1 Tuesday, 24 June 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.38 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 number
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 The Chamber was informed that there are a few preliminary matters
11 to be raised.
12 Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Good
15 Before we begin with the next witness, I would like to make a
16 request and I am seeking instruction. Yesterday we were in touch with
17 our colleague, Mr. Weber, about using this witness's statements from the
18 Karadzic case. We had a technical and a practical problem. In our
19 submission under 92 ter, on the 12th of May 2014, we submitted a draft
20 statement of this witness from the Karadzic case. And in the list of
21 evidence that we planned to use with this witness, we submitted a
22 modified version of this witness's statement from the Karadzic case which
23 was modified in accordance with the additional statement taken by this
25 So yesterday we uploaded the signed version in B/C/S of this
1 witness, and we talked with the witness about this, we informed the
2 Prosecution about it, so we don't have any problem to have admitted into
3 evidence this witness's statement submitted under 92 ter. But just for
4 practical reasons, Your Honours, because of the overlap and better
5 understanding of the witness, we submitted a statement by the witness
6 from the Karadzic case. Both of these statements, I would say, are
7 almost identical, but there is a difference in some paragraphs and in the
8 text, just because it has been clarified in terms of using the statement
9 from this witness from the Milosevic case.
10 I don't know if I explained it in the best possible way, but this
11 is my request, and I am seeking your instructions as to how we are going
12 to be using this witness's statement from the Karadzic case for practical
13 reasons, and we would like to tender it.
14 As for us, we have our positions, and we are prepared to have
15 both statements from the Karadzic case admitted as well as our additional
16 statement from this witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
18 MR. WEBER: Good morning, Your Honours.
19 Well, initially just to keep matters simple and without going
20 into too much detail, it's my understanding, and what we communicated to
21 the Defence was we would not oppose the statement tendered with the
22 92 ter motion, provided that the witness attest to it, and that's what
23 our position was in our response. So if that's what they are tendering,
24 then that's okay.
25 We did communicate that we would have objections based on the
1 differences which the one we inadvertently discovered that was uploaded
2 in e-court, which was different, albeit similar.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, to be very practical, Mr. Weber. If we
4 would -- if the original statement would be tendered, and if then we
5 would hear viva voce all the -- what is now in the new version, what's
6 the difference with admitting and tendering the newest version? You can
7 still -- if it raises any questions, you can still compare the two and
8 ask the witness or raise issues about what was changed. I mean, the one
9 doesn't exclude the other.
10 MR. WEBER: There is quite a -- just to go to probably what is
11 the most significant difference, and it's one that relates to the
12 transparency related to the witness's evidence which could impact on his
14 In the one that was filed with the motion, the witness is quite
15 clear that these are additions to matters that he discussed in the
16 Milosevic testimony. So that is not part and not made clear as part of
17 the statement that was then re-uploaded.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. WEBER: So there is many other that -- that then implicates
20 other things within that statement. So we believe that the statement
21 that was filed is more transparent and actually --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. WEBER: -- would be better suited to allow the Chamber to
24 assess the credibility of the witness.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, Mr. Weber, the Chamber doesn't want
2 to receive all these statements into evidence.
3 There are two options. Either you come with the first statement
4 and then you have to elicit the evidence in addition to that,
5 Mr. Stojanovic.
6 There is another option, and we leave it in the hands of the
7 Defence; that is, that you tender the last statement.
8 And then, Mr. Weber, of course, you have a full opportunity to
9 explore difference with the previous one, and you even could tender -- if
10 it's significant, you could even tender the previous one, if that is
11 necessary to understand the -- the changes, et cetera.
12 At the same time, Mr. Stojanovic, the Chamber expresses its
13 concerns. Concerns about what? Concerns about always new statements
14 coming in. And especially that is of some concern because we've heard
15 from one of the witnesses how it happens. Please, 10th of May, sign the
16 statement, whatever changes, we'll deal with that at a later stage. That
17 is not the appropriate way of giving notice to the -- to the Prosecution.
18 That's what I just wanted to express as the concern of the
20 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, if I may just clarify. The two --
21 it's the -- the old and the new statement are from the Karadzic case.
22 They were not modified by our team.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then -- well, that may be -- statements taken
24 for other cases may cause, here and there, some problems anyhow. But
25 we'll just -- the Chamber would prefer to have the 92 ter statements
1 produced at the time of the motion, the 92 ter motion, and rather rely on
2 that to start with. And, of course, it's always possible that in
3 proofing, there are some small differences but -- so we leave it in your
4 hands, but only one statement to start with.
5 And, Mr. Weber, if there is really any need, we'll certainly
6 consider any tendering of portions of the previous statement. Or if you
7 read it to the witness, or if you point at what was left out or what was
8 added to the witness, that may certainly add to the transparency.
9 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour. That's understood. I'd just note
10 for the record, though, that might be a time-consuming process in a
11 30-paragraph statement.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If that turns out to be the case, then, of
13 course, we'll take that into consideration when talking about time.
14 Mr. Stojanovic.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Just
16 one more thing.
17 Yesterday when I asked the witness to sign the statement in
18 accordance with my agreement with the Prosecutor, I asked him if he stood
19 by what was said in the Milosevic transcript, so perhaps I can ask the
20 witness the same question in order to clear this matter up when he begins
21 his testimony. Perhaps we could do it like that.
22 But in any event, thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber will only admit signed statements;
24 that's one.
25 Second, it should be beyond any doubt what statement the witness
1 attests to. And if there are differences, and if in a previous case he
2 has attested to other versions, then, of course, that is a matter which
3 certainly will need great attention.
4 That was it for the next witness.
5 Mr. Shin, we'll ask the witness to be escorted into the
6 courtroom. I think you have 19 minutes left if I'm well informed.
7 MR. SHIN: Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness be escorted into the
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Skrba.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Skrba, I'd like to remind you that you are still
14 bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your
15 testimony, and Mr. Shin will now continue his cross-examination.
16 Mr. Shin, please proceed.
17 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 WITNESS: MILOS SKRBA [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered via interpretation]
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Shin: [Continued]
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Skrba.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. I'd like to continue this morning by returning to a document that
24 we were looking at when we finished yesterday.
25 MR. SHIN: That's 65 ter 30783.
1 Q. And while we're waiting for that to come up, Mr. Skrba, you'll
2 recall that this is the document signed by Major Savo Simic who is
3 identified as a desk officer in the artillery organ.
4 MR. SHIN: Now if we could turn briefly to the second page in the
5 English and in the B/C/S.
6 Q. Under the heading "Ammunition Consumption," you see here that
7 there are 40 shells listed for the 82-millimetre mortars and the same for
8 the 120-millimetre. And for the support of the attack, there's 60 shells
9 for each, totalling 100 shells for each, exactly as ordered by
10 General Milosevic in that earlier document we saw yesterday.
11 Have you seen those -- have you found those line items?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Skrba, when you were asked about this document in the
14 Karadzic case, you were asked this question by the Prosecution:
15 "Q. Do you accept --"
16 MR. SHIN: Excuse me, that's transcript page 29215.
17 Q. "Q. Do you accept that there were areas within the area of
18 operation of the 1st Smbr in the August of 1995 which might have
19 contained 120-millimetre mortar positions that you were unaware of?"
20 And you had stated:
21 "I don't know anything about that. I wouldn't want to comment.
22 I wouldn't want to answer that question because I don't know anything
23 about it."
24 You stand by your testimony in the Karadzic case; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, would you also agree that you wouldn't have been aware of
2 any operations elsewhere in the 1st Smbr's zone of responsibility which
3 might have involved this 120-millimetre mortar battery?
4 A. I'm sorry. Could you please repeat your question? A part of it
5 is not clear to me.
6 Q. My question to you is: This mortar battery, any other operations
7 that it might have been conducting in the Smbr zone of responsibility,
8 you wouldn't have any knowledge of that either, would you? Not in the
9 positions that you held.
10 A. That's right. I was at my own position, and I don't know about
11 any other actions that might have been under way.
12 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, with that, the Prosecution would tender
13 65 ter 30783.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30783 receives number P6602, Your
17 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. SHIN:
19 Q. Mr. Skrba, I want to go back to something that you said
20 yesterday. Now, you asserted several times yesterday that you did not
21 know anything about mortars. You expressed little knowledge about
22 mortars, about resupplying mortar units, despite the fact that you were
23 in the last two years and couple months of the war assistant commander
24 for logistics in your battalion command. You also made it clear that
25 decisions about targeting and about which assets to use came from higher
1 commands, not you as a company commander. You even said:
2 "I really don't know much about mortars, and that's why I'm
3 asking you to skip that topic."
4 Yet, when you saw the Talas 2 order from General Milosevic - that
5 was P6601 - you were quick to assert that the reference to a
6 120-millimetre mortar battery in Palez was a mistake. And you said it
7 was a mistake because, actually, they were 82-millimetre mortars;
8 because, actually, they were at the place you marked the 82-millimetre
9 mortars you knew about and not in Palez; and because, actually, you say,
10 the 120-millimetre mortars were actually at Prljevo Brdo, not Palez. On
11 that basis, you concluded that that whole document was wrong.
12 Mr. Skrba, I'm just going to put this to you directly. Now,
13 while you may not always have been forthcoming in your knowledge about
14 mortars, you actually have no basis of knowledge for asserting that
15 General Milosevic and Major Simic were mistaken or that these documents
16 share some type of typographical errors.
17 You have no basis of knowledge for that assertion, do you?
18 A. I think that I do have the knowledge. I mean, if I didn't see
19 the mortars with my own eyes, it means that they were not there, and I
20 still state with full responsibility that 120-millimetres were not there
21 in the place where you mentioned where the village of Stamenkovici
22 [phoen] is mentioned.
23 Palez or Mala Kula was a small settlement. At the top of the
24 hill of Palez, there were 82-millimetre mortars which I did see with my
25 very own eyes, and that's why I said it. There were no 120-millimetre
1 mortars there, and that is what I am asserting with 100 per cent
3 Q. And you explained that you passed by that place maybe once every
4 two months. Maybe once or twice a month. You've explained that. So the
5 times you weren't there, you wouldn't know what was there. That's
6 obvious, isn't it?
7 A. I think that 120-millimetre mortars are not an infantry weapon
8 that you can carry it up and down and back and forth. Once it's placed,
9 it's an artillery piece. From what I know, it has to be then kept in one
10 place. It's not something that you would just carry around.
11 Q. Mr. Skrba, once again, you say you know nothing about mortars but
12 you're telling us about how mortars can be moved around. You have no
13 basis of knowledge for that, do you?
14 A. I think that it was so. We didn't have a unit -- we didn't have
15 them in the unit. We didn't use them. So I said I don't know much about
16 mortars, but I know for a fact that they were not at that location in
17 that period.
18 Q. The other thing you're doing, Mr. Skrba, is that you're putting
19 in one location the 82-millimetre mortars that you saw and the
20 120-millimetre mortar battery that's a topic of these two documents, the
21 order from General Milosevic and the implementing order from Major Simic.
22 You have no basis of knowledge for claiming these are two -- these are
23 one -- these two things are in one and the same place. You have no basis
24 of knowledge for that, do you?
25 A. No, it wasn't that. I saw 82-millimetre mortars at a specific
1 place at a specific position. 120-millimetre mortars were never at that
2 place. I mean, the locals would have told me. Somebody would have told
3 me had there been weapons there of that calibre because they lived there
4 during the war.
5 Q. The Judges now have the maps and they have the documents, so I'm
6 going to move on.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could I, nevertheless, ask one question.
8 You emphasised again and again that you're certain that the place
9 you indicated there were 82-millimetre mortars, that there were no
10 120-millimetre mortars there.
11 Yesterday a part of your statement was put to you, and I read it
13 "That is the only place on that road where there was mortar
14 positions. I claim that at that, or other positions in the vicinity,
15 there were no 120-millimetre mortars."
16 Now, you explained to us yesterday that -- and you corrected even
17 a written document, that at Prljevo Brdo there were 120-millimetre
19 So now apart from the questions that were put to you by Mr. Shin,
20 Prljevo Brdo is not far away from where you said the 82-millimetre
21 mortars were, is it -- isn't it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that is not so. The reason why
23 I didn't say it, I assume that -- I assume that there was a mistake
24 between these two locations.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Stop, one second --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were no mortars at my hill.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You are not listening to my question very much.
3 I asked you about the distance between Prljevo Brdo, where you
4 said there were 120-millimetre mortars, and the place you indicated as
5 the location where there were 82-millimetre mortars. My question was
6 that it is not far away from the one place from the other, is it? And if
7 you say it was far away, then tell us what the distance was.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it was about
9 5 kilometres as the crow flies. That was the distance. And along the
10 road, it was 15 kilometres.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now our maps tells that the -- and I think it
12 was at Palez, isn't it, where the 82-millimetre mortars were, but I can
13 check that.
14 We'll just check on the map. Could you tell us again where --
15 and you -- I think you marked it, as a matter of fact, in D531. And I'm
16 just --
17 Could we have a look at D531 on our screen, please.
18 You marked the -- no, that's not the one on which I think you
20 Could we have a look at --
21 Could you perhaps -- we see Miljevici here on this map. You see
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And I'm a bit confused. One second, please. One
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I marked the mortar positions at
2 this cross-roads, leading to Studenkovici and to the top of Mount
3 Trebevic, about 50 metres from the cross-roads along the macadam road.
4 At the top of the hill called Palez, there is a small fort, and
5 that's where these -- or small tower, and this is where these mortars
6 were located. This is some 30 to 50 metres away from the cross-roads.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now you told us that Prljevo Brdo and this position
8 at Palez, that it's a distance of 5 kilometres. Looking at our maps --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the crow flies.
10 JUDGE ORIE: -- it is -- yes, as the crow flies. I would say
11 it's less than a kilometre.
12 And we could have a look at -- let me just see. One second,
13 please. Could we have a look at -- I have to reorganise myself.
14 I think it is P56 -- no, P6599. Could we have a look at that
15 map. Could we zoom in.
16 Can you find Palez, which is just on the top line of the --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This map doesn't show it properly.
18 You're looking at the village of Studenkovici, from there to Prljevo
19 Brdo. But Palez is at the very beginning of where the hill starts. This
20 whole side is called Palez, below Studenkovici. I marked it next to the
21 village of Studenkovici. This is where the 82-millimetre mortars were.
22 I never said that they were on Palez.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Even then, let's take it from the place you marked.
24 We see that now. Do you see Prljevo Brdo?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do you also see the grid lines which stand, if the
2 parties would agree with that, for 1 kilometre?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I think it's more.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm seeking the agreement of the parties on what
5 these grid lines stand for, whether it's 1 kilometre or more.
6 MR. SHIN: Your Honours, it's -- it marks 1 kilometre as --
7 JUDGE ORIE: It marks 1 kilometre.
8 MR. SHIN: -- Mr. President, you've correctly said. Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you say it is 5 kilometres, I would
10 suggest that it is anywhere between perhaps 11, 1200 metres as the crow
11 flies. Any reason to challenge that? We could measure it in detail on
12 the map, if you wish, but my main aim of our asking you this question is
13 where you said 5 kilometres as the crow flies, that it's at least three
14 times as much as it appears to be on this map.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my view and to my knowledge,
16 that is the distance. I have never looked at these maps, but I know the
17 location and I know the settlements. I think it is so.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you take the distance as the crow flies,
19 maps are an excellent way of establishing what the distance is as the
20 crow flies, and I do understand that you have a different opinion about
22 Let's move on.
23 Mr. Shin.
24 MR. SHIN: Thank you -- thank you, Mr. President.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. SHIN:
2 Q. Mr. Skrba, I'd like to move to a different topic.
3 Now, yesterday during the direct examination, you discussed
4 humanitarian convoys. Now, first, in regard to humanitarian convoys, you
6 "We did not even control them. There was a police check-point, a
7 military police check-point, where they were checked."
8 MR. SHIN: That's at transcript 22788.
9 Q. It was, in fact, the military police who had such
10 responsibilities and not your unit; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, second, let's look at a map.
13 MR. SHIN: Could I please have P3, e-court page 76.
14 Q. While we're waiting for that, Mr. Skrba, I'm just explain what
15 you're going to see is a map, which includes your zone of responsibility,
16 the zone of responsibility when you were a company commander.
17 Now, if you look at this map, you'll see -- almost in the centre,
18 you see Debelo Brdo, you see a little bit to the right and further up
19 Cicin Han. You see Lipe and Brekovac [phoen] in very small letters.
20 Your positions were along this Lukavica-Pale road, which we see looping
21 north of Palez and Zlatiste; correct?
22 A. No. From Zlatiste towards the north on Trebevic, so starting
23 from Zlatiste.
24 Q. You see -- Mr. Skrba, you see where Palez is; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We've already marked this on several maps. Would you simply
2 agree with me that your zone of responsibility was along that stretch of
3 road to north of Palez? We can see the Lukavica-Palez road there.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrba.
6 Now, you said the vehicles carrying humanitarian assistance
7 passed through your company's zone of responsibility. You also explained
8 that the convoys entered near the airport and in Grbavica. And we see on
9 this map Grbavica to the north-west. You know this area very well. You
10 see that; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As we look at this map, there was no reason for a convoy going to
13 Grbavica to go through your zone of responsibility, was there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You would agree with me that there is no reason for a
16 humanitarian convoy going to Grbavica from the airport would pass through
17 your zone of responsibility? Just so that we're clear.
18 A. I have to explain. Those humanitarian convoys which went via
19 Pale went through our territory, and they arrived in Lukavica. Those
20 which were supposed to go to Grbavica and to the town itself were then
21 diverted in that direction. Those going to the airport were diverted
22 towards the airport.
23 Not all convoys went to Grbavica and then returned to the
24 airport. Those heading for Grbavica went there because they provided
25 humanitarian assistance. Those that had to do -- go to the airport, did
1 so. Not all convoys went to Grbavica and then further afield.
2 Q. That's clear, Mr. Skrba, but there were no convoys coming from --
3 just if you can listen to the question: There were to convoys,
4 humanitarian convoys, going from the airport, to Grbavica, to the
5 Brotherhood and Unity bridge, that passed through your zone of
6 responsibility. That did not happen.
7 JUDGE ORIE: If I may intervene for a moment, there seems to be
9 Mr. Skrba, when you're talking about the convoys, humanitarian
10 aid convoys, you describe them as coming through Pale. From Pale going
11 to Lukavica, and then from Lukavica back into town. That's how I
12 understood your testimony.
13 Now, did most of the humanitarian aid convoys, did they come
14 through Pale, or did they arrive at the airport and were transported from
15 there into the town of Sarajevo?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly where all --
17 they all went, but I know that those going through Pale were always
18 cleared. They could go through without any problems.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say they arrived over land at Pale?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then further went overland over the road you
22 controlled - the Pale-Lukavica road - to Lukavica, and from there, they
23 went into the town of Sarajevo.
24 Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Because this Chamber has heard evidence of
2 humanitarian aid convoys coming from different directions, not mainly
3 through Pale. Could you give us any indication as to how frequent these
4 humanitarian convoys came from Pale?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say how frequently but they
6 did pass through. Sometimes more frequently; at other times, less
7 frequently. It depended on the UN schedule.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of other routes taken, either by plane
9 or through other entries into the town of humanitarian aid convoys?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think there were air convoys as
11 well as land convoys, but I don't know how many exactly. And I don't
12 know which routes they all took.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And those air convoys didn't have to pass through
14 your area of responsibility in order to reach the town of Sarajevo, isn't
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And there may have been other routes by land which
18 did not pass through your area of responsibility in order to reach the
19 city of Sarajevo; is that correct as well?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, please proceed.
22 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. One more question on that topic, Mr. Skrba. Some of these other
24 routes from Pale to the city of Sarajevo were more direct than this path
25 that you've told us about going over land along the Lukavica-Pale road;
2 A. I think that was the only road.
3 Q. Are you sure there was not a more direct route from Pale to
4 Sarajevo? You know this area.
5 A. The only thing I know is that they went through the area I
6 mentioned. I don't know about any others.
7 Q. We're going to go to a document now.
8 MR. SHIN: Could I please have D462.
9 Q. Mr. Skrba, while we're waiting for this document to come up, I'll
10 tell you what it is. It's a document dated the 11th of April, 1994.
11 It's from the Main Staff of the Army of the Republika Srpska to the
12 president. And on the last page, we see that it is from Chief of Staff,
13 General Milovanovic.
14 MR. SHIN: If we could please turn to English page 5 and B/C/S
15 page 3. Near the bottom of the page in B/C/S -- actually, it's
16 probably -- I think it's in the middle of the page.
17 Q. Under the heading "Situation --" I'm sorry, in B/C/S, it is at
18 the bottom of the page; middle of the page in English.
19 Under the heading "Situation in Territory." I'll read to you
20 what it says:
21 "There were no movements of the teams and convoys of UNPROFOR and
22 the humanitarian organisations across the RS territory during the day.
23 The Main Staff of the VRS order a restriction of movement is being
25 Now, this is 1994. Were you -- at that time you were at the
1 battalion command, were you aware of this Main Staff order?
2 A. I never commanded a battalion.
3 Q. I did not say you commanded a battalion. I said you worked -- I
4 said you worked at the command of a battalion. You've told us that. You
5 were assistant logistics commander.
6 A. Yes. But I was never privy to it.
7 Q. So you knew nothing about that. A little further down, this is
8 B/C/S page 4 --
9 A. No.
10 MR. SHIN: I'm sorry, I'll start again. Just to have a clear
11 record here. If we could go to B/C/S page 4, English page 6. We're
12 going to turn to the last paragraph here.
13 Q. And I'll read to you what it says.
14 "Following the decision of the Supreme Command of the armed
15 forces of the RS, all relations between the Main Staff of the Army of the
16 Republika Srpska with the UN force command should be suspended. The
17 restriction of movement for the teams and convoys of UNPROFOR and the
18 humanitarian organisations is still in force."
19 This restriction of movement, including all humanitarian
20 organisations and UNPROFOR convoys, were you aware of this?
21 A. No.
22 MR. SHIN: If I could just have one moment, Your Honours.
23 Q. Just one final brief topic for you, Mr. Skrba.
24 Now, you've said in your statement and in your testimony here
25 that you were in the 2nd Battalion of the Smbr. Now that did cause some
1 confusion, but this Chamber has heard evidence on the command structure
2 of the 2nd Battalion. They've heard evidence that the commander was,
3 first, Brane Pakalovic, and then Radomir Stojanovic, and then
4 Aleksandar Petrovic. You've told us that Blagoje Kovacevic was your
5 battalion commander and that Predrag Trapara was not in your battalion.
6 So would you accept that, in fact, at least as of May 1993, you
7 were in the 3rd Battalion, not the 2nd Battalion, as your statement says
8 and as you've testified here several times?
9 A. There was a change. You are correct, though. At the end of the
10 war, as of 1993, we were the 3rd Battalion, and then there was a change.
11 They became the 1st Battalion, and they acted as the commanders of the
12 1st Battalion, and we became the 2nd Battalion. When you referred to
13 that time, I was actually in the 3rd Battalion while they were in
14 the 2nd. That was at the beginning of the war.
15 Q. I'll stop you there, Mr. Skrba. My question to you is this: Do
16 you accept that as of May 1993 your battalion commander was
17 Blagoje Kovacevic and you were, in fact, in the 3rd Battalion of the
19 A. That is correct. In May 1993, it was Blagoje Kovacevic.
20 MR. SHIN: No further questions, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Shin.
22 I would still like to revisit the matter of the distances and the
23 markings by you, Mr. Skrba.
24 Could I have on the screen, to the left-hand side, if possible;
25 P6599, and on the right-hand side, D00526. Could it be enlarged
1 slightly, especially to the left.
2 Witness, I would like to invite you to look at the marking where
3 you said the 82-millimetre mortars were on the left map; that is, just to
4 the right of where the text reads Studenkovici. Do you see that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could you compare that with the marking on the map
7 on the right where it says the 82-millimetre mortars were. Would you
8 agree with me that your marking on the left map, if imposed on the map to
9 the right, that your marking is between the letters E and V of the word
11 Could someone -- has someone -- is it possible to [Overlapping
12 speakers] ...
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Would you also agree with me that that's a distance
15 of far more than 500 metres away from where you marked it in the previous
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I said is if you look at the
18 right-hand side map, from the cross-roads with the macadam road, the
19 mortars were some 50 to 70 metres away from it.
20 On the left-hand side map, one doesn't see that. The left-hand
21 side map, in my view, is not a good one. I don't know where it comes
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, first of all, the marking on the map to your
24 left, which is P6599, the marking is made by yourself. And it's quite
25 different from the marking you made in the previous case, which is found
1 on D526. So if you say the other map is good as well, then that creates
2 some confusion. It's at a considerable distance, the one from the other.
3 Do you see that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do. But this map is completely
5 unclear to me, the left one.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you marked it. You marked --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me tell you this, Percin. I
8 know it. I know what it physically looks like. Where it says Percin,
9 that hill is above Studenkovici. Studenkovici is at the foot, and it
10 seems to be the other way around on this map.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, they haven't moved north to south and changed
13 I give you an opportunity to comment on the following. What is
14 marked on D526, that is, the map, the right -- the map on your right-hand
15 side, the marking there is corresponding almost entirely with the right
16 upper corner of this figure where locations for, as I understand,
17 artillery were marked before you marked that map.
18 Would you agree with me, or would you have any comment on that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what these markings
20 are. I have no clue. I can't even comment.
21 As for what I marked, that is what I would dare comment. As for
22 any other markings, I am clueless.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you made markings on both maps; one in the
24 previous case, one in the present case. And I'm not asking you to
25 explain the markings which were already on the map. I just put it to you
1 that the marking on the right-hand side map, that is D526, is
2 corresponding almost entirely to the pre-markings we find on P6599, that
3 is the left-hand side, where there is an indication for a position. If
4 you have no comments, we leave it to that.
5 I further put to you that the distance from the marking on D526
6 to the position at Prljevo Brdo, if read together, the two maps, is
7 approximately 800 metres, which could be understood as in the vicinity of
8 the 82-millimetre mortars. Any comment on that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no comment. I know the area
10 well. I hail from it and I know it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I'm looking at the maps for distances.
12 Judge Fluegge has a question for you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: A short follow-up question.
14 If you look on the right of this -- the map on the right side of
15 the screen, you see there the square. Who has made this square? Did you
16 do that with your own hands, or with a computer, or did that -- was that
17 produced by somebody else?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Someone else put that square in
19 there. All I did was make markings in pen. I don't know about the rest,
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't see any markings with a pen. Can you
22 explain where the markings are to be seen you made with your own hands?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it may have been on another
24 map. We would need to find it. It's not this one.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I put to you that in your statement,
1 paragraph 15, you said in relation to this map on the right-hand side of
2 the screen, I quote:
3 "I marked with a square the area of the winding road and
4 encircled the approximate place where there was an 82-millimetre mortar
5 in August 1995."
6 That is to be found in your statement which you'd signed. Did
7 you make the marking, or was it a wrong statement?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a mistake. I made markings in
10 I hope you have that map, the other one, so that we can see my
11 markings. I entered the location there. And this may be some kind of
12 misinterpretation. I didn't make that particular marking. I don't have
13 a computer to be able to do so.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Was this map, as we see on the screen on the
15 right-hand side, shown to you by the Defence team when you helped them to
16 create this statement and before you signed the statement? Was this one
17 shown to you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what was the -- does that correspond to
20 another one you prepared with your own pen?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To be clear, we don't have this map you marked
23 with your own hands.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think there should be one. I saw
25 it yesterday.
1 MR. SHIN: [Overlapping speakers] ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The markings I made concerning the
3 road going up Trebevic. We saw it yesterday.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you referring to a map where you can find
5 this rectangle?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm talking about some pen
7 markings which I made on the map where the road diverts towards Trebevic
8 and the location where the mortars were. So the map I marked is
9 identical to the rectangle we see.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In any case, what you said in your statement,
11 which you signed, it's in relation to this document, and I read that to
12 you: "In this document, I marked with a square the area of the winding
13 road," which was not done by yourself.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, you were on your feet but you are sitting
16 down now.
17 MR. SHIN: Yeah, sorry. I just was wondering if this might be
18 helpful. The witness may be confused, or I may be confused, but on the
19 left-hand map here, the -- there is handwriting in the middle. Of
20 course --
21 JUDGE ORIE: That's his marking he made in court.
22 MR. SHIN: Yes, if that's clear to Your Honours, then I'll --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's perfectly clear. I think I hinted at
24 the considerable distance between what he marked yesterday --
25 MR. SHIN: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- and what we see on the map that was related to
2 his statement about the square and the MB 82 millimetre, which is at
3 quite a different location.
4 MR. SHIN: Yes. And I fully appreciate the thrust of Your
5 Honour's questions. I just wanted to clarify also that on a minor issue
6 that I do believe that he had marked this previously, as we see in the
7 date in the lower right-hand corner, the 22nd of October, and I believe
8 the rest of that will show it's 2012.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Mr. Stojanovic, any further questions for the witness?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a few questions, Your
13 JUDGE ORIE: If it is a matter of minutes, then I would allow you
14 to proceed. If you say it's more than two or three minutes, we would
15 take a break first.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] In that case, I suggest we go on
17 a break.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then I would like to ask the usher to
19 escort the witness out of the courtroom.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 And to avoid any confusion, the date you referred to, Mr. Shin,
22 was on the original map from which a portion was taken into D526, and
23 that original map bears number P6597.
24 MR. SHIN: If I could just have a moment to check that, but if I
25 understood Your Honour's question correctly, the -- it's, of course, and
1 perhaps I've my misunderstood, but it's the witness who has written
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, apparently he marked already at that time --
4 MR. SHIN: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- a map which shows a similar rectangle with a
6 similar MB 82-millimetre mortar.
7 MR. SHIN: I see. I understand the issue, then, and I will see
8 if there is anything of further assistance.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We take a break, and we will resume at 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.44 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin, the preliminary matter -- one second,
13 please, Mr. Usher. One second.
14 The preliminary matter you wanted to raise, should that be in the
15 presence of the witness or in his absence?
16 MR. SHIN: We can do it in the absence, and Your Honours can --
17 we can figure out how to -- whether we need to address it when the
18 witness arrives as well.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. SHIN: It's quite brief.
21 I just wanted to clarify, on further discussion with my
22 colleagues, the map where we had discussed that one grid was 1
23 kilometres, it may be 2. It appears, in fact, to be 2. We will confirm
24 that. But, of course, that still makes a significant difference between
25 5 kilometres or one grid.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. SHIN: But I wanted to make that clarification as quickly as
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If it is 2 then --
5 MR. SHIN: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I'm only very happy that you -- you would correct
8 MR. SHIN: Yes. I'm --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I think I oriented myself on the other map with the
10 blue lines, which I always thought was 1 kilometre; but if I'm wrong,
11 then I sincerely apologise to both parties for that.
12 MR. SHIN: And our apologies for not catching that earlier,
13 Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. That --
15 MR. SHIN: Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine.
17 Well, could I say the following - Mr. Stojanovic, I'm also
18 addressing you - the witness apparently assesses distances from his
19 knowledge of the local situation. Although he says "as the crow flies,"
20 do we agree that to measure distances as the crow flies is better done on
21 maps than by a vague recollection of the terrain?
22 MR. SHIN: We would certainly agree with that, Mr. President.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I will concur that a map is
24 better than memory or just an assessment.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Which doesn't say anything about what it takes to
1 travel from one point to another, which may be considerably more,
2 especially in mountainous terrain.
3 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
4 Meanwhile, the Chamber invited the Defence yesterday to express
5 itself on the revised translation of P3059.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We checked, Your Honour, and we
7 can accept that translation as relevant.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And better than the previous one, I take it.
9 Madam Registrar, the translation attached to P3059 should be
10 replaced by doc ID 0528-8804-00ET, and you're hereby instructed to do so.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
13 Mr. Skrba, you'll -- further questions will be put to you by
14 Mr. Stojanovic.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
16 have document P6597 in e-court. Thank you.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Skrba, this area that has these serpentines,
19 these curves, is that the road that you marked to Trebevic?
20 A. Yes. And the village of Studenkovic.
21 Q. This red line on the left that is an arrow moving towards the
22 centre of Studenkovic, does it actually denote the road that you marked
23 as leading to Studenkovic?
24 A. Yes, it says here Studenkovic.
25 Q. This little circle and this arrow underneath MB 82 mm, meaning
1 millimetres, does that show the approximately accurate location where you
2 saw the 82-millimetre mortars?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin.
5 MR. SHIN: Yes, Mr. President, we're having several very leading
6 questions now. I was not going to stand up for the first couple, but if
7 we could please stay away from those.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you're invited not to lead the
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I will try to
12 organise this in a different way, just that.
13 Q. Mr. Skrba, when speaking to me when I showed you this map, did
14 you confirm that this little circle corresponds to the position of the
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's another leading question, Mr. Stojanovic.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Okay. I'll reorganise it.
19 Q. During proofing, Mr. Skrba, did you inform the Defence about
20 whether this map and these markings were drawn to the best of your
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we now
25 please take a look at this together as we saw it before. P6599, along
1 parallel lines, with D516. D526.
2 Your Honours, P6599, could we slightly enlarge the central part.
3 Very well. Thank you.
4 Q. Mr. Skrba, appreciating the work that you have been doing so far,
5 are you knowledgeable about geographical maps?
6 A. I think I am.
7 Q. In August 1995, did you have at any point in time any personal
8 knowledge to the effect that there were mortars of 82 millimetres in the
9 broader area of Studenkovic?
10 A. I did have such knowledge and that's why I marked this place
11 where they were.
12 Q. Is it possible, if we look at the left-hand map there, this point
13 that is to the north-east of 1231, if you can see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were there 82-millimetre mortars there in the summer of 1995?
16 A. Yes, they were there until the end of the war.
17 Q. These mortars -- actually, does this change your view regarding
18 the existence of 82-millimetre mortars on the location that you marked on
19 this map on the right-hand side, that is, 50 to 70 metres away from the
20 road to Studenkovici and the intersection?
21 A. It doesn't change anything. It is the same position that I
22 marked on both maps as far as I can see and as far as I can read these
24 Q. I would like to conclude with the following question: After
25 having marked these two positions of 82-millimetre mortars, does that
1 change anything in terms of your answer that in the area of the village
2 of Studenkovici, there was no 120-millimetre mortars?
3 A. It doesn't change anything, and I've been saying all along that
4 in the area of the village of Studenkovic there were never any
5 120-millimetre mortars.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, now I would just
8 like us to take a look at yet another document.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before these maps are replaced by other
10 documents, I would just clarify the last couple of answers of the
12 Are you saying that on both maps we see on the screen the
13 locations are at the same spot, the locations indicated by you on the two
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I really don't understand this because obviously
17 what we see is Studenkovici on the right-hand side of the screen quite
18 far away and more to the south than on the left-hand side of the screen.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the left-hand side, there is no
20 road. I mean, the little road. I mean, the intersection is there
21 nearby. You see this. 12331, that's the village. That's that feature.
22 So then that is where you turn off to the village, at that curve, and
23 that is why I marked the curve there on the left-hand side. And then
24 from the curve, 50 to 70 metres away there are these mortars. I mean,
25 the ones that I marked on this right-hand side. In my view, it's one and
1 the same.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I hear that, but obviously when I look on these
3 two maps the locations are quite different. The little circle is far
4 away from Studenkovici on the right-hand side of the screen and that
5 differs quite a lot from the left marking you personally made.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This map on the right-hand side is
7 enlarged and the other one is not, you see? You see this curve here,
8 where you can see it here. It's the same curve on the left and on the
9 right. And from there, you turn to Studenkovici. And there, at that
10 curve, that's where the mortars were. I think that that's the place, in
11 my view.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Identical place.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may, lest there be any
17 confusion, Your Honours.
18 Q. This is my question: In August 1995, to the best of your
19 recollection and in terms of what you think - forget about the maps now -
20 were there 82-millimetre mortars at two locations? From the intersection
21 where the road goes to Studenkovic, and Studenkovic itself?
22 A. No, there was just one.
23 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to ask you.
24 The next thing I wanted to ask --
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
1 have in e-court a document that is now marked as D -- I think it's 5
2 now, 5-9 ... just a second. 528.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's a D number?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] D528. That's the document.
5 Q. Sir, can you recognise this photograph and what is seen in this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you tell us what the name of this feature is?
9 A. This is part of Baba Stijene. It's just part of it. It's not
10 the elevation itself.
11 Q. And this will be my final question. At any point from 1992 to
12 1995, did you ever have any of your troops positioned there?
13 A. Did we have troops there? Yes, yes, there were troops there on
14 both sides of Baba Stijene.
15 Q. And on the feature of Baba Stijene itself?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to repeat his
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your previous answer.
19 "Did we have troops there? Yes, yes, there were troops there on
20 both sides of Baba Stijene."
21 Was that where the -- part of the answer was missed? I'm
22 addressing the interpreters. Or was it the next question?
23 THE INTERPRETER: It was the whole answer following the last
24 question by Mr. Stojanovic, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: So then Mr. Stojanovic asked you:
1 "And on the feature of Baba Stijene itself?"
2 Could you repeat your answer to that question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not have any trenches or any
4 activities at Baba Stijene itself. It's a very steep rock, and it was
5 not suitable for any kind of action.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And I will finish with the following question: Did you notice if
8 any other unit, or a member of any other unit of the Army of Republika
9 Srpska, at any point fired from the Baba Stijene position, either from a
10 sniper rifle or any other type of infantry weapon?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrba. I have no further questions for you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Shin.
14 MR. SHIN: Just a couple of very quick questions arising out of
15 the redirect.
16 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Shin:
17 Q. Mr. Skrba, if you could remind us, you just spoke about
18 activities at Baba Stijene. But from late 1993 until the end of war you
19 were not based at that location. You were actually at the battalion
20 command; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And where is the battalion --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where is the battalion command located?
25 A. Close by in Miljevici. Close to the line. It wasn't that far
2 Q. But, in any case, you were not on the line. You were at the
3 battalion command; you were dealing with logistics.
4 A. Yes. Well, it was perhaps the lawyer who said that up to that
5 period. But, actually, when I was there, there were no snipers.
6 I'm sorry for mentioning the lawyer, but perhaps he should have
7 mentioned that period until when I was in the unit. That would be that.
8 Q. Yes. That's the different matter, but I won't go into that.
9 Now, you have also just said in response to a question from the
10 lawyer, my learned friend, that you have familiarity with maps.
11 MR. SHIN: Could we please have P6599.
12 Q. You'll recall -- I'll wait until the map comes up. You'll recall
13 only minutes ago when you saw this map, you said:
14 "This map, in my view, is not a good one. I don't know where it
15 comes from."
16 Now you've said you know something about maps. You served in the
17 army throughout the war. You do recognise, don't you, that this is a VRS
18 map, and that, for example, is why it's in Cyrillic?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The markings are in Cyrillic, not the map itself.
21 MR. SHIN: Yes, of course --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. SHIN: -- the markings. The map would be --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
25 MR. SHIN:
1 Q. And on this you can see that there are plans for an operation of
2 some kind, some sort of combat activity; correct?
3 A. Well, I said I didn't know what this was about.
4 Q. I -- yes --
5 A. Why the markings are there on the map, for what purpose.
6 Q. Mr. Skrba, I'm not asking you about the specific activity, but
7 you do recognise this as a map for combat activities; correct? That's
8 what the BRAG stands for, for example, brigade artillery group; correct?
9 A. Most probably, yes.
10 Q. Okay. And on this map, you see Palez, you see Studenkovici; two
11 separate places.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. No further questions.
14 MR. SHIN: I'm sorry, just one moment, Your Honours.
15 No further questions.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Shin.
17 Mr. Stojanovic, could you sooner or later provide the Chamber
18 with a -- information about the scale of the grid on D526 so that we are
19 better able to see whether it's a 1-kilometre or 2-kilometre grid.
20 And I take it that, if the parties would agree on that, that
21 would even be preferable. And the same would be true for P6599, although
22 that being a military map, it may be not too difficult to agree on what
23 the grid scale is.
24 MR. SHIN: Yes, of course, Mr. President, we'll try to do what we
25 can as soon as possible.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We will try to agree and
3 stipulate on this point.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that.
5 This then concludes your evidence, Mr. Skrba. I would like to
6 thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for having
7 answered all the questions that were put to you by the parties and by the
8 Bench and also for having stayed here for quite a while when we could not
9 proceed at the time. That's highly appreciated. I'd like to wish you a
10 safe return home again. You may follow the usher.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, and I wish
12 you all the best.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Is the Defence ready to call its next witness?
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
16 MR. SHIN: And if I may be excused, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: You are excused, Mr. Shin.
18 Mr. Weber takes over, I do understand.
19 Could the next witness be escorted into the courtroom.
20 No protective measures, Mr. Stojanovic? And the next witness
21 would be Mr. Stevan Veljovic; is that correct?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while we are
23 waiting for the witness, if I can just give the interpreters copies of
24 the summary for this witness. I think that would be a good thing to do
25 once the usher comes back.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Veljovic. Before you give
3 evidence, the Rules require that you make a solemn declaration. The text
4 is handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: STEVAN VELJOVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpretation]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Veljovic. Please be seated.
10 Mr. Usher, could you assist Mr. Stojanovic in distributing the
11 summary of the testimony to the booth.
12 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
13 Mr. Veljovic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You'll
14 find him to your right -- to your left, and Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for
15 Mr. Mladic.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Veljovic.
20 A. Good day, Mr. Stojanovic.
21 Q. I would just like you to spell your correct first and last name.
22 A. My name is Stevan Veljovic.
23 Q. Mr. Veljovic, did you give a statement to General Mladic's
24 Defence where you augmented your previous statements and testimony
25 provided in the Karadzic case?
1 A. Yes, I did provide a statement.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we look at
3 1D01628 in e-court, please.
4 Q. Mr. Veljovic, the information that you see in front of you, does
5 it correspond to the information regarding your date of birth and the
6 signature that is on this page?
7 A. Yes, the signature is my own and the date of birth is my own.
8 Q. Could you please look at the last page of this document.
9 This signature on the last page of your statement that you gave
10 to General Mladic's Defence is your own signature; and does it also say
11 there the 10th of May, 2014?
12 A. Yes, it's my signature. And the date is, indeed, 10th of May,
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at 1D02530 in
15 e-court, please. And I would like to look at the last page of the
16 document. It's in English. Can we look at the last page, please. Thank
18 Q. Mr. Veljovic, did you sign this statement in English on the 19th
19 of October, 2012 which was used in the Karadzic case?
20 A. Yes, I signed the statement on the 19th of October, 2012 here in
21 The Hague.
22 Q. And while --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic --
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. -- preparing for this --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I noticed that there is an overlap in speakers.
2 Could you make a short pause between question and answer.
3 And could you make a pause, Mr. Stojanovic, between the answer
4 and the question.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand, Your Honour.
6 We will try to control the speed.
7 Q. Mr. Veljovic, while preparing for your testimony today, together
8 with me, did you have the opportunity for me to show you the B/C/S or
9 Serbian version of the statement that you read in English, and did you
10 augment precisely that statement with the statement that you just had the
11 opportunity to see?
12 A. Yes, I signed and added to that statement, and I had the
13 opportunity to see it with you personally.
14 Q. And I would like to ask you this -- we will go a bit more slowly.
15 I would ask you if today after giving your solemn declaration,
16 would you entirely stand by the statement that you provided in the case
17 against Radovan Karadzic with the additions that you provided for the
18 Defence of General Mladic?
19 A. Yes, I would provide exactly the same statement in its entirety.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
22 tender these statements by Witness Stevan Veljovic, marked 1D01628 and
24 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution will follow the Chamber's guidance.
25 We just note for the record that the second statement, 1D2530, is not the
1 one filed with the motion.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, the Chamber said either take the
4 first one and add in oral examination whatever you want to add, or take
5 the second one, in which case Mr. Weber would have an opportunity to
6 explore any difference between the previous one known to him. And I
7 think I explicitly said we don't want to receive more than one statement.
8 Why are you then now tendering two statements? I mean, you are
9 seeking -- you are asking for guidance and then --
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And we did get the guidance and
11 that is how we proceeded. With all due respect, statement 1D --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'll read to you what I said to you, but I have
13 to find it. Let me see. Okay. Well, my colleagues say it is not even a
14 need to do that because we have been so clear: One statement, either the
15 first one, or the last one, but not more than one.
16 So which of the two would you like to tender? The 2012
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, these two
19 statements actually make up one whole because the statement was
20 provided -- that was provided to the Mladic Defence is just an augmented
21 version of the one provided for the Karadzic case. And that's on our
22 list, so we're not tendering two separate statements. And we are
23 adhering to your instructions regarding these statements.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think you're not. We'll decide on admission of
25 the 2012 statement, and you may elicit whatever you need to add to that
1 or to correct on that in your examination of the witness.
2 Madam Registrar, one number for --
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1628 receives number D532, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar --
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar. Could you please repeat the number
10 and tell us whether that's what we have on our screens at this moment.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1628 --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1628.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And is that the one which is on our screen at this
16 THE REGISTRAR: No, that's the -- uh-huh.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And that was the 2012 statement. So could we
18 please --
19 THE REGISTRAR: No, the 2012 statement is then 1D2530.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That's right. And that is then the 1D2530 --
21 THE REGISTRAR: Which receives --
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- is now the document which is admitted into
23 evidence under number --
24 THE REGISTRAR: Number D --
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- D532.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Mr. Stojanovic, that's the starting point, the old statement.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. I
5 have also been informed by a colleague from the team that it is not
6 recorded in the transcript that I said, and I would like to repeat it for
7 the transcript, that, in our submission, pursuant to 92 ter, 1D0628 [as
8 interpreted] was also put forward, which is the supplemental statement by
9 this witness, and this was referred to in the 92 ter submission and not
10 in the list as it is stated in the transcript.
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The 92 ter statement, Mr. Stojanovic, I have Annex B
14 before me, which says:
15 "Witness statement of Veljovic, Stevan, 6th of March,
16 65 ter number 1D01628."
17 That is the only one mentioned. And then I find two footnotes
18 among the associated exhibits where reference is apparently made to
19 1D2530. Could you have a look at -- and there is no statement under that
20 number. It only is used, that number, 1D02530, is only used as a
21 footnote to associated exhibits.
22 Now it's confusing enough to not mention a statement and then
23 only refer to it in a footnote in relation to exhibits, but that's what I
24 have, Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: If I may direct Your Honour, paragraph 6 and
1 footnotes 3 through 11 where both statements are identified in the motion
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the witness statement is not mentioned in
4 Annex B, would you agree?
5 MR. IVETIC: Sorry, Your Honour. My computer is malfunctioning
6 so I'm having to look through the paper copy that my colleague just gave
7 to me.
8 If you look at -- if you look at, for instance, the filing page
9 78567 in Annex B, you will find the second statement. The one that is --
10 the one that was from the Karadzic case which instead of putting the
11 signed one from the Karadzic case, we mistakenly put the unsigned one in
12 the Karadzic case which was the matter that was brought up in preliminary
13 matters this morning and what is at issue, where the paragraph numbers
14 are off by one paragraph between the unsigned and the signed for most of
15 the clarifications in the Mladic statement and where the transcript
16 references to the Milosevic case appear in the unsigned --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Just one second. You're referring me to 78576, you
18 say, in Annex B. Now that --
19 MR. IVETIC: 567.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- appears for me -- 567.
21 MR. IVETIC: 567, yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: 6-7. Okay. Yes, it was --
23 MR. IVETIC: And I apologise again. I only have a hard copy
24 that's not stapled with me, so I can't give you the page number. My
25 computer is not allowing me access to the internet as we speak.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just have a look. I see there a B/C/S
2 statement which is a --
3 MR. IVETIC: The translation starts at 78578, the English
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then in Annex B where we see "witness
6 statement to be admitted pursuant to Rule 92 ter," there we find -- let
7 me just see. 1D01628.
8 Mr. Ivetic, is -- am I reading correctly in Annex B that it says:
9 "Witness statement to be admitted pursuant to Rule 92 ter," that we there
10 find 1D01628.
11 MR. IVETIC: I agree with you, Your Honour. And if you look at
12 footnotes Roman numeral I and Roman numeral II, they reference the other
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. IVETIC: I agree that we should have also indicated clearly
16 in the first part of -- I believe it's Annex B -- the table. The table
17 that we're talking about, we should have clearly indicated the second
18 statement in the table, which is that one.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So what you say is that in the table we find the
20 wrong statement mentioned as to be admitted, that is 1D01628, although
21 reference is made in the boxes with the associated exhibits which the
22 Defence seeks to tender. Reference is made in the footnote to 1D02530.
23 And you say that is the statement which is attached in Annex A to the
24 92 ter statement.
25 Now usually if we find a statement attached and if it's not
1 consistent with what is found in the table, that confuses the Chamber
2 hugely because we have no direct access to the 92 ter numbers, so we rely
3 on what is written there. Apart from all that.
4 MR. IVETIC: There is also the confusion of there being two
5 Karadzic statements, which we discussed earlier today, so I --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. IVETIC: I apologise to the extent that I've added to the
8 confusion as most of this is --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. What we'll do, we'll take an early break now,
10 and we invite the parties to come back after the break with a clear
11 statement on whether the -- whether they can agree on admission of what
12 was already decided to be admitted, that is 1D2530 as the 2012 statement,
13 if I'm not mistaken, and whether that is the 2012 statement and whether
14 there is any confusion left with the parties. And I invite you to
15 clearly state, this is this document, it bears number so-and-so, we
16 sought it to be admitted, you have decided on admission. And if you want
17 to change it then please re-read the transcript, what we instructed you
18 to do.
19 We take a break after the witness has been escorted out of the
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 10 minutes past 12.00.
23 And we remind the parties that this Chamber is not exploring what
24 is found under what 65 ter numbers. We wait until what is brought to our
25 screen, what we then see, we'll -- Madam Registrar usually will know what
1 the 65 ter number is. But anything that is not accurate confuses the
2 Chamber extremely because we have no means to verify the accuracy of what
3 you tell us.
4 We take a break.
5 --- Recess taken at 11.54 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.13 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, where are we?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we made use of this
9 break to communicate with our colleagues from the Prosecution. I believe
10 we agreed, pending your approval, that we include 1D02530 be tendered and
11 to have a short supplement to this statement. And that would be the
12 65 ter 1D0628 [as interpreted] as they represent a whole.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: 01628, not 0628.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] 1D01628.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: You have chosen the option which was, I think,
17 turned down half an hour ago by the Chamber. But if the parties agree on
18 that, then the Chamber accepts that.
19 But I add to this: If this Chamber wants to make a puzzle, we'll
20 buy one in a shop. And we are not -- we do not appreciate that puzzles
21 are given to us unsolicited.
22 Mr. Weber.
23 MR. WEBER: That's fine with us. That is what we discussed with
24 the Defence. The one thing that I believe that has been left out is
25 just, as I said earlier, I just want it to be clear for the record, that
1 the version of 1D2530 being tendered was not the version that was filed
2 with the motion.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. WEBER: It was our understanding that two statements were
5 being tendered. So --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. So that's where we are.
7 The reason why the Chamber is not happy with this situation,
8 because you -- it's not just two or three corrections to a previous
9 statement but it is, in relation to paragraph 10, and then there comes a
10 new story, so we have to puzzle and to jump from one document into
12 If there is considerable materials to be added, then you make a
13 new consolidated statement so that the Chamber is not to do the puzzle
14 but that you've done it for us.
15 Exceptionally, we accept [Overlapping speakers] ...
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We will do so in the future,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: One has been admitted already. Now the other one,
19 Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Just to avoid, clarification, with your leave,
21 Your Honours, I will repeat the previous one.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It was 1D2530, which receives number D532.
24 And the other one is 1D1628, which will receive number D533, Your
1 JUDGE ORIE: I'm afraid that it does not appear -- actually,
2 could you repeat the number 1D -- for the last one, for D533.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1628 receives number D533, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's still not accurate, I'm afraid.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D1628 receives number D533.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I hasten to add that that document is admitted under
8 that number.
9 Please proceed.
10 Yes, but we need a witness first. Could the witness be escorted
11 into the courtroom.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we'll now really start your examination.
14 Mr. Stojanovic will put questions to you.
15 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Before
17 putting several questions to the witness, I would like to tender some
18 additional documents such as 65 ter 1D02049 which should accompany the
20 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, we have no objection to the admission
21 of the document. However, we did raise a translation issues with respect
22 to this document, and I was wondering if the Defence was able to
23 reconcile that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What's the translation issue?
25 MR. WEBER: The -- we provided a translation that we had from a
1 previous case that -- the translation was different than the one that was
2 currently uploaded. So I asked them either to look at the one that we
3 had from earlier or if they would be willing to verify the current
4 translation. Either way, we don't have an objection to the admission of
5 the document. It's just pending the accuracy of the translation.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll mark it for identification.
7 Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D2049 receives number P534, Your
10 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification, pending
11 verification of the accurate translation.
12 Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. With your leave,
14 Your Honour, I'd like to read out a short summary of this witness's
16 Witness Stevan Veljovic was assistant Chief of Staff for
17 operations and training in the 1st Romanija Brigade between the beginning
18 of the war and December 1994. He then joined the SRK staff staying in
19 the same capacity. He remained there until 7 August 1995 when he assumed
20 the duty of commander of the 4th Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade.
21 The witness claims that throughout the war, while acting as
22 officer in the brigade and corps staffs, he never received or issued an
23 order to shell civilian facilities or civilians in the area of Sarajevo
24 but to shell military targets solely and exclusively.
25 Legitimate military targets were established by direct
1 observation or through intelligence work, although the units of the
2 BH Army made use of different civilian facilities as points of
3 resistance, especially the Kosevo hospital and the part of town called
4 Bascarsija. They usually did so by using a truck mounted with a mortar
5 and opened fire before moving on to another position.
6 The points from which they used artillery were Zagrebacka Street,
7 Marsala Tita Street, the road above the Marsal Tito Barracks, and areas
8 close to UNPROFOR facilities to name but a few.
9 All officers and soldiers of the brigade were made familiar with
10 numerous written and oral orders issued by the senior command about the
11 prohibition of opening fire on civilians, civilian facilities, and means
12 of public transport. Every commander had a booklet about the
13 international laws of war in the form of a brochure. There could have
14 been civilian casualties only if strong artillery fire was opened from
15 specific areas which placed VRS units in danger.
16 In conclusion, the witness will testify that at the time of the
17 so-called Markale II incident on 28th August, 1995, there was not a
18 single 120-millimetre mortar piece in the area of defence of his brigade
19 in the sector of Trebevic on Vidikovac and below the bobsleigh track on
20 Trebevic. Such assets had been sent to assist the Herzegovina Corps of
21 the VRS on 24 August 1995 where they stayed until September 1995.
22 The witness directly participated in receiving orders from
23 General Mladic personally to enable an unhindered and efficient passage
24 through VRS-controlled territory to the convoy with the Zepa and Gorazde
25 wounded in April 1995.
1 Thank you. This was the short summary of this witness's
3 With your leave, I have a few questions to put to the witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, in your statement you mentioned that every officer had a
7 booklet about the international laws of war as a brochure.
8 My question is: Where did the text contained in the brochure
9 come from and who printed and issued that brochure?
10 A. We used to have it when we were members of the operational units
11 of the JNA. They were distributed by the organ for morale in the unit
12 command. Practically every soldier had received a booklet like that. We
13 were also trained on the international laws of war, as was every other
15 Q. You mentioned the passage of convoys through VRS-controlled area
16 along the Pale-Lukavica road. Please tell the Chamber which road exactly
17 was used by humanitarian convoys to move from Pale?
18 A. The humanitarian convoys from Pale went via Trebevic --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
20 MR. WEBER: I'm sorry to intervene, but I was just wondering if
21 we could have the paragraph numbers as we're going along, just so we
22 could follow.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, could you tell us where this is
24 found in this statement?
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Paragraph 25, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Which statement?
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The one which bears the number
3 1D -- now it is 532.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would be helpful if it would be called up on
5 the screen.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have it in e-court
7 then. D532, paragraph 25.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Any suggestion that it could be paragraph 26 or ...
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. That is
10 precisely why we applied for this statement to be admitted, because it
11 corresponds with the previous evidence.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do agree that I'm still suffering from
13 the confusion.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
16 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I'd just request going forward. I see
17 from the previous question actually a fact was inserted that's not in the
18 statement. I'd just -- if we could watch the leading on that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you've heard the request which seems
20 to be a reasonable request by Mr. Weber.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Can we then
22 have paragraph 14 of the D533 statement in parallel.
23 Thank you.
24 Q. Witness, please provide us with an answer to the best of your
25 recollection in terms of what route was used by such humanitarian
2 A. If they went from Gorazde, they went through Pale along the
3 Trebevic road, which we controlled up to Vrace. And then from Vrace,
4 across the Vrbanja bridge and onto federation territory.
5 Q. At some point you said that in April 1995, you personally
6 received an order from General Mladic. Please tell the Court about it.
7 A. General Mladic called us in April, and I happened to be the duty
8 operations officer. He wanted to speak to the commander who was absent.
9 He then told me, "Listen carefully, tell this to the commander and Cedo
10 Sladoje, who was Chief of Staff, they should be very careful with the
11 arrival of Gorazde and Zepa wounded. They were to go through your area
12 of responsibility and nothing should happen to them. Provide a safe
13 passage. And if you have, give them some oranges too. Do bear this in
14 mind and pass it on to the other commanders."
15 He asked me if it was clear, and I said yes. I conveyed that
16 order to the commanders and to the staff units in order to ensure that
17 safe passage of the convoy through our area of responsibility.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, I have a little concern here.
19 Your questions to the witness elicit the information that is already
20 on D533. So while we have the explanations in D533, you're still
21 repeating them orally. It does look like we're not going to finish.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We will conclude with the next
23 question, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Veljovic, which were the specific ways you used in order to
25 establish that artillery was being used from the compound of the Kosevo
1 hospital to the best of your recollection?
2 A. We could see it from the our observation points, and each soldier
3 of ours could observe it. And there was a -- a dedicated soldier in
4 every platoon and company to observe. That task was also issued to each
5 and every soldier, not only to man their positions but to observe as
7 Q. By doing so, did you have the occasion to see whether the BH Army
8 also used tanks in Sarajevo?
9 A. Yes, they had a tank which they kept hidden in the tunnel
10 underneath Kosevo hill through which one could reach Velesici. They
11 would come out and then go back, opening fire occasionally.
12 They also engaged our forward command post at Vrace. It was
13 destroyed. And I even happened to find myself under a pile of rocks in
14 the process on the 8th of June, 1992. Several people died when we were
15 targeted by their tank. Some soldiers, as well as my signalsman, who
16 lost his leg.
17 Q. Mr. Veljovic, I thank you for your answers. I hand you over to
18 the Prosecution and would kindly ask you to provide answers to them as
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before inviting Mr. Weber to proceed, could
21 you tell us about the Kosevo hospital artillery firing. How often did
22 you observe artillery being fired from the Kosevo hospital compound?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On several occasions. Especially
24 in the evening, because you could see the flame from the nozzle, and my
25 soldiers called me to see. It was a mobile artillery group with pieces
1 mounted on the TAM trucks. They would fire and then move on to another
2 position, provoking us to engage the hospital.
3 JUDGE ORIE: But if you say on several occasions, was that four
4 times a year, was it five times a week, was it -- could you tell us a bit
5 more in detail what the frequency was? Because that was what my question
6 was about.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Several times. Because their
8 artillery was mobile. It was several times. I would say over a hundred
9 during the four years while I was there. They always used one route,
10 opened fire, and moved on to another, opening fire again. They would go
11 to Bascarsija, and then to Kosevo, in order to open fire. So we couldn't
12 engage them with our artillery.
13 JUDGE ORIE: So that is, on average, at least 25 times a year.
14 That's every second week, once. Is that well understood?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, roughly. Yes. I cannot say
16 very precisely. It's not that I took notes every day.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Mr. Veljovic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Weber. You'll
19 find him to your right. Mr. Weber is counsel for the Prosecution.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Weber:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Veljovic.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Today my initial questions will relate to your military career
24 and assignments between 1991 and 1995.
25 In your statement, which is admitted as D532, you indicate that
1 you were part of the 216th JNA Mountain Brigade starting on 30 June 1991.
2 Is it correct that Dragomir Milosevic was the commander of the
3 216th Brigade when you joined?
4 A. I joined the brigade considerably before Dragomir Milosevic.
5 In -- he joined it only in 1989, whereas I joined it only in 1997 [as
6 interpreted]. And it's true that we were mobilised in June 1991, and I
7 was already there as the assistant commander for operations and teaching
8 because the current General Ganic -- actually, at that time, he was the
9 chief for -- chief of operations for the 216th Brigade, and I was the
10 desk officer.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Weber, I think you should --
12 MR. WEBER: Yes.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- clarify the dates --
14 MR. WEBER: I see it.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- at the beginning of this answer. But it would
16 be helpful if you could indicate as well to which paragraph of that
17 statement you are referring.
18 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour. I believe it's paragraph 10.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 MR. WEBER: Of the current version.
21 Q. Sir, in your answer, you were just recorded as stating that
22 General Milosevic joined in 1989, whereas you joined only in 1997. Is
23 that accurate?
24 A. Exactly. I was deployed in the command of that brigade in 1997
25 when I completed the school for reserve officers and when I got out of
1 school. And I stayed on until the 19th of May, 1992 in the 216th
3 Q. Sir, please listen carefully. Is it correct that you joined the
4 216th Mountain Brigade on the date of 30 June 1991?
5 A. Well, yes. After mobilisation, I responded to the call-up
6 because I knew where my mobilisation post was in case there were wartime
7 needs. I knew that it was the 216th Brigade, and I joined on the 30th of
8 June. It was a Sunday. And I responded to --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could I, first of all, ask you to slow down,
11 Witness, because the interpreters missed the last part of your answer.
12 You said: "... I joined on the 30th of June. It was a Sunday,"
13 and you responded to. And could you then repeat what you said. And you
14 responded to what?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Responded to mobilisation call-up
16 because there was a mobilisation of the army, the 216th Brigade, the 30th
17 of June, and we had to respond to mobilisation.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I want you to look at me now. You should
19 slow down in your speed of speech, otherwise your testimony will be lost.
20 No one will be able to translate. So please slow down. Have you
21 understood that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understood you.
23 MR. WEBER:
24 Q. And, sir, just so you know, your statements have been admitted
25 into evidence and -- so we move through faster here, if you could please
1 not repeat information that's in your statement. I'm just asking very
2 precise questions. If I need you to explain, I'll ask you to further
3 explain. Do you understand?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In paragraph 10 of the statement that's been admitted as D532,
6 you state that following the mobilisation, one battalion was sent to
7 Banja Luka. Did you go to Banja Luka as a member of the 216th Mountain
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Is it correct that you were the operations commander of the
11 216th Mountain Brigade between 30 June 1991 and mid-May 1992?
12 A. That's not correct. Ganic, who was now a general of the Army of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was then chief of operations of the 216th Brigade.
14 Q. Okay. Could you then please tell us what was your positions
15 between 30 June 1991 and mid-May 1992 in the brigade?
16 A. Well, from the 30th of June, I was assistant chief of operations
17 to then-Major Ganic of the JNA. He's currently a general. He fled in
18 December 1991.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Witness, whether he is now a general, whether he
20 fled, what his family looks like, was not part of the question. You've
21 answered the question by your first line, saying, "Well, from the 30th of
22 June, I was assistant chief of operations to then-Major Ganic of the
24 That's a full answer to the question. Would you refrain --
25 THE WITNESS: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- from expanding on all kind of things you are not
2 asked. Otherwise we will still be here at Christmas.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. WEBER:
5 Q. Is it correct, then, that you were the chief of operations from
6 December 1991 to mid-May 1992?
7 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
8 Q. Once the VRS was formed, is it correct that you continued to
9 serve as the chief of operations of the 1st Romanija Infantry Brigade
10 between mid-May 1992 until the 19th of December 1994?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As an operations officer in the 1st Romanija Brigade, is it
13 correct that you were directly subordinate to Dragomir Milosevic, who was
14 the brigade commander until February 1993, and then Vlado Lizdek, the
15 subsequent brigade commander?
16 A. Yes, but I was directly subordinated to the Chief of Staff. But
17 the commander of the brigade was Dragomir Milosevic, and afterwards
18 Vlado Lizdek.
19 Q. As an operations officer at the brigade level, is it correct that
20 you were familiar with the reporting procedures of the
21 1st Romanija Brigade?
22 A. Well, for the most part I was familiar, but I wasn't always the
23 duty officer at the brigade.
24 Q. Okay. Just -- I want to go through some of your previous
1 In the Dragomir Milosevic case, at transcript page 5824, you
2 described how the operations centre functioned in your brigade. You
4 "Each unit, a company, a platoon, a squad, a battalion, sent to
5 the operations centre of the brigade, there are daily reports. And on
6 the basis of those reports coming from battalions and brigade, the
7 battalion and brigade drafted their reports and sent them to the corps
8 command. We had radio communication and wire communications at the
9 operations centres, and immediately the battalion commanders reported any
10 provocation to the centre about what was happening on the separation line
11 between the two armies -- or, rather, what kind of combat activity was in
13 Is it correct that this is how the operations centre of the
14 1st Romanija Brigade functioned?
15 A. Yes, that's how it functioned. Except at the centre -- well, I
16 wasn't there all the time. I was somewhere in the field or touring
17 units, but I was there most of the time. I mean, there were always some
18 officers at the brigade that were on duty, duty operations officers, day
19 and night. And then that person would have to take notes, and then this
20 person would report to me and to the commander and to the Chief of Staff.
21 Q. In the Milosevic case, at transcript page 5824 to 25, you further
22 described the purpose of the reporting handled by the operations centre
23 of your brigade. You were asked:
24 "Q. And all that information that comes in and is collected in
25 the operations centre is analysed on behalf of the commander of the
1 brigade so he can make his decisions about how to proceed."
2 You answered:
3 "Yes. The commander of the brigade receives a report, and the
4 duty operations officer and the operations and training organ prepare the
5 regular combat reports to be sent to a higher command. These reports had
6 to be approved by the brigade commander. In his absence, that would be
7 the Chief of Staff. In his absence, though, this will have to be
8 approved by an operations officer."
9 Do you stand by this testimony? Is this accurate?
10 A. I fully stand by that testimony.
11 Q. In the Milosevic case, at transcript page 5825, you further
12 describe the type of reporting within the brigade. You were asked:
13 "Q. Did you also orally brief the Chief of Staff or the brigade
14 commander about what was happening in your area of responsibility, or is
15 it only done by written reports?"
16 You answered:
17 "Both orally and in writing. Written reports were sent to higher
18 ranking units, and the commander of the brigade received oral reports
19 from the operations officer about the events involving the brigade."
20 Is it correct that this statement of yours accurately describes
21 both the oral and written reporting within your brigade?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And whether it was oral or written reports, is it correct that it
24 was the duty of the subordinate units to portray an accurate picture of
25 what was happening in their areas of responsibility?
1 A. Yes. They can send regular reports and interim reports during
2 the day, but up until that day they have to send regular reports when the
3 time is set for that. But they can send interim reports before that,
4 too, if something is going on so that the command would know.
5 Q. Is it correct that the brigades had to submit their daily written
6 reports to the corps command by 2000 hours?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. Coded.
8 Q. You read my mind. Is it correct that the SRK used coded
9 references for locations, weaponry, and targets in its communications?
10 A. Well, of course.
11 Q. Ever SRK brigade had its own command post and forward command
12 post; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Each of these command posts were staffed by duty officers; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. From the command posts, is it correct that the brigades could
17 communicate with their subordinate battalions, the other brigades, or
18 regiments in the corps and with the SRK command?
19 A. We could not communicate, but we knew who our neighbours were on
20 the left and right. And if we were to communicate to ask for support,
21 we'd have to send a request to a higher command.
22 Q. Okay. Just so we're clear: From the command posts, you were
23 able to communicate with your subordinate battalions and your superior
24 SRK command; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Is it correct that you were promoted and became an operations
2 officer in the corps command of the SRK on 19 December 1994?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. More specifically, is it correct that you were an operations
5 officer in the operations and training department of the corps command?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When you were an operations officer in the corps command, is it
8 correct that you were directly subordinate to Cedomir Sladoje, the SRK
9 deputy commander and Chief of Staff?
10 A. Yes, directly to him. But the commander is the man in charge.
11 Q. Yes. And at the time that you were at the corps command, that
12 was Dragomir Milosevic; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it correct that there were a total of 10 to 11 operations
15 officers in your department?
16 A. Well, that's the way it was, according to plan. But since we did
17 not have enough personnel, there were only two of us.
18 Q. Is it correct that the corps operations centre was located at the
19 Lukavica barracks?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Specifically, the operations centre was on the ground floor of
22 the barracks; correct?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. When you were at the SRK command, did the reporting between the
25 brigade commands and the corps commander function in a similar manner as
1 to when you were in the 1st Romanija Brigade?
2 A. In a similar way, that's how it was. But for the most part --
3 well, in writing. Sometimes orally, too. I mean, these reports. But
4 actually requests were usually written from the brigade command to the
5 corps command.
6 Q. Is it correct that the corps command sent daily reports to the
7 Main Staff of the VRS?
8 A. Every day, yes. That was an obligation.
9 Q. Were the daily written reports from the respective brigades of
10 the SRK also sent along with the corps command daily report to the
11 Main Staff?
12 A. Well, they weren't. Just the corps command report would include
13 all the brigades, so it was very well put together. Succinctly, clearly,
14 precisely, what was happening in the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and all
15 brigades and all other units.
16 Q. The daily dead-line for submitting reports from the SRK to the
17 VRS Main Staff was 2100 hours; correct?
18 A. Well, yes. And sometimes there were interim combat reports, too.
19 Q. These interim combat reports would be in addition to the daily
20 combat report; correct?
21 A. Yes, yes. When necessary. Depending on the situation.
22 Q. Is it correct that the offices of the corps commander,
23 Dragomir Milosevic, and Cedo Sladoje, were located on the 1st floor of
24 the Lukavica barracks; in other words, the floor above the operations
1 A. Yes, except that one was on the left and the other one was on the
3 Q. Is it correct that Dragomir Milosevic and Cedo Sladoje used their
4 offices as sleeping quarters?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You know this because you sometimes stayed around the clock in
7 the operations centre; correct?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. When you were part of the corps command, is it correct that you
10 would visit forward command posts in Trnovo, Nisici, and Vogosca with
11 Dragomir Milosevic?
12 A. Well, sometimes by myself, and sometimes I was with the commander
13 because usually the operations officer accompanies the commander.
14 Q. Whether it was by yourself or with the corps commander, how often
15 would you go to the forward command posts during your time in the corps
17 A. Well, in Vogosca, Nisici, and Trnovo. First I was there when
18 there was this offensive attack -- in 1995, I was in Vogosca. And then I
19 returned to Trnovo to the forward command post for the commander. I
20 stayed there on my own. And in Vogosca, I was never on my own. Dragomir
21 Milosevic was always there, and sometimes he'd come to Trnovo, too.
22 First Cedo was there and then Cedo went back to the corps command, so
23 Trnovo remained unmanned so then I manned that command post.
24 Q. Okay. I'm not quite sure I got an answer to the question I was
25 asking. Are you able to approximate, just in terms of numbers, how often
1 you would go to forward command posts during your time in the corps
2 command? Once a week, once every two weeks, for months at times?
3 A. Well, for instance, when the offensive was on for 45 days, I was
4 always at the command post. I was in Trnovo for 15 days, and then I was
5 in Vogosca. Actually, the first 15 days in Vogosca, and then this last
6 offence I was in Trnovo.
7 Q. Great. Thank you.
8 A. And then from time to time I went, say, every five days, every
9 ten days when there was no offensive.
10 Q. Thank you. In the Milosevic case, at transcript page 5837, you
11 described General Milosevic and his time in the field. You were asked:
12 "Q. Now you just told us that you often accompanied
13 General Milosevic during combat operations, and I believe also yesterday
14 you said that General Milosevic was often in the field; is that correct?"
15 You answered:
16 "Yes, that's correct. That --"
17 A. Yes --
18 Q. Sir, let me finish --
19 A. -- yes, that is correct.
20 Q. You answered:
21 "Yes, that's correct. That would be a real soldier, always on
22 the front line, highly respected by the officers and soldiers alike,
23 precisely because he was always there where the fighting was at its
24 worst. He was not always just sitting in his office or where civilians
1 Is it correct that this accurately describes your view of
2 General Milosevic's presence in the field?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you consider Dragomir Milosevic to be a highly competent and
5 educated officer?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it correct that Dragomir Milosevic held daily briefings with
8 the SRK command staff in the morning, and then the SRK command staff
9 would report back to General Milosevic in the evenings?
10 A. Yes, usually we'd have meetings in the morning. And then people
11 were given tasks as to what they were supposed to do during the course of
12 the day.
13 Q. Is it correct that the different assistant commanders from the
14 different sectors that were part of the SRK command staff were all
15 obligated to attend these detail meetings?
16 A. Yes. Unless they were absent due to well-founded reasons.
17 Q. Orders would be issued at these meetings; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Marko Lugonja was the SRK assistant commander for security and
20 intelligence while you were in the corps command; correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Is it correct that Mr. Lugonja had two reporting chains, one that
23 went directly to Dragomir Milosevic and the other that went to
24 General Tolimir of the VRS Main Staff?
25 A. Yes, that's how security functions in every army in Europe.
1 Q. Would his reports to General Milosevic and General Tolimir both
2 go through the operations centre in the SRK command?
3 A. Well, he reported to the commander every morning, as far as
4 security is concerned. Sometimes he had these interim reports as well,
5 and we wouldn't know about it because it's how security functions. And
6 as far as his reports to Tolimir are concerned --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end.
8 MR. WEBER:
9 Q. Sir, could you please continue stating what you said after "...
10 as far as his reports to Tolimir are concerned," was there something else
11 that you added?
12 A. Well, I'm saying that I was not involved in security and
13 intelligence because security is a different thing altogether.
14 Q. Is it correct that the security and intelligence department acted
15 independent of the operations department?
16 A. Well, it didn't operate independently. They did have Tolimir as
17 their chief. But that's how security functions. It is special in every
18 army anywhere in the world, as I've already said. There is an assistant
19 commander, Milosevic is in charge, but the intelligence -- intelligence
20 service has its secret tasks, and not everybody can know about that.
21 And perhaps they're following somebody in the command and even
22 the commander wouldn't know about that. For example, they have their
23 agents, Brzi [phoen] said that there would be an attack, et cetera. And
24 Dragomir Milosevic would know who this Brzi is and then would let this
25 person know. And then he's not supposed to know who this person is, but
1 Lugonja and Tolimir probably know.
2 Q. Okay. Is it correct that Tadija Manojlovic was the chief of
3 artillery for the SRK?
4 A. Yes, Colonel Tadija Manojlovic.
5 Q. In the Karadzic case, at transcript page 29237 to 38; you were
6 asked to describe the link between SRK Artillery Chief Manojlovic and the
7 VRS Main Staff. You stated:
8 "Of course, he was linked with the chief of the artillery at the
9 Main Staff. There are close links there. That is how the relations of
10 subordination are in the army from top towards the bottom and from the
11 bottom up in terms of reporting."
12 Do you stand by this testimony as to say link between --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You said that there were close links there. Are you able to
15 further describe the close links aside from the fact that there was
16 reporting between Tadija Manojlovic and the VRS Main Staff?
17 A. If Tadija Manojlovic was the artillery chief in the
18 Sarajevo Romanija Corps, then it's normal that he closely co-operated
19 with the Chief of the Main Staff, the deputy chief at the Main Staff for
20 the artillery, and I co-operated with the operations organ at the
21 Main Staff from time to time.
22 Q. Could you tell us about Luka Dragicevic's interactions with
23 General Gvero of the VRS Main Staff? How often would they meet and how
24 did they co-ordinate their activities? So I'm asking about the assistant
25 commander for morale, religious, and legal affairs at the corps level,
1 and his relationship with his counterpart at the Main Staff.
2 A. General Dragicevic never submitted a report to me. He would
3 submit a report to Commander Gvero, and then what was meant for me, I
4 would be then told that because he was the assistant commander for
5 morale, religious, and legal affairs, and -- which is a higher step up.
6 Q. Could you describe to us the co-ordination between SRK assistant
7 commander for logistics, Aleksa Krsmanovic, and his counterpart in the
8 Main Staff, General Djordje Djukic?
9 A. Well, that probably was connected. But I really didn't have
10 anything much to do with that unless it was something that had to do with
11 my own area of operations. In that case, I would be involved. He was
12 the assistant commander. I wasn't his boss. He would not submit any
13 reports to me, but I would report to him. But sometimes he would pass on
14 certain information to me.
15 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I see we are at break time. This is a
16 good spot.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It is time for a break.
18 Witness, we'll take a break of 20 minutes, and we'd like to see
19 you back after that.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 20 minutes past 1.00. I made a
22 mistake, half past 1.00 we'll resume.
23 --- Recess taken at 1.11 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.32 p.m.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Veljovic, Mr. Weber will now continue his
3 Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
4 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. Mr. Veljovic, in the Karadzic case, at transcript page 29248, you
6 were asked about meetings between the corps commander and the brigade
7 commanders. You were asked:
8 "The corps commander would also meet his brigade commanders as a
9 group, wouldn't he?"
10 You answered:
11 "Yes. Very often the corps commander had briefings with the
12 brigade commanders. But that was not that often. It was once a week or
13 once in a fortnight."
14 Can you confirm that this is your evidence with respect to the
15 frequency of meetings between the SRK commander and the brigade
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Is it correct that General Milosevic's meetings with the brigade
19 commanders were also attended by the commanders of the SRK's independent
20 regiments that belonged to the corps, including the Mixed Artillery
21 Regiment, or MAP, and the Mixed Anti-tank Regiment?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When did you become the commander of the 4th Slpbr? When did you
24 become commander of that brigade?
25 A. On the 7th of August, 1995. That's when I reported to the
1 commander that I was ready, that the brigade is ready to carry out its
2 combat assignments. I arrived a little bit before that in order to
3 prepare to take over the battalions, to look over the support assets and
5 Q. Is it correct that that was the same day in which the brigade was
6 formed, the 7th of August, 1995?
7 A. The brigade was finally established on the 7th. As soon as the
8 commander reports that the brigade is under his command, then it is
9 considered as legally established and it begins to send out reports.
10 Q. Could you please tell us what Slpbr stands for.
11 A. That is the 4th Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade.
12 Q. Were you ever officially appointed? And when I say that, were
13 you issued an official document that designated you as the commander of
14 this brigade?
15 A. Yes. I was assigned to the post temporarily at first in writing.
16 This was then extended and then the war ended.
17 Q. Do I understand from your answer, then, that you received a
18 temporary post which then was never actually made a permanent post
19 because the war ended?
20 A. That is correct, yes. This lasted for seven months or slightly
22 Q. I want to change topics now.
23 So in your -- in paragraph 14 of your statement that's admitted
24 as D532, you describe how the Trebevic Battalion, the Podgrab Battalion,
25 and the Hresa Battalion were included as part of the 1st Romanija
1 Brigade. You also explain how this expanded the brigade's zone of
2 responsibility to include Mrkovici in the northern part of Sarajevo. Is
3 it correct that this area in Mrkovici was previously held by the
4 Hresa Battalion before it became part of the 1st Romanija Brigade?
5 A. The Hresa Battalion became part of the 1st Romanija Brigade in
6 1992 and then it was no longer a part of it in 1994 and joined the
7 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade. It was resubordinated to them. It became
8 part of the 3rd Sarajevo Brigade. Two battalions were resubordinated to
9 the 1st Sarajevo Brigade, and the Sokolovac, Trebevic, Jahorina, and
10 Praca Battalions were left over. The 3rd and 4th went to the 1st.
11 Q. Sir, I -- I appreciate what you're saying. However, before we
12 get too far afield and with many other dates, I just want to try to go
13 through this in a clear fashion focusing on certain time-periods.
14 So what I asked you was before the Hresa Battalion became part of
15 the 1st Romanija Brigade in 1992, did it hold the area of Mrkovici? Was
16 that within its zone of responsibility?
17 A. Yes, it was in the area of that battalion.
18 Q. And that battalion also before it became part of the 1st Romanija
19 Brigade held the feature known as Spicaste Stijene; correct?
20 A. The name is Spicaste Stijene; somebody named it that way. But
21 that name is not on that map. But it was held -- Mala Kula and the
22 Spicaste Stijene. That's what the soldiers called that feature. It
23 spread from Zecija Glava, including the village of Mrkovici excluding the
24 village of Radoman, including Grdonj complex, seven [as interpreted],
25 Suma, and a number of other features. This was the area that was held by
1 the Hresa Battalion.
2 Q. When the Trebevic, Podgrab, and Hresa Battalions became part of
3 the 1st Romanija Brigade, is it correct that the brigade incorporated the
4 weapons, vehicles, and equipment from these battalions as part of the
5 brigade's assets?
6 A. No, each battalion had its own assets. The brigade has its own
7 assets when it needs to reinforce the battalions.
8 Q. And when these battalions joined the 1st Romanija Brigade, they
9 kept their own assets; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, have you dealt with Spicaste Stijene
12 or ...
13 MR. WEBER: I believe the witness finally actually answered what
14 I was looking for at the end of his answer on line --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But my question was whether you had dealt with
16 that in a way or would you continue? Because I would have a question on
17 the issue.
18 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, go ahead. I was not going to return to
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 Witness, I read in your statement at paragraph 27 the following.
22 You are quoted to have stated:
23 "However, I can list a number of features in and around the city,
24 such as Igman, Mojmilo, Debelo Brdo, Spicaste Stijene, Hum, Zuc, Grdonj,
25 Bare, and others, which were dominant in relation to our lines of defence
1 and from which they constantly shelled us and inflicted casualties,
2 especially in Grbavica and Nedzarici."
3 Now from one of your previous answers, I did not understand that
4 Spicaste Stijene was held by the opposing party; whereas in your
5 statement, it seems that you say it was held by the ABiH forces. Could
6 you clarify.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Spicaste Stijene is located at the
8 Grdonj feature. It was probably one or two forward trenches that were
9 held by the Serbian army, and the flanks were held by the B and H Army,
10 from the front and the left and right flank. And we were in
11 Spicaste Stijene. But in the military topography, there is nowhere
12 mentioned the name Spicaste Stijene. This is probably a name that was
13 given to that feature by soldiers. But in the military topographical
14 map, it's not noted anywhere by that name.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now if you say that you had some forward
16 trenches there, and the Chamber has received quite some evidence about
17 Spicaste Stijene, at least the number of features which dominated in
18 relation to your lines of defence, would not be Spicaste Stijene in its
19 entirety because parts of it were under Republika Srpska control.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
23 And, by the way, would the same be true -- Hum and Zuc, were they
24 fully under the control of the opposing army, or was it partly held by
25 the one army -- yes?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Army of Republika Srpska held
2 some parts to the east, and Hum and Zuc was part of a large feature,
3 spreading from Kosevo all the way down to Sarajevsko Polje. Zuc is a
4 large feature, it's a hill, and then any other hill or hillock has its
5 own name. Each feature has its own name.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that. But just to say that the
7 features you listed in paragraph 27 were not all - and certainly not
8 entirely - under the ABiH control.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
10 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have Exhibit -- or, I'm
11 sorry, 65 ter 30810.
12 Q. Mr. Veljovic, coming up before you will be a 5 November 1992
13 overview of weapons, vehicles, and other items from Commander
14 Radislav Krstic who is of the 2nd Sarajevo -- or 2nd Romanija
15 Mechanised Brigade to the SRK command and the 1st Romanija Brigade
16 command. This document specifies the types of weapons and vehicles in
17 the Trebevic, Podgrab, and Hresa Battalions.
18 Is it correct that the 1st -- that these battalions were
19 transferred from the 2nd Mechanised Brigade, Romanija Mechanised Brigade,
20 to the 1st Romanija Brigade?
21 A. Yes, in September 1992. The Drina Corps was founded in October.
22 And a part of the 2nd Romanija joined the Drina Corps, except these Pale
23 battalions because, before that, they were part of the Sarajevo area, so
24 it's normal for these battalions to be part of the Sarajevo Romanija
25 Brigade. When Commander Galic came, that's what was done, and that's how
1 this corps was formed.
2 Q. On this document, on the page before you, we see an overview of
3 weapons. On the first page that I think that you have on your screen,
4 the weapons for the Trebevic Battalion and the Podgrab Battalion are
5 listed. These are the weapons that remained within these battalions once
6 they became part of the 1st Romanija Brigade; correct?
7 And if you need to see the weapons for other battalions, I'd be
8 happy to ask the Court Officer to continue to the next pages.
9 A. I can see it.
10 Q. And is it correct that these were the weapons that remained
11 within the battalions once they became part of the 1st Romanija Brigade?
12 A. Yes, but they probably received additional weapons once they
13 joined the SRK.
14 Milosevic was there, and it was up to the commander to issue
16 The Trebevic Battalion received some assets and reinforcements,
17 like a self-propelled gun and a tank, a three-barreled gun as well, and a
18 Praga and flak, which was an anti-aircraft machine-gun which used to be
19 used on naval ships but it was mounted on a truck in this case.
20 I don't know when it all happened exactly, but I know I had such
21 assets in my brigade. I know that the 1st Romanija Brigade had them as
22 well because I was familiar with it when touring the battalions.
23 Now, as for where the commander received the weapons from and how
24 those weapons were sent to the respective battalions, that is something I
25 don't know.
1 When I was there, there were even two 120-millimetre mortars as
2 well as 82-millimetre and 60-millimetre mortars. But while they were in
3 the 2nd Romanija unit, they did not have such 120-millimetre pieces.
4 They didn't have the tank, either.
5 Q. So I understand correctly, you say that two 120-millimetre
6 mortars as well as 82 and I believe it's 60-millimetre mortars, these
7 were added to the Trebevic Battalion once it joined the 1st Romanija
8 Brigade; correct?
9 A. Only the 120-millimetre pieces.
10 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I wasn't planning on going through all
11 of them in detail. I've got the evidence I was seeking to elicit.
12 I tender the document at this time, 65 ter 30810.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30810 receives number P6603,
15 Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
17 MR. WEBER:
18 Q. Mr. Veljovic, during your previous testimony in both the
19 Milosevic and Karadzic cases, is it correct that you discussed the
20 subject of modified air bombs possessed by the Sarajevo Romanija Corps?
21 A. Yes, I did. I had testified to that effect in the case against
22 General Milosevic.
23 Q. Today I'm going to go through your previous testimony regarding
24 modified air bombs in detail.
25 But before doing so, I have one simple question: Is it correct
1 that the modified air bombs possessed by the SRK were a completely
2 inaccurate and highly destructive weapon?
3 A. Yes. Not all brigades did have such launchers of air bombs.
4 Five brigades did; two did not. I think the 1st Romanija did not have a
5 launcher of air bombs.
6 Q. I'm going to pause here just before going through your testimony
7 so -- based on what you just mentioned. Could you list the five brigades
8 that had modified air bomb launchers?
9 A. They are the Igman Brigade, the Ilidza Brigade, the
10 3rd Sarajevo Brigade, the Ilijas Brigade, and perhaps the 2nd Brigade had
11 it, I think.
12 Q. When you say "2nd Brigade," are you referring to the 2nd Sarajevo
13 Infantry Brigade?
14 A. I don't know if it had such assets. I'm not sure. So the
15 Ilidza, Igman, 3rd Sarajevo, and Ilijas Brigades did have it. I'm
17 Q. Okay. So we're clear: The Ilidza and Igman Brigades are located
18 to the west of Sarajevo, and the 3rd Sarajevo and Ilijas Brigades are
19 located to the north of Sarajevo; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In the Karadzic case, at transcript page 29269 to 70, you were
23 "Q. And is it true with respect to modified air bombs that you
24 often heard the commander saying they shouldn't be used because of your
25 safety and because they weren't technically perfected?"
1 You answered:
2 "Well, yes. The air bombs with launchers were devised by
3 craftsmen. They were not approved. They were not precise. And the
4 elevation was determined based on the equipment on the lorry and the fuel
5 that fuelled the air bombs, and that -- they could be off target by as
6 much as 2 kilometres. That's why we were not supposed to use them in
7 urban areas. We were allowed to use them only in wider areas where the
8 two armies were in contact but there were no civilians, not in urban
9 areas because there was a risk that we might actually hit our own men or
11 Do you stand by this testimony today?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. When you say you heard about modified air bombs from the
14 commander, is it correct that you were referring to Dragomir Milosevic?
15 A. Yes. He had to have known of the launchers in the brigades, and
16 I did too.
17 The launchers did not have rules of use, as would a rifle or a
18 mortar have. That is why I considered them imprecise. They also did not
19 have firing tables. They were probably borrowed from similar assets,
20 such as multiple rocket launchers, but there was -- there were never any
21 rules of use for such launchers or for air bombs. That is why I said
22 that they had not been tested or approved.
23 It was fuelled by rocket fuel. The engines were also not so
24 reliable and could easily overshoot or undershoot. That is why they were
25 imprecise. We wanted to target the exit of the Sarajevo tunnel, but we
1 couldn't because UNPROFOR was at the airport.
2 The tunnel was a very profitable military target because they
3 used it for exit and entry, but we couldn't use the modified air bombs
4 for the risk of hitting the tarmac, the runway. I don't know whether
5 other targets were engaged, though. There was -- there were things in
6 the Milosevic trial that --
7 Q. Sir --
8 A. -- such air bombs were used against Hrasnica, but I don't know
9 about that. I was shown his order, which was not signed by him but by
10 someone else. And I heard in the Karadzic trial that --
11 Q. Sir --
12 A. -- he agreed to it, although it was signed by someone else.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I first again invite you to slow
14 down. And, second, to just answer the question.
15 The question simply was when you said you heard about modified
16 air bombs, whether the commander, you said, had told you, whether that
17 was Dragomir Milosevic. Was it him who told you about the modified air
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, correct.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That would be the simple answer. We have now 15 or
21 20 lines of answer where a simple yes would have done.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. WEBER:
24 Q. Is it correct that the use of modified air bombs had to be
25 approved by the commander of the SRK, General Milosevic?
1 A. Yes. By the SRK commander. But he probably had to ask for
2 approval from a senior command in order to be able to use such air bombs.
3 Q. You're again reading my mind with my next question.
4 In turn, General Milosevic only authorised the use of modified
5 air bombs with the approval of the VRS Main Staff; correct?
6 A. I don't know that.
7 Q. Well, you say that he probably had to ask for approval from a
8 senior command. How do you know that?
9 A. I suppose so. When I was the chief of operations, I presume he
10 would have had to ask for Main Staff approval for the use of such air
11 bombs. Perhaps even the ministry was involved.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end of
13 the witness's answer.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could you --
15 MR. WEBER:
16 Q. Sir, sir --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat what you said after "perhaps
18 the ministry was even involved," and then what did you then say?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Ministry of Defence -- well,
20 they had control over the factory.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I was just asking what you said. You were referring
22 to the Ministry of Defence, if I understand you well?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the Ministry of Defence of
24 Republika Srpska.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Overlapping speakers] ...
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, I just asked you to repeat what you said, not to
3 start a new story. Listen to Mr. Weber's next question.
4 MR. WEBER:
5 Q. In your previous answer in the Karadzic case, you stated that the
6 modified air bombs could be off target by as much as 2 kilometres. Is it
7 correct that this variance of as much as 2 kilometres was known
8 throughout the Sarajevo Romanija Corps?
9 A. Yes, it was known. But people also knew that it could be
10 precise. It all depended on the engines.
11 Q. Okay. Well, did the SRK command inform the brigade commanders
12 that these weapons could be off by as much as 2 kilometres?
13 A. I am not familiar with any such orders, but I do know this --
14 Q. Sir --
15 A. -- when I testified in the Milosevic case --
16 Q. -- I'm sorry to cut you off, but I --
17 A. -- I saw the order on the use of air bombs, and I said that it
18 wasn't Milosevic's signature.
19 Q. Sir, if you could listen to my questions, we'll go through this
20 in a very orderly fashion. And if you're not familiar with something,
21 that's fine. But if we could please proceed through this in an orderly
23 In the Karadzic case at transcript page 29270, you were asked:
24 "Q. And that's because, as you described them, they were
25 completely inaccurate; correct?"
1 You answered:
2 "Completely inaccurate. They were not tested. Even some crews
3 were killed and the commanders taken to court because it did happen that
4 those bombs actually exploded there and then when they were activated.
5 Only some of the brigades had them, not all of them. Only a few brigades
6 on the strength of the corps had those air bombs, not all of them."
7 Do you stand by this testimony in this case?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, are you still interested in an answer to
10 one of your previous questions?
11 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, if I missed it, I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The question you have not answered, Witness,
14 "Well, did the SRK command inform the brigade commanders that
15 these weapons could be off by as much as 2 kilometres?"
16 Could you please answer that question.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have another question for you.
19 In view of the testimony just read to you and in view of your
20 previous answers, I have some difficulties in understanding where you say
21 that it was known that they could be 2 kilometres off "but people also
22 knew that it could be precise. It all depended on the engines."
23 Now, could you explain how the engines suddenly make the
24 targeting by far -- more precise? That's what I do not understand.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If they fire earlier, it may
1 overshoot or undershoot. It depended. Or it could go to the left or to
2 the right, if one engine fired later than the other. So it all depended
3 on whether all of the engines started at the same time. And even the
4 Muslim side knew that no one could predict where such an air bomb would
5 drop --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- despite of it being so
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, therefore, I understand that your
10 testimony meant to be not that it could be more precise but that,
11 depending on the engines, the projectile would fly further or shorter
12 than in a situation where the engines would have functioned in a
13 different way. Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 MR. WEBER:
17 Q. You've mentioned a couple of times today that the modified air
18 bombs were not tested. You also referred to the fact that there were no
19 firing tables for the modified air bombs. Is it correct that there were
20 no firing tables for the air bombs since there was no testing of them?
21 A. That's what I think. Because they were launched from trucks, and
22 it was imprecise. They would choose elevations at random. I don't know
23 how they decided on that.
24 Q. When you say "they would choose elevations at random," are you
25 referring to the SRK Commander Dragomir Milosevic and the brigade
1 commanders or the artillery chiefs? Who are you referring to?
2 A. Artillery chiefs and the crews. They did it. It wasn't up to
3 Dragomir Milosevic. He was not an expert in it. Now, whether they had
4 some tables used for multiple rocket launchers, they may have. But I'm
5 not familiar with how they worked.
6 Q. In the Dragomir Milosevic case, at transcript page 5801, you were
8 "Q. And you, yourself, did you hear any reports from other
9 fighters from the other brigades about those air bombs?"
10 You answered:
11 "Yes, I did. I heard that some soldiers and some craftsmen were
12 working on some make-shift launchers and this actually had not been done
13 properly at all. You need to have a plane in order to drop an air bomb,
14 and if you don't comply with the instructions for use with the manual,
15 then you're not doing it properly, and you're incurring risk. I know
16 that in one incident six of our soldiers were killed in this sector.
17 This was imprecise, an imprecise weapon, and technically it was not
18 perfected at all."
19 Do you stand by this testimony in this case?
20 A. I do. I do stand by what I said about its being technically
22 Q. Is it correct that you heard of some soldiers and craftsmen
23 working on make-shift air bomb launchers in 1994?
24 A. I heard that some craftsmen and engineers were working on it, but
25 I don't know who exactly. Locksmiths and other craftsmen from the
1 industry worked on it alongside engineers because the craftsmen alone --
2 Q. Sir, excuse me --
3 A. -- could not do it.
4 Q. I haven't asked you yet who. I was simply asking you when you
5 heard some soldiers and craftsmen working on a modified air bomb
6 launcher, was that in the year 1994?
7 A. I heard about it some time in 1993. Perhaps in the second half
8 of it.
9 Q. Okay. Who did you hear it from?
10 A. Well, I heard it from the brigade commanders, those brigades
11 which had them. It was the 2nd Romanija that had it, and then at Ilidza,
12 and then at Igman where the repair institute was. They also had them at
13 Vogosca, too. I could hear of such news from the commanders, soldiers,
14 and artillery chiefs.
15 Q. When you say the brigade commanders, and you mention Ilidza, is
16 it correct that you heard about this from Vladimir Radicic?
17 A. Yes, I did hear that he had a launcher.
18 Q. And he was one of the individuals that the SRK command had
19 been -- had made aware that the modified air bomb could be off by as much
20 as 2 kilometres; correct?
21 A. He was probably informed. He did test it, though. And he knows
22 of it. He knows of one instance when it fell on his own positions but
23 went unexploded.
24 Q. Okay. What --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, I'm looking at the clock. We are one
1 minute from --
2 MR. WEBER: Whenever is good for Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. WEBER: I have more questions on this topic, though, so ...
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 Mr. Veljovic, we'll adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow
7 morning 9.30 in the morning. We'd like to see you back. But -- no,
8 don't take off your earphones yet. I would like to instruct you that you
9 should not speak or communicate in whatever way with whomever about your
10 testimony, whether that is testimony you've given today or that is
11 testimony still to be given. Is that clear?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is completely clear to me. This
13 is the fourth time I am being told so.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it becomes routine for you. You may follow the
15 usher. That is perhaps routine as well.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and will resume tomorrow,
18 Wednesday, the 25th of June, in this same courtroom, I, 9.30 in the
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.15 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day
22 of June, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.