1 Tuesday, 15 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, could you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Mr. Lukic, it was announced that you would have a preliminary
11 matter to raise.
12 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, and good morning.
13 One of our witnesses missed his flight. Actually, he didn't miss
14 it; the aeroplane didn't take off, so there was no flight from Sarajevo
15 yesterday. And it might be that tomorrow, after we finish the next
16 witness, we will not be able to have another one, because that gentleman
17 is supposed to come tonight at some late night hours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We'll see how it develops and how to adapt our
19 schedule to that situation. The witness can be brought into the
20 courtroom. Meanwhile I use the time with the following:
21 On the 2nd of July the Defence has requested that it be permitted
22 to make submissions in writing with regard to the tendering of associated
23 exhibits for witness Vladimir Radojcic. The Chamber understands through
24 an informal communication that the Prosecution has followed up with the
25 Defence in this regard and has also asked the Chamber to set a deadline
1 for the Defence to make the aforementioned submissions. The Chamber
2 wonders whether the Defence today would be in a position to give an
3 update to the Chamber.
4 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour, we should be able to get that on
5 file, I would think, by Thursday of this week.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And not today? Today is impossible? Or tomorrow?
7 MR. IVETIC: Today is impossible because of the other work we
8 have, Your Honours, and the fact that I have one of the witnesses that I
9 have to meet with tomorrow. I can try but I cannot guarantee that it
10 would be completed by tomorrow.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you give me one second.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thursday is okay, Mr. Ivetic.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Sehovac, I would like to remind you that you're
16 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
17 your testimony. Mr. Ivetic will now continue his examination with a few
18 questions. Could I ask you not so speak too quickly and to focus your
19 answers very much on the questions that are put to you rather than to
20 elaborate in areas which were not part of the question.
21 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
22 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 WITNESS: MILORAD SEHOVAC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
1 Q. Good morning, Colonel.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. I'd like to turn to another topic. During the NATO bombings of
4 1995 and when the UN Rapid Reaction Forces fired upon the VRS, what
5 actions did you take in relation to UNPROFOR and other UN personnel on
6 your territory?
7 A. At that time, there were forcers on our territory, including
8 military observers. At the check-points where these forces were, the
9 UNPROFOR units, they moved out of there, they withdrew and left towards
10 the Muslim side. As we were attacked, and the UNPROFOR forces had openly
11 sided with the enemy, we - and I can't recall right now - we declared
12 five to seven military observers prisoners of war, and detained them in
13 the house of Savo Golubovic, who was a forestry engineer and the manager
14 of forestry in Trnovo.
15 I would like to stress that we did not mistreat them. Every
16 officer was allowed to call their command and their family, to provide
17 them with their address. We brought a doctor, and whoever needed medical
18 assistance, we offered it. We provided them with food that we also used.
19 So they had three meals a day. And there were no -- we did not use any
20 kind of force against them, nor were any restraints used. We abided by
21 the Geneva Conventions in terms of the treatment of prisoners of war.
22 Q. The UNMO that were detained, were they disarmed?
23 A. Yes. We disarmed them. We took their rifles. We left their
24 side arms. We left the pistols that they had on them and even the
25 ammunition for it. And the guards that guarded them were the organs of
1 my military police and I can say that they treated them very fairly.
2 And as for the leader of this group, who was supposed to contact
3 the brigade command in case of need, I decided that that would be the
4 most senior officer among the guards. He was a major. And I can also
5 say that I also established -- we established direct telephone lines
6 between him and the brigade command centre so that in the event that this
7 officer had a need, he could always contact the brigade command so that
8 the information would reach me as quickly as possible.
9 Q. Sir, did you ever receive any orders from a superior command
10 requesting you or demanding that you tie these UNMO personnel to military
11 installations and use them as human shields?
12 A. The order that I received from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps said
13 that everything that was in my defence zone should be captured and that
14 they should be treated, that they should have the status of prisoners of
15 war. I never received any orders that they could be restrained or they
16 should be tied to some facilities or any of the military targets -
17 warehouses, military depots or so on. I only saw this on TV and I can
18 only assume that this must have been the work of some paramilitary forces
19 or some renegade members of the VRS.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is not interested from your assumptions
21 on what may have happened, what you saw on television. Please proceed,
22 Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Q. Colonel, I thank you for your answers.
25 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that completes my direct examination.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
2 Mr. McCloskey, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, and good morning. Good
4 morning, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Sehovac, you'll now be cross-examined by
6 Mr. McCloskey. You'll find him to your right. And Mr. McCloskey is
7 counsel for the Prosecution.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
9 Q. Good morning, Colonel Sehovac.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. I note in your statement that has been offered into evidence now
12 that you were in Brcko in August of 1991; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And what was your position?
15 A. I was the chief of the military department of Brcko.
16 Q. And that was for the JNA?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And what --
19 A. Well, for the JNA, the TO and work organisations, for all the
20 structures of the then-All People's Defence.
21 Q. And you held that position until when?
22 A. I remained in that position until an order arrived from the
23 Ministry of Defence of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
24 19th of July -- I apologise, August or July, 1992, that all military
25 departments should be disbanded or shut down, and that military
1 departments shall be established at the level of the municipality, the
2 National Defence, and this would then be the department that we would
3 deal with.
4 Q. So you were in Brcko for quite a while. I take it you were very
5 familiar with the events on the ground during that period, August 1991
6 through July 1992?
7 A. Yes. As far as the military department is concerned, everything.
8 Q. And you also had a position of Chief of Staff of the Brcko
9 Brigade, did you not? I think you mentioned something about that in your
10 statement to this Court.
11 A. When the JNA withdrew, I believe this was two days later, the
12 21st of May 1992, I received oral orders from the commander of the
13 military district that I should, in addition to my regular duties, become
14 the Chief of Staff of the brigade in Brcko and this -- I was actually
15 working temporarily in this position and this began --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the dates when
17 he assumed his duty.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. Could you repeat the date that you assumed that duty?
20 A. That was from the 20th -- 23rd of May 1992 up until the 15th
21 August 1992, where I stood in for the Chief of Staff of the 1st Posavina
22 Brigade in Brcko.
23 Q. And that was known informally as the Brcko Brigade?
24 A. Well, I don't know what people called it.
25 Q. And that was the brigade that was part of the VRS from May, June,
1 July, onward in 1992; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what was your rank when you were still with the JNA as the
4 chief of the military department?
5 A. Well, I had been a major for the fourth year already, and I came
6 from another post where I was a deputy commander of the border battalion
7 in August, in mid-August, 1991.
8 Q. So aside from knowing the events that occurred on the ground in
9 the Brcko area during this period of the spring of 1992, you must have
10 been very familiar with the geographic area around Brcko; correct?
11 A. Well, if I may just clarify something, the military department or
12 the draft board of Brcko was only --
13 Q. That is a very simple --
14 A. My answer is also very simple, Mr. Prosecutor, because the zone
15 of the military board did not correspond to the Brcko municipality.
16 Q. It was a very simple question. Were you familiar with the
17 geographic area around Brcko?
18 A. I was familiar with the area -- with a far larger area than just
19 around Brcko.
20 Q. Okay. And can you tell us at that time period in May who
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Pavle Milinkovic was?
22 A. Pavle Milinkovic, Lieutenant-Colonel, was the commander of the
23 1st Posavina Brigade and before that, while it was still part of the JNA,
24 he was the commander of the 395th Motorised Brigade.
25 Q. And tell us what position Captain Momcilo Petrovic had at that
2 A. [No interpretation].
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer, what position
5 Captain Momcilo Petrovic had at that time?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Momcilo Petrovic was the chief of
7 security at the command staff of the 1st Bosnia Brigade in Brcko.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. And we know that the Brcko Brigade, the Posavina Brigade, if
10 you'd like to call it that, was small and so you must have known an MP
11 named Pero Rekanovic from the village of Bukvik, didn't you?
12 A. I did not know Pero Rekanovic.
13 Q. You didn't know all the MPs in the Posavina Brigade where you
14 were Chief of Staff in May?
15 A. No, because I was there briefly and my job was different. The
16 nature of work within a military department, or a draft board, is very
17 different from the nature of work of a brigade command.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, could I seek clarification?
19 Earlier, you referred to the Posavina Brigade in Brcko. You were
20 then asked whether that was also known informally as the Brcko Brigade.
21 You said, "I don't know how people called it." Now in one of your recent
22 answers you referred to the Brcko Brigade. Is, for you, the Brcko
23 Brigade the same as the 1st Posavina Brigade?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I thought that was the case and
25 I've asked the witness. I'll try to stay with the 1st Posavina Brigade,
1 if that's what he's referring to.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's fine. And that is -- let's move on.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. Now, you've testified in the Karadzic trial here, haven't you,
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you provided a similar signed statement to the Trial Chamber
8 in the Karadzic case?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And can you acknowledge that in that signed statement, you did
11 not mention Brcko in your biography?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you did not mention your time in Brcko during those key
14 spring months of April, May and June of 1992?
15 A. I did not.
16 Q. And, sir, it's the position of the Prosecution that the reason
17 you did not mention those is because you were involved in criminal events
18 during that time. Did you know, at the time that you signed your report
19 for the Karadzic case, that you had been named by a witness in the
20 Krajisnik trial as ordering the killing of a Muslim -- excuse me, of a
21 Croat man named Franjo Vugrincic, V-u-g-r-i-n-c-i-c?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, before you answer this question, I would
23 like to inform you that if a true answer to that question would tend to
24 incriminate yourself, that you may ask the Court to be relieved from
25 answering that question, because there is a basic rule that you cannot be
1 forced to answer a question, whether that would tend to incriminate you,
2 irrespective of what the Court could do then, that is to say that you
3 should answer the question but under those circumstances, your answer
4 could not be used against you.
5 I would like to inform you about this right.
6 Therefore, do you remember the question that Mr. McCloskey put to
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. McCloskey put several
9 questions and I will answer, I will certainly answer all of the questions
10 he put to me.
11 First of all, what was the first question, whether I recall the
12 events in May in Brcko? I can't remember what your question was. Can
13 I answer the second question while I recall this one?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let's take them one by one. First of all,
15 Mr. McCloskey did put to you that the reason that you did not mention
16 your time in Brcko was because you were involved in criminal events
17 during that time. That was the first question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is not true. The exclusive
19 reason why --
20 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered the question.
21 Now, the second question was whether you were aware that a
22 witness had named you as having ordered the killing of a Croat by the
23 name of Franjo Vugrincic. Were you aware of that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not order the killing.
25 JUDGE ORIE: The question was whether you were aware that a
1 witness had named you for ordering that killing.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am aware of that. However --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please. That was the question. Mr. McCloskey may
4 put further questions to you.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. So when you failed to mention your Brcko experience to the
7 Karadzic -- in the Karadzic statement, you were aware that a witness had
8 testified at the Krajisnik trial about your ordering the killing of
9 Franjo Vugrincic?
10 A. May I answer that question? That's a lie, a pure lie. First of
11 all, as the chief of the military department, between the 9th until the
12 20th of May, I was outside of that area in the Piperci village upon
13 orders of the military command which was a village about 20 kilometres
14 from Brcko. So at the time when this crime was committed, I was not in
15 Brcko at all.
16 Secondly, as far as I know, and also pursuant to a fireman's -- a
17 fire-fighter's statement who said this happened on the 10th of May, at
18 the time I was the chief of the military department and not in the
19 brigade staff, so I had absolutely no competence and no authority over
20 brigade units. At the time the Chief of Staff of the 1st Posavina
21 Brigade was Major Slobodan Milinkovic. That's all I have to say.
22 Q. So when you failed to put in your Brcko experience in your
23 Karadzic statement, in addition to being aware of the Krajisnik witness,
24 were you aware that the Krajisnik Trial Chamber, in paragraph 327,
25 concluded, and I quote, "On 10 May, one of the workers detained at the
1 fire station was shot on the orders of JNA Captain Sehovac." Were you
2 aware of that conclusion by the Trial Chamber in the Krajisnik case of
3 this institution?
4 A. You put two questions to me. First of all, in my statement,
5 I did not mention Brcko because I was instructed not to do so by the
6 Defence counsel of Mr. Karadzic's. He said that we would only deal with
7 Sarajevo. That was the only reason.
8 The second question was I was advised here at the court, I was
9 informed, that there was some kind of statement by some fire-fighter in
10 Brcko at the time, although I wasn't even in Brcko at the time. We had
11 had so much work. We were swamped with work. We worked 10 to 12 hours a
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'll stop you there. You go back to the event
14 itself on which you have elaborated already. The second question was
15 whether you were aware that the Krajisnik Trial Chamber had concluded
16 that, on the 10th of May, one of the workers detained at the fire station
17 was shot on the orders of JNA Captain Sehovac. Were you aware of such a
18 finding by the Krajisnik Trial Chamber?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard about that at the Karadzic
20 trial. Until that time, I had not known.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. The witness at the Krajisnik trial testified that you ordered
24 your soldiers to take the victim out and kill him and the witness also
25 testified that he'd thought you'd ordered the victim to take his shoes
1 off. Is this correct?
2 A. I did not have a single soldier in my formation in my
3 establishment. I only had civilians. They were men and women, highly
4 educated. The only officer that I had was the security officer. That's
5 one. And secondly I was not present at the fire-fighting department and
6 I ordered no shoes to be taken off. This is the first time I hear of it.
7 Q. Were you -- in May or June 1992, did you become aware of an open
8 mass grave with the bodies of non-Serbs, just on the outskirts of Brcko,
9 on the banks of the Blizna river?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: I think now we are moving beyond any issues related
12 to the witness and moving into other crimes in Brcko which are out of the
13 scope of the indictment and are therefore not to be part of these
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this grave is related to the
17 victim that was identified in the Krajisnik case and by the witness as
18 having been ordered to be killed by this man.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear, but it's not a response to what
20 Mr. Ivetic said, that it's outside the scope of the indictment and not
21 part of these proceedings.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: This goes to his credibility, that he is involved
23 in criminal events and his -- actually his statements to prior cases
24 I think are shown to be covering that up. So I think it's important that
25 the Trial Chamber know that this comment of the witness, that as you'll
1 see --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It goes to credibility. That's your answer.
3 The objection is denied. Please proceed.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
5 Q. So did you hear of this mass grave or see it right near where you
6 were stationed at the time?
7 A. I neither saw nor heard of any mass grave.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have Exhibit 65 ter 30975?
9 Q. Sir, in 1996, the Time magazine published this photo and noted in
10 the article that it was in the Brcko area from May and June of 1992, and,
11 sir, I can tell you that if you look in the right-hand corner of this
12 photograph, you'll see a bare foot and leg. That is the -- the
13 investigation has revealed that is the leg of Franjo Vugrincic. Look at
14 that photo, please. Look up now in the left-hand corner. Do you
15 recognise what that is? Is that a truck?
16 A. The left top corner?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Yes. I see that. It looks like a truck, a refrigeration truck,
19 something like that, and I can see a body in front of it and a man
20 standing by the vehicle.
21 Q. Did you hear about this mass grave when you were there on duty in
22 the Brcko area? And did you know about this?
23 A. I did not know about this, and as I've said, I had not heard
24 about it.
25 Q. I think we can go to another subject. In December of 1994, when
1 you were part of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, I guess you were the
2 commander of the 2nd Sarajevo Brigade; is that right?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. In December of 1994, were you involved in the shooting death of a
5 Serb man?
6 A. I don't know what Serb you are referring to. Could you remind
7 me, please?
8 Q. Did you issue orders that resulted in the death of a man named
9 Stojan Ilic -- Elez?
10 A. No. In relation to this case, I should like to say this: I know
11 this happened on the 13th or the 14th of December. I went to the
12 military court because of that. In Bileca, there were complete
13 proceedings conducted on that score and I was acquitted.
14 Q. So who is Stojan Elez?
15 A. I don't know.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have Exhibit 65 ter 30918? Should be
17 page 10 and 11 in English, page 6 in the B/C/S. Excuse me, let's go now
18 to page 10 in the English. Are we there? Yes.
19 Q. We can see that this is a document from the Republika Srpska
20 office of the military prosecutor, the Army of Republika Srpska, and if
21 we look -- excuse me, if we look briefly through it, we can see that it's
22 dated 5 September 1995 and it's entitled, "Information on Crime Trends
23 for August 1995." And it goes through various crimes and crime trends,
24 political crimes, crimes against the army, other crimes. And now we are
25 on page 10 where it says, "Other Crimes," and if we go to page 11, in the
1 English, and as I said, it should be page 6 in the B/C/S, take some time
2 to read it. You'll see your name there:
3 "On about 1800 hours on 13 December 1994, after members of the
4 so-called army of BiH carried out an attack on the 2nd Sarajevo Brigade,
5 on the Gojcina Ravan, on the slopes of Mount Igman, when the unit
6 withdrew to establish a new defence line, Colonel Sehovac ran into a
7 soldier, Sreto Vitkovic, near the check-point near Kijevo, who abandoned
8 his position following the attack and seeking that he was intending to
9 move away, and asked him, Where are you fleeing? And then ordered him to
10 return to the battalion which Vitkovic did not do but headed to a nearby
11 parked Renault 4 car driven by Stojan Elez. He sat in the car that also
12 carried Milica Lalovic and told the driver to start, which he did. Then
13 Colonel Sehovac ordered military policeman Borislav Jevdic and Ignjat
14 Vidakovic to fire at the car which Jevdic did by firing two bullets
15 individually, one of which struck Stojan Elez in the back inflicting an
16 entry wound of which Stojan Elez died.
17 Milica Lalovic, is that a woman or a man?
18 A. Milica is a woman's name.
19 Q. And who is Stojan Elez?
20 A. I did not know Stojan Elez. He was a driver of this Renault.
21 Q. And is this a correct accounting of this incident?
22 A. In part.
23 Q. You ordered two MPs to fire on a man that was getting into a car
24 with a woman and a man?
25 A. I did not order that.
1 Q. You had no involvement in this?
2 A. I was involved, but that is not what I ordered.
3 Q. The MPs did it on their own?
4 A. No. No. They did that pursuant to my order.
5 Q. So you did order them to fire?
6 A. Yes, I did, but not at people, but to fire in the air, warning
8 Q. Like in the movies?
9 A. What movies?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Next question. Mr. McCloskey, next question,
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Did you use this kind of judgement when you issued orders for
14 your troops to fire on the Muslim forces in Sarajevo?
15 A. I did not understand the question.
16 Q. We will go on to another topic.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you do that, I would like to put a
18 question to the witness.
19 Mr. Sehovac, you said, first, when you were asked by
20 Mr. McCloskey, who is Stojan Elez, "I don't know." Later on, you said to
21 the same question, and who is Stojan Elez, "I did not know Stojan Elez.
22 He was a driver of this Renault." Why did you first say, "I don't know"?
23 You knew about this incident.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know him personally. He
25 was not from my unit. This was a person of whose name and surname
1 I heard only at the trial in Bileca, before the military court in Bileca,
2 during the trial that was conducted.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When you were asked by Mr. McCloskey who is
4 Stojan Elez, you should have answered that. Why didn't you do that?
5 Because you knew his name.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know. I gained the
7 impression that he's asking me such questions that I can either answer or
8 I cannot answer or there is somewhere in between. I do not have the
9 impression that he's asking me genuinely about what had happened so that
10 I can genuinely say. Regarding Brcko, for instance, he won't let me
11 explain, explain anything.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Thank you.
13 Mr. McCloskey.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I have one follow-up question since you were moving
15 subjects, moving -- changing topic, Mr. McCloskey.
16 Did you report the insubordination by those who did not fire in
17 the air but apparently fired in such a way that casualties were the
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of those of the two soldiers
20 opened fire, the first time in the air. The second time I ordered that
21 they shoot at the tyres of the vehicles. The bullet ricocheted and that
22 is how it hit Stojan Elez.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Then your previous answer was incomplete where you
24 said "I ordered them to fire in the air," whereas the complete answer
25 would have been "I ordered them to fire in the air and after that to fire
1 at the tyres." That would have been the complete answer and the complete
2 truth rather than the partial answer that you gave. Are you aware of
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm aware of that. The
5 gentleman did not allow me to say everything.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That's not true in this respect. Where
7 Mr. McCloskey cut you short at other moments, he -- let me -- first you
8 were asked whether you ordered to fire on a man that was getting into a
9 car. You said, "I did not order that." You were asked about your
10 involvement. You said, "I was involved but that is not what I ordered."
11 You were then asked whether the MPs did it on their own. You said, "No.
12 They did that pursuant to my order." You were then asked, "So you did
13 order them to fire?" And then you said, "Yes, I did, but not at people,
14 but to fire in the air, warning fire." And there you should have said,
15 "I gave them two orders - the first to fire in the air, the second to
16 shoot at the tyres of the car." That would have been the proper answer,
17 if I understand the rest of your testimony.
18 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
20 MR. IVETIC: And for the record, Your Honour, the follow-up
21 question, "As in the movies?" The witness was answering and Your Honour
22 directed to move on to another question.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do agree there. Okay. Let's leave it apart
24 whether -- but you have not answered my last question, that is, did you
25 report the event?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was an on-scene investigation
2 immediately afterwards. I put this soldier Elez in an ambulance and sent
3 him to the hospital in Trnovo. There was a surgical team there, and the
4 team of the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps arrived at the scene
5 and conducted an on-site investigation immediately. So that everything
6 was reported.
7 JUDGE ORIE: While your answer is a bit ambiguous, you said there
8 was an on-scene investigation immediately afterwards. Was that because
9 you had reported the event to the competent authorities for the on-scene
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose that was one of the
12 reasons, and the second reason is that it is their obligation because a
13 soldier died --
14 JUDGE ORIE: You are evading my question, whether you suppose it
15 was one of the reasons. My question was did you report it?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I did. I reported it to
17 the Chief of Staff of the corps, who arrived at the scene five minutes
18 after the event, to Colonel Cedo --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last name.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the last part of your answer?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Colonel Cedo Sladoje, Chief of
22 Staff of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps at the time.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you report it by -- through what means?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Orally. We had a meeting at the
25 school in Kijevo because it was the assessment of the command of the
1 brigade that the positions in Gojcina Ravan, and Mocevici had fallen
2 because units had fled from positions. And on that day, the brigade had
3 18 dead and I do not remember the exact number of wounded.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm a bit confused by your answer. You said we had
5 a meeting at the school in Kijevo. Was that after the event?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Kijevo.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Was that after the event?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I went to that meeting in Kijevo,
9 because this happened very near the school, a hundred metres away.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So the meeting in Kijevo was after the event?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And Mr. Sladoje was already there in that school?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He was not. He ordered me -
14 he was in Trnovo; I was in Mocevici - that we come to Kijevo. Was it
15 4.00 or 5.00? I don't remember exactly. At the time -- at the very
16 moment I arrived at the school in Kijevo, this incident happened.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So you were ordered to go to the school, and when
18 you went to that school, being close to that school, then the event
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
22 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Just briefly back into this. Colonel, would you agree with me,
25 and you've stated that you were taught about the laws of war, that it is
1 not illegal for a commander to shoot a soldier that is wilfully
2 abandoning his post in combat, and fails -- and disregards an order to
3 stay put?
4 A. Yes. I agree with that. But according to the rules of war of
5 the former JNA, abandoning posts was to be -- was to be prevented at any
6 cost, as was the loss of positions. Even if force had to be used, losing
7 those positions would entail very serious consequences for the
8 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and for the entire army of the Republika Srpska
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, the question you put to the witness
11 is confusing because the witness said that he ordered to shoot at the
12 tyres, and that the result was caused by a ricochet. Now, in your
13 question, you implicitly, without making this very explicit, you still
14 present the Prosecution's position, ignoring more or less the answer of
15 the witness, that he had ordered to shoot at a soldier. Please proceed.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Did you remain commander of your brigade after this incident,
18 through the end of your time period when you left for back surgery, I
20 A. Yes, I did. But this trial actually happened very soon
22 Q. So this incident did not affect your career at all? You remained
23 in command at all times?
24 A. Of course it did affect my career. I had to go through this
25 entire process of this trial at the military court in Bileca.
1 Q. Now, let's go on to another topic.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I would like to tender that exhibit, 65 ter
3 30918. Thank you.
4 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30918 receives number P6675, Your
8 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. As you've acknowledged, and as is normal, you spoke with Defence
11 counsel and added some more information to your statement. We received a
12 note from Defence counsel from contact he had with you on Friday that
13 stated, and I quote --
14 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please. First let's deal with the --
15 because that's not in evidence at this moment because it was not uploaded
16 into e-court. It was the -- it was MFIed yesterday as D560. I do
17 understand that meanwhile it has been uploaded into e-court.
18 MR. IVETIC: It has, Your Honour, under the 65 ter number - one
19 moment, please - that we originally had --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Would that be 1D2834?
21 MR. IVETIC: That is correct, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 Mr. McCloskey, any objection against admission of that statement?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then D560 is admitted into evidence. So you can now
1 proceed on the basis of what is in evidence.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I believe what I'm referring to
3 was not involved -- it was not part of that which is also, I don't think,
4 necessarily abnormal and I'm sure counsel will agree. I'm just reading
5 the e-mail.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay, that's fine. But at least this matter
7 has been dealt with now.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. I've got an e-mail from my colleague that says, "Further, the
12 witness today" -- and that was Friday -- "recalled specific details about
13 the Butmir tunnel, including its manner of use and capacity. He stated
14 that the VRS did not target the tunnel due to the close proximity of UN
15 personnel near the entrance of the same."
16 Is that correct? Is that roughly what you had told Defence
18 A. To whom did I say that? I apologise. To Defence counsel? Is
19 that what you're asking me? I do not understand.
20 Q. I got an e-mail from Mr. Ivetic on Friday that told me about, as
21 is completely normal, what you had talked to him about, and I just read
22 the part of that e-mail to you. Is that correct?
23 A. It is correct.
24 Q. So the VRS did not target that Butmir tunnel because there was UN
25 personnel near it?
1 A. Well, the distance between the entrance of the tunnel and the
2 UNPROFOR forces, the UN forces, was only about 100 metres.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Could we have --
4 JUDGE ORIE: The other part of the question was whether, for that
5 reason, you refrained from targeting the Butmir tunnel.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That was the reason, Your
7 Honour. We feared there might be casualties on the UN side.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Did you also fear that you might get retaliated on by NATO and
10 bombed if you did that?
11 A. No, we didn't. I did not fear it. I don't know about the
12 others. But I don't think that would have been the reason for NATO to
13 order air strikes.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I notice it's break time and
15 I should be done within the next session.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take the break first.
17 Mr. Sehovac, we will take a break of 20 minutes. Will you please
18 follow the usher.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We will wait for the witness to be brought into the
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. I'd like to go to Exhibit 65 ter 30974, and this is a blowup from
5 our map book, which was Exhibit P3 at page P48. Colonel, this is going
6 to be a blowup of what was I believe a big VRS map. I think Mr. Groome,
7 for Your Honours, I think he actually had the physical map in court the
8 other day. But I've just blown up this particular part of it, and we
9 have drawn on this map one -- well, the ERN number up in the right-hand
10 corner is from the ICTY, but we've also put on this green line to
11 represent the approximate location of the Butmir tunnel.
12 And if you could just study the map briefly, does this map
13 accurately depict where the tunnel was in relation to the front lines as
14 depicted on the map, the red being, as we've learned, the VRS, and the
15 blue being the Muslim BiH?
16 A. In principle, yes.
17 Q. And we see a little flag above a -- looks like a town called
18 Grlica. Do you know what that flag depicts? The one on the left?
19 A. I can see it. That is a flag with the number 2 inscribed. That
20 was the command post of the 2nd Infantry Battalion of my brigade.
21 Q. All right. And the flag to the right of that, what is that,
22 closer to Vojkovici?
23 A. That flag depicts the command post of the 2nd Sarajevo Light
24 Infantry Brigade. That was my brigade.
25 Q. Is it that where you spent a good amount of your time?
1 A. At the beginning of the war, yes, but later on, we moved the main
2 command post to the sector where the roads intersect. That's about 500
3 to 600 metres to the east.
4 Q. Now, this line that we see above the flag for your command post,
5 it's semi-dotted and it has little half circles in it. I was told that
6 that was the border line between your brigade and the 1st Sarajevo Light
7 Infantry Brigade; is that correct? 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade.
8 A. Yes. That was the right border of my brigade and it shows that
9 my brigade defended the right zone, to the east of Kamenjaca, trig point
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the last place
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the last place name you mentioned?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The village Gornje Mladice.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY:
16 Q. Okay. And looking again at your -- where your command post flag
17 is, under the town of Vojkovici, there appears to be something like an X
18 with a sort of a circle in it in red, right on that road. What does that
19 symbol depict?
20 A. What cross? Do you mean the black colour? Below Vojkovici? Is
21 that what you mean?
22 Q. It's the red colour right below Vojkovici on the main road. It's
23 a red dot and looks like it might have a cross over it, or an X of sorts.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And is that in a circle or is a circle in it?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's actually in a circle now that I look at that
1 part, yes.
2 Q. What does that depict?
3 A. That depicts the position of the brigade fire group, of my
4 brigade, 120-millimetre mortars. However, it is not marked properly
5 here. That's not where they were.
6 Q. But you did have mortar positions in this area?
7 A. For a while, but they were 82-millimetre mortars at the beginning
8 of the war, in the valley of the Zeljeznica river. Later on,
9 I repositioned them to Duga Kosa and Papas Brda village.
10 Q. So if you had received orders in 1995, in May of 1995, to shell
11 the entrance, either entrance of the Butmir tunnel, you could have
12 dropped some mortars on the entrances of the tunnel, couldn't you?
13 A. No, I couldn't. They were too far, the fire positions. I don't
14 know what the scale is here. Is it 1 to 50.000 or 1 to 100.000? It
15 doesn't show.
16 Q. One of those squares is two kilometres that you see, the grid
17 squares, and you know how long the tunnel -- you've just told us how long
18 the tunnel --
19 A. Two kilometres.
20 Q. That's roughly accurate. So that tunnel is some 800 metres. So
21 you're within a kilometre of that tunnel by this map.
22 A. The fire position, no, no. Absolutely not. It was five to six
23 kilometres away. They were in the sector of Gornje Mladice in 1995. You
24 don't -- I can't see it here. It's Papas Brdo, some six to seven
25 kilometres to the entrance to the tunnel. And here you can see that this
1 was -- the tunnel was even outside my area of responsibility. And I was
2 assigned this area of responsibility only in the later half of August
3 1993. The right side -- the right-hand border was the Zeljeznica river.
4 Up until now -- up until then I held sector 1 and Dobrinja 4, together
5 with parts of the 1st Sarajevo Mechanised Brigade.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you tell us what the range of a
7 120-millimetre mortar is at the maximum?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was about six kilometres and
9 some 300 or 400 metres, with the shells that we had. And that was the
10 further-most range.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You said your firing positions were more than that
12 distance away from the entrance of the tunnel?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We can't see it here on this
14 map but that was up on Papas Brdo hill. This is just a section of that
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. And what is the maximum range for an 82-millimetre mortar? Same
18 question that the President just asked you.
19 A. About four kilometres.
20 Q. And your neighbour, your VRS neighbour, the 1st Brigade, they
21 also had mortars, didn't they?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this exhibit into evidence.
24 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30974 receives number P6676, Your
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence. If the parties could
4 agree on the -- where the Papas Brdo hill is. I always understood that
5 Brdo means hill, but Papas Brdo, where that is. In order to fully
6 understand the evidence of the witness, we would like to hear from you.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll track that down. We will track it down
8 together, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we now go to Exhibit 65 ter 03511.
11 Q. This is a sit-rep dated May 13th, 1995, and drafted by David
12 Harland. And we can see what this is. We see the highlight of it.
13 "Mortar attack kills 10. UNPROFOR considers air strike then decides
14 against it."
15 Let's go to the next page in both languages. And here at the top
16 of the page we see David Harland has written, "Mortar attack on the
17 tunnel, talk about air strikes. Serb gunners bombarded the Butmir
18 entrance to the tunnel that runs under Sarajevo airport on Sunday
19 afternoon, 7 May. There were more than 20 casualties. 11 people were
20 killed. The casualties included both civilians and military personnel.
21 It was the bloodiest violation ever of the NATO ultimatum of 9 February
23 Sir, is this, in your view, just UN propaganda? Or what?
24 A. I doubt it. It could be the truth. Why would it be propaganda?
25 Q. So given your answers that the VRS never targeted the Butmir
1 tunnel, would you agree with me that you're not a reliable witness on key
2 criminal events in Sarajevo?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic? One second, please.
4 MR. IVETIC: The question is rather vague, speculative and
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. McCloskey, you're invited to rephrase the
7 question or the questions and perhaps you could be a bit more specific.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Would you agree that your testimony that the VRS did not target
10 the Butmir tunnel was flat-out wrong?
11 A. I never said anything to that effect. These are your words. You
12 just said that. We did target the airport but we did not target the UN
13 forces there. Where can you find that I said that we never fired upon
14 the tunnel?
15 Q. Sir, I don't want to argue with you, but you'll recall standing
16 by the statement that I read to you that I got from Mr. Ivetic where you
17 said, "Further, the witness today recalled specific details about the
18 Butmir tunnel, including its manner of use and capacity. He stated that
19 the VRS did not target the tunnel due to the close proximity of the UN
20 personnel near the entrance to the same."
21 And we can all look back where you agreed that -- and stood by
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would offer this document into evidence.
24 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I say something
1 for the benefit of the truth here?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it's an answer to a question, you may. If
3 it is outside the scope of questions, you may not. So, therefore, think
4 about it before you --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, it is to do with the
6 question. On the 17th of March and on the 21st of March, we established
7 tactical groups and carry out an attack on Donji Kotorac, with the aim of
8 preventing the crossings across the Butmir airport, which at the time was
9 still being under construction.
10 JUDGE ORIE: This is too far away from the question. What
11 Mr. McCloskey did put to you, he read to you what Mr. Ivetic had told him
12 in an e-mail which was sent. It was read to you, and Mr. McCloskey asked
13 whether it was correct. And the relevant portion of the e-mail was that
14 he stated that the VRS did not target the tunnel due to the close
15 proximity of UN personnel near the entrance of the same. And you had
16 answered that that was correct.
17 Please proceed. I'll decide on admission. One second, please.
18 There was no objection but no number has been assigned yet.
19 Madam Registrar?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03511 receives number P6677, Your
22 JUDGE ORIE: P6677 is admitted.
23 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honour, prior to my saying no objection to
24 the admission, I believe Mr. McCloskey did, for several lines, say
25 something, so was that a question directed to the witness that the
1 witness is entitled to answer or is Mr. McCloskey making submissions,
2 which is improper?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please give me the page and line
4 indications because I moved to another place.
5 MR. IVETIC: Temporary transcript page 31, lines 1 through 7.
6 Actually -- yes, 1 through 7.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was comment, Mr. McCloskey, rather than a
8 question. You apparently argued with the witness rather than to put
9 questions to him on the subject of whether he said -- had said anything
10 about targeting the Butmir tunnel. Please proceed.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. Do you want to offer an explanation about the Butmir tunnel
14 A. No, no. I could not reach it with my mortars because they were
15 outside our range. It was -- it had to be done by the 1st Sarajevo
16 Brigade and parts of the corps artillery group.
17 Q. During your time as the commander of the brigade, did you meet
18 with General Mladic?
19 A. On several occasions.
20 Q. And in some of those occasions, did you meet with the other
21 brigade commanders of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps and meet -- and go up
22 to Jahorina and sit with General Mladic?
23 A. Yes, sir, we had regular reports on combat-readiness. Then we
24 would be issued tasks for the forthcoming period, and we almost -- almost
25 always there would be someone from the Main Staff of the VRS, and
1 frequently it would be General Mladic who would attend those meetings.
2 Q. And during those meetings, did General Mladic inform you of the
3 military objectives?
4 A. What do you mean "military objectives"? I don't understand.
5 Would you please clarify the question?
6 Q. Did General Mladic talk to you about what the plans of the VRS
7 were towards the enemy, and what kind of orders you would be receiving
8 and could expect to receive? Just --
9 A. Do you mean strategic objectives of the VRS? Yes. General
10 Mladic always had a vision, and whatever was relevant for us, he would
11 always present to us. Of course, I didn't have insight into everything.
12 This was the Supreme Command. And the Main Staff of the VRS, these are
13 the highest levels of command in Republika Srpska.
14 Q. And yesterday, at page 24033, lines 9 through 11, you said, "In
15 addition, we carried out numerous active operations such as diversions at
16 the forward end of the enemy and similar."
17 So did your brigade have a diversionary unit?
18 A. We conducted active combat. We engaged in active combat. And
19 that would be from groups of soldiers to company level. A special
20 diversionary group, we did not have, but we had trained men who could
21 carry out a diversionary action. These were officers and they would be
22 primarily from the engineer corps. That would be the military specialty.
23 Q. And these diversionary units, would they go behind enemy lines to
24 conduct their operations?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And all armies have them. They would go blow up things and
2 disrupt the enemy in that way?
3 A. Certainly, it is always one of the tactical objectives of the
5 Q. All right. I'd like to now go to Exhibit P0358. These are
6 entries of General Mladic's war diaries, and if we could start at -- I
7 believe it should be e-court page 181, and thankfully the language -- the
8 numbers are the same, I see, in both -- both languages.
9 And, sir, it's the position of the Prosecution, and I -- that
10 these are handwritten notes from general -- that General Mladic made at
11 various meetings, and you'll see, as we get there, there is a version in
12 the Serbian that is typewritten that may be easier to read. But do
13 you -- do you recognise General Mladic's handwriting?
14 A. No. I can't recognise the handwriting of General Mladic. How
15 would I? How could I?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There is a lot of noise in
17 the microphone possibly.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could we adjust the microphone so as not touch the
19 shoulder -- no, no, don't move it away from your voice but, rather,
20 redirect it.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And it may be easier for the witness to go back
22 to the transcribed version, if we could.
23 Q. All right. We see this is dated May 31st, 1993, with some
24 ministers. Let's go to the next page. And we'll see that there is a
25 meeting on 2 June 1993 with representatives of the RS, the authorities
1 with commanders of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and authorities in the
2 zone of the corps. And I don't want to spend a lot of time with this but
3 if -- if you could just look at this, let's slowly go over to the next
4 page, as you've seen, that it's General Galic. In this context, who is
6 A. General Stanislav Galic was the commander of the
7 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
8 Q. All right. And if we go to the next page, 183, we see a Colonel
9 Lizdek. Who's that?
10 A. Colonel Vlado Lizdek was the commander of the 1st Sarajevo Light
11 Infantry Brigade.
12 Q. All right. And then the same page we see Colonel Rado Dzicic,
13 the Ilidza Brigade. Let's go to 184. And we see other people who I'm
14 sure are familiar to you. Let's go to 185. And we see here
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Sehovac, and that's of course you. And we see -- does
16 this -- the notations of "heavy losses, unsuccessful in offensive combat
17 activities, deserters 164, 14 per cent, the largest part joined MUP
18 units, work obligation ..." does that help -- would that have been
19 information you had reported to General Mladic and he would have written
21 A. This was my report to the corps commander.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness's microphone
23 is off.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could you -- apparently the microphone of the
25 witness is not switched on. Is it on now again, Mr. Usher?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So this was my report to the corps
2 commander. These were soldiers who had left the brigade. Part of them
3 joined the Ministry of the Interior units, part of them were assigned to
4 work obligation, and part of them deserted, fled, for Serbia. There were
5 such individuals who left Republika Srpska to escape the war and fled.
6 So in total, that was 164 men, in other words 14 per cent of the brigade
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. Colonel, do you recall being in Jahorina and making this report
10 in the presence of General Mladic?
11 A. I remember that, of course. We reported, we submitted reports to
12 the corps commander, to General Mladic. We were open. We always were
13 frank. He knew our -- General Mladic knew our problems and he was very
14 fierce in fighting that. He was against people leaving the VRS.
15 Q. And when you say you submitted reports, you mean orally, to
16 General Mladic?
17 A. Orally, and once the oral report was over, we would hand in a
18 certified written report which would then be sent to the
19 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps command, together with a record of it.
20 Q. And can you describe the scene for us? I mean, is it a large
21 room with all these officers in the room?
22 A. It was a hotel in Rajska Dolina valley, a military hotel.
23 Q. And were all these officers in one room?
24 A. Yes, of course.
25 Q. All right. And we see here number 9, and I don't want to go
1 through all the pages, but if we go on through this, there are various
2 other names, and then we get to people like Tomo Kovac. Who was Tomo
3 Kovac at the time? This was at page 191.
4 A. Where is reference made to Tomo Kovac? In my report?
5 Q. No. This is in the diary on 191. It will come up there.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And the question is who he was.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that he was the Deputy
8 Minister of the Interior at that time, if I recall exactly, for a while,
9 but I'm not sure that I'm correct.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. So do you recall others besides the military being present at
12 this big meeting?
13 A. Possibly, the presidents of municipalities attended these
14 meetings, the president of the republic would at times also attend the
15 meeting, then the speakers of the assembly, the president of the
16 assembly, the key people who were in charge of the -- of the state and
17 the Army of Republika Srpska. Because we had many common issues to
18 discuss and points in common generally. That's it.
19 Q. So let's go to page 194. Here we see a note that President
20 Karadzic is making a statement. Do you remember President Karadzic being
21 at that meeting making a statement about Sarajevo, as well as other
23 A. I remember that President Karadzic took the floor. I do not
24 exactly recall -- I cannot recall his exact words because 20 years have
25 elapsed. Were I a computer I would not be able to reproduce them.
1 Q. Okay. Now I'd like to show you one last exhibit, and that is
2 Exhibit P04517. And I would like -- we've revised the translation
3 because it was a little rough and it also had handwritten portions in it
4 that were hard to make out. So we've asked them to be bolded so that
5 everyone can see clearly the handwritten additions. And if I could give
6 a hard copy to the witness, it may be easier for him to go over it. I've
7 given a hard copy to Mr. Ivetic at the break.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objection so, therefore, could the
9 usher assist.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the doc ID for the revised translation is
11 0649-3781-1 ET.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you'd like to replace the present English
13 translation with the newly uploaded one?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, yes, please, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, did you have an opportunity already to
16 look at it?
17 MR. IVETIC: I have not. I just found out about this at the
19 JUDGE ORIE: I suggest that you have another 48 hours to make any
20 comments on the translation, if there is any need to do that.
21 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour, I will.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile, Madam Registrar, you are instructed to
23 replace the present translation in P4517 by the newly uploaded one, doc
24 ID 0649-3781-1 ET. Please proceed.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And we are just waiting for, I
1 believe, P04517.
2 JUDGE ORIE: This is then still the old translation?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it is, and we really should have the new
4 one. I apologise for -- as it says, "Mr. President," that's actually
5 wrong. It should say "greet all those present," as you'll see from the
7 JUDGE ORIE: There we are, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much.
9 Q. Now, Colonel, take a look at the -- at the front page and you'll
10 see that this is from the army of the Republika Srpska Main Staff, dated
11 31 May 1993. It says, "Submitting conclusions from the assessment of the
12 situation in the SRK zone."
13 And there is no signature or signature block at the end of this.
14 But this document was found at the Mladic residence, in a search that
15 I think everyone is now familiar with. And it's the position of the
16 Prosecution that these handwritten notes were made on this document. We
17 do have the original, if anyone is interested.
18 Now, I just -- I don't want to go over all the details, but it's
19 clearly an assessment of the situation in your corps' zone. We can see
20 that from the front page; isn't that right? Is that right?
21 A. Yes, it is right. It refers to the corps. I don't know whether
22 it has anything which pertains to my brigade because I was a commander of
23 the brigade and there I can provide a full and correct answer, because a
24 corps is a huge operational unit which was about 25.000 men strong, sir.
25 Q. And we are going to -- we'll get to that. And we see the
1 handwritten notes up in the corner. It says, "Greet all those present,
2 give recognition to the members of the RSK MUP, the RSK, the MUP, and all
3 levels of authority in the corps zone." I won't read all of it. And I
4 know it's a lot to remember, but is this -- these notes in the right-hand
5 corner, is that the kind of thing Mladic said or would have said at a
6 meeting such as you have described that happened, as we can see, just a
7 couple of days before this?
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this is a very nice code of conduct of the Chief
9 of Staff when he addresses high-ranking officers of the corps, commanders
10 of brigades, and representatives of the authorities, and representatives
11 of the Ministry of the Interior. He's always courteous and it is at a
12 very high level. I don't know what else to tell you.
13 Q. All right. And if we go to page 10 briefly in both languages.
14 A. I only have seven pages in front of me. I do not have ten pages.
15 Q. If you go to the last page in your -- should be the last page of
16 the --
17 A. Yes, I can see it now. Number 7 -- number 8, sorry.
18 Q. And we see there that there is a handwritten note to the
19 president, and that would have been President Karadzic in this context,
20 would it not?
21 A. I don't know whom it refers to. I haven't read it. If you would
22 be so kind as to translate it for me, I could find out.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we go back one page in B/C/S? The
24 handwritten note should be on the previous page.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. The beginning of the handwritten
1 note, yes.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. It's right -- you have it on the screen and it's in front of you
5 in your hard copy.
6 A. Did you ask me a question? I apologise. I didn't quite
7 understand, Mr. Prosecutor. I'm unable to read this handwriting, in
9 Q. All right. I'll read it to you briefly, some of it, in English.
10 "Mr. President, gentlemen, discussions have been recorded which
11 we at the GS VRS will study and examine in the shortest possible time and
12 transform into corresponding plans and orders. I ask all of those
13 present to understand that the tasks and positions voiced here by the
14 president of our assembly, General Djukic, our Prime Minister, and you,
15 Mr. President, are binding for all present and do not bear postponement.
16 Your obligation and ours to transform these tasks, as soon as possible,
17 into concrete plans and orders, both in the army as well as in organs of
18 authority, that be our motivating force for new achievements and even
19 greater results. I personally believe in our forces and our power, and I
20 will allow myself the liberty of [text was missing at that point]
21 complete liberation of the corps' zone which is your task of the utmost
22 priority, maximum unity, and a very disciplined and successful
23 functioning of the authorities, army and of the police. I wish you all
24 this in the name of the GS VRS and my own name, and I am convinced that
25 you shall persevere on these extremely responsible tasks."
1 So who do you think said -- drafted these words on this document?
2 A. This was drafted obviously by General Mladic. If you will allow
3 me to explain?
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. After a comprehensive analysis in the zone of combat activities
6 of the corps, and the situation with the organs of authority, the highest
7 ranking officer, and that was General Mladic, would always have the final
8 word. After his final concluding remarks, we would soon have specific
9 tasks for specific command levels which would be submitted to the corps
10 command and the corps command would translate those into tasks for
11 commanders of brigades. So this is a -- these are final remarks by the
12 commander, very appropriate, very decent, encouraging also for all of us
13 because it refers to the liberation of the entire zone of the corps
14 and --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. You go far beyond the scope
16 of the question.
17 Please proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. And when he is noting "president," is that President Karadzic
20 that he is addressing?
21 A. Probably. Possibly in some parts he's referring to the president
22 of the assembly but I suppose that he was referring to President Karadzic
23 as the Supreme Commander of the armed forces of Republika Srpska.
24 Q. And you were at this meeting?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. Now, let's go to page 8 in the English, that's page
2 5 -- that's your page 5, and you'll see it on the screen as well, and
3 this point will -- this will be a typed part so you'll be able to read
5 We see here there is now a chapter of this document called "Main
6 Problems." So if we could now go to the next page, page 9 in the English
7 and page 6 in the B/C/S, there is one paragraph I want you to take a
8 close look at. It's the one -- it's the bottom of the page for you, on
9 page 6 and it's in the middle of the page in the English and it -- I'll
10 read it:
11 "The activities of sabotage terrorist groups should be used in
12 further operations, as well as ambushes and surprise activities, so that
13 there is constant negative effect on the morale of the Muslim forces and
14 population, that they have a sense of fear and constant insecurity from
15 the activities of our forces."
16 A. Just a minute. I am unable to find it. I have it. It is the
17 last paragraph, "The activities of sabotage terrorist groups should be
18 used in further operations as well as ambushes and surprise activities,"
20 Q. I'll continue:
21 "Through tactical acts and our propaganda activity, it is
22 necessary to develop in them a feeling that their fate depends on the
23 Army of Republika Srpska. Through the incessant activity and combat
24 actions of all available SRK forces, losses need to be inflicted on the
25 enemy and a feeling of the dependency, fear and insecurity developed in
2 In your view, and you have told us of your studies regarding
3 international law, is there any legitimate military justification for the
4 VRS to use their forces to keep, and I quote, "constant and a negative
5 effect on the Muslim ... Muslim population," as you see it written here.
6 A. Where does it say "Muslim population"?
7 MR. IVETIC: If Mr. McCloskey is going to ask a question arising
8 from the document, he should quote the entire submission, not quoting out
9 of context, pulling parts and joining them together, in the manner that
10 the Prosecutor wishes to present their case.
11 JUDGE ORIE: There are two issues. First, the witness asks for a
12 specific portion. Perhaps you could read the relevant portion. Second,
13 some selectivity is allowed and can be redressed in re-examination,
14 Mr. Ivetic, but it should not take a form that it twists the meaning of
15 the portion selected by -- of the relevance of the portion selected by
16 the Prosecution.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Take a look at the first three lines of the paragraph that you've
19 identified. They say, and I'll read the full ones this time:
20 "The activities of the sabotage terrorist groups should be used
21 in further operations as well as ambushes and surprise activities so
22 there is a constant negative effect on the morale of the Muslim forces
23 and population, that they have a sense of fear and constant insecurity
24 from the activities of our forces."
25 Now, sir, I grant you it's the Prosecution's position that there
1 is no problem using psychological warfare on the Muslim forces, so I'm
2 not asking you about that part of the sentence. The part of the sentence
3 I'm asking you about is when they say that there is a "constant negative
4 effect on the morale of the Muslim forces and population."
5 Is there any legitimate military justification for the VRS to
6 target the population as stated in this paragraph?
7 A. No. That is not actually the gist of this. It says that the
8 activities of sabotage terrorist groups should be used in further
9 operations as well as ambushes and surprise activities. These are -- so
10 that there is constant negative effects, because all of the actors are
11 affected in a negative way, both the army of the -- the Muslim army, the
12 Bosnian army, and the population. This is the way I interpret it.
13 Q. I'll try one more time. Is there any legitimate military
14 justification to target the Muslim population for this kind of activity?
15 A. Sir, these are the negative effects which are the consequences of
16 legitimate combat actions. I don't know that the Main Staff had any
17 Special Forces for psychological warfare, especially not the command of
18 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. The brigade certainly did not have any such
19 forces. Please ask me questions which pertain to my level of command.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Witness --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- the language is such that you could understand
23 the use of further operations, ambushes, surprise activities, so that
24 there is, that means or at least it could be understood as the sought
25 effect to be a negative effect not only on the morale of forces but also
1 negative effect to be sought on the population. What Mr. McCloskey asked
2 you is whether you, under international law, whether you're allowed to
3 use military operations in such a way, and with the aim of seeking a
4 negative effect, not only on the forces but also on the population.
5 Could you please answer that question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, sir, I believe that the fate
7 of the population on both the Muslim and the Serbian sides was associated
8 with the fate of the army.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I hear that you are not answering my question.
10 Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I have no further
13 JUDGE ORIE: You have no further questions.
14 Mr. Ivetic, we are close to the point where we would take a
15 break. How much time would you need?
16 MR. IVETIC: I think only about 15 minutes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: 15 minutes. Then we'll do that after the break.
18 Witness, we'll continue after a break of 20 minutes. You may now
19 follow the usher.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 JUDGE ORIE: We will take a break and we will resume at 10
23 minutes past 12.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.49 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.13 p.m.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
3 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
5 Q. Sir, I'd like to first touch on the issue that was being
6 discussed just prior to the break, and I'd like to ask you the following
8 Based on your training in the JNA, is it permitted under
9 international law to undertake legitimate sabotage and diversionary
10 tactics against enemy armed forces even if those actions lead to negative
11 morale also among the civilian population that is in enemy territory?
12 A. It is permitted, certainly.
13 Q. Go ahead, continue.
14 A. From this, we cannot see -- I mean, it would not be allowed if
15 some Special Forces, the forces of the VRS or the Main Staff, conducted
16 psychological and propaganda warfare against the population, if they
17 terrorised the population, they instilled fear in them, if they
18 threatened with religious or national ethnic hatred, if they threatened
19 to move them out. Simply, what it -- the position that is stated here
20 simply states the actions that can be undertaken by the VRS.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear or understand the
22 last portion of the witness's answer.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the last portion of your
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From this text, we cannot see
1 anywhere that the organs of the Main Staff, special organs of the Main
2 Staff of the VRS, are asked to carry out propaganda and psychological
3 activities against the population, meaning to instill fear in the
4 population, to terrorise them, to threaten them with racial or religious
5 hatred and so on. All of this fear, in fact, is the result of the
6 actions by the VRS who have used legitimate means. Here, it mentions
7 diversionary and sabotage actions. Those are quite legitimate. I don't
8 know how else to describe this.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, have you any further follow-up questions
10 on this?
11 MR. IVETIC: On this topic, no.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You say there is nothing to be found in this text.
13 The text reads, and I'll read it in English, "so that there is," which
14 could be understood as a result which is specifically sought. Any
15 comment on that? And if there is any translation issue, I'd like to
16 hear, Mr. Ivetic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was only shown the last
18 paragraph, and there it says, verbatim, that the diversionary actions
19 should -- and sabotage actions should maintain a level of negative
20 effects on the population, and I don't see that there is anything in
21 dispute there. This is the result of our forces' operations. And it
22 says further on, "By tactical moves and our propaganda activity we should
23 develop in the population the sense that their fate depends on the Army
24 of Republika Srpska," and then it goes on to further talk about the
1 JUDGE ORIE: I did put what I consider to be the possibly
2 relevant portion to you. I did it now twice. I do understand how you
3 interpret this text. Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
4 MR. IVETIC:
5 Q. Sir, following these meetings in May of 1993, do you recall what
6 military operation was undertaken by the VRS with the involvement of the
7 SRK which arose out of these discussions?
8 A. Operation Lukavac 93 was carried out which was of operative and
9 strategic significance for the Army of Republika Srpska.
10 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to move to another topic that the
11 Prosecutor covered with you, Brcko. And I'd like to ask you, during your
12 tenure at Brcko, was the JNA the only armed formation in town or were
13 there other armed formations or paramilitaries in that town?
14 A. Are you -- do you mean the first part of the war? Yes. Using a
15 void or a lacuna that existed from May to June, paramilitary forces used
16 that blank space, as it were, and in June there were the following
17 paramilitary forces: The Red Berets, about 20 of them; Arkan's men,
18 about 30 men; a group from Bor; and a group of Captain Dragan's, whereas
19 in later operations, the so-called Krajina militia, or Milicija Krajine,
20 came and they all came there with one objective only, which was plunder,
21 and we opposed those groups.
22 The president, Mr. Karadzic, and General Mladic sent a unit, I
23 believe, on the 19th of July, under the control of -- under the command
24 of Dragan Andan. It was a unit of the Special Police. We reinforced or
25 strengthened up the -- this unit with members of our military police,
1 developed a plan of combat activities and operations, and we cleansed
2 Brcko and expelled all of these paramilitary units, not only from Brcko
3 but also from a wider territory. I don't know if there is anything more
4 specific that you would like me to discuss.
5 Q. I'd like to ask you, sir, did you have any personal encounters
6 with any of these paramilitaries in Brcko, and if so, could you please
7 describe these encounters? You personally, individually.
8 A. Certainly. At this time, in other words from the 23rd of May up
9 until mid-July, in addition to my duties as the chief of the military
10 department, I was also standing in as acting chief of the Posavina
11 Brigade. They actually raided the police station in Brcko, always with
12 the following objective: to steal IDs, passports, drivers' licences and
13 vehicle registration papers, and they would use them when -- to access
14 barracks and other military installations.
15 Until we introduced the curfew, between 8.00 p.m. and 5.00 a.m.,
16 and we also set up check-points at all the major intersections in the
17 city, all public buildings in the municipality, hospitals, public
18 enterprises and so on, we forbade anyone from accessing those facilities,
19 or if they were to access them, they shouldn't wear any weapons. Then we
20 also guarded, those we set up guard -- guarding units for those
21 facilities. We also put stickers on vehicles so to prevent their theft.
22 Then we also introduced controls. We controlled the functioning
23 of the entire system of security in the Brcko town, thereby eliminating
24 all paramilitary forces and creating such an atmosphere in the town where
25 civilian authorities and military authorities could function normally.
1 That was our job, after all.
2 Q. If we can call up in e-court 65 ter number 30959 from the
3 Prosecution's list, and I think it will be on the first page in the B/C/S
4 and the bottom of the first page going on to the second page in the
5 English, item number 3.
6 And, sir, if you could read along with me, it says here: "In
7 Brcko area, forces of the 'Red Berets' have captured the BR, Brcko
8 Brigade, NS, Chief of Staff, Major Milorad Sehovac, the president of the
9 SO Municipal Assembly Brcko and some members of IS, Executive Council, of
10 SO Brcko," and then, if you go to the next page, "put forward the
11 demanded that two members of the Red Berets be released recently arrested
12 by the SRBiH MUP, Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Serbian Republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for criminal offences. We have taken stepped up
14 security measures in units and commands, a special unit of SRBiH MUP
15 continues to work on the case."
16 Sir, what can you tell us about this incident where you were
17 apparently captured by this paramilitary?
18 A. Yes. Well, this is a regular combat report from the command of
19 the Eastern Bosnia Corps signed by the corps commander Dragutin Ilic, and
20 this is correct. It is true that the president of the municipality and
21 I were arrested because we opposed these forces. And had this special
22 unit not been sent and arrived there, we would have probably been killed.
23 I was released late that evening, around 10.00 p.m.
24 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I would tender the
25 document into evidence at this time as the next Defence Exhibit.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30959 receives number D562, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: D562 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
7 Q. Now, I'd like to focus on your time period at the Brcko military
8 department. You'd started to give some information during the
9 cross-examination and you were stopped. Could you please describe for us
10 what duties or tasks were undertaken by yourself while at the Brcko
11 military department? What was your role?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get a time-frame? That's a -- he was
13 there for a long time.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic?
15 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I believe his role remained constant
16 throughout that whole time. If I'm incorrect, the witness can correct
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, the witness is not there to correct you,
19 but if you say during the whole period of his tenure there, then it's --
20 MR. IVETIC: Let's say in the beginning of the war. Is that
21 specific enough?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The military department of Brcko is
24 a military and territorial institution and it covered the territory of
25 eight municipalities, those of Brcko, Bosanski Samac, Gradacac,
1 Srebrenik, Orasje, Bijeljina, Lopari, Ugljevik and Ugljevik. In this
2 territory, we recruited for the needs of the military forces at the time
3 and for work obligations and military police, about --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the number.
5 A. -- of privates and officers. The basic tasks of the military
6 department were to keep records, military records, recruitment records,
7 in other words determining the military specialty, then assignment to the
8 JNA, the assignments to military units of the armed forces and also work
9 obligation units, until the deregistration from military records.
10 At the beginning of the war, the military department, or should
11 I -- let me just say how it was organised. In each of the municipalities
12 we had one desk officer. In some cases there were men; in others there
13 were women. In the military department, I was the chief. There was an
14 Albanian, Idris Sajdiju [phoen]. He was my assistant for intelligence.
15 He would just do the screening of the candidates, the recruits, and the
16 other persons were civilians, two who were in charge of recruitment, two
17 for mobilisation. There was a lawyer and also a typist who also kept the
19 In the beginning we only dealt with recruitment for the needs of
20 the armed forces, and in view of the fact that the Army of Republika
21 Srpska reorganised very soon, the war began in May, and already on the
22 2nd of June, we -- no, the 5th of July, my apologies, we assigned -- we
23 sent the first group of recruits for military training. The second group
24 was sent in early September. At that time, I was already in --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the place.
1 A. -- and the military departments were --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Various parts of your testimony will be lost if you
3 speak at this speed. You said, "At that time I was already in --" and
4 could you tell us where you were because the interpreters did not catch
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the beginning of the war, the
7 Defence counsel asked me, so in the month of May and June, that's when
8 I'm talking about, that period, the early period of the war, we were
9 mostly involved in --
10 JUDGE ORIE: I'll stop you there. You said the following: You
11 were talking about the first group of recruits for military training that
12 were assigned, and then you said the second group was sent in early
13 September. "At that time I was already in --" and then what did you say?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Vojkovici, or Sarajevo. I was
15 the commander of the 2nd Sarajevo Brigade. But I would just like to
16 stress that after I left --
17 JUDGE ORIE: If you do it slowly, then we will not miss anything.
18 Okay. So you said I would just -- you would just like to stress that
19 after you left -- what did you want to stress?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to stress that the
21 military department, there was always continuity in the work of the
22 military department. That's all I wanted to say.
23 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
24 Q. Now, you've identified one soldier and several civilians that
25 worked in the military department with you. Were the civilians armed?
1 A. No. I mentioned there were just two officers, me and a
2 lieutenant, an Albanian by ethnicity. And I would also like to mention
3 here before the Trial Chamber that the military department was
4 multi-ethnic, so there were Serbs, Albanians, Croats and Muslims.
5 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't part of the question. So just focus on
6 the question that's asked. If there are relevant other matters to be
7 reviewed, then the parties will ask you for it.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will continue, Your
11 MR. IVETIC:
12 Q. Colonel, did you have command over any combat units apart from
13 these civilians and one officer while at the Brcko military department?
14 A. Well, let me repeat: The civilians were not armed. I did not
15 have any competence over, nor could I command, any operative complements,
16 either JNA or Territorial Defence or the newly established VRS.
17 Q. You mentioned that the office was multi-ethnic. What ethnicities
18 of persons were being subjected to the summons or call-up for military
19 service that were issued by your office?
20 A. Everyone received call-ups, calls up. Serbs, Muslims, the
21 Gorani, depending on which unit was being mobilised and where those
22 people lived. Well, that's -- that's it. I'm trying to be focused, as
23 the Judge told me I should be. So everyone received calls up.
24 Q. Now, you heard during cross-examination that a witness identified
25 a Captain Sehovac as having been involved in the killing of a Croat man
1 with the last name Vugrincic. Sir, can you confirm for us what rank you
2 held while you were at Brcko in 1991 and 1992?
3 A. I was a major.
4 Q. Now, today, the Prosecutor asked you about meetings you attended
5 where General Mladic was present along with presidents of the
6 municipalities, the president of the republic, and MUP representatives.
7 At any of those meetings, did anyone ever discuss any plans for the VRS
8 to target and attack the civilian population in Sarajevo?
9 A. No, never. I state this very explicitly, not at a single
11 Q. And my last question, sir: At any of these meetings that you
12 attended where General Mladic was present, did he ever issue any orders
13 that you, as an officer, viewed as either criminal or illegal?
14 A. I never received an order of that nature from General Mladic
15 throughout that period.
16 Q. Thank you, Colonel. On behalf of my client and the rest of the
17 team, I thank you for your testimony.
18 MR. IVETIC: And, Your Honours, that completes the redirect.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
20 Before I give an opportunity to Mr. McCloskey, I would have one
21 question for you.
22 You told us that paramilitary forces used a lacuna, you also
23 called it "that blank space," as it were, and you referred to several
24 paramilitary forces, among them Arkan's men. Do you have any knowledge
25 as to what triggered Arkan or Arkan's men to enter that region? And you
1 were specifically, I think, talking about Bijeljina. Any idea on how
2 they came to be there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was referring to Brcko.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then Brcko.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Arkan's men came to Brcko
6 exclusively in order to loot and plunder.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And they came on their own initiative?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, without any invitation from
9 the Army of Republika Srpska.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And would that be true for Brcko only or would that
11 have been for the whole region, which is the northeastern part of Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about the entire
14 region, but I know about Brcko because I lived and worked there.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Mr. McCloskey, any questions?
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we do have a map which I think the
19 witness could probably very simply mark, this Papas Brdo. It's also --
20 it should be electronically here momentarily if you want to just resolve
21 that. It's a big hill. I don't know where the positions were located
22 according to --
23 JUDGE ORIE: We earlier looked. Is that a larger map than the
24 one we saw on the screen?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it includes the area of Papas Brdo now.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. IVETIC: I don't no objection to this being done.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is it uploaded already?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's happening as we speak.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it's better to have the marking done
6 electronically so that we have a consistent set of exhibits. I know
7 these are large documents, I'm aware of it.
8 If you'll bear with us for a moment, Witness, you'll be shown a
9 map soon and you'll be invited to mark it. That is the same grid on that
10 map, Mr. McCloskey? Two kilometre squares?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, it takes a while for it to be
13 electronically prepared.
14 Mr. McCloskey, although the Chamber has full confidence in the
15 accuracy and the speed your case manager develops, I do understand from
16 her body language that it's almost up, and is confirmed by the same.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right, 65 ter 30978. And can we blow it up
18 one more shot? It might make it a little clearer. Okay. I think that
19 covers it.
20 Q. As you can see, this does not have the tunnel in it. This is the
21 raw map. And, sir, if you could just study it --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could the witness assist so that the witness
23 could mark? Yes, I'm sorry, the usher.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What should I mark? The positions
25 of the mortars? The mortar battery and the mortar platoon?
1 JUDGE ORIE: You said there was Papas Brdo. Could you please
2 mark that position.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Papas Brdo. I shall first
4 mark Papas Brdo --
5 THE INTERPRETER: If the witness could be asked to speak into the
6 microphone. We can hardly hear him, or not at all in fact.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please speak into the microphone.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I've marked Papas Brdo. The
9 firing position of the mortars were -- the firing positions of the
10 mortars were here, more or less.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Where the witness marked what seems to be an
12 horizontal oval, he marked a --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here, under the letter K.
14 JUDGE ORIE: One second, one second, witness. Where the witness
15 marked with more or less an horizontal oval, he marked Papas Brdo, which
16 is found, as the text under his markings as well. And then just above
17 that, he indicated where the mortar positions were, to the left of the
18 letter K.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Would you agree with me that the distance from those
21 positions to the tunnel, if the grid square is two kilometres, is
22 considerably less than six kilometres?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is six -- about six kilometres,
24 but the tunnel is not my zone of operations. That is the zone of the 1st
25 Sarajevo Brigade. I should like to stress that. But we can measure it.
1 It is over six kilometres. If this is correct, we can take a ruler and
2 measure it to a T, exactly.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We'll do that. We'll do that. I have no further
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: So I think we can offer this into evidence.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document as marked by the witness receives
8 number P6678, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
10 I leave it to the parties whether they want the Chamber to
11 measure the approximate distance or whether the parties could agree on
12 it. It shouldn't make that much of a difference.
13 This concludes your testimony, Mr. Sehovac. I'd like to thank
14 you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for having answered
15 the questions that were put to you by the parties and by the Defence, and
16 by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you very much,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, the Chamber was informed that you would
22 like to raise a preliminary issue before the next witness enters the
24 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honour, I see Mr. Ivetic, however
25 standing. I'm not sure.
1 MR. IVETIC: Associated exhibits. I don't know if you want to
2 deal with that now. We had deferred until the end of the witness's
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we can deal with it, and then I take it
5 Mr. McCloskey will stay with us for a while.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I was planning on requesting to be excused, but
7 I, of course, would always stay.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Associated exhibits in relation to the witness.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: With this witness of course, I don't think there
10 was any problem of course. I forgot about that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Not the number even is any problem.
12 MR. IVETIC: We have cut it down to 12, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Cut it down to 12. Although its more exceptionally
14 we allow for a few more.
15 MR. IVETIC: If I could place on the record, there is one that is
16 a duplicate. 65 ter number 11913, which is at paragraph 66 of the
17 statement, is the same as 1D02187, which is at paragraph 68 of the
18 statement. So we would only tender the 1D02187 in lieu of tendering two
19 times the same document.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Something makes me think that I recently saw a short
21 comment that although they look very much the same, that there is slight
22 difference in, I think, some handwriting on it or something else.
23 MR. IVETIC: If that's the case, then I have no problem with both
24 coming in. I just wanted to try to be as economical as I can.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We will have a look at it. There are no objections.
1 Madam Registrar, could you please prepare a list with numbers and reserve
2 already, I think, 12.
3 MR. IVETIC: Well, 13 if we are going to do both.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 13.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the range of numbers would be D563
6 up to and including D575, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Before we tender them both, Mr. Ivetic, perhaps you
10 can have a look at it, and for the time being we reserve 12 numbers.
11 I do understand that it was 11913, which would be the duplicate of
12 1D02187, 2nd Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade document, implementing an
13 SRK command order for placing units at combat-readiness, which is
14 described in the other report strictly confidential number 1684-1, dated
15 the 14th of August 1994, signed by Sehovac, Milorad. That seems to be
16 the two documents which may have an overlap.
17 Let's, for the time being, reserve 12 numbers and leave out
18 11913. And if there is any need at a later stage to have them both, then
19 we'll hear from you.
20 Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Therefore, 12 numbers would be D563 up to
22 including D574, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D563 up to and including D574 are admitted into
25 Mr. McCloskey, you are excused.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And, Mr. President, I would support a
2 simple measurement of the map as you suggested by the Trial Chamber.
3 I think that's a good idea.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Bibles?
5 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 I would just like to take a few moments to talk about a
7 disclosure issue in the agreement of the parties. As the Chamber is
8 aware, the parties reached an agreement to resolve the issues created
9 when the Defence failed to meet the discovery deadline of 5 May 2014.
10 Among the provisions of the agreement was that the Defence would disclose
11 statements of the remaining witnesses as soon as practical and no later
12 than 15 August 2014. As a practical note, we have received no statements
13 from the Defence regarding witnesses in the case other than those for
14 which 92 teres have been filed.
15 The Defence advised us that they would call the next witness,
16 Dragan Milanovic, viva voce. He has never testified. We do have a 65
17 ter summary for him, but there has been no discovery of a statement or
18 interview notes or anything of that nature. At 7.14 last night, we
19 received an e-mail that reads:
20 "The previous draft statement for Mr. Milanovic has apparently
21 been signed in the interim, though we have now agreed to go viva voce
22 with him. The same is uploaded in e-court as 1D01659 and is hereby
23 disclosed to you in accordance with Rule 67. The Defence will not be
24 tendering this statement."
25 A review of the 11-paragraph statement reveals that there were
1 three interviews with this witness and that it was signed on the 7th of
2 June 2014.
3 Now, with respect to this witness, this is a disclosure violation
4 but it should not preclude cross-examination. There were some additional
5 facts in the statement but we believe we'll have the ability to use our
6 techniques and investigate those issues for cross-examination. However,
7 the overall concern here is that we are increasingly concerned about the
8 status of the Defence discovery and whether they are going to make the 15
9 August 2014 deadline. We are a month away from that deadline at this
11 So at this point, given some of the issues that have come up with
12 respect to discovery, the Prosecution would simply suggest that this may
13 be a time where it would be appropriate for the Chamber to request a
14 detailed report from the Defence as to the status of their statement
15 gathering and disclosure and perhaps have weekly reports from the Defence
16 until the discovery process is completed.
17 And that's it, Your Honour, thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles.
19 We will consider your request. Any explanation as to why a
20 statement which I do understand was signed on -- was it the 7th of June?
21 Yes. Was not disclosed any earlier than mid-July?
22 MR. LUKIC: All I can say is I can check with my case manager and
23 maybe inform you after the break.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, it's your responsibility.
25 I mean the 7th of June, it's not a day or a week, but it's well over a
1 month, which should have been noted already. I'll give you an
2 opportunity to consult with your case manager, but it will not come as a
3 surprise to you that it will take something to explain that.
4 Let's proceed for the time being. And could the witness be
5 escorted into the courtroom. Meanwhile, also, Mr. Lukic, having looked
6 at the 65 ter statement, I would strongly advise you and invite you to
7 deal and certainly deal primarily with matters which are of core
8 relevance to this case, and not with marginal issues.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Milanovic. Before you give
11 evidence, the rules require that you make a solemn declaration. The text
12 is now handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: DRAGAN MILANOVIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Milanovic.
19 Mr. Milanovic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You'll find him to
20 your left. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Milanovic -- good afternoon.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. Please tell us for the record your first name and your last name?
2 A. I'm Dragan Milanovic from Foca, the son of Pero.
3 Q. When were you born and where?
4 A. I was born on the 9th of April 1961 in Foca.
5 Q. Where did you live after you were born?
6 A. I finished my primary and secondary school in Foca. Then
7 I studied in Sarajevo for six years and then I returned to Foca where
8 I continued to reside.
9 Q. What duties did you perform prior to the very outset of the war
10 in the territory of your municipality?
11 A. Before the war broke out in my territory, the settlement of
12 Cerezluk, I was the commander of a self-formed platoon.
13 Q. How many men did you have in your platoon?
14 A. The platoon was about 30 men strong.
15 Q. Within which formation was this platoon?
16 A. First, the platoon was self-formed, and later it was assigned to
17 a company which was within the framework of the 1st Battalion.
18 JUDGE ORIE: 1st Battalion of what?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 1st Battalion of the Foca
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So prior to the beginning of the conflict?
23 A. The platoon existed as a self-formed platoon before the beginning
24 of the conflict, for the protection of the people in the area. There
25 still was no command set up.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please explain what you mean by
2 "self-formed platoon"? How does that come about?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. In our people, there
4 is a story handed down from generation to generation about crimes done to
5 the Serbian people. Also, in that period, prior to the very outbreak of
6 the war, there exist -- many ugly things had happened between the Muslims
7 and the Serbs of the city and municipality of Foca. So that we, but not
8 only we, because this was done by the Muslims also, believe me, in
9 settlements which were predominantly inhabited by Serbs, drawing the
10 lesson from the previous experiences, in order to protect our property
11 and our kin, next of kin, we posted guards. So we set up this unit from
12 people from the area and we posted guards. I was chosen to be their
13 commander. So we posted guards in order to avoid any situations
14 befalling us where we might come to harm, as we had in the Second World
15 War. That's about it.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. You may proceed.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. [Interpretation] In the city of Foca proper, before the outbreak
19 of the conflicts, how were the people organised in mixed communities, in
20 mixed settlements?
21 A. That is exactly what I was about to say. Foca is a specific
22 city, a specific town, where the population was greatly mixed. There
23 were settlements where the majority of people were Muslims or Serbs. But
24 in the buildings where a neighbour and next to another neighbour and
25 house next to house, with mixed communities, people organised themselves
1 in different ways. First, where they were neighbours, they had joint
2 patrols, they established mixed patrols, in order to avoid conflicts.
3 And in those settlements where the majority was either Serb or Muslim,
4 they set up these mono-ethnic patrols or guards for protection purposes
5 because one could feel in the air that something was about to happen.
6 Q. [Microphone not activated].
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. When the interethnic relations started to deteriorate in the
10 territory of your municipality, what was the direct cause?
11 A. Well, long before that, there was the Focatrans affair, scandal.
12 This was a transport company where the staff were Muslims and Serbs who
13 lived in Foca, and it so happened that pursuant to a management decision,
14 all Serbs from that company were fired. Then the Serbs tried to find a
15 solution, so they rallied, they set up meetings and rallies, and the
16 population from -- the Serbs from Foca organised in that way. But at the
17 time when these protests were announced, when they were supposed to be
18 held, these rallies, the Special Police of the BH republic arrived and
19 they quashed these rallies, but it was done almost by force. And from
20 that moment on, the Serb and Muslim population began to diverge.
21 Q. You told us that you organised in your settlement, Cerezluk, that
22 you organised patrols, village patrols or guards. When did you do this?
23 Could you tell us, please?
24 A. We organised the patrols in late March, around the 28th or 29th
25 of March, in other words about 10 days before the conflict broke out
1 between the Serbs and Muslims.
2 Q. You also told us that the Muslims, too, organised similar
3 patrols. When did they organise their own patrols in these predominantly
4 Muslim settlements or purely Muslim settlements?
5 A. Well, yes, they, too, had their own patrols in these villages, in
6 their villages. Perhaps that began at about the same time, perhaps a day
7 or two earlier or later. They even set up barricades or check-points,
8 and checked passers-by regardless of their ethnicity. Although more
9 often than not, they would check the people of Serb ethnicity who would
10 pass in that area, who would pass by.
11 Q. How do you know about these barricades?
12 A. Well, I moved around the town a lot, because that was part of my
13 job. Well, I had worked that had to do with -- where -- I had to move
14 around town. I actually had a winery or cellar, and I transported the
15 wines and drinks around the town, and that's how I saw this.
16 MR. LUKIC: I see the time, Your Honour. I think it's break
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think it is.
19 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom. Yes.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, when I earlier said that the Chamber
23 would very much like you to focus on what seems to be the core of this
24 case, and looking at the indictment, we are talking about killings in
25 Foca, detention in Foca, et cetera, rather than matters like who was the
1 first or the second to organise patrols, et cetera. I mean, that seems
2 to be -- I'm not saying it's without any relevance, although it's
3 something that we've heard in the various forms in the various
4 municipalities and there seems to be a pattern on which I would not be
5 surprised, also looking at how witnesses are cross-examined on this
6 matter, that is hardly ever, by the Prosecution, that you could agree on
7 that and then to focus and what is at the core of the charge, that is
8 crimes committed for this witness, for example, crimes committed in Foca.
9 I leave it to that for the time being.
10 We resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 1.18 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 1.38 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, if you are still interested, I can try
15 to explain why we were late with disclosure of the statement.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you can do that in one minute and a half.
17 Otherwise, we will wait until the end of this hearing.
18 MR. LUKIC: I can.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
20 MR. LUKIC: The statement was signed on the 7th of June 2014, as
21 you said, but we received it here on the 17th of June, and then it was
22 sent for the translation. And then when we discussed the last week whom
23 to have here to testify, since some witnesses could not testify because
24 of the objection made by the Prosecution, we switched this witness, since
25 we didn't have time to introduce his statement, we switched him to
1 testify viva voce and immediately, when we decided last week, we released
2 that statement on the 9th of July 2014.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I do understand that it was a number of
4 reasons. The first that you could have saved is it shouldn't take 10
5 days for a statement to -- and I don't know whether it was not yet before
6 the 7th of June, when the witness signed it, because you could submit
7 already a statement although at that moment unsigned.
8 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we planned to have this witness 92 ter, so we
9 thought we had time. But then we asked him kindly if he can jump into
10 some empty space.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let's leave it to that at this moment.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Milanovic, what kind of weapons did you have
16 at the outset, when you organised these patrols?
17 A. Well, we each had some side arms. I myself, I had a 7.62 pistol,
18 and I had a licence for it. Some people in the platoon had hunting
19 weapons; some had pistols. We did not all -- all of us, we didn't have,
20 not every person had a weapon but we had some weapons and then we would
21 take turns for whoever was on patrol would carry the weapon.
22 Q. Do you know what the situation was with the weapons on the Muslim
24 A. As for the Muslims, at this point in time, when I was stopped at
25 the -- by the patrol, they too had personal weapons. I could see that
1 for myself. But I can say from my own experience, when I was wounded,
2 that I was wounded by a round from an automatic weapon. I also know that
3 they had some Thompson rifles which is a semi-automatic weapon, and they
4 also had automatic weapons because I myself was wounded by a round from
5 an automatic weapon.
6 Q. All right. We'll come back to your wounding later. We are still
7 discussing the time leading up to the conflict. Now, was there any
8 propaganda spread by the Muslims, and if so, what did it entail?
9 A. Well, you see, there was a journalist in Foca by the name of
10 Semso Tucakovic, and before the conflict broke out, he fled Foca. And
11 then, on Radio Sarajevo, he reported as a correspondent, as it were, from
12 threatened areas. He reported in a very urgent manner about the arrival
13 of 5.000 Arkan men in Foca and such like, so that this of course
14 instilled fear in his own people, in the Muslims, as to what was about to
15 happen, what would follow next and so on. Of course, none of it
16 happened. Nothing like that was in fact the case. And so what happened
17 was that the Muslims began leaving Foca even before the conflict broke
19 Q. Did the Serbs leave Foca? Did they begin leaving Foca too,
20 before the conflict broke out?
21 A. Well, yes, there were Serbian families too, with small children,
22 who had relatives in Serbia or Montenegro. Those people, aware that
23 something was brewing, they began leaving too, but in far smaller numbers
24 than the Muslim families.
25 Q. Do you have any information as to where these Muslims who were
1 leaving Foca went? What direction?
2 A. Well, you see, as for where they went, as far as I know, first,
3 they went to Gorazde, then to Sarajevo. A part of them were going
4 towards Sandzak or Montenegro, depending on where they had families or
5 friends, so they could take shelter. But as you know what the situation
6 was in the former Yugoslavia, everyone had members of family all over the
7 place in various parts, in Serbia, Montenegro and so on. So they left to
8 wherever they could find shelter with their friends or family.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you a little bit
10 about the Crisis Staff in your municipality. Do you know approximately
11 when the Crisis Staff was established in the Foca municipality?
12 A. In early April, as far as I can recall, in the Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 Assembly, the delegates of Serb ethnicity walked out and declared a --
14 their own assembly, Assembly of the Serbian People, and I think that at
15 this same time, approximately, in early April, a decision was made by the
16 Serbian people, or rather by their Serbian representatives in the
17 then-Republika Srpska already, that Crisis Staffs should be established
18 in various towns and places. And such a Crisis Staff was established in
19 Foca as well, whose president was Mr. Miro Stanic and its members were
20 prominent people from Foca, for the most part people who were SDS
22 Q. What do you know about the competence of the Crisis Staffs?
23 A. Well, as it became obvious that the division was inevitable, the
24 Crisis Staff, as far as the Serbian people is concerned, was overall.
25 They had every competency. Later on, the Serbian Territorial Defence
1 took control of the town, and then the Crisis Staff governed or ran all
2 kinds of activities that had to do with whatever was going on in the
3 city, with the life in the city.
4 Q. Could we now please pull up 1D3525 in e-court. While we are
5 waiting for it to come up, let me ask you this: Do you have any
6 information as to what the competence of the Crisis Staff was vis-à-vis
7 that of the Territorial Defence?
8 A. As far as the Crisis Staff is concerned, they were the ones who
9 made decisions and the territorial staff had to implement them, but the
10 TO, the Territorial Defence, had competence over the military police that
11 was established at the time.
12 Q. This is a document where we see that it says, "The Serbian
13 Municipality of Foca Crisis Staff and the Serbian Municipality of Foca TO
14 Staff." And this is an order to the military police unit. You've
15 already mentioned that Miroslav Stanic was at the head of the Crisis
16 Staff. The other person whose name appears here, was he in fact what it
17 states here, Cedo Zelovic? Do you know whether he was the Staff
18 Commander, the TO Staff Commander?
19 A. I believe that Cedo Zelovic was a TO Staff Commander even before
20 the war, so that, yes, this is -- this does correspond to what he was.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I see the name of the Crisis Staff
22 commander on the B/C/S is not the same as the name on the English. Is
23 there any reason for this?
24 MR. LUKIC: Only in B/C/S it's usually to -- it's usual to put
25 last name first and first name last, so that's the difference, yes.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
2 MR. LUKIC: In our society, last name is more important, family
3 name, than your own name.
4 Q. [Interpretation] So, sir, we see that here, in cooperation with
5 the public security station, they are supposed to set up traffic
6 controls. Were you a TO member after this period, in other words after
7 the conflict broke out, when your platoon actually joined another
8 formation or became part of another formation, and when you ceased to
9 exist as an independent unit?
10 A. As soon as the Crisis Staff issued certain orders, such as this
11 one, or orders of another nature, all these self-organised platoons or
12 smaller units were integrated in the Territorial Defence of the Foca
14 Q. Thank you. Did you, too, receive orders from the Crisis Staff?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. LUKIC: We would tender this document into evidence.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D3525 receives number D575, Your
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Madam Registrar, the last numbers went up
22 to 575.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, I believe it was corrected because
24 we decided to reserve 12 instead of 13 numbers.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay, thank you so much.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. [Interpretation] Now I would like to see
3 briefly in e-court, 1D4510.
4 Q. This is just by way of illustration, this document, to show what
5 the powers of the Crisis Staff were, as we discussed earlier. Here we
6 can see that it was agreed by members of the Muslim village of Trosanj
7 and members of the civilian authorities of the Serbian Municipality of
8 Foca and as the third party, the military authorities.
9 In the signature block at the bottom of the page, we see - and we
10 will need the next page in English for this - we see that there are three
11 signatures that appear there. We have on the left-hand side, Muslim
12 representatives from the Trosanj village, on the right-hand side we have
13 civilian representatives, and in the middle at the bottom, the commander
14 of the Crisis Staff, which is obviously the third party that is mentioned
15 in the heading. Did you get orders from the Crisis Staff for taking
16 positions or for searching the terrain or for disarmament?
17 A. All the orders were issued to units at that time. All the Crisis
18 Staff orders were issued to units, either orally or in writing, and you
19 can see from this document that there were some negotiations. I remember
20 that there were some negotiations and that some kind of a document or of
21 a cease-fire was signed, namely the surrender of weapons by people, by
22 Muslims in the village of Trosanj who had weapons, and were protecting
23 their own population in the village of Trosanj.
24 MR. LUKIC: We would tend this document as well, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D4510 receives number D576, Your
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I have one or two questions on this
6 Mr. Milanovic, am I to understand that Muslims were not members
7 of the civilian authorities?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that particular point in time,
9 in Foca, they were not members of the civilian authorities.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: What ethnicity composed the civilian authorities?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Normally of Serb ethnicity because
12 we are talking about the 24th of April, the conflicts had ceased long ago
13 in the city. Only in the villages these people remained in their
14 estates, and they had weapons to protect and were protecting their
15 holdings and their families. So from the aspect of the civilian
16 authorities or the Crisis Staff, as still the military authority, they
17 embarked on negotiations for them to surrender their weapons and to
18 continue to live normally.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And they were going to live normally after
20 surrendering both legal and illegal weapons, whereas the Serbs were
21 keeping their weapons if they were members of the military?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I wouldn't put it that way.
23 The Serb, as you called them, military forces were on the front lines.
24 That was within the territory of Foca municipality, for which the
25 then-civilian authorities comprised of Serbs were competent. They were
1 in charge of it.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Milanovic, was there at a certain point a
5 division among the police in Foca? Was the police divided?
6 A. Yes. I have already talked about this time prior to the very
7 outbreak of the conflicts, and the time between the 6th and 8th of April,
8 there was a division into Muslim police. Actually, the Muslim police
9 left that public security station, and on the other hand there were the
10 Serb police who also at that time had left the police station, but at a
11 later time the Serbs returned to the police station.
12 Q. Did the Crisis Staff issue some proclamations at that time?
13 A. Throughout that period, from the establishment of the Crisis
14 Staff, proclamations were issued on a peaceful life in the city, namely
15 calling for a peaceful life to be continued and for no conflicts to be
16 provoked by either side. And all this lasted approximately up to the 8th
17 of April when a part of the city was -- with a predominantly Serb
18 population was shelled for the first time from the launching pad, from a
19 hill above the city.
20 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not catch the name of
21 the hill.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the name of the hill?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sukovac hill.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. What parts of the city, while we are on the subject, were shelled
1 from Sukovac?
2 A. They primarily shelled Cerezluk, the part of the city which
3 I referred to initially where I lived, and also a part of the city under
4 the Celovina hill, which also was predominantly inhabited by Serbs.
5 Q. At that time, at the time of the shelling, were there any Muslims
6 in your section of the city?
7 A. I said that immediately prior to the outbreak of the conflict
8 Muslims started leaving the city. In the Cerezluk part of the city, as
9 far as I know, there were no Muslim families in these elevated parts
10 which were shelled, which can be associated with the fact that they
11 actually knew that the Muslim forces would attack those sections. So if
12 there had been any inhabitants in those sections, they left.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could I seek clarification, you earlier
14 testified that the Crisis Staff was established in early April, if
15 I understood the question well. Now, when asked about the proclamations,
16 you said, "Throughout that period, from the establishment of the Crisis
17 Staff, proclamations were issued on a peaceful life," and you ended that
18 sentence by saying that all this lasted approximately up to the 8th of
19 April, and then you described the shelling.
20 Now, "throughout that period" could therefore have been certainly
21 not more than a couple of days. Because if the Crisis Staff is
22 established early April and proclamations were made until the 8th of
23 April, there is not much time left. Do you have an explanation for this?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, you see, throughout
25 this time, during the crisis situation, prior to the outbreak of the
1 conflicts, there were talks between the Crisis Staffs -- Staff comprised
2 of Serbs and the Muslims, which I would call also Crisis Staff, which was
3 comprised of reputable Muslims from Foca. And the objective was, the
4 subject of the talk was that there should be peace established throughout
5 the city, and it was for those reasons and in that connection that the
6 Crisis Staff -- Serb Crisis Staff issued these proclamations.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it's a real answer to my question is a
8 different matter but please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you specify, this is a confusing term perhaps also, when it
11 is translated all this time throughout this period, can you tell us,
12 specifically, how many, for how many days were such proclamations
13 issued - two days, three days, at most eight days? If you're talking
14 from the beginning of April to the 8th of April, can you tell me how many
15 days were in question?
16 JUDGE ORIE: What I want to say is whether it's a translation
17 issue throughout the period is another matter, but we are talking not
18 about a period of any length but just about a couple of days up to eight
19 days, and that is sufficient for me, unless you have any specific purpose
20 with this question.
21 MR. LUKIC: No, I don't. I just wanted to clarify it.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
24 Q. [Interpretation] At the time of the first conflicts, namely after
25 the 8th of April 1992, did the Muslims, i.e. their forces, hold sections
1 of the city of Foca proper?
2 A. Yes. I've already stated that Foca is a specific city. Apart
3 from the population that was mixed, as I already explained, there were
4 sections of the city predominantly inhabited by Muslims. This is the
5 section of the city which is called Donje Polje and they were holding
6 that section of town under their control up to the 12th of April.
7 Q. At that time, so during those four or five days from the 8th to
8 the 12th, were there any private prisons in Muslim territory where Serb
9 civilians were imprisoned?
10 A. To the best of my knowledge, they did detain -- they did imprison
11 Serb civilians in that area, in that period.
12 Q. After these four days --
13 JUDGE ORIE: They held prisoners in that period to the best of
14 the knowledge of the witness. That doesn't assist the Chamber. First of
15 all, the relevance, I don't know whether it's tu quoque or whether it's
16 anything else or it's just background, but then we would like to know how
17 many were detained so that we have facts rather than sweeping statements.
18 Sweeping statements do not help.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Milanovic, you heard I was warned by the
21 Chamber that these sweeping statements are of no assistance to the
22 Chamber so I shall ask you: Do you know personally in what places Serbs
23 were imprisoned? Do you know how many Serbs, who held them? Do you have
24 any concrete knowledge along those lines? And if not, we shall then go
1 A. If it would suffice for the Chamber, there was the penitentiary
2 Foca there in that section and that was their prison where they held
3 detainees. I don't know the exact number. And it did not last long
4 because full control of the city of -- of the city was assumed by Serb
5 territorials on the 12th of April.
6 Q. Well, okay. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: First, the penitentiary, was that -- could you tell
8 us where that was, what location?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please tell us.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The penitentiary is on the way to
12 the hospital, on the other side opposite the old bridge on the Drina.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, is that the place where later non-Serbs
14 were held in detention?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us, those Serbs that were detained
17 there for a number of -- limited number of days, were they captured
18 during those days or were they imprisoned there already before the
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some were already in prison, and
21 there were men and women and children whom they put in prison there on
22 the pretext of actually protecting them from the shells or from the
23 shooting that came from the Serb side.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What days -- when did this exactly happen?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the period from
1 approximately the 7th or 8th to the 12th of April.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us names, especially of women and
3 children, that were detained there?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I could not give you any
5 specific names.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know the -- do you know of any of them from
7 personal knowledge or is it what you heard or --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was -- this was told by Serbs
9 who were in Donje Polje.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Any name of any male Serbs detained there,
11 arrested and detained there, between the 7th and the 12th of April?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not give you any specific
13 names because in that period, I was on the front line, so we were holding
14 the lines towards the village of Zugovici and I was not in the city. But
15 I heard in later talks that the Serbs, women and children and men, were
16 detained there.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You have -- you have overconcentrated on the cursor that I warned
20 you about. You don't have to focus on it that intently. You don't have
21 to follow its movement that intently.
22 So after the four days of combat, what happened with Muslim
24 A. After these four days, Muslim combatants withdrew from the
25 sections of the city that they were holding towards Ustikolina.
1 Q. And what happened to the Muslim population in Foca?
2 A. The Muslim population which remained in Foca continued to live
3 normally as far as it was possible for both the Muslim and the Serb
4 population in conditions of war.
5 Q. Were any humanitarian relief campaigns, drives, organised,
6 assistance, to aid to the population?
7 A. Well, you see, after the outbreak of conflicts, and that is
8 probably the case in all wars and in all similar events, the first thing
9 that happens is for food stores -- food stores get looted, and in this
10 part of the city where I live, we organised a store house where we
11 actually brought all the food from the shops. And these were mainly
12 shops owned by state companies, and we distributed that food to all the
13 inhabitants in that particular section, including the Muslims who
14 remained in that part of town.
15 Q. Thank you. I believe that we --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could Defence counsel please switch his
17 microphone on.
18 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry. [Interpretation] Thank you. That
19 concludes our working day and I believe that we shall have to continue in
20 the morning tomorrow.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Milanovic, we will adjourn for the day and we
23 will continue tomorrow. We would like to see you back at 9.30 in the
24 morning, but I first want to instruct you that you should not speak or
25 communicate in whatever way with whomever it may be about your testimony,
1 whether that's testimony you've given today or testimony still to be
2 given tomorrow.
3 If that is clear to you, you may follow the usher.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is clear, Your Honour.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow,
7 Wednesday, the 16th of July, 9.30, in this same Courtroom I.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of
10 July, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.