed. Perhaps he was -- because he was of military age or --
8 I don't know. I cannot say, because Pelemis did not say why.
9 Q. Okay. Now after the attack on Srebrenica, you returned to
10 Vlasenica on the 12th of July; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the next day, on the 13th, you and some other members go to
13 the funeral in Trebinje and then you're back in Vlasenica on the morning
14 of the 15th.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This period when you went to the funeral in Trebinje, were you
17 and the other members of your unit on leave?
18 A. No, I don't think so, because when we went from Vlasenica to
19 Trebinje, all the members were there in that house that belonged to our
20 unit in Dragasevac. When we returned, I think most of the members of the
21 Bijeljina platoon of our unit were there.
22 Q. I want to show you a few photos now and ask you to mark some
23 things on them with the help of the court usher.
24 MR. MITCHELL: Can I first have Exhibit P4308. That's page 222
25 in e-court. It's 212 in the hard copy.
1 Q. Do you recognise what's on this image?
2 A. Yes. That is the Branjevo Farm in Pilica.
3 Q. Can you mark the spot where your van parked when you arrived. If
4 you can just put a number 1 at that spot.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Where was the office that the lieutenant-colonel went into?
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Can you just put a number 2 next to the mark you made.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Now, can you draw a line or mark for us where the civilians
11 walked -- I'll strike that. First can you mark the area where the buses
12 parked with the civilians.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Now can you mark the route that they walked to where they were
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And where was the area where they were shot at? Can you mark
18 that with an X.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Now, if you can just put your initials down the bottom and
21 today's date, in the bottom right-hand corner. Today is the
22 27th of February, 2012.
23 A. [Marks].
24 MR. MITCHELL: If this can be admitted, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4489, Your Honours.
2 MR. MITCHELL:
3 Q. Just one more question while we're looking at this image. Were
4 the civilians escorted from the buses to the site where they were shot?
5 Did any soldiers walk with them or near them?
6 A. As far as I can remember, initially Brano Gojkovic and
7 Vlastimir Golijan escorted them from the bus to the site where they were
9 MR. MITCHELL: Can we now go the same exhibit, P4308, page 225 in
10 e-court. Page -- my apologies, page 235 in e-court, 225 in the hard
12 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recognise the building that's in this
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What is it?
16 A. I think -- in fact, I don't think. I know that is the cafe that
17 we were in. It's across the road from the home in Pilica.
18 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I'd like to show the witness now a
19 video that we ask for leave to add --
20 JUDGE KWON: Do you hear the interpretation, Mr. Karadzic? Yes.
21 No objection. Yes. Yes, please.
22 MR. MITCHELL: This is 65 ter 40587A.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 MR. MITCHELL: Can I just pause there. The counter is 11:18.
25 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, starting with the person on the left of the
1 screen, not in the background but the three gentlemen standing in the
2 foreground, do you recognise the one on the left?
3 A. That's the commander of our unit, and General Krstic, and the
4 person responsible for logistics in our unit.
5 Q. Perhaps I could get you to mark this. If you could put a 1, 2,
6 and 3.
7 JUDGE KWON: We need to capture the clip. I don't think it's
8 possible to mark on the videos.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure whether we need marking. We can
12 MR. MITCHELL:
13 Q. Okay. Well, just to make it very clear, the person in the middle
14 is General Krstic; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the person standing to the right of General Krstic on the
17 left side of this -- the footage that we see, that's Commander Pelemis?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the man with the moustache on the right-hand side is the
20 logistics person?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE KWON: Has this been published in the e-court? We couldn't
23 get the transcript. Let's proceed.
24 MR. MITCHELL: It's not part of our trial video, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I wanted to see the transcript on my own.
1 MR. MITCHELL: We do have a transcript.
2 JUDGE KWON: I don't think it has been published. That's what I
4 MR. MITCHELL: No, it hasn't, but only because this was
5 subtitled, but we can certainly publish the transcript as well.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed.
7 MR. MITCHELL: We can keep playing.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 MR. MITCHELL: Can we stop there, please, 11:41.
10 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, do you recall this ceremony where you were given
11 an exceptional promotion to the rank of reserve infantry sergeant?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. We saw a few minutes ago on your contract that you signed in
14 early 1995 that you were a sergeant. Can you explain how it is that here
15 you're being promoted to the rank of sergeant?
16 A. I can't explain that to you, because in that contract I was a
17 sergeant, and then Pelemis stripped me of my rank because I didn't carry
18 out the orders in the way that he wanted them to be carried out. And
19 then the rank of sergeant was conferred upon me again, so I can't really
20 explain why.
21 Q. And do you recall, just roughly, when were you stripped of your
22 rank of sergeant?
23 A. I can't remember exactly, but I think it was in 1995, in February
24 or March, something like that. Perhaps even earlier, but I can't
25 remember now.
1 MR. MITCHELL: Can we keep playing, please.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 MR. MITCHELL: We can stop there.
4 Q. Do you recognise anyone in this still shot? This is at counter
6 A. I can't see this very clearly on the screen.
7 Q. Maybe we can play for another second and it may get a bit
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that that is General Krstic
11 in the right-hand corner, but the image is not very clear, so it's
12 difficult for me to say.
13 JUDGE KWON: Could we play it back and play -- go back and play
14 again. Yes.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. MITCHELL: If we can stop there. Can we go back to where we
17 were stopped previously?
18 Q. Is that any clearer now, Mr. Erdemovic?
19 A. The only person I think it could be is General Krstic, but as for
20 the others, I can't recognise them.
21 MR. MITCHELL: And that's at 13:34. We can keep playing.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, can we move into private session
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 MR. MITCHELL: And I'd like to tender that clip, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Just a second. We don't have to put it under
23 seal? We can admit public --
24 MR. MITCHELL: I think the clip can be public. It was just the
25 witness, what he talked about in private session --
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MR. MITCHELL: -- that needs to remain private.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4490, Your Honours.
5 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I'm about to move to a different
6 area, so I'm not sure what the timing is today, but if it's convenient
7 for a break.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. How long would you need to conclude?
9 MR. MITCHELL: A little while, maybe 15, 20 minutes.
10 JUDGE KWON: Better to take a break now. We'll have a break for
11 an hour and resume at 1.30.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.34 p.m.
14 JUDGE KWON: For this session we'll be sitting pursuant to
15 Rule 15 bis with Judge Lattanzi away due to her urgent personal matters.
16 Yes. Please continue, Mr. Mitchell.
17 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I want to move to a different topic now and ask
19 you some questions about 1996. Did you travel to Serbia in the early
20 part of that year?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you take any identification documents with you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were all of those documents in the name Drazen Erdemovic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Can you tell us about the other documents that you were carrying
2 that were not in the name Drazen Erdemovic?
3 A. If I am not mistaken, it was an ID issued by the Bijeljina MUP,
4 Republika Srpska ID.
5 Q. When did you get this other ID that was issued by the Bijeljina
7 A. As far as I can recall, it was issued in January or
8 February 1996.
9 Q. Now, how were you told to go and get this identification? Was
10 this something that you decided to do or something that someone else told
11 you to do?
12 A. The commander of our unit, Milorad Pelemis, said that we should
13 go to the Bijeljina MUP and that we should take two photos with us and
14 that we should be issued new documents under different names by the
15 Bijeljina MUP.
16 Q. Did you actually go to Bijeljina, to the MUP there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And what happened when you went there? Did you need to explain
19 why you were there, or were they already expecting you?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Leading.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they knew why we were there.
22 We just came to the lobby. We said that we were members of the
23 10th Sabotage Detachment, and I can't recall now whether we had to fill
24 out some forms and whether we had to sign off on that ID. I can't really
25 recall, but I know that they knew why we were there.
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it was not a leading question. You
2 better leave it in the hands of Mr. Robinson.
3 Yes, please continue, Mr. Mitchell.
4 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, did 2nd Lieutenant Pelemis tell you why you needed
6 to go and get new identification documents in a different name?
7 A. No. We were just ordered, me and several other Croats and a
8 Muslim and a Slovene, that we should change our names.
9 MR. MITCHELL: Can I have 65 ter 23463 in e-court.
10 JUDGE KWON: Do we need to change to e-court from Sanction? Yes.
11 MR. MITCHELL:
12 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, this is an order from the Minister of the
13 Interior, Dragan Kijac, to the head of the RS MUP public security. It's
14 addressed to the VRS Main Staff Intelligence Administration for
16 MR. MITCHELL: And if we scroll down in both versions, and we
17 move across to the left in English. Sorry, can we go back to the first
18 page. And blow it up a little bit.
19 Q. Now, this order from Dragan Kijac encloses the text of a dispatch
20 from the Main Staff intelligence administration from Colonel
21 Petar Salapura. If you can just remind us who Colonel Petar Salapura is.
22 A. Petar Salapura was superior to our detachment's commander,
23 Milorad Pelemis. He was a member of the intelligence department of the
24 Main Staff of the VRS army.
25 Q. Okay. And Colonel Salapura's dispatch says -- well, it's
1 addressed to the minister personally and says:
2 "Considering that we have a group of members in the
3 10th Sabotage Detachment who are foreign citizens or are on a list of
4 individuals who have been indicted by The Hague Tribunal, we ask that you
5 order the Bijeljina MUP to issue personal IDs with Serbian first and last
6 names to these individuals, or with different first and last names for
7 Serbian nationals. There are eight such individuals."
8 And if we go over to the next page. It goes on and
9 Colonel Salapura says:
10 "Please inform us about your decision."
11 And then we see Dragan Kijac with his order to the MUP saying:
12 "You are required to ask on the request by the Main Staff of the
14 Now, this refers to the issuing of identifications to
15 eight members of the Sabotage Detachment. Can you remind us how many
16 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment were at Branjevo Farm on the
17 16th of July, 1995?
18 A. Yes. There were three, me, Marko Boskic, and Franc Kos.
19 Q. Just to be clear, Mr. Erdemovic, how -- how many members of your
20 unit were at the Branjevo Farm? Was it three or was it another number?
21 A. The way I heard your question when you asked me how many persons
22 were supposed to be issued these new IDs, out of those eight persons
23 there were only three of us. As for the Branjevo Farm, there were
24 eight individuals there.
25 Q. And was this order issued at around the time when you received
1 the order to go to Bijeljina and get a new identification?
2 A. Could you please repeat your question.
3 Q. Certainly. You testified a little while ago, just a few minutes
4 ago, that you received your new identification in January or
5 February 1996, and my question is just is this document at around the
6 same time that you received your new identification?
7 A. This document is, as far as I can judge looking at the date, of
8 January 16, 1996, but I can't recall exactly when it was that I received
9 these new IDs, but I do know that it was in 1996, either in January or
11 Q. My last question on this document is: Can you see down there a
12 stamp? It says "received" on "16 January 1996, at 1940 hours."
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And does -- in your experience as a soldier, would a stamp like
15 this mean that that document had actually been sent or received
17 A. Well, I cannot claim really that I know, but if it is a stamp, it
18 says that it was received and registered somewhere.
19 MR. MITCHELL: Can I tender that document, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P4491, Your Honours.
22 MR. MITCHELL:
23 Q. Now, after you arrived in Serbia, did you tell anyone about your
24 involvement in the killings at Branjevo Farm and your knowledge about the
25 killings at the Pilica cultural centre?
1 A. Yes. I spoke with a former deputy commander of my unit, a
2 one-time deputy commander of my unit. I can't recall his name as I sit
3 here, but his last name was Kremenovic. I told him what had happened and
4 what we had been ordered to do on that day. I told him that I could not
5 reconcile with that. I explained what else was troubling me and the
6 problems that I had in my own personal life, and we decided to get in
7 touch with a journalist, a reporter for the ABC.
8 Q. Did you give an interview to that journalist?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you told her your knowledge about the Branjevo Farm and the
11 Pilica Dom in this interview?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Just very briefly, can you tell us what happened, after you gave
14 that interview, in the next days and weeks.
15 A. Soon after that interview, Kremenovic and I were arrested by the
16 state security of Serbia. Before we were arrested, when Kremenovic and I
17 got home, this journalist called us and said that the bag containing the
18 tape with my recorded interview had disappeared and that it was taken to
19 the Belgrade airport. So we knew that we would soon be arrested. We
20 tried to get in touch with the US embassy in Belgrade, but we weren't
21 successful. After that, I can tell you what happened with me. I can't
22 tell you anything about Kremenovic.
23 We were taken -- I was taken to -- I was detained and taken to a
24 Novi Sad detention facility. On the next day I was taken to court in
25 Novi Sad, and from there, I was transferred by the state security to a
1 house in Belgrade where I spent about a month, I believe, and then I was
2 transferred to The Hague.
3 MR. MITCHELL: Can we go to Exhibit P1490, page 47 in the
4 English, and page 44 in the B/C/S. This is a notebook of
5 General Ratko Mladic from the period 16 January 1996 to 28 November 1996.
6 And then page 47 in English. That's it. And 44 in B/C/S.
7 Q. Now, these are General Mladic's notes of a conversation he had
8 with President Karadzic on the 22nd of March, 1996, and I just have a
9 couple of questions about this.
10 We can see at the very top President Karadzic was recorded as
12 "A big show was put on for Albright. She expected they would
13 find 1.200 Muslim bodies at Pilica, but they found some five bodies."
14 What, in your view, was President Karadzic talking about when he
15 referred to the 1.200 Muslim bodies at Pilica?
16 A. I think this is a reference to the interview that I gave to the
17 ABC journalist, and also the statement that I gave to the Novi Sad court.
18 Q. Now, further down, in the third bullet point it says:
19 "Fico was here last night, and he says that those two would sell
20 the story about Srebrenica to The Hague."
21 Do you have a view on who "those two" are being referenced in
22 this sentence?
23 A. I think this is a reference to me and Kremenovic.
24 Q. Was anyone else arrested with you in Serbia?
25 A. Yes, me and Radislav Kremenovic.
1 MR. MITCHELL: Let's go to Exhibit P3163. That's page 8 in both
2 the English and the B/C/S.
3 Q. This is an order issued by President Karadzic the day after that
4 meeting we just looked at. It was issued on the 23rd of March, 1996.
5 President Karadzic says in the first paragraph:
6 "... in order to cast light on the facts regarding the discovery
7 of a body in the Pilica area, I hereby order:
8 "The Republika Srpska Army and the Main Staff and the Ministry of
9 Interior shall immediately form a mixed expert commission of three
10 members each to fully investigate and determine the facts regarding the
11 alleged discovery of two decomposed bodies at the scene of earlier
12 battles with the Muslim side in the Pilica area, Zvornik municipality."
13 Mr. Erdemovic, I want to ask you in particular about the phrase
14 "the scene of earlier battles with the Muslim side."
15 Now, at any point in your statement to the journalist or your
16 statement to the Serbian MUP, did you describe the events at
17 Branjevo Farm as a battle or combat with the Muslim side?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And was this a battle or were you engaged in conflict with the
20 Muslim men who were killed at Branjevo Farm on 16 July 1995?
21 A. No. They were not armed.
22 MR. MITCHELL: May I please have 65 ter 4650 in e-court. This is
23 a document from the 503rd Motorised Brigade command, security sector, on
24 the 24th of December, 1998. Your Honours, we'll be leading evidence that
25 the 503rd Motorised Brigade was the post-war replacement for the
1 Zvornik Brigade.
2 Q. Now, you have seen this document before; is that right? You were
3 shown it yesterday.
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. MITCHELL: If we can just scroll slowly through the document.
6 Go over to the next page. Next page in English, please. Under
7 section 1.2, the author of this document indicates that he has learned
8 information from various sources, and then that information is listed out
9 over the next page and a half.
10 If we can then go to the next page in English. A little bit
12 Q. I just want to ask you about that bottom paragraph, which says:
13 "Our assessment is that the SFOR will attempt to arrest some of
14 the actual perpetrators in the Srebrenica case in order to make him, or
15 them, a good witness. Please note that Erdemovic knows 'almost
16 everything' and that many places and persons taking part in that are
17 known to The Hague Tribunal."
18 Mr. Erdemovic, do you have any comment on the fact --
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, I didn't mean to interrupt in mid question
21 but I think I see where this is going. Mr. President, we would object to
22 this as being irrelevant, a 1998 evaluation of this witness and his
23 impact on the case two years after Dr. Karadzic has resigned as
24 president. I don't see any relevance to this -- to this case.
25 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, I think a security assessment by
1 the replacement to the Zvornik Brigade on the veracity of Mr. Erdemovic's
2 statements and testimony is directly relevant to his credibility and the
3 truthfulness of what he's been testifying about.
4 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, then in that case could I
5 bring witnesses from other places to say, "We don't believe this
6 witness," or "We don't believe any witness who comes to The Hague"? I
7 don't think that's relevant whether somebody in the Zvornik Brigade
8 successor believed retrospectively or retroactively or not.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber doubts that it's relevant to our case
11 given that it is third party's assessment after the event. Why don't we
12 move on, Mr. Mitchell.
13 MR. MITCHELL: I will. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. The last area I want to ask you about, Mr. Erdemovic, is about
15 another member of your unit called Dragan Todorovic. Do you know
16 Mr. Dragan Todorovic?
17 A. No. I think that in -- at the time that I previously testified,
18 I was asked about that person, but I can't really remember these things
20 Q. Was he at the Branjevo Farm on 16 July 1995?
21 A. No.
22 Q. What about in the town of Pilica when you went to the cafe? Did
23 you see him there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Mr. Todorovic testified in this case, and this is at transcript
1 page 24214, and he said:
2 "... Erdemovic also said that he was forced to do something at
3 gunpoint. That's not true. Whoever would have made him do anything but
4 at gunpoint would have had to answer for it later before the commander."
5 Now, do you have any reaction to Mr. Todorovic's statement that
6 you were not telling the truth?
7 A. Mr. Todorovic wasn't at the farm on that day. If he was in our
8 unit, he should have been familiar with the order that was issued and
9 that it's not that easy, in fact, to refuse to obey orders. He should
10 have been aware of the consequences of refusing to abide by such orders.
11 So I don't believe that Mr. Todorovic is speaking the truth.
12 MR. MITCHELL: Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic. I have no further
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Mitchell.
15 Yes. Mr. Erdemovic, your evidence in the previous case was
16 admitted in this case in lieu of your oral examination-in-chief, in
17 addition to some supplemental questions by Mr. Mitchell. You will be now
18 cross-examined by Mr. Karadzic.
19 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good day to everyone.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Erdemovic.
23 A. Good day.
24 Q. They didn't catch your "good day." Could you please remember to
25 make a pause between question and answer, because otherwise the
1 interpreters will have difficulty hearing us. I'll make the same effort.
2 Thank you.
3 Mr. Erdemovic, was the 10th Sabotage Detachment, the unit you
4 were in, a group of criminals, or would one sooner say that in a certain
5 sense this unit was elite one?
6 A. I can only talk about the Bijeljina platoon. Up until the
7 16th of July, 1996 [as interpreted], when what happened on the farm
8 happened, the tasks we carried out concerned infiltration and sabotage of
9 warehouses and weapons that the ABiH had.
10 On the 16th of July, 1996 [as interpreted], what happened at that
11 farm? Well, I can't explain why those things happened. Why was the
12 order issued to us to shoot those civilians on that day?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
14 MR. MITCHELL: I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. President, but the
15 date has been wrong twice now. If that could be corrected.
16 JUDGE KWON: It should read 1995, correct, Mr. Erdemovic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1995, yes.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Up until that point in time it was an elite unit, a select unit.
21 They acted nobly, and it was used to take action behind enemy lines; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes. Let me just repeat what I have said. I'm a
24 hundred per cent certain of these matters when it concerns the Bijeljina
1 Q. Thank you. Before that tragic date, the 16th of July, did you
2 ever receive any instructions or orders that might have amounted to
3 violations of international war law and the way that civilians should be
4 treated? Up until that date had everything been done regularly and in
5 accordance with international war law?
6 A. As far as I can remember, yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Thank you. I'd like to shed some light on the situation in
8 Srebrenica itself on the 10th and 11th of July. On the 10th of July, in
9 the morning, you received a task -- rather, you were called to prepare to
10 carry out a task. Were you told anything about the nature of the task,
11 and did you prepare yourselves and take your equipment and, if so, how
12 did you do this?
13 A. On the 10th of July, we arrived at the barracks in Bijeljina. We
14 had working hours. We would arrive at 8.00 in the morning. We would
15 spend the time training in the barracks. That was the case on the
16 10th of July. However, on the 10th of July we were told we were going to
17 carry out a task. We were to go home, first of all, and to take another
18 uniform, our toiletries, and so on and so forth, and then we were to
19 return to the barracks as soon as possible.
20 Q. Thank you. So at the time you weren't told where you were going,
21 nor were you told what your task would be. Isn't that correct?
22 A. No. In fact, yes, you are right. We weren't told where we were
23 going to carry out this task.
24 Q. Thank you. Am I right if I say that when you go to carry out a
25 task it is only then that you are issued with weapons, ammunition, and
1 other equipment?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Whenever tasks were carried out, do you always have
4 the same equipment, ammunition, weapons, or does this all depend on the
5 task involved?
6 A. On the whole, it was always the same, but sometimes we had
7 explosives or weapons with silencers.
8 Q. Thank you. As for the other equipment, would you sometimes be
9 issued with sleeping bags or other types of equipment, and on the basis
10 of the equipment issued to you, could you have a certain idea of where
11 you were going and of the task you were going to carry out?
12 A. No, I don't remember having been issued with sleeping bags and so
13 on, because we'd go behind enemy lines and then return as rapidly as
14 possible so as not to be spotted. So we didn't spend much time on enemy
16 Q. Thank you. As far as food is concerned, when were you issued
17 with food, dry rations, and on the basis of the food issued to you, could
18 you draw the conclusion as to whether you would be outside of urban
19 areas, outside of our territory? What was the situation when it comes to
20 food like?
21 A. Well, how can I explain this? I can't remember this exactly, but
22 I think we were issued with normal rations of tinned food and food that
23 could last for a long time, but if we were to spend a lengthier period of
24 time somewhere, we would find ways of managing in the territory. We
25 would find fruit and vegetables in the areas we spent time in. We never
1 stayed behind enemy lines for very long, so we weren't too concerned
2 about food.
3 Q. Thank you. Would you sometimes set off without being issued with
4 any food?
5 A. I can't remember exactly. I wouldn't want to say yes or no,
6 because a lot of time has passed since then.
7 Q. Thank you. On the 10th of July when you set off in the direction
8 of Srebrenica, were you issued with any food?
9 A. I can't remember.
10 Q. As far as you can remember, when -- what was the longest period
11 of time for which you were provided with food?
12 A. Twenty-four hours.
13 Q. Thank you. So how did you feed yourselves when you were in the
14 Srebrenica area on the 10th and 11th of July? Did you have contact with
15 some of the existing units, with their provisions, or were you autonomous
16 when it comes to feeding yourselves?
17 A. Well, Mr. Karadzic, I really can't answer your question. I
18 wouldn't want to answer by saying yes or no, because I can't remember.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you remember whether you had dry rations and tins
20 of food or did some neighbouring unit provide you with their catering
21 facilities? Were you able to eat by having food provided by these other
23 A. I can't remember, but if we had food, it was -- it consisted of
24 dry rations.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Erdemovic, you must be aware of this.
2 Please put a pause between the question and answer. Yes. Thank you.
3 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do we agree that equipping a unit for a task involves a lot of
7 work? You have to go home. You have to prepare yourself, take the
8 necessary items. You have to be issued with certain items from the HQ,
9 from the warehouse, and then when you return, all the work involved is
10 considerable from a technical point of view?
11 A. Yes, but it was routine in our unit. We knew that prior to
12 carrying out a task we had to be issued with weapons, and upon returning
13 from a task we had to clean our weapons and return them to the warehouse.
14 Q. Thank you. So you spent the 11th -- the 10th and 11th in the
15 Srebrenica area. There were no armed clashes, you were carrying out
16 reconnaissance and securing "trasa." That's what one would say; isn't
17 that right?
18 A. It's not quite true that we were carrying out reconnaissance,
19 that Commander Pelemis said that our unit would move in the direction of
20 the town on the 11th in the morning, and that because we didn't have
21 enough men, we would be joined by a detachment from the Drina Wolves.
22 Q. Thank you. So on the 11th or the 12th in the morning you were
23 told that you were no longer necessary; isn't that right?
24 A. On the 12th in the morning.
25 Q. Thank you. And you returned to your base in Vlasenica; correct?
1 A. Yes. We returned to the base late in the evening.
2 Q. Thank you. And is it true that your colleague Mr. Koljivrat died
3 in a traffic accident on the 12th when returning?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was anyone else killed or injured in that same accident?
6 A. Yes. A member of our unit from the Bijeljina platoon, Mladen. I
7 can't remember his surname. He was injured, and the commander of our
8 unit also sustained an injury to the head.
9 Q. Thank you. And on the 13th, you were given the task of joining
10 an escort, escort the body, in fact, of Mr. Koljivrat to Trebinje. Isn't
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. How was the body of the deceased Koljivrat
14 transported, and what means of transport did you use?
15 A. The late Koljivrat's body was in a refrigeration vehicle. I
16 can't remember the kind of vehicle, and I and some other members from my
17 unit were in a van.
18 Q. Thank you. So there was a van. There was one van, and all of
19 you from that unit were in that van; correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that Mr. Dragan Todorovic, who is
22 mentioned here, was with you in that van?
23 A. I can't remember.
24 Q. Thank you. On the 14th of July, you attended the funeral, isn't
25 that correct? This was done in accordance with the prevailing customs
1 with which you were familiar?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. And you returned. Did you stop over anywhere on that
4 trip? Did you stop over anywhere between Trebinje and Vlasenica?
5 A. Yes. We stopped at Pale.
6 Q. And tell me where, why, and for how long did you stop over there.
7 A. I can't remember exactly where we stopped over, but we stopped
8 over at Pale, because the commander of our unit, I think he told the
9 driver of the van that we should stop over at Pale, and I can't remember
10 the word in our language now. They wanted to pick up a metal detector.
11 Q. From whom?
12 A. I can't remember exactly from whom this was to be collected.
13 Q. Thank you. Is it true that you visited the family of a comrade
14 of yours from the detachment? They had fled from Sarajevo and were
15 living in some sort of a summer villa, some sort of summer house?
16 A. I can't remember exactly.
17 Q. Srdjan Brijezo [phoen], does that name ring a bell? Did you
18 manage to get some rest at his family home, and did you have breakfast
19 there and so on?
20 A. Mr. Karadzic, I cannot remember that exactly.
21 Q. Thank you. When did you arrive in Vlasenica?
22 A. I think we arrived in Vlasenica in the morning, on the 15th.
23 Q. Up until when -- or, rather, by when did you get to the base?
24 A. Could you repeat your question. I didn't understand what you
25 said. What do you mean?
1 Q. Yes. When did you arrive?
2 A. Well, I cannot remember exactly. It was early in the morning on
3 the 15th.
4 Q. Thank you. During that day, the 15th, were you issued any
5 equipment and weaponry, and did you leave Vlasenica and the base?
6 A. No.
7 Q. In order to leave the base after working hours, would you have to
8 get a permit?
9 A. Well, sort of, yes.
10 Q. Thank you. And in order to leave the base after working hours,
11 say, after 3.00, did you have to have a permit for that?
12 A. No. No.
13 Q. Thank you. Once you received permission to go into town, could
14 you carry weapons when you went out in town, just for private business?
15 A. I don't think that we were allowed to be armed. However, some
16 individuals from my unit had their personal weapons, pistols, and they
17 had permits for that, if I can remember correctly.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, tell us, please, to the best of your
19 recollection, what was it that happened exactly on the 16th? What time
20 did you get up on the morning of the 16th?
21 A. On the 16th, in the morning, we got up and I cannot remember what
22 time it was. Soon after that, Brano Gojkovic came and said to me, and
23 Zoran Goronja, and Franc Kos, to take weapons and that we were going out
24 on a mission.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we be a bit more specific? When did you usually
1 get up?
2 A. In Bijeljina, usually I got up around 7.00, and then I had an
3 hour to get ready and go to barracks to be there by 8.00. I think that's
4 the way it was, but I cannot remember exactly.
5 Q. Thank you. Were you not spared a bit because of the trip? On
6 the 16th of July, did you also show up at 8.00 or a bit later?
7 A. On the 16th of July, we met in Dragasevac in Vlasenica, this
8 house that we were in. That was the base of the Vlasenica platoon, so I
9 didn't really have to go anywhere.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you have breakfast?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. At what time did Brano Gojkovic arrive? After you
13 got ready, after you had breakfast, when did he arrive, roughly?
14 A. I cannot remember exactly, but perhaps it was 9.00 in the morning
15 or 10.00 in the morning. I think it was 9.00. I don't know. I cannot
16 say exactly.
17 Q. Thank you. Did Brano Gojkovic tell you what kind of mission this
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you. What were you issued with that morning?
21 A. An automatic rifle and ammunition.
22 Q. Nothing else?
23 A. I, nothing else.
24 Q. What about the group as a whole? The eight of you from that
25 unit, what were you issued with on that morning?
1 A. Weapons, ammunition, an 84 machine-gun and ammunition, and I
2 cannot remember anything else.
3 Q. What about food?
4 A. I cannot remember exactly. It must have been dry rations. I
5 cannot remember exactly.
6 Q. As for this equipment that you were issued with, is a receipt
7 issued and does it have to be signed? Your logistics man, does he have
8 some kind of note stating what had been issued, and does somebody have to
9 sign that?
10 A. I think there was a list, but that morning, I don't know whether
11 anyone signed anything or who signed anything. I did not. I cannot
12 remember exactly.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you report yourself? Did you volunteer? Did you
14 say, "May I go," or were you told to do that?
15 A. As I have said a moment ago, Brano Gojkovic arrived, and that was
16 the second floor in that house, and he said to me and to Goran and -- I
17 mean, to Zoran Goronja and Franc Kos that we should get ready and that we
18 would be going out on a mission.
19 Q. Only he and the two of you? Or were others told as well?
20 A. I know that we were up there in that room where the beds were,
21 where we slept. I know about the three of us, and I don't know what
22 happened to the rest.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell us, then, how did you set out and how many of
24 you were there?
25 A. We set out on our journey in a van. There were eight of us in
1 this van.
2 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that from Vlasenica you went westward
3 towards Sekovici and then via Caparde to Zvornik? You took the longer
4 road, didn't you?
5 A. No. From Dragasevac we went to Zvornik via Vlasenica. We did
6 not go towards Sekovici.
7 Q. Are you sure of that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. How far is it away from Dragasevac to Zvornik?
10 A. I don't know exactly.
11 Q. Thank you. After that, were you in the building of the military
12 police, and did you stay there for about 20 minutes? Isn't that right?
13 A. I don't know whether it was the military police building, but
14 there were two military policemen there by the reception desk. Yes, we
15 did not spend much time there in Zvornik.
16 Q. How long did you stay there?
17 A. I cannot tell you exactly how long. Perhaps 20 minutes, perhaps
18 half an hour. We didn't stay long.
19 Q. Thank you. At that point in time did you have any intentions of
20 killing someone or doing anything that is forbidden?
21 A. No, on the morning, on the 11th, before we went to Srebrenica,
22 the commander of our unit, Milorad Pelemis, issued an order stating that
23 civilians should not be touched, so I went by that order that civilians
24 should not be touched, and I went by that on the 16th too.
25 Q. Thank you. In other actions behind enemy lines, did you have
1 only military targets, and were you supposed to take care of civilians
2 then as well?
3 A. I can talk about myself. I cannot talk about other members of my
4 unit. I always tried not to hurt civilians.
5 Q. Thank you. Did your commander like you on the basis of that
6 instruction, and was this the climate that prevailed in your unit, that
7 your only enemy was the military structure of the enemy?
8 A. Well, let me tell you, I had a few problems with Mr. Pelemis and
9 Mr. Salapura when in one action that I commanded, I explained that there
10 would be major civilian losses. They told me that I was a liar, that I
11 was lying, and from then onwards I started having problems with
12 Mr. Pelemis.
13 I cannot speak about other actions, because there were other
14 groups that went out without me, so I don't know what their orders were
15 and what they were told, but I know what I was told.
16 Q. You told us that at the time of Srebrenica, your rank of sergeant
17 had been taken away from you, that you had been stripped of that rank.
18 Can you tell us when and why?
19 A. As I've already said, in some orders -- or, rather, regarding
20 some orders, I did not agree with Mr. Pelemis. Sometimes -- I mean, how
21 do I explain this? He did not trust what I said very much, and he did
22 not trust my views of the situation when I went out into actions. I
23 cannot remember exactly when I was stripped of my rank, and I cannot even
24 remember when this rank was given to me and why it was taken away from
25 me, and I really cannot give you an accurate answer to that question.
1 Q. Thank you. Let me remind you, when you testified in the Popovic
2 case, on page 10963, you say -- I'm going to read it out in English now.
3 Starting with line 7:
4 "[In English] What was your rank or position at that time in the
6 "A. Before that I was corporal in the Army of Republika Srpska.
7 I was a corporal in the 10th Sabotage Detachment, and because of conflict
8 between me and Milorad Pelemis, who was the commander of our unit, he
9 stripped me of the rank. I was actually commander of a group in the
10 Bijeljina platoon, but at that moment I was just a regular soldier."
11 [Interpretation] What you said in the Popovic case, was that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. At some points in time and in some actions, you were
15 the "komandir," commander of a group in the Bijeljina platoon; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. P4351. Could that
18 please be shown to the witness briefly.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Please, could you take a look at this. Do we agree that this is
21 an order dated the 10th of July, 1995, and is that you under number 7,
22 and does it say "vodnik," "sergeant," next to your name, and does it say
23 "vojnik," "soldier" next to the next name?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Can we see the bottom of the page now to see who
1 signed on behalf of Pelemis? Do you know whose signature this is?
2 A. I know it says "Milorad Pelemis" there, but I don't know whether
3 that is his signature.
4 Q. Does this signature say "Kos, Franc"?
5 A. Possibly. I don't know.
6 Q. Thank you. Would it be more correct, then, to say that on the
7 10th of July, 1995, you were still a sergeant?
8 A. I've never seen this document before until testifying here, so I
9 know what Pelemis decided, and now it says here that I'm a sergeant.
10 Well ...
11 Q. Thank you. When did you first hear of this -- well, actually is
12 it correct that as for the Branjevo Farm, that is the place where you
13 first heard that someone should be killed?
14 A. I didn't hear it in so many words that someone should be killed.
15 What I heard was that buses with civilians from Srebrenica should be
16 coming in.
17 Q. What time was that? In fact, first you arrived at that site;
18 isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At what time were you at the farm?
21 A. I can't remember exactly what the time was, but I think it was
22 about 11.00, but I don't know exactly.
23 Q. Thank you. When you arrived at the farm, you didn't see any
24 prisoners or captives there; isn't that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. How much time passed before the first bus arrived?
2 A. Not much time. I couldn't say exactly, but not much time passed.
3 Q. Thank you. Did several buses arrive at once or did one bus
4 arrive first? Was it only then followed by another one?
5 A. I can remember the first bus arriving, and then the buses arrived
6 one after another as far as I can remember. I don't know exactly, but
7 the buses arrived one by one.
8 Q. Thank you. Would the next bus arrive once the first one had
9 left, or were there several buses at that place at the same time?
10 A. I think they arrived one by one. One bus followed the other.
11 Perhaps two buses arrived in a very brief period of time at the same
12 time. I can't remember exactly.
13 Q. Thank you. And if two buses arrived, would they both be at the
14 site that you marked as a parking spot, or would one of them be there and
15 the other somewhere else?
16 A. I can't remember them being at the same site. If there was some
17 other bus, I think it was at the parking spot on the road that led up to
18 the farm, but I can't remember exactly now.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since we're running out of time
21 now, I would like to see P4490 in the e-court system, and then could we
22 see 13347 or 6. P4490. If the Registrar can't find it, could the
23 Prosecution please be of assistance.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. While waiting for that, Mr. Erdemovic, there was some
1 lieutenant-colonel who was large, had noticeable traits. He was grey.
2 A. Yes.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the image at 13:34:7,
4 or 13:34:6.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mitchell.
6 MR. MITCHELL: Mr. President, P4490 is the video that we played.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 MR. MITCHELL: And we can play it from here if that would be of
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please. That's what Mr. Karadzic wants
11 probably. So that's why he indicated the time-frame.
12 MR. MITCHELL: We just need to know the times.
13 JUDGE KWON: He said 13:34:6.
14 MR. MITCHELL: Certainly.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I thought it was 90 and
16 not 09.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you see this lieutenant-colonel in this image? Can you
21 recognise him?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I note that in this image,
25 13:34:5, 6, or 7, the witness isn't able to identify the
1 lieutenant-colonel I have been referring to.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. How did you know that civilians were concerned?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have this removed, please.
5 JUDGE KWON: He didn't even identify there are
6 lieutenant-colonels in this clip at all, did he?
7 Do you see a lieutenant-colonel here?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the question was whether I
9 could see that lieutenant-colonel in this image, and I said that I
11 JUDGE KWON: Now I follow, yes. The only person you can identify
12 is General Krstic.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, how did you know that civilians were concerned? A
18 minute ago you said they had no weapons. Do you think that after they
19 had been captured someone would have taken them there with their weapons?
20 A. As I have already said, Brano Gojkovic and the lieutenant-colonel
21 said that they would arrive in buses, and this is how I drew my
22 conclusion. All I am doing is repeating what they said.
23 Q. Thank you. Tell me, did you ever notice that in all three armies
24 there were quite a few people who were fighting but they had no uniforms,
25 and this was particularly the case in the Muslim army?
1 A. At the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I did see
2 quite a few people without uniforms, but afterwards, after 1994 and 1995,
3 I can't remember having seen many people who had no uniforms.
4 Q. And if you were at risk of being captured, God forbid, would you
5 have got rid of your uniform?
6 A. If I went into action and if I was at risk of being captured, I
7 think I would get rid of my uniform.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Excellency, I see
9 what the time is. Should I move on to another subject, or should I
10 continue tomorrow?
11 JUDGE KWON: We'll rise for today and continue tomorrow morning
12 at 9.00.
13 Mr. Erdemovic, you are aware of this rule, but please do not
14 discuss with anybody else about your testimony.
15 Tomorrow, 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.59 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 28th day
18 of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.