Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12532

1 Wednesday, 13 June 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [Accused Beara not present]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you call the

7 case, please.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. Good morning, everyone. All the

11 accused are here. From the Defence teams -- no, not all the accused are

12 here. Mr. Beara is not here. I understand he is sick. Do we have a

13 waiver?

14 MR. MEEK: Yes, Mr. President, I got a call last night, late, and

15 he asked that he be allowed to rest today and the Detention Unit informed

16 me he would have so sign a waiver today not to obstruct the trial, thank

17 you.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, we don't have it. So do we have

19 your go-ahead at least as counsel?

20 MR. MEEK: Absolutely, Your Honour, you do. And it should be

21 here. They told me this morning that he had signed it.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. That makes a difference, if

23 you've been told that he has signed it already.

24 So Mr. Ostojic and Mr. Mrkic are not here. Ms. Condon is not

25 here. What's happened to Ms. Condon?

Page 12533

1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Ms. Condon will be with us from next week.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. And Mr. Ostojic and Mr. Mrkic?

3 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour, Mr. Ostojic will be with us next week

4 also.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And Mr. Mrkic?

6 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, Mr. Mrkic has resigned from our team.

7 He's no longer with the Beara Defence team.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Prosecution is Mr. McCloskey,

9 Mr. Vanderpuye. I don't know if there is anyone else behind the column.

10 No. Did I miss anyone else? Mr. Sarapa is here. Mr. Petrusic is here.

11 Forgive me but the column is in the way and I have to move various

12 directions to see who is not hiding but who happens to be behind the

13 column.

14 All right. Mr. McCloskey, I know that -- I'm referring you

15 specifically to the latest motion, confidential motion, filed by the

16 Nikolic team. Let's go into private session, please.

17 [Private session]

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 12534

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 [Open session]

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Josse.

10 All right. There seems to be no other preliminaries apart from

11 the topic, the subject matter, that some of you have intimated would like

12 to address the Chamber upon.

13 So we move directly to that issue. Who wishes to address the

14 Trial Chamber first? Madam Fauveau?

15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, honourable Judges,

16 the Defence has certain concerns concerning the motion of the Prosecution.

17 These concerns are of administrative nature and in my opinion should not

18 be submitted before this Chamber. Unfortunately, I'm forced once again to

19 bring to the notice of the Chamber our financial problems that we could

20 face if this joinder occurs. In paragraph 2 of his motion, the Prosecutor

21 says that joinder would not cause financial prejudice to the accused and

22 that it would protect the limited resources of the parties in the

23 proceedings before the Chamber and the Prosecutor asserts that the rights

24 of the accused will be fully observed. The paragraph applies both to the

25 accused Tolimir and the other accused.

Page 12535

1 In paragraphs 35 and another paragraph of the motion, the

2 Prosecutor claims that a postponement of five to six months is advisable

3 to prepare for this knew joined case. All the accused are covered by the

4 motion, including the accused Tolimir. Without prejudice to any position

5 the Defence might take in the future regarding the joinder, I have to

6 raise before this Chamber the issue of payments for the Defence if the

7 joinder occurs, and we are all aware that postponement will occur

8 necessarily if the joinder is approved.

9 The Prosecutor correctly notes in his motion that the adjournment

10 in the proceedings should be taken advantage of for purposes of

11 preparation, on both sides. However, the Defence is now facing the

12 possibility that they will not be paid. In other words, that their

13 remuneration would be considerably reduced during that adjournment. It

14 needs not even be said that we will not be able to work if we are not

15 paid, we will not be able to prepare defence, and our clients will in that

16 period be deprived of defence. The right to defence is one of the basic

17 rights that is protected by various conventions, including the statute of

18 this Tribunal. One of the integral parts of the right to defence is

19 provision of resources to the accused for purposes of preparing a defence.

20 In keeping with that, if, during the adjournment we are not paid,

21 that will clearly have an effect and will be a grave violation of

22 Article 21 of the statute, whereas the joinder would clearly be against

23 the interests of our clients and would again be a violation of Article 21

24 of the statute and will be a denial of the right to defence.

25 I regret very much that my position on the joinder has to be

Page 12536

1 linked with an administrative issue, namely payment for Defence. However,

2 I cannot take my position on the Prosecutor's motion before I know what

3 kind of resources will be at the disposal of the Defence during the

4 adjournment. We have already addressed the registrar very soon after

5 receiving the motion of the Prosecutor, and we received a very worrisome

6 answer. They say that we should not be concerned because the motion has

7 nothing to do with legal assistance but reality is very different. We do

8 not know at this moment whether we would be able to work in the next five

9 or six months or not.

10 Therefore, I urge you, Your Honours, to instruct the Registry to

11 give us an answer, a positive answer, assuring us that we will have

12 sufficient resources during the adjournment, resources that are simply a

13 required minimum for an effective defence.

14 Now I have to raise another issue, namely the issue of deadlines.

15 In paragraph 26 of his motion, the Prosecutor asks that all time starts to

16 count from the moment the accused Tolimir is assigned a counsel. I want

17 to know whether the same applies to our six accused here. I urge the

18 Chamber to take a decision setting deadlines for the seven accused here

19 and that time starts to count from the decision of the Registry.

20 I apologise again to the Chamber because I was forced to raise

21 administrative problems in the courtroom where they have no place.

22 However, I emphasise once again that if adjournment occurs, we have to use

23 it in the best possible way for purposes of defence of our accused because

24 many new documents will come to light and we have to work on them. We

25 also have to have the necessary resources for that in order to be able to

Page 12537

1 respond in the best possible manner to the motion of the Prosecutor.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 JUDGE KWON: Madam Fauveau-Ivanovic, if I can ask you a question

4 because I'm not well aware of the situation. My understanding is that as

5 for resources, the Defence counsel are paid in lump-sum basis. My

6 question is whether that lump sum -- the amount of lump-sum payment

7 depends upon the length of time, the length of time of the trial.

8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The amount of --

9 we have at our disposal depends on the duration of the trial and that's

10 why precisely my colleague, Mr. Ostojic, has asked for the Prosecution

11 case to be prolonged because for the moment we are paid until 15th of

12 August, but when we received the motion of the Prosecutor, I raised the

13 question before the Registry whether and what will be done in case of

14 adjournment, whether this adjournment will be treated as part of the trial

15 or as a break but they were not in a position to tell us whether this will

16 count as the Prosecution case or a purely an adjournment, and for the

17 moment, our situation is one of complete uncertainty.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I think this basically raises two

19 issues. One is not really related to the subject matter that we are

20 discussing, and usually I was telling Judge Kwon as Presiding Judge I am

21 called upon to sign a document periodically indicating the estimated

22 length of trial because I know that the lump sum covers a certain period

23 of time and I think you can rely on us taking care of that because there

24 is no way this trial can finish in August, so that much you don't need to

25 worry about.

Page 12538

1 On the other hand, the matter that you raise, whether the

2 adjournment, the four or five months, would be considered as a break or as

3 part of the trial, in other words an ongoing part of trial, is a very

4 valid point that we've taken note of.

5 Can I ask you who you consulted from the registrar's office,

6 please?

7 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] We contacted immediately after the

8 motion was filed, Mr. Martin Petrov and we also wrote a letter to Mr. John

9 Hocking, Deputy Registrar, and we received yesterday Mr. Hocking's answer.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: And what does it say?

11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Basically the letter says that the--

12 their decision will depends on the decision of the Trial Chamber. I

13 believe they referred to the decision on joinder, and they say that our

14 position must not be linked to the decision on joinder because it's a

15 financial matter, but in fact our situation is completely different. We

16 have to know what our financial situation will be before we know what we

17 think about the joinder. In fact, we have to know whether this

18 adjournment will benefit or be prejudicial to our clients.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: And when you approached Mr. Petrov did you get a

20 reply from him, a formal response, in writing or orally?

21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, but I believe the

22 reply of Mr. Hocking also covers Mr. Petrov because the letter was copied

23 to the latter.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: And were these representations made by you only or

25 together with others present at the time? Other Defence counsel, I mean.

Page 12539

1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] The letter to the Registry was

2 written in the name of six Defence teams. I do not know if the seventh

3 Defence team is in agreement with what we presented yesterday but I

4 believe they agreed with the letter.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Which is the seventh Defence team?

6 MR. JOSSE: It's us, Your Honour. There is a very small

7 difference in nuance between us and some of my learned friends. We

8 clearly are concerned about the matter but we would approach it in a

9 slightly different way but that is certainly not something that we need to

10 air in front of the Trial Chamber at the moment.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Anyone else wishes to address the

12 Trial Chamber from the Defence teams first? Mr. Meek? I'll give you the

13 floor very soon, Mr. McCloskey. Yes, Mr. Meek?

14 MR. MEEK: Very briefly, Your Honour, upon your question to

15 Ms. Fauveau. John Ostojic did talk personally with Mr. Petrov last week

16 and asked that question, and the answer that I'm aware of was that there

17 are directives on that and that's all he would say.

18 Thank you.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have an indication of which directives he was

20 referring to?

21 MR. MEEK: Well, it's the legal aid directive, Your Honour,

22 talking about if there is a stop in the trial, they can basically have the

23 right to cut us down to 40 per cent of what the lump sum might be for lead

24 counsel and co-counsel. That would be the maximum amount they could but

25 that's what they are referring to. I don't have the exact rule right now

Page 12540

1 but I could get it for you.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Anyone else?

3 Mr. McCloskey?

4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, briefly, Mr. President, I normally stay out

5 of these issues. However, since the Tolimir arrest I have been in touch

6 with Defence counsel on all these issues and I do share their concern

7 about finances. I spoke briefly to Martin Petrov and I found his attitude

8 to be positive. It's just such an unusual situation, the possibility of

9 joinder, that I think he's looking to us and to you especially to give him

10 some guidance on what this may involve. I told him that "break" would not

11 be a proper word for this, that the actual work would increase so the

12 intensity of trial would not.

13 So I think he's looking to the Court and to everyone to see if --

14 what is warranted and my view is that there will be more work, and that I

15 will be getting as many, if not more, e-mails late at night from Defence,

16 and motions and preparation. So to give him an idea that this is not a

17 break in the sense of that we may normally think of a break.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If we grant -- if we grant joinder

19 because obviously we haven't -- we are not even in a position to start

20 discussing it this deeply because we haven't got any responses either from

21 the Defence teams here or for that matter from the Tolimir -- from Tolimir

22 or his Defence team, when he gets one, the situation as I understand it,

23 if there is -- if there will be a four-to-five month hiatus, whoever is

24 appearing for Tolimir or will be appearing for Tolimir certainly will be

25 paid because for that lawyer, that would not be a stoppage in any case,

Page 12541

1 and the same argument then supposedly cannot be used in relation to these

2 ladies and gentlemen over here. So that immediately brings, highlights a

3 discrepancy.

4 But in any case, I don't think we are in a position to discuss

5 with you any further on this. We need to consider it. There are these

6 issues that need to be decided without delay. Number 1 is for Tolimir,

7 there is the problem of running of the time limits for filing of the

8 response, and that depends on the decisions that will be taken as to

9 whether he will defend himself or whether he will be assisted by counsel.

10 That's problem number 1, and we are not privy to any developments in that

11 sector as yet.

12 The other thing is that if I understand Madam Fauveau correctly,

13 while the reason for suspending the time limits applicable to Tolimir

14 would not be applicable to you, strictly speaking, still you would like

15 the time limit to be suspended until the registrar has communicated to you

16 his decision on matters of finance, and in that case, the time limit will

17 start running from the date of that decision. Did I read you well,

18 Madam Fauveau, or not?

19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Do you wish to -- yes, Mr. Bourgon?

21 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. I just would like to

22 add quickly on this issue, the reason being that as soon as the motion for

23 joinder was filed, we have started consulting of course with our

24 respective clients as to whether we should oppose or whether we should be

25 in favour of the joinder. The problem is we are not in a position to

Page 12542

1 advise our clients in a proper manner because we don't know what we will

2 be able to do during this period. We know what the Prosecution will do.

3 Mr. McCloskey has made that very clear, that he will continue working full

4 blast ahead and we would like to be able to be in a position to advise our

5 clients.

6 We have offices, we have staff, our staff has indicated to us that

7 they will be leaving if they are not paid. Then that means we have to

8 start all over again. We have to shut down our offices, bring those back

9 home and then start again four months from now. If that is the case, we

10 need to be able to discuss this with our client to see what we can do

11 during this period and that is the case why we just want, once we know

12 what we can do, then we are in a position to respond to the Prosecution's

13 joinder motion. Thank you, Mr. President.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Fully understood, Mr. Bourgon.

15 Yes, Mr. Josse?

16 MR. JOSSE: Could I just turn to the other issue and that's the

17 issue of time for our response? I thought my learned friend

18 Madam Fauveau's submission was that our time should run from the time of

19 General Tolimir. In other words, when --

20 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I didn't understand her that way. That's why I

21 made sure that I had understood her well.

22 MR. JOSSE: In a sentence, that's the submission I make on behalf

23 of General Gvero, that our time should run from the time of

24 General Tolimir. It would cause no administrative inconvenience bearing

25 in mind General Tolimir won't file his response until such time as the

Page 12543

1 Trial Chamber says he has to. We should be in the same position, I

2 submit.

3 JUDGE PROST: Mr. Josse, can I just clarify? You say you're

4 seeking the same time limits that are imposed with respect to Mr. Tolimir;

5 is that correct? Not that you want it to run from the time Mr. Tolimir

6 files a response.

7 MR. JOSSE: The same time limit as General Tolimir, correct.

8 JUDGE PROST: Thank you.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Point taken. Any further submissions,

10 Mr. Bourgon?

11 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. There were four issues

12 that we wanted to address the Trial Chamber with this morning.

13 Mrs. Fauveau took care of the first two issues. I would like to address

14 the third issue and my colleague Mr. Haynes will be addressing the

15 Trial Chamber, with your leave, with respect to the your fourth issue.

16 With your leave, Mr. President, I will now move on to this issue and once

17 again I address here the Trial Chamber on behalf of six of the accused in

18 this case.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you specify who?

20 MR. BOURGON: Well, counsel representing the accused Gvero have a

21 different position, a slightly different position, which they may be able

22 to articulate themselves after I've done my own argument, Mr. President.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Mr. Bourgon.

24 MR. BOURGON: Our submission at this time is that, in light of the

25 Prosecution's motion for joinder, of the -- joinder of the proceeding

Page 12544

1 against Zdravko Tolimir to this case, we are of the view that it would be

2 both inappropriate and counter-productive to proceed with the testimony of

3 any further Prosecution witness until the Prosecution motion has been

4 decided upon.

5 In short, Mr. President, we believe that this is the case both for

6 legal, as well as practical, reasons. My colleagues representing the

7 accused Pandurevic will later address you specifically with the situation

8 applicable to Mr. Zdravko Tolimir, the newly arrested person but for now

9 what I'd like to say is that considering the fact that Mr. Tolimir is

10 presently in The Hague, that he is available for this trial, although he

11 has not yet instructed counsel, and the fact that the Prosecution have

12 clearly indicated their intention to join him to this case, it's only a

13 matter of time before we have a decision whether he will or not be joined.

14 We believe that proceeding in his absence would amount to some

15 kind of a trial in absentia, given the fact that he has a right to be

16 present at any trials involving himself, and there is a motion out there

17 which says that that it is -- this is the intention of the Prosecution.

18 Moreover, Mr. President, many of the witnesses scheduled between now and

19 28 June, and I say 28 June because this is the date referred to by the

20 Prosecution in the motion, for stopping this trial if Mr. Tolimir is

21 joined, and many of these witnesses are related to the acts and conduct of

22 Zdravko Tolimir, or are of such importance to this case that the accused,

23 who for all intents and purposes will be the most senior in this case if

24 he's joined, will -- should be present to hear the testimony of these

25 witnesses.

Page 12545

1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Bourgon are you speaking on behalf of

2 Mr. Tolimir?

3 MR. BOURGON: I'm not speaking -- no, Judge. I'm speaking about

4 the accused in this case.

5 JUDGE KWON: Please concentrate on your client's position.

6 MR. BOURGON: I will, I will, Judge. For now let me just add that

7 we believe that it is not for the Prosecution.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.

9 MR. BOURGON: Sorry, thank you. Mr. President, we believe for the

10 time being that it is not for the Prosecution to decide or suggest which

11 witnesses would be recalled in the event Mr. Tolimir is joined to this

12 case or not. We believe that it would be counter-productive to proceed

13 with any further witness at this time only to have them recalled at a

14 later time if and when, of course, Mr. Tolimir decides to call these

15 witnesses back. We believe that should the Trial Chamber take the view

16 that we should continue hearing witnesses for the purpose of saving time,

17 which we could understand, that the Trial Chamber is interested in moving

18 along with this trial, and so are we on this side of the courtroom, we are

19 interested in moving along with the proceedings. However, we feel that if

20 Mr. Tolimir is joined to this case, this may have an impact on the

21 cross-examination that we could be doing once he is in the courtroom

22 because as the most senior accused, his position he takes will have an

23 impact on the cross-examination that we may lead with any given witnesses.

24 And for this reason, we believe that if the Trial Chamber should

25 take the view that we are to proceed with witnesses until we have a

Page 12546

1 joinder decision, then in such a case that we only hear

2 examination-in-chief and that we keep cross-examination for once we know

3 whether Mr. Tolimir is joined or not to this case.

4 Thank you, Mr. President.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?

6 MR. McCLOSKEY: It might be easier if I respond to Mr. Bourgon

7 perhaps --

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. I think it would be more appropriate

9 for the time being.

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I fundamentally agree with

11 most of what Mr. Bourgon is saying, that - and I think you can see that

12 from the motion - going forward with the possibility, strong possibility

13 of joinder creates the problems for a joined trial. The reason we

14 suggested the 28th of June or July 2nd was a balancing between the odds

15 frankly of a joinder and the time saving that we would have by putting on

16 witnesses that we didn't think would have a significant effect on

17 General Tolimir. So as I think the Court has known, we have put off

18 several witnesses that were former accused and some other witnesses to do

19 that. And so we have tried to balance the interests because of the

20 uncertainty of the situation.

21 As we state, and as you know, the health of the General Tolimir is

22 an issue, and though we were -- we all saw him and heard him and we have

23 some more positive feelings on that, though it's just feelings at this

24 point, we need doctors' reports, we need to hear from Mr. Tolimir again.

25 So another thing we didn't have when we filed the motion was the view of

Page 12547

1 the Defence, while we had talked to them briefly. The view I'm getting,

2 aside from the financial view, and let me make it clear: I don't think

3 finances can be an issue here. There is no doubt they need to be paid

4 what they have been getting paid because the work is going to be more, so

5 finances cannot be an issue. I think the Registry just needs to hear from

6 all of us on that. But now I have heard from them after they've had a

7 chance to talk to their lawyer, and unless something has changed, they

8 appear to be unanimous on -- in the joinder. And this is an extremely

9 significant and important situation.

10 You can imagine all of us being unanimous on something as

11 important as the arrest and so I think as we look at the odds and the

12 chances of joinder and we compare it to some of the issues we pointed out

13 in our motion, it looks like joinder is becoming ever more a reality,

14 though that's your decision, I'm not going to begin to say what your

15 decision is, but with the Defence being unanimous, the Prosecution being

16 unanimous and, yes, we need to hear from General Tolimir but I don't need

17 to remind anyone, General Tolimir has been on the run for a long time and,

18 yes, he has rights to be heard on this but I think that needs to be part

19 of any evaluation when he's looking at the trial of his colleagues and the

20 co-accused.

21 So I tend to agree with what much of what counsel has said. We do

22 have two witnesses that are here this week and I think at a minimum we

23 should handle them and get them done but after that, I am open to the

24 Court, to counsel, and in this unusual situation, to see what we think is

25 best because going on does create problems. None of us want to waste one

Page 12548

1 hour in this courtroom or a day on the chance that something might be

2 joined but I think those chances are getting high enough that the balance

3 is getting closer to declaring a cease-fire.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Haynes?

5 MR. HAYNES: The submission I'm about to make -- I think Mr. Josse

6 wants to intervene.

7 MR. JOSSE: Could I just make a brief submission in relation to

8 that last matter because I think Mr. Haynes is moving on to a different

9 manner. Your Honour, we, too, broadly speaking agree with everything

10 that's being said. On balance, on behalf of General Gvero, we would

11 rather make as much progress as the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution

12 think is possible in the circumstances. Not putting too fine a point on

13 it, our client is not getting any younger and he would like to see the day

14 that this trial might actually end, and if there is some real prospects of

15 a little bit of progress being made, we on balance would rather that

16 progress is made.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: That applies not only for your client but also --

18 yes.

19 MR. JOSSE: Yes, I mean I hope he won't mind me saying, sir, I

20 think he's the oldest person in this room now.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Josse. Congratulations,

22 General Gvero. Mr. Haynes?

23 MR. HAYNES: The submission I have to make is frankly not an easy

24 one but it's been alluded to. And I'm conscious in making it of the fact

25 that I'm making submissions that substantially concern someone who is not

Page 12549

1 here and does not presently have the benefit of the representation of

2 counsel. And I'm equally conscious of the fact that this Chamber as

3 presently constituted may consider itself to have only a limited ability

4 to make directions of the sort which I submit are at least desirable,

5 though I acknowledge that the Tribunal is one body and I was comforted to

6 note that the initial appearance of General Tolimir was presided over by a

7 member of this Trial Chamber who was very familiar with the facts of this

8 case.

9 I'm also conscious of the fact that the submissions I make may

10 seem to strike at the very hearts of the rights of an accused person.

11 However, I represent, in common with all seven of my colleagues in this

12 case, a man who surrendered himself to the custody of the Tribunal and

13 has, through his own conduct and the conduct of his lawyers, done

14 everything he can to assist in the expedient trial of this case. Before

15 we even come to the question of the resolution of the Prosecution's

16 motion, there remains the question of how that can ever come to pass.

17 General Tolimir must, of course, be heard on that issue but when, where

18 and how is a rather more intricate question.

19 The Prosecution frankly are to be commended for their request at

20 paragraph 36 of their motion, which, in case you don't have it immediately

21 to hand, is the request that all time limits be subject to

22 General Tolimir's instruction of counsel. It is, on their part, a full

23 and proper acknowledgement of the rights of the accused to counsel and I

24 dare say General Tolimir is very grateful that time does not start to run

25 for him until he has been assigned counsel.

Page 12550

1 However, on behalf of my client, I'm bound to question the wisdom

2 of according him quite so much freedom to take his time to choose. There

3 may be reasons to expect he will instruct a lawyer in the not-too-distant

4 future or rumours or so on and so forth. However, the only concrete

5 evidence we have about his willingness to cooperate with the judicial

6 process of this Tribunal is his absence of choice of the last few years.

7 Whatever, if granted, the request at paragraph 36, I submit, builds into

8 the process of the resolution of this motion uncertainty and an element of

9 uncontrollability. The range of possibilities in terms of how time might

10 slip in this initial stage of proceedings is almost limitless.

11 Of course, it's no part of my submission that General Tolimir

12 should be punished for being at large by having his right to counsel

13 qualified or removed. And of course, many things can, for legitimate

14 reasons, go wrong. However, nor should he, in my submission, be allowed

15 to frustrate the work of the Trial Chamber, the Office of the Prosecutor,

16 and the Defence teams who are already involved in this trial, either

17 wilfully by intransigence or sloth, and he could easily do that. A delay

18 of three to four months, say, in his instructing counsel would mean that

19 the question of joinder was not dealt with until virtually the end of the

20 Prosecution case, by which time it may be pointless, and so I submit that

21 the Trial Chamber ought to look to cure that defect at this stage. And

22 the cure, I suggest, lies in the imposition of a back-stop order which

23 requires a series of directions for the service of responses to the

24 motion, which in his case ought to run from his instruction of counsel or

25 by a certain date in any event, or time simply will slip away from us.

Page 12551

1 And that's the submission I make, that in deciding how we come to resolve

2 the motion, the Trial Chamber ought now to set time limits for

3 General Tolimir that have certainty to them or time will simply slip away

4 from us.

5 As I say, it's difficult, he's not here, he doesn't have counsel,

6 but in the interests of my client, that, I submit, would be an appropriate

7 course now.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes. Mr. Meek?

9 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, I would just like to say

10 briefly that - and Mr. McCloskey, I think can confirm this - I understand

11 the frustration of Mr. Haynes and his position. However, I have it from

12 good information that Mr. Tolimir has, in fact, requested a counsel who is

13 not on the Rule 45 list and that counsel is in the process of obtaining an

14 American co-counsel or lead counsel, excuse me, and perhaps - and I may be

15 wrong about this - but there may be some hampering by the OLAD with

16 allowing the requested attorney to even speak with him in a private

17 situation without being monitored. I think Mr. McCloskey can verify that.

18 I hope that would allay some of the fears of Mr. Haynes.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?

20 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I support what my learned friend

21 Mr. Haynes has just said. Could I correct something I said earlier? On

22 the related topic that Madam Fauveau raised, she has pointed out to us and

23 I think she is right that paragraph 36 actually suggests that time runs

24 for all of us from the time that General Tolimir has obtained counsel.

25 Therefore, the submission that I made earlier is redundant.

Page 12552

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Paragraph 36 says that.

2 MR. JOSSE: Yes.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: But Madam Fauveau wishes to depart from that.

4 MR. JOSSE: I understand that. I take no opposition to that

5 point. The point that -- the extension I was asking for, I didn't need to

6 ask for in the first place and I'm grateful to her.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?

8 MR. McCLOSKEY: It may be the morning. I don't fully understand

9 what Mr. Haynes was saying. I know there are deadlines built into the

10 system and I -- so I'm not -- I'm sure if I had a chance to talk with him

11 I would get it more but I don't really understand what he was saying. I

12 didn't fundamentally object to anything but I think before -- and I think

13 he's already said this, we can't really set things for General Tolimir

14 until he has a lawyer and the time frames that are built in are pretty

15 good time frames. But I agree with him we do not want to allow anything

16 to slip away but I trust the Chamber will not allow time to slip away and

17 I don't think that will be a problem.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we are all in agreement that the longer this

19 takes, the more convoluted the situation will become and the more

20 difficult it will be for all of us actually to make valid or weighty

21 submissions, and us to reach a reasoned decision, which is not

22 circumscribed by supervening circumstances. So leaving this matter to be

23 decided without any time limits basically would not pay us any dividends.

24 But how to go about it, of course, I don't wish to comment arising from

25 what Mr. Haynes has pointed out but obviously what he's suggesting is that

Page 12553

1 if the situation of General Tolimir not being represented persists, then

2 we should think about finding a solution. And a solution that he is

3 suggesting, he's recommending, is to fix a time limit for General Tolimir

4 to respond. I don't wish to comment any further on that because obviously

5 it's a matter that at the moment we are not called upon to decide. I

6 mean, it might arise if the situation persists, as I said.

7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I fundamentally agree with that. And decision in

8 the discretion of the Court to respond to that situation absolutely.

9 Now, Mr. President, the situation Mr. Meek has referred to is a

10 situation I am aware of, and the area of finding counsel, choosing counsel

11 and dealing with potential conflicts in counsel is something as you know

12 that is normally handled at the first stage by OLAD. And many times the

13 Trial Chamber comes in to review that decision and then, as we've seen,

14 the Appellate Chamber can come in and review the Trial Chamber's decision.

15 I think this will be, from what I know the situation is the first area of

16 potential time taking.

17 And it may be appropriate for the Trial Chamber to assist OLAD in

18 that in some way but of course we will come to you or perhaps the lawyers

19 involved in that will come to you, but I've gone through that before in

20 the previous trial. It can be very lengthy and of course as you're aware

21 in the Blagojevic case it went all the way to the final appeal judgement

22 and was a very difficult issue. So it's an issue that's very important

23 and has to be dealt with thoroughly, but we may be able to save time on it

24 if the Trial Chamber deals with it initially. But it -- since you don't

25 really -- it's not clear exactly what we are talking about, it will have

Page 12554

1 to wait and bring you the details and -- when we get them.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Any further submissions?

3 There are none. I suggest we have a break now before -- and of

4 course we'll come back to you with our first decision that would relate

5 whether at least for the time being, for this week, we are going to

6 proceed with these two witnesses or not, because I think that is the most

7 urgent issue to -- that we have on our plate.

8 So we'll have --

9 [Trial Chamber confers]

10 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a break of 30 minutes because we need to

11 discuss a few things. Everyone is to be back here in 30 minutes' time

12 unless we communicate to you a decision to resume later. But for the time

13 being, I think 30 minutes, we think that 30 minutes will be enough.

14 Yes, Mr. Haynes?

15 MR. HAYNES: I was just standing out of courtesy because I thought

16 you were.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

18 --- Recess taken at 9.58 a.m.

19 --- On resuming at 10.36 a.m.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me start from here: On behalf of the

21 Trial Chamber, I wish to express our gratitude for the way in which you

22 presented or raised the various issues related to the joinder motion.

23 This is how it should be in an open and transparent manner, and in a sense

24 of cooperation. We appreciate that very much.

25 We wish to communicate to you the following. First of all, we

Page 12555

1 share completely your concern that this joinder motion is not one that

2 should be allowed unlimited time to be decided. Rather, we are of the

3 opinion that it needs to be decided at the earliest possible.

4 This morning, in airing your views, you raised some issues which,

5 in your minds, create problems or are of concern to you. We fully

6 understand these concerns and we will be ourselves addressing the issues

7 raised through the proper channels. For that purpose, we will need to

8 stop again at 11.30, when we will be precisely embarking on this exercise,

9 which I hope will bear fruit.

10 And then of course we will come back to you later on, if there are

11 developments.

12 The third matter that I'd like to deal with and decide is there

13 are witnesses waiting to testify. We have heard your submissions and we

14 appreciate very much the arguments raised both in favour and against

15 proceeding with the hearing of these witnesses. We have done a balancing

16 exercise, and over all, in balance, we believe that we should proceed

17 because we consider it to be in the best interests of justice at the

18 moment. We decided to proceed with the hearing of witnesses until the end

19 of this month. And then we reserve our position for afterwards, depending

20 on what the developments will be in the meantime.

21 So that is our position.

22 We can start with the first witness, but we will need to stop at

23 11.30 and I don't know how long the meeting that we will have at 11.30

24 will last but, please, we ask you to remain at the disposal of the Trial

25 Chamber in case we need to resume. Thank you. Yes, Mr. Bourgon?

Page 12556

1 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President, I just wish to take this

2 opportunity to advise the Trial Chamber that further to consultations with

3 the Prosecution during the break, and in light of the Prosecution's

4 agreement not to call witness PW 108 for a minimum of 30 days, which as

5 you know, Mr. President, comes close to the alternative remedy which was

6 requested in our original motion concerning this witness, the Defence of

7 Drago Nikolic will be withdrawing its motion for reconsideration of the

8 Trial Chamber decision denying certification. Thank you, Mr. President.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I'm pressing all the wrong

10 buttons today. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.

11 So is the witness here? Yes. Okay. He does not have any

12 protective measures.

13 [The witness entered court]

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Dragutinovic. Can you hear

15 me? Are you receiving interpretation?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. I told you good morning.

18 Welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to start giving evidence.

19 Before you do so, you're required to enter a solemn -- make a solemn

20 declaration that you'll be testifying the truth. The text is being handed

21 to you. Please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking

22 with us.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

24 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


Page 12557

1 [Witness answered through interpreter]

2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Dragutinovic. Please make yourself

3 comfortable. Take a seat.

4 Mr. Vanderpuye, whom you've met already, will be examining you in

5 chief. He will then be followed by some or all of the Defence teams on

6 cross-examination.

7 Mr. Vanderpuye?

8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning to you,

9 Your Honours. Good morning, counsel, gentlemen.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: How long do you expect to examine the witness?

11 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do expect to examine him for about two hours.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead.

13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.

14 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:

15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Dragutinovic.

16 A. Good morning.

17 Q. I'm just going to ask you to do a few things. One is to try to

18 keep your voice up so the interpreters can hear you and also allow a short

19 pause between the questions and answers, and if I put to you a question

20 that's unclear in any way, please let me know and I can rephrase it in a

21 way that you can better understand it.

22 As a preliminary matter, would you just state your name and spell

23 your last name for the record?

24 A. My name is Miodrag Dragutinovic.

25 Q. And how old are you, Mr. Dragutinovic?

Page 12558

1 A. I'm 57.

2 Q. And where were you born?

3 A. I was born in Kalesija municipality, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

4 Q. And currently reside there or do you reside some place else?

5 A. I reside in Zvornik, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

6 Q. Can you tell us what your educational background is?

7 A. I am a surveyor, land surveyor, but I'm currently retired.

8 Q. Have you received any prior military training?

9 A. In terms of military training, I finished the school for reserve

10 officers, that's a one-year course. Eight months out of it was training,

11 and four months was internship or practice. I have no other military

12 training.

13 Q. And can you tell us when that was and with what military force?

14 A. I finished the school for reserve officers of the JNA, in the

15 former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and later on, I followed

16 certain courses and completed some training in those units.

17 Q. And can you tell us very briefly what you did prior to the

18 outbreak of the war in 1992?

19 A. You mean as a civilian? Or as a member of some JNA unit? I

20 didn't understand the question.

21 Q. Okay. As a civilian.

22 A. I worked as a land surveyor in a construction company in Zvornik.

23 Q. And were you part of any JNA unit between the time you completed

24 your courses and the outbreak of the war?

25 A. Like all able-bodied men, I was assigned to certain units of the

Page 12559

1 former JNA.

2 Q. And can you tell us what those units were and what your

3 responsibilities were during that period of time?

4 A. In the beginning, I was an officer or chief of engineers in the

5 Territorial Defence, and later on, when I was mobilised into combat units

6 of the JNA, I was in a division-size unit in operations.

7 Q. Now, did there come a point when you were mobilised in 1992?

8 A. Yes, but in 1991, not 1992.

9 Q. Can you tell us the circumstances of that mobilisation and what

10 your position was?

11 A. There were some call-ups even before that, but in the events that

12 were occurring in 1991, I was mobilised into a division-size unit in

13 Bijeljina and I was one of the officers in operations of the command of

14 that unit, of that division.

15 Q. And how long did you remain in that division?

16 A. In 1991, I was there on two stints. In September, several days,

17 and later on, from October 1991, until February 1992.

18 Q. Okay. And in February 1992, did your position change?

19 A. I left for health reasons, but also my four-month stint of

20 mobilisation was coming to an end, and I returned to the unit only in

21 April in 1992.

22 Q. Now, in August 1992, were you transferred to another location?

23 A. In August 1992, on my own initiative, from a brigade that used to

24 be part of that division, I returned to Zvornik with the approval of the

25 command.

Page 12560

1 Q. And what was your position when you returned to Zvornik in August

2 of 1992?

3 A. I reported to the command of the brigade that existed at the time.

4 I waited some 10 days to be assigned, before I was assigned to the brigade

5 command, to the operations department, to the post of operations officer.

6 Q. Okay. And can you tell us what your responsibilities were as an

7 operations officer?

8 A. I was an assistant, or, rather, an officer, and I had a superior

9 who was deputy chief of operations and training. I worked on all the jobs

10 involved in the department, and that included processing documents we

11 received from the chief, that he had received from the Chief of Staff.

12 Those were staff documents.

13 Q. Did you remain in that position throughout the period of time that

14 you'd been assigned to Zvornik?

15 A. No. Later, I was assigned to be deputy Chief of Staff for

16 operations and training, which was a promotion.

17 Q. And when did that occur?

18 A. That was in December 1992 or maybe January 1993. I'm not quite

19 sure.

20 Q. And in your position as the deputy Chief of Staff or assistant

21 Chief of Staff for operations and training, could you tell us what your

22 responsibilities were?

23 A. As assistant Chief of Staff for operations and training, I had my

24 section and my assistants, with whom I worked on all the operative

25 documents related to the Zvornik Brigade and all the documents related to

Page 12561

1 combat training of units, and all the other documents that applied to the

2 Zvornik Brigade and its units.

3 Q. As the deputy Chief of Staff for operations and training, to whom

4 did you primarily communicate?

5 A. Generally speaking, I was supposed to communicate primarily with

6 the Chief of Staff. However, in the circumstances that required the

7 command to operate very quickly sometimes, I could communicate also

8 directly with the commander.

9 Q. Okay. Now, were you required to submit reports concerning the

10 operation of your section?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And were these the reports that you submitted to the Chief of

13 Staff?

14 A. I submitted reports to the Chief of Staff, and if the commander

15 required me to, I could submit my reports directly to him.

16 Q. And how long did you stay in this particular position within the

17 Zvornik Brigade?

18 A. Well, I can't remember if there were any changes, but from 1993

19 until end 1995, or maybe mid-1996, until I was demobilised.

20 Q. I just want to draw your attention to 1995, if I could.

21 JUDGE KWON: [Microphone not activated]

22 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, Judge Kwon, I couldn't hear you.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: His rank.


25 Q. What was your rank at the time that were you deputy Chief of Staff

Page 12562

1 of operations?

2 A. For a while I was captain first class, before I was promoted into

3 major.

4 Q. What was your rank in 1995, if you recall?

5 A. Major.

6 Q. And at that time --

7 A. Reserve major, I have to emphasise that. Major in reserve because

8 I was not an active duty officer. I was not a professional.

9 Q. During that period of time, who was the Chief of Staff of the

10 Zvornik Brigade?

11 A. In 1995, it was Mr. Dragan Obrenovic.

12 Q. And who at that time was the commander of the Zvornik Brigade?

13 A. Mr. Vinko Pandurevic.

14 Q. And if you know, who was the chief of security for the brigade?

15 A. Mr. Drago Nikolic.

16 Q. And can you describe for us, to the extent that you know, what was

17 the personal relationship between Commander Pandurevic and Drago Nikolic

18 during that period of time?

19 A. The relationships in the brigade in 1995 and the relationship

20 between Pandurevic and Nikolic were okay, correct, fair, without any

21 personal conflicts or any other conflicts for that matter that might have

22 spilled over and involved either the brigade or their personal

23 relationship.

24 Q. And can you describe what their professional relationship was

25 during that period of time?

Page 12563

1 A. Everything was within the framework of a successful functioning of

2 a brigade.

3 Q. And are you aware of any disagreements they had with respect to

4 the operation of the function of the chief of security prior to 1995?

5 A. This could have been in 1994.

6 Q. Right. Can you tell us about that?

7 A. As far as I can remember, in 1994, I can't recollect the exact

8 date or month, Commander Pandurevic asked Mr. Nikolic to include into the

9 regular combat reports that the brigade sent to the higher command also a

10 report on the security organ. He wanted this to be a complete report that

11 was supposed to be sent twice a day, but we did it once a day, and this

12 should have been a collective report for all the organs of the brigade.

13 Q. And was there a disagreement in terms of -- or to the extent that

14 reports that were made by the chief of security were not incorporated in

15 the reports of the brigade?

16 A. Probably that's why Commander Pandurevic asked the chief of

17 security to incorporate his report within our regular combat reports.

18 Q. And to the extent that you know, was this issue ever resolved?

19 A. As far as I can remember, and I should remember because after that

20 I wrote interim combat reports that were partly dictated by the commander

21 himself, in which the commander asked the corps command to resolve that

22 issue. I know that he underlined that he was the brigade commander and

23 that he wanted to be in command over all the brigade's segments, and that

24 he expected the corps command to resolve that problem.

25 Q. Okay. And do you know if the corps command actually did resolve

Page 12564

1 that problem?

2 A. I don't know how much time passed after that, but from the corps

3 command we did receive an instruction about the work of the security organ

4 and relationship between the security organ and the command that this

5 organ belonged to.

6 Q. Okay. And as best as you recall, what was the instruction that

7 was received?

8 A. To the extent I can remember, I understood this instruction as

9 follows: The security organ had a certain level of independence with

10 regard to all the other commands, let me put it that way, in the matters

11 of all the duties and obligations of the security organ.

12 Q. All right. Now, you'd mentioned previously in one of your

13 previous answers that the commander wanted to have control over all of the

14 segments of the brigade, and I just wondered if you could just tell us

15 briefly how the brigade was organised in 1995. We'll start with that. If

16 you could just name the segments that you were referring to previously.

17 A. The brigade command consisted of its staff, which had its organs

18 and services, and it also had some of the subordinated units.

19 Furthermore, the Chief of Staff had his assistants, the assistants had

20 their desk clerks. That was one part of the command. The other part of

21 the command consisted of assistant commanders. There was the assistant

22 command for morale, religious issues and legal issues. There was the

23 assistant commander for logistics. There was the assistant commander for

24 security or the chief of security. The assistant commander for logistics

25 also had his own services and on the strength of that segment was also a

Page 12565

1 logistics battalion. In addition to the command, the brigade also had

2 combat units starting with infantry battalion, mixed artillery division, a

3 division for anti-aircraft defence, and I really don't know whether I have

4 mentioned everything. I think I have.

5 Q. All right. What about the engineering? Did it have an

6 engineering --

7 A. The engineers unit was a unit that was attached to the staff. The

8 signals unit was also a staff unit. Also the military police unit was a

9 unit affiliated with the staff. There was also a squad that provided

10 logistics for the command itself. It was a very small unit, a logistical

11 unit that was affiliated with the command.

12 Q. Okay. And was there a personnel or reinforcement organ or unit

13 within the staff?

14 A. This was a service which existed within the staff itself, and it

15 also had an assistant or the Chief of Staff for organisation and

16 mobilisation duties. This is one of the services with the staff, similar

17 to the services where I was affiliated with. There were other services as

18 well.

19 Q. All right. Was there an intelligence organ within the staff?

20 A. Within the staff, there was also an intelligence and security

21 organ headed by the assistant Chief of Staff for intelligence and he also

22 had his own assistant.

23 Q. Okay. And was there a member -- the headquarters command, within

24 the staff?

25 A. The staff itself was an executive body headed by the Chief of

Page 12566

1 Staff. It was the executive body of the command, and that body was headed

2 by the Chief of Staff, and I was his deputy in a certain way.

3 Q. Was there somebody who essentially took care of the administrative

4 aspects of the staff or the staff office?

5 A. Within the staff itself, and within our -- my department, we had a

6 staff office where we had a number of typists. We had a PC. That was

7 operated by two soldiers. And we had some other office equipment that we

8 used for that purpose -- for those purposes.

9 Q. Was there somebody in the staff in charge of anti-aircraft rocket,

10 rockets and defence?

11 A. Within the staff, all branches had their chiefs. We had a chief

12 for anti-aircraft defence. We had the chief of engineers, the chief of

13 artillery, and the chief of atomic and chemical defence, and we also had a

14 chief of signals branch.

15 Q. When you say a chief of the signals branch, do you mean

16 communications generally?

17 A. Yes, generally, all communications that involved equipment,

18 telecommunications, military equipment that was used for communication

19 amongst the units and so on and so forth. But this was all within the

20 brigade itself.

21 Q. And were these branches all attached to subordinate --

22 corresponding subordinate units?

23 A. They all had subordinate units, save for the chief of atomic,

24 biological and chemical defence. In that aspect we didn't have a unit

25 that would be in charge of anything because we did not have any equipment

Page 12567

1 or means at our disposal to set up such a unit. There were some cases

2 where we used means of protection against chemical and other agents but

3 those were few and far between.

4 Q. And was there a distinction between the reporting of the assistant

5 commanders and the reporting of the assistant chiefs of staff?

6 A. Assistant commanders reported directly to the commander, and the

7 assistant chiefs of staff reported directly to the chief, but in essence,

8 all reports are carried out in the same way. It only depended on who the

9 reports went to.

10 Q. Okay. I just want to clarify something for the record. In your

11 answer at -- it says that the assistant commanders directly reported to

12 the commander and the assistant chiefs of staff reported directly to the

13 chief, and when you say the chief in that context, do you mean the Chief

14 of Staff?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And the subordinate units, to whom did they report?

17 A. What units are you referring to? I didn't understand.

18 Q. That's fair. I'm sorry, I'll rephrase that. How about the

19 battalions?

20 A. Battalion commanders reported directly to the brigade commander.

21 Q. And was there a subordinate unit -- a subordinate unit that was

22 used for intervention purposes, special purposes?

23 A. In the brigade, we had set up a manoeuvre unit which was

24 independent. Its name was the Podrinje Detachment Special Forces. It was

25 a manoeuvre unit for combat activities and it was also a mobile reserve of

Page 12568

1 the brigade.

2 Q. And to whom did this unit report?

3 A. The commander, the brigade commander.

4 Q. And the military police? To whom did they report?

5 A. In order for the command to establish better communication with

6 its units, the engineers detachment, the communications detachment, and

7 the military police detachment were in direct contact with their

8 respective chiefs most of the time. What happened most often was that the

9 commanders of these units reported directly to their respective chiefs,

10 which accelerated the whole procedure. We did not want to make this

11 relationship any more complicated than it had to be, so there was direct

12 reporting. And the same applied to the logistics battalion, which was a

13 unit that was attached to the logistical part of the brigade. And it was

14 just a matter of effectiveness.

15 Q. And did it work that way also for the mixed artillery division and

16 the chemical defence platoon and the reconnaissance platoons?

17 A. The chief of artillery was also the commander of the mixed

18 artillery division. So that he had a dual function and the same applied

19 to other unit as well. For example, the chief of the anti-aircraft

20 defence was for the most part linked with the division of the

21 anti-aircraft defence and the division commander could report to him, but

22 as a principle, these units and these commanders reported directly to the

23 commander, the brigade commander himself. The battalion commanders, the

24 division commanders, and commander of the Podrinje Detachment, that is.

25 Q. Was it ever the case that the assistant commanders reported to the

Page 12569

1 Chief of Staff?

2 A. It could have happened, but not as a rule. There might have been

3 legitimate reasons for that, if this was requested, if the Chief of Staff

4 asked for certain data or information from them.

5 Q. And was this the structure and function of the brigade as it

6 existed in July of 1995?

7 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, that was the situation in 1995.

8 Q. Okay. Now, if I could just draw your attention to a different

9 area, I'd like to focus your attention on your movements particularly

10 around the time -- I'm sorry.

11 JUDGE KWON: Can I be heard? Okay. In the previous set of

12 answers and questions, can I draw your attention to page 36 to 37,

13 starting from line 25 of page 36? The military police reported to whom?

14 And the witness answered that "What happened most often was that the

15 commanders of these units reported directly to their respective chiefs

16 which accelerated the whole procedure. We did not want to make this

17 relationship any more complicated than it had to be so there was direct

18 reporting."

19 Could you clarify how that kind of reporting system could

20 accelerate the whole procedure? In what sense?

21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Judge Kwon.

22 Q. Did you understand His Honour's question? And if you do, could

23 you please explain that for the Court?

24 A. If any one of these units had to be used in a -- in a task, then

25 the commanders had to write to propose the use of these units to the

Page 12570

1 chiefs. And then the Chief of Staff would issue concrete tasks to these

2 units, the military police units, the engineers, the communications unit.

3 At the same time, these tasks were also involving, for example, the chief

4 of security if the task involved military police. In order to avoid

5 duplication, if -- in that way the procedure was curtailed. What happened

6 most often was that there was no time to apply the customary procedure

7 that is normally used in the peacetime.

8 JUDGE KWON: What would be the normal procedure in normal time?

9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Judge Kwon.

10 Q. Yes. Could you explain what the procedure would be in normal

11 peacetime?

12 A. A certain task and the use of these units was supposed to be

13 proposed by the respective chiefs to the commander and then the commander

14 would issue his decision, that would be transmitted to the Chief of Staff.

15 The Chief of Staff would then call the commander of these units and he

16 would communicate the task to them.

17 Q. So in practice --

18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I think we need to stop here. We will

19 communicate -- we expect the meeting to last around about half an hour.

20 So please make yourself available. If we anticipate or if we see that

21 it's going to take longer, we will let you know. Thank you.

22 --- Recess taken at 11.26 a.m.

23 --- On resuming at 12.34 p.m.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: As we indicated to you earlier on, we've had some

25 discussions through the normal channels, and we expect some developments

Page 12571

1 following which we will issue further communications to you. At this

2 stage, I can say we've done our part for the time being.

3 Now, Mr. Vanderpuye, go ahead. We won't have a break now. We'll

4 go right through to the end, quarter to 2.00. All right?

5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Very well. Thank you, Mr. President.

6 Q. Good afternoon to you, Mr. Dragutinovic. I think just before we

7 left off, I was referring your attention --

8 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.

9 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Sorry for the interruption,

11 Mr. Vanderpuye. But I couldn't follow.

12 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, thank you, Mr. President.

13 Q. Mr. Dragutinovic, I think just before the break, I was directing

14 your attention to the period of time surrounding the fall of Srebrenica.

15 First, do you remember when it was that Srebrenica fell, remember the

16 date? No? Okay.

17 MR. VANDERPUYE: The witness seems to be indicating that he didn't

18 receive.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Check his channel because in my case it was switched

20 off completely. Is it okay now?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's fine.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

23 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right.

24 Q. Just before the break, I was directing your attention to the

25 period of time surrounding the fall of Srebrenica. Do you remember what

Page 12572

1 date it was that Srebrenica fell?

2 A. 11th July 1995.

3 Q. All right. I'd just like to direct your attention to the day

4 before that. That would be the 10th of July 1995. Do you recall that

5 day?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can you tell us what you did that day?

8 A. On the 10th?

9 Q. Yes, sir, on the 10th.

10 A. Do you want me to describe the whole day or a particular time

11 period?

12 Q. Why don't we start with the morning and we'll work our way

13 forward.

14 A. On the 10th July, 1995, the Tactical Group 1 that was part of the

15 Zvornik Brigade and was under the command of Mr. Pandurevic, having

16 received a task, a mission, from the superior command, was involved in

17 combat and thus reached Zivkovo Hill and Rajna village, to the right side

18 of Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica Road. That morning, the forces of the

19 28th Division that were located in the Srebrenica area, and that is the BH

20 army, mounted an attack against our units and the positions that we had

21 reached early that morning, pushing our units back to the features of

22 Biljeg and three nameless peaks that we called Three Teats, where we

23 managed to stop and stop their attack. Later on, after Tactical Group 1

24 was involved, because, in fact, after introducing Combat Group 1, because

25 the tactical group consisted of two combat groups, 1 and 2, so after

Page 12573

1 Combat Group 1 was involved, we mounted an attack, pushed back the

2 28th Division, recovered the positions we had lost, and reached the line

3 of Zivkovo Hill, Pusmulic village and Bojna village, and Bojna village is

4 near the Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica road, a little to the south of that road.

5 That was sometime that afternoon, closer to the evening. In the area of

6 Bojna village, we gathered the command of our unit and the Chief of Staff

7 of the corps and the commander of this operation, General Krstic, arrived

8 as well. That's where we were given missions for the next day.

9 Q. Now, the tactical group that were you a part of on that day, can

10 you tell us when it was formed?

11 A. It was established on the orders of the command of the Drina Corps

12 on the 2nd or 3rd July, and it was ready for march already on the 4th.

13 MR. VANDERPUYE: May I have 65 ter number 106, please, displayed

14 in e-court? I'm told it's also 5DP 00106.

15 Q. Okay. Do you recognise this document?

16 A. Yes. That's the document. That's the order from the command of

17 the Drina Corps, and it says it was copied to the Zvornik Brigade as well.

18 Q. And this is the -- this is the order that you've indicated from

19 the superior command?

20 A. Yes. That's in fact the preparatory order ordering brigades to

21 establish units.

22 Q. And did you have a chance to see this order in your capacity as

23 the assistant Chief of Staff for training and operations back in 1995?

24 A. Yes. I've seen it.

25 Q. Thank you for that, sir.

Page 12574

1 Now, following the receipt of this order, was there a second order

2 that was issued by the command of the Zvornik Brigade at the time,

3 relative to the order we've just seen?

4 A. Pursuant to this order, the commander ordered the Zvornik Brigade

5 to prepare to establish the units specified in this order, and I wrote the

6 preparatory order for the units of the Zvornik Brigade, which says

7 emphatically that everything that needs to be set up for the unit must be

8 established from the smallest details to the big things.

9 Q. Okay. Could I have 65 ter 318, please, displayed in e-court?

10 Do you recognise this document?

11 A. Yes. That's the document. That's the one.

12 Q. And this is the document that you prepared in relation to the

13 order that was issued by -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

14 A. That is the preparatory order that was written on the basis of the

15 Drina Corps order to establish units the size of a battalion from the

16 Zvornik Brigade.

17 Q. And what were the components of this tactical group as it was set

18 up?

19 A. We can see it from this that this tactical group was made up of

20 two combat groups, the first combat group being the Podrinje Detachment,

21 and they were a standing unit. They were a manoeuvring unit and a reserve

22 of the brigade. And the second was Combat Group 2 made up of two

23 companies drawn from all battalions of the brigade. Then there was an

24 armoured mechanised company, a combat firing platoon, and a logistical

25 platoon. I think the command of this tactical group is also specified.

Page 12575

1 Q. Yes if we could scroll down so the object 2.1 is on the top of the

2 page as well?

3 A. Yes, we can see that.

4 Q. Can you describe for us how the command structure of this tactical

5 group was set up?

6 A. Well, it's written here that the commander is

7 Lieutenant-Colonel Vinko Pandurevic and the deputy commander is the

8 commander of the detachment, Milan Jolovic; assistant commander for

9 logistics was Lazar Pejic; the operative officer was Major Dragutinovic.

10 That is myself; chief of communications was Captain First Class Milisa

11 Petrovic; officer for general affairs and procurement was

12 Major Ljubisa Strbac; medical officer was Dr. Mile Bircakovic; the

13 quartermaster officer was Dragan Jovic; then there was the -- then there

14 was Sasa Maksimovic, also an officer.

15 I'm not going to name all of them but that was almost all of it,

16 that was the whole command.

17 Q. The order itself contains the entire command structure, doesn't

18 it?

19 A. Yes. I don't think there were any changes.

20 Q. Now, back in July -- I should say, rather, on July 2nd, can you

21 tell us what the purpose of this unit was? What was the established

22 purpose of drawing together this tactical group?

23 A. In order to form this unit, the superior command had to issue an

24 order, and their order states the reasons why it should be established and

25 why this order was issued. If I remember well, the main reason, the main

Page 12576

1 purpose, was to separate the forces of the 28th Division between

2 Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves and to reduce the enclaves themselves, that

3 is to reduce the manoeuvring space for this 28th Division that had not

4 been demilitarised after the enclave was turned into a protected area. It

5 remained there as an armed force.

6 Q. You indicated -- let me just take you back to July 10th, then. On

7 July 10th, you mentioned that there was a second tactical group.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And how did your group interact with that group? Was there

10 coordinated action, for example?

11 A. The mission of the Tactical Group 1 was on the

12 Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica road and Tactical Group 2 was to our left. It

13 operated on an auxiliary axis. There was direct contact between our two

14 units and there was also radio communication.

15 Q. And during this period of time, did your unit maintain contact

16 with the Zvornik Brigade?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Did you have the ability to communicate with the brigade from your

19 position on the 10th of July?

20 A. There was no direct communication. Our unit could only

21 communicate internally, and with the forward command post of the corps

22 command.

23 Q. And did you maintain regular communication with the forward

24 command post of the corps command?

25 A. Communication existed, and it was used either on the request of

Page 12577

1 the Chief of Staff of the corps or when the commander of the tactical

2 group number 1 needed to communicate. That was Mr. Pandurevic.

3 Q. And just for the record, where was the forward command post of the

4 corps located?

5 A. Command post of the corps was in a place called Pribicevac.

6 That's to the north-east of Srebrenica, sorry, south-east of Srebrenica.

7 Q. Now, if I could direct your attention to the 11th of July? Can

8 you tell us what happened on that day?

9 A. Pursuant to an order from the corps Chief of Staff, Mr. Krstic,

10 Tactical Group 1 from the Zvornik Brigade was preparing to continue its

11 attack and enter Srebrenica on the axis of Bojna village, around the

12 Zeleni Jadar-Srebrenica road.

13 Q. And do you know when this order was issued?

14 A. Well, it was issued on the 10th, but missions were given to units

15 on the 11th.

16 Q. And could you just describe for us what the circumstances were

17 under which these mission assignments were given to the units? Did that

18 occur at a meeting?

19 A. In Bojna village, where the tactical group had formed its command

20 and gathered unit commanders, there were, if I remember correctly, also

21 the commander of Tactical Group 2 and General Krstic. There were others,

22 but I can't recall them.

23 Q. And do you recall who the commander of Tactical Group 2 was?

24 A. That was the commander of the 2nd Romanija Brigade.

25 Q. And do you recall his name?

Page 12578

1 A. I think his name was Trbic [phoen]. I think his name is Trbic

2 still.

3 Q. Could it be Trivic? T-R-I --

4 A. Yes. Something like that.

5 Q. What happened after you received these assignments?

6 A. The 10th, the 10th in the evening.

7 Q. I'm sorry, I'm referring to the 11th.

8 A. The 11th, that was already in the afternoon. From their initial

9 positions, units of the tactical group started moving towards Srebrenica.

10 Q. And did you arrive in Srebrenica with your unit?

11 A. No.

12 Q. Why not?

13 A. Just before the attack, or, rather, just before the units of the

14 tactical group of the Zvornik Brigade started to move, there was an air

15 strike against our units and our positions. It was a NATO air strike in

16 several waves and in one such attack, a vehicle of the medical corps was

17 damaged as well as the vehicle of the commander of the Podrinje

18 Detachment. I was in the vicinity and I suffered some shell shock, so I

19 was sent to the medical unit in Zeleni Jadar.

20 Q. Okay. And did you remain there?

21 A. I have to say before I was sent for treatment, I had spent quite a

22 lot of time with the commander and unit commanders, and it was only when I

23 started feeling the consequences of that explosion, perhaps an hour or two

24 later, that I was sent to the medical unit, and I stayed in Zeleni Jadar

25 until the next morning.

Page 12579

1 Q. All right. The next morning, can you tell us what happened? This

2 is the morning of the 12th.

3 A. On the morning of the 12th, I already knew that our units had

4 entered Srebrenica because the commander arrived in Zeleni Jadar where the

5 logistics of our unit was positioned. He was on some assignment and he

6 also went to see me, so when he finished his business, I returned together

7 with the commander to Srebrenica.

8 Q. Okay. And where in Srebrenica did you go with the commander?

9 A. On the Zeleni Jadar-Rajna village-Bojna village-Srebrenica road.

10 Q. Now, when you say commander, are you referring to

11 Commander Pandurevic?

12 A. Yes, Commander Pandurevic.

13 Q. And did you discuss anything with Commander Pandurevic during the

14 trip to Srebrenica from Zeleni Jadar?

15 A. Yes. We talked. We talked about the things that happened after I

16 was sent to Zeleni Jadar, how the units entered Srebrenica, and all the

17 things that transpired until we met up again.

18 Q. And can you recall specifically what the commander told you?

19 A. Well, he was saying that at the outset there was some resistance

20 from the 28th Division, but it was practically non-existent towards the

21 end so that our units entered Srebrenica without encountering any

22 resistance, that the tactical group entered the town, the units were

23 stationed in surrounding buildings to secure the units that were in

24 Srebrenica. And after that, he had gone to Bratunac on the

25 Srebrenica-Potocari-Bratunac road.

Page 12580

1 Q. Did he mention to you why he went to Bratunac?

2 A. He went to a meeting that was convened by General Mladic and

3 General Krstic.

4 Q. And did he mention to you what was discussed at that meeting?

5 A. To submit reports on missions accomplished and the missions that

6 might follow after the taking of Srebrenica.

7 Q. Okay. Did he mention to you what missions might follow after the

8 taking of Srebrenica at that time?

9 A. Well, from what I understood, it was evident that the units of the

10 28th Division had retreated from Srebrenica but they only pulled out of

11 the town. So there was combat in prospect to the west of town because the

12 units of the 28th Division were still there. They had not been crushed.

13 And that was probably going to determine our next assignments.

14 Q. And did he mention what time this meeting was?

15 A. I'm not sure. It was some time in the evening. Or at night.

16 Q. And other than commanders General Mladic, General Krstic,

17 Commander Pandurevic, did he mention who else was at this meeting?

18 A. I don't remember. I suppose there were other unit commanders,

19 commanders of units of tactical group strength or brigade strength. I can

20 only suppose but I really don't remember the names.

21 Q. Following your arrival in Srebrenica, what happened?

22 A. The commander brought me to a suburb called Gostilj, where after

23 moving from the police station, a new base was set up for the tactical

24 group.

25 Q. Okay. And what happened while you were in Gostilj?

Page 12581

1 A. Gostilj. We were awaiting assignments. We were awaiting a

2 specific assignment for Tactical Group 1. We were resting, talking,

3 waiting for new orders.

4 Q. And did those new orders come at some point?

5 A. Yes. They did. Tactical Group 1 was ordered to be prepared as

6 backup for Tactical Group 2, which was going to search the terrain, as the

7 terminology went, on the axis Srebrenica-Viogor village-Suceska village.

8 Q. Did you receive these orders at a meeting or some other way?

9 A. The orders were handed down. When the commander gathered all the

10 company commanders and that one platoon commander, he told them that they

11 should gather their troops, prepare a column for march, and start moving

12 towards Suceska. I don't remember any messengers coming.

13 Q. And do you remember who was there?

14 A. All the commanders of companies and the commander of the

15 Podrinje Detachment.

16 Q. Did you receive any specific orders from your commander following

17 this gathering or meeting?

18 A. My orders were to prepare my unit for march.

19 Q. What happened after that?

20 A. When we had formed a marching column, we started moving with the

21 commander in his vehicle, in the direction of Srebrenica, Viogor, Suceska,

22 and when we started it was around 1200 hours, and we reached our

23 destination at around 1400 hours, maybe 1500 hours.

24 Q. And did you participate in any combat operations while on this

25 march?

Page 12582

1 A. Not during the march. There was no fighting.

2 Q. What happened after you arrived at your destination in Suceska?

3 A. We didn't go to Suceska. We stopped at the Viogor pass where upon

4 the orders of General Krstic we stayed, awaiting new assignments.

5 Q. And from the time that you left Srebrenica to the time that you

6 arrived in Viogor, were you with your commander?

7 A. Yes, with the commander.

8 Q. And were you in contact with the corps command during that period

9 of time?

10 A. I was not. My position did not enable me to communicate with the

11 corps command unless the commander decides otherwise.

12 Q. Okay. And what about your commander? Was he in contact with the

13 corps command?

14 A. When we arrived in the Viogor sector, we received an order to stay

15 there, which means that in one way or another the commander had received

16 an order for us not to proceed towards Suceska village but to keep the

17 unit in the general sector of that Viogor pass, Siljato Hill and Jahorina.

18 This is the general area that I'm talking about.

19 Q. All right. Is that what happened? Did you stay in that area?

20 A. Yes. That's where we stayed. We did not proceed any further.

21 Q. And what happened after you were -- you received the order to

22 stay?

23 A. We started arranging our ranks, replenishing the unit because an

24 order could have been received any moment for us to proceed with the

25 combat activities. We talked to the commanders and we did the usual

Page 12583

1 things that a commander would normally do whenever a unit stopped for a

2 rest and when it wasn't engaged in combat activities.

3 Q. Okay. And what happened after that, later in the day?

4 A. Sometime in the afternoon, around 1700 hours or maybe 1800 hours,

5 the Chief of Staff arrived in the Viogor sector. This was the chief of

6 the staff of the corps, General Krstic.

7 Q. And what happened after General Krstic arrived in Viogor?

8 A. General Krstic had a conversation with the commander and during

9 that conversation he made us understand that in the Suceska sector there

10 were no units of the 28th Division, that this division had moved northward

11 in the direction of Jaglici village and that we should keep our unit in

12 the Viogor sector and that we should prepare our unit to spend the night

13 there.

14 Q. [Microphone not activated] And was there any indication as to what

15 would be the anticipated next course of action for your unit?

16 A. As regards the 28th Division? Or the following day? What did you

17 have in mind.

18 Q. Let me rephrase the question because I see also the transcript

19 says that my mike isn't on.

20 Did you -- did you have any indication as to what your unit was

21 supposed to do next or could expect to do next following General Krstic's

22 visit?

23 A. There were indications that we would prepare our unit to proceed

24 with combat activities in the Zepa sector.

25 Q. Okay.

Page 12584

1 A. However, we did not receive any concrete orders or tasks with

2 regard Zepa, no concrete tasks were given to us by General Krstic.

3 Q. Okay. This was on the 12th, the evening or afternoon of the 12th;

4 is that right?

5 A. On the 12th, in the evening of that day, yes. Or late in the

6 afternoon.

7 Q. And around what time did General Krstic leave?

8 A. It may have been around 1700 or 1800 hours. He spent some time

9 with us because we had gathered the command of our unit and the Chief of

10 Staff attended our meeting in order to listen to some of our problems that

11 we were supposed to deal with in order to prepare our unit for anything

12 that might have followed, any combat activities in the future. He may

13 have stayed for about half an hour or so.

14 Q. Was there any member of the command of the second tactical group

15 present at that meeting?

16 A. There were some troops of the Tactical Group 2 from the

17 Bircani Brigade but I don't remember that our meeting was attended by the

18 commander of the 2nd Romanija -- i.e. the commander of that tactical

19 group, group 2. I -- somehow my memory fails me on that. I can't

20 remember him being there.

21 Q. Okay. Following that meeting, were there any other meetings held

22 on the 12th of July?

23 A. Only in our unit? I don't know about any other units, only in our

24 unit.

25 Q. Okay. Involving your unit. Was there any other meeting following

Page 12585

1 this one that was attended by General Krstic?

2 A. Only our command and commanders of the subordinate units.

3 Q. Okay. And where was that meeting?

4 A. In the Viogor pass, Siljato Brdo, Jahorina sector where our troops

5 were deployed at the time.

6 Q. Okay. And around what time was that meeting?

7 A. Once the Chief of Staff, Krstic, left, once the meeting that

8 gathered all the commanders ended and General Krstic left, maybe an hour

9 after that.

10 Q. And do you recall what was discussed at that meeting?

11 A. Tactical Group 2, which was a temporary unit and not very used to

12 continuous combat activities and had suffered certain losses, required

13 some more work in order to be able to prepare for the ensuing combat

14 activities. The commander always had ways and means how to prepare any

15 unit to continue its engagements, the engagements that lie ahead. And

16 that's exactly what we did on that occasion.

17 Q. Okay. And so for both of these meetings, was your commander

18 present?

19 A. Yes, he was.

20 Q. And do you know of any other meeting that occurred that evening or

21 that night involving your commander or the command of your unit?

22 A. No, not now, I don't.

23 Q. And that night, did you remain in Viogor? That is, the unit.

24 A. We deployed our units and we set up a camp for the command and the

25 commanders and all the units that were on the strength of our tactical

Page 12586

1 group. It was a rather tall order to set up a camp for 400 men.

2 Q. Where was the camp set up, in Viogor?

3 A. On the Viogor pass exactly, left to the Srebrenica-Viogor-Milici

4 road.

5 Q. I'd draw your attention to the 13th of July. Can you please

6 describe what happened on that day?

7 A. On the 13th, in the morning, I believe it was around 10.00 in the

8 morning, commander General Mladic arrived in the Viogor sector, together

9 with General Krstic, and there were also all the commanders of the units

10 of tactical groups 1 and 2, the commanders that were on the strength of

11 those units, and all the units that were deployed in the area were

12 gathered to attend that rally.

13 Q. Okay. And where did that occur?

14 A. In the camp, in the premises of our unit, in the camp at the

15 Viogor pass.

16 Q. Do you know why it is that Mladic, General Mladic, was there that

17 day?

18 A. General Mladic directly issued orders to the unit to get ready for

19 a march towards the Zepa sector.

20 Q. And had you heard any prior -- of any prior discussion about his

21 arrival on the 13th, before then, before his actual arrival?

22 A. General Krstic had hinted at that on the previous day, when he

23 told us that it would be General Mladic who would be issuing direct orders

24 to us. So General Krstic indicated that.

25 Q. Now, the previous day you mean the 12th of July?

Page 12587

1 A. Yes, on the 12th.

2 Q. And what if -- well, what do you recall General Mladic said, what

3 the order was?

4 A. The long and the short of it would be this: Tactical groups 1 and

5 2 should be ready to start marching towards the Zepa sector and the

6 mission was to continue combat activities and to eventually take the Zepa

7 enclave.

8 Q. And was there any, well, disagreement about the proposed mission

9 or the order?

10 A. I don't remember that anybody but Commander Pandurevic disagreed.

11 I can't remember anybody else disagreeing.

12 Q. Well, what do you mean by that, if you could elaborate?

13 A. Well, to put it simply, Commander Pandurevic had a right to voice

14 proposals or objections to any missions or tasks he might have received

15 from his superior. He pointed out that the 28th Division had not been

16 destroyed, that according to the reports that had been presented to us,

17 the troops of the 28th Division could be found in the Jaglici sector,

18 which was to the north from where we were, and that there was an objective

19 possibility that they had been regrouped and getting ready to start

20 breaking through towards the free territory of Tuzla.

21 And if they did that, they would be in the

22 Memici-Baljkovica-Petkovci sector and that they would be behind the

23 Zvornik Brigade troops which would put the brigade in a rather

24 unfavourable position if at the same time the forces coming from the front

25 were acting together with the units of the 28th Division in order to link

Page 12588

1 up, which would mean that the defence of that brigade would be at a risk

2 and that maybe even several battalions of the Zvornik Brigade would suffer

3 great consequences of all that.

4 Q. And were you there when he pointed this out? Were you present?

5 A. Yes, I was.

6 Q. And what if anything was the response by General Mladic?

7 A. The response was that the commander had received his orders, that

8 he was supposed to carry it out, and that there were ample other forces

9 which would prevent the 28th Division from crossing the

10 Konjevic Polje-Kasaba-Milici road, that they would simply not be allowed

11 to cross that road and that the commander should not have any concerns

12 with that respect.

13 Q. Now, did Commander Pandurevic point this out in front of the --

14 all of the other commanders that were there and all of the other people

15 that had been gathered there or did this occur at some other location and

16 time?

17 A. Everybody was there. The troops that were lined up in units and

18 the closest to the general were the commanders, their immediate

19 subordinates, and that's the way how we received our orders from the

20 general.

21 Q. What happened after -- what happened after that?

22 A. All the commanders accepted the orders by saying that they

23 understood them, and they went off to start preparing their troops for the

24 march.

25 Q. Okay. Did you have any conversation with Commander Pandurevic

Page 12589

1 about the order that General Mladic had issued?

2 A. Not the very -- the order itself, about going towards Zepa, but

3 the Zvornik Brigade was our brigade, Zvornik was our town, we took it to

4 our hearts. I personally did. I felt rather uncomfortable. I don't want

5 to speak for the commander. I don't know what was on his mind. But I

6 personally felt rather uncomfortable when I heard all that.

7 Q. Well, did you discuss this with the commander?

8 A. Yes, actually, yes, at the time, I did. But without any

9 conclusions. Our orders were what they were, and we set out to carry them

10 out in order to be able to arrive at the destination that were part of

11 General Mladic's orders.

12 Q. Okay. After you prepared the troops to proceed according to the

13 order, tell us what happened.

14 A. Once the unit was prepared, we started moving along the

15 Viogor-Derventa-Milici-Vlasenica-Han Pijesak-Pozeplje axis. Before that,

16 we replenished our units with ammunition and other materiel and technical

17 equipment that would enable them to reach their destination without any

18 impediments.

19 Q. And how far did you get that night, that evening?

20 A. Around 2.00 in the morning on the 14th, we were in Rijeka village

21 between Pozeplje and Han Pijesak.

22 Q. Okay. And is that where you spent the night, that night?

23 A. Yes. That's where we spent the night, in the Rijeka village

24 sector.

25 Q. And during that day, did you have contact with the

Page 12590

1 Zvornik Brigade?

2 A. No. We did not have any contact. The only thing I can remember

3 is the fact that we spent some time in Vlasenica. At the petrol station

4 which is at the entry into Vlasenica, we filled up the tanks of all of our

5 vehicles, the passenger vehicles and the combat vehicles alike.

6 Q. And do you know whether or not your commander had contact with the

7 brigade that evening?

8 A. No, he didn't.

9 Q. I'm referring to Commander Pandurevic.

10 A. No. Commander Pandurevic did not have any contact with the

11 command of the brigade in Zvornik.

12 Q. Can I ask, how do you know that?

13 A. I know for a very simple reason. We were together and we did not

14 have an occasion to establish any contact with the brigade. There were a

15 lot of vehicles, it was night, there were a lot of problems, breakdowns.

16 We had to reach the destination in time envisaged by the order. We were

17 even a bit delayed.

18 Q. Well, did you express your concern or have a message conveyed to

19 the brigade about your worries that you indicated you had as a result of

20 General Mladic's order?

21 A. Are you referring to the unit that was there, that was under

22 Pandurevic's command and in which I was the operative officer? You're not

23 referring to the command of the Zvornik Brigade? I didn't understand who

24 you were referring to.

25 Q. I'll rephrase the question. First I'm talking about communication

Page 12591

1 between your tactical group and the Zvornik Brigade. And my question is:

2 Did you contact or try to contact the Zvornik Brigade to express your

3 concerns or worries that you had as a result of the order that was issued

4 by General Mladic?

5 A. No, sir, because General Mladic said that this was not our

6 concern, that a command higher than the corps command would resolve that,

7 would deal with that. As soon as he said that that was their problem and

8 their thing to deal with, we all supposed that somebody must have assumed

9 the full responsibility for the things that were spelled out by

10 Commander Pandurevic as a possibility.

11 Q. Okay. You spent the night in Rijeka on the 13th of July?

12 A. Between the 13th and the 14th July, as from the very early morning

13 hours of that night, yes.

14 Q. On the 14th of July, can you tell us what you recall about that

15 morning?

16 A. The commander -- actually, we had been given the task to prepare

17 our unit to march to the Pozeplje village sector and the commander went to

18 the forward command post of the corps that had been set up in the village

19 called Krivaca.

20 Q. And around what time did the commander go to the forward command

21 post of the corps? And when you say corps, you mean the Drina Corps; is

22 that right?

23 A. Yes. It was the Drina Corps. It was in the early morning hours.

24 I can't tell you exactly when, because we had our reconnoitring missions

25 very early in the morning, and he did it upon having received his orders,

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1 the task that had been given to him.

2 Q. Do you mean he received an order to go to the forward command

3 post?

4 A. I suppose so. He would not have gone there without having been

5 asked to. He would not just do it spontaneously. I mean, he can ask to

6 be received there but it's usually upon being invited.

7 Q. Okay. And around what time did he return? How long was he away?

8 A. It didn't take him longer than an hour to go there, to receive his

9 order, and to go back.

10 Q. And did he tell you what his order was and from whom he received

11 it?

12 A. He received an order from General Krstic, who was at the forward

13 command post, as the person in command of all these operations. Our task

14 was to leave the village of Pozeplje as our starting point and to mount an

15 attack on the axis of Pozeplje-Brloznik-Purtici village in the direction

16 of Zepa.

17 Q. Okay. And is that what you did following that?

18 A. After reconnoitring and drafting an action plan that we

19 interpolated on to the map and showed to the unit in order for them to be

20 able to mount this attack, the units launched the attack along the main

21 axis of the attack. To the right-hand side was Tactical Group 2. On the

22 auxiliary axis. And to the left of us was Tactical Group 1 of the Zvornik

23 Brigade.

24 Q. And how far did you get on the 14th of July?

25 A. Because we took the village of Brloznik and once we arrived on the

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1 slopes which are above the village of Purtici, it was already late in the

2 afternoon or early evening, and this is where our units spent the night.

3 This is where we stopped our action. And there was also lateral activity

4 from the Brlog mountain that we had to neutralise, which means that on the

5 slopes of the hill above Purtici, the tactical group troops stopped and

6 stayed with a view to continuing their mission on the following day.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's where they stopped, and this is where

8 we stop. We are adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.

9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day of June,

11 2007, at 9.00 a.m.