Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 11934

 1                           Monday, 3 June 2013

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone in and around this

 6     courtroom.  Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  This is case

 8     IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.

10             The Chamber was informed that there are no preliminaries.

11     Therefore, could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

12                           [The witness takes the stand]

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.

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

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Before we continue the cross-examination, I would

16     like to remind you that you are -- no, the examination, I'd like to

17     remind you that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given

18     at the beginning of your testimony.

19                           WITNESS:  MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]

20                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Nicholls, if you're ready, you may proceed.

22     I do understand that you have one hour after 15 minutes left at least of

23     the schedule.

24             MR. NICHOLLS:  Good morning, Your Honours, that's correct.  I

25     will try to complete in my time, I hope to.

Page 11935

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

 2             MR. NICHOLLS:  Good morning, counsel.

 3                           Examination by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]

 4        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.

 5        A.   Good morning.

 6        Q.   All right.  When we left off we were talking about the

 7     13 July 1995, the events of that day, and we spoke about the morning.

 8     Now I'd like to ask you about any trips you made that day along the

 9     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road.  Did you travel that road on the

10     13th of July 1995?

11        A.   Yes, I did.

12        Q.   Can you tell us how you came to travel that road the first time,

13     where you went and why you set off down the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road?

14        A.   On the 13th of July, after returning from Potocari, I went to the

15     Bratunac Brigade military police headquarters, and in a conversation with

16     Mirko Jankovic, the police commander, I learned that on that day, on that

17     road, General Mladic was supposed to pass with his entourage.

18             The reason I went there was of a military nature because on the

19     13th already, all the activities were taking place other than the

20     transportation of civilians from Potocari, so all the military activities

21     were in place on that communication.  They were happening there.  As the

22     chief of security and intelligence, it was my duty, among other things,

23     to provide security for the commander of the Main Staff or any other

24     superior command, or any superior officer from one of these two commands.

25     So it was my duty to provide additional escorts and take care of security

Page 11936

 1     of the officer who was in the area of responsibility of my unit.  I went

 2     to this communication to check whether the road was passable and how

 3     secure it was, and everything that had to do with security on that road.

 4     That was the only reason why I went there.

 5        Q.   And about what time, approximately, did you drive down the

 6     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road, the first time, I'm speaking about?

 7        A.   Well, the closest that I can still recall about the times and

 8     I always had to reiterate that I cannot really be absolutely precise, but

 9     I would say that I was travelling down that road sometime before 12.00 or

10     perhaps after 12.00 but basically that was the time frame when I was

11     travelling down that road.

12        Q.   And on the way to Konjevic Polje from Bratunac, did you see any

13     prisoners or any Muslim men?  Put it that way.

14        A.   Yes.  The first time I travelled down there, in the Sandici

15     sector, I saw a group of Muslims who had surrendered or had been taken

16     prisoners, I'm really am not sure but they were there, at the point

17     where -- at the place where some of the officers from the special MUP

18     brigade were, that brigade, that unit was headed by Ljubisa Borovcanin.

19        Q.   What was the name of any officers or MUP officers you saw there

20     at Sandici?

21        A.   At Sandici, I saw members of the special MUP brigade because they

22     were easily identifiable.  Of those that I saw myself, there was

23     Ljubisa Borovcanin, he was the deputy commander of the special MUP

24     brigade, and, of course, in this area, in other words the parts where the

25     police forces were engaged, that was where their engagement began.  From

Page 11937

 1     Sandici all the way to Konjevic Polje, there were different police units

 2     that were engaged, in other words special purpose units, special brigade

 3     members, members of the Jahorina units and so on, but what's important to

 4     say is that there were police forces engaged between Sandici and

 5     Konjevic Polje.  They were easy to recognise because they had -- the

 6     special MUP brigade had heavy weaponry, they had APCs, and of course

 7     I saw their commander there who was commanding all the forces that were

 8     engaged in that -- on that axis.

 9        Q.   Thank you.  Now, on this trip, did you have any contact with

10     General Mladic?

11        A.   Yes.  Sometime in the afternoon, I was there waiting for

12     General Mladic to pass, and General Mladic came to Konjevic Polje with

13     his personal security.  There was a department from the military police

14     of the Bratunac Brigade there.  I met them at the crossroads in

15     Konjevic Polje, and Mladic stopped, his car parked, and he got out.

16     I went up to him and I submitted my report.  Basically I said that

17     everything was okay on that communication, that everything had been taken

18     care, so basically this was just -- I submitted my military report.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters are kindly requesting that the

20     witness slows down, thank you.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Nikolic, could you please slow down your speech

22     so that we don't miss any of your words.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.  I will do my best.

24             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

25        Q.   Were there any prisoners present at Konjevic Polje at this time

Page 11938

 1     when you made your report to General Mladic?

 2        A.   Yes.  There were already prisoners there in Konjevic Polje.  This

 3     was already in the afternoon hours on the 13th.

 4        Q.   Now, you said that you spoke to General Mladic.  Did you notice

 5     if General Mladic spoke to the prisoners at all, addressed them?

 6        A.   General Mladic got out of his vehicle, he -- the vehicle was

 7     parked, together with his escorts, on the opposite side if you're coming

 8     from Bratunac, outside an old yellow-walled building.  It was a co-op of

 9     some sort, an agricultural kind of building or facility.  General Mladic

10     moved back towards Bratunac and on a field viewing from Bratunac, there

11     was, on the right-hand side, a group of prisoners.  General Mladic said

12     that everything would be all right, that they shouldn't have any

13     concerns, they shouldn't be worried, and that after that on that same day

14     after a while they would be taken wherever they chose.  So this was -- he

15     did address them verbally, this group that was standing there.  It wasn't

16     a large group but it was already there in the meadow.

17        Q.   And after that, did you speak to General Mladic?  Did you have

18     any conversation with him, after he addressed those prisoners?

19        A.   Throughout the time while General Mladic was in Konjevic Polje,

20     in other words since his arrival and the moment that I briefed him and

21     all that time while he was there, I was about a metre behind him or I was

22     next to him, on his -- at his side.  He stayed there briefly and when he

23     said this, that these prisoners would be all right, that nothing would

24     happen to them, that they would be taken wherever they chose, he turned

25     around and headed towards the vehicles that were --

Page 11939

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mladic is supposed to remain seated and I do

 2     understand that he would like to consult with you, Mr. Petrusic.  You

 3     have -- if it can be limited to 30 seconds, it may be done but only at

 4     very low voice.

 5             MR. PETRUSIC:  [Interpretation] Thank you.

 6                           [Defence counsel and Accused confer]

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Low voice, Mr. Mladic.

 8                           [Defence counsel and Accused confer]

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Mladic, it should not be audible anywhere else

10     in this courtroom.  Mr. Nikolic did you hear any words spoken by

11     Mr. Mladic?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Nicholls.

14             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

15        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, sorry for that short interruption.  You were just --

16     if you could finish your answer, you just said:

17             "... when he said this that these prisoners would be all right,

18     that nothing would happen to them, that they would be taken wherever they

19     chose, he turned around and headed towards the vehicles that were --"

20             So if you could continue and, again, my question was if you had

21     any conversation with General Mladic after he had addressed the

22     prisoners?

23        A.   I will continue from where I left off.  General Mladic headed

24     towards the vehicles that were there, his own vehicle and the escort

25     vehicle, and then I asked him -- I was walking next to him and I asked

Page 11940

 1     him, General, what will really happen to these people?  Because I would

 2     like to say it here and now, even then I didn't believe that they would

 3     go whatever they wanted to, and of course today I know -- I didn't

 4     believe it then and of course today I know what happened to them.  He,

 5     General Mladic, smiled, he didn't say anything, he didn't make any

 6     comments, he just made a gesture with his hand, with his arm like this,

 7     and he went into the car and continued on his way.  This is what happened

 8     after he addressed the prisoners and before he left the Konjevic Polje

 9     sector.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  We couldn't see the gesture you were referring to.

11     What was the gesture General Mladic made?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  He made a gesture, he sort of

13     moved his arm and hand from left to right, he smiled, and -- he laughed,

14     and he went into the car and left for Vlasenica.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  For the transcript, the witness approximately at the

16     middle of his body made a movement right hand going from left to right.

17     Please proceed.

18             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

19        Q.   Now, after that conversation with General Mladic, what did you do

20     next?

21        A.   After General Mladic left together with his entourage, I was

22     approached by members of the civilian police.  They came up to me and

23     said that in a facility in Konjevic Polje, as far as I can recall this

24     was a facility that housed members of the 5th Engineering Battalion of

25     the Drina Corps, they told me that they had a very important prisoner

Page 11941

 1     held in that facility.  They told me the name of this person, his name

 2     was Resid Sinanovic, and of course I knew who this prisoner was.

 3        Q.   Very briefly, how did you know who Mr. Resid Sinanovic was?  If

 4     you could just explain how you knew him before the war.

 5        A.   I knew Resid Sinanovic personally.  He lived and worked in

 6     Bratunac, as I did.  He was a bit older than I was but I knew both him

 7     and his entire family.  Before the war, he was a prominent man.  He was a

 8     chief of police, and that is a prominent post in a town.  And in addition

 9     to that, he also worked for a large company in Bratunac called Kaolin.

10     He was one of the directors in the legal department.  But what was so

11     special about him and what was so important about him was the fact that

12     before the war he was the chief of the public security station in

13     Bratunac, and that's why everyone knew him and I knew him, too,

14     privately.

15        Q.   Thank you.  And then what happened?  What did you do with

16     Mr. Sinanovic or did you see Mr. Sinanovic?

17        A.   I took Resid Sinanovic with me.  He was in the vehicle while

18     I was driving to Konjevic Polje, and there was a member of the

19     Bratunac Brigade military police, so he and I, we took over this

20     prisoner, Resid Sinanovic, and took him to the Bratunac Brigade in

21     Bratunac, and the military police, and I personally handed him over to

22     Zlatan Celanovic, who was our lawyer, and he was in charge of questioning

23     prisoners of war, people who escaped or fled from various areas, and

24     people who were subject to questioning.  I must say here, because I've

25     already mentioned that he was an important man, and I want to explain why

Page 11942

 1     it was that I took him over and why he was considered an important

 2     prisoner.  There was indicia that Sinanovic, Resid, had committed some

 3     war crimes during the war.  He was on the MUP lists as one of the war

 4     criminals, and in Bjelovac and in that area where his parents otherwise

 5     lived and he also had a property there were indications that he had

 6     committed a war crime.  So I took him over and handed him over to a

 7     military police organ so that they would establish the truth, whether

 8     there was any evidence for that, and this is why he was taken prisoner

 9     and identified as an important prisoner.

10        Q.   Did Zlatan Celanovic ever tell you the results of his

11     interrogation or conversation with Resid Sinanovic?

12        A.   On every occasion, including this time, Zlatan Celanovic told, or

13     rather, submitted reports to the commander and to me as well on the

14     questioning of each and every prisoner.  Celanovic also told me in

15     person, perhaps on that same day in the afternoon or on the following

16     day, that during the questioning and by comparing all the reports that he

17     had received previously from the prisoners from Srebrenica, that there

18     were no grounds for this and that in his view there was -- there were no

19     grounds for submitting any criminal report against Resid Sinanovic.

20        Q.   All right.  And briefly, if you know, can you tell us what

21     happened to Mr. Sinanovic following his interrogation by Mr. Celanovic?

22        A.   I will tell you only what Mr. Celanovic told me.  After the

23     question -- after the interrogation, and after he was visited by some

24     friends and acquaintances, Serbs who had worked with him together with

25     Mr. Sinanovic, he moved him to the Vuk Karadzic elementary school on his

Page 11943

 1     own initiative, and kept him there with the other prisoners who had

 2     already been there.

 3        Q.   And then very briefly, if you can very briefly, if you know, what

 4     was Mr. -- what happened to Mr. Sinanovic after being taken to the

 5     Vuk Karadzic school?

 6        A.   Together with the other prisoners, on the 14th of July, in the

 7     morning, he was transferred to the area of responsibility of the

 8     Zvornik Brigade, and according to what I learned and the information that

 9     I have, Resid Sinanovic was executed together with the other prisoners

10     who had been taken to Zvornik.  He wasn't killed, he was injured.  He had

11     severe injuries, and injured as he was he swam across the river and got

12     into Serbia in Banja Koviljaca.  In other words he moved, he swam across

13     the river from Bosnia into Serbia and found himself in Banja Koviljaca.

14     People recognised him there because he frequently travelled that -- along

15     that route, and he frequently went to a cafe there.  So people recognised

16     him and they transferred him to a hospital.  He stayed in the hospital

17     for a while, he was then transferred to Loznica, and he was recognised in

18     this hospital by a doctor, a neighbour of his who lived in the same

19     building before the war where he did.  They lived on the same floor in an

20     apartment building.  She informed the Bratunac MUP.  And now I just

21     assume based on the information that I have that the Bratunac MUP

22     informed the Zvornik police who took him over, they took him out of the

23     hospital, and Resid Sinanovic was liquidated on the bridge on the

24     Drina River somewhere in the sector of Zvornik on the way from Serbia to

25     Bosnia, the bridge spanning the two republics.  And just to provide all

Page 11944

 1     the information, I have to say that my Defence counsel researched all the

 2     documents from the hospital and the events surrounding this case, and

 3     they handed over these documents to the OTP before my first trial here.

 4     In other words, all the documents that dealt with his transfer to the

 5     hospital, his stay in the hospital, his medical records there and

 6     everything else to do with that.  Now, the information that I'm now

 7     providing and what I'm saying here is that this doctor from Bratunac

 8     informed the police, and this information I learned from my Defence

 9     counsel, Londrovic and Kirsch, after they had done this investigation.

10        Q.   Thank you.  Now, moving on, did you make another journey down the

11     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road later that same day, 13 July?

12        A.   Yes.  I did go one more time.

13        Q.   Let me stop you and just ask, can you tell us who you went with

14     and what vehicle you went in?

15        A.   I went the same day in the afternoon with the commander of the

16     military police, Mirko Jankovic, and the deputy commander of the

17     Bratunac Brigade military police, Milo Petrovic, and we went in an APC of

18     the UNPROFOR, or rather, of the DutchBat, because during that day and

19     earlier in the Bratunac Brigade we did have a few APCs available to us.

20        Q.   Okay.  And can you just tell us where you went down that road and

21     if you had any contacts with Muslim men that day as you went down the

22     road?

23        A.   We went along the same route as the first day, the

24     Bratunac-Kravica-Sandici-Pervani-Lolici-Konjevic Polje route.  And if I

25     can remember, after we passed Pervani or Lolici we caught up with a group

Page 11945

 1     of six Muslim men, then - this was the second time that I went along this

 2     road - there were already -- there were already many men who had

 3     surrendered or were captured, starting from Sandici all the way to

 4     Konjevic Polje.

 5        Q.   Now, did that -- thank you.  Did the APC have a loud speaker

 6     system and if it did was it used during this trip?

 7        A.   Yes.  All the APCs including the one that we used had a megaphone

 8     as part of its equipment.  Mile Petrovic from Sandici, when we got to

 9     Sandici, from time to time used the megaphone calling on the Muslims to

10     surrender.

11        Q.   Thank you.  Now, a moment ago you said that you - and by you,

12     I mean you and Mirko Jankovic and his deputy - caught up to a group of

13     six Muslim men.  What happened next?  If you can just give us a brief

14     chronology of what happened after you met these Muslim men.

15        A.   I will be precise.  The group of Muslims was moving towards

16     Konjevic Polje.  We did not capture them.  We did not take them prisoner.

17     I want to be come completely clear.  We caught up with them.  They were

18     moving freely without anyone being there.  It was not just the case with

19     that particular group.  In that period there were already groups that

20     were moving towards Sandici and the other way around, from Sandici to

21     Konjevic Polje, along the route.  So we stopped our APC and we took them

22     into the APC.  We drove them to Konjevic Polje.  There were six of them.

23     And I -- already by that time in Konjevic Polje the crossroads in some

24     torched houses, there were people who were captured who had already

25     surrendered - I'm talking about Muslims - and I, after the APC stopped,

Page 11946

 1     told Milo Petrovic that that group of Muslims who were in the APC, he

 2     should take them to a group that was in an area of Konjevic Polje.  Mile

 3     did not reply or say anything to me, he simply led the group away.  After

 4     that, I went to the other side of the crossroads in front of a house that

 5     was in the crossroads area, I sat underneath a balcony, there was a fire

 6     burning there, there were five or six men there, Muslims, who had

 7     surrendered.  After a certain period of time, you could hear a burst of

 8     gunfire and then after five, six or ten minutes - I'm speaking

 9     approximately - Mile Petrovic appeared.  He came up to me and he said,

10     Chief, today, I took revenge for my brother.  I looked at him, I said,

11     Mile what have you done?  He said, I killed them all.  And to be honest,

12     I just looked.  I didn't react.  I didn't say anything.  I didn't even

13     know that his brother was killed or that he did this out of revenge.

14     I didn't comment in any way.  I didn't do anything.  I simply accepted

15     that as a fait accompli.

16        Q.   All right.  Now, let me just ask you very simply, do you know a

17     man named Nenad Deronjic?

18        A.   Yes, I do.  Nenad Deronjic is a Bratunac public security station

19     policeman who in that critical period was engaged at the check-point in

20     Konjevic Polje.

21        Q.   Did you see Mr. Nenad Deronjic at the check-point in

22     Konjevic Polje that day, 13 July?

23        A.   I did, yes.

24        Q.   I have the same question about a man named Mirko Peric.  Did you

25     see him there that day?

Page 11947

 1        A.   Yes.  I did.  He is a member of the same public security station

 2     in Bratunac, and he was engaged at the same check-point in the shift that

 3     happened to be on duty at the time.  And for information purposes only,

 4     the check-point in Konjevic Polje was working much earlier before

 5     Srebrenica fell.  It was a check-point manned by the Bratunac police

 6     station, and shifts there were manned by members of that police station.

 7        Q.   Thank you.  I want to move on a bit now to the afternoon-evening

 8     of 13 July 1995, after you returned to Bratunac.  And I want to ask you

 9     if you were instructed to meet with any senior VRS officers that evening,

10     once you got back to Bratunac?

11        A.   That evening, when I came back to Bratunac, after a certain

12     amount of time at the Bratunac Brigade command, I went to dinner or lunch

13     or I don't know what I should call it, I went to the only kitchen that

14     was part of the Bratunac Brigade, and I was informed by the communication

15     centre that I needed to go to the centre of town in Bratunac to meet --

16     or, actually, Colonel Beara summoned me to meet with him.  And as far as

17     I can recall, at about 2000 hours, after I had a little bit to eat,

18     I went -- met with Colonel Beara in the centre of town.  I just wand to

19     explain that, so as to avoid misunderstanding, when I say the centre of

20     town, Bratunac is a very small town, it has one main street, one hotel,

21     one municipal building and a few buildings in that part of the town.  So

22     wherever you go, you always end up in the centre of town.  So I don't

23     want there to be my misunderstanding about that.  I got there, I met

24     Colonel Beara, he was standing near a square and I went up to him and

25     said, Hello.

Page 11948

 1        Q.   Thank you.  And just briefly, for clarity, this is Colonel Beara,

 2     the security officer from the Main Staff?  Is that who we are talking

 3     about?

 4        A.   Yes, it is.

 5        Q.   And had you met Mr. -- or Colonel Beara before in the course of

 6     your duties, without getting into why or how?  But was this the first

 7     time you met him or had you met him before?

 8        A.   No, this was not the first time.  I know Colonel Beara

 9     personally.  I knew him.  I mean I'm talking about that date.  We met

10     several times before this particular meeting.

11        Q.   Thank you.  You said he summonsed you.  What happened when you

12     met him?  Did he give you any instructions or orders, or what was he

13     calling you to meet with him for?

14        A.   Colonel Beara told me that I need to go to the Zvornik Brigade,

15     that I need to find Drago Nikolic, the security chief of the

16     Zvornik Brigade, and to convey to him personally his order.

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness repeat the last few words.

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I'm talking about, well, this

19     is one type of order.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Not all your words were caught by the

21     interpreters.  Could you resume from where you said that you needed to

22     find Drago Nikolic, the security chief of the Zvornik Brigade, and to

23     convey to him personally his order.  And what did you then say, his

24     order?

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this is more or less

Page 11949

 1     everything that I said.  I said that I nevertheless considered that to be

 2     an order, because this was intelligence-security that was involved.  It

 3     is understood that the security organs do not issue orders to each other,

 4     but this was along the professional line of engagement of the security

 5     organ, so I say that as far as I'm concerned, that was still an order

 6     that I believed that I should and must carry out.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  And what was the content of it?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The content of the order was that

 9     I should go to Zvornik, to the Zvornik Brigade, find Drago Nikolic and

10     convey to him the order that all prisoners that happened to be in

11     Bratunac at that time and who were being brought to Bratunac would be

12     transferred to the area of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade and that

13     Drago Nikolic down there should prepare the area, the people, and receive

14     those prisoners.

15             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16        Q.   And what did -- did Colonel Beara tell you what would happen to

17     the prisoners after they arrived in Zvornik?

18        A.   Colonel Beara told me that the Muslim prisoners that were being

19     transferred to Zvornik would be temporarily detained in that area and

20     that after that they would be executed.

21        Q.   And then what happened next?  Did you -- did you obey this order?

22     Did you go to Zvornik?

23        A.   Yes.  I went to Zvornik, and I came to the Zvornik Brigade HQ.

24     I reported at the reception.  One of the soldiers who was working there

25     assigned a soldier or a military policeman, I don't know which one,

Page 11950

 1     I think it was a military policeman, to escort me to a room in the

 2     Zvornik Brigade HQ.  I was received in that room by an officer.  I assume

 3     that that was the duty operations room and that was the duty operations

 4     officer, and he asked me why I was there.  I told him that I was there to

 5     convey directly to Drago Nikolic an order from Colonel Beara.  After

 6     I told him that, he called -- actually he sent a policeman and called one

 7     of the officers who came to that same room, and asked me if he could help

 8     me in the matter.  I said that my order was explicitly to convey the

 9     order directly to Drago Nikolic.  After that they told me that

10     Drago Nikolic was not at the Zvornik Brigade HQ, that he was at the

11     Forward Command Post and they sent me, since I insisted on seeing

12     Drago Nikolic, then -- I apologise, really.

13             They assigned an officer to escort me and I went to the

14     Forward Command Post.  I found Drago Nikolic and I conveyed the order

15     issued to me by Colonel Beara.

16             Other than what I just said, I also told Drago Nikolic what

17     I already knew.  We spoke for some five to seven minutes, not longer, and

18     I told Drago that I had information that people who were arriving would

19     be billeted first in Zvornik and then that they would be killed.  Drago

20     did not comment.  He said that he would report -- report or inform his

21     command about it and then they would see what they would do.  After that,

22     I took the same route back with the police officer to the Zvornik Brigade

23     HQ, the policeman stayed there and I continued back to Bratunac to my own

24     brigade.

25        Q.   Thank you.  On the way back to Bratunac from Zvornik, did you see

Page 11951

 1     any buses travelling towards Zvornik or did you learn of any buses,

 2     become aware of buses travelling towards Zvornik at that time?

 3        A.   On my way back to Bratunac, I met or I encountered a few buses

 4     going in the direction of Zvornik.  After I came to the Bratunac Brigade,

 5     I was informed by the military police and the military police commander

 6     that the check-point at the Drina bridge by a different road, an old road

 7     along the river Drina, in the evening hours some buses left through that

 8     check-point, they said there were some five or six buses that left in

 9     that direction.

10        Q.   And do you know who were -- who was being transported on those

11     buses, what kind of people?

12        A.   People were transferred who had been captured along the

13     Sandici-Konjevic Polje-Nova Kasaba-Milici road and who had already been

14     transferred to Bratunac.  They were in the buses, they were escorted in

15     the buses, and as such were transferred towards Zvornik.

16        Q.   Thank you.  Now, once you returned to Bratunac, did you make any

17     report to Mr. Beara or did you talk to him again about your -- that you

18     had carried out his order?

19        A.   Yes.  I returned to Bratunac that night, at about midnight.

20     I went to the Fontana.  I found Colonel Beara and reported to him that I

21     had carried out his order.

22        Q.   And then what happened?  What did you do next?

23        A.   After that, Colonel Beara asked me to take him to the SDS

24     president, Miroslav Deronjic, to his office.  And of course,

25     Colonel Beara and I went to the SDS office.

Page 11952

 1        Q.   And who was there?  Was Mr. Deronjic there?

 2        A.   When Colonel Beara and I came to the SDS office, Colonel Beara

 3     was there as well as Colonel Dragomir Vasic, the chief of the Zvornik

 4     centre.

 5        Q.   And then what happened?  If you could just tell us what you

 6     remember happening next?

 7        A.   First, they had an argument at the very beginning, Colonel Beara

 8     and Miroslav Deronjic.  They were both shouting.  Miroslav Deronjic

 9     requested that all prisoners leave Bratunac, and I'm going to say

10     something here which I know is absurd but I want to tell the

11     Trial Chamber exactly what happened.  At that point in time, since there

12     was general chaos, a situation that could not be controlled absolutely,

13     it was beyond any control, if we are talking about the situation in

14     Bratunac, there was a lot of buses, there were a lot of trucks in

15     Bratunac, there was no street in Bratunac without buses, trucks and

16     captured Muslims.  The reason why I went to Zvornik when Colonel Beara

17     told me to go there was that those Muslims would be transferred to

18     Zvornik.  Then at that meeting, he insisted that the Muslims remain in

19     Bratunac.  So then things were not clear to me either.  Deronjic was very

20     strongly opposed to that, and he said to him that he did not want the

21     Muslims to be in Bratunac and that he did not want the killing to be

22     carried out in Bratunac.  For the Trial Chamber I would like to state

23     this here.  Then on the 20th -- no, actually, on the 13th in the evening

24     at 12.00 midnight - actually it was already the 14th because it was after

25     midnight - there was absolutely no further question regarding the fate of

Page 11953

 1     those Muslims.  It was known that they would be killed.  The question and

 2     the discussion was solely about whether they would be killed in Bratunac

 3     or transferred to Zvornik and killed there.  And this is what I heard and

 4     saw with my own ears and eyes.  So both of them in that argument cited

 5     instructions that they had received from their chiefs.  Miroslav Deronjic

 6     directly said, I received an order from President Karadzic that they

 7     should all go to Zvornik.  Beara said, I received an order from my boss

 8     that they should stay here in Bratunac.  And that was the argument, the

 9     quarrel, between the two of them about who received what sort of

10     instruction from their bosses.  Of course, I don't know what instructions

11     they received but I'm just telling you what I heard and what I saw.

12        Q.   Now, did you speak at this meeting?  Did you take part yourself?

13        A.   No.  I did not take part in the argument about the status of the

14     prisoners, and so on and so forth.  As far as I can remember,

15     Colonel Vasic also did not take part in the discussion.  This was an

16     argument between Deronjic and Beara.  When they finished with that part,

17     then at that same meeting they discussed -- they talked normally.  Once

18     the argument was over, Miroslav Deronjic sat down.  They took out little

19     glasses and he poured himself and Beara something.  They drank that.  I

20     don't know what it was but they drank it.  And then after that they

21     discussed what needed to be done that night in order to secure Bratunac

22     because it was in absolute chaos.  It was ordered to engage the civilian

23     police, the military police, and also to use loudspeakers during the

24     night so that the Bratunac Brigade military police and the Bratunac

25     civilian police in a military vehicle with a loudspeaker drove around the

Page 11954

 1     inner area of Bratunac calling on all those armed and civilians who had

 2     weapons to come out and to provide those who had come to Bratunac that

 3     night, they were arriving from Kasaba, there was a large number of buses

 4     from Konjevic Polje, trucks, a large number of prisoners, so it was

 5     really general chaos.  Chaos prevailed.

 6             MR. NICHOLLS:  Your Honours, do we go to 10.35 or break now?

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, it's 10.28.  We will have a break in two

 8     minutes, but if you think that you should not start a new subject then we

 9     could take the break now.

10             MR. NICHOLLS:  If we have two minutes, I'll continue.

11        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, you said earlier they referred to their chiefs.  Who

12     was -- in your understanding, who was Mr. Beara referring to when he

13     spoke about his boss's instructions that the prisoners should remain in

14     Bratunac?

15        A.   I can say that all of us officers, including myself, I also

16     referred to General Mladic as chief or the boss.  Everybody did that.

17     And as far as us officers, he was the only boss, the only chief.  So I

18     think that there is no dilemma that he was thinking of General Mladic,

19     that is how we all referred to him, including Mr. Beara.

20             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  We will take a break, but could first the witness be

22     escorted out of the courtroom.

23                           [The witness stands down]

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Are you on schedule?

25             MR. NICHOLLS:  I believe I am, Your Honour.  I think I can make

Page 11955

 1     my time or if I do not, I will be begging for just a little bit more, not

 2     too much more.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Try to stay within your own time estimates.  We will

 4     take a break and we will resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.

 5                           --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

 6                           --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

 8             Yes, Mr. Groome?

 9             MR. GROOME:  Your Honours, while that is being done Ms. Lindsay

10     asked me to inform the Chamber that if at all possible she would like to

11     return to the United States on Thursday some time.  There is a medical

12     hearing tomorrow.  Could I ask that the Chamber keep that in mind when it

13     schedules the amount of time for the medical hearing tomorrow.  Thank

14     you.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, of course we are not fully in control,

16     Ms. Lindsay, by the way I should have put on the record that you were

17     presents again as you were last week, Thursday, I think it was.

18             We will keep it in mind, but as you will also understand that we

19     are not in full control.  At the same time I think that matters until now

20     have not caused great concerns.  So at least I have not heard of them.

21                           [The witness takes the stand]

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Nicholls, if you're ready you may proceed.

23             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

24        Q.   All right.  Mr. Nikolic, just moving along, I'm going to ask you

25     some questions now about the 14th of July, 1995.

Page 11956

 1             We just discussed the meeting.  What happened to the prisoners,

 2     the Muslim men, who were being had held in Bratunac on the

 3     14th of July 1995?  Did they stay in Bratunac or were they transported

 4     somewhere else?

 5        A.   All the prisoners who were in Bratunac on 14 July, either at the

 6     detention facilities or on buses and trucks, were moved as part of a

 7     convoy in the morning of -- on the 14th, to the area of responsibility of

 8     the Zvornik Brigade.

 9        Q.   If you know, could you tell us which units or bodies served as

10     escorts for the convoy of prisoners to Zvornik?

11        A.   I hope I can be very precise when you ask -- in answering this.

12     Those structures that provided security in some of the facilities, and

13     they were predominantly the police, either civilian or military, so the

14     same structures that provided security for these facilities, they also

15     escorted the convoy.  The escorts of the buses and trucks where the

16     prisoners, Muslim prisoners had been kept overnight, the escorts that

17     were on the buses and the trucks, they also provided security for the

18     convoy.  So I also have to tell you that as part of the security of this

19     transport, there were various units of the civilian police, the security

20     station in Bratunac, members of the special brigade of the MUP of

21     Republika Srpska even, and finally, when all other resources had been

22     used, there were also civilians who participated in escorting these buses

23     and trucks.  They were armed and they went as escorts of these buses or

24     trucks in civilian clothes.  And they assisted either the military or the

25     civilian police as part of the security detail of these convoys.  So most

Page 11957

 1     generally speaking, these were the kind of people who participated in

 2     providing security of the convoys.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  Let me show you a document.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  If I could have D00285, English page 14, Serbian

 5     page 17.

 6        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, while this is coming up this is the Bratunac Brigade

 7     military police daily log and I want to show you one entry.  So we can

 8     see an entry now that says, "Daily report 14/15 July 1995," and it says,

 9     "The police was engaged in the escort of Muslim refugees."  Can you just

10     tell us, if you know, what this military police log entry refers to?

11        A.   As far as I can remember, this is a daily logbook of the military

12     police, and in those daily reports usually you would note the daily

13     employment of members of the military police platoon of the brigade, and

14     then of course here I see that they were engaged in the escort of Muslim

15     refugees, the date is the 14th, and this cannot be a reference to

16     anything else because on that day, whoever was available was engaged on

17     this particular task.

18        Q.   And when you say anything else, and on that date, just to be

19     clear, is that the transport of the prisoners in the convoy to Zvornik?

20        A.   Yes.  I'm referring exclusively and only to those men, because

21     there was no other transport other than this convoy, at least I can't

22     recall that there was any such thing.

23        Q.   Thank you.  I'm going to move on now a little bit to another

24     topic, and that is -- concerns the local staff, in other words Muslim

25     employees of humanitarian organisations and international organisations

Page 11958

 1     in the enclave.  And I'd like to show you 65 ter 04242.  While it's

 2     coming up I'll just read that this is from the Bratunac Brigade intel

 3     organs.  The date is 18 July 1995.  And it's got your name at the bottom.

 4     Do you remember this document, sir?

 5        A.   Yes, I do.

 6        Q.   And what I want to focus on - your copy is a bit blurry - the

 7     last portion, which states:

 8             "Will you please tell me what stand to take in terms of

 9     authorisation for evacuation of the international organisation

10     Medecins Sans Frontieres?  In fact, how to deal with so-called local

11     staff.  This also applies to the interpreters of military monitors and

12     UNPROFOR.  RDB," which CLSS says -- said is regional state security,

13     "passed on to us an opinion that President Karadzic had allegedly

14     abolished all local staff who used to work for UNPROFOR.  It is our

15     opinion that they should not be hold -- or held."  So can you just tell

16     us briefly what's going on here?  What does this paragraph refer to about

17     the president saying -- conveying that local staff should be "abolished,"

18     as it says in our version?

19        A.   I hope it is clear what we -- what is meant by local staff.  As

20     for this, simply put, in my language, abolition means, in fact, freeing

21     or releasing someone from responsibility, and if I understand this

22     properly, if that is what he meant, that they should be considered free

23     of any responsibility, there was no need to release them or anything

24     similar because all the local staff, the employees who worked at these

25     international organisations, including UNPROFOR, the military monitors,

Page 11959

 1     and other international organisations that were in Srebrenica, who had

 2     Muslim local staff, these people had not committed anything that would

 3     have been considered a crime that would then call for an abolition.  So

 4     it is -- it was our opinion, and you can see there in the last paragraph,

 5     that they should not be held.  That was my position and the position of

 6     the officer who was in my office, Colonel Jankovic, and we considered

 7     that all those who were employed and who worked there should leave,

 8     together with their employers, on the convoys that were leaving Potocari,

 9     in other words to leave the enclave and go wherever they chose.

10             MR. NICHOLLS:  Could I see the next page of the Serbian or B/C/S,

11     please?  Sorry, and then the next page?

12        Q.   Now, there is also a handwritten version of this document.  Can

13     you tell us whose handwriting that is, if you know, and why there is a

14     handwritten version and also a typed version, if you can explain that?

15        A.   Yes.  I see this document before me.  This is not my handwriting.

16     In other words, I did not author this.  And this is an illustration of

17     the situation which I mentioned on the first day of my evidence here.

18     During this critical period, in other words throughout the activities in

19     the area of responsibility of my brigade, Colonel Radislav Jankovic from

20     the Main Staff was assigned to my office, and just in order to clarify

21     why he was the one who wrote these things, whereas in the typewritten

22     form there is my signature as the author of the document, the reason for

23     this is the following:  This was the regular procedure when reports were

24     sent to superior commands; in other words, the report is written out by

25     hand, then it is taken to the communication centre where this handwritten

Page 11960

 1     text would be typed and sent off, and the operative who had typed it up

 2     would return it to the original source, in other words to me, both the

 3     original handwritten text and the typewritten text.  So both

 4     Colonel Jankovic and I had drafted this report.  I had -- I took it to

 5     the communication centre to be retyped and sent, and of course the

 6     operative -- the operations officer there - he knew me because we were in

 7     daily contact - he typed it up and then sent it to me for signature.  So

 8     we can see from the original that this was written by Colonel Jankovic

 9     and me, but in the typewritten text we see that the duty operations

10     officer when retyping it, when typing it up, he put my name down and

11     brought it to me for signature.  But the content and everything is the

12     same.

13        Q.   Thank you.

14             MR. NICHOLLS:  And could we just go to the next page in the

15     Serbian, please?

16        Q.   Do you know what that little R or the little sort of initials are

17     on the bottom left, sir?

18        A.   Well, this is just what I was telling you about.  You can see

19     that Radislav Jankovic initialled this.  He was the officer from the

20     Main Staff that I mentioned earlier.

21             MR. NICHOLLS:  May I tender this document, Your Honours?

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar?

23             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 04242 receives number P1515,

24     Your Honours.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

Page 11961

 1             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.

 2        Q.   I'm almost at the end, Mr. Nikolic.  What I want to ask you about

 3     now is what you can tell us about any operation to rebury the bodies of

 4     Muslim men who had been executed after the fall of Srebrenica, and I'm

 5     specifically talking about men who had been buried in Bratunac

 6     municipality.

 7        A.   I know a lot about this issue.  The only question is what it is

 8     that you want to hear.  What is it that you would like me to answer?  I

 9     know everything, how it transpired from the very beginning through the

10     end of the operation.

11        Q.   Okay.  In that case, let me ask you first when you learned about

12     this operation and who you learned it -- whom you learned it from, who

13     gave the order for this operation?

14        A.   Sometime in September, Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic came to

15     the command of my Bratunac Brigade.  He was the chief of security in the

16     Drina Corps.  And he conveyed to my commander, and then to me, an order

17     to the effect that there was a decision by the Main Staff that the graves

18     from Glogova should be moved to the Srebrenica area.

19        Q.   And do you know the people, the bodies in the graves in Glogova,

20     where were they -- when had they been buried there, the ones that were to

21     be moved?

22        A.   What I know is this:  All those people who were killed in Kravica

23     and all the people who were killed on those critical days on the

24     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road and in the area of the Bratunac and

25     Srebrenica municipalities were transported and buried in two mass graves

Page 11962

 1     near Glogova, in a village near -- within the Bratunac municipality.

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter requests that the witness

 3     repeat the names because it's not certain that they are correct.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Witness, you said "... in a village near...," and

 5     what did you then say?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Glogova village which

 7     belongs to the Bratunac municipality; in other words, it is on the

 8     territory of the Bratunac municipality.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  I read literally from the transcript and see

10     whether we have now everything.  You said that those who were killed

11     "were transported and buried in two mass graves near Glogova, in a

12     village near --" and did you then again want to say Glogova, or did

13     you in second instance mention another name where you continued by saying

14     within the Bratunac municipality?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that they were buried and I

16     believe I'm not getting the right interpretation, so they were buried in

17     Glogova village, not near Glogova.  They were buried in Glogova in two

18     mass graves, and then I said that Glogova village was in

19     Bratunac municipality.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.  Please proceed.

21             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

22        Q.   Now, can you tell us --

23             JUDGE ORIE:  You asked for a little bit more.  We are now at

24     20 minutes.  Could you please try to wind up as soon as possible?

25             MR. NICHOLLS:  I think, Your Honour, I have another -- if I'm not

Page 11963

 1     wrong, I have until quarter until, unless I'm wrong.  I thought I had

 2     45 minutes this session to be within my time frame.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Then I made a mistake.  Apologies for that.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.  Thank you, Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  You're right.  I see that I was thinking of

 6     75 minutes whereas it is 105 minutes.  Apologies.

 7             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 8        Q.   Now then can you just -- and this is a compound question, but

 9     I think you can deal with it.  Can you tell us if this operation to

10     relocate the bodies was carried out, and if it was, which organs, units

11     or personnel, carried it out?  In other words, did it happen, and if

12     these bodies were moved, who took part in that process?

13        A.   Yes.  The operation was carried out.  And I will try now to

14     mention all the names of the ones who participated in the operation.  The

15     initiative came from the civilian authorities, and after this initiative,

16     Popovic told us that the decision had been taken to move the bodies from

17     those two graves in Glogova to the Srebrenica municipality territory.  In

18     this operation, the Bratunac Brigade participated, specifically the

19     military police which provided security on the road, and redirected the

20     traffic during the operation itself to other routes.  The same task was

21     assigned to the civilian police from Bratunac, in other words the public

22     security station there.  Then in addition to these units, the civilian

23     and the military police, the 5th Engineering Battalion participated in

24     this operation as well which is part of the Drina Corps.  In the planning

25     and organisation of this entire operation, there were also -- and in

Page 11964

 1     providing and securing the equipment, the earth-moving machines, there

 2     were the executive authorities of the Bratunac municipality, the

 3     president of the municipality, of the assembly, and the chairman of the

 4     SDS.  The president of the Executive Council's task was to provide

 5     logistical support from those companies that had construction machines,

 6     the ULTs, the diggers and other machines that were used in this

 7     operation.  The companies that participated in this were the utilities

 8     company, the public utilities company in Bratunac.

 9             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the next company

10     name.

11             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then the companies from the

12     Srebrenica municipality, in other words the Sase mine and their machines,

13     the transport company from Srebrenica and their trucks, and the

14     construction company Radnik and their construction -- their earth moving

15     machines.  I believe these were the ULT or U-L-T machines.  I think

16     I haven't omitted anyone.  These were the participants in this operation

17     of the movement, transfer and reburial of the bodies from the Glogova

18     graves to Srebrenica.  I have to say that at the very outset this

19     operation was supposed to be a covert operation and there were attempts

20     to organise it as such.  However, in view of the number of parties that

21     took part in this operation, and the length of the operation itself, I

22     believe it took about two months, with gaps in between.  There were many

23     parties that took part in it, many people who took part, so that a few

24     days later, it was no longer covert.  Everyone knew what it was all

25     about.  I believe it's also important to mention that we received the

Page 11965

 1     fuel for this operation, in other words the Bratunac Brigade received the

 2     fuel from the Drina Corps command from their logistical service, and on

 3     two occasions, the first time five tonnes and the second time two tonnes

 4     of fuel, I believe, and it was ordered that the expenditure of the fuel

 5     should be monitored by the organs and provide reports on how it had been

 6     dealt with for this entire operation.  We proceeded according to the

 7     order, and as a security organ I briefed my commander on a daily basis

 8     either orally or when we met, but certainly during the regular daily

 9     briefing meetings.  This would be in brief about this operation.

10        Q.   Thank you for that answer.  Could I have 65 ter 04204A, please?

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I ask the witness to tell us the second

12     company you mentioned, because the interpreters didn't catch everything

13     because of the high speed of your telling us, you said the companies that

14     participated in this were the public utilities company in Bratunac.  And

15     the interpreters didn't get the next name.  Do you remember that?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, of course.  It's the

17     Rad [phoen] Bratunac utility company.

18             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you for that clarification.

19             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

20        Q.   Just from the cover page, Mr. Nikolic, do you recognise this

21     document which we have, reports of meetings of the

22     1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade in our translation?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   Could I go to page 2 of this excerpt, please?  Now, this is dated

25     16 October 1995.  It's headed, "Working meeting of commander and command

Page 11966

 1     staff and battalion commanders."  I just want to focus on the part on the

 2     bottom which is by your name, and, in fact, on the last point:

 3             "We are currently engaged in tasks issued by the

 4     Army of Republika Srpska Main Staff (hygiene and sanitation measures.)"

 5             And it says in the Serbian "asanacija" in those parentheses.  Can

 6     you just tell us what this -- well, if you remember making this

 7     contribution to the meeting and what it was about?  What does that refer

 8     to?

 9        A.   Yes.  These are minutes from the meeting at the Bratunac Brigade

10     command, Nikolic in the minutes is me, and the sentence that you read is

11     what I was talking about before.  I informed the commander that we were

12     working on duties from the VRS Main Staff.  My operation was being

13     conducted under the name "asanacija."

14        Q.   Okay, so just to be very clear, when you say what I was talking

15     about before, is that the reburial operation?

16        A.   Yes, yes.  This is the operation that I mean.

17             MR. NICHOLLS:  May I tender this document?

18             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the last few words

19     the witness said.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness repeat the last few words of his

21     answer?

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  Maybe I should just ask the question again,

23     Your Honour, would that be simpler?

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, it's not clear to me on the basis of the

25     transcript that there was anything following, but apparently there was.

Page 11967

 1             MR. NICHOLLS:  I didn't see it either.

 2        Q.   I'll ask the question again, Mr. Nikolic, sorry.  When you

 3     said -- the operation you were talking about before, does this entry for

 4     the meeting on 16 October 1995 we just discussed at the bottom,

 5     "asanacija," does that refer to the reburial operation we just discussed?

 6        A.   Yes.  It does refer to that, yes.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

 8             Madam Registrar.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 04204A receives number P1516,

10     Your Honours.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.  Before we decide on

12     admission, Mr. Nicholls, the cover page says reports, meetings.  Is this

13     an extract from a larger set of documents?

14             MR. NICHOLLS:  It is, Your Honours.  I understood that the

15     procedure was to make an extract.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Then I have one small other question.  There

17     is some handwriting on the cover page in the original which is not

18     translated.  Now, it seems to me that it's a note about where the

19     document has been found and when it has been found.  If that is what it

20     is, and if the Defence does not object, then we could leave it like that.

21     Is that what it is?

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  To be honest, I hadn't noticed, Your Honour.

23     Thank you.  I think you're correct, that does look like a post-it,

24     actually, to me that got photocopied on there.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, any problems to have it admitted

Page 11968

 1     without this specific part which is not a part of the original document

 2     being translated?

 3             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The Defence does not have any

 4     problems.

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter notes:  We did not hear what

 6     the Defence counsel said.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Not everything was heard by the interpreters,

 8     Mr. Petrusic.  You said the Defence does not have any problems and it to

 9     be admitted in this --

10             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No objection, Your Honour.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Then P1516 is admitted into evidence.  Please

12     proceed.

13             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you, Your Honours.  Thank you to my friend.

14        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, that's basically all the questions I have at this

15     time about these events.  I would like to ask you how you feel about

16     having participated in these events and if there is anything you would

17     like to say.

18        A.   Yes.  I use the opportunity every time, and I would like to do it

19     this time as well, to apologise to all the victims.  I would like to

20     apologise to all the families who survived this horrendous crime.

21     I would like to say that I'm very sorry and that I feel terrible, and

22     I would like to say that I made a mistake that when I became aware that

23     crimes would take place, that I did not pick up and run away and leave,

24     because I did assist individually in this operation.  I did help certain

25     Muslims, some families, and they survived, thank God, but I think that

Page 11969

 1     that was not enough, and I'm very sorry that in carrying out my orders

 2     I participated in the crime.

 3             MR. NICHOLLS:  Thank you.  I have no further questions at this

 4     time, Your Honours.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.

 6             I have one additional question for you.  This whole reburial

 7     operation could you tell us, do you know, what the thoughts behind it

 8     were?  Why was it done?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know for sure is that that's

10     the only reason this was done, because allegedly it was done to conceal

11     the crime and to distribute this all over the area belonging to

12     Srebrenica, thus the main objective in my opinion is concealment of the

13     crime.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  And do I have to understand it in such a way that

15     bringing the bodies closer to where combat may have taken place, that it

16     would be easier to explain that there were combat casualties which might

17     be more difficult to explain if the bodies were found at a larger

18     distance from where combat activities may have taken place during the

19     takeover?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think, Your Honours, that the

21     places where the remains were buried and transferred from the Glogova

22     area, the position has no major significance because the places where

23     they were buried, there were no positions there, nor was fighting

24     conducted there.  In view of a large number of these secondary graves

25     that were dug in the Srebrenica area, with the bodies being transferred

Page 11970

 1     there, I think that the transfer, now, you could not justify anything

 2     with it or bring into doubt the fact that a crime was carried out.  From

 3     what I understand, it would not be possible to use that to justify it or

 4     to look for an excuse, and that in this way there was a desire to present

 5     those victims as victims of military combat.  This is the first thing

 6     that occurs to me now, but I think the main reason is that the transfer

 7     and concealment of the crime is the reason because a large number of

 8     those killed were buried in these graves.  I don't know if this assists

 9     you in any way but this is what occurs to me now.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.  I have one other question for you.

11     I read part of one of your answers and it's about the local Muslim staff.

12     You said:

13             "These people had not committed anything that would have been

14     considered a crime that would then call for an abolition."

15             I do understand that we are talking about local staff being

16     employed by the international organisations.  What was the -- I see

17     you're nodding yes.  If you say that would then call for an abolition,

18     I mean what would anyone have to do with relieving from their duties

19     apart from those international organisations themselves?  What had the

20     people meeting to do with whether they would be relieved from their

21     duties in the context of their employment?  That's what I do not

22     understand.

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if I have the correct

24     interpretation, I think -- well, I will try very briefly to clarify

25     things.  It's like this:  This was local staff, these were people,

Page 11971

 1     Muslims, from Srebrenica who spent all of their time working for the

 2     needs of international organisations, including DutchBat, and when all

 3     the Muslims, all the civilians, all those who came to Potocari, when they

 4     were transferred or were separated, so when there was nobody in Potocari

 5     any more except for DutchBat members and international organisations that

 6     stayed and that were waiting to leave last, there were Muslims among them

 7     who were members or, rather, citizens of the Srebrenica municipality who

 8     worked for them, and of course, as people who had nothing to do with

 9     combat activities, were not members of war units, and that there was no

10     suspicion that they had done anything except for the fact that they were

11     employed by the international organisations who were there, this is what

12     I was thinking of.  There was no need for any of them to be pardoned

13     because they didn't do anything.  They were working, they were not

14     soldiers, they did not commit any crimes and, as such, now they were

15     supposed to leave the enclave together with the employees that they were

16     working for.  Had it not been like that, had there been a decision for

17     them to keep them, to separate them, from their employers, then they

18     would have ended up in the same position as those who had been

19     transferred to the school, Vuk Karadzic, transferred to Zvornik and

20     subsequently killed.  So to me, that is the main point.  They stayed

21     there, they remained, because they were employed at their employers and

22     they left in a convoy together with them, and then after that according

23     to the information that I have they went to different countries where

24     they wanted to go.  But I assert, in any event, that there was no need

25     for any kind of amnesty or pardon because they didn't do anything.  And

Page 11972

 1     this is how I understand that matter.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Now do you know whether that happened, you

 3     referred to them leaving and ending up in different countries, did all

 4     the local staff -- was treated in such a way that they were free to go

 5     and/or were some or some of them also treated like the other able-bodied

 6     men who were often taken, brought to various places?  Do you know whether

 7     they, the local staff, was in that respect privileged?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, I know of only

 9     one case of Mr. Nuhanovic and his family, that participated in

10     negotiations at the Fontana Hotel.  And later, in view of the fact that I

11     know his son and that I know the entire situation, later they did not

12     want to keep Nuhanovic and protect him.  He left in a convoy or was

13     separated, I really don't know precisely what happened, but according to

14     information that I had, based on what Colonel Jankovic told me, because

15     he was in charge of all of these contacts and decisions, I know that all

16     of those who happened to be there on the last day when DutchBat was

17     leaving the Srebrenica enclave or Potocari, they went together in that

18     convoy with the DutchBat, as part of that convoy.  This is what I know

19     and this is what Colonel Jankovic conveyed to me after the last soldier

20     left Potocari.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  So you say the position of Mr. Nuhanovic was

22     exceptional compared to other local staff employed by the international

23     organisations?

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not his situation but that of

25     his brother and his father, because he was an interpreter, he asked for

Page 11973

 1     his father and his brother, I'm not sure who exactly, that they be

 2     protected and that they stay there.  But this was not permitted,

 3     according to the information that I have, so I don't know how they ended

 4     up.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  I intended to refer to his family members but thank

 6     you for those answers.

 7             Mr. Petrusic, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?

 8             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  One more question for the witness, so if you

10     could --

11             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Oh, excuse me, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Nikolic, when Mr. Prosecutor asked you about

13     questions about local staff you talked about Karadzic having said they

14     must be abolished, and Judge Orie asks to you clarify this point you are

15     talking about, they did nothing that needed a pardon.  I'm not quite sure

16     I understand what the meaning of abolition means in the answer that you

17     gave previously.  Are you able to tell us what abolition meant in that

18     context?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I personally didn't

20     mean anything.  I was just interpreting what was written in the report.

21     Information came from the RDB, the State Security Service, that allegedly

22     Karadzic "abolirati," pardoned the local population.  I was just

23     interpreting what this means, "abolicija."  What does it mean to amnesty

24     or pardon someone?  The person subject to the abolition, and I'm speaking

25     about practice in my country, means that you had to have committed some

Page 11974

 1     criminal act in order to be pardoned.  Simply speaking in my language,

 2     for somebody to forgive you for that crime.  But what I meant was that

 3     there was nothing to forgive because they didn't do anything wrong.  This

 4     is what I was explaining, Your Honour.

 5             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Thank you.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  This really clarifies the word used, I think, a lot

 7     for the Judges.  Mr. Petrusic, if you're ready you can start your

 8     cross-examining.

 9             Mr. Nikolic you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Petrusic.

10     Mr. Petrusic is a member of the Defence team of Mr. Mladic.

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the counsel be asked to speak into the

12     microphone.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Could -- yes.

14                           Cross-examination Mr. Petrusic:

15        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic, at the very beginning I want to

16     tell you something that you know, and that is that we need to pause

17     between question and answer so that we could receive a complete

18     interpretation.  And I would also like you to slow down your natural

19     rhythm of speech, your pace.

20             In your CV you said that you completed the faculty of

21     All People's Defence.  I would like to ask you this:  That faculty of

22     All People's Defence, was that something that was in line with the

23     generally accepted concept of All People's Defence that was in force in

24     our society, in the society of former Yugoslavia, and the former JNA as

25     well, the Yugoslav People's Army?

Page 11975

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   And that faculty gave you certain military knowledge which later

 3     you conveyed when you were teaching to younger generations in the

 4     subjects that you were teaching in high school?

 5        A.   Yes.  When I worked in the high school centre.

 6        Q.   You spent seven or eight years working as assistant TO commander

 7     of Bratunac?

 8        A.   Yes.  I was assistant commander from 1986 until the war broke

 9     out.

10        Q.   And when you were carrying out those posts, did you acquire some

11     practical experience in terms of military exercises, courses,

12     continual -- continuous education and training in those topics?

13        A.   Yes.  I did complete a certain number of courses, and I took part

14     in the command staff exercises as part of the TO staff in Bratunac.

15        Q.   In that period, from the late 80s, the exercises you could say

16     were frequent?

17        A.   Well, we are talking about different things.  The exercises were

18     not that frequent but the training was frequent, the actual exercises are

19     something else.

20        Q.   Thank you.  Perhaps I didn't use the correct terms.  But in any

21     case, the training courses which you attended were they courses that had

22     to do exclusively with the area of intelligence and security?

23        A.   Yes.  For the most part they were on intelligence and security

24     matters.

25        Q.   The concept that was in force at the time, and the position that

Page 11976

 1     you had as assistant commander of the TO, did that train you so that in

 2     the event of war you could command certain military units of the

 3     Territorial Defence, which again, according to that concept, comprised

 4     all those who were not part of the JNA active forces?

 5        A.   I'm afraid I did not quite understand you but I will try to

 6     answer.  Well, you can also go and complete your education in a military

 7     academy for a certain military specialty and then as an officer you are

 8     trained for a certain military occupational specialty.  And I'm an

 9     infantry man, so after completing that education I was assigned to the TO

10     staff where I held a position which meant that I was at the rank of an

11     officer and given the rank of an officer immediately.  Training for

12     command and control is something that goes on gradually.  You are not

13     trained to command and control immediately after you finish school.  You

14     are given duties in that sense and then later you are guided through

15     those posts and functions through exercises, training, and that is how

16     you acquire your capability for that particular duty.  I hope that that

17     is what you meant.

18        Q.   When you were given the rank of officer, is that when you were

19     actually given the rank of captain?

20        A.   No.  This was done gradually.  First of all I was 2nd lieutenant,

21     lieutenant, and then captain.

22        Q.   The armed conflict or clashes in the April-May period in the

23     territory of Bratunac municipality, what was your practical role as

24     assistant commander of the TO?

25        A.   The question is very complex in terms of the period to which you

Page 11977

 1     are referring.  I could be very precise in my answer had the entire staff

 2     not fallen apart.  Now, you know the way that these staffs were

 3     established.  In my staff, in other words, where I was assigned, the

 4     Staff Commander was a Muslim; the assistant commander for operations and

 5     training and at the same time a deputy commander of the TO was a Muslim.

 6     And in that structure, and I won't go into every detail, all of these

 7     people in Bratunac in 1992 left the staff and fled from Bratunac.  And

 8     the only people remaining in the staff were me, Milisav Stojanovic,

 9     Rajko Banjac and Mirko -- I can't remember the last name.  So this was

10     something that wasn't really a staff anymore and could not operate as a

11     whole.  So my role in the staff, in the period that you were referring

12     to, was to make an effort to establish a new staff, to establish and man

13     units because Territorial Defence units had been manned and established

14     in the same manner, at least 50 per cent would have been Muslims.  That's

15     before the war.  And now I had to deal with this, establishing staffs and

16     units, staffs, commands and units of the Territorial Defence according to

17     the establishment as it was prescribed then.

18        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, did you at any point become a member of the

19     Crisis Staff of --

20             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear which

21     municipality.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to my function as the

23     acting Staff Commander, I was a member of the Crisis Staff of the

24     municipality.

25             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

Page 11978

 1        Q.   Who was the commander?

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Is that Bratunac municipality?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the Bratunac municipality.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, I'm looking at the clock, if this

 5     would be a suitable time to take a break.

 6             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I agree but I kind of

 7     lost -- I'm not sure when the break should be.  So --

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  I think now.  And then perhaps we hear an answer

 9     after the break to your question who was the commander, unless the

10     witness could tell us in one word who the commander was, the commander of

11     the Crisis Staff?  Is that -- witness, could you tell us who the

12     commander of the Crisis Staff was?

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that the president of the

14     municipality, by -- in the -- because of his function as the president of

15     the municipality, would have been the commander of the staff, either him

16     or the president of the Executive Council.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Could then the witness be escorted out of the

18     courtroom?  We will take a break and we would like to see you back in

19     20 minutes.

20                           [The witness stands down]

21             JUDGE ORIE:  We will resume at 12.15.

22                           --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.

23                           --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

25     Meanwhile I use the time for the following matter:  On the 8th of May

Page 11979

 1     this year the Prosecution has sent a memorandum to the Chamber and to the

 2     Defence proposing to hold short procedural discussions or Rule 65 ter

 3     meetings, and the purpose would be to identify proposed Prosecution

 4     experts relevant to the Srebrenica segment of the case for whom the

 5     Defence does not have new areas of inquiry other than those already

 6     challenged in previous cases.

 7             Now, the Chamber also understands that subsequently, that the

 8     parties are actively discussing this issue among themselves and the

 9     Chamber will await the outcome of those discussions and will not become

10     involved in these discussions at this stage.  I am looking to

11     Prosecution/Defence.  I see a slight nodding yes on both parts.

12             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, the Prosecution also considered the

13     Chamber's ruling with respect to expert witnesses last week as also being

14     dispositive of this and making this question moot.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Then, Mr. Petrusic, if you're ready you may continue

16     your cross-examination.

17                           [The witness takes the stand]

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Nikolic, apologies for being impolite and

19     continuing our discussions when you entered the courtroom.  Please

20     proceed.

21             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

22        Q.   Before I resume with questions, Mr. Nikolic, to my last question,

23     you replied that the president of the Crisis Staff was either the

24     president of the municipality or the chairman of the SDS.  Is that what

25     you said?

Page 11980

 1        A.   Yes, that's what I said.

 2        Q.   This was for the purposes of the transcript because the

 3     transcript reflected that it was either the president of the municipality

 4     or the president of the Executive Board -- Executive Committee.

 5             Now, the president of the municipality was Miroslav Deronjic?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   Did he have a lot of power within the civilian structures at that

 8     time, in 1992?

 9        A.   Well, if you take into account that he was the president of the

10     municipal board of the SDS and that after the first multi-party

11     elections, it was the time after the first multi-party elections, of

12     course everyone of any relevance in Bratunac was in the civilian

13     structures and in the authorities.

14        Q.   Did Mr. Deronjic retain his powers until 1995?

15        A.   I believe until he was arrested, that was the case.  Nothing of

16     any significance really changed from the first multi-party elections up

17     until his arrest.

18        Q.   And that was sometime in 2002; is that correct?

19        A.   Yes, I don't remember the exact date but yes.

20        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, between May and November, you were not within the

21     structures of the Territorial Defence and from what I could see in all

22     the documents, I can't see that you were anywhere in Bratunac either.

23             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Which year, Mr. Petrusic?

24             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

25        Q.   In 1992?

Page 11981

 1        A.   Yes, that's correct, for a while, in the period between May up

 2     until about October or November, I was not a member -- anywhere on the

 3     scene.

 4        Q.   And this was your personal decision, correct?

 5        A.   No, it was not my personal decision.  There was -- I was

 6     assaulted physically and after that I had to be hospitalised.

 7        Q.   Were the persons who assaulted you, were they indicted?

 8        A.   Well, most of those people who had assaulted me were killed.

 9     They got killed.

10        Q.   After November 1992 did you ever have similar problems?  I mean,

11     were you assaulted?

12        A.   Whenever I tried to do my job properly, there were all kinds of

13     conflicts with various structures, beginning with volunteers and on.

14        Q.   When you returned to Bratunac in 1992, you returned to the

15     Bratunac Brigade -- you went to the Bratunac Brigade.  What was your rank

16     at the time, Mr. Nikolic?

17        A.   I was -- I had the rank of captain.

18        Q.   You were -- the then commander proposed that you be appointed to

19     this post.  Who was it who appointed you to that duty?

20        A.   I was appointed in late 1992 after my return from Belgrade to the

21     duty of chief of the security and intelligence organ in the Bratunac

22     Brigade.  I was appointed pursuant to the proposal by the then-commander

23     in Bratunac, and the appointment itself under the law was carried out by

24     the administration or the sector or the department of security and

25     intelligence and all the personnel issues were ordered and any other

Page 11982

 1     measures were ordered by the commander of the Main Staff, and I believe

 2     that was how it was under the then-legal regulations.

 3        Q.   Well, you were -- you could not be appointed to the chief of --

 4     to the post of chief of security and intelligence unless that proposal

 5     came from a superior command, which would in this case be at least the

 6     Drina Corps command; correct?

 7        A.   Well, the -- my commander and the immediate superior command

 8     were -- would give their own opinions on who it was to be appointed and

 9     I suppose that no one in this security and intelligence administration

10     within the Main Staff would have appointed me if the opinions from those

11     other sources were negative on me.

12             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the last part of

13     the answer.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness repeat the last part of the

15     answer?  You said "... if the opinions from those other sources were

16     negative on me."  That's the last what is recorded.  Did you add anything

17     after that?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  I said if the opinion from my

19     command or from the immediate superior command, which was the Drina Corps

20     command, were to be negative, then I'm absolutely certain that I would

21     not have been appointed to that duty by the organ in the Main Staff that

22     was charged -- that dealt with appointments.

23             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Let me conclude this with one final question.  Once you were

25     appointed, your commander and all your superior commands had sufficient

Page 11983

 1     information about your professionalism and your competence and they were

 2     certain that you could carry out properly the duties in the

 3     Bratunac Brigade of chief of security and intelligence?

 4        A.   Well, I just have to correct you for the purpose of the

 5     transcript, to be precise.  I was not the chief of the administration.

 6     I was the chief of the organ for security and intelligence in the

 7     brigade.  The administration was in the Main Staff only.  Now, as to what

 8     my colleagues thought about me and my competence, I really don't know.

 9     You'd have to ask them.  But I do consider that I was sufficiently

10     trained in order to be able to carry out those duties properly.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, it's only now that the translation

12     ends.  But the last three pages of transcript, the Chamber is fully

13     unaware of what the relevance of questions and answers could be and I'm

14     not seeking an explanation, but we would rather hear questions for which

15     it is immediately clear what the relevance is.  So would you please keep

16     in mind that we like to hear relevant evidence.  Please proceed.

17             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

18        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, were there any criminal proceedings initiated

19     against you in Bratunac before the conflict broke out?

20        A.   No, there were no criminal proceedings against me in Bratunac

21     before the conflict broke out.  I was accused of having purchased

22     500 Swiss franks from a person who had returned from Switzerland where he

23     had worked.  Now, since you're asking this I can tell you why this

24     criminal report was submitted at all.  It was submitted because at the

25     time I was supposed to be appointed the police commander for regional

Page 11984

 1     traffic.  In order to eliminate me from this post, so I wouldn't even be

 2     a candidate, this charge was brought against me falsely because it wasn't

 3     even based on a criminal offence.  This would have been an offence

 4     against the dealing in foreign currency, according to the then-laws.

 5     Now, once this criminal report was submitted, it never really got

 6     anywhere.  I never -- I was never even brought before a court.  It was

 7     never taken to trial.  It was quashed.  So the only purpose of this

 8     criminal report was to eliminate me as a possible candidate.  Never in my

 9     life had I been indicted or accused of anything or charged with any

10     charges, neither now or ever before.

11             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Could we now please see 65 ter 1D01028?

13             Mr. Nikolic, this is information provided by the commander of the

14     police station in Bratunac, which reads, in the second paragraph -- or

15     states, rather, that you are filed in operative criminal records due to

16     the commission of the criminal offence from Article 167, paragraph 1, of

17     the criminal code of the SFRY dating from the 20th of February, 1987,

18     jointly with some other persons.  And what is characteristic in this

19     report is that there is no copy of this criminal report because it had

20     disappeared at an unidentified points in time and under unclear

21     circumstances.  [No interpretation]

22             JUDGE ORIE:  We didn't receive any interpretation.  Could you

23     please repeat your question, Mr. Petrusic?

24             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

25        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, this information that was read out to you is

Page 11985

 1     slightly different from the answer that you gave us earlier because the

 2     information states that the criminal report was indeed filed but that it

 3     disappeared.  So the criminal proceedings under the then-laws of the SFRY

 4     were instigated against you, am I correct?

 5        A.   So what is your question?

 6        Q.   My question was whether criminal proceedings were held against

 7     you.

 8        A.   I told you, I remember exactly what this was about.

 9        Q.   Mr. Nikolic --

10        A.   Please, please don't interrupt me.  Please don't interrupt me.

11     Don't interrupt me.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  You can't both talk at the same time.  Please put

13     clear -- yes, Mr. Nicholls?

14             MR. NICHOLLS:  Just -- I have an objection, Your Honour, to the

15     mischaracterisation of his testimony and answer earlier.  My friend just

16     said that this is different because it states that the criminal court was

17     indeed filed.  What Mr. Nikolic says at page 50, line 1:

18             "Now, since you're asking this, I can tell you why this criminal

19     report was submitted at all."

20             So he did say that there was something submitted in the report.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  First of all, Mr. Petrusic, you have dealt

22     with the matter but I could ask the witness as well.

23     Mr. Nikolic, Article 167 of the criminal code of the Socialist Federal

24     Republic of Yugoslavia deals with what?

25             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] According to the law then in force

Page 11986

 1     in 1984 the code, legal criminal code, Article 167 refers to the criminal

 2     act of trade in gold coins and foreign currency.  And it was considered a

 3     crime, the article had two paragraphs, the first was milder.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  You've answered my question.  It is apparently the

 5     same kind of offence.

 6             Now, Mr. Nikolic said that the case was never brought to court,

 7     never -- I see here that it says, "The above mentioned person is filed in

 8     an operative criminal record."  It doesn't say anything about any

 9     follow-up.  We could ask the witness whether he has any knowledge of

10     this, how this disappeared, whether he know that is it disappeared and

11     whether he knows the circumstances.

12             Could you tell us, Mr. Nikolic, but would could you please focus

13     your answers very much on the questions put to you?  For example, the

14     last question you told us why had happened.  That was not the question.

15     So do you know anything about the disappearance of this file?

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I never worked at the

17     MUP.  I never entered there.  And I don't know anything, absolutely,

18     about the disappearance of the criminal report from the MUP.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  That was the question.  You have now answered.  Any

20     follow-up questions, Mr. Petrusic?

21             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Not on this matter, Your Honour,

22     no.  I would like to tender this document.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar.

24             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 1D1028 receives number D297,

25     Your Honours.

Page 11987

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.  Please proceed.

 2             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

 3        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, is it in the description of your duties of the

 4     intelligence security organ, and were you able to, in the course of your

 5     work, interrogate prisoners of war, carry out their security processing,

 6     as it's referred to, and similar duties?

 7        A.   Yes, it was.  I could.

 8        Q.   And were you the one who was authorised to identify a certain

 9     person as being of interest for security processing or not?

10        A.   Any person, any person that would come from the other side, from

11     the other side meaning the territory on the other side, either as an

12     escapee or a prisoner of war, was of security interest and we took the

13     statement and interviewed each one.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  The simple answer would therefore be "yes."

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, very well, Your Honour.

16     I will try to -- I will do my best to respect that.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

18             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

19        Q.   Did you know in July 1995 that there was a list at the

20     Bratunac Brigade of persons who were described as persons who committed

21     certain crimes, considered war crimes, and these were people of Muslim

22     ethnicity?

23        A.   I'm going to be precise.  I knew that in my section, my organ,

24     there was a list of persons for whom there were indications that they had

25     committed crimes and other criminal acts against the civilian population

Page 11988

 1     and Serb soldiers.

 2        Q.   Are you able to tell us how many people were on that list?

 3        A.   I couldn't give you the exact number because I don't remember any

 4     more, but the final list, I think I gave to the institute in Belgrade to

 5     a person called Mr. Ivanisevic.  I think he's the person who has the

 6     list.

 7        Q.   Are you familiar with the list of the 12th of July that was made

 8     at the Bratunac Brigade command, or, rather, to be precise, do you know

 9     of a list of war criminals known to the command of the 1st Light Infantry

10     Brigade drafted in Bratunac on the 12th of July, 1995?

11        A.   I did see that list, I saw that document, but I assert that it

12     did not originate from my organ and I did not draft the list.

13        Q.   Are you able to indicate who would have been able to make that

14     list?

15        A.   Another person who dealt with these matters, to a greater degree

16     than I did, regarding the questioning and documenting of war criminals,

17     is Zlatan Celanovic.

18        Q.   Did Zlatan inform you about the things that he was doing as part

19     of his work?

20        A.   Well, Zlatan does not need to tell me about his work.  I knew

21     exactly what Slavko Celanovic was doing and what the commander had

22     ordered him to do.

23        Q.   So if Zlatan Celanovic was more involved in the drafting of this

24     list, would you agree with me, then, that you also were aware of it, you

25     knew about it?

Page 11989

 1        A.   First of all, I would like to ask you, when you put questions, if

 2     you want to quote what I said, then to quote what I actually said and not

 3     to just try to plant things.  So I -- I did not say that Zlatko Celanovic

 4     for the most part took part in the drafting of that list.  I did not say

 5     that.  I said that the only person who could have and who was also

 6     dealing with those matters other than myself in the brigade is

 7     Zlatan Celanovic but I did not at any point say that he actually drafted

 8     that list.

 9        Q.   When you sent reports to your superior command, did you send that

10     to the Drina Corps or did you send that to the security organ of the

11     Drina Corps?

12        A.   I always sent my reports to the intelligence security section of

13     the Drina Corps.  That would be the reporting along the professional

14     line.  I never addressed my dispatches or reports to the commander except

15     in exceptional circumstances at the request of the commander.  I would

16     always send the documents to the intelligence security department of the

17     Drina Corps.

18        Q.   So those reports went along that line?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   And was the procedure the same when the Drina Corps sent you

21     reports, to the intelligence security department?

22        A.   The superior command does not send reports to the subordinate

23     command.  The superior command sends information and orders.

24        Q.   If Popovic sent any report to you, as the Drina Corps security

25     organ, would that report be addressed to your organ, namely the

Page 11990

 1     intelligence security organ of the Bratunac Brigade?

 2        A.   If Mr. Popovic were to send anything that had to do only with the

 3     intelligence security organ of the Bratunac Brigade, and if this were to

 4     be addressed to the department for intelligence and security, then that

 5     dispatch or information or order or instruction would come to my desk.

 6     And just one more thing:  That document and any other document for the

 7     brigade would previously go to the desk of the brigade commander and then

 8     he, through the office, the records office, he would indicate to whom

 9     that particular document would need to be given.

10             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Mr. Petrusic, I have a problem with your question.

11     At page 55 line 21, to lines 22, the witness says:

12             "The superior command does not send reports to the subordinate

13     command.  The superior command sends information and orders."

14             And the next question you ask is:

15             "If Popovic sent any report to you as the Drina Corps security

16     organ, would that report be addressed to your organ, namely the

17     intelligence security organ of the Bratunac Brigade?"

18             Exactly what he says doesn't happen.  Of course, his answer to

19     that question, counsel, refers to information and instructions but your

20     question -- you're asking exactly what he says never happens.

21             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I used the wrong term,

22     Your Honour, meaning "report," and I can rephrase that.

23        Q.   Were dispatches, telegrams, that were -- or any other acts sent

24     from the Drina Corps, from the security organ to the security organ of

25     the Bratunac Brigade, go directly to the desk of Mr. Nikolic?  That is my

Page 11991

 1     question.

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And this question was already answered by the

 3     witness, page 56, line 1 through 8.

 4             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, did the Drina Corps have a liaison officer with

 6     international organisations, either humanitarian ones or any other kind

 7     of international organisation?

 8        A.   Yes, it did.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  The word liaison officer, Drina Corps liaison

10     officer with international organisation, any dispute about ...

11             MR. McCLOSKEY:  I'm not aware of anything, though most of our

12     liaison officers are at the brigade level that I recall.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Mr. Petrusic, when you said, "Did the

14     Drina Corps have a liaison officer," did you mean at the corps level or

15     at any lower level to be included?

16             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I meant the Drina Corps

17     command, at the corps level, not at the level of the subordinate units.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Okay.  Then now the question is at least clear to

19     me.

20             Please proceed.  Liaison officer with the international

21     organisation at the corps level of the Drina Corps.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I already answered that question.

23     What I know, even though this is not a question for me, is that I had

24     information that there was such a person.

25             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

Page 11992

 1        Q.   Was that Vukota Vukovic?

 2        A.   No, Vukota Vukovic was an officer, a signals officer, at the

 3     Pribicevac IKM but he did only tasks relating to the Skelani Battalion

 4     and the area of responsibility relating to the 3rd Infantry Battalion of

 5     my brigade and the Skelani Battalion, but he did not cover the entire AOR

 6     of my brigade and of course the Milici Brigade.

 7        Q.   [No interpretation]

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  We do not receive interpretation at this moment.

 9     Could you restart your question, Mr. Petrusic?

10             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

11        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, when you were carrying out your duties as liaison

12     officer, was there any need for you to have contacts and co-operation

13     with the liaison officer of the Drina Corps?

14        A.   When you put the first question to me, I meant the liaison

15     officer of the Drina Corps who was based at the Drina Corps.  This is how

16     I understood it.  And then after -- this is how I understood it after the

17     intervention of His Honour.  But now I see what you're asking me.  You're

18     asking me about Vukota Vukovic.  He was appointed by General Zivanovic on

19     behalf of the Drina Corps to have contacts and be a liaison officer at

20     that place where he was and that was Pribicevac where my

21     3rd Infantry Battalion was and the Skelani Independent Battalion.  Only

22     for that area, that officer, liaison officer, of the Drina Corps,

23     Colonel Vukovic, did have contacts with international organisations.

24             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we have P1505, please.

25        Q.   This is an information prepared by Slavko Ognjenovic dated the

Page 11993

 1     4th of July, 1994, and let's please see the next page, the paragraph that

 2     was quoted earlier in the session on the 30th of May.  Now, Mr. Nikolic,

 3     if I understood you correctly, according to what you said on page 1178,

 4     in this paragraph beginning with -- beginning just above paragraph 3 on

 5     page 2, you said there, you expressed your opinion in the following

 6     manner:

 7             "The enemy -- the life of the enemy should be made impossible and

 8     it should be made impossible for them to remain in the enclave, so they

 9     should be made to leave en masse the enclave as soon as possible

10     realising that there was no survival for them there."

11             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  The page in the English

12     was moved from where it should have been previously.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  First of all, according to what you said on

14     page 1178, what is that a reference to, Mr. Petrusic?

15             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] That is a reference to

16     Mr. Nikolic's answer to this question, and because it wasn't clear to me

17     I just wanted to clarify it now by citing that portion of the text in

18     this information that was drafted by Slavko Ognjenovic.

19        Q.   So, Mr. Nikolic, what I have read out to you is this what you

20     said --

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Nicholls.

22             MR. NICHOLLS:  Sorry, if I could just have the cite because there

23     is no page 1178.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  No.  That was my question, Mr. Petrusic.  What --

25     page of what?

Page 11994

 1             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I -- I can quote

 2     again.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  No.  I want to know -- Mr. Petrusic, I want to know

 4     page 1178 of what, of the phone book or of Dostoyevsky or from a

 5     testimony given in another case?

 6             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No, no, the transcript of --

 7     that's the page of the transcript on the 30th of May.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Which transcript?  In another case?

 9             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] In this case.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  1178, okay, let's see what I ...

11             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The transcript of --

12             JUDGE ORIE:  1178 is a page which covers the testimony of

13     Mr. Kingory and Witness RM255.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  In my view -- my view, the 30th of May, 2013, the

15     transcript starts with page 11766.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters cannot hear the --

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Apparently your thinking in terms of a range of

18     pages somewhere in the 11.000s, where what you said was 1178 is -- or did

19     you mean 11078?  Let me just look at where we are.  30th of May starts

20     with 11766 indeed.  Now --

21             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The page that we quoted was 11788.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  88.  Now the matter has been clarified.  11788.

23     Yes.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Since we are in the process of correcting dates

25     and numbers, the document on the screen is not from the

Page 11995

 1     14th of July, 1995, but the 4th of July, 1995.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Okay.  Could you now repeat your question and we

 3     have page 11788, at least I have it before me.  Please proceed.

 4             MR. NICHOLLS:  I'm very sorry, Your Honours.  It's 1994, the

 5     document, not 1995.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You are correct.  You're correct.  That was my

 7     mistake.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Isn't there a play which is called the

 9     Comedy of Errors where perhaps it comes closes to a tragedy of errors?

10     Please proceed.

11             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, in this information it says that the enemy's life

13     has to be made unbearable and their temporary stay in the enclave

14     impossible so that they would leave the enclave en masse as soon as

15     possible, in an organised manner, realising that they cannot survive

16     there.

17             For you, is this sentence unacceptable?

18        A.   No.  I never said that that sentence was unacceptable to me.

19        Q.   The sentence which starts with:

20             "We won the war in Podrinje but we did not rout the Muslims which

21     we have to do in the forthcoming period.  We have to accomplish our final

22     goal which is that Podrinje is entirely Serbian.  The enclaves of

23     Srebrenica, Gorazde, and Zepa must be militarily defeated."

24             Is this portion of the information unacceptable?

25        A.   A part of it is a military objective, absolutely.  And there is a

Page 11996

 1     part that could be interpreted twofold.  The portion that is questionable

 2     to me is the portion referring to the Muslims because there is reference

 3     there to Muslims, not to the enemy, because Muslims are civilians, old

 4     women, old men, women, children, every one - that's what Muslims is a

 5     reference to - as opposed to the earlier portion that we read out where

 6     it is very clearly stated that the enemy's life has to be made

 7     unbearable, which to me is a fully legitimate military objective.

 8             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now see document

 9     65 ter 04191 in e-court.

10        Q.   This is a telegram from the Drina Corps command dated the

11     15th of May, 1995.  It is signed by the deputy commander,

12     Colonel Radislav Krstic.  In the first paragraph, Mr. Nikolic it says:

13             "According to the information gathered the Muslims are carrying

14     out intense preparations for offensive operations from the general area

15     of Tuzla, Kladanj and the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves," and so on and so

16     forth.

17             Now, please tell me, the term "Muslims are carrying out intense

18     preparations for offensive operations," what is this a reference to?

19     What does the term "Muslims" refer to?

20        A.   It is a reference to Muslim armed forces in the area mentioned

21     here, including the Srebrenica enclave.

22             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this

23     document into evidence.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar.

25             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 04191 receives number D298,

Page 11997

 1     Your Honours.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  D298 is admitted.

 3             Please proceed.

 4             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please see the next

 5     document in e-court, that's 65 ter 04699.

 6        Q.   This document is dated the 19th of July, 1995.  It is a document

 7     from the Zvornik public security centre and it is signed by the chief of

 8     the centre Dragomir Vasic.  In the third paragraph he says:

 9             "In addition to them, this morning a large group of about

10     50 Muslims attacked the positions of the Zvornik Brigade in the Pandurica

11     area in an attempt to attempt a breakthrough to reach the Muslim

12     territory."

13             This reference here, where it says, "about 50 Muslims attacked

14     the positions of the Zvornik Brigade," what is it a reference to?  Is

15     this a reference to soldiers or civilians?

16        A.   This is a reference to civilians, just as it states there.  There

17     is nothing that I should add or comment on.  I cannot comment on whatever

18     whoever wrote in their report.

19        Q.   According to you --

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, to go through a lot of documents of a

21     military nature and then to ask the witness whether Muslims in that

22     context could be understood as Muslim soldiers is totally useless.  It's

23     obvious.  It's obvious that in this context, Muslims has limited meaning

24     of Muslim combatants or soldiers or whatever.  It's really no use to ask

25     these questions for this purpose.  If there is any other purpose, please

Page 11998

 1     make it clear to us.

 2             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I just wanted to place these

 3     documents in context and to add on to the interpretation of the word

 4     "Muslims" by this witness and to point out to the witness that the term,

 5     "The Muslims" was also a term used to apply to -- to refer to the Muslim

 6     army.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  I told you a minute ago that, first of all, it's

 8     obvious and there is no reason to do that.  It's totally superfluous,

 9     that it depends on the context.  And then to start explaining what you

10     did which was clear to us and which we think is -- and obvious and

11     unnecessary and a waste of time.  Please proceed.

12             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

13        Q.   In relation to this document, are you aware that the assistant

14     commander for morale, assistant commanders for morale, in battalions and

15     companies, as mentioned in this document, were supposed to brief members

16     of the Bratunac Brigade.

17        A.   If I understood your question, whether there is information that

18     the assistant commander briefed personally all the commanders --

19        Q.   Well, did the command -- the assistant commander for morale did

20     he brief all the members of the brigade on this?  That was my question.

21        A.   Well, I believe that the assistant commander for morale and

22     religious affairs, that was Major Jevtic, it was not his job to

23     personally brief and to interpret these documents within units.  What I

24     can recall is that the battalion commanders were duty-bound to organise

25     meetings where this organisation -- this kind of information would be

Page 11999

 1     discussed in their battalions and that Major Jevtic had a supervisory

 2     role, in a way.  He had to make sure that all of this was implemented in

 3     the way that the commander had ordered it.  That is what I know for

 4     certain about how things were done within brigades.

 5        Q.   In this last paragraph it says that the information will be

 6     discussed with the assistants within the battalions and as for the units

 7     attached to the staff, the person in charge will be --

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  I have difficulties in finding all this.  Are you

 9     quoting from a document different from the ones we have on our screens,

10     Mr. Petrusic?  Would you please verify?

11             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes.  I didn't pay attention to

12     that.  The document should be P1505.

13        Q.   So, Mr. Nikolic, did you receive information to the effect that

14     the assistant commander for morale who is responsible for the

15     implementation of this information and for its appropriate interpretation

16     actually did so at the level of the command as suggested in the last

17     paragraph of this information?  Could we please see page 3, the last

18     paragraph, 14.

19        A.   I believe that I answered your question for the most part in my

20     previous answer.  And just to add, the assistant commander for morale and

21     religious affairs, Major Jevtic, his task was at the level of the

22     Bratunac Brigade command, and that is how it was implemented, as ordered.

23     But as I said a moment ago, the commander --

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Can we go to the next page in English?  I think

25     it should be in the second paragraph of paragraph 14, is that correct,

Page 12000

 1     because in the first paragraph of paragraph 14 we didn't find that.  Now

 2     we have it.

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue?

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  You may.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At battalion levels, battalions of

 6     the Bratunac Brigade, it was not up to Major Jevtic to discuss within

 7     those units this information and to brief them on it.  That was the task

 8     of the battalion commander, so each battalion commander within his own

 9     battalion would have an assistant for morale and religious affairs, and

10     they were the ones who would advise and inform each individual soldier of

11     the information within the battalion, and that is the way that the

12     information was dealt with and it was something that every soldier was

13     briefed on, including those who were in positions.

14        Q.   Sir, what I'm trying to get from you is whether you at the

15     command --

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, I think it's time to take a break.

17     Would you also make pauses yourself because your whole next question is

18     already pronounced at a moment when we are still listening to the end of

19     the English translation.  Could we first ask the witness to be escorted

20     out of the courtroom.  We will take a break of 20 minutes.

21                           [The witness stands down]

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, could you please remember for after

23     the break that questions have to be relevant and clear.  We take a break

24     and resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.

25                           --- Recess taken at 1.17 p.m.

Page 12001

 1                           --- On resuming at 1.38 p.m.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness please be escorted into the

 3     courtroom.

 4                           [The witness takes the stand]

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Petrusic, you may proceed.

 6             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, after this information and you said that this gave a

 8     green light for the sniping that was carried out from the area of the

 9     Bratunac Brigade on the civilian population in Srebrenica, in other words

10     the border areas, was there anything that you could do on your part to

11     halt these incidents, to stop them?

12        A.   I was quite precise in my evidence.  The incidents always

13     existed, even before this information.  However, I said that they

14     intensified after this information.  The violations of the borders of the

15     enclave and opening fire and not just sniping on the enclave and vice

16     versa, fire coming from the enclave against the Serbian side, intensified

17     after this information.  Also, sniping intensified after this

18     information.  And as for the send part of your question, I'll answer you

19     now, I did what I could, what was within my powers, to bring this down to

20     sort of acceptable -- to an acceptable framework because you could never

21     stop all incidents.

22        Q.   After your interventions, did those incidents become fewer?  Did

23     they abate?

24        A.   No.  They did not.  Because, in spite of my insistence and my

25     going personally to various battalions, the commander ordered at one

Page 12002

 1     point that we -- that one part of the soldiers, a number of soldiers,

 2     enter the enclave, and we, from the 1st Infantry Battalion and a unit of

 3     the military police, we actually entered this area that Ognjenovic

 4     demanded.  We did that in the morning, in the morning hours, and after

 5     that, because the battalion or rather the company refused to move

 6     forward, we had to withdraw and remain on the same lines where we had

 7     been before.  So there was an order from Commander Ognjenovic -- or

 8     rather, there were orders issued by Commander Ognjenovic that were in

 9     absolute contradiction to all my efforts and also the efforts of many of

10     the officers within the brigade.

11        Q.   When you talk about entering the enclave, the 1st Battalion

12     entering the enclave, what period of time do you have in mind?

13        A.   Well, I'm referring to the period, perhaps it would be most

14     accurate if I said that this was after the writing and the discussion of

15     this information.  Perhaps a month or so later.  I can't really recall

16     the exact dates.  But I do recall the incidents and I know exactly where

17     this particular incident occurred, not only the incident in the area of

18     the 1st Battalion but also in the area of responsibility of other

19     battalions.

20        Q.   Did you ever try to turn to the -- to your superior command in

21     order to resolve these issues, these problems?

22        A.   Whatever problems I had in that area, where the enclave was

23     violated, fire was opened, there was sniping or anything else, I reported

24     along my chain of command in written form and I informed the security and

25     intelligent organ about it.

Page 12003

 1        Q.   And did UNPROFOR lodge any protests with you because of such

 2     conduct?

 3        A.   If under that we imply their interventions then they were

 4     continuously evident whenever the enclave borders were violated or when

 5     any issues arose, so they did lodge protests, perhaps even once though

 6     I really don't remember the exact time, perhaps once they lodged the

 7     protest in writing, in relation to our entrance in violation of the

 8     enclave at TT-414, that was in front of the first line of the

 9     1st Infantry Battalion.

10        Q.   I think that you will agree with me or agree with the prosecutor

11     that the enclave was armed?

12        A.   Yes, certainly.  The enclave had not been demilitarised, and in

13     the enclave there were forces of the 28th Division which were stationed

14     there.

15        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, you are in the best position to say whether there

16     were some specific, precise borders of the enclave that were in place.

17        A.   Yes.  I'm saying this for the sake of the Trial Chamber.  I was

18     one of the officers in the commission that went to Potocari on two, three

19     or four occasions, with the task to specifically and precisely define the

20     borders of the enclave, after international forces for the protection of

21     it had entered it, and if you're interested in details, I can talk about

22     that.

23        Q.   Could it be said that due to those imprecisely established

24     borders, there were some conflicts between the two sides, disputes, that

25     eventually ended as combat operations, disputes about what was whose

Page 12004

 1     territory?

 2        A.   I can only partly agree with you.  One section, the southern

 3     section of the enclave, remained contested to the very end.  There was

 4     never an agreement about it.  As for the other parts or sections of the

 5     enclave, I'm only talking about the zone of responsibility of the

 6     3rd Infantry Battalion, mine, that's the sector of Zeleni Jadar and the

 7     zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade.  We agreed almost or not

 8     almost but rather everything that had to do with the enclave borders.

 9     What remained contested was the southern part, a part of Zeleni Jadar

10     where the Serbian side claimed and requested that the UNPROFOR

11     check-point be moved in the direction of Srebrenica about 400 metres in

12     depth, and to set free this road so that the Serbian forces could have a

13     communication between Skelani, Zeleni Jadar and Jasenovo, so that was a

14     part that was not agreed on.  And let me add just one more thing.  The

15     border of the enclave as agreed and as defined in writing, we endeavoured

16     to adjust that to the facilities that could be found in the field, so we

17     didn't -- oh, I apologise, should I slow down?  Yes.  We did not have to

18     be physically at the borders of the enclave in order to control certain

19     territory.  We used the configuration of the terrain, the dominant

20     features and the borders of the enclave with agreement of the UNPROFOR

21     forces were controlled by fire.  Whatever appeared in that section in

22     front of the --

23             JUDGE ORIE:  You have to slow down again.  If you don't speed up,

24     there is no need to slow down again.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.  I will try to abide by

Page 12005

 1     that.

 2             So we knew exactly where the enclave border was but we did not

 3     cover it physically, in the military sense.  We covered it from dominant

 4     features, dominant points, and by fire.  So that we never made any

 5     problems, either us or the UNPROFOR.  If anyone entered that part of the

 6     enclave, which was not possessed by any forces physically, even though

 7     fire was opened on it.  So that was not the subject of conflict.

 8             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

 9        Q.   You also had information that a significant part of the

10     Srebrenica enclave in the direction of the Zepa enclave was practically

11     uncovered.  It was open for passage; that is to say these two enclaves

12     were practically joined?

13        A.   I could agree with what you just noted.  Never from the moment

14     when Zepa and Srebrenica were declared enclaves were physically -- were

15     they physically separated.  Communication between the two enclaves was

16     always possible.

17        Q.   Would you also agree that in accordance to the agreement, these

18     had to be two enclaves on the ground, and in fact they had to be

19     separated?

20        A.   Yes, these had to be two enclaves, but I want to make myself

21     absolutely clear.  No one prevented us from occupying and closing the

22     ring around the enclaves.  Actually I'm talking about the Srebrenica

23     enclave.  However, we always had a problem with the lack of forces that

24     we would use to physically and militarily close the circle around the

25     enclave, as it should be done in the military sense of the word.

Page 12006

 1        Q.   And from the north of the enclave, would you agree with me that

 2     there were frequent raids and infiltrations aimed both at civilians and

 3     the military units of the Drina Corps, from the moment when the enclave

 4     came into existence up until July 1995?

 5        A.   Let me just clarify.  You mean the northern part of the

 6     Srebrenica enclave?  The area of Milici, Visnjica and thereabouts?  If

 7     so, I would agree with you that in that area, sometimes they would leave,

 8     make ambushes, raids and even a military attack on a village that was

 9     attacked and torched in that specific period.

10        Q.   Would you also agree with me that when you talk about the

11     village, that that took place immediately after the attack on Srebrenica

12     by the Drina Corps?  Are you talking about June 1995?

13        A.   If I remember properly, though I wouldn't really allow myself to

14     comment on that, that was in the zone of responsibilities of the Milici

15     brigade so I would ask you to discuss my brigade because I don't know the

16     exact dates, but I do know for sure that the attack on Visnjica which was

17     in the Milici territory was launched before the attack on Srebrenica was

18     launched.  I know that for sure but I'm not aware of the details or of

19     anything else.

20        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, you also said that in the spring, that is to say in

21     April and May, the supply of humanitarian aid or the UNPROFOR convoys and

22     convoys from all other organisations was reduced.  My question is this:

23     During those years and immediately before the fall of the enclave, and

24     during the spring of 1995, were there any abuses by those who were

25     supplying the enclave, both with humanitarian aid and also military,

Page 12007

 1     logistical support?  Was that ever abused by members of the UNPROFOR?

 2        A.   Well, I know that there were some abuses but I don't know

 3     exactly -- believe me, I have forgotten that.  One of the international

 4     organisations which was based in Srebrenica did make those abuses, and I

 5     know that a vehicle with its cargo was seized from this international

 6     organisation because of the abuse, and then the UNHCR also in one

 7     instance did abuse its mission, and I know that a truck with goods that

 8     they were transporting without an appropriate permit was also seized from

 9     them because they tried to smuggle it as part of a convoy into

10     Srebrenica, and please allow me to finish with my answer.  But as for the

11     members of UNPROFOR, I do not have any information or any piece of

12     evidence that they abused something and then as a result we took some

13     measures.  I really don't know or I don't remember any such instance.

14             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 14822, please.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Just for me to fully understand, did the UNHCR try

16     to smuggle a truck into Srebrenica - is that what you said? - a truck

17     with goods?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  That's what I said.  That's

19     what I said.  And the truck was seized, and the -- in regular procedure a

20     report was sent to the command of the Drina Corps, an opinion requested,

21     and they decided that for the time being until the procedure was

22     completed the truck would not be returned.

23             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

24        Q.   Mr. Nikolic you can see one of your documents before you from the

25     10th of December, 1994, and I think that you just talked about this.  The

Page 12008

 1     reason why it was seized, or rather, why the convoy was stopped was that

 2     it was transporting goods that were not announced or materiel that was

 3     not announced.  Would you agree with me about this?

 4        A.   Yes.  I have not seen this report for quite a long time but I

 5     know more or less what it deals with.  It was seized because it tried to

 6     enter the enclave with goods that were not allowed.

 7        Q.   And the goods that were not allowed, could they be used for

 8     military purposes?

 9        A.   If you just allow me to look at the document a bit because I

10     don't know what exactly this is about, what was seized and why, so if you

11     can please bear with me a minute.

12             All right.  I understand more or less what this is about.  Of

13     course, what we see here, the plumbing materials and so on, in fact

14     cannot be connected with the army and its needs but frequently -- or

15     rather, not frequently but there were some situations when some

16     representatives would bring material and try to smuggle it in and it was

17     not under their authority.  They were not in charge of organising

18     something like that.  Their remit of work was quite different and they

19     had nothing to do with it, so then they told me -- they would say, Yes,

20     we made a mistake.  I talked to them personally about this, and their

21     chief admitted that this was not the first time and he said, We tried

22     several times, so if it can pass, fine, if not, never mind.  So they

23     accepted that it was their mistake, and they asked me to suspend it and

24     to return to the previous relations that we had so that everything would

25     be decent without any further tensions, so that was the thrust.

Page 12009

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I ask you what was the quantity of that

 2     contraband material, tools and plumbing materials on a whole truck?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was one vehicle.  I'm speaking

 4     about specific cases which I think there was no special transport, it was

 5     one vehicle, one case, and then in another case it was just one truck

 6     that had generators or something that was not permitted.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm now talking about this example.  What was it,

 8     these plumbing materials?  How much was it, what was it?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't remember the

10     quantities anymore in the notification, in the permit.  Probably --

11     actually not probably, I'm sure there were certain quantities and then

12     the inspection it turned out that it was not the quantity from the permit

13     but something else, a different quantity.  So the goods were seized.  But

14     I don't know off the top of my head exactly which goods were in question

15     and what were the quantities.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  So do I understand your last answer to be that

17     plumbing material may have been on the notification, in the permit, but

18     that it might have been more of that?  Certain quantities and then the

19     inspection it turned out that it was not the quantity from the permit but

20     something else, a different quantity?  Are we talking about still this

21     plumbing materials?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  I would rather

23     tend to say that in the notification, quantities and the type were

24     indicated but I assume that there was something outside of that that was

25     not indicated at all, but was part of the cargo that was being

Page 12010

 1     transported.  I think that that was probably the case.  I'm not quite

 2     sure now if they would seize the vehicle -- a vehicle because the

 3     quantities deviated.  I would say that as part of the plumbing equipment,

 4     there was something that was not included in the permit at all.  I

 5     believe so.  But don't hold me to that.  I cannot remember that any

 6     longer.  I assume that that was the reason because I'm the one who wrote

 7     this report.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Petrusic.

 9             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

10        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, before the vehicle reached you, it passed another

11     check-point in Zvornik or, rather, in Karakaj, would you agree with me?

12        A.   Yes, on condition that we know where the vehicle was coming from.

13     If it was coming from Serbia, from Belgrade, then what you say would be

14     correct.

15        Q.   I'm going to say only that at the beginning of the report, this

16     information by you, the Srebrenica-Belgrade route is mentioned, and

17     before that a convoy entered Srebrenica.  So if the convoy is going from

18     Belgrade, it would pass through Karakaj and it would also be inspected

19     there.  Would you agree with me?

20        A.   Yes, yes, I would.

21        Q.   And at your check-point, you would again inspect the convoy; is

22     that right?

23        A.   Yes.  This would be a routine inspection at that check-point as

24     well.

25        Q.   And would you agree with me that it would be impossible to

Page 12011

 1     conduct a detailed inspection of the convoys within a reasonable period

 2     of time during which the convoys would be expected to be held at the

 3     check-point?

 4        A.   All I can tell you is that the time was not limited.  You would

 5     have as much time as you needed for the inspection.  But there was an

 6     order which stated that convoys entering would be inspected in detail at

 7     the first check-point, all those reaching Srebrenica or entering

 8     Srebrenica would already have gone through a detailed check.  So since

 9     the enclave was formed, the check-point where routine inspections were

10     carried out of convoys and international organisations were -- that was

11     our check-point.  That's what we were doing.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I ask you one additional question?  MSF which

13     stands for Medecins Sans Frontieres, I think, the medical organisation,

14     isn't it?

15             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Doctors Without Borders.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Now, if they transported something into the

17     enclave, for whose benefit would that material be used?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can answer to that is that

19     material delivered to the enclave would probably marked as being meant

20     for somebody, and I would know that once I saw the documentation.  As for

21     the actual distribution of the material, that's something that I don't

22     know.  I don't know how it was distributed.  I don't know what happened

23     in the enclave.  But from the documents, you could see who the material

24     was intended for.  Was it for the civilian population in Srebrenica or

25     the medical centre and the hospital in the Srebrenica enclave, this is

Page 12012

 1     what I know.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Was it meant to be used in -- well, let's say,

 3     treating Muslims as well?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, of course, because that

 5     was the only way.  There was no other source of medical supplies and

 6     material or anything else that had to do with medical assistance.  There

 7     was no other source, according to my information.  That was the only way.

 8     And, of course, it included both the population and soldiers, members of

 9     the army.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  They could be treated by that material as well?

11     With that material, I should say?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they had to be treated.

13     There was no choice.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm asking you this because I'm reading the last

15     part of the documents we had on our screen, where it reads:

16             "We particularly draw your attention to the fact that the MSF

17     delegates did not put up resistance or try to make any excuses for their

18     attempt to import into the enclave material that was exclusively meant

19     for Muslims."

20             I have some difficulties in understanding what exactly now they

21     are blamed for.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you about what I remember

23     best.  So it was either part of the cargo -- well, actually not either.

24     I'm quite sure that they probably had something that was not permitted or

25     something that was not included in the notification where the quantities

Page 12013

 1     were indicated.  These are the two things that occur to me now.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Okay.

 3             Mr. Petrusic, we have to finish in a couple of minutes, so two or

 4     three minutes from now.

 5             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, would you agree with me that only what was listed as

 7     cargo could enter the enclave?

 8        A.   Yes, I agree with that.

 9             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender 14822 to be

10     admitted.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Before we decide on that, I would like to ask

12     one final question.  Somewhere halfway in the document, Mr. Nikolic, it

13     says:

14             "Through their manipulations and abuse of humanitarian missions,

15     they are selflessly helping the Turks which goes against our interests."

16             What is the reference "Turks," what does it refer to?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is meant are members of the

18     Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina or members of the 28th Division who were

19     in the enclave.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Now, is "Turks" a derogatory term for Muslims?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In principle, yes.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Madam Registrar, the number would be?

23             THE REGISTRAR:  Document 14822 receives number D299,

24     Your Honours.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  D299 is admitted into evidence.  I noticed that the

Page 12014

 1     Defence had no problems in presenting a translation in which Turks was

 2     explained as derogatory for Muslims, but since there was dispute about

 3     it, I thought let's verify with the witness.

 4             Mr. Petrusic, I think we are at the time for a break.  Could you

 5     tell us how much more time you would need?

 6             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope to be able to

 7     finish tomorrow, and there would be enough time for the OTP.  Oh, yes, I

 8     will try to complete my examination in the course of tomorrow.  Perhaps

 9     we could go over into the following day, if need be.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  First of all --

11             MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] If you permit me, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  First of all, we need a bit of time tomorrow morning

13     to start with with an administrative hearing.  Second, whether the

14     Chamber will allow you to use the whole of tomorrow or even a portion of

15     the day after that will highly depend on the relevance and the way in

16     which you conduct the cross-examination.  The Chamber will carefully

17     monitor that.  Could I first instruct you that you should not speak with

18     anyone or communicate in whatever other way with whomever about your

19     testimony, whether that is testimony already given or still to be given.

20             Then we would like see you back tomorrow morning.  And,

21     Ms. Lindsay, I do understand that you will still be with us tomorrow.

22     Yes.  Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.

23                           [The witness stands down]

24             JUDGE ORIE:  No loud speaking, no loud speaking.

25             Mr. Groome?

Page 12015

 1             MR. GROOME:  Your Honour, with respect to the administrative

 2     hearing tomorrow I think it would be in the interests of a productive

 3     hearing for the Chamber to have the most current information before it.

 4     The latest information the Chamber now has before it is dated the

 5     22nd of May.  If the Chamber looks at the last line in that report, it

 6     indicates that there was to be another assessment conducted last week.

 7     So the Prosecution is requesting the Chamber to inquire with the

 8     Registrar whether there is an updated report and whether we could have

 9     that some time today to prepare for tomorrow morning.  Thank you.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar, you're invited to provide the

11     Prosecution with any additional information not yet received by it.

12             We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the

13     4th of June, at 9.30 in this same courtroom, I.

14                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,

15                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 4th day

16                           of June 2013, at 9.30 a.m.