1 Friday, 13 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Registrar, would you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom, this is case number IT-05-88-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al. Thank you, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good morning, everybody. I notice that
11 for the record that all the accused are here, representation is exactly
12 as it was yesterday except the seating is different.
13 Good morning, Mr. Pandurevic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, I leave him in your hands. Remember
16 that it's Friday, the 13th.
17 WITNESS: VINKO PANDUREVIC [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 MR. BOURGON: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Judges.
20 Good morning colleagues in the courtroom.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning, sir.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. When we left off yesterday, sir, you were telling us that when
25 you had this conversation with Dragan Obrenovic at the forward command
1 post on the 16th of July, he did not say anything about an alleged
2 conversation he would have had with an elderly member of the
3 4th Battalion on 15 July and nor that he possessed any information that
4 Drago Nikolic was involved in the killing of prisoners at Orahovac. That
5 was at page 31386 to 31387.
6 In your very last answer, you said the following, and I quote:
7 "I would have expected him to tell me that, but since he did not
8 do this and I don't know for what reason, perhaps he really did not know
9 and he had nothing to do with it. It was probably the reason why he
10 didn't mention it."
11 Now, if I can have in e-court 3D7D86, please. I'd like to have
12 page 5 in English, so the document that will appear before you -- maybe I
13 can say that number over again.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I was go to tell you to ask you to wait and be
15 patient a little bit. Do you need the number again? Yes, please.
16 MR. BOURGON: 3D7D86. And that is the statement of facts which
17 which accompanied the guilty plea of Dragan Obrenovic.
18 Q. Sir, I will refer to a segment of the statement of facts provided
19 by Dragan Obrenovic and I quote from paragraph 34. And that's page 5 in
21 "He mentioned the following: Ristic told me that Milorad Trbic
22 had called him from Orahovac school where the prisoners were being kept
23 and asked for help. Ristic then sent about eight men to Orahovac as
24 reinforcements to assist Trbic in guarding the prisoners."
25 JUDGE KWON: Are we on the same page, Mr. Bourgon?
1 MR. BOURGON: Let me verify, Judge.
2 I have paragraph 34, line 10.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is we don't have -- the text that we have
4 is -- the numbers are not -- sorry, the paragraphs are not numbered. So
5 we have to go through each one of them to try and see, and we don't know
6 where that starts with those words.
7 MR. BOURGON: It's on page 5 in English, according to the
8 document that I have here which is the 3D7D86 page 5, and the paragraph
9 begins with, "We went directly to the command of the 4th Battalion,"
10 beginning of that paragraph.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The end of that page, last paragraph of that page.
12 All right.
13 MR. BOURGON: We have to go to page 6 for the part that I was
14 referring to. I apologise for this.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It is okay. It is right in the middle in B/C/S,
16 it's right in the middle of the page. It starts, "otisli smo direktno,"
17 but very soon we'll have to go to the next page in English. Anyway.
18 MR. BOURGON: In English we have to go to the next page.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, exactly. All right. Go ahead.
20 MR. BOURGON: It starts at the fourth line with: "Ristic told
22 Q. So sir, I will read this segment over again.
23 "Ristic told me that Milorad Trbic had called him from Orahovac
24 school where the prisoners were being kept and asked for help. Ristic
25 then sent about eight men to Orahovac as re-enforcements to assist Trbic
1 in guarding the prisoners. Ristic said he did not know at that stage
2 about the killing of prisoners at Orahovac, but learnt about it when he
3 visited the site early in the evening of the 14th July. He said that he
4 found his men guarding prisoners in the gymnasium of the school at
5 Orahovac and that the execution of prisoners had already commenced in the
6 nearby location. He lined up his men and was about to take them away,
7 when Drago Nikolic stopped him. Drago Nikolic said that if the men
8 stayed, they would all be issued with new uniforms by Captain Milosevic
9 from rear services. Lazar Ristic spoke of other soldiers there in
10 camouflage uniform from another location and he was not clear where they
11 were from."
12 I take it, sir, you are familiar with the statement of facts from
13 Dragan Obrenovic, and we also referred to that statement of facts
14 yesterday. It's my understanding, however, that during your conversation
15 with Obrenovic at the forward command post, he did not tell you anything
16 about this alleged conversation with Lazar Ristic on 15 July at the
17 4th Battalion command; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, you were in this courtroom when Lazar Ristic appeared as a
20 witness and denied having such a conversation at the 4th Battalion
21 command with Dragan Obrenovic, so I take it that when Lazar Ristic
22 testified, you weren't surprised by him denying ever having that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, if Obrenovic would have had such a conversation with
1 Lazar Ristic, and if, at that time, he did have information that
2 Drago Nikolic and Milorad Trbic were involved in the guarding of
3 prisoners at Orahovac, would you have expected him at the time to tell
4 you when you asked if anyone from the Zvornik Brigade was involved?
5 A. I expected him to tell me everything that he knew regarding these
6 events including whether anyone from the Zvornik Brigade took part in
7 those activities.
8 Q. One last question concerning your conversation with Obrenovic.
9 Yesterday, when I asked you whether Obrenovic told you where
10 Drago Nikolic was when Obrenovic allegedly obtained information from him
11 on 13 July, your answer was, and I quote:
12 "... and I don't think he told me where Drago Nikolic was and
13 whether he called him or whether he had any personal contact with him."
14 If I can add ... one moment, please.
15 The question I put to you at that time, just to recall, was did
16 Obrenovic tell you where Drago Nikolic was when he conveyed this
17 information to him.
18 If I can have in e-court please 7D1154, page 3 in English and
19 page 4 in B/C/S.
20 Sir, this document that will appear before you is the
21 investigative note to file compiled by Eileen Gilleece, which was
22 discussed in detail during your examination-in-chief two days ago. I
23 draw your attention to the last paragraph on this page which reads as
25 "Drago Nikolic was the chief of security for the Zvornik Brigade
1 and the duty officer for the forward command post replaced by
2 Major Galic."
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to go --
4 MR. BOURGON: Again we have the wrong page? I apologise. I said
5 page 3 in English, please and page 4 in B/C/S. I apologise. I will look
6 again. On the last page, page 3, last paragraph. Here we are. So you
7 see the last -- in English it's the last paragraph and in the -- in your
8 language, it's the fourth paragraph.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Fourth paragraph.
10 MR. BOURGON:
11 Q. The sentence I was referring to is:
12 "Drago Nikolic was the chief of security of the Zvornik Brigade
13 and the duty officer for the forward command post replaced by
14 Major Galic."
15 Sir, on the basis of the information or the -- your last answer,
16 about what Major Obrenovic told you during that conversation, I suggest
17 to you that this was not information that was communicated to you by
18 Obrenovic on 16 July, and that, in fact, this is something you learned
19 for the first time when you read the Butler report before having this
20 meeting with Eileen Gilleece. Would you agree with that?
21 A. As far as I can remember, I explained how the security organ was
22 mentioned at all and that Zivanovic got involved. When he mentioned
23 certain names, I explained which posts they held. I don't remember at
24 all mentioning the whereabouts of Drago, whether it was at the IKM or
1 Q. And the specific information included in this paragraph where it
2 says, "Replaced by Major Galic," this is not something you were familiar
3 with at the time you met Eileen Gilleece; is that correct?
4 A. I read Mr. Butler's report. Whether this was included in this
5 report or not, but to me this was entirely irrelevant information,
6 whether he was at the IKM and whether Mr. Galic had replaced him, so this
7 made no impression on me.
8 Q. Thank you, I appreciate that's very useful, but I just need to
9 clarify this to ensure that we are -- I just want to know that this
10 information which is included there is not something that you knew or
11 that you were ever informed of in July of 1995; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, you're right. I already said that.
13 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to clarify.
14 I move to a different topic of my cross-examination, and I would
15 like to ask you a few questions concerning your military background.
16 If I can have in e-court please P372, page 1 in both languages.
17 Sir, you will recognise this document which was also shown to you
18 during your examination in chief and it has to do with your personal
19 information on -- or with respect to your military career.
20 Do you recognise this document?
21 A. I used to see this document but it seems that somebody else had
22 filled in this form. This is not my handwriting.
23 Q. Can you quickly glance over the information that is included in
24 this document -- now my understanding it was shown to you during your
25 examination-in-chief but we'll -- I have just a few questions concerning
1 this document.
2 First, let's go to paragraph 10 where it says that you joined the
3 JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army, on 30 July, 1982. Now that's correct?
4 A. We finished the military academy in July, and we were given ranks
5 of second-lieutenant. I think it was mid-July, between the 18th and the
6 20th, and this is the period that is calculated as the date of joining
7 the army, only later on, I was given a specific post and a duty station
8 in Ljubljana
9 Q. So just to -- for the sake of clarity, first you go to military
10 academy and then you join the JNA; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And it says that at paragraph 9, that you spent 4.6 years at the
13 military academy and that's the normal stay, it's a five-year course; is
14 that correct?
15 A. No, I spent four years. I don't know who wrote this 4.6, I
16 really don't know.
17 Q. Now, during your examination-in-chief on 27 January, you
18 confirmed that you were promoted to lieutenant in July of 1983, to
19 captain in 1987, and to captain first class in 1991. This was at
20 transcript page 30668, line 24 to page 30669, line 3 on 27 January; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, if we go back to this document, it also says at paragraph 11
24 that you distinguish yourself as a JNA officer in 1989 and 1991. Would I
25 be right in saying that this means that you obtained outstanding
1 evaluation reports on both occasions?
2 A. I don't remember exactly when my official appraisal took place,
3 but generally it was done every four years; and I was familiar with every
4 official appraisal because I had to sign it as taking a note of it. And
5 probably this outstanding appraisal was given to me by Battalion
6 Commander Vahid Karavelic, who was later commander of the BH army 1st
7 Corps in Sarajevo
8 Q. Sir, is it at that time on 1 June 1992 that you officially
9 switched from the JNA to the VRS as we see in paragraph 12 of this
11 A. I was formally on the register of the VJ, formerly the JNA. My
12 wartime assignment was in the Army of Republika Srpska. I don't remember
13 the exact date, but I do know that the orders about our transfer followed
14 only much later which is to say after we had actually been transferred.
15 That is why I really cannot remember the date.
16 Q. I appreciate this. Now if we look at paragraph 7, we say the
17 dates of your promotions to major, 7 January 1993; to lieutenant-colonel,
18 31 May 1994
19 interested in the dates on which you were promoted but more so in the
20 fact that it says that these promotions were extraordinary promotions.
21 What does that mean, sir?
22 A. According to the law on the army, it specifies exactly how long
23 each officer should remain with a certain rank provided he is assigned to
24 an appropriate post and that he achieved an appropriate appraisal. It
25 varies between three, four, and seven years. Each promotion that is
1 being effected before that time elapsed is considered as extraordinary
3 Q. So in common language, those are promotions which come faster
4 than the normal required time for the next rank.
5 A. Yes, I agree. That's correct.
6 Q. And only the very best officers get such promotions.
7 A. That's how things are supposed to be.
8 Q. And extraordinary promotions are also given to officers who
9 receive outstanding evaluation reports; are you familiar with this?
10 A. Not necessarily, only under the law he held the rank for a
11 shorter time than someone who had lower evaluation. I remember a captain
12 who had an outstanding evaluation who was promoted after a shorter period
13 of time, but it doesn't guarantee that it will happen.
14 Q. Now, I take it that you are familiar that on the basis of your
15 experience, that in the military, from the time that you are a junior
16 officer, if your superiors see the potential in you to reach the higher
17 ranks in the army, you become what is known as a streamer and then you
18 get a series of quick promotions. Are you familiar with that normal way
19 of doing in the military?
20 A. This was very specific in the JNA. One didn't only need general
21 quality and capacity and training and good performance for someone to
22 achieve speedy promotions, there were other things that we, at that time,
23 called the ethnic key and also certain political appropriateness and
24 achievements in the sphere of politics. It could have happened that for
25 a variety of reasons, certain officers, thanks to their good qualities,
1 could have "represented" a professional threat to someone else and
2 therefore didn't receive promotions. However, war is an opportunity to
3 test everyone's qualities, both human qualities and professional
4 qualities including valour, bravery, et cetera. That is why as the law
5 says, in wartime, the president of the republic can promote an ordinary
6 private to a general because these are extraordinary circumstances.
7 Q. Thank you. That's very useful, and that fits into my next
8 questions where all of your extraordinary promotions you obtained in the
9 VRS, this happened during the war?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So it can be concluded that during the war, you were regarded by
12 your superiors as an outstanding officer?
13 A. Up to my arrival in the Zvornik Brigade, my superiors probably
14 did not have a complete picture of my work and sufficient information
15 about my quality. When I arrived in Zvornik, however, after only 10 or
16 15 days I was promoted to the rank of major for a single reason. This
17 was a large brigade. The previous commanders had been
18 lieutenant-colonels, and one of them had been a major and that milieu
19 needed a certain authority which the rank of major gave me, both among
20 the men and my peers. This was an expression of the needs, the
21 requirements of the time, not something due to my special qualities
22 because I'd only been there for some 10 or 15 days.
23 Q. Now, I was referring sir more to your -- what your superiors saw
24 in you throughout the war, and I will refer to one example and that is
25 when General Krstic testified during his trial, that was at page 6312,
1 lines 7 to 10 on 20 October 2000
2 "The best brigade commander in the Drina Corps, one of the best
3 commanders amongst his peers in the army as a whole, a professional
4 soldier in every sense of the word."
5 Do you agree with General Krstic's assessment which he said
6 during his trial?
7 A. He had the right to evaluate my work because he was my superior.
8 I agree with that assessment.
9 Q. Now one thing I'm curious about, however, is your military
10 education, in other words, whether and when you attended the career
11 courses which are usually a prerequisite before getting certain
12 promotions. If I begin with the command and staff academy. You said in
13 your testimony --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Bourgon, initially I forgot to put
15 on record that we are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 business. Judge Stole
16 couldn't be with us this morning. The other thing is before you proceed
17 with this line of questions, what are you seeking to prove?
18 MR. BOURGON: It's coming very quickly, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm glad to hear that. Thank you.
20 MR. BOURGON:
21 Q. We were talking about, sir, the command and staff academy, and
22 you said in your testimony that you attended the first 20 days of the
23 command and staff academy but that you did not complete the course due to
24 wartime obligations. That was at page 30673 on 27 January; is that
25 correct, sir?
1 A. Yes. The course mentioned here was the regular schooling which
2 lasted for two years at the time. There were also courses for company
3 commanders and battalion commanders. The regular schooling in the JNA
4 covered the military academy, the staff command, the command and staff
5 academy and some similar schools, and also the school of national defence
6 or the war school. All these were forms of regular schooling. In
7 addition to this, in the course of one's service in the JNA, there was a
8 special plan of training for officers which was implemented on a monthly
9 basis. Every officer was duty-bound to undertake continuous education in
10 the course of his service.
11 Q. And, sir, my first question in this regard is: Did you ever
12 complete the command and staff academy after the war at any time?
13 A. In the course of the war, the generation which started its
14 schooling together with me in 1991 had its schooling interrupted because
15 of the war and continued again in 1993. I was invited back to the
16 school, but the commander of the Main Staff did not approve my return to
17 the school which is why I did not complete it.
18 However, because I have a master of arts in sociology, I was
19 given a VES, which is my military specialty which has the -- carries the
20 same rank as the command and staff school. After the war, I tried to
21 enroll again in that school, but again it was not approved.
22 Q. My second question in this regard is those 20 days that you say
23 you attended the staff command academy, now, I take it that this was in
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And to which unit did you belong at the time?
2 A. I was assistant commander for moral guidance and political
3 guidance, and also I deputised with the battalion commander. That unit
4 moved to Zenica, and from Zenica, I went to that school.
5 Q. And the unit you were with just because this was my precise
6 question was the 1st Motorised Battalion of the 14th Volunteer Brigade in
7 the Ljubljana Corps; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that was the unit commanded then by Vahid Karavelic, who you
10 mentioned earlier before?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now those 20 days that you spent at the staff command academy is
13 this information that should appear in your personal dossier at any
15 A. I think that in my file, there should be orders showing that I
16 was sent to school as well as the order that after the interruption of my
17 schooling I was assigned to temporary work in the Uzice Corps or the
18 37th Corps as it was called to the 19th Mountain Brigade, and that should
19 all be in my file. I think there were two copies in the file and one was
20 always kept in the personnel department of the General Staff of the JNA
21 in Belgrade
22 Q. Have you seen this information yourself in your personal records?
23 A. I saw the order sending me to school and the one sending me to
24 temporary work in the Uzice Corps.
25 Q. And have you seen your personal record here in The Hague since
1 you arrived some three years ago?
2 A. I saw parts of that record and yesterday, I saw the remainder
3 from my photograph as a second-lieutenant onwards.
4 Q. Now, that's information that I've been looking for, and I could
5 not locate, so I will seek the assistance of your counsel to provide this
6 information. We've been trying to get this from the Prosecution. We
7 don't know if it exists or not, but I have a series of questions that
8 were following; but I will wait until I see the documents before I put my
9 questions to the witness on this particular issue.
10 Sir, the staff and command academy, you will agree with me, is a
11 prerequisite for promotions to the group of senior officer or higher
12 officers as you said yesterday.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you mentioned a few moments ago one of the career courses
15 which officers must attend before getting promoted to senior positions in
16 the VRS would be the National Defence School
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And this is the one-year course you mentioned during your
19 testimony, the course you attended in Belgrade in 1997, but as you told
20 us, you only graduated in January 1999 due to disciplinary proceedings
21 which were instituted against you; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, even though you only graduated from the National Defence
24 School in January of 1999, you were nonetheless promoted to major-general
25 on 28 June 1997
1 A. Yes, I agree. First, I completed the war and then the war
3 Q. Now, sir, you would agree with me that you really have to be a
4 very good officer in order to be promoted to the rank of major-general
5 before having attended or completed the career courses such as the
6 National Defence School
7 A. If someone has a wide choice to promote someone to that rank and
8 appoint him to a certain duty, and if there is a lot of competition, then
9 it's very difficult. If the choice is very limited, then even someone
10 who doesn't fulfill all the conditions can be promoted.
11 Q. Now, in terms of yourself being a very good officer during the
12 war, I'd like to refer to the testimony of Milenko Ljubicic, who
13 testified at page 11576 that you were an exceptionally strict commander,
14 that you knew the job that you were doing very, very well, and you were
15 an extremely good person; do you agree with this statement?
16 A. I tried to do my job in the best way I could, whether it was all
17 good enough, well, probably it wasn't. My strictness was based, first of
18 all, on strictness towards myself and then towards others. I was not
19 stricter towards others than I was towards myself.
20 Q. If I refer to the testimony of Miodrag Dragutinovic, that was at
21 pages 12639 and 12640, he testified that you had a lot of skill and
22 knowledge about the unit command, and you took very seriously the orders
23 you received from higher command.
24 Do you agree with this assessment from Miodrag Dragutinovic?
25 A. Yes, I agree. I'm afraid I might be reactivated after all these
1 questions and answers.
2 Q. And finally, you became a general in the Army of Yugoslavia and
3 that was on 20 March 2001
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, something you mentioned during your examination-in-chief
6 that I'd like to look a bit into, and I'd like to know that during the
7 war when you were a younger officer, I'd like to know, were you an
8 ambitious man, Mr. Pandurevic?
9 A. I don't want to refer to Napoleon saying that a soldier who one
10 day doesn't want to become a general is a poor soldier. If that's
11 ambition, well, I don't think I was more ambitious than you are, for
12 example, it's a privilege to be a lawyer in this court, appear as counsel
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we come to the point because to be honest, I
15 don't know what you think, but if you think that we are interested in all
16 this, go ahead by all means. But I suggest to you to think different.
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Your advice is noted.
18 Q. Sir, you testified two days ago that when the president of
19 Republika Srpska, Mrs. Plavsic selected you to become the assistant
20 commander for morale, religious and legal affairs for the general staff,
21 there were reports in the Belgrade
22 were too ambitious. That was at transcript 31254. You said that you did
23 not enjoy these reports. What truth was there to these reports,
24 Mr. Pandurevic?
25 A. Well, what I said, the authors wrote what they did. They wanted
1 to challenge the credibility of new appointees to the General Staff.
2 They wanted to challenge the credibility of the same people they had
3 praised in wartime when they had to risk their lives, but now when
4 someone was appointed to a similar duty as his predecessors he was not
5 good enough. So this was all envy and competition.
6 Q. So you probably recall that when Nebojsa Jeremic testified in
7 this trial, I asked him about, or I comment in a statement he provided to
8 the office of the Prosecution to the effect that you acted like a god in
9 the brigade. That was at page 10444. Why would Jeremic say, in your
10 opinion, that you acted like a god in the brigade?
11 A. May God forgive me if I ever had such a thought. I am a mere
12 mortal. I am not a god. How he came to that conclusion, I don't know.
13 To the best of my understanding, Mr. Bourgon, I may be wrong, you were a
14 soldier once and you know that the role of a commander is to invest his
15 best efforts in getting his unit to perform its task. He may not always
16 be successful. Sometimes one succeeds and sometimes one doesn't. They
17 may have viewed me as a god because they are not religious people. I
18 don't know why.
19 Q. Sir, I heard, when preparing this case, comments from many of
20 your former soldiers that you were not only an ambitious man, but that
21 you were ready to sacrifice anything for your career including your men,
22 which is why even though you lost many soldiers that way, you were always
23 ready to fight outside of your own territory to show how good you are.
24 Is there any --
25 MR. HAYNES: I'm going to object to that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
2 MR. HAYNES: Mr. Bourgon is giving evidence. What he heard in
3 the preparation of this case has got nothing to do with anything
4 Mr. Pandurevic should comment upon.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, do you wish to comment --
6 Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If this kind of thing is going to be thrown at
8 any witness it should be specified where it's coming from and what it is
9 because otherwise it really is absurd.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Has that convinced you to move to your next
12 MR. BOURGON: Not really, Mr. President. I think in
13 cross-examination, if I have a foundation to ask a question and to ask
14 whether it is true, whether Mr. Pandurevic feels that he was willing to
15 sacrifice anything to his career, it is something that I'm entitled to
16 explore in cross-examination because it will have to do with his
17 decisions after that which I will challenge.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you in a position to quote -- give proper
21 indication of your source, Mr. Bourgon?
22 MR. BOURGON: I've heard this from many former soldiers of the
23 Zvornik Brigade, which I have interviewed in preparing for this case and
24 he can tell us if there is any foundation to these comments that I've
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's proceed and we suggest, again, that you go to
2 the facts which are relevant to the case rather than this background
3 information. If it continues like this, we are in agreement here that we
4 will have to cut down on your 12 hours.
5 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Sir, I suggest to you that if there is one thing that you could
7 not tolerate from anyone during the war, it would be anyone who would
8 disseminate information which would tarnish your reputation; would you
9 agree with that?
10 A. Mr. Bourgon, I have to touch on your previous question. I did my
11 very best to protect the lives of my men and to ensure that my soldiers
12 had what they needed. These were reservists who did not understand the
13 logic of warfare and the ways in which soldiers were used. They were
14 local patriots. Had they carried out my orders and acted in ways
15 described by certain individuals in this courtroom, and had everything
16 been done the way they say it was, I would happily have had been a
17 commander for another ten years, but that's not how it was. I could not
18 prevent the dissemination of disinformation. There was a huge amount of
19 disinformation coming from various sources. If every soldier did not see
20 me next to him at the front line, he said I went to Loznica in Serbia and
21 that I was sitting in a cafe. I would have had to have been seen by
22 every soldier at every time everywhere because if they didn't see me in
23 the brigade, they would start spreading rumours about me.
24 Q. Thank you, sir, I appreciate this answer, and we'll come back to
25 this later in my cross-examination but for now I would simply say that
1 one of the reasons for which you testified the way you did concerning
2 Drago Nikolic is that at some point during the war, he did make a report
3 against you which you found out about; is that correct, sir?
4 A. I don't know what this is about. If there is something like
5 that, please jog my memory.
6 Q. I will. But for now, I'd like to quickly turn to the issue of
7 officer-like qualities, and as it was put to you by your counsel, you've
8 been in the army all your life; and I'd like you to confirm whether you
9 agree with me that trust and loyalty towards the chain of command is one
10 of the most important, if not the most important value in the military
12 A. That's how it should be in every army, yes.
13 Q. And it's very important for a general to be able to trust his
14 senior officers?
15 A. Trust must exist. Without trust, there can be no successful
16 work, but trust can be betrayed. I never used any other methods to
17 obtain information important to me and my command, apart from the usual
18 procedures envisaged by the rules of command and control.
19 Q. And it was very important for a brigade commander such as
20 yourself during the war to trust your Chief of Staff, your assistant
21 commanders, and your officers; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. I was responsible both to my superior and to my
23 subordinates and associates. I was responsible to the local community.
24 I had responsibility towards myself and also to my enemies.
25 Q. And one of the areas, sir, where trust can be demonstrated
1 between officers is in written communications; would you agree with that?
2 A. I don't understand your question.
3 Q. Well, you will agree with me that a general must trust that what
4 his brigade commanders will tell him in written communications such as a
5 combat report, for example, is accurate; is that correct?
6 A. Well, it's logical that communication must go two ways, that
7 there must be information coming from the top down and also from the
8 bottom up. The flow of information from the top down is usually faster
9 than the other way around. A subordinate always can either alter the
10 information to make it look better that he sends up or he can send up
11 accurate information.
12 Q. And on this basis, sir, you will agree with me that when an
13 officer drafts and sends a combat report, for example, it is critical
14 that the information contained therein be as accurate as possible?
15 A. Yes, he usually writes down the information he has available
16 because he, himself, gets information from the duty organs of subordinate
17 units. When the information starts from the company up to battalion and
18 then up to corps level, it arrives at various nodes where certain
19 elements can be lost so that in the end, the information can appear quite
20 different by the time it reaches the top. That's always a problem in the
22 Q. And I take it, sir, that you will agree with me that if a combat
23 report does not contain accurate information, whether it was on purpose
24 or simply because the officer sending the report does not have the right
25 information, this can have disastrous consequences for the army; is that
2 A. It can have consequences, whether disastrous or not so important
3 depends on a particular situation. However, having information at one's
4 disposal is essential in order to make the right assessment and reach the
5 right decision.
6 Q. And you will also agree with me that if you found out that one of
7 your officers deliberately sent you a combat report containing false
8 information, you could no longer trust this officer thereafter; would you
9 agree with that?
10 A. I couldn't fully agree. I would undertake measures to make him
11 write future reports as accurately as possible. If I lose trust at any
12 point, I would have no choice other to dismiss this officer and give up
13 on him. One has to work with people.
14 Q. And, sir, my question is quite straightforward: Did you ever
15 tell General Krstic or any of your superior officers that
16 on 16 July 1995
17 false information as you say you did?
18 A. I didn't tell him that. He could have concluded that himself
19 just like the visit by the team from the Main Staff and what was actually
20 and really going on.
21 Q. So I take it then that General Krstic and the -- your senior
22 officers at the time never got back to you saying that you had filed a
23 false combat report on the 16th of July; is that correct?
24 A. As far as I remember, there was no discussion about that report.
25 There were speedy developments. The situation in the Krajina was
1 chaotic, and there was no discussion about that. However, speaking about
2 true or false reports, I have to tell you about certain practice that was
3 implemented both in the JNA and the VRS; and that is that an in addition
4 to commander's reports about the same event, their assistants for
5 security reports followed as a confirmation of whether this was true or
7 When you mentioned my meeting with Mr. Semso in November 1993 in
8 the presence of Mr. Drago Nikolic, I reported about this meeting, the
9 corps command in my regular report whereas Drago, along his line of
10 communication and reporting, informed the security administration of the
11 main corps [as interpreted]. The corps command then asked me to send a
12 special report about what had actually transpired and to address it to
13 the Chief of the Main Staff of the corps [as interpreted].
14 I was really surprised at this request, and this is just one of
15 the examples.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry to interrupt, but we had some translation
18 issues that are just going to confuse the issue. If you can see, we
19 interchanged Main Staff of the corps, main corps, things I think that can
20 be fixed simply enough, but I don't think they should sit in the record.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. Bourgon if you want
22 to go through it now you can do so otherwise if you prefer you can do it
23 later with the staff.
24 MR. BOURGON: I'll make one correction, Mr. President.
25 Q. Just at page 24, line 6 where it says main corps, I take it
1 Mr. Pandurevic, you meant Main Staff; is that correct?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have the English transcript in front of you,
3 Mr. Pandurevic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: He can answer the question.
6 MR. BOURGON:
7 Q. So page 24, line 6, sir, where it says, "security administration
8 of the main corps." Is that what you said, or can you clarify what you
9 said exactly?
10 A. Security administration of the Main Staff.
11 Q. And at the end on the last line where you said, "Address it to
12 the chief of the Main Staff of the corps," now that's not what you said,
13 I take it.
14 A. I sent the report to the Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps
15 because probably Zivanovic was not that at the time, instead Colonel --
16 late Colonel Skocajic was there.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, I get to my point here because you said that I
18 mentioned Semso Muminovic, I don't recall I did, but I will check my
19 notes. My question is the following, and we'll get back to this when we
20 get back to the events of the 16th of July, but I put to you that an
21 officer of your calibre enjoying the absolute trust of your corps
22 commander as we have seen, and aiming for the highest positions of the
23 army, would never deliberately include false information in a combat
24 report. Would you agree with that?
25 A. I don't agree with that, and I invite you to confirm that fact.
1 Q. And I simply put it to you that your combat report of 16 July
2 with respect to the information contained therein with the situation as
3 it evolved on the ground was an accurate report and did not contain false
5 A. I have to tell you that four or five times, the corps and the
6 Main Staff asked for reports and that some people were sent out to check
7 the situation. The report was as I described it in my
8 examination-in-chief, and I also believe that another protected witness
9 spoke about this in a similar manner.
10 Q. So you agree with me that your report represented accurately the
11 situation as it evolved in the field?
12 A. The report reflected the situation as I believed would create the
13 least consequences as a result of my actions.
14 Q. But that's not my question, sir. I want to know whether the
15 situation on the ground on 16 July was as you reported it in your interim
16 combat report or whether you deliberately sent false information up the
17 chain of command?
18 A. The information was partly untrue, particularly the one relating
19 to the loss of three trenches, that was not correct. The front-line had
20 never been broken through at any point. Also, if I can remember, that
21 everyone who passed through passed unarmed. That is not true. You can
22 see it in the video footage who passed through.
23 Q. And I further suggest to you, sir, this will be my last question
24 on this topic, that your reason why you say what you said what you said
25 during your testimony is to convince us is that you let the 28th Division
1 cross your lines with their weapons on 16 July, not for humanitarian
2 reasons, but rather because you wanted to save your brigade as a good
3 commander should do if this is possible without compromising the ultimate
4 mission he is entrusted with; is that correct, sir?
5 A. Saving lives and one's soldiers and that of the enemy's as well
6 are humanitarian reasons. My task was to repel the breakthrough by the
7 28th Division. I wasn't able to do that, but I could have massacred the
8 28th Division. I could have pulled out my men from Baljkovica, let the
9 28th Division concentrate in the area, allow elements of the 2nd Corps to
10 link up with them, and in the area of one square kilometre, cover 5.000
11 men with artillery fire and each shell would hit the target; and,
12 therefore, I would have fulfilled my task completely. However, that's
13 not what I did.
14 Q. Well, we'll come back to that when we cover the events of 16
15 July, but I now move to a different topic. And I'd like to ask you a few
16 questions concerning some of the evidence which was heard in this trial.
17 Now, of course as a person accused in this case, you've been
18 sitting in the courtroom for the testimony of all witnesses who appear
19 before this Trial Chamber with the exception of one or two days; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. During your testimony, you mentioned that you also reviewed
23 documents which had been given to you to prepare for your defence.
24 A. Of course.
25 Q. And, in fact, you even mentioned, that was on page 30821, lines
1 23 to 24 that you were shown all documents on the EDS system; do you
2 recall saying this?
3 A. Not all documents were shown to me. What I received in an
4 electronic form from the EDS
5 was a complete set. I've -- I see that you are announcing some documents
6 that I haven't seen before, and I believe it was impossible to go through
7 all of them in the period of time that I had at my disposal.
8 Q. I don't think I am announcing such documents on my list, but if I
9 do, I will speak to your counsel at the break.
10 Now, you are familiar with all of what the witnesses in this case
11 have said and also with the witnesses that were not called by the
12 Prosecution; is that correct?
13 A. I heard all the testimony given here. I don't remember, however,
14 all the details of each testimony, and I don't know what the witnesses
15 who haven't appeared here told to the OTP. I don't know.
16 Q. My question was actually poorly put to you. I'm not talking
17 about witnesses who weren't called, but you read statements obtained by
18 the Office of the Prosecution from persons who did not testify in this
19 trial; is that correct?
20 A. I received a number of statements, whether that's a full set, I
21 don't know.
22 Q. And you are familiar with the documents both with have been
23 discussed in this courtroom and those which you received which were not
24 admitted in evidence; is that correct?
25 A. This is so ambiguous, I don't know what documents you are
1 referring to. I reviewed a huge number of documents that were put on
2 e-court and shown here including those who haven't.
3 Q. That's -- that was my question, so I take it that you understood
4 it. But all of this evidence, sir, whether coming from witnesses or from
5 persons who were to be witnesses or documents, I take it that you have
6 had an opportunity to discuss these documents with your defence team?
7 A. We discussed many things, primarily those that we thought to be
8 of vital importance to our approach to this case, but of course we didn't
9 discuss each and every document.
10 Q. And I don't want to get into the details of any discussion,
11 that's not my purpose, but would I be right in saying that you, yourself,
12 have been active in the preparation of your defence?
13 A. Yes, I was active. I did a lot of work on my own. That was
14 because I believed that I have to do everything in my capacity regardless
15 of the outcome of this trial.
16 Q. And for example, you mentioned that you met with your expert
17 witness, Bosko Antic; and you said that you gave him some general
18 guidance before he set out on his mission; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And would I be right in saying that you actually drafted some
21 questions which were put to witnesses during this trial?
22 A. I don't know which witness you are having in mind.
23 Q. Did you draft questions in order to help your defence team put
24 your case forward before this Trial Chamber?
25 A. For each witness, I assisted my defence team and their
1 preparations by reviewing documents, by offering my own interpretations
2 and professional expert explanations, by providing the facts that I knew.
3 However, the drafting and the formulating of questions in the
4 form that is permissible in this courtroom is something to be done by a
5 professional defence team.
6 Q. And without getting into the details of any particular
7 conversation you had with your defence team, is it correct to say that in
8 general, your defence was and is being presented pursuant to your
10 A. I suppose that's the point of cooperation in defence cases.
11 Whenever my defence team managed to persuade me something, I never
12 interfered any longer with these matters.
13 Q. And what I'm curious about is that if and when some evidence was
14 heard that you disagreed with, I take it that you made a point of raising
15 these issues with your defence team?
16 A. I could have disagreed with evidence, but I couldn't change
17 evidence. I could have told them where we had interpretation of facts
18 and where we had actual facts because there is a huge difference between
19 a fact and an interpretation of facts as someone who took part in events
20 can speak about the facts. Someone else can talk about interpretation of
21 facts based on the knowledge or rather second-hand knowledge.
22 Q. And sir, did you hear any evidence, testimony, or see documents
23 admitted in this trial which you believed to be not true or not accurate?
24 A. Many documents were admitted into evidence in this court. For a
25 certain period of time, I tried to keep track of those documents but then
1 I realised it was a futile effort, and I gave up. Whether all these
2 documents are true and correct, I honestly don't know. But we discussed
3 each and every document through cross-examination here, and I'm referring
4 to the documents that we were interested in.
5 Q. And how about witness testimony, did you hear any witnesses in
6 this courtroom where you went back to your room and you thought this
7 evidence is not true?
8 A. If witness testimonies were contrary to what I know and I believe
9 that was true, then I thought that this witness didn't speak the truth.
10 Q. And what did you do when this was the case? How did you react?
11 A. Of course we would analyse these specific testimonies, we would
12 use documents, and by analysing the contents and the -- making
13 comparisons with other testimonies and other documents, we would arrive
14 at certain conclusions and attempt to arrive at the truth.
15 You are now asking me about some expert procedures that you are
16 more familiar with than I am.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour, I notice it's getting to the
19 break time.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: But I'm also, just for the record, some of these
22 questions are obviously taking the witness into the area of
23 attorney-client privilege and perhaps, and I know Mr. Haynes can defend
24 this principle better than I can, but perhaps they should have a chance
25 to discuss that whether or not they feel the need to object to it or not.
1 I -- because for the record and for the future of this case, as we all
2 know, no one gives up that right by taking the witness stand.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. You will not be
4 surprised if I confess to you that this has been moving in all directions
5 at the back of my mind all the time. However, I did not notice
6 Mr. Haynes stand up and object.
7 MR. HAYNES: I was watching the clock as well. I thought we
8 could get to 10.20 and I'd think about this.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take the break now then.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Twenty-five minute break from now. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes, have you had -- and Mr. Bourgon, have
15 you had a chance to talk?
16 MR. HAYNES: Yes, Mr. Bourgon says he has one more question on
17 this topic.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we can proceed, I suppose.
19 Mr. Bourgon, go ahead.
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Sir, I have one last question on this topic concerning your
22 review of your -- of the evidence in this case before your testimony, and
23 I'd simply like you to confirm that in preparing for your testimony
24 before this Chamber, you did not ignore any evidence which was contrary
25 to what you, today, say is the truth; is that correct?
1 A. Well, I don't think that I and my defence team in preparing for
2 the testimony went through the evidence already admitted. All I want to
3 say is that I always had endless trust in professionalism and
4 responsibility of members of my team, that they acknowledged my military
5 profession, and I recognise their professional legal knowledge. And in
6 the course of preparing the defence case, I provided all the information
7 that I had available relating to my engagement and the events that are
8 subject of this case.
9 I don't know if this same thing applies to other Defence teams,
10 we never gave it a thought actually. During preparations, we worked
11 together and the lead counsel was in charge of the preparation in
12 general, and I was there to explain to him anything that from a military
13 point of view he couldn't understand.
14 Q. Thank you. That will be useful when we get to the events of
15 16 July.
16 At this time, what I would like to do is to ask you, now that I
17 have completed your examination-in-chief, and that you have heard all of
18 the evidence in this case which was presented both by the Prosecution and
19 by the -- your co-accused in this case, I would like to ask you if you
20 believe, at least from the military point of view, you bear any
21 responsibility for the crimes that were committed in the area of Zvornik
22 in July 1995?
23 A. I expressed my opinion about the indictment almost three years
25 Q. But that was before you heard all the evidence in this case. Now
1 that you've heard all the evidence, and I'm not seeking a legal
2 conclusion from you, I'm seeking a conclusion as the brigade commander,
3 the commander of the Zvornik Brigade in July 1995; and I'm asking you
4 straightforward: Do you believe you bear any responsibility from a
5 military perspective for the events that took place there at the time?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And looking back at these events, do you believe today as a
8 military commander that you could have done something to save the lives
9 of those Muslim prisoners who were executed during this period?
10 A. Unfortunately, those who were executed before I learned about
11 that, it was impossible. Those who we captured remained alive as well as
12 those who were allowed to pass through. Whoever -- whoever's life
13 depended on me, they survived.
14 Q. Now, yesterday, you said that you were surprised when you learned
15 that Obrenovic pled guilty. That was at page 31331, lines 7 to 8. And
16 it's also my understanding that you said that you did not think that
17 Obrenovic was guilty on the basis of the information he communicated to
18 you in 1995, and that was at page 31333, line 24, to 31335, line 2. Do
19 you maintain this view today?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, my question is the following, I'd like to review some facts
22 and then put a similar question to you: On the basis of your testimony,
23 you will agree with me that Obrenovic obtained information about
24 executions in Orahovac at the latest in the evening of 14 July during his
25 conversation with Jokic, who was the brigade operations duty officer.
1 That was your testimony; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And it's your testimony that you arrived at the Zvornik Brigade
4 command at around mid-day on the 15th of July?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it was your testimony that in the afternoon of 15 July, you
7 were informed that prisoners were being held in schools in the Zvornik
8 area including Petkovci and Pilica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it's your testimony that Obrenovic kept this information
11 until he conveyed it to you on the 16th of July at around 6.00?
12 A. In the afternoon, yes.
13 Q. 1800 hours, you're right. And you know on the basis of all the
14 evidence that we've heard in this case, that during this time, a large
15 number of prisoners who were held in Pilica and Petkovci schools were
16 executed. You're familiar with this evidence?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And on the basis of these facts, is it still your position that
19 from a military perspective, you bear no responsibility for these
20 executions which took place in those schools?
21 A. If you believe that the fact that the place of execution and the
22 place where prisoners of war were kept, held captive was in the area of
23 Zvornik where the Zvornik Brigade was the -- makes the brigade
24 responsible for that, then I don't think you're right. It was someone
25 else who did this business, organised everything and executed everything.
1 Had it by any chance happened that they had taken these prisoners to
2 another location, and that they had met the same fate, I never would have
3 been here, nor would anyone ask any questions of the Zvornik Brigade
4 about that.
5 Q. Let me make my question more precise. Dragan Obrenovic was your
6 subordinate, and for two days he had information about executions taking
7 place in Orahovac, and you had both the means to find out this
8 information and the duty to find out this information; and this
9 information included the participation of elements of the Zvornik
11 Do you believe that you have no responsibility whatsoever for
12 those events?
13 A. When Dragan Obrenovic conveyed this information to me and also
14 later, there was no information or report about the participation of
15 members of the Zvornik Brigade in the events. If Obrenovic was
16 responsible and had any role in the events of the 14th and the morning of
17 the 15th, then the corps command who was his superior command at the time
18 should have requested him to provide this information or undertake
19 certain measures against him. The command didn't do anything which is
20 one of the indicators based on which I believe that Obrenovic was not
22 Q. Now, on the basis of this answer, Mr. Pandurevic, what I'd like
23 to do at this time, and that's my purpose, is to try and understand your
24 point of view from the military perspective so I can better understand
25 how it is that you testified the way you did concerning Drago Nikolic.
1 During your examination-in-chief, when you testified about the
2 conversation you had with Obrenovic in your office concerning the
3 executions on -- that was the conversation of 23 July -- you stated and I
4 quote from page 31171, lines 11 to 12:
5 "But according to the information that we had, we knew that the
6 order had come from General Mladic."
7 Do you recall testifying to that effect?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And later, on the same page or on page 31172, lines 7 to 9, you
11 "However in light of the subsequent events, and the fact that no
12 measures were taken, I'm still convinced that the order did, indeed, come
13 from him."
14 Do you stand by this testimony?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. At page 31106, you also testified as follows. And I quote:
17 "On the 18th of July, when you dictated this report" -- that was
18 the question, sorry.
19 "Q. On the 18th of July when you dictated this report, did you
20 have any reason to believe, for example, that General Krstic knew
21 anything about the killing operation of the prisoners?"
22 The answer was:
23 "I did not have any kind of explicit information that would point
24 to the fact that General Krstic knew something about that. However, I
25 was thinking logically since he had not reacted to my report sent on the
1 15th, since in the course of the conversation that we conducted in the
2 morning of the 17th, since never happened after my report on the 16th, I
3 fully believe that he was in possession of certain information."
4 Do you remember testifying to that effect?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And at page 31112, you also testified that when talking about the
7 sources of your information about crimes committed, and again I quote
8 you, lines 19 to 23:
9 "The main source of my information was Dragan Obrenovic, and on
10 the 18th in Baljkovica, Jokic confirmed to me the engagement of the
11 engineering machinery and one machine from the Birac Holding enterprise
12 and one machine from the stone quarry from Josanica."
13 Do you recall testifying to that effect?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. And you will also agree with me that in your
16 examination-in-chief, talking about reburials, you expressed the view and
17 I quote 31244, lines 13 to 18:
18 "I did not have any direct information about who was engaged in
19 this, who was in charge of it, but I was able to conclude that it was
20 being done by the security organs because no task had been issued to any
21 of the commands for them to pass the orders down the chain of command and
22 deal with this matter."
23 Do you recall testifying to that effect?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, I could continue with more examples from your
1 examination-in-chief, but my question is the following: Bearing in mind
2 your testimony in this case, help me out in understanding if I am right
3 in saying that according to you, the chain of command from the Main Staff
4 to the corps, the security organs of the VRS, Mladic, Krstic, Jokic, were
5 involved and are responsible to some degree for the crimes that are
6 committed against prisoners of war in the Zvornik area in 1995, but that
7 you, Mr. Pandurevic, have no responsibility whatsoever. Is that what we
8 are to understand from your ten days of testimony?
9 A. You will understand it in the way you can and want to understand
10 it. I had no command responsibility or personal responsibility for those
12 Q. Let's try and explore a bit further into this. I'm not saying
13 that I want to have an understanding, I'm saying this is my
14 understanding. Am I right or am I wrong?
15 A. I don't know. That's for the Trial Chamber to decide,
16 Mr. Bourgon.
17 Q. I'll move to a different topic of my cross-examination dealing
18 with forcible transfer.
19 If I can have in e-court, please, P5.
20 Sir, you will recognise this document -- sorry, it's not there
21 yet. That's P5. Sorry.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Be patient, Mr. Bourgon.
23 MR. BOURGON: It's a long document.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We have the Tribunal logo at the moment. Do you
25 want to go to any particular page?
1 MR. BOURGON: No, the first page will be fine for now,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Fine. If you look at your monitor, Mr. Bourgon,
4 you will see that the English version that we have does not correspond
5 with the -- okay, it does now. Okay. Go ahead.
6 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Sir, you recognise this document which appears before you on the
8 screen as being the directive for upcoming operations to the command of
9 the 1st -- addressed to the command of the 1st -- sorry, it's the
10 directive for further operations number 7. Do you recognise this
12 A. Yes. Yes, I have seen it in this courtroom.
13 Q. Now you see the date of this document is 8 March 1995?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. But if we go back one page at least on the English side, we see
16 the cover letter, which is page 1 in e-court on the English side. So we
17 see from this page that this is a document that came from the Main Staff
18 of the Army of Republika Srpska and that it was addressed to the command
19 of the 1st Krajina Corps by Milovanovic, the Chief of Staff, on 17 March.
20 Do you recognise this cover letter, Mr. Pandurevic?
21 A. I saw it here for the first time.
22 Q. Well, that's exactly my point leading into my next question.
23 During your examination-in-chief, and that was on page 30821, lines 21 to
24 24, you said that you saw this document for the first time here in
25 The Hague
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you will agree with me that this is a strategic level
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you will also agree with me that if you did not see it until
6 you arrive in The Hague
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you would agree with me that you would not expect brigade
10 officers in general to be informed of strategic level documents issued by
11 the Supreme Command of the armed forces?
12 A. I agree.
13 Q. I'd like to move now to another document which is P203 in
14 e-court, please.
15 We have this document now on the screen, Mr. Pandurevic.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Bourgon. Just out of curiosity,
17 even though out of the back of my mind I seem to remember something, can
18 you -- okay. I notice, although I do remember that there was an
19 explanation for this, that while the B/C/S version at the top right-hand
20 corner says copy number 6 P, in the English, it says copy number 9. I
21 just want a confirmation, nothing else, that we're talking exactly of the
22 same document.
23 Later on the title does seem to indicate that we're talking about
24 operative order number 7. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we'll check on that. I believe
1 this will -- I believe it's been in evidence that this Directive 7 was
2 sent around to the different brigades. We may have translated one that
3 came from a different brigade but we'll check on that. It shouldn't
4 change the substance.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I seem to remember that this was brought up earlier
6 on in the course of the trial but I just wanted to -- in case you need or
7 you wish to make any submission regarding this.
8 Yes, Mr. Haynes.
9 MR. HAYNES: It's also not on the list of documents that has been
10 disclosed, P203 but I have no objection at this stage. I may have
11 something to say about that a little later.
12 MR. BOURGON: I apologise to my colleague. I thought -- we
13 thought this document was on our list, and I will take this at the break
14 but it's a document that is of -- very well known that was used in the
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. No, that I know. But let's proceed then,
17 and I will reserve your respective rights.
18 MR. BOURGON: And I thank you, Mr. President, for raising the
19 issue about the copy number 9 and number 6 in the B/C/S version, and I
20 will also follow-up on this with my colleagues from the Prosecution.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And then there is one in handwriting.
22 MR. BOURGON:
23 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, you see that this is -- this document is called
24 "Order For Defence and Active Combat Operations, Operative No. 7."
25 You've seen this document during your examination-in-chief?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. If I can move to page 6 in English and page 3 in B/C/S, please.
3 Now, sir, if we look in item number 2, and I think this one
4 appears in the middle of the page in your language and in English, I'm
5 looking at the last sentence of the first paragraph where it says or the
6 infamous sentence appears:
7 "By planned and well-thought-out combat operations create an
8 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
9 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
10 Sir, it was your testimony that this sentence was copy pasted
11 word for word from the strategic document that we looked at, the
12 directive for further operations 7, which you never saw during the war;
13 is that correct?
14 A. Not only this sentence, but the task given to the Drina Corps.
15 Q. Well I move now to the tasks and the order which was -- which is
16 issued by this document. If I can go to page 8 in English and page 4 in
18 Now, under item 4, under the heading, "I have decided," we see
19 that there is no reference whatsoever to that infamous phrase including
20 in item 2 about the survival of the inhabitants of Srebrenica; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And on the basis of your military experience, you can say that
24 what matters in an order of this type is the decision of the corps
25 commander which is expressed in this paragraph; is that correct?
1 A. From point 4 to the end of the order, all that is considered to
2 be a decision in the military sense. The first part is the idea behind
3 it, and it's important for the subordinate command receiving this order
4 in studying its task because it has to understand the goal and the idea
5 of the superior commander who issued the order; so the part containing
6 the idea behind the decision reached by General Zivanovic is to separate
7 the two enclaves and prevent communication between them and nothing more
8 than that as regards the enclaves themselves.
9 Q. And as far as you were concerned as the commander of the Zvornik
10 Brigade receiving this document, what is important for you is the
11 decision part from paragraphs 4 and onwards; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If I can move to page 9 in English and page 5 in B/C/S. This
14 section, sir, under item 5, "The tasks of the units," we see at paragraph
15 5.1, that these are the tasks which were assigned to the Zvornik Brigade
16 by this order; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And I'd like to cover two specific parts of paragraph 5.1, namely
19 the first part which starts after the colon with a little dash, and it
20 says that your task or that of the Zvornik Brigade was to:
21 "Prevent an enemy breakthrough along selected tactical axes,
22 taking control of dominant features, cutting the Zvornik-Kozluk road and
23 reaching the Drina River
24 Was that the main task that you were assigned as commander of the
25 Zvornik Brigade?
1 A. This was the main task throughout the war. So it didn't have to
2 be written down specially, everybody knew about it, and it was only being
3 reiterated here.
4 Q. In other words, concentrate on the forward defence line and
5 prevent a breakthrough from the Muslim 2nd Corps; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that was the main rationale for the existence of the
7 Zvornik Brigade.
8 Q. And the last task in this paragraph 5.1, which is the third
9 little dash which says:
10 "The brigade command shall form battalion-strength ready forces
11 for the intervention along threatened axes and carrying out offensive
12 operations in their area of responsibility and by the order of the Drina
13 Corps commander."
14 Can you explain to us what this means?
15 A. This is practically reiterating a task we had been given
16 previously. This battalion had been established, and that was the
17 Podrinje Detachment of special forces with reinforcements.
18 Q. And the purpose of this task is to have forces ready to intervene
19 both in your area of responsibility and, of course, if the Drina Corps
20 commander needs some assistance; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But as you mentioned in your examination-in-chief, there is no
23 mention whatsoever in this paragraph 5.1 of either Srebrenica enclave or
24 Zepa enclave; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in your examination-in-chief, you stated at 30829, lines 6 to
2 16, the question was:
3 "Q. Now going back to, as it were, the infamous words which are
4 set out under paragraph 2, the tasks of the Drina Corps, how did you or
5 do you view the task of the Drina Corps under that heading in terms of
7 Your answer was:
8 "When I received this order, I first read it and we call it the
9 first reading, just to get the general idea. During that first reading,
10 I noticed item 2, the task of the corps. However, I did not dwell long
11 on it and during the next reading and analysing, I focused on item 4. I
12 cannot tell you now exactly what I understood at the time. The sentence
13 has been mentioned here, but definitely I gave it a lot of thought in
14 this trial."
15 So my understanding on the basis of this answer, Mr. Pandurevic,
16 is that when you read this order coming from the corps and that you acted
17 upon it in accordance with your duties as brigade commander, you focused
18 exclusively on the commander's decision-making and the tasks issued to
19 the Zvornik Brigade; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, and the neighbouring brigades. That was the
21 Sekovici Brigade.
22 Q. And we've heard lots of evidence in this case, sir, about the
23 staffing process which follows once you receive such an order from the
24 corps; and you will agree with me that the staffing process, of course,
25 is directed by both you and your Chief of Staff inside the
1 Zvornik Brigade command; is that correct?
2 A. The process was started by the commander and then continued by
3 the Chief of Staff and the other staff organs.
4 Q. And would you agree with me that during the complete staffing
5 process which followed receiving this order, that which took place within
6 the Zvornik Brigade command, you never discussed, indicated in any way,
7 nor made any request to your Chief of Staff, your assistant commanders,
8 and your staff officers in relation to actions targeted at the civilian
9 population of Srebrenica and Zepa?
10 A. That was absolutely not to be considered.
11 Q. So if I put myself today or -- no, not today, but then in the
12 shoes of any of these officers, whether your Chief of Staff, your
13 assistant commanders, or your staff officers in the command, would you
14 agree with me that I could not infer from your orders and instructions as
15 brigade commander that the Zvornik Brigade had anything to do or any
16 actions to do in the sense of targeting the civilian population of
17 Srebrenica and Zepa?
18 A. Your conclusion is correct. The order I issued based on this
19 order starts with point 1 where I put forward information on the enemy in
20 front of the brigade zone. Point 2 would be the brigade's tasks, the one
21 contained in this order issued by the corps commander. Point 3 would be
22 the task of the neighbouring brigade, the Sekovici Brigade; and point 4
23 would be my idea behind the decision for the engagement of the brigade in
24 the spirit of the assigned task and nowhere would Srebrenica or Zepa be
25 mentioned in all this.
1 Q. And one last question on this topic, and you covered this at
2 length during your examination-in-chief. It is your testimony that the
3 Zvornik Brigade, to your knowledge, was never involved in any way in the
4 forcible transfer of the civilian population from Potocari to Kladanj in
5 Muslim-held territory?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the same applies for the civilian population of Zepa; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I'd like to move to a different part of my cross-examination and
11 in this part I would like to go back to your testimony in relation to the
12 period from 12 to 15 July 1995
13 to return to Zvornik. The first issue I would like to address is the
14 command relationship between Major Obrenovic and yourself during this
16 Based on your testimony, it is my understanding that according to
17 you, from the moment you left Zvornik with Tactical Group 1,
18 Major Obrenovic was acting in his capacity as deputy commander of the
19 brigade; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. Yes. He was the acting brigade commander.
21 Q. And you had no responsibility, according to your testimony,
22 whatsoever, for anything that happened until you resumed your functions
23 as commander; is that your position?
24 A. Yes. I was prevented from carrying out the duties of the
25 commander of the Zvornik Brigade in that period because I was carrying
1 out another task, and in that period, there was no command relationship,
2 no superior-subordinate relationship between Dragan Obrenovic and me.
3 Q. Now, we'll move to the -- your arrival in the Zvornik Brigade
4 command on 15 July a little later, but my question is when exactly do you
5 resume in your functions as commander? What's the exact defining moment
6 when Major Obrenovic no longer was the acting brigade commander and that
7 you resume your functions?
8 A. When he completed the briefing in his office, I think that I then
9 said, Now I'm taking over the command.
10 Q. So what you are basically saying is once you are -- once you have
11 been informed or you got the briefing as to the situation in which the
12 brigade is, then it's for you to decide whether you resume command or
13 not; is that your position?
14 A. Yes. General Krstic was the one who sent me back and I had to
15 assume command.
16 Q. What if someone would say that the moment General Krstic gave you
17 the order to go back, you were now the brigade commander. What would you
18 say to such an allegation?
19 A. That allegation would be illogical and untrue.
20 Q. Help us in understanding why.
21 A. Because actually it produced no effect on the spot and by that, I
22 mean in the brigade zone. Because I was still not there, I was still not
23 able to command.
24 Q. And when you spoke on the phone that morning with Jokic,
25 Milosevic, and Mijatovic, were they speaking to the commander of the
1 brigade or were they speaking to someone who was yet to resume his
2 functions as commander?
3 A. As far as I can remember, I think that they tried to contact
4 Obrenovic, but I think they failed to do so because he was in the field;
5 and, therefore, they spoke to me.
6 Q. Maybe my question is not precise enough. Those calls were
7 initiated by you; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And when you speak to these three individuals as we've seen from
10 the intercepts, are you speaking as the person who has resumed his
11 command over the Zvornik Brigade or are you still not yet commander of
12 the Zvornik Brigade?
13 A. I was commander formally speaking, but I didn't resume my duties
14 as commander of the brigade yet. Let me give you another example. When
15 I set off from Visegrad to assume duties of the Zvornik Brigade command,
16 I didn't become the brigade commander automatically in Visegrad. It
17 happened only when I arrived in Zvornik, received all the information
18 necessary, and sat at the command -- brigade commander's desk.
19 Q. Now, I agree with what you're saying about the moving from the
20 Visegrad Brigade to the Zvornik Brigade but you will agree with me that
21 beforehand you had no relationship whatsoever with the Zvornik Brigade;
22 is that correct?
23 A. I wasn't.
24 Q. Now, in the instance that we're talking about, you were, before
25 leaving with Tactical Group 1 and during your deployment with
1 Tactical Group 1 formally still the commander of the Zvornik Brigade?
2 A. Formally speaking, yes.
3 Q. And when you spoke on the phone that morning to those three
4 individuals I've mentioned, could you issue them orders, for example?
5 A. I could have issued orders but I didn't do so because I was not
6 in command of the brigade. That would amount to dual command, not single
7 authority because Dragan Obrenovic had already issued them tasks, and
8 they were in the process of carrying out and that would only create
10 Q. So that was an understanding, or is it your understanding that
11 both you and those three individuals understood that on that moment
12 within you spoke to them, and you were asking for information about the
13 4th and the 7th Battalion, that you were not speaking to them as the
14 brigade commander?
15 A. No, I received this information in order to discuss with Krstic
16 the request for my being sent back.
17 Q. Now, if I understand you correctly, based on what you're saying
18 now is that once you left with Tactical Group 1, you no longer cared what
19 happened at the Zvornik Brigade because there was an officer there,
20 Obrenovic, who was qualified to talk over and you did not need to worry
21 about what was going on there; is that your position?
22 A. I didn't have to be concerned, and I couldn't make any decisions
23 and I couldn't influence the operation of the brigade.
24 Q. But as you've mentioned, formally you were still the brigade
25 commander because Obrenovic did not get a formal appointment; is that
2 A. An individual who is prevented from carrying out their duties is
3 given a standee because according to establishment of president of the
4 Chief of Staff is at the same time the deputy commander, and the rule on
5 the regiment command says that in absence of the commander, the Chief of
6 Staff stand in for the commander with all his respective duties and
8 Therefore, Obrenovic was in command of the brigade. The
9 individual who is absent is formally registered as being in this post,
10 but there could be a variety of reasons for this individual not to be
11 able to carry out his duty.
12 Q. I think we are very close to each other on this, but my question
13 is simply once you -- still being the formal commander of the brigade, do
14 you forget about that brigade or you still have military responsibilities
15 towards that brigade?
16 A. I didn't have command responsibility, but I cannot disregard the
17 brigade, and my command post cannot be outside the brigade zone because
18 the communications lines that I use in commanding are within my zone and
19 have certain range. My forward command post cannot be in Zepa while I
20 command the brigade in Zvornik, for example. Even if I had such a large
21 connection that wouldn't have given me the right to command.
22 Q. So then, sir, I take it that you will agree with me that during
23 this period, we're talking specifically 12 to 15 July, but I could extend
24 that period, that even though from a legal point of view you may not bear
25 any responsibilities for crimes committed in your absence, now that's a
1 legal question and is not something I wish to address at this time,
2 you'll agree with me that from a military perspective you were still
3 formally the commander and you still had a duty of care for your brigade.
4 Do you agree with that?
5 A. Look, I didn't have the duty to care because I was prevented from
6 carrying out my duties. What I thought was just my choice, and I could
7 have thought anything.
8 Q. And I suggest to you, sir, that when you obtained information of
9 the threat posed by the column and the 28th Division moving towards the
10 area of Zvornik that was sufficient reason for you to be informed -- not
11 to be informed, sorry, it was sufficient information for you to take some
12 actions to at least find out what was happening in Zvornik at the time.
13 A. This information served only for me to send a request to
14 General Krstic to eliminate the reasons for my being prevented from
15 commanding the Zvornik Brigade. At 9.00 on the 15th, I was commanding
16 the TG at the IKM at Krivace which was in combat engagement with the
17 enemy. That was my basic task.
18 Q. Sir, I will be straightforward with my case here. I'm putting to
19 you here that during this period when you were away, that you did remain
20 in contact with Major Obrenovic contrary to your testimony in this case,
21 and I'd like to cover that aspect step by step.
22 Firstly you mentioned during your examination-in-chief and that
23 was at 30741 lines 15 to 20:
24 "That it is not right for the commander of a brigade to be called
25 upon to participate in combat activities outside of the area of
1 operations of his own brigade."
2 You added: "This does not or should not happen in organised
4 Do you still agree with that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Nonetheless, when you received the order for Krivaja 95 and that
7 is asking for Tactical Group 1 to be put together and to take part in
8 combat activities near Srebrenica, you did not hesitate in assigning
9 yourself as commander of Tactical Group 1, which means I suggest to you
10 that you accepted to deprive the Zvornik Brigade of its commander for the
11 time that you would be away in Srebrenica?
12 A. This is contrary to the laws of physics, Mr. Bourgon. I didn't
13 assign myself. It was an order from Krstic.
14 Q. Well I suggest to you, and we can go to the order if you want,
15 but that this order never said that you were to take command of this
16 Tactical Group 1, or that you were to create Tactical Group 1; do you
17 agree with that?
18 A. I agree.
19 Q. So it was your choice to take command of this tactical group?
20 A. It wasn't my choice, because this tactical group was twice as
21 strong than the forces given by the 1st Romanija or the 1st Birac
22 brigades. Each one of them gave a company, it was not reasonable for a
23 brigade commander to command a company.
24 The Zvornik Brigade provided a reinforced light infantry
25 battalion, it is quite understandable in view of the task received for me
1 to assume command of this unit because it was made up of three different
3 Q. So it's your testimony that it was understandable that you,
4 nonetheless, decided to do so; but that was not part of the order, was
6 A. That was an oral order from General Krstic for me to command
7 these forces from the Zvornik Brigade.
8 Q. Well, we've seen the order --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Bourgon, let me intervene here.
10 Had you, Mr. Pandurevic, instead of taking -- assuming the
11 command of this tactical group appointed, say, Obrenovic, to take command
12 of it, what would have been the consequences, if any?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would have stayed
14 at the brigade command and commanded the Zvornik Brigade. Only this part
15 of the tactical group would not be under my command but under Obrenovic's
16 command or rather General Krstic's command. Because Obrenovic didn't
17 have any responsibility towards TG-1 which was under my command.
18 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. So Mr. Pandurevic, all I'm saying is that you could have
20 appointed, instead of yourself, for example, Legenda or Bojanovic or
21 Strbac to take command of that group; is that correct?
22 A. I can agree about Legenda as the person capable of commanding,
23 but the other two names are an unfortunate choice. They couldn't have
24 done this duty. I could have appointed anyone but what would that mean?
25 That would be really irresponsible. I wouldn't carry out the task of the
1 core. I had an oral order from the corps commander to command these
2 forces personally.
3 Q. Now just for the record would you agree with me that this is the
4 first time that this oral order from General Krstic is ever mentioned
5 this trial? Do you agree with me on this?
6 A. I think I mentioned Krstic's order before. Whether I specified
7 that it was an oral one, I don't think it makes any difference.
8 Q. It was simply an oversight on your part.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I'd like -- when you created Tactical Group 1 and you took
11 command of the group, I take it you were aware that once you were away
12 with this Tactical Group, the brigade would be short or deprived of very
13 important resources to hold the line facing the 2nd Corps of the Muslim
14 army; is that correct?
15 A. These resources would not be lacking because in the period, the
16 number of soldiers on defence line increased in this period. They were
17 called off from their leave, and they were deployed in positions. The
18 Podrinje Detachment of special forces never held any positions on defence
19 line. The Zvornik Brigade had sufficient strength to defend from any
20 possible attack by the 2nd Corps. The estimate of the Drina Corps
21 commander was such that they needed those forces and given the Muslim
22 operation offensive around Sarajevo
23 forces from the 2nd Corps had been sent to the Sarajevo area.
24 MR. BOURGON: Now, I don't --
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, if I could just make just one
1 question. Was there a reference to General Krstic as the commander of
2 the corps at this point? Is that a translation issue or not?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon.
4 Which part of the transcript are you referring to?
5 MR. BOURGON: One example, Mr. President, is at page 55, lines
6 19 and line 14 also.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But that's --
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: It was the General's answer that I was
9 questioning, whether or not the translation was correct.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Pandurevic, can you help us.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's 55, line 14.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I understand
13 Mr. McCloskey's interventions. General Krstic was, at the time, still
14 the Chief of Staff and the deputy commander of the corps, but he was in
15 command of Krivaja 95 operation and a limited number of the forces from
16 the Drina Corps were involved in that operation.
17 General Ivanovic [as interpreted] was totally side tracked at the
18 time but he certainly had a approval from Zivanovic for me to go there
19 and command my forces taking part in Krivaja 95.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you for that clarification, Mr. Pandurevic.
21 You can proceed, Mr. Bourgon.
22 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 I'd like to have in e-court, please, P318. I believe this one is
24 on our list.
25 Q. Sir, is it your position that when you left with
1 Tactical Group 1, pursuant to the orders that you had received, according
2 to your testimony, that this had no impact or no effect on the
3 Zvornik Brigade or what was left of the Zvornik Brigade?
4 A. It's all related as a cause and consequence. I'm not viewing
5 things in isolation. I'm viewing them as a whole.
6 If I left the brigade zone of defence and the deputy commander
7 stayed back to command the brigade which was confirmed several times in
8 various documents, the Zvornik Brigade was not hampered by that. It
9 remained with enough manpower and capable of carrying out the task given
10 to them.
11 At that point, nobody thought that some day, the 28th Division
12 would find itself in the defence zone of the Zvornik Brigade.
13 Q. So leaving aside for now the fact that the 28th Division did
14 appear in Zvornik, it's your position that the brigade was perfectly able
15 to cope with its duties and tasks while you were away with Tactical Group
16 1; is that your testimony?
17 A. Yes, with the tasks that it had been given.
18 Q. Now, if you look at the document, which is on the screen before
19 you, do you recognise this as being your order highlighting or stating
20 the composition of Tactical Group 1; is that correct?
21 A. I recognise this, and everything that is written here is correct.
22 Q. So if we move to page 2 of this document, we have -- so at
23 paragraph 2.2, sir, we see that the first battle group was composed of
24 the Podrinje Detachment and we see at the letters E for Echo as part of
25 this battle group, you included the 82-millimetre Mortar Platoon. Was
1 that a unit formally attached to the Podrinje Detachment or did that come
2 from the Zvornik Brigade?
3 A. No, it was part of the Podrinje Detachment.
4 Q. And at letters G for Golf, the Zolja Intervention Platoon from
5 the 4th Battalion, this intervention platoon was composed of the best
6 fighters from the 4th Battalion; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, because the detachment was incomplete, and it was almost 100
8 men short than usual because part of their forces were in the Sarajevo
9 Romanija Corps.
10 Q. And if I look at the composition of the second battle group at
11 paragraphs 2.3, we see that all of these resources are resources that
12 were taken away from the Zvornik Brigade when you left for Tactical Group
13 1; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, and we see the two companies have been formed within this
15 combat group made up of three platoons each; each platoon had about 20
16 soldiers, each company had -- which is twice the smaller number than the
17 usual, and these were men from the Zvornik Brigade. Had they not joined
18 the tactical group, they would have been on leave. They wouldn't be on
19 the positions of the Zvornik Brigade. Maybe not these particular men but
20 some others, definitely.
21 Q. If I look at paragraphs 2.4 where is it says, "The Armoured
22 Mechanised Company," those four T-55 tanks, they were no longer with the
23 Zvornik Brigade when you left, you took them with you.
24 A. That is correct. They were part of the detachment per
25 establishment, but I reshuffled the detachment and other battalions and
1 units and I set up a special support unit of this tank company, however,
2 some other tanks, T-34, for example, remained in the zone brigade which
3 were fortified firing positions and were excellent for defence.
4 Q. If we move to the next page on the English side and also next
5 page on the B/C/S side, and I refer you to also in paragraph 2.4, you see
6 here the resources that you took with you, the 4 armoured personnel
7 carriers, that's paragraph Bravo; the Praga with crew, that's paragraph
8 Charlie; and the hand-held anti-aircraft rocket, the Strela 2m at
9 paragraph Bravo. And we also see that at 2.5, there is a platoon of 122
10 millimetres. Were all of these resources that were --
11 JUDGE KWON: Previous page on B/C/S.
12 MR. BOURGON: In the previous page -- these were all resources
13 that were taken away from the Zvornik Brigade.
14 A. Everything that is listed here has been taken away from the
15 Zvornik Brigade. We do not have to go item by item. These armoured
16 transporters and the Praga were always going with the Podrinje Detachment
17 if it was operating outside the brigade zone with the exception of 122
18 howitzers which were taken from the mixed artillery battalion.
19 Q. Well then leaving that list aside would you agree with me, sir,
20 that when you left with Tactical Group 1, you took the best fighters of
21 the brigade with you leaving behind people with little or no combat
22 experience to hold the line; do you agree with that?
23 A. They had equal combat experience as the soldiers in TG-2.
24 Q. I'm not talking about Tactical Group 2, I'm talking about those
25 left in Zvornik to hold the line. The people left in Zvornik, I suggest
1 to you, were people with little or no combat experience; is that correct?
2 A. No, that's not correct, Mr. Bourgon. I've been saying the same
3 thing but as regards experience, the experience of the soldiers who
4 remained to defend the brigade zone is the same as the experience of the
5 men in Combat Group 2 who left with me. They were all mobilised at the
6 same time, and they had spent the same amount of time waging war.
7 Q. Now, based on the information that you had at the time, I take it
8 that when you left with Tactical Group 1, and you referred to that
9 earlier, you did not expect the Zvornik Brigade to face any major
10 situation or to be involved in any type of heavy fighting when you were
11 away; is that correct?
12 A. Correct. If someone had listened to me at the meeting in
13 Bratunac on the 11th, they would not have had to face that situation.
14 Q. But you trusted when you went away with Tactical Group 1 that
15 Obrenovic could fulfill the duties of deputy commander because he had
16 done so in the past; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But it could not be expected, at least at the time, that a column
19 of many thousands of Muslims would soon be crossing the area of
20 operations of the Zvornik Brigade trying to breach your line of defence
21 and reach Tuzla
22 A. It could not be expected to happen that way. I did entertain
23 some assumptions, but it was only on the 12th that we learned of the
24 specific intentions of the 28th Division.
25 Q. What I am interested in, sir, is that what you did, once you
1 realised that the 28th Division was heading for Zvornik, there was a
2 possibility at the time, would you agree with me, that the 28th Division
3 would even capture Zvornik; is that correct?
4 A. No, no, there was no possibility of that.
5 Q. Did the column and the 28th Division represent a major threat for
6 Zvornik and the Zvornik Brigade or what was left of it at the time?
7 A. From the 12th of July onwards, the Army of Republika Srpska had
8 specific information about the axis of movement and the intentions of the
9 28th Division. That column had only one goal and that was to reach the
10 territory of the 2nd Corps by the shortest route or the route they knew
11 best, in the fastest way, and with the least obstruction. They had
12 previously reconnoitred those axes for that column to aside to attack
13 Zvornik would have been crazy and those commanders in the units of the
14 28th Division never even thought of that.
15 Q. Now, sir, you had fought a part of the 28th Division just a few
16 hours before that. Would you agree with me that you were aware of the
17 determination and the fire power which could be mustered by the
18 28th Division if it reached the territory of Zvornik
19 A. Obrenovic himself knew on the 12th, he had information about the
20 movements of the 28th Division. On the 13th and 14th, his information
21 was complete.
22 Q. But my question is what did you have as information at the time
23 concerning the threat posed by the 28th Division to Zvornik, and what did
24 you do about it?
25 A. Nobody sent me any information, nor did I, after leaving Vijogor
1 going towards Zepa, inquire about it. My last contact at Vijogor with
2 Krstic and Mladic was when I learned from them that there was sufficient
3 and adequate forces to stop any further movement of the 28th Division,
4 and I didn't worry about it anymore.
5 Q. We'll cover your encounter with Krstic and Mladic, but before you
6 had this encounter were you worried at any time concerning the threat
7 posed by the 28th Division to the Zvornik Brigade?
8 A. I put forward my thoughts and my suggestions at the meeting of
9 the 11th. They were rejected. They were not accepted. After that, I
10 could think whatever I wanted, but I could no longer influence the
12 Q. And did you find the need at any point in time to contact
13 Major Obrenovic to inform him of the threat and at least find out what he
14 was doing or what he was planning to defend against this threat?
15 A. I didn't contact him at all. He was on the radio network with
16 the corps command. The corps and Dragan Obrenovic had much more
17 information about the 28th Division than I did; in fact, I had no
18 information at all.
19 Q. So what you're saying today that Major Obrenovic was on the radio
20 network with the corps and that he had all the information, the same
21 information that General Krstic possessed at the time; is that your
23 A. I don't know whether he had the same information as Krstic, but
24 we saw here from a number of documents what activities Obrenovic
25 undertook with respect to the 28th Division.
1 Q. Sir, how big was the 28th Division? What was your knowledge of
2 the size of the 28th Division at the time?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get a specific date? It's sort of
4 disappearing rather quickly.
5 MR. BOURGON:
6 Q. Between the 12 and the 15 of July when you realised that there is
7 a column including the 28th Division moving towards Zvornik, what was
8 your understanding of the size of that force moving towards Zvornik?
9 A. I had information about the approximate numbers of the
10 28th Division which was in Srebrenica on the 11th. When the VRS entered
11 Srebrenica and the 28th Division pulled out in the direction the Jaglici,
12 we had assessments to the effect that part of the division would try to
13 break through towards Zepa, one part towards Kladanj, and one part
14 towards Tuzla
15 of the forces who would be trying to break through in each of those axes.
16 Q. What was your information that you possessed at the time
17 concerning the total numbers in the 28th Division?
18 A. At what time?
19 Q. Exactly at that period. What was the total number of the
20 28th Division by the time you lounged or you set out with Tactical Group
22 A. We had information that there were about 6.000 members of the
23 28th Division in the Srebrenica area holding positions at the approaches
24 to Srebrenica. When that number started pulling out, they were divided
25 in different directions, but how many of them were in each of those
1 directions, I didn't know.
2 Q. And I don't think you answered my --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time it's convenient for you, Mr. Bourgon,
4 we'll have the break.
5 MR. BOURGON: I think that's a convenient time, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. 25 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon, and please leave about five,
10 maximum 10 minutes towards the end because I understand Mr. Haynes would
11 like to raise an issue.
12 Yes, Mr. Haynes.
13 MR. HAYNES: I think five will do.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay, then five minutes.
15 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Sir, just before the break, I wanted to go back to a question,
17 which I felt you did not answer, and the question was that I suggest to
18 you that you were fully aware of the determination of the members of the
19 28th Division and their will to fight and to reach Tuzla by all means.
20 Would you agree with that?
21 A. I wasn't fully aware of that because I did not have a clear
22 picture of their evil intentions --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Or rather of all their intentions,
24 interpreter's correction.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew that they wanted to reach
1 the area of the 2nd Corps going through several -- taking several routes
2 not in a single column.
3 MR. BOURGON:
4 Q. But my question relates to the fact that you had been fighting
5 them for some days by that time. Were they good fighters or were they
6 determined fighters?
7 A. They were very persistent along my axis of attack because they
8 were fortified, they had well-dug trenches and shelters, parapets. And I
9 think they had more reason to fight then than later on when they lost
10 those positions.
11 Q. I take it that you are familiar with the weapons which the
12 28th Division had in its possession?
13 A. I'm familiar with the weapons they used along my axis of attack.
14 Q. But were you aware that the 28th Division was a well-armed
16 A. I think it was well-armed with a light-automatic, and
17 semi-automatic weapons, a certain number of mortars of 82 millimetres,
18 anti-aircraft machine-guns of 12.7 millimetres, a 20-millimetre gun, and
19 I found a B-176-millimetre gun as well and some hand-held launchers and
20 other anti-armour equipment.
21 Q. Let me share with you, sir, some of the figures that were given
22 in the Krstic trial by General Hadzihasanovic, who was the Chief of Staff
23 of the ABiH as you know. He gave some figures in his testimony about the
24 weapons in the possession of the 28th Division and that was on
25 5 April 2001
1 automatic rifles; 13 sniper rifles; 27 submachine-guns; 15 machine-guns;
2 12, 60-millimetre mortars; five 82-millimetre mortars; nine hand-grenade
3 launchers; four recoilless guns, 82-millimetre; 68-hand held rocket
4 launchers, zolja type; one light rocket launcher of Fagot type, the
5 9K11F, which you are familiar with; and four anti-aircraft guns of 20
7 Is that the arsenal that you were familiar with that could be in
8 the possession of the 28th Division?
9 A. These are more or less the weapons I enumerated by kind and
10 purpose. The information given here is precise, whether it's correct or
11 not, I'm not sure but after withdrawal of the 28th Division during the
12 breakthrough, only the automatic weapons and the light machine-guns could
13 be used.
14 The other weapons could not be carried apart from the hand-held
15 launchers which are carried on the shoulder.
16 Q. I take it you will agree with me that coming from an officer from
17 the Muslim army, that this is most likely a very conservative estimate as
18 to all the weapons which were in the possession of the 28th Division?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you answer that question, Mr. Pandurevic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can only say the
21 following: That the Muslim command or rather the Army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina claimed, after the demilitarisation, that they had no
23 weapons and here, we see the figure of 2.000. I have no reason to doubt
24 the figures provided here.
25 MR. BOURGON:
1 Q. And you are also aware, sir, on the basis of your experience that
2 many people from the 28th Division were also using personal rifles such
3 as hunting rifles, for example?
4 A. I've read that in various statements, and I heard some people
5 testify to that here. There were quite a few hunters in that area.
6 Q. Now, it's your testimony that -- just to come back on one quick
7 point concerning the fact that the Zvornik Brigade was not shorthanded at
8 the time, would you agree with me that this column moving towards the
9 Zvornik territory was a major threat for the Zvornik area?
10 A. If we bear in mind the principles for the tactical use of units
11 breaking through from encirclement is a specific kind of combat activity.
12 It is always undertaken in order to break through in the direction of the
13 nearest forces belonging to the same side and these were first in Zepa
14 then in Kladanj and only then in Nezuk.
15 The column, however, decided to take the longest route and to
16 march as a single column. This was a military target and a military
17 threat, but how far it was fit for combat after 6 or 7 days' march,
18 that's another question.
19 Q. And the fact that the column would appear in the Zvornik
20 territory, therefore, taking the Zvornik Brigade in kind of a sandwich
21 between the 2nd Corps and the column, this was an unprecedented situation
22 for the Zvornik Brigade; is that correct?
23 A. This was the first instance where the Zvornik Brigade was facing
24 conflict both from the front and from the rear to this extent. There had
25 been previous attempts to break out from the Konjevic Polje and Cerska
1 area via Crni Vrh, but these were units of up to about 500 fighters, so
2 the Zvornik Brigade had not faced this kind of situation before.
3 Q. Now, knowing that this threat was on the way towards the Zvornik
4 Brigade, it is not testimony that not once did you call or try to call
5 Major Obrenovic to warn him and to discuss with him the situation?
6 A. No, I did not have any contact with Mr. Obrenovic at that time,
7 nor did I tell him of the threat emanating from the 28th Division.
8 Q. And you agree that it was possible for you to contact the
9 Zvornik Brigade by using any civilian phone in the area where you were;
10 is that correct?
11 A. Yes, I did have the technical capability to do that.
12 Q. And in your testimony, you mentioned two occasions on which you
13 called back the brigade, on the 5th of July to get additional tank
14 ammunition, that was on page 30892; and then on 7 July, when you called
15 the duty officer because you remembered some teaching materials that had
16 to be photo copied and delivered to the students of the school. That was
17 at 30919.
18 So you maintain your testimony that those are the only two
19 instances where you called back the Zvornik Brigade when you were away
20 with Tactical Group 1.
21 A. Yes, to the best of my recollection, those were the two
23 Q. And sir, these, as you know, you will confirm that those are the
24 only two instances which are recorded in the brigade duty officers'
25 notebook. You didn't see any other instances in the brigade duty
1 officers' notebook?
2 A. No, no other instances were recorded.
3 Q. And you will agree with me that if you had called or if you did
4 call Dragan Obrenovic in his office, this would not be written in the
5 duty officers' notebook; in fact, we've seen many intercepts of
6 conversations involving members of the Zvornik Brigade command which were
7 not written in the duty officers' notebook. Do you agree with that?
8 A. Probably there were such conversations, but it was my practice
9 whenever I called the Zvornik Brigade outside the brigade area of
10 defence, I always called the operations duty officer because I knew he
11 would always be there. I would never know whether the Chief of Staff was
12 in his office or not. So when I called from the IKM at Krivace, I called
13 the operations duty officer, not Dragan Obrenovic on the 14th and the
15 Q. What about, sir, the three cables that you told Eileen Gilleece
16 that you received from the Chief of Staff Obrenovic during this period;
17 did you receive any such cables during this period?
18 A. I didn't say I received three telegrams from Chief Obrenovic but
19 rather that three documents arrived, and one of them was the interim
20 combat report sent by Dragan Obrenovic, not to me but to the corps
21 command; but a copy arrived at the forward command post where Mr. Krstic
22 was. The other documents concerned the radio reconnaissance platoon of
23 the Drina Corps, and I think there was one document coming from Colonel
24 Jocic. There may have been other documents as well, but I don't recall
25 that now.
1 Q. So what you are saying now is that there was nothing important
2 enough for you to call back your brigade even though you were, as you
3 testified, worried about the column heading towards Zvornik?
4 A. On the 14th, in the morning, I was given the task of launching an
5 attack in the -- on the axis of Podzeplje-Brloska Planina and towards
6 Zepa. That was a task issued to me by General Krstic. I was totally
7 focused on that task. I wasn't worrying about the situation in the
8 Zvornik Brigade because Dragan Obrenovic and the corps command were in
9 charge of that.
10 Q. Now, sir, if I look at the same situation from the point of view
18 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you.
18 Q. Sir, on 10 February you testified about the period when you
19 commanded the Drina Corps Brigade in the Krajina, and you stated and I
20 quote from page 31203, lines 16 to 20:
21 "I did call in several times in order to report if there were any
22 losses, what the situation was among the men, so that the families of the
23 fighters would have the information because they were concerned and there
24 were rumours circulating about all the different events in the Krajina."
25 So on the basis of this, your testimony, I suggest to you that it
1 is not true that you were not in contact for the same purpose as a
2 minimum with the Zvornik Brigade or with your Chief of Staff when you
3 were away with Tactical Group 1.
4 A. I assert quite the opposite. These were two quite different
5 situations. I think when I was referring to the material for the
6 university, I said that we were working and that we were well. This
7 material from the Krajina confirms that I was taking care of my men, and
8 I was informing their families on whether there were any casualties, any
9 men wounded, or killed, but this did not have any command purpose.
10 Q. And when you were away with Tactical Group 1, you also had some
11 casualties but did not feel the need to call back and report on the
12 situation of your men; is that correct?
13 A. That's not correct. Look at the report of the 10th, the daily
14 combat report, and you will see that the names of the soldiers killed in
15 Srebrenica are listed there.
16 Q. And how was this information -- how did that information make its
17 way into the combat report of the 10th?
18 A. Because the person who was in charge of this in the command of
19 the tactical group sent this information through the corps forward
20 command post because this information on losses is very important. If
21 it's not timely and precise, various rumours start spreading.
22 Q. And did you send any reports through the forward command post of
23 the corps while you were away with Tactical Group 1?
24 A. No, I reported to General Krstic on losses, on those killed and
25 wounded in the course of the fighting.
1 Q. Sir, coming back on the command relationship, you testified on
2 28 January, that was page 30760, that during the period you were away,
3 the commander of Obrenovic was the corps commander. So in other words,
4 Obrenovic was receiving his orders from the corps command; is that
6 A. I didn't say that he was the corps commander, but that he was
7 directly subordinated to the corps commander, and he received orders from
8 him and reported to him and send reports to him.
9 Q. Maybe you misunderstood or maybe it's not clear in the
10 transcript, what I've mentioned is while you were away, the commander of
11 Obrenovic was the corps commander. You said that; that's correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. So orders being issued to the Zvornik Brigade or to Obrenovic
14 were issued by the corps commander?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, you would agree with me that during this period, nothing
17 prevented either Major Obrenovic from contacting you to obtain advice or
18 to inform you of the impossible situation he was placed in as deputy
20 A. No, he stood in for the commander, and his post or establishment
21 was deputy. On the 14th, when he was in the most serious situation, he
22 sent an interim report to the corps command requesting reinforcement. He
23 didn't send this request to me nor did he ask me to come back. He had
24 enough military training to know that.
25 Q. I'm not saying that he sent that report to you. What I'm saying
1 is that there is nothing preventing him from calling his formal commander
2 from the situation he was in and to seek your advice as his formal
3 commander, would you agree with that?
4 A. He was prevented by procedures and the military job because he
5 knew that corps commander knew much more and had more information about
6 what was going on in the corps zone than me who was engaged only on one
7 axis within the zone and that I had limited information.
8 Q. So being placed in the most difficult of situations by two
9 different -- for two different reasons, that is being informed of
10 prisoners arriving in the zone of responsibility and being informed and
11 not facing the column in his zone of responsibility, what you are saying
12 is that you did not expect Major Obrenovic to call you at any time to
13 inform you of this situation?
14 A. I did not expect him to do that.
15 Q. I'd like to move to a different issue, and you said yesterday
25 A. How could I have suggested to him to seek my opinion in this
1 situation if I didn't know what the situation he was in.
2 Secondly, the information that he had did not refer or had
3 nothing to do with the Zvornik Brigade. It wasn't the Zvornik Brigade
4 who was tasked with receiving and accommodating the prisoners. All they
5 had was information that they were arriving, not to the barracks but
6 rather that they would be placed in some non-military facilities.
7 If I had been in the shoes of Major Obrenovic, I would have
8 probably reasoned in the same way.
9 Q. But if he had information that these prisoners were to be
10 transported to the Zvornik area to be killed, then as you said yesterday,
11 the least he could have done was to call the corps command and clarify
12 the issue with them and undertake steps for such things not to occur; do
13 you agree?
14 A. That's what I said, yes.
15 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, it is brought to my attention that
16 we need some redaction at page 75, line 3.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It's already been taken care of, Mr. Bourgon.
18 Please, go ahead.
19 MR. BOURGON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And let's try to be a little more careful.
21 MR. BOURGON:
22 Q. Sir, I suggest to you that when, and you've heard this evidence
23 and we have the intercept to that effect that Major Obrenovic did speak,
24 the night of 13 July with General Zivanovic, do you recall this
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Now during this conversation, he did not report to
3 Major Obrenovic -- to General Zivanovic any information concerning the
4 prisoners; do you recall that?
5 A. Yes, I don't know if this conversation with General Zivanovic
6 took place before he obtained that information or after. I'm not sure.
7 Q. According to his statement of facts, this conversation took place
8 after he obtained the information, but my question is the following: The
9 fact that when he spoke to General Zivanovic, this was an open line or an
10 un-secure line is not an excuse, you will agree with me, for not
11 discussing the matter with his corps commander because there were other
12 means that he could do that?
13 A. I agree that this could have been done in a different way.
14 Q. Now, my final question on this topic is the following: During
15 your examination-in-chief, you said, and I quote:
16 "If he," meaning Obrenovic, "had consulted you about whether he
17 should give an order to have prisoners killed, what would you have said?"
18 That was the question.
19 The answer: "I would never have given him such an order."
20 "Q. Well, this is really important. I'm going to try that
21 again. If he had asked you about whether he should give such an order,
22 what would you have said?"
23 Your answer was: "I would have told him not to issue such an
24 order at all."
25 Do you recall saying this on 30 January?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. It is my understanding, sir, that based on your answer, that if
3 Obrenovic, one, would have had information about an order to kill
4 prisoners of war on 13 July; and two, had he contacted you as I suggest
5 to you he did on 13 July to inform you about such an order, you would
6 have done everything in your power to stop those killings from taking
7 place immediately upon being informed.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes.
9 MR. HAYNES: There are several questions in there and I think --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It is a compound question.
11 MR. HAYNES: And I think if the explicit suggestion is going to
12 be made to General Pandurevic that he contacted Major Obrenovic on the
13 13th of July, it should be put in precise terms when, by what means, and
14 what his information is as to that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
16 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I note the --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: It is definitely a compound question which was
18 raised by Mr. Haynes, and I think it's a very valid one too.
19 MR. BOURGON: I will rephrase the question.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 MR. BOURGON:
22 Q. Mr. Pandurevic, if Obrenovic contacted you on the night -- had
23 contacted you on the night of 13 July, and if he had information about an
24 order to kill prisoners of war, you would have done everything in your
25 power to stop the killings from taking place immediately upon being
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
3 MR. HAYNES: Again, I don't think that's actually any better. Is
4 the suggestion going to be made that he did contact Obrenovic on the 13th
5 or not?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I think at this stage, Mr. Pandurevic has
7 heard the question twice. I agree with you that the second question
8 doesn't address the point raised by you directly or specifically, but I
9 think it can be dealt with by Mr. Pandurevic now on his own. Thank you.
10 Yes, Mr. Pandurevic.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 This is a conditional question. First of all, there was no such
13 conversation, and I had no such information. If I had received this kind
14 of information, among other things, I would have instructed Obrenovic to
15 contact the corps command, and I would have told him that under no
16 circumstances should he issue such illegal orders.
17 MR. BOURGON: Thank you. That's very useful. That's the
18 information I was looking at, and that question was favourable to you so
19 I'm not understand the objections of my colleague. But I move to a
20 different topic.
21 Q. During your testimony, you mentioned the fact that when you were
22 sent back to Zvornik on the 15th of July in the morning, you possessed no
23 information whatsoever concerning the fact that there were prisoners of
24 war being taken in large numbers. Do you confirm this testimony?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, the next part of my cross-examination, I suggest, sir, that
2 this is not true and that by the time you went back to Zvornik, you were
3 informed of a large number of prisoners that had been taken by the
4 Drina Corps and other units. And for this I will go through a number of
6 First of all, you can confirm that you did meet with
7 Generals Krstic and Mladic on a number of occasions during the period
8 from 12 to 15 July.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. To try and make it as short as possible, on the 12th of July, you
11 stated that you met in the morning in the sector of the Bojina repeater,
12 that you were met there by Colonel Vicic, Colonel Andric, and
13 General Krstic among others; do you recall testifying to that effect?
14 A. I remember.
15 Q. And that at 1800 hours, the same day on the 12th July, you met
16 again with Krstic in the area of Vijogor; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And at that time, General Krstic wanted to know whether there was
19 any information that had been collected about elements of the
20 28th Division that were lagging behind?
21 A. Yes, he wanted to know whether we had come across elements of the
22 28th Division.
23 Q. And that's when for the first time you expressed your concerns to
24 General Krstic about the column heading towards Zvornik. That was at
25 page 30901, 30902; do you recall this?
1 A. As far as I can remember, I only repeated my suggestion made at
2 the meeting of the 11th vis-a-vis the 28th Division. I wanted to hear
3 from General Krstic if he had any additional information about the
4 intentions of the 28th Division.
5 Q. And in the morning of 13 July in the sector of the Bojina
6 repeater, you were visited there by Krstic and Mladic; is that correct?
7 A. That's not correct. Not in the Bojina repeater sector but rather
8 in Vijogor, and that was on the 13th.
9 Q. I refer to page 30905, but I will check that and move on just not
10 to hold things up.
11 On the 14th of July at 1000 hours while you were at the forward
12 command post, you received the order Stupcanica and you reported to
13 Krstic; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And finally, to again just based on your testimony on 15 July, a
16 few minutes before 900 hours in the morning, you had a meeting with
17 Krstic at the forward command post; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that's where we met.
19 Q. So is it your testimony that on every one of these occasions,
20 neither General Krstic nor General Mladic or any other officers at the
21 forward command post of the corps informed you that a large number of
22 prisoners had been captured and that they were or had been transferred to
23 the Zvornik area?
24 A. That is correct. They didn't inform me about that.
25 Q. But you will agree, nonetheless, that during this period, both
1 General Mladic and General Krstic would have been fully aware that a
2 large number of prisoners had been captured along the road between
3 Bratunac and Konjevic Polje?
4 A. At the time, I didn't have this information. During my
5 examination-in-chief, I also said when was the first time that I assumed
6 that it was possible for General Krstic to know about the prisoners of
7 war in the area of Zvornik.
8 Q. Now, for example, according to the adjudicated facts accepted by
9 this Trial Chamber, I refer to fact number 271 and facts 278; 271 reads
10 as follows:
11 "Late in the afternoon of 13 July, General Mladic visited the
12 meadow and told the men that they would not be hurt but would be
13 exchanged as prisoners of war and that their families had been
14 transported safely to Tuzla
15 Fact number 278: "General Mladic visited that field in the
16 afternoon of 13 July as well."
17 So you would agree that General Mladic would have been well aware
18 of the prisoners at least as of 13 July.
19 A. If this is an adjudicated fact and as it is -- there is nothing
20 for me to agree or not agree. I see that it happened in the afternoon,
21 and I know that he met with me at Vijogor on the morning of the 14th [as
22 interpreted]. Whether he knew about these men at the time, I'm not aware
23 of that.
24 Q. Now if we look at the position from General Krstic's point of
25 view, one of the findings of the Trial Chamber in his trial was the
2 "The Drina Corps command knew that thousands of Bosnian Muslim
3 prisoners had been captured along the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road on
4 13 July 1995
5 Now, in that case, the Trial Chamber referred to a number of
6 documents which are also in evidence, so I'd like to look at two of these
7 documents starting with 7DP1032 if I can have this document in e-court,
8 please. I'll say the number again 7DP1032.
9 So this document, Mr. Pandurevic, you will agree with me that it
10 was from the command of the Drina Corps. It was on the 13th of July, and
11 it was addressed to the forward command post of the Drina Corps as well
12 as to all subordinated units and that it was dealing with preventing the
13 passage of Muslim groups to Tuzla
15 A. Yes, yes, I can see.
16 Q. Now, I refer to the second paragraph -- sorry, the first
17 paragraph where at the end, it reads that, the last sentence:
18 "There are hard-core criminals and felons among them who will go
19 to any lengths to evade capture and reach the territory under Muslim
21 Does that correspond with your understanding at the time of the
22 determination of the members of the 28th Division trying to reach Tuzla
23 A. I first saw this order here in this trial, this preamble contains
24 the statements as you read them out, but I knew what actions had been
25 taken by members of the 28th Division in fighting the Zvornik Brigade,
1 and this knowledge that I have, have nothing to do with this document.
2 Q. Now, I'm not talking about your knowledge of the document, I'm
3 saying if the contents of the documents corresponds to your knowledge at
4 the time about the members of the division, their determination to reach
5 territory under Muslim control. Does that correspond or what is there
6 does not correspond? That's what I'm asking.
7 A. I agree that members of the 28th Division had very serious
8 intentions to break through towards the 2nd Corps at any costs, but I
9 also know that they didn't have the strength to see that through.
10 Q. We'll cover whether they had the strength or not during my next
11 part of my cross-examination but if I look at the next paragraph,
12 Mr. Pandurevic, where it says:
13 "During the night of the 12 and 13 July, part of these forces
14 managed to escape and cross the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Milici-Vlasenica
15 road and that they were observed heading towards Crni Vrh and Cerska."
16 Would you agree with me on this basis what is written there that
17 the command of the Drina Corps was very well aware as of the 12th of
18 July, at least when this document was written, that the 28th Division had
19 passed a critical point and was heading towards the area of the
20 Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. It says that this happened during the night between the 12th and
22 the 13th. I don't know when this particular information was actually
23 received, but one can see that they were cutting the road in two
24 different sectors, one is Bratunac-Konjevic Polje, and this axis could
25 lead towards Kamenica and Zvornik; and the other sector, Milici-Vlasenica
1 and that is south-west, some 20 means which means that it can go towards
2 Cerska and Kladanj; therefore, not all of them were headed towards
4 Q. That's what it says, in part, if you look in the first paragraph
5 where it says:
6 "I hereby order, you see that the brigade commands in their area
7 of responsibility are to employ all available, able-bodied men to
8 discover, block, disarm, and capture any Muslim armed groups and prevent
9 their crossing into Muslim territory."
10 So there's no doubt about the intentions of the corps commander
11 at that time, is there?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. If you move to the next page, so we have paragraph 7 of this
14 order and the next page in English too.
15 We see at paragraph 7 that:
16 "The order includes to transmit information on captured and
17 cut-off groups through secure means of communication."
18 Would you agree on the basis of this document that you would
19 expect that if any subordinate units of the Drina Corps did capture
20 prisoners, that the information would have been passed on to the
22 A. What it says here is that the information should be relayed
23 through safe communication channels.
24 Q. So would you expect the brigades to follow-up on this order and
25 if they do capture members of the 28th Division, that they would report
1 this to the Drina
2 A. Yes, but as far as we could see here, the Zvornik Brigade did not
3 capture anyone until the 18th apart from some individuals on the 14th, if
4 I remember correctly.
5 Q. Now, I'm not referring to Zvornik Brigade at all. I'm talking
6 subordinate units of the Drina Corps in general that they did -- that
7 they would inform on the basis of this document, the corps command of any
8 prisoners captured. Do you agree with that?
9 A. Yes, they were supposed to report and this secrecy indicates that
10 it was necessary to keep our intention secret and not divulged to the
11 enemy including the deployment of our forces in order to make it easier
12 for us to block them.
13 Q. If I can have the next page of this document on the English side,
14 please. You see at the bottom, sir, that the -- this document is dated
15 the 13th of July and that it was signed at 1600 hours or 4.00 in the
16 afternoon. I'm not sure if that's clear enough --
17 A. Yes, I can see it in the English version, but I can't see it in
18 the original.
19 MR. BOURGON: If I can have in e-court please document 4D81, 81.
20 Q. Sir, this document in front of you is a regular combat report.
21 It was used with a number of witnesses in this case. I'd just like you
22 to confirm, first of all, that it comes from the Drina Corps command and
23 that it is addressed to the Main Staff.
24 A. Yes, this is the daily combat report, the regular one, of the
25 command of the Drina Corps dated the 13th of July, 1995.
1 Q. And we see at the third paragraph under where it says, 1, "The
2 enemy," the third paragraph, where it says that:
3 "The enemy from the former Srebrenica enclave are in total
4 disarray and have been surrendering to the VRS in great numbers."
5 A. Yes, I see that.
6 Q. Lower down just above paragraph 4, paragraph 4 reads "unusual
8 It says here: "In Konjevic Polje and also in Nova Kasaba,
9 reception of Muslim civilians and soldiers who surrendered is being
10 carried out, taken in an organised fashion."
11 I don't think the next sentence has anything to do with that.
12 Would you agree, sir, that on the basis of the information contained in
13 this document that by the 13th of July, the Drina Corps command was fully
14 aware that large numbers of prisoners were being made from that column
15 heading towards Zvornik?
16 A. Yes. Based on this report, I agree with that. This report also
17 confirms that there was no concern as regards the security of Zvornik and
18 the Zvornik Brigade's area.
19 Q. I'd like to move to the next page of this document in B/C/S, as
20 well as page 3 in English. The information you just mentioned about no
21 concerns for Zvornik, where did you see this, sir?
22 A. Well, in the first part of the report, you said it said they were
23 surrendering en masse and that 200 or 300 had managed to cross the road
24 and get into the area of Udrc. Udrc is a mountain which was on the route
25 towards Crni Vrh, which would mean to the corps command even had it
1 wanted to couldn't have told me that the Zvornik Brigade was under
2 threat. They knew only what was contained in this report; however, it
3 transpired later that this information was incorrect.
4 Q. Now if we look at paragraph 8 which is where I want to draw your
5 attention, and the page 2 in B/C/S, sorry, where it says, paragraph 8:
6 "Conclusions, projections, and decision for further action."
7 "With regard to the situation created after the vigorous attack
8 on the Srebrenica enclave and the successful pull-out of some of the
9 extreme forces into the general sector" and that's what you were
10 referring to a few moments ago, "and their intention of conducting
11 further operations towards the Muslim-controlled territory ..."
12 So would you agree with me that this report makes it clear that
13 they know that at least part of those forces are heading towards
14 Velja Glava, Krizevici and Baljkovica and that they have the intent to
15 connect up with the forces which would operate from the Kladanj
16 direction; is that correct?
17 A. This is an assessment. This is possible. The axes you mentioned
18 are correct. In view of this conclusion, however, it's not clear to me
19 why the Drina Corps failed to take proper steps later on to respond to
20 this possible threat.
21 Q. And you see from this page also, at least on the English side, if
22 I can have the next page in B/C/S that this combat report was by
23 General Krstic and that the time was 1945 which is in the night of -- in
24 the evening of 13 July.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, my question is the following: Given that General Krstic is
2 aware that prisoners are being captured in great numbers along the road
3 between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje, as early as the evening of 13 July
4 1995, and bearing in mind your own testimony that he did not reply or did
5 not take any actions in response to your interim combat report of
6 15 July, that General Krstic had the information concerning not only the
7 taking of prisoners but where they had been sent. Do you agree with
9 A. From this report of the 13th, which is before us, we see it
10 doesn't say where those people were transferred and where they would be
11 transferred to. It only says they were surrendering. I don't know
12 whether Krstic knew where those people would go on the 13th.
13 Q. I'm not saying he knew on the 13th, but it was your testimony
14 that because he did not take action concerning your interim combat report
15 of the 15th, that he was well aware of where the prisoners had been
17 Now, the only thing I'd like to find out from you before we end
18 is that when you were returned to Zvornik on 15 July in the morning, I
19 suggest to you that General Krstic would have informed you that there
20 were prisoners, if he knew as you say, that there were prisoners that had
21 been sent into your area and that before you left Zepa area, you knew
22 about the prisoner problem before you arrived in Zvornik; is that
23 correct, sir?
24 A. No, that's not correct, Mr. Bourgon. My assessment, which I
25 explained in my testimony based on the interim combat report of the 15th
1 which followed on the evening was correct. Had General Krstic known
2 something about it in Richard Butler's report we see an intercept on the
3 morning around 10.00 where one of the participants was Krstic and
4 prisoners are mentioned, so Krstic did know; but I did not have this
6 Q. Then I will leave it on one last question, Mr. Pandurevic. You
7 testified in your examination-in-chief that General Krstic was aware of
8 the situation involving the transfer of prisoners to Zvornik. Is it your
9 testimony that he hid this information from you when he sent you back to
10 defend the line and prevent the 28th Division from linking up the
11 2nd Corps?
12 MR. HAYNES: Can we have a page and line reference for the
13 assertion that General Pandurevic testified that General Krstic knew
14 about the taking of prisoners?
15 MR. BOURGON: I --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Should we leave it for Monday.
17 MR. BOURGON: I can put a line, Mr. President, but I'd like to
18 have an answer to this question because this is something that I covered
19 at the beginning of my cross-examination, and this is something that
20 General said, and I refer to the page reference where he said exactly --
21 and I can quote from page 31106 for the benefit of my colleague where he
22 says at the end:
23 "However, I was thinking logically since he had not reacted to my
24 report sent on the 15th, since in the course of the conversation that we
25 conducted on the morning of the 17th, since never happened after my
1 report on the 16th, I fully believed that he was in possession of certain
3 That's one of the references I referred -- I use in my
5 MR. HAYNES: Is that it?
6 MR. BOURGON: And my colleague can use more during his re-direct
7 if he wants, but I can come back with more on Monday morning. I'd like
8 to have an answer though, Mr. President.
9 MR. HAYNES: Not to that question.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll come to that on Monday.
11 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We will finish here for today, and we come to that
13 on Monday.
14 Mr. Haynes.
15 MR. HAYNES: I do this really at other people's invitation, but I
16 would like to invite you to consider time-tabling. I've been collating
17 the various estimates of my colleagues for the amount of time they will
18 require for cross-examination of Mr. Pandurevic. You may or may not know
19 that it's my conclusion that his evidence will take this month,
21 JUDGE AGIUS: The way I have worked it out, Mr. Haynes, on the
22 basis of 50 hours, is that this will take us probably at most until the
23 4th of March.
24 MR. HAYNES: Yes, I think my estimate is a little more
25 optimistic, I think I got it to pretty much the end of February.
1 You might recall that I mentioned that I would appreciate, and I
2 think everybody else would appreciate the opportunity of taking stock at
3 the end of his evidence to see what shape the rest of my case would take;
4 and I wondered whether at this point in the proceedings you'd actually
5 reached any firm conclusions about that, and that's all I really wanted
6 to open for discussion now.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Haynes, we have not yet come to a
9 conclusion particularly it seems because when you mentioned this matter
10 in the beginning of your direct, you had indicated that you would require
11 something like a week. So perhaps you will think about it and tell us on
12 Monday whether you still maintain that you will require a week, and then
13 we'll be in a position to tell you what our intentions are.
14 MR. HAYNES: Yes, thank you. I'll come back to you on Monday.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We stand adjourned until Monday morning
16 at 9.00.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of
19 February, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.