1 Wednesday, 23 July 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 The Chamber understands that the Prosecution would like to raise
12 two matters. Now, they have been put on paper already. Perhaps you
13 could cut it short, Mr. Weber.
14 The first one is that in relation to P02521, where pages 6 and 7
15 of the English version were missing, that the Prosecution has now
16 uploaded the complete English version under 65 ter number 30350(a) and
17 that the B/C/S translation is correct as originally uploaded and has been
18 attached to the number I just -- the document -- the number of it I just
19 referred to, and that you had requested the Court Officer be instructed
20 to replace the existing incomplete version with the complete one uploaded
21 under that number.
22 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour, exactly what I was going to say.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, you are instructed to replace the
24 existing incomplete version of P2521 by 65 ter number 30350(a).
25 The other matter was a missing page 22 in relation to Exhibit
1 P03228. We do understand that the Prosecution has meanwhile uploaded the
2 complete English translation for this document under doc ID 0017-4125-1,
3 and the Chamber understands that you would wish that the new complete
4 English translation replaces the old one.
5 MR. WEBER: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, you're hereby instructed to replace
7 the existing incomplete English translation as uploaded for P03228 by a
8 new complete translation which is doc ID 0017-4125-1.
9 Could the usher escort the witness into the courtroom.
10 Mr. Lukic, how much time you would need?
11 MR. LUKIC: Not more than I asked for so I'll finish probably in
12 the next 20 minutes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Lukic, you say not more than you asked
14 for. I do understand that you've used 34 minutes and you asked for 30
16 MR. LUKIC: I think I asked for an hour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Our information is that you asked for 30 minutes.
18 MR. LUKIC: We sent an e-mail to the Prosecution and to the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then I may have missed that. We'll have a look at
21 it and please meanwhile proceed.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 WITNESS: MILAN PEJIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pejic, good morning. Mr. Pejic, before we
1 continue I would like to remind you that you're still bound by the solemn
2 declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony. Mr. Lukic
3 will now continue his examination-in-chief.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
7 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
8 Q. Good morning, doctor.
9 A. Good morning.
10 MR. LUKIC: Actually before I continue I would just like to
11 tender 1D3086 to be MFIed since it does not have English translation.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile, Mr. Lukic, I can confirm that you did
13 announce -- you didn't ask for more time but you said you would use more
14 time. Okay, that's in your -- but you have informed us. Please proceed.
15 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Madam Registrar, the number would be?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D3086 receives number D592, Your
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan?
20 MS. HASAN: Just in relation to that document -- good morning,
21 sorry, Your Honours. Good morning to everyone. At this point we do
22 object to the admission of the document. I know counsel has just offered
23 it in to MFI it until translation comes in. I do have some follow-up
24 questions to the witness about the document, but it would be helpful at
25 this point to know how the details that are provided in this list are
1 probative. I'm still at a loss for how it's relevant to the allegations
2 in the indictment.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have a brief response to that, Mr. Lukic?
4 MR. LUKIC: I think Your Honour asked me yesterday. We think it
5 directly goes towards mens rea of my client, since we heard from this
6 witness that Mr. Mladic was privy with the patients of other
7 nationalities treated in the -- this gentleman's hospital, that there was
8 no any objection or order or instruction that Croats and Muslims were
9 treated at that hospital.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's not restart that. Certainly the Chamber
11 will not engage in debate on that. Apparently, your position is that you
12 cannot have mens rea one day and not -- you can have mens rea one day and
13 not the other day. Well, that's a legal issue. Let's rather put a few
14 questions and then let's later consider in more detail the relevance of
15 the submissions and of the document.
16 Madam Registrar, the document should be MFIed pending
17 translation. Please proceed.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. Actually, I asked all the questions I had
19 regarding this document, so if my learned friend wants to continue,
20 I think the doctor is willing and able.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that will be done in cross-examination.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. We just shortly need D589 on our screens.
24 It's the statement of this gentleman. And we need page 5, paragraph 19.
25 JUDGE ORIE: The usher will give a hard copy of the statement to
1 the witness, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Doctor, in this paragraph you spoke about the
4 shelling of the improvised bus station in October 1992, before the
5 municipality of Ilidza, and you said that were you an eyewitness of this
6 event. Could you please tell us, briefly, what it was that you saw?
7 A. Yes. I was an eyewitness. Briefly, I was in the municipality
8 building of Ilidza. I was seeking assistance to have the hospital
9 removed to another building. When I was waiting to be received by
10 someone there, a few shells fell in the immediate vicinity of the
11 municipality. One of them fell about five metres away from the place
12 where citizens were waiting for a bus, and somebody from that big group
13 said, "There's the doctor in the municipality. Call him." And I went
14 out --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could I stop you there? Mr. Lukic, to ask the
16 witness what he saw, if there are 15 lines in his statement, what he saw
17 is really asking for repetition. Please focus questions.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What did you notice in terms of the sequence of the falling of
20 the shell?
21 A. I really don't understand what you're asking.
22 Q. Did you see how the shells were falling, one after the other, all
23 at once?
24 A. I did not see that but I heard them falling one after the other
25 in very short intervals. And when the last shell fell and hit the
1 target, then there was no more shelling.
2 Q. Thank you. Now let us --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us, intervals, are we talking about
4 seconds or are we talking about minutes?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, given this distance, it's
6 very hard for me to say. Certainly it wasn't a long interval, say 10 to
7 15 seconds, up to one minute.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. I'll kindly ask to have 1D2828 on our
11 Q. [Interpretation] Doctor, as for this document, we also did not
12 manage to obtain a translation because we got it from you only recently.
13 Could you please just read out to us what it says on the top of the page?
14 A. The document has to do with the "shelling of a bus stop at the
15 municipality of Ilidza on the 26th of October 1992. Civilian target.
16 (At the intersection of the roads for Blazuj and Hrasnica. In front of
17 the building of the municipality.)"
18 Q. Do you recognise the signature at the bottom of the document?
19 A. It is my signature and it is my facsimile.
20 Q. Did you treat these people?
21 A. I treated those who were alive, and even those who unfortunately
22 we did not manage to save. Most of the people who are on this list are
23 people I knew personally.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. LUKIC: I tender that into the evidence as well.
1 MS. HASAN: I'd have exactly the same objection.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Madam Registrar?
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D2828 receives number D593, Your
6 JUDGE ORIE: D593 is marked for identification.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. And yesterday we were ordered to play
9 that video with this witness just for identification, so I would kindly
10 ask my colleague Mr. Ivetic to play for us D523 MFI.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Doctor, now a video is going to be shown for you
12 and you should tell us briefly what it is that you see in this video and
13 whether you recognise the site and the protagonists.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Today the medical personnel of the
16 Blazuj hospital found two tanks with interesting contents among the
17 oxygen tanks received as humanitarian aid. The oxygen tanks were opened
18 in the presence of UNPROFOR representatives. Gunpowder was found in one
19 of them while the other one was filled with mortar fuses. We are asking
20 Dr. Pejic, how do these tanks end up in the hospital.
21 Dr. Pejic: This is how they arrived. The police at the border
22 crossing at Kobiljaca established that there were some oxygen tanks being
23 transported to the Kosevo hospital or somewhere else, and, well, pursuant
24 to some procedure they took out ten tanks to be delivered to this area
25 here. Out of those ten, this hospital got five tanks. To our
1 astonishment, well, we found out that two of the five tanks did not
2 contain oxygen, that they were much heavier than the others. At first we
3 thought it was water or something frozen, bearing in mind the cold
4 weather. But even after it got warmer the tanks were as heavy as they
5 had been before and then we decided to call the people who knew how to
6 deal with that. They opened the tanks and found out that they contained
8 Voice of the female reporter: We do not know how many shipments
9 like this one have arrived in the hands of Muslim fighters through
10 UNPROFOR under the motto humanity without borders, but we do not know how
11 many missiles have been made from their contents, do we? But considering
12 the fact that in the recent months all the Serbian positions around
13 Sarajevo, especially those at Hadzici and Ilidza, have been he shelled
14 with handmade missiles every day and that they are responsible for the
15 deaths of many innocent civilians, especially children, we can say with
16 certainty that a lot of such shipments have arrived.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's only now that the translation was completed.
18 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, I wasn't on the English channel.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know what this is all about. I
22 can recognise, first of all, myself in this video footage and also some
23 people who are wearing uniforms. These are oxygen tanks that we got from
24 the UNHCR transport. This happened towards the end of 1992 and these two
25 were opened in 1993, the beginning of 1993.
1 MR. LUKIC: We would like now this document to be admitted.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, any objection to it now being admitted?
3 MS. HASAN: No objection.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number was? Let me just have a
5 look. D523, which was MFIed, is hereby admitted into evidence.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Doctor, what was the position? Did you talk to
8 UNPROFOR representatives? Did they accept this involvement? Did they
9 believe that they were involved or not?
10 A. I did not talk to them personally but I heard a conversation that
11 the representatives of the police and the military had with them. If
12 I understood it correctly, and as far as I can remember, representatives
13 of UNPROFOR - I think it was the 5th Battalion of the French Legion -
14 their statement was that they do not believe what we had presented. As a
15 matter of fact, as far as I can remember, from the translation, they said
16 that we had staged all of this.
17 Q. And do you know whether the Serb side had staged this, rigged it?
18 How were these tanks opened? How were attempts to that effect made, just
19 very briefly?
20 A. As far as I know, the answer is absolutely not. The tanks were
21 in the basement of the hospital. We tried to open them as usual in order
22 to get oxygen through the valve. Nothing happened. We called the man
23 who worked with oxygen and he opened this the way you're supposed to open
24 it, and he informed us at the hospital what this was all about. All of
25 this was done within the hospital and within the hospital compound.
1 Q. Thank you, doctor. These were all the questions that we had at
2 this moment for you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
4 Ms. Hasan, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
5 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pejic, you'll now be cross-examined by
7 Ms. Hasan. You'll find her to your right. Ms. Hasan is counsel for the
9 Cross-examination by Ms. Hasan:
10 Q. Good morning, doctor.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Doctor, during the wartime period, you were the director of the
13 Blazuj hospital; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you just remind us of what your specialty is?
16 A. I am a specialist for ear, throat and nose, and also for neck
18 Q. And did you treat patients at this hospital for -- for other
19 conditions that they had, outside of your specialisation?
20 A. Of course. From 1992 to 1996, we all behaved like war surgeons,
21 that is to say there are no restrictions there, unless there is another
22 doctor present there who was more competent to treat a disease. So we
23 treated everyone, and I personally treated many conditions that would not
24 fall within my own specialty, among other things serious injuries of the
25 blood system, of the entire body, surgery of the eye, brain, amputations
1 and so on and so forth, not to go into all of that.
2 Q. And you've testified yesterday about your treatment of patients
3 from various ethnicities. I'd just like to ask you about one particular
4 patient. Do you recall someone by the name of Ramiz Mujkic?
5 A. I know the name of Ramiz Mujkic very well and I know him
6 personally. After the war we met again. I am very pleased to say that
7 the hospital that he was brought to saved his life, which shows that we
8 did not treat people any differently on the basis of ethnicity. Rather,
9 that we treated everyone the same way. I testified about Ramiz Mujkic in
10 the proceedings against Mr. Karadzic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The only question that was put to you, whether you
12 knew the name, and wait for the next question by Ms. Hasan.
13 Ms. Hasan.
14 MS. HASAN:
15 Q. And doctor, he was brought to the Blazuj hospital in August 1992;
16 is that correct?
17 A. That's correct, yes.
18 Q. And if I can just pull up 65 ter 03758, and doctor, I believe
19 you've seen -- you've seen this document before. And what it is is, as
20 it comes up there, it's a certificate from the Blazuj hospital -- I don't
21 have anything on the screen. Witness, do you recognise this document?
22 A. No, I don't recognise this document, but I can see the contents
23 and I can see that it was signed by the duty doctor. I don't know which
24 doctor it was, because there is no stamp with a name, and there is no
25 name typed up and this is not my signature.
1 Q. Okay. And doctor, you do remember it says here that it's a
2 certification that Mr. Ramiz Mujkic was, on the orders of the Rajlovac
3 Brigade military police and security officer Vlasto Apostolski, they took
4 responsibility for the prisoner and escorted him to the Svrake military
5 prison. You recall Ramiz Mujkic being brought and taken away by military
7 A. First of all, I don't remember that because I was not in the
8 hospital when he was taken away. I was in the hospital when he was
9 brought in. Now, I really can't remember who brought him in. I suppose
10 it was the military police.
11 Q. Okay, doctor. And one of the injuries that Mr. Mujkic presented
12 with was an injury to his leg; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you recall, doctor, that his treating physician, I believe
15 it was Dr. Popovic, had recommended that his leg be amputated, and you,
16 as the chief, said instead that his leg should be saved and a fixator
17 should be installed? Do you recall that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, we have information from Mr. Ramiz Mujkic, a statement from
20 him that he was in the field, he had heard a burst of gunfire after which
21 he was hit in the right thigh. He fired some rounds himself in the
22 direction from where he was hit, and then after running out of
23 ammunition, he decided to surrender and said, "Don't shoot. I'm Ramiz
24 Mujkic." After which he was arrested and he was taken to the Rajlovac
25 army barracks. While at the barracks, he was repeatedly beaten and he
1 was beaten on the injury where he had been shot. So when he presented to
2 the hospital, he was in bad shape; is that fair to say?
3 A. You could say that from the point of view of hygiene he was in a
4 bad state. The wound to his right leg, if I recall correctly, was also
5 in a very bad state, and that leg was broken in the thigh area. The
6 thigh bone was broken.
7 Q. Okay. If we could just turn the page in this document and we'll
8 see the letter of discharge. You see here that he was admitted on the
9 8th of August 1992 and then subsequently -- I believe we have the date of
10 discharge on the 22nd of August 1992. Now, doctor, under the heading,
11 "Diagnosis," we see that it reads, "Vulnera explosiva fermoris
12 L-dex-fractura femoris L-dex," so he presented with, as I understand it,
13 lacerated tissue, a lacerated wound, and a fracture to his right femur;
14 is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you say, doctor --
17 A. Of the right femur and he had an explosive wound in the right
18 thigh area.
19 Q. Okay. Now, in terms of -- in terms of this injury that he
20 presented with, would you say that his diagnosis was consistent with him
21 having been shot in his right femur and then beaten on the injury?
22 A. I think you misunderstand me or perhaps I did not understand you.
23 Could you please repeat your question?
24 Q. My question is: The diagnosis recorded here on this document, is
25 that consistent with what he says happened to him, that is that he was
1 shot on his leg and then he was beaten on that injury?
2 A. The statement that he gave to the Court, well, I did not see it.
3 We had a lot of wounded people come in, and we did not go into details
4 how the wounds were sustained. Based on the features of the wound, we
5 were, for the most part, able to say whether it was a wound caused by an
6 ordinary bullet, a fragmenting bullet, a wound injured by shell shrapnel,
7 or a wound that was self-inflicted. In this case, it was a wound which
8 was not inflicted immediately prior to his arrival to hospital. It was
9 inflicted earlier. And this is the explanation for the status of this
10 wounded person.
11 The wound had been untreated, it was infected, and the wounded
12 person himself was, in terms of hygiene, in a very bad state.
13 Dr. Popovic, the --
14 JUDGE ORIE: I'm going to stop you there. You are expanding on
15 all kinds of causes apart from the one that was asked. The question was,
16 the diagnosis as recorded here, whether that would be consistent with
17 what that person had told, that is that he was shot in his leg and then
18 beaten up on that injury, so not self-inflicted but beaten by whomever on
19 that injury. Is what you read as the diagnosis consistent with that
20 story, or does one contradict the other?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this letter of discharge, there
22 is no information about any injuries caused by beatings or blows. The
23 diagnosis "vulnera explosiva" means that the wound was caused by an
24 explosive device. Now, as to the kind of explosive device that caused
25 the injury, I cannot help you here.
1 MS. HASAN:
2 Q. Sir, I do want to follow up on the answer you previously gave
3 which was you were talking about the specific situation of this -- of
4 this individual, and I appreciate that now you have just given an answer
5 generally. But with this specific Ramiz Mujkic, and you have pointed out
6 that there was some time that elapsed from when he sustained his injury
7 to when he came to the hospital, and you've mentioned the injury was
8 infected and so on, so I'd like you to consider the specific
9 circumstances of Ramiz. And if I'm telling you to accept or I'm telling
10 you that he is saying that he was shot and then hit on that injury in
11 addition to it being infected and so on, would that be consistent with a
12 finding under the diagnosis that this was vulnera explosiva femoris,
13 et cetera, et cetera?
14 A. I have to provide an explanation for my answer. You are asking
15 me to give you a "yes" or "no" answer. How can I know?
16 Q. Sir -- please continue. You can explain.
17 A. How can you make a claim that he surrendered the very moment that
18 he was injured? And how am I to know when he sustained his injury? And
19 whether, indeed, he provided correct information. I'm just telling you
20 the status, his status at the time when he was brought to the hospital
21 and the condition of his wound because, I'm sorry, the doctor, the
22 orthopaedic surgeon, who is more senior than I am, he is very
23 experienced. He worked in the clinical centre, and he wanted to
24 immediately amputate his leg above the wound, and I ordered that
25 everything be done to save his leg, and his leg indeed was saved.
1 Now, I really am not aware of any other information. You should
2 ask those who had brought him in and those who held him there, who kept
3 him under guard while he was there. Mr. Mujkic may have been wounded and
4 may have stayed on his own before surrendering for a while and then
5 surrendered only at the later stage. He may have been beaten. I don't
6 know. I can't tell you. And I can neither confirm nor deny. I cannot
7 give you a "yes" or "no" answer to your question. I am simply telling
8 you, I'm testifying as to the condition he was in when he was brought in.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask a question?
10 Doctor, you say you saw the patient when he arrived at hospital.
11 Now, the condition in which you found him, would you say his injury was
12 consistent with his leg being shot at and then being beaten on the
13 injury? I'm not asking you about this report. I'm asking you about what
14 you observed on him when he arrived.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've already answered this
16 question. Neither I nor the doctor who treated him saw the -- any wounds
17 inflicted by blows or beating. The wound was infected and it takes a
18 while for the wound to get infected from the moment the wound is
19 inflicted until the moment this person is brought to the hospital with
20 this infection.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question really is did the wound look like it
22 was just caused by the shooting or did it show that this was further
23 tampering with it after the shooting? That you should be able to notice
24 if you look at the witness. And therefore you're able to give a
25 professional opinion as to what the injury is consistent with.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this was an explosive
2 wound. In other words, it was not a gunshot wound. And this wound was
3 infected. That's all I can tell you as to this man. And we really were
4 not able to ascertain, and we did not enter any such information into
5 this letter of discharge, whether there were any other injuries. We did
6 not ascertain any other injuries.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, doctor.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I have one very short question. Would you agree
9 with me that in this letter of discharge, where findings and opinion are
10 described, that nothing is said about the wound not being fresh and being
11 badly infected?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would agree with you that it does
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
16 MS. HASAN:
17 Q. Doctor, we see on this document that you've -- your name on the
18 right, the right-hand side; is that correct? You signed off on this?
19 A. No. I did not sign this. My name is indeed here. It's printed.
20 You have seen my signature on other documents. On that day, obviously
21 I was not in the hospital.
22 Q. Okay, doctor. I'm just going to move on to the -- the 1993 list
23 we were looking at yesterday. And this is a -- this is a list you said,
24 doctor, that -- it's D590 -- sorry, D590 is not the one. It's 65 ter
25 1D03086, D592 MFI. And according to your testimony, there are at least
1 in part some members recorded here who were members of the HVO. Are you
2 aware of any conflicts between the HVO and the ABiH that took place in
4 A. Yes, yes. My answer is yes.
5 Q. Do you recall roughly when that was?
6 A. I think it was June 1993, or perhaps early July 1993.
7 Q. Now, you told us yesterday that this document was created by a
8 specialist service in the hospital and you said it was created in 1994
9 and that you signed it and that it was sent to the ministry, the RS
10 Ministry of Health. What's the specialist service in the hospital?
11 A. The specialist service does not produce these documents. It's
12 the administration that does it, assisted by the doctors, those who are
13 available. Probably more than one doctor provided the diagnosis in
14 Latin. I'm sorry, yes. The diagnoses are all copied from the protocol
16 Q. Can you tell us what the purpose of this list was?
17 A. This list was made at the request of the Ministry of Health of
18 Republika Srpska, because they kept records of all the civilian
19 casualties and, indeed, all the other casualties of war. There was a
20 special department, an institution, in fact, that processed statistical
21 data about all the persons injured and who were sick during the war, and
22 they had separate records for soldiers and for civilians. This
23 institution was called -- I think it was the Institute of Public Health,
24 if I'm not mistaken, and it was part of the ministry.
25 Q. Can you explain why, on this list, the protocol numbers start -
1 and we can turn to this, if need be - it starts at protocol number 32 and
2 jumps to protocol number 68 and then protocol number 85? So can you
3 explain that?
4 A. Yes, I can. The first protocol every year is protocol number 1,
5 but those protocols do not list soldiers, military personnel, members of
6 the Republika Srpska army, and also you don't list those who only came in
7 to have their dressings changed and those who were ill. So we did not
8 have separate protocols for the wounded. We had hospital protocols, and
9 you entered all those who came to seek medical assistance by number. And
10 that is why the numbers are not consequential because other people, sick
11 people, wounded people, are entered under the missing numbers.
12 Q. Now, sir, we've taken a look at this document, and we've asked
13 some people questions who are familiar with the wartime period, and we
14 don't ordinarily see documents that look like this and what I mean by
15 that, documents that are printed in this way, have a table like this, and
16 have the type of font that's on this document. Can you tell us, you
17 know, what equipment you had and what processing programmes were used to
18 create this particular document?
19 A. I really can't. I don't want to make a mistake. I don't know
20 which people who are in a position to look at those lists. I would like
21 to know who they were. And there are people who do programmes. I don't
22 know whether this was done in Excel or in Word, I'm not sure.
23 Q. And the hospital retains the digital version of this original
25 A. Well, this hospital closed down in 1996. It no longer exists,
1 Madam. So there are protocols, and there is something that I had saved
2 on the floppy disk, and I loaded it in the computer in the hospital where
3 I worked up until a month ago, and this computer is in my possession.
4 This was my personal computer. And the protocols that can be verified
5 are available, as I have already told you, in the eastern new Sarajevo
6 municipality, in the headquarters of an NGO, the Association of the
7 Inhabitants of Ilidza and Friends of Ilidza, in the 1st Sarajevo Brigade
9 Q. Now, do you know if any of the Muslims that were treated at your
10 hospital and that you claim are on this list were brought to or taken
11 from VRS-run labour camps?
12 A. That it was a run by the VRS?
13 Q. Well, that they came from or were taken to labour camps. Let's
14 just leave it at that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The witness asked whether you are talking about
16 labour camps run by the VRS or apparently he would like to know --
17 MS. HASAN: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have knowledge of any other labour camps?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, your question is very
20 general. I don't know what area you're talking about. I know about the
21 camp in Tarcin, in Silos, I know about the camps in Sarajevo, and --
22 well, probably there were camps on the Serb side, but I really --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan has explained that she indeed referred to
24 camps on the Serb side, run by the VRS.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, the Republika
1 Srpska army did not run any camps. If there were any camps - I don't
2 know what else to call them; I should call them prisons - they were run
3 by another institution. I don't want to be wrong. You probably know
4 more about that than I do. I don't know whether they were run by the
5 police or by the civilian authorities.
6 MS. HASAN:
7 Q. Okay, doctor --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just. You say there were no -- oh, yes, the
9 army did not run any camps. You said there must have been others. But
10 are you familiar with any of those camps run by Serb authorities?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was not in any of
12 those camps, but I do know that some people were wounded as members or
13 rather people who were under the compulsory work service. Now, where
14 they were taken to do their work, what happened to them, how they were
15 brought back, I really don't want to go into that because I don't know
16 about that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know about camps run by Serb authorities?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we mentioned the camp where
19 Mr. Mujkic was. It was mentioned in the document pertaining to him but I
20 don't know about that. I'm sure that the prisoners, the captives, were
21 held somewhere. Now, whether it was in the Kula prison or somewhere
22 else, I really can't tell you. We heard when we talked about Mr. Mujkic,
23 we heard that he said that he was in the Gravaca concentration camp.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Was he taken over by a VRS officer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean Mr. Mujkic? Well, I was
1 not there.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That's what the document says, what you just looked
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the document states the name
5 of the person who took him over, and he signed this document because
6 that's what we requested, yeah.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Only the name?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't recall the person's name
9 but it's on the document.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
11 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I see that it's time for the break.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It's time for the break.
13 Mr. Pejic, we would take a break of 20 minutes and we would like
14 to see you back after the break. You may follow the usher.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
21 MS. HASAN:
22 Q. Okay, doctor, I'm just going to go back to one of the topics we
23 discussed, after having reviewed your evidence on that, so I'm going to
24 just ask you a couple more questions about this -- the patient Ramiz
1 So if there is a situation where a patient presents themselves
2 some days after the injury -- an injury was inflicted to them, their
3 injury is swollen and infected, they arrive at your hospital, okay, are
4 you able to tell -- I mean, you can't tell what the cause of that injury
5 was, that presents itself to you in that shape; is that correct?
6 A. We are not forensic experts. We rely on what the patient tells
7 us, and also what the wound looks like. So every wound has its own
8 characteristics. As for this gentleman, this was an explosive wound. It
9 was dirty, infected. Also, the bone was fractured. Therefore, I cannot
10 give you more information because I don't have any more information.
11 Q. And sir, when you say, okay, this was an explosive wound, are you
12 describing the state of the wound, meaning the tissue as being lacerated,
13 or are you talking about that this wound is -- you're making a
14 determination as to an explosion occurring outside the body when you're
15 using that Latin phrase?
16 A. An explosive wound is an open wound. It doesn't have a point of
17 entry and a point of exit. Whereas a wound that is inflicted by a rifle
18 bullet has its point of entry and point of exit. This was an open wound,
19 quite simply as if you had cut the skin and the muscle. And not to
20 provide an inadequate explanation. This is a wound that doesn't have a
21 point of entry and a point of exit, from a projectile or air blast. So
22 it's a projectile. It can be shrapnel or it can be a bullet.
23 I don't know if I'm being clear enough. So every wound that hits
24 a person, a gunshot wound, say, hits a person in a chest -- in his chest,
25 there is no -- there can be a point of entry and a point of exit, whereas
1 here it was the -- it was just hit in a single place and then it was
2 infected. It was with dirty. The bone was fractured. We don't know how
3 or when. Otherwise, all war wounds are not primarily sewn up. They are
4 left open in order to control the infection and then ultimately they are
5 stitched so that the wound can heal completely. As for gunshot wounds,
6 they have their own canal that has to be left open. It has to be cleaned
8 Q. Okay. So, witness, if I understand you correctly, it's fair to
9 say that, at least in these circumstances that we have been talking
10 about, where there is an infected wound and so on, it's an open wound,
11 the Latin phrase vulnera explosiva is a description of the injury that
12 you see as -- on the patient?
13 A. Absolutely. So the way the wound looks.
14 MS. HASAN: I'd offer 65 ter 03758 into evidence.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03758 receives number P6689, Your
18 JUDGE ORIE: P6689 is admitted.
19 MS. HASAN:
20 Q. Doctor, I'm going to move on to briefly the incident involving
21 the oxygen tanks, the one we just viewed on the video and that you've
22 given evidence about in your statement.
23 Now, in your statement at paragraph 24, you provide that the Serb
24 side managed to arrange with UNHCR officials that a few of the needed
25 oxygen tanks be taken out of the batch that was travelling to Sarajevo,
1 and we can put up -- we can see that in your statement at paragraph 24.
2 You see that in the second-to-last -- 24, near the end, "Since our
3 hospital needed oxygen representatives of the Serb side managed to
4 arrange with the UNHCR officials that a few of the much-needed oxygen
5 tanks be taken out of the batch that would travel to Sarajevo."
6 Who are you referring to when you say "the Serb side,"
7 representatives of the Serb side?
8 A. On the Serb side, there was an office that dealt with
9 UNHCR-related matters. It was in Rajlovac. The aid that arrived in
10 Sarajevo, according to some agreement from the Serb side, that is to say
11 all levels of government and those who were in charge of communicating
12 with the UNHCR, bearing in mind the fact that we as a hospital needed
13 oxygen, and certain contingents were sent to Sarajevo, what was agreed
14 upon was a certain principle of allocation. I've already explained that.
15 According to this principle, we were entitled to five tanks. Who
16 agreed on this? Who signed this? On what conditions? I don't know.
17 I've never seen that document but I know that it was based on some
18 agreement. Because it's not only -- I mean this time it was gunpowder,
19 but I know that during the war that crude oil was also brought in that
20 way and then also food, humanitarian aid. There was also allocation of
21 that. So that would be my answer.
22 Q. Okay. Now, were you involved in that agreement that you're
23 referring to?
24 A. No, no.
25 Q. Let's turn to 65 ter 1D00231.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Pejic, may I ask you one question? You just
2 talked about not only gunpowder, but also crude oil that was brought in
3 that way. Did you see that with your own eyes?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see oil that way but that
5 is how I received it in the hospital, because we had a laundry in the
6 hospital, we had generators, and we got certain amounts of oil on that
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
9 MS. HASAN:
10 Q. So, doctor, what you're saying is that you did receive some oil,
11 for example, and other supplies, from UNHCR?
12 A. It was the office that received that, that was on the Serb side,
13 and then they delivered this oil, this fuel, to us. Probably to the
14 hospital in Kasindol as well, and other institutions.
15 Q. So the document that appears is not the one I want. If we could
16 have 1D02031.
17 What you see here, doctor, is the RS MUP report on the incident
18 you talk about, and it's dated 2nd of February 1993. We can turn to page
19 2, please.
20 Now, in this report, the Serbian public security station reports
21 that you informed them of these two cylinders which were taken over from
22 the UNHCR, that they did not contain gas. This is what you told them.
23 And then continuing about halfway down the page, you see it says:
24 "Following checks it was established that on 20 November 1992,
25 the UNHCR representatives picked up 100 cylinders which were supposed to
1 contain laughing gas from the Kovena enterprise in Visoko for the needs
2 of the Kosevo hospital."
3 And then just one paragraph below that:
4 "While inspecting UNHCR vehicles at the Mostar intersection,
5 officials of the Blazuj police station decided to take five cylinders and
6 give them to the Blazuj military hospital."
7 Okay? So, sir, according to the MUP, which has produced this
8 report, there is no mention of any agreement about this, that, in fact,
9 the police at that check-point decided to take the five cylinders from --
10 from the UNHCR convoy that was passing through. Now, that's not
11 consistent to what -- with what you've told us today, that this arrived
12 at your hospital pursuant to some agreement. Correct?
13 A. Well, you're right on one point. I do know that this was an
14 agreement. This was written by the commander of the police station, and
15 I, as director, was informed that we would receive oxygen tanks because
16 we needed oxygen to save people's lives, the lives of patients, the
17 wounded, children. There was a children's department, too, in the
18 hospital where children were being treated from their date of birth until
19 the point when they were no longer children.
20 I don't have a document in writing. I never received it. I just
21 heard this from people who worked at this office in Rajlovac. Madam,
22 different agreements were reached there. Different agreements. We were
23 just the ones to whom this was delivered. And I know that it was the
24 UNHCR that transported that. It wasn't Milan Pejic or Marko Markovic; it
25 was UNHCR trucks that went to Sarajevo every morning with different
1 cargo - sand, tanks. They were covered and some of the cargo could not
2 be seen, and this time we got these oxygen tanks. Why would Visoko fill
3 them with oxygen? They manufacture completely different things and --
4 may I just finish my sentence?
5 Q. You can finish your sentence if it's short.
6 A. All detonators were wrapped in Kovina Visoko paper.
7 Q. These agreements you heard about, you weren't involved in any of
9 A. No.
10 MS. HASAN: I'd offer this document into evidence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D2031 receives number P6690, Your
14 JUDGE ORIE: P6690 is admitted.
15 MS. HASAN:
16 Q. Now, doctor, you were never mobilised into the army, were you?
17 A. You saw what I looked like when I was examining these oxygen
18 tanks. I was wearing civilian clothing. I was supposed to be at the
19 military hospital Zica in Blazuj and that was my assignment given to me
20 by the municipal organ for National Defence. It wasn't mobilisation in
21 the actual sense of the word but it did mean that I should be involved in
22 the organisation of one segment of Defence.
23 Q. But you were not a soldier?
24 A. Well, it's very hard to say who was a soldier in war and who was
25 not. I was assigned there. I had my work obligation at the Zica
1 hospital in Blazuj. Later on, from the army, I received an assignment to
2 be chief of the medical unit in a brigade because another doctor was
3 supposed to be at the Zica hospital instead of me.
4 According to this document, which is called VOB 8, according to
5 which one part of the military -- of the hospital of Zica was mobilised
6 from a military point of view and the other part of the hospital, Ivan
7 Brigade, and I actually never did that because this work was being
8 carried out by another person.
9 Q. Okay. You don't have any personal knowledge yourself about any
10 orders or directions relating to attacks against Bosnian-controlled
11 territory in Sarajevo, do you? I'm asking for your personal knowledge.
12 A. I don't have any personal knowledge. As a matter of fact,
13 I didn't have any knowledge about attacks against our side, that is to
14 say we were always caught by surprise. Many wounded persons were brought
16 Q. Okay. Now, do you have any personal knowledge, again, about the
17 sniping and shelling of civilians in Sarajevo and the injuries that those
18 people sustained as a result of that during the conflict?
19 A. Knowledge about sniping and shelling, about the sniping and
20 shelling of Sarajevo? I don't have any personal knowledge about that,
21 but I know about the sniping and shelling carried out against Serb
22 civilians in the Serb areas.
23 Q. Okay. Doctor, are you aware, then, and I'm now not talking about
24 your personal knowledge, are you aware that there were -- there was
25 shelling and sniping of civilians in Sarajevo?
1 A. I could see that on TV.
2 Q. And you knew that was happening in Bosnian-held areas?
3 A. I said that I saw that on television, that is to say, I did not
4 see it personally. I was not present there. And I cannot confirm that
5 that happened and that it came from the Serb side. Also, I cannot deny
7 Q. Now, you were asked yesterday about General Mladic, and you gave
8 evidence that he visited the Blazuj hospital several times. Can you tell
9 us when he visited your hospital?
10 A. Well, I really did not keep records. It was a few times, three
11 or four times, I believe. It was in 1993, and later. I know that it --
12 one of those occasions happened at the height of the Muslim-Croat
13 conflict, when we had the largest number of Croatian injured in our
15 Q. Okay. So you said "and later." You said he visited the hospital
16 several times in 1993 and later. Did he visit the hospital in 1994?
17 A. I really don't know. You're asking me about something of which
18 I did not keep any records. I know that he visited the hospital three,
19 maybe four times. I'm sure that he visited the hospital three times. He
20 did not come to see the director and the hospital. He came to see the
21 injured people, the sick people. He said hello to them. He shook hands
22 with them. He wished them speedy recovery, his best wishes. This is all
23 I know about his visits to the Blazuj hospital. He did not stay there
24 long. These were just short visits.
25 Q. That's fine. I just want to know because you said that he
1 visited the hospital after 1993 so I want to know did he visit the
2 hospital in 1994, did he visit the hospital in 1995? Was it one time?
3 Was it several times? Just give me the best of your recollection.
4 A. Well, I've already told you. It was in 1993, when we had the
5 largest number of Croatian patients, soldiers or civilians, mostly
6 civilians who lived in the HVO-controlled area, and this is all I can
7 remember. I remember that he made a statement to the Republika Srpska TV
8 in my office, and after that we just toured the hospital. We visited the
9 wounded. I don't know about other visits. He may have visited the
10 hospital when I was not there, but I really did not keep record of that.
11 And it would be too much to ask from me to give you dates and how many
12 times and what happened after 20 years. I really don't know. But I do
13 know that he visited the hospital two, three or maybe more than three
14 times but I don't know the details.
15 Q. Now, when he visited the hospital and you received him there, how
16 did he arrive?
17 A. By car, in a Kampanjola car. It's an all-terrain vehicle, a
18 jeep. I really don't know. I saw him in the hospital itself, once he
19 entered. I did not welcome him in front of the building.
20 MS. HASAN: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Hasan.
22 Any further questions, Mr. Lukic?
23 MR. LUKIC: I might have a few, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] You were asked today about the wounding of
2 Mr. Ramiz Mujkic. You were -- it was put to you that Mr. Mujkic said
3 that a doctor recommended that his leg be amputated and that you insisted
4 that fixators be put and that the leg be saved. At that time were there
5 situations where there were discussions about whether a Serb soldier was
6 discussed in the same terms, in other words, whether his leg should be
7 amputated or saved? Do you remember having any such discussions?
8 A. Well, in such situations where you receive a wounded person with
9 life-threatening injuries, and if the amputation of an limb would make it
10 possible to save that person's life, then we amputated. In this case,
11 this was not life-threatening. There was a risk to the leg, but whenever
12 we could save a leg or a limb, regardless of the ethnicity of the
13 patient, a Serb, Muslim or a Croat, we tried to save the leg because it
14 is better to have a leg which does not look very good, which looks like a
15 stick, than not to have a leg at all.
16 Q. Doctor, just very briefly, the difference between wartime and
17 peacetime surgery?
18 A. A huge difference.
19 Q. We heard from you that although you are a specialist for ear,
20 nose and throat surgery, that you performed other kinds of surgery, that
21 you had to amputate limbs and so on.
22 A. Yes. When I studied in medical school, we had a course in
23 wartime surgery and we had to pass an exam.
24 Q. Let us very briefly look at P6689. It's the letter of discharge
25 for Mr. Mujkic. I need the last page of this document. I don't know how
1 it was uploaded.
2 We can see here from this document that this gentleman was
3 received on the 8th of August 1992 and that he was discharged on the 22nd
4 of August 1992. And we can see that he was discharged in a good
5 condition. In the English version you can see this. It's written in
6 capital letters. I know that you were not there in the hospital at the
7 time of his discharge, but you said that you met this gentleman after the
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Did he complain to you that he had been discharged from the
11 hospital and that he had not been treated well?
12 A. No, no. Quite the contrary. He was quite positive about his
13 stay in our hospital. And if you allow me, we in fact had lunch when we
14 met in the presence of his sister, and he told me many details. I don't
15 recall those details now, but he was very positive about his stay in the
16 hospital, and according to him, we treated him -- he was treated like any
17 other patient.
18 Q. Let me ask you some questions about the medical treatment of
19 patients from other ethnic groups in your hospital. Did you have any
20 problems? Did armed Serbs, civilians, cause you any problems because you
21 were treating from other ethnic groups?
22 A. Well, there were cases when family members or relatives of those
23 who had been killed, who had been brought to the hospital and the ones
24 that we couldn't save, wanted to exact revenge on the Muslims, and we had
25 to respond very quickly. We, the medical workers, we had to take off
1 their uniforms, we had to call the command, to make sure that those
2 people were protected. In fact, some Muslims who were wounded on the
3 front-line, we would register them under Serb names.
4 Let me give you an example. There was a BH Army soldier whose
5 last name was Pustahija. This is a very striking name. He was wounded
6 on the Nisici plateau. He was very important for the army because he had
7 a notepad with some codes. And many civilians were killed on that part
8 of the battlefield, and they wanted to exact revenge. So we stabilised
9 him once he reached the hospital, and in order to keep him safe, we
10 registered him under a different name, and then we moved him out because
11 we wanted to protect him against the bereaved relatives of those who had
12 been killed and who wanted to get some revenge. Of course, people react
13 to loss in different ways but there were also other cases.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated].
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Interpreter's note: We
16 did not interpret the question.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the question to start with,
18 Mr. Lukic?
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
20 Q. [Interpretation] My question was not recorded. Let me repeat it.
21 Were there any attacks on you personally because you provided medical
22 treatment to people from other ethnic groups?
23 A. There were no physical assaults, but verbal abuse, yes. Well, if
24 I may, war is an abnormal situation, and all the bad things come up to
25 the surface, and that goes for human nature, too.
1 MR. LUKIC: Doctor, thank you very much. I don't have any
2 further questions for you.
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pejic, a document was shown to you earlier, a
5 report about what you called the issue with the oxygen tanks. Could
6 I first ask you, were you there when these five tanks were received?
7 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, I could not be in the hospital for
8 four years, 24 hours a day. So I was not there, probably I was not there
9 when the oxygen tanks were -- I don't know.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You don't have to justify your absence. I'm just
11 asking a simple question. So you were not there.
12 A. I don't know.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was it you who reported your doubts, your
14 suspicions, about the oxygen tank?
15 A. Not right away. If I may be allowed to explain? In hospital --
16 just very briefly?
17 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Pejic, please answer my questions. So you
18 say -- my question simply was, was it you? Was it you or was it someone
19 else? Time may come later.
20 A. Who notified the police?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 A. I did, but it was two months later.
23 JUDGE ORIE: That will be my next question, Mr. Pejic. What
24 happened exactly? You said they were stored in the basement, these
25 tanks, and at what point in time were you -- did you become aware of any
1 suspicion about its content?
2 A. When we received those tanks, they were stored in a part of the
3 building, the part of the building where, before the war, there was the
4 road maintenance unit that was in charge of maintaining roads in
5 Sarajevo. Two of the tanks were much heavier than the other tanks, and
6 the technicians who handled those tanks, which are used for the purpose
7 of anaesthesia, they opened the tanks and no gas came out. One of the
8 people in the maintenance section, they wanted to heat up the valves.
9 They were mechanics. And well, fortunately they did not do it. We just
10 set them aside and we simply waited for somebody who knows how to handle
11 oxygen tanks to come. In the meantime, the Rajlovac facility where
12 oxygen tanks could be filled became operational, and the person in charge
13 of the facility came to the hospital, offered us the oxygen tanks from
14 his facility, and I asked this person to examine the two tanks.
15 There was attack on the Serb front-lines and I was in the surgery
16 room, in the operating room. And at one point, one man rushed into the
17 OR shouting, "Doctor, gunpowder." And I shouted at this man, I said,
18 "You cannot enter the operation room like that because you're dirty."
19 And he said that some gunpowder poured out of the tank when it was
20 opened, and he told me that he could not get anything to come out of the
21 other tank although the valve was opened. And I suggested that he should
22 open the tank from the bottom, and he said that it was impossible to cut
23 the tank in order to screw off the bottom of the tank and to then screw
24 it closed again. He said it was impossible, to the best of his
1 At one point he came back into the hospital and he said, "Shell
2 detonators," and after that, now that I knew what this was all about,
3 I reported this incident to the military -- to the military, and the
4 police, and they then informed the UNHCR. And that's it. And
5 fortunately we did not heat up the tanks because people would die. There
6 would be an explosion.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Now, two questions. First question, when was
8 UNPROFOR involved in this whole exercise?
9 A. Which exercise?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Was UNPROFOR at any time involved? Yes? After you
11 had reported this to the police?
12 A. UNPROFOR came with the police and the representatives of the
13 Republika Srpska army to check, and of course the media were also there
14 to check what was in those tanks. Not before that. Not with regard to
15 the tanks.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in the report we saw, that is the report
17 on television, it was said that the oxygen tanks were opened in the
18 presence of UNPROFOR representatives, but on the basis of your testimony,
19 I have to understand that they were opened again on the basis of -- in
20 the presence of UNPROFOR because they had been opened already, isn't it?
21 A. Yes. How else could we tell that they were full of gunpowder if
22 we had not opened them? And how else would we be able to tell they were
23 full of detonators if we had not opened them?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do not doubt that, but it was presented in a
25 different way in this footage.
1 A. This gentleman, he returned the gunpowder and the detonator into
2 the tanks, didn't take all of them out.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said, "I called the international
4 observers of UNPROFOR to see for themselves what was there so that we
5 could open the oxygen tanks in the presence of UNPROFOR and verify their
7 Again, this is reopening it where they had been opened before?
8 Perhaps I'm reading from the -- let me just see. No, that was in your
9 old statement, and while your statement -- we received a new one, and the
10 new one -- yes. So I don't take you back to that statement.
11 Now, do you have any explanation why the report we just had a
12 look at is consistently talking not about oxygen tanks but about tanks of
13 laughing gas?
14 A. What is this laughing gas? I don't know.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Laughing gas is N2O, if I may describe it in --
16 A. No, no, no. That is nitrogen oxide. No, no, no. This was
17 oxygen. Sorry, I really don't know who wrote this, "laughing gas." Not
19 JUDGE ORIE: It's consistently referred to as that you were given
20 this nitrogen oxide, not that you were given oxygen.
21 A. I did not see where that was mentioned.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I'll read from you from the report which was
23 admitted into evidence. It says -- let me see.
24 "While inspecting UNHCR vehicles at the Mostar intersection,
25 officials of the Blazuj police station decided to take five cylinders and
1 give them to the Blazuj military hospital."
2 Your hospital was a military hospital?
3 A. Is that a question?
4 JUDGE ORIE: That is a question, yes, in the middle of a quote.
5 A. No, it was a mixed hospital, both military and civilian.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do we find that in your statement, that you were
7 partly military hospital, partly -- I'm a bit confused because we
8 received two statements. The first one --
9 Mr. Lukic, anywhere, any mentioning of the military or half
10 military character of the hospital?
11 MR. LUKIC: I think that I couldn't find it in the statement.
12 That's why I started questioning of this document with this line of
13 questions when I clarified what kind of hospital that was because it was
14 not clear to me at the beginning either.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. LUKIC: At the beginning of direct examination, I tried to
17 clarify this.
18 JUDGE ORIE: In proofing you were unable to?
19 MR. LUKIC: In the proofing, I learned -- actually, we did
20 discuss -- discussed it but I still wasn't clear.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, so that is how they -- I continue to
23 "... decided to take five cylinders and give them to the Blazuj
24 military hospital, expecting that they contained laughing gas needed for
25 medical treatment."
1 And earlier in that same report, we read:
2 "Following checks, it was established that on the 20th of
3 November 1992, the UNHCR representatives picked up 100 cylinders which
4 were supposed to contain laughing gas, nitro oxygen, from the Kovina
5 enterprise in Visoko for the needs of the Kosevo hospital."
6 Do you have any -- I could show it to you. It's -- let me just.
7 A. I see that.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation why the investigation is
9 constantly talking about laughing gas and that you are talking about
10 oxygen because you wouldn't use it for the same, would you?
11 A. No, certainly not. But if you allow me, also, there is no
12 reference to gunpowder or detonators in this report of UNPROFOR, and they
13 were present in the tanks.
14 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
15 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry to intervene.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Pejic, if you were always jumping to
17 conclusions so easily, then that is of some concern to me because the
18 last line of this report reads, "The gunpowder and fuses that were found
19 were taken by members of the Igman Brigade." So therefore if you say,
20 "Well, this report doesn't even mention the fuses," that's just not
21 accurate, unless you disagree. It's the last page, it's page 3 in
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I'm sorry -- there is a translation
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is there a translation issue?
1 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, what would we then --
3 MR. LUKIC: In the original, it says -- it's very hard to see,
4 "oksid" something.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but nitro oxygen, of course, also contains part
6 of the word "oxygen".
7 MR. LUKIC: It should be nitro oxygen. In B/C/S it says only --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look at it.
9 MR. LUKIC: Second page in B/C/S.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Second page in B/C/S. Could we have a look at it?
11 MR. LUKIC: Fourth, paragraph, if somebody can read it, I really
12 cannot. It's fourth paragraph, fourth line in the middle.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is the number of the document?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see what we have.
15 MR. IVETIC: P6690, I think is the document.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The witness said he saw it so therefore I thought it
18 would be on his screen. Yes, then we need the second page. And we need
19 the --
20 MR. LUKIC: Second-last paragraph, the big one.
21 JUDGE ORIE: No. I was referring to the third paragraph in the
22 original, a short one. Could we zoom in on that? I'd rather zoom in in
23 the original, the third paragraph. No, we are missing the relevant part.
24 Let's have a look. Could we further zoom in on that same -- on that
25 further higher, in the B/C/S, yes, that portion, yes, could we zoom in
2 Mr. Lukic, I have great difficulties. I would like to have a
3 more -- let me just try -- where do you see the word "oxygen," Mr. Lukic?
4 MR. LUKIC: In the next paragraph.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but in this paragraph, because in the
6 translation, it says "laughing gas."
7 MR. LUKIC: Sorry?
8 JUDGE ORIE: In the paragraph I'm referring to, laughing gas is
9 mentioned. Can you see that or is there a translation issue there as
11 MR. LUKIC: The next -- what I checked was the next paragraph in
12 English as well. It says "laughing gas"; in B/C/S it said "oksid" and
13 something, and in this paragraph I cannot read what it says in B/C/S
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could you assist us? One second.
16 MR. LUKIC: Sorry.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The paragraph in which you were able to read
18 "oxygen" --
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- apparently is the paragraph which starts with --
21 the second word looks like "Stanici" or something like that.
22 MR. LUKIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And that's --
24 MR. LUKIC: Fourth line in the middle. "Nalazi oksid."
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. In the fourth line there, you said, and there
1 you read.
2 MR. LUKIC: "Oksid koji," "oxygen which."
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 And Ms. Hasan?
5 MS. HASAN: Sorry to interrupt. We are happy to send this for a
6 review of the translation. It's difficult to read. Perhaps they can do
7 so. And it's a CLSS translation, so I'm sure they can review it and
8 verify what in fact it says. As far as we are concerned, we don't
9 dispute that they were oxygen bottles.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay, if that's not in dispute, then I --
11 well, you present evidence which says it's laughing gas, and perhaps you
12 were not aware of it.
13 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I did see that it says laughing gas, in
14 fact I think I even read that portion out. Whether it's a mistake in the
15 translation or in fact they thought it was laughing gas, we have seen the
16 UNPROFOR report as well which refers to them as oxygen cylinders. But we
17 are happy to try and help to resolve this by getting the translation
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then I immediately refrain, if there is no
20 dispute about it between the parties. But I was confused by presenting
21 evidence that it's laughing gas where other evidence also presented by
22 the Prosecution says it's oxygen. Okay, I leave that apart.
23 And Judge Moloto has a follow-up question.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Doctor, did I understand your evidence correctly
25 that it was some time after the tanks were in the hospital that somebody
1 discovered that some were heavier than the others and that's what caused
2 the suspicion?
3 A. You did not understand this properly. We noticed immediately
4 that they were heavier than the other ones; however, we thought that
5 there was more oxygen in them because every tank that has oxygen in it is
6 opened in one direction, but one containing laughing gas is opened in
7 another direction. So one cannot confuse the two. Please allow me to
8 finish my sentence.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: I want to just clarify it. So when you say you
10 discovered immediately the difference in weight, was it on the day when
11 you received the tanks?
12 A. We discovered that they were heavier and that they were not --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
14 A. You're asking me what happened 20 years ago.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. I want to know --
16 A. Immediately or the following day, I don't know, the moment when
17 we needed oxygen.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Doctor, you're here to testify about what happened
19 years ago, and you're telling us you remember some things very clearly.
20 Now, I'm asking you about something that happened 20 years ago. Simply,
21 the question is did you discover the difference in weight on the day you
22 received the tanks or sometime later? And you say I didn't understand
23 you. I want to understand you. When did you discover?
24 A. We discovered the difference in weight the day when we got them
25 from the truck.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then you kept them for two months before you
2 opened them?
3 A. No. When a tank is used up, then another one follows. When the
4 technicians took the heavy tank, they didn't get this gas from it and
5 then we decided to open the other one using the valve. We didn't get it
6 then either. So we left it in the warehouse.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: When a tank gets finished and another one is used,
8 were they opened the same day? Did one get finished the same day and you
9 opened the next one that you found to be heavy?
10 A. No, no.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: When you discovered this was heavier, this was
12 sometime after receipt?
13 A. Certainly. We opened -- yes.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, my problem is on the day they were received,
15 I'm sure there was still a difference in weight and I'm surprised that on
16 that day, the suspicion did not arise. It only arises when you opened
17 the subsequent bottle sometime later.
18 A. I don't know if you've understood what I said. The tank is put
19 on the apparatus when oxygen is needed. We cannot use all five tanks at
20 the same time, using the same equipment. Since these are large tanks,
21 industrial-sized ones, there was more oxygen in them than in the medical
22 tanks. Once one tank is used, then the other one is used. When the turn
23 of these tanks came, I really don't know. But when we realised that the
24 gas was not coming out of them, we left them in the warehouse.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's the point I'm making. That's just --
1 I understood you very clearly. Now I'm saying when these tanks arrived,
2 whoever received them should have felt -- discovered the difference in
3 weight. But then the weight is being discovered when you opened the
4 subsequent one, which is after some time that they have been in your
5 storage. Now, I'm saying, isn't it surprising that the weight was not
6 discovered earlier, the difference in weight was not discovered earlier?
7 A. No, you're not correct. The weight, the difference in weight,
8 was discovered immediately, as soon as they were taken off the truck.
9 The technician's explanation as to why they did not attach the heavy tank
10 is because they were keeping it for later, because they thought that it
11 contained more gas than the other tanks. That was the only explanation
12 that I received from them. This is the only explanation I know.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you for that explanation.
14 Can I ask you something else on a different point? At page 20 of
15 today's transcript, lines 18 to 24, you say, amongst other things, "As
16 far as I know, the Republika Srpska army did not run any camps." We were
17 talking about labour camps here. You have testified that you were
18 working as a doctor and you were never in the field. How do you know
19 that the VRS army did not have labour camps?
20 A. I did not state that categorically. I said, "as far as I know."
21 So these are two different things. I did not make this claim. But it
22 was logical that you should -- if you have prisoners, you have to keep
23 them somewhere.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sure, you are very right. You said as far as you
25 know, and I'm asking you the question, as far as you know, how did you
1 know that the VRS didn't have labour camps? I still ask the question.
2 A. Your Honour, are you willing to accept the claim that is based on
3 what I heard from the media? Or are you willing to accept those things
4 that I saw and that I know? I learned from the media --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you didn't say in your evidence you learned it
6 from the media. You said as far as you know. That's what you said. If
7 you had said from the media and you said you had heard it from the media
8 that would be different. I wouldn't be asking you these questions.
9 A. You give me precious little time for my explanations and you
10 often ask me to give you "yes" or "no" answers.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking for explanations; I'm not asking
12 for "yes" or "no" answers. I would like you to answer my questions.
13 Anyway, it's your testimony now, you're changing your testimony
14 to you heard this from the media. It's not as far as you know. Thank
15 you so much.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Fluegge has one question.
17 A. No, no, no, no. You misunderstand me. A lot of information we
18 received from the wounded people and those accompanying them. Now, as to
19 whether the information is correct or not, I cannot tell you that. And
20 likewise, we all watch TV.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Doctor, did you get it from the media that the VRS
22 didn't have labour camps or did you get it from the patients that you
23 were treating? You're now giving us a third version.
24 A. Well, what I'm telling you, my version, is that I did not see the
25 camps. I came here to testify about things that I went through, what
1 I saw, what I participated in. Now, as to what I heard, what I saw in
2 the media, that's not relevant.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's the problem, you see? You came here to
4 testify about things you saw, but you're telling us, as far as you knew,
5 the VRS didn't have labour camps but you didn't see that. Do not testify
6 about something you didn't see. And now you can't tell us whether you
7 got it from the media or it's as far as you know or whether you got it
8 from patients that you were treating.
9 Once again, thank you so much.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Fluegge has a question.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: A very brief question. On page 39, you were
12 asked about laughing gas or oxygen by the Presiding Judge and your answer
13 was, "but if you allow me, also there is no reference to gunpowder or
14 detonators in this report of UNPROFOR." You were talking about a report
15 of UNPROFOR. We discussed at that moment a report by the MUP of the
16 Republika Srpska, which is still on the screen. Was it a slip of the
17 tongue or did you talk about another report?
18 A. The Presiding Judge asked me when UNPROFOR had gotten involved.
19 I think I may have misunderstood him, and that I misunderstood the
20 document that we were referring to. As a medical doctor, I know very
21 well -- I can distinguish bottles, tanks of oxygen and of laughing gas,
22 because if I switch on the wrong tank I can kill a person.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You misunderstood me. I just wanted to clarify,
24 were you referring to a report of UNPROFOR or the report which is on the
25 screen, which is a report of the MUP of Republika Srpska? We didn't see
1 any report of UNPROFOR today.
2 A. We are talking about the document that's here in front of me, and
3 UNPROFOR is mentioned here.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you so much. That clarifies the situation.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Any further questions, Ms. Hasan?
6 MS. HASAN: No, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then --
8 MR. LUKIC: Not on our side either.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, not triggered by questions by the Bench.
10 That's clear.
11 Dr. Pejic, this concludes your testimony in this Court. I felt
12 now and then there was some difference of view on what you would like to
13 tell us and what was specifically asked. There are no bad intentions
14 about that, I take it neither from your side, neither from our side, but
15 we are very focused on our specific questions, whereas of course
16 I understand that there are a lot of things you would like to explain but
17 which may be less relevant for us. I'd like to clarify this for you.
18 And I would like to thank you very much for coming a long way to
19 The Hague and for having answered the questions that were put to you by
20 the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break. We are a little bit later, but
25 that enabled us to conclude the evidence of this witness.
1 Is the Defence ready to call its next witness after the break?
2 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we are, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then we take a break and we resume at 12.30.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 --- Recess taken at 12.09 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
8 Meanwhile I use the time to raise the issue of the uploading of
9 the redacted versions of D536, D537 and D538. They were MFIed because
10 they needed to have text redacted from the photographs. Therefore, at
11 this moment there seems to be no reason not to admit them into evidence.
12 The new documents, the first is 1D09-2684, and that was a document which
13 is linked to D536, is hereby now admitted into evidence. The same for
14 1D09-2685 and its previous version assigned number D537, when I mean
15 previous version the unredacted version. In its present version, it is
16 admitted into evidence. And the same for 1D09-2687, known also under
17 D538, which was MFIed, is now in its redacted form admitted into
18 evidence. If there is any problem with the redactions, then the
19 Prosecution has, as always, 48 hours to raise the issue.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Kovacevic. Before you give
22 evidence, the rules require that you make a solemn declaration. May
23 I invite you make that solemn declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: ZORAN KOVACEVIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Kovacevic.
4 Mr. Kovacevic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You'll find
5 him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
8 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. Now I would like you to state your full name clearly for the
13 A. My name is Zoran Kovacevic.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kovacevic, have you given a statement to the
15 Defence of General Ratko Mladic in a written form in answer to the
16 questions that they asked you?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
19 have 1D01639 on our screens, from e-court.
20 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, could you please look at the screen in front of
21 you, and answer my question. The data stated here, your personal
22 details, your full name, your father's name, your ethnicity, your date of
23 birth, your place of birth, the four dates when you were interviewed by
24 an investigator, these data, do they correspond to the truth?
25 A. Yes, they are accurate.
1 Q. The signature that we see on this page, is that your signature?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now I would like us to look at the last page of this document.
4 And my question, if you're able to see this page on your screen, is, the
5 date on this page, the 6th of June 2014 and the signature, is this your
6 signature? Is it all correct?
7 A. Yes, this is my signature.
8 Q. During your proofing session, did you point out some things that
9 you want to further explain and specify from your statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now I would like us to look at paragraph 13 of the witness's
12 statement. Did you indicate to me that instead of the words "during this
13 evening I received," it should read "during this evening I did not
15 A. Yes, precisely.
16 Q. Now I would like you to look at paragraph 18 of your statement.
17 In the course of the proofing, did you tell me that in line 1 instead of
18 the words "the village of Peciste," in fact it should read "the village
19 of Potocari"?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Let us now turn to paragraph 21 of your statement. In the course
22 of our proofing session, did you tell me that it would be more accurate -
23 now I'm talking about line 3 in the B/C/S version - to replace the words
24 "the task I received the next day" should actually -- with the words, "in
25 the days that followed"?
1 A. Yes, precisely.
2 Q. And now look at paragraph 22. Did you tell me that in military
3 terms, it would be better to replace the words "found the Chief of Staff
4 Dragan Obrenovic" with the words "I reported to Dragan Obrenovic." I'm
5 talking about line 4 of the B/C/S version.
6 A. Yes, precisely.
7 Q. In paragraph 23, let us look at the next paragraph, then, you
8 told me, and now I want to ask you about that, you told me that it would
9 be more accurate to say, "and when we managed to find cover by running
10 towards the hill," that it should actually read, "down the hill" in the
11 sixth line of the B/C/S version.
12 A. Yes, we were up on the hill and we headed down the hill. This is
13 a typo, so -- but this does not correspond to the reality.
14 Q. Thank you. Now let us look at paragraph 24. Did you let me know
15 that in line 1, I'm talking about paragraph 24, in military terms, it
16 would be more accurate to replace the words "but this attack passed us
17 by" with the words "but this attack cut us off"?
18 A. Yes, precisely. Passing by is different from cutting off. We
19 were cut off. This is what happened. And bypassing or passing by, it's
20 a completely different thing.
21 Q. Thank you. And in line 3 of the same paragraph, or, rather, line
22 4 of the B/C/S version, did you let me know that it would be more
23 accurate to say, instead of "to the Crni Vhr-Tuzla road" to say "the Crni
24 Vrh-Zvornik road"?
25 A. Yes, precisely. This is the opposite direction.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you. And now that these suggestions were put
2 on record, now I would like to ask you this: All those things that are
3 contained in your written statement, with the corrections that you have
4 just stated for the record here in court, would this be the most accurate
5 reflection of your recollection of the events now that you have taken the
6 solemn declaration?
7 A. Yes, and because this is the truth and there is no other version
8 of it.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
11 tender the witness's statement, which has the 65 ter number 1D01639.
12 MS. HASAN: No objection, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan. No, I thought you were on your feet for
14 a while. But Mr. Stojanovic, wouldn't it be good to also ask the witness
15 whether he would give the same answers if the same questions would be put
16 to him? Would you, witness?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is the truth.
18 Everything else would be a lie. Because my recollection is the same,
19 although 20 years have passed. So my answer to your question is yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then Madam Registrar will assign the number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 1D01639 receives number
23 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
24 Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now, with your kind
1 permission, I would like to read the summary of the statement for the
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We don't have this
5 JUDGE ORIE: You have not provided the summary to the
6 interpreter's booth, Mr. Stojanovic?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: Yes, that is correct. I had other things to do
8 and I did not have enough time. So I can provide it either now or I can
9 perhaps read more slowly now.
10 JUDGE ORIE: How long is it? It's a pretty long one, from what
11 I see. Please distribute it and meanwhile you can start your
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise to the usher as
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you mean in addition to the interpreters? Yes,
16 that's what I understand because I hadn't heard that yet.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Witness Zoran Kovacevic, as a
19 member of the Bratunac Brigade, in the summer of 1995, served as the
20 commander of the 4th Company in the 2nd Battalion of the Bratunac
21 Brigade. His unit held positions in an area --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I said meanwhile you can start your examination, not
23 your reading, because I didn't want to impose that burden on the
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We now have the document.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay, then restart, Mr. Stojanovic.
2 Distribution is complete now.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Witness Zoran Kovacevic, as a member of the Bratunac Brigade, in
5 the summer of 1995, served as the commander of the 4th Company in the 2nd
6 Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade. His units held positions in an area
7 to the left of the Bratunac-Potocari road, in the sector
9 On the eve of the fighting around Srebrenica, he received
10 instructions to strengthen his defence lines because a counterattack by
11 the Muslim formations was expected. He also received an order to
12 dispatch a part of his unit to strengthen the front-line facing the Jadar
14 After the VRS entered Srebrenica, he received a new order by
15 phone. They were to go down to the road, to Potocari, to clean up the
16 terrain if there were any enemy soldiers remaining there. As he
17 implemented this order, at one point they encountered a huge crowd of
18 civilians. They were able to communicate with them without any
19 obstructions and these men were not abused or maltreated in any manner.
20 When the unit entered the Potocari sector, at one point he
21 encountered General Mladic. He spoke to him and said that together with
22 his unit he should advance towards the sector of the Milicevici village.
23 Since he did not take this address by General Mladic as a specific order,
24 he took shelter with his unit behind some houses and he remained there
25 for about an hour.
1 On that occasion, as he was there on the road, he gave a
2 statement to a TV crew that happened to be there. Soon afterwards, he
3 received a new order from the deputy battalion commander to retreat to
4 the initial positions, and he complied. During his stay in Potocari on
5 that day, he did not witness any mistreatment of the Muslim population.
6 He did not see men being separated from the women and children. His unit
7 was never told that the people from Potocari would be evacuated and they
8 were not given any tasks in this respect.
9 The next task that his unit received, in his opinion, was
10 received on the 15th of July 1995. The order was to go and support the
11 Zvornik Brigade. He reported to the Chief of Staff, Dragan Obrenovic, in
12 the brigade HQ, and he dispatched them to assist his 4th Battalion.
13 When they reached the wider sector of Baljkovica, they came under
14 mortar fire. The mortars were fired by the BH Army and they headed
15 towards Crni Vrh and the Snagovo village. Before they reached the road,
16 the next dawn, as soon as they arrived, a new attack was launched by the
17 BH Army and this attack cut them off from the other units. As at that
18 point in time they could not communicate with the other VRS units, he
19 decided on his own initiative to have his unit pull out to the
20 Zvornik-Crni Vrh road where they remained for the next two dies. After
21 that they were given transportation and they went back to Bratunac
22 whereupon they headed out towards Zepa to carry out their next combat
24 This is a brief summary of this witness's statement. Now, with
25 your permission, Your Honours, I would like to ask a few questions.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, that was a long summary. There is
2 clear guidance. Not more than 35 lines. I really do not understand why
3 you consider it necessary to ignore that guidance. Please proceed.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I would like to draw your attention to paragraph 9 of your
6 statement. I would just like you to clarify a question for the Trial
7 Chamber in relation to the communication that your battalion had with the
8 brigade command. In your statement you say that you did not know that
9 coded telegrams arrived in the 2nd Battalion command. My question is as
10 follows: Would there have to be professional people called decoders in
11 the army in order to have that?
12 A. Correct. I'm a reserve officer of the former JNA. This is not
13 something that is done by amateurs. And in my unit, except for the
14 commander, everybody else were just plain soldiers so that there was no
15 one who could have done that kind of work. It's not that I'm just saying
16 that; I know that.
17 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber how, through what kind of
18 communication equipment, your unit communicated with the Bratunac
20 A. I did not have any communication with the Bratunac Brigade, but
21 with the battalion command I communicated via wire telephone. We had
22 something that was totally unusable, though, so we only had this field
23 telephone, wire telephone, that we could use for communicating with the
24 battalion command, and nothing else. We could also resort to couriers as
1 Q. Let us look at paragraph 17 of your statement now. You say that
2 at one point in time, as you were going to Potocari, you came across a
3 unit in camouflage uniforms that are not like army uniforms and you say,
4 "I am sure that this was not a unit of the Bratunac Brigade." This is
5 what I'd like to ask you now. Just tell the Trial Chamber what were
6 these camouflage uniforms like, the ones that were different from
7 military uniforms?
8 A. Yes. After meeting the general, then we saw people in black
9 overalls. They wore black overalls. Of course, from the back, I could
10 not see any insignia or anything. I hadn't seen these uniforms before in
11 our army but later on I did find out about this and I saw this. That was
12 the police of the Army of Republika Srpska, the Special Police, a Special
13 Police unit of the Army of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. You say in your answer the Special Police of the Army of
15 Republika Srpska?
16 A. Yes, precisely.
17 Q. And now this is what I'm asking you. Do you know, in terms of
18 establishment, who they belonged to?
19 A. I really don't know.
20 Q. The next paragraph, please focus on paragraph 18 now. This is
21 what you say. As you describe your stay in Potocari, you say that you
22 reached the yard of some buildings or houses. Could you please tell the
23 Trial Chamber where it was that you were practically or exactly at that
24 point in time?
25 A. I think I said that in my previous statement. I know that
1 because this is two kilometres away from where I live. This is the
2 building of the power company, Elektrodistribucija. They have a big
3 fence, they have a big gate, and we were therefore in the compound, the
4 yard, of Elektrodistribucija in Potocari.
5 Q. This place, or the area around this place, is that where this TV
6 crew took a statement from you?
7 A. Yes, it's right there in the street. The street is right in
8 front of the gate.
9 Q. Do you know what that TV crew was that you gave that statement to
10 in Potocari then?
11 A. I don't know to this day.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like ask
13 that we view an excerpt from document P01147, and could we please have a
14 certain portion played from 29.30 to 30.05. In this video, there is a
15 translation of the words that the witness uttered then, so I don't think
16 it's going to be necessary for us to play this twice. But I'm going to
17 ask something before we play the video.
18 Q. Sir, can you recognise anyone in this still?
19 A. No one but myself.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You say in the video there is translation. What do
21 you mean by that? Do you mean subtitles? And have they been verified,
22 these subtitles, whether they are accurate? It was already admitted so
23 therefore --
24 MS. HASAN: It's part of our Srebrenica trial video.
25 JUDGE ORIE: So there is no problem.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 And now could we please play this brief excerpt.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] In Srebrenica and around it, plenty
6 of army. You are just returning from the mission. How was everything
8 Well, it was excellent. A bit tiresome but otherwise without
10 How are the soldiers, content?
11 After three years of hanging around here, the army is finally
12 happy that we moved so that this finally gets finished. We are getting
14 Have there been any losses amongst our troops?
15 Not in the last few days, and especially not today. A scratch
16 here and there accidentally without any problems at all.
17 What is the soldiers' morale like?
18 Now, after two years, the morale is such that one would go all
19 the way.
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's only now that the interpretation has finished.
21 Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. This excerpt, did it show everything that you said then?
24 A. As far as I can remember, I think that the answer is yes.
25 Q. And now my question. This statement of yours, did you give it
1 before you encountered General Mladic or after that?
2 A. [No interpretation].
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear an answer.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said yes. Yes, yes, it was
5 before I encountered General Mladic.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic, we should put on the record that
7 that you showed the video from 29 minutes 29 seconds to 30 minutes, 4
8 seconds -- 30 minutes, 7.4 seconds.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour. And
10 I would like to suggest that this excerpt be given its own number, if
11 necessary, because the complete document or rather the complete video
12 footage has already been admitted into evidence.
13 JUDGE ORIE: If you play a part and if it's clearly identified,
14 is there any need then to give that an additional number, adding to --
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please --
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] As far as we are concerned, it's
18 fine. I just needed this technical instruction.
19 Q. So please could we now look at paragraph 20 of your statement
20 together? Mr. Witness, in this paragraph, you say what your activities
21 were in Potocari, and now I'd just like to ask you a few more things. Do
22 you remember whether in Potocari you saw where the UNPROFOR base was?
23 A. In Potocari, we all knew that the UNPROFOR base was at the
24 battery factory. That was the base for I don't know how long. When we
25 got to the building where we were, this is about 50 metres away from the
1 gate of the battery factory, that is to say about 50 metres away.
2 Q. On that day, while you were in Potocari, did any members of your
3 unit at any point in time enter the UNPROFOR base in Potocari?
4 A. I think that that was forbidden. I think that there was a
5 security detail there, too, but we had no need to do that. From the
6 street. From the place where we gave the statement, we returned to the
7 building and we went to General Mladic behind the building and we never
8 returned to this part. So we never got closer than 50 metres.
9 Q. In paragraph 22 of your statement - in B/C/S could we just move
10 this a bit, yes, thank you -- this is what you say: Actually you mention
11 a name Zulfo Tursunovic. Could you tell me -- could you tell us, did you
12 know at all who this man was until the war broke out?
13 A. Yes, I knew the man personally, and I knew him mostly through
14 what my mother told me. My mother had lost half of her family, and more
15 than that, in the village of Zadensko in 1941. At that time that was a
16 purely Serb village. In 1941, they were slaughtered and Zulfo Tursun
17 took part in that. No one returned to that area. The village remained
18 abandoned after the war. No Serbs ever returned there. Then Muslims
19 moved in. Tursun lived there and I know him from before the war. He
20 killed a man and was sentenced to two or three years in prison. I think
21 that he served his sentence before the war, but I think that he served
22 all of his sentence before the war, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: What is his age, approximately?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I think over 80, over 85. He
25 must be older than 85, but he was as fit as a sportsman. This is a
1 peasant who would always work, and he was sturdy and --
2 JUDGE ORIE: I only asked about his age.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. In paragraph 25, could we just have a look at that now? You
6 speak about the fighting with the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
7 village of Baljkovica, and you speak about the Zvornik Brigade. This is
8 what I'd like to ask you. Since you spent the entire war as a soldier,
9 can you assess the intensity of combat?
10 A. On the 16th, on the morning of the 16th, it was about 3.30 or
11 4.00, and throughout the night, this reverberated through the forest.
12 There was even mortar fire between our lines and parts of where the
13 Muslims were. And also, Allahu Akbar was heard as well as gunfire,
14 shooting in the air.
15 And then in the morning, about 4.00, around dawn, an attack
16 started. There was a house in front of us and they had radio
17 communication of the Zvornik Brigade, that is to say the 5th Battalion.
18 The attack went towards that house, and from the higher storey of that
19 building, three people managed to jump out, out of the window, and they
20 managed to pull out together with us. This attack was aimed at the
21 command of the 5th Battalion. This remains in my memory. I didn't know
22 about it until then. I had the feeling that you were in a football game.
23 You know like when the gates open and when people start flooding out of
24 those gates. These were masses of people with rifles in their hands,
25 shouting Allahu Akbar.
1 So this attack was launched against the command of the 5th
2 Battalion and they were all killed. It is fortunate that we were on the
3 right flank then and then quite simply this attack cut us off from the
4 rest of the unit, so --
5 Q. Thank you. You've already told us about that in your written
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I'm just going to conclude with the following: In paragraph 25,
9 you say that on the 17th of July, another unit from Bratunac arrived in
10 the zone of the Zvornik Brigade. I would like to ask us to tell the
11 Trial Chamber if you know which unit this was specifically.
12 A. Yes, I do know. This was the 3rd company of my battalion that I
13 had commanded previously. It was Dragan Ilic, Predrag, who commanded
14 this company. They stayed with us on that day and the next day. Buses
15 came to pick us up and returned us, both companies, that is to Bratunac.
16 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, thank you for your assistance, and now we are
17 leaving you in the hands of the Prosecution.
18 A. Thank you too.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
20 Mr. Kovacevic, you'll now be cross-examined by Ms. Hasan.
21 Ms. Hasan is counsel for the Prosecution, and you'll find her to your
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Hasan:
24 Q. Good afternoon.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, you were raised in Bjelovac in the Bratunac
2 municipality; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is it fair to say that you're familiar with the surrounding area?
5 A. Yes. My family lives there, my father, my mother, my brother.
6 Q. Were Muslims living in Bjelovac before the war?
7 A. Yes, in fact they still live there.
8 Q. How about in the surrounding villages? There were also Muslims
9 living in those villages?
10 A. Well, these are mixed villages, and there are more Muslim
11 villages in the Bjelovac area than Serb ones.
12 Q. Are you familiar with the village of Biljaca?
13 A. Yes. It's just across from my house.
14 Q. And did you know the people living in that village?
15 A. Well, most of them were my friends and they in fact are still my
16 friends. Now, I know the elderly people, and the children, I don't know
17 them all that well because we have all grown old and the younger
18 generation, I don't know them.
19 Q. Now, do you know a woman by the name of Nedziba Salihovic from
20 Biljaca? She was approximately -- she was born in 1953, so approximately
21 your age?
22 A. Yes. She is two years younger than I am. I wouldn't probably be
23 able to recognise her now. We haven't seen each other in a long time.
24 And I heard her -- I heard that she was saying that I had taken her son
25 from her arms in Potocari. This is just a version that reached me. It's
1 not true but she did not tell me that to my face. I know the woman.
2 Q. Okay. So we'll get to that. How about Vulavica, that village?
3 Do you know people from there?
4 A. Could you please repeat the name of the village?
5 Q. Vulavica?
6 A. Voljavica, Voljavica.
7 Q. Sorry, you said you do or you don't know people in that village?
8 A. In Voljavica?
9 Q. Correct.
10 A. Well, I don't know that many people from Voljavica. It's three
11 kilometres from Bjelovac, in the direction of Bratunac. Well, that's the
12 road I'm taking all the time but I don't know that many people from that
14 Q. Okay. So let's turn now to the television interview that you
15 gave on the 12th of July. Now, if I can just call up Exhibit P1148,
16 that's the Srebrenica stills book, and if we can turn to page 83, please.
17 So it's similar to the shot we saw before. Now, we see the journalist
18 there in the foreground, and on the left-hand side, behind, standing
19 behind you on the left-hand side of this image, there is another soldier.
20 Do you recognise him?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And how about Lieutenant-Colonel Svetozar Kosaric, the chief of
23 intelligence of the Drina Corps who stands just to the right of you on
24 the image. Are you familiar with him?
25 A. No, I never met him.
1 Q. Okay. Now, if I can ask that we see 65 ter 31012. Sir, through
2 our investigations, we have reviewed the video and your statement, and we
3 identified the location where you approximately stood to give that
4 interview, and that's consistent, it appears, with what you said today.
5 Does that look about right to you?
6 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that you want to draw the witness's
7 attention to a black arrow from a picture which goes very much in the
8 direction of the Feros building where there is a very small red
9 rectangle? Is that what you intended to do, Ms. Hasan?
10 MS. HASAN: Yes. And just to be clear the image also has on --
11 it says on the top there, "13 July." We are talking about the 12th of
12 July when you gave the interview so this image was taken just a day
13 later. But, yes, that red circle there, just kind of a little bit --
14 yeah, exactly as you described it, Your Honour.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, from what I can discern on
16 this picture, across the road, this is the building of the power --
17 Elektrodistribucija building, so it could be about 60 metres down to
18 Potocari. Because if you look at this building here, it could be
19 somewhere here because it was at the gate of this building. This is
20 where the reporter met up with us because we were going from the
21 direction of Srebrenica and we were getting into this yard, so it could
22 be here on the street. The square marked here could be maybe about ten
23 metres further up the road. If we were to go to the actual scene,
24 I think that's how it would play out.
25 Q. Okay. And I can ask you, just so that the record is clear, if
1 the usher could assist the witness with the marker, you can mark where
2 you think you were standing.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: While we do that, can I ask something to you,
4 Madam Hasan? The still that you showed a little earlier about his
5 interview, I thought I read that it was -- the interview took place on
6 the 28th of July, on that -- below that still.
7 MS. HASAN: I believe that below that still was when -- we can
8 look at it again. It doesn't say the 28th. It would be -- if anything,
9 there were --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, shouldn't we save this as being
11 marked? Otherwise it's lost. Do you intend to --
12 MS. HASAN: Yes, I do.
13 Q. I just wanted to be clear. You've made a few markings there. Is
14 it -- the solid red circle that you've made on that document, is that
15 where you say you were standing on the road?
16 A. This building that you can see there down below, right there on
17 the road, in the direction of the centre of Potocari, maybe some ten
18 metres, that would be the difference.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If we go to such a level of detail, could we remove
20 the marking as it is now? Could we zoom in on the middle of this -- one
21 second, one second, no marking yet. Could we zoom in on the area we are
22 looking at, including a part of the picture, please. Yes, part of the --
23 yes, that's okay. Could you now -- is it clearer to you now? Could you
24 tell us exactly and mark exactly where you were?
25 A. [Marks]. Here.
1 JUDGE ORIE: We see a small dot which is to the right side of the
2 road, looking at the picture as it appears, and it is very small. Could
3 you enlarge that slightly, that -- we leave it as it is. We leave it as
4 it is. It's just to the right, other side of the road, from where it
5 reads "Feros building."
6 You want to tender it, Ms. Hasan?
7 MS. HASAN: Yes, I do.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar?
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the marked image will receive
10 number P6691.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
12 Please proceed.
13 MS. HASAN: Just in response to Your Honour's question, we can
14 turn to it. It's page 83 of Exhibit P1148 from the Srebrenica stills
15 book and the date -- you did see a date 28 July 2002. That was the date
16 that Mr. Kovacevic was identified by another witness. So it's just an
17 indication of where we got the identification from, and the date of that
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 MS. HASAN:
21 Q. So, witness, when you were -- you were on the --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, I think in order to split up the time a
23 bit, the Chamber would like to take the break now so that we have half an
24 hour left after the break. Yes.
25 Witness, we will take a break of 20 minutes. We would like to
1 see you back after that and you may now follow the usher.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at quarter to 2.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 1.24 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
6 [The witness takes the stand]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
8 MS. HASAN:
9 Q. Now, witness, you earlier told us that, amongst the people you
10 saw in Potocari, there were soldiers wearing black overall uniforms,
11 black overalls, and you mentioned they were without insignia. Now if we
12 could look at Exhibit P01147, that's V0009265, beginning at 0025 minutes
13 and 19 seconds. If you could just please watch the clip of this video
14 and -- yes, if we could have that played.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MS. HASAN: Okay, we can get back to this. It seems like there
17 is a problem, a technical problem there. Okay, we will try again.
18 Q. In the interim, witness, when you were on the -- in Potocari, you
19 were armed, right?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And as we saw from the video of when you gave your interview,
22 there were buses and trucks that were lined up along the road?
23 A. I don't recall that. Last time I testified in the Blagojevic
24 case, I actually laughed because I saw that footage several times, and it
25 was the first time at that trial that I actually noticed the buses.
1 I never had seen the buses before that time. And this is the original
3 Q. Okay, witness, in the Blagojevic trial, and this is -- we can
4 call up the transcript page, it's 65 ter 31005. It's e-court page 51,
5 transcript page 8672. And if we look at lines 5 to 9, you were asked the
6 question -- sorry, I should ask you first, you recall testifying in that
7 trial, I take it?
8 JUDGE ORIE: The witness just referred to it, I think.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 MS. HASAN:
12 Q. And in that trial, you said under oath -- sorry, this is the
13 question put to you.
14 "Q. Was there any buses or trucks there in Potocari amongst the
15 crowd when you were there?
16 "A. Yes. On the road, as far as I was able to see. But
17 I didn't look to see how many or what kind of buses or trucks they were,
18 what was written on them."
19 Do you stand by the testimony you gave in the Blagojevic trial?
20 A. Yes. It is all accurate. We were there, it was our task, but
21 along the road to Potocari, and at that spot where I gave the interview,
22 there were so many people there, people who had fled from Srebrenica,
23 women, children, men, and this huge mass of people was of interest to us
24 because we all tried to find friends or acquaintances among those people.
25 We were not looking at buses and trucks.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please answer the question. The question
2 was quite simple, whether you stood by that testimony, and it was clear
3 that at that point in time, that you confirmed that you saw buses at the
4 time, although not knowing how many and what was written on them.
5 Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
6 Q. So, witness, if we -- we will try this again. Let's go back to
7 Exhibit P1147, and again, it's starting at time code 0025, 19 seconds,
8 let's try playing that clip again.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Here, so it can be filmed by the
11 camera. Yes, yes, there you go.
12 MS. HASAN: Okay, you can stop it right there. That's stopped at
13 0025 minutes and 29.8 seconds.
14 Q. Now, witness, you saw -- you saw that there were men there
15 wearing black overall uniforms. Are those the uniforms that you saw in
17 JUDGE ORIE: Wouldn't it be good that we show that to the witness
18 so that he's in -- stop at that point?
19 MS. HASAN: Yes, we can rewind.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If you could rewind just a little bit so that the
21 witness can look at it. Yes, there, for example, the next -- I think,
23 MS. HASAN:
24 Q. Are those the uniforms that you were describing, having seen them
25 in Potocari?
1 A. The soldiers I saw were passing me by. I saw them from behind,
2 but these are indeed the overalls. I can see now that they also had
3 hats, but those were the overalls I was talking about, uniforms, because
4 I couldn't see the insignia from behind. So I didn't even look.
5 Q. And, witness, are you aware that these black overall uniforms
6 were worn by the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Now, you've told us that there were children, women and men
9 amongst the crowd of people in Potocari. You saw military-aged men there
10 as well amongst them?
11 A. Well, I think that the ages varied from small children to people
12 70 years old.
13 Q. And after spending about an hour on the road, you withdrew off of
14 the road where you spent some time with your unit; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And from that vantage point, you were able to see the buses along
17 the road, could you not?
18 A. No. We could not.
19 MS. HASAN: If we can -- I'm going to go back to your Blagojevic
20 -- actually I'll leave it at that. I'm going to go actually to your
21 interview, the interview you gave to the OTP and this is 65 ter 31006
22 page 48 in the English, and page 40 in the B/C/S.
23 Now, Your Honours, the way this transcription was done is a bit
24 different than what we typically see, the questions that were posed in
25 English are not actually transcribed into B/C/S. And I'm just going to
1 read a portion of it, and should the Defence require that the questions
2 be transcribed into B/C/S, we can provide that excerpt.
3 If we look at -- let's see here, in the English, at the bottom,
4 I'm sorry, I'm just trying to find the location. It doesn't seem to be
5 the right -- the right page. Can we turn the page?
6 JUDGE ORIE: In both languages or one language?
7 MS. HASAN: Is this -- this is okay. I'll see if I can find
8 that. I appear to have a different version than what's on the screen.
9 Q. Now, from the 12th that you were in Potocari, you remained there
10 on the 13th throughout the day, throughout the day of the 14th, and until
11 the 15th when you left to Zvornik; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And we know, and there is evidence in this case, that a lot was
14 happening along that road and in that area on the 12th and 13th of July.
15 There was a lot of organisation, putting people on buses and so on and so
16 forth. Now, you're telling us that when you were on the road for that
17 one hour and when you were slightly off the road, you did not see
18 anything that was happening to the population that was in Potocari at the
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. So what were you and your troops doing over the course of those
22 three days?
23 A. We went back to the part of Peciste-Djogazi, which was under the
24 Caus hill behind the battery factory. It's perhaps 300 to 400 metres
25 from the battery factory as the crow flies, but it was a wooded area. We
1 were there in the evening of 12th and on the 13th of July, because
2 I thought that there was no danger, I let half of my unit go home. And
3 on the 14th of July, I rested the rest of the unit. And then I was told
4 to move to Zvornik, but because I did not have the full complement of my
5 unit with me, I arranged with the deputy battalion commander to head out
6 on the 15th, in the morning.
7 Q. So on those days, though, you were just 300 to 400 metres away
8 from the road, the Bratunac-Srebrenica road going through Potocari, and
9 you did not see or hear anything. Bad things were happening, sir. There
10 were shots fired. There were people being pulled on to buses. You
11 didn't hear or see any of that?
12 A. I'm sorry, there was no gunfire. I know that very well because
13 I was a participant of the event. Now, throughout the night, the trucks,
14 the buses, whatever it was, I could hear that these were heavy vehicles.
15 They were passing by, coming and going. I could not tell you that this
16 was not the case. But we had the trees in front of us and we did not
17 have the line of sight but you could see that on the ground.
18 But throughout the night, the sound of engines, from the time
19 when we went out in the field, the whole night long, the next day, you
20 could hear the engines - buses, trucks, mostly cargo vehicles, yes.
21 Q. Okay. Now, you didn't see anything from that vantage point, now,
22 when you were on the road itself, on the 12th of July, you didn't see any
23 of the population being kicked or beat or pulled on to buses? Did you
24 see that men were being separated from their families?
25 A. Really, I mean, I cannot say anything because I've already said
1 there was a minimum distance of 50 metres. We were there just during the
2 interview and perhaps for about ten minutes or so until General Mladic
3 came up. And then when he told us to go away, then we went in the
4 opposite direction, behind the building, and we stayed there until we
5 went back. As for all of that, I cannot confirm anything because,
6 really, we did not see any of it.
7 Q. So let's take a look at this. We --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one question in between? You said you
9 could hear the engines - buses trucks, mostly cargo vehicles. Yes. What
10 did you mean by "mostly cargo vehicles"?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it could have been trucks or
12 buses because, as the driver, I know very well what it could have been,
13 judging by the sound of the engine. It only could have been trucks or
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now you said, "buses, trucks, mostly cargo
16 vehicles." I do understand cargo vehicles to be trucks for
17 transportation rather than buses.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, both. If there were trucks,
19 then there were trucks say with tarpaulins because later on I heard that
20 buses and trucks were with tarpaulins were used and men, women, were
21 transported. That is an image that I understand that way. It's trucks
22 judging by the sound of the engines. And I know from the statements of
23 people that I talked to later on in Bratunac, it was trucks covered with
24 tarpaulins and buses that were used for that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: For the transportation of people?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, people, individuals.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
3 MS. HASAN: Just to follow up on that, if we can keep the
4 document that's on the screen right now, and in the -- just in the
5 English, turn to page 43, e-court page 43.
6 Q. Sir, do you recall giving an interview to the Office of the
7 Prosecutor on the 2nd of December 2001?
8 A. In Banja Luka?
9 Q. That's correct.
10 A. Yes. In Banja Luka.
11 Q. Okay. Now, during that interview, you were asked about the
12 buses, and you were responded and you said, the bottom of that page, "I
13 can say that I could see them, we could see them, buses were there, but"
14 and if we turn to the next page just in the English, please. "But I'm
15 not quite sure whether they left that day. I could see that the buses
16 had on them -- the adverts on the side of the buses were from Zvornik and
17 Milici" and I note that in the B/C/S, in fact, it says "Zvornik and
18 Milici and Vlasenica and even Bijeljina."
19 Do you stand by what you told the Office of the Prosecutor in
20 2001? That you did in fact see the buses and in fact you also saw the
21 adverts on the buses?
22 A. I would say now that I said that to the prosecutor on the basis
23 of this knowledge. I mean everybody talked about this in Bratunac so
24 that was correct. I did not see that, you see, from the place where
25 I was, but later, I was convinced through all these conversations that
1 that was true and that there was no reason for me to say anything
3 Q. Well, I think your answer, the answer that you gave, is clear
4 that you said that you did in fact see them, but let's move on.
5 Going on to the separations that you claim you didn't see.
6 Nedziba Salihovic, who you've told us you know very well, now, she has
7 provided a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor, and she says that
8 on -- she provides, and I'll quote what she says:
9 "When Mladic finished speaking, we began boarding the buses and
10 trucks. As we were boarding the bus, Mladic, who was accompanied by my
11 neighbour Momir and Zoran Kovacevic, son of Busko, born in the village of
12 -- there is a question mark, it says "Orahovac, Bratunac municipality,
13 separated my husband, Rifat --"
14 A. What's the father's name?
15 Q. Busko.
16 A. Dusko, with a D?
17 Q. No, with a B?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Well, sir, on your --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Wait for a moment so that Ms. Hasan completes her
22 MS. HASAN:
23 Q. So she says that you separated, "my husband, Rifat, my neighbour
24 Nazif Omerovic, son of Alija, born in Voljavica, Bratunac municipality,
25 and Sead Husic, born in Voljavica, Bratunac municipality, and put them in
1 cars that were parked next to the trucks and buses. I do not know what
2 happened to them afterwards."
3 Now, sir, you were disputing the father's name she gave, and she
4 says you're the son of Busko, B-o-s-k-o, exactly how it's spelled on the
5 cover page of your witness statement which you confirmed to be true.
6 A. Bosko, yes; Busko, no.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, that had --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's one letter but still it
9 changes the name.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that the spelling from what you read
11 is with an O or is it with a U?
12 MS. HASAN: It's with an O, and it's exactly how it's spelled in
13 the witness statement.
14 JUDGE ORIE: So then it's the same name in writing. Please
16 MS. HASAN:
17 Q. And sir, did you know Ms. Salihovic's husband, Rifat Salihovic?
18 A. If it relates to the same person that I have in mind, then yes,
19 as far as I know there was only one Rifat Salihovic.
20 MS. HASAN: Okay. Now, Your Honours, if we can go into private
22 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Page 24618 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, I'm looking at the clock. It's almost
5 time for an adjournment.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was too early.
8 How much time would you still need?
9 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, at the present time I just have one more
10 question for the witness.
11 JUDGE ORIE: One more question. I'm looking at the Defence. One
12 more question only. Yes, please proceed.
13 MS. HASAN:
14 Q. Witness, I put it to you that the only reason you are denying
15 having seen any separations in Potocari is because you knew that was a
16 bad thing. You knew that those people were going to be executed. And it
17 is for that reason that you sit here today, 20 years later, denying that
18 you ever saw any families being separated that way.
19 A. You're not right. I have no reason whatsoever. Not at a single
20 point in time did I or any one of my soldiers get any closer. Not a
21 metre closer. The only person from the Bratunac Brigade was Momir,
22 nicknamed Penzijica, otherwise the security man of the Bratunac Brigade
23 who was the only one who took part in this. I did not hear from
24 anyone -- I did not hear anyone say that anybody the Bratunac Brigade
25 took part in any of that. Let anyone come here and testify that we took
1 part and then you can have me executed by a firing squad. I never did
2 any such thing. I would not allow anyone of my soldiers to do any such
3 things. I say that on oath and I am an honourable man and I would never
4 deny something that I had done. I was -- I felt that I was accountable
5 then and I am now.
6 I know what we are allowed to do and what we are not allowed to
7 do, and after all, these were our friends. I mean, this neighbour of
8 mine before we addressed each other as Kum and Kuma. This would not have
9 happened to her. I mean I would have just helped her if anything. My
10 father was the first person to tell me that she was saying things like
11 that. But this is not true. Not a single comma from that is true, let
12 alone a single letter or word. I didn't even know that her husband got
13 killed (redacted)
14 (redacted) This is the truth. That's for sure.
15 MS. HASAN: Thank you. I have no further questions. If we can
16 just go into private session briefly.
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second. How much time would the Defence need?
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a few minutes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then I suggest nevertheless that we will continue
20 tomorrow because we need to have a hearing tomorrow anyhow for other
21 reasons as well. So therefore, I would suggest that we continue
23 Now, I don't know the reason why you wanted to go into private
24 session, Ms. Hasan. Is tomorrow too late for that or -- and do we need
25 the witness for it?
1 MS. HASAN: No, I think the witness can be excused for that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And we couldn't wait until tomorrow?
3 MS. HASAN: No. It's better if it's dealt with today.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Kovacevic, we would like to see you back
5 tomorrow at 9.30. It will not take much time tomorrow, but I instruct
6 you hereby that you should not speak or communicate in any way to
7 whomever about your testimony, whether testimony you've given today or
8 whether testimony still to be given tomorrow. You may follow the usher.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
11 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 We adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow, Thursday, the
11 24th of July, 9.30 in the morning in this same Courtroom I.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.23 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 24th day of July,
14 2014, at 9.30 a.m.