1 Monday, 25 August 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 After four weeks of recess, we will now restart.
8 The Chamber was informed that there were a few preliminary
9 matters to be -- oh, no, I first have to -- I've totally gotten out of my
11 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
13 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
15 Then I'll resume where I too hastily started with preliminary
16 matters to be raised.
17 Mr. Lukic, the Defence would like raise a matter. You have an
18 opportunity to do so.
19 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour. Good
20 morning. I apologise to interpreters. I will be speaking in two
21 languages. When I quote something from our transcript, I'll read it in
22 English, otherwise I'll be talking in B/C/S.
23 [Interpretation] On 24 July 2014, this Chamber, on page 23648,
24 line 23, and up to page 23653, line 15, issued new instructions to us for
25 the Defence case. I believe that all of these instructions are very
1 restrictive and that they restricts the right of our client to defence.
2 Let us start by saying that our position is that the Rules of the
3 presentation of case cannot be changed mid-case after the Prosecution had
4 its opportunity to present its case. We also believe --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I tried to immediately follow your
6 reference, your page reference. For me at this moment, but it may be a
7 technical issue, the transcript of the 24th of July starts at page 24623,
8 whereas you are referring us to page 23648. Is that the slip of the
9 tongue, or is there ...?
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Obviously this has been misrecorded.
11 I said T 24648, line 23.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then I'm with you. Please proceed.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 We believe that we have the same rights and that we should abide
15 by the same rules that the Prosecutor abided by during the Prosecution
16 case. Otherwise, the rights of our client to fair trial would be
17 seriously threatened.
18 And now I would like to start with the first instruction on page
19 T 24649, line 8. [In English] And I will quote:
20 "To this end, the Chamber notes with concern that many court
21 hours have been spent adducing evidence of questionable relevance, much
22 of which appears at this moment to also have questionable probative
23 value. Many Defence witnesses have given a great deal of evidence about
24 matters that neither appear or form part of any recognisable defence nor
25 relate in any material way to the crimes alleged in the indictment."
1 [Interpretation] With all due respect, we have to point out that
2 we do not agree with this opinion of the Chamber. First of all, we would
3 like to say that a testimony has to be put in a context and has to
4 provide a broader picture of the developments in order to be able to
5 assess the credibility of a witness and to give weight to his or her
7 Some of the statements prove legitimate defence, although this is
8 not expressly stated. We did not put legal terms into our witnesses'
9 mouths.' We did not write our statements in that way. We used the
10 language that was used by the witnesses themselves.
11 Before the trial started, we asked for the indictment to focus on
12 certain things, and we wanted to be told who exactly were members of the
13 joint criminal enterprise. This never happened. Today we have an
14 indictment in which in Articles 11, 12, and 13, it is stated who members
15 of the joint criminal enterprise are.
16 Apart from the specific names in paragraph 10 of the indictment,
17 in paragraph 11 it is stated that those were members of the leadership of
18 Bosnian Serbs, members of the Serbian Democratic Party, members of the
19 state organs of Bosnian Serbs at the republican regional municipality and
20 local levels including Crisis Staff staffs, War Presidencies, war
21 commissions, commanders, assistant commanders, higher-ranking officers,
22 chiefs of units of the Ministry of the Defence of Serbia, the JNA, the
23 Army of Yugoslavia, the VRS, the Ministry of the Interior of
24 Bosnian Serbs, the Territorial Defence of Bosnian Serbs, at the
25 republican, regional, municipality, and local levels, as well as the
1 leaders of Serbian paramilitary and voluntary units.
2 Article 12 goes even further than that, and it says that all the
3 local Serbs - i.e., all Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina - were members of
4 this joint criminal enterprise. During the pre-trial conferences, this
5 was clarified and it was specified that those were all the Serbs over the
6 age of 16.
7 In the case of an indictment like this, it is absolutely
8 impossible for us, even if we wanted to, to bring and present a wrong
9 witness. Whomever we ask whether they participated in this joint
10 criminal enterprise, we challenge this indictment. Whomever we bring
11 here to testify only about this fact, they are legitimate witnesses who
12 can be presented to this Trial Chamber.
13 Therefore, in the case of such an indictment, it is virtually
14 impossible to locate anybody who was over the age of 16 who resided in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time who is not a suitable witness for this
17 Pursuant to Rule 98 bis, the Defence asked for the scope of the
18 indictment to be reduced. Since nothing has been deleted from this
19 indictment, we have to challenge every single thing. We have to know
20 that in this case after the Prosecution case ended barring bar tabled
21 exhibits, over 3.000 pieces of evidence were tabled and this contributed
22 to the burden on the Defence to challenge the counts of the indictment.
23 As the Trial Chamber already knows, our Defence is also revenge.
24 For example, that people did something in retaliation without that being
25 planned, ordered, or indeed envisaged by Ratko Mladic. Our Defence is
1 also a legitimate response to attacks coming from the other side.
2 We heard the Prosecutor's theory in our case, that the shelling
3 of Sarajevo was aimed at terrorising the civilian population there.
4 According to that -- according to them, this was done without any reason,
5 which is why our witnesses have to explain that the BiH Army nonstop
6 shelled, nonstop opened fire, and the VRS had to respond to those
7 attacks. Whoever testifies about that challenges the indictment. In
8 such cases this could not be a tu quoque defence. This is just
9 challenging the indictment.
10 The Trial Chamber allowed the Prosecutor to go beyond the scope
11 and the geographical range of this indictment. We have the right to
12 defend our client against everything that was presented against him. The
13 Defence should not be held against trying to contest what the Prosecutor
14 did during the Prosecution case relative to the scope of the indictment
15 which was extended.
16 On page T 24649, lines 14 to 16, this is what is objected against
18 [In English] "Additionally, during cross-examination, it has
19 often come to the light that the source of a witness's knowledge about a
20 particular incident merely stems from media reports or from the Karadzic
22 [Interpretation] With all due respect, we do not agree with this
23 conclusion reached by the Trial Chamber. The Trial Chamber generalises,
24 erroneously in this case, and the Trial Chamber misunderstands the
25 testimonies of the witnesses who stated that they had been faced with the
1 facts about which they were supposed to testify. In other words, the
2 Karadzic defence was not the source of knowledge for our witnesses. It
3 was the source of questions for them, and I'm talking here primarily
4 about the adjudicated facts.
5 The witnesses do not have any other means of knowing what was
6 accepted as adjudicated facts in any of the other cases if they're not
7 told so. In other words, the Karadzic defence told them what was
8 admitted as adjudicated facts in that case, and they put questions to
9 them about those facts. For example, Witnesses Radojcic and Sehovic,
10 they said that they had seen a picture of Hrasnica which confirmed what
11 they said. It was not Karadzic's defence that informed them about the
12 events -- actually, they showed them something. They showed them a photo
13 which confirmed what they had already known, what they had witnessed
14 during a war.
15 Next, on page 24649, lines 6 through 21, and I quote:
16 [In English] "The Chamber also notes that often these witnesses
17 make sweeping generalisations in their statements which then trigger the
18 Prosecution to spend a great amount of time in cross-examination
19 attempting to show what is readily apparent from the start; that is, that
20 sweeping generalisations have little, if any, probative value."
21 [Interpretation] We believe that as a matter of fact is a
22 generalised statement on the part of the Trial Chamber. We brought and
23 presented very specific, very relevant witnesses for the counts of it --
24 in the indictment relevant to Sarajevo, because this is the part of the
25 indictment that we have been dealing with so far. We can give you each
1 of the witnesses' names and counts of the indictment that they testified
2 about. We brought battalion commanders, brigade commanders, company
3 commanders who spoke about very specific incidents, and it is not true
4 that their statements are just sweeping generalisations and that they
5 don't have any probative value.
6 It is with regret that we have to say that this type of reasoning
7 on behalf of the Trial Chamber shows that our witnesses are viewed
8 differently than the Prosecution witnesses. The Prosecutor brought
9 several witnesses who did provide sweeping generalisations. For example,
10 their witnesses said, "Serbs destroyed a cultural edifice," and they did
11 not say anything specific about either a possible perpetrator or the way
12 the crime had been done. At the same time, the Trial Chamber and the
13 Prosecutor conducted investigations by examining our witnesses, and that
14 was directed against the members of the Defence team. A lot of time was
15 lost unnecessarily in that.
16 If the Trial Chamber decided to conduct investigations, they
17 should have informed us about the results of those investigations. We
18 believe that we have the right to know. You checked the private e-mails
19 of our witnesses. We ask you to say publicly what you found out; i.e.,
20 please inform both us and the general public as well.
21 At the same time, the Defence requested from this Trial Chamber
22 during the testimony of Momir Nikolic to investigate how come that in the
23 report of Bursik, who is the Prosecutor's investigator, that he in his
24 report claimed that Momir Nikolic said something in a recorded
25 conversation which is not true. We want you to inform us whether
1 anything was done, whether there was any investigation about that. If
2 so, what were the results of that investigation?
3 In order to make things even more drastic, the Trial Chamber
4 attacked a member of our team as if we had done something wrong. Now we
5 raise a question: Why the Prosecution Witness Momir Nikolic, who was
6 found by this Tribunal that he was lying, why he wasn't asked how come
7 that he hadn't remembered that before? The first time he ever said that
8 was during the Popovic trial. After that report presented by Bursik, the
9 report which was erroneous, and this was a thing that had to be
10 investigated, we do not have the power like the Prosecutor has to offer
11 relocation, various bargain deals. We believe that when investigation is
12 done, this investigation is channeled in a totally wrong direction.
13 Furthermore, on page 24649, lines 22 through 25, I quote:
14 [In English] "Conversely, relevant content has sometimes been
15 removed from witness statements, apparently triggering the Prosecution's
16 need to explore these subjects as well as the reasons for removing them,
17 all of which needlessly uses a great deal of valuable court time."
18 [Interpretation] I have to tell you, and I have to be very
19 sincere in saying that the Defence was dumbfounded by this finding on the
20 part of the Trial Chamber. The same procedure was used by the Prosecutor
21 when they introduced old statements and compiled new statements of the
22 witnesses in this case or when the Prosecutor used transcripts from the
23 same witnesses' previous testimonies. The Trial Chamber never asked the
24 Prosecutor why they were doing that. Obviously, in such situation, the
25 Defence had to use its valuable time for cross-examination, and this is
1 precisely what the Prosecution has to do now. We don't see anything in
2 dispute here.
3 Why didn't the Trial Chamber ever mention that during the
4 Prosecution case? In that way the Defence would be well informed and in
5 due time that that was a wrong way to do things. Presenting this as a
6 problem at this moment is precisely what constitutes changing the rules
7 of a case at the detriment of the Defence, mid-case. Let's give you a
8 specific example: Witness RM314, the Prosecutor took three statements
9 from him. It has to be known that the statements taken by the Prosecutor
10 are over ten years old, and again there are changes. This has happened
11 all the time. For every Prosecutor witness we received proofing notes
12 about changes, perhaps not for each and every one, but I can easily say
13 that there were over 75 per cent of them. We can present those proofing
14 notes to you if you wish.
15 Witness RM314, the Prosecutor filed his first, second, and third
16 statements. The Prosecutor did not file his proofing notes and his
17 testimony in the Popovic case, which explicitly denies some parts of his
18 previous statements. In other words, the proofing notes and their
19 testimony in the Popovic case change and negate the statements of the
20 same witness that were filed by the Prosecution and admitted by the
21 Trial Chamber. The Prosecution just ignored those things. My colleague
22 Ivetic fought very hard against such an approach by the Prosecution and
23 later by the decision of the Trial Chamber, and you will find that on
24 T 10853.
25 This is just one of the many examples showing how things were
1 changed. Obviously, the Defence had to use a lot of time to correct
2 things that were obvious from the very start. Let me share some more
3 examples with you. RM013, two statements were filed and one set of
4 proofing notes. Witness Ibro Osmanovic, there are three statements, two
5 were admitted as exhibits. Ado Medic, two statements, plus proofing
6 statements presented in the courtroom. Both statements were admitted.
7 RM280, four statements. And the last two are the corrections of the
8 first two statements. All the four statements were admitted into
10 The Prosecution had 17 years at their disposal to investigate
11 whatever they liked before the trial began. We heard from the
12 Prosecution investigators that they launched investigations as early as
13 1995; specifically, Investigator Ruez told us so. The Defence had five
14 months to complete its investigation after the last Prosecution witness
15 was heard. I wanted to inform you that we asked for more resources, more
16 personnel, who would be members of our team, and more time. It was not
18 All Defence team members worked tirelessly, nonstop, and to
19 sanction them for not having been allotted the time, the resources, and
20 staff they requested, is not only unjust but also cynical. Let me remind
21 you: In this courtroom on the Prosecution side we saw 26 attorneys who
22 led witnesses. At the beginning, on the Defence side, you saw four
23 attorneys. However, due to the lack of funding, after several of the
24 fist witnesses we had to bring down to only three, and the three who are
25 in the courtroom are not all paid equally as attorneys-at-law, as
1 counsel. We have two paid counsel and one assistant.
2 The next point. At transcript page 24650, line 1, I quote:
3 [In English] "Moreover, the Chamber notes the unfortunate
4 tendency of both parties to adduce evidence that is unnecessarily
5 repetitious or that relates to matters that are not in dispute in the
6 first place; for example, the Chamber has now heard several witnesses
7 give evidence concerning the strength and positions of ABiH units, but
8 when these matters are explored by the Chamber in court it discovers that
9 the parties are more or less in agreement about such facts and there was
10 never a reason to spend court time adducing the evidence to begin with."
11 [Interpretation] I say yet again, it all comes as a consequence
12 of the Prosecution case, the numerous exhibits, and the scope of the
13 indictment. We are prepared to accept any kind of Prosecution
14 stipulation in this matter, and of course any potential Chamber decision
15 as to the location of ABiH army positions, their facilities, warehouses,
16 and command posts in Sarajevo. Of course, unless all positions known to
17 the Defence are accepted where there were ABiH members in Sarajevo, we
18 will keep on leading evidence in that regard.
19 By supporting or corroborative evidence have a particular role to
20 play since they add to the probative value of previous witnesses and the
21 exhibits themselves. The role of such evidence is to deny the evidence
22 led by Prosecution.
23 The next item I have is page 24650, lines 16 to 22. I quote:
24 [In English] "More significantly, the Chamber notes, with serious
25 concern, that witnesses have testified about alarming statement taking
1 practices such as being pressured to sign statements which they knew to
2 contain errors or signing statements that they have not read. A great
3 deal of court time has been used trying to clarify and correct such
4 issues as, for example, those encountered with the statements of
5 Witnesses Deronjic, Batinic, and Tusevljak."
6 [Interpretation] The Defence agrees with this finding as well.
7 We wish to state that the witnesses were not forced to say something.
8 What they said was that they did not have the time to correct their
9 statements but were told that they could do so during their testimony
10 live, which was done every single time. It comes about as a consequence
11 of lack of time, and all such cases happened at the time when we were
12 told that we had to have signed statements. Such mistakes were made only
13 in the course of the following few days following the request by the
15 We had to come up with signatures without any delay whatsoever,
16 and it did not provide sufficient time to the Defence to deal with
17 corrections at that point in time, but we did deal with such corrections
18 in our proofing notes and during the main hearing. Nothing was hidden.
19 I will leave the witnesses explained why they had to sign, in what way,
20 and that they were told that they would be accorded an opportunity to
21 have it corrected before the Court and that they were indeed given that
23 Page 24651, lines 2 through 4. It was the next objection voiced
24 by the Chamber and the first instruction. I quote:
25 [In English] "First, the parties I expected to limit the
1 production of evidence to matters that are relevant and start by adducing
2 evidence which is most important" -- or "relevant," actually, sorry.
3 [Interpretation] This is new and it was not in place during the
4 Prosecution case, although it is stated that it refers to both sides but
5 the Prosecution was no longer leading its evidence. It is therefore
6 clear that this instruction only affects the Defence. We believe that
7 the Defence has a right to decide on its own order or presentation. We
8 believe that at this stage the Chamber has no right to influence our
9 decision on presentation order. At this point in time, it is unclear why
10 the Defence is leading that particular evidence before some other. Such
11 assessment could only be done at the close of our case.
12 The next point is on page 24651, lines 4 through 7. I quote:
13 [In English] "The Chamber reminds the parties that relevant
14 evidence has been defined by the Appeals Chamber as evidence relating to
15 a material issue and that the material issue of a case are to be found in
16 the indictment."
17 [Interpretation] Precisely. We saw what the indictment is. We
18 simply cannot miss by responding to it. We have no problem with this
19 particular standard to be applied. We believe that all our evidence is
20 relevant, and we believe that our evidence needs to be viewed in a
21 more -- in a wider context at all times. Of course this is not something
22 the Prosecution finds to its liking, but we don't know why the Chamber
23 shares that view.
24 Our evidence cannot be understood unless viewed in totality.
25 This Defence is not afraid of the truth. Everything is being pronounced
1 tu quoque. Anything that aims at providing a wider context, it is
2 impossible to avoid this wider context in the situation in which all
3 Serbs older than 16 in 1992 were members of the same JCE. We wish to
4 show you that there were several levels, and that is why we bring
5 witnesses who may not have participated in a specific operation but, for
6 example, the man in question was the municipal head at the time and under
7 the indictment he was a JCE member. He is a relevant witness who needs
8 to say whether the JCE existed and what was it that the members of that
9 JCE did. Of course we don't only lead soldiers as witnesses who had
10 participated in particular operations.
11 The next point. Page 24651, line 7 to line 9. I quote:
12 [In English] "Inasmuch as the Defence finds it preferable to use
13 witness statements from other trials, it is expected to remove irrelevant
14 material from such statements before they are tendered in this case."
15 [Interpretation] In addition to this general or generalised
16 indictment, the Defence was put in a position to listen to Prosecution
17 evidence which did not refer to directly. When one of the last few or
18 perhaps the very last Prosecution witness was examined, we also found out
19 that the indictment included something that is not in the text itself
20 which is the time before the relevant period in 1995 as well as a
21 specific geographic location in Croatia. You can find it in the witness
22 testimony provided by Theunens at transcript page 20318 and onwards.
23 We now have to deal with Croatia it seems. And we also have to
24 deal with the period of time before the 12th of May, 1992. Who is to
25 blame for that? Not the Defence and it cannot be held responsible.
1 The next point, page 24651, lines 13 through 16. I quote:
2 [In English] "In short, this means that the Defence should avoid
3 adducing evidence including in written statements for which there is no
4 factual basis or which could be characterised as a sweeping
6 [Interpretation] We believe, in this case as well, that this part
7 of the Chamber's instructions should also reflect the situation in this
8 case; i.e., the indictment needs to be taken into account as well as the
9 statement by the Prosecution that they would go beyond the scope of that
10 time in both temporal and geographical terms. Of course, one also needs
11 to bear in mind the enormous amount of documents filed by the Prosecution
12 that we need to respond to.
13 I'm nearing the end, and I would kindly ask for a little bit of
15 On page 24651, lines 24 through to line 6 on the next page, the
16 Chamber states the following in item 4, I quote:
17 [In English] I'm sorry if I said item 4, it's item 3, third.
18 "Third, the Chamber expects the parties to carefully consider the
19 necessity of adducing repetitious or background evidence. The Chamber
20 reminds the Defence that should it wish to offer evidence that is, for
21 example, cumulative in nature or which relates to the historical,
22 political, or military background of the case, it should seek to do so
23 pursuant to Rule 92 bis, a Rule created precisely for the purpose of
24 expanding complex trials by eliminating the need to use court time for
25 adducing such evidence."
1 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I take it was a slip of the tongue when you
2 wanted to say "expediting" rather than "expanding."
3 MR. LUKIC: Expediting, I'm sorry.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 [Interpretation] In what kind of situation are we at this moment?
7 Before proposing the signed witness statements, we did our own research
8 and we often realised that statements contain elements of background
9 facts as well as the context as well as addressing the acts and conduct
10 of General Mladic. They oftentimes also included things that should not
11 be in those statements under 92 bis but should enter under 92 ter.
12 Given the fact that the Rules do not allow for a statement to be
13 filed that contains something that has a direct bearing on the accused
14 needs to be introduced through 92 bis. The fact that such statements
15 contain background information and historical context is no reason for
16 rejecting them, especially if it is known that the Defence is -- does not
17 waste time on it because it had already been contained in the statement,
18 and the Prosecution needs to assess whether there is any need to go into
19 questioning such background and historical facts. Or, rather, to simply
20 focus on the gist of the statement, which is the acts and conduct of
21 General Mladic.
22 I thank you for having given me this opportunity to state our
23 position regards the remarks the few days before the recess and we could
24 not respond to it at that point in time. That is why I thank you again
25 for this opportunity. Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
2 Could I seek some clarification. Page 16, line 13, start with
3 the word "needs..." I reread your sentence. You said:
4 "Given the fact that the Rules do not allow for a statement to be
5 filed that contains something that has a direct bearing on the accused
6 needs to be introduced through 92 bis ..."
7 May I understand you wanting to say that does not allow for a
8 statement to be filed that contains something that has a direct bearing
9 under the accused to be introduced through 92 bis?
10 MR. LUKIC: Exactly, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and you were, as I understand from what you
12 later said, you were not talking about a direct bearing but about acts
13 and conduct. Is that well understood?
14 MR. LUKIC: I think that it's acts and conduct and bearings.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well that's --
16 MR. LUKIC: Because we have --
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- not what the Rules says, but let's have --
18 MR. LUKIC: Usually they combine all three, and usually you can
19 find it at the end of the statement.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. I leave it to that at the moment. I tend to
21 agree that at least if it's about acts and conduct of the accused that it
22 may have a direct bearing, whether the -- it's true the other way around
23 is, I think, still to be something to be thought of.
24 Again, thank you, Mr. Lukic.
25 Does the Prosecution wish to respond, and if so, now or at a
1 later stage?
2 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I could speak for probably three
3 minutes and address at least an initial response to the Defence comments.
4 I think for the purposes of today --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, as a matter of fact, I'd like you to either
6 to -- not to start now but a little bit and then later expound to it. So
7 could you please make up your mind as to whether you want to respond now
8 or at a later stage.
9 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, we disagree rather strongly with many
10 of the comments made by the Defence. We are willing, if the
11 Trial Chamber would like, to submit separate individualised responses to
12 some of the allegations made during the statement. Otherwise, it's
13 well-established law that matters of practice, procedure, and the general
14 conduct of the proceedings are well within the Trial Chamber's
15 discretion. So with that, Your Honour, I think those are our comments
16 for now. If the Chamber would like to have -- like us to address some of
17 the specific examples that were raised by the Defence, we're certainly
18 willing to submit submissions with respect to those.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: If there are any specifics where you think it would
21 be appropriate to deal with them, then the Chamber would preferably
22 receive any comments in writing. Then we are five minutes away from the
23 break. There were other preliminary matters, I do understand, from the
24 Prosecution. And perhaps if I understood the gist of at least one of the
25 preliminary matters to be raised by the Prosecution, well, I wonder
1 whether the following might even remove the necessity to deal with it
2 because the Chamber would like to briefly deal with the revised
3 translation of P6690.
4 The Chamber admitted P6690 into evidence on the 23rd of July,
5 2014, during the testimony of Milan Pejic. On the 19th of August the
6 Prosecution advised the Chamber and the Defence through an informal
7 communication that it had requested and received a revised English
8 translation of this exhibit. That has now been uploaded in e-court under
9 doc ID 1D08-10188-A. I did misspeak and I'll repeat because the
10 transcriber indeed copied exactly my mistake. I'll repeat: Uploaded
11 into e-court under doc I ID 1D08-0188-A. Upon agreement of the Defence,
12 which I received on the 24th of August, 2014, through an informal
13 communication, the Chamber hereby instructs the Registry to replace the
14 current translation with the revised version.
15 But there was another matter, I do understand, Ms. Bibles, that
16 you wanted to raise.
17 Please proceed.
18 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Your Honour, the Defence did provide additional witness
20 statements to the Prosecutor on the 15th of August. We now have
21 statements for 152 prospective witnesses. I would simply put, for the
22 purposes of the record, that according to the agreement between the
23 parties, for those witnesses for whom we do not have statements they are
24 either experts or internationals, witnesses for whom Karadzic or Popovic
25 statements may be used, or the witnesses will be called viva voce. Thank
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for raising that issue. I put it on the
4 As far as experts are concerned, the Chamber will deal with them
5 rather soon. But there is one item which may even need urgent attention,
6 and I'll deal with that in the remaining two minutes.
7 On the -- it's about the safe conduct motion. On the 12th of
8 August of this year, the Defence filed a safe conduct motion for a
9 witness who is scheduled to testify during the first week of September.
10 As the Registrar requires some time to process safe conduct
11 orders, the Chamber would like to ask the Defence to consider
12 rescheduling the appearance of that witness in order to allow: First of
13 all, the Chamber sufficient time to consider the motion; and second, the
14 Registry sufficient time to process the order should the Chamber decide
15 to grant the motion.
16 Then finally, since we've got one minute left, I will deal with
17 P6649, which is a criminal report dated the 26th of October, 1992.
18 On the 9th of July of this year, P6649 was tendered and marked
19 for identification as a confidential document. On the 24th of July, the
20 Chamber admitted P6649 into evidence, and the Chamber hereby clarifies
21 that P6649 is admitted into evidence under seal.
22 I leave it to that for the time being, although there are a few
23 matters the Chamber would like to raise pretty soon.
24 We first take a break and we'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00 and
25 expect the Defence then to be ready to call its next witness. We take a
2 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We have a bit of a late start. That's due to some
5 urgent matters we had to deal with. Apologies for that.
6 Is the Defence ready to call its next witness?
7 MR. IVETIC: We are, Your Honour. The next witness is
8 Goran Sehovac, testifying without any protective measures.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could Mr. Sehovac be escorted into the
11 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, if I may, before the witness is brought
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. LUKIC: I spoke with Mr. Traldi and we agreed that the
15 Defence will use with our Witness GRM251 statement -- his statement
16 marked as 1D1773 instead of 1D169. When the witness is here, we filed
17 both statements. You will see that there are some cosmetic changes and
18 you can explore with the witness how it comes that he signed both
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that's the third witness to appear this
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Good morning Mr. Sehovac.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
3 make a solemn declaration, the text of which is now handed out to you.
4 You do not hear -- can you hear the interpreters now?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Sehovac, before you give evidence, the Rules
7 require that you make a solemn declaration, the text of which is now
8 handed out to you, and I'd like to invite you to make that solemn
10 WITNESS: GORAN SEHOVAC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I'll speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Sehovac. Please be seated.
15 Mr. Sehovac, you'll first be examined by Mr. Ivetic. Mr. Ivetic
16 is a member of the Defence team of Mr. Mladic.
17 Mr. Ivetic, if you're ready, please proceed.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
20 Q. Good morning, sir.
21 A. Good morning to you, too.
22 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to call up in e-court 1D01609, and I have a
23 hard copy -- a clean hard copy for the witness. With the usher's
24 assistance and the co-operation of the Prosecution counsel, we could
25 perhaps already get that to the witness.
1 Q. Sir, on the screen in front of you I would direct your attention
2 to the signature. On the first page of the Serbian, can you identify
3 that signature?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Whose signature is it?
6 A. This is my own signature.
7 MR. IVETIC: And now I'd like to turn to the last page of the
8 document in the Serbian original.
9 Q. And, sir, could you confirm for us whose signature is located on
10 this page?
11 A. We are talking about the last page; right? Yes, this is my
13 Q. Subsequent to signing this statement for the Defence team of
14 General Mladic, did you have occasion to review the same in proofing with
15 myself in the Serbian language?
16 A. Yes, yes. I did make some minor changes, though.
17 Q. Thank you. I'd like to take a look together at paragraph 9 of
18 your statement.
19 MR. IVETIC: Page 3 in the Serbian, page 2 in the English.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
21 MR. IVETIC:
22 Q. In the last line of that paragraph you say that you have personal
23 knowledge of civilians being used as human shields. Can you explain that
24 phrase for us?
25 A. No, not personal knowledge. This was misrecorded. However, at
1 that moment I was in that area in Nedzarici on the front line facing the
2 city of Sarajevo. In that part of Nedzarici the Serbs were fleeing using
3 their own secret roads across the line, and those people talked to us
4 when they crossed over to our territory. They told us what was going on
5 in the city of Sarajevo and how the police treated those civilians, how
6 the civilians were being pushed among the soldiers in order to create an
7 erroneous picture of what was going on. This means that I heard that
8 from the people who had left Sarajevo, who had fled Sarajevo. Those are
9 the Serbs who found themselves in Sarajevo when the war started, and they
10 used covert roads to cross the lines and join us in Nedzarici. That's
11 the explanation of that part of the statement.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. IVETIC: Now if we can look at paragraph 10 which is the same
14 page in the Serbian and is on page 3 in the English.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, Witness, are you in a position to
16 tell us any name of any of those persons that told you this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I? Well, listen, it was a long
18 time ago, over 20 plus years. Those people left --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you don't have to explain why there was a
20 good reason not to know. Do you have a name? If so, please give it; if
21 you don't have names, please tell us as well.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: If we can look now at paragraph 10, which is on the
1 Q. Here you talk about the situation in Vares and you say that you
2 establish a line at Brgule, facing part of Croatia. Do you have a
3 clarification here?
4 A. That was not Croatian territory. We established our line in
5 Brgule. That part was controlled by the BH army together with the HVO.
6 So that was that. That was not Croatia. That was a territory partly
7 controlled by the HVO. That's where we established our line. The
8 Croatian civilians and troops were a majority there, as it were.
9 MR. IVETIC: And if we can turn to paragraph 14 of your
10 statement, which is on page 3 in the English, and crosses between pages 3
11 and 4 in the Serbian.
12 Q. Here you talk about a Franciscan monastery and the priests,
13 friars, and students leaving. Were you present at the time that they
15 A. No, no. I was not there. According to what I know, they left of
16 their own will. However, throughout the war the Franciscan monastery in
17 question was guarded and protected.
18 Q. Thank you. Now apart from these clarifications to your written
19 statement, do you stand behind the same as being accurate?
20 A. Of course, fully. I'm here to defend the truth.
21 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions about the same topics
22 today, would your answers in substance be the same?
23 A. Certainly.
24 Q. And having taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth today,
25 would those answers, as contained in your written statement, be truthful?
1 A. As a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, i.e. Republika Srpska, I am
2 duty-bound to tell the truth. This is why I'm here.
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I at this time tender the written
4 statement 1D01609 as a public exhibit.
5 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of any objection, Madam Registrar,
6 the number would be...
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D01609 receives number D596,
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
10 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have a summary to read of the
11 witness's testimony which has been given to the booths and which has been
12 explained to the witness.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
14 MR. IVETIC: The witness was a young soldiers from the Nedzarici
15 settlement in Sarajevo. In mid-1992 he was sent to do his compulsory
16 military service at the VRS in Han Pijesak where after two months of
17 training he was assigned to the anti-terrorist unit of the protection
18 regiment. During this time his unit was sent to protect territories in
19 the areas of Zepa, Zvornik, and Vlasenica.
20 In 1993 the witness was assigned to the military police of the
21 Ilidza Brigade as a resident of that area. In early 1994, the assault
22 detachment of the military police was formed and the witness became its
23 member. He stayed in that position for the duration of the war.
24 The witness knows that civilians were fitted with explosives by
25 the ABiH and forced towards the Serb lines. The witness's father saved
1 several such persons.
2 In 1993 the witness and his unit received orders to assist the
3 threatened Croatian civilians in Vares, at which time these Croats were
4 provided security and given the option of staying on Serb territory or
5 continuing to Croat lines. His unit accomplished this task successfully.
6 The Franciscan monastery at Nedzarici was also under the
7 protection of the VRS, and the only damage came from ABiH fire.
8 The witness states that he was under orders to allow humanitarian
9 aid arriving from Butmir airport to cross through check-points unhindered
10 after performing a superficial cursory examination. There was one
11 striking incident where the witness personally found ammunition in a food
12 shipment. This was covered by the media. He knows of other such
13 incidents, including when gunpowder was found in oxygen tanks intended
14 for hospital use.
15 This completes the summary of the statement.
16 JUDGE ORIE: If you have any further questions, Mr. Ivetic, you
17 may put them to the witness.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Sehovac, I do have some follow-up questions. To start with,
20 if we look back at paragraph number 2, page 2 of both versions of your
21 statement, here you talk about being a soldier who had not done
22 compulsory military service. Can you please explain to us how it is that
23 you came to know that the SDA had stolen the military records?
24 A. May I? As a teenager, at the time I was 18, according to the
25 rules of the then Yugoslav and under the law of the then Yugoslav, all
1 lads who come of age have the right to serve in the JNA. It was a lovely
2 custom in the former Yugoslavia. All the nations and nationalities sent
3 their sons to the army irrespective of whether they were Serbs, Croats,
4 or Muslims. We all served in the army together. We learned how to
5 defend our homeland. But the Bosniak policies, i.e. the Bosniak
6 political party, the SDA, which stole documents in Novi Grad. But first
7 I need to explain that every municipality had its recruiting centre where
8 documents were kept regarding all the lads who were to be recruited into
9 the JNA.
10 At Novi Grad municipality is a big municipality, one of the
11 biggest ones in the city of Sarajevo, and there were a lot of
12 administrative workers in the municipality. At that moment my parents,
13 as well as the parents of all the other lads - Muslims, Croats, and
14 Serbs - prepared us for service in the JNA, i.e. in the common army.
15 However, that didn't happen because the SDA stole the documents or moved
16 them away or burned them of all the lads residing in the municipality of
17 Novi Grad. I don't know how that happened. I wouldn't be able to tell
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you tell us how you found out? That
20 was the question. And -- but if you say, "I don't know how that
21 happened," where you said before that they stole them or moved them away
22 or burned them, does this mean that you do not know whether they were
23 stolen or burned or moved away?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My father learned that, i.e., the
25 information leaked from the municipality of Novi Grad. At that moment,
1 my father was preparing a party to send me off into the army. However,
2 the information was leaked by the administrative workers of the
3 municipality; those people who worked at the municipality informed my
4 father that the documents had gone missing and that nobody from Novi Grad
5 would be sent to serve in the JNA. That's the line of information.
6 Since everybody knew each other, there were Serbs, Muslims, and Croats
7 there, I suppose that a Serb double-checked that information and learned
8 that the documents had been stolen and informed not only my father but
9 all the other parents whose sons were about to be recruited into the JNA.
10 To put it simply: The objective was to boycott the JNA, to
11 prevent citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina from serving in the JNA. That's
12 the explanation of some people from that political party. At that time
13 as a young lad, I could not understand that somebody could commit such a
14 crime against the sovereignty of its own state, a state that we all lived
15 for. My father was very disappointed with the fact that I was not going
16 to serve in the army, because he was a member of the League of Communists
17 and he was a Yugoslav at heart.
18 MR. IVETIC: Did Your Honour have additional follow-ups?
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, I leave it to you at this moment, Mr. Ivetic.
20 MR. IVETIC:
21 Q. Sir, if we can now focus on your compulsory military service with
22 the VRS in Han Pijesak. And you say that the training lasted two months
23 at paragraph 3. Can you tell us what kind of training you underwent at
24 that time including the topics of that training?
25 A. All sorts of incidents started occurring all around
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and especially in Sarajevo. Our Crisis Staff in
2 Nedzarici, somewhat older people in it, gathered all the young men and
3 advised them to go and serve in the JNA. As a result of that, all of us
4 lads gathered in Han Pijesak, that was our base because the barracks were
5 there and all the recruits arrived there, they were deployed across
6 various units, and they were trained. How were they trained? One part
7 of that training was theory and the other part was practical training.
8 Every army does that: Theory and practice. Theoretical training
9 regarded the conduct of a soldier in service: How should a soldier
10 behave in the case of war; how to treat prisoners of war; military
11 officers; what does a soldier do confronted by many civilians.
12 After that it was handling all sorts of fire-arms. That training
13 was the result of an order received by our command. They were supposed
14 to speed things along because combat had started around Han Pijesak,
15 around Zepa, and the entire territory of Romanija. The expedited
16 training that we completed in Han Pijesak had me sent to the PT unit or
17 the protection regiment. The PT stands for "anti-terrorist unit" which
18 was part of the military police. The mission of that unit was to
19 military policing and defence of the territory where they were deployed.
20 In other words, they were supposed to protect the sovereignty of the
21 Yugoslav Peoples' Army. We thought that it was still the
22 Yugoslav Peoples' Army but that was transformed into the Army of
23 Republika Srpska as the war started.
24 Q. Now, sir, you say that while you were a member of the
25 anti-terrorist unit's military police, you were given the toughest tasks
1 in Zepa, Zvornik, and Vlasenica. Can you just briefly give us more
2 detail about what you were doing there and why? Why was it necessary?
3 A. First of all, the military police received very difficult tasks.
4 The war had literally begun by that time and the military police was
5 supposed to keep order among soldiers and the people who had been
6 recruited or were reservists. That is why the military police intervened
7 when there were disturbances of law and order and when people
8 disrespected the law of Republika Srpska and its armed forces. The
9 anti-terrorist unit had that as its principal task as well as to
10 implement all orders of its military command when it comes to its own
11 soldiers. All VRS soldiers had to be brought in if they refused to
12 implement their duties.
13 Another goal of the anti-terrorist unit was the one that had to
14 do with the war. I can address that in detail. When we were sent to the
15 area of Zepa, to Laze, I believe, we came across a police APC, a civilian
16 police APC, that had been hit by an anti-armour asset. I came across two
17 dead policemen there. It was my first stressful situation, so to speak,
18 because it was my first time to see some dead people. I entered the APC
19 to extract the bodies, and I remember well that one of the policemen had
20 sneakers on. They were basically not killed by bullets. They probably
21 tried to look out of the APC and received a bullet to the head, and due
22 to a detonation the other bodies were shattered inside.
23 Our goal was to pull out those people and then we retreated to
24 Laze where there was some kind of facility. I think before the war it
25 had been a school. We were trapped there and we spent some 10 to 15 days
1 in encirclement. That is that regarding Laze. We managed to pull out a
2 fortnight later.
3 Some elderly people, locals, managed to break through the line
4 from Sokolac and reach us. They basically left their homes to bring all
5 of us, the boys, out. We were all between 18 and 20. Out of the 60 that
6 we started off with, only around 20 able-bodied soldiers were left. That
7 is that regarding that particular incident.
8 We also went Crni Vrh. It was a critical point en route to
9 Zvornik. That is the area where our civilians from Sarajevo came, using
10 that route to flee to Serbia with their children. Many ABiH soldiers
11 went through that area as well in their attempt to reach Tuzla, killing
12 our civilians in the process. According to our information, Naser Oric's
13 unit controlled that area on the side of the ABiH. We had prevailed over
14 them on several occasions before at Crni Vrh securing the route for the
15 mothers and children and other civilians to traverse the critical area.
16 Q. I'd like to move on as we are short with time. I'd like to focus
17 on the Croat population in Vares that is discussed at paragraphs 10
18 through 12 of your statement at page 3 in both versions. And, first of
19 all, you say in your statement that:
20 "The threatened citizens of Vares, predominantly Croats ..."
21 How were they being threatened and by whom?
22 A. You see, it was never clear to me. The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 as a whole remains unclear to me. It is a very ugly thing that happened
24 and I wish no one suffers the same fate ever again. It isn't clear to me
25 that the Croats and Muslims tied their -- would tie their flags together
1 in Sarajevo. As an observer on the VRS side, we established our line at
2 Brgule, towards their territory, because we had been informed that the
3 army of BiH would attack RS territory. And our goal was only to defend,
4 never to attack. We were to defend it at any cost. All of a sudden we
5 could hear artillery fire and we thought the RS was being attacked. I
6 woke up, I didn't understand anything, and I saw in Vares and its
7 environs and villages there, I don't know their names because I do not
8 hail from that territory, it is foreign to me, but I could see that there
9 was a war there. We were told by our Ilidza Brigade command to get ready
10 in case of attack, because the ABiH apparently had attacked the HVO, the
11 territory controlled by the Croats. It was completely unclear to us. We
12 literally simply observed and did not wish to get involved. It was a
13 conflict between the Muslims and Croats, but we were also told that there
14 were many civilians, children, and mothers, as well as the elderly in
15 Vares who were unable to defend themselves. We were asked if we were
16 ready to intervene in order to save them.
17 As a soldier, as a Serb, as a Yugoslav, I was proud to be issued
18 that order. I said that I would save every last person if I can together
19 with the VRS and my unit, and that the command was to discuss it with our
20 neighbouring units to lend a hand as well. There were many units there.
21 Our order was to go halfway to Vares and that the civilians would be
22 fleeing in our direction.
23 In Vares the civilians had been told that they could freely go
24 towards VRS lines, that they would be welcomed there. The first people
25 that I came upon was a mother with two children, one of whom had fallen
1 down. I placed both girls on my back and invited their mother to follow
2 me. We went through the woods and reached Brgule. There was a column of
3 people following, many civilians. It was our task only to simply
4 physically secure them. The Army of BiH, I have to say, constantly
5 targeted that part of the forest. They couldn't see through the forest
6 and were not successful in targeting the civilians, but the
7 Ilidza Brigade and the military police sustained between 10 and 15
8 wounded soldiers. I was also lightly injured, thank God not seriously.
9 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
10 A. I was grazed by a bullet.
11 Q. If I could interrupt you and ask you, sir, if you know how many
12 Croat civilians were assisted in this manner from Vares?
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 Q. One moment, one moment.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We don't receive interpretation.
16 Could you please restart your answer, the question being how many
17 Croat civilians were assisted in this manner from Vares?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I go on? First I have to say
19 that it was an interesting task and a challenging one for me and the
20 entire brigade and its military police. It was a difficult one because
21 on the Serb side many parents had lost their children. Their sons were
22 being killed in different areas where Serbs engaged Croats. It was very
23 difficult to secure those civilians because people might react and open
24 fire at them. There were some small groups surfacing here and there,
25 between 5 and 10, mostly criminals, and our order was to sanction them,
1 so to speak, and if they disobeyed they were to be arrested if they
2 disturbed the civilians.
3 We managed to secure the civilians and remove those groups. We
4 placed the civilians in an encirclement, secured them, and we
5 successfully executed the task. I am proud that as a VRS soldier I
6 helped those civilians and I keep meeting them all over
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina to this day.
8 Now how many were there? They were starved and when we ordered
9 food from our quartermaster's service to feed them, I could see that we
10 requested between 3- and 3-and-a-half thousand servings, there were that
11 many people.
12 MR. IVETIC:
13 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to turn paragraph 16 found at page 3
14 in both versions of your statement where you talk about a humanitarian
15 convoy that had NATO rifle ammunition, and you talk about a video.
16 MR. IVETIC: I would like to at this moment call up video D472,
17 and I will not be playing the video nor the audio but I have selected a
18 freeze-frame portion from that video at 20 seconds into the exhibit, and
19 it should be visible if we switch over to the Defence monitor.
20 Q. Sir, I would ask you to take a look at this freeze-frame of this
21 video and tell us if you recognise anyone who is depicted in this portion
22 of the video.
23 A. That is me dressed in a military police uniform. I was checking
24 a UN vehicle. It is me until the camouflage uniform.
25 Q. And is this the incident that is described in paragraph 16 of
1 your written statement?
2 A. Yes, that is the very incident.
3 Q. Do you --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can I ask to clarify, I see two people in
5 camouflage uniforms. Can you tell, is it you who is visible in the
6 middle of the picture or on the right side?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The person in the middle. I'm much
8 younger and much thinner, please do not be confused. But the person in
9 the middle.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fewer kilos.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. Do you have a recollection of the month or time of year that this
15 incident occurred?
16 A. Of course. It was sometime in 1993, perhaps March or April. One
17 of the two. I don't know the exact date. I cannot recall it. In any
18 case, March or April. I remember it well. If need be, I can describe
19 the incident itself.
20 Q. We have that in your statement. I'd like to move on since we are
21 pressed for time.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have just have one question --
23 MR. IVETIC: Yes.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- on this paragraph.
25 Sir, how did you establish that the rifle ammunition with a
1 caliber of 5.56 millimetre belonged to NATO?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, when we were informed our
3 captain, the late Obrad Popadic, was informed that there was a suspicious
4 load moving towards Butmir -- well, let me clarify first: All aid and
5 all UNPROFOR vehicles moved freely through the territory of the
6 municipality of eastern Ilidza. There was never any problem and there
7 were strict orders in place that no vehicle should be bothered, that they
8 would go through freely save for some routine checks in order to avoid
9 potential criminal activities. We checked the container and found two
10 types of ammunition, one was 5.56 and the other was 12.7 millimetre
11 calibre. It's not in the statement, but I remember well that there were
12 two kinds of ammunition: 5.56 millimetre ammunition is for rifles and
13 12.7 for machine-guns. I could establish that because I was a soldier
14 and I know very well what kind of weapons uses what kind of bullet and
15 calibre. I hope this suffices.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: That doesn't suffice because you haven't answered
17 my question. My question is: How did you determine that this ammunition
18 belonged to NATO?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, who was driving the truck?
20 Was it me? It was an international community vehicle. You would have to
21 ask them.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: No, sir. You have written in your statement that
23 it belonged to NATO. How did you establish that this ammunition belonged
24 to NATO? If you don't know how you established, you are just guessing,
25 you can say so.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was an UNPROFOR vehicle
2 transporting the cargo. Anything onboard an UNPROFOR truck is UNPROFOR
3 property. That is how we drew the conclusion.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And it is up to the court to prove
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'm simply trying to
9 explain that it was an international community vehicle owned by UNPROFOR.
10 All cargo on such vehicles -- I do have some kind of education. If there
11 is such cargo on a vehicle, it is a criminal act unless it is on the bill
12 of lading and approved. The ammunition was not and it was being taken to
13 Butmir and Hrasnica. It was an international community UNPROFOR vehicle.
14 I am not in the position or do not have the competence to examine who
15 that ammunition belonged to. It was in the vehicle and as a soldier I'm
16 saying that it was found in an UNPROFOR vehicle. I do not wish to be
17 misunderstood, and I wish to address you with the utmost respect.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You obviously didn't know
19 who it belonged to. All you know is that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers]
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't talk when I'm talking. From your answer I
22 take it that you don't know who the ammunition belonged to. All you know
23 is that it was in an UNPROFOR vehicle. Thank you so much.
24 MR. IVETIC: If I --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I have one short follow-up question: Is UNPROFOR
1 the same as NATO for you?
2 Yes, I see that you are nodding "yes."
3 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
4 MR. IVETIC:
5 Q. Sir, in the arsenals of the JNA --
6 MR. IVETIC: Oh, I'm sorry, the translation has not yet come in
7 of your question, I'm told.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I saw the witness nodding "yes." I asked you
9 whether UNPROFOR was the same as NATO for you and I saw you nodding in
10 the affirmative; is that correct?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. You misunderstood me.
12 At that time there was only UNPROFOR and we co-operated with them. There
13 is no dispute about that. I do not connect NATO and UNPROFOR. I don't
14 think that they are one and the same thing. They are two different
16 JUDGE ORIE: One second then, please.
17 Mr. Mladic, if you once again --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE ORIE: If you once again --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
21 JUDGE ORIE: If you once again communicate with the witness in
22 the way you did it before, laughing, et cetera, you know what the result
23 will be. You'll be removed from the courtroom.
24 Then I -- one second, please, again. And the same, Witness, is
25 for you: You don't have to salute to the accused in this courtroom. You
1 should not in any way communicate with him, even without words.
2 Mr. Mladic, no demonstrations. Sit down. You know --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
4 JUDGE ORIE: No speaking aloud, Mr. Mladic. Once again, you'll
5 be removed from the courtroom if it once ...
6 The Chamber doesn't like the little games you are playing.
7 One second please, Witness.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. IVETIC: Perhaps if I can ask the Prosecution is there any
10 dispute that 5.56 calibre ammunition is NATO-grade ammunition?
11 JUDGE ORIE: My question was to test the -- not the ammunition
12 but the knowledge of the witness about NATO and UNPROFOR.
13 In your statement, Witness, you say it was NATO rifle ammunition,
14 and your explanation in court you said you concluded that it was NATO
15 because it was in UNPROFOR hands, which seems to -- that you are mixing
16 up the two. Because UNPROFOR -- if it's not NATO, how could you possibly
17 conclude from it being transported by UNPROFOR that it was NATO
18 ammunition? Any explanation for that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I? Yes, yes. As a soldier at
20 the time, I was not specialised in either NATO or UNPROFOR. We were told
21 it was NATO ammunition and the vehicle belonged to UNPROFOR. NATO did
22 not exist at that time, but we were told it was NATO ammunition; i.e.,
23 people from the command told us that it was NATO ammunition and the
24 vehicle - or, rather, the vehicles - that transported that ammunition
25 were UNPROFOR vehicles. That's the explanation.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
2 By the way, you had used already 33 minutes before the
3 question --
4 MR. IVETIC: I know.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- put by Judge Moloto. Please proceed.
6 MR. IVETIC: I will be brief. I only have about three questions
8 Q. What was the calibre of rifle ammunition used by the JNA and by
9 the VRS?
10 A. 7.62. The VRS never used the other kind of calibre. We did not
11 have the weapons for this type of ammunition, which is why I can tell you
12 that we had automatic rifles that used calibre 7.62. It's a well-known
13 and widely used calibre, so I'm -- I suppose you know what I'm talking
15 Q. I do. Now, as a member of the Ilidza Brigade's military police,
16 did you ever receive orders to terrorise the civilian population of
18 A. No. That was not our priority. Moreover, as military policemen,
19 we toured the lines and we would tell all the people never to use weapons
20 against the civilians. Unless there was a BiH Army attack against
21 Ilidza, if the line was at risk, then they were instructed to destroy the
22 enemy, but not civilians only the troops.
23 Q. Did you ever hear of VRS snipers be ordered to be engaged against
24 Sarajevo civilian targets?
25 A. No, there were no such cases at all. Just the opposite was the
1 case. The BiH Army constantly opened fire on Nedzarici and Ilidza. They
2 opened sniper fire on the two. I never received such an order. Nobody
3 was ever ordered to terrorise civilians. That was not our objective.
4 Our sole objective was to defend the territory of the Serbian
5 municipality of Ilidza, which is what we did at the end of the day.
6 Q. Sir, I thank you for your answers to my questions.
7 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I have no more direct. But, again, I
8 would ask the Prosecution if there is an agreement as to NATO-grade
9 ammunition being 5.56 millimetres and Warsaw Pact being 7.62 millimetres
10 and that is a notorious fact in how these ammunitions are called in the
11 military industry.
12 MR. WEBER: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Weber.
14 MR. WEBER: I don't believe that was the issue that was at the
15 heart of the matter --
16 JUDGE ORIE: No --
17 MR. WEBER: -- with the witness, so I'm happy to check into that,
18 and then if there's -- yes, I believe there is an expert on this point
19 that testified to some of the matters. So if I could just check
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So --
22 MR. WEBER: It might be --
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- after the break --
24 MR. WEBER: -- in the evidence anyway.
25 JUDGE ORIE: So after the break -- well, yes, if something is in
1 evidence it doesn't mean that it's not challenged.
2 MR. WEBER: Well --
3 JUDGE ORIE: It's not the same. But if you presented evidence to
4 that extent, then we'd like to hear from you and that there is no dispute
5 about it.
6 Please proceed.
7 Witness, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Weber. You'll find
8 him to your right. Mr. Weber is counsel for the Prosecution. And may I
9 ask you to focus very much on answering the question that is put to you
10 and not to dwell away from what was asked.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Weber:
14 Q. And good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning to you, too.
16 Q. Today on page 29 you were recorded as stating:
17 "Our Crisis Staff in Nedzarici, somewhat older people in it,
18 gathered all the young men and advised them to go and serve in the JNA."
19 When did this happen?
20 A. That happened - just a moment - in mid-June 1992.
21 Q. Who was it that advised you?
22 A. What do you mean when you ask me who advised me? Do you want me
23 to give you the name of a person?
24 Q. Yes, I'm asking you who are the individuals, their names, that
25 advised you.
1 A. All our parents, my father, for example, who -- and then
2 Mr. Radivoje Grgovic, who was subsequently elected as the commander of
3 the Nedzarici Battalion. All of our parents. They had sat down together
4 knowing that we would not be serving in the JNA because the political
5 party, the SDA, had stolen our documents. As a result of that, our
6 parents decided to send us to Han Pijesak to serve in the army there
7 instead of the JNA.
8 Q. Sir, sir --
9 A. Which means that we volunteered to serve.
10 Q. Sir, if you could please focus on my questions, the particular
11 information that I'm asking. Was Mr. Grgovic a member of the
12 Crisis Staff in Nedzarici?
13 A. Of course.
14 Q. In paragraph 3 of your statement, you indicate that you were
15 assigned to a part of General Mladic's protection regiment in 1992. Was
16 this regiment the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment?
17 A. It was the protection regiment in Crna Rijeka. We were the first
18 generation of young lands, young soldiers, who became members of that
19 protection regiment. Its name was the protection regiment of the Army of
20 Republika Srpska. Our base was in Han Pijesak or, rather, Crna Rijeka.
21 Q. This was the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment; correct? Sir --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, was it the 65th?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now, I was a soldier there and that
24 was not its name. It was the first protection regiment of the Army of
25 Republika Srpska.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
2 MR. WEBER:
3 Q. I'll go at it a different way. In the same paragraph you
4 indicate that Velibor Sotra was your company commander. Can you please
5 tell us the name of his commander, his immediate superior?
6 A. Velibor Sotra was an officer in the anti-terrorist unit, and
7 Milomir Savic was the commander of the protection regiment.
8 Q. Okay. And, thank you, that is helpful. This regiment was
9 directly subordinated to the VRS Main Staff; is that correct?
10 A. Of course.
11 Q. Could you please tell us precisely what months you went through
12 training once you joined the VRS?
13 A. July and August 1992.
14 Q. Could you please tell us when it was that you were in the field
15 in Zvornik?
16 A. I was not in Zvornik. I was in Crni Vrh, which is in the Zvornik
17 region. I just explained that a while ago. We secured the transversal
18 road used by the civilians to go to Zvornik. This area belongs to the
19 Zvornik region.
20 Q. Sir, if you could please focus on my questions. I'm just asking
21 you when it was that you were in the Zvornik area, and you've explained
22 that you were in Crni Vrh.
23 A. The period when I was in Crni Vrh was sometime in September.
24 Q. What about Vlasenica?
25 A. In order to get there we had to go through Vlasenica all the
1 time. We were not engaged there. We were involved in military policing,
2 which means we instilled order among the troops of the Army
3 of Republika Srpska. If somebody committed a breach of discipline, we
4 would intervene. We were not engaged in any war operations. We just did
5 our regular military policing jobs in that part of the municipality of
7 Q. Could you then lastly, please, tell us when was the period of
8 time in which you were in the field in Zepa, in the Zepa area?
9 A. October. Late September, early October.
10 Q. That would be of the year 1992; correct?
11 A. Yes, yes. Yes, of course.
12 Q. Could you please give us the dates in which you were a member of
13 the protection regiment? From when until when?
14 A. From the end of June or early July until the end of the year
15 1992, and that also included the training period.
16 Q. Okay. During this time, aside from the training that you had in
17 the -- in the early part and the areas that you've mentioned, were you
18 stationed in Crna Rijeka?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I see it is possibly time for a break.
21 I'm about to start into something new.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we take the break now.
23 Could the witness first be escorted out of the courtroom. We
24 will take a break of 20 minutes. And we will resume at 20 minutes past
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.22 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue with the witness, the Chamber
5 would like to briefly deal with the Defence's request to vary the trial
6 sitting schedule.
7 On the 13th of June of this year, the Defence requested the
8 Chamber to permanently move from the current five-day schedule to a
9 four-day sitting schedule with Wednesdays being designated non-sitting
10 days. And this can be found at transcript page 22670. After the filing
11 of the latest medical expert reports, the Prosecution, on the
12 5th of August of this year, agreed to a four-day sitting schedule. The
13 Defence renewed its request in writing on the 7th of August, 2014,
14 additionally seeking a four-hour day schedule as well as automatic days
15 of rest in the event the accused suffers an emotional crisis or a
16 transient ischemic attack.
17 The Chamber -- and perhaps, Mr. Usher, you could already get the
18 witness on standby.
19 The Chamber hereby grants the Defence's request in part and
20 orders that a four-day sitting schedule shall be adopted, provisionally
21 Friday being designated as the non-sitting day, apart from Monday the
22 15th of September, which shall be the non-sitting day in the week
23 starting on that day. All other requests are dismissed, including the
24 request to shorten the daily sitting hours.
25 The Chamber will provide reasons for this decision in writing in
1 due course. The Chamber will address the preference of the Defence to
2 not sit on Wednesday and will inquire with medical experts about the
3 medical basis for a specific non-sitting day.
4 The Chamber, Mr. Lukic, assumed that where the sitting schedule
5 was still a five-day schedule that we could start this week, perhaps to
6 leave out the last witness, and already start a four-day week already
7 this week, that means not sitting on this Friday. Or would that cause
8 you any problems?
9 MR. LUKIC: It would not, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And perhaps it even could be if that witness has not
11 arrived which is scheduled for later this week that his arrival could be
12 delayed so as to avoid --
13 MR. LUKIC: We'll see into it.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- unnecessary -- okay.
15 May I take it, Mr. Weber, that it doesn't cause any problem for
16 the Prosecution either?
17 MR. WEBER: That's correct.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Then please proceed.
21 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, before proceeding, if I could report
22 back to the Chamber on the 5.56 --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. WEBER: -- millimetre ammunition.
25 The Prosecution is unable to agree to the proposed fact due to
1 evidence in the record about this type of ammunition and the VRS. A
2 quick search revealed some examples, and I just provide them quickly on
3 the record. P4404, page 5 in the B/C/S and page 8 in the English; and
4 P355, one of General Mladic's notebooks, specifically an entry from
5 23 September, 1992, which is located at page 115 in the English. So
6 thank you for the opportunity for us to look into that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And do you mean to say that reference is made there
8 to 5.56 millimetre ammunition in the -- not in NATO but, rather, in other
10 MR. WEBER: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I take it that you'll have a look at
12 it --
13 MR. IVETIC: But, Your Honours, that does not address my request
14 for stipulation, which I repeat from page 42, line 3 through 7. I asked
15 the Prosecution if there is an agreement as to NATO-grade ammunition
16 being 5.56 millimetres and Warsaw Pact being 7.62 millimetres and that
17 this is a notorious fact as to how these ammunitions are called in the
18 military industry. I had nothing to do with the VRS. 5.562 in its name
19 is NATO ammunition, Your Honours. That's what I'm getting at.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. I do not know what the difference is between
21 the name and the calibre itself, so you would call it different from what
22 the real calibre is. Is that --
23 MR. IVETIC: In the military industry, 5.52 by 43 millimetres is
24 called NATO cartridges.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. 5.52 or 5.56?
1 MR. IVETIC: 56, I apologise.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Well, that's -- well, apparently there is no
3 agreement on that. I take it that the issue was whether by the mere
4 calibre of the ammunition found, whether that would be an indication as
5 to where it may have come from.
6 MR. IVETIC: Exactly, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That, apparently, is not resolved by the -- by a
9 Let's move on.
10 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. WEBER:
13 Q. Mr. Sehovac, in paragraph of your statement, you state:
14 "In 1993 at the request of Obrad Popadic, who is in command of a
15 unit in Ilidza at the time, I was assigned to that unit as a resident of
17 Obrad Popadic was the deputy commander of the Ilidza Brigade up
18 until May 1994; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When did you make this request in 1993? Or when was this request
21 in 1993?
22 A. Captain Obrad Popadic made that request in 1992 and sent it to
23 the command of the protection regiment. He addressed it to me. He
24 stated that he needed me in Ilidza, he needed military policemen, and
25 since I was well familiar with the area he thought that I would be of
1 great use to him there.
2 Q. Sir, please focus on my question. I was just asking you when.
3 Are you able to provide us anymore specificity aside from in 1992 this
4 request was made?
5 A. He made the request in 1992. And then in late 1992 on the eve of
6 the new year I was assigned to the Ilidza Brigade. I joined from the
7 protection regiment.
8 Q. Okay. That -- that helps out answer one thing. But just going
9 back to the request, was that made well before you joined the protection
10 regiment or right beforehand -- or, I'm sorry, before you joined the
11 Ilidza Brigade, not the protection regiment. I'm sorry, that's my fault.
12 A. He submitted a request and perhaps within a month later or so I
13 joined the Ilidza Brigade; i.e., I became a member of the military police
14 of the Ilidza Brigade. So we're talking about a month or so.
15 Q. Thank you very much.
16 A. I'm so glad to be of assistance.
17 Q. Who was your immediate superior in the military police of the
18 Ilidza Brigade?
19 A. When I first joined, the late Captain Obrad Popadic was the
20 deputy commander. He was my friend and my neighbour in Nedzarici. He
21 was the one who received me, and he asked me to help him with the men and
22 to organise the military police unit in Ilidza since I had completed that
23 training in Han Pijesak. I was a trained military policeman. So I
24 helped him. And the commander of the military police at the time and my
25 superior was Borislav Krajisnik. He was the commander of that unit, of
1 the unit of the military police that is.
2 Q. Your father, Jovo Sehovac, was the company commander of the
3 1st Battalion, 3rd Company, of the Ilidza Brigade; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, my father, Jovo Sehovac, was a company commander in the
5 1st Battalion in Nedzarici, and the 1st Battalion was part of the
6 Ilidza Brigade.
7 Q. Is it correct that your father was injured on 29 December 1993
8 when one of his own men threw an explosive device and the shrapnel hit
9 him in the right foot?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. During the war, did you have any relatives who were members of
12 the RS MUP in Ilidza?
13 A. To try and explain, I'd like to say that when it comes to the
14 Sarajevo Romanija Corps, 360 members of my family, my -- the relatives
15 were members of that corps. They were either with the military or they
16 were members of the military of defence, 360 in total.
17 Q. Okay. Are you related to Milorad Sehovac, the commander of the
18 2nd Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade?
19 A. Yes, but we are not close relatives. We are a bit removed in
20 that sense.
21 Q. All right. Are you related to a member of the RS MUP in Ilidza
22 who shares your own name but is older, Goran Sehovac?
23 A. Yes. He was a member of the police at the Kula station. You
24 have to know that the municipality of Serbian Ilidza had a very
25 challenging terrain. It was split into parts during the war. There was
1 a part called Kula-Vojkovic-Krupac and the area in the nearer --
2 Trnovo --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the second part of that
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a public police station
6 in Ilidza and another one in Kula. We did not have any physical contact
7 with them.
8 MR. WEBER:
9 Q. Yes. That Goran Sehovac oversaw the Kula detention facility;
11 A. I don't know. I really don't know. We were not close, hence I
12 don't know.
13 Q. Are you related to Srdjan Sehovac?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, until now it escapes the Chamber what the
15 relevance of family relations in this context is, so if you think it's
16 relevant try to get to the point as quickly as possible.
17 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I -- fine.
18 Q. Sir, the reason I'm asking about your relatives is that part of
19 your evidence in a part appears to come from things you've heard, so
20 there may be other evidence in this case or other individuals that may
21 have communicated information that they were aware of. So I'm just
22 asking you to clarify if you know some of these individuals, just so we
23 have it for the record. I appreciate your patience with this.
24 Are you related to Srdjan Sehovac of the RS MUP in Ilidza?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you for helping us with that. I would now like to
2 turn your attention to the monastery in Nedzarici and discuss some
3 instances that took place during your time in the Ilidza Brigade.
4 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 1D02008.
5 Q. This is a 26 July 1993 disciplinary order from Ilidza Brigade
6 commander Vladimir Radojcic. The person being disciplined is a
7 Novak Popadic.
8 MR. WEBER: Can the Prosecution please have page 2 of the English
9 translation, and same page on the B/C/S.
10 Q. In the statement of reasons section of this order, there are four
11 events mentioned. I'd like to discuss the first one with you. It's the
12 one that states:
13 "In the immediate vicinity of the monastery in Nedzarici, at
14 about 0830 hours on 26 July 1993, Novak Popadic fired a zolja hand-held
15 rocket launcher at an ambulance, a Toyota vehicle owned by the
16 1st Battalion, causing considerable ... damage to the vehicle and making
17 it useless."
18 Were you aware of this incident?
19 A. No. Ilidza is big. It was wartime. God knows where I was at
20 that moment. I'm sure that I was not in that territory at the time
21 because I'm not familiar with this.
22 Q. Is it correct that the monastery was located in the zone of
23 responsibility of the 1st Battalion of the Ilidza Brigade?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it correct that members of the brigade held positions in the
1 immediate vicinity of the monastery while they were equipped with zoljas?
2 A. I can only say that the first line was in the barracks just below
3 the monastery. It was held by the 1st Battalion of the Ilidza Brigade of
4 the VRS. The soldiers were equipped, of course, and they had all the
5 weapons necessary to defend themselves from the enemy.
6 Q. Did you ever personally see them equipped with zoljas at the
8 A. Sir, I am a soldier. The army had everything that was needed to
9 defend from the enemy. If you could only come to Nedzarici, you would be
10 able to see that the distances are never greater than 50 metres including
11 the distance between Nedzarici and the monastery; that is to say, the
12 first line and the monastery.
13 Q. Sir, I -- I was just asking you something really specific: Did
14 you ever see them with zoljas at the monastery? I don't want to dwell on
15 this for long. If you could please listen to my questions.
16 A. I don't understand the question and I do not understand its
17 importance. You were asking me whether the soldier had a zolja, and it
18 was in the middle of the war. People were being killed in the
19 settlement. Over 300 people were killed in the settlement alone. Of
20 course we were armed. We were the armed forces.
21 Q. Okay. Now -- [Overlapping speakers]
22 A. I apologise.
23 Q. Did you see the type of equipment that people -- that members of
24 the Ilidza Brigade were armed with at the monastery? I'm asking you if
25 you saw it.
1 A. I was at the front line. I was a soldier. I was a direct
2 participant. I toured all those front lines towards Stupska Petlja and
3 the city where my father was in command. I was at the front lines. We
4 had automatic weapons of smaller calibre.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It seems that your answer is just "yes," you saw it.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. WEBER: Okay.
8 Q. Are one of those weapons that you saw zoljas, the members of the
9 brigade at the monastery? Did you see that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Okay. Is it correct that Novak Popadic later became a member of
12 the Ilidza assault battalion in 1994 along with yourself?
13 A. Novak Popadic? I don't remember. No.
14 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution would tender this document into
15 evidence. For the record, the document was also previously used with
16 Witness Radojcic at transcript pages 23267 to -68.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, the witness was asked about this
19 incident. He has no knowledge of it. So I don't believe it's
20 appropriate to enter the document in through cross-examination of this
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
23 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I'm doing it a matter for -- well, for
24 expeditiousness. I mean, it was used with a previous witness. I believe
25 it was an associated exhibit to Mr. Radojcic's materials. I would have
1 to confirm that through checking, but at issue is what the witness
2 claimed to have known about the monastery, he's made a statement about it
3 being a medical facility. This document contradicts in part his evidence
4 showing that -- that actually there were armed people at the monastery
5 and engaged -- or at least were equipped with zoljas.
6 MR. IVETIC: I don't -- Your Honour, where does it say that? It
7 says in the vicinity of the monastery. It does not say any of the stuff
8 that Mr. Weber has just said. That [Overlapping speakers] --
9 MR. WEBER: In the vicinity. In the vicinity of the monastery.
10 In the immediate vicinity of the monastery.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, it's not appropriate to introduce this
13 piece of evidence through this witness. Please proceed.
14 MR. WEBER: Okay. Let's look at another example. Could the
15 Prosecution please have 65 ter 31027, page 17 of the B/C/S original and
16 page 35 of the English translation.
17 Q. Mr. Sehovac, coming up before you is a section of the RS military
18 prosecutor's official report on the crime trends in the SRK dated
19 5 July 1993. I would like to direct your attention to a specific event
20 in this document involving five members of the Ilidza Brigade. I'm going
21 to read it into the record so we have -- we know what it says.
22 "On 6 April 1993 at about 0300 hours in the Nedzarici barracks
23 dormitory, Cvijetic and Domazet arranged to go and pull down the Ilidza
24 municipal government building, and then Domazet went to call for Savic,
25 who was with the battalion commander in his office, telling him: 'Let's
1 go and level the municipal building,' after which they got into a
2 Campagnola jeep and drove up to the monastery in Nedzarici, where Savic
3 woke up Knezevic, a driver, and Zelovic, a T-55 tank crew member, and
4 said that they were going into action. When the crew had taken their
5 position," it's noted in a tank, "they drove it up to the Ilidza
6 municipal government building, where Savic hit the building with a
7 subcalibre shell and about 200 machine-gun bullets, while Cvijetic and
8 Domazet were standing behind the tank firing their pistol and automatic
9 rifle in the direction of the building ..."
10 It then contains information that there were over 2 billion
11 dinars of damage to the Serbian municipality building of Ilidza.
12 Were you aware of this incident as a member of the Ilidza
13 military police?
14 A. I wasn't aware of this incident, but I do know these people.
15 They were prone to causing problems, and we brought them in on several
16 occasions and they were sanctioned in the military prison. I know who
17 they are but I do not recall the incident. I was not in that territory
18 at the time most likely. Sarajevo covers a large territory. We had
19 several different departments, and I did not deal with this. I wasn't
20 duty-bound to be informed of everything. I know them and I know the --
21 were under the law several times.
22 Q. Is it correct that a T-55 tank was located at the monastery?
23 MR. IVETIC: Objection: Misstates the document.
24 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I'm entitled to put it to him.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I don't think as a matter of fact you refer to
1 the statement. You just put a question to the witness.
2 Could you please answer that question. Was a T-55 stationed at
3 the monastery?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not according to my knowledge.
5 MR. WEBER:
6 Q. Okay, well, according to this event in the early hours of the
7 morning, members of the Ilidza Brigade went to the monastery to wake up
8 the tank crew or members of that tank crew which they then found the tank
9 and took it to the Ilidza municipal building. Were you aware of whether
10 the tank crew was stationed at the monastery?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you see this damage to the Ilidza municipal building?
13 A. Damage was being caused daily by the ABiH shelling, so one
14 couldn't tell what damage was caused by what shell. So in short my
15 answer is no.
16 MR. WEBER: I'm done with this document.
17 Could the Prosecution please have P775, page 5 of both versions.
18 For the record, this document was marked "not admitted without prejudice"
19 on 28 February 2013. It was an associated exhibit to the statement of
20 Witness Rose, specifically paragraph 183 of P728.
21 JUDGE ORIE: What do you intend to do with the previous document,
22 Mr. Weber?
23 MR. WEBER: I -- I wasn't planning on tendering it. I had
24 read --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
1 MR. WEBER: -- the incident and I was going to move on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's fine. Please proceed.
3 MR. WEBER:
4 Q. Right now I'd like to change topics and talk about humanitarian
5 aid convoys. And I believe the part in the B/C/S that I'm going to be
6 referring to is towards the bottom of the page in front of you on the
7 screen. This is an UNPROFOR weekly situation report for the week of 3 to
8 10 December 1994. According to this report, it states:
9 "The Serbs continued to blockade Sarajevo for most of the week,
10 then eased off later in the week. Three convoys entered the city on
11 Friday -- the first to arrive in almost a month."
12 The next paragraph then starts:
13 "Serb controls on the road between Sarajevo airport and the city
14 continue to restricts the movement of humanitarian supplies."
15 Now, in your statement, and I'm specifically referring to
16 paragraph 15, you claim that humanitarian aid from the airport passed
17 through your lines and check-points unhindered after a cursory
18 inspection. You've repeated this today in court. I put it to you, based
19 on the document in front of us, that your evidence is inaccurate, and, in
20 fact, there were weeks where humanitarian supplies were not allowed to
21 pass. Do you have any comments?
22 A. Of course I do. Taking into account your position, with all due
23 respect, I believe you are incorrect. Now, what happened? If I may, I'd
24 like to explain. The inhabitants of Ilidza and the members of the
25 Ilidza Brigade never even discussed the issue of preventing the entry of
1 humanitarian aid into Hrasnica and elsewhere. We never even considered
2 it, and we never received any orders to prevent it. Now, what happened
3 when there were no trucks and when there was -- there were no goods
4 entering Sarajevo? If there was an offensive underway or if the ABiH was
5 attacking parts of Nedzarici, as one enters Sarajevo, due to war
6 operations the vehicles were unable to enter the city itself. In all
7 other instances, and I'm telling you the truth, we never even considered
8 prohibiting the entry of anything in order to assist the civilians. That
9 is true and that is the only truth there is that I'm sharing with you.
10 Q. So are you acknowledging that there were weeks where convoys were
11 not allowed to pass?
12 A. It is not true that they were not allowed to enter. It was your
13 assessment -- actually, it was UNPROFOR assessment whether it was safe
14 for the trucks to go through due to wartime operations. If there is a
15 thousand shells in a day landing on Nedzarici, not a civilian can pass
16 through let alone an aid convoy or a truck when there was wartime action
17 between Nedzarici, Ilidza, and Sarajevo airport. I don't know how to
18 explain it in physical terms. It wasn't up to us. We did not prohibit
19 it. It probably only depended on the assessment of the international
20 community whether it was safe or not for the trucks with humanitarian aid
21 to enter Sarajevo or not. It was their assessment, not ours.
22 Q. Okay. You've given some general explanations. I'd like you --
23 to ask you specifically, do you know why these three convoys were allowed
24 into the city and they were the first to arrive in almost a month? And
25 if you don't know, fine, but you've given some very general answers. I'm
1 putting it to you very specifically, do you know why this happened?
2 Specifically, this incident.
3 A. I don't understand. What convoy?
4 Q. Okay. This document indicates that three convoys entered
5 Sarajevo and that they were the first to arrive in almost a month. Do
6 you have any specific knowledge about this event? Those convoys being
7 allowed to enter the city and them being the first ones to arrive in
8 almost a month?
9 A. No, I can't comment on it. I'm not competent enough.
10 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution will retender this document into
12 MR. IVETIC: Again, the witness has not shown any personal
13 knowledge for the document. I do not know the reason why it was not
14 admitted the first time around, but with this witness there is nothing
15 that makes this document tied to the testimony.
16 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I'm offering it to the credibility of
17 the witness. The information is inconsistent with the statements of the
18 witness, and I offer it to assess his credibility. Furthermore, there is
19 additional information that's now been put in this document that wasn't
20 necessarily a part of General Rose's evidence, so therefore we'd be
21 tendering it. It's a document that's now been referred to on multiple
22 occasions during these trial proceedings.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ORIE: The objection is denied. The witness has testified
25 about a matter which is covered to some extent by this document and to
1 that extent there is a link between the testimony and the subject matter
2 covered by the document.
3 Madam Registrar, the number would be? Oh, P --
4 THE REGISTRAR: I would just say the --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: -- 65 ter number because it was used with all
7 numbers, so document 08163 keeps or receives number P775.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And P775 is admitted into evidence.
9 Please proceed.
10 MR. WEBER:
11 Q. I would now like to discuss the municipality of Vares with you.
12 Is it correct that this municipality is located to the north of Sarajevo,
13 adjacent to the zone of responsibility of the Ilijas Brigade?
14 A. Yes, it was the zone of responsibility of the Ilijas Brigade.
15 Q. And just so we don't have any confusion, it's not actually within
16 the zone of responsibility of the Ilidza Brigade but just to the north of
17 it? Or the Ilijas Brigade.
18 A. Yes. Now, whether it's up north or not, I don't know. But it
19 was in the area of responsibility of the Ilijas Brigade. The Nisici
20 plateau and the surrounding area for the most part was controlled by the
21 Ilijas Brigade.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 31024.
24 Your Honours, I just want to -- in order to hopefully head off
25 any confusion once the document comes off. The Prosecution notes there
1 appears to be a possible error in the translation of a date in the first
2 full paragraph of this report as 18 August 1993. The number is not fully
3 clear in the original, but all other references in the document,
4 including the stamp at the bottom, appear to be to June 1993. I will try
5 to seek to clarify some dates with the witness, and I just wanted to
6 alert you to it.
7 Q. Mr. Sehovac, before you is a SRK command security and
8 intelligence report dated 18 June 1993 from Colonel Marko Lugonja. We
9 can see that the document was sent to multiple SRK brigades, including
10 the Ilidza Brigade. In the first paragraph there is reference to
11 representatives of the HVO from Kiseljak requesting assistance in the
12 form of authorisation to transfer civilians and soldiers from the area of
13 Vares through the territory controlled by the VRS. Do you see this
15 A. I apologise, but it is unclear to me. It's a very poor copy and
16 the document is unclear. In my statement I did say that we had received
17 an order from our command, the command of the Ilidza Brigade. The order
18 stated that we should act and save the civilians from Vares, which is
19 probably what you just read out. However, I cannot read it as it is a
20 poor copy.
21 Q. Okay. If it helps --
22 MR. WEBER: If we could just have the B/C/S version and just
23 the -- the first two paragraphs for right now on the screen before the
24 witness. And I also do have a hard copy for the witness, if it would
25 assist him.
1 Q. And, sir, I'm going to go through the document with you part by
2 part, but are you able to read the information in the first part of the
3 document before you?
4 A. It is very unclear, but I can see it.
5 Q. Okay. If any information is not clear to you, please let us
6 know. Can you tell by the information in front of you whether these were
7 the operations you were involved in?
8 A. Could I see the precise date, and maybe you could read out the
9 text and then I'll try to follow?
10 Q. Sir, the date would be in the heading. It's 18 June 1993. The
11 information I -- I'm at least directing your attention to right now is
12 at -- in the -- it says -- starts with donna 10 [phone], and then the
13 number is unclear, 1993, representatives of the HVO from Kiseljak
14 requested assistance in the form of authorisation to transfer a certain
15 number of civilians and soldiers from the area of Vares through territory
16 controlled by the VRS. I'll go through the numbers then after that, but
17 do you see that information?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Were these the operations that you were involved with?
20 A. Yes, but I didn't see any soldiers. Only civilians.
21 Q. Okay. Did you learn of any plans for this operation in June of
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. No, simply put: I was a military policeman and it was my duty to
1 implement my command's orders. They ordered that we should save these
2 people and we went to save them, to save the Croat civilians, or rather
3 civilians of Croat ethnicity.
4 Q. Okay. The next sentence says:
5 [As read] "Representatives of the HVO and the civilian
6 authorities in Kiseljak requested the transfer of approximately 3.000
7 civilians and approximately 400 soldiers in 20 buses from Vares."
8 Were you aware of this request?
9 A. I do know that all of the civilians were transported to Kiseljak
10 on board buses, and I also know that our civilian authorities offered all
11 of them to remain in RS territory. And I'm happy to be able to explain
13 Q. Sir, sir --
14 A. And they were also offered --
15 Q. Sir --
16 A. -- to send their children to schools --
17 Q. Sir, if you could please focus precisely on my questions. I'm
18 asking you were you aware of the request by the HVO representatives? If
19 you don't, it's fine; if you did, please let us know.
20 A. I did not deal with requests specifically. I worked in the
21 field. We transferred the civilians to Kiseljak, and we provided
22 security for them en route to their free territory as they had requested.
23 It was probably pursuant to their request. Our order was to secure them,
24 take them out of Vares, and escort them to the free territory held by
25 Croat forces.
1 Q. Okay. I want to talk a little bit about the order that you
2 received. According to this document in front of you, the Croats'
3 request was forwarded to the Main Staff of the VRS, which decided as
4 follows: That the requested number of civilians and soldiers may be
5 transferred in the following manner, and then there is three items; that
6 the civilians should be transported separately and in the first rounds of
7 buses; second, the transport of HVO soldiers is to be allowed only after
8 the civilians have been transported. The soldiers are to be transported
9 unarmed and without any especially conspicuous insignia of belonging to
10 the army; the third item, the soldiers' weapons and ammunition are to be
11 transported in a special convoy separate from the soldiers.
12 Did you receive this order?
13 A. No. I was in charge of saving the civilians. We completed the
14 task successfully and then we returned to the base. I suppose that
15 somebody else did the rest. We were in charge of one part of the job, we
16 did it successfully, we saved the civilians, and our -- I am proud as a
17 soldier of the VRS for having saved many mothers, many children in that
18 territory. I take pride in my words, Mr. Prosecutor.
19 Q. Okay. In your statement you say you received an order from the
20 superior command to undertake the transfer of the civilians. When you
21 refer to "superior commander," are you then referring to just your
22 immediate command in the Ilidza Brigade?
23 A. I'm talking about the Ilidza Brigade, yes. I was a soldier of
24 the Ilidza Brigade, but there was also a hierarchy. I suppose that the
25 Ilidza Brigade received its order to carry out a task which they conveyed
1 to the soldiers, and we acted upon the order of our command. It was not
2 transferred. It was assistance. We assisted those people, me personally
3 and all of my soldiers. We all acted humanely.
4 Q. Sir, I'm sorry to cut you off but you actually answered my
5 question right out of the gate there. I do want to move so that we get
6 you home hopefully after today.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one additional question.
8 MR. WEBER: Sure.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The order that you are talking about, that is to
10 assist the civilians, was that a written order or was that an oral order?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had radio sets. We did not
12 receive written orders. We had radio sets, all of us did, in all of the
13 bases, and we received a coded order as to what to do and how to proceed.
14 JUDGE ORIE: So the simple answer is then it was an oral order
15 communicated through a radio.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. WEBER:
18 Q. When did you carry out this order that you received? When was it
19 that you moved the civilians from Vares?
20 A. Late in the day. One part of that, the part that we were in
21 charge of, we received that late in the day. We received one part
22 sometime late in the afternoon and the other part during the night.
23 Q. Do you remember what month this was in 1993?
24 A. No, I can't remember. I can't remember. It was a long time ago.
25 A long time ago, it was.
1 Q. Okay. Toward the end of this document, there are references to
2 the Ilidza SJB. Is it correct that members of the public security
3 service of the RS MUP also participated in these operations?
4 A. Of course, of course. Ilidza was a very compact unit. The
5 troops co-operated with the civilian police. We carried out tasks
6 together, especially when it came to the defence of the territory and
7 saving the civilians. I have to tell you that the civilian and military
8 authorities co-operated in saving those people, which means that the
9 police was also involved.
10 Q. In paragraph 13 of your statement, you state:
11 "The police from the corps as well as senior officers were
12 present on this occasion."
13 Are you referring to this occasion where you carried out the
14 orders from Vares? It's unclear from the statement what occasion you are
15 referring to.
16 A. That area in Brgule was very narrow as you go from Vares via
17 Brgule. There was a lot of troops deployed there. The corps military
18 police were also there. They had come to assist with the task ordered by
19 the command of the Ilidza Brigade, and they in turn had received that
20 order from the main command; i.e., the general himself.
21 Q. Is it correct that --
22 A. Because it was not only a task of the Ilidza Brigade. All the
23 brigades had to take part in the action to save the civilians from there.
24 It was a major operation.
25 Q. Is it correct that the occasion that you are referring to is the
1 occasion where Croats were transferred from Vares?
2 A. This is not what I think. I was there and we helped the Croatian
3 population to get out of there.
4 Q. Sir, just help me out here. If you look at paragraph 13, what
5 occasion are you referring to? Are you referring to Vares?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you refer to paragraph --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you refer to paragraph 13 of his statement --
9 MR. WEBER: Yes.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- you should call up it on the screen because he
11 is looking at the screen.
12 MR. WEBER: Thank you.
13 Q. Yes. I am referring to your statement which I see you have in
14 front of you.
15 A. Yes, paragraph -- yes. Yes.
16 Q. And in that paragraph of your statement you're referring to the
17 occasion that you've been talking about with respect to Vares?
18 JUDGE ORIE: The answer of the witness does not appear on the
20 Do I understand that you confirmed that the occasion you refer to
21 in paragraph 13 was the occasion where citizens of Vares were assisted in
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
25 MR. WEBER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 I tender this document into evidence.
2 MR. IVETIC: No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31024 receives number P6692,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
7 Mr. Weber, when you quoted the first line where you said there
8 may be some mistake about the month, you refer to it as the 10th of what
9 you think, but even the number 10 --
10 MR. WEBER: Okay.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- may be something like 18 --
12 MR. WEBER: Eighteen -- yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- or so. Therefore, if there is any dispute about
14 that, I just want to put on the record that the Chamber does not
15 immediately, or at least I do not immediately, agree with you that it's
16 for certain a 10.
17 MR. WEBER: I actually agree with you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. WEBER: I think I said it wrong and thank you for catching
20 it. It's the Prosecution's position that the correct date would be
21 18 June 1993.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 Witness, one additional question in relation to this document.
24 Was this what you say major operation the only time you assisted in the
25 escort of Croats from Vares? That this was a one-time operation? A
1 similar thing did not happen in the same year at other moments? You
2 understand my question?
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Translation.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Or is there a translation issue?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When it comes to Vares -- I
6 understood your question. When it comes to Vares, it was a major
7 operation. A very demanding operation, Your Honour. And it --
8 JUDGE ORIE: I just was interested to know whether such an
9 operation - that is, a large number of civilians moving out of Vares,
10 where you were involved in it - whether that was the only time that you
11 were involved in such an operation in relation to Vares?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we are talking a major
13 operation, then yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, I'm looking at the clock. It's time for
15 a break. Where are we as far as time is concerned?
16 MR. WEBER: I will definitely finish today in the next session.
17 I think if there is only 20 minutes, I will probably use most of the next
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I will ask Madam Registrar how much time you
20 have used until now.
21 But we'll hear that during the break.
22 Witness, we'll take a break of 20 minutes. You'll be escorted
23 out of the courtroom.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE ORIE: And we resume at 20 minutes to 2.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 1.23 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.44 p.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
4 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, could I correct a transcript reference
5 from earlier today?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Weber.
7 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, at page 48, line 18, I believe today's
8 transcript records me as referring to P55. The correct reference would
9 be P355.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's then hereby corrected.
12 Mr. Weber, you may proceed.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have P2006, page 3 of
15 the B/C/S original and page 2 of the English translation.
16 Q. Sir, I just want to broaden out from Vares a little bit and ask
17 you more generally about some information. Before you is Directive 5
18 from General Mladic, dated 25 June 1993. Specifically, I'd like you --
19 to focus your attention on section 3 that discusses the battle that is
20 raging between the Muslims and Croats. Just stopping here, in June of
21 1993 were you aware that the Muslims and Croats were fighting one
23 A. No, we had other problems. That was not one of them, and I
24 really did not understand because the Muslims and the Croats tied their
25 flags together in Sarajevo. That had never been the case before. I
1 didn't realise why that was happening.
2 Q. Okay. Let's go on, and I want to focus you on a particular part
3 of section 3. It's where General Mladic states:
4 "The VRS is trying to exploit this conflict and do everything to
5 prevent that the weapons used by the HVO" from "falling into Muslim
6 hands, but rather by reasoned military and political moves to force the
7 Croats to turn these weapons and their positions over to us."
8 Do I understand correctly that you were not aware of this
9 objective while you were carrying out operations in Vares?
10 A. You have to know that Ilidza, being Ilidza where I was,
11 co-operated with the Croatian forces throughout the war; the forces in
12 Kiseljak, that is. We literally never waged war in that part, so I don't
13 understand your question. In that part we were on good terms. We did
14 not attack each other at all.
15 Q. My question was very simple and it was just: Were you or were
16 you not aware of what General Mladic says in section 3 of this directive?
17 A. No, I do not understand.
18 Q. Okay.
19 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have P358, page 243 of
20 the B/C/S original and page 240 of the English translation.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Didn't you understand the question or -- the
22 question was rather clear, Witness.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm listening. I'm listening.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, what Mr. Weber puts to you is that
25 General Mladic in this notebook states that:
1 "The VRS is trying to exploit this conflict and do everything to
2 prevent that the weapons used by the HVO not fall into Muslim hands but
3 rather by recent military and political moves to force the Croats to turn
4 these weapons and their positions over to us."
5 Now, the question is: Were you or were you not aware of this
6 position as written down by Mr. Mladic?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
9 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Before you is an 8 July 1993 entry from one of General Mladic's
11 notebooks concerning a meeting with President Slobodan Milosevic.
12 According to these notes, Radovan Karadzic, General Panic,
13 Prime Minister Sainovic, and Ivica Stanisic are also present at this
14 meeting. According to the notes, General Mladic records
15 President Karadzic as stating:
16 "Help the Croats in order to force the Muslims to agree on a
17 division of Bosnia."
18 Were you aware that the Bosnian Serb leadership wanted to help
19 the Croats in 1993 in order to force the Muslims to divide Bosnia?
20 A. No.
21 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 31025.
22 Q. Coming up before you is a 20 August 1993 letter from the
23 president of the Vares municipality to President Franjo Tudjman and
24 others. According to the first paragraph of the letter, the letter
25 communicates the concerns of thousands of Croats from Vares who are
1 worried about unacceptable solutions being imposed on them and new
2 attempts to separate the Croatian population in this area from the rest
3 of the Croatian people. I just wanted you to see that for context.
4 I'd like to now go down and direct your attention to the fourth
5 paragraph, where the letter states:
6 "The Croats of Vares are firm in their decision to continue to
7 lead their own life on their own land. That is why they tried and
8 succeeded in preserving Vares for themselves, and not for those who
9 attack it."
10 In your evidence you have claimed that the civilians in Vares
11 wanted to leave. I put it to you that this is not accurate based on what
12 we see in this letter; is this correct?
13 A. We obviously did not understand each other. Yes, in this letter
14 we can see that the Croats wanted to remain in Vares, but they were
15 driven out by the ABiH not the VRS. The VRS saved them. They were
16 driven from Vares and attacked. The town and the villages around it were
17 attacked by the ABiH, expelling Croats. The Croats had to leave. God
18 forbid they had stayed. There would have been many victims. We saved
19 them and I'm proud of it.
20 Q. So you acknowledge that the Croats -- the local Croat, Bosnian
21 Croat population of Vares did not want to leave?
22 A. They lived there. They spent their lives in Vares and they were
23 driven out by the army of BiH. We were simply observers who came to
24 their rescue. We saved them. We saved the children. You have to
25 acknowledge that. You have to acknowledge that, sir, that we saved the
1 children. As a boy who was a soldier at the time, I'm proud of it, and
2 you have to be aware of it.
3 Q. We'll --
4 A. I'd rather not discuss it any longer.
5 Q. Okay. We're actually going to go through some more information
6 about that. I understand correctly that your evidence is that the local
7 Croat population of Vares did not want to leave.
8 A. Not until they were attacked. That is the short answer.
9 Q. A little later in the sixth paragraph of this letter, it states
10 that all other solutions, impossible political bargains, would be --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
12 JUDGE ORIE: No speaking aloud, no speaking aloud.
13 MR. IVETIC: I'm told the B/C/S translation has ceased. The
14 French channel is blending into the B/C/S channel.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could we continue. Let's take it that -- yes,
16 translation is okay now again.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. WEBER:
19 Q. I'll start again.
20 A. [In English] okay.
21 Q. A little later in the sixth paragraph of the letter, it states
22 that all other solution, impossible political bargains, would be
23 interpreted by the Croatian people as a betrayal of their interests.
24 Were you aware of whether the local Croat population of Vares felt
25 betrayed by their own leaders because of an agreement with the VRS?
1 A. [Interpretation] At that time we did not consider that. We
2 simply followed our orders and tasks. The only thing that was on our
3 minds was to save their lives, to save those people who were incapable of
4 defending themselves from the aggression on Vares launched by the ABiH.
5 That's what I know and that's the only thing I can say and confirm. Any
6 other thing referring to politics, what was agreed with Tudjman, what was
7 agreed to by the HVO, I don't know. It was high politics for me at the
8 time. I was simply a direct participant who assisted those people to
10 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution would tender 65 ter 31025 into
12 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, this witness has not identified
13 knowledge of any of the document's terms. It's not sent to him. We
14 think it's not a proper document to come in through the cross-examination
15 of this witness and the fashion that it's been used, to draw
16 half-conclusions from text that doesn't say what the Prosecution says it
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
20 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, the Defence has now led evidence about
21 Vares, a municipality not in the indictment. And I'm attempting to lead
22 some information to give the Chamber a proper context so it may
23 adjudicate events that relate to this matter. The witness has partially
24 acknowledged certain sentiments the local Croat population and his lack
25 of awareness of certain things at higher levels. I believe this document
1 is relevant. It does have nexus to the topic in evidence of this witness
2 and it is important for the Chamber to have this material in order for
3 the Chamber to properly adjudicate events that happened in this
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, I didn't hear Mr. Ivetic complaining
6 about it not being an indictment municipality.
7 MR. IVETIC: No.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That's -- for other reasons I think he objected to
10 MR. WEBER: And the reason I mention it is because there is not
11 much other information so far in the record about this. So to say or
12 possibly later submit that there is a certain purpose of operations in
13 Vares based on minimal evidence led by a Defence witness and then not
14 enable the Prosecution to tender appropriately information that relates
15 to those events, I think would be quite limiting and would leave an
16 incomplete record.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The objection is denied. The document covers
18 events which are closely related to events the witness testified about
19 and that's the reason why the Chamber denies the objection.
20 Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31025 receives number P6693,
22 Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: P6693 is admitted into evidence.
24 MR. WEBER:
25 Q. And then, sir, I'd like to ask you just in general a more
1 specific time-period. Do you recall whether or not when you engaged in
2 this operation to move civilians from Vares, whether that was in the
3 summer -- I'm sorry, can you hear me? Was that operation in the summer
4 or the fall of 1993? Was it warm out or was it getting cold?
5 A. I said a moment ago that I do not recall the exact date, but it
6 was neither warm nor cold, similar to the weather conditions here today.
7 Perhaps that's how I can explain. It was rather grey.
8 Q. I'll just precisely put it -- a time-period to you. Do you
9 recall where you were at late October 1993 and early November 1993?
10 A. Believe me when I say that it was a long time ago, but it was
11 within that range of two to three months.
12 Q. When you say --
13 A. I don't know the date. I cannot say anything regard that. It's
14 been 20 years and many things happened in the meantime. Whatever I said
15 would be untrue.
16 Q. I'm not asking for a specific date, but just said: "But it was
17 within the range of the two to three months." What is the "it" that
18 you're referring to?
19 A. It concerns the event you're asking me about.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. It was within that range, that's when it happened. I don't know
22 the exact date.
23 Q. And what months, two to three months, are you referring to? To
24 the best of your recollection.
25 A. September, October, around that time. Those two to three months.
1 In that period.
2 Q. Okay. One last document, actually.
3 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 31022.
4 Q. This is a letter from the archbishop of Vrhbosna to
5 President Franjo Tudjman dated 31 October 1993. In the third paragraph
6 of the letter the archbishop discusses an alleged statement from a
7 commander in a municipality in Central Bosnia who stated:
8 "We have an agreement made with the Serbian side. They will
9 offer the HVO its assistance, cleanse the area controlled by us, and the
10 Serbs will make it possible for us to move the Croats from Kiseljak,
11 Kresevo, Vares, Vitez, and Busovaca. We shall hand those areas over to
12 the Chetniks. Our bosses and the Serbian bosses have agreed on solving
13 these areas in this way."
14 MR. WEBER: And if the Prosecution could have the next page in
15 the English translation only.
16 Q. In the middle of the next paragraph, the archbishop states in
17 reference to the HVO:
18 "They constantly claim that they keep receiving such orders. I
19 am no longer confident that the Croatian politics protects us. We feel
20 that we have been sacrificed and condemned to a slow death at that."
21 I'm showing you this material for context. But based on this
22 document and the other materials we have seen today, I put it to you that
23 the local Croat population of Vares did not want to move but did so not
24 because of attacks by the ABiH but because of an agreement between the
25 Croatian and Bosnian Serb leadership which further served the
1 Bosnian Serb interests of dividing Bosnia. Do you have any comments or
2 any other comments other than the ones you've made today?
3 A. No problem. You are obviously good at what you do, and you're
4 trying to put a twist on the issue of transferring people. Out of
5 respect, I'd like to explain. The Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina attacked
6 the territory. It is the only fact, the only truth in all of this. That
7 was the only thing I was interested in. Now, what Puljic wrote, what
8 other high politicians wrote is their own problem. I was a soldier. I
9 saw an armed force killing people and torching villages, and I had to
10 help the people. I did. It was true that the ABiH wanted to approach
11 the Serb lines to a minimum distance because shortly afterwards they did
12 approach our lines and killed several of our soldiers at Brgule where the
13 area through which we pulled out the Croats. So I'm only speaking from
14 the military point of view. I do not wish to discuss any high politics
15 and the statements of senior politicians. I would rather not go into it.
16 I have nothing to do with it, and I don't even know what the context is
17 that you're putting me in. Why should I discuss what Vinko Puljic
18 discussed with other politicians. I do not wish to comment and I'm not
19 competent to address it.
20 Q. Okay.
21 MR. WEBER: At this time the Prosecution tenders the exhibit into
22 evidence for the same reasons as the last document.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
24 MR. IVETIC: The witness knows nothing about the document itself,
25 but I would add, if -- given that we've learned the Prosecution's
1 position on this, I would inquire of the Prosecution when they will be
2 dropping the genocide counts in the indictment, if it's -- if population
3 exchanges were due to an agreement, when will the genocide count be
5 MR. WEBER: Your Honour --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Weber.
7 MR. WEBER: -- if you'll forgive me, I'm not going to respond to
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber responds to the first line, Mr. Ivetic,
11 you spoke, that the witness knows nothing about the document itself. And
12 on the basis of that, that objection is denied as a reason for
13 nonadmission for the same reasons as related to the previous ones; that
14 is, that it's related to the reasons the witness has given for the
16 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31022 receives number P6694,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P6694 is admitted.
20 MR. WEBER:
21 Q. And, sir, I just have one more question left for you today. And
22 it relates to the assault battalion that you joined in early 1994. Is it
23 correct that until 17 April 1994, the commander of the assault battalion
24 was Slobodan Janjic?
25 A. Yes. The assault battalion of the Ilidza Brigade.
1 Q. Okay. And is it correct that Mr. Janjic was killed during
2 operations near Gorazde on the 17th of April, 1994?
3 A. Slobodan Janjic, aka Baubau [phoen], was the commander of the
4 assault battalion. He was killed in the theater defending the territory
5 of Republika Srpska. It was near Gorazde. In that area. I did not take
6 part in that operation.
7 MR. WEBER: That's all I have for the witness, Your Honours.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 MR. IVETIC: Just one question, Your Honours, in redirect.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
12 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
13 Q. Sir, at temporary transcript page 69, lines 3 to 7, you said that
14 an order came from the main commander for the Croat civilians to be
15 assisted from the general himself, what general were you referring to?
16 That's not in your statement. That was in the transcript. You were
17 testifying and you said that the order came from the general himself and
18 I was asking to which general you meant?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could you assist us? Because page 3, I
20 think, is still the submissions made by Mr. Lukic this morning.
21 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. I thought I said page 69 --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I'm sorry. Yes, that's...
23 MR. IVETIC: -- lines 3 to 7. Perhaps it would assist if I read
24 the full answer for the witness.
25 Q. Sir, this is the answer that is recorded in the transcript:
1 "The area in Brgule was very narrow as you go from Vares via
2 Brgule. There was a lot of troops deployed there. The corps military
3 police was also there. They had come to assist with the task ordered by
4 the command of the Ilidza Brigade, and they in turn had received that
5 order from the main command, i.e., the general himself."
6 And my question was simply, sir, when you say "i.e., the general
7 himself," who were you referring to?
8 A. May I? I had General Ratko Mladic in mind in agreement with the
9 civilians authorities in order to save the lives of civilians. That is
10 my short answer. It was received by the command of the Ilidza Brigade.
11 Not me, personally. I was just a soldier. The command conveyed the
12 order to us.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You have answered the question.
14 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
15 Your Honours, that's all I have.
16 Q. Thank you again, sir.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 Witness, I've got one question for you: Were there only Croats
19 living in Vares or were there other ethnic groups living in Vares as
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, I didn't live there. I
22 hail from Sarajevo.
23 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers]
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vares was foreign territory to me.
25 I don't know.
1 JUDGE ORIE: You don't know. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I have no further questions.
4 I take it that this one question from the Bench will not have
5 triggered any --
6 MR. IVETIC: Not for the Defence, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Witness, this concludes your testimony
8 in this Court. I would like to thank you very much for coming to
9 The Hague and for having answered all the questions that were put to you
10 by the parties and by the Bench and I wish you a safe return home again.
11 You may follow the usher.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I am glad to have been
13 of assistance in finding the truth, if successful.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to use the remaining two minutes to
16 deal with witness scheduling.
17 On the 30th of July of this year through an informal
18 communication, the Chamber received a schedule from the Defence informing
19 it of the witnesses who would be testifying in the last week of August
20 and the first week of September.
21 Last Thursday evening, the Chamber received an updated Defence
22 witness schedule which contains changes to the 30th of July schedule. It
23 did not receive this schedule from the Defence but it received it through
24 Madam Registrar. It was only through her diligence that the Chamber was
25 informed of the latest changes to the schedule.
1 On the 8th of July exactly the same scenario occurred. As a
2 result, the Chamber specifically instructed the Defence to send any
3 changes to the witness schedule as soon as possible in writing to
4 Chamber's staff. I would like to refer you to transcript pages 23643 to
5 23644 and 23664 to 23665.
6 The Chamber takes this opportunity to remind the Defence, once
7 again, of its instruction to inform the Chamber in writing of any changes
8 to the witness schedule as soon as practically possible. And I must
9 stress the importance of this information to the Chamber's work in
10 preparing these hearings and urge the Defence to strictly adhere to this
11 instruction in the future.
12 We adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow, Tuesday, the
13 26th of August, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day
16 of August, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.