Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12360

 1                           Wednesday, 6 April 2011

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.

 6             Good morning to you, Ms. Lindsay, again.  Welcome back to the

 7     courtroom.

 8             Yesterday I made a mistake.  I said the Prosecution indicated

 9     that they need ten hours, but in fact they indicated eight hours, as the

10     Defence did.  And just to let you know, you have used six hours and 17

11     minutes for examination-in-chief.  You should hurry up, Mr. Thayer.

12             Mr. Thayer.

13             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I will.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The witness should be brought in, please.

15                           [The witness takes the stand]

16             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good morning, sir.  Welcome back to the

17     courtroom.  Again, I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the

18     truth you made at the beginning your testimony two days ago still

19     applies.

20             Mr. Thayer has more questions for you.

21             Mr. Thayer.

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.

23                           WITNESS:  MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]

24                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

25                           Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]

Page 12361

 1             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good morning again, to

 2     you and Your Honours.  Good morning to the Defence.  Good morning,

 3     everyone.

 4        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.

 5        A.   Good morning.

 6        Q.   May we have 65 ter 223, please.

 7             When we left off yesterday we were looking at the report that was

 8     issued on the 4th of July, 1995, and I'm speaking of the combat readiness

 9     analysis report for the first half of 1995.

10             To save a little bit of time, I'm going to skip over a couple of

11     sections of this report.  And I would just ask you, do you recall whether

12     there's an entry in the report that lists the sniper training that a

13     number of Bratunac Brigade soldiers underwent?

14        A.   The combat report that I see in front of me, or its contents,

15     there is an portion that refers to sniper training, and I believe that

16     that is part of the report.

17        Q.   Okay.  And just for the record that's at page 7 of the English,

18     page 13 of the B/C/S, if anybody wants to look at that in the future.

19             If we could go to page 17 of the English.  And that will be

20     page 31 of the B/C/S.  Actually, make that page 16, the previous page,

21     and page 29 of the B/C/S.

22             We can see here a section that is entitled: Intelligence security

23     support.  Can you tell the Trial Chamber what role you played, if any, in

24     putting together this portion of the combat readiness analysis report?

25        A.   Yes.  Yesterday, and I think the day before as well, when I spoke

Page 12362

 1     about this document, the analysis of combat readiness, that was prepared

 2     by the Bratunac Brigade command and, of course, signed by the commander

 3     Blagojevic, each of the officers, or, rather, each assistant commander

 4     and myself, as the chief of the organ, were obliged to provide

 5     information - in my particular case that is security and intelligence -

 6     hat is to say, to give our contribution to this report, and that is what

 7     I did.  I wrote my report, and after I had drafted my proposal and after

 8     the commander and the other officers and I, myself, discussed this at a

 9     meeting, these contributions were accepted by the commander, including my

10     contribution on security and intelligence, and all the tasks that I was

11     obliged to carry out within my remit.  So everything that you see here is

12     something that I put on paper.  It was accepted by the commander, and it

13     became an integral part of this analysis on combat readiness.  And one of

14     the elements of combat readiness is intelligence and security support of

15     unit.

16        Q.   If we could go to the next page in English.  And we'll need to go

17     two pages in the B/C/S, to page 31 in the B/C/S, please.

18             This is the next page under the heading of intelligence security

19     support, sir.  Do you see the portion that begins:  "During 1995

20     international organisations and their representatives have passed through

21     and stayed temporarily in the brigade's area of responsibility"?

22             Do you see that paragraph, sir?  I think it's the third

23     paragraph from the top.

24        A.   Yes, I do.  I -- I see this paragraph, and I can see what it

25     speaks about.

Page 12363

 1        Q.   You report that these international organisations and their

 2     representatives, when they stayed, their activities were monitored and

 3     every significant event was promptly reported to the Drina Corps and the

 4     VRS Main Staff.  And you refer here to superior organs.  What are you

 5     referring to?

 6        A.   In this particular instance, but in other instances of reporting

 7     as well, I was referring to superior organs that I had communication line

 8     with in the corps command or in the Main Staff.  So if I say here that I

 9     reported to superior officers, I was referring to the intelligence and

10     security department of the Drina Corps, and their counterpart at the

11     level of the Main Staff.  It was both my duty and the right to report to

12     my superiors at the Drina Corps and in the Main Staff when it comes to

13     the professional line of reporting.

14        Q.   And in the next paragraph you report that:  "In the brigade's

15     area of responsibility, a check-point was established for the control of

16     all international organisations entering and leaving the enclave of

17     Srebrenica.  This check-point functions in accordance with the orders of

18     the VRS ... Main Staff and instructions and orders of the brigade

19     commander."

20             Can you tell the Trial Chamber approximately when this

21     check-point was set up?

22        A.   Well, I don't know.  I really cannot give you an exact date.  I

23     cannot recall at the moment, and I wouldn't like to speculate.

24             But it may have been that it took place immediately, or for a

25     certain period of time we had check-points elsewhere but we had problems,

Page 12364

 1     and then we decided to set up a check-point on the Yellow Bridge.  But I

 2     really don't know.

 3             However, this refers to what you read, and I can say that this

 4     check-point was set up based on an order from the Main Staff and the

 5     instructions issued later by the brigade command.  However, when that

 6     happened exactly, I really cannot tell you.

 7             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, the Prosecution tenders 65 ter 223.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It will be received as an exhibit.

 9             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 223 shall be

10     assigned Exhibit P2167.  Thank you.

11             MR. THAYER:

12        Q.   Sir, I'd like to turn your attention now to the Krivaja '95

13     operations and the events following the fall of the enclave.  What I'd

14     like to do because our time is limited, is rather than take you through a

15     detailed day-by-day chronology, I would like to focus on certain events

16     that occurred during that time-period.  Naturally, that will follow in a

17     chronological order but I do want to focus on a number of specific issues

18     and events during this period of time.

19             I don't think there will be any dispute that the enclave itself

20     fell on the 11th of July.  My first question to you, sir, is: Did you see

21     any superior officers from the corps or the Main Staff in or around

22     Bratunac or your brigade command prior to the 11th of July?

23        A.   Yes, I did.  I saw quite a few officers at the brigade command.

24     Amongst them were members from the Drina Corps command and from the

25     Main Staff.

Page 12365

 1        Q.   Can you provide their names, if you recall who you saw?

 2        A.   From the Main Staff, I saw General Mladic, Colonel Jankovic.  And

 3     from the corps command, I saw General Krstic, General Zivanovic,

 4     Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric, and I saw a lot

 5     of other officers, but those were mainly the officers from the corps

 6     command and from the Main Staff that I saw at the time, within the

 7     headquarters of the brigade command.

 8        Q.   Let's focus on this Colonel Jankovic who you mentioned.

 9             Please tell the Trial Chamber when you recall him arriving and

10     what he did, what was his activities upon his arrival?  What did he tell

11     you he was there for, and so forth?

12        A.   Yes, I can do that.

13             Colonel Jankovic, as far as I can remember, arrived sometime on

14     or around the 8th of July.  He came to the Bratunac Brigade command

15     headquarters.  I don't know whether he reported at the time to my

16     commander and whether they met.  I can only assume, being a soldier, that

17     that would be in line with military rules, for him to report to the

18     commanding officer and then to proceed with the tasks that he was sent to

19     perform.  He came to my office, and he introduced himself as a colonel

20     from the Main Staff and that he was from the intelligence department.

21             Now, this is all I can tell you at this point, because prior to

22     that moment, I had never seen Colonel Jankovic.  Therefore I just

23     accepted his words at face value, and I never checked what he said.  He

24     added that on orders from the Main Staff, he was sent down to help me,

25     because I was a reserve captain, and the operation in question was huge

Page 12366

 1     and a complex one, and he said that, as of that day, when he arrived

 2     onwards, the tasks that I was in charge of prior to that, that is to say,

 3     liaison communication with international organisations including the

 4     Dutch battalion, he would take over, as well as all other intelligence

 5     operations relating to Srebrenica, and also, intelligence and security

 6     support.  And he also said that we would be sitting together in the same

 7     office.

 8             So during that period, which started on the 8th, until, I don't

 9     know exactly where -- when he left, but he was among the last people who

10     left the Bratunac Brigade, we selected a number of documents in those

11     last few days, and he took those documents away with him.  So he worked

12     all the time with me in my office.  He wrote his reports there and sent

13     his reports from that office, and I remember that his reports had the

14     heading of the Bratunac Brigade.  Since I was sitting in the same office

15     with him, I knew what he wrote in those reports because I sometimes

16     personally went to the communications centre for those reports to be

17     dispatched to the higher levels.

18             So that's what I can tell you about Colonel Jankovic.  We were

19     working together throughout the whole period.

20        Q.   You described to us during the last couple of days of your

21     testimony the process by which intelligence information would come to

22     you; sometimes from the battalion, sometimes from other sources, and how

23     you would report that information, both to your commander and up your

24     intelligence and security line.  Did you continue to engage in those

25     activities while Colonel Jankovic was filing his reports, sir?

Page 12367

 1        A.   I continued to do my regular work, and essentially nothing

 2     changed.  I did not stop being the chief of the organ.  I did not stop

 3     reporting to my commander.  In other words, I continued to work as usual

 4     to carry out the tasks that I was authorised to carry out, and there were

 5     no problems in that respect.

 6        Q.   And during the course of your reporting, and during the course of

 7     Colonel Jankovic's reporting, were you aware as to whether you and he

 8     were sending reports to the same superior organs?

 9        A.   As far as I can remember, I cannot tell you accurately about each

10     and every document, whether it went both to the Drina Corps command and

11     the Main Staff, but, in principle, our reports were identical because we

12     worked from the same office, we harmonised our information, we exchanged

13     information.  The information that I received from the ground, I don't

14     know how he obtained his information, though, but basically all the

15     intelligence and all the reports were identical.  They dealt with the

16     same topics, they contained the same information, and the requests that

17     we may have had, depending on what we put in the report.

18        Q.   And during the period of time of the actual attack on the enclave

19     from the 6th of July through the 11th of July, and let's focus now on the

20     time-period during which Colonel Jankovic was working from your office,

21     were there also, do you recall, requests coming down to the brigade from

22     your superior commands or professional organs for information?

23        A.   I don't know if the translation is correct, but I believe I

24     understood your question.

25             Are you asking me whether there were any requests for information

Page 12368

 1     coming down to us from the superior commands?

 2        Q.   Correct, sir.

 3        A.   Yes.  My answer is affirmative.  The corps command insisted and

 4     demanded that they be informed on a regular basis and also to receive

 5     extraordinary reports perhaps every half an hour, or every five minutes,

 6     if necessary, if new, important information arose.

 7        Q.   Now, during the VRS attack on the enclave, did you come to learn

 8     that the targets of the attack included, in addition to military targets,

 9     such as elements of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the targets also

10     included civilians or civilian targets?

11        A.   If you're asking me if I had ever seen a document or an order to

12     that effect, that is to say, that civilians were the targets, I can tell

13     you that I had never seen such a document, and I had never seen anything

14     in writing confirming that the civilians were the object of the attack.

15     If you're asking me that.

16        Q.   Actually, sir, I wasn't asking you that question.  But since

17     you've put your answer that way, let me just ask you:  Would you ever

18     expect to see, in a VRS order or communication, an explicit order to

19     target civilians?

20        A.   Well, I did not expect that, of course.  And no one in his right

21     mind would write up any such thing, let alone a commander.  In an order

22     at that.

23        Q.   And did you see, in orders and documents, references to observing

24     the Geneva Conventions in your experience?

25        A.   Now I understand the question, but the interpretation I'm

Page 12369

 1     receiving is mirrored in the way I'm answering the questions.  Now, if

 2     you're asking me whether I understand this, whether I understand that

 3     there is an particular section of the Geneva Conventions that refers to

 4     the treatment of civilians, then that is a different question altogether.

 5     In every order, there is regulation of the status of civilians and things

 6     that have to do with prisoners and civilians.  So that is absolutely

 7     correct.

 8        Q.   My specific question was, sir, was do you recall, in orders that

 9     you received, specific references to the Geneva Conventions and specific

10     orders not to harm civilians, based on the Geneva Conventions.

11        A.   Yes, I remember such orders, and I think that one of the orders

12     that I remember right now, as for the preparation of the order or the

13     order itself of the Drina Corps for carrying out combat operations,

14     something like that.  I think that's the name.  In that order it says,

15     inter alia, that when carrying out combat operation, the principles

16     enshrined in the Geneva Conventions should be abided by, and that is what

17     it says, yes.

18        Q.   We'll leave that there for the moment, sir.

19             Now, my original question was really getting at something else.

20     Did you ever have -- did you receive any reports or information that

21     civilian targets were attacked during the VRS operation against

22     Srebrenica?

23        A.   Could you be more specific in terms of period that you are

24     referring to.  I would appreciate that so that I would know exactly which

25     period have you in mind.

Page 12370

 1        Q.   The period I have in mind would be the actual, during the course

 2     of the actual attack.  Were civilian targets struck or aimed at; were

 3     civilians the targets of any of the VRS forces; and when did you learn

 4     this; and what was the source of the information?  And I'm not referring

 5     to a written report -- when I say, Did you receive any reports or

 6     information, I'm not referring necessarily to an official written report,

 7     but did you become aware that civilians were targeted during the attack.

 8        A.   I think that during my previous testimony I spoke about that.  I

 9     am not familiar with the plan of artillery fire and I don't know exactly

10     which targets were engaged.  However, what I know for sure is that during

11     the attack on Srebrenica, inter alia, it was the town of Srebrenica

12     itself that was a target.  I think I said that during my previous

13     testimony.  For me that is a civilian target.  The town itself, full of

14     inhabitants, people, as it was.  That was that kind of target as far as

15     I'm concerned.

16             If you are asking me now, I mean, if the question pertains to the

17     period from the 11th, when the civilians were moving towards Potocari,

18     then, again, I testified about that in the Popovic case.  I know with

19     full reliability, that is to say, that I received information to the

20     effect that the target of fire from the positions of the 2nd Infantry

21     Battalion from the B1 gun were civilians.

22             Let me conclude by saying that civilians were targeted, a column

23     of civilians, a huge column of civilians that was moving towards the

24     Potocari base, or, rather the UNPROFOR base in Potocari, and they were

25     moving from Srebrenica.

Page 12371

 1        Q.   And what kind of weapon is a B1 gun, sir?

 2        A.   A B1 gun is an artillery piece that was on the positions of my

 3     2nd Infantry Battalion, roughly, that elevation, that peak, is called

 4     Zvijezda or Kokarda in that area.  The B1 gun is the weapon that could

 5     target directly, that could involve direct fire.  It was aimed at

 6     Potocari, the position of Potocari directly.  Of course, it could target

 7     left and right as well.  The road, also it could target everything within

 8     its range and everything that one could see.  But Potocari, that

 9     position, was directly placed in such a way that it could be targeted

10     directly.

11        Q.   Now, I want to turn your attention for a few moments to the three

12     meetings at the Hotel Fontana.  The Trial Chamber has heard a lot of

13     evidence about those meetings on the night of the 11th and the morning of

14     the 12th, so I don't think we'll need to go through a detailed account of

15     those three meetings.

16             But let me just ask you a couple of questions about them.  With

17     respect to the first meeting at the Hotel Fontana, do you recall how you

18     found out that there would be a meeting held there?

19        A.   Yes, I recall that, that a meeting would be held at the Fontana

20     hotel.  That's what I found out from Colonel Jankovic.

21        Q.   Can you tell the Trial Chamber briefly what your role was during

22     this first meeting and where you were physically during it.

23        A.   Yes, I can.

24             After Colonel Jankovic told me that this meeting would be held at

25     the Fontana hotel that evening around 2000 hours, he said to me that I

Page 12372

 1     should make sure that a translator should be there.  Of course, I called

 2     the military police commander.  I asked him to send a policeman to find a

 3     translator called Petar Uscumlic.  My task was to secure the Fontana

 4     hotel, that was the hotel where the meeting was supposed to be held.

 5     Namely, the hotel should be empty.  It should be physically secure, and I

 6     should bring a translator to translate at the meeting.  I was told that

 7     the -- that the meeting should be attended by the commander of the

 8     Main Staff, General Mladic, and that the meeting would be attended by the

 9     commander of the Dutch battalion, Colonel Karremans.  Of course, after I

10     provided for the translator, I went to Fontana.  I agreed with the

11     commander of the military police to involve the police and to be

12     presently personally at the venue of the meeting.  So the commander of

13     the police, the police and I were the ones who provided security there at

14     the actual venue where the meeting was supposed to be held.  Before the

15     meeting, well, I don't know exactly when Colonel Jankovic came to Fontana

16     but in the first hall or room, I can draw that, I can explain what this

17     Fontana looks like, so in this first room, we were waiting for their

18     arrival.  Jankovic, Petar Uscumlic and I were waiting for General Mladic

19     to arrive with his team.  General Mladic arrived just before 2000 hours

20     in Fontana.  We greeted him.  Colonel Jankovic reported to him as to what

21     was going on.  We introduced Petar Uscumlic to him.  Petar Uscumlic did

22     not say his name, he just said his last name, Uscumlic.  And it seemed to

23     General Mladic that the interpreter was therefore a Muslim, and quite

24     simply, he started shouting and he threw him out.  So Colonel Jankovic

25     and I remained in that room.  The Dutch officers came, and in a small

Page 12373

 1     room, this first meeting was held.  So my role was to provide for all of

 2     this, together with the commander of the military police.  When the

 3     meeting started -- well, it was a small room.  And the door is a sliding

 4     door that closes and opens.  So it was open, and in that small room, the

 5     first meeting was held.  I was three, four, or five metres away, maximum,

 6     to the left, in relation to the room where the meeting was being held, so

 7     I was in a place where I saw what was happening, where I heard what was

 8     being discussed, and basically, that would be it.  That is what happened

 9     before the meeting was held.

10        Q.   Okay.  And as I said, the Trial Chamber is -- has seen and heard

11     a lot about that first meeting, so let's move from there.

12             Did you return to your command following that first Fontana

13     meeting?

14        A.   Yes.  After that first meeting, General Mladic asked that a

15     second meeting be held that evening, and, of course, that meeting was

16     over.  The Dutch went back.  And I went to the command of the Bratunac

17     Brigade.

18        Q.   And when you returned to your command, do you recall receiving

19     any information concerning the Muslim population?

20        A.   I had information beforehand as well.  Information was coming in

21     intensively.  It was already the evening, and there was quite a bit of

22     information from the command, from the battalion commands, rather, but

23     from the 2nd Infantry Battalion that was in immediate contact with

24     Potocari from the observation post, from the positions of the 2nd

25     Infantry Battalion there was constant reporting, to the effect that

Page 12374

 1     thousands of people were moving from Srebrenica towards Potocari, the

 2     UNPROFOR base there.  That was the information that I received beforehand

 3     and during the course of the evening too.

 4             On the basis of everything I knew about the enclave beforehand

 5     and what the organs at the command knew as well, of the battalion

 6     commands, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd, but basically now I'm speaking about the

 7     information from the 2nd Battalion, we were making assessments to the

 8     effect that there were a lot of able-bodied men, military age among these

 9     persons.  I have to explain something to the Trial Chamber.  The fact

10     that somebody is military age, able bodied does not mean in my view, now

11     this is my assessment, my analysis, the fact that somebody is military

12     age and able bodied does not mean that he is mobilised, engaged in a

13     military way and is a member of a unit.  So our assessment was that among

14     the persons who were moving there who were on the move, who were

15     civilians, there was between 1.500 to 2.000 military age, able-bodied

16     men.

17        Q.   And what did you do with this information that you had beforehand

18     and that was coming in and being gathered and that you were acquiring

19     yourself?  What did you do with that information, sir?

20        A.   All the information I received on that day, in the afternoon and

21     in the evening, just like on each and every previous day and following

22     day, I communicated in writing to the command of the Drina Corps, that is

23     to say, the department for intelligence and security affairs.  As for

24     this very same information, this was the practice that I observed, I

25     provided that same information orally to the members of my brigade.  That

Page 12375

 1     is to say, those to whom this information pertained.  As for all of this

 2     information, I informed the commander about it later when we met up.

 3        Q.   And when you referred to the commander and later when we met up,

 4     to whom are you referring specifically?  And when you say "later," do you

 5     mean that day or some other day?

 6        A.   I don't mean the 11th.  I mean the following day, when we first

 7     met up after the operation.  So that was the afternoon of the 12th.  It

 8     is my commander, Blagojevic, whom I informed about all the information

 9     that had arrived.  In the period while he was absent, I could not provide

10     detailed information to him.

11        Q.   Okay.  You told us about the second meeting at the Fontana hotel

12     being scheduled.  Again, we don't need to go through the details of that

13     meeting.  Please tell the Trial Chamber where you were physically during

14     the second meeting at the Hotel Fontana?

15        A.   Everything that I explained in relation to the first meeting

16     concerning my role, the role of the military police, and the commander of

17     the military police, as for all my obligations with regard to the first

18     meeting, they were the same with regard to the second meeting.  The

19     position of the meeting was the same, and I was there right in front of

20     the meeting room where the meeting was held.

21        Q.   And immediately or upon the end of the meeting, where did you go?

22        A.   Upon the end of the meeting, General Mladic ordered that officers

23     of the Dutch battalion and the representatives of the Muslim side be

24     escorted to Potocari.  After that, I carried out the order, got into the

25     car, saw off the officers and the representative of the Muslim side.

Page 12376

 1        Q.   And by this time, were you aware that there would be a third

 2     meeting the following morning?

 3        A.   Yes, I was aware of that.

 4        Q.   Please tell the Trial Chamber what you did starting in the

 5     morning of the 12th of July.  And just take us, please, through the

 6     events of that morning.

 7        A.   Well, first of all, I have to say that between the 12th and 13th

 8     of July, I was the duty operations officer.  My assistant was

 9     Mirko Jankovic.  And on that morning, as was the case with the previous

10     meetings as well, my role had not changed at all.  I knew what my duty

11     was.  I knew that the meeting was supposed to be held on the 12th at

12     10.00, and the military police, Mirko Jankovic as the commander, and I,

13     as the chief of the intelligence and security organ in the brigade, took

14     all measures for the hotel to be empty and secure and safe for the

15     participants in the meeting.

16             The meeting was scheduled for 10.00, and I knew exactly -- well,

17     I didn't know the names, but I knew who was supposed to attend the

18     meeting.  On the basis of my information, the meeting was supposed to be

19     attended by the representatives of the military authorities headed by

20     General Mladic, the corps commander, and other officers who represented

21     the Serb side.  Then the meeting was supposed to be attended by the

22     civilian authorities, or rather, the representatives of the civilian

23     authorities, then the representatives of UNPROFOR and the representatives

24     of the Muslim side.  On the previous evening they were represented by

25     Mandzic.  That meeting was attended precisely by all of these people that

Page 12377

 1     I referred to, including the representatives of the Muslim side including

 2     a lady whose name I don't know.  Nesib Mandzic and Nuhanovic were there,

 3     on their negotiating team.

 4             Since I attended the previous two meetings, I knew roughly what

 5     the content of this one would be.  That is to say, that the overall

 6     situation was supposed to be discussed.  It seems to me, on the basis of

 7     what I could infer, it was technical issues that were supposed to be

 8     discussed, how all of that would actually take place, including the

 9     forcible transfer of the Muslims from Potocari.  So I did not attend that

10     meeting.  It started around 10.00.  The representatives that I mentioned

11     were there.  They all arrived.  What I wish to say what is important and

12     what actually happened is, that before that meeting started, on that day,

13     the 12th of July, in front of Fontana, I saw Mr. Popovic and Kosoric.

14     These are two officers from the command of the Drina Corps, the chief of

15     security and the chief of intelligence.  We talked about the overall

16     situation.  Inter alia, we talked about what would happen further on with

17     the people who had fled and who went to Potocari.  Popovic told me that,

18     quite simply, these people would be evacuated, that they would be

19     transferred to Kladanj, that women and children would be transferred by

20     buses, that that is the agreement that was reached.  That they would be

21     transferred to Muslim-controlled territory.  And that military age men

22     would be singled out and temporarily detained in the territory of the

23     municipality of Bratunac.

24             I asked him, Mr. Popovic, what about these people?  What's going

25     to happen to them?  Why are we doing all of this?  He said, sort of the

Page 12378

 1     way he spoke, he said that all the Balijas should be killed.  I did not

 2     comment upon his statement.  Quite simply, this conversation took five,

 3     six, or seven minutes, no longer than that.  After that, or rather,

 4     during that conversation, we mentioned, or rather, I proposed, I said,

 5     all right these people will be singled out.  They shall be detained.  The

 6     most convenient facilities are those that are empty in Bratunac right

 7     now, and that was the elementary school of Vuk Karadzic, and then also

 8     the hangar, then the gym of that same school, Vuk Karadzic.  And also

 9     there were some other facilities of the old secondary school from

10     Bratunac.  Djuro Pucar Stari was the name of that vocational secondary

11     school.  All of these facilities were within an area that could be

12     secured with less troops.  So, quite simply, they said yes, no problem

13     whatsoever.  So those were the facilities involved.

14             Then in addition to that, my first impression or, rather, what I

15     thought was that probably we will carry out this military triage, which

16     is regular procedure.  We'll get to Potocari, carry out that military

17     triage.  It was my understanding that we would single out or that those

18     would be singled out who are reasonably suspected of having committed

19     crimes, taking part in the killing of civilians, et cetera.  We, and we

20     information to that effect.  However what happened was something that I

21     did not expect.  When the evacuation started, all of those who were men

22     were singled out, regardless of their age, regardless of whether they

23     were military conscripts, regardless of anything else.  So what I saw was

24     that all the men who were in Potocari were singled out.

25             Then there's another question.  After that, when he said that all

Page 12379

 1     the Balijas should be killed, then we discussed where it was that these

 2     Balijas should be killed.  Two locations were mentioned.  The mine of

 3     Sase, first of all, and the second one, the Ciglane, the brick-laying

 4     facility.  I am duty-bound to say that no one was ever taken to the

 5     Sase Mine or was anybody ever executed at Sase or Ciglane.

 6             After this brief conversation, they went to this meeting.  After

 7     the meeting, I met up, or, rather, Colonel Jankovic came out and said the

 8     following to me, that I should help.  I have to explain this in the

 9     previous testimony, I used the word "coordination", literally not knowing

10     what it means in military terms.  But in my statement, I'm not going to

11     say anything that is contrary to what I did.  I'm just not going to use

12     the word "coordination" because I really believe that that is not the

13     appropriate term.  Then Mr. Nikolic [sic] said to me, in the forthcoming

14     period, you should help, have this operation carried out as it should be.

15     He meant the operation of transferring civilians from Potocari to

16     Kladanj.

17        Q.   Let me just stop you there for a moment, sir.

18             I notice number one in the transcript that there's a reference to

19     Mr. Nikolic.  This is at line -- page 20, line 7, what we have on the

20     transcript is:  "Then Mr. Nikolic said to me, in the forthcoming period,

21     you should help, have this operation carried out."

22             Who did you mean?  I don't think you meant Mr. Nikolic.  Who was

23     telling you this?  I think you had a slip of the tongue, sir.

24        A.   Maybe it was my slip of the tongue.  After the meeting, it was

25     Mr. Jankovic who came out.  Colonel Jankovic.

Page 12380

 1        Q.   Okay.  And just so we have it clear in the record, when you refer

 2     to Colonel Jankovic, you're referring to the Main Staff colonel who

 3     occupied your office, starting on the 8th of July - is that correct? - as

 4     opposed to Mirko Jankovic who was the komandir of the military police

 5     platoon.  Because we have two Jankovics.

 6        A.   Yes, that's correct.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Now I just want to go back for a second to this

 8     conversation you had with Mr. Popovic prior to the third Fontana meeting.

 9             You told us that two locations were mentioned; two possible

10     execution locations.  Who proposed those two locations to Mr. Popovic?

11        A.   Well, I don't know.  I wouldn't even call it a proposal.  To put

12     it simply, we were discussing this subject.  Mr. Popovic and Mr. Kosoric

13     knew the Sase Mine, just as I did.  I think that they first -- they were

14     the first to mention the Sase Mine.  After that, I spoke about it as

15     well, and then we talked about those facilities together.  I don't know

16     who it was who mentioned it first.

17             All three of us were discussing this particular location.

18        Q.   And how about the Ciglane brick-works.  Do you remember who

19     mentioned that location first?

20        A.   I don't know.  I really don't know who mentioned it first.  I

21     know that we discussed those facilities.  And one more thing.  Later on,

22     I found out, I don't know what the source of this information, but I

23     received information that certain officers - I don't know which

24     officers - went to see the area of the brick-works and the Sase before

25     anything happened.  I don't know who it was and when they went there.  I

Page 12381

 1     heard that from the manager of the brick-works, who was saying that they

 2     used to come to the Ciglane brick-works.  I think in this name is

 3     Nedjo Nikolic.

 4             Anyway, he was the manager of the brick-works at the time and he

 5     said that some officers used to come there even before the fall of

 6     Srebrenica.  And he said that they discussed that.

 7             So I don't claim anything.  I never verified this information.

 8     I'm not sure about it.  But that's what I heard.  Whether it is true or

 9     not, I wouldn't know.

10        Q.   And during the third Fontana meeting, sir, where were you

11     physically located?  Were you in that same position just outside the

12     room, or were you somewhere else for that third meeting?

13        A.   While this third meeting was going on, I wasn't in the room

14     itself.  The reason for that is that it was pretty crowded.  Many people

15     attended the meeting, and I simply thought that I, as the intelligence

16     organ, cannot hear anything new there.  They were discussing technical

17     matters related to the number of the buses, the quantity of fuel, the

18     escort and similar things.  So I wasn't inside Fontana.  I sat at the

19     reception for a while, and that is a space that is separate from the

20     space where the meeting was held.  After that, I was in front of the

21     hotel; I walked around.  I was checking the police that was providing the

22     security, and I wasn't inside, and I don't know the details about this

23     meeting.

24        Q.   Okay.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I interrupt you for a moment.  Just a

Page 12382

 1     follow-up question to this:  On page 17, line 25, we see in the

 2     transcript that you said, and I would like to ask you to clarify that:

 3     "Since I attended the previous two meetings, I knew" - and I think

 4     there's a mistake - "... what the content of this one would be."

 5             And this refers to the third meeting.  Where have you been during

 6     the first two meetings?  Did you attend them, or were you present in the

 7     surrounding?

 8             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I want to be precise.

 9     I attended the first two meetings in the Fontana hotel.  And I was at a

10     place from which I could see what was going on.  However, I wasn't one of

11     the participants in the meeting.  I didn't represent anybody at the

12     meeting and I didn't take part in the meeting in that sense.

13             So, at the first meeting, the participants were General Mladic,

14     General Jankovic and later General Zivanovic.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... That is not

16     my question.  Sorry, this is not my question.  I would like to know where

17     precisely you have been during these meetings, in the room or outside the

18     room?

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, I wasn't

20     inside that room.  It's a small space.  It's a small room and I was

21     three, four, or five metres outside, in a bigger room, from which then

22     you can enter the small room.

23             Maybe I can draw a sketch.  That would be the easiest way.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... I just wanted

25     to know your position while the meeting was going on.  Thank you very

Page 12383

 1     much.

 2             Mr. Thayer, please continue.

 3             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 4        Q.   I want to go back to when Colonel Jankovic came out of the third

 5     Fontana meeting and gave you some instructions.

 6             Now, if I understand you correctly, you don't want to describe,

 7     in a military sense, some of your activities as coordination, to use that

 8     technical term.  And if I understand you correctly, that's because you

 9     understand that word in a military sense to connote actual command

10     authority.  Is that -- do I have that correct?  Do I understand your

11     position correctly, sir?

12        A.   I think that you understood me well, yes.  Yes, you understood

13     me, yes.

14        Q.   And, again, just so you know, the Prosecution's position is not

15     that you were, in fact, a commander in the sense that, for example,

16     Colonel Blagojevic was a commander.  We understand that.  What I want to

17     focus on are your acts, what you actually did, and what you observed.

18             Now, what did, if you can recall as precisely as possible, what

19     did Colonel Jankovic tell you to do and what to expect?

20        A.   What I remember is that Colonel Jankovic told me that I should

21     help to carry out this operation in Srebrenica.  And as I've already

22     stated, this operation also included the transfer of the women and

23     children by buses to the territory controlled by the Muslims in Kladanj,

24     while the able bodied, military aged Muslims should be temporarily

25     separated and detained.

Page 12384

 1             There's a question that I posed to Colonel Jankovic.  I asked who

 2     was going to do all this and what was going to take place in Potocari.

 3     He said the following: The activities relating to this operation had

 4     already been agreed.  It means that the commanders which were to be

 5     engaged in Potocari had already received their assignments.  He said that

 6     they are already in Potocari.

 7             Now, when it was, where they received those assignments, and from

 8     whom, that I wouldn't know.  I only know what I heard.

 9        Q.   And in this conversation with Colonel Jankovic, was the execution

10     of the Muslim men discussed?

11        A.   No.  Colonel Jankovic did not mention this subject.

12        Q.   Did he give you the name of anyone, any officer in particular, to

13     connect with in Potocari?

14        A.   Yes.  He mentioned an officer, among other officers, called

15     Dusko Jevic.  He was an officer from the Special Police Brigade of

16     Republika Srpska.

17        Q.   And did Mr. Jevic have a nickname?

18        A.   If I remember it correctly, his nickname was Stalin.

19        Q.   Can you tell us what you did and what you saw in Potocari on the

20     12th of July.

21        A.   On the 12th of July, as I already written in the statement, I

22     spent part of the time in the operations room and part of the time in

23     Potocari.  In Potocari, I recognised, because I knew them, members of

24     some units that were engaged in Potocari, people who were present in

25     Potocari on the 12th.  If it's necessary, I can list their names and the

Page 12385

 1     units that were present in Potocari.

 2             Now, as far as I know for sure, there were parts of the Bratunac

 3     police there.  Then, parts of the 2nd Infantry Battalion.  A little bit

 4     later, during the day, also the representatives of the

 5     3rd Infantry Battalion arrived.  Further on, there were members of the

 6     public security station in Bratunac.  So members of the civilian police.

 7     Then, there were parts of the 10th Sabotage Detachment of the Main Staff.

 8     Also present were the members of the police from the

 9     65th Protection Regiment of the Main Staff, from Nova Kasaba, they were

10     headquartered in Nova Kasaba.  Then, there were also parts of the

11     military police from the Drina Corps command.  And the soldiers from the

12     detachment called the Drina Wolves, Vukovi Sa Drine.  I'm not sure if I

13     maybe forgot to mention somebody now, but these are people that I knew.

14     A number of them had been engaged in Bratunac before.  I mean here the

15     police forces from the corps and from the 65th Protection Regiment.

16             Later on I realized that what Colonel Jankovic had told me was

17     true.  The forces in charge of the evacuation were already there.  My

18     task was to help those people.  By that I mean to help the officers and

19     the units because I was a local inhabitant and I knew the situation and

20     the area very well, and I also knew a large number of people who were

21     there.

22             What I helped on the 12th was mainly the help to Dusko Jevic.

23     There was some problems, you know.  First, there were problems with

24     water.  I think that Major Kingori asked me to secure some water, so I

25     went to Bratunac and secured a cistern of water to be brought to

Page 12386

 1     Srebrenica.  And then there was a huge crowd around the buses when the

 2     buses arrived and they had to turn.  That's when I told Mr. Jevic that

 3     all this should be moved 2 or 300 metres away, to an area that was a bit

 4     wider.  That's where the buses could have been parked and all this could

 5     have been performed more easily on that spot.  Then, further on, what I

 6     was doing during all this was solving the problems that arose when the

 7     transport began.  But I have to mention one more thing, what I saw before

 8     the transport itself began.

 9             When the separation began, in Potocari, General Mladic was

10     present there and other people.  I am not going to list them all.  I

11     think that there are few officers from the Main Staff and from the

12     brigade commands who were not present in Potocari on the 12th.  I can

13     tell that you everybody was there present, and everybody wanted to see

14     that.  When the separation began, I know this for sure because I saw it,

15     that there was General Mladic and Ljubisa Borovcanin and the commander of

16     the specials, and Jevic, and other officers.  And I saw something that

17     was terrible.  I saw mistreatment of those who were separated.  I saw

18     beating, cursing.  I saw when they were separated.  I saw that they were

19     taking away their personal belongings, their bags, their money,

20     everything that they had.  And the people who were separated were then

21     temporarily detained in some abandoned Muslim houses.  Later on, they

22     were transferred to Bratunac.

23             So cursing, mistreating, beating, taking away of their property,

24     throwing away of the personal belongings, that's what I saw when I was

25     present there on the spot.  In my testimony, I expressed my regret, that

Page 12387

 1     I did not react in this situation.  I said then, and I'm saying this now,

 2     that it was my obligation, regardless of the consequences, and that I had

 3     to at least try to protect those people.  In my testimony, I said that I

 4     did not do that and that I regret it.

 5             However, there is a fact that I would like to mention here, and

 6     that's through -- I simply didn't have the strength, didn't have the

 7     force, didn't have the units.  I didn't have the authority as well, by

 8     this, I mean command authority with which I could prevent it.  I could

 9     maybe go against it as a human being.  I did a similar thing back in 1992

10     and I ended up in hospital.  And to be quite honest, there was the

11     10th Sabotage Detachment there and the Drina Wolves and others and

12     because of them, I simply couldn't do anything to protect those people,

13     although I really disagreed with what was going on.  I kept my silence.

14     I didn't react.  I didn't help.  But, on the other hand, I didn't touch

15     anybody and I didn't do anything.  That's what I wanted to say.

16             The transport began between 1.00, half past 1.00 or 2.00.  I

17     wouldn't know more precisely.  As far as I know, and I testified about

18     it, the first convoys contained a certain number of men.  Why?  I think I

19     testified about it, and that no special comment is needed here.  Those

20     men were there for propaganda purposes.  It wasn't something done in good

21     faith.  That's my personal opinion.  It may be untrue, but that's my

22     personal opinion.  Later convoys that went to Kladanj were mostly empty.

23     Excuse me, by that I meant to say that there were no men in them; only

24     women and children.

25             And I would just like to say one more thing.  You asked me what

Page 12388

 1     else I did on the 12th.  When the convoys started to leave, there were

 2     problems about the passage of the convoys through the town.  Civilians

 3     gathered there.  Mostly, they were mothers of the combatants who had been

 4     killed and their relatives.  So the buses had to pass through the

 5     Bratunac town and during their passage through town, maybe 7 or 800

 6     metres, the buses were stoned.  I endeavoured to resolve the situation,

 7     to engage the civilian police, and to engage some people in the military

 8     police in order to prevent all this.  And then when I wasn't in Potocari,

 9     I would return to the operations room.  And then I would receive

10     everything that would come in, and I would report about everything that I

11     was requested to report on.  While I was absent, I was replaced in the

12     operations room by junior officers from the operations sector from the

13     logistics, from the quartermaster service, and others.  So when I

14     returned, I had all the information they received from the superior

15     command.

16             So this in briefest possible terms how it went.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I make a note.

18             You said on page 28, lines 8 and 9, "I think I testified about

19     it, and that no special comment is needed here."

20             Just to remind you, but especially the Prosecution, this is a

21     viva voce witness.  The previous testimonies are not in evidence in this

22     case.  Just to clarify the situation.

23             And another thing.  You said on page 27, and I quote, line 1

24     through 4:  "I think that there are few officers from the Main Staff and

25     from the brigade commands who were not present at Potocari on the 12th.

Page 12389

 1     I can tell you that you everybody was there present and everybody wanted

 2     to see that."

 3             What do you mean by "everybody was there"?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to say that on the 12th,

 5     the first day after the Srebrenica enclave officially fell and the Serb

 6     military police forces entered Potocari, all the officers who were

 7     present on that day in the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade

 8     in Bratunac, also were in the enclave.  By this, I mean to say that they

 9     were in Potocari and they saw everything that I saw going on in Potocari.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Again, what do you mean by "all of them"?  Who

11     were they?

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I can list the names, if

13     you want.  First, my brigade and the officers of my brigade.

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I'm specifically interested in the Main Staff you

15     was -- you were referring to that and in the Drina Corps command.  Were

16     all members of the Main Staff and all members of the Drina Corps command

17     present in Potocari on the 12th, where you saw them?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Maybe just one reservation:  All

19     those who were in Bratunac at the time, not all the members of the

20     Drina Corps command.  Those who were not there were not there, of course.

21     So from the corps command, it was General Krstic,

22     Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric,

23     Colonel Acamovic -- the chief of transport service, Lieutenant-Colonel

24     Krsmanovic.  Then General Mladic.  Colonel Jankovic.  The commanders of

25     the brigade that took over Srebrenica.  The commander of combat groups

Page 12390

 1     that took over Srebrenica.  Then the officers from the police.  I listed

 2     those whom I could remember from the Main Staff, and those are the people

 3     who were in Potocari at that time.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  Judge Nyambe has a

 5     question.

 6             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

 7             I just need some clarifications, if you can give.

 8             At today's transcript, page 27, in answer to the previous

 9     question, you have said the following questions -- you have said the

10     following:  "I did a similar thing back in 1992 and I ended up in

11     hospital."

12             Can you please explain what you did and how you ended up in

13     hospital?  Thank you.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course.  In 1992, at the very

15     beginning of the war, sometime in May, conflict broke out in Bratunac.

16     At the time, or before the -- the conflict, I was the assistant commander

17     for intelligence affairs.  When the conflict broke out, in the Bratunac

18     staff, the commander was a Muslim, deputy commander was a Muslim, the

19     logistics man a Muslim too.  And just before the conflict broke out, they

20     left for Tuzla.  They were afraid of everything that took place after

21     that in Bratunac.

22             I remained in the staff, and since there was nobody else in the

23     staff except me and one assistant for the call-up and one clerk for

24     operations and training, I received a temporary assignment to lead the

25     staff.  It wasn't really a staff anymore.  It had disintegrated.  The

Page 12391

 1     Muslims left, the commander, the assistant commander and the assistant

 2     for the logistics, they left, and only three Serbs remained.  And that's

 3     when I was performing that duty.  On that fateful day, when I was

 4     attacked, they -- there were volunteers in Bratunac, as well as certain

 5     people from Bratunac itself, the village of Kravica.  The neighbours were

 6     the Muslims in Sandici.  And up to that point, the operations were going

 7     on related to the combat in Bratunac and taking over of certain

 8     territories.

 9             A group of the volunteers, together with the chief of the MUP,

10     together with the group from the Kravica village, which is purely Serb

11     village, and Sandici is purely Muslim village, they went by cars, without

12     any approval, without any plan.  They entered with their cars, passed

13     through the check-point, and entered the village of Sandici.  People in

14     the village, Muslims, armed people opened fire and there were some people

15     who were killed on that occasion.  Among them, it -- among those people

16     who were killed was the chief of the public security station, Milosevic,

17     and I was blamed for everything that happened.

18             So people from the village of Kravica blamed me, saying that I

19     was responsible for it, saying that I didn't give them the military, that

20     I didn't give them the reinforcements.  When they asked me whether I

21     would allow them to go and evacuate them, I said that I'm not going to

22     ban anything but I'm certainly not going to order somebody to go and

23     evacuate the people who went there of their own free will.  That's when I

24     was attacked and mistreated, and after that, I was sent to the hospital.

25     I was in hospital in Serbia, in Sabac, and after that I was transferred

Page 12392

 1     to Belgrade for treatment.  And then after that, I had to re-convalesce

 2     for about four or five months.

 3             Now how I looked like and what happened and what happened at the

 4     hospital, I can provide a full set of documents.  I don't have it here,

 5     but I can provide it if the Trial Chamber is generally interested in

 6     knowing what happened at the time.  I truthfully said that I couldn't

 7     stand to see children that I taught being killed in Bratunac.  And all

 8     these things actually related to these killings that were committed by

 9     both the Serb and the Muslim side.  As I said, all this is contained in

10     documents.  After I recovered from the shock, I told the doctor that I

11     cannot any longer observe how the children from the school where I taught

12     were being killed in Bratunac.

13             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.  I have another question, if I may.

14             Just very briefly please, don't go into great detail.  At page

15     28, lines 9 and 10, have you said -- maybe I should give it more context.

16             "I think I testified about it and that no special comment is

17     needed here.  Those men were there for propaganda purposes."

18             Which men are you referring to here?  Thank you.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very briefly.  That referred to the

20     first convoy.  Maybe I was not clear enough.  So I was talking about the

21     first convoy that left Potocari towards Kladanj.  And there were Muslim

22     refugees, women and children in that convoy.  However, among them was a

23     number of Muslim men who were fit for military service.

24             So there were men, a number of men in this first convoy, and I

25     said, given the fact that I saw a lot of things and -- before that and

Page 12393

 1     what I saw afterwards, when all the able-bodied men were separated, I

 2     assert here that that was just done as a means of propaganda, that they

 3     wanted to show to the international community that there were men among

 4     the people in convoy and that we were doing nothing wrong.  That was my

 5     impression.  However, later on, that turned out to be true, because there

 6     were no men in subsequent convoys other than in the first one.

 7             And if I may give you an additional confirmation of what I'm

 8     telling you now.  I have information that a number of these people, of

 9     course, I cannot validate that because I have no proof - that a number of

10     men from this first convoy en route at the check-point in Kravica,

11     Konjevic Polje and Tisca, that is to say, just before they crossed over

12     to the Muslim-controlled territory, a number of these men were separated

13     at these check-points.  This particularly refers to Tisca check-point, so

14     at the very crossing where they disembarked from the buses, they were

15     separated and detained.  This is the information that I have.  I don't

16     know if it is true but I would like to tell you this.  I don't want to

17     keep quiet about that.

18             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I think it's really time for the first break.  We

20     must have the first break now and resume five minutes past 11.00.

21                           --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.

22                           --- On resuming at 11.11 a.m.

23             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. Thayer.

24             Mr. Thayer, please go ahead.

25             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And I -- I note that I'm

Page 12394

 1     arriving at the unsatisfactory situation about 20 minutes left of my

 2     eight-hour estimate.  I can tell the Trial Chamber I've cut a number of

 3     exhibits from my examination.  I've tried to limit and focus the

 4     examination but I will respectfully request some additional time to

 5     complete this examination as I think it needs to be completed.  I'm

 6     trying to do not too much detail, but enough so that the important points

 7     are brought out for the Trial Chamber.  I will have a couple of more

 8     documents when we're done with the narrative portion of Mr. Nikolic's

 9     testimony but I will need to exceed my eight-hour estimate, and I ask for

10     the Court's indulgence and patience with that.  I think we've hit a lot

11     of important issues --

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I need a specific request.  How much additional

13     time do you need?

14             MR. THAYER:  If I could have to the end of this session.  I can

15     do that without having to rush unnecessarily, without having to elide

16     issues which the Trial Chamber may want to hear something about.  So if I

17     could have to the end of the session, I think we'll be able to really do

18     the job.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And the same would be the case for the Defence

20     during cross-examination.

21             MR. THAYER:  No question, Mr. President.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Go ahead, please.

23             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

24        Q.   Sir, I want to pick up with Potocari on the 12th and the 13th.

25             You described a number of units being present on the 12th.  You

Page 12395

 1     mentioned civilian police.  And at one point, as it was translated, you

 2     mentioned Bratunac police.  My question simply is:  Were there elements

 3     of the Bratunac Brigade military police present in Potocari on the 12th

 4     and 13th?

 5        A.   Yes.  I answered this question.  I think I did mention the

 6     military police unit.  Elements of the Bratunac Brigade were engaged in

 7     Potocari on the 12th and 13th.

 8        Q.   And you also mentioned the 65th Protection Regiment, and you

 9     indicated that their police unit was there.  Again, is that a military

10     police unit that's attached to the 65th Protection Regiment, sir?

11        A.   I wouldn't say that that was the police attached to the

12     65th Regiment.  As far as I know, but, again, don't take my word for it,

13     because I'm not an expert in organisational structure of a regiment, but,

14     as far as I know, they do have police forces as their elements.  In any

15     case, elements from the 65th Protection Regiment were engaged in

16     Potocari.

17        Q.   And, again, just to clarify, this may be obvious to you, sir, but

18     we're talking about a military police.  We're not talking about civilian

19     police when we're talking about the 65th Protection Regiment.  Is that

20     correct?

21        A.   Yes, that's correct.  We are talking about military police.

22        Q.   Now, you indicated before the break at one point that you

23     reported to your commander, Colonel Blagojevic, about certain events.

24     Can you tell the Trial Chamber what it was that you reported to him on

25     the 12th of July?

Page 12396

 1        A.   I said that I informed Colonel Blagojevic about all the events

 2     that occurred on the 12th of July during the day and until the moment I

 3     reported it to him in the evening.  So I informed him about all the

 4     issues that I already mentioned earlier, and I wouldn't like to repeat

 5     myself.

 6        Q.   And without getting into details, did you report to him what your

 7     activities were on the 12th?

 8        A.   Yes.  I told him that on the 12th, although he did know that

 9     anyway, that I was duty operations officer, first in Potocari, and that I

10     was also engaged in the preparations for the meeting.  I told him what I

11     did and what the commander of the military police did with that respect.

12     I also informed him about the situation in Potocari.  I reported

13     everything that I did and saw to him.  But I think it is necessary for me

14     to tell you that my commander, regardless of the fact that it was my duty

15     to inform him about everything, my commander had that same information

16     and a commander should have more information than anyone in the brigade.

17     But, nevertheless, I informed him about the transportation issues, about

18     the problems that I noticed, about the separation, about the intentions,

19     and about everything that I knew.

20        Q.   And going into the 13th, Mr. Nikolic, did Commander Blagojevic

21     adjust your tasks at all for the 13th of July?  Did he tell you not to do

22     anything, or did he tell to you do anything more, or different?  Did he

23     adjust them in any way?

24        A.   There was no particular change, except that on the morning of the

25     13th, I finished my shift as a duty operations officer because the shifts

Page 12397

 1     started at 7.00 p.m. and lasted until 7.00 a.m. on the next day.

 2             As far as my tasks are concerned, with regard to the operation

 3     that took place on the 12th, was to continue with the activities that I

 4     was involved in on the previous day and that that was my main task, as

 5     far as I was concerned at the time.

 6        Q.   And, sir, in your experience when a superior officer does not

 7     interfere with the tasks or adjusts the tasks of a subordinate officer,

 8     what message does that communicate to the subordinate officer about

 9     whether or not to continue with the previous tasks?

10        A.   Of course, if there is nothing new, there are no objections, and

11     there are no new orders, it is only logical for a person to continue what

12     they were doing before, and that implies that, to my understanding, the

13     commander agrees with what you are doing.

14        Q.   And did you go to Potocari on the 13th?

15        A.   Yes, I did.  I spent sometime at the brigade, and after that, I

16     left for Potocari.  And that was more or less my first task on the day.

17        Q.   And did you encounter Dusko Jevic, aka Stalin, again on the 13th?

18        A.   If I remember correctly, I saw him on the 13th, and I

19     communicated with Dusko Jevic.  That was the only officer, as far as I

20     can tell, that I had direct contact with.

21        Q.   And was there any information that you had acquired that you

22     shared with Mr. Jevic on the 13th?

23        A.   Yes.  On the morning of the 13th, I already had a lot of

24     information relating to the overall situation primarily to the movement

25     of the Muslims and the capture of Muslims in the Konjevic Polje sector.

Page 12398

 1     When I saw Jevic on the 13th, I told him if he can get in touch with the

 2     police elements that were on the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road, to tell

 3     them that the people captured there should be gathered in Konjevic Polje

 4     and then transferred to Bratunac to the facilities that had already been

 5     designated for detention.

 6        Q.   And, sir, what was your understanding of what would happen

 7     ultimately to those men who were captured along that road and transferred

 8     to the Bratunac area?

 9        A.   In view of all the circumstances and everything I saw and heard

10     beforehand, and in view of the overall situation that prevailed in this

11     area, because I have to emphasise this, that the area where Srebrenica --

12     of Srebrenica, Bratunac is the area where a terrible crime and bloodbath

13     took place in the previous period, and I knew everything that had

14     happened before, because I was a native of that area, my conclusion was,

15     and I was convinced that all those who were captured on that road would

16     be taken to Bratunac and that they would end in the same way as those who

17     were taken to Potocari.  Because, in my opinion, there was no distinction

18     between the treatment of those who were captured on the road and those

19     who were separated on the 12th and detained in the Vuk Karadzic

20     elementary school.

21        Q.   And when you say "end up in the same way," what do you mean?

22        A.   I meant just like all the others that were detained beforehand

23     would be killed.  Just as it happened with those who were taken to

24     Bratunac.  They were all killed.

25        Q.   And just to be clear on the record, I see at line 3 of page 39,

Page 12399

 1     what's written here, sir, is:  "They would end in the same way as those

 2     who were taken to Potocari."

 3             Is that what you meant to say, that they would end up in the same

 4     way as the men taken to Potocari, or did you mean something else?

 5        A.   I said those who were taken from Potocari and detained in the

 6     Vuk Karadzic elementary school in Bratunac.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Now to move things along a little bit, on the 13th, it's

 8     fair to say you went to Konjevic Polje twice; is that correct?

 9        A.   Yes, that's correct.

10        Q.   Tell us about the first time you went there.

11        A.   The first time I went to Konjevic Polje was around 1230 hours, if

12     I remember correctly, and the reason was, the information that along this

13     road Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Nova Kasaba, the commander of the Main Staff

14     was to pass along that road.  I took all the necessary security measures

15     along the route of the corps commander or the commander of the

16     Main Staff, and my duty was to check the situation on the road.  Along

17     with a member of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade, I travelled

18     in a Golf car and I inspected that section of the road.  Perhaps half an

19     hour later, because the distance is about 20 kilometres, I arrived in

20     Konjevic Polje.

21             If you are interested in what I was doing in Konjevic Polje and

22     the rest of it, I can tell you about that, but basically that was my

23     first visit.

24             If you want to hear about my next visit, I stayed in

25     Konjevic Polje for a certain period of time, and then after

Page 12400

 1     General Mladic passed through, I returned to Bratunac.

 2        Q.   And did you actually have personal contact with General Mladic in

 3     Konjevic Polje on the 13th?

 4        A.   Yes, I did.  As he was passing through, he stopped in

 5     Konjevic Polje, and I reported to him in Konjevic Polje.  I walked up to

 6     him.  I greeted him, and I said, Commander, sir, all is well, the road is

 7     accessible, as one does report in the military.

 8        Q.   And did General Mladic say anything to any of the prisoners who

 9     were present in that area?

10        A.   Yes.  There were prisoners there already.  And General Mladic

11     actually addressed them, and said in the briefest possible terms that

12     everything would be all right, that they would be transferred, that they

13     should not worry, and that is what he said to them directly.

14             After that, he set out towards his vehicles and behind him was

15     his security detail, including the security detail from my Bratunac

16     Brigade that escorted him all day.  Already on the 13th, there were quite

17     a few refugees and the situation was rather chaotic.  I asked him,

18     General, sir, what is going to happen to these people?  What do we do

19     with these people?  And he did not say anything.  He did not communicate

20     verbally with me, he just did this with his hand.  It was just a gesture,

21     and it was clear to me what it was, this gesticulation of his.  After

22     that, he got into the car and went towards Nova Kasaba.

23        Q.   And just so we can have a description on the record, sir, the

24     motion you're describing General Mladic made with his hand was a flat

25     wave with his palm down across his chest level from left to right; is

Page 12401

 1     that correct?

 2        A.   Well, basically the way I showed you.  I can demonstrate it

 3     again, that's what you saw.

 4        Q.   No, that's fine.  Sir we just need something in the transcript,

 5     something to memorialise it.

 6             And at some point did you also encounter a man by the name of

 7     Resid Sinanovic?

 8        A.   Yes, of course.

 9        Q.   And, please, briefly tell us what that was about.

10        A.   After, or rather, before I returned to Bratunac, in

11     Konjevic Polje as far as the police was concerned - not the military, the

12     civilian police - I was told by them that they had an important prisoner

13     and they told me who it was.  When they told me the name, it was

14     Sinanovic, Resid Sinanovic.  He is a man I knew all my life in Bratunac.

15     He is a person who lived and worked in Bratunac all his life.  In

16     addition to the other duties he had, he was chief of police, chief of

17     civilian police in Bratunac.  Together with that policeman who went with

18     me we got into the car.  We took Resid.  He sat in the back seat, and we

19     brought him by car to the Bratunac Brigade.  I personally and that

20     policeman handed over Resid Sinanovic to the military police and we

21     handed him over to directly to Zlatan Celanovic who worked there as a

22     legal officer and basically conducted interrogations in 95 per cent of

23     all cases.  He interrogated prisoners of war and he did everything else

24     that was related to the collection of information, questioning of

25     prisoners of war, seeing whether there were elements of crime involved

Page 12402

 1     and so on.

 2             To the best of my knowledge Sinanovic was questioned by

 3     Zlatan Celanovic.  There is a paper which is a record that he kept.

 4     While he was in Bratunac, he was visited by his friends, his Serb friends

 5     who lived and worked with him, and after that questioning,

 6     Zlatan Celanovic told me later that to the best of his knowledge and on

 7     the basis of the questioning, he was no criminal, there were no elements

 8     of crime involved at all, and that he decided to transfer him to the

 9     Vuk Karadzic school where the other prisoners were.

10             As for my further knowledge, it is as follows.  On the 14th,

11     together with the convoy that went to Zvornik, that is to say, together

12     with the other prisoners, Resid Sinanovic was transferred as well.  You

13     know just like I do what happened in the Zvornik brigade.  Mass killings

14     took place.  Inter alia, according to the information gathered and the

15     knowledge of my own lawyers, Sinanovic was wounded in Zvornik.  He swam

16     across the Drina.  Zvornik is on the Drina river.  He swam across the

17     Drina river, and he found himself in another state, in the Republic of

18     Serbia.  He came to a tavern, the people who kept that tavern recognised

19     him and took him to Banja Koviljaca.  My lawyers, after I decided to

20     admit my guilt and after my lawyers investigated all of that, as for the

21     complete documentation regarding Sinanovic's stay in the hospital, they

22     handed it over to the OTP.

23             After that, my lawyers also informed me that they had established

24     that Resid Sinanovic was taken over, that the police from Zvornik, I

25     don't know which one, took him over and that as for this information that

Page 12403

 1     Resid Sinanovic was in the hospital, was provided by a lady doctor who

 2     had worked in Bratunac before that, and who used to be a neighbour.  She

 3     and Resid Sinanovic lived on the same floor.  She recognised him.  She

 4     called the police in Bratunac, and they probably called the police in

 5     Zvornik, and according to the investigation of my lawyers, they came to

 6     realise that Resid Sinanovic was taken over from the hospital and

 7     liquidated, killed on the bridge between the Republic of Serbia and

 8     Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 9        Q.   And when you refer to Mr. Sinanovic being treated in a hospital,

10     was that hospital in Serbia or in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

11        A.   The hospital was in Serbia.

12        Q.   And can you tell the Trial Chamber about your second trip to

13     Konjevic Polje?

14        A.   Yes, I can.

15             My second trip to Konjevic Polje took place right after my

16     return, after I was there the first time with the Golf car.  The second

17     time I went there was with the commander of the military police,

18     Mirko Jankovic and the deputy commander, Mirko -- no, not Mirko,

19     Milo Petrovic, sorry.  We went in an APC.  Mirko Jankovic, the commander

20     of the military police, knew how to drive an APC.  We took an APC that

21     was at the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade and belonged to the Dutch

22     battalion.  It wasn't only one of them.  Mirko Jankovic knew how to drive

23     it.  We took the APC and got into the APC and went in that direction.

24             As we were moving in that direction, that was on the 13th,

25     sometime in the afternoon, as far as I could see from Sandici all the way

Page 12404

 1     to Konjevic Polje, there were police forces of Republika Srpska, and

 2     along that road there were prisoners that were moving along in groups.

 3     In Sandici, there were some who had been taken prisoner there and then

 4     all the way up to Konjevic Polje.  When I arrived in Konjevic Polje,

 5     there were already a great many prisoners there.

 6             I don't know what else you're interested in, in relation to that

 7     road or journey.

 8        Q.   Well, do you recall there being a loud-speaker on the APC?

 9        A.   Yes, of course.

10        Q.   And did anybody use that loud-speaker for any purpose?

11        A.   Yes.  Mirko Jankovic, after we had passed Kravica, roughly after

12     Sandici, used that loud-speaker that was in the APC, in addition to all

13     the other equipment, Mile Petrovic was calling upon the Muslims to

14     surrender.  He used that loud-speaker for that.

15        Q.   And on this trip, did any Muslim men, in fact, surrender to you?

16        A.   Yes.  As we were moving towards Konjevic Polje, at some point

17     after Sandici, Pervani or I don't know exactly, but along that road, we

18     caught up with a group of six Muslim men who were walking.  We stopped

19     the APC and we got the six Muslims into the APC and then we brought them

20     to Konjevic Polje.  We stopped the APC in Konjevic Polje in an area that

21     was in front of the intersection and I said to Mirko, or rather, to

22     Mile Petrovic that the prisoners should be taken to where the others

23     were.

24             After a while, Mile Petrovic returned.  I was sitting right there

25     by the intersection.  On the left-hand side, there is a house when you're

Page 12405

 1     coming from Bratunac.  It had been torched but there was a concrete

 2     terrace down there, a sort of porch, and there was a fire and they were

 3     preparing some food.  I was sitting there.  After a while, I heard a

 4     burst of gun-fire.  Mile Petrovic walked up to me, and he says literally,

 5     Boss, I have just avenged my brother.  And I said, You did what?  And he

 6     said, I killed them.

 7             I asked him, What have you done?  And he said there was a yellow

 8     cooperative building right there and then there is this small river, and

 9     he said that he took these people behind this yellow building and killed

10     them.  I didn't go there to see whether he had actually killed them or

11     not.  Quite simply, I was sick of everything.  I didn't do anything about

12     it.  As I've said a countless number of times so far, I didn't do

13     anything about it, and I should have done something about it.  I should

14     have reported it to Celanovic.  I said to Celanovic what happened, but I

15     didn't do anything official.  I did not take any official measures and I

16     think I was supposed to have done so.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Judge Mindua has a question.

18             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, my apology, Mr. Prosecutor.

19     Before we move on to another topic, I would like to go back to the

20     transcript, page 40, but also page 41.

21             Witness, on page 40, line 22 to line 24, you said that

22     General Mladic said to the prisoners that nothing untoward would happen

23     to them.

24             And then, on page 41, line 5 to 8, when you asked General Mladic

25     what would happen to the prisoners, he made a gesture that you also made

Page 12406

 1     in the courtroom.  What does this gesture mean exactly?

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I know General Mladic, It is

 3     easy for me to know what he meant, but, believe me, in that area of mine

 4     where I live, in my country, that gesture and that reaction to my

 5     question, General, sir, what's going to happen to these prisoners

 6     actually?  Well, what I can say to you is that I put that question with

 7     good reason, because I saw what was happening.  I saw what was happening

 8     in Potocari.  I saw the same promises in Potocari.  And the distribution

 9     of chocolates and everything else, and I knew what was behind all of

10     that.  I knew what was in the making for these people.  Also, when he did

11     that with his hand, when I asked him, General sir, what will actually

12     happen to these people because I did not believe, I personally did not

13     believe what he was saying.  And I asked him what's going to happen to

14     these people and he did this with his hand.  And, for me, that meant that

15     these people would be killed.  I could not draw any different conclusion

16     from that reaction of General Mladic's.  Indeed, afterwards, that is what

17     happened to these people.  They were detained, they were transferred to

18     Bratunac and Zvornik and they were killed.  Nothing else.  Since I saw

19     everything in Potocari, I could not draw any other conclusion.

20             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well, sir.  When

21     General Mladic did that with his hand, it was clear in your mind that

22     those people were going to be killed.  So one could draw the following

23     conclusion.  When General Mladic was talking to the prisoners, you were

24     fully aware that he was lying to them.  He was lying to them, wasn't he,

25     about what would happen to them, right?

Page 12407

 1             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that I was

 2     absolutely suspicious as to the truthfulness of his promises and what he

 3     was saying.  That was my suspicion.  I couldn't say anything to him but I

 4     didn't trust him either.  Or, rather, I did not believe those words,

 5     those promises that he was making to them as he was speaking to their

 6     faces.  He was saying that they would be safely transported and they

 7     would be fine.  And in Potocari, he was singling out people who had

 8     nothing to do with the military whatsoever.  I swear on my life that most

 9     of the people taken out in Potocari had nothing to do with the military,

10     never participated in the military, never carried a rifle, and they were

11     singled out, nevertheless.  That, quite simply, led me to disbelieve him.

12             JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, witness.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Judge Nyambe has a question.

14             JUDGE NYAMBE:  To follow up on Judge Mindua's question.  Did you

15     disbelieve [Realtime transcript read in error "believe"] General Mladic

16     then or now only?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not believe General Mladic

18     what he was saying then.  I did not believe the sincerity of his

19     intention even then.  I did not believe that he would keep the promises

20     that he was making to the prisoners in Konjevic Polje when he addressed

21     them.

22             JUDGE NYAMBE:  I just -- I am sorry, are you still talking?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  Let me say this too.  As for

24     many decisions and many things if you're asking me personally, I did not

25     believe a great many things, and I disagreed with a great many things.

Page 12408

 1     However, at the time, opposing General Mladic or saying something

 2     contrary to their position was tantamount to suicide.  I never tried to

 3     oppose him or to publicly express my dissatisfaction or disagreement with

 4     his decisions.  Heaven forbid.  Perhaps some had the courage to do so,

 5     but not me.

 6             JUDGE NYAMBE:  I just wanted to correct the transcript my

 7     question was, "Did you disbelieve", not "believe General Mladic".  Just

 8     for the record to be corrected.  Thanks.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And we all heard that in that way.  I think that

10     was very clear and I hope the witness understood it in the correct may.

11             Mr. Thayer, please continue.

12             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

13        Q.   Before we move to the next set of events, do you know two men

14     named Nenad Deronjic and Mirko Peric?

15        A.   Nenad Deronjic.  I think that you mispronounced the last name.

16     He and Mirko Peric are members of the public security station in

17     Bratunac, members of the police station.

18        Q.   And do you recall seeing either of those men on either of the two

19     trips you took to Konjevic Polje on the 13th of July?

20        A.   Yes.  I saw both of them.

21        Q.   And do you recall whether it was the first trip or the second

22     trip, or can you not recall?  Or both trips.

23        A.   I think I saw them on both occasions.  Because I was there within

24     three or four hours.  Well, I'm sure that I saw both of them.  Let me not

25     guess now.  But they were there when I came to Konjevic Polje.

Page 12409

 1        Q.   Okay.  Sir, did you return to your command sometime on the 13th,

 2     after these trips to Konjevic Polje?

 3        A.   Yes.  After a while, in the afternoon, say, sometime between

 4     5.00, 5.15, 5.30, I don't know exactly what time it was, it wasn't dark

 5     yet but it was well into the afternoon.

 6        Q.   And can you tell the Trial Chamber, were you contacted at some

 7     point that -- that evening to meet someone?

 8        A.   Yes.  At one point, after I arrived in the command of the

 9     Bratunac Brigade, I went to the kitchen.  After that, to the operations

10     room.  I don't remember exactly any longer.  But I know that I was

11     informed from the communications centre, they told me that, on that

12     evening, I was supposed to report to Colonel Beara in the centre of the

13     town of Bratunac.

14        Q.   Do you remember approximately when you were contacted by your

15     communications centre?

16        A.   Well, I don't know exactly.  The people from the communications

17     centre would know that best.  As far as I can remember, sometime between

18     5.30 or, rather, 6.00, perhaps a bit later, perhaps a bit earlier, but I

19     really do not recall those details any longer.  However, I know that they

20     informed me.

21        Q.   And on the 13th of July, 1995, did you know who Colonel Beara

22     was?

23        A.   Yes, I did.

24        Q.   Had you met him previously?

25        A.   Yes, I had met him.  I contacted Colonel Beara several times.  I

Page 12410

 1     sat with him, saw him personally.

 2        Q.   And what types of activities were those contacts in connection

 3     with?

 4        A.   Well, for the most part, these contacts related to this

 5     professional area.  Before the Srebrenica operation, I think that

 6     General -- sorry, I misspoke, Colonel Beara, came to Bratunac regarding

 7     the entire situation in Srebrenica.  Actually, he wanted to contact

 8     Naser Oric, so it was along those lines.  Those were the questions

 9     involved.  It had to do with intelligence and security, basically.

10        Q.   And did you, in fact, meet with Colonel Beara on the evening of

11     the 13th of July?

12        A.   Yes.  After they informed me, I went to meet Colonel Beara in the

13     town of Bratunac, in the centre of town.

14        Q.   Tell us about that meeting, sir.

15        A.   After this information, I came to town.  I came to Bratunac.  And

16     let me just say for Their Honours, let me explain something in relation

17     to the town of Bratunac.

18             When I say that we met in the centre, it's a town that has one

19     street, one hotel, one municipality building, and that's it basically.

20     Wherever you come from, you are practically in the centre of town.  It's

21     a tiny town.  I found Colonel Beara round there, in that square where the

22     centre of town is.  And Colonel Beara ordered me to go to Zvornik and to

23     convey to Drago Nikolic, chief of security of the Bratunac Brigade, that

24     the prisoners who are in Bratunac should be transferred to the area of

25     responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade and that the duty of

Page 12411

 1     Mr. Drago Nikolic was to prepare the facilities there and other things so

 2     that these refugees from Bratunac could be put up in the facilities of

 3     the Zvornik Brigade.

 4        Q.   Now, sir, first of all, I note in the transcript that -- it

 5     indicates that you said that Drago Nikolic was the chief of the security

 6     of the Bratunac Brigade.  Is that correct, sir, or is he the chief of

 7     security of some other unit?

 8        A.   I apologise, I must have made a mistake.  Drago Nikolic is the

 9     chief of security in the Zvornik Brigade.  I apologise.

10        Q.   And did Colonel Beara order you to inform Drago Nikolic about

11     anything else that would happen to the prisoners once they reached the

12     Zvornik Brigade area of responsibility?

13        A.   Yes.  Colonel Beara also spoke about the fact that all the

14     prisoners in Bratunac were to be transferred over there and that they

15     should be temporarily detained in those facilities.

16             He said that the prisoners who would be transferred down there

17     would also be killed after being detained in the Zvornik Brigade.  I have

18     to say that, at the time, everything was quite clear to me.  Even if

19     Colonel Beara had said nothing to me, at the time I was fully aware of

20     what was going to happen to them.  I knew that these people were going to

21     be transferred and that they were going to be killed in Zvornik.

22        Q.   Sir, did you follow Colonel Beara's order, to inform

23     Drago Nikolic?

24        A.   Yes.  I carried out that order.  I went to the Zvornik Brigade

25     and I transmitted the orders.  I told them what Colonel Beara told me to

Page 12412

 1     say.

 2        Q.   Tell us about your trip to the Zvornik Brigade.

 3        A.   Yes.  After I received the order from Colonel Beara, I took the

 4     car and went to the Zvornik Brigade.  It's about 40 kilometres away from

 5     Bratunac.  I used the same road that I mentioned just a moment ago,

 6     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje-Drinjaca-Zvornik, and after about one hour or one

 7     hour and 15 minutes, or maybe even slightly longer, I arrived at the

 8     command of the Zvornik Brigade.  I parked the car in front of the

 9     command.  And at the entrance I reported to the booth at the entrance,

10     which is the usual place where all the visitors have to register.  Before

11     I entered, I have to say that I did not have my ID and I didn't have an

12     official ID.  However, I, and all other officers from the brigade had

13     some sort of ID card showing my picture, first and last name, and my

14     brigade.  So I had a card saying Momir Nikolic, captain, chief of the

15     security organ.  That's what I showed them.

16             There were some soldiers in front of the booth, and inside the

17     booth there were about two, three, or four other soldiers.  I can't

18     remember precisely.  I told the person working in the booth whom I was

19     looking for.  He assigned a policeman to escort me inside the command of

20     the Zvornik Brigade.

21             After the booth, I went to the building where the command was.  I

22     arrived in an office, and I was told that this was the office of the

23     operations duty officer.  I said that I was looking for Drago Nikolic and

24     that I was supposed to transmit a personal order to him that I received

25     from Colonel Beara.  I was told that Drago Nikolic was not in the

Page 12413

 1     Zvornik Brigade, that he was currently performing duty officer's tasks at

 2     the forward command post of the Zvornik Brigade.  In the meantime, they

 3     called a soldier, an officer, and that person who arrived in the office

 4     asked me whether he could help me.  I said no, I have to transmit this

 5     order personally to Drago Nikolic.  I cannot transmit this order to

 6     anybody else.

 7             That's when they gave three this policemen as an escort.  I left

 8     the command.  I took the car again and we went together to the forward

 9     command post of the Zvornik Brigade.  As I've already testified, it

10     seemed to me that it took us about 30, 35, or 40 minutes by car.  First,

11     we drove on a tarmac road, and after that, we turned onto a dirt road.

12     And that policeman held me to reach that forward command post.  I turned

13     the car, I reversed into the courtyard.  The policeman went in and called

14     Drago Nikolic.  Drago Nikolic came out to the stairs in front of house.

15     That's when I transmitted the order I received from Colonel Beara to

16     Drago Nikolic.

17             I told him that I was ordered to tell him to expect that evening

18     and in the following period that all the prisoners in Bratunac would be

19     transferred.  He was supposed to secure facilities and buildings.  I said

20     to Drago Nikolic that I know that I'm convinced that this is my estimate,

21     that those people were going to be killed in the territory of Zvornik.

22     Drago did not comment that.  After I transmitted him this order, he told

23     me, I am the duty officer here.  I'm going to call my command, and then

24     I'm going to see what needs to be done.

25             So this was the sequence of the events.  So the transmission of

Page 12414

 1     this order, or that conversation, lasted for maybe five, six, seven, ten

 2     minutes at most.  I took the car again, returned to the Zvornik Brigade.

 3     I left that police escort there.  And then I returned back using the same

 4     road to Bratunac.

 5        Q.   On the way back from Zvornik, did you observe anything noteworthy

 6     that you recall on the road as you returned to Bratunac from Zvornik?

 7        A.   On that road, while I was going back from Zvornik to Bratunac, I

 8     saw buses going towards Zvornik.  Not many of them.  Two, three, four

 9     buses at the most.  But that's the only thing that I saw on that road

10     while I was returning.

11        Q.   Tell us what happened when you returned to your command that

12     night.

13        A.   After I returned that evening, I went to the Fontana hotel.  It

14     means that I did not go straight to the command.  I went to the Fontana

15     hotel.  And since Colonel Beara was in that hotel, I went to report back

16     to him and to tell him that I had carried out his order.

17             I found him in the Fontana hotel, and I told him that I found

18     Drago Nikolic and transmitted the order.

19        Q.   And what happened next, sir.

20        A.   After that -- now I should tell you one thing that I consider

21     very important.  When I returned to Bratunac, it was already the 13th,

22     around midnight.  There was general chaos in Bratunac.  Never in my life

23     have I seen a greater chaos and more problems in such a small area as the

24     centre of Bratunac.  That's a place that I know very well.

25             So when I returned to Bratunac, Bratunac was full.  Everywhere in

Page 12415

 1     all the street, in the playground, at the entrance to the playground, at

 2     the plateau, in all the parkings [as interpreted] in the town, buses were

 3     parked with the people who had been captured at Konjevic Polje and

 4     brought over there.  Later on, I found that all the prisoners who were in

 5     Kasaba and Konjevic Polje, that they were all transferred to Bratunac.

 6             So this was a terrible situation.  It was a chaos, an anarchy.

 7     Colonel Beara asked me and told me that he was supposed to meet the

 8     president of the SDS and the chief of the centre, and he asked me to take

 9     him there because the meeting was supposed to take place at the premises

10     of the SDS in Bratunac.  And, of course, I went there with Colonel Beara.

11     We walked.  It's maybe 30, 40, metres.  We walked to that building and I

12     took him into the office of the SDS president, Miroslav Deronjic.

13        Q.   And what happened next, sir?

14        A.   In Miroslav Deronjic's office, there was Miroslav Deronjic, then

15     Colonel Beara arrived with me and after a short time, Colonel Vasic

16     arrived as well.

17             Now, to be brief, at the very beginning, there were some terrible

18     misunderstandings.  In other words, Deronjic and Colonel Beara started to

19     quarrel.  They started to quarrel over the status of the prisoners.  They

20     quarrelled about what was to be done.  What I wanted to say here is that,

21     at that meeting, people who were present, Deronjic, Colonel Beara, and

22     Vasic, openly spoke about the killings, about the killings of the

23     prisoners.  They spoke quite openly about the killings of the people who

24     had been captured and detained.  They discussed their status and what was

25     to be done.  Deronjic and Beara quarrelled about it.  They both quoted

Page 12416

 1     the instructions received from their respective bosses.

 2             It went on like that for a while, and after that, they sat down

 3     and then they started talking in a calm voice, also discussing what was

 4     to be done.  I have already testified on a number of occasions about the

 5     fact that Miroslav Deronjic wanted -- and I heard that and I saw that.

 6     Miroslav Deronjic wanted all the prisoners to be removed from the

 7     Bratunac territory, no matter what cost.  And that was a contradiction.

 8     I want to tell you what was really going on.  Colonel Beara sends me to

 9     Zvornik so that Drago Nikolic could secure space and facilities.  In the

10     meantime, those orders and those decisions were probably changed.  Now I

11     was duty operations officer.  I know exactly how these things are done.

12             Every half an hour you would receive an oral decision, an oral

13     order, an oral change of the position.  And Colonel Beara insisted there,

14     while I was present there, that they should remain in Bratunac.  In that

15     moment, I wasn't quite clear what it was all about.  He told me to go to

16     Zvornik, and now he is insisting that they should remain in Bratunac.

17     And, of course, after this quarrel, after this conversation, I realized

18     that those orders, the orders received by Miroslav Deronjic via the

19     civilian line and Colonel Beara via the military line were not harmonised

20     and were contradictory and hence the misunderstanding and the quarrel.

21     Later on, they agreed that all the prisoners, all the soldiers, all the

22     people who had been imprisoned and who were coming from that direction

23     should be transported to the Zvornik Brigade the following day.  And

24     that's what happened the following day, on the 14th, in the morning.

25             All the prisoners from all the facilities in Bratunac, from all

Page 12417

 1     the buses parked in Bratunac, were escorted and transported in the

 2     Zvornik municipality in the zone of responsibility of the

 3     Zvornik Brigade.

 4        Q.   Let me --

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I?  A very brief question to that.

 6             Where were you at that point in time?

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point in time, I was at the

 8     premises of SDS.  And those premises consist of one office.  There's a

 9     table --

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  [Previous translation continues] ... this is

11     fine.  That is what I wanted to know.  Thank you.

12             Mr. Thayer.

13             MR. THAYER:

14        Q.   So, sir, were you inside this room where this meeting was

15     occurring between Beara, Vasic and Deronjic?

16        A.   No, I did not participate in the meeting.  I did not sit at the

17     same table with them in that room.

18        Q.   And how far away from the room were you?

19        A.   One metre.  If the room where I was sitting was here, which is

20     the register office that is where the secretary of the president normally

21     sits so there are three or four chairs, and immediately after 1 metre you

22     leave this space and you enter the office of the SDS president.  The door

23     was open all the time, at least all the time while I was sitting there.

24     Many other people would come in and come out, so it was not more than 1

25     metre.  That's where this other room was, and they were sitting at the

Page 12418

 1     table in that other room.

 2        Q.   Now what exactly was Mr. Vasic's position at this time?

 3        A.   As far as I know, Mr. Vasic was the chief of the security centre

 4     in Zvornik at the time.

 5        Q.   Now, you told us a few minutes ago that Colonel Beara and

 6     Mr. Deronjic both spoke about intentions and their bosses.  Who was

 7     Mr. Deronjic's boss?  When you referred to his boss, who was he referring

 8     to?

 9        A.   I know exactly whom he referred to.  Mr. Deronjic would often

10     invoke the president -- President Karadzic.  And I'm convinced that at

11     that moment, he also meant President Karadzic.

12        Q.   And when Colonel Beara referred to his boss, who was he referring

13     to?

14        A.   I think, or, well, it's not that I think.  I'm sure that there's

15     nothing -- that it's nothing unclear.  All of us, including

16     Colonel Beara, would call General Mladic our boss.  So when Colonel Beara

17     mentioned a boss, he meant General Mladic.

18        Q.   Now, do you remember - I'm just going to quote to you from what

19     you said in the Blagojevic trial, and this is at transcript page 1752 -

20     do you remember giving the following answer, and I quote:  "Also what I

21     heard was that Miroslav Deronjic said that he had already spoken to

22     President Karadzic and that he had his directives and orders to the

23     effect that all those prisoners should be transported towards Zvornik."

24             Do you remember giving that answer; and, if you do, do you stand

25     by that answer, sir?

Page 12419

 1        A.   Yes, I remember that.  And I stand behind that.  It is true that

 2     Miroslav Deronjic said that.

 3        Q.   Now, you told us about what you described as a misunderstanding

 4     between Colonel Beara and Mr. Deronjic at the beginning of the meeting.

 5     And you described for us this inconsistent or this inconsistency that you

 6     described of, on the one hand, being ordered by Colonel Beara to go to

 7     Zvornik; and, on the other hand, you're overhearing Colonel Beara say

 8     that the men had to remain in Bratunac.  What was Colonel Beara saying

 9     would happen to the men that he said needed to stay in Bratunac?

10        A.   Well, at the time, and now we are talking about the 14th in the

11     morning, approximately half past midnight.  It was absolutely known at

12     the time that all prisoners would be killed.  Nobody had to say anything

13     more about it.  It was known at the time.

14             The only question was whether those people were going to be

15     killed in Bratunac or whether they were going to be transferred to

16     Zvornik and killed there.  Everything was clear at the time.

17        Q.   Well, help clarify for us, sir, who -- you said that the

18     participants in this meetings were openly discussing the killing of

19     prisoners.  Who was talking about killing the prisoners; and what did

20     they say, as best as you can remember?

21        A.   Both Miroslav Deronjic and Colonel Beara and Colonel Vasic spoke

22     about it.  I heard them saying, Colonel Beara on one hand, and

23     Miroslav Deronjic as well, I heard them discussing where the killings

24     were to take place, what was going to happen to the prisoners from

25     Bratunac.  I heard them saying that they received instructions from their

Page 12420

 1     respective bosses about what to do with those people.  That's what I

 2     heard in this conversation between Beara and Mr. Deronjic.

 3             However, I would like to say one more thing.  I don't know what

 4     exactly they received as an instruction, and when, and how.  That I don't

 5     know.  But I did hear and I did see what they were talking about.  What

 6     they were quarrelling in the beginning.

 7        Q.   And who was saying that the men had to be killed in Bratunac?

 8        A.   Then, at that meeting, everybody thought that they should be

 9     killed in Bratunac.  At the very beginning, Colonel Beara was the one who

10     insisted that they should remain in Bratunac, regardless of the fact that

11     I had already travelled to Zvornik to transmit his order.  I don't know

12     exactly what happened, but I can assume that probably in the meantime in

13     all this confusion, there was a change of the order.  The change of the

14     instruction that he had received beforehand.  But I don't know that.  I

15     cannot speak about that.  I don't know from whom he received this order.

16     I said only what I know.

17        Q.   And when you overheard Colonel Beara talking about men needing to

18     be killed in Bratunac, do you know from what you were overhearing whether

19     he was referring to all of the men who were in Bratunac; or some of the

20     men who were in Bratunac; or do you not know?

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir.

22             THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to greet everybody and

23     may this trial end up in accordance with God's will.

24             I would like to greet Mr. Nikolic as well.

25             But, please, Mr. Nikolic did not say that Colonel Beara said they

Page 12421

 1     should all be killed in Bratunac.  He said that they should remain in

 2     Bratunac.  We all heard that very clearly.  Could you please check the

 3     transcript.  I would like the witness to be asked direct questions

 4     without imputing something that he didn't say.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Tolimir, that's true that the witness said,

 6     on page 60, line 15, "At the very beginning Colonel Beara was the one who

 7     insisted that they should remain in Bratunac," but we heard from the

 8     witness as well, that all participants of that meeting agreed that they

 9     should be killed.  This was my understanding.

10             Please carry on, Mr. Thayer.

11             MR. THAYER:

12        Q.   Again, Mr. Nikolic, please tell the Trial Chamber exactly what

13     you can remember Colonel Beara said about what was going to happen to the

14     men who were being detained in Bratunac.

15        A.   If you are referring to this meeting at the SDS headquarters, I

16     already told you everything I know about that.

17             So Colonel Beara, Miroslav Deronjic, Mr. Vasic, all of them,

18     after this initial disagreement, were taking the same position.  And they

19     knew, and I vouch for that, they knew that those prisoners were going to

20     be killed.  There was no discussion whatsoever about how they would be

21     killed, where, or when.  There was no discussion on these matters.

22             What I already told you is that none of the three did not have

23     any doubt about the fate of those people, whether they would be killed or

24     not.  So this issue was never discussed at all.  The fate of those men

25     was already decided after the midnight of the 14th, and this is what I

Page 12422

 1     saw -- and heard.

 2             And, please, let me finish by saying this.  During the

 3     conversation, and they put forward this as the strongest of arguments,

 4     that in the implementation of what they were proposing to be done, that

 5     they were -- these proposals were endorsed by their respective bosses.

 6     Mr. Deronjic made reference to President Karadzic, and I know that

 7     Mr. Mladic was the only man in the Main Staff of the VRS who was always

 8     referred to as The Boss.  So this is what I heard during that meeting.

 9        Q.   Okay.  Now, sir, I know you've talked about this on prior

10     occasions, but this is the first time that this Trial Chamber is hearing

11     your testimony, so let me just make sure that the record is clear about

12     what you are saying.  And let me start from the end of the meeting,

13     because that's what you were just focussing on.

14             By the end of this meeting, based on what you were overhearing,

15     was there an agreement among these three men about, number one, where

16     these prisoners would be taken?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   And where were they to be taken?

19        A.   They agreed for those prisoners to be transferred to Zvornik.

20        Q.   And, number two, at the end of this meeting, was there an

21     agreement among these three men as to what would happen to those

22     prisoners after they were taken to Zvornik?

23        A.   Yes, that's what I said as well.  I already answered that

24     question.  Yes, there was agreement on that.

25        Q.   And what was the agreement among those three men about what would

Page 12423

 1     happen to those prisoners once they reached Zvornik?

 2        A.   I think I said that about a dozen times.  The prisoners who were

 3     to be transferred to Zvornik would be killed there as well.  And I think

 4     that in my previous answer, I gave you all these answers.

 5             So the prisoners from Bratunac were to be killed in Zvornik.

 6        Q.   Now, let's go back to the beginning of the meeting.  You've told

 7     us that there was a misunderstanding at the beginning of this meeting.

 8        A.   Yes, that's what I said.

 9        Q.   Tell us precisely what it was that Colonel Beara and Mr. Deronjic

10     were disagreeing about at the beginning of the meeting.

11        A.   I already answered that question as well.  Miroslav Deronjic

12     insisted that all the prisoners be taken away from Bratunac; whereas,

13     Colonel Beara insisted on their staying there and not being moved

14     anywhere else.

15        Q.   And why was there this disagreement between Mr. Deronjic and

16     Mr. Beara about these prisoners who, in the beginning of the meeting

17     Colonel Beara was saying had to stay in Bratunac?  Why was there this

18     disagreement at the beginning of the meeting?

19        A.   Based on what I know and what I can conclude, the main reason was

20     probably because the two of them had different orders or different

21     instructions from their respective bosses.  I cannot think of any other

22     reason.

23        Q.   Well, based on what you heard, why did Mr. Deronjic not want

24     those prisoners to stay in Bratunac?

25        A.   Probably because he knew that the prisoners would be killed.  He

Page 12424

 1     probably didn't want those killings to be taking place in Bratunac.

 2        Q.   And what was Colonel Beara saying that you heard at the beginning

 3     of this meeting about what would happen to those prisoners who were going

 4     to stay in Bratunac?

 5        A.   I really don't know.  Either we don't understand each other or

 6     maybe I'm not understanding your question.

 7             So if you are referring to what Beara was saying in terms that he

 8     openly said that those men should be killed then and there, there had

 9     already been an agreement on that.  And I reiterate, once again, that I

10     did not hear any of them talking about this specific problem.  There was

11     a general statement that those men would be killed.  But I frankly don't

12     remember that the conversation took that course and that Beara explicitly

13     said that they had to stay in Bratunac because they would be killed

14     there.  That was self-explanatory.  Everybody knew that that was going to

15     happen.  I really don't recall, although I'm a bit tired at the moment,

16     but I think that I did not hear such an explicit statement.  No matter

17     how hard I try, I really cannot remember any specific detail outside of

18     what I already told you.  I know that they discussed other issues as

19     well, but I don't remember this particular moment that you are asking me

20     about, whether he explicitly said they should stay here because we want

21     to kill them here and to that Deronjic said that they should be removed.

22             There was every indication that if they insisted on them staying

23     in Bratunac, I suppose that the decision was already made to have them

24     killed in Bratunac.  But that's what -- what basically I heard, because I

25     didn't have any other information.  On the other hand, I understand the

Page 12425

 1     position of Mr. Deronjic, because that was a terrible problem for them to

 2     have these people staying there only for two days, let alone to have them

 3     killed there.  And I only assumed that that was the reason why Deronjic

 4     wanted to get rid of them.

 5             This is what I can tell you.

 6             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I see we're at the end of the

 7     session.  I have one more topic to cover.  It's a relatively short topic

 8     and then a couple of documents and --

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, this is very unfortunate.  We are ten

10     minutes over time because we started ten minutes later for the last

11     session.  You indicated you needed this last session which is more than

12     you indicated earlier.  Perhaps you spent too much time at the beginning

13     of the testimony of this witness but this is really unfortunate that

14     we -- you indicate now, again, that you need additional time.

15             We have to consider this.

16             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I --

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Could you indicate what topic you want to raise

18     with the witness.

19             MR. THAYER:  There is the topic of the reburial operation, which

20     is part of the indictment.  Certainly a very important part of this case.

21     And the role of the Main Staff in that operation.  That is the last topic

22     I need to question Mr. Nikolic about, and then have I some very important

23     documents to review with Mr. Nikolic which shouldn't take too long to get

24     through.  But they are, again, key documents which he is uniquely

25     situated to tell you about.

Page 12426

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Again, the Chamber is really concerned about the

 2     wrong estimation of time.  And this is not the first time.  We discussed

 3     it several times, and this is really very unsatisfactory.  If you know

 4     that you will deal with very specific and important documents and issues,

 5     you should know that in advance.

 6             MR. THAYER:  I do know that, Mr. President, my estimates are

 7     clearly problematic.  I can tell you that we have arranged our schedule

 8     so that it is flexible.  This extra time that I need will not affect the

 9     scheduling of the next witnesses.  It will not interrupt the order of the

10     next witnesses.  And again I thank the Trial Chamber for the additional

11     time I have been given, and I think I can finish these last topics and

12     documents in another half an hour.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  How can we rely on this information?  Based on

14     past experience.

15             MR. THAYER:  That's the best I can do, Mr. President.  All I can

16     do is apologise again and ask for the time that I need to do the job.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  We must have our second break now, and we will

18     resume ten minutes past 1.00.

19                           --- Recess taken at 12.44 p.m.

20                           --- On resuming at 1.14 p.m.

21             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, to repeat what has been said several

22     times, we have to rely on the estimation of both parties for their

23     respective examination.  It is very unsatisfactory to be in a position to

24     have additional estimates several times, like today, we would -- we grant

25     now another extension of your time for examination-in-chief but only for

Page 12427

 1     the last session of today.  That means we have started five minutes late.

 2     We have 35 minutes.  You have to complete your examination-in-chief in

 3     this time.  Otherwise we can change the whole situation and don't rely at

 4     all on your estimation, especially your estimation.  And this is very

 5     unsatisfactory.  We made it clear very frequently and you should take

 6     that, please, into account.  There are two possibilities to achieve this.

 7     One is to focus on the most important parts of the examination at an

 8     earlier time during the estimated time.  And the second is to avoid

 9     repetitions.  As the witness told us during the last session, he had

10     formed the impression that several questions were already answered and

11     please bear that in mind during the last session.  Otherwise, we have to

12     discuss it at another time.  We shouldn't waste time now.  You please go

13     ahead with your examination.

14             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

15        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Nikolic.

16        A.   Good afternoon.

17        Q.   Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you know about an operation

18     to rebury the bodies of those Muslim men and boys executed after the fall

19     of Srebrenica.

20        A.   I will try to explain in the shortest possible way what I know

21     about that case.

22             Sometime in September 1995, the Bratunac Brigade command was

23     visited by Mr. Vujadin Popovic who was the chief of the security of the

24     Drina Corps.  According to the information I have, he first contacted

25     Colonel Blagojevic, and after that he came to see me.  He told me that he

Page 12428

 1     had received an order or that he has to convey an order to me from the

 2     Main Staff to the effect that the bodies buried in the graves in Glogova

 3     should be relocated to the territory of Srebrenica municipality because

 4     Glogova and these other graves were in the territory of Bratunac

 5     municipality.

 6             That task was supposed to be carried out and to involve more or

 7     less all structures.  In brief, what took place was the following.  This

 8     operation, and according to what I heard later, was requested by the

 9     Bratunac civilian authorities and their representatives.  Why and how it

10     was carried out, I don't know, and I don't know that to this date.  I

11     didn't try to find out any details.  However, the relocation of the

12     bodies from the graves in Glogova, the bodies of the killed Muslim men,

13     was carried out by the police of the Bratunac Brigade who provided

14     security and rerouted the traffic to Konjevic Polje-Drinjaca road and

15     also from the direction of Ljubovija, Bratunac towards Konjevic Polje,

16     the traffic was rerouted towards the Drina and Drinjaca and that road

17     there.

18             In addition to the police of the Bratunac Brigade, there were

19     also civilian police officers from the Bratunac public security station.

20     Also involved in the operation were representatives of the civilian

21     authorities, i.e., the president of the municipality, and the chairman of

22     the executive committee, and other people, such as the chief of the

23     public security station of Bratunac.  The role of the civilian

24     authorities in this whole operation was as follows.  After the request

25     was made for exhumation and relocation from Glogova, a meeting was held

Page 12429

 1     in the municipal building of Bratunac, which I attended, pursuant to an

 2     order from Colonel Blagojevic.  It was agreed on that occasion that the

 3     civilian authorities would make all the necessary preparation in terms of

 4     the logistical support for the planned operation.  So the president of

 5     the municipality and the chairman of the executive committee invested

 6     their authority and ensured that the companies from Bratunac and

 7     Srebrenica that had civil engineering machinery to place the machinery at

 8     the disposal for reburials.  So various companies were involved in this

 9     operation, such as the utility company of Bratunac, the Ciglane

10     socially-owned enterprise and the machinery from the Sase Mine, from the

11     company called Radnik and other enterprises were included as well.

12             As far as military units are concerned, in addition to the

13     military police, the 5th Engineering Battalion was engaged.  They had

14     their HQ in Konjevic Polje, and it belonged to the Drina Corps.

15        Q.   And approximately how long did this operation take, sir?

16        A.   This operation lasted for a long time.  Of course, there were

17     some interruptions, but, to the best of my recollection, it lasted

18     roughly from September all the way through the entire month of October.

19     I really don't know exactly.  There were interruptions.  There were some

20     problems, but basically it lasted for a very long time.

21        Q.   May we have P1219, please.

22        A.   I'm sorry, if I may add something for the sake of clarification.

23             This operation was referred to in my brigade as asanacija.

24        Q.   And that word, "asanacija", sir, does that in and of itself have

25     a military meaning?

Page 12430

 1        A.   Yes.  Asanacija of terrain is one of the military measures or,

 2     rather, one of the measures of the civilian protection which involves the

 3     cleaning of the area, the removal of dead bodies of people or animals

 4     that are found in the areas where combat operations had been conducted.

 5        Q.   Sir, please take a look at your computer.  Do you see an image on

 6     your screen?  Tell us what that is, if you recognise it.

 7        A.   Yes, I do.  This is a booklet, but I don't know exactly what

 8     format is, but it refers to the meetings of the 1st Bratunac Light

 9     Infantry Brigade.

10             MR. THAYER:  May we have page 11 in English, and page 24 in the

11     B/C/S, please.

12        Q.   Now, at the top of the page, we can see that this entry is

13     headed; working meeting of commander with Command Staff and battalion

14     commanders.  The date is 16 October 1995.  The time is 0800 hours.

15             Do you see that, sir?

16        A.   Yes, I do.

17        Q.   Let's scroll down to the bottom of the page, please, and if we

18     can, blow up the bottom quarter where there is a reference to Nikolic.  I

19     don't think we can get much bigger.  Can you read that, sir?  There's an

20     entry at the bottom of the page.

21        A.   Yes, of course, I can.

22             "Today we would lock the village of Slapovici ... in order to try

23     and catch the remaining Turks.  According to the detainees' statements

24     and we have seven of them, there are several handguns and some foreign

25     currency received against receipts, therefore, I'm asking for a decision

Page 12431

 1     to be made what to do with all this."

 2             And the last sentence reads:  "We are currently engaged in tasks

 3     issued by the Army of Republika Srpska Main Staff (asanacija or hygiene

 4     and sanitation measures)."

 5        Q.   Now, first of all, your name is written here.  Are you writing

 6     this, or is somebody else writing this?

 7        A.   No, I didn't take those notes.  Somebody else -- some other

 8     officer who was present at the brigade command took these notes.

 9        Q.   And who is Nikolic that's referred to here?

10        A.   That's me.

11        Q.   And if we look at the original, if we focus on the original

12     version, the very last word in this entry is "asanacija", and it's in

13     parentheses.

14        A.   Yes, I can see that.

15        Q.   And is that the word that you used at the time, to describe this

16     operation?

17        A.   I used the word because this entire operation was conducted under

18     that name, "asanacija", in inverted commas, was a term that would be used

19     also in the context of exhumation and relocation of grave-sites.

20        Q.   Now, sir, you know what the term "asanacija" means.  In your

21     experience, was your use of this term "asanacija" a real one?  Were you

22     really referring to this as asanacija, as you knew asanacija was

23     typically employed as a military practice?

24        A.   Well, in practice, I can tell you that I used to teach the

25     subject, and I can tell that you in this context, the word "asanacija"

Page 12432

 1     cannot be applied.  It does include everything that I mentioned earlier,

 2     the cleaning up of the area, the removal of dead human bodies and bodies

 3     of animals, carcasses, but basically it does not involve reburials.

 4     That's not part of asanacija.  Because it involves burial of all the

 5     bodies and carcasses that may cause the outbreak of some infections,

 6     diseases and pose a hazard to health.  But, in spite of that, that is why

 7     we call this operation asanacija in my brigade, and my commander knew

 8     very well that that included, among other tasks, reburials, or -- or

 9     exhumations and reburials.

10        Q.   Was this supposed to be a secret operation, sir?  Or was this

11     supposed to be an open, public operation?

12        A.   The original intention was for it to be a secret operation, and I

13     can say to you what practically happened.

14             The intention was to keep it secret.  However, in view of the

15     number of participants and everything that happened within the context of

16     that operation, it was not a secret one in any one of its segments.

17     There was no secrecy, and everybody was involved.  The civilian,

18     military, police authorities.  That cannot be secret.

19        Q.   And why was it supposed to be a secret, sir?

20        A.   Well, probably I can just speculate now why it was supposed to be

21     a secret, because exhumations and relocations of bodies were supposed to

22     be carried out secretly.  If somebody had the intention of keeping this

23     secret, then all the evidence was supposed to be removed.  All traces

24     were supposed to be removed.  That is what crosses my mind now.  I was

25     not the one who was determining the secrecy of the operation involved.

Page 12433

 1     Others asked for that.  I tried to keep it secret to the extent to which

 2     it was possible, but I claim now that it was simply not possible to carry

 3     that operation out in secret.

 4        Q.   Okay.  I want to show you two more documents, sir.

 5             MR. THAYER:  If we could have 65 ter 252, please.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Would you please check the number again.  252.

 7     Now it is clear on the record.  Thank you.

 8             MR. THAYER:  And if we could advance in the B/C/S two pages,

 9     please.  And if we could advance in the English three pages, please.

10        Q.   Sir, have a moment and familiarize yourself with this document.

11             MR. THAYER:  We need the ...

12                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

13             MR. THAYER:  In English, may we have the translation for

14     00663722, please.

15        Q.   Now, sir, if we --

16        A.   Yes.  Excuse me.  I know which document is involved.  However, it

17     is very illegible, so I cannot read all of it.  But I do know the

18     document concerned, because I saw it before testifying.

19        Q.   Now, let's go to the next page in B/C/S.  Stay where we are on

20     the English, please.

21             I just want you to see the next page in the B/C/S.

22             You see, this is a handwritten document with the initials RJ on

23     the bottom.  Did you see that, sir?

24        A.   Yes, I see that.

25        Q.   Okay.  And, now, if we can go to the first page.  We can see here

Page 12434

 1     that it -- and that's page 3.  We can see the number 08-34/95 in the

 2     handwritten version.

 3             And if we could go to the first page in the B/C/S.  And if we can

 4     blow up the top part there that you've got.  We can see it's, again,

 5     08-34/95.  But if we scroll down --

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  In fact, we can't see it in this copy on the

 7     screen.  It is really nearly illegible.  But in the -- in the English

 8     translation we see that number.

 9             MR. THAYER:

10        Q.   And if we scroll down on the original sir, can we see whose name

11     is there.  Can we see your name typewritten, Momir Nikolic?

12        A.   Yes, I see that.

13        Q.   Now so we saw a handwritten version of this with the initials RJ.

14     And then we see a typed version of the same document with your name on

15     the bottom.  Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened with this

16     particular report?  And then I'll ask you some questions about it.  Why

17     are there the initials RJ on the handwritten version and then your name

18     on the typewritten version.

19        A.   This is precisely a confirmation of what I spoke about over the

20     past few days or perhaps even today during my testimony.

21     Colonel Jankovic, Radoslav Jankovic, sat in my office and from my office

22     he wrote reports.  What happened in this case?  What happened was that

23     Colonel Jankovic wrote in his own hand this handwritten report.  I was

24     present there, I was there together with him and then after that, I took

25     the handwritten report and I took it to the communications centre, where

Page 12435

 1     the centre was for sending these reports and dispatches.

 2             So the operations man, whose name was Tomo, at the communications

 3     centre, he took this, typed it up, and since he knows me personally, he

 4     did not look at all at the initials that were at the bottom of the page.

 5     He wrote my name and title.  That is what actually happened.  That was

 6     the situation.  With 100 percent certainty.  Nothing else.

 7        Q.   Okay.

 8        A.   Sorry, just one more thing.  08 is my number in that period.  I

 9     know that for sure.  Also, this is an indicator that that comes from my

10     organ, yes, from the security and intelligence affairs organ.

11        Q.   And we see in the third paragraph, and I'll just read it into the

12     record.  This is dated 18 July 1995.  Colonel Jankovic writes:  "The

13     Medecins Sans Frontieres convoy which arrived on 18 July 1995 at 1400 at

14     the Ljubovija crossing for transportation of their staff from the

15     UNPROFOR base in Potocari was sent back for procedural reasons

16     (apparently they should have entered via Zvornik).

17             "Will you please use your influence to see to it that all UN and

18     international organisation transports go via Ljubovija, otherwise we

19     shall have difficulties providing them with escort."

20             And then he writes:  "Will you please tell me what stand to take

21     in terms of authorisation for evacuation of the international

22     organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, in fact, how to deal with

23     so-called local staff.  This also applies to the interpreters of military

24     monitors and UNPROFOR.

25             "State security department passed on to us an opinion, that

Page 12436

 1     President Karadzic had allegedly abolished all local staff who used to

 2     work for UNPROFOR.  It is our opinion that they should not be held."

 3             Can you tell the Trial Chamber what this question that

 4     Colonel Jankovic had on the 18th of July about what to do with these

 5     local staff people of these NGOs and UNPROFOR was all about?  Why does he

 6     have this question?

 7        A.   I remember this telegram because, with regard to this telegram,

 8     it was Colonel Jankovic and I that took part in writing it up.

 9             As for the persons and the question that we put, it has to do

10     with persons who were employed with the international organisations there

11     and the Dutch battalion, which is to say that some Srebrenica Muslims

12     worked for the ICRC, for Medecins Sans Frontieres, in the UNPROFOR base

13     as technical personnel, electricians, locksmiths and so on and so forth.

14     Our question from this text was what to do with them further on.  As you

15     read out, you saw what the civilian structures thought.  We presented our

16     view, namely, that we think that these people who worked for

17     international organisations, throughout their stay in Srebrenica and

18     Potocari, that it would be advisable for them to leave the territory

19     together with the organisations that they worked for.  Now why did we

20     propose that?  I think there is no need to comment on it any further.  We

21     thought that they had no responsibility whatsoever, that they did not

22     carry rifles, that they did not fight against the Serb side, that they

23     hadn't done a thing, and that, quite simply, if they are separated and

24     detained, together with all the others, or if they are detained and sent

25     to other institutions, that it wouldn't be fair, it wouldn't be right,

Page 12437

 1     and that they should leave the territory together with those for whom

 2     they had worked.

 3        Q.   What did you and Colonel Jankovic think would happen to these

 4     local Muslim staff members if they weren't permitted to evacuate with the

 5     international MSF staff?

 6        A.   Well, if the path of all of those imprisoned were to followed, I

 7     mean, those who had previously been taken prisoner and transferred to

 8     Zvornik and all of those who ended up in Zvornik and we know how they

 9     ended up, they were killed, then we were practically certain that these

10     people, if they are separated and if that path is followed, they would

11     not survive either.  And that these people would be executed, killed,

12     there was no reason whatsoever for them to be treated any different from

13     what they actually were.

14        Q.   I just have one more document for you sir.

15             MR. THAYER:  And, Mr. President, I would like to tendered 65 ter

16     252.

17             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It will be received.

18             THE REGISTRAR:  65 ter document 252 shall be assigned exhibit

19     number P2168.  Thank you.

20             MR. THAYER:  May we have P18, please.

21        Q.   Sir, do you recognise the item that we have up on the screen?  Do

22     you recognise what that is?  And if you want the original, I have the

23     original here.

24        A.   I recognise the document.  This is the notebook of the duty

25     officer of the military police.

Page 12438

 1        Q.   I want to show you a couple of entries in this document.

 2             MR. THAYER:  If we could go to page 13 in the English, and 16 in

 3     the original.

 4        Q.   We can see here this is an entry for the 12th and 13th of July,

 5     1995.  And there's an entry here that the police were engaged in securing

 6     the UNHCR and the surrender of the Muslim people.  And then there's a

 7     further reference to night duty in Fontana and the UNHCR school --

 8     "securing the UNHCR in the school."

 9             Sir, is this reference to UNHCR correct?

10        A.   No, no.  I know what this is all about.  The military police,

11     policemen, did not distinguish between the DutchBat or UNPROFOR and the

12     UNHCR.  They knew of that concept, and that's what they wrote up.  I can

13     claim here with full responsibility that this had nothing to do with the

14     UNHCR and they were not being secured there.  Most probably, no.  It's

15     not most probably.  It is for sure that it -- what was meant was securing

16     DutchBat, who were in Bratunac at the time.

17             MR. THAYER:  May we have page 14 in the English and this will be

18     page 17 in the B/C/S, please.

19        Q.   We see here this is the entry for the 14th and 15th of July.  The

20     notation is:  "The police was engaged in the escort of Muslim refugees."

21             What is this a reference to, sir, on the 14th and 15th of July,

22     this reference?

23        A.   Yes.  I think I mentioned that while testifying today.

24             On the morning of the 14th of July, from Bratunac a convoy of

25     refugees left towards Zvornik and was escorted.  Within the escort, the

Page 12439

 1     military police of the Bratunac Brigade were involved as well, among

 2     others.

 3             MR. THAYER:  And may we have page 16 of the English and 19 of the

 4     B/C/S, please.

 5        Q.   We can see an entry dated 17th of July, 1995.  And there's a

 6     reference to:  "One police patrol remained in Pilica" --

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, sorry for interrupting you.  I don't

 8     think we have the right English translation on the screen.  Now it's

 9     there.

10             Please continue.

11             MR. THAYER:

12        Q.   "One police patrol remained in Pilica to secure and guard the

13     Muslims."

14             What's that about?  Can you tell the Trial Chamber, sir.

15        A.   Yes.  After a while, I heard this information from

16     Commander Mirko Jankovic, who told me that, on the 17th, on that day, a

17     patrol that escorted the convoy was kept in Zvornik to help in providing

18     security for the prisoners in the territory of Zvornik.  Now what they

19     did over there, where they provided this security, I can only comment

20     upon in this way:  That it's the area of Pilica.  But what actually

21     happened, what they were securing, well, anyway, this is the information

22     that I received from the police commander.

23             MR. THAYER:  And if we could have page 19 in the English and page

24     22 in the B/C/S, please.

25        Q.   While we're waiting for that, sir, can you tell us how many MPs

Page 12440

 1     would typically comprise a patrol?

 2        A.   It depends.  It depends on the purpose of the patrol.  Generally

 3     speaking, we would consider two policemen a patrol.  But it really isn't

 4     a rule.  It would all depend on the task.  Three or four of them could be

 5     possible as well.

 6        Q.   We're looking at an entry for 20 July 1995 and there's an entry

 7     here that states:  "Two Muslims who were turned back from Serbia were

 8     also brought in and put in custody."

 9             What can you tell us about that, sir?  "Two Muslims who were

10     turned back from Serbia were also brought in and put in custody?"

11        A.   Yes, I can, of course.  In that period and after that period,

12     which means for a longer period, because this doesn't apply only to that

13     period, after the fall of the Srebrenica enclave, members of the Muslim

14     army from the Srebrenica enclave would cross into Serbia, across the

15     Drina river.  The police of Serbia, as a different state, would discover

16     them, arrest them, and hand them over to the border police in Bratunac.

17     It would happen at the border crossing between Bratunac and Ljubovija.

18     And then the border police would hand them over to the Bratunac Brigade.

19             We didn't have a jail in the Bratunac Brigade.  We only had one

20     space for detention.  So, depending on the decision where they had to be

21     transported, we would forward them to the facility in Vlasenica, the jail

22     in Vlasenica, or in Knezina, or in Batkovic.

23        Q.   And the facility in Vlasenica, was that known as Susica?

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  This should be your last question.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, there was only

Page 12441

 1     one facility in Vlasenica, one jail.  And I think that the name was

 2     Susica.

 3             MR. THAYER:

 4        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Nikolic, that concludes my direct examination.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  We have spent more time, as

 6     usual.  We are over time now.  We have to adjourn and resume tomorrow

 7     morning.

 8             Please be patient again.  You have to return to the courtroom for

 9     cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir.

10             Thank you very much.  We adjourn.

11                           [The witness stands down]

12                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.56 p.m.,

13                           to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of April,

14                           2011, at 9.00 a.m.