1 Thursday, 4 December 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 I do understand that the Prosecution wanted to raise a brief --
12 the Defence wanted to raise a brief matter. I'm looking in your
13 direction, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
15 Yes. We read one portion of the document, P6966, on Tuesday with
16 the redirect of our Witness Milojica, and we would kindly ask for that
17 portion to be translated and included into already admitted document. I
18 raised the issue this morning with Mr. Traldi, but since he was not at
19 that time with the witness, I expect him not to have ready answer. So I
20 just kindly ask him to consult with his colleagues what is the position
21 of Mr. Zec.
22 MR. TRALDI: We are in the process of doing that, and we'll get
23 back to Mr. Lukic promptly.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that the Chamber even asked for more
25 background to see whether there was more known about what the statement
1 of the witness exactly had been which resulted in certain conclusions by
2 the Chamber in that judgement. So, therefore, it's -- the Chamber always
3 agrees that if the parties are of the same opinion, then that's fine; but
4 then if Mr. Zec would in this case not agree, then the Chamber may also
5 consider its own position in this respect and may ask for further
6 portions. But I can imagine that the parties want to acquaint themselves
7 with the documentation in its entirety before they make a choice. And,
8 in that respect, it's appreciated, Mr. Lukic, that a continuing
9 conversation between the parties may lead to the best results.
10 That's on the record. And the witness may already be escorted
11 into the courtroom.
12 I meanwhile deal briefly with a matter related to -- it's
13 Exhibit D758. D758 was admitted through Witness Puhalac, and on the 10th
14 of November, the statement was admitted into evidence under number D758.
15 Following the discovery of some translation errors, the Defence requested
16 a verification of the translation, and the Chamber was informed yesterday
17 through an informal communication that a new CLSS translation was
18 uploaded in e-court under doc ID number 1D19-0605. And Madam Registrar
19 is hereby instructed to replace the previous translation in e-court with
20 the revised one.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE ORIE: And, as always, the other party in this case, the
23 Prosecution, has an opportunity to revisit the matter within the next 48
25 Good morning, Mr. Krsic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to remind you that you
3 are still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning
4 of your testimony, that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and
5 nothing but the truth. And Mr. Lukic will now continue his
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 WITNESS: VOJISLAV KRSIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered via interpreter]
10 Examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Krsic.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Since we have a lot of topics to go through, I just wanted to ask
14 you to try to give shorter answers, please.
15 In paragraphs 7 to 20 of your statement, in the bulk of your
16 statement you speak about the incident in Grabovica. Just briefly, could
17 you please look at paragraph 7. To whom did these people surrender? How
18 did it come about that they surrendered? Just briefly.
19 A. These people surrendered to our unit, parts of the Grabovac
20 Company, which was deployed in the area of Duboka.
21 Q. Thank you. And now paragraph 8. In the second sentence of
22 paragraph 8, you say:
23 "Commander Novakovic ordered me to organise the reception of
24 weapons, and then I collected 35 to 40 pieces of weaponry of different
1 How was the weaponry brought in front of the Grabovica school?
2 A. The weapons were brought by our soldiers who were from the
3 Grabovica Company and were deployed in the Duboka sector.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, can you help me? I tried to find
5 your -- the sentence you have read into the transcript. I read:
6 "Commander Novakovic asked me to organise the collection of
7 weapons ..."
8 I find that, but I don't know --
9 MR. LUKIC: Perhaps -- it's the second sentence of paragraph 8.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, okay. Thank you. I missed that. But while
11 I have the floor, I would like to ask the witness.
12 You are talking in paragraph 7 and the following paragraphs about
13 the incident in the Grabovica school. Can you tell me when took this
14 incident place? What is the date of that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, the
16 incident happened on the 3rd and 4th of November, 1992.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. And when you were receiving the weapons, what was going on during
20 that time that you were busy with the weapons?
21 A. I and the platoon commander, Bosko Djuric, from the
22 Grabovica Company were receiving the weapons. We had a small truck which
23 was a little bit farther away from the football pitch, and then the
24 soldiers were coming in turns and bringing the weapons. We had time to
25 see that the commander when he was managing the situation, he made -- he
1 organised it so that people were being taken to the school in groups.
2 People were being taken to the school in groups.
3 Q. In the same paragraph in the English version --
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The English version, sixth line from
5 the top, and in the B/C/S version it's the fifth line from the top.
6 Q. -- it states -- it's a full sentence:
7 "After accommodating the personnel, Novakovic ordered me to stay
8 in Grabovica to make a list of the people and to deliver this list to him
9 the next morning."
10 Could you please tell us who were you putting down on that list
11 first and where?
12 A. After I finished all my earlier set tasks about the security, I
13 set off to carry out the tasks set to me by the commander, and then first
14 I listed all the women and children who were in the classroom on the
15 ground floor.
16 Q. And where were you when this list was being made?
17 A. I was in the classroom where the women and children were. And as
18 far as I can remember, I wrote down the names of 30 to 40 women.
19 Why do I remember this number, more or less? There are a number
20 of reasons for that. First of all, I could see in front of me this
21 group, that's one thing. Secondly, they were placed in a classroom, and
22 according to the principle of logical conclusion, our classrooms could
23 accommodate between 30 to 40 pupils. And some of those seats, when the
24 women and children were sitting down, were not filled. So the only
25 possible thing was to conclude that the number of the people there was
1 between 30 and 40. I went for the higher number because usually teaching
2 groups, groups of pupils on average number 30 people. They could be
3 larger, but as I said, I picked the higher figure, between 30 to 40
4 people. And this is something that applies to most schools. There
5 wouldn't be any more people, particularly not in elementary schools.
6 Q. Thank you. And who did you compile a list of after you compiled
7 a list of the women?
8 A. After I compiled a list of the women and children, I went out of
9 the classroom. I went upstairs to the first floor because there were
10 more classrooms on the first floor and the men were placed in some of
11 those classrooms. Somebody who was with me suggested that we compile the
12 list in an empty classroom, that men would be brought in in twos or three
13 threes, so I agreed to that. I went to the last classroom in line, I sat
14 down at the teacher's desk, there were two policemen with me, and they
15 were bringing in two or three men at a time who sat in front of me. And
16 that is how I took down their names.
17 Q. Actually, what did you write down? What did you ask them?
18 A. The main information that I took from them was their first and
19 last name, date of birth, and the place they were from, or their place of
20 residence. I did not take any other information or interview them or
21 anything like that.
22 Q. And the men who were brought before you, did you notice if any of
23 them were beaten, did they have bruises, were they bleeding?
24 A. No, absolutely not. The people who were in front of me were
25 sitting like this. They were sitting right in front of me, perhaps half
1 a metre away from the desk at which I was sitting. They would place
2 their hands on the desk, taking up a position that I am taking up now.
3 Perhaps they were leaning a little bit forward. So that's how they were
4 sitting. They were so close to me that it was impossible that I did not
5 notice anything if they had anything -- any marks on their face.
6 Q. Thank you. And the next question: From the point in time when
7 those Muslims came to the school playing field in Grabovica to the moment
8 that you left Grabovica, did you notice whether any of those men were
9 tied with anything, ropes or any other kind of ligatures?
10 A. Absolutely no. When they came to the football pitch, from that
11 area, they were brought to the school and placed into classrooms. No
12 actions were applied that would violate the dignity of those people,
13 violate human dignity; i.e., nothing was done that could possibly be done
14 when we're talking about actions of the police or anything else.
15 Something else that I could say about this: During the
16 preparation earlier, I listened to the testimony of one witness of the
17 Prosecution, I think he was one of the first victims -- witnesses. I
18 don't know his name --
19 Q. Don't mention his name.
20 A. Okay. So this witness who as a child was present during the
21 events in Grabovica, he said that he saw that those men were tied with
22 wire. This is absolutely incorrect.
23 First of all, he said that as a child he noticed that the
24 commander had something shiny above his head. Actually, when those
25 people were brought, it was already dark. Commander Novakovic was
1 holding a light above his head, and he was shedding light at the people
2 who were in the playground. So it's true that there was something shiny
3 above his head.
4 So if the commander at that point in time had a torch so that he
5 could have some light for those people, it means that it was difficult to
6 notice the actual people. So can you imagine that in such darkness you
7 would be able to see that those people were -- had their hands tied with
8 wire? To me, that's incomprehensible. And I state with full
9 responsibility, I guarantee that with my life, that while I was in
10 Grabovica, those people were not tied with anything.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: While the commander was casting this light from
13 the torch to the people, would it then be impossible to see where the
14 light is going, whether a person is tied with ligature or not? I'm sure
15 that it would be possible, wouldn't it be?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was possible to see with a torch
17 if some of those people were tied or not, but --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. What was it that you wanted to add?
21 A. I wanted to add that those people were received in Duboka and
22 they arrived in a column. I was there when they arrived in that column,
23 and they were not tied. I saw that myself. It's true that it's quite
24 dark, but I was able to see. People were moving their hands. As they
25 were walking, they were moving their hands.
1 Q. In paragraphs 20, 21, and 22, you say -- you talk about what you
2 did when you left Grabovica. Did you ever find out what happened in
3 Grabovica on that occasion once you left? Are you able to tell us what
4 you found out, how did you find out, from whom? Just briefly, please.
5 A. After I left Grabovica, there were these activities, but the
6 first news I heard in relation to Grabovica was when I was touring one of
7 the companies and some of the soldiers were asking questions about what
8 happened in Grabovica. I said that there were problems, because I was
9 present when one of those problems occurred, and that I didn't know about
10 what happened later. And then they told me that there was chaos there.
11 I told them I didn't have any information about it. And then once I
12 returned to the command, sometime - I don't know whether it was two or
13 three days later - that was when I found out about it for the first time.
14 The commander's assistant for security, Major Mirko Bosic,
15 entered my office, and he -- well, when he entered my office, I asked
16 him, Mirko, what happened up there in Grabovica? And he literally said
17 to me, "Vojkan" -- I apologise for using this term. I will try to
18 interpret what he said. So he said "Vojkane, fuck it. There were some
19 problems. The population in Grabovica fucked up the situation and people
20 were killed." That is what he told me.
21 I was surprised to say the least. And then he also told me -- I
22 was in a state of shock, and then he used that opportunity and added:
23 Listen, I have come here so that you could write a statement. The
24 command of the 1st Krajina Corps is asking for statements regarding the
25 events in Grabovica. He gave me instructions. He told me that I should
1 write a statement for the period that I was there about what was going on
2 in Grabovica. I wrote the statement and I handed it to him.
3 I also want to add here that in the statement what is written
4 there is more or less the same as what is contained in the statement that
5 I gave to the Defence of General Mladic.
6 Q. I want to move to a different topic now.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, that statement, is that -- do we have
9 MR. LUKIC: We do not. I tried -- I asked this witness if he can
10 obtain it, and we were not able to obtain the statement.
11 JUDGE ORIE: What did you try to obtain your statement ^? What
12 did you do?
13 MR. LUKIC: No, we tried to obtain from him. He didn't have it.
14 I don't know what he did.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you make any effort to obtain a copy of that
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In relation to my statement, the
18 one that I wrote, I can say the following: I wrote that statement in a
19 single copy. That statement was given to Major Mirko Kosic, who was
20 assistant commander for security and who asked me to write that.
21 Mirko Kosic --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could I stop you there.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No --
24 JUDGE ORIE: My question is what did you do now to see whether
25 you could receive a copy, because even if it's written only in one copy,
1 then you still can make a copy if it still exists. Did you try to find
2 out whether your statement still is available somewhere?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite simply, I didn't know how,
4 except for what I did; that is to say, I asked the lawyer and the members
5 of the team whether they can get that. I personally did not have an
6 opportunity to do so.
7 JUDGE ORIE: So you didn't do anything.
8 What did you do apart from asking the witness who then said, "I
9 don't know how to find it. What do you then do, Mr. Lukic?
10 MR. LUKIC: I have to consult with my investigators, Your
11 Honours. But maybe we can try it again.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But isn't that the question that comes, first
13 of all, to your mind if we are talking about a statement taken
14 contemporaneously? I mean, that would be first thing I would immediately
15 go after.
16 MR. LUKIC: I know that I asked them to do so, but I don't know
17 exactly what's the progress. Because it's a bit complicated now. It has
18 to go through Sarajevo to reach anything formerly in VRS hands.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, is the Prosecution in any way in a
20 position to assist?
21 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I'm not aware of such a statement. We
22 have obviously investigated this matter quite closely, and I will
23 double-check, but I can assure the Chamber that we have not seen a
24 statement from this witness. It didn't come up in our searching either.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So even the existence is not confirmed by
1 objective sources.
2 MS. BIBLES: Exactly, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
6 Q. [Interpretation] In paragraph 25 of your statement, the
7 penultimate sentence, you say that no one from your brigade ever as much
8 as mentioned that an area in which you were located should be ethnically
9 cleansed, let alone attempted to implement such a thing in practice. Did
10 you have an opportunity to speak to any of the ethnic Muslims in respect
11 of this topic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I know that you asked first to move into private session at a
14 certain moment, but please tell us exactly when it is that you want us to
15 do that.
16 A. I was at the command one day and one of the platoon commanders
17 brought a young girl, a Muslim, from the positions and she was in tears,
18 terrified. Of course I took her in, I gave her a bit of encouragement, I
19 let the platoon commander go, and we started talking. During this
20 conversation, she mentioned to me that she had a girlfriend who is an
21 ethnic Serb. It turned out that her friend is a relative of mine. Later
22 on, I'll give the names of both persons. I don't think I should mention
23 them in public now.
24 On that occasion when I asked her what had happened, where she
25 had been, and so on, she said that some unknown people came with some
1 people from their neighbourhood and that they were pressuring the
2 population, the ethnic Croat and Muslim population, telling them that
3 they had to leave their houses because the Chetniks were on their way and
4 that they would slaughter them all. So she and her parents and the rest
5 of the Muslim and Croat population in these neighbourhoods left their
6 houses just with small parcels in their hands, and they fled to the woods
7 and they spent a few days in the woods.
8 However, while they were in the woods some people would return to
9 their homes without having those people who had told them to flee know
10 about that. They went back home to get some things that they needed, and
11 then they returned to the woods. It is then that they transmitted the
12 following piece of news: The people who stayed at home - now, who stayed
13 at home, pregnant women, children, very young children, elderly, frail
14 people - they said that practically nothing had happened, that they were
15 all living at home, normally, and that no one came to their homes. So
16 then she took advantage of such an opportunity as well, fled from the
17 woods, returned to her sister's house. Her sister had a young child at
18 the time. She were there with her sister for a longer period of time.
19 And then, in agreement with this girlfriend of hers, she asked whether it
20 was possible for her to go back home. And the other one said probably.
21 So she tried to get to her home which was somewhere in the area where the
22 units were deployed where otherwise no one was allowed to move about
23 without any ways of being recognised.
24 So by the time she got close to her home, the soldiers captured
25 her and brought her to my office; that is to say, that platoon commander
1 brought her to my office. I treated the girl most fairly. She arrived
2 in tears and she left smiling. Finally, as she was leaving, she added
3 the following, I quote: "Aren't you a good man."
4 Now, I don't want her to get into any kind of trouble on account
5 of all of this, so could we please move into private session so that I
6 can tell you what the girl's name is?
7 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
8 [Private session]
11 Page 29297 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
4 Now you told us in closed session how you escorted someone to a
5 safe place with her family. Those people in the school, were they
6 offered also an escort to go to wherever they wanted to go, where their
7 family was living, the women, the children?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you mean Grabovica?
9 JUDGE ORIE: I do.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, while I was there, now, I
11 mean, I don't know -- well. Well, what was possible at that time? What
12 was done was seeing off the women and children as safely as possible.
13 Maybe I should explain that completely.
14 JUDGE ORIE: I want you to tell me whether you offered those in
15 the school - women, children - also to go to a place where their family
16 was and where they could be accommodated, with your assistance?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I couldn't do that, if you're
18 referring to me personally. Are you referring to me personally?
19 JUDGE ORIE: I want to know whether it was done or not, either by
20 you personally or by anyone else.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An offer was made to them or,
22 rather, what was done was -- actually, I can just describe the situation.
23 I mean, I don't know that anyone said it as directly as I'm saying it now
24 as we conduct this conversation. But these people - women and children
25 along with this security - they were put onto buses and they went to
1 Vrbanci, taking these buses. Now what happened after that, I don't know.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We know that. But when they arrived at the school,
3 did you tell them, If you prefer to go to your aunt or your grandmother
4 or living in one of those villages, please tell us so that we can escort
5 you to bring you there?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is what I can say: In the
7 evening when I made this list when I was sitting in that classroom, a
8 woman asked me, What's going to become of us? My answer to her was that
9 I don't know because I'm not the one who is making the decisions on what
10 is going to happen and how things would proceed. So I was not the one
11 who could decide or who could make any offers. At that time, I was in a
12 very low position. I didn't have any authority or any power to say
13 anything like that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. You were in the position to
15 have the young girl be accompanied by policemen to return to the place
16 where she thought family was and where she would be safe. So to say that
17 you were in such a low position that you could do -- you couldn't do
18 anything is not really very consistent with what you told us about what
19 you did with the young girl.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour. I --
21 I was in the command there and I had this possibility to get these
22 policemen who were there, part of the command, to do something in
23 particular. But this was a larger group of people. This was in town,
24 whereas this had to do with people who had come to a completely different
25 location, so I could have done that.
1 As far as Grabovica is concerned, that was totally beyond my
2 powers. These people were far away from their homes. Some of them were
3 from -- I don't know.
4 JUDGE ORIE: At what time in the evening did you leave the
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't leave the school in
7 the evening. I left on the following day in the morning around 10.00, as
8 far as I can remember.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Muslims remained in the school as well
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. Yes, they did.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Were there any mattresses or something to sleep on
13 or did they just sleep on the floor?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, there were no mattresses.
15 There were just school desks because it was a school, after all. Nobody
16 had envisaged that, that that would happen. These people came at night
17 and we had absolutely no possibility. We didn't have any vehicles or
18 anything else to transport these people to some other place where perhaps
19 they could be provided with more decent accommodation. Quite simply,
20 that night in view of the circumstances involved - that is to say, the
21 lack of possibilities that the brigade could offer, the fact that it was
22 night-time, et cetera - they were in these classrooms, they simply sat
23 this way at these desks, they had sort of bent over these desks, and that
24 is how they spent the night. Believe me, we had no other possibility.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So summarising the situation: You took a
1 large number of - apart from the men - a large number of women and
2 children to a place which did not provide proper accommodation, and those
3 were not given a choice either to go to a place where they would have a
4 bed with their families, et cetera. Is that, in short, a part of a
5 description of what happened?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps from your point of
7 view. But viewed from our side, as I told you a moment ago, quite
8 simply, we did not have any other possibilities. That is to say, we did
9 what was possible for us to do at that moment and that is what we
10 offered. But, you know, when you don't have something, you cannot offer
12 Secondly, we did not have the capacity, say, to escort each and
13 every woman and child to these villages, Garici, Kotor Varos, these are
14 villages that are far away, Hanifici, or perhaps some other village that
15 they were from. On the other hand, it was most unsafe. Practically this
16 could have meant exposing these people to danger. That would have been a
17 terrible mistake on our part, to try to send these people elsewhere and
18 expose them to that kind of lack of security and safety.
19 I can tell you that already that evening there were a lot of
20 local people who had gathered there and --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. I do understand that you
22 tell us that you did everything in order to secure their safety and their
23 well-being rather than anything else --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- and that for that reason they were accommodated
1 in a school where there was no proper accommodation but you had no other
2 choice; and that you, for that reason, did not give them an opportunity
3 to go back to where they came from, from their families.
4 It's --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
8 Q. [Interpretation] It remained a bit unclear because of the English
9 interpretation. Let us go back to the situation when you were speaking
10 to this girl whose name you mentioned in private session. You said that
11 in order for her to go back home, she had to know the password. What
12 does that mean, actually?
13 A. This is what it means in practice: When there are combat
14 positions for each and every unit, there are passwords, call-signs, so
15 that people could move about in the zone of combat disposition. If that
16 did not exist, then anybody could walk in, including enemy soldiers,
17 saboteurs, people who would threaten the security of the people who were
18 in these positions. In military practice, that is something that is
19 standard. That is characteristic of all armies in the world. This is
20 not only characteristic of the Army of Republika Srpska.
21 Q. Thank you. Where were these people brought from to Grabovica?
22 Was there any fighting before that? Do you know about that?
23 A. What I know is the following: These people who were in the
24 village of Vecici, now under what circumstances and how this happened,
25 that they set out from Vecici, I really don't know.
1 Q. Was there any fighting there before that in Vecici?
2 A. As far as I know, there were some activates in relation to
3 something like that.
4 Q. Is Vecici in the area of replenishment of your brigade or some
5 other brigade?
6 A. Well, this term that you used, "replenishment," it is not
7 appropriate. It would be better to say are they in the area of
8 disposition or deployment of the units. Vecici was not in the area of
9 disposition of the Kotor Varos Brigade. That part was covered by a unit
10 from the 22nd Infantry Brigade.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you went already beyond your 55 minutes
12 you asked for. May I assume that you will finish not later than the
14 MR. LUKIC: I have one more topic, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then but -- then at 10.30, I would expect you
16 to more or less have finished.
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, Mr. Krsic, let us just look at the last
19 sentence now in paragraph 25. You briefly indicated here that the
20 brigade was multiethnic. What was the ethnic background of the vast
21 majority of the soldiers in your brigade?
22 A. Serb.
23 Q. How many Muslims and Croats were in your brigade?
24 A. Well, approximately, say, about 30.
25 Q. Do you remember now whether there were any komandirs, commanders
1 in your brigade, who were Muslims or Croats? Can you give us a name or
2 some names?
3 A. Yes. Some of them held the position of komandir. Asim Agan
4 Begovic, he was commander of the logics platoon. Adis Hadziselimovic,
5 who I mentioned a moment ago, he was deputy commander of the platoon of
6 the SPDV; that is to say, the independent anti-sabotage platoon. And
7 Enes Caus, who was deputy commander of a platoon there too.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could we have a very accurate and precise
9 time-frame for what the witness tells us at this moment; that is, what
10 situation in time he's describing and whether those who were of Muslim or
11 Croat ethnicity or nationality, whatever you would like to call it, how
12 long they stayed in those positions?
13 The persons you'd just mentioned, they were -- could you --
14 you've understood my question.
15 Mr. Lukic, if you want to put further questions to the witness on
16 this matter, I leave it in your hands, but that's the kind of information
17 that might assist me.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You heard the question, Mr. Krsic. You heard the question put by
20 Judge Orie. Please answer.
21 A. I understand the question. You asked about these persons of
22 Muslim and Croat ethnicity, when they were in the brigade, from when
23 until when. They were in the brigade from the moment it was established,
24 practically. They became members of the brigade as soon as it was
25 established, and they were members of that brigade until the end of the
1 war; that is to say, throughout the war they remained within that unit.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And that's true for all, approximately 30, or just
3 for the persons you mentioned?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It goes for all, all of them. When
5 this first mobilisation of the Territorial Defence took place, they
6 joined. Some of them, for example, the Independent Anti-Sabotage
7 Platoon, it was mobilised at the very outset, and it was multiethnic.
8 Adis Hadziselimovic was deputy commander of that platoon. He was
9 mobilised straight away, and he stayed there until the end of the war.
10 And then also Asim Agan Begovic. As soon as the first mobilisation took
11 place, he joined that unit and he remained in that unit until the end of
12 the war. And I can say that these were exceptionally responsible proper
13 people, fair.
14 As regards the attitude of Serbs towards them, as they were of a
15 different ethnic background, it was most proper. We in the brigade never
16 distinguished among people along those lines, in terms of whether
17 somebody belonged to this or that ethnicity.
18 JUDGE ORIE: You went well beyond my question, so you emphasized
19 those two persons. And the same is true if the other approximately 28,
20 which makes the group of 30 complete. Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same.
22 MR. LUKIC: I think that --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No difference whatsoever.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please.
25 MR. LUKIC: And the witness mentioned a third one as well, Caus.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So it would be 27.
2 So please proceed.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask one question before?
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: What was the strength of the brigade?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The strength differed in different
7 periods. I think that in my statements I said that at one point the
8 highest number was between 1.000 and 1500. Sometimes there were less
9 than 1.000, even it went down to 850 men. However, in certain periods,
10 it grew up until 2.000 members. But throughout most of the period of the
11 war, the strength arranged between 1.000 and 1500 men.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But, yes, I can also give you this
14 piece of information: More than 6.000 men passed through the brigade,
15 which meant that the composition of the brigade changed. A very small
16 number of people who were in the brigade at the beginning of the war were
17 actually in the brigade at the end of the war. The personnel changed.
18 More than 6.000 men passed through the brigade.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we've stolen a few minutes of your time,
21 so if you want to finish, then --
22 MR. LUKIC: I've finished, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You've finished?
24 MR. LUKIC: Yeah.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Krsic, I just wanted to thank you for
1 answering our questions. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Krsic, we'll take a break first and we'd like to
3 see you back in 20 minutes. You may follow the usher.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 10 minutes to 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Welcome back, Mr. Krsic.
10 Before I give the opportunity to the Prosecution to cross-examine
11 you, I've one question.
12 You told us about you writing a statement yourself. Are you
13 aware of any statement being taken or written by those who were present
14 when other Muslims have died or any thorough investigation? Do you have
15 any knowledge about such statements or such an investigation?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mirko Kosic told me that the corps
17 command was requesting statements from those who were present during the
18 events in Grabovica. I personally wrote one. I state that with full
19 responsibility. As for others, I don't know if they also provided
21 And if you permit me, I just wanted to make one comment: Mirko
22 Kosic, who was the assistant commander for security, was one of our best
23 officers among the assistant commanders for security.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not talking about the excellence of persons
25 involved but I'm more focusing on facts.
1 You said you were invited to write a report but you did not --
2 you were not present when most of the people died which were reported to
3 have been killed. Do I understand that you also do not know whether any
4 reports were written by those who were present when that happened?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't know, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And did at any time someone come back to you and
7 further interview you on the matter? Was there a kind of a thorough
8 investigation, as far as you're aware of?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Mirko Kosic was the only one
10 who requested this of me, and I don't have information about any
11 investigations being conducted later into these events.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Krsic, you'll now be cross-examined by Ms. Bibles. You'll
14 find Ms. Bibles to your right. Ms. Bibles is counsel for the
16 Please proceed.
17 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Bibles:
19 Q. Good morning.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I'd like to start by asking just a few initial questions about
22 your background, because there's a few gaps.
23 In paragraph 3, you indicate that you left the JNA on
24 15 September 1991 on a personal request. You don't describe -- or there
25 is an empty space in your background until July of 1992 when you indicate
1 you went to Kotor Varos, your hometown. What were you doing between
2 September 1991 and July of 1992?
3 A. I left the JNA at my personal request on the 15th of September.
4 So from the 15th of September until the 2nd of July, I was in Zagreb for
5 a period of time. And actually in September, I was in Zagreb. In
6 October, I went to Germany. I spent that time at my sister's in Germany.
7 Then I came back again to Zagreb. I was supposed to continue my PhD
8 studies and I was planning to find a job in Zagreb. Unfortunately,
9 because I was a Serb and a member of the former JNA, I was not able to
10 get a job. The only possibility that was available to me at that time
11 was when my colleague who worked as a driving instructor offered me the
12 option of training and completing traffic school and becoming a driving
13 instructor, and then I could start working at his driving school.
14 From January until June, I attended this traffic school. I
15 completed the fifth degree, fifth level of traffic school, and I became a
16 driving instructor for B category vehicles.
17 Q. All right. I think that gives us an idea as to what you were
18 doing during this time-period.
19 MS. BIBLES: If we could now have 65 ter 31706 on our screens,
21 Q. Sir, this will be a copy of your appointment to the VRS, or in
22 the VRS, on the 27th of August, 1992. Now, we see that this is signed by
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Dusan Novakovic. Now, this is the same
24 Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic that you discuss in your statement and that
25 you've described as being present in Grabovica during your testimony
1 today; correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And you initially became, and I think you may have already said
4 this, the assistant chief of staff for operations and training affairs;
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And then just to sort of jump forward in time, in December of
8 1992 you eventually become the chief of staff; correct?
9 A. In early December. The commander, Dusan Novakovic, informed me
10 of this in early December.
11 MS. BIBLES: And I tender 31706, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31706 receives number P6977, Your
15 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
16 MS. BIBLES:
17 Q. So Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic was your commanding officer from
18 the moment that you joined in August of 1992; correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. All right.
21 MS. BIBLES: If we could now go to 65 ter 31376, please.
22 Q. You mention a cousin, Zivko Krsic, I believe, in paragraph 20.
23 The document we're going to see is his appointment as the commander for
24 morale and guidance for the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade. Is that
25 the position he held with you joined the brigade?
1 A. No, that was not the post I occupied. The document is all right,
2 and the person referred to here did occupy that position. He was the
3 assistant commander for morale guidance. These are two different posts.
4 He was the assistant commander, and I was the assistant chief of staff.
5 These are two different positions.
6 Q. I do -- and I apologise if it was confusing. I was talking about
7 your -- this is your cousin; correct?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And you refer to him in paragraph 20 of your statement; correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And we see that his appointment was dated -- to the
12 Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade was dated the 8th of June, 1992;
14 A. If that's what's stated in the document, that is probably so. I
15 wasn't there in that period, so I cannot confirm that.
16 Q. Exactly. And you would confirm that this document, this
17 appointment, is also signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic; right?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So Novakovic was the commander of this brigade at least from the
20 8th of June, 1992; correct?
21 A. I don't know when he was appointed the commander of the
22 Kotor Varos Brigade. The information that I have is that I saw the order
23 written by the commander of the 1st Krajina Corps stating that the
24 commander was Slobodan Zupljanin. I came to Kotor Varos on the 22nd of
1 Q. Sir, the question -- sir, the question that I asked is if we look
2 at this document, we see that he made an appointment to the
3 Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade on the 8th of June, 1992; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And, in fact, at the time that you joined the brigade there was
6 also a security and intelligence officer, Andjelko Stanic; right?
7 A. Andjelko Stanic.
8 Q. Thank you for correcting the pronunciation. Would it -- would it
9 surprise you that he was also appointed by Novakovic on the 8th of June,
11 A. If these men were appointed, if that's what it says, I really
12 cannot comment on it because the information I have does not correspond
13 to what we see in these documents; all the more so because I wasn't there
14 in that period.
15 Q. Well -- and you've testified to matters about the state of
16 organisation of the brigade when you joined, and that's why we're showing
17 you documents that might show that perhaps your testimony here was
19 MS. BIBLES: And, Your Honour, before I make a mistake, I would
20 tender 65 ter 31376.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31376 receives number P6978, Your
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Madam Bibles, if I may just ask a question
25 before --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could I -- admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: My apologies.
4 And, Mr. Krsic, at page 29, line 16, you say you came to
5 Kotor Varos on the 22nd of July. By that what do you mean: Kotor Varos,
6 the area; or Kotor Varos, the brigade?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I came to Kotor Varos, the
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you. Okay.
10 MS. BIBLES:
11 Q. Without going through all of the documents, would you agree that
12 when you arrived at the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade, there was a
13 commander for logistics; correct?
14 A. You didn't say who --
15 Q. Nenad Jerkovic.
16 A. -- for logistics. It's not Nenad Djokovic but Nenad Jerkovic.
17 Q. Well, I would certainly accept your pronunciation. But you would
18 agree that he was in that position; right?
19 A. Yes, he was in that position.
20 Q. And there was also a chief of the quartermaster service and a
21 chief of medical service when you arrived; correct?
22 A. Yes. He was -- there was a chief of the quartermaster service
23 and a chief of the medical service, yes.
24 Q. And, sir, if --
25 MS. BIBLES: If we could now have P851 on our screens.
1 Q. Sir, this will be a list of the Kotor Varos Light Infantry
2 Brigade, at least I believe it's the command staff. And there is no date
3 on this document, sir, and I think you might be able to help us with
5 Now, first we see Novakovic at the top, and we see Mane Tepic,
6 and that's your name that's third; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Since your appointment as chief of staff took place in December
9 of 1992, is it correct, then, that this list would have been made
10 sometime between the 27th of August and sometime in December 1992?
11 A. Yes, yes, sometime in that period.
12 Q. So, sir, given the documents that you've seen, isn't it true
13 that, in fact, Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic was the commander of this
14 unit instead of Mane Tepic and that would have been true in July of 1992?
15 A. I'm not saying anything in relation to these documents. I am
16 saying -- I'm talking about the situation that I found when I came to the
17 brigade. In the period from the 22nd of July until early August, I would
18 go to the command of the Kotor Varos Brigade, and I was told that
19 Mane Tepic was there who was co-ordinating the brigade command; namely,
20 the brigade. At the time, I did not see or had any contact with the
21 commander Dusan Novakovic. Our first contact was on the 28th of August
22 when I came to the brigade.
23 Q. Sir, you've testified yesterday that the brigade was in complete,
24 I believe the phrase is "disorganisation," when you joined. But will you
25 allow for the possibility that, in fact, there was more organisation than
1 you were aware of before you joined the brigade?
2 A. I did not use the term "disorganisation," because that's a more
3 serious term than "unorganised." There is a major difference there. The
4 term that I used, and I explained yesterday what I meant, the brigade was
5 not organised in keeping with military rules. I mentioned the example of
6 the Pioneers Platoon, which should have had 35 men whose speciality was
7 engineering. But out of them there were only five who had that
8 speciality, and the others had different, other specialities. So, in
9 that sense, I was talking about the way the unit was organised.
10 Q. Okay. Well, we'll talk in a bit about whether the unit was
11 functioning when you joined. But I want to go back to this list for
12 another reason because you've indicated or you've testified to the
13 ethnicity of the brigade.
14 Sir, as we see on this list --
15 MS. BIBLES: And we may have to move over a little bit to see it
16 on the English.
17 Q. But this list has a category for ethnicity; correct?
18 A. I don't know. What is the question?
19 Q. This list has a category for ethnicity; correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Sir, for --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ms. Bibles --
23 MS. BIBLES: Yes.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- in the English translation it says
1 MS. BIBLES: All right.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm not sure if that is correct but --
3 MS. BIBLES: That's --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- just to draw your attention to that.
5 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. In the B/C/S version, sir, up at the top of the category where we
7 see the "Srbin" at the far end of the list, what is that category -- how
8 is that category titled?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the
11 MS. BIBLES:
12 Q. Sir, could you speak into the microphone for us? I know you're
13 leaning forward.
14 A. It's an abbreviation, NAC - full stop. It means "nacionalnos,"
16 Q. All right. Sir, for brevity purposes --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles.
18 MS. BIBLES: Yes.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I see an "NAC SR." Could the witness also explain
20 what SR means?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. At this moment, I
22 don't know myself. Perhaps concluded be socialist republic; SR meaning
23 the socialist republic where the person comes from. This form was used
24 much earlier in the former JNA, so perhaps that's why we have these
25 specific categories.
1 MS. BIBLES:
2 Q. And, sir, in this category we see -- of the names that we can see
3 in the B/C/S version, the word "Srbin", S-r-b-i-n, is present, and that
4 means Serbian; correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. For brevity purposes, I'll say that that there are 57 names on
7 this list, and we have to go to the end of the list to see anything other
8 than Srbin or Serbian. We see that everybody on this list is Serbian
9 except for two members.
10 MS. BIBLES: If we could now go to page 3 in the B/C/S and
11 page 10 in the English, which is near the bottom of this list.
12 Q. We'll see one which is sixth from the top on the B/C/S version --
13 or sixth from the bottom, I'm sorry, which lists "Yugoslav" as ethnicity;
15 MS. BIBLES: And then moving to page 4 -- excuse me, moving to
16 page 11 in the English and the fourth from the bottom on the B/C/S
18 Q. We see a blank in this category. Someone who doesn't list a
19 nationality or ethnicity. So, sir, even if these two officers are --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are we on the right page --
21 MS. BIBLES: I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: On the B/C/S? I'm trying to look for the blank.
23 MS. BIBLES: Ah, yeah. Yes, if we look fourth from the bottom in
24 the B/C/S, I believe it's been highlighted there, we see a blank --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I think we've found it.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MS. BIBLES: Thank you. Thank you for the assistance of the
3 usher there.
4 Q. Now, sir, even if these two officers are of non-Serb ethnicity,
5 that's 2 out of 57, which means that 96.5 per cent of the officers for
6 this brigade were Serbian. So, sir, wouldn't you agree that this unit
7 was dominated by Serbs; correct?
8 A. That is correct. I agree with you. It's a unit that was
9 predominantly staffed by men who were of Serb ethnicity. I said that in
10 the unit there were about 30 Croats and Muslims. These two that are seen
11 here, Agan Begovic, Asim, and Adis Hadziselimovic are of Muslim
12 ethnicity, but some of them in the earlier period would declare
13 themselves as Yugoslavs. Just as you had a number of Serbs who lived in
14 Croatia who were true Serbs and then when the events started that led to
15 the war in the former Yugoslavia, many of them declared themselves as
16 Yugoslavs or, for example, would say that they did not belong to any
17 particular ethnic group.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, the question was asked by Mr. Lukic
19 whether the ethnic background of the vast majority -- the witness gave us
20 the numbers. He was talking about 30 on a total of 1.000 up to 1500 or
21 2.000 which all is in the area of 2, 2-and-a-half per cent. The same is
22 here. So, therefore, you are apparently eliciting evidence on matters
23 which, until now, have been established already in a similar way.
24 MS. BIBLES: And I apologise, Your Honour. I was showing this
25 document to list the command structure and decided that as long as it was
1 up, we would move -- we'd look at the other features that had been
2 discussed but not shown. I'll move on.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MS. BIBLES:
5 Q. In paragraph 6 --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I -- excuse me.
7 MS. BIBLES: Ah, yes.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have one question.
9 Sir, you have mentioned one name which is not properly recorded,
10 I think, because I heard the name of an officer Caus or similarly.
11 Can you please tell us, could that man be found on this list?
12 Have you any idea, was he an officer? And can you please spell his name.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Enes Caus was assistant commander
14 of the platoon. People who were deputy commanders were not listed here,
15 unless we're talking about independent platoons, like the SPVD or the
16 engineers platoons. He was deputy commander of the platoon and he is not
17 in this list. This list does not mention deputy platoon commanders --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- who were in other companies.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You have --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And he -- he -- his name?
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, I wanted to ask you to spell his name.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] C-a-u-s. That's his last name.
24 And his first name is E-n-e-s.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that.
1 Can we please move very briefly into private session.
2 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
17 MS. BIBLES: If we could now move to D428 on our screens, please.
18 Q. And, sir, we're shifting more completely to the area of the
19 functioning of units in Kotor Varos and specifically the
20 Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade.
21 Sir, this is a -- will be, when it comes up on the screen, a 16
22 July 1992 order drafted by a Lieutenant-Colonel Peulic, P-e-u-l-i-c,
23 commander of the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade. This is an order, you
24 see, being sent to the 1st Krajina Corps command.
25 Now just for a little bit of background --
1 MS. BIBLES: And we can go to the last page of this to see the
3 Q. -- are you aware that Bosko Peulic --
4 MS. BIBLES: Whoops, perhaps the second-to-the-last page in the
5 English. My apologies for that.
6 Q. -- commanded the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade in the 5th Corps of
7 the JNA before the VRS was created?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was it the 122nd or the 22nd?
9 MS. BIBLES: The 122nd, Your Honour.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know when Bosko Peulic was
11 appointed the commander of the brigade. The brigade was the first the
12 122nd Brigade and then later it was renamed the 22nd Brigade. This date
13 is accurate.
14 As for the rest, it's a fact that he was the commander of the
15 122nd Infantry Brigade for a period. He was later replaced by
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Janko Trivic. But I don't know when he was appointed
17 commander of that unit.
18 MS. BIBLES:
19 Q. And, sir, that's fine. I just wanted to confirm that he was
20 originally in the JNA and that command followed him to the VRS, and
21 you've actually answered a few questions that were in the future in terms
22 of who took over this brigade. So let's go ahead and look at this
23 document more in detail.
24 MS. BIBLES: If we could turn to page 2 in the English and page 5
25 in the B/C/S. We're looking at point number 4 title: "I Have Decided."
1 Q. We see in the second sentence under "I Have Decided," we read:
2 "Speed up the cleansing," and the B/C/S word is "ciscenje," "of
3 the territory in Kotor Varos municipality and the liquidating of all
4 enemy pockets in the area of responsibility."
5 Now, sir, to be clear, this language is directed against Muslims
6 and Croats; correct?
7 A. What is meant here are enemy forces, organised armed formations
8 from the Muslim and Croat population, made up of that population who were
9 in that area. But this does not refer to the civilian population.
10 Q. All right.
11 MS. BIBLES: And if we could now go to page 4 in the English and
12 page 7 in the B/C/S. We're looking for point 5.3.
13 Q. This states that the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade is to
14 carry out and organise combat operations. Now, this is dated the 16th of
15 July, 1992, over a month before you joined. This document shows that
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Peulic relied on the Kotor Varos Light Infantry
17 Brigade to organise and carry out combat tasks; right?
18 A. Yes, there was that kind of co-ordination between the 22nd
19 Infantry Brigade, the Kotor Varos Brigade, and the Knezeska [phoen]
20 Brigade in that area because the 22nd Brigade --
21 Q. All right, sir.
22 MS. BIBLES: If we could now go to P4296, please.
23 Q. You'll see that this is a 30 June 1992 order regarding command
24 and control of the newly formed brigades in the 1st Krajina Corps.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: P what?
1 MS. BIBLES: P -- I'm sorry, 4296.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MS. BIBLES:
4 Q. And, sir, I can preface this --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Say the P number again.
6 MS. BIBLES: I'm sorry, P042 -- oh, I'm sorry, 4296.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Now it's properly recorded.
8 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
9 Q. And while this is coming up, sir, I'm showing you this because
10 yesterday at transcript page 29281 you testified that your brigade did
11 not receive orders directly from the 1st Krajina Corps. They came
12 through, and I believe then, it was the 22nd Infantry Brigade.
13 Now, if we could look at point 5 in this document.
14 MS. BIBLES: Which I believe is on this page.
15 Q. We see the Skender Vakuf and the Kotor Varos Light Infantry
16 Brigades are resubordinated to the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade.
17 So, sir, isn't it true that since the Kotor Varos Light Infantry
18 Brigade was subordinated to the 122nd, which you said became the 22nd,
19 that the proper flow of orders, in fact, from corps command would have
20 been through the 22nd; correct?
21 A. Yes. That is to say, it was along that line.
22 Q. Now, as opposed to being a communication issue, that's actually
23 proper command and control principles; right?
24 A. I would not agree with you in that part. There was this other
25 side; namely, that there wasn't developed communication directly between
1 the command of the 1st Krajina Corps and the Kotor Varos Light Brigade.
2 It is correct that this communication evolved to a certain degree -- or
3 to a largest degree, through the commander of the 122nd Infantry Brigade.
4 Q. Now, sir, I want to go to another aspect of your testimony. You
5 testify -- or I believe in 25, and you affirmed it today, that not a
6 single burst or shell was fired on an inhabited place in the zone where
7 your unit was present.
8 MS. BIBLES: If we could have 65 ter 2641, please.
9 Q. And, sir, this is an order from Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic to
10 his subordinate units to carry out an attack dated 24th September 1992.
11 MS. BIBLES: And, I'm sorry, the 65 ter number was actually 2641.
12 And if we turn to page 4 in the English and page 3 in the B/C/S to look
13 at point 5.11. Do we have it on the B/C/S?
14 Q. Sir, we see that this gives a task for the 82-millimetre Mortar
15 Platoon, and it states:
16 "It will provide support for the 1st and 2nd Light Infantry
17 Companies and the Pioneer Platoon by opening fire on the following
18 areas ..."
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could that portion be enlarged --
20 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- please, in B/C/S.
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. Then there's the initials KV. And then it's described as
24 "concentrated fire on the old town, a barrage of fire on the slope east
25 of the Gubavac stream, a barrage of fire on the edge of the forest Lipik
1 and concentrated fire on elevation 334, the village of Duratovic and the
2 village of ...", and I'm going to spell this out, Ravne, R-a-v-n-e.
3 Now, sir, this is an order to part of your brigade to in fact
4 fire shells on inhabited areas; correct?
5 A. This is an order and that is what the order contains. However,
6 what I claim and what I stand by is what I had already stated. The
7 Kotor Varos Brigade never opened fire, including bursts of gun-fire, at
8 populated areas. If these populated areas are listed here, built-up
9 areas, then maybe there should have been open -- maybe there should have
10 been fire at places that are close to these built-up areas, and perhaps
11 there was not topographically a name that could be used for opening this
12 fire. So then the name of the populated area was used as a toponym to
13 indicate --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know anything about this specific example, or
15 are you just thinking how it must have been where the text is really
16 talking about, not the fields next to the village but the village. And
17 then to explain to us that it may be that they meant not the village
18 requires at least some specific knowledge about this specific order. Do
19 you have that knowledge?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have this concrete knowledge
21 and this is what it is.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then Ms. Bibles certainly will ask you further about
24 MS. BIBLES:
25 Q. So, sir, were you involved with the 82-millimetre Mortar Platoon?
1 A. That platoon was within our unit.
2 Q. Were you with the mortar platoon when this assault was carried
4 A. No, I wasn't there.
5 Q. So you don't actually know where the mortars landed or where they
6 were directed as a result of this order?
7 A. I know where the shells were being directed because I was present
8 at the command post; that is to say, the shells were not directed at the
9 populated areas.
10 We have a topographical map in our army, and then according to
11 this topographical map -- it is coded in a certain way, this
12 topographical map in order to replace actual names with some other
13 invented names. And in order to make a topographical map more precise,
14 then certain dots and crosses and other signs are put in, especially in
15 those areas where there would be fire.
16 Since some topographical maps, not all parts of the relief are
17 marked with a toponym --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you are telling us in general terms how it
19 happened. I think what we'd like to know: Where you earlier said -- let
20 me just check exactly your words so that I do not -- one second, please.
21 You earlier said: "If these populated areas..." And it escapes
22 from my screen again. One second, please.
23 "If these populated areas are listed here, built-up areas, then
24 maybe there should have been fire ..."
25 Which clearly suggests that you do not know, because you say
1 maybe that is a possibility. Now, tell us exactly what in this order
2 were the coded targets, what military targets were meant here when it
3 said "the village of"? What was it exactly that was supposed to be
4 targeted in this order?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is planned fire that is
6 referred to; that is to say, that it doesn't mean that this actually did
7 happen. That is one thing.
8 Secondly, hardly ever --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't ask you whether it was the fire finally was
10 the result. I asked you what targets are covered, what military targets
11 are covered by the description as we find it in this order. Was it a
12 factory, was it a unit, was it -- because the order says "village," and
13 you are telling us it may not have been the village. If it was not the
14 village, then please tell us what it was.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are military objectives, the
16 deployment of their units.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Fine. You say the village is the deployment of a
18 unit. Do I understand that that unit was in that village?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not in the village.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Around the village.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which unit -- which unit then was it that was
23 attacked at that point in time? What was the formation that you
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I don't know what their
1 formation was, but their positions were discovered in the area of these
2 villages. Usually when we speak, we say "area." So I'm referring to
3 that term. There was no other term, expression, for something that is
4 close to that village and that is why this term was used. And their
5 positions, the forces were near that village. I don't know what the unit
6 was, but these were their objectives, so that is to say that their
7 shelters, foxholes were noted in that area, and then, if necessary, fire
8 was to be opened there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's not what the document says. You agree
10 with me that it says the village and not unit deployed or the area. It
11 says -- whereas in other respects it's pretty clear that it's talking
12 about elevation number so-and-so, trigger point this and this and this,
13 and here it just says the village, and you are telling us that that was
14 meant to indicate that units deployed not in the village but outside the
15 village were to be targeted.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. So units that were around
17 the village, not in the village. Believe me, a populated area was never
18 targeted. None of us in the brigade did that. I mean, really. Really.
19 We were far from that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now another question. It also mentioned the
21 concentrated fire on the old town. Is that also meant to be not the old
22 town but troops which were not in the old town? Because the language of
23 the order is fire on the old town. Do you have any explanation as how we
24 would have to understand that as a military target?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Their forces were deployed in the
1 old town. They were deployed there. That is where they had their
2 fortifications. Their soldiers were deployed there in that position.
3 But the old town is a fortress. It's a fortress, a historical fortress,
4 so it is not a built-up area in the sense of a populated area.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So you say old town means a fortress in the
6 old town where there was no population left but only troops.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. This is a very old
8 edifice that was there. It is not a populated area. There are just
9 stone walls there, the remnants of this old historical city. Nearby
10 there wasn't a single house. Absolutely not. There is none.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there are any maps or photographs available
12 of Jelsingrad which could confirm this, it would assist the Chamber in --
13 if it could be produced sooner or later.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
15 Sorry. You said that the forces were deployed -- the soldiers
16 were deployed in the old town. Is that what you said? It's page 46 from
17 line 9:
18 "Their forces were deployed in the old town."
19 Whose forces were these?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were the Croat-Muslim armed
21 forces, and this was part of their positions; that is to say, that they
22 had a group of people there. It wasn't a very big group of men in that
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
1 MS. BIBLES: If we could now go back, I believe it's page 1 in
2 the English and perhaps page 1 in the B/C/S, to point 2. And if we could
3 enhance page 2, which looks like we're doing.
4 Q. And, sir, I'll go through the first three lines in the English,
5 describe who's involved and where it's involved, but I'll go on to the
6 objective. Do you see where in point 2 it begins to describe the
8 "With the objective of inflicting the greatest losses on the
9 enemy and manpower and materiel and technical equipment confusing him" --
10 Excuse me, I was going a little fast.
11 "... and preventing him from engaging in action, and gaining
12 control over all inhabited places in which the enemy has been living."
13 Now, sir, you would agree that these areas would have been
14 inhabited areas, villages, where there would have been civilians as well
15 as soldiers; correct?
16 A. Inhabited places? Yes, civilians were there too. That's
17 correct. However, when it says "place under control," that does not mean
18 carry out a direct attack against these areas.
19 Q. Sir, in combination of this with the order of concentrated fire
20 on specific villages, I put it to you that your explanation is trying to
21 make this document into something that it's not.
22 A. No, no, that's not what I'm trying. That is what is contained in
23 the order, and both you and I can read that. But look, I'm a
24 professional officer, and I can interpret these things in a way in which
25 they were supposed to be interpreted and how this was done to the largest
2 I've already explained this to you, that there is the problem of
3 these reports and these orders. As far as these buildings are concerned,
4 for the sake of precision to determine these points that would be in the
5 focus, and certainly these were not houses directly. These were not
6 populated areas. No one would -- I mean, I've -- myself know that I
7 would never do any such thing, and my other colleagues wouldn't either.
8 So we strictly paid attention to this. If it had to do with the
9 artillery group, then these targets would be around a populated area.
10 There were no direct attacks against populated areas. Efforts were made
11 to take areas around it, dominant features, and when you take that, then
12 you practically place that village under your control. Because, in that
13 case, their forces, their armed forces that are holding these points,
14 they withdraw and, in a way, then that populated area is placed under
15 your control. The essence is that their armed formations should move
16 from that area and that only has to do with armed formations, armed
17 units, and certainly it has nothing to do with the civilian population.
18 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, before we go to break I would tender
19 65 ter 2641.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document 2641 receives number P6979, Your
23 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
24 Witness, before we take the break, I think you explained in
25 detail about the old town of, I think it was Jelec -- let me see, but you
1 said it was an old fortress and it was far away from any populated area.
2 If you would be provided with a aerial view of that town, would you be
3 able to tell us exactly where that fortress is and so to explain how far
4 that it's away from populated areas? Would you be able to do that, you
6 Because I would then invite the parties to get a Google Earth
7 picture of the situation, and then you would be able to explain to us
8 more concretely what the situation was which you said you had knowledge
10 Do you think you could do that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it has to do with the old town,
12 then that is part of Kotor Varos. It is an elevation above Kotor Varos
13 and it's called Kotor. And approximately it is about 400 to 500 metres
14 away from houses. I mean, houses are away from that fortress. Well,
15 that can be obtained. So, yes, we can take a look at this.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we were talking about 5.11, which was
17 concentrated fire of the old town and -- from a firing position in the
18 area of Jelsingrad. Is that Kotor Varos as far as you are aware of?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Jelsingrad is an integral part
20 of Kotor Varos.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you would have --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a factory, otherwise.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So if you would have a map, you could indicate
24 exactly on that map or on that aerial view where the old town is, where
25 the fortress is, and you could indicate to us at -- you said the fortress
1 is 4- to 500 metres from any houses, because we could then try to do that
2 so we better understand your testimony and that we have more concrete
3 basis to evaluate the evidence, both in this order and your testimony as
4 a witness.
5 Could the parties provides -- I take it that you would agree that
6 it must be possible to get a Google Earth view or something like that.
7 MS. BIBLES: We could get a current one. That would be --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
9 MS. BIBLES: -- [Overlapping speakers] ... we could do that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course, there always is the issue of whether
11 the situation is the same. However, an old fortress usually doesn't move
12 that much over the last 20 years.
13 MS. BIBLES: I might inquire of the witness. I believe he
14 indicated it does not exist anymore, but I may have misheard that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Well, he then perhaps could tell us where it had
16 been so that we -- let's -- let's give it a try to get matters concrete
17 and understandable for this Chamber as well.
18 We take a break and --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I? May I, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to give you my
23 Today that still exists. The concentrated fire there, that it
24 was marked there, that doesn't mean that it was targeted in the first
25 place. It doesn't mean that a single shell was fired at that area.
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it does exist to this day.
3 Nothing has changed. That edifice is still there. The only change can
4 be in the number of houses there now.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We are just looking at this moment at the
6 order, not whether fire finally opened or not but just what the order
7 tells us, and to check the explanation you gave us, to see that rather
8 than to just hear what you're telling us.
9 Could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
10 We resume at quarter past 12.00.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 --- Recess taken at 11.57 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.20 p.m.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to come in.
15 Have the parties been successful in getting some aerial views of
16 Kotor Varos?
17 MR. LUKIC: I think that we gave the same thing you are holding
18 in black and white.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. One of the problems is that there is no scale
20 on it. If there would be any way to get a scale so that we know what is
21 a kilometre and what is 500 metres.
22 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, we have images coming. They are not
23 here yet.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And they are with a scale on it?
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 MS. BIBLES: I'll have that inquiry made right now, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would suggest, Ms. Bibles, that you just
3 continue until you have the material ready which you would like to use.
4 Of course, if it would be available electronically, that would even be
5 better. But we also can work still with a good old -- the -- I've
6 forgotten even what the name is.
7 MS. BIBLES: The ELMO.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The ELMO, yes. The ELMO, yes. The good old ELMO.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
11 Q. In your testimony this morning, you described at fair length a
12 contact with a young Muslim girl. I'd like to ask you about your
13 knowledge regarding some of the Muslim villages or non-Serb villages that
14 the Trial Chamber has heard evidence about.
15 Are you aware that the Kotor Vares Light Infantry Brigade
16 committed killings in a village named Dobovici in August of 1992?
17 A. I didn't get the interpretation. I didn't receive any
19 JUDGE ORIE: We'll check whether there is any problem and whether
20 you're on the right channel.
21 Do you now hear me in a language you understand?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you now, yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Bibles. And perhaps you'll
24 resume from the beginning.
25 MS. BIBLES:
1 Q. In your testimony this morning, you described at fair length your
2 contact with a young Muslim girl. I'd like to ask about your knowledge
3 about some of the non-Serb villages that the Trial Chamber has heard
4 about in Kotor Varos.
5 Are you aware that the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade
6 committed killings in Dobovici in August of 1992?
7 A. I am not aware of such information. As far as I know, the
8 Kotor Varos Brigade did not commit that. As far as I know.
9 Q. The Trial Chamber has also heard evidence that in a Muslim
10 village, Hrvacani, the village was attacked in June and that the elderly
11 individuals who stayed behind were killed after the attack. This Trial
12 Chamber has heard that in the village of Hanifici, which signed a loyalty
13 oath, that there were massacres of unarmed men. The Trial Chamber has
14 heard that in the village of Cirkino Brdo -- excuse me, C-i-r-k-i-n-o
15 Brdo, which also signed a loyalty oath, that there were massacres of
16 unarmed individuals. And I can just tell you that there were -- there
17 has been other evidence in front of this Trial Chamber regarding the
18 status of villages and civilians in Kotor Varos.
19 Now, sir, wouldn't you agree that in August to December of 1992
20 when you testified or when you -- after you had joined the brigade, that
21 there really were many villages in which Muslims and Croats would not
22 feel comfortable returning to their homes?
23 A. As for those villages and relations, and when we're talking about
24 the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade, what I know is that that brigade
25 definitely had no part in all of that. The reason why I'm saying that is
1 because the Kotor Varos Brigade was not capable of doing anything like
2 that due to its strength.
3 In the initial period, the brigade was deployed exclusively in
4 local communes. It was in defensive positions. Those people were from
5 the neighbouring villages; for example, the Maslovar company was at an
6 elevation between Garici and Maslovar. Those people didn't go anywhere
7 from that place. For example, the Vagani company, which was in the
8 Vagani village, was in defensive positions. Those forces were not moved.
9 They didn't execute any assaults. I am not ruling out that some other
10 formations did that, but I wasn't there in that period.
11 Q. Sir, and I'll just tell you the Prosecution position based on the
12 evidence that's been in front of this Trial Chamber, is that in August of
13 1992 the Kotor Vares Light Infantry Brigade did attack Dobovici and did
14 kill civilians. So I submit to you that your attempt to portray the
15 light brigade and the events in Kotor Varos is somewhat different that
16 the evidence that's been presented in front of this Trial Chamber.
17 A. I wouldn't agree with you. Again, I'm repeating the fact that we
18 didn't have a unit in the Dabovci village area or in Vrbanci generally,
19 which is a larger settlement that would be capable of executing any
20 action of that kind. That area was not --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, are you --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- the area where our brigade was
24 JUDGE ORIE: Are you telling us what your conclusions are, or are
25 you telling you us that you have knowledge about them not being involved
1 in any of these attacks just described? Because logic is not the same as
2 facts. So you can tell us that this was the strength, but to say they
3 were not strong enough to do this, that is a conclusion. You see the
5 So if you want to emphasize that the unit was too small or not,
6 then tell us how strong it was. But whether that allows for certain
7 conclusions, that's an entirely different matter. So could you clearly
8 distinguish between the two - that is, facts. And, of course, especially
9 if you say it may have been other units. If you have any knowledge about
10 which units, then of course we'd like to know that as well.
11 Please, Ms. Bibles.
12 MS. BIBLES:
13 Q. Now, sir, I'd like to turn to paragraphs 7 through 20 in your
14 statement, the events in Grabovica.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but perhaps after I intervene, Ms. Bibles, it
16 would be fair for the witness to have an opportunity to express himself.
17 Do you know of any other facts, so I'm not seeking conclusions,
18 but do you know any facts which are relevant for us to decide whether or
19 not it could have been members of your brigade that were involved in
20 matters during your absence as mentioned by Ms. Bibles?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here I'm talking about my
22 knowledge. That's one thing. My knowledge, that members of the Light
23 Kotor Varos Brigade did not take part or did not commit any such thing in
24 the Dabovac [as interpreted] area. This is my knowledge. That's one
1 The other thing is my conclusion that relates to the combat
2 capacity of that unit, of the Kotor Varos Brigade, which was in the
3 sector of Vrbanci. It was in a different part where it was deployed.
4 That was where the forces of the 22nd Infantry Brigade were deployed.
5 When we're talking about the Kotor Varos Brigade, my information is that
6 this was not committed by members of that brigade.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You said your knowledge is that they did not take
8 part, but you were not there at the time. What then is your knowledge
9 based on if you weren't there?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostly it's based on conversations,
11 stories by the unit commanders who simply did not take part in those
12 activities; i.e., in what those units did. Our units which were part of
13 the Kotor Varos Brigade were made up of people who were almost in
14 civilian clothing, and in certain areas they were defending the area.
15 They were on the lines defending their houses. They were at those
16 positions. There were -- they were units of the Kotor Varos Brigade who
17 were never moved from those positions. We didn't have an operational
18 part that could do anything like that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: You say conversations, stories where the unit
20 commanders who simply did not take part in those activities. Did you
21 discuss such events with them? Did you discuss what is described by
22 Ms. Bibles as bad things done to civilian population? Did you discuss
23 that with them?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not speak with them directly,
25 but the story about that, when we're talking about these unfortunate ugly
1 things that happened, no one mentioned any forces of the Kotor Varos
2 Brigade. So that is that story that the Kotor Varos Brigade did not
3 commit anything of that nature in that period.
4 JUDGE ORIE: What in those stories were the perpetrators?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. There was some
6 people there who committed that. Who they were, though, is something
7 that I really have no information about. I really don't know anything
8 about it. I said that there were forces of the 22nd Infantry Brigade in
9 that area as well, close to that inhabited settlement that the -- that
10 Madam -- the Prosecutor mentioned.
11 JUDGE ORIE: To simply summarise: You heard stories, you had
12 conversations which did not point at members of your brigade being
13 involved in it but also not clearly defining who then would have
14 committed those acts. That is, in short, what you can tell us?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with your assertion.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And you take the position in view of what you know
17 about strength, et cetera, et cetera, that those stories sound credible
18 to you, although you were unable to personally verify. Is that also well
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I agree with that. Yes, I can
21 agree with what you are saying.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
24 MS. BIBLES: And perhaps just one quick follow-up question.
25 Q. Sir, you would agree that the 22nd Infantry Brigade had the
1 combat capacity to do the events that I have described?
2 A. All I can say is this: The 22nd Infantry Brigade was more
3 operational than the Kotor Varos Brigade.
4 Q. To go back to the issue of the command structure in your brigade
5 or above your brigade, you testified previously that a
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Janko Trivic replaced Peulic as the commander for the
7 operational group under which your brigade fell; correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. And this change in command occurred in very late October,
10 beginning of November 1992; correct?
11 A. I cannot confirm when it arrived. I don't know exactly.
12 Q. Do you know whether this change in the command structure related
13 to Lieutenant-Colonel Peulic's failure to resolve the military issue at
15 A. I have absolutely no information about that.
16 Q. Okay. Now turning to Grabovica, you would agree that the story
17 and the events at Grabovica actually start with Vecici; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. BIBLES: If we could have P440 on our screen, please.
20 Q. This is the 30 October 1992 order for combat operations signed by
21 Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic. And, sir, I see the B/C/S version has come
22 up on your screen. You would agree that this is the plan for a combat
23 operation against Vecici; right?
24 A. I would not agree with what you are asserting because that does
25 not relate to the operation and the plan regarding Vecici. This refers
1 to routing -- or, actually, breaking up the ring around the town of
2 Kotor Varos and opening up a communication that was very important to us,
3 the Kotor Varos-Vagan village road. That's one argument.
4 Another argument was to resolve the question of --
5 Q. Sir, in point 1, this order for carrying out combat operations
6 begins with describing events through the media and in negotiations
7 regarding the citizens of village of Vecici; right?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. It begins with that.
11 Q. And then when we go to the second paragraph under point 1, we see
13 "According to the available data, the armed part (about 400-450
14 Ustasha-Muslim soldiers) is planning a successive withdrawal from the
15 area of the village of Vecici ..." And a route is listed.
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. BIBLES: Now let's turn to the next page, and I'm looking for
19 point 4.12, and I believe it's the second page in both versions. I see
20 that we're expanding this to make it easier to read 4.12.
21 Q. Sir, we see that this is again an order to the 82
22 -millimetre Mortar Platoon, and it states under A:
23 "In preparation for operations:
24 "- open fire on the agreed signal on the villages of Vecici,
25 Brizine, Bajrico Brdo, Velino Brdo, the village of Durici and trig point
2 So, sir, this is an order to fire on these villages; right?
3 A. [Overlapping speakers] ...
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's distorting the evidence. It says "the area
5 of the villages ..."
6 MS. BIBLES: The area. All right.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, you should be precise in that,
8 especially in view of the matter apparently in dispute.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. BIBLES:
11 Q. Where were you located as part of this operation as described in
12 this order?
13 A. I don't know. I do not remember all these actions very well. I
14 don't even know that we were the ones who were executing these actions.
15 I don't remember us having any actions in relation to the village of
16 Vecici. The only thing that we did do in relation to the village of
17 Vecici was to sweep the terrain and not any combat actions or attacks.
18 I don't remember our brigade ever actually carrying out this
19 activity. I can see the document, I confirm the document, I confirm
20 Novakovic's signature, but simply the way that I remember things now, I
21 don't remember us carrying out that kind of action at all. We did have
22 some actions in relation to the village of Vecici. This feature here, up
23 to Bajrica Brdo, up to Bajrica Brdo, that was where we were mopping up.
24 I know that. That is what we did do.
25 As for this other thing, simply it's not something that I have at
1 all in my recollection. I cannot remember anything of that kind.
2 Q. Let's make this much more simple, then. Where were you when
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic ordered you to go to Grabovica?
4 A. When Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic told me to go to Grabovica,
5 first I toured some of the units.
6 Q. Where --
7 A. My task --
8 Q. -- were you?
9 A. -- for the most part -- I was probably in the Kotor Varos sector,
10 or in Kotor where the 2nd Infantry Company was deployed, or possibly in
11 the sector of the 1st Infantry Company which was somewhere in the
12 northern sector of Kotor Varos.
13 Q. So is the answer that you don't remember where you were but you
14 were somewhere in the field of operation; is that correct?
15 A. I was in the Kotor Varos area. That's where the units were
16 deployed. But I cannot remember exactly where I was on this one
17 allocation or the other location. I was touring the units.
18 Q. How did you get to Grabovica? Were you in a vehicle with other
19 individuals? Were you with Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic? Could you
20 describe how you got to Grabovica.
21 A. After I came to the Kotor Varos command, Commander Novakovic told
22 me that he had some information that a Muslim column was supposed to
23 arrive at Grabovica and that Muslim column was to be received. Then he
24 told me, "Vojo, go up there to Grabovica and help up there so you can
25 see" --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, why not answer the question: How did you
2 get there? Did you go by car, did you -- were you alone? That's the
3 question. Could you please tell us.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will answer the question. I
5 thought I would make this introduction so that it would be clearer to
6 you, but it's all right. I went to Grabovica by car, a yellow Golf, and
7 I had one person in my escort.
8 MS. BIBLES:
9 Q. Was it your understanding that the column had surrendered when
10 you were sent to Grabovica?
11 A. I didn't have any other information other than a column of Muslim
12 inhabitants was supposed to arrive at Grabovica. That's all I knew.
13 Q. How long did it take you to get from the command post in
14 Kotor Vares to Grabovica?
15 A. It's hard to say now. Perhaps half an hour. Let's say half an
17 Q. When you arrived at Grabovica, where specifically did you first
18 go? Because you drove in.
19 A. I drove up to the command of the Grabovac Company.
20 Q. All right. Can you describe for us, and this may have been
21 covered in your testimony, and I apologise if it was, was it day or
22 night-time when you arrived?
23 A. When I came to Grabovica, it was already getting dark. It was
25 Q. Who was the commanding officer at Grabovica when you arrived?
1 A. The commander of the Grabovica Company, Mile Kljajic was the one
2 who was waiting for me when I got there.
3 Q. When you spoke with him, did he tell you that the column had
5 A. No, he didn't have any information about that other than the same
6 information that I had, that a column of Muslims was due to arrive in
8 Q. Did you have any information regarding where the column was
9 located at the time you arrived?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. How long was it before you knew that the column or the people in
12 the column had surrendered to the VRS forces?
13 A. As for that time, I don't know. And this concept, "surrendered,"
14 and all of that, yes, the column appeared in Grabovica. And now as for
15 how that came to be, how this contact occurred at positions between our
16 army and those people, that is something I really don't know. I mean,
17 the column appeared somewhere perhaps...
18 Q. All right. So the first time that you saw the column, you were
19 in Grabovica and people were being brought to Grabovica; is that correct?
20 A. They arrived in one column. It was a mixed column of men and
21 women. They were in a column in pairs, two by two. And when the column
22 arrived, our soldiers were with the column. They were escorting the
23 column. I mean, soldiers of the Grabovac Company.
24 Q. In paragraph 8 of your statement, you described that the column
25 that arrived in Grabovica was taken to the football - or I think the
1 English translation is "soccer" - field. Were you present when the
2 column was taken to the football field?
3 A. Yes, I was present. The soccer field or the football field was
4 right next to the road.
5 Q. Now, you would agree at this point when you first saw these
6 individuals that they were prisoners of the VRS; correct?
7 A. I don't know whether I would use that term, "prisoners," because
8 I don't know the mode or the status and all of that from the moment when
9 there was contact between the Grabovac Company and the Muslims what the
10 status was. I mean, it doesn't have to mean that they had been taken
11 prisoner. Perhaps that column was being secured.
12 Q. Maybe I'll make this easier, and I'm sort of reflecting a
13 question that you received earlier from the Trial Chamber: These
14 individuals were not free to leave, were they?
15 A. I don't know what I could say by way of an answer to that
16 question. Well, they came there to Grabovica. I've already mentioned to
17 His Honour that the situation then was such that any movement of theirs
18 at that part would have threatened their lives a lot more than if they
19 stayed there on that spot.
20 Q. Now, sir, if --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put an additional question.
22 Was this group of people escorted by others?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This group of people was escorted
24 by the soldiers from the Grabovac Company. They had taken them from the
25 Duboka location.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 MS. BIBLES:
3 Q. By the time the column arrived in Grabovica, it was dark, wasn't
4 it -- or correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In paragraph 8, you describe that Novakovic ordered you or
7 directed you to put women and children on the ground floor in the school
8 and then upstairs. When did Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic arrive in
9 Grabovica in relationship to your relationship in Grabovica?
10 A. You did not really put that right in the first part of your
11 sentence or question.
12 As for when Novakovic arrived in Grabovica, he arrived perhaps 15
13 or 20 minutes after I had arrived in Grabovica.
14 Q. After he arrived, he was the commander on scene; right? He
15 was ...
16 A. Of course.
17 Q. You've described that women and children, and the reason I went
18 to that is women and children were to be placed on one floor, and I think
19 you described in your statement the able-bodied men on the upper floor.
20 Who directed that women and children be separated from the men?
21 A. It was Commander Novakovic that ordered that.
22 Q. Did he actually do this or announce this to the group personally?
23 A. Yes. While they were at the sports field, that's what he said.
24 That first the women and children were to be separated and taken to the
25 school and he said that they would be staying in a classroom. According
1 to his order, they were put up on the ground floor. At that moment I
2 wasn't by him. I was at a different position where I was waiting for
3 weapons to arrive.
4 Q. Let's first follow the women and children. Once the women and
5 children were separated from the able-bodied men, were they lined up
6 before they were taken into the school?
7 A. I didn't notice that. I was far away. I wasn't there.
8 Q. So you were not there when the women and children were addressed
9 or spoken to?
10 A. I was away -- no, no. No. He addressed the entire group at the
11 sports field. So when he was addressing them, I was there next to him at
12 that moment when he said that. He said, Please line up here, and now
13 we're going to see. First the women and children would be separated and
14 then they would slowly walk to the school, and over there you will be put
15 up in a classroom. As he was saying that --
16 Q. Okay. Go ahead, I'm sorry. Go ahead, I'm sorry. After he said
17 that, the women and children actually got up and -- and left the area?
18 A. What do you mean "got up"? Got up from where? Out of what?
19 Q. As he called the women and children away, they were physically
20 separated from the men; correct?
21 A. No, they were all -- I mean, they were in two or three lines.
22 They were standing in the field, so they were standing. They could not
23 get up. Where could they get up from? They were standing there in the
24 first place.
25 So after he said that -- well, as I said, in the meantime, as he
1 said that, one of the soldiers came there, Bosko Djuric, rather, one of
2 the commanders, komandir, and he said that soldiers bringing weapons were
3 arriving, and then he ordered me to go there and to take the weapons.
4 And he continued working with these people --
5 Q. All right. So the --
6 A. -- the men and women -- or, rather -- men and women, yes.
7 Q. So the answer is that at that point you don't know the details of
8 what went on with the group, with the women and children at the time they
9 were being separated; is that true?
10 A. Well, that is true. I didn't see that. I didn't see that.
11 Q. All right. Now let's go to the weapons. In paragraph 8, and I
12 believe at your testimony earlier today, perhaps on transcript page 4,
13 you describe that you organised the collection of weapons from the
14 prisoners. I think it's this morning at transcript page 4 that you
15 describe the Grabovica Company had possession of those weapons. Where
16 did you first see the weapons?
17 A. I saw these weapons when I came behind the truck that was there
18 on the road. And when soldiers started bringing that, they were bringing
19 that individually. Some carried two pieces, others three, and so on.
20 But they didn't arrive at the same time. Two would come and then there
21 would be a long break and then another three men would come, and so on.
22 Q. Did they tell you how far they had been walking with those
24 A. No, not at all. No, they didn't say how long it was that they
25 walked. Approximately -- or, rather, it is exactly known where the
1 position of the Grabovica Brigade was in the Duboka area. So it's from
2 Duboka to the school, that is that distance.
3 Q. The Trial Chamber has heard evidence that as the column
4 surrendered, the people in the column were told that their weapons were
5 to be placed on one side and their money and valuables on the other. Do
6 you know what happened to the money and valuables taken from these
8 A. I wasn't present there and I don't know of any such thing. You
9 mean that moment when they were surrendering or, rather, as they were
10 approaching, as they were being taken by the soldiers of the
11 Grabovica Company?
12 Q. You've said this, you weren't present for that, I accept that,
13 for the actual surrender. But you've described that you were in charge
14 of collecting the weapons that they left. I have told you the evidence
15 that the Trial Chamber has heard about that process, and I'm telling you
16 that the evidence is also that money and possessions were left in that
17 same location.
18 Do you know who was in charge of collecting the money and the
19 possessions taken from the people in the column?
20 A. No, I wasn't there at that location. I have no way of knowing.
21 I cannot give any comment on that.
22 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I don't know if this is a good place.
23 If I -- I can advise you that the satellite image and a map that the
24 Trial Chamber discussed before are now available in e-court under 65 ter
25 31722 and that might allow Defence counsel to take a look.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we all could take a look at it.
2 MS. BIBLES: Certainly.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could we have it on our screens.
4 And could the usher already be ready to assist the witness for
5 marking whatever appears on the screen.
6 Could we zoom in. Could we zoom out again because we are losing
7 the scale as well so that we all have a good idea of what the scale is.
8 Let me just have a look. I'm just trying to -- I take it that
9 the parties agree that approximately the horizontal -- the road which is
10 running almost horizontally a little bit up to the north on the eastern
11 side from where it crosses the main north-south road, that it is more
12 than -- that the concentrated populated area is less than 2 kilometres
14 But perhaps if we have an opportunity to receive one print-out
15 copy so that we can constantly consult the scale. Is there any way that
16 you provide us and perhaps the parties with a --
17 MS. BIBLES: We could. We do not have a colour printer in the
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's -- scale is irrespective of colour.
20 MS. BIBLES: Yes, we can do that, Your Honour. Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then can we move -- zoom in. Could we move a
22 little bit further to the south. Could we zoom in a little bit more, if
24 Witness, could you tell us where approximately at this moment we
25 can find the old town and the fortress? Is it at this moment visible on
1 our screen, yes or no?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you go down a bit.
3 JUDGE ORIE: My first question is whether it's visible or not.
4 Is it not visible?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot see that clearly there.
6 There is something strange about this. This looks like houses there in
7 that area, but as far as I know it -- well, it's not readily discernible.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you see the location where the fortress is? Can
9 you see it on the picture at this moment?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At this moment --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- it cannot be seen. It needs to
13 be lowered.
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean, we need to scroll up in
16 order to see what this is down here.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we are moving now in the wrong direction.
18 Could we move -- okay.
19 Could you tell us when you see the fortress.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other side, the other side.
21 The only thing we can show here is Jelsingrad, what you had asked for
22 before. I can show it to you here now.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, would you please wait for a second and
24 follow my questioning.
25 Do we at this moment see the fortress, yes or no?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Should we move more to the north, to the south, to
3 the west, or to the east in order to see it?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] South.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We now move the map slightly to the north.
6 Please tell us wherever you see the fortress.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could be seen here.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's zoom in.
9 Do we have to move more to the south, to the north? Do we -- can
10 you see it now?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I really do not see
12 anything here. Some houses can be seen, but no. The fortress, no.
13 JUDGE ORIE: It should be, as you said, I think in the old town,
14 isn't it? Then perhaps my next question would be: Do you see the old
15 town somewhere?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The old town does not exist if you
17 mean a settlement. The old town is the name of that fortress. So the
18 old town, Stari Grad, is the name of that fortress. It's not that it's a
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Do you see it somewhere? Perhaps we zoom out
21 slightly so that you have a better overview. Yes.
22 Now could you -- perhaps the -- could you have a look at what
23 seems to be a small magnifying glass which can be moved by the usher.
24 You see it, that one? Can you assist us in pointing at where Stari Grad
25 is. So you just say move the pointer to the right or to the left or down
1 or up. Give us the instructions.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
3 speak into microphone.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you don't speak into the microphone --
5 perhaps you can --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I somehow point this out to
7 you. I mean, somehow with something with which I could indicate it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If you --
9 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. If you see it, try to mark it to start with.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up here. Well, I went a bit down.
12 It's up here. Roughly up here.
13 JUDGE ORIE: That seems to be somewhere in the middle of a
14 meadow. Is that where the fortress is?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a forest. There is a bit of a
16 forest there and then there was a big meadow. As far as I can see, these
17 houses, if they are houses, these white dots, that did not exist before.
18 There were houses in the valley --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We can no longer hear the
21 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, apart from that you cannot be heard, if you
22 would please to start with make --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Make sure that the pointer is where the fortress is.
25 Is it there at this moment?
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you also tilt -- if the usher could help him
2 tilt the microphone towards so that when he speaks and looks down --
3 that's better.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The fort is here where I'm marking
5 this. That's where the position of the fortress would be. But we have
6 here these houses, these points, these dots that are unclear to me. I
7 don't know how come. They weren't here before.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. You have now more or less pointed at the --
9 what you consider to be the fortress.
10 Could we zoom in on that part.
11 Oh, it's marked. Okay.
12 And Judge Moloto would have a question for you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Earlier you told us that this fortress still does
14 exist. We see dots there which you say were not there before, but I'm
15 not seeing any dot that looks like a fortress. Could you show it to us,
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's hard. I mean, there are just
18 the foundations there and then there would be a wall about half a metre
19 high or 20 centimetres up, and then in some places it would be 1 metre or
20 a bit more than that. However, now it is barely discernible because,
21 quite simply, it blended into the environment, so there aren't any
22 elements that distinguish this in that setting.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Also, there is a lot of vegetation
25 growing over it now.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can I put an additional question.
3 You have marked a specific location in red. Just below that,
4 south of it, there is a half round -- yeah, something, could that be the
5 foundation of the fortress you are talking about?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. What you see down there,
7 the semicircle, that's a road. It's a road. And there's a river there.
8 A road and a river.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And again you confirm that where you put this
10 marking, there is, in your view, the fortress?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I understand this image.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. And you are saying that this is Stari Grad,
13 the old town?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stari Grad, the old town is the
15 name of the fortress.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you have marked it in red? Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Approximately, approximately. I
18 cannot do it with precision.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: If I may, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. LUKIC: I would suggest that markings would be done again
23 because --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I --
25 MR. LUKIC: -- the witness said, "Oh, I missed, I have to go up
1 and" --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's remove.
3 Please try to --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the sake of the record, we should save this
5 marking, and we can do an additional marking after that.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, then we'll save this one.
7 Madam Registrar, and this would receive number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31722, page 1, as marked by the witness
9 for the first time, receives number P6980, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let's mark it for identification for the time being
11 so that we are safe.
12 Okay. Could we have now -- could we zoom in slightly -- well,
13 this is nice as well but ... could we zoom in slightly on the -- a little
14 bit further -- a little bit larger. Like that, yes.
15 Witness, could you now with more precision mark the position of
16 the fortress? And the usher will assist you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be it, roughly.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we see a lot of constructions relatively
19 nearby. Is it your evidence that they're all new or that they did not
20 exist at the time?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that close to the fortress
22 there weren't any buildings. A bit further away, yes, as I've already
23 mentioned, 4- or 500 metres away, some kind of houses. I don't know
24 whether they were barns or --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you indicate some of the constructions that
1 were there already at the time?
2 Perhaps could the usher assist.
3 Because what we see now is that the -- the fortress is marked
4 with a red almost full circle. Okay.
5 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
6 JUDGE ORIE: You are now drawing a line. Does that mean that all
7 the houses behind that line would have existed already but the ones
8 closer to the fortress not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, that was
10 the situation. Perhaps here, this point, there may have been there, but
11 I think that these were barns or cattle sheds, rather. I don't know.
12 It's possible that there were buildings there, but I don't remember any
13 of the rest. The main buildings were down where the land was flat in the
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the parties agree, one way or another,
16 that the distance between the marking where the fortress is and where the
17 witness drew a line, that that is approximately 200 metres?
18 Well, it's --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would say even more.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- we have it on our map.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 400 metres, in my view.
22 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have an opportunity to later check the exact
24 So what you are telling us is that the constructions above the
25 line were there already at the time, and the constructions closer to the
1 fortress were not there. Is that --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember that they were
3 there, whereas the buildings down there, they were there. That is about
4 400 or 500 metres away, in my estimate.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. We'll later -- that's a matter of
6 analysis and rather measuring than in any way --
7 Could we have this marked. Could we save this image.
8 Unless you would have any further questions, Ms. Bibles, so that
9 we could do the marking right away?
10 MS. BIBLES: Yes. I do just have one question.
11 Q. In this same order, there is a portion which talks about fire on
12 the forest Lipik, L-i-p-i-k, is that close to this particular location?
13 A. I cannot remember anymore where Lipik is. I don't know exactly
14 where it is.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have saved this.
16 Could we zoom out.
17 And could you now tell us where the firing position was, as you
18 said, I think it was a factory. Could you mark that with the assistance
19 of the usher?
20 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Jelsingrad, I think it was. Could you tell us where
22 that is? You have marked that one?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I marked that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a factory.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Matters are now perfectly clear to me.
2 There is one matter to be resolved. That is, I'm still puzzled
3 by an area far away from what seems to be the centre of Kotor Varos town,
4 to be called Stari Grad; whereas, in many other villages and cities
5 Stari Grad is in the very centre of a city. So that still puzzles me
6 somewhat. So if there is any other evidence which would further support
7 the understanding that Stari Grad is not where it is everywhere else but
8 is instead relatively far away from the centre of town --
9 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. LUKIC: -- if you go now on internet and you punch
12 "Stari Grad Kotor Varos" you'll get --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. LUKIC: -- that view.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's -- I'm only too happy to --
16 MR. LUKIC: I just tried now.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, I must admit that the Judges have access
18 to internet, and we could give it a -- we could give it a try and see --
19 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I -- well, the question would be how we
20 would capture the evidence that the Trial Chamber is considering. It's
21 obviously an internet address so --
22 JUDGE ORIE: I see that. What I could do -- let's be very --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we first save this marked image so that we
24 will not lose it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: What we perhaps could do best, Mr. Lukic, if you
1 give us an address which makes it visible, then we would have that on the
2 record. And then we could later make a electronic version of that. So
3 if you could give us the -- is it on Google maps or is it somewhere --
4 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Just Kotor Varos. Okay. Then I'll read what --
6 let's have a look. If you would --
7 Ms. Bibles --
8 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour. If we --
9 JUDGE ORIE: It is time for the break.
10 MS. BIBLES: Oh, it is.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- anyhow, otherwise I would have invited you to
13 What we'll do, Mr. Lukic, we'll follow your suggestion, and we'll
14 all during the break exclusively look for "Stari Grad Kotor Varos" and
15 then when coming back in court we might if you have already --
16 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, Mr. Ivetic can, with the assistance of
17 the Registrar, Ms. Registrar, put it on our screens, if you want.
18 MS. BIBLES: A screen print would be preferable to searching off
19 the record.
20 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
21 MS. BIBLES: I would also note that 65 ter 31722, which has been
22 uploaded, is not just the aerial but is also a topographical map which
23 has features, and I would just bring that to everyone's attention just
24 before we break to take a look at these items.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think I see where we are. It's -- okay. We
1 save this for after the break, but we could have a look at it already.
2 It seems, indeed, that there is an elevation in that area, if I look at
3 the elevation lines, and we'll -- Mr. Ivetic will then assist us after
4 the break so that the Chamber will not search itself. I think that's a
5 better --
6 MR. LUKIC: It's on our screens now.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- position. It's on your screens.
8 Let's have a look at it after the break. Let's -- we'll --
9 Witness, we'll take a break of 20 minutes and we'd like to see
10 you back after the break.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at quarter to 2.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 1.27 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We are waiting for the witness to be escorted
16 into the courtroom.
17 Ms. Bibles, this whole exercise started with questioning the
18 witness about a military order in which the -- an artillery preparation
19 for an attack was ordered, including concentrated fire on, as it was
20 said, the old town.
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE ORIE: The witness now says that the old town is not what
23 usually is the old town but that it's an mainly non-inhabited area
24 somewhere south-west of the centre of Kotor Varos town. Is there further
25 dispute about that? I take it that you have taken your time during the
2 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, the -- in terms of the instant
3 discussion that we've had with respect to old town, the Court's correct.
4 I would simply note that the order spanned other locations for
5 concentrated fire.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Other locations are still to be seen. I
7 leave it to you whether you want to further explore that. But is there
8 any remaining dispute about Stari Grad translated as "old town" not being
9 the centre of the town of Kotor Varos but, rather, on a hilly area which
10 is at quite a distance from the centre of town and in an area which, at
11 least on maps, seems to be not densely populated in any way?
12 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I would agree that -- and I had not
13 intended to infer that "old town" was the centre of Kotor Varos. And I
14 would absolutely agree with that, that it is in the locations that we've
15 identified on the map.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There was at least the suggestion of attacking
17 populated areas, whereas the name might mislead us.
18 And I think that, under those circumstances, but I'm also looking
19 at you, Mr. Lukic, there is no further reason to explore that.
20 Apart from any other geographic location perhaps mentioned?
21 MS. BIBLES: I would agree with that, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then let's move on. I leave it to the parties
23 whether they still want to tender a picture or whatever, but I don't
24 think that --
25 MR. LUKIC: After this, there is no need.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 Please proceed.
3 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I would tender 31722 which included the
4 topographical map. Since we did have a discussion, I think it would be
5 appropriate to tender both the aerial and the topographical map.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There is no objections --
7 MR. LUKIC: No objections.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- I take it.
9 Madam Registrar.
10 Well, let's try to keep it simple. We'll later discuss what is
11 then admitted into evidence or what is not. I have to verify that again.
12 But at this moment we are talking about the geographical map, 31722.
13 Madam Registrar, it would receive number?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31722 receives number P6981, Your
16 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
17 Please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
18 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
19 Q. And, sir, I am finishing here, and I have a couple of questions
20 that I will try to focus very tightly. I would like to go back to
21 Grabovica and the list of the men that you've described creating. First,
22 did you recognise or know any of the men that you saw that night?
23 A. No, I didn't recognise them. But I can give an explanation.
24 Q. No. I just want brief answers, thank you. Would you agree that
25 the men were all either Muslim or Croat?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you would agree that the list that you compiled was of the
3 individuals that were brought by twos or threes into the office -- or
4 into the classroom I believe your testimony actually was? You would
5 agree that it is possible that there are individuals who were captured in
6 that group or who were in the group who were in the upper floor of the
7 school that, for whatever reason, were not brought to you?
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. I don't know what I --
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. -- I could comment on that.
13 Q. Did you, in fact, give this list to Colonel Novakovic the next
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Have you ever seen the list since? Have you seen the list since
17 that date?
18 A. No.
19 Q. In paragraph 16, you explain being ordered to return to the
20 brigade command post in Kotor Varos.
21 In paragraph 20, you describe telling the commander of the
22 company about what happened. Who was this commander?
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just one moment. [In English] It
24 might create confusion. Maybe my learned friend misspoke. And it is
25 said "company commander," so I don't think it's in paragraph 20 that it
1 was mentioned "company commander."
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let's --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Line 1 it's "command of the company."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Command of the company.
5 MR. LUKIC: "Command of the" -- and "informed whom," it says
6 "command then." In B/C/S, it's higher rank than company commander.
7 Maybe it should be clarified first who he informed.
8 MS. BIBLES: And that was all I was asking.
9 Q. Is: Who did you inform in paragraph 20?
10 A. I informed the commander of the brigade, Dusan Novakovic, who was
11 at the Grabovica Company command at that point in time.
12 Q. That clarifies matters. All right.
13 In paragraph 21, you say -- actually, I'll first ask: You've
14 describe that you went to the Grabovica command. Where was that actually
15 located in Grabovica?
16 A. The company command actually was located in three buildings: The
17 school, the old school, and three residential buildings. And the company
18 command was actually located in the old school.
19 Q. Thank you. And the -- and just to clarify, I believe it's
20 evident in your statement but just to make it clear, the people from the
21 column were put in a new school; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, correct.
23 Q. All right. Now in paragraph 21, you tell us that you had the
24 impression that you were intentionally moved away from, I believe it's
25 Kotor Varos, by Lieutenant-Colonel Novakovic in the days after you left
1 Grabovica. Can you describe for us just briefly how many days or how
2 long did this time-period last?
3 A. It lasted for three days, perhaps. Three days.
4 MS. BIBLES: Now, if we could have P852 on our screens, please.
5 Q. This is a 4 November 1992 extract of the War Presidency. And
6 it's one page.
7 MS. BIBLES: I'm sorry, the War Presidency of Kotor Varos.
8 Q. And I will be asking you to look at item 2. And actually I
9 forgot to ask you a question before about the list. How many men were on
10 your list?
11 A. I really don't remember how many men were on the list. I gave
12 the number of women based on logical reasoning, because they were located
13 in this classroom where I actually drafted the list. I didn't see a
14 group of men at any point in time that was separate in order to be able
15 to estimate the number, and that is what I said in my statement, the one
16 that I gave to Mr. Mirko Kosic.
17 Q. Was it over 50 men?
18 A. In my estimation, based on what you could see when
19 Commander Novakovic was trying to bring some light where that group was,
20 I think that, based on what I could see, there were about 150 men there.
21 But this is just an estimate.
22 Q. All right. Thank you.
23 A. It's not definite.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. BIBLES: I'm not seeing P852. I don't know if my screen
1 is -- ah, there we go. All right. Thank you.
2 Q. And, sir, this is the 4 November 1992 extract from the War
3 Presidency. I would like to take you to item number 2, Captain
4 Slobodan Zupljanin reports that 150 soldiers and civilians surrendered.
5 The next paragraph states that Pejic, Zupljanin, Balaban, and Novakovic
6 "shall decide on the fate of the soldiers who were taken prisoner."
7 Now, is it true that Novakovic was the commander in charge when
8 you left Grabovica?
9 A. By the very virtue of his post, he was in charge of those people
10 while they were in Grabovica. As for anything relating to this document,
11 I don't have any knowledge of that. The only thing I can say, if you
12 permit me --
13 Q. Sir, you've answered my question. Sir, you've told us that you
14 were not there when these men were killed, so you can't tell us who
15 killed the men. But can you confirm that these captured men were, in
16 fact, the responsibility of the Kotor Varos Light Brigade of the VRS?
17 A. In a way, yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I have no further questions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles.
21 Mr. Lukic, any further questions for the witness?
22 MR. LUKIC: It was a bit of a surprise. I am not organised.
23 Give me half a minute, please.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll give you half a minute.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Krsic, good day once again.
2 A. Good day.
3 Q. The topic of Grabovica, is that something that was openly
4 discussed in Kotor Varos? Was it easy to have access to any information?
5 A. When we are talking about Grabovica, Grabovica simply became
6 taboo. It was not a topic that was discussed, and it's not discussed to
7 this day. Nobody wants to talk about the problem of Grabovica.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at P4296, please.
10 Q. You were shown this document. Item 5 of the document, which is a
11 document of the 1st Krajina Corps command, states that the 122nd -- it
12 states that the Skender Vakuf and Kotor Varos Light Brigades are
13 resubordinated to the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade. What does this
14 information indicate? Is it customary for an entire brigade to be
15 resubordinated to another brigade?
16 A. Generally this was not applied in practice. Parts of certain
17 units could be resubordinated, but a unit as a whole, that was not the
19 Q. And what led to this, i.e., that your entire brigade would be
20 resubordinated to the 122nd, in your opinion?
21 A. This indicates that the responsibility for that area was given to
22 the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade.
23 Q. And do you know how long was your -- your brigade resubordinated
24 to the 122nd Light Infantry Brigade?
25 A. I cannot say exactly. This is just proof of the fact that, as
1 the Kotor Varos Brigade, we did not have direct communications with the
2 corps command and did not receive orders directly from them.
3 Communications between the 1st Krajina Corps and the Kotor Varos Brigade
4 only began in late October.
5 Q. Could you please repeat the dates? I think it was not correctly
6 noted in the transcript.
7 A. Actually, it was from November onwards when the communications
8 intensified between the two commands, the Kotor Varos Brigade and the
9 1st Krajina Corps command.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we now look at P6979 on our
12 screens, please.
13 Q. We already see in this "order to attack." You were shown
14 item 5.11.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Which is on the fourth page in the
16 English and on the third page in the B/C/S.
17 Q. I would like to look at that same item with you, please.
18 We see here, after having clarified what the old town was, and
19 we're talking about concentrated fire on the old town, a barrage of fire
20 on the slope east of the Gubavac stream.
21 We have received interpretation now, but could you please explain
22 what "barrage fire" is?
23 A. In the military terminology when we're talking about artillery
24 fire, there is concentrated fire and barrage fire. Concentrated fire
25 means firing from several weapons into one target, whereas barrage means
1 that fire is opened from each of the weapons at a certain distance
2 between the explosions of the shells that are being fired at a certain
3 area. The objective of barrage fire is to prevent infantry forces of the
4 enemy from coming closer.
5 MR. LUKIC: So I think that we have an issue with the translation
6 at this point of time, Your Honours. At 5.11, under a, when it says
7 "barrage of fire." So I think that it has some kind of different meaning
8 than what "zaprecna vatra" clearly means in B/C/S.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. If there is any translation issue, we'll deal
10 with that quietly.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And if there is any question related to that,
13 perhaps you can put it to the witness without using the contested words
14 or --
15 MR. LUKIC: I think that he explained --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
17 MR. LUKIC: -- so I will move on.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. When there is mention of concentrated fire on K334 --
21 A. That is an elevation.
22 Q. And then you explain the village of Duratovci and the village of
23 Ravne. At the time do you know if enemy forces were deployed on the
24 outer edge of those villages?
25 A. Yes, the Muslim-Croat forces were deployed on the edge of that
2 And if I may just add something about what we see here. Perhaps
3 there was an error made here when they mention directly the village of
4 Ravne. What should be said here is the sector of Ravne. That would be
5 more specific, more precise, and then there wouldn't be so many problems
6 in relation to that.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Do you mean to say that that it is misinterpreted,
8 or do you say that is what they should have written in that order?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They should have written that in
10 the order. It's not a translation error, but actually that was omitted
11 from the actual order and it should have been there.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's an opinion.
13 Please proceed.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 [Interpretation] Now, let's look at the first page of both
16 versions of this document.
17 Q. I wanted to ask you this. You already started to explain. I'm
18 interested in item 2, but there is no need for you to focus on that so
19 much right now.
20 Does something else accompany a written order; maps, are they
22 A. Of course. Each order consists of a written order as well as a
23 topographic map and a graphical representation of the area indicating the
24 disposition of the units, the main axis of attack, and the auxiliary axis
25 of attack. Also, the map would show the planned fire, the planned
1 artillery fire, and that is used in order to prepare elements for fire in
2 certain sections. Whether the fire would actually be executed or not
3 would depend on the conditions in the actual theater.
4 Q. If fire was opened in this action on civilian targets, do you
5 think there would have been any civilian casualties and can you perhaps
6 tell how many?
7 A. Yes, there should have been civilian casualties, quite
8 substantial ones. It was a densely populated area and the women and
9 children would particularly have been among the casualties.
10 Q. After those days, did you come to learn that many civilians had
11 lost their lives in that operation?
12 A. No, I have no such information.
13 Q. Just in relation to this list --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I have one question.
15 One of the previous answers which puzzles me, page 90, line 11,
16 you said, well, if civilian targets would have been engaged, then there
17 should have been civilian casualties, quite substantial ones. And then
18 you said: "It was a densely populated area."
19 Which area were you exactly referring to?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The village of Ravne, up there,
21 which is south-west of the centre of Kotor Varos.
22 MR. LUKIC: That village is mentioned in point 2, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I know that it was. And you say that it's to
24 the south-west of Kotor Varos town? Yes.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. I'm closing to an end.
2 Q. [Interpretation] You spoke to me and to my colleague about the
3 list, the list of men that you made, and she asked you whether you were
4 sure that there might have been someone who you had not listed. Did you
5 give instructions to the people, the soldiers of the Army of Republika
6 Srpska, who were guarding these people? Did you tell them to bring them
7 all when these lists were being made?
8 A. Yes, of course. The soldiers were told when they had this role
9 of escorting people from one courtroom -- from one --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Classroom.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- to the other, that they should
12 all be brought for this list to be made.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Just one more topic, two questions or so. You said that you saw
15 roughly about 150 persons when Novakovic was turning on the lights on the
16 people who were being brought in. These 150 persons, did he include only
17 women -- only men, or were women included in these 150? Who was
19 A. Mostly we included the people who were brought in, so women,
20 children, and men in my estimate. Around there, there were some people
21 from my unit, too. So it was hard to assess what the actual number was.
22 That is why I really cannot be certain about this number. So it was a
23 group of people there. In addition to them, there were the members of
24 our own army there.
25 Q. Mr. Krsic, thank you once again.
1 A. Thank you, too.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, any further questions?
3 But let me first check whether my colleagues have any questions.
4 Any further questions?
5 MS. BIBLES: No, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Since the Bench also has no questions, Mr. Krsic,
7 I'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for having
8 answered the many questions that were put to you by the parties and by
9 the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ORIE: One final matter. P6980 was MFI'd. That was the
14 aerial view with a rather -- well, a bit of a clumsy marking on it. Then
15 we had -- we have saved two follow-up marked aerial photographs, the one
16 that was saved indicated where Stari Grad was with a line where the
17 witness said where houses already in existence north of that. And then
18 the last photograph that was marked was the facility, the industrial
19 facility, from where the fire would -- was ordered to be prepared for.
20 I suggest that we get them all under this one number, 6980.
21 Therefore, Madam Registrar, could you please attach to what is
22 now P6980 MFI'd, could you attach to that the two follow-up saved marked
23 aerial photographs, and then all three together are admitted as P6980.
24 Then we adjourn for the day and we resume Monday, the 8th of
25 December, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.22 p.m.
2 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day
3 of December, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.