1 Thursday, 23 April 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused not present]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, The Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Before we continue, I'd like to verify whether the videolink is
12 functioning well.
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Thank you. Good morning,
14 Your Honours. Yes, we can hear and see you clearly.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We can hear and see you as well.
16 Mr. Traldi will now continue his cross-examination, and I inform
17 the parties that in view of the absence of Mr. Mladic that we'll have
18 sessions of one hour and a half and a longer break then.
19 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, before I start this morning if I could
20 just tender the last three documents from yesterday.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you remind us which they were.
22 MR. TRALDI: 65 ter 18365, 18366, 12842.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the numbers would be.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 18365 receives number P7328.
25 18366 receives number P7329.
1 And 12842 receives number P7330.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P7328, P7329, and P7330 are admitted into evidence.
3 MR. TRALDI: And, Your Honour, just very briefly there's one
4 translation matter that may arise with a document that I'll use this
5 session. Mr. Stojanovic and I are in agreement about it and I'll just
6 note if it arises.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 WITNESS: GRUJO BORIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 [Witness testified via videolink]
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
12 Q. Good morning, sir.
13 JUDGE ORIE: But before we continue, Mr. Boric, I'd like to
14 remind that you you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given
15 at the beginning of your testimony, that you'll speak the truth, the
16 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Sir, I'm going to start today with your first meeting with
20 General Mladic in Petrovac. Yesterday, you said he was addressing a
21 meeting there and you testified it was in April 1991. This meeting, in
22 fact, was in April 1992; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And at this meeting General Mladic told the assembled leaders in
25 Petrovac municipality, among other things, to prepare for war and for
1 defence; right?
2 A. His words were uttered in that sense, given the fact that he had
3 already seen war in Knin.
4 Q. And when he's talking about -- when he was talking about
5 preparing for war, the enemy then would be the Muslims; right?
6 A. Yes. And Croats.
7 Q. And once you became corps commander, you would speak with
8 General Mladic every morning; right?
9 A. Not exactly every morning.
10 Q. Well, can we have 65 ter 32422, page 90. This is a portion of
11 your suspect interview with the Office of the Prosecutor.
12 And at the end of your first answer, you say: "I would speak to
13 General Mladic every morning between 7.00 and 8.00 a.m. and I would just
14 say, Boss, everything is fine, if it was fine. If it wasn't ..."
15 And then in your next answer, you explain the problems would be
16 included in your report.
17 Do you stand by this portion of your interview with the Office of
18 the Prosecutor?
19 A. I had occasion to speak to him every morning, if needed, but I'm
20 not certain that we actually did speak every morning. Because I wasn't
21 at the command post all the time. I also toured my units, and when
22 possible, I would be in communication with him. In any case, whatever I
23 said, I stand by it.
24 Q. Sir, I'm not entirely clear from your answer. Is it right that
25 you're adopting now your statement in your interview that you would speak
1 to him every morning between 7.00 and 8.00?
2 A. We didn't speak every morning. I can't accept that.
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd ask that a number be reserved for
4 portions of the interview.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you reserve a number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the number to reserve is P7331.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and will deal with excerpts from the witness
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. And regarding the 2nd Krajina Corps and you yourself, Mladic was
11 always aware of what was going on; right.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You described yesterday the reporting by the 2nd Krajina Corps to
14 the Main Staff. General Mladic would review those reports, and every
15 second or third day, a representative of the Main Staff would be sent to
16 the corps command; right?
17 A. Well, not every second or third day. Not as often. Let's say
18 once or twice every month, and, if needed, it was more frequent. That
19 was the frequency of visits of representatives of the Main Staff to the
20 2nd Corps.
21 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32422, page 87.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's P7331, reserved.
23 MR. TRALDI: I apologise, Your Honour. Yes, P7331.
24 Q. Now, beginning in the middle of the page, you were asked:
25 "... every day, you have to know that every day we had to send the report
1 to the Main Staff by 1800 hours of everything that happened in the AOR
2 that day. Based on that, the command of the Main Staff had, used to send
3 his subordinates to visit the corps. And ... they would spend two or
4 three days in the corps and once they were done they'd submit the report
5 to the Main Staff command. So every second or third day, we had a
6 representative, some representative of the Main Staff in the corps."
7 So my first question is: Do you stand by this portion of your
8 interview as truthful and accurate?
9 A. One could say so.
10 Q. At the moment, sir, I'm interested in whether you say so today.
11 Do you stand by this portion of your interview as truthful and accurate?
12 A. I would say that everything is accurate except for the fact that
13 "every day" someone came to the corps from the Main Staff.
14 Q. And --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Traldi, your introduction to the portion you
16 read reads you were asked, but it was not the question, but the response
17 by the person named GB.
18 MR. TRALDI: And between that and the complete text I may have
19 create add small amount of confusion which I'll try to rectify now,
20 Your Honour. Thank you.
21 Q. Sir, "every day" in your previous interview referred to the
22 reporting. What it says here is: "Based on that, the command of the
23 Main Staff had used to send his subordinates to visit the corps and then
24 they would spent two or three days in the corps and once they were done,
25 they'd submit the report to the Main Staff command. So every second or
1 third day, we had a representative, some representative of the Main Staff
2 in the corps."
3 The portion that I have just read out to you now, do you today
4 stand by that as truthful and accurate, yes or no?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And was that the case throughout the war?
7 A. No. It didn't take place every two or three days. Perhaps every
8 fortnight. It all depended on the situation at the front.
9 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'll ask to include this page in the
11 Q. General Mladic, because of his visits and the Main Staff visits,
12 knew all the brigade commanders and all the brigade commands in your
13 corps; right?
14 A. He knew all the brigade commanders, but I can't say that he knew
15 each and every officer in the brigade commands.
16 Q. Now, the combat operations planned by your corps were planned in
17 response to larger directives from the Main Staff; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You'd gather your staff in the operations centre, inform them of
20 the Main Staff's order, and then draft your own order on that basis to
21 send to subordinate units; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And your brigade commanders never launched an offensive operation
24 without your approval that you know of; right?
25 A. That is also true.
1 Q. Communications from the Main Staff were sent to your corps'
2 operations centre; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, we're going to pull up one document in Sanction now, 65 ter
5 23429, and I'd just ask to you say "yes" when you can see it on your
6 screen there.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Mr. Traldi, I'm sorry, we can see
8 the document but it is not legible. The witness cannot read it and we
9 don't have it on the DVD provided.
10 MR. TRALDI: It arises out of one answer he provided yesterday.
11 Can we zoom in on the date in the top left corner. I won't be asking him
12 to refer to any text.
13 Q. Do you see that the date is the 20th of May, 1992?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. And turning to the end in both languages, the end of the
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: If we can see the second language, please.
18 MR. TRALDI: I'm told we can only play one in Sanction at a time.
19 And because it's just the dates, Your Honour, that I'm referring to.
20 Q. Now, at the end, we see a receipt stamp from the 10th Corps
21 operations centre. Can you also see the date, the 20th of May, 1992
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we centralise the stamp.
24 A. I see it.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. Now, at the time the 10th Corps operations stamp would have
2 referred to your operations centre, the one that had previously been the
3 operations centre of the 10th Corps of the JNA; right?
4 A. I don't understand the question.
5 Q. That stamp that shows it was received by the 10th Corps
6 operations centre on the 20th of May, 1992, that's your operations
7 centre; right?
8 A. It is the operations centre of the 10th Corps.
9 Q. And at the time, that's your corps; right?
10 A. I was then appointed as corps commander to a corps that didn't
11 exist practically speaking. All the units that were in Croatian
12 territory remained there. Only some soldiers and officers, as well as
13 some assets, were pulled out to the territory of Petrovac. At that time
14 I had not been appointed the commander of the 2nd Krajina Corps.
15 Q. Sir, the pull-out to Petrovac was from Bihac, right, as you
16 testified yesterday?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. What I'm putting to you very simply is yesterday I showed you a
19 document from the VRS Main Staff dated 19th of May. You suggested in
20 your answer that you were not receiving information from the Main Staff
21 until the 23rd. What I'm putting to you is: Your corps was clearly
22 receiving information from the Main Staff the same day it was sent, no
23 later than the 20th of May; right?
24 A. I can't recall whether the centre existed in the first place
25 although I see the stamp. We moved out and there was no command in place
1 except for the units which reached the sector of Petrovac. They were the
2 units I commanded. I had no communication with the JNA staff, and there
3 was no communication with the Main Staff at the time.
4 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 23429.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number P7332.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is there a translation uploaded, Mr. Traldi?
9 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Just for -- to know for sure. We haven't seen it
11 yet. But P7332 is admitted.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. Now, yesterday, sir, at transcript page 34593, you testified that
14 you didn't know that there was a Crisis Staff in any of the
15 municipalities in your area of responsibility. Now, in your suspect
16 interview, you mentioned that a representative of the VRS always had to
17 be on each municipality's Crisis Staff.
18 First, does that refresh your recollection as to whether you knew
19 such Crisis Staffs existed in your area of responsibility?
20 A. I did not state that, that there was a VRS representative on the
21 Crisis Staff.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
23 A. At no municipality was there a representative of the
24 2nd Krajina Corps ...
25 Q. Let's have 65 ter 32422, page 148, as it comes up, sir, what I'm
1 suggest to that you is a representative at the brigade level was on each
2 municipality's Crisis Staff, not from the corps command.
3 And you were asked here in the middle of the page by Mr. Grady.
4 "We know from investigating many municipal Crisis Staffs and regional
5 Crisis Staffs that it was very common for a commander of the -- of the
6 brigades to be a member of the Crisis Staffs [sic]."
7 You answer: "A representative of the army always had to be
9 And he asks you: "Why was that? Was that a policy that was
10 established by the SDS in agreement with the army?
11 And you answer: "No, this was according to our rules, even at
12 peacetime, that these staffs would be attended by -- had to be attended
13 by a representative of the military."
14 Now do you stand by your portion of your interview as truthful
15 and accurate today?
16 A. No.
17 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is not accurate.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the very
20 end of the witness's answer.
21 MR. TRALDI:
22 Q. Sir, could you repeat your explanation as to why your previous
23 answer was not accurate.
24 A. It is not truthful.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 A. If you believe --
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
3 A. Please do not interrupt me. Please do not interrupt me. If
4 you're asking me to answer, do not interrupt.
5 There's nothing else to say on my part. It is not true. The
6 commander -- the brigade commander did not have any links with the
7 municipal president. I don't know whether the municipal president would
8 come to the Crisis Staff, but the brigade commander was aware of the
9 issues being worked on at a particular moment in the municipalities.
10 Q. So it's your evidence that you incorrectly and untruthfully
11 stated 11 years ago that representatives of the army always had to be
12 present at Crisis Staff meetings; is that right?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. Could
15 the witness kindly take his earphones off. I'd like to point to an issue
16 in the transcript that was indicated to me.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I see that the witness has done so. Please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Line 11, sorry. Page 11, line
19 4, apparently something contradicting what the witness said was entered.
20 What was entered that there was no communication between the brigade
21 commander and the municipal president, whereas the witness said they were
22 always in contact. Which can cause confusion. Perhaps my learned
23 friend, the Prosecutor, could clear this up with the witness.
24 MR. TRALDI: I'm happy to follow Mr. Stojanovic's suggestion.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness put his -- put on his earphones
2 MR. TRALDI:
3 Q. First, sir, is it correct that you testified a moment ago - and
4 this is just a matter for the transcript - that the brigade commander and
5 the municipal president were always in contact?
6 A. That is correct. They were in the same territory and they were
7 in contact all the time. Directly.
8 Q. And, second, just to make sure I understand your answers
9 regarding the relationship between the brigade and the Crisis Staff, it's
10 your evidence today that you inaccurately and untruthfully stated in your
11 interview that a representative of the VRS always had to attend
12 Crisis Staff meetings. Is that right?
13 A. I would like to see where it is that I stated that. If it is
14 written down, I'd like to see that here. Not a single representative of
15 the army was on the Crisis Staff. Not in a single municipality. And
16 also no representative of the 2nd Krajina Corps. Not in a single
17 municipality. Not in a single Crisis Staff. I firmly stand by that.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, it will be read to you again. It is not
19 available in your language, but if need be, we could verify whether this
20 is what you said, because there's an audio recording of this interview.
21 So therefore if you say, I didn't say it, then we'll verify that. And if
22 you -- if it's read again to, if you would say, Yes, I may have said
23 that, please tell us.
24 Could you read again the portion you're focussing on, Mr. Traldi.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. Mr. Grady asks: "We know from investigating many municipal
2 Crisis Staffs and regional Crisis Staffs that it was very common for a
3 commander of the -- of the brigades to be a member of the Crisis Staff."
4 You respond: "A representative of the army always had to be
6 You're then asked: "Why was that? Was that a policy that was
7 established by the SDS in agreement with the army? "
8 You respond: "No. This was according to our rules," you say,
9 "even at peacetime, that these staffs would be attended by -- had to be
10 attended by a representative of the military."
11 So, again, do you say, yes, you may have said? Do you say, I
12 didn't say that? Do you recall making that statement in your OTP
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't wish to be cautioned,
17 so, again, could I kindly ask that the witness take off his earphones for
18 a moment.
19 I do apologise to you, General.
20 I would like the Trial Chamber to approve of that.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, could I just verify with the
23 representative of the Registry in the videolink room, if the witness
24 takes off his earphones, is there any way, he could, nevertheless, hear
25 what Mr. Stojanovic is saying now?
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Your Honours, no, there's no way
2 that he can hear.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
6 I now object to the question because this is a mis-citation. The
7 transcript does not reflect at all that the witness said that somebody
8 from the brigade was a member of the Crisis Staff. The concept of Crisis
9 Staff was used --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the end of
11 Mr. Stojanovic's answer.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, what Mr. Traldi read, that is,
13 attending those meetings, is -- I would agree with you, is slightly
14 different from the language used before to be a member of the Crisis
15 Staff. But the way in which the question was phrased is accurate and
17 Therefore, the objection is denied.
18 Could the witness put on his earphones again.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Sir, I know it's been a moment. Do you recall the portion of
21 your interview that I've now read to you twice?
22 A. I can tell you that in the Crisis Staff it was not obligatory to
23 have a representative of the military. However, when certain meetings
24 were held a representative of the army would be invited and a
25 representative would attend. I allow for that. I allow that I said
2 JUDGE ORIE: No, but could we then go back to the question that
3 was put to you, whether what was read to you, whether that is what you
4 said during the interview.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not fully.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because you keep telling me that it
8 is obligatory for a member of the military to be on the Crisis Staff,
9 which is not correct.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm not putting that to you. I'm asking
11 you whether what was read by Mr. Traldi, read being your words during the
12 interview, whether you acknowledge that you used those words or that you
13 deny or dispute that you used that language when you were interviewed.
14 I'm not asking you at this moment how it was, but I'm asking exclusively
15 on whether that is what you said during the interview.
16 Could you answer that question?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stand by what I said just now. I
18 cannot say anything different.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you again: Whether the words read out to
20 you reflects what you said during your interview. Apart from whether you
21 stand by it, but just whether that is what you said.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. Now the Chamber has received evidence that, for instance,
1 Bosko Lukic was on the Crisis Staff in Kljuc. He was a member of the
2 17th Brigade in your corps; right?
3 A. I don't know.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, in view of the previous answer of the
5 witness, the Chamber would appreciate if you, together with the Defence,
6 would verify whether the transcript of the interview is accurate and
7 whether those words were spoken by the witness, yes or no. And an
8 agreement between the parties would do. If there's any dispute, we'll
10 MR. TRALDI: We'll do that, Mr. President. And that page may be
11 reflected in the excerpts we seek to tender, depending on the outcome.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that if the accuracy issue has been
13 resolved that you make it part of the excerpt.
14 Please proceed.
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. Now, sir, you discussed a moment ago whether members of your
17 brigades attended meetings of the Crisis Staff. You opined whether it
18 was obligatory for them to be on the Crisis Staff. Is it correct that by
19 this point your recollection is refreshed as to whether Crisis Staffs
20 existed in the municipalities in your area of responsibility?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. In fact, you sometimes attended Crisis Staff meetings yourself,
23 didn't you?
24 A. No. These were not Crisis Staffs.
25 Q. Can we have --
1 A. If -- please allow me to finish.
2 Q. Sir, you've answered my question.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, witness. Witness. Witness. Witness, I'll
4 stop you there. If --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are interrupting me all the
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm interrupting you and for good reasons,
8 Mr. Boric. If you've answered the question that you do not know a
9 certain thing and you say that these are not Crisis Staffs, that is
10 accepted by Mr. Traldi as an answer to his question, and he may then put
11 his next question to you. He is entitled to do that. So please do not
12 again say that you should not be interrupted. If you're interrupted
13 unfairly, I'll intervene -- witness. Witness. Witness, if you're
14 talking about interrupting, that's what you're doing at this moment
15 yourself. If the interruption would be unfair to you, I'll intervene.
16 If, at the end of your testimony there's something you would like to add
17 or say this where I was interrupted is important and I still want to
18 bring it to your attention, you'll have an opportunity to do so.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
20 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 08917.
21 Q. These are the minutes of the 23rd Session of the Petrovac
22 Municipality Crisis Staff. At the top, we see a list of persons present.
23 The next-to-last name is Colonel Boric, Commander of the 2nd Krajina
24 Corps. You did, in fact, have occasion to attend Crisis Staff meetings
25 yourself, didn't you?
1 A. Probably I attended that meeting. Had I known that -- or,
2 rather, that I knew that that was called the Crisis Staff, I really had
3 no idea.
4 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I tender the document.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 08917 receives number P7333.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence; P7333.
10 Witness, you've told us now quite a few things, including that
11 you may have attended this meeting of the Crisis Staff. You told us that
12 other meetings may not have been meetings of Crisis Staffs. Yesterday
13 you said you weren't aware of the existence of a Crisis Staff or Crisis
15 That clearly contradicts, and I would ask you to be very precise
16 in both listening to the question and in your answers. Because from
17 today's testimony, it appears that you were aware of the existence of
18 Crisis Staffs.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Now, aside from co-operating with the civilian authorities, the
22 brigades in your corps also co-operated with the civilian police; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the chief of police would also be on the Crisis Staff; right?
25 A. I don't know.
1 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32422, page 235. 32422, and this
2 again is the OTP interview.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: P7331.
4 MR. TRALDI: I'll try to get the P number right next time. Thank
5 you, Your Honour.
6 Page 235.
7 Q. Now at the very bottom of the page, you were asked: "... not
8 only is a brigade commander is a member of the Crisis Staff, but in the
9 municipalities, the chief of police or his designate is also a member of
10 the Crisis Staff or War Presidency?"
11 Turning to the top of the next page, we read your answer: "It
12 was the chief of police who was usually -- not usually but had to be," we
13 read "opt Crisis Staff."
14 Do you stand by your portion of your interview as truthful and
16 A. You see that the president of the municipality Novakovic invited
17 me to a meeting. And at that meeting there were all of his co-workers.
18 Now what their name was, were they a Crisis Staff --
19 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... witness, I
20 interrupt you again. A portion was read to you from what you said during
21 the interview; that is, about the chief of police and his relation with
22 the Crisis Staff. Do you stand by what you said then?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe he was.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That's still not an answer to my question, but let's
25 move on.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. Turning to the bottom of this page --
3 A. The question was whether the chief of police was on the Crisis
4 Staff. And I said that I did not know, and --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm interrupting you again. That was not
6 the question I put to you and listen carefully to the next question that
7 will be put to you.
8 MR. TRALDI:
9 Q. Continuing with the topic of co-operation between the brigades in
10 your corps and the police, the bottom of the page you were asked about
11 that co-operation. You were asked: "That's left to the local commanders
12 dealing with their local SJBs then?"
13 And you answer: "Yes. That's exactly right because, for
14 instance, in Petrovac the brigade commander is in direct" -- and we turn
15 to the next page: "... connection -- direct communication with local
16 chief of the MUP in his zone."
17 Do you stand by that answer that you provided as truthful and
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And would it be fair to say to that your recollection of events
21 was fresher in 2004 than it is today?
22 A. No.
23 Q. I'm going to turn now to when Kljuc entered your area of
25 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P5137.
1 Q. Now, this is your organisational order for the formation of the
2 units of the 2nd Krajina Corps dated the 2nd of June, 1992. Turning to
3 page 7 in the English and 6 in the B/C/S, at point 12, we see a reference
4 to the 17th Kljuc Brigade. So it's clear that as of the 2nd of June,
5 1992, you were at the very least ordering the formation of a brigade in
6 Kljuc; correct?
7 A. The 2nd Krajina Corps received an order from the Main Staff on
8 the 3rd of July, 1992 to have the 17th Kljuc Brigade become part of the
9 2nd Krajina Corps.
10 Now what you asked just now, I presume that that is correct.
11 Q. Sir, I'm putting to you that this, in fact, happened in early
12 June 1992. That's the truth; right?
13 A. I'm waiting to read this here.
14 Q. We see here your order of the 2nd of June.
15 Let's have 65 ter 31853 next.
16 JUDGE ORIE: If the witness is still looking at the document, he
17 should be allowed to finish what he wishes to read.
18 Although it's mainly about the date, Mr. Boric, that Mr. Traldi
19 asks you questions. Perhaps if we move to the first page.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Do you see in the top left corner that the date is the 2nd of
23 A. I do.
24 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 31853.
25 Q. Now this is a daily combat report from the 17th Kljuc Light
1 Infantry Brigade Command to the 2nd Krajina Corps Command dated the 12th
2 of June, 1992.
3 Does this refresh your recollection that by the 12th of June,
4 1992, the 17th Brigade was part of the composition of your corps?
5 A. I see the dates, but I also know the date when we received this,
6 about the establishment of the brigade. You have that order.
7 MR. TRALDI: Let's have 65 ter 31854.
8 Q. This is a daily combat report from the 17th Brigade the next day,
9 the 13th of June, 1992. I'll ask again: Does this refresh your
10 recollection that no later than the 12th and 13th of June, 1992, the
11 17th Brigade was part of your -- of the composition of your corps and
12 sending daily reports to your corps command?
13 A. What is written here is probably correct.
14 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 31853 and 31854.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 31853 receives number P7334. And
17 31854 receives number P7335.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P7334 and P7335 are admitted.
19 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 06206.
20 Q. This is an order for further operations from you, dated the 8th
21 of June, 1992. Directing your attention to point 2 first, we read: "The
22 Army of the SRBH has been given the task of offensive operations with the
23 limited aim of repairing the operative-tactic position in the wider
24 region of Sarajevo, in northern and Eastern Bosnia, while at the same
25 time firmly holding the front lines on Serbian peripheral territories and
1 protecting the Serbian people [sic] from genocide and extinction."
2 This is an example of what we talked about before you issuing an
3 order on the basis of a directive from the VRS Main Staff; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And in this case, that's Directive 1. For the record, P474.
6 Turning to page 2 in both languages --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I think you read the -- "protecting the
8 Serbian people."
9 Whereas the original reads "the Serbian population."
10 MR. TRALDI: I apologise, Your Honour. My notes may have been
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MR. TRALDI: Thank you.
14 Q. Turning to page 2, under point 4, we see that one of the things
15 you've decided with a part of the force to control the area and liquidate
16 splintered forces Green Berets in the municipality of Kljuc. This is
17 because, as of the time you issued this order on 8th of June, Kljuc was
18 in your area of responsibility; right?
19 A. I cannot see that here. Over here. On this slide.
20 Q. If you look under the word "operaciju izvesti" and you look at
21 the first point third line, you see a reference to Kljuc; right?
22 A. I see that now.
23 Q. And you also see one at the top of the page; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you're issuing tasks regarding activities in Kljuc
1 municipality in this order because by this point, it's part of your area
2 of responsibility; right?
3 A. That is what is written.
4 Q. Turn to page 5 in both languages --
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's not a real answer to your question.
6 We see that it's written, Witness. Is it accurate, what
7 Mr. Traldi said, that this was within your area of responsibility on that
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume it is.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is why I'm saying -- may I
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think you have responded by saying that you
14 assume that it is.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Now --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At the bottom of this page in the English, and the top in the
20 B/C/S, we read that prisoners take in these operations are to be
21 transported to the 2nd Krajina Corps prisoner of war camp in the
22 elementary school in the village of Kamenica, Drvar. That's the camp you
23 mentioned yesterday which was under the control of the 2nd Krajina
24 Corps's security organ; right?
25 A. It was a prison, but, all right, they called it a camp too. Camp
1 is a bit broader. One always means Jasenovac, and there was no such
2 thing. It is correct. There was a prison in Kamenica and Drvar.
3 Q. Well, I'm not necessarily comparing it to Jasenovac, sir. But we
4 see in this document that you call it a camp; right?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. And the commander at Kamenica was subordinated to Major Mitrovic;
8 A. Yes, Major Mitrovic was the chief of security, and he was
9 subordinated to him.
10 Q. And you say "chief of security." That's the chief of security in
11 the 2nd Krajina Corps subordinated directly to you; right?
12 A. Yes, correct.
13 Q. And it would be the military police responsible for prisoners
14 taken to the camp; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, I'd tender this document, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 06206 receives number P7336.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P7336 is admitted into evidence.
20 Mr. Traldi, may be my mastering of the English language, but did
21 you intend to say that the military police was responsible for the
22 prisoners to be taken to the camps so, that is, transporting them to the
23 camp or that they were responsible for prisoners that were taken to the
24 camp and therefore were in the camp? But it may be that my understanding
25 of the English language is not very precise in this respect.
1 MR. TRALDI: I suspect that it -- on this occasion it's that my
2 use of the English language may not have been very precise. Let me split
3 the question up.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. Now, first, sir, it would have been the responsibility of the
7 military police to transport the prisoners to the camp in Kamenica;
9 A. The subordinate units which had prisoners brought them to Drvar
10 where the prisoners were taken over by the police. They would screen
11 them and send them onto Banja Luka.
12 Q. And prisoners held at Kamenica, they were under the
13 responsibility of the military police, weren't they?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. TRALDI: Now can we have P3754.
16 Q. Now this is an order for further operations dated the 25th of
17 June, 1992 by Drago Samardzija, the commander of the 17th Brigade. He
18 issued this order pursuant to your order that we just saw now, P7336;
20 A. I suppose so.
21 Q. We see in point 1, he has decided to act jointly with the
22 6th Infantry Brigade. That's the 1st Krajina Corps unit at the time;
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The commander of the 1st Krajina Corps at the time was
1 General Momir Talic; right?
2 A. Right.
3 Q. And because this operation involved units from both corps, you
4 had to co-ordinate with General Talic about it; right?
5 A. No.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness needs to
7 repeat the answer because of the quality of sound.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because of the quality of sound - and we hope
9 that it is better, could you again complete your answer.
10 The question was because this operation involved units from both
11 corps, you had to co-ordinate with General Talic about it; right?
12 And your answer was: No.
13 Could you tell us what you then added.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But the brigade commands
15 co-ordinated it.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. So your evidence today is you wouldn't have had to reach out to
18 General Talic to co-ordinate this operation; is that right?
19 A. No, no.
20 Q. Colonel Basara --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I don't understand the answer. No, it
22 is not right; no, I did not co-ordinate?
23 MR. TRALDI:
24 Q. Your answer is no, you didn't co-ordinate with General Talic; is
25 that right?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Colonel Basara, the commander of the 6th Brigade, would have
3 reported to General Talic on the operation, while Colonel Samardzija
4 would have reported to you; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, if we could have P7331, page 270. This will be another
7 portion of your interview.
8 As it comes up, you and General Talic would both report to
9 General Mladic about this operation; right?
10 A. We reported about everything what happened in the 2nd Krajina
11 Corps that day. Not only about that operation.
12 Q. Now, you'd been shown this same document and here at line 12, you
13 were asked: "Okay. Would you have to co-ordinate with General Talic for
14 this particular operation?"
15 And your answer was: "Yes. The representative of the
16 1st Krajina Corps which the corps had appointed the 6th Light Infantry
17 Brigade, Light Brigade and the 1st Krajina Corps Command ordered the
18 6th Brigade to participate in this operation. And then -- and the
19 commander of the 6th Brigade and Samardzija met and planned together this
21 Do you stand by that portion of your interview as truthful and
23 A. The part you just read out is accurate.
24 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence in Colonel Samardzija's
25 order that he ordered the mopping up of terrain including Hripavci and
1 Krasulje. The Chamber has received evidence that two days later, the
2 Kljuc SJB had a list of 103 persons who were detained mostly from
3 Hripavci and Krasulje that were being held by the Kljuc police. The
4 prisoners were immediately or the prisoners were first given over to the
5 Kljuc police; right?
6 A. I am not aware of that.
7 Q. The document, the list by the Kljuc police, reflecting 103
8 prisoners that's P3755, the Chamber has received evidence - P218 - that
9 103 prisoners from Kljuc were then transported to Manjaca on the 27th of
10 June, 1992.
11 When you've said earlier in the your testimony that prisoners
12 from the 2nd Krajina Corps would at times be transported to Banja Luka,
13 you've been referring to Manjaca camp; right?
14 A. Probably to a place where they were grouped in Banja Luka. I
15 don't know whether it was Manjaca or something else.
16 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence, P220, that when the
17 processing of those prisoners at Manjaca was completed, the 1st Krajina
18 Corps's security organ was informed that processing prisoners from Kljuc
19 was hard because: "They're being brought in massively and in large
20 quantities. No selections that been made. They're bringing in those who
21 shouldn't be treated as prisoners of war because they've been picked up
22 from their homes and off their fields."
23 Now that's what happened during these mopping-up operations by
24 the 6th and 17th Brigades. People were picked up in their homes and on
25 their fields and taken away to be treated as prisoners, even though there
1 was no legal basis to do so; right?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please answer the question, Witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no question.
4 JUDGE ORIE: There was a question, but Mr. Traldi will be happy
5 to repeat it.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. What happened during these operations by the 6th and 17th
8 brigades --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you have complained about being
10 interrupted. Would you refrain from interrupting yourself?
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. What happened during these operations by the 6th and 17th
13 Brigades is that people were picked up in their homes and on their fields
14 and taken away to be treated as prisoners even though there was no legal
15 basis to do so. That's the truth; right?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. So prisoners taken by a brigade in your corps during operations
18 you were aware of, you have no idea as you sit there today more than 20
19 years later whether there was any basis to hold them as prisoners; is
20 that right?
21 A. I am not familiar with that situation.
22 Q. I'm going to turn briefly to another topic.
23 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P5186.
24 Q. You testified yesterday at transcript page 34596 that you did not
25 recall whether Bihac was declared a safe area. This is a letter from
1 UNPROFOR to General Mladic expressing "grave concern at the extremely
2 serious current situation in the SAFE AREA of BIHAC."
3 Does this refresh your recollection as to whether Bihac was
4 declared a safe area?
5 A. I don't remember that it was declared a safe area because there
6 was constant engagement from Bihac of the 2nd Krajina Corps. It was done
7 from the 27th of June Barracks.
8 Q. And do you also not remember having allegations relayed to you
9 of -- that your forces, 2nd Krajina Corps, were involved in "the
10 unacceptable deliberate destruction of houses and the shelling of parts
11 of Bihac city itself"?
12 A. I wasn't able to hear the question.
13 Q. Do you remember having allegations relayed to you that your
14 forces, the 2nd Krajina Corps, were involved in "the unacceptable
15 deliberate destruction of houses and the shelling of parts of Bihac city
17 Yes or no?
18 A. The units at positions facing Bihac opened fire at those
19 positions that they were fired from, from within the town.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness. Witness, I'm -- have to interrupt you.
21 The question was not what happened; but the question was whether you
22 remember that allegations were relayed to you that this happened. So
23 apart from whether it happened, but did you receive such allegations?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was there, and I know what was
25 going on.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you. For the moment what I'm asking
3 first is: We see this letter is sent to General Mladic. Were these
4 allegations ever relayed to you by the Main Staff of the VRS?
5 A. I don't recall having received a letter like this.
6 Q. So I'd put to you that your forces were, in fact, engaged in
7 deliberate destruction of civilian houses in and around Bihac. That's
8 the truth, isn't it?
9 A. It is not. One cannot say that it was deliberate. It was a
10 response to the fire coming from that direction.
11 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 03447.
12 Q. This is a letter two days later. This time sent to
13 President Karadzic. And I apologise we don't have a translation
14 uploaded. We read here at the end of the first sentence about reports of
15 deliberate and systematic targeting and destruction of civilian houses by
16 Serb forces in the areas of Bosanska Krupa, Otoko, Dornja, Pokoj and
17 Bihac. As of this time, the 3rd of March, 1994, those areas were within
18 your area of responsibility; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you did not, again, receive any information from the
21 Main Staff that these allegations had been made to the Bosnian Serb
23 A. No.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd ask that this document be marked
25 for identification pending a translation.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number would be P7337.
3 JUDGE ORIE: P7337 is marked for identification.
4 Next time if you introduce a letter to a witness where there's no
5 translation you should at least explain to the witness whose letter it
6 was, addressed to whom, that is. But since the witness testified that
7 there were no allegations, you said to whom it was addressed, but I don't
8 think -- you say it was an UNPROFOR letter or ...
9 MR. TRALDI: I didn't, and I'll make sure to next time,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. Sir, as corps commander you agree you were responsible for the
14 forces under your command; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And, for instance, you received instructions from the Main Staff
17 on the criteria for criminal punishment for soldiers; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Those instructions said, among other things, that if you don't
20 properly deal with crimes by your subordinates, that crime is on their
21 commander too; right?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The record does not show the witness's response to
23 your previous question, Mr. Traldi.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the commander finds about it and
25 doesn't do anything about it, then correct -- it is correct.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. And the military courts and the military prosecution, those were
3 under General Gvero's authority; right?
4 A. I suppose it was the case.
5 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32447.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. Now, this is a dispatch from the Main Staff military prosecutor's
9 office on the institution of criminal proceedings against persons who
10 have not responded to the call-up or left units without authorisation.
11 If we can have page 5 in the English and 3 in the B/C/S, we see
12 General Gvero is issuing this to the military prosecutor's offices
13 attached to the 1st Krajina Corps, the SRK, the IBK and the
14 Herzegovina Corps. And we don't a mention of the military prosecutor's
15 office attached to the 2 KK because, in fact, the 1st Krajina Corps
16 military prosecutor's office had jurisdiction over the 2 KK; right?
17 A. That is correct. In the 2nd Krajina Corps, there was a lawyer
18 who worked for the needs of the 1st Krajina Corps in terms of what was
19 necessary regarding this issue.
20 Q. And General Gvero is directing that criminal proceedings be
21 instituted against people not responding to the call-up because the
22 military courts had jurisdiction over those subject to military
23 obligations; right?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. A number of your subordinates have been convicted of committing
1 crimes against humanity and war crimes against non-Serbs during the war
2 after the war in the courts of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You are aware of
3 that; right?
4 A. I'm not aware of that. Who are those officers or soldiers?
5 Q. Are you aware of Marko Adamovic's [sic] conviction for events at
7 A. I have never heard of him.
8 Q. Ratko Dronjak's conviction, the commander of Kamenica camp?
9 A. He was the prisoner warden and I wasn't aware that he was
10 sentenced. I know that there were proceedings instituted but I wasn't
11 aware that there was a conviction.
12 Q. And the Chamber has received the register of the Banja Luka
13 military court, Exhibit P3563. It reflects that none of your
14 subordinates were convicted for crimes against Muslims and Croats by the
15 Banja Luka military court during the war. You're aware of that; right?
16 A. This is the first I hear of it.
17 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I see it's a couple of minutes early
18 but for continuity I would suggest that we break now.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We could take a bit of an early break. Are you on
20 track as far as time is concerned, Mr. Traldi?
21 MR. TRALDI: I think I can be a bit more accurate after the
22 break. Mr. Stojanovic and I spoke this morning, and he'd asked that I
23 reserve the last 30 minutes for him, and I'm making an effort to do so.
24 I will organise myself during the break with that in mind.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, an effort is always something. At least, we
1 have to await the result but let's leave it to that.
2 We'll take a break and we resume at 25 minutes past 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.57 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: As usual, we'll start with verification of the
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, Your Honour, everything is
8 working fine.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Same is true for The Hague.
10 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
11 MR. TRALDI: Before I start, my speed of speech may have been off
12 but at temporary transcript page 35, I was recorded to inquire about
13 Marko Adamovic, and I'd intended to inquire about Marko Samardzija, and I
14 apologise for --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps you would put the question again to
16 the witness so that he can answer. It's also in the new version.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. Sir, just to complete the topic from before the break, are you
19 aware of Marko Samardzija's conviction for events at Biljani?
20 A. No.
21 Q. I am going to change topics now.
22 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P514.
23 Q. This is an order by General Mladic dated the 13th of April, 1994.
24 At point 1 we see he orders in pertinent part that: "UN
25 Military Observers and the members of UNPROFOR are to be accommodated in
1 appropriate premises outside of the facilities where they had been
2 stationed to date, that is, in the military facilities which are a
3 potential target of the NATO air force as per your choice," and then he
4 describes how they are to be secured.
5 Turning to the end of the document in both languages, we see it's
6 sent, among other things, to the command of the 2nd Krajina Corps. The
7 Chamber has received evidence, P587, that three days earlier, Mladic had
8 ordered the VRS to block UNPROFOR and humanitarian organisations' convoys
9 and bring in and secure the personnel.
10 Using detained people as human shields in this manner by
11 "stationing them in potential targets of air-strikes" is not legal, is
13 A. In the area of the 2nd Krajina Corps, we did not have these men,
14 and it is certainly not legal.
15 Q. Sir, I'm asking you about it because you testified yesterday that
16 in all your encounters with General Mladic, you never received an illegal
17 order, either written or oral. Would you like now to correct that
19 A. I wouldn't.
20 Q. And on that topic, that order we discussed yesterday that you
21 sent implementing General Mladic's order to send soldiers on leave
22 because they were Muslims or Croats -- were to send all soldiers who were
23 Muslims and Croats on leave, adopting measures like that, purely on the
24 basis of your subordinates' ethnicity, that wouldn't be legal either,
25 would it?
1 A. This is a war situation. I don't know whether it is legal or
2 not, but if he wanted to preserve their lives, his manner of acting was
4 Q. Change topics again.
5 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P2003.
6 Q. And we see here on the left-hand side of the page in the B/C/S,
7 the decision on the strategic objectives for the Serbian people in Bosnia
8 and Herzegovina. I'm not going to go through them one by one, but can
9 you just take a look for a moment and then confirm for us that you were
10 aware of them during the war.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we zoom in a bit further.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 MR. TRALDI:
14 Q. Now, this is something you discussed in your interview. But how
15 did you become aware of these objectives?
16 A. When we had this briefing at the Main Staff, then I found out.
17 Q. Who listed the strategic objectives at that briefing?
18 A. They were written out, just like here, now.
19 Q. Let me ask slightly differently. Who provided the briefing on
21 A. Well, General Mladic and Mr. Karadzic were the main speakers.
22 Q. And were the other corps commanders, as well as yourself, present
23 for this?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And these strategic objectives were both military and political
1 goals; right?
2 A. I don't know about the political ones, but the military ones,
4 Q. And General Mladic's orders would set out what your tasks were in
5 order to realise the strategic objectives; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. TRALDI: Could we have P1968.
8 Q. Now, this is Directive 4. Turning to page 4 in the English and
9 page 9 in the B/C/S, I'd ask you to just take a minute to look at the
10 tasks assigned to the 2nd Krajina Corps by this directive. It's on the
11 lower part of the page in the B/C/S.
12 And in its tasking to your corps, this directive implements the
13 strategic objectives; right?
14 A. Part of the strategic objectives.
15 Q. Which part?
16 A. Well, reaching the Una river.
17 Q. That's Objective 4, right, or part of Objective 4?
18 A. Yes, yes. Yes.
19 Q. And just like General Mladic is implementing the strategic
20 objectives by issuing an operational directive to you, you would have
21 implemented his directive by issuing an operational order to your
22 subordinate brigades; right?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. And the 2nd Krajina Corps implemented Directive 4 by launching
25 Operation Una-92; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, can we have page 5 in the English and 11 in the B/C/S,
3 directing your attention to the Drina Corps's tasking, we see that the
4 Drina Corps is to defend Visegrad, the dam, Zvornik and the corridor, the
5 rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje region are to exhaust the enemy,
6 inflict the heaviest possible losses on them and force them to leave the
7 Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas with the Muslim population.
8 Now, this -- this tasking also implements the strategic
9 objectives; right?
10 A. I'm not familiar with this task of the Drina Corps.
11 Q. In fact, units of the 2nd Krajina Corps were deployed to the
12 Podrinje area to assist the Drina Corps in implementing this task,
13 weren't they?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Now the Chamber has received evidence, P2242, that during those
16 operations, the Drina Corps commander, General Zivanovic, informed your
17 Chief of Staff, Colonel Vlaisavljevic, that he was in favour of
18 continuing with the burning of Muslim houses during those operations in
19 the Podrinje. I have two questions.
20 First: Why was he -- why would he have been relaying that
21 information if your units were not also taking part in the operations in
22 that area?
23 A. In that area, it did not participate. A unit participated in the
24 area of Milici in order to protect the mine. Not in other areas though.
25 When the defence of the Milici Brigade was threatened in the area of the
2 Q. Second question: Did Colonel Vlaisavljevic also relay to you the
3 information about the destruction of Muslim property - the burning of
4 their houses specifically - during these operations?
5 A. Never. We never talked about that. He never relayed that to me.
6 I never heard of that.
7 Q. Finally on this topic, to return to the first question I'd asked
8 you, I understand you testified you weren't familiar with this specific
9 tasking. Based on your knowledge of the strategic objectives, however,
10 you can tell that the tasking of the Drina Corps is also implementing
11 those objectives; right?
12 A. I wouldn't want to go into that now. I wouldn't want to give my
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you're not asked about an opinion, but you
15 were asked, based on your knowledge of the strategic objectives, whether
16 you can tell that the tasking of the Drina Corps is also implementing
17 these objectives.
18 Was it or was it not?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let us assume that that was
20 the case?
21 MR. TRALDI:
22 Q. And we read, in pertinent part, in that tasking that the enemy
23 forces are supposed to be forced to leave with the civilian population.
24 Forcing the civilian population to leave, that's another illegal order;
1 A. I don't know of that order.
2 Q. You know, based on your training, that ordering subordinate
3 forces to drive out the civilian population is illegal, don't you?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection. Misquote. Because
5 the words used was -- were "drive out the civilian population."
6 I would kindly ask my colleague to tell me where that is written
7 in the document that we have before us.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi --
9 MR. TRALDI: I'll phrase it very precisely.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
11 MR. TRALDI:
12 Q. Forcing the Muslim population to leave an area, ordering your
13 subordinate forces to do that is illegal; right?
14 A. I don't know of that order, and I cannot give my opinion whether
15 Mladic did write that or did not.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's not the question, Witness.
17 Could you tell us whether, according to your knowledge of
18 international humanitarian law, as a professional -- professional
19 officer, whether forcing the Muslim population to leave an area and
20 ordering subordinate forces to do so, whether that is legal or illegal?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat your answer. The interpreters did
24 not catch your words.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to international law,
1 that is not legal.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. I'm done with this document, and I'm going to turn to the topic
5 of prisoners held by your corps.
6 Your corps had an exchange commission; right?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps, Mr. Traldi, you again ask a question
8 which you asked before, whether the witness would change his answer, that
9 no illegal orders were issued.
10 MR. TRALDI:
11 Q. Sir, I'll give you another opportunity to change your answer as
12 to whether General Mladic ever issued illegal orders. Would you like to
13 change that testimony now?
14 A. He never issued me an illegal order, and I wouldn't want to
15 change anything in respect of that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to take the witness back for a moment
17 to the questions that were put to you in relation to the document in
18 which orders were given that UN Military Observers and UNPROFOR members
19 were to be put in places where, that is, stationing them in potential
20 targets of air-strikes. You said: "That is not legal."
21 But you added: "In the area of the 2nd Krajina Corps, we did not
22 have these men."
23 Now, I'd like to take you back. That order that UN
24 Military Observers and UNPROFOR members were to be stationed in potential
25 targets of air-strikes, that order, you said, was illegal.
1 I have two questions. First: Were there any UN
2 Military Observers and were there any UNPROFOR members in your area of
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not stationed, but sometimes
5 they --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the rest.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat. You said they were not
8 stationed but sometimes ...
9 Could you resume from there.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They would pass and go towards
11 Bihac as announced, and we would see them off to the border of the zone.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And --
14 JUDGE ORIE: So they were there from time to time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Passed there.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In order to pass, you have to be somewhere.
17 My second question would be: Whether this order was addressed to
18 the 2nd Krajina Corps.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is what is written here.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you have any reason to doubt that it was?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Why would I?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which means that you were issued an order in
23 rather general terms which, under circumstances, could have been
24 implemented, you received an order which was illegal.
25 I do not understand at this moment why you would not correct your
1 testimony that you never received an illegal order.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One needs to bear in mind what the
3 reason behind it was, what the reason for writing it was.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Does it make -- does that make it any less illegal?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You would say that stationing UNPROFOR and UN
7 Military Observers in locations which are potential targets of
8 air-strikes would become illegal [sic] if you had a good reason for that?
9 Would become any less illegal is, I think, what I said.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I suppose they were stationed with
11 the forces of the VRS. So they were not separated.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't my --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The goal was --
14 JUDGE ORIE: That wasn't my question. The order clearly was to
15 station them in potential targets of air-strikes and whether there would
16 be any VRS members in that area or not, is that relevant for the
17 illegality of that order.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had no problem with that. I did
19 not implement the order, and I am not going to change what I had said
21 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you were not asked whether you implemented any
22 illegal orders. You were asked whether you received any illegal orders.
23 Focussing on that, you would still not correct your testimony?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would not.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With regard to this issue.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that we are talking about this
4 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. Turning to prisoners. Your corps had an exchange commission;
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It was led by an officer named Milan Ivancevic, wasn't it?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Under which organ of your corps did the exchange commission fall?
12 A. The political organ.
13 Q. Is that legal, morale and religious affairs?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. And when your corps entered into an exchange agreement, the
16 Main Staff had to approve that; right?
17 A. The Main Staff was informed that there would be an exchange.
18 MR. TRALDI: Well, let's have 65 ter 32428.
19 Q. This is a document you issued the 13th of November, 1994 to the
20 Main Staff. What we see here as the English comes up is that you're
21 seeking -- you're urgently requesting the Main Staff's approval to enter
22 into negotiations about an exchange; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that's because you needed the Main Staff's approval to do so;
1 A. That is right.
2 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 32428.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number P7338.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Now, you were aware that some of the prisoners held by your
8 brigades were taken to do forced labour at the front lines; right?
9 A. No.
10 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 19091.
11 Q. Now, this is a daily combat report from the Command of the
12 11th Brigade sent to the Command of the 2nd Krajina Corps dated the
13 1st of July, 1992. And we see at the end of point 1 that a captured
14 enemy soldier had managed to escape while working on the entrenchment as
15 what is described as "our forward line of defence."
16 So you were, in fact, informed by your subordinate units that
17 they sent prisoners to do forced labour at the front lines; right?
18 A. If one looks at this, it seems to be the case.
19 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender this document.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number P7339.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
23 Witness, you initially answered that you were not aware that some
24 of the prisoners held by your brigade were taken to do forced labour. If
25 we find elements in combat reports that this was the case, I would urge
1 you to be very clear in telling us whether you were not aware of it but
2 that it may have happened or that you were aware that it did not happen.
3 Could you specify in any future answer which is the case, because
4 it happened now a couple of times that looking at documents, we get
5 answers which are not exactly consistent with your initial answer.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. I want to focus now on Kamenica which we discussed earlier.
9 Now Kamenica camp was just a beat-up old school with a barbed
10 wire fence around it; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I understand from your interview that you claim you never visited
13 Kamenica yourself; right?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. I understand you claim that you never asked anyone what was going
16 on there; is that right?
17 A. It was a prison. There was no need. The security organ was
18 competent and controlled it.
19 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that you on at least one
20 occasion issued an order regarding the treatment of prisoners of war.
21 That's because you were responsible for the treatment of prisoners of war
22 in your area of responsibility; right?
23 A. Probably.
24 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P3996.
25 Q. Now, this is a report issued by your assistant commander for
1 information, Mladen Skenderija, on 5th of August. We see that, in
2 accordance with the London Agreement, he is writing that an
3 International Red Cross team and foreign journalists are visiting POW
4 camps. The visits are conducted by organisations of the government and
5 the team will be escorted by a representative of the army, a
6 Lieutenant-Colonel Savo Sokanovic and refers to a prisoner-of-war camp in
7 Drvar. Now that refers to Kamenica; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, while this bears Colonel Skenderija's name, of course, the
10 potential visit to Kamenica camp would have been discussed in the corps
11 command; right?
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. So is it your evidence today -- well, sorry. Let me start that
14 question again.
15 As a matter of course, an event like this would have been
16 discussed in the corps command, including with you; right?
17 A. We did not discuss it. It was not on the agenda. It was done by
18 the morale organ. It was Colonel Skenderija at the time.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
20 A. In Kamenica --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. There was a prison.
23 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... for a moment, sir. I'll ask
24 you questions about the nature of Kamenica in a minute.
25 If you were informed by a member of your corps command you were
1 aware that a foreign journalist team, International Red Cross team might
2 visit a camp in your area of responsibility under your corps's security
3 organ, is it your evidence that under those circumstances you wouldn't
4 have asked, What are they going to find if they go there?
5 A. I probably would.
6 Q. And you never heard reports that people were abused or killed
7 there in your evidence; is that right?
8 A. I was never informed and I never heard that anyone was killed in
10 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32448.
11 Q. Now, this time we don't have a translation into English yet. If
12 we can turn to the top of page 2 in the B/C/S, and this is a report
13 coming from the 1st Krajina Corps intelligence and security organ to the
14 VRS Main Staff dated the 5th of November, 1994.
15 Here at the top of page 2, do you agree with me that we see in
16 the first -- after the first hyphen, a report that Ratko Dronjak in
17 Kamenica and Drvar took out seven people at night, and they were never
18 seen again; is that right?
19 A. I don't see that? Uh-huh.
20 Q. Could you just read slowly beginning at the word "osoba" for us.
21 A. It's there.
22 Q. And just so we all have the exact text, can you read it aloud,
24 A. "A person from the Red Cross says that Ratko Dronjak was in
25 Kamenica camp in Drvar and killed seven people from Vojic near Kljuc
1 during one night and drove away with them in an unknown direction."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We didn't hear the very
3 last words of the witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you repeat the very last words, Witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Never heard of this case.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. So you were never ordered to investigate it, could you?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could we first have the complete answer. Or was
9 that -- were those the last words that you read.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. "Never heard of this case." Were you reading
12 the last few words, or were you commenting on what has happened?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is my comment. I am not
14 familiar with this case.
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, I -- I do understand that. But you were invited
16 to read the last few words again from the paragraph Mr. Traldi invited
17 you to read because the last few words were not caught by the
19 So could you perhaps resume from where you said: "...during one
20 night and drove away with them in an unknown direction," and what then
21 follows? Would you please read that aloud for us?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "And he drove away with them in an
23 unknown direction."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. You say you've never heard of that so you were never clearly
2 ordered to investigate it; right?
3 A. That's right.
4 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd ask that this document be marked
5 for identification.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 32448 receives number P7340.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
9 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32455.
10 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for that document, I would have
11 one additional question for you, Witness.
12 The previous document we looked at, I don't know whether you
13 remember which one it was. Otherwise I'll ... that was the document in
14 which possible visits of the Red Cross were announced.
15 Do you remember that document?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, were there any women and/or children kept in
18 conditions which would be similar to being detained?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not familiar with that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you have any explanation as why there was
21 any concern that these visits would be exploited and that a special focus
22 would be on women and children which suggests that at least women and
23 children must have been in places where the Red Cross would visit?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wasn't concerned with the Red
25 Cross coming to visit the prison in Kamenica. I was actually glad.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But the document written by one of your subordinates
2 expressed concern about those visits to be exploited and abused.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not register who the person
4 who expressed this concern was.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the document was -- and -- was -- is signed by
6 or at least is issued by Colonel Mladen Skenderija. You had a look at it
7 a second ago. If need be, we can go back to it.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You'd like to go back to it?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yeah -- well, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Concern is expressed there that, especially in
12 relation to women and children, that the visits might be exploited. Do
13 you have any explanation for that, if you were not aware in any way that
14 women and children were kept in conditions similar to detention?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time I hear about
16 that, from you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Now, sir, this is the Trial Judgement in Ratko Dronjak's case,
21 the warden. And if we can turn to page 45 in B/C/S and 13 in the English
22 which represents just the parts we've had translated. We see a section
23 headed, "Non-contentious facts." And if we could turn to page 15 in the
24 English, 47 in the B/C/S, paragraph 206, we read, based on Ratko
25 Dronjak's testimony, that your corps's exchange commission headed by
1 Milan Ivancevic was directly linked to the prison and knew who was inside
2 at any time.
3 So is it your evidence, as you've just told the Presiding Judge,
4 that you'd never heard about the types of people who were being held
5 there even though your subordinates on the exchange commission knew?
6 A. I stand by that.
7 Q. Turning to page 21 in the English, 57 in the B/C/S we read in
8 paragraph 246 that a witness named Dragan Rodic who, as other evidence in
9 the judgement or portions of the judgement reflect, was a shift commander
10 at Kamenica who pled guilty that he stated that the detained civilians
11 were detained solely for the fact that they were not Serbs.
12 Did you ever ask any of your subordinates in the security organ
13 why the people at Kamenica were being detained there?
14 A. I did not ask. Because I was not involved in it. I was at the
15 front line taking care of defending our area of responsibility. I didn't
16 ask it of anyone.
17 Q. Your command post was in Drvar; right?
18 A. For a while, but it was in Ostrelj, between Drvar and Petrovac
19 most of the time.
20 Q. Kamenica is also in Drvar; right?
21 A. Well, yes.
22 Q. About how far apart were they?
23 A. I think 2 or 3 kilometres. Not more. It is near Drvar.
24 Q. So, when you said a moment ago you were at the front line taking
25 care of defending our area of responsibility, in fact, you were no more
1 than 2 or 3 kilometres away from the camp; right?
2 A. It was in Drvar at first but then we moved to Ostrelj rather soon
3 afterwards which is much further away.
4 Q. Can we have page 4 of this judgement?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi before we continue I object to the way
6 you -- you presented the evidence of the witness where you said that he
7 had answered my question, that he never heard about the types of people
8 who were being held. Because I only asked about women and children. And
9 since the follow-up of your question is about civilians that could
10 include men as well, so that is not fair to the witness.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI: I take the point, Your Honour.
13 Can we have page 4 in both languages, please.
14 Q. Now, I'm going to focus on section 2 of the judgement. This
15 refers in paragraphs 2 -- sorry, paragraphs 1 and 2, subparagraphs 1 and
16 2, to persons who were killed or who were detained there and then killed.
17 And I'm just going ask to you focus on three names. Under point 2.1,
18 Kalmin Kalic and Enver Cehic. And under 2.2, Kemal Sepic.
19 Do you see those names?
20 A. I see it.
21 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32449.
22 Q. This is the Bihac cantonal court report on the exhumation,
23 autopsy, and identification of bodies from the mass grave Jama Golubnjaca
24 in Drvar and the report then refers to 19 male bodies that were found, of
25 which three were identified. I see we're waiting to release ...
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, there's no English translation
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, do you have an English translation
4 before I ask whether you uploaded it.
5 MR. TRALDI: We do. And we've uploaded it, and we're --
6 JUDGE ORIE: And it's released soon?
7 MR. TRALDI: [Microphone not activated]
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. While it comes up, sir, we'd discussed -- yesterday on direct you
11 testified that the army had nothing to do with the departure of civilians
12 from your area of responsibility. Is it your evidence that the detention
13 of civilians in these conditions at Kamenica, just because they were not
14 Serbs, had nothing to do with their departure from the 2nd Krajina Corps'
15 area of responsibility?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And Your Honours, apparently I had misspoken a moment ago and we
18 don't have the translation. I'd looked at the screen and seen something
19 that apparently was not what I thought I was looking at.
20 But, sir, I can tell you that in this report, in this exhumation
21 report, we'll see again the names of Kalmin Kalic, Enver Cehic,
22 Kemal Sepic are you aware that people detained at Kamenica have been,
23 after the war, exhumed from mass graves also in area of responsibility?
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Since we have the B/C/S version on the screen you
25 could direct the attention of the witness to that portion of the
2 MR. TRALDI: I'll do so in a moment but I'd ask for an answer to
3 my question.
4 A. Could you please repeat your question.
5 Q. Are you aware that people detained at Kamenica have been, after
6 the war, exhumed from mass graves in your area of responsibility. Yes or
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. And I'll return -- my notes are incomplete as to the page
10 numbers but we've just fixed that. Can we have page 4.
11 And we see at the bottom of the page, number 3, Kemal Sepic.
12 Turning to page 5, we see at name 8, Enver Cehic; and name 15,
13 Kalmin Kalic.
14 So the truth is people detained in your corps' camps were exhumed
15 from mass graves in your area of responsibility after the war; right?
16 A. Maybe they were exchanged.
17 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 01060.
18 Q. As it comes up, Major Mitrovic, Ratko Dronjak's superior, was
19 promoted to lieutenant-colonel by General Mladic in January 1993; right?
20 A. Probably.
21 MR. TRALDI: I tender this document.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number P7341.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
25 MR. TRALDI: And can we have 65 ter 32432.
1 Q. And what we see here dated the 12th of October, 1992 is a
2 certification by General Mladic that you had also been promoted; right?
3 A. I was promoted on the 16th of December, 1992. I was promoted to
4 the rank of Major-General.
5 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 32432.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number P7342.
8 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you just --
10 JUDGE ORIE: P7342 is admitted into evidence.
11 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, that completes my questions about
12 Kamenica --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm just --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if you would wait for a second, witness.
15 This completes Kamenica, I do understand.
16 MR. TRALDI: And regarding any portions of the judgement or the
17 exhumation report, I'll speak with Mr. Stojanovic and see if there are
18 any matters in dispute. We've uploaded other proof of death materials
19 for the victims I mentioned but I anticipate it won't be necessary to
20 tender all of that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And in view of the evidence of the witness that they
22 may have been exchanged, are there autopsy reports indicating cause of
24 MR. TRALDI: I'd have to go through them and I'll do so at the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
2 Witness, you wanted to add something. You have an opportunity to
3 do so now. If it is relevant as an answer to one of the questions that
4 was put to you. So not to raise any issues that you consider to be
5 interesting but in direct relation to questions that you were put to you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm reading this certificate and it
7 is written here that I'm being promoted --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The sound has gone bad
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could --
11 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we have some problems with the quality of
13 the sound. Could you -- if you were reading from the document or drawing
14 our attention to parts of it, could you do it again.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is written here is
16 certificate, concerning my promotion in the month of October. A general
17 is promoted to that rank by the Supreme Commander by way of a decree and
18 I received that decree on 16th of December, 1992. The decree promoting
19 me to the rank of Major-General.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I think most important is that you were promoted
21 rather than exactly -- the exact date of it.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
23 MR. TRALDI:
24 Q. I'm going to turn back to Kljuc municipality now, sir. And along
25 with the 17th Brigade, you had an engineering regiment, the
1 2nd Engineering Regiment, based at Laniste in Kljuc municipality; right.
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. That regiment answered directly to you in the corps Command Staff
4 so that the 17th Brigade's commander would have to call you to request
5 assistance from the unit; right?
6 A. That's the way it's supposed to be.
7 Q. That's the way it was; right?
8 A. I don't know which case you're referring to.
9 Q. In principle, the brigade commander in Kljuc had to call the
10 corps command to request assistance from the 2nd Engineering Regiment;
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. And the engineering regiment had standard engineering equipment:
14 Bulldozers, excavators, that type of equipment; right?
15 A. That's correct too.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P520. And I'm going to turn to Biljani
19 Q. Now, this is an order by Colonel Drago Samardzija dated the
20 9th of July, 1992. At that point he was the commander of the
21 17th Brigade; right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Directing your attention to point 2a, assignments for units, we
24 read that this operation is going to be carried out by the 2nd Battalion
25 of the 17th Brigade reinforced with the reconnaissance platoon, a
1 military police squad, and a police platoon. And we see above that it
2 will start at 0500 hours on the 10th of July. Now you were aware of that
3 operation; right?
4 A. No.
5 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32422 -- sorry P7331. Page 272.
6 Q. Now we see you're shown this order dated the 9th of July. We see
7 you read it out. Refers to operations 0500 hours on the 10th of July,
8 1992. If we could scroll down, we see you're asked: "This is an
9 operation that you would be monitoring?
10 And you answer: "Yes."
11 And if we turn to the next page, the beginning of your answer is
12 recorded as indiscernible but you say definitely with the knowledge of
13 the corps command. You're asked: "Samardzija is not just going to plan
14 an order and just do it without letting you know, is he?"
15 And you say: "Correct."
16 Now, first, do you stand by those portions of your OTP interview
17 in 2004 as truthful and accurate?
18 A. I don't remember.
19 Q. Let's have page 276.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, does the witness not remember that he
21 stands by this?
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. Sir, do I understand your answer to mean whether you no longer
24 remember that the portions I read back to you are accurate. Is that
1 A. I don't remember that I had said that. I see this in a foreign
2 language and you're just reading that, and that does not have to be
3 correct necessarily.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you say that's not what I said, then
5 we'll verify on the basis of the audio whether the recording is accurate,
6 yes or no.
7 If you say, I don't remember, then it leaves it open whether you
8 said it or not. But if you say, I definitely did not say this, then
9 we'll have it verified.
10 What is your position?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. I don't
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I leave it to the Defence whether they
14 will insist with the Prosecution on further verification.
15 MR. TRALDI: Let's have page 276 of your interview for the moment
16 and I'll --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could I add one sentence.
18 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: If one line is indiscernible which may really affect
20 the meaning of that sentence, then I think you should have excluded that
21 from asking the witness whether he stands by it or not because depending
22 what is indiscernible it could be anything.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. Beginning at line 16 -- actually, let's start just above that.
1 Line 12, you're being asked about the same order. You say that, "Colonel
2 Samardzija sent it to his subordinate units. He sent that to his units.
3 He didn't send that to me. I never saw this because he had received a
4 task according to that decision from me, and then he devises his own
6 So first question: Clearly at the time you recalled enough to
7 opine on the process of who this order was communicated to; right?
8 A. It certainly wasn't sent to me.
9 Q. Do you stand today by your statement in the interview that he
10 issued this order based on a task he'd received from you?
11 A. Probably.
12 Q. Below that we see you're asked: "Are you monitoring his combat
13 operations on the 10th of July, 1992? What if he needs help?"
14 And you answer: "My Chief of Staff was monitoring at this time."
15 Now does that refresh your recollection as to whether you were
16 aware of the operation that Colonel Samardzija had ordered?
17 A. I was not monitoring that operation. Maybe - I don't remember -
18 the Chief of Staff was.
19 Q. Do you recall saying that in your interview, that your Chief of
20 Staff, Colonel Vlaisavljevic, was monitoring the operation?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 MR. TRALDI: Can we have page 277.
23 Q. Now here you mention Colonel Vlaisavljevic, your Chief of Staff.
24 You were asked where he was on the 10th of July, 1992. You say you think
25 he was at Laniste. You say there was a barracks in Laniste. You were
1 asked if there's a barracks in Laniste, correct? You say: Yes, the
2 commander of the 2nd Engineering Regiment. You say -- you were asked
3 well, he had coms with you, he had communications with you, when
4 necessary. And you answer yes.
5 Do you stand today by your statements in your interview that
6 Colonel Vlaisavljevic was present in Laniste during the operation
7 Colonel Samardzija ordered in the document we just saw and had
8 communications with you?
9 A. Probably.
10 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter -- sorry. Can we have the same
11 document, page 281. And we see -- sorry, this page may be inaccurate in
12 my notes.
13 Q. Let me just ask the question. After this operation was
14 completed, the operation in Biljani, do you recall being told that it had
15 been successful?
16 A. I do not recall.
17 Q. Let's scroll down to the bottom of the page, Mr. Grady asks you:
18 "Now, general, I want to know what you were told on the 10th of July,
19 1992, about what happened in Biljani in the municipality of Kljuc during
20 Samardzija's combat operation."
21 You respond: "Just that the task was carried out and that the
22 territory had been liberated."
23 Does that refresh your recollection as to, first, whether you
24 were aware of this operation; and, second, whether you were told it had
25 been carried out successfully?
1 A. That was no operation. That was a tactical task. Probably what
2 I said then is true.
3 Q. So we agree you were aware of this tactical task as it was being
4 carried out; right?
5 A. Probably.
6 MR. TRALDI: Can we have page 275 of the same interview.
7 Q. Now you had been shown the tasking of the Sanica police platoon.
8 Mr Grady says: "So again, this is another situation where the Kljuc SJB
9 is involved in a combat operation." And you respond: "It's placed under
10 the command of the brigade commander, yes."
11 Do you stand today by your statement at the time that the Kljuc
12 SJB was under the command of Brigade Commander Samardzija during this
14 A. Probably. I don't remember.
15 Q. Now, this Chamber has received evidence from a number of
16 witnesses that well over 100 people detained at the Biljani school were
17 murdered on or about the 10th of July, 1992. You're aware of that today
18 as you sit there; right?
19 A. No.
20 Q. This Chamber has received evidence from a Defence witness, named
21 Nikola Vracar that the massacre was the talk of the town. The Chamber
22 has received evidence from a witness named Bertie Weiss that
23 Marko Samardzija told him he had contacted his commander among others to
24 tell him what was about to happen. It's your evidence that it was the
25 talk of the town in your area of responsibility during an operation you
1 were aware of that your Chief of Staff with whom you had a good
2 relationship as you testified early was monitoring and in the last 23
3 years, you yourself have not become aware of this massacre. Is that your
4 evidence today?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The sound has gone bad
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer because the
8 quality of the sound was bad.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know anything about that.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, the question was whether you know it now,
11 not whether you knew it then, but whether you know it now.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know it now either.
13 MR. TRALDI:
14 Q. The Chamber has also received evidence that the people killed
15 were exhumed from a site less than a kilometre from the Laniste barracks
16 where that engineering regiment that answered to your corps was based.
17 It's your evidence that you were not aware of the mass burial of the
18 victims of this massacre.
19 A. I was not.
20 Q. An operation like that would have required that engineering
21 regiment to use resources, use its vehicles, use gasoline; right?
22 A. Probably.
23 Q. That would have been reflected in reports it was sending to the
24 logistics organ of the corps, wouldn't it?
25 A. Yes, but that was not in the report.
1 Q. So you weren't aware of this massacre that was the talk of the
2 town but you're testifying today that you're confident that the reports
3 the engineering regiment send up did not reflect increased activity
4 during the period when these victims would haven buried.
5 Have I understood your evidence correctly?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Sir, I put to you your evidence about this is not credible and
8 you could not have avoided knowing about this massacre committed by your
9 soldiers and others subordinated to them during it. That's the truth;
11 A. That is your opinion. You're entitled to it.
12 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I know we are on a slightly unusual
13 schedule today, or slightly different than normal. I think we're close
14 to the time for the break. I have a relatively brief period remaining
15 for myself.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And what is a relatively brief period?
17 MR. TRALDI: Certainly no more than ten minutes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No more than ten minutes. Then we'll take the break
19 now. We'll resume at 25 minutes past 1.00. And then, Mr. Stojanovic,
20 the remaining time is, as you have discussed it with Mr. Traldi; at least
21 there's a little bit more perhaps for any final questions by Mr. Traldi.
22 We take the break.
23 Witness, we'd like to see you back in half an hour.
24 We take a break, and we resume at 25 minutes past 1.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.54 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.27 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We check again whether the videolink is functioning
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] Yes, it is, thank you,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
8 MR. TRALDI: Just briefly to provide the Chamber the information
9 it had requested before the break, the information as to cause of death
10 is actually in the exhumation report that I used and attributes for all
11 of the individuals violent deaths, says almost all in civilian clothes,
12 with two wearing items of clothing that may be considered as military
13 garb. Those two are not any of the three I referred to by name. It also
14 saying that some of the individuals were blindfolded and doesn't identify
15 those by name.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, and they were -- the mass grave was in
17 the territory controlled by Republika Srpska or is that, just a location.
18 I invite the parties to agree on that.
19 MR. TRALDI: Just so we understand what we're being asked to
20 agree on, at what time in history?
21 JUDGE ORIE: At that time.
22 MR. TRALDI: Of the exhumation or of the war?
23 JUDGE ORIE: The relevance of the question may be to fully
24 appreciate the suggestion - it wasn't more than that - by the witness
25 that it may have been that they had been exchanged, which would make it
1 unlikely that if they died after that, they would then nevertheless be
2 found in a mass grave which is located not then in Federation-controlled
3 area. I mean, in order to assess the credibility of -- or the
4 possibilities in that respect, it may be important to know whether the
5 mass grave was in territory and controlled by whom at the time.
6 MR. TRALDI: I apologise for not immediately understanding that,
7 Your Honour. Thank you for the clarification.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. Sir, I want to turn finally to the departure of Muslims from your
11 area of responsibility, both Muslims and Croats.
12 Now, you testified yesterday at transcript page 34592 that most
13 of the non-Serbs had left before the creation of the 2nd Krajina Corps.
14 In fact, you know thousands and thousands of non-Serbs left your area of
15 responsibility during your time as corps commander; right?
16 A. I'm not familiar with a figure --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The figure wasn't as
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some of them did leave though.
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Well, for instance, you were aware of convoys of thousands of
22 Muslims out of Kljuc municipality during your time as corps commander;
24 A. No.
25 Q. Let's have P355, page 26, in the English and the B/C/S
1 transcript. As it comes up, this will be one of General Mladic's
2 notebooks from the war.
3 These are a portion of his notes of a meeting he attended on the
4 11th of September, 1992. We see the president of Jovo Banjac -- sorry
5 the president of Kljuc municipality, Jovo Banjac's name. We see that.
6 Mladic records him as giving thanks to the 30th KD commander and
7 Colonel Vlaisavljevic. That's your Chief of Staff; right.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. We see that Mr. Banjac is recorded as informing General Mladic
10 there were 17.000 Muslims and now there are 5.000. And 1500 left today.
11 Like General Mladic you were aware that more than a thousand
12 Muslims left Kljuc in September 1992, weren't you?
13 A. I didn't know about that.
14 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P356, page 123 in the English and the
15 B/C/S transcript.
16 Q. This will be another of General Mladic's notebooks from the war,
17 and we're going to see an entry on the 4th of November, 1992, 1800 hours,
18 a meeting with the representatives of the authorities of Petrovac, Drvar,
20 If we turn to page 125, we'll see references to
21 Colonel Vlaisavljevic and to you. You and your Chief of Staff both
22 attended this meeting; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Turning back to page 124, we see at the bottom Vinko Kondic from
25 the MUP in Kljuc is recorded to say that: "About 2.000 Muslims are now
1 living in Kljuc municipality, and there used to be 17,5."
2 It's a reference again to there used to be being 17.000 or more
3 than 17.000 Muslims in Kljuc municipality; right?
4 A. That's what it says.
5 Q. And so we see here you and General Mladic together meeting this
6 time with the civilian police chief and being informed of the massive
7 exodus of Muslims from Kljuc, one of the municipalities in your area of
8 responsibility; right?
9 A. But that means from the beginning of the conflict in all
10 likelihood, not as of the moment when the corps was formed.
11 Q. Now you attended meetings of the Una-Sana region, didn't you?
12 A. When?
13 Q. In June 1992.
14 A. I don't recall that.
15 MR. TRALDI: Could we have D1027, MFI.
16 Q. Now this is a record of the second inter-municipality talks at
17 Korcanica on 14th June 1992. At number 19 on this list, we see you;
19 A. My name can be found there.
20 Q. And you attended this meeting, didn't you?
21 A. Can you tell me the date?
22 Q. 14th of June, 1992.
23 A. I don't remember. Probably, yes.
24 Q. And you remember you attended at least some meetings of this
25 regional group; right?
1 A. I attended several meetings, but I don't know what their names
2 were or what groups were there and so on.
3 Q. Now the Chamber has received evidence that at the previous
4 meeting, this group took the position that Muslims and Croats had to be
5 moved out of their regions until their population was reduced to a level
6 where Serb authority could be maintained. A previous meeting on
7 7 June 1992 after the creation of your corps.
8 Now, you were aware that there were discussions and efforts to
9 reduces the Muslim population of municipalities in your area of
10 responsibility during your time as corps commander; right?
11 A. It might be the case.
12 Q. The Chamber has received evidence, P3853, that as of early 1995,
13 the Banja Luka CSB was a ware that in every municipality in your area of
14 responsibility, including the ones that had been majority Muslim before
15 the war, the population had become at least 93 per cent Serb. You were
16 aware of that too, weren't you?
17 A. I'm not aware of that percentage.
18 Q. You're certainly aware that the ethnic composition of the
19 population in the municipalities in your area of responsibility was
20 overwhelmingly Serb by the end of your time as corps commander; right?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Now, you testified yesterday that the VRS didn't have anything to
23 do with it and you didn't think there were any situations where the front
24 line had to be opened to facilitate an exchange of population. To get,
25 for instance, from Petrovac to Split on a convoy, someone would have to
1 get through the front line; right?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. To get from Kljuc to Travnik, somebody would have to cross the
4 front line; right?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. That would require --
7 THE INTERPRETER: We did not hear the witness.
8 MR. TRALDI:
9 Q. Can you repeat the last thing you said, sir.
10 A. I said that politicians were supposed to reach agreement and the
11 military would let them go through whatever route they were to take.
12 Q. So now you do recall occasions when the VRS would open the front
13 line to facilitate these exchanges.
14 A. They did not go through my area but they did go outside of it.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, may I remind you of your own words,
16 certainly not more than ten minutes.
17 MR. TRALDI: Yes --
18 JUDGE ORIE: That was approximately -- we started some 14, 15
19 minutes ago.
20 Could you please wind up because Mr. Stojanovic, I think, you
21 agreed that would you have half an hour and then it's --
22 MR. TRALDI: I am, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. Sir, you testified that the VRS didn't have anything to do with
1 the people leaving. We've seen brigades under your command, we've seen
2 evidence that they massacred civilians, rounded up people, destroyed
3 civilian property. Those things had everything to do with the Muslim
4 populations' flight from the municipalities in your area of
5 responsibility, didn't they?
6 A. No.
7 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
9 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any questions in re-examination?
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] General, sir, you were asked about your
14 attendance at the meetings of civilian structures, and you were shown a
15 document which concerns your attendance in -- at a meeting in the
16 Petrovac municipality. Do you remember that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Please tell the Court how did it come about that you would be in
19 attendance at such a meeting?
20 A. The municipal president would call me and say, We have a meeting.
21 He wouldn't say meeting of a Crisis Staff but he said we have a meeting
22 of the leadership. He would then ask me to come there and explain the
23 situation at the front lines. That's how it went.
24 Then he would state any needs on behalf of the population and
25 what it was that we could do to help.
1 Q. I'll wait for the interpretation.
2 Did you at any point in time receive written invitations to
3 attend such meetings with an agenda?
4 A. No. I was usually called on the phone or through direct contact,
5 when we would encounter each other.
6 Q. Thank you. Were you invited to all municipal meetings or only
7 those when military issues were on the agenda?
8 A. I was not invited to all meetings. I suppose I was invited when
9 military issues were to be discussed or someone from the corps command
10 would attend instead of me.
11 Q. Thank you. You mentioned documents of the Main Staff of the VRS
12 which speak to the establishment of the 2nd Krajina Corps.
13 Next could we please have document P4381 in e-court.
14 General, before you is a document dated the 4th of June, 1992, as
15 we can see in the left upper corner. It comes from the Main Staff of the
16 then-Army of the Serbian Republic of BiH. Kindly direct your attention
17 at item 2, which is on the next page of the document, where it reads:
18 "For the purposes of determining the boundaries of responsibilities in
19 the areas between corps, I hereby set corps' area of responsibility as
20 follows ..."
21 And then we have the 1st Krajina Corps, and at b, the 2nd Krajina
22 Corps, detailing its zone of responsibility.
23 Is this the document which dealt with the issue of place,
24 position, and zone of responsibility of the 2nd Krajina Corps?
25 A. Well, most of these locations are within the zone, but there is
1 another document which details the municipalities in order to define the
2 zone. These are just some of the geographic locations inside the zone.
3 Some of them do ring a bell, whereas others do not.
4 Q. Thank you. As the corps commander, did you caution an order --
5 issue orders to the effect of how to treat POWs and that rules regulating
6 their status should be observed?
7 A. Yes, we did. A course was also set up by representatives of the
8 Red Cross to that effect. Brigade commanders and their assistants for
9 morale were present where they were familiarized with the
10 Geneva Convention pertaining to the treatment of POWs.
11 Q. As the corps commander, did you insist on honouring the
12 regulation in terms of treating POWs by those in your subordinate units?
13 A. We pointed that out in our orders, stating that they should abide
14 by those rules and that they should respect the prisoners and their
15 rights. The procedure in case of capture was also described. That is
16 what we acquainted everyone with.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we next have P39 --
18 JUDGE ORIE: If you can wait for one second since the document is
19 still on our screen.
20 Witness, you told us that this document, especially under b where
21 the 2nd Krajina Corps is -- is mentioned, just give geographical
22 locations within the zone of the -- of responsibility. However, the
23 document says that these are the boundaries. Do you have any explanation
24 as why you consider this just a handful of locations within the zone of
25 responsibility instead of what the document says, these being boundaries?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see that these are boundaries,
2 such as Celebici and the Korcine Pass and Malovan, Setac [phoen].
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you referred to another document, could you
4 tell us what that document is where you said the municipalities, I think,
5 are mentioned?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It can be found where the order on
7 establishment of the 2nd Krajina Corps was. It details the units and the
9 JUDGE ORIE: Forgive me, Mr. Stojanovic, perhaps my recollection
10 is not -- not -- not that well. Is that a document we have looked at
11 already or are you going to tender that since the witness relies on it?
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I don't think we have seen that
13 document. During my re-direct, I will show another document to the
14 witness which might be the one he referred to.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that in proofing you would have verified
16 that, this apparently being an important issue, but please proceed.
17 We'll hear.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we next have
19 P3995, please.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, sir, this document bears your name. The date is the 5th
23 of August, 1992. The title: Order on treatment of prisoners of war.
24 In item 2 of the document, we read: "It is forbidden, regardless
25 of the circumstances, to treat a prisoner with cruelty. Prisoners must
1 be treated humanely and must be protected from violence, verbal abuse and
2 intimidation. Prisoners shall retain the full civic, legal and civil
3 capacities that they had at the time of capture."
4 Is this the document you referred to a moment ago, in terms of
5 its formulation?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. General, sir, did you, at any point in time, have information
8 that some officers of your subordinate units acted in contravention of
9 what is designated here?
10 A. No.
11 Q. During the examination, a man by the name of Ratko Dronjak was
12 mentioned. While you were performing the duty of the commander of the
13 2nd Krajina Corps, did you ever have an opportunity to meet this member
14 of the 2nd Krajina Corps?
15 A. I know that he was warden of the prison in Kamenica. I've never
16 seen him. I don't know him. I never went to visit the prison of
17 Kamenica. That was under the security organs, the police, and that's
18 what they did. And they also reported to the command about certain
20 Q. How far away was the facility of Kamenica from Ostrelj, where you
21 had your command post most of the time while you were commander of the
22 2nd Krajina Corps?
23 A. Well, maybe I'll make a mistake, but, say, it's about 10
25 Q. How long did POWs stay at this facility before they were sent to
1 Banja Luka?
2 A. For as long as the security organs needed to carry out their work
3 and compile records of everything they did with them. And then with
4 these records and reports, they would go to Banja Luka with the POWs.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have document
7 P4052 in e-court.
8 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for it, Mr. Stojanovic, you
9 asked whether the document we just had on our screen was the document the
10 witness referred to a bit earlier. He described - at least the last
11 document I think he mentioned - it as the zone of responsibility defined
12 by municipalities. I don't see any of that in the document you have just
13 shown to us. So, therefore, if you had another document in mind, then
14 you could address the matter as you wish, but I have difficulties in
15 reconciling the last document the witness described with what you have
16 shown us on the screen.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This document
19 deals precisely with the topic that we've been discussing. I'm going to
20 put some questions now.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, I was talking about the previous
22 document which did not reflect what the witness earlier said. At least
23 the last document he suggested that would exist. It doesn't reflect in
24 any way with what he described then. But if it's the new one, well, I
25 don't see that many municipalities at first sight, but I'll wait for your
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Sir, General, you have a document before you dated the 9th of
4 June, 1992. In this document, the Command of the 30th PARTD is
5 submitting to the Command of the 1st Krajina Corps an explanation about
6 resubordination, and it says that in the building of the SO Kljuc a
7 meeting was held with NS of the 2nd Krajina Corps who, on behalf of the
8 Command of the 2nd Krajina Corps, informed the commander of the
9 30th PARTD that the territory of the SO Kljuc and the units deployed on
10 that territory are being resubordinated to the Command of the 2nd Krajina
12 Do you know anything about this meeting in which - as it seems
13 here - the Chief of Staff took part, the Chief of Staff of the
14 2nd Krajina Corps, in an attempt to resolve the question of
15 resubordinating the unit from Kljuc?
16 A. I know -- and that meeting was attended by the Chief of Staff,
17 Colonel Mico Vlaisavljevic. In Kljuc, there was not a brigade. There
18 were territorial units, and when Colonel Drago Samardzija arrived, he
19 reported on the 9th of June, 1992, he was supposed to establish a
20 brigade, the 17th Brigade, in Kljuc.
21 After that, an order arrived from the Command of the Main Staff.
22 That was the 3rd of July. Stating that in Kljuc, the establishment of
23 the 17th Brigade, Light Infantry Brigade, should be made official.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness -- could you tell us what PARTD
1 stands for?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partisan Brigade, the 30th Partisan
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you really saying it's partisan brigade or
6 partisan division because the D could also stand for division, as it is
7 translated on top of that document.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. You're right. Division.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance,
11 Your Honour.
12 Q. During this transition period, who was in charge of equipping the
13 unit from Kljuc logistically in terms of weapon, personnel, materiel?
14 A. Well, since it was supposed to be established and become part of
15 the 2nd Krajina Corps, all its needs had to be met by the 2nd Corps.
16 Q. I'd like us to take a look at a document together and its 65 ter
17 number is 03067.
18 General, sir, there is a document here of the War Presidency of
19 the Municipal Assembly of Kljuc dated the 13th of July, 1992, and it is
20 signed by the president of the War Presidency, Jovo Banjac. It says that
21 this is a conclusion, and you can read it. It's before you so I don't
22 have to read everything.
23 However, what indicates who it is that leads this unit and which
24 does not correspond to what you've been saying right now, which is the
25 way things should be according to rules and that's why I'm ask you all
1 this so that you would explain it to the Court.
2 In paragraph 4 it says that the Executive Board of the SDS Kljuc
3 should make a list of officers and forward it to the brigade commander in
4 order to reinforce the Command Staff of the brigade, mainly for morale,
5 from battalion to brigade level.
6 Do you know what this is all about, General, sir?
7 A. Well, you see Colonel Drago received an order to report to the
8 duty on the 9th of June, 1992, and the Main Staff, as far as the
9 establishment of the 2nd Krajina Corps is concerned, it was included on
10 the 3rd of July, 1992.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Stojanovic
12 please turn off his microphone. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So as far as manning the brigade is
14 concerned --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you're invited to switch off your
17 Please continue your answer, Witness.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The municipality of Kljuc.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, let take a look at
20 the document. P520.
21 Q. You had the opportunity to see that document a moment ago. You
22 remember this document, General, don't you?
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at the
24 second page. Could we zoom in on the stamp of this document.
25 Q. So this is an order for further action, and it's signed by
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Samardzija. The date is the 9th of July, 1992.
2 Now I'm asking you the following. Can you recognise this stamp
3 and what does this stamp say?
4 A. This is the stamp of the Municipal Assembly of Kljuc, and that
5 proves that the -- at that time, the 17th Brigade had not been within the
6 2nd Krajina Corps yet.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
9 ask that document 65 ter -- actually, the one I showed a moment ago 03067
10 be admitted into evidence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the document receives number D1032.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, sir, can you tell the Chamber where that village is,
16 Donji Biljani?
17 A. In the municipality of Kljuc.
18 Q. Sorry, you were trying to say something.
19 A. In the territory of the municipality of Kljuc.
20 Q. How far away is that area from the place where your command post
22 A. Well, I cannot say exactly now in terms of kilometres, but it's
23 certainly more than some 30 kilometres to Kljuc. Maybe it's even more
24 than that, but I'm not sure.
25 Q. Today, now that you've seen these documents, do you still stand
1 by that, namely, that in July, until the 13th of July, 1992, the unit
2 from Kljuc still hadn't been fully subordinated to the 2nd Krajina Corps?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. One more question, General, sir.
5 The 30th Krajina Division that is mentioned in this document, the
6 one that you had an opportunity to see a moment ago and whose commander
7 is Colonel Stanislav Galic, was it at any point of time within the
8 2nd Krajina Corps?
9 A. Never. It was never within the 2nd Krajina Corps.
10 Q. I should conclude with a few questions that have to do with
12 General, sir, you said at one moment that the fiercest intensity
13 of fighting in your area of responsibility was at the Bihac front. Were
14 there ever orders that were issued by the Main Staff or by you
15 personally, as corps commander, to the subordinate units that targets in
16 the town of Bihac and civilian settlements should be hit in a
17 non-selective manner?
18 A. I never received such an order, and I never issued such an order.
19 Q. Was there such fighting and was there an exchange of artillery
20 fire between the units of the 5th Corps and the 2nd Corps at the Bihac
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. As a soldier, how would you assess the intensity of that fighting
24 at the Bihac front while you were commander of the 2nd Krajina Corps?
25 A. It was a draw.
1 Q. I would kindly ask you to explain this a bit to us in language
2 that would be a bit more acceptable. What would that mean for you?
3 A. Well, we held this line towards Bihac practically 90 per cent of
4 the time while the war was still on until the Muslims received assistance
5 from the air and from the Croats, when they pushed us back. But after an
6 offensive was launched, we returned to the next position, the one that we
7 had held earlier on.
8 Q. General, sir, thank you for your answers, the answers that have
9 you provided. We have no further questions for you. Thank you very much
11 A. Thank you too.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
13 In view of one of the answers given by the witness and reading
14 the stamp about which the witness was asked, which he said was the stamp
15 of the -- of the Kljuc municipality, I think he said, could we have a --
16 the translation of that stamp being verified? Because I do, indeed, see
17 Kljuc, opstina of Kljuc. At least in the English, I think it's in two
18 languages, but I also see skupstina, which is perhaps not the same and I
19 see the translation in English: "Km of the 17th Light Infantry Brigade"
20 or is that ...?
21 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, might I briefly address it with the
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please do so. But briefly indeed.
24 MR. TRALDI: I'll have about five minutes total, if that's all
1 JUDGE ORIE: If interpreters and security, and all us assisting
2 us, transcription, transcribers, then we are able to let the witness
3 leave this week and not to return for five minutes next week.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. TRALDI: Could we zoom in very tightly on the large word
6 "Kljuc" just to the left of the centre of the stamp.
7 Further cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
8 Q. Sir, do you see the words "teritorijalne obrane" next to that
9 word "Kljuc"?
10 A. It reads Municipal Assembly of Kljuc municipality.
11 Q. Sir, do you see the specific words I asked you, "teritorijalne
12 obrane," which you're leaving out of what you're reading?
13 A. I don't see that.
14 Q. Now --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we zoom out slightly. That sometimes
16 assists in ...
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that the witness doesn't see the
19 enlargement due to the videolink. But if --
20 Mr. Stojanovic, could you read in the -- or could you confirm
21 that those words are in the stamp?
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think I can
23 read it out.
24 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... if you would do
25 so, then --
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I can't see the first part
2 but it says the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Then in the next smaller
3 circle, Kljuc Municipal Assembly. And in the third circle: Municipal
4 staff of the Territorial Defence. And then in large letters: Kljuc.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. Now, sir, it was, in fact, the municipal staff of the Kljuc
7 Territorial Defence that weeks, at least a month before this point, had,
8 in fact, been transformed into the 17th Brigade; right?
9 A. Are you asking me?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. It cannot be that the municipal staff was turned into a brigade.
12 Q. Let's have 65 ter 32434.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps if you remind the witness that it was not
14 the municipal staff but it's Territorial Defence which you were referring
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Sir, the municipal Territorial Defence was, in fact, transformed
18 into a brigade. That happened in Kljuc and Mrkonjic Grad, that you
19 testified about during direct examination; right?
20 A. Part of the Kljuc Territorial Defence was made part of the
21 17th Brigade.
22 Q. Now, what we see on our screen now is an order from yourself
23 dated the 7th June 1992. If we turn to page 2 in both languages, we see
24 the recipient list includes - already on the 7th of June, 1992 - the
25 17th Light Infantry Brigade in Kljuc. More than a month before the
1 Biljani incident you had the ability to issue orders to the 17th Brigade,
2 didn't you?
3 A. It was after the agreement between the Chief of Staff and the
4 30th -- commander of the 30th Partisan Brigade to establish the
5 17th Brigade which was to become part of the 2nd Krajina Corps. In order
6 to do that, it took --
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
8 A. -- it took a while for the brigade to be formed.
9 Q. Sir, this issue is -- this order is issued just one day after
10 P4052 reflected that agreement. That agreement was implemented
11 immediately and the brigade came under your command. That's the truth,
12 isn't it?
13 A. In your terms, the brigade is full and ready immediately to go to
14 a theatre of war. Well, it doesn't work like that.
15 Q. Sir, I'm going to make this quick. We see here you issued orders
16 to the brigade more than a month before Biljani. We've seen they issued
17 reports to you weeks before Biljani. You've described how
18 Colonel Samardzija, in late June 1992, orders an operation in Kljuc
19 pursuant to your order for offensive operations. What you're doing now
20 is you are providing evidence that is not true about the chain of command
21 of this brigade at the time of the Biljani incident to avoid your own
22 responsibility for a massacre committed by soldiers under your command.
23 That's the truth; right?
24 A. No. That is your opinion.
25 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
1 witness. I'd tendered 65 ter 32434 and D1027 MFI, which I'd used at the
2 end of cross.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 32434 receives number P7343.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P7343 is admitted into evidence.
6 And then you said another one, Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: D1027. That was the Una-Sana minutes, the 14
8 June minutes that I'd used late in cross and had neglected to tender.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the number -- it's a D exhibit.
10 MR. TRALDI: It's MFI'd pending a decision and so I'd just ask
11 that it be admitted at this point.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and it was MFI'd because there was no
13 translation at the --
14 MR. TRALDI: It was MFI'd. It was one of a number of associated
15 exhibits to Witness Erceg's evidence, and numbers were reserved and MFI'd
16 pending a decision.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Any objection? If not ...
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ORIE: D1027 is now admitted into evidence.
20 MR. TRALDI: And just the last document I'd ask that 65 ter
21 32449, the exhumation report, be MFI'd pending a translation.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And you are invited to see to what extent we could
23 work with an excerpt because it was for a very specific purpose
25 Madam Registrar, the number to be reserved for the exhumation
1 report would be.
2 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be P7344.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
4 Have we dealt with all of the exhibits? No further comments,
5 Mr. Stojanovic?
6 MR. TRALDI: We'd remained to talk about the judgement and
7 whether any proof of proof-of-death documents were necessary, but we can
8 do that at any time.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Anything about the interview of the witness?
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. As already mentioned what
11 is left is to see whether we can agree on the text of interview conducted
12 by the OTP with this witness. That is for me and the Prosecutor to do.
13 JUDGE ORIE: If you have no other problem than that, Mr. Traldi,
14 would you give it some thought as to how that interview would fit within
15 the 92 ter, 92 bis range because the witness did not attest to it. I
16 don't know for what purposes, how you want to use that, but the Chamber
17 would like to have that very clear, whether you would tender those
18 excerpts for the truth of its content, where the witness has not attested
19 to that truth. Therefore the Chamber would like to know exactly what we
20 are -- what we will have to decide upon once you tender that excerpt.
21 MR. TRALDI: Does the Chamber wish to hear at this point.
22 JUDGE ORIE: No, not at this moment. We are already at 30
23 minutes but perhaps you do that soon or make a short written submission
24 about it. I leave it in your hands, but I take it that you are aware of
25 how Rules 92 ter and 92 bis are to be applied and what possible
1 consequences there are for this document.
2 We -- first of all, Mr. Boric, we thank you very much for coming
3 to the videolink room. We thank you also for having answered the
4 questions put to you by the Bench, put to you by the parties, and I wish
5 you a safe return home again.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We can conclude the videolink.
8 Then we adjourn for the day, and we'll resume Tuesday, the 28th
9 of April, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I, but we'll not
10 adjourn until after we have thanked very much all those who have assisted
11 far beyond the usual time that is security, that is interpreters, that is
12 transcribers, and all other staff who supported that.
13 We stand adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.31 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 28th day of April,
16 2015, at 9.30 a.m.