1 Tuesday, 18 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 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 There are no preliminaries as far as I understand, that means
11 that the witness can be escorted into the courtroom.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Keserovic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by
16 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony
17 that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
18 truth. And Mr. McCloskey will now continue his examination-in-chief.
19 Half an hour, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
21 everyone. Thank you.
22 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR KESEROVIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Examination by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
25 Q. Good morning, General.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. I'd like to see if I could clarify the situation with these three
3 colonels that received an assignment to go to Zvornik.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: So could we go to 65 ter 28995. It should be
5 page 65 in e-court.
6 Q. This will be your testimony in the Tolimir case and I want to
7 start down at the bottom of the page, line 21. And you were asked by me:
8 "Anyone else present besides you, General Mladic, and
9 General Miletic?"
10 And we recall this is this first night that you got back. And
11 you say:
12 "I'm not sure whether he was there from the outset, but
13 General Tolimir appeared there at some point. Also present there were
14 then-Colonel Sladojevic, who had joined the VRS a few days ago ..."
15 Do you stand by this testimony that Sladojevic was there that
16 evening as well?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And if we go to the next page, it goes on and you say on line 1:
19 "... and then-Colonel-later-General Ljubo Obradovic."
20 And you say:
21 "I don't remember if anyone else was present."
22 But do you also recall Obradovic being present that evening as
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Then we go down. And on line 4 I asked:
1 "Did you hear at that point that Colonel Sladojevic had a -- also
2 had a job from Mladic on that date?"
3 And you say:
4 "I did hear Sladojevic and also Trkulja, both of them colonels,
5 and another one, Stankovic. I heard Mladic say that Sladojevic, Trkulja,
6 and Stankovic will go to the Zvornik Brigade, assess the situation, and
7 see if they need any assistance."
8 Do you stand by that statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So you actually heard Mladic say this then?
11 A. Yes. I heard General Mladic say that Sladojevic, Trkulja, and
12 Stankovic were to go there. What I'm uncertain of, though, is whether he
13 was addressing Miletic in order for him to issue an order to them or if
14 he spoke to them directly. But I think Sladojevic could hear it as well,
15 given the fact that Trkulja and Stankovic were not present.
16 Q. So clearly from this, Sladojevic had not yet gone on this
17 assignment this evening when he received it?
18 A. He was there at that moment. I don't know if he had gone there
19 and returned or if he was just about to go. I'm not sure.
20 Q. Well, if he'd just been issued the order that he will go, he
21 could not have already gone; is that right?
22 A. One could conclude that.
23 Q. Okay. So what did you do the next morning, this first morning
24 after your arrival the previous day?
25 A. The previous morning --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Says the witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- I set out from Crna Rijeka in
3 the direction of Bratunac.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Okay. We need to get the sequence correct. You say you arrived
6 at Crna Rijeka. In the afternoon or evening you see Mladic, et cetera.
7 And then the next morning do you set off for Bratunac?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. So and what day have you always testified that you arrived
10 at Crna Rijeka for the first time?
11 A. On the 16th in the evening, on the 16th of July.
12 Q. And is that the truth, that is when you arrived for the first
13 time, on the 16th of July in the evening?
14 A. Yes, then, in July.
15 Q. Okay. So if you're leaving towards Bratunac in the morning, that
16 would be the morning of the 17th; correct?
17 A. Well, judging by that it could be. I have to repeat that I am
18 not certain whether a day passed in between and whether it was the 17th
19 or the 18th. I cannot assert that. I just know that I received my task
20 in the evening and that I set off in the morning.
21 Q. So again, like you've said before, you received your task that
22 evening and the following morning you set off?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So if you got there on the night of the 16th, you would have had
25 to set off on the morning of the 17th?
1 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: This is leading.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, we're talking about arriving. We
5 were talking about receiving tasks and setting off. The three are --
6 especially the first two are not the same necessarily. But please seek
7 to clarify with the witness.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I will.
9 Q. So, Witness, you're -- are you sure that you arrived at
10 Crna Rijeka the evening of the 16th of July?
11 A. Yes, I am certain of that.
12 Q. And you just told us that after you received a task that evening,
13 the next morning you left for Bratunac. Is that correct?
14 A. It is correct that I was issued my tasks in the evening. What I
15 don't know for certain is whether I received the orders or the task the
16 first evening or the next evening. In any case, I set off the next
17 morning, having received the task the previous evening.
18 Q. General, this is the first time in your many testimonies and your
19 interviews that you have ever said you didn't know whether you'd received
20 your task the first evening or the second evening. Isn't that true?
21 MR. LUKIC: I have to object here as well. This is
22 misrepresentation of the evidence. This witness always claims that he is
23 not sure about the dates and we will show it --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay --
25 MR. LUKIC: -- through his previous testimonies and statements.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not have a debate here at this moment about
2 what was in the previous testimony because the Chamber is unable to
3 follow it apart from what is shown to the Chamber.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I can agree with counsel, as I
5 brought out on direct, that this witness has not been sure about the
6 dates that he went to Bratunac --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- but I believe it's very important that I be
9 able to say - and I'm sure Mr. Lukic will agree with me - that this
10 witness has never said he wasn't sure which night he got his orders, it
11 was always the first night.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic has announced that he will address the
13 matter in cross-examination, therefore re-examination would be the
14 perfect moment to re-visit the matter if there's any need to do that.
15 Meanwhile, I would have one question for you, Witness,
16 Mr. Keserovic. If you had stayed there for one day, any recollection of
17 what you would have done during that day?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During that time, at some point we
19 also drafted a report about what we found or what we established carrying
20 out our previous task --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. "At some point in time ..."
22 I'm asking about possibly that day you said you may not have yet received
23 your task and not have set off. What have you done that day if you -- if
24 you have any recollection of it?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, out of the 68 months
1 of my participation in the war, I really cannot recall each and every
2 day. I simply cannot remember what I did and whether I did anything.
3 That's where my dilemma comes from.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So you have no recollection of doing something
5 during that day which may have been in between.
6 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. The morning that you left to Bratunac, tell us about where you
9 went and what you did?
10 A. My first stopover was in Nova Kasaba. Along the road where it
11 forks off towards the school building, I saw Major Malinic standing on
12 the side of the road and I stopped.
13 Q. And what did you say to him and what did he say to you?
14 A. I told him what I was supposed to do that day, and I asked him
15 what he was doing and what the military police battalion of the
16 protection regiment was doing at the time.
17 Q. And what did he tell you?
18 A. He told me that the unit or its main part was engaged somewhere
19 at the front lines around Sarajevo, and that the company which was
20 undergoing training and deployed to Nova Kasaba stopped their training
21 and that they were deployed along the road in the area of blockade from
22 Kasaba to Konjevic Polje and that it is where the company was at that
23 point in time.
24 Q. Did he tell you about any prisoners on earlier days?
25 A. He did. He said that at the stadium in Nova Kasaba in his
1 assessment there were between 2.000 and 3.000 -- or I think he said 2500
2 captured and disarmed Muslims, actually fighters and civilians from
3 Srebrenica who have been coming along the road between Kasaba and
4 Konjevic Polje.
5 Q. And did he tell you anything about what he was doing with those
7 A. Yes. He said that he had organised a process of registering, of
8 making lists of those prisoners. He also said that at some point in time
9 it was interrupted when the commander of the Main Staff, General Mladic,
10 came along. He stopped with his vehicle near the football pitch. He
11 assembled the prisoners and addressed them.
12 Q. Let me take you to your Tolimir testimony, 28996, page 27 in
13 e-court. I asked you the question:
14 "Okay, all right, and I interrupted you. You were talking about
15 the 12th, so go ahead."
16 Can you clarify, what date is Malinic telling you this happened,
17 do you remember now?
18 A. Malinic told me so that day when I saw him, but he said that it
19 had been taking place on the 12th or the 13th.
20 Q. Okay. And your answer is this:
21 "So on that occasion, Major Malinic told me that on the night
22 between the 12th and the 13th, and during the 13th of July, there were
23 2.500 or 3.000 prisoners of war, according to his estimates ... that were
24 located at the football pitch there ..."
25 So you stand by that?
1 A. Well, yes, and I think I have just confirmed it.
2 Q. You go on to testify:
3 "He told me that his initial assignment was to register them,
4 which he had started doing, he started registering them, but had to stop
5 doing that because General Mladic told him to stop."
6 Do you stand by that testimony you gave under oath?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So you go on to say:
9 "General Mladic was passing on that road, and he stopped and
10 addressed the POWs himself. He allegedly told them - he told them as
11 well - that there was no need for registering these people because they
12 would be transferred/moved to Tuzla because that was their destination
13 anyhow. And Major Malinic then stopped registering the POWs."
14 So is that -- again, is that what Malinic told you, is that a
15 true statement of what he told you?
16 A. Yes, it is what I remember Major Malinic telling me.
17 Q. And where did Malinic tell you the prisoners were sent to?
18 A. After a short time, buses arrived as well as trucks in the area
19 of the football pitch in Nova Kasaba. The prisoners were put on to the
20 vehicles and taken to Bratunac. Major Malinic provided his escort, in
21 other words, he used the military police to escort the buses and trucks.
22 Q. And who had ordered the prisoners to go to Bratunac?
23 A. I don't recall Major Malinic telling me that at all. After the
24 commander of the Main Staff addressed the prisoners and after they were
25 told that they were to go to Tuzla, I don't remember Major Malinic
1 telling me who had told him they would go to Bratunac. In his words, the
2 buses and trucks appeared there and the people were taken to Bratunac.
3 Q. Let me see if I can help refresh your recollection.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to 65 ter 28985.
5 Q. It's your testimony in the Blagojevic case back in June of 2004,
6 and this was while you were testifying for Colonel Blagojevic or as a
7 Defence witness. And Mr. Karnavas is asking you about this situation.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's e-court page 42, I believe. It should be
9 10663, it should be page 42 in e-court. Thank you. And Mr. Karnavas
10 asked you in talking about those prisoners:
11 "Had Major Malinic told you who had issued those orders?"
12 And we see from the previous sentence that it was about the
13 3.000 prisoners, as they had been taken to Bratunac. And your answer is:
14 "Yes. The order for the prisoners to be taken from the football
15 pitch in Kasaba to Bratunac had been issued to him personally by the
16 commander of the Main Staff when he was passing by the football pitch,
17 and he personally addressed those prisoners."
18 Does that help you remember that, in fact, Malinic -- of what he
19 in fact told you?
20 A. I really cannot remember this, but I do not doubt that back in
21 2004 I remembered things better than I do now. It is possible that
22 Major Malinic told me that the prisoners were to be transferred, and I
23 think he even mentioned that the commander of the Main Staff said they
24 were to go to Bratunac. But I can't recall everything right now.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would offer this one page of the
1 transcript into evidence, given that he's a little bit still fuzzy about
2 the recollection and this is clear under oath. If you think it is
3 helpful for the Court, of course.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you consider that it would be helpful for
5 us, then we accept that at this point in time. Of course we'll look at
6 the evidence in its entirety.
7 Have you uploaded this one page? Not yet?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Not the one page. I --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- hadn't anticipated everything.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, another matter is, I think you have read
12 literally the portion you wanted to bring to the attention of the
13 witness. And if everyone agrees that what you read is in the transcript,
14 then I think that would in itself do -- unless the Defence considers that
15 there's any need to have more of it in evidence for reasons of context.
16 I see Mr. Lukic is saying no. If this is what you focused on, the only
17 thing you read, I think we can do without.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. That's a good
20 Q. All right, General, and who did Malinic tell you had ordered the
21 prisoners to the football pitch in the first place?
22 A. As for gathering the prisoners on the football pitch, he said to
23 me that that task was conveyed by Colonel Beara. Also, I'm not sure
24 whether he personally conveyed this to him or through the duty officer.
25 At any rate, that was the task that Colonel Beara conveyed to Malinic, or
1 rather, the battalion of the military police at the barracks.
2 Q. And roughly what time were you with Malinic in Kasaba on this
4 A. Well, maybe about 15 minutes, 20 minutes maximum.
5 Q. Was this at the command post of the 65th Protection Regiment
6 Military Police?
7 A. This was in the area of the command post, but not in the facility
8 itself but it was on the road, on the road by the school, the main road.
9 Q. Was this the --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, may I just interrupt?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Please.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: What date is this, in fact, if you are able to
13 remember, Mr. Keserovic? The date when you were with Mr. Malinic and he
14 was telling you all this.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is that day when I was in that
16 area. Now, was it the 17th or the 18th? I cannot say. I cannot
17 remember exactly.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you very much.
19 Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Could we go to P013 --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm very sorry, the question of Judge Moloto is
22 not properly recorded, the latter part. I think that should be
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I didn't say "still in your office." I said:
25 "The date when you were with Mr. Malinic and he told you about all this,"
1 not "in your office." Thank you so much.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Could we have an intercept, should be
4 THE REGISTRAR: The document is under seal.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
6 Q. You may recall, I believe you have seen this intercept before, it
7 was from 17 July at 11.15 hours. Do you recall being shown this
8 intercept I believe by Mr. Karnavas as well as the Prosecution?
9 A. Yes, I had an opportunity of seeing this intercept.
10 Q. And as we can see it's between two unknown persons, X and Y, and
11 they start speaking about something, it's hard to say. And then Y asks a
12 question that says:
13 "Has Keserovic set out already?"
14 X says:
15 "We came across him on our way here."
16 Y says:
17 "And he hasn't arrived here yet?"
18 X says:
19 "Well, he must have gone first over there to Momir Nikolic."
20 And then Y says:
21 "... let me tell you. I spoke just a while ago to
22 General Miletic."
23 X says:
25 Y says:
1 "He told me that Keserovic also has to come here to solve these
3 And where's -- where was -- as far as you know, if this was
4 17 July, where would Momir Nikolic have been, to your knowledge, if you
5 know anything about Momir Nikolic?
6 A. No, no, I don't know anything.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, needless to remind you there are only
8 a couple of minutes left.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
10 Q. You have testified before you knew what brigade he was from,
11 right, though you didn't know him personally?
12 A. I didn't quite understand.
13 Q. You recall testifying that while you did not know Momir Nikolic
14 personally, you knew which brigade he was from?
15 A. Well, I knew when I found out that Momir Nikolic was the security
16 organ in the Bratunac Brigade.
17 Q. And if this intercept is accurate, there is a suggestion here
18 that you may have gone over towards Momir Nikolic before going to
19 wherever this other location is, correct, and that would have been the
20 Bratunac area then?
21 A. I don't know who talked and when. I see the time, but what I
22 said, namely, that I first stopped at Kasaba and then from there went to
23 Bratunac via Konjevic Polje, that is correct. But -- I mean,
24 Momir Nikolic, no, I didn't know him, I didn't see him, I didn't go to
25 see him, I went to see Blagojevic.
1 Q. All right. And did you see Blagojevic, Colonel Blagojevic, the
2 commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
3 A. Yes, I saw him at his command post in Bratunac, yes.
4 Q. At about what time?
5 A. Well, I assume it was around 11.00, 11.00 in the morning.
6 Q. And did he tell you where he was going?
7 A. Well, I remember that he first said to me what the units, or
8 rather, what was being done that day in the zone. And he said that he
9 was getting ready because he was supposed to go to Zepa. I'm not sure
10 that he told me exactly what time he would go and when he was supposed to
11 go. At any rate, he was supposed to go to Zepa.
12 Q. And as far as you know, did he go to Zepa that day?
13 A. Well, probably yes, or rather, I don't know for sure whether he
14 did. But at one point in time, in the afternoon, I stopped by the
15 command of the Bratunac Brigade once again and he wasn't there.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, a couple of minutes is a couple of
17 minutes. So if you want to put a final question to the witness, you may
18 do so; otherwise, move on.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a key witness. I'm sorry my time was not
20 a good estimate, Your Honour. He's been not an easy witness and I
21 apologise for my time not being proper, but I then have no further
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me consult with my colleagues.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Saved by my colleagues, Mr. McCloskey. We, all
1 three of us, do agree that if these are the crucial issues, you should
2 have put them earlier in your examination, so as not to have any risk of
3 losing time here. How much time would you still need? I'm hesitant to
4 ask you even.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can tell, Mr. President. And I -- absolutely
6 20 minutes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: 20 minutes are granted, that means until the break.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I will try to warn you sooner when I'm --
10 when I know that I'm going over. This caught me a bit off guard as you
11 can see.
12 JUDGE ORIE: As far as time management is concerned, you can
13 learn a lot of from some of your junior colleagues. Consult them.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would like to emphasise that the earlier
16 testimony was as important as the secondary testimony, in the view of the
18 JUDGE ORIE: Put your next question, Mr. McCloskey, then you do
19 not lose even more time.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. All right, General, can we -- what else did you do in Bratunac
22 that day?
23 A. I've already said that my task was to find Colonel Jankovic, and
24 while I was with Blagojevic, he showed up at the command of the
25 Bratunac Brigade as he was summoned to do. They found him, so I met up
1 with him during that day, or rather, after that, with Jankovic, I went to
2 the command of the Dutch Battalion in Potocari, where Jankovic was
3 supposed to convey to the commander of the battalion that the evacuation
4 of the battalion would go through Serbia rather than through Sarajevo.
5 And in some way he wanted to apologise to him because of what was
6 happening, or rather, because resources were being taken at UNPROFOR
7 check-points and that was supposed to be returned to him.
8 In addition to that, at one moment we stopped at the public
9 security station in Bratunac. I don't know exactly why, but Jankovic had
10 some commitment there. I already said that at the public security
11 station I came across Colonel Ljubisa Borovcanin, who was there in the
13 Q. Remind us who he is.
14 A. Ljubisa Borovcanin at that time was Chief of Staff and deputy
15 commander of the special brigade of the Ministry of the Interior of
16 Republika Srpska.
17 Q. And was he involved in this sweep operation?
18 A. Yes. I learned that units of the MUP, especially members of the
19 special brigade, were carrying out the task of searching the terrain
20 within the area of this operation.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to a document, 65 ter 4028 -- actually,
23 it should be 65 ter 23272. Yes, thank you. You've got that.
24 Back to the order that we had talked about with General Mladic,
25 here we see a written order dated 17 July. Can we see the last page of
1 it in the English. Do we see that it's from the commander Ratko Mladic
2 and the date 18 February on the stamp. If we look over at the B/C/S and
3 blow that up, it should be just -- it's difficult to see, but in looking
4 at this order itself, I'm not sure why the English was spelled out as
5 February because clearly the date is a number and whether that's a 2 or a
6 7 I think we'll just leave for consideration.
7 Q. But in looking at this order, is this the order -- a written
8 order of the -- regarding of the oral order that you received, the --
9 from General Mladic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And we can see from this order that the first part of it - could
12 we go to the first page in English - has to do with the three colonels,
13 Sladojevic, Trkulja, Stankovic, to go to Zvornik. And then the last part
14 is for you and it says:
15 "As of 17 July, the forces ..." and then it lists the various
16 forces "... will comb the territory ..." and then it goes on and says
17 that: "I hereby appoint Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic ..."
18 When did you first see this order?
19 A. I first saw this order when it was shown to me by Mr. Ruez, I
20 think, in October 2000, when we talked in Banja Luka.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would offer this into evidence,
22 but I would tell you, you may recall Mr. Vanderpuye offered a similar
23 order but more of a -- there's some handwriting on it. This is -- does
24 not have any handwriting and it's got a stamp and we will be able to
25 provide you further information on where they came from, as you requested
1 yesterday, if necessary. I believe they both came from the Drina Corps
3 JUDGE ORIE: Any objections? If not, Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 23272 receives number P1579,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: P1579 is admitted into evidence.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
9 Mr. Lukic, are you ready to start your cross-examination?
10 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I am, Your Honour. I just need one minute to
11 organise myself.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Mr. Keserovic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Lukic.
14 Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, General.
17 A. Good day.
18 Q. We're between a rock and a hard place, aren't we? We have to
19 hurry, but on the other hand, we should not overlap when we're speaking.
20 So we have to be careful. We have to bear this in mind so that we give
21 the interpreters enough time to interpret my questions and your answers.
22 Can we start?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. First, let us take things easy. First let us talk about
25 functioning and then we're going to move on to these dates that are
1 rather unclear. So we will see whether anything can be resolved on that
3 Regarding functioning, there were units that were attached to the
4 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you tell us today which units these are?
7 A. There was the protective motorised regiment, then there was the
8 regiment for communications, then there was the headquarters
9 administration - I don't know whether there was some other unit of that
10 sort. There was also the reconnaissance sabotage detachment.
11 Q. They called it the 10th Sabotage Detachment, didn't they?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. From a command point of view, these units that were attached to
14 the Main Staff, who did they report to?
15 A. These units, I mean as the word itself says, they were attached
16 to the staff and they should therefore report to the Chief of Staff.
17 Q. At that time it was who?
18 A. At that time it was General Milovanovic.
19 Q. You said that that is the way it was supposed to be, that it
20 should be that way. Were they indeed responsible to the Chief of Staff?
21 A. As for this kind of decision, that they should report to the
22 Chief of Staff, that is the kind of solution that existed in the previous
23 army and it was taken over up to a point. As far as I know, at a certain
24 point in time, command over all units, according to the principle of
25 singleness of command, was focused in the hands of the commander of the
1 Main Staff. At that point in time, what things were like exactly I
2 cannot say right now.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] All right. We'll just briefly look
4 at 65 ter 25999.
5 Q. That's your interview of the 12th of October, 2000.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: While that will be brought on the screen, may I
7 ask one question. Mr. Keserovic, you said:
8 "As far as I know, at a certain point in time, command over all
9 units, according to the principle of singleness of command, was focused
10 in the hands of the commander of the Main Staff."
11 You say "a certain point in time," can you give a more precise
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know, I don't know
14 exactly when this took place, when these changes took place. I know --
15 well, that's why these units are called headquarters support units, that
16 they are linked to the Chief of Staff. And that is my knowledge at
17 least, that the commander of the Main Staff after a while - I don't know
18 how much time and I don't know when that happened - commanded all units.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you give a rough estimation, which month,
20 which week?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I might just get clarification as a follow-up.
24 Are we to understand that there comes a time when the commander of the
25 Main Staff doesn't have command of some units? Is that the evidence we
1 are supposed to accept?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The commander of the
3 Main Staff always had command over all units, but some units - like the
4 headquarters support units - according to a decision of the commander of
5 the Main Staff, or rather, according to certain rules were linked to the
6 Chief of Staff and that was a solution that existed in the previous army
7 and we kept it for a while. Now, which periods were involved ...
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you one follow-up question. In
10 July 1995 had that change already taken place? Could you ...
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As regards the battalion of the
12 military police of the protection regiment, the answer is certainly yes.
13 That is a unit that I know was under the command of General Mladic. As
14 for the other units, I cannot state that unequivocally, although I think
15 that the 10th Sabotage Detachment, even at that time, was linked to
16 General Milovanovic.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Which suggests that the change had not taken place
18 for the 10th Sabotage Detachment. Is that how I have to understand your
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge and
21 recollection, yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours explored this issue, so I don't need
24 this document on the screen anymore.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, these headquarters support units, they sometimes take
3 part in operations, don't they, they are in action; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. These headquarters support units in a vast majority of cases, how
6 do they participate in operations, how do they go into action? Are they
7 commanded by someone of the Main Staff or are they resubordinated to the
8 commanders of certain operations?
9 A. Tasks to these units at the proposal of the professional organs
10 are issued by the commander of the Main Staff. A task may contain what
11 you referred to just now, namely, that for a certain period of time in a
12 certain area for a certain task, they would be resubordinated to the
13 senior commander who brings together all the activities in that area, and
14 that kind of thing did happen indeed.
15 Q. When you say that it did happen, let's make it clear.
16 Headquarters support units were then being resubordinated to the
17 commander in charge of an operation who was not from the Main Staff?
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. LUKIC: I think it's break time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's break time.
21 We take a break of 20 minutes. Could the witness be escorted out
22 of the courtroom.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Can we continue?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Explain to us briefly, please, how is communication between
9 security organs and the officers in the security service different and
10 how is it set aside from the communication in terms of -- from
11 communication in terms of command?
12 A. Security organs are members of the command. In that sense, they
13 usually act as assistant commanders. This part relating to staff
14 security matters and the work of the command in all situations puts them
15 in a command relationship with the commander. There are such tasks which
16 I have discussed here as well, in particular counter-intelligence
17 assignments and tasks which were based on the Law on the State Security
18 Service. Such tasks were within the remit of security organs where
19 professional management of security organs in the subordinate units was
20 in the hands of the security organ officer in the superior unit. There
21 were rules in place when and where the commanders of units are informed
22 of such activities. That is the briefest possible explanation.
23 Q. Thank you. Explain to us briefly the role of the military police
24 in a situation involving prisoners.
25 A. POWs under the Geneva Conventions and the laws and customs of war
1 is something that one must count on in any conflict. Their treatment was
2 regulated by laws and rules, inter alia, of the VRS. In units at the
3 level of regiment and brigade, a commander's decision defines the
4 location, and that's precisely what it's called, the location where POWs
5 will be assembled. They are gathered and brought there by the units
6 which had taken them prisoner or that the POWs had surrendered to.
7 Immediate security is provided by those units. If the unit in question
8 has a separate military police unit, which is always the case with the
9 brigades, then the military police unit takes over guard duty at the
10 point of assembly of POWs.
11 At the location itself, initial screening -- initial processing
12 of POWs is performed, which in principle is done by intelligence organs,
13 with the aim to gather information that may be important for further
14 combat activities. After that, the POWs are -- actually, a location is
15 decided upon to get them out of the combat zone. On occasion, these were
16 military detention centres. At other cases, POW camps or some other
17 locations designed for the purpose. At all such locations in principle
18 it is the military police that provides security for the POWs.
19 Q. Thank you. In Bratunac and in Zvornik, the prisoners were
20 secured by the military police. In Bratunac it was the Bratunac Brigade
21 military police, and in Zvornik, the Zvornik Brigade MPs. Are you
22 familiar with that?
23 A. I'm not.
24 Q. Is it correct that the security organ of the Main Staff of the
25 VRS had the possibility to activate the 65th Protection Regiment?
1 A. The security organ of the Main Staff, if we are talking about the
2 assistant commander of the Main Staff or the chief of intelligence and
3 security sector, under the rules that were in place, he could not have --
4 activate the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment.
5 Q. Is it correct that the intelligence organ could activate the
6 10th Sabotage Detachment?
7 A. Neither the intelligence organ or the chief of intelligence
8 administration cannot do so without the competent commander's approval,
9 the competent commander being the person that the unit was subordinated
10 to. The -- both organs, the intelligence and security organs, can
11 organise some professional tasks and issue them to the military police
12 units and to the intelligence organs, to the reconnaissance and sabotage
13 units, but they cannot engage them as units without the commander's
14 previous decision.
15 Q. Does the security organ have the possibility to activate the
16 police battalion from the protection regiment for certain, specific
18 A. The security organ may engage people from the military police
19 services for certain tasks; in other words, parts of the battalion or
20 parts of the MP unit. First and foremost, the MP platoon and in terms of
21 those specific tasks within the remit of the MP platoon, which is the
22 seven services we have enumerated earlier, that can be done without the
23 commander's approval.
24 Q. We agreed today that the operation commander had the power to
25 control the units resubordinated to him. Would you agree that in
1 July 1995, in the area of Srebrenica, Bratunac, and Zvornik, the
2 operation commander Krivaja 95 was General Krstic?
3 A. Subsequently, in the years that followed, I learned that the
4 Drina Corps command was ordered to carry out the operation Krivaja 95.
5 When it comes to a specific person, I know that during the initial period
6 the corps commander was General Zivanovic. According to some documents,
7 as of the 13th of July it was General Krstic in his stead.
8 Q. Thank you. The 10th Sabotage Detachment took part in the
9 operation of liberating Srebrenica, do you know that?
10 A. Subsequently I learned in a conversation with some officers that
11 the 10th Sabotage Detachment did take part in liberating Srebrenica.
12 However, some officers told me that it was not specified in the decision
13 for the operation, it was not on the list of the units that were to take
15 Q. In principle -- in keeping with the principle of unity of
16 command, would you agree that they were resubordinated to the Drina Corps
17 in that operation?
18 A. All of the units should have and probably were resubordinated to
19 the operations commander, that is to say, the Drina Corps commander.
20 What things were like in the field is something I don't know because I
21 was not a direct participant. In any case, it should have been the way I
23 Q. After the Drina Corps operation was concluded in Srebrenica,
24 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment left the area and went to their
25 base in Dragosevac village. Are you aware of that?
1 A. I'm not, and I didn't know at the time where they were or where
2 their base was.
3 Q. You mentioned that they were not in the original order, that they
4 were not in the list of units to take part in Krivaja 95. Is it correct
5 that their participation could have been regulated by way of a separate
7 A. Yes, certainly. Depending on the development of the operation,
8 certain units could be excluded or included. It is standard practice.
9 The commander acts by providing corrections to his previous orders,
10 depending on the development of the situation.
11 Q. I will go back to the issue of POWs. POWs are taken over,
12 guarded, and interrogated by the security organ, who is in charge of
13 performing such tasks in the area where the POWs are located; correct?
14 A. I believe I have already said that the first contact with POWs is
15 mostly through security organs for the reasons I've specified. Then it
16 is security organs that are included who, under the rules, should conduct
17 security checks of the POWs. Such security checks or processing consists
18 of a number of different activities, starting with identification,
19 gathering information on membership to certain units, documenting such
20 membership in order to be accorded the status of POW under the
21 international regulations in place. They also need to verify whether by
22 that time they had taken part in certain activities and committed
23 offences in that regard. They also gather different sorts of information
24 that is necessary through interviews with each and every POW. Following
25 it, the security organ needs to draft a document on the activities
2 Q. General, is it also correct that the search of POWs is standard
4 A. Yes, disarming and searching POWs is what is done first. It is
5 done by those who come into contact with POWs first.
6 Q. Can we also conclude that there is nothing unlawful in having
7 them searched?
8 A. There is nothing unlawful. It is envisaged by the law and the
9 judiciary within any defence system, the procedure is the same.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question?
11 How do you understand the word "search"? Can you describe the
12 procedure for us?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A POW or a person surrendering or
14 being placed in a situation where he or she can no longer offer
15 resistance, when called upon to do so needs to lay down their weapon,
16 needs to step away a few metres away from the weapon, so that the weapon
17 becomes closer to the person engaging in search. The POW is then
18 approached in a prescribed way from the side and back. The person in
19 question needs to spread their arms and legs and frisked through clothes
20 in an attempt to locate any other weapons, ammunition, and explosive
21 devices, that is to say, any kind of device that could be used to turn
22 against the people taking him prisoner. That is the search.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what about his personal belongings and his
24 identification documents?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Any identification documents are
1 checked and they should be attached to the official note accompanying the
2 POW en route to be it a POW camp or if the person is to be exchanged.
3 All documentation needs to be preserved in a prescribed way to accompany
4 the POW en route to whatever the destination is under the rules.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what about the other personal belongings?
6 I'm not talking about ammunition and weapons, but other personal
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they're not supposed to be
9 taken away. Usually these are small objects, perhaps money, jewellery,
10 that is not supposed to be taken away unless these are objects that can
11 harm others or that can be used to harm oneself. But probably it does
12 happen that that is taken away too, but it's not according to the rules
13 and it shouldn't be taken.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You answered the question about the identity
16 documents, that they should be taken and then attached to the, as you
17 said, to the official note accompanying the prisoner of war. Do I
18 understand that it's your position that you could take those identity
19 documents from a prisoner of war and not -- he should not keep it?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they can be taken away while
21 the prisoner of war is in that status. He does not keep his documents.
22 They are safe-guarded in a convenient place by those who guard prisoners
23 of war.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You referred to the rules several times. Could you
25 indicate to me which rule prescribes that -- or at least allows for
1 individual documentation to be taken from the prisoner of war?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not sure now
3 which rule regulates that, but there is no doubt that that was the
4 prevalent practice. And I had the opportunity of seeing documents that
5 were taken away from POWs at certain POW camps and that were being
6 safe-guarded at the camp command. What this was based on is something
7 that I am not sure I can tell you right now.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No, I was asking because you referred several times
9 to applicable rules, and it seems that you now shift to the experience or
10 the -- what you observed. Another question in this respect, since you're
11 referring -- earlier you said about -- you told us about prisoners of war
12 and civilians kept at a certain place. Could you tell us what was the
13 basis for keeping in detention civilians?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The basis for keeping civilians in
15 the status or outside the status of POWs does not exist. Civilians
16 should not be brought into that position, to be prisoners of war. That
17 is impermissible. However, I have said that I heard from Major Malinic
18 that, in Nova Kasaba, there was a certain number of people who were POWs
19 and that there were civilians among them. I just conveyed what it was
20 that I had heard, otherwise civilians cannot be prisoners of war unless
21 they can be linked to combat action or if they assisted in combat. But
22 that has to be established.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because you told us that Mr. Malinic said to
24 you that 2500 captured and disarmed Muslims, actually fighters and
25 civilians from Srebrenica. Have you ever discussed with Mr. Malinic at
1 the time what was the basis for capturing civilians?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I did not discuss the
3 legal basis, and Major Malinic at that moment probably could not have
4 known without identification, a lot of work, who was a combatant and who
5 was a civilian. And I assume that he probably knew that probably in that
6 group there were some civilians as well. Now, who was a combatant and
7 who was not a civilian, I believe that he himself could not have known.
8 We did not discuss it at that point in time.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did you report in any way that you had a discussion
10 about civilians being kept in detention?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I said here, when I
12 returned to the Main Staff I conveyed that in Nova Kasaba, at the
13 stadium, there were about 2500 persons who had been gathered there from
14 Srebrenica and that among them there were probably civilians too.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you put that in writing in one way or another?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think I wrote a report. I
17 do not recall having written a report, but I did report orally at the
18 operations centre when I went to the command post of the Main Staff.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Which means that the operations centre of the
20 Main Staff was aware that civilians were captured and were detained?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of this report of
22 mine, namely, that a certain number of people of Srebrenica were there,
23 the extent to which they understood that this included civilians too I'm
24 not sure, and probably I did not particularly highlight civilians because
25 I always pointed out that a certain number of people, that is to say,
1 2500 people from Srebrenica, were taken prisoner and kept at the stadium
2 and then transferred to Bratunac from there.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, reading your testimony, you start by
4 saying that Mr. Malinic told you actually fighters and civilians, without
5 any addition of probable. Then you told us that you conveyed, although
6 not in writing, that among those gathered were probably civilians. And
7 now in the third round you tell us that you may not have emphasised that
8 there were civilians. That is a shift, which if you would like to
9 explain that you have an opportunity to do so.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I would like to say that
11 probably, probably, I did not highlight that, that civilians had been
12 taken prisoner; rather, when I put all of this together, when I said
13 people had been taken prisoner from Srebrenica, combatants and civilians,
14 it's not that I singled out civilians in particular. So that's it.
15 Perhaps it's a bit clumsy, perhaps in the beginning I put it in a clumsy
16 way, civilians, highlighting this in particular. But I stand by what I
17 said, that I was told that 2500 persons from Srebrenica were in
18 Nova Kasaba.
19 Another thing that I would like to say and I hope that you can
20 take that into account and help me with this, a lot of the knowledge that
21 I accumulated over these 18 years regarding these events, it is very hard
22 for me, you see, to distinguish between the things I knew at that point
23 in time and the things I know today. Today I know indubitably that there
24 were civilians among them too.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, it was not -- you told us that that is
1 what Mr. Malinic told you at the time when you met him. But I do
2 understand that even if you did not highlight that there were civilians,
3 that you mentioned that there were civilians and you were conveying this
4 information to the Main Staff.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just take a follow-up. I thought you
8 said a little earlier today that it is not permissible to take civilians
9 hostage -- as POWs. Am I right?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, are you able to explain to us why you
12 probably did not highlight that the civilians were present if you knew
13 that keeping civilians as POWs is not permissible according to the law?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I conveyed that and the
15 way in which I conveyed that, I really cannot recall that now. And why I
16 did not highlight it then and the form I put it in, I really have no
17 recollection of that.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt you. I'm not asking you to
19 recollect anything. I'm asking you to give an explanation today why you
20 did not highlight the fact that civilians were being taken amongst POWs
21 if you knew at the time that civilians were not supposed to be taken as
22 POWs? I'm asking for an explanation now. I'm not asking you to remember
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Geneva Conventions from 1949 is
25 something I studied in detail only when I worked on certain findings in
1 2011 in relation to POW camps of the 5th Corps of the BH Army. It was
2 then that I found out unequivocally who can be a prisoner of war. At the
3 time when all of this was happening, I did not have any reliable
4 knowledge about that. Today I know that civilians cannot be prisoners of
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Let me ask you another
7 little point. At page 28, starting from lines -- line 10 right up to
8 line 22, you explain how the initial interviews and recording of the POWs
9 takes place. And you said that:
10 "Such security checks or processing consists of a number of
11 different activities, starting with identification, gathering information
12 on membership to certain units, documenting such membership ..."
13 And you say these activities are carried out by the security
14 organ. Did I understand you correctly there?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first contact -- or rather, the
16 first to interrogate POWs are the intelligence organs to gain initial
17 knowledge about the affiliation of POWs with certain units. As for their
18 tasks and intentions, that is what they're supposed to report about to
19 their commander so that he could take measures in relation to the
20 intentions of those units of the adversary, and then the security organs
21 carry out security checks and process the POWs.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was the question that I was going to
23 follow-up, you probably anticipated me, because earlier you had told us
24 just that, that the initial contact is by intelligence. But at
25 paragraph [sic] 28, lines 10 to 22, I'm getting the impression that it is
1 the security organ that does all that and nowhere were you mentioning the
2 intelligence -- but now you have explained it. Thank you so much.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I have one additional question.
4 Did I understand you well that you said that as a high-ranking
5 officer, that only after the armed conflict that you learned about
6 civilians, whether they could be taken prisoners of war, and that you did
7 not know at the time? Is that -- because that's what I thought I heard
8 you say. I could read it to you if you are interested in it.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not sure that I
10 understood this about high rank, but I mean, I said that when I studied
11 the subject matter that had to do with the Geneva Conventions from 1949
12 and the position and status of prisoners of war, prisoners of war - if
13 this will help this explanation --
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. I read to you what you said, and if it's not
15 correct -- you said:
16 "At the time when all of this was happening, I did not have any
17 reliable knowledge about that. Today I know that civilians cannot be
18 prisoners of war."
19 And you said that you studied it in 2011. By the way, which of
20 the Geneva Conventions did you focus your study on? There are four,
21 there are two Additional Protocols. Which one had your specific
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I read all of these
24 conventions that have to do with prisoners of war --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and which is the one on which you focused?
1 Let's just limit ourselves to the first four Geneva Conventions. Which
2 is the one you remember, after having studied it thoroughly, is
3 specifically dealing with prisoners of war?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the convention, I don't know
5 the number, it deals with the position of prisoners of war and their
6 status. It defines a prisoner of war, who a prisoner of war can be, and
7 what his status is and what rights are derived from the status of a
8 prisoner of war. That's the convention that I dealt with the most. I
9 don't know what number it bears.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know which, whether it's I, II, III, or
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. General, is it correct that at the time Major Malinic could not
17 under the circumstances professionally distinguish between civilians and
19 A. Not at a glance. You couldn't distinguish soldiers and
20 civilians, especially if they were all mixed together.
21 Q. Did you know that at the time a great majority of the fighters of
22 the 20th Division of the ABiH was dressed in civilian clothes?
23 A. Some intelligence and some information testified to that. What
24 the situation was with the 28th Division and what parts of uniform its
25 fighters had is something I really don't know.
1 Q. Did you know that at the time in Srebrenica general mobilisation
2 was in force pertaining to all able-bodied men?
3 A. I learned of this general mobilisation although I'm not sure if I
4 knew about it at the time, given the fact that I wasn't in the area for
5 long and I didn't deal specifically with Srebrenica. But later I even
6 think that at a trial here General Tolimir showed me a document
7 proclaiming general mobilisation.
8 Q. Did you know that the column of men which set off from Srebrenica
9 to Tuzla comprised almost exclusively able-bodied men?
10 A. I do not know of it first hand, but intelligence information
11 indicated that it was mostly men, able-bodied men that set off.
12 Q. I'll read out a part which is from 65 ter 25999, since we have
13 discussed the topic extensively. It is actually your interview with
14 Mr. Ruez on 12 October 2000.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need page 79. That is the B/C/S
16 reference. I know the ERN number of the English. [In English] It should
17 be page 92 in English version. Two pages less, so it's page 90, 9-0.
18 That's at -- [Interpretation] in the B/C/S it is line 18.
19 Q. Mr. Ruez asked you --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: In English?
21 MR. LUKIC: Sorry?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: What line in English.
23 MR. LUKIC: I'm struggling.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're going to leave us behind.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It could be line 15.
1 MR. LUKIC: 15, 14/15, yeah. It's just the end of Mr. Ruez's
3 Q. [Interpretation] He asked you who was the person in charge of
4 dealing with prisoners of war. In line 19 in your version and 17 in the
5 English, you say:
6 "I am not sure that they were placed under the command of the
7 commander of the Bratunac Brigade, but they were taken to the area of the
8 Bratunac Brigade. Whether they were taken over by the Bratunac Brigade
9 or civilian police or both. From a professional point of view, the chief
10 of security of that brigade would be responsible for prisoners within
11 that brigade's zone, but everything is within the responsibility of the
13 So you say from the professional point of view and then you
14 conclude with saying that everything was within the responsibility of the
15 commander. At Mr. Blagojevic's trial, my learned friend Mr. McCloskey
16 asked you whether in that trial you were willing to confirm this position
17 of yours, and you accepted the assertion as true. I am asking you now
18 whether today you still accept this assertion as true?
19 A. It is what I said and it is what I know and can remember. I
20 think I have said so several times thus far.
21 Q. Then Mr. McCloskey asked you the following question.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And for that we need 1D1056.
23 Q. It is your testimony in the Blagojevic case.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 36 in e-court. The bottom of
25 the page starting with line 24 and then we'll move over to page 37, which
1 corresponds to the transcript page 10705. And then we'll move to 10706.
2 Q. I'll read out in English so that you receive accurate
4 [In English] "Did you mean the commander of the brigade when you
5 said that?
6 "A. I meant the commander who is in control of the area of
7 responsibility. Yes, one could say brigade commander in whose area of
8 responsibility this was."
9 [Interpretation] I wanted to ask you whether you stand by this
10 part of your testimony in the Blagojevic case?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Thank you. Next we'll address the order issued to you by
13 General Mladic when there was much discussion about the date; however,
14 we'll not touch upon the date just yet.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need 1D1056. In e-court it's
16 page 29. It is the transcript of Tuesday, the 10th of July [as
17 interpreted], 2004, in the Blagojevic case.
18 Q. You told us -- actually, did General Mladic modify his original
20 A. General Mladic, according to General Tolimir's words, did change
21 the original order issued to me. So he changed the task in the part
22 pertaining to the issue of assuming command.
23 Q. On the page before us in line 21, you said, when discussing
24 General Mladic, whenever someone explained things to him in a rational
25 way, in a reasonable way, General Mladic would change his decision by
1 simply saying, "All right, let's have it that way."
2 A. That was the case as regards myself.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for the record, Mr. Lukic, you referred to
4 the transcript of the 10th of July, 2004, but in fact it's 10th of June.
5 MR. LUKIC: June. I said -- maybe I misspoke --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Or it's a translation issue, but --
7 MR. LUKIC: Yes, and we --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- I just wanted to correct the transcript.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. And this can be found in lines 21 to 25.
10 Q. [Interpretation] As an introduction, I would like to ask you the
11 following. Was there anything in that order that was unlawful? And I
12 mean the first order for which you believed you could not carry out and
13 the second order that you actually implemented.
14 A. There was nothing unlawful in it. The commander has the right to
15 make decisions.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, again let's try and make sure we've got
17 the record correct. Now at page 40, line 13, we're saying he would
18 change his decision by simply saying, "All right. Let's have it that
20 In the Blagojevic testimony, that's not what I read. It says:
21 "All right, it doesn't have to be that way."
22 MR. LUKIC: I will try to clarify it with the witness, but I
23 understand it the same way.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Look at the Blagojevic testimony.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. What did General Tolimir tell you? How did General Mladic take
2 your proposal conveyed to him by General Tolimir? What did he say?
3 A. He said that General Mladic accepted my concern with how
4 successful I would be in implementing the task. He said that I was not
5 relieved from going to the operations zone in order to reach
6 Colonel Blagojevic so that he could tell me how things were developing.
7 I was also to report on what I observed upon return.
8 Q. What was your impression? Were there any hidden agendas,
9 intentions, or did it really boil down to reporting back from the search
10 of terrain operation looking for members of the 28th Division?
11 A. It was my understanding undoubtedly that the aim of my report was
12 to provide feedback on the results of the operation and the results of
13 the search for fighters and people from the 28th Division, nothing beyond
14 that. There was no implication of anything else.
15 Q. Is it true that before General Mladic's order, the operation of
16 sweeping the terrain was in the hands of Colonel Blagojevic, commander of
17 the Bratunac Brigade?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is it also correct that nothing changed following the order, that
20 is to say that Colonel Blagojevic remained in charge of the operation?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Please go ahead.
23 A. Just this: It was on that day that Colonel Blagojevic had
24 control. I don't know what happened in the days following that day.
25 Q. Thank you. That operation was also legitimate, the operation of
1 searching the terrain; correct?
2 A. The observation of search and blocking and destroying the enemy
3 is a legitimate military operation.
4 Q. Let's now look into this, we have a few minutes left. When
5 General Mladic is not in the Main Staff, is it correct that if
6 General Mladic is absent from the Main Staff, the commanding officer is
7 his deputy Manojlo Milovanovic; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get clarity what he means by "absent."
10 Absent from where? The whole zone of the VRS or just the building of the
11 Main Staff? It really without a specificity means nothing.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
13 MR. LUKIC: I just posed an open question so the witness can
14 explain us in more details.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but at the same time, of course, it should be
16 clear what the open questions are if you -- because then the next
17 question would be what he refers to.
18 But, Mr. McCloskey, in the re-examination, of course, you'll have
19 full opportunity to further explore the matter. Therefore, though it
20 might speed up to already ask for details, the witness may answer the
22 The question was whether it is correct that if General Mladic is
23 absent from the Main Staff, the commanding officer is his deputy
24 Manojlo Milovanovic? Oh, yes, I think you have answered the question
25 already. You said "yes."
1 Now -- then I would ask you the following: When would you
2 consider for such a situation to arise, General Mladic to be absent?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, General Mladic is absent when
4 he is outside the territory of Republika Srpska or if he's outside the
5 zone of command of the Main Staff at a place when it is not possible to
6 communicate with him and ask him to take a certain decision. That is to
7 say, when objectively or subjectively he is prevented from reaching a
8 decision or cannot reach a decision related to certain tasks, then this
9 role is taken over by his deputy, or rather, the Chief of Staff.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us what you said if he's outside the
11 zone of command of the Main Staff, what did you consider to be the zone
12 of command of the Main Staff at that point in time, that is, mid-July
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The command post itself in
15 Crna Rijeka, that is to say, the command post with the facilities,
16 infrastructure, communications centre, communications of all kinds, or
17 one of the forward command posts that were organised in a certain period
18 of time for certain tasks, that is the zone of the command post, or
19 rather, the area of the command post of the Main Staff. If he's absent
20 or if he's not in that area, then he is absent, and he is absent if he's
21 not in the territory of Republika Srpska.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
23 Mr. Lukic.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just ask one question before we take a
1 Sir, you said that notwithstanding the order you received from
2 Mr. Mladic, it was Colonel Blagojevic who remained in charge of the
3 sweeping operation. My question to you is: What then did you do with
4 the order that you received? Did you carry it out or didn't you carry it
5 out? What happened to that order?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Item 3 of the order that was
7 written on that evening, I did not carry that out. The order was
8 written, and in the meantime a correction was made by General Mladic,
9 which was conveyed to me by General Tolimir. And I carried out this
10 corrected, or rather, amended order of General Mladic.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, but we saw this morning that finally the
12 written, corrected order still put you in charge of the operation. I
13 know that you said you didn't see it at that time, but what I'm saying
14 is, after it had been corrected you were still in charge of a sweeping
15 operation according to the written order?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] General Miletic wrote an order
17 immediately after it was issued by General Mladic, and he handed it over
18 and it was coded and sent to units through different communications
19 equipment. We can see that by looking at different stamps. We see that
20 it had been sent. So the original order, the first order, of
21 General Mladic was written. And in the meantime, after a few hours, a
22 correction was made, and later on, through a new order, that was not
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you mean that was not corrected? What was
25 not corrected?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a new order was not made that
2 would include this task that I got subsequently from General Mladic.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could we just verify that we have no problems in
4 translation or in transcription. You said:
5 "Well, a new order was not made that would include this task that
6 I got subsequently from General Mladic."
7 I have difficulties in understanding how an order was not made,
8 but you subsequently got from General Mladic. It's just not clear to me.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mladic issued the order and he
10 left the area of the operation centre. Acting on his order,
11 General Miletic wrote this up, and through communications equipment he
12 sent this to units. In the meantime, that is to say, a few hours later,
13 a change took place regarding the task in item 3, that remained at the
14 level of oral communication, or rather, the oral giving of a task. So
15 that is to say that this change was not written down anywhere afterwards,
16 so the order remained in its original form.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Going back to my original question, what did you
18 do with the order, are you saying that even though the task was changed,
19 the fact that you were put in charge of the operation, you did not take
20 charge of the operation, whatever that changed task was supposed to be?
21 Is that how we are supposed to understand your testimony, that you left
22 everything in the hands of Blagojevic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I did not.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
1 We take a break of 20 minutes.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: And we will resume at 25 minutes past midday.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.27 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. [Interpretation] General, we talked about the Main Staff a bit,
11 and now I'd like to ask you whether it's correct that the Main Staff of
12 the Army of Republika Srpska had very few people on it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it also correct that precisely because of this scarcity of
15 personnel, the members of the Main Staff had several duties respectively?
16 A. They carried out many parallel tasks in addition to their regular
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, for me to understand what "few" means,
19 "few" is a very relative concept. I'd rather hear how many there were
20 and then we'll find out whether we consider that a lot or few.
21 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Will you tell us, General, to the best of your recollection, how
25 many members did the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska have?
1 A. I don't know exactly about the Main Staff, but by way of an
2 example, I can take the security administration, that when it was manned
3 fully it had five persons, the chief of the administration and in all
4 departments one person respectively. In the department for military
5 police up until February 1995, there weren't any officers at all. And
6 there was a typist, a technical secretary. Every department was supposed
7 to have three, four, or five persons within it. The situation was
8 similar in the intelligence administration where there was also a total
9 of four to five persons. That is what I know about the sector for
10 security and intelligence affairs.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I'm slightly confused by your answer because
12 sometimes you say, "when it was manned fully it had five persons," but
13 then you do not say how many there were. So ...
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the largest number were there,
15 it wasn't that that was up to full complement. So the largest number
16 that they had was five.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is that what they had in fact or what they were
18 supposed to have?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what they did have. To the
20 best of my knowledge, there were supposed to be 12 or 13 of them there.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That gives at least some of the information, but as
22 you said, you wouldn't know for the -- I don't know exactly about the
23 Main Staff, but you saw a shortage of staff.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] General, is it also correct that if one person
2 would not be present, then others would take over that person's duties?
3 A. Well, these tasks or duties were given to someone, someone would
4 carry them out.
5 Q. And now I'd like to move on to the chronology of the events
6 involved. We'll try to explain where the confusion comes from and so on.
7 Up until the 15th of July you were in the Krajina; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You said when it was that you came to Han Pijesak, Crna Rijeka,
10 and today Judge Orie asked you whether you could say specifically about a
11 particular day, whether you could remember what it was that you did, if
12 there was a day in between your arrival and receiving this order. You
13 said that you mentioned that you were working on a report. Upon
14 returning from the Krajina --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I don't think that that was the evidence. Let's
16 check that exactly.
17 MR. LUKIC: Give me one second. I try to find --
18 JUDGE ORIE: I'll find it for you in a second.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Also, I don't --
20 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. Could we first ...
21 MR. LUKIC: Should be page 7, line 2, if I'm not mistaken.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Page 7, line 2.
23 MR. LUKIC: But on page 16 -- 6, line 16, the witness mentioned
24 that report --
25 JUDGE ORIE: He mentioned a report, but that doesn't mean that
1 the way in which you quoted him is --
2 MR. LUKIC: That's what I'm trying to clarify since I think that
3 it's -- that the answer is not complete.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look. Let me see. One second, please.
5 I think that -- I've got it. The witness referred to:
6 "During that time at some point he also drafted a report" --
7 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then I said:
9 "Let me stop you there. At some point in time. I'm asking about
10 possibly that day."
11 MR. LUKIC: Mm-hmm.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And then the witness said he didn't remember whether
13 there was such a day, and if there was such a day, what he may have done
14 during that day. He did not say, as you put it to him -- and you put it
15 to him:
16 "You said that you mentioned that you were working on a
17 report ..." and you linked that to this intermediate day, and that is not
18 what the evidence was.
19 MR. LUKIC: I didn't link it to intermediate day. I --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let me then check that exactly how you
21 presented that. You said, Mr. Lukic --
22 MR. LUKIC: At least it wasn't my intention.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see.
24 "You said that you mentioned that you were working on a report,"
25 and you said that in direct link, previous sentence, about possibly that
1 day. But let's move on. I think matters are clear. The witness
2 mentioned working on a report and also the witness could not put that
3 activity on --
4 MR. LUKIC: Certain day --
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- that day, if there was such a day. Then please
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Upon return from the Krajina, did you and the
9 team with which you went to the Krajina draft a report about the
10 findings, about what you found in the field in the Krajina?
11 A. We definitely created the report. As I have said already, I'm
12 not sure exactly when it happened.
13 Q. I am aware of your confusion in terms of dates, but let me ask
14 you this: Do you think you created the report before approaching the
15 implementation of the order on briefing about the results of the sweeping
16 of terrain after Krivaja 95 or did you create the report upon your return
17 from that task?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't understand your question, Mr. Lukic. I'm
19 sorry. You say:
20 "Do you think you created the report before approaching the
21 implementation of the order on briefing" --
22 MR. LUKIC: Implementation on --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: On briefing.
24 MR. LUKIC: -- search of terrain. Implementation of the order --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just read what your question reads here and
1 correct it in its form if it's incorrectly --
2 MR. LUKIC: I think it's the easiest way if I pose the question
3 again. Thank you.
4 Q. [Interpretation] You return from the Krajina and at some point
5 you received the order that has been discussed here, that the Prosecutor
6 asked you about from General Mladic. Do you recall whether you created
7 the report on your findings from the Krajina before receiving the order
8 or after?
9 A. I cannot say either way, but I think -- and it would have been
10 customary for me to do it immediately upon my return.
11 Q. Very well. But these are merely assumptions so let me move on.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask then to be shown some
13 excerpts from a footage that the Prosecution tendered. We need
14 V000-9267. With Ms. Stewart's kind assistance, we'd like to view certain
15 parts. First we need the time at 43 minutes, 42 seconds, to 45 minutes,
16 36 seconds.
17 Q. Please try to follow the footage and listen to the audio.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "These people were simply performing
20 miracles. I have witnessed such cases; say a man, a soldier from Ilijas
21 was hit right here, the bullet went out here, but he lived, somewhat more
22 anxious, his right arm a bit stiff, but without suffering any radical
23 damage. They have a huge ..."
24 MR. LUKIC: We can stop here. We don't even have to continue.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but has the witness been able to hear and see
1 what we saw --
2 MR. LUKIC: He said it's too loud so he couldn't follow.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we then replay it briefly.
4 MR. LUKIC: Mr. Mladic is telling to repeat it as well.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. LUKIC: Okay. Can we then start from the beginning, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Please pay attention to ...
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "They have a huge number of
10 seriously wounded people taken care of. Here are the most seriously
11 wounded with amputate limbs, many of them entirely unable to move. It is
12 either quadriplegia or paraplegia depending on the spine damage. I am
13 most disturbed when I see those wounded in the head or spine.
14 "This time we pierced it through.
15 "We pierced it a long time ago and several times.
16 "Yes, several times so far. The problem is not the blockade.
17 The problem is that we didn't know each other. I have to tell you that
18 we have accomplished in this war -- our greatest achievement is not the
19 fact that we have so far defeated Muslims and Croats. We have preserved
20 our people. For the first time in history our people are not standing
21 over pits waiting to be slaughtered. I think that the greatest
22 achievement of the Serbian people in this war is the fact that the
23 village where my mother was born does not fight against the village where
24 my father was born, or that a part of my family from the one side does
25 not fire at the family on the other side. From the time of Kosovo to
1 date, we have never had such a result. These people know that, Milan
2 too, and Nedjo Krajisnik knows it, and you probably know it. And these
3 colleagues of mine, officers, they know perfectly well how much I have
4 personally invested in that respect. Nothing that divided Serbian people
5 in the past may outlive the present time or divide us now or in the
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We have not received any
8 transcription. We merely read out the subtitles.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, there was no transcription, but subtitles
10 were read out by the interpreters. I therefore urge the parties to see
11 whether that accurately reflects what was said in the original, and
12 exceptionally, we'll proceed on this very basis. Please proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you should indicate where you stopped the
16 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should indicate where you stopped the video.
18 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, we stopped the video at 45 minutes, 36 seconds.
19 Thank you.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Can the background noise
21 be removed, please. It probably comes from the footage.
22 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be still some background noise.
23 THE INTERPRETER: It is fine now. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed.
25 Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, just as a reminder, this is
2 footage from what we've called the trial video, where we -- the parties
3 have basically agreed that the transcript is accurate and the subtitles
4 are as accurate as we can tell. And so that's that portion.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So parties agree on that. Thank you for this
7 MR. LUKIC: I wasn't sure about this, but thank you to my learned
8 friend for helping us.
9 Q. [Interpretation] So, General, we saw this footage that the
10 Prosecution received from a Canadian Serb whose camera filmed it all on
11 the 16th at the military medical academy. Let me ask you this -- but
12 first I want to show you some photographs.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In e-court we need 1D1060.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, you said military medical academy. Is
15 that correct?
16 MR. LUKIC: Military medical academy, VMA, [Interpretation]
17 military medical academy.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. I don't know if the e-court -- the
20 picture can be rotated.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So that people are standing up -- but before we do
22 so, you asked, Mr. Lukic, for V000-9267. On your list, document list for
23 cross-examination, I find only reference to 9265 --
24 MR. LUKIC: It's in the e-court, it starts with 5 so we cannot
25 see the preceding numbers. That's what I inquired with my case manager
1 as well.
2 JUDGE ORIE: If that is -- if there is no confusion about it --
3 because there it is P1147.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. The trial video is made up
5 of several of those V's, four of them, and one of them is the one that we
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. -- do we want the people who are getting
10 married to stand or do we want to see -- some are standing and the
11 others --
12 MR. LUKIC: Are upside down. Yes, but I need this picture first,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, okay.
15 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
16 Q. [Interpretation] This is a marriage ceremony which took place on
17 the 16th of July, 1995, attended by General Mladic as the best man. And
18 this is not disputed, either by Defence or the Prosecution. His presence
19 is not disputed at the military medical academy either.
20 During the proofing with the Prosecution, were you told that on
21 the 16th, General Mladic was at a certain time of day and evening in
23 A. No, I wasn't aware of it.
24 Q. In every trial thus far and in each of your interviews, you
25 honestly said that you were not certain of the day and that you were not
1 certain when you received the order and when you appeared in the area of
2 the Bratunac Brigade. The dates being confused are the 17th and the
3 18th. Can you confirm that?
4 A. Yes. I cannot assert anything based on memory.
5 Q. You also said that you reached certain conclusions by analysing
6 documents alone, the documents shown to you, and that you do not have a
7 personal recollection of the dates?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we next have -- well, perhaps we
10 need to rotate the group photograph. We don't want Judge Moloto twisting
11 his neck.
12 Q. Just behind the bride and groom you can also see General Mladic;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Behind the groom.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next page, please.
17 Q. General Mladic is standing behind the groom and the groom is in a
18 white suit with a tie.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we go to the next page, Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I see the date on this photograph at the bottom is
22 the 16th of February, 2012. What's the significance of that?
23 MR. LUKIC: You see the date on this photograph?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: 16th of February, 2012. Well, it's in line with
25 the case number. I don't know what that is --
1 MR. LUKIC: Probably it was uploaded on that day, since we
2 were -- at that time we were preparing alibi notice, so we had to upload
3 the documents with our alibi notice. And I think that's in connection
4 with upload to the e-court. That's my assumption.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I have a recollection that early 2012 there was an
6 issue about alibi.
7 MR. LUKIC: Yeah.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Apart from that, if I look at the dress of the
9 people, I would be surprised if it were February.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And there seems to be no dispute about the presence
12 at that point in time at that place of Mr. Mladic, is there?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: On that date, the actual time is not clear.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: But the date is what we've agreed on.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
18 Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. You also know Mrs. Mladic, don't you?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Please try to find her, and she has a specific dress, polka-dot
23 dress. Can you see Ms. Bosa between the groom and bride?
24 A. Yes, I see the bride and there is someone behind her, but I only
25 see it partially, I only see the person partially.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Now we need a still from the
2 Srebrenica video trial at 48 minutes, 58 seconds.
3 Q. Would you agree with me that she is in the same dress, whereas
4 Mr. Mladic seems to have changed his clothes? He's now in a military
5 uniform. But Mrs. Mladic is in the same dress and she still has the
6 decoration, the marriage decoration on her left-hand side which is
7 customary in our parts?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we next go back to the footage at
10 49.50 to 50.23 --
11 JUDGE ORIE: I wasn't aware that there was any dispute about this
12 either. Of course, Mr. Lukic, if you give all this information to the
13 witness to ask him to draw any conclusions, that is, of course, not what
14 we expect a witness to do. The witness can tell us what he saw, what he
15 knows. But whether this supports or does not support the presence
16 elsewhere or whether this refreshes the witness's testimony -- his
17 recollection, of course that is a matter of reasoning, conclusions, and
18 that's not -- this doesn't play any role there. You could just have said
19 the parties agree on the presence of Mr. Mladic with or without his wife
20 at that same day in Belgrade. We're not feeding the witness with such
21 information that on the basis of conclusions he can tell us anything, and
22 that should be clear.
23 MR. LUKIC: If I may, Your Honour, that exactly on this topic the
24 Prosecution was feeding the witness with information so he can draw the
25 conclusion about certain dates.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I think it was mainly reference to earlier
2 testimony --
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes --
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- but you objected there and I think we did not
5 proceed with further information to be fed. But may it be clear that the
6 relevant information for the witness might be that the parties agree that
7 Mr. Mladic was in Belgrade on that day at any point in time, even on
8 two points in time, one at the wedding and the other one at the military
9 medical academy. You may proceed.
10 MR. LUKIC: It's not in dispute the date. In dispute is time,
11 so --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. LUKIC: -- we claim that he left Belgrade on the 17th --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could well be --
15 MR. LUKIC: -- and that he reached --
16 JUDGE ORIE: But this witness wasn't there, was he?
17 MR. LUKIC: No.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's proceed.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I object to announcing --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- gratuitously to the Court information in front
22 of the witness. If you're putting your case to the witness, I think
23 that's another matter; but offering dates could be inappropriate guidance
24 in that context.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, as I said, you may proceed.
1 MR. LUKIC: I will move --
2 JUDGE ORIE: At the same time, there's some merit in what
3 Mr. McCloskey said.
4 MR. LUKIC: I will just ask kindly Ms. Stewart to show us the
5 same video from 51 minutes, 56 seconds, because at that time this
6 gentleman was in that area.
7 Q. [Interpretation] This is the 17th of July, 1995, now and
8 General Mladic was filmed. I'm going to ask you whether you can
9 recognise the spot where he was filmed.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have the video played
11 now. [In English] Can we start the video, please.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "General Ratko Mladic,
14 General Gvero, we came here today as a delegation representing the
15 humanitarian organisation 'Republika Srpska' from Canada. We've come
16 here tonight ... and brought presents, but before we say what we have
17 brought, I would like to convey to you regards from all members of the
18 humanitarian organisation 'Republika Srpska' and the Serbs who
19 contributed" --
20 Interpreter's note: We do not have the transcript. We are just
21 reading out the subtitles.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. We don't have time now, we don't have time now to analyse the
24 faces, but do you accept that this group of people includes the persons
25 who were at the military medical academy the evening before that, or
1 rather, these are some Serbs who had brought some equipment from Canada
2 for the military medical academy and some aid for Republika Srpska.
3 First of all, can you recognise the place where this was filmed?
4 A. Well, there aren't enough details, but I think that this is at
5 the hall, at the command post, in the villa, in front, because I see
6 paintings on the wall. But in every office, wherever General Mladic
7 worked, there were paintings. Although this doesn't look like it, it may
8 be the hall in the prefabricated building. I rather think that it's in
9 Podkop [phoen], the villa there, at the command post.
10 Q. All right. Thank you. It is a fact that we cannot see very much
11 here. Now I'd like to ask for the same document to be shown to you that
12 was shown to you by the Prosecutor.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 04028 --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a short question, Witness.
15 Mr. Keserovic, we saw this video of a meeting with the Canadian
16 delegation. Were you present during that meeting?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So in e-court 04028.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And just for the record, I showed a version of
22 this document, but not this particular one. I showed what is now P1579.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That was what Madam Registrar drew my attention to
24 as well.
25 THE REGISTRAR: This is document admitted as P1579.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the 65 ter number was 23272.
2 THE REGISTRAR: 23272 and then admitted as P1579.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know if it makes a difference to
4 Mr. Lukic but he asked for the other one, 04028. I think it's the one
5 you probably saw with the other witness.
6 MR. LUKIC: There are two similar documents, but I can use either
7 one. Somehow one of them just shrunk. Maybe this one is better visible
8 and I can proceed with this one.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. General, we see, and the Prosecutor showed this to you as well,
12 that this was received at the Milici Light Infantry Brigade on the
13 18th of July, 1995 --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, but we think that we've reversed the
16 translations. And since the stamps are different that -- maybe if we
17 could see the stamp on this one, if it's Milici then we've got the right
18 one, but I'm not sure it is.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And the stamp would be on?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm told it is the right one. I apologise.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then let's proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. This is an order that was sent electronically and received at the
24 Milici Brigade; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Earlier on --
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Actually, can we see this again? Let
3 us not guess.
4 Q. The instruction was shown to you from -- actually, the one that
5 was signed by General Tolimir, P1577 is the number in this case. You
6 remember this instruction on command and control in the security and
7 intelligence organs of the VRS?
8 A. Yes. It was shown to me by Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we see the last page in B/C/S
10 because that's the only one where we can see the signature, but of
11 course, if it means anything, we can have the English version displayed
13 Q. You recognised the signature here as being that of
14 General Tolimir; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Had this document been sent electronically, on the second page
17 would it be received as a document that was signed by commander
18 Colonel-General Ratko Mladic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. We heard an interesting explanation here why the name of the
21 commander is always specified. That is for the enemy not to know that
22 the commander is or is not at the command post. If you cannot answer --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the end of the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps it's for purposes of
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the interpreters could not hear the last
3 part of your question I think it was.
4 MR. LUKIC: Since I was -- I saw that the witness was a bit
5 hesitant, I just wanted to give him a chance not to answer the question.
6 I said: If you are not certain, you do not have to answer.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so that was the end of your question, where the
8 witness told us what it perhaps would be.
9 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We see in this document -- actually
12 in the previous one, so we have to go back to P1979.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: 1579 you mean?
14 MR. LUKIC: 1579, yes. What did I say?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: You said 1979 according to the interpretation.
16 MR. LUKIC: Okay. I want 1579. Maybe I misspoke.
17 Q. [Interpretation] We see from this document that in the
18 Milici Brigade the document was received on the 18th of July. Did it
19 happen that electronic mail travelled for such a long time or could we
20 assume that it was sent to the Milici Brigade very late on the 17th and
21 then received only on the 18th? Because obviously it was sent
22 electronically; right?
23 A. Well, what we can establish here is that it was written on the
24 17th and that it was received on the 18th. Now, this could have been
25 late on the 17th, and then in the early hours, although we do not see the
1 time here, although on the original of the receiving stamp we should see
2 the hour and minute when this was received. However, it's not here, so
3 that would be the thing that the conclusion would be based on or perhaps
4 there was a halt for some reason, perhaps the device wasn't working,
5 perhaps there was no electricity, perhaps the teleprinter operator was
6 not there to deal with it.
7 Q. Thank you. Can we now please see the transcript of your
8 interview from the 12th of October, 2000. This is the first statement
9 that you gave.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] 65 ter 25999. In the English version
11 we need page 40 and in the B/C/S version page 33. English version,
12 starting with line 7, and the B/C/S version starts from 33 in terms of
13 the part that we need.
14 Q. From line 20, so line 20 in B/C/S, this is what you say:
15 "On the 17th in the afternoon at the command post in the
16 so-called hall or 'rupa' or the G-1 building, I met the commander of the
17 Main Staff, among others. At that time he told me that I have to show
18 up, in fact, that I have to go to the wider area of Srebrenica,
19 Srebrenica, Bratunac, Milici, Konjevic Polje ..."
20 Then Mr. Ruez asked you:
21 "Who did you meet precisely that day?"
22 And you say:
23 "Commander of the Main Staff, General Mladic ..."
24 And then further on you say, further down -- actually, throughout
25 this interview as the first moment when you met General Mladic, you
1 mentioned the 17th of July. Is that correct?
2 A. That is the way it was in the interview with Mr. Ruez.
3 Q. That is how Mr. Ruez understood things too, and when he is
4 putting questions to you he always starts with the 17th of July. We can
5 find that in this same transcript of the interview.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English version page 59, line
7 8, and then a few lines down, and then in the B/C/S version page 51 from
8 line 12 onwards.
9 Q. Now I'd like to ask you something about the 18th of July, 1995.
10 I know again that there is some confusion there, but I'm going to ask you
11 about your meeting with Colonel Blagojevic.
12 Except for the fact that you were supposed to meet up with
13 Colonel Blagojevic, you were also told that you needed to meet with
14 Colonel Jankovic; correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. There was discussion of another activity, that is to say, the
17 evacuation of the wounded from the health clinic in Bratunac and the base
18 in Potocari; correct?
19 A. Only from the health centre in Bratunac.
20 Q. Very well.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the interview transcript of the
22 12th October 2000, in the English, page 44, line 9; in the B/C/S version,
23 page 37 from line 24 onwards, and then we'll have to turn to the next
25 Q. So from line 24:
1 "On my way out I saw a column of vehicles of the International
2 Committee of the Red Cross. I know that we stopped and that Jankovic
3 talked to someone I couldn't identify, but it was said that the majority
4 of the wounded had been evacuated and that a group of about 20 had been
5 detained and would be transferred to the POW camp in Batkovici near
6 Bijeljina. After that, Jankovic and I separated and I went to
7 Han Pijesak. At that time, during that day, that was the only
8 information that I managed to collect regarding the situation in that
9 area and what I could learn at that moment."
10 Then Ruez asked you:
11 "And this is the 18th ...?"
12 Your answer:
13 "Yes, the 18th of July, according to my records."
14 Do you recall having so testified in providing this interview to
15 Mr. Ruez?
16 A. I had occasion a number of times and in the last few days to read
17 the interview. And the first time I saw it after the fact, I didn't see
18 or find something that would not reflect my words back then. So I said
19 so, whatever is in the interview.
20 Q. You will agree that your recollection was at its freshest after
21 the events back then?
22 A. Yes, my recollection was most likely. Perhaps nowadays I have
23 additional information because here at the Tribunal I was shown countless
24 documents, which actually created this dilemma in my mind as to the date.
25 Back then I told Mr. Ruez what I really knew best at the time without
1 thinking twice about omitting something or saying something that would be
2 wrong. My dilemma was created later when, in different proceedings and
3 during testimony, I was shown different documents with different dates
4 and some kinds of relationships that we tried to analyse factually. This
5 is where the dilemma arose from.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I think we are on time for the break.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we are. I would have one question for you. We
9 are talking about the 17th or the 18th and orders given and it was all
10 military. Now, Mr. -- in the indictment of Mr. Mladic, a number of
11 incidents are described and the Chamber has received until now some
12 evidence which suggest that -- well, let's focus then on the 17th or the
13 18th, it would not have been any different, that there were a large
14 number of people killed, sometimes many at one specific spot, hundreds
15 sometimes - again, I'm not saying who did it, I'm only referring to
16 evidence which suggests that there were huge numbers of persons killed.
17 Now, all the vague language about going somewhere and observing what
18 happens, et cetera, it is not easy for me to understand why that issue
19 was never part of any discussion at the time. It's all about capturing
20 persons, but that many persons - at least that was the evidence
21 suggests - had already been captured and that in large numbers they were
22 killed already seems to be known to no one, and that is not easy to
23 understand if you look at the restricted, the limited geographical area
24 and the impact of these facts, if true, would have had.
25 Do you have any explanation for that? Or was it mentioned,
1 although not in your presence, or did you hear about it at the time?
2 What -- how should we understand, how could we reconcile the evidence we
3 heard with the evidence given about what was said during meetings?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is that at that time
5 and for a few months later until the end of the war, in the VRS, at least
6 where I was, there was no discussion of the circumstances in which the
7 POWs were executed. It is really something that even today I cannot
8 explain to myself or understand how and what happened and how it was all
9 left under some veil of secrecy.
10 JUDGE ORIE: There was a veil of secrecy you are telling us. Who
11 imposed that veil of secrecy?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I perhaps didn't necessarily mean
13 to say that there was a specific veil of secrecy, but it was all left
14 secret in general in terms of how and what happened.
15 JUDGE ORIE: But you were talking about executions, you didn't
16 know about the circumstances. But is it your testimony that no one knew
17 at that point in time in your environment that, as the evidence suggests
18 until now, that by large numbers persons captured had been killed?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my surroundings, no one talked
20 about it and I didn't know about it until -- well, to be more specific,
21 until sometime in February 1996 when the Erdemovic and Kremenovic trials
23 JUDGE ORIE: But who then knew about it? It wasn't you, it
24 wasn't those you were talking with. Nevertheless, the evidence also
25 suggests that it was a huge -- a huge effort to bury the bodies by large
1 numbers. And you in your position had no idea, first, that it happened;
2 nor that the exercise was made to at least bury the bodies?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I didn't know. A few days
4 after my arrival, if you follow the chronology, I left. I think it was
5 already on the 23rd of July and I did not return until the end of the war
6 to the area of Han Pijesak and Crna Rijeka.
7 JUDGE ORIE: But isn't it true that it was exactly in that period
8 of time when you were there where you could have noticed what would have
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what I saw and what I
11 heard and to the best of my recollection, it is all what I shared with
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And about being told that there were large
14 numbers of people gathered at a football pitch and not having any idea
15 about what happened to them didn't ring any bell, didn't raise any
16 question: What happened with those in Nova Kasaba I was told about? Do
17 we have problems in finding accommodation for these prisoners of war?
18 What should we do about it? None of these matters ever was part of any
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that day or in the course of
21 those few days, I had information that in terms of accommodating the
22 POWs, the Batkovic camp was being set up near Bijeljina. Given the fact
23 that the POWs were transported to Bratunac, I wasn't interested in it any
24 further, but it was my conviction that they were then transported further
25 to Batkovic and up north via Zvornik and Bijeljina, that is to say, a
1 village near Bijeljina where the camp was. I simply didn't discuss it
2 any further with anyone.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You never heard that many did not arrive there?
4 Large numbers you would have to accommodate but -- what was the capacity
5 of Batkovic camp?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the capacity, perhaps it
7 could have -- it was an old farmer's co-operative with a few wooden huts.
8 I don't think it could have housed more than 2.000. I don't know
9 exactly. I don't think more could have fitted there.
10 JUDGE ORIE: When was it ready? You said it was set up.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The camp had existed as early as
12 1992 and it remained in operation until the end of the war, as far as I
13 know. In passing by en route from the Krajina to Han Pijesak on the
14 16th of July, I dropped by the military police battalion and its barracks
15 and I have in mind the MP battalion of the East Bosnia Corps. That is
16 what I testified about previously. It is there that one of the officers
17 from the battalion told me that a part of the unit had been sent to
18 assist the Zvornik Brigade with their activities because they had to
19 cover the line from Zepa, Srebrenica, and further afield and that --
20 those remaining were preparing themselves to secure the prisoners that
21 were supposed to arrive to the Batkovic camp. I've testified about it
23 JUDGE ORIE: You said it was being set up. Who told you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the officers of the
25 3rd MP Battalion or the MP battalion of the East Bosnia Corps. It wasn't
1 setting up but preparing the area and preparing the unit to receive such
2 numbers of POWs, probably.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And at the same time they were ready by, as the
4 evidence suggests until now, they were by -- perhaps by the thousands
5 were dead bodies to be taken care of which didn't need to be accommodated
6 any further in any camp. Nevertheless, you say that the situation at the
7 time, people were focused on preparing accommodation for prisoners of
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is what I heard that day and
10 what I knew. I had no other information.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 I think I went a bit beyond the break time. I should have
13 perhaps not have done that but ...
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take the break first. The witness may follow
16 the usher.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at five minutes to 2.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 1.34 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.57 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
22 [The witness takes the stand].
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Keserovic, Judge Moloto has one or more
24 questions for you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Keserovic, at page 70 today, lines 11 to 18,
1 in answering a question you said, amongst other things:
2 "Given the fact that the POWs were transported to Bratunac, I
3 wasn't interested in it any further."
4 And then of course we carried on. And I just wanted to make
5 sure, were you correctly transcribed, that you said you are not
6 interested in it any further?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think that I ended with
8 that, I mean my knowledge concerning the POWs. I didn't deal with that
9 anymore because when I came to Bratunac they were no longer there -- or
10 rather, I did not know where they were and whether they were -- well, so
11 that is where my interest in them ended.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, I have a question for you. Now, you told us
13 this morning that the responsibility for POWs rests with the security
14 organ. You've told us this -- we've also heard evidence that you were
15 given an order by Mr. Mladic to look after these people, to go and sweep
16 the area, and look after that. You have told us that you handed over
17 this job to Blagojevic and you [Realtime transcript read in error "he"]
18 didn't do it. Now they go to Bratunac and not to Batkovici and then you
19 are not interested in it.
20 My question to you is: What did you see your responsibility to
21 be now that -- because you were in the security organ?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My position was in the security
23 administration, in the Main Staff, in the department for military police.
24 And from that aspect, I did belong to the security service.
25 General Mladic did not make me the person in charge of POWs and I've said
1 that. Also, I do not remember saying that Blagojevic did not complete
2 that task. I said that I know that --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I didn't say so either. I said you left the job
4 in his hands; that's what you told us.
5 My attention has just been brought to -- in fact, to the evidence
6 where you actually said Blagojevic didn't ...
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: There seems to be a small mistake.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I will then have misspoke if I did say so. I
10 was -- I meant to say you didn't do it, you handed it over to Blagojevic.
11 I'm sorry. Okay. You can carry on. My apologies.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So on that day, Blagojevic
13 continued carrying out that task, as he had done during the previous
14 days, and everything that had to do with that task was his concern, his
15 obligation. It is from him that I was supposed to receive information as
16 to whether the sweeping of the terrain had continued and whether the
17 units were still under this blockade and whether he was carrying that
18 out, or rather, implementing the task. And then that is what I was
19 supposed to report back at the Main Staff once I got back. I was
20 supposed to say what Blagojevic said. As for this task specifically, the
21 POWs, I did not have that --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do I understand you clearly that Blagojevic was --
23 reports to you? Or was supposed to report to you and you would then
24 report to the Main Staff?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He was supposed to inform me,
1 he was supposed to provide information to me.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure. And for what purpose, if he was not
3 reporting to you, because he can report directly what he has done to his
4 superior? For what purpose was he supposed to give you any information?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they brought us into this
6 relationship through this task. They -- the command brought us into this
7 situation, that I should go to him and take that information from him.
8 Why it was that day -- that way, I really cannot say.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: But we're hearing -- or at least I'm hearing this
10 for the first time, that you were brought into this relationship by the
11 command so that you must get information from him. The last I heard, you
12 were given the task to you were supposed to go and sweep and you didn't
13 do it; you handed it over to him. That's what you testified this
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise. I don't know
16 whether it was reflected that way, but I did not say that. I said that
17 the task related to the take-over of the command, sweeping the area,
18 "pretres," not "ciscenje," and the blockade, I did not carry that out and
19 that task in relation to me had been changed, and Blagojevic continued
20 implementing that task because previously he had been doing it too. So
21 it's not that I was given this task ultimately, to take-over command and
22 to carry out a search, sweep, blockade of the 28th Division.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
24 JUDGE ORIE: But this in addition to the last question. You were
25 supposed to receive information about how it went on, so as to be able to
1 report further up?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, on the spot I was supposed to
3 receive information from Blagojevic, and upon returning to the Main Staff
4 I was supposed to report at the Main Staff what it was that I had seen
5 and heard.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Lukic.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now it's my turn just for one additional
10 Sorry. You said Blagojevic was supposed to inform you about what
11 was going on. What did he tell you? How -- what information did you
12 receive from him?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think that I've already
14 presented that previously, but Blagojevic said to me that that morning,
15 the implementation of that task continued, that the units were still at
16 the line of blockade that had been established previously, and that from
17 the direction of Bratunac and then Srebrenica, there were forces of the
18 Ministry of the Interior that were coming and that they were searching
19 that terrain and that this activity was underway. As for results, there
20 was no mention, or rather, at the moment when I was with him, he did not
21 have any information about the results of this search on that day.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did he tell you anything about what happened with
23 the prisoners of war?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that, that he said
25 anything about prisoners of war. I know that we were making comments, or
1 rather, talking only about part of the population that during those days,
2 the previous days, the 11th, 12th, were in Potocari and that were
3 evacuated from there. I do not remember that we discussed prisoners of
4 war specifically.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: My turn now?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, it's your turn, you cross-examine the
10 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. I have only a couple minutes so I cannot
13 start anything substantial. I'll try to cover some leftovers.
14 Q. [Interpretation] General, is it correct that as for the operation
15 in Srebrenica, Krivaja 95, you learned about it only from the media?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Is it correct that at that time, generally, it was hard to learn
18 about things that you were not directly involved in?
19 A. It can be put that way, quite simply. What was not directly
20 related to someone was not conveyed to him at all.
21 Q. Is it correct that at that time, although to a lesser degree, the
22 NATO air-strikes had already started, the air-strikes against the
23 positions of the Army of Republika Srpska?
24 A. I've already had that question here. I know that there were
25 threats concerning air-strikes. Now, whether the bombing had actually
1 started already, I'm not sure in terms of time.
2 Q. Is it correct that soon after this happened, the Krajina fell in
4 A. Yes, and I witnessed those developments myself.
5 Q. The VRS lost an entire front there; right?
6 A. Or rather, got another front.
7 Q. Got another front.
8 After the fall of the Krajina, were you involved in these
9 developments and the establishment of this new front line?
10 A. Yes, I was at the forward command post of the Main Staff in Drvar
11 and then, as the front line moved, all the way up until the end of the
12 war I was in that area.
13 Q. You worked with the commission of Republika Srpska for
14 discovering the truth about Srebrenica; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it correct that as regards the details related to what
17 happened in Srebrenica, you found out about that only several years after
18 the war?
19 A. Yes, that's correct, considerably later, that is.
20 Q. Now something in relation to comments from that time, that is to
21 say, July 1995. Is it correct that among the officers of the Army of
22 Republika Srpska it was being said that the prisoners would be
23 transported or transferred to the POW camp in Batkovici?
24 A. That's what I heard too, in Bijeljina.
25 Q. While you worked with the commission of Republika Srpska on
1 discovering the truth in Srebrenica, in the work of that commission did
2 you ever come across any information to the effect that
3 General Ratko Mladic had ordered the killing of the Muslims from
4 Srebrenica who had been imprisoned?
5 A. No. I never came across any kind of document like that or any
6 kind of order or report.
7 Q. Did you hear something like that from anyone?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Thank you for today. We'll have to continue tomorrow. It's time
10 to call it a day for now.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Keserovic, we'll adjourn for the day and we'd
12 like to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.30. And I give you the same
13 instructions as I did yesterday, that is, that you should not speak or
14 communicate with whomever about your testimony, whether already given or
15 still to be given. You may follow the usher.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could you give us any indication about
19 MR. LUKIC: Less than I asked for, for sure, but I think that I
20 can finish in one hour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: In one hour, so first session approximately.
22 MR. LUKIC: First session. It's one hour, sometimes it's more
23 than one session.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Sometimes it's more than one session, yes. You have
25 a very gentle way of reminding me on my time management now and then and
1 I accept that.
2 We adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow, Wednesday, the
3 19th of June, at 9.30 in the morning in this same courtroom, I.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
6 June, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.