1 Monday, 23 March 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Before we invite the witness to come in and -- I think he can be
12 escorted in already. I briefly deal with a matter which is the statement
13 of Dragisa Masal.
14 On the 18th of March, the Defence brought to the attention of the
15 Chamber that the English translation of D942, and that is the witness
16 statement of Dragisa Masal, seemed to include text which could not be
17 found in the original B/C/S version; specifically, the first sentence of
18 paragraph 11. You can find this on transcript page 33330 up to -332.
19 On the 19th of March, CLSS clarified that the English text
20 uploaded under D942 corresponds with the B/C/S text that CLSS received
21 for translation but that the B/C/S text of D942 is, however, not the same
22 as originally submitted to CLSS by the Defence. And the Chamber invites
23 the Defence to give its comments on this very unfortunate way of
24 proceeding today.
25 As a matter of fact, by the end of the first session, because the
1 witness is, first of all, he is coming into the courtroom, but, of
2 course, we'll then conclude hearing the testimony of this witness.
3 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, if you want me to respond now?
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if can you do that. Please do so.
5 MR. IVETIC: I think I can. I think in the chronology what's
6 missing is that the English translation that was uploaded we advised in
7 the proofing statement that there was a paragraph missing from
8 paragraph number, I believe, it's 23 or 27 a subparagraph that was not in
9 the English translation. Then I was advised that we had this translation
10 that apparently had been made from the draft unsigned statement that had
11 been presented to CLSS, and I submitted it, and then on the day of the
12 witness starting is when the Prosecution and I talked and it was brought
13 to my attention that the extra two sentences, or however it is, in
14 paragraph 11 exist.
15 So that is the chronology. There were two separate translations
16 made. Both are at the -- both have been -- are available in the sense
17 that the Prosecution had -- has both translations.
18 The issue as to other minor differences, I don't even know what
19 they are since CLSS has not specified them, so I was going to send the
20 signed original, which the witness has now attested, to CLSS to have them
21 prepare a final English translation that is adequately reflecting what is
22 in the signed B/C/S original. And that is how the Defence would -- what
23 the Defence would have to say on this matter.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think that the Chamber would have
25 appreciated this whole chronology, to learn about it, prior to being
1 confronted with the fact that there are differences between the original
2 and the English translation.
3 Mr. Weber, you wanted to?
4 MR. WEBER: Good morning, Your Honours.
5 Originally we had just opposed paragraph 11 and it was marked for
6 identification, but actually if the Prosecution could still reserve its
7 position related to the other differences that might be in there. Right
8 now it's not very clear to us either what it might be, and I just wanted
9 to put that on the record.
10 Thank you, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It should have been clarified in the detail
12 given today rather than to suggest. Because when I asked specifically
13 how could this have possibly happened, because that's what I did, I think
14 I even used the words "did they invent part of the text," the explanation
15 as given today was not given at that time but apparently the information
16 was available to the Defence.
17 I leave it to that.
18 [The witness takes the stand]
19 Mr. Masal, you'll now be re-examined by Mr. Ivetic.
20 Mr. Ivetic --
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may proceed, but I'll first remind the
23 witness that you're still bound by, Mr. Masal, you're still bound by the
24 declaration that you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
2 WITNESS: DRAGISA MASAL [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic: [Continued]
5 Q. General, we left off last week talking about the part of the
6 cross-examination focusing on convoys which were not reaching Zepa and
7 the food shortages caused thereby.
8 MR. IVETIC: I would like to call up 65 ter number 25880 in
9 e-court. While we wait for the document, I can say it's an intelligence
10 report from the organ for security and intelligence of the 1st Podrinje
11 Light Infantry Brigade dated 31 December 1993, and I'd like to take a
12 look at the bottom of the page in both languages.
13 Q. And in the English it's approximately the fourth line from the
14 bottom and is in relation to Zepa and says:
15 "People live well because there's enough food. The reserves of
16 flour and other articles of food are enormous. Some people have as much
17 as 50 kilograms of flour or even more. Very large quantities of food,
18 medicines and other medical supplies are under the control of the army."
19 Sir, is this information consistent with the type of information
20 that you had about what was going on in Zepa with regard to the food and
22 A. Yes, precisely. I received such reports from subordinate
24 Q. And what was your understanding or information about what the BiH
25 army was doing with the food and medicine that it had under its control?
1 A. On the basis of our information surplus food, or rather food that
2 was "preserved" by powerful people from the military or the civilian
3 area, these surpluses were transferred between enclaves, and these
4 products were resold at exorbitant prices. To put it very briefly:
5 Consumer goods were smuggled as was food, alcohol, and cigarettes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, we would tender this document as the
8 next Defence exhibit number.
9 MR. WEBER: No objections, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That makes Exhibit D957, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: D957 is admitted into evidence.
13 MR. IVETIC: I would next like to take a look at P7229, which was
14 used on Thursday by the Prosecution, and at transcript page 33374. And
15 once that comes up, I'd like to look at page 2 in the English and the
16 bottom of the first page in the Serbian. That again is a document from
17 the BiH Supreme Command in Sarajevo. And the -- in the -- in the B/C/S,
18 it's the very last two lines on the first page. In English, it's the
19 last paragraph before the heading: "2nd Corps Zone of Responsibility."
20 And it's talking about OG Gorazde's zone of responsibility.
21 Q. And it says as follows:
22 "Despite tough enemy attacks and threats our forces are sturdily
23 holding all defence lines and successfully repelling all the Chetnik
25 What was your understanding of where the ABiH had placed their
1 defence lines in relation to the town of Gorazde?
2 A. If we look at the date of this information, if you mean this
3 period it is the 12th of February, 1993. At that time, the positions
4 were very close to Visegrad. The hydroelectric power plant Visegrad was
5 being fired at. The town of Visegrad was within the range of mortars of
6 smallest calibre, so in this period - in this period - the forces of the
7 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were just before Visegrad, Rogatica, and Rudo.
8 Rudo, say, about 15 kilometres away.
9 Q. And did that change in the time-period following the 12th of
10 February, 1993?
11 A. Precisely for these reasons. For these reasons: The Army of
12 Republika Srpska, or rather the Tactical Group Visegrad, planned combat
13 activities in order to repel the forces of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 so that they would be outside the range of Visegrad, Rogatica, and Rudo,
15 so in that operation the forces of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were
16 repelled all the way back to Ustipraca; that is to say, 12 kilometres
17 away from Gorazde.
18 Q. Okay. Now if we can move to P7231, which was used in cross at
19 transcript page 33377 and onwards. When we see that document, we'll see
20 it's dated the 14th --
21 MR. WEBER: Sorry to interrupt, but just maybe so we can move
22 first efficiently, can we just have a little context for when that was?
23 The last answer.
24 MR. IVETIC: Oh, the last answer.
25 Q. Sir, could you tell us what time-period it was where the -- the
1 ABiH moved to 12 kilometres away from Gorazde?
2 A. That is Operation Mac.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We know when that was.
4 MR. IVETIC: Mm-hm.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. Looking at this document from the -- this is again a document
8 from the BiH side. Looking at page 2 in both languages, it is at the top
9 of the page in the Serbian and in the middle of the page in English.
10 It's the first bullet point under: "Requests." And it says here:
11 "OG IB Gorazde requests that the VK staff's order" --
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. "OG IB Gorazde requests that the VK staff's order that all
15 persons liable for military service from Zenica, Jablanica, and Konjic
16 return to its zone of responsibility be respected."
17 We know that OB [sic] refers to "operative group," as is
18 identified on the first page of this document. What was your
19 understanding or information about the size or strength of this operative
20 group of the BiH army, the OG IB Gorazde?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Ivetic, you explain "OB." What is "OG" and
23 MR. IVETIC: I apologise. I meant to say "OG" because that's
24 the -- well, ... on page 1, we have "IB" being "Eastern Bosnia" in the
25 English, and we have "OG" as "operations group." Those are the --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. So could you tell me, sir, what was your information about the
5 strength or size of the operative group of the BiH army, OG IB Gorazde?
6 A. On the basis of the assessments made in my command, or rather the
7 reports of the intelligence organs, Operations Group Gorazde had about
8 six brigades. They had about 15.000 men, about three times more than the
9 units of the Tactical Group Visegrad.
10 Q. And what kind of locations did the Operative Group Gorazde use to
11 base its troops and equipment?
12 A. The command of the operations group was in Gorazde. The command
13 of a few brigades - I don't know exactly which ones - was also in
14 Gorazde. Then one command was in the village of Osanica; that is,
15 towards Foca. And there was one command to the north of the town of
16 Gorazde in the area of the Pobjeda factory. The units or rather the
17 defence areas or the areas of operations of brigades were towards the
18 units, or rather brigades, of Tactical Group Visegrad; that is to say,
19 towards Rudo, Cajnice, Visegrad, Rogatica, and towards Foca.
20 However, Operations Group Gorazde of the Army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina had quite a reserve, and they were in the areas in the
22 broader region of Gorazde, and they were prepared to take action along
23 certain axes.
24 Q. Could you clarify, sir, in talking about the broader region of
25 Gorazde, are you talking about the enclave of Gorazde or the town of
2 A. I'm talking about the town of Gorazde. That is to say, Gorazde,
3 along with its outskirts, the suburban neighbourhoods.
4 Q. Now taking as a reference in time when Gorazde was declared a
5 safe area, how did the size and strength of the ABiH forces in Gorazde
6 town compare both before and after the declaration of Gorazde as a safe
8 A. In principle, the strength of the units of the Army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not change drastically, if the period before the
10 safe area was declared is compared to the one after that. However,
11 Gorazde had open communication with Sarajevo, and that road was used for
12 bringing in fresh forces, for returning deserters, as we saw from those
13 documents, and for the intervention of the units of the 1st Corps of the
14 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Sarajevo.
15 Q. Okay. Now in relation to the situation in Gorazde, you testified
16 at transcript page 33422 that the Operation Zvijezda 94 was intended to
17 return Serb residents to their villages in Gorazde. Can you tell us when
18 and why they had left?
19 A. In the briefest possible terms. From when the war started in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbs in Gorazde held about half of the
21 territory -- or rather, almost half of the territory was populated, and
22 the Army of Republika Srpska held a bit more than half the territory. At
23 any rate, the VRS had under its control the right bank of the Drina
24 river, then the suburban neighbourhoods to the north, towards Rogatica,
25 and partly towards Cajnice up to the Kozara pass. The rest was under the
1 control of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Sometime toward the end of 1992, all the Serbs of Gorazde were
3 expelled from the right bank of the Drina river where they had been the
4 majority population. Then also from the neighbourhood of Obarak that is
5 on the outskirts towards Ustipraca, and it's between the village of
6 Kopaci, the current seat of the Serbian municipality of Gorazde, and
7 another municipality where there is a -- an Orthodox church and an
8 Orthodox cemetery. Then Jabuka and Jabucko Sedlo. All of these villages
9 were Serb villages that practically towards the end of 1992, as the Serbs
10 were expelled from the territory of Gorazde, were destroyed and torched.
11 And -- sorry, just one more thing. Two Serb villages with about
12 50 families remained underneath Grebak - that is to say, between Grebak
13 and Jabucko Sedlo - they were under constant blockade and they were not
14 allowed -- even when operation Zvijezda 94 was over, they were not
15 allowed to move out. I mean, those who had survived. They were not
16 allowed to move out of that area.
17 MR. IVETIC: I'd like to take a look at 1D00588. Pardon me, 558.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Before we look at that, could I ask the witness a
21 Witness, you said that the Operations Group Gorazde had about six
22 brigades, 15.000 men. We looked at a document in which it was said that
23 the order that persons returned from -- return to the zone of
24 responsibility of the Operations Group Gorazde coming from Zenica,
25 Jablanica, and Konjic should be respected.
1 Now those 15.000, are those inclusive those who were still to
2 return, or were these reserve? You said there was considerable reserve.
3 Could you explain a little bit how the 15.000 came to your mind when
4 looking at a document which says that people still have to return to the
5 zone of responsibility of the operation group?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that this is a smaller
7 group. It's not a big number of military conscripts whose families went
8 out into the area of Zenica, Konjic, and Jablanica. And afterwards they
9 were supposed to return to their units, so I do not consider that number
10 to be significant as compared to these 15.000.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But are they part of the 15.000 or are they
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, according to our estimate it
14 was always around 15.000. I think that that number was included as well.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And that it was a smaller number, you said, that's
16 what you assumed?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. IVETIC: We've lost the document. If we can have again 1D558
21 in e-court.
22 Q. Sir, this is a publication of the US house of representatives
23 republican research committee in the task force on terrorism and
24 conventional warfare from May 4th, 1994. It's in English, so I'll have
25 to read for you the section I want to first focus you on, which is the
1 last half of the first paragraph and the first five lines of the second
3 "However, while Bosnian Serb aggressiveness has undoubtedly
4 played a large part in the Gorazde tragedy, what is less known is the
5 role played by the Bosnian government and military in instigating the
6 conflict and in efforts to draw the West, particularly the United States,
7 into the war generally.
8 "The roots of this situation derive from the events of the fall
9 of 1992 at a relatively early stage of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At
10 that time, the Gorazde area was one of the first places where Islamist
11 guerrillas, a combined force of Afghan volunteers (mainly Arab Afghans)
12 and Bosnian Islamists, had embarked on a systematic campaign against the
13 local Christian population in order to secure a predominant military
15 Is this accurately describing, sir, the situation in the fall of
16 1992 according to your information?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
18 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, it's been read into the record now, but
19 just in terms of carrying on like this, we would object eventually here.
20 It's leading. It's presenting information to the witness instead of
21 eliciting it from him, so...
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, we're talking about what to do in the
23 future. Not what you did until now. Any comments on what Mr. Weber has
24 drawn our attention to?
25 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, and we have -- the witness has
1 given his testimony about the end of 1992, and I am presenting a document
2 prepared by some other people to see if this is what he was talking
3 about, so ...
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
5 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, actually the scope of the examination I
6 believe largely related, and I'm not sure even I talked about his duties
7 during 1992 except to ask him his position, but his time in TG Visegrad
8 picked up at the beginning of 1993.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, please be very precise on the matter in the
10 future, Mr. Ivetic. Certainly the portion you read goes beyond what the
11 witness was examined on until now.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. IVETIC:
14 Q. Sir, can you answer the question, sir, or do you need my ...
15 A. My previous answer about the expulsion of the Serbs from the
16 territory of Gorazde is corroborated by this document.
17 Q. What information did the VRS have as to the efforts or desire of
18 the BiH authorities in Gorazde to obtain the military intervention of the
19 west or the United States?
20 A. I don't know anything specific about this particular period. I
21 only know that the offensives of the BiH army towards the end of 1992
22 were large scale. Within the scope of three or four days, the Serbian
23 population was expelled from the general area of Gorazde. After that,
24 when Gorazde was proclaimed a protected area, the BiH army continued
25 intense preparation to expand its territory and to have control over the
1 entire area of Podrinje.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, the witness moved well away from your
3 question. Could you please next time stop him.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. IVETIC:
6 Q. Could I ask you to be very precise in your answer, sir, and tell
7 us about any information that you -- that you or the VRS had about the
8 BiH side's efforts to obtain military intervention on their behalf once
9 Gorazde had been declared a safe area?
10 A. This is precisely what I was going to say. Active sabotage
11 activities and then preparations for offensives and offensives on
12 particular axes, especially towards Cajnice, all that was aimed to
13 provoke the Army of Republika Srpska at all costs. As a result, the VRS
14 would be exposed to threats; i.e., the threats that it would be bombed by
15 NATO air force would come to fruition.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. IVETIC: Now, for Your Honours' reference, page 5 of this
18 document in the last half talks about precisely that attempt at provoking
19 the Republika Srpska for threats of bombings.
20 Q. Now, I want to ask you also about the reporting in the media in
21 relation to Gorazde. Did you have occasion to learn of any media
22 reporting that misrepresented the situation in Gorazde?
23 A. I would like to inform both you and the Trial Chamber that when
24 Operation Zvijezda 94 was being planned, the Chief of Staff,
25 General Milovanovic, who was the chief of the General Staff, and the
1 commander of the Herzegovina Corps, General Grubac, explicitly put a ban
2 on fire being opened on the Gorazde sector before fighting started in the
3 town of Gorazde itself. However, from the very outset of the operation,
4 Radio Gorazde and the other media of Bosnia-Herzegovina reported daily
5 about hundreds and thousands of dead and wounded in Gorazde, and
6 especially in those parts and institutions that should have been
7 protected from any combat activities.
8 I'm repeating: There was a ban on artillery fire on Gorazde up
9 until the beginning of fighting on the ground at the very entrance to
10 Gorazde. However, we have already seen what kind of reports were sent to
11 the world about hundreds and thousands of dead and wounded. It was all
12 propaganda. When all of that ended, one could easily see what was the
13 truth when they entered Gorazde itself.
14 Q. Okay. And now if we could turn to page 10 of this document.
15 It's the last paragraph on page 10 and goes on to page 11.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, is it your understanding that "we have
17 already seen" includes the Chamber? Now, the witness says: "However, we
18 have already seen what kind of reports were sent to the world," and of
19 course in order to fully understand and appreciate that, I wondered
20 whether --
21 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honours, I think we had approximately
22 three newspaper articles that were presented by the Prosecution in
23 cross-examination. I'm not sure if that's what the witness is referring
25 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether that's what the witness
1 referred to.
2 What did you refer to exactly, Witness, when you said: "... we
3 have already what kind of seen reports were sent to the world about
4 hundreds and thousands of dead and wounded," and that it was all
5 propaganda? Could you tell us?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is about what the
7 Prosecutor showed us, a report from Los Angeles Post, a report heard on
8 Radio Gorazde, and the report by monitors who compiled their reports
9 based on that information.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The monitors are part of the media in your
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm convinced because at the time
13 the monitors did not move anywhere from Gorazde. They relied on the BiH
14 army and the command of the OG and Radio Gorazde for their information.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's not exactly an answer to my question, but
16 I do understand the context you are giving us.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
19 Q. Now, I will read this section to you and ask for your comments
20 based upon your knowledge of what was going on at the time about what is
21 being reported here.
22 "That said, it was now possible to objectively assess the actual
23 situation in Gorazde. It soon became clear that the Bosnian Muslims had
24 overstated the plight of the city. The casualty levels were far below
25 initial reports, with UNHCR, the most responsible among those reporting
1 sources, having initially alleged that there were 715 killed and 1970
2 wounded, over 600 of them serious and requiring evacuations by air. Most
3 of these casualties, the UNHCR had stressed, were innocent civilians.
4 However, post-action inspection revealed that there were some 200
5 fatalities and some 200 seriously wounded, 70 per cent of them Muslim
7 And let's for the moment stop there, and I'll ask for your
8 comment as to what is written here, sir.
9 A. This tallies with what I have said and it also confirms what I
10 said, and that was that from the beginning of Operation Zvijezda 94,
11 there was a ban on opening artillery fire on the general sector of
12 Gorazde. Therefore, after an inspection, it was established that most of
13 the casualties came from the ranks of the BiH army and that they were
14 killed on the front line as they were fighting the VRS.
15 Q. You mentioned radio reports. I'd like to read the next sentence
16 in this report:
17 "The extent of the damage to the hospital and other buildings,
18 not to speak of Gorazde overall, was far below what had been anticipated
19 on the basis of radio reports. Indeed, on 28 April, General Rose went on
20 an inspection tour of the Gorazde enclave. He returned full of criticism
21 of the Bosnian Muslims, adding that they had exaggerated the number of
22 wounded and the damage done to the town in the Bosnian Serb offensive in
23 order to instigate NATO's military intervention."
24 The -- I'd ask for your comment on this part of the report,
25 especially as to damage to structures.
1 A. This report by General Rose completely refutes what was portrayed
2 through propaganda. I personally met with General Rose in my command in
3 Kopaci when he paid us a visit. For about half an hour, we analysed the
4 treatment of UNPROFOR in Gorazde, a cease-fire, and General Rose
5 presented several facts which confirmed that the attitude of the VRS
6 towards UNPROFOR and its activities were positive. He did not proffer
7 any comments on the number of casualties. I suppose that he wanted to
8 keep that to himself.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, is there any documentary source for
10 General Rose's observations which is either in evidence or could be
11 produced as evidence?
12 MR. IVETIC: Well, Your Honour, we have this report, and then we
13 have a report from Mr. Yasushi Akashi commenting on this report and
14 saying that it's generally report. I don't know if that's what --
15 JUDGE ORIE: On this report?
16 MR. IVETIC: On this report, correct.
17 JUDGE ORIE: But it heavily relies on post-action inspection and
18 what General Rose said, and I would expect under those circumstances that
19 there must be a report by General Rose or that it ...
20 Is there any --
21 MR. IVETIC: I do know that there is also an interview from
22 French TV 1, which is cited in paragraph 5 that I mentioned earlier, but
23 I have not been able to go through all the documents that have been
24 disclosed to us to find out if we have a report from General Rose. Like
25 I said, I do have a report from Mr. Yasushi Akashi to Kofi Annan talking
1 about this report, the one that we've been looking at now from the
2 research committee --
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is that in evidence?
4 MR. IVETIC: That's the next document I was going to discuss with
5 the witness.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
7 Mr. Weber, if you would aware of any Rose report which could shed
8 further light on it, we would have then even the more direct evidence on
9 what is claimed here as the position of General Rose.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
12 Q. Now if we could look at -- pardon me.
13 Do you have any additional information to provide as to the
14 hospital in Gorazde and reports of damage to the hospital?
15 A. I personally don't have any information. I learnt about all that
16 during the Prosecutor's examination. Apart from that, I didn't know
17 anything else.
18 Q. Okay. Then I will move on to 1D2939, which is the 12 July 1994
19 report of Mr. Akashi to Mr. Annan.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And could I meanwhile ask, Witness, where this
21 report says, "However, post-action inspection...," and then a few lines
22 down: "General Rose went on an inspection tour of the Gorazde enclave,"
23 did you mean with post-action inspection that inspection tour by
24 General Rose or was there any post-action inspection performed?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that General Rose was there.
1 I don't know who else was with him.
2 After the end of the operation, I'm sure that you know that, one
3 UNPROFOR battalion, an English battalion and a Ukrainian battalion,
4 entered Gorazde and took positions on the left and the right banks, the
5 English and the Ukrainian, battalions respectively.
6 After that, UNPROFOR convoys arrived, as well as UN observers,
7 and I suppose that they carried out inspections and sent reports. I had
8 announcements of their arrivals, but I didn't know what their mission
9 was. I didn't have that information.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
11 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
12 Q. Now, in this document from Akashi to Annan, in the first
13 paragraph, it says:
14 "As requested at your fax of 25 June 1994, we have reviewed the
15 US house republican research committee report of 4 May 1994 on Gorazde.
16 We find the paper lacks objectivity."
17 Then if we go to the third paragraph, it says:
18 "Our records indicate that operations around Gorazde after
19 20 March 1994 generally unfolded as outlined in the report. However, we
20 do not agree with the congressional report's overall assessment and
21 interpretation of the crisis as a one-sided attempt by the Bosnians to
22 provoke the Serbs and to draw the outside world into the conflict. As
23 outlined in the report of SG pursuant to SCR 844 --"
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should slow down, Mr. Ivetic, while reading.
25 MR. IVETIC: I apologise.
1 Q. "... SCR 844, 1993, the Bosnians did conduct some military
2 activities from within the pocket. They also expressed to the SR SG and
3 commander BH command their expectation of much greater use of NATO air
4 support once the town was attacked. However, Serb behaviour during and
5 after the offensive makes it clear that retention of the areas captured,
6 including the right bank opposite the town of Gorazde, is one of their
8 So we're talking about the report we just looked at, and I'd like
9 to look at the specific complaints of Mr. Akashi of either incorrect or
10 different information that is on page 2, and I'd like to get your comment
11 about the factual scenario, whether it's supports what is being written
13 And if we could look at page 2 and the second paragraph,
14 Mr. Akashi writes:
15 "Allegations that UNHCR convoys moved military materials into
16 Gorazde are totally unfounded and are reminiscent of far-fetched Serb
17 propaganda. The Serbs have always been particularly zealous in their
18 searching of UNHCR convoys bounds for Gorazde and have on repeated
19 occasions removed items such as shoes or sleeping bags on the ground they
20 constitute military material."
21 What factual information can you provide for us, sir, on this
22 topic, the movement the military materials into Gorazde?
23 A. A large majority of the UNHCR convoys were okay; i.e., the
24 contents of the convoys were in keeping with the declaration. However, I
25 can say for a fact that in certain vehicles of certain convoys the
1 originally pre-packed packages of food were replaced by certain
2 quantities of ammunition. It was not a -- done on a large-scale, but on
3 several occasions ammunition was found. After that, there was a detailed
4 inspection of every convoy. Convoys which did not contain such packages
5 would be inspected very quickly and allowed to go on. Wherever there was
6 a doubt that there was something suspicious in the convoy, there was a
7 quick check and then a detailed inspection of the convoy. There were not
8 many such cases. I claim that with full responsibility.
9 Q. And if I can then direct your attention to the next paragraph,
10 which I will have to read for you to get a translation, quote:
11 "For those periods when our observers were able to patrol, we are
12 certain that the hospital was not used for military purposes. There was
13 at least one artillery piece near the Red Cross building, but this did
14 not represent a particular concentration of BiH weaponry within the small
15 area of Gorazde that remained under Bosnian control in the final stages
16 of the battle. UNMO [sic] also confirmed that no BiH used their
17 building. At least two mortars were beside the building, and their
18 vehicles were stolen for use by the BiH."
19 Do you have any information as to the use of the hospital, the
20 grouping of artillery near the Red Cross building, or the use of the
21 region -- the area by the UNMO base by the BiH?
22 A. During the initial stages of the operation, we did not have that
23 conformation. However, as the operation was drawing to an end, the town
24 could be fully observed by our forces from our positions on the
25 elevations around the town. We had full visual control of the entire
1 town, and we could observe every activity and every action in every part
2 of the town. So it is completely correct that in the vicinity of certain
3 institutions and facilities, there were artillery positions or deployment
4 sectors of certain logistics elements. I personally was not familiar
5 with the town of Gorazde. However, a lot of the officers from the
6 Gorazde Brigade and a lot of the troops were very familiar with the town,
7 and they knew very well in which part of the town the fire -- fire was
8 opened by the BiH army.
9 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document as well
10 as 1D00558, the republican research committee report that is being
11 commented upon in this Akashi fax.
12 MR. WEBER: No objection to either document pending a completion
13 of the translation. But just so we have it on the record, the
14 Prosecution would note for the record that the last paragraph of the
15 document before us, 1D2939, appears to refer to P7243.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D558 will be MFI D958,
18 Your Honours. And 65 ter 1D2939 will be MFI D959.
19 JUDGE ORIE: D958 and D959 are marked for identification.
20 MR. IVETIC: Thank you. And we would additionally from the bar
21 table seek to admit 65 ter number 18766, dated 13 April 1994, from
22 Mr. Akashi, and it's a discussion as to ABiH provocations and military
23 actions, so the Chamber can have the full breadth of the factual scenario
24 from that time-period before it.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
1 MR. WEBER: If I could just take a quick look at that over the
2 recess and any related material and then I could come back right after
3 the recess with my answer.
4 MR. IVETIC: That's fine.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Ivetic, I tried to avoid the word "bar
6 table" recently because what we are talking about is documentary evidence
7 which relates to portions of the testimony of a witness but which are not
8 introduced through that witness. That's the kind of construction you
9 are -- you want to be applied, isn't it?
10 MR. IVETIC: Precisely, Your Honour. You've been much more
11 explicit than I was.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No -- then we'll hear from Mr. Weber after the
14 But could we already reserve a number for it, Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be MFI D960, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That number is reserved. We'll hear from Mr. Weber
17 after the break.
18 Are you -- apart from that, are you done, Mr. Ivetic?
19 MR. IVETIC: No, Your Honour. I have more to go through.
20 Approximately 35 minutes. But these documents sometimes take some time
21 since we have to read them to the witness, but I hope to go faster after
22 the break.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll take the break first, and we'll
24 resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
25 You may follow the usher, Mr. Masal.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber you would come back to us after the break
6 and that's now.
7 MR. WEBER: Thank you, Your Honours. With respect to
8 65 ter 18766, the Prosecution has no objection with that being admitted
9 from the bar table. We did have an opportunity to speak to the Defence
10 about related materials. At this time, the Prosecution would also tender
11 65 ter 09614. We would be tendering that as a P exhibit, and we would
12 note for the record that there is also related information in admitted
13 Exhibit P586.
14 So provided the additional Prosecution exhibit is admitted, we no
15 objection to the other document.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think if you avoid the word "bar table,"
17 then have better chances of success with Mr. Ivetic not objecting.
18 But, Mr. Ivetic, could you already express yourself on the
19 document now tendered by the Prosecution.
20 MR. IVETIC: I can, Your Honours. As Mr. Weber has said, we have
21 talked about this and we are on agreement on this.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then 65 ter 18766 had received -- a number was
24 reserved already, that's D960, is hereby admitted.
25 And 65 ter 09614 receives what P number, Mr. Registrar?
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P7249, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P7249 is admitted into ...
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: I almost said evidence.
5 Mr. Weber, there seems to be no B/C/S translation for it. Is
6 that correct?
7 MR. WEBER: I see we do have one. I don't know if it's been
8 released. We will release it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Since there were no objections, may I take it that
10 the B/C/S -- the release -- if it is not released within the next hour,
11 Mr. Ivetic, you have 24 hours to --
12 MR. IVETIC: Understood.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then now I complete my sentence: P7249 is admitted
14 into evidence.
15 MR. WEBER: I have been informed that it's been released, the
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let's proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
18 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
19 Q. General, I'd like to move to some VRS documents. If we could
20 turn to 65 ter number 00138. While we wait for that, you'll see it's
21 dated 16 April 1994 and is from General Ratko Mladic.
22 Now, sir, looking at the recipients of this document, are you one
23 of them?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And now looking at the text beginning at item number 1:
1 "I most strictly forbid inhumane treatment, ill-treatment, and
2 physical liquidation of the civilian population, prisoners of war, and
3 members of international organisations."
4 "2, All commands and members of the VRS are duty-bound to isolate
5 and protect the civilian population of Gorazde by way of moving them to
6 suitable locations," and onward.
7 Is this stance of General Mladic as to how the VRS was to act in
8 Goradze, how did it compare with your knowledge of his overall stance of
9 how the VRS was supposed to act in regards to other battle zones?
10 A. I've already said that during this operation, although propaganda
11 said this, we did not have an opportunity to come across destroyed
12 villages and massive liquidations of civilians. We did not have an
13 opportunity to come across villages where there were civilians left, so
14 we realised that civilians had left the settlements before the members of
15 the military did.
16 As for the other areas of responsibility, again, I can say --
17 well, not with certainty, because I wasn't there myself, but I do know
18 that the general position was that the civilian population should not be
19 exposed to combat operations to the highest degree possible, should not
20 be imperiled in any way.
21 I'll give one example, if allow me. In the previous operation,
22 the entire population of the villages of Kosanica and Medjedja that were
23 blocked because the road near Ustipraca was cut off, agreement was
24 reached through radio communication between the commander of one combat
25 group that was within my units and the commander of the opposite side -
1 this was a gentlemanly thing do, it was a militarily responsible thing to
2 do - to allow everyone safe passage to Gorazde and that has already been
3 shown before this Court.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I would tender this document into
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we decide on that, Witness, the stamp
8 at the bottom, do you know what kind of a stamp, what -- what does it
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The square stamp?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So it's not a classical stamp.
13 This square stamp is the stamp of the command that received this
14 telegram. We say that that is in the office where all documents that
15 arrive are registered. Whatever is received as a telegram or through
16 teleprinters or ...
17 I mean, I cannot read this out very well. It says: Command of
18 the 1st, maybe Podrinje, Light Brigade. And so on and so forth.
19 JUDGE ORIE: But is this a stamp which confirms receipt of the
20 document by the owner of the stamp?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any explanation as why the stamp says
23 31st of December, 1995, where the document apparently dates from the 16th
24 of April, 1994?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't. Maybe
1 there was no stamp in the first place and then when it was being archived
2 it was stamped subsequently, but I really have no real explanation as to
3 why this is the case.
4 JUDGE ORIE: No, we can all assume many things about it.
5 Mr. Ivetic, do you have any -- any further comment on, I would
6 say, on my question?
7 MR. IVETIC: No, I don't. It's a Prosecution document. That's
8 how we received it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Weber, do you have any explanation as to
10 where it comes from and is there any explanation for this date?
11 MR. WEBER: In terms of the date, no. The document reflects what
12 we know about the information. In terms of the -- where it comes from,
13 I'm just ...
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. Of course, everyone can assume or imagine that
15 it's the date of filing or whatever. But that's the reason why I asked
16 the witness what kind of a stamp this is.
17 Now, the text of the stamp apparently doesn't say anything about
18 received, et cetera, but I leave it to that for the time being.
19 You have no objections, Mr. Weber?
20 MR. WEBER: No, Your Honour. You asked the questions about what
21 I was curious about. And with respect to just further information, it
22 does from the Drina Corps collection, so this could be from archived
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Registrar, the number would be?
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D961, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: D961 is admitted into evidence.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. IVETIC: I wish to now look at 65 ter number 00132.
4 Q. While we wait for that, General, you'll see it's dated 22 April,
5 1994, and also from General Mladic.
6 Looking at the recipients of this -- well, first of all, looking
7 at this order, is this an order that was received by you in relation to
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it says here:
11 "As there is still sporadic artillery-mortar fire being sent into
12 the city of Gorazde despite the issued order, in order to consistently
13 comply with the order of the president of the RS, I hereby order: ... I
14 most strictly forbid artillery, mortar and PA fire being sent into the
15 part of the city of Gorazde on the left bank of the Drina river."
16 Now, do you recall if during this time-period there was an issue
17 with some units still shooting into the town? What was going on that
18 would cause them to still shoot into the town of Gorazde?
19 MR. WEBER: Objection. Compound question.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please split it up.
21 MR. IVETIC: Yeah.
22 Q. Do you recall, sir, if there was an issue with some units still
23 shooting into the town during the time-period of this order?
24 A. Yes, there was individual firing in the area of Gorazde. There
25 was this looming danger; namely, if this were to continue, that the
1 positions of the Army of Republika Srpska would be bombed by NATO and the
2 already agreed upon cease-fires could be done away with, and that is why
3 this order was sent to us.
4 Q. And was there anything going on that would explain or cause
5 why -- explain why this [indiscernible] units were firing into the town?
6 A. There were provocations from the other side. There was mortar
7 fire and also there was fire in immediate combat contact.
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honour, we would tender this document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D962, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D962 is admitted.
12 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
13 Q. Sir --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we put the 65 ter number on the record
15 again because it was not recorded.
16 MR. IVETIC: 65 ter number should be number 00132.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 MR. IVETIC: If we could now turn to 65 ter number 09749.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask -- was there no problem in relation to
20 the right bank of the Drina river in Gorazde? It limits itself to the
21 left bank, this order? Was there any relevant difference between the
22 left bank and the right bank?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, obviously there were these
24 provocations on the left bank.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was there any difference in population between
1 the right bank and the left bank?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, there was no difference in the
3 population. The Serb population hadn't returned yet.
4 JUDGE ORIE: But was the Serb population which had left, had they
5 been living mainly on the left bank or mainly on the right bank or
6 equally divided over the two banks?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In town, they were mostly on the
8 right bank, but in the suburban neighbourhoods on the left bank.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. IVETIC: If we can call up 9749.
12 Q. Sir, this is dated 7 September 1993, and is typed-signed
13 Dragisa Masal. First of all, sir, looking at this document, is this an
14 authentic order of yours?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And we see here also you order to cease all artillery attacks on
17 the town of Gorazde, and you say:
18 "In case of enemy attack, a counterattack is to be launched with
19 the approval of the superior command but only against spotted targeted in
20 contact and against firing positions behind the enemy artillery."
21 Is this consistent with the orders that you received from the
22 superior command or is this of your own initiative? Could you tell us
23 how this came about?
24 A. Well, orders arrived from the superior command as well. However,
25 I issued this order because a few times from the command of the
1 Drina Corps, orders were received not to do anything unnecessary or
2 irresponsible that would disrupt the already fragile cease-fire agreement
3 that had been reached. This is solely for the purpose of keeping the
4 cease-fire, maintaining it, and also ensuring conditions for lasting
5 peace in the territory concerned.
6 MR. IVETIC: If we could tender this document Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 MR. WEBER: No objection.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D963, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
11 MR. IVETIC: If we now turn to P731.
12 Q. This was a document that was shown to you during the
13 cross-examination at transcript page 33429. While we wait for that, it
14 is from the TG Visegrad signed by you and dated the 11th of April, 1994.
15 And you were asked about item number 7 on this document, and you
16 were asked if you indeed conveyed the message from General Mladic. Now I
17 want to ask you a different question. As a professional army officer,
18 how did you understand General Mladic's message here; for instance, who
19 are the Turks he is talking about?
20 A. Just one sentence before this answer. I have already said that
21 in 1992 the entire Serb population had been expelled from the area of
22 Gorazde. Here, specifically, I conveyed the message of General Mladic as
23 I understood it and as we understood it, generally.
24 Turks were the soldiers of the opposite side, not with the
25 intention of portraying them as Turks, really. I mean, they called us
1 aggressors, they called us Chetniks, we called them Turks or something
2 along those lines, and it exclusively pertained to soldiers of the other
3 side. At least that is how I understood it and how I interpreted it to
4 my subordinates, officers and soldiers.
5 As for this area, my understanding was the area where I was; that
6 is to say, the area of Gorazde, or rather the area that was supposed to
7 be liberated so that the Serb population could come back.
8 Q. And now General Mladic is reported as saying: "Pay no attention
9 to what is going on around us." What was going on around you at the
11 A. NATO air strikes and the threat of a full escalation of bombing
12 in Serb-held areas.
13 Q. Okay. Now you were asked about -- I'd like to move from Gorazde
14 and move to a different topic.
15 You were asked quite a few questions about Strpci. I want to
16 look at P7235, which you were shown. This is a letter from the collegium
17 of the railway line that was discussed with you at transcript page 33399.
18 And at that time, you said that none of the authorities mentioned in the
19 letter - that is to say, the MUP of Serbia, the assistant defence
20 minister of Serbia, or the state security police of Serbia - ever
21 informed you about the contents of this letter.
22 MR. IVETIC: And I see we're still waiting for it to come up.
23 Q. Can you please tell us, sir, when was the first time that you saw
24 this document or heard that someone claimed that the Serbian army was
25 planning an abduction of civilians from a train?
1 A. I first saw this document here.
2 Q. And did you ever receive or know of any orders from within the
3 VRS planning for such an abduction of Muslim civilians from a train?
4 A. I have already answered in part when giving answers to the
5 Prosecutor. As for this event, the Army of Republika Srpska not at a
6 single point in time thought about it or planned it. As for this event,
7 I was informed about it when it actually happened. Since this had to do
8 with a kidnapping of civilians, the military organisation did not take
9 measures because it was the civilian structures that were supposed to
10 investigate and continue proceedings. My command, the military
11 structure, did not deal with this.
12 Finally just one detail. The command of the tactical group is a
13 temporary command and its sole task is to organise and carry out combat
14 operations in a particular zone and in a certain period of time.
15 As for civilian affairs and the obligations of the civilian
16 authorities, the command could not have dealt with that.
17 Q. Okay. Now if we could turn to P7237, which was also shown to you
18 in connection with this set of facts. Now, sir, I know that the B/C/S is
19 hard to read. Hopefully you can focus on that.
20 Now, this was -- this presents as a -- or purports to be from the
21 Drina Corps command and from the OB department, intelligence and security
22 of the same. I want you to focus at the person that is alleged to be
23 signing this document, and I want to ask you: Are you familiar with
24 Jovo Maric?
25 A. Jovo Maric was a general, the chief of the air force and aircraft
1 defences in the Main Staff. Who this is, I have no idea whatsoever.
2 Q. What happened to the Jovo Maric that you know, that you've just
3 described as a general and chief of the air force and aircraft defences
4 in the Main Staff?
5 A. Chief of the air force and air defence, General Jovo Maric, he
6 was a pilot, and towards the very end of the war, or rather at the end of
7 the war, unfortunately, he lost his life in a traffic accident.
8 Q. To your knowledge, was General Jovo Maric ever fulfilling duties
9 within the Drina Corps?
10 A. No. No, he was not carrying out duties there. That I know. All
11 the time he was on the Main Staff. He was chief of the air force.
12 Q. And do you know when he attained the rank of general?
13 A. I don't know. I know that when I came to the Main Staff in 1994
14 Jovo Maric was a general.
15 Q. Have you ever heard of a Colonel Jovo Maric working in the
16 intelligence and security department of the Drina Corps during the
17 time-period when you were subordinated to the Drina Corps?
18 A. No. I knew Vujadin Popovic who was head of the security
20 Q. Now I want to turn some matters that are contained in the
21 document itself. First of all, it says here that a military vehicle of
22 the 5th Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade was "forcibly seized" in
23 Visegrad, which was driven by Uros Pljevacevic.
24 Sir, did you order anyone to forcibly seize a military vehicle
25 from your own subordinated brigade?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Now, Dragan Sekaric is listed here as one of those who seized the
3 vehicle. Have you ever heard of Dragan Sekaric; that is to say, was he
4 ever a member of the VRS units subordinated to you?
5 A. The name doesn't ring a bell. Obviously he was a foot soldier,
6 and I really didn't know the names of the soldiers in subordinated units.
7 Q. Now, Boban Indjic is listed here, and you did say that he was a
8 member of the Intervention Platoon within the Visegrad Brigade. Did he
9 ever receive orders either from you or from the VRS Main Staff to
10 forcibly take a military vehicle to be used in the abduction of civilians
11 from a train at Strpci?
12 A. Let me correct you. Boban Indjic was the commander of the
13 intervention company, not just one platoon in the intervention company.
14 He did not receive any combat orders from me. He could only receive
15 combat orders from his brigade commander. I don't know. I'm not aware
16 of any of his superiors ever having issued such an order to him.
17 Q. Okay. I would next like to look at 65 ter number 32206. And I'd
18 ask you to take look at the Serbian version very carefully and let me
19 know if, in fact, this is an authentic document authored by you.
20 A. This is a telegram. Clearly the signature is mine -- or rather,
21 in the heading, we can read Visegrad TG.
22 Q. I'd ask you to carefully look at the beginning of the document
23 and see whether you recall that this is something that you authored or
25 A. Obviously the brigade commander worked in his area and what he
1 did was based on what he thought he should do.
2 Q. Okay. And do you recognise this document as one authored by you;
3 that is to say, is this an authentic document?
4 A. I have already told you that in my oral report, I submitted the
5 same contents as found in this report to General Zivanovic. So it's
6 about the same thing. I don't know whether the same message was also
7 conveyed in a written form, perhaps through the communications centre. I
8 don't know.
9 I am only aware of the fact I remember that I sought assistance
10 because I did not have a security organ in my unit. I sought assistance
11 from the military police to curb certain negative phenomenon in the zone
12 of responsibility of the brigade; i.e., tactical group.
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, if we could tender this as the next
14 Defence exhibit.
15 MR. WEBER: No objection.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D964, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
19 MR. IVETIC:
20 Q. Now, at transcript page 33416, in response to a question from
21 Judge Fluegge, you indicated that Milan Lukic, who was mentioned in one
22 of the last documents or the prior -- the one prior to this one, was not
23 within your units of and was not subordinated to you in any other way.
24 Could you please elaborate for us on how it was that this
25 individual was not subordinated to you.
1 A. If you mean he -- that he was not subordinated to the brigade, he
2 was not -- it was not possible for him to be subordinated to the tactical
3 group. Only officers and non-commissioned officers could be subordinated
4 to the tactical group. A small number of them. In the area of the 2nd
5 Brigade around Visegrad as well as in the territories of some other unit,
6 not only the 2nd Brigade, there were members who were not members of the
7 brigade. They were not military conscripts. In other words, they acted
8 of their own will. They had their own goals, ambitions, and objectives.
9 To cut a long story short, there was a fear --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
11 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, just in the future, if we could have
12 actually what was asked, because I do not see Judge Fluegge actually
13 asking that question.
14 MR. IVETIC: At 33416?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look. Against my habit.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At least no question in relation to Milan Lukic.
17 That was a question by the Presiding Judge.
18 MR. IVETIC: Oh. I apologise.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know whether that makes the question any
20 less important, but leave to that.
21 Let me just have a look whether the question is the same because
22 it may not be that relevant.
23 Yes, I think the question, irrespective of who did put the
24 question ...
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
2 Q. Now, if we could move onto P7236, this was again showed to you at
3 transcript page 33400, and your answer at that time -- let's wait for the
5 This is in relation to the information from your subordinate
6 units about Sandzak Muslims, and your answer at that time was:
7 "I did order but I did not order them to capture civilians but
8 rather Muslims who often travelled from Sandzak through my zone of
9 responsibility in the direction of Gorazde and Sarajevo. This has
10 nothing to do with civilians."
11 Could you please explain for us what these Muslims from Sandzak
12 were doing as they travelled through your zone of responsibility in the
13 direction of Gorazde and Sarajevo?
14 A. Their transfer from Serbia or rather Sandzak or rather the area
15 of Raska -- and they were all militarily able-bodied Muslims, they were
16 travelling towards Gorazde. The objective was for them to be engaged in
17 combat. They were to be arrested so that they didn't reach Gorazde, and
18 that was also to prevent possible sabotage activities in the rear. We
19 were abreast of the intelligence about a possible destruction of the
20 so-called blue bridge between Visegrad and Dobrun. Across Dobrun in the
21 direction of Prijepolje, there were roads that they usually took. They
22 skirted settled areas and they had very good reconnaissance of our units'
23 positions. This is no news what I've just told you, and that is that
24 Bosniaks from Sandzak were on the side of Bosniaks in Gorazde and
25 elsewhere. I can also tell that you the former commander of the BiH army
1 also hails from Sandzak, so this is no big secret at all.
2 Q. Okay. Now I want to move to my second-to-last topic --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask --
4 MR. IVETIC: Oh, go ahead.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- one further question.
6 Do I understand from your answer that those who travelled there,
7 coming from Sandzak, were militarily able-body Muslims and that they
8 wanted to become members of the armed forces at the end of their journey.
9 Is that how I have to understand it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore, just -- they were still civilians if
12 they are not yet members of the armed forces and if they are just
13 able-bodied men.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, those travelling from Sandzak
15 towards Gorazde. However, we had information and we had an order to take
16 prisoners among those who had already joined the BiH army on the front
17 line. And that order covered also the capture of unit members on the
18 front line.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's all fine. But those who were
20 travelling, you said it had nothing to do with civilians. But they were
21 not members of the armed forces. They may have wanted to become members
22 of the armed forces; but they were not yet, if I well understood your
23 testimony, and I sought verification of your initial answer.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They did not travel individually.
25 First, they gathered in collection centres. They were equipped in a
1 certain sense there.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Equipped with what?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Military equipment and weapons.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Well, but earlier you said these were able-bodied
5 men travelling there --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- wishing, perhaps, to become members of the armed
8 forces but not yet being. Now, if I receive a weapon and if I get
9 military equipment, then I'm not an able-bodied man anymore but -- well,
10 doesn't change, of course, the physical condition. But then you are --
11 have become a soldier. Whereas in your previous answer, there was a
12 strong suggestion that they were not soldiers.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had received equipment and
14 weapons already in Sandzak. They didn't travel to Sandzak with their
15 hands empty.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And those in the trains, they were travelling there
17 with weapons and ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they were civilians.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can I seek clarification for one of the last
21 answers of the witness.
22 Sir, you said: "They had received equipment and weapons already
23 in Sandzak."
24 And then the next sentence reads: "They didn't travel to Sandzak
25 with their hands empty."
1 Were they already equipped and did they have their weapons when
2 they went to Sandzak?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mistake. Not to Sandzak. To
4 Gorazde. They didn't travel to Gorazde with their hands empty.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification.
6 MR. IVETIC:
7 Q. Now, I want to return to the four ethnic Muslim villages in your
8 zone of responsibility. You were shown only one part of your prior
9 Popovic testimony by Mr. Weber at transcript page 33394 and onwards. I
10 would like to show you another part.
11 MR. IVETIC: If we could 65 ter number 32312 in e-court. And
12 we'll need page 44 of the same. And that should correlate to transcript
13 page 29155 of the Popovic proceedings. And if we could zoom in on lines
14 1 through 10.
15 Q. I will have to read this for you so you can get a translation,
17 "Q. Were you aware, sir, that in the fall of 1994, Muslims were
18 moved out of Satorovici and Serb civilians were moved in? Were you aware
19 of that?
20 "A. Yes. I know [sic] that they had been moved out, that they
21 want to the move out, and that they moved out in an organised manner. I
22 don't know when that was. It may have been at the time when I had
23 already left for the General Staff -- rather, the Main Staff. I also
24 know that when they expressed their wish to move out, this met with some
25 resistance. In Sarajevo, they did not want to take them, there were
1 certain problems, some delays and procrastination when it came to their
3 Sir, do you stand by what is written here as being both accurate
4 and truthful as related to your testimony in the Popovic case?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And now I want to ask you: Does this refresh your recollection
7 or can you tell us now when you talked about people perhaps leaving in
8 1994, was that in relation to all four villages or was it perhaps in
9 relation to just one of the four villages, Satorovici?
10 A. Precisely. I have already told you that some of them had moved
11 out in 1994 based on what I knew, and you will find that in my statement.
12 The rest of the population moved out towards the end of 1995, after the
13 Dayton Accords. The fact is that some moved out in 1994, whereas the
14 rest of the population moved out from the other villages towards the end
15 of 1995.
16 Q. Okay. Now, I want to move to my final topic, modified air bombs.
17 You gave some information during cross-examination about the
18 testing of the modified air bombs. I want to first ask you: What is the
19 source of your information as to the development and testing of modified
20 air bombs? How did you come to that information?
21 A. I heard about the development and testing of modified air bombs
22 in the territory of Republika Srpska from my predecessors, Colonel Rajko
23 Balac, and an engineer -- or rather, engineers from Pretis holding who
24 were involved in the modification and development of those air bombs.
25 Based on their explanations, I know - not directly that they had
1 co-operated with certain experts in the Army of Yugoslavia.
2 In addition to that, I've already mentioned that when I
3 personally got acquainted with all that and when I prepared crews to man
4 those tools, I saw the original firing tables that could only be compiled
5 after a certain piece of equipment is tested and measured for ballistics,
6 metrologic weight, and other parameters that are encompassed by the
7 testing of every artillery system.
8 MR. IVETIC: If can we call up P7245. This is a document that
9 you were shown during cross-examination.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I take it, Mr. Ivetic, you're not completely happy
11 with the -- yes, now it -- there was a transcript where you were
12 transformed into Mr. Tieger but it has been corrected.
13 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour, for showing me that. I
14 did -- I actually missed.
15 Q. Now, sir, this document that you were shown by the Prosecution
16 talks of ground-to-ground missiles exploding near the city centre and it
17 talks of the missiles deploying parachutes during their terminal descent.
18 Did the modified air bombs as used by the Army of Republika Srpska
19 utilise parachutes?
20 A. No. The bombs were propelled by rocket engines.
21 Q. And in relation to the launchers that we had at the VRS, could
22 multiple modified air bombs be launched simultaneously?
23 A. No. Individually. Only individually.
24 Q. Could you also tell us, you were asked by Mr. Weber about the
25 lack of a barrel on the modified air bomb launchers. Now Grad rockets
1 when they are launched from a multiple rocket-launcher - that is to say,
2 in their original configuration without air bombs - how would you
3 describe the inner surface of the barrel that launches a Grad rocket from
4 a multiple-missile launcher system, Grad system?
5 A. Unlike a classical or conventional artillery tools,
6 multiple-rocket launchers, both our own and foreign made, and Grad is
7 Russian made, air bombs are fired from a smooth barrel. That barrel is
8 open on both side, it had openings on both side, in the bag to release
9 the gases from a rocket fuel and to push the rocket towards its goal.
10 The rocket engine is active until midway and then it's shut off, and then
11 the projectile travels by inertia to its target. The same principle is
12 applied in air bomb, modified air bombs, but those bombs could not be
13 placed in a barrel but rather on a launcher, and I've already explained
14 how that looked.
15 Q. Now, you said unlike classical or conventional artillery tools,
16 the barrel is smooth, I think you said. Could you describe for us the
17 difference between smooth barrels and the other type of barrels to begin
18 with when it comes to artillery weapons. That will be my first question?
19 A. The barrels of conventional artillery tools have grooves at a
20 certain angle all the way through the barrel. A projectile or a shell
21 which is lodged in the back of such a barrel, when it is fired it is
22 pushed by gun powder fumes that are created in the barrel. The
23 projectile has a ring which is then pressed into the grooves and it
24 rotates under a certain angle. That's how it gains stability on its
25 trajectory to the target. This is for conventional tools.
1 In rockets, air bombs, there is -- there are no grooves but a
2 rocket engine gives it power to propel itself to the target. The
3 principle is more or the less same minus the rotation.
4 Q. Thank you, sir. And you also answered the additional question I
5 anticipated to ask you.
6 On behalf of the General Mladic and the rest of the team, I thank
7 you for answering my questions today.
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that's all have I.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic. I would have one question --
10 well, perhaps you listen carefully as well, Mr. Ivetic.
11 You were asked about the use of parachutes. And you said no,
12 they were not used, they were propelled by -- I don't know exactly, I
13 think by the engines. Well, of course --
14 Unless, Mr. Ivetic, that's what you intended to ask the witness,
15 whether there was any modified bomb that would be propelled by
16 parachutes, I understood the report to say that in its flight that on
17 from a certain point instead of just falling down that parachutes would
18 open so as to slow down the speed of their descent.
19 Therefore, I didn't understand the question to refer to anything
20 propelling the -- propelling the projectile, but the answer did go in
21 that direction, whereas I have difficulties in combining or to link your
22 question and the answer given by the witness.
23 If you could clarify that, that would certainly assist. And if
24 the witness could tell us as well whether he is aware of the use of
25 parachutes at all in any such projectiles, I would appreciate to receive
1 an answer.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. IVETIC:
4 Q. Let's take that into two parts. First of all, sir, the document
5 indicates -- the document we have on our screen indicates that the
6 missiles deployed parachutes during their terminal descent. Did the VRS
7 modified air bombs utilize parachutes in the manner that is reflected in
8 this document that we have before us whose number, unfortunately, escapes
9 me, but I think it is P7245.
10 Did the VRS modified air bombs utilize the parachutes in the
11 manner that is described by this document?
12 A. No, nor -- nor was it possible.
13 Q. Well, then I guess we have to have two more questions.
14 Could you first tell us why it was not possible?
15 A. Simply because we did not have any way to mount a parachute on a
16 bomb so that it would be open at a given point in time.
17 Further on, as a soldier I have to say that I don't know that any
18 air bomb descends from an aircraft using a parachute. Probably it -- the
19 wind would carry the parachute wherever rather than being part of a
20 system either from land or air.
21 Q. And now the final question I have: Did the modified aerial bombs
22 used by the VRS utilize parachutes at all in any manner, fashion, or
24 A. No, not in any way. I am not aware of that even in theory, let
25 alone in practice.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir.
2 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I think that clarifies.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it certainly clarifies a lot.
4 Mr. Weber, any further questions for the witness.
5 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour. Just a couple.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Weber:
8 Q. General Masal, I would like to take you back to one of your
9 answers regarding the Strpci abduction. At temporary transcript page 33
10 of today, you were recorded as saying:
11 "As for this event, I was informed about it when it actually
13 Who did you receive this information from? If you could please
14 just tell us a name. Or names.
15 A. At that time, that moment I was not at the command. I was out in
16 the field. My duty officer called me from the operations centre telling
17 me to come back to the command. Within an hour or an hour and a half
18 approximately I was there, and I received this first oral report from the
19 duty officer in my operations centre who just told me, in the briefest
20 possible terms, that that had happened, without giving my any details.
21 Q. If we could just stop there. What is the name of your duty
23 A. Nedjo Mrsovic.
24 Q. Who did he receive the information from that he was reporting to
25 you? If you could just give us the name or names.
1 A. I don't know by name -- or rather, what he said to me then was
2 that it was the duty officer from another brigade that had called him,
3 the 2nd Brigade.
4 Q. Okay. The 2nd Brigade. You're referring to the
5 2nd Podrinje Brigade; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. As we've already heard you explain, that's the brigade in
8 Visegrad. What were they doing in Rudo that would have allowed them to
9 know what was going on during the abduction?
10 A. If you mean that report from the railways? I -- I cannot explain
11 whether anybody from Visegrad was in Rudo. Because obviously they
12 received information from someone that I have no idea about.
13 Q. On page -- --
14 MR. WEBER: I don't know if Your Honours have any further
15 questions about that. I was going ask something else.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I have no further questions and my colleagues also
17 have no further questions on.
18 MR. WEBER:
19 Q. At page 36 of today's transcript --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, could I ask you: Mr. Ivetic took
21 considerably more than the 35 minutes he indicated. How much more time
22 would you need? If it's a matter of five minutes, then we'll continue
23 and have the break then. If it's more, then we have to consider to take
24 the break now.
25 MR. WEBER: I'll be finished by the break.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. WEBER:
3 Q. On page 36 of today's transcript, you referred to Boban Indjic
4 could only receive orders from his brigade commander. Is it correct
5 you're referring to Luka Dragicevic?
6 A. I was speaking about orders, combat orders. He only could
7 receive that from his commander and that is Luka Dragicevic.
8 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, I don't have anything else. But since
9 the matter was raised by Jovo Maric and the Drina Corps, the Prosecution
10 has uploaded, although not yet translated, three personnel-related
11 documents at that time related to that individual being assigned to the
12 Drina Corps. They are 65 ter numbers 32322, 32323, 32324. We'd be
13 tendering those documents at this time once translations become available
14 and that will also, I believe, give an opportunity to the Defence to do
15 that --
16 JUDGE ORIE: There are no English translations yet?
17 MR. WEBER: Correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is the word "pukovnik" appearing somewhere
19 because --
20 MR. WEBER: I think that it appears in all three.
21 JUDGE ORIE: In all three. Would it not be good then to put that
22 to the witness so that he has an opportunity because his --
23 MR. WEBER: That's what I was going to suggest.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- evidence now is contradicting apparently the
25 Prosecution's case in this respect, and therefore I think we should give
1 the witness an opportunity to comment on that.
2 MR. WEBER: Sure. With the Chamber's indulgence if I -- since I
3 don't have the translations --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. WEBER: -- I can just call it up and the -- similar
6 information appears in the next two.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if we could -- if you would show them to the
8 witness, all three, and then perhaps ask questions.
9 Mr. Masal, the Prosecution will now show you three documents they
10 claim - we haven't seen them yet - that a Jovo Maric was a colonel in the
11 Drina Corps.
12 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please have a good look at them.
14 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution have 65 ter 32322.
15 Q. Sir, could you please review this document and let us know when
16 you've completed your review.
17 A. Yes, I've read it.
18 Q. Is -- it's correct that this document is to the five brigades
19 that are subordinated to you -- actually, four of the five brigades; the
20 1st, the 3rd, the 4th, and 5th Podrinje Infantry Brigades?
21 A. Yes, it was sent to these brigades, but I really don't know. I
22 only knew the general, General Jovo Maric.
23 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 32323.
24 Q. Sir, we pulled a personnel list related to the Drina Corps from
25 the same month of the document that you're commenting on, February 1993.
1 I think for today's purposes if you could just review the first page, I
2 think even up to the fourth entry, where Jovo Maric appears. You see
3 that; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. WEBER: And could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 32324.
6 Q. Sir, excuse me. Do you recall -- do you recall that this
7 individual was in fact a part of the Drina Corps?
8 A. Just a detail. The single identification normal says that he was
9 born on the 1st of September, 1936. General Jovo Maric was born the same
10 year as I was, in 1951. Obviously this was a pensioner who was activated
11 and who did this kind of work for a while.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you don't have to comment on it. What you
13 testified is that you did not know any Jovo Maric in the Drina Corps
14 apart from knowing a General Jovo Maric, and Mr. Weber puts to you a few
15 documents in which the existence of a Colonel Jovo Maric seems to be
17 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, I mean, I can keep on going, I'll have a
18 similar question, but we'd just ask to tender the three documents to
19 establish in the record that there was such an individual at the time in
20 the Drina Corps.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and we see number 3 on our screen at this
22 moment, I think. Is that --
23 MR. WEBER: That's correct.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But I don't see that name you --
25 JUDGE ORIE: No, but the name -- the name --
1 MR. WEBER: It's in the first line.
2 JUDGE ORIE: It's in the first line. Yes, something happened
3 apparently on the 7th of August, 1993.
4 No objections, Mr. Ivetic?
5 MR. IVETIC: No objections once we get the translations in.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar, could you assign numbers for
7 those three documents to be marked for identification.
8 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 32322 will be MFI P7250. 65 ter
9 number 32323 will be MFI P7251. And 65 ter number 32324 will be MFI
11 JUDGE ORIE: P7250, -51, and -52 are marked for identification.
12 MR. WEBER: No further questions.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, this concludes your evidence, but perhaps
16 before I excuse the witness, Mr. Ivetic, the gist of the whole issue of
17 rockets launched from tubes or not from tubes escaped me completely.
18 I do understand that if you launch a rocket not from a tube but
19 if it is attached to an aerial bomb that, of course, the mechanisms are
20 different. But I'm -- I think I missed the gist of what it was all
22 Now, I'm not inviting you to explain that in front of the
23 witness. But I just, since the witness will leave us very soon, I -- I
24 wondered whether with one or two questions you should clarify what you
25 actually were demonstrating. If you don't need the witness for that,
1 then we'll excuse the witness and then you may briefly in one or two
2 lines explain what the gist of your questions was.
3 MR. IVETIC: Yes, I think can I explain without the witness. It
4 relates --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll excuse the witness.
6 Mr. Masal, this concludes your evidence in this court, and I'd
7 like to thank you very much for coming the long way to The Hague and for
8 having answered all the many questions that were put to you, put to you
9 by the parties, put to you by the Bench. You may follow the usher, and I
10 wish you a safe return home again.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic if you can explain in one or two lines,
14 you're invited to do so. Otherwise, we'll take the break.
15 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour. With relation to both the
16 questioning by Mr. Groome of Mr. Radojcic and Mr. Weber of this witness,
17 it was suggested that the rockets are not going through the tubes, and
18 the difference between a rifled tube and a non-rifled tube, which I
19 believe Colonel Hamill testified about during the Prosecution case.
20 They're different types of technology and not all artillery is rifled -
21 that is to say, with the grooves that would cause the rotation, and it's
22 not like a gun - and I think the witness explained how the barrel on a
23 multiple-rocket launcher operates and that it is smooth and that's all
24 that I was trying to establish, that the -- there is no rifling for a
25 rocket that is for a shell or for a bullet.
1 JUDGE ORIE: It doesn't start rotating which stabilises the
3 MR. IVETIC: Correct.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Is that what you wanted to establish?
5 Well, Mr. Weber.
6 MR. WEBER: With respect to that explanation, I believe it
7 conflates a number of things and we wouldn't be in accord with that,
8 but --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we don't -- I just wanted to know what it was,
10 not to start any further discussion. But it escaped entirely what I
11 should learn from that. And Mr. Ivetic has now told us that the only
12 thing he wanted to demonstrate, and whether it's relevant in this context
13 is a different matter, of course, and whether it still is relevant if you
14 attach it to an aerial bomb is another matter, but Mr. Ivetic apparently
15 wanted to explain to us that these kind of projectiles are launched in
16 a -- from a barrel or from a tube which is different from most of the
17 artillery tubes.
18 MR. WEBER: I just wanted to clarify and I appreciate what
19 Your Honour is saying. I believe it was the evidence of this witness,
20 and the other witness, that they actually fired along rails, so I
21 believe that -- I just didn't want to get too much confusion about
22 barrels, rails, things like that, and just have that on the record.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that if they are mounted to an
25 aerial bomb that, of course, they are not fired through tubes anymore.
1 MR. IVETIC: That's correct.
2 JUDGE ORIE: It goes without saying and that's what you're
3 emphasising as well. Rails is then what guides at firing the -- what is
4 sent as a projectile.
5 MR. TIEGER: Meanwhile, I had an entirely non-controversial 30
6 second matter to address in private session which I can do now or the
7 beginning of next session. Whatever Your Honour prefers.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could we do that after the break, because we have
9 postponed the break already for such a long time.
10 We take a break and resume at 25 minutes past 12.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
13 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for the witness to enter the
14 courtroom, good afternoon, Mr. Domazet. You appear in order to assist
15 Mr. Blagojevic in -- in relation to his right not to incriminate himself
16 by giving truthful answers. Needless to remind you that, of course, for
17 any fact for which Mr. Blagojevic has already been convicted, he is not
18 at risk to be prosecuted again because the ne bis in idem rule does not
19 allow for such a second prosecution. But of course, there may be matters
20 outside the scope of what he was indicted for and what he was convicted
21 for. But your role is limited to that, nothing else.
22 If that is clear to you, we'll just proceed once the witness has
23 entered the courtroom.
24 MR. DOMAZET: Yes, Your Honour.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Blagojevic, before you give evidence, the Rules
2 require that you make a solemn declaration, the text of which is now
3 handed out to you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: VIDOJE BLAGOJEVIC
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Blagojevic.
9 Mr. Blagojevic, Mr. Domazet is in this courtroom as well in order
10 to assist you in the context of what we call Rule 90(E), which is that
11 you are not under an obligation to answer any questions if a truthful
12 answer to that question would tend to incriminate yourself.
13 May I take it that you -- that Mr. Domazet explained to you
14 exactly what Rule 90(E) is about?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
17 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please come closer to the
18 microphone because the interpreters have difficulties in hearing you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I understand that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it was explained to you, so I don't have to do
22 that again.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The back of the seat is too flexible. It should
24 be adjusted.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Blagojevic, apart from that, I take it that the
2 Victims and Witness Section has instructed you that you should not greet
3 or seek contact with Mr. Mladic when entering the courtroom.
4 Did they explain that to you? You don't have to look at him;
5 just answer the question.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It has been explained to me.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Why, then, did you do it, nevertheless?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What did I do?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Seek eye contact, smiled to Mr. Mladic, and receive
10 a similar thing back from him.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't take it that way. I
12 looked at everybody else too. I looked at my lawyer as well. I looked
13 at the other lawyers and the others present here. I looked at everybody.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Blagojevic, your focus was on Mr. Mladic, and
15 apart from that, you have not been instructed to look at no one. You
16 have been instructed that you should not seek contact with Mr. Mladic,
17 which you clearly did. All three Judges have observed that and it was
18 the focus of your behaviour at the -- I'm not seeking any further comment
19 from you.
20 You'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. You'll find Mr. Lukic to
21 your left. Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
22 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Blagojevic.
1 A. Good day.
2 Q. For the record, could you please slowly state your name and
4 A. I am Vidoje Blagojevic.
5 Q. At one point in time, did you give a statement to the members
6 General Mladic's Defence team?
7 A. I gave a statement to the members of the Defence team of
8 General Mladic.
9 MR. LUKIC: Can we have on our screens, 1D01704.
10 Q. [Interpretation] A document is going to show up on the screen.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'm just going to ask for page 3 of
12 this document now, and we'll take a look at paragraph 8.
13 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, you drew my attention to something here when we
14 reviewed the documents. You said that it is written the 6th of July.
15 That is what is typed here. And the document that this paragraph refers
16 to says the 5th of July. Do you remember that?
17 A. Yes. This should say "5" instead of "6." It should say the
18 5th of July, instead of the 6th.
19 Q. We're going to take a look at the document later. So this is a
20 correction that we should make in this statement. So paragraph 8 should
21 say "05" instead of "06."
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now can we go back to the first
23 page of the document.
24 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, do you see a signature here; and, if so, can you
25 recognise it?
1 A. Yes, it is my signature.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If we could take a look at the last
3 page of the document, please.
4 Q. We see two signatures here on this page. Can you recognise them?
5 A. They are my signatures.
6 Q. After we have corrected the date, is the rest of your statement
7 correct? Has everything been recorded correctly? I'm talking about the
8 entire statement: Is everything correct?
9 A. Yes. After the correction of the date, and I think that this
10 correction is correct.
11 Q. What about the rest of the statement? Has everything been
12 recorded the way you stated things for us?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If I were -- or, rather, to the best of your knowledge, is
15 everything in the statement truthful?
16 A. Yes, truthful.
17 Q. There will be times when I'm going to pause after your answer
18 before I put a new question to you. This is to give room to the
19 interpreters to interpret your words correctly. I don't want you to be
20 confused by those pauses.
21 If I were to put the same questions to you today, the same ones
22 that we put to you when your statement was taken, would your answers be
23 the same?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We would like to tender
1 Mr. Blagojevic's statement, 1D017054, into evidence.
2 MS. HASAN: Good afternoon. No objection.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D965, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D965 is admitted into evidence.
6 If you have any further questions to the witness, Mr. Lukic,
7 please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I will just clarify this
9 paragraph 8, and I would kindly ask to have D303 on our screens.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Blagojevic, what you have before you on the
11 screen is a document dated 5 July 1995. It was issued by the Command of
12 the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. It is an order for active
13 combat operations, and the operational number is 1.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] After having seen the first page, can
15 we go and look at the last page as well.
16 [In English] We need the bottom of the document, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Blagojevic, at the bottom we see the typed
18 words "Commander, Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic," and we can see a signature.
19 Do you recognise the signature?
20 A. Yes, I do. This is my document. I signed it myself. I compiled
21 it and I signed it.
22 Q. Is this the document referred to in paragraph 8; do you remember?
23 A. Yes. On the first page --
24 MR. LUKIC: Can we go back to the first page, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the upper left-hand corner you
1 can see the date. I wanted that date to be corrected in the statement,
2 to reflect what is seen in the document.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now let's look at the second
4 page. Again, I'm interested in bullet point 4.
5 Q. At the end of that paragraph, we can see that readiness or
6 beginning of the attack is at 0400 hours on the 6th of July, 1995. Does
7 this reflect the situation as it was?
8 A. Yes, this is okay. What we read in bullet point 4 of this
9 decision is accurate.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could the parties carefully look at the document
11 again to see whether there are any transcription or translation errors,
12 because in the English version I see "1993." But I take it that everyone
13 would agree that it should be "1995." Now if that's the only thing, I
14 would not send it back to CLSS, but if there are more matters, and I
15 invite the parties to carefully check it, then of course it should be
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. It's already in evidence, but we
18 will check the translation.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If I missed it last time, I don't know whether
20 this specific line was addressed when it was admitted --
21 MR. LUKIC: No, I don't think so. No.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- but at least now it's there.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. LUKIC: Since we made this clarification, I would just read
25 summary statement of Mr. Blagojevic, and I will not have more questions
1 for him.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please read the summary of the statement.
3 MR. LUKIC: I hope the booths have this summary since I
4 distributed it on Thursday. Okay. I can see nodding.
5 Vidoje Blagojevic was a career military officer first in the
6 Yugoslav national army and then in the Army of Republika Srpska.
7 In July 1995, he held the rank of colonel and was the commander
8 of the Bratunac Brigade.
9 In response to the frequent excursions of the Muslim forces from
10 the enclave, the Serb political and military leadership made a decision
11 to engage in active combat and reduce the area of the enclave and to
12 separate the enclaves as had been envisaged by the signed agreement, all
13 with the aim of preventing or minimizing the frequent attacks of the
14 Muslim forces from the safe areas of Srebrenica and Zepa.
15 Colonel Blagojevic received and issued orders in early
16 July concerning the Srebrenica combat activities. He never received or
17 gave any order for illegal activities and was not aware of any plan to
18 commit crimes in connection with these combat activities.
19 Colonel Blagojevic was unaware of any plan to execute prisoners
20 from Srebrenica. He states that the claim of Momir Nikolic, that on the
21 evening of 12th of July, 1995, Nikolic informed Colonel Blagojevic of the
22 plan to execute prisoners, is not true. Colonel Blagojevic did not see
23 Momir Nikolic on the evening of 12th of July.
24 During the Srebrenica operation combat activities, nowhere and in
25 no manner did the Bratunac Brigade command provide anyone with any
1 illegal support and assistance that would be aimed against the life of
2 prisoners from the Srebrenica enclave. No such thing was ever ordered or
3 requested from him and the Bratunac Brigade by any of his superiors, nor
4 did he, as the commander, order any such thing to any of his subordinate
6 And that would be statement summary of Mr. Blagojevic.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Blagojevic, you'll now be cross-examined by
10 Ms. Hasan. You find Ms. Hasan to your right. And Ms. Hasan is counsel
11 for the Prosecution.
12 And I think that still the distance to the microphone and perhaps
13 the position of your chair should be adjusted so that we do not miss a
14 word of your testimony.
15 Ms. Hasan, you may proceed.
16 MR. LUKIC: If I may use my technical knowledge about these
17 chairs, the button that fixes the chair is on the left-hand side. So it
18 cannot be fixed from the right-hand side. No, it's on the left-hand
19 side, the button.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, it's apparently on the other side. We
21 are using all the same chairs, but ... and if you could lean a little bit
22 more forward so that it could be fixed. I see that Mr. Registrar is --
23 MR. LUKIC: You go down with the button.
24 JUDGE ORIE: No, and now a bit more closer to the microphone.
25 And then fix it again. No, it's still not okay. Okay.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Everyone being in the right position now, let's get
3 Cross-examination by Ms. Hasan:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Blagojevic.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Now, you were found guilty by this Tribunal pursuant to
7 Article 7(1) of the Statute for aiding and abetting the commission of
8 murder in Bratunac town as a crime against humanity and the violation of
9 laws and customs of war. Do you take responsible for your involvement in
10 that crime?
11 A. Let me tell you straight away: That was an illegal decision of
12 this Tribunal, unfortunately.
13 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't the question. The question was whether
14 you take responsibility for the crimes for which you were convicted.
15 Whether it's legal or not is -- is not asked.
16 Please proceed.
17 And please answer the question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please repeat your question.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Whether you take responsibility for the crimes for
20 which you were convicted by this Tribunal.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I won't take that
22 responsibility, but I wish to add to that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think the question has been answered.
24 Next question, please, Ms. Hasan.
25 MS. HASAN:
1 Q. And I take it that your answer that you don't also applies to
2 your conviction under Count 5 for persecution as a crime against humanity
3 through the underlying acts of murder, terrorising civilian population,
4 cruel and inhumane treatment. I take it that applies to that as well.
5 And in addition to that, Count 6, which is inhumane acts as a crime
6 against humanity which was defined as forcible transfer. Am I right?
7 A. Are you right about what?
8 Q. That you don't take responsibility for those particular crimes as
10 A. I don't take responsibility for that either.
11 Q. Now, so the record is clear, you were acquitted of your
12 involvement in the overall murder operation.
13 What I would like to turn to now is when you commenced your
14 position as the commander of the Bratunac Brigade in May of 1995, your
15 units were fully under your command, weren't they?
16 A. My brigade was under my command, yes.
17 Q. So you were responsible for -- as a commander for their acts;
19 A. As a commander, I was responsible for being in command over my
20 unit and for controlling its work.
21 Q. And your responsibility as their commander then, that would
22 include responsibility for acts including crimes committed by those
23 units; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. My command and control covered the entire work of my unit;
25 of my brigade, that is.
1 Q. Would you agree that you were also responsible for prisoners who
2 were detained within your zone of responsibility and who were guarded by
3 your -- members of your units?
4 A. Allow me to ask you what prisoners and what do you mean "your
5 zone of responsibility"? Please be more precise.
6 Q. I'm asking you a more general question at this point. If there
7 are prisoners within the Bratunac area of responsibility, okay? Do you
8 take responsibility for those prisoners detained there?
9 MR. LUKIC: I -- probably slip of the tongue. It says Bratunac
10 area of responsibility. Maybe you -- my learned friend wanted to ask
11 Bratunac Brigade area of responsibility or what, but there is no Bratunac
12 area of responsibility.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, there is a Bratunac area but that's not a very
14 precise description.
15 Ms. Hasan, would you please rephrase your question.
16 MS. HASAN: Thank you. Yes.
17 Q. So my question relates to the Bratunac area of --
18 Bratunac Brigade area of responsibility and specifically whether you take
19 responsibility for prisoners who are detained in that area?
20 MR. LUKIC: Again, we have to intervene here. Maybe we should
21 define first what is zone of responsibility of Bratunac Brigade.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think zone of responsibility is usually is
23 a -- is a general description.
24 And since we, at this moment, are still exploring the general
25 rule and not yet details because, Ms. Hasan, what the witness says could
1 you tell us what prisoners, you said I am asking just in general terms.
2 For that reason at this moment we do not need to clarify it, but perhaps
3 later on we'll have to do that.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And Mr. Lukic, Ms. Hasan used the term "area of
5 responsibility" and not "zone of responsibility."
6 MR. LUKIC: I think it should be clarified with this gentleman
7 what he considers his area and what is by the rules his area of
8 responsibility. First, to be able to see if there is anybody placed by
9 the -- or anybody from the prisoner group was placed at that area.
10 JUDGE ORIE: But we at this moment are not talking about a
11 specific group or any, or I would say, live prisoners. It's just a
12 question at this moment on the more or less general theoretical level,
13 whether Mr. Blagojevic would be responsible for any prisoners if there
14 were any within the zone of responsibility of the unit he commanded.
15 That's the question, Ms. Hasan, if I understood you well.
16 MS. HASAN: Yes, you have, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then could the witness please answer that
19 If you want to have it repeated, I'll invite Ms. Hasan to do so.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like to hear a very
21 concrete question, irrespective of the fact whether it's practical -- of
22 a practical nature or of a theoretical nature.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It's Ms. Hasan who formulates the questions. And if
24 you would like to hear another question, it's a pity for you, but you
25 have to answer the question as put to you.
1 Do you want Ms. Hasan to repeat the question?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let her repeat it.
3 MS. HASAN:
4 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, in your area of responsibility, and you know your
5 area of responsibility, if there are prisoners within that area, any part
6 of that area, any prisoners, are you responsible for those prisoners?
7 A. I must say in very precise military terms that I had the zone of
8 defence of the Bratunac Brigade at the relevant time. I'm not going to
9 try and define the zone of defence of the Bratunac Brigade. If somebody
10 wants me to, I will. In any case, I didn't have any prisoners in the
11 zone of defence of the Bratunac Brigade, and if I had had them, I would
12 have been responsible for them.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
14 MS. HASAN:
15 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, you became commander of the Bratunac Brigade on
16 the 25th of May, 1995; that's correct?
17 A. Yes, I assumed my official duties on the 25th of May, 1995, and
18 became the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
19 MS. HASAN: Could we briefly look at 65 ter 04202.
20 Q. This -- what you'll see here, it's a document you've seen before,
21 Mr. Blagojevic, and it's a regular combat report. It's from the 25th of
22 May, 1995.
23 MS. HASAN: And if we could just briefly, in the B/C/S, turn to
24 page 3 where we see the handwritten version of this report.
25 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, you recognise your signature on the bottom of
1 that document?
2 MS. HASAN: If we can just scroll down a little bit so that we
3 can see.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see this now.
5 MS. HASAN:
6 Q. And under item 2, it provides that you took over command at 10.00
7 in the morning. Do you see that? 1000 hours.
8 A. I can see that.
9 Q. And that's accurate?
10 A. Yes. According to the document and according to what I remember,
11 this is accurate.
12 Q. And just at the beginning of the document, under item 1, it
14 "The enemy did not conduct combat operations against our forces."
15 It continues in the first line of item 2:
16 "Our forces did not open fire towards the demilitarised zone."
17 Now this is a report, and it's from 16 -- so 4.00 p.m. Do you
18 see -- at the bottom there, we see a handwritten notation.
19 A. I can't see that.
20 Q. Oh, sorry.
21 A. Maybe it's somewhere else. Maybe on a different page.
22 Q. That's correct.
23 MS. HASAN: Can we go back to the -- page 1 of the B/C/S document
24 where we can see the handwritten notation.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, now I can see that.
1 MS. HASAN:
2 Q. And, in fact, had there been such firing into the demilitarised
3 zone, it's something that you -- that would have required orders from
5 A. What does it say here? I can't see that fire was opened.
6 Q. Let me just restate my question.
7 It says here that your forces did not fire -- did not open fire
8 towards the demilitarised zone. And my question is: Had your forces
9 opened fire, it would have been something you would have been made aware
10 of and in fact you would have ordered; is that correct?
11 A. If my subordinated units had to open fire on Srebrenica enclave,
12 there would have had to be a reason for that. So if fire had come from
13 the enclave, I'm sure that I would have issued an order to respond with
14 firing at the locations from which fire had been opened in the first
15 place. That's how I would have reacted, and that's the kind of order I
16 would have issued to my unit.
17 MS. HASAN: Could we now take a look at 65 ter 06034, please.
18 Oh, and I'd offer 65 ter 04202 into evidence.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7253, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
22 MS. HASAN:
23 Q. Now we see here, this is a very urgent order. It bears strictly
24 confidential number 08/8-60. We can just keep that in mind because I'll
25 get back to that. And it's an order from General Zivanovic. It's
1 informing all units that -- we can see here in the second -- in the first
2 main paragraph, that:
3 "At 1558 hours the forces of the NATO Pact have carried out a
4 fire attack against the Jahorinski Potok warehouse ..."
5 Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, I can see that at the very beginning.
7 Q. This was a weapons warehouse near Pale; is that right?
8 A. I suppose so. I suppose that this is correct.
9 Q. And General Zivanovic orders under item 1 in relation to that,
10 that the Drina Corps forces are to remain in full combat readiness, and
11 he orders the raising of combat readiness to the highest level and
12 specifies that any opening of fire shall be regulated by the Drina Corps
13 through the Grabovica signals table.
14 Now, we see at the top that this order is addressed to a number
15 of brigades, including the Bratunac Brigade; do you see that?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. So this is an order you received; is that right?
18 A. I assume that it arrived in the command.
19 MS. HASAN: I'd offer 65 ter 06034 into evidence.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7254, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
23 MS. HASAN:
24 Q. Now this would have been an order would you have -- you received
25 on the -- this is still -- we're talking here about your first day at
1 work, isn't that right, as a brigade commander?
2 A. Do you think that I received it on that day that we are talking
3 about, the 25th of May?
4 Q. I'm asking you whether, on the -- whether the 25th of May, which
5 is the date of this order, was the first day you were in office as
6 commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
7 A. 25th of May, 1995, was the first day when I assumed my duty and
8 started commanding the Bratunac Brigade.
9 Q. And not long after NATO attacked the weapons warehouse, you
10 ordered your units to fire at the inhabited Srebrenica enclave, didn't
12 A. I don't know on the basis of what you are saying that. I'm
13 saying that that is not the case.
14 MS. HASAN: Could we look at 65 ter 06025, please.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, while waiting for that document, may I
16 draw your attention to the fact that earlier you -- in one question you
17 dealt with receiving an order on the same date as taking up duties. And
18 that you said, "I asked you," and then you phrased as question which
19 covered only one part of your question. I don't know whether you're
20 interested in whether or not the witness received it or not, but he until
21 now only testified that the unit received it.
22 Perhaps you'll re-read it later. There's no need to immediately
23 deal with the matter.
24 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Now, if we take a look at this interim combat report, it's dated
1 25 May 1995 from the command of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade,
2 and we see your name there at the bottom and an indication there in
3 handwritten note that it's delivered at 2110 hours on 25 May; do you see
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Now this goes to the Drina Corps, and at paragraph 3, it reads:
7 "We have taken steps in accordance with your order strictly confidential
8 number 08/8-60 of 25 May 1995."
9 Do you see that there?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. And this confidential number, if you recall, is just the document
12 we looked at, General Zivanovic's order. Does that confirm to you
13 whether or not your command received that order on the 25th of May?
14 A. This sentence that you read out to me confirms some other
15 measures that were contained in the previous document, and they include
16 those measures too. You read out just part of that document. You didn't
17 read it in its entirety.
18 Q. But we can agree that it means that the order we just looked at
19 from General Zivanovic was received by your brigade command on the 25th
20 of May?
21 A. Yes. This confirms that consistently.
22 Q. If we look at item 1, this report provides that:
23 "In accordance with an oral order from Colonel Lazic, we fired
24 two shells from 105-millimetre howitzers (a total of four shells) on the
25 town of Srebrenica at 1907 hours."
1 It goes on to provide that:
2 "Artillery observers at Pribicevac reported that two shells fell
3 near the Domavija feature. The other two shells were not observed but
4 they fell on Srebrenica."
5 Now the Domavija is -- feature, that's the hotel in the
6 Srebrenica town?
7 A. Conditionally speaking, yes, it's a hotel, but at that time it
8 wasn't used for those purposes. It was used for military purposes.
9 Q. And the other two shells, as indicated here, the artillery
10 observers at Pribicevac, they did not see -- they did not see those
11 shells, did they, as is reported here?
12 A. Yes, that is what is written.
13 Q. Do you take responsibility for firing those shells?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now, this -- if I can take you, actually, back to -- actually, I
16 won't go there yet, but I'll ask you this now: Colonel Lazic here is
17 recorded as having issued an oral order, "and in accordance with that,
18 we, the Bratunac Brigade, fired the two shells."
19 Now isn't it correct, Mr. Blagojevic, that you would be -- you
20 would have been the commander who implemented Colonel Lazic's order?
21 A. It is a fact that Colonel Lazic issued the order orally. It
22 wasn't issued on paper. He issued it orally. But he issued it to the
23 crew who were doing the firing and he had communication with the
24 artillery observers who showed the targets that were supposed to be
1 Q. Can you remind us who Colonel Lazic is?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all unnecessary
3 microphones be switched off when the witness is speaking. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we're talking about the same
5 person, Colonel Lazic - Milan, I think, his first name was, if I'm not
6 mistaken - he was from the corps command, from the operations organ, as
7 far as I can remember, so that was my immediate superior command.
8 MS. HASAN:
9 Q. Now, Mr. Blagojevic, you recall testifying in the Karadzic case,
10 don't you? This was in December of 2013.
11 A. Yes, I was a witness in the Karadzic case.
12 Q. Did you tell the truth in that case?
13 A. Yes, as I'm telling the truth now.
14 MS. HASAN: Could we just briefly then look at Mr. Blagojevic's
15 Karadzic testimony, which is 65 ter 32300. And if we could look at
16 page 40, please.
17 Q. And you were asked in that case at line 8:
18 "Q. So do you take responsibility for firing these howitzers
19 shells on the Srebrenica enclave?
20 "A. Partly, yes.
21 "Q. What do you mean "partly"?
22 "A. Because of the oral order I received from Colonel Lazic. He
23 was there. It's in the report. You have read it out. He represented
24 the superior command.
25 "Q. Yes. He shares responsibility from the Drina Corps, as did
1 anyone that may have issued orders from the Main Staff, as is anyone from
2 the Presidency that may have also have issued such an order; correct.
3 "A. It's not about sharing. It's about assuming responsibility.
4 He assumes responsibility because he was there and he issued that order
5 to me."
6 So, Mr. Blagojevic, do you stand by that testimony you gave.
7 A. Now? I stand by what I said previously in the Karadzic case and
8 what I said today. I can't see any difference. I said all the same
10 Q. Do you assume responsibility for your units firing these shells?
11 A. Well, I cannot assume it because I was not the initiator of this
12 activity. That activity was initiated from a command that was my
13 superior command, and the protagonist was there and he carried that out.
14 It is a fact that artillery pieces were from the Bratunac Brigade but
15 that does not resolve anything in particular because it was military
16 principles that were being abided by. The superior command did that and
17 noticed military targets were engaged, artillery observers indicated
18 that, and that is what it has to do with to the best of my knowledge.
19 Q. Sir, you said in the Karadzic case that you had received the
20 order from Colonel Lazic. We -- I've just read that out. So you
21 received this order from Colonel Lazic. Your units implement this order.
22 Are you saying your units are responsible and you are not?
23 A. No. It's not the way you are presenting it. Colonel Lazic went
24 to the artillery position, he communicated with the observers, and he
25 carried this operation out. That is the situation. Not the way you've
1 been putting it, that he issued an order to me, and that he --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
3 start his answer again. It was too fast for precise interpretation of
4 each and every word. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Could you please re-start your answer
6 because you are speaking too quickly for the interpreters to interpret
7 all of your words.
8 Could you please restart your answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is what I said.
10 Colonel Lazic, and we have already said that he's from the operations
11 organ of the Drina Corps, he was at the firing position of that artillery
12 unit. He established communication with the artillery observers who gave
13 him the targets. He issued the order to have these artillery pieces
14 fire, and that was it. That is how this situation evolved.
15 My role, I was not there directly. I know through all of this, I
16 know through this report about all of this. I know about how this --
17 about what this report says, but I did not take part in what actually
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you said that you testified in accordance
20 with the truth in Karadzic and you testified today truthfully as well.
21 There are two clear differences: The one is in Karadzic you said
22 that you partially take responsibility; whereas, today you said you take
23 no responsibility.
24 The second is that in the Karadzic case you told that Lazic had
25 issued the order to you; whereas, today you've told us that Lazic did
1 issue the order directly to the crew.
2 These are two differences in two matters. Just for you to know
3 that it's difficult to reconcile you telling us that you testified
4 truthfully both in Karadzic and here where there are these differences.
5 Ms. Hasan, we don't have to spend ages on it. The matter seems
6 to be clear.
7 But if you have in the further comment on this, please give it.
8 Otherwise, Ms. Hasan will put her next question to you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: In addition do that, if we could look ...
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Moloto even found another difference which he
12 may explain to you.
13 But first would you explain on the differences I already pointed
14 at? If you want to do that. If you don't have further explanations,
15 then perhaps the third one will be put to you.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: In addition to that --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do. I do. I do wish to say
18 something. Because I'm speaking on the basis of facts. To my best
19 recollection. And since you insist, I will try to say why I said this,
21 It can only pertain to the following; namely, that these
22 artillery pieces were within the Bratunac Brigade or rather the property
23 of the Bratunac Brigade. Well, that would be that, what I would like to
24 say by way of an additional point.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have just told us a few minutes ago that
1 Mr. Lazic gave the order and you were not there when the order was
2 undertaken. In your report to the Drina Corps, which we saw a few
3 minutes ago, you said "we launched a firing" into Srebrenica.
4 Now, you didn't say, "My units did so on Lazic's orders." You
5 said, "We did." That's another difference that I just want to point out
6 to you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I respond? May I explain?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just wanted to point out a difference to you.
9 You can decide whether you --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to respond. I wish to give
11 you an answer.
12 This is a daily combat report that we are speaking about and it
13 is compiled at the brigade command. It is written by an organ, by a part
14 of the brigade, by a person from the brigade. He formulated it in this
15 way. It is formulated briefly, anyway. And clearly because it's sent by
16 this -- this -- I mean, stenography, and that's the way it is. Perhaps
17 at that moment I did not pay attention to it. It wasn't the way I would
18 have wanted it to be. But what is written there is written, and I have
19 told you everything else on the basis of the facts that I recall in good
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm sorry, let me just put one clarification
24 You said Colonel Lazic issued this order. Can you tell me to
25 whom this order was issued orally?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the crew. The unit. The
2 artillery unit that is operating the artillery piece.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you said a minute ago that you were not
4 present. Is that true?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When he issued those orders?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I wasn't present. That's
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But again, why did you say in the Karadzic case,
10 that is line 12 in front of us:
11 "Because of the oral order I received from Colonel Lazic ..."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what's written in the
13 transcript, but that doesn't change things significantly. I am just
14 telling you how this was carried out on the basis of facts. Now, you can
15 compare that to my statement and you can see where the truth lies. And
16 the truth is there in the answer that I provided, in what I said.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And some lines further down you said in the
18 Karadzic case:
19 "He assumes responsibility because he was there and he issued
20 that order to me."
21 That is what you said in the Karadzic case.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'm saying that now too. That
23 he assumes responsibility for the implementation of that military
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. But you said he issued the order to you.
1 That is what you said. Twice in the Karadzic case.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how it was interpreted
3 or how it was written down, but I said the same thing. I said the same
4 thing that I'm telling you right now.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, as it is recorded it's not exactly the same.
6 If you challenge the accuracy of what you said, the transcript, or if you
7 challenge the interpretation of your words, we have an opportunity to
8 check that. If that's what you want, then we'll do it.
9 And, Mr. Lukic, I don't know whether you have paid any attention
10 to the words of this witness in the Karadzic case in the original
11 version, that is, the B/C/S he spoke.
12 MR. LUKIC: I have to admit that I read the transcript in
14 JUDGE ORIE: In English, okay. Then if the witness insists -- if
15 you insist that's not what you said, then we'll verify it. If you say
16 it's possible that that's what I said, then we leave it as it is.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no doubt as to what I've
18 been saying. I'm telling the truth. I'm speaking to the best of my
19 recollection, and you can check and verify whatever you wish. That is
20 for you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it's important for you as well because it may
22 be relevant for the assessment of the reliability and the credibility of
23 your evidence, but in all fairness to the accused we'll have it verified.
24 Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.
25 MS. HASAN: Just a quick question. I note that it's time for the
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is. It's even beyond the time. We'll take
3 a break.
4 Witness, you may follow the usher. We'll resume at ten
5 minutes to -- no, not -- at five minutes to 2.00.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: One second. Before we take the break.
8 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Domazet, we are now entering in the next break.
11 It may be clear that you should not speak with the witness about his
12 testimony in any way. You can talk about the weather if you wish but
13 nothing else. And, of course, if you would not meet, then, of course,
14 even any appearance of this happening would be -- would not even come to
15 anyone's mind, but the instruction simply is that if you speak to the
16 witness, no -- the -- the testimony of the witness, whether already given
17 or still to be given should not be the subject of your conversation.
18 MR. DOMAZET: Your Honours, no, I had no intention to speak with
19 the ...
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, we take a break and will resume at 2.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 1.40 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 2.01 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, I'd briefly like to address to short
24 matter. I think I earlier said when I addressed you, page 72, I said:
25 "I don't know whether you're interested in whether or not the
1 witness received it or not, but he until now only testified that the unit
2 received it."
3 I think that even that's not what he testified, that the -- I
4 just want to correct myself, that -- and then there's no need to follow
5 it up, because I think you addressed the matter, but I just want to
6 correct myself.
7 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honour. Just one quick matter
8 relating to Mr. Blagojevic. I understand from his counsel that he has
9 been explained the Rule 90(E) caution. It's been explained to him.
10 However, I'll leave it your hands whether it, in fact, is appropriate to
11 give to him nonetheless.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think that he is assisted by counsel, he has
13 discussed matter with counsel, so therefore I think that the Chamber
14 doesn't need to further intervene.
15 Mr. Tieger.
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I did come up with a way
17 to avoid going into private session, which wouldn't have been useful in
18 this context anyway, and that was to indicate to the Court that with
19 respect to the motion that was filed confidentially on March 13th, it was
20 the only one, we have no objection. So if -- I hope that's not too
21 cryptic. If it is, we can revisit it tomorrow.
22 JUDGE ORIE: We'll carefully check -- how many motions were filed
23 on the 13th of March?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Only one. He said it's the only one.
25 JUDGE ORIE: But thank you for the information, Mr. Tieger.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Hasan, please proceed.
3 MS. HASAN: Could I offer 65 ter 06025 into evidence.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Which, again, was ...
5 MS. HASAN: The interim combat report we were looking at.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yeah. Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7255, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
9 MS. HASAN: May we now have 06024, please.
10 Q. Now, this is a report from artillery -- Bratunac Brigade
11 artillery chief, Captain Mico Gavric. It's to the Drina Corps Command.
12 And he writes: "At 1907 hour, we opened fire on Srebrenica on
13 Colonel Lazic's order [sic]. As the first missile was being fired from
14 the 105-millimetre howitzer number 1120, the recoil was greater than
15 usual and the back section became stuck in the back position."
16 And he goes on to say it's necessary to fix that.
17 Now, Mr. Blagojevic, Mr. Gavric here is reporting about on the
18 firing on Srebrenica, and either he was authorised to do so by
19 Colonel Lazic directly on the orders of the Drina Corps, or Colonel Lazic
20 went through you, which is what you had stated in the Karadzic case.
21 So which one of the two is it?
22 A. First of all, let me tell you what Mr. Gavric's role was. Gavric
23 was the chief of artillery. At the same time, he was the commander of
24 that unit. From all we can see here, he was there when this activity was
25 carried out on the order of Mr. Lazic.
1 That would be my answer.
2 Q. Okay. But my question is: Did you authorise Lazic to directly
3 order Captain Gavric, or was Lazic going through you and you ordered
4 Gavric to fire? Could you answer that question?
5 A. I didn't order Gavric to open fire. He was in contact with
6 Mr. Lazic.
7 MS. HASAN: Now I apologise, Your Honours, because we -- this is
8 not going to appear on the screen. It's an excerpt from the Popovic case
9 of Mr. Gavric's testimony. And I'd like to read what he says out to the
11 JUDGE ORIE: And why is it not on our screen?
12 MS. HASAN: Because the matter just arose now and it hasn't --
13 it's not uploaded.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you then please -- well, if you read it
15 slowly and I take it that the Defence will have an opportunity to
16 further -- if you give the source of it, that means day, case, et cetera,
17 page numbers, then we'll proceed on that basis, and if could you upload
18 the relevant portion as well, not necessarily for admission but just to
19 give access to the Defence to that portion.
20 Please proceed.
21 MS. HASAN: Thank you. And it's transcript pages 26539, and it
22 begins at line 11, and it goes through to transcript page 26540. And
23 again this is from Mico Gavric's Popovic testimony.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And the date of the testimony was? Because that
25 often is the clue to finding the relevant transcript.
1 MS. HASAN: 1st October 2008.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
3 MS. HASAN:
4 Q. The question posed --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: And up to what line in the next page?
6 MS. HASAN: Line 3, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 MS. HASAN:
9 Q. The question posed is:
10 "Now you testified that Colonel Lazic arrived with his order.
11 What did he tell you about the order? And I understand now you are
12 telling us it's an oral order; right?
13 "A. You are asking me about something and can I only tell you
14 this. My commander was there. I didn't talk with Colonel Lazic. It was
15 Colonel Blagojevic that was in a position to talk to Colonel Lazic, not
17 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, Ms. Stewart tells me that she can
18 display it on Sanction for everyone to follow along.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If she would do that, that would be appreciated.
20 MS. HASAN: So there it is.
21 Q. If I continue, line 18:
22 "Q. Colonel Blagojevic was in command at this time, what was his
23 position in May 1995, May 25th?
24 "A. It so happened that he was there on that day.
25 "Q. In what capacity?
1 "A. He was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
2 "Q. And what discussion did you have with Colonel Blagojevic
3 about the need to secure authorisation from a higher command to fire on
4 the safe area in violation of the law?
5 "A. I did not discuss that with him. If a report arrived, the
6 brigade commander was put in the picture and that's all ... I can tell
8 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, do you dispute what Mr. Gavric said here under
10 A. Why should I dispute him? I wouldn't do that.
11 Q. And now the firing crew that fired on Srebrenica, they're
12 responsible for their actions; is that right? You'd agree, that your
13 units who fired are responsible?
14 A. Yes, they are responsible for their own actions and what they did
15 with the equipment that they had.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MS. HASAN: Your Honours, I'd offer 65 ter 06024 into evidence.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I take it after it's uploaded? Is that ... or is it
20 Let me just check. I'm always -- oh, it's the previous document
21 I do understand and not the transcript.
22 Mr. Registrar, the number would be.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7256, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
25 Ms. Hasan, I'm looking at the clock.
1 MS. HASAN: Yes, I see we're out of time.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Mr. Blagojevic, we'll adjourn for the day. We'd like to see you
4 back tomorrow morning, 9.30 in this same courtroom. But before you leave
5 this courtroom, I would like to instruct you that you should not speak or
6 communicate in whatever way with whomever about your testimony, whether
7 that is testimony already given or it's testimony still to be given, and
8 that includes any conversation you may have with Mr. Domazet. So no
9 discussions about your testimony either given or still to be given.
10 If that is clear to you, you may follow the usher.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is clear.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day, and we resume tomorrow,
14 Tuesday, the 24th of March, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom,
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of March,
18 2015, at 9.30 a.m.