1 Tuesday, 8 September 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 IT-09-92-T, The Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Mr. Stojanovic, the Chamber was informed that you -- that the
11 Defence wished to raise a preliminary matter.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [No interpretation]
13 JUDGE ORIE: I hear no interpretation.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
15 only wanted to provide you with some information about the scheduling for
16 today. In a conversation with the Prosecution, we were informed that
17 they would shorten their cross-examination of the incoming witness
18 somewhat. I informed the Chamber that I would need some more time than
19 the expected, half an hour - about 45 minutes in total - for the incoming
20 witness. And what we wanted to inform you is that our next witness
21 arrived yesterday to his hotel in The Hague around 2230 hours so that my
22 colleague, Mr. Lukic, is working with this witness today, and after the
23 examination of Vojvodic witness today, we probably will not have anyone
24 so that our estimate that we may be working for around two sessions.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and thank you for that information,
1 Mr. Stojanovic. I really do not understand why yesterday when everything
2 you're telling us now was known more or less, at least the time scheduled
3 for the witness to arrive was two hours so there was a gap anyhow, and I
4 asked about it yesterday whether there was any problem with whether we
5 would have witnesses or not. No, this week was okay; it was next week
6 that would cause perhaps some problems.
7 Okay. Thank you for the information, but that's exactly the
8 reason perhaps why I inquired into the matter.
9 Could the witness be escorted in the courtroom.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Another matter is, Mr. Stojanovic, is that --
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- that next witness should have arrived earlier. I
14 mean, if you look at the time estimates for yesterday and today, you
15 can't just wait. You always should have even a reserve witness ready.
16 Good morning, Mr. Vojvodic. Before you give evidence, you're
17 required to make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the
18 whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Could I invite to you make that
19 solemn declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: RADOJE VOJVODIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated Mr. Vojvodic.
25 Mr. Vojvodic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You
1 find Mr. Stojanovic to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for
2 Mr. Mladic.
3 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning.
5 A. Good morning.
6 Q. Sir, I would ask you to say slowly for the record your full first
7 and last name.
8 A. Radoje Vojvodic.
9 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, did you give a statement at one point to the
10 Defence of General Mladic in writing in which you answered the questions
11 that you were asked?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If we could please call up 65
14 ter 1D01666.
15 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, on one of the screens in front of you you now see
16 this document. Do you recognise the signature on the document?
17 A. Yes. On the right screen, I see my personal information and my
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If we could please also show the
21 last page of this document.
22 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, is this your signature on the last page of this
24 A. Yes. And the date, the 14th of August, 2014.
25 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, during the proofing, did you have an opportunity to
1 read this statement and point to several points that you noticed than
2 need to be corrected?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please focus on
6 paragraph 5 on the document we have on the screens in front of us. The
7 document still has the code 1D01666.
8 Q. In paragraph 5, did you indicate to me that in the third
9 sentence, which, at this moment, reads: "I think this was an Egyptian
10 pilot," needs to be corrected so that the sentence would read: "I think
11 that this was a pilot from Ghana whose last name was Evans."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. And if we could now please look at paragraph 12 of
14 this statement.
15 Mr. Vojvodic, did you indicate to me that in this paragraph, in
16 the sentence they suggested that one of them - I think that it was a
17 member of the Spanish contingent whose name was Navaro - the name Navaro
18 should be changed to Romero?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Now that these two corrections have been made, would
21 you, now that you given the solemn declaration that you will tell the
22 truth in this courtroom, would you fully stand by the statement which you
23 have given in this form with these corrections and does it fully reflect
24 your knowledge about the events that you were asked about?
25 A. Yes, precisely so. This is my memory, and I would sign this same
1 statement today.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would tender the
4 statement of Witness Radoje Vojvodic which is marked as 1D01666.
5 MR. JEREMY: Good morning, Your Honours. No objection to the
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Before we continue, I have one question for you. What made you
9 suddenly remember that that person was not Egyptian but from another
10 country and also that you know his name? What happened that what you
11 didn't know a year ago now suddenly came to your mind? Or were you
12 assisted in any way to remember?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was not assisted, but I
14 thought over that, I tried to remember all the members, and his name
15 occurred to me because he was the first one to be released on the 6th of
16 June, 1995.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be.
18 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D01666 receives exhibit number
19 D1224, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your leave --
22 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
23 He was the first to be released on the 6th of June, you said --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: In paragraph 14 of your statement - unless I'm
1 mistaken - I read that they were released on the 18th of June. Is
2 that ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I had Romero in mind just
4 now. I confused Navaro and Romero, and it seems that there was a
5 misunderstanding between you and me.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You mixed up ... okay. We'll -- but you at least
7 you now suddenly remembered because he was the first one released but
8 you're mixing him up with someone else; 6th of June; 18th of June. Let's
9 see what happens.
10 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours, I
12 will now read the summary of the statement of Witness Radoje Vojvodic.
13 Witness Radoje Vojvodic is a biology teacher by education and a
14 reserve officer who was mobilised to the engineer regiment of the
15 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps with the breakout of the war in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. As of August 1993, he took over the duty at the security
17 organ in the 27th Logistics Base of the VRS Main Staff.
18 In his statement, he talks about what he learned about the
19 possible attack of NATO air force on the building of the logistics base,
20 the removal the weapons and military equipment, and his role in the
21 events which followed after the air force attack on the positions of the
23 He says that on the 26th of May, 1995 on arriving to the unit at
24 Koran he noticed a member of UNMO, who had been taken prisoner and when
25 he reached the Jahorina Potok facility, he found five or six UNPROFOR
1 members there in front of the depot who were secured by armed persons
2 unknown to him. He was told that these were POWs, as they had sided with
3 the enemy and that there were suspicions that their role was to guide
4 NATO aircraft to the VRS targets.
5 He received a new order directly from the Main Staff of the VRS
6 to accommodate all these POWs in a separate room in his unit's command
7 and to take responsibility for them. He talks about the conditions under
8 which these POWs were allowed to communicate, the visits of the ICRC, the
9 medical services that they were provided, the ability to go outside and
10 their release. He tried in every way to ease their position. He assured
11 them that with a political solution their position would also be solved,
12 and that they would soon be released to home. He let them know that he
13 had no enemies there and that nothing bad must happen to them. He never
14 received any orders in connection with these POWs from General Mladic,
15 nor did he see them on those days.
16 Your Honours, this was the summary of the witness statement of
17 Witness Vojvodic, and with your leave, I would now ask the witness
18 several questions.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic, the 65 ter summary refers to
20 May 1993 instead of 1995. I take it that this is a mistake.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] It must be a typo, Your Honour.
22 It's not May 1993 but, rather, May 1995. And thank you for indicating
23 this to me.
24 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, could you now please focus your attention on item 5
25 in the document which is now D1224.
1 A. I don't see it in front of me on the screen.
2 Q. Can you see item 5 now?
3 A. Yes, I see it. I see it. Yes, here it is.
4 Q. Thank you. You say, inter alia, that in front of the building
5 you saw "five or six UNPROFOR members who were guarded by armed men who
6 were not members of my unit."
7 Could you tell us how these armed men looked and whether you
8 could at least assume who these persons may have been?
9 A. They wore better uniforms than us. I didn't know them and that
10 was the first time I saw them.
11 Q. The statement further reads: "I asked what was going on and I
12 was answered that they were prisoners of war ..."
13 Could you please tell the Chamber more precisely who did you get
14 this answer from?
15 A. From this group, from those seven or eight people, a tall man
16 stood out. He was probably their commanding officer and he told me that
17 those were UNPROFOR members, prisoners of war, and that, from that moment
18 on, they should be treated as such and then I came up to them. They were
19 tied next to bunkers. I asked them whether they needed anything. Some
20 of them asked for water and I brought it from the guards' room. I
21 brought some toilet paper to one of them. I introduced to them, I told
22 them what my position and rank were and what my name was.
23 Q. If we could now please look at paragraph 6 of your statement.
24 In paragraph 6, you say that you received a new order around 2100
25 hours to immediately free a building that was used as a gatehouse and put
1 up all these POWs there.
2 Could you please tell us more precisely where, physically, this
3 is located? Where is the gatehouse facility that you talk about in this
5 A. Well, this took place in Jahorinski Potok which is around 2
6 kilometres away from the garrison and the command in the barracks. And I
7 received an order to secure them that evening. Right next to the command
8 there is a building which used to be the gatehouse and it was ordered to
9 get it ready. However, it was only around 21 or 2200 hours that we
10 arrived to the garrison and there was no time then to furnish this room
11 so, therefore, we found a bedroom on the first floor where soldiers used
12 to sleep. It was a dorm room on the floor above the dining room and we
13 put them there. And the next day on the 27th of May around 0900 hours
14 they were moved to the room which was specially furnished for them --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, Witness, could you please slow down because
17 you're speaking at a speech which our interpreters and transcribers
18 cannot follow.
19 I stopped you when you said: "We put them there and the next day
20 on the 27th of May, around 0900 hours, they were moved to the room which
21 was specially furnished for them."
22 Could you resume from there.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I appreciate.
24 In this room, or the facility, rather, they were from the 27th of
25 May until the 18th of June when they were released.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Could you please, we are both of us too fast. If you can do it
3 more slowly and tell us whether this facility, the barracks, had any
4 name. How did you call it?
5 A. During the war, it was called the Milos Obilic barracks. It was
6 the Koran barracks.
7 Q. Thank you. And did they remain in this facility up until the
8 moment when they were released?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please now have -- or,
11 rather, look at something, the last sentence in this same paragraph,
12 paragraph 6 --
13 Q. Where you say, I quote: "I think I was given this order directly
14 by General Tolimir from the VRS Main Staff."
15 Can you please explain to the Chamber how this system of
16 notification functioned. Who notified you personally about this order
17 that arrived from General Tolimir?
18 A. We had a communications department in the garrison and the
19 communications man who worked there told me that they called from the
20 Main Staff and that the order arrived from General Tolimir that I was to
21 take over the security of the POWs, UNPROFOR members who were at that
22 moment in the sector of the Koran garrison. Because Jahorina Potok,
23 where the depots are, fell under the command of the Koran garrison.
24 Q. Did this order that you --
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a second.
1 Sir, I hear you say that the communications -- a man who worked
2 there at the communications told you that there were called from the
3 Main Staff. In your statement, you say: "To the best of my recollection
4 I received a new order at about 2100 hours by radio or telephone."
5 Did you receive instruction by radio or telephone or did you get
6 it from one -- somebody who works -- who told you he had received it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember, but I think it
8 was a telephone call when the order was passed.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... which you
10 received. You talked on the phone.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I talked to our communications
12 unit, not to the command of the Main Staff.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... you talked to
14 the communications unit, by phone or face to face?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not speak to them face to
16 face. I was 3 kilometres away. The message was given to me by
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. That clears the question.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But I have a follow-up question in the same
20 paragraph on the last line, sir, you say: "I think I was given this
21 order directly by General Tolimir."
22 What does it mean, "directly by General Tolimir"? Did he talk to
23 you personally?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I did not speak to him
25 directly, but the communications people told me that he, himself, gave
1 the order.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That means that you didn't get the order directly
3 from General Tolimir but through another channel.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in our communications, we
5 believed that when we received an order, whether by messenger or any
6 other way, it was a direct order.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did you receive information that General Tolimir
8 was giving this task directly to you personally by mentioning you by
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When Mr. Stojanovic read this sentence to you, it
12 was translated as: "Directly by General Tolimir from the Main Staff of
13 the VRS."
14 In the text I read, in the English translation in front of us, I
15 read: "Directly by General Tolimir at the Main Staff of the VRS."
16 Which is correct?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct that General Tolimir
18 ordered, through communications, that I take over the security duties
19 over the prisoners. I did not speak to him personally but the person
20 from the communications who was tasked with it, got the order to find me
21 and to pass on that order.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What exactly contained this order? Just to take
23 over the -- the -- your responsibility or any more details?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the order was short. To take
25 over responsibility for their security and to place them in a separate
1 room, to provide during the night a separate facility, a dormitory, with
2 bedding and everything necessary so they can sleep there.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And all that was part of the order of
4 General Tolimir which was communicated to you; correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was a brief order that I
6 executed during the night.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And nothing further was communicated to you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: How many were these prisoners of war?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the number changed all the
12 time. At the beginning, it was six; then eight; sometimes it went up to
13 15. First we had only eight beds in these two rooms. I don't know about
14 other sectors in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. I only know about the
15 place where I was in charge.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: And how did you arrange sleeping arrangements when
17 the numbers increased to 15 and you had only eight beds?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some people were moved to other
19 places. There were eight beds beginning with the 27th May in those two
20 rooms, and that number never increased. Only on the day of the
21 hand-over/take-over, there were 15 people because some had arrived from
22 other points, and an exchange was made at the hospital in Korani.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you saying you never had the number 15
24 sleeping over at the facility that you were supervising?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Excuse me, Mr. Stojanovic, I would like to ask
3 another question with respect to General Tolimir.
4 Do you know the position he held at the Main Staff at that time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he was in the command of the
6 Main Staff. I think he was chief of security for the Main Staff.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who was his superior?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, everyone knows, it's the
9 Supreme Commander, the commander of the Main Staff.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And who was that.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you know, I've never been in
12 the Main Staff. I didn't have to know that hierarchy. I was in a lower
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You just said: Everyone knows, it's the Supreme
15 Commander, the commander of the Main Staff.
16 Can you tell me the name?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, look, in the hierarchy, there
18 was the Chief of Staff, General Milovanovic, and the commander of the
19 Main Staff was Mladic.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Could we now look at paragraph 11 of your statement. In that
24 statement, you speak about the visits of the International Committee of
25 the Red Cross, and you mention that also in paragraph 9. I should only
1 like to ask you to tell us, to the best of your recollection, while they
2 were at the barracks in Korani, how many times did the ICRC visit.
3 A. Twice. Once the visit was to the garrison; and the second time
4 it was at the hospital in the rooms of the military police.
5 Q. Apart from these direct visits of the ICRC, did they also contact
6 you through other channels, seeking information about the status of these
8 A. No, not that I remember.
9 Q. Did you speak to the ICRC on the telephone?
10 A. Yes. They called several times and asked about their situation,
11 if there were any problems, if there were any requests, et cetera, and I
12 passed all the messages onto them.
13 Q. What did they note after their visits?
14 A. After they visited, they sent us a report in English, and these
15 reports were rather objective and correct. They noted that the
16 psychological and physical state was satisfactory. They had medical
17 reports from competent doctors. They could observe all the time from the
18 air because there was a small park with -- where the guards could spend
19 time, with walking paths, and they could spend time outside. They did
20 not have to stay inside the facility from 8.00 to 10.00 p.m. If the
21 weather permitted, they could spend all that time outdoors.
22 Q. How many times - bearing in mind what you said in paragraph 12,
23 and you have that in front of you - how many times did doctors come to
24 speak to these persons and check their health?
25 A. I personally knew Dr. Mirko Sasic -- Sosic, and Dr. Babic. We
1 had some problems in the beginning, such as with this Romero, the
2 Spaniard, they came and both of them came. Sosic was fluent in English.
3 And on the 26th of May, they stayed there for more than three hours.
4 First of all, making a list, describing the conditions, speaking to every
5 one of them separately, taking their case histories, and suggesting in
6 writing therapy, if any, was needed. Then they also came the next time,
7 made a detailed checkup and a report. And on the 15th of May, Dr. Sosic
8 came with a nurse to take blood and urine samples from
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Njagi, I think the name was, from Kenya. The tests
10 were made at the military hospital and there was nothing alarming about
11 the results.
12 Q. Apart from Professor Sosic and Dr. Babic was there anyone else on
13 that medical team and what profile of medical personnel?
14 A. There was one woman, Dutch, I think they called her Henny. She
15 was a pharmacist by training and she expressed the wish to supply some
16 supplies, sanitation and toiletries, and she spent several hours talking
17 to them.
18 Q. That report, the doctors' report you mentioned, to whom was it
19 made available?
20 A. To us, to the Main Staff, and it was copied to the ICRC. I
21 remember that woman who was deputy head of mission, Lucy I think her name
22 was, wanted us to give her a copy.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we call up in e-court
24 briefly 65 ter 1D06071. 1D06071.
25 Your Honours, we submitted this document for translation last
1 Friday, but, at this moment, unfortunately, we only have the B/C/S
2 version, and I will make limited use of it. Just to ask the witness, if
3 we look at the last page --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the time being, I see only the
5 first page.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. This document that you see in front of you titled: Report, is
8 that one of the doctor's reports you referred to?
9 A. Yes, this is the report number 2.
10 Q. I also want to ask you: To the best of your recollection, on
11 what date was the first visit of the medical team to these members of the
13 A. 5 June 1995. I remember that date very well because it was at
14 their suggestion, the proposal of Dr. Sosic and Dr. Babic that we send a
15 recommendation that Captain Romero from the Spanish Battalion be released
16 in view of his depression problems, and our recommendation was
17 acknowledged, and he was released.
18 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you in view of the questions asked by
19 the Trial Chamber. How did that really work? How was he released? And
20 what was your role in it?
21 A. Professor Sosic, who was a regular professor of the medical
22 faculty of the university, he had a lot of authority, as did Dr. Babic.
23 I asked them about this because I feared that something might happen,
24 something that I could not stop or deal with, and they agreed. Everybody
25 received a therapy, but he received a recommendation to be released
1 because he took it all very hard and he had -- he was suffering from deep
3 Q. Thank you for that, but how did this process of his release
4 unfold and who took him from the facility physically?
5 A. I never left the facility. People from the military police came
6 to pick him up and drove him, I suppose, to the government building. I
7 never left the facility. I never went further than the gate. He said
8 good-bye to all of us. The others gave him a round of applause.
9 Everybody was happy that he was going home after one year's service, but
10 that's all the information I have. After that, we only saw in the news
11 programme in the evening that he had travelled to Belgrade and further
13 Q. And how did this process of departure for the rest of the
14 contingent unfold? How did they leave on the 18th of June, 1995?
15 A. Even before we were informed that the prisoners of war would be
16 released, that morning, we made rounds of their two places of
17 accommodation, the Presidency and the other one, so that they could pick
18 up the remaining items that had been kept in these rooms. They picked up
19 all their belongings and their knapsacks, and all the other members from
20 all the other points joined them. We listed them all. And at the
21 Heliodrom near the military hospital, they were lined up, and I made a
22 short note of record that I was handing them over to
23 Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic.
24 A bit to the side, Professor Koljevic, vice-president of
25 Republika Srpska and president of the committee for foreign relations,
1 was standing there, and Mr. Jovanovic from -- from the Republic of
2 Serbia. I didn't need to go up to them any closer. My mission was
3 accomplished and finished. I shook hands with each and every one of
4 them, wishing them success in their career and to forget, as soon as
5 possible, the moments that they had spent with us that must have been
6 unpleasant. And I believe that the soldiers who were working with me and
7 I personally never were responsible for a single gesture for any move
8 that could have placed them in danger.
9 Q. I have to stop you here and ask you to focus on my question.
10 In that period while they were, security-wise, under your
11 responsibility, did UNPROFOR members suffer any threat, any
12 unpleasantness, anything that put them at risk?
13 A. No. There was even one Czech member who received medication or
14 carried medication for a brother who was ill. We took them every day to
15 places where they could have a bath, receive a new change of underwear
16 every day. And at one point they were even unhappy with the quality of
17 the food, although they were receiving the same food as we did. They
18 wanted fruit, and they were given a car to go to the market and buy
19 whatever they wanted and also buy videotapes to watch. I remembered one
20 Brazilian man, Harley, who met some people he knew from Mount Trebevic in
21 the street and they hugged and shook hands.
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] 1D06071, Your Honours, I should
23 like to tender this MFI'd temporarily until we receive a translation.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
25 MR. JEREMY: No objection, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, what number would this document
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D06071 receives exhibit number D1225,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Marked for identification.
6 Mr. Stojanovic, are you going to provide us with other reports of
7 the doctor as well?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I have them
9 all, but we are waiting for translations. We have another report which
10 is now in the electronic court, but it doesn't have a translation. It's
11 number 1D06072. We can have a look at it even now but only in B/C/S.
12 It's also addressed --
13 JUDGE ORIE: You started with the second report so I wondered
14 what the first report would be to have a bit of a complete picture.
15 Mr. Jeremy.
16 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, we've been able to find English
17 translations of these two reports which we've just now uploaded into
18 e-court so we could have a look at them. I think the translations come
19 from the Karadzic case. 65 ter, if Mr. Stojanovic is interested, is
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, were you aware that these documents
22 were used in the Karadzic case?
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I knew that one of them has been
24 used before, but we had problems with legibility with this document from
25 1995 because you can see that for yourselves. So we asked the CLSS once
1 again to provide us with an official translation.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Well, you see that both reports are available
3 in English.
4 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 Mr. Stojanovic, they are there, but perhaps we just have a look
7 at them.
8 Do you want to tender the first report as well?
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, certainly.
10 Also the first report which is 65 ter 1D06072; also to be MFI'd, pending
11 verification and translation.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy says that it's on our screen, an English
13 translation, so why not be very practical. If there's no dispute about
14 this being the original.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: Okay, yeah --
16 JUDGE ORIE: And this being a correct translation then. And
17 perhaps during the break you also look at the other one and see whether
18 the other translation would assist as well.
19 If you wish to tender this one as well --
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's right.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you --
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Would you provide a number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 33087 receives exhibit number
25 D1226, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And --
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no more questions for
3 this witness. Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Welcome.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just can I get some clarification.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Judge Moloto would have a question for you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is in connection with this exhibit number.
9 Is the 65 ter number 33087 or is it 1D6072? Is it the same
11 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that the one is the number as uploaded
12 by the Defence without a translation and the other one is the complete
13 document, that is uploaded by the Prosecution and carrying -- having
14 English translation with it.
15 MR. JEREMY: Yeah, I think the Defence 65 ter number relates to
16 the second of the two reports and the Prosecution 65 ter number included
17 both of the 6 June and the [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, would you please be so kind to sort
19 this all out where we have apparently original both B/C/S versions and
20 English translations, to sort out that they are under the right numbers
21 in our system.
22 And then another question, Mr. Jeremy, the second report was
23 marked for identification. Now since you have a translation, would you
24 object against admission?
25 MR. JEREMY: No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Stojanovic, if you'd take care of the
2 right numbering, et cetera, et cetera, then both the reports can be
3 admitted into evidence.
4 Having no further questions, we'll take the break.
5 Witness, we'll resume in 20 minutes from now. You may follow the
7 [The witness stands down]
8 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted in the courtroom.
11 Meanwhile, I take the opportunity to briefly deal with P7351,
12 which was admitted on the 28th of April of this year. It is the Zvornik
13 Brigade duty book of June 1995.
14 On the 29th of May of this year, the Prosecution informed the
15 Chamber and the Defence through an e-mail that it only wanted to have an
16 excerpt of the duty book admitted. It uploaded the relevant excerpt as
17 65 ter 18491a, and the Defence has not objected.
18 The Chamber therefore instructs the Registry to replace the
19 current version of P7351 with 65 ter 18491a.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Apologies for continuing our business when you
22 entered the courtroom, Mr. Vojvodic.
23 Mr. Vojvodic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Jeremy. You
24 find Mr. Jeremy to your right. Mr. Jeremy is counsel for the
1 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Jeremy:
3 Q. And good morning, Mr. Vojvodic.
4 Now, I'd like to start with a few general questions about your
5 position --
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. I'd like to start with a few general questions about your
8 position in 1995.
9 So in your statement, paragraph 2, you indicate that you were
10 assistant for security in the 27th Logistics Base. Now, your formal
11 title was assistant for intelligence and security. That's correct, yes?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And your direct superior was a Major Batinic; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And your ultimate superior on the professional reporting line was
16 General Tolimir, assistant commander for intelligence and security in the
17 Main Staff; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, the 27th Logistics Base where you were based, that was a
20 Main Staff facility; correct?
21 A. The 27th Logistics Base had its command at Sokolac and we were
22 the first depot in Koran. The 27th Logistics Base --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I continue?
25 MR. JEREMY:
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... if you continue your answer.
2 You were saying the 27th Logistics Base.
3 A. The 27th Logistics Base had several depots; in Sokolac, in Koran,
4 so that -- and the command was at Sokolac, the main command.
5 Q. And this 27th Logistics Base was a facility of the Main Staff;
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, moving on, in paragraph 4 of your statement you
9 discuss the NATO air-strikes on the 25th of May, 1995.
10 In paragraph 5, you say that at this time you were at home on
11 annual leave and you were asked to report for duty, and you were then
12 ordered to go to the Jahorinski Potok facility?
13 That facility was a depot of the 27th Logistics Base; yes?
14 A. Let me clarify. The first technical depot of Koran had
15 warehouses by the command. And in Jahorinski Potok, there were also
16 warehouses holding ammunition, mines and quartermaster's equipment and it
17 was at a distance of the Koran command of about 2 kilometres.
18 Q. So if I understand correctly, the Koran facility was a part of
19 the 27th Logistics Base and the Jahorinski Potok facility was a depot
20 belonging to the Koran facility or barracks; correct?
21 A. Yes. Yes, yes, you have understood well.
22 Q. And this Jahorinski Potok depot was a weapons depot; yes?
23 A. I have told you, it was a depot containing weapons and
24 quartermaster's equipment, technical equipment. We had our uniforms
25 there, so that there were clothes and footwear.
1 Q. And this was -- in Jahorinski Potok location was one of the
2 locations bombed by NATO on the 25th of May, 1995; yes?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, when you arrived at Jahorinski Potok you indicate in your
5 statement that you saw five or six UNPROFOR members outside the facility
6 guarded by armed men who you've already discussed today, and you in your
7 statement go on to indicate that you spoke to these men, that you told
8 them that you would treat them with respect they deserved as prisoners of
9 war; that's paragraph 5.
10 Now, Mr. Vojvodic, in fact, rather than being treated as
11 prisoners of war, certain of these men were told that they would die if
12 NATO bombing continued, weren't they?
13 A. I didn't hear that.
14 Q. To clarify, you didn't hear that these men were told that they
15 would die if NATO bombing continued; is that correct?
16 A. Personally I didn't hear it. But later on, in different
17 conditions, they told me that they were placed there as a response to
18 NATO so as to make NATO stop its bombing campaign.
19 Q. So as a way to deter NATO from bombing the locations that they
20 were placed at; correct?
21 A. Well, NATO had already destroyed several of these depots so I
22 don't know how else one would understand this. I didn't take part in
23 tying them up or bringing them there but we cannot understand it
24 differently than that. It was a sort of military trick or how else to
25 call it ...
1 Q. Okay. Let's take a look at a video of events on the 26th of May.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, could you explain what you meant by
3 "military trick." Is that -- perhaps you explain that.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they were tied and they were
5 filmed and that was shown on TV. So I think it was more a way of
6 deterring. They believed that NATO would not target its own men.
7 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... that was at the
8 basis of filming them and making that publicly known. Is that how I have
9 to understand your answer?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have a follow-up question.
15 You said that they believed that NATO would not target its own
17 So it was anticipated that NATO may target those -- those
18 positions where those men were tied.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we didn't know what they
20 would target, but they had already destroyed several facilities in the
21 immediate vicinity and it was expected that they would continue to do
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: That was just the question -- they just expected
24 they would continue. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
1 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours. I'd like take a look at a
2 video now. It's P2556. It's already in evidence so I that I we can just
3 play it once and we'll play a short section, starting at 1 minute and 2
4 seconds and will go to 2 minutes and 23 seconds -- 24 seconds.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Have the booth been provided with the transcript?
6 MR. JEREMY: Yes, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 [VOICEOVER]: "It's going to be your life.
10 "You will die for the good of NATO. This is 7-9, over. 7-9 Lima
11 we are instructed to advise you that ...
12 [VOICEOVER]: "They are still shooting up there. Give me your
13 hand. You, there, wait.
14 [VOICEOVER]: "Call. Call Kozirev to save you. Let him fuck
16 MR. JEREMY: We stopped at 2 minutes and 23.9 seconds.
17 Q. Now, sir, we see these men chained to posts in front of concrete
18 structures. These men are at the Jahorinski Potok facility; yes?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I take it you recognise the man that we see on the screen
21 before us as one of the men that you had in your custody?
22 A. I cannot recognise him. I can't. It's been 20 years, you know.
23 But all who were in Jahorinski Potok came to where I was later. But this
24 took place before I was informed and before I arrived there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, I'm a bit confused, perhaps, by
1 paragraph 5 of the statement, what is where. We see here a man tied at
2 a -- whether it's a flag post or anything else, but at least this metal
4 Now, in your statement, you say you went to the unit command
5 building, and that's where you saw an UNPROFOR member tied to a flag
6 post. And you say you thought it was an Egyptian pilot; you've corrected
7 that. You didn't speak to him.
8 Then you said: "I was immediately ordered to go to the
9 Jahorinski Potok facility ..."
10 Is that elsewhere? The Jahorinski Potok facility. Or is it in
11 the same area as the unit command's building?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Jahorina Potok facility is at a
13 distance of around 2 kilometres from the command, and this is a video
14 from Jahorinski Potok. And this is a lamppost.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in your statement, we find that you
16 spotted an UNPROFOR member tied to a flag post outside the command
17 building. So that's not what we see here, because this is at 2
18 kilometres distance, Jahorinski Potok, this is where this is filmed.
19 Is that well understood?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Because in front of the
21 command, as I said, the pilot Evans from Ghana was the one who was tied
22 there. This wasn't that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although that is not entirely clear, but thank
24 you for this explanation. So, as a matter of fact, if we look at this
25 picture at two different positions, people were tied to flag masts or
1 lampposts, whatever.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, in front of the command,
3 and also in Jahorina Potok. These are two separate locations that are at
4 a distance of around 2 kilometres from each other. I hope I have made
5 myself clear.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's clearer now. You also said that this happened,
7 I think, before you were there, that you wouldn't have seen it.
8 Is that correctly understood?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. You have understood it
10 correctly. They were all tied already at the moment when I arrived
12 JUDGE ORIE: At Jahorinski Potok?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And also in front of the command.
14 There was a man who was tied there as well. I remember his name and I've
15 mentioned him already.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, in your statement, we read that they were
17 guarded by armed men, not that they were chained to lampposts. Any
18 reason why you did not say anything about this detail which may be
19 relevant for the whole truth?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I stated everything
21 that I remembered. I remember well that Captain Evans was tied. As for
22 the five or six who were in Jahorinski Potok, I said that they were tied
23 also, and quite in detail, but whether they were tied to lampposts or to
24 bunkers is something I couldn't remember. I think that this has
25 refreshed my memory and I believe that this was the location where it
2 I did not intend to conceal anything. It's just that it's been
3 20 years, and these are details that were not really etched in my memory.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I must say that -- you certainly assist me in
5 telling us where you said in your statement that they were tied also in
6 Jahorinski Potok because I had difficulties.
7 But I'm also looking at you, Mr. Stojanovic, I may have missed
8 something but ...
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm following
10 this. In paragraph 5, the statement reads that: "At the command" - and
11 we have clarified now that this was the Koran command - "I found an
12 UNPROFOR member tied to a flag pole and in Jahorina" --
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... would you please
14 respond to what I asked. The witness said that he also stated that at
15 Jahorinski Potok people were tied and I was unable to find that and
16 that's what I'm asking you to assist, whether you could find that. It's
17 clear, and I read to him that being tied to a flag post, that's clearly
18 in his statement. But others, all of them being tied, irrespective tied
19 to what, at Jahorinski Potok, I was unable to find, and I was seeking
20 your assistance.
21 Apparently you're unable at this moment. If you find it, then
22 please tell us.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, it's not there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, when you said you said they were tied
1 there, that's not found in your statement.
2 Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
3 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Now, sir, these men at Jahorinski Potok who you've remembered
5 were tied up, these are the men that you refer to in your statement as
6 the men that you approached and told them that they would be treated with
7 the respect that they deserved as prisoners of war for as long as you
8 were there; correct?
9 A. Yes. I said a while ago that I came up to them and that one of
10 them told me he was thirsty. I went away and I came back with a plastic
11 bottle. One of them asked for toilet paper and I provided that too. So
12 I went to each one of them, I introduced myself as I said in my
13 statement, and I stand by that. I never concealed my identity. I told
14 them I was Captain Vojvodic and I told them that I would be in charge of
15 them. But it was normal that I could not make my own decisions. I had
16 to obey my superiors, so I made a tour and I told them that with my
17 honour and my life I would try to make sure that they were safe, that
18 none of the soldiers would come up to them and that at the precise moment
19 when -- and I can't remember exactly when that was, I think it was
20 between 21 and 2200 hours, I received an order that they be taken in a
21 vehicle to the Koran barracks. In the meantime - if you would allow me
22 to clarify - in the meantime, a room where the soldiers slept in the
23 dormitories was made vacant to accommodate them.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I think you went well beyond what was asked.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
1 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. So, sir, on the basis of your last answer, if I understand
3 correctly, you're saying that were you able to make your own decisions
4 and were you not to have to follow orders of your superiors, then I do
5 understand you correctly that would you have released these men when you
6 found them chained to these posts?
7 A. Look, I'm not a professional soldier, but I don't know whether in
8 any army of the world an officer of the rank of captain could make
9 decisions without asking his superior command about it. The only thing
10 that I could do --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, that wasn't the question. The question was
12 that if you would have been free to decide for yourself, whether you have
13 released them from their being chained to these posts.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not think about that. I
15 don't have an opinion about this. I'm not the sort of person who would
16 resort to the use of force. My task was at the given moment to approach
17 them in a humane manner and --
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Witness, you've
19 answered my question.
20 One additional question. If chaining prisoners of war to
21 lampposts in the vicinity of what you consider may be a target, in the
22 near future, of bombing, if that would be a violation of the
23 Geneva Conventions, would you still think that you're free not to decide
24 for yourself, and do you think that you still would be -- would you still
25 have to wait for orders?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I did not take part in tying
2 them up and I was not on leave and there were many armed people around, I
3 did not have such authority to do any such thing. Please don't force me
4 to give you my personal opinion which would be contrary to military
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm not forcing you, but if you -- I'm asking
7 you what your personal opinion is.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the command, I don't have
9 any personal opinion. Because, in any army, a superior is, rather, the
10 one who is in the right than the subordinate person.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And that would even be true if orders were in
12 violation of the Geneva Conventions?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never considered that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Vojvodic, the man we see on the screen before us is the
18 same man that we saw in the vehicle on the radio repeating or being asked
19 to say that he would die if NATO bombing continued.
20 His name is Captain Rechner. Does that refresh your
21 recollection? A Canadian.
22 A. Yes, Patrick Rechner, a Canadian captain. He fluently spoke
23 Serbian and I communicated most with him. Because he also knew
24 Lieutenant-Colonel Djuricic, who was the liaison officer in the
25 Main Staff in charge of relations. He also knew Vice-President Koljevic
1 who was the president of the committee for relations with foreign
2 countries, and I made it possible for Mr. Patrick to contact the
3 secretary of Professor Koljevic in an attempt for him to get in touch
4 with Professor Koljevic because they were personal acquaintances. I
5 remember that Lieutenant-Colonel --
6 Q. Sorry to interrupt. I take in your answer that, yes, you do
7 indeed recognise Captain Rechner.
8 Now, he testified in this case that he remained chained to this
9 location for approximately six hours. That's P2554, paragraph 42.
10 Now, sir, you would agree that the treatment that we saw being
11 meted out to Captain Rechner and the fact that he was chained there for
12 six hours, that's -- that treatment is contrary to the
13 Geneva Conventions; yes?
14 A. I don't know how long Patrick Rechner was tied. Perhaps for
15 another hour after I had arrived. But, in any case, the period was quite
16 long. And certainly instilled fear and -- among them and made them feel
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us at what time you arrived?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I arrived around 1930 to the
20 barracks, and then I was at this spot around 2000 hours. And already
21 around 2100 hours, the order was received to evacuate them. If I
22 recollect well, I don't have this noted anywhere but after 2100 hours,
23 they were moved to the Koran garrison, to the room that I explained to
24 you about.
25 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... but the total
1 duration of being tied there, you have no idea?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MR. JEREMY:
5 Q. But, sir, can we agree being threatened with death if NATO
6 air-strikes continue and being chained at this location is contrary to
7 the Geneva Conventions. Would you agree with that?
8 A. Well, I don't know enough to assess the Geneva Conventions and
9 NATO air-strikes. I would consider it, if it were not related to the
10 air-strikes, I don't know how that fits in with the Geneva Conventions.
11 You insist on me giving you an answer, but I'm not qualified to answer
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I ask the same question slightly differently.
14 Would you regard it as against the law to tie a person to a flag
15 pole which you anticipate would be bombed? Against the law of the
16 country. Forget about the Geneva Conventions. In other words, you're
17 putting somebody in danger of being killed. Is that not against the law?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know which law governs
19 that. You -- you keep insisting on it, and I just don't know.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... the law of the
21 country where you lived.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Never heard anything about it.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if there is any law
25 that governs that.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you think it is right your own common sense
2 to do such a thing. Is it correct to put somebody deliberately in the
3 path of danger?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have a different opinion.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ...
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] War is, in itself, contrary to
7 common sense.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm not asking you about war. I'm asking about
9 tying a person to a pole which you anticipate is going to be bombed by
10 somebody else. Just that.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, that day, at least ten bombs
12 fell and there was panic in Pale --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question is: It the correct, is it the right
14 thing to do to tie a person to a pole which you expect is going to be
15 bombed? The simple is answer is yes, it is right, or no, it is not
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give you such a brief
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... thank you.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
21 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Now, we'll stay on this issue, sir, and I'd like to show you a
23 document related to it.
24 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see 65 ter 03551 in e-court.
25 Q. Now, sir, on our screens before us is a document dated the same
1 day as the events that we just have been discussing at Jahorinski Potok,
2 the 26th of May, 1995. We see that in the top left corner. And we see
3 that this is a fax from UNPROFOR HQ Zagreb to Annan in New York, and we
4 see a subheading: "Message." And number 1 we read: "Careful
5 consideration is being given to all courses of action available in the
6 present situation. Notes from the commander of UNPROFOR are attached."
7 And, sir, I'll note to you that the -- this commander of
8 UNPROFOR, General Smith, has testified in this case, including in
9 relation to conversations reflected in the note that we'll shortly look
10 at, and that's transcript page 7309 to 7312.
11 Could we go to the next page, please, and we'll take a look at
12 those notes; in particular, number 1.
13 So at the top of the page, sir, we read: "After two air-strikes
14 on the Pale ammo dump, the latter in response to the shelling of the Safe
15 Areas particularly Tuzla, the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina at 1730 on
16 26 May 1995 is outlined as followed:
17 "A. Eight UNMOs are held in Pale, three are handcuffed outside
18 the Pale ammo facility."
19 So the reference is to the Pale ammo facility that's a reference
20 to Jahorinski Potok; correct?
21 A. Most probably.
22 Q. We see the report continues and we read: "It is said by Mladic
23 that the remainder are on the roof of the building. He says he is
24 expecting another attack, and the UNMOs will be killed whatever the
1 Now, sir, what we read about this report of what Mladic had said
2 that's exactly what these UNMOs who were being held hostage at
3 Jahorinski Potok were told on 26th May 1995, isn't it, that they would
4 die if NATO bombing continued?
5 JUDGE ORIE: No speaking aloud.
6 Mr. Mladic, I can hear you. You should take off your earphones
7 so that you can communicate at non-audible volume.
8 Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
9 MR. JEREMY:
10 Q. Sir, could you answer my question. I'll repeat it for you.
11 What we see as being recorded here, that is to say, that Mladic
12 said that if there's another attack the UNMOs will be killed whatever the
13 target, that's exactly what the men at Jahorinski Potok who were chained
14 to these poles were told on this same date, the 26th of May, 1995;
16 A. I could not know that. I see this document for the first time.
17 My hierarchy position in the army was such that I had no opportunity to
18 see or hear things like this. You should not overestimate my role and my
19 decision-making abilities in the army.
20 JUDGE ORIE: The simple question was, is, whether, what was read
21 to you now, whether that corresponds with what we heard on the video a
22 minute ago. That's the question.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are putting before me too many
24 documents. I need to concentrate and to think it over. I cannot
25 immediately take a position on something that passes before my eyes so
1 quickly. There are many similarities, but I would need more time.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, to some extent, the question is asking
3 for opinion so if you'd move on. Of course, the Chamber is able to
4 consider even without witness commenting on it whether there is any
5 correspondence between the two events.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. JEREMY:
8 Q. Sir, on the basis of an earlier answer you have provided to me, I
9 understand that you have said that on the 26th of May, 1995, or
10 subsequent to that date, you did discover that these men that we saw
11 chained to these posts were, indeed, threatened to be killed if NATO
12 bombing continued; correct?
13 A. I spent a lot of time speaking to them, and that's what they told
14 me. They told me that the people who had tied them up, who had
15 handcuffed them, told them that they would be blown up if there are any
17 But let me tell you one more thing. Our personnel was all around
18 them. They would also be killed. They were no more exposed to the
19 danger of air-strikes than the dozens of soldiers who were with them.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, that was not part of the question. Would
21 you please focus on the question. If there's anything further to be
22 further elicited, then Mr. Stojanovic will do it.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. JEREMY:
25 Q. And so, when you say your personnel were all around these men,
1 you're talking about VRS personnel; correct?
2 A. Well, the people who handcuffed them who were there. What do I
3 know? I told you at the beginning that I don't know those members of the
4 army. They were not from the units stationed at the garrison, but they
5 were around, some 10, 15 metres from these men. Too much time has passed
6 for me to recollect all the details. And you should really not insist on
7 my personal opinion about things that I was not able to decide about.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One short clarifying question.
9 Those members of the army. Which army?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was army personnel from
11 various units. This unit which carried this out were not our men. They
12 had different uniforms. Maybe there were some para-army, paramilitary.
13 They were all armed --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I stop you. You said, "I don't know. Those
15 members of the army."
16 You said, "the army."
17 Which army, again?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe I was imprecise in my answer.
19 These men were in uniform. They had weapons. I didn't know them. You
20 cannot talk me into admitting that I knew them when I didn't.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What kind of uniform did they wear?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I told you at the start.
23 Their uniforms were better quality than ours. They had light jackets. I
24 could not really describe it now. It's been too long for me to remember
25 the pattern.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In your statement, you say you "saw the UNPROFOR
2 members outside the facility guarded by armed men who were not members of
3 my unit."
4 Did you form the impression that they had --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did you form the impression that they had a
7 specific task coming from above?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot speculate about things I
9 don't know. What does my assumption mean after 20 years? How can I say
10 whether they had orders from above?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You had orders from General Tolimir. You were in
12 charge of these men. And if there was something which was irregular or
13 unlawful, why didn't you release them and take them inside of the
14 building? You were in charge.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have orders to release
16 them then. I was ordered to provide security to prevent anyone from
17 abusing them, mistreating them, provoking them, taunting them. And to
18 provide accommodation quickly. That was the order from General Tolimir
19 that was passed onto me, and nothing more.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is to tie somebody on these masts not abusing or
21 mistreating them?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, sir, my task was, in that
23 situation in which these men were at the time, to provide for their
24 security until orders came to place them in the dormitory in the Koran
25 facility. Everything else was beyond my authority.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Jeremy.
2 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours. I'd like to tender that
3 document as the next Prosecution Exhibit.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 03551 receives exhibit number
6 P7540, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
8 MR. JEREMY:
9 Q. Now, sir, in connection with your testimony about what your
10 orders were and you said that they were -- it was to place these men in
11 the dormitory in the Koran facility, I'd like to show you an order dated
12 the 30th of May, 1995, so four days into the time that you had these men
13 in your custody.
14 MR. JEREMY: Could we please see P5230.
15 Q. Sir, on the screen before us, we see an order from the Main Staff
16 of the VRS -- oh.
17 We did have that. Sorry. Perhaps I misspoke. Could we see
19 So, sir, very quickly, we see on the screen before us. It's a
20 document from the Main Staff of the VRS, strictly confidential. It's
21 dated the 30th of May, 1995. And if we can go to the last page in each
22 language, please. If we can go one page back, please, in the English.
23 And in the original, sir, we see that it's type signed by Colonel General
24 Ratko Mladic. And if we could go back to the first page, please, in each
25 language, we see the list of addressees, and we see it's to the commands
1 of and included there is the 27th Logistics Base. That was your
2 logistics base, correct, Mr. Vojvodic?
3 A. Yes. But the base command was at Sokolac. I never saw this
5 Q. Thank you. You've explained that. So we see that it's an order
6 for preparing, organising, and conducting anti-air-borne assault defence,
7 and if we could go to page 3 -- sorry, page 2 in the English and the
8 B/C/S. In the second paragraph down in the English and the top of the
9 page in the B/C/S we read: "Based on the decision of the Supreme
10 Command, strictly confidential number dated 29 May 1995, in order to take
11 timely measures to prepare for, prevent and effectively counter all
12 possible enemy air attacks, particularly in combatting the helicopter
13 assaults, I hereby order ..."
14 And we see a list of orders.
15 And if we can go to the next page in the English. We can stay on
16 this page in the B/C/S. And focussing on paragraph 7, sir, we read that:
17 "In the course of the day on 30 May 1995, the command of the SRK
18 is to complete the disarming of the captured UNPROFOR members and their
19 deployment to the facilities which have been assessed as possible NATO
20 air-strike targets. The remaining detained UNPROFOR members are to be
21 transported to a safe place; the General Staff VRS, which will organise
22 their transport to other corps is to be informed about their number and
23 location [sic]."
24 So, sir, this intention to use the men held in your custody as a
25 deterrent to air-strikes continued to go on beyond the 26th of May and
1 continued through to the 30th of May, 1995; correct?
2 A. No. The men who were with me from 9.00 in the morning on the
3 27th of May were placed in a room and they stayed there until the 18th of
4 June, apart from that Pole who was released a few days earlier, on the
5 13th or the 14th, a few days earlier. All the others remained there.
6 And this relates to units that I don't know about. I cannot comment
7 about the PVO infantry brigades or corps. I don't understand why you are
8 showing this document to me.
9 Q. Well, sir, simply if on the 30th of May, 1995 you had received
10 orders to place the men in your custody at targets assessed as potential
11 air-strikes by NATO, that's exactly what would you have done; correct?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection. Questions conceived
14 in this way ask the witness to speculate what would have happened if
15 something else had happened.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The witness is asked if he would have received such
17 orders whether he would have followed them and that is something that the
18 witness can answer.
19 Please proceed. If you would received an order as written down
20 here, would you have followed that order? Would you have obeyed to that
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Prosecutor, I told you once
23 before, I don't make forecasts. I did not receive such an order. And I
24 would appreciate it, if you can, and if you will, to discuss more their
25 stay with me on the -- from the 27th May to 18th June and what treatment
1 they received in as far as my competencies are concerned.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. What is relevant for us to
3 know is determined by the parties. It's perfectly clear from your
4 statement that you're proud of the way you treated them, by providing
5 them with food, shelter, et cetera. But apparently the parties have
6 different objectives, and they are determining what questions are put,
7 and you are -- you should focus on answering their questions. What
8 you're emphasizing now is clearly in your statement, but apparently
9 there's more the parties would like to explore.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
11 MR. JEREMY:
12 Q. Sir, you don't want to answer whether or not you would have
13 carried out this particular order that we see here in paragraph 7 because
14 you know that it's against the Geneva Conventions. That's correct, isn't
16 A. You keep asking me questions about situations in which I have
17 never been in my life. Things that I have never been at my level of
18 decision making. I was never in a position to decide such things and say
19 yes or no. All I can tell you is that I have no answer to this.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please move on, Mr. Jeremy.
21 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm moving to a different
22 section now. I think I can probably at the break review my notes and
23 wrap up not too long after the break so it might be appropriate to take
24 the break slightly earlier.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we'll take the break now. And could you
1 tell us right now how much time after having reviewed. Perhaps it's
2 difficult to say before you review, but ...
3 MR. JEREMY: I think around 15 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Witness, you're invited to follow the usher.
5 We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at quarter past 12.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 11.53 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.13 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We'll wait for the witness to be escorted in the
12 I have an empty court agenda so I couldn't fill the time with any
13 short matter.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy, you may proceed.
17 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, we're getting to the end of my questions but I'd
19 like to focus more directly on your specific role in these events.
20 So in your statement, you talk about the mutual trust that you
21 developed with the men in your custody and that you tried to make their
22 position easier every day. That's paragraph 13.
23 Now, sir, as I indicated, some of the men in your custody have
24 testified in this case including Patrick Rechner, the man you recognised
25 earlier. Now, the testimony that he gave in relation to you is that he
1 had many arguments with you about access to the doctors, access to the
2 ICRC and contact with family members. And that's at T18519 in our case,
3 in the Mladic case.
4 Another soldier in your custody, sir, Joseph Galissen, testified
5 that he was so frustrated with you that he actually threatened you with
6 the international Tribunal in The Hague, and that's P397, page 8. Sir,
7 that's actually the reality of the situation that there wasn't this
8 harmonious relationship that you had with your captives, but in fact they
9 were very frustrated with you; correct?
10 A. No. May I continue?
11 Q. Please.
12 A. The prisoners of war requested from me something that I was not
13 competent for. Patrick Rechner was a personal friend of
14 Vice-President Koljevic. I know only around 12th or 13th of June contact
15 was established with the office. I think the secretary's name was Ceca
16 and that it was made possible for him to contact him then. He wrote
17 letters to the Main Staff which were forwarded immediately. He wrote a
18 letter to Professor Koljevic which was also forwarded immediately. Not
19 at any single moment did I or the soldiers who were there force them to
20 anything. It was at my insistence that doctors came. I think it is in
21 Professor Sosic's report, "To the request of Captain Vojvodic, I
22 visited." It was on the 5th of June. It was it was at my initiative
23 that a nurse arrived.
24 Q. Sir --
25 A. -- for the findings and --
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
2 A. Yes?
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... come in on a point that you
4 just made about the doctors. At the start of your answer you said that
5 the prisoners of war requested from you something that you were not
6 competent for and you started now to talk about provision of doctors.
7 Now you also talk about that in your statement where you say,
8 "Naturally during a stay in a facility it was necessary for a medical
9 team to visit and examine their health, although they made no direct
10 complaints. "
11 Now, you've testified today and we see in D1226 that the first
12 time doctors came in to visit these men in your custody was the 5th of
13 June, 1992 [sic] so that's 11 days after their captivity began; correct?
14 A. Yes. But the doctors' visit was a result of my assessment rather
15 than their request.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I ask you the following. Did you
17 verify whether any of them needed any medication prescribed for them?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only asked them, especially two
19 of them, Patrick and Oldrich, were fluent in Serbian, so I communicated
20 with them and I asked them whether they needed anything and all their
21 letters that they wrote, I took seven messages. I remember I sent them
22 to their families --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please focus on my question. Did
24 you verify whether any of those needed any medication that was
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was with them for 15 hours
2 of the 24. Now I couldn't know if they needed or not.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You could have asked, for example.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we could discuss the quality of
5 the food and if we could go to their accommodation and take clean
6 underwear and make it possible for them to wash themselves. I think the
7 medication was not so important. It was in the third or fourth place. I
8 expected them to complain to me and --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You provided everything to them but you didn't
10 verify any need for medication.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Jeremy.
12 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. And, sir, you've testified that when the doctors did come on the
14 5th of June, 1995, they identified one detainee who was so ill that they
15 sent him home shortly after that; correct?
16 A. Well, the reason why I requested the doctors' visit,
17 Professor Mirko Sosic and I had been friends for a number of years, was
18 that Captain Romero could do something against himself because anyone
19 could have seen that he was depressed so I asked them to come. That was
20 number one. And I'm not a doctor to be able to conclude that. It's just
21 that signs of depression were visible on him and to a somewhat lesser
22 degree with the Pole, Kalbarczyk or whatever his name was. I can't
23 remember exactly. And all the others, not at all. They exercised in the
24 park. I remember Captain Oldrich who was doing the pushups - he was a
25 pilot - pushups with his legs wide apart. He would do that there was --
1 he would do 50 or 100 pushups on this gymnastics apparatus. There was
2 another case, too, the Brazilian Harley, who had problems in his family.
3 May I please finish. Please allow me.
4 Q. I think you've answered my question. You'll have a opportunity
5 to follow up on this area if Mr. Stojanovic would like to after I have
6 finished asking you my questions.
7 Now, you've -- you mentioned a few minutes that you facilitated
8 contact with the families of the detainees and that you took their
9 letters and sent -- and sent those on.
10 Now, Patrick Rechner testified in this case that it wasn't until
11 the 16th day of captivity that any direct contact with next of kin was
12 permitted. And that's the truth of the matter, isn't it?
13 A. On the telephone, yes. They talked on the satellite telephone.
14 It was limited to several minutes. And Mr. Harley because of the
15 situation, his wife needed to be operated on, he did it five or six days
16 earlier. I can't remember exactly but I received green light from my
17 superiors to drive the Brazilian, Harley, to their accommodation where
18 there was satellite communication so that he could get in touch with his
19 wife. And, in any case, I believe this to have been a humane act. And
20 their families were informed in different ways too, because the
21 secretaries, the interpreters who work there at the accommodation
22 Panorama and Kalovita Brda, the two points I would go there on a daily
23 basis to connect the information. The wife of this Kuldric [phoen]
24 called and Oldrich's sister, Augustina called. I remember her name and
25 so on and so forth.
1 Q. Sir, you've answered my question it was that 16 days into
2 captivity that telephone contact was permitted.
3 Now, I'd like to ask about access to the Red Cross which you
4 discuss in your statement. You say that members of the ICRC visited
5 regularly for the duration of their stay in the facility. Now, the first
6 date of the Red Cross visit was on the 8th of June, 1995; correct?
7 A. Look, I was not authorised to determine when the ICRC would come.
8 They brought a paper from the --
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... Witness, the
10 simple question is whether it's true it was on the 30 -- the 8th of
11 June that the ICRC, for the first time, visited those who were kept
12 there. Is it correct or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. That was when they
14 brought the approval and then it was fine.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Next question, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I clarify something else as
17 well? Would you allow me?
18 MR. JEREMY:
19 Q. Sir --
20 JUDGE ORIE: At this moment just focus on the questions.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right, all right.
22 MR. JEREMY:
23 Q. So if the first visit was on 8 June 1995 and that's 14 days into
24 the period that these men were being held captive, do you consider that
25 regular visitation by the ICRC which is what you describe in your
2 A. Well, I didn't prevent them from coming nor did I set up their
3 visit. As soon as the approval was issued, the visit took about three or
4 four hours, and no one was present there. None of because was there
5 during their discussion. They made the report and they submitted it to
6 me in the English and in Serbian, and I have no further comment on that.
7 Q. So --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Who issued the -- what did you say? The
9 permission to visit the detainees?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Professor Koljevic's office. He
11 was the vice-president of the republic and the president of the committee
12 for international relations. It was signed by, I don't know -- and they
13 called me personally from the office to tell me that we should allow this
14 visit to take place.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 MR. JEREMY:
17 Q. And prior to this visit on the 8th of June, 1995, the men in your
18 custody had asked you to see the ICRC on a number of occasions and that
19 request had been turned down until the 8th of June, 1995; correct?
20 A. All their requests in writing were written by Patrick Rechner.
21 Each of their requests was addressed to Lieutenant-Colonel Djuricic to
22 the Main Staff and the office of Professor Koljevic and I forwarded them
23 there, and that was where my role ended.
24 Q. Okay. That's understood. Now, sir, to finish, I'd like to
25 briefly focus on the release of these detained UN soldiers.
1 Now, this happened on the 18th of June, 1995; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And these men were released pursuant to an order from your
4 superior officer; correct?
5 A. I was informed from the command of the 27th Logistics Base in
6 Sokolac that I should get the POWs ready for release. Then we organised
7 the visits to their accommodation in Panorama and Kalovita Brda so that
8 they could --
9 JUDGE ORIE: The question is not how they were released. The
10 question was whether they were released pursuant to an order from your
11 superior officer. Was there an order by your superior officer to release
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot exactly remember at
14 this moment. Certainly I did receive an order on the telephone.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Fine.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. JEREMY:
18 Q. And that order is received from whom, Mr. Vojvodic?
19 A. Well, I think it was from Professor Koljevic's office and also
20 the logistics base. Some of the officers there. I received the
21 information that I should make everything ready, make it possible for
22 them to go to their accommodation and collect their personal items which,
23 of course, I did.
24 Q. Okay. Let's take a quick look at Defence exhibit 65 ter 1D06070.
25 MR. JEREMY: There isn't a translation for this. We can provide
1 one. I think we can function without it.
2 Q. Now, sir, this is a list of 15 names. It's dated 18 June 1995.
3 Could you -- this is the document pursuant to which the men in your
4 custody were released by you to Colonel Indjic; correct?
5 A. Lieutenant-Colonel? Indjic was a lieutenant-colonel.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... thank you. Could you answer
7 my question.
8 A. Can you please repeat the question.
9 Q. Yes. The document that we have on the screen before us is the
10 document pursuant to which these 15 men listed here were released from
11 your custody and handed over by you to Lieutenant-Colonel Indjic;
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. JEREMY: I tender this document as the next Prosecution
15 Exhibit and we'll -- I would suggest it is MFI and we can provide a
17 JUDGE ORIE: No objections.
18 Madam Registrar, the number under which this document would be
19 MFI'd would be ...?
20 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 1D06070 receives exhibit number
21 P7541, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Marked for identification.
23 MR. JEREMY: To finish I'd like to take a quick look at P2560.
24 Q. Coming up on the screen before us, sir, is a document on -- along
25 the same theme that we're looking at. That is to say, the release of the
1 hostages, the men in your detention. We see that it's dated 17th
2 June 1995. At the bottom of the page in B/C/S we see it is type signed
3 Ratko Mladic. We see that it's addressed to the commanders of a number
4 of different corps in the VRS. The heading is: Freeing of detained UN
6 And we read: "In his order, strictly confidential," and a number
7 dated 17 June 1995, "the president of the RS ordered that all UN hostages
8 be released by 1400 hours on the 18th of June 1995."
9 And lower down we see an express order from General Mladic that
10 echoes this order that we see from the president of the RS.
11 And, sir, that's exactly what happened; correct? The soldiers in
12 your detention were released on the 17th of June -- on the 18th of
13 June 1995.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic.
15 MR. IVETIC: I see a --
16 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... You're not, but I give you
17 an opportunity to --
18 MR. IVETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... It's because of the
20 JUDGE ORIE: I can imagine, but it's common that the one who
21 examines the witnesses so I give ample time. It may even be a matter
22 which I would have raised myself.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
25 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just one sentence.
2 My colleague who is a native speaker of English has pointed out to me
3 there is a problem with the translation. The English version reads that
4 the hostages would be handed over, and in the B/C/S version, there is no
5 such word, hostages.
6 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... yes, it's in the
7 first -- yes. If Mr. Ivetic would not have raised the matter, I
8 certainly would have insisted on verification of the accuracy of this
9 translation. Because it seems to be an important -- important phrasing
11 Now I even can imagine that whether there's reference to an order
12 strictly confidential by the president of the Republika Srpska, that that
13 order also exists and that it could even be verified whether that's,
14 indeed, the language used in that order.
15 MR. JEREMY, this linguistic issue, could you pay attention that
16 in every respect it is verified, and perhaps even by referring to any
17 original order, that there is no mistake in the use of the word "hostage"
18 in the translation as it appears here.
19 MR. JEREMY: Yes, of course, Your Honours, I'll do that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I think that this will take care of
21 the matter. When will we hear from you, Mr. Jeremy? Because I would not
22 only hear from you if there's anything wrong, but the Chamber, under
23 these specific circumstances, would like to also hear from you if
24 everything, having been verified, turns out to be correct.
25 MR. JEREMY: Within the next day or so.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's say before the end of this week.
4 MR. JEREMY: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And don't forget to look at what Ms. Stewart puts
6 before you.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Your microphone is ...
9 MR. JEREMY: I'm told that D4 is the original Karadzic order but
10 I'll investigate that.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then.
12 MR. JEREMY: [Overlapping speakers] ...
13 JUDGE ORIE: It's D4, you said. Okay. We'll have a look at the
14 translation of that one then as well.
15 Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just, Your Honours, just for the
17 record, let me say that in the B/C/S version of this document, the words
18 are that all detained members of UN be released.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's argument, Mr. Stojanovic. I asked --
20 of course, especially in relation to the other language found further
21 down, to verify the language in the reference to the order of the
23 But I take it, Mr. Jeremy, that you would include every part of
24 both documents which deals with -- which qualify the persons being
25 released in whatever way.
1 MR. JEREMY: Yes. Yes, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Having dealt with that, those were your
4 MR. JEREMY: Just --
5 JUDGE ORIE: You were reading, yes.
6 MR. JEREMY:
7 Q. Just a final question, Mr. Vojvodic.
8 So in this document, we see the order that detained UN members
9 are freed on the 18th of June, 1995, and that's exactly what happened to
10 the men in your custody; correct?
11 A. Yes. But this order was not addressed to my unit but to the
12 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Because in their area, there were other
13 detainees, and I was only responsible for the 15 whom I brought to the
14 specified time -- to the specified place at the specified time as I was
15 ordered on the telephone.
16 And may I add something, please, Your Honours. Would you please
17 allow me to do that?
18 JUDGE ORIE: If it's a direct answer to the question, you may do
19 that; if it's not a direct answer to the question, you're not allowed to
20 do it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's for you to assess that.
22 I can only say that as for the hostages, I never saw General Ratko Mladic
23 present in Koran and I say that with full moral obligation of the oath.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll stop you there. First of all, it's in your
25 statement. Therefore, there's no need to repeat it. It's already --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- part of your evidence. And, second, it's not an
3 answer to the question. So would you please refrain from, again, putting
4 your own agenda first rather than to listen to the questions of the
6 And could I have also exactly verified where the witness is
7 interpreted to us as having talked about hostages whether that's an
8 accurate translation. Not that I, in general, have any doubt, but in
9 view of the sensitivity of the issue, I'd like to know whether that's the
10 word the witness used.
11 Please -- no further questions.
12 MR. JEREMY: No further questions, Your Honours. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any further questions
14 for the witness?
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a couple of questions,
16 Your Honour.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Today on page 50, lines 10 to 12 of the
19 preliminary transcript, you were asked a question about requests for
20 medical assistance.
21 Here is my question: Did you at any point receive requests from
22 UNPROFOR members for medical assistance without you having observed it?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Mr. Vojvodic, did you at any point while they were in your charge
25 ever make any threats against these people that their lives would be in
2 A. No. I claim that with full responsibility and all my superiors
3 ordered that no one must mistreat them physically or mentally and they
4 were protected all the time. And during the day they spent most of the
5 time in the park where they walked around because the weather was nice.
6 Q. That was my last -- to be my last question.
7 You told us that you received such orders from your superiors?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who did you receive such an order from that nothing bad must
10 happen to these people?
11 A. All. Major Batinic, then Djuricic. Major Bukva. I can't
12 remember them all but all the superiors who contacted me, the first
13 question was always that their status had to be decent, humane, that no
14 one threaten them, no one must harm them and accept that we exchanged
15 some army items -- all right. With a soldier in a vehicle they went to
16 the market. They bought things that they were interested in. They went
17 to wash where they were accommodated and to have an exchange of
18 underwear. Not at any single moment were they --
19 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... witness --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
21 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... both the market
22 and the washing and the underwear have been mentioned before. There's no
23 need to repeat. We carefully listen to what you say.
24 I would, however, have another question for you. You said you
25 were ordered and you took care that no one would physically or mentally
1 mistreat any of those.
2 Now, do you consider to put those men visibly for the world in
3 close vicinity to what you anticipated would likely be a target for
4 bombing, would you consider that not in any way mistreatment, mental
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judge, sir, I gave my answers only
7 for the period from the 27th May to the 18th of June. During that
8 period, I don't think they were ever mentally or physically at risk.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... you allowed them
10 to be outside. You said because the weather was nice. And it also had
11 the result that their presence was visible for the outside world, isn't
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, exposing them in that way, to possible
15 harm because you anticipated that the facility might be a target in the
16 near future. Would you not consider that in any way ill-treatment in a
17 mental sense?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not take part in that, and I
19 have no comment.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You told us a minute ago that you -- they were, most
21 of the time, outdoors, and you allowed them to be there, isn't it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're asking me about the
23 handcuffing before I took charge of them. We didn't understand each
24 other then.
25 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... I'm talking
1 about what you testified that there were free to be outdoors when they
2 were in -- when they were spending their many, many days there.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I maintain with full
4 responsibility they could spend free time in the park, on the benches.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Have you ever thought about that being a signal to
6 the outside world that they were still kept in a facility which you
7 considered a likely bombing target in those days?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there were no more
9 air-strikes then. I don't know. I wasn't thinking about it. It was
10 just a couple of metres away from the command. My office was 5, 6 metres
11 from them, and 90 per cent of the time I was either with them or in my
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 Mr. Jeremy.
15 MR. JEREMY: Just one clarification to the witness's answer.
16 Further cross-examination by Mr. Jeremy:
17 Q. Sir, you indicated in response to the President's questions that
18 you gave your answers only for the period from the 27th of May to the
19 18th of June, which I take to be 1995.
20 Now when we looked at the video footage at Jahorinski Potok of
21 the men chained to those posts and you indicated that you were present
22 later that day, that was on the 26th of May, 1995; correct?
23 A. Yes. We noted that during my testimony. It was in the afternoon
24 on the 26th May when I took them over and took them to the garrison in
25 Koran where the dormitories were.
1 Q. You've answered my question. Thank you, sir.
2 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Stojanovic. Unless it was triggered by my question, you've
5 had your two rounds.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I did, but I hadn't
7 completed before you asked that question of the witness, but I would like
8 us to go into private session briefly because I have a question that
9 could follow from the question you asked.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I -- we move into private session.
11 [Private session]
11 Pages 38847-38852 redacted. Private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
19 Nothing else?
20 Then this concludes your testimony, Mr. Vojvodic. I'd like to
21 thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for having
22 answered all the questions that were put to you, either by the parties or
23 by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
24 You may follow the usher.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Nothing being on the agenda, we adjourn for the day,
2 and we resume tomorrow, Wednesday, the 9th of September, 9.30 in the
3 morning, in this same courtroom, I.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.06 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
6 September, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.