1 Monday, 22 September 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
10 I'm sorry for the delay this morning. We lost almost an hour, so
11 it is impossible for us to make it up. So this morning, we will only have
12 two sittings. We'll break at 11.30, and after the break we will continue.
13 I hope such kind of delay will never happen again.
14 Well, Mr. McCloskey, are you ready to proceed?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Good morning. We are ready
16 to go.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
18 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
22 A. Good morning, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 Q. We left off on the evening of 11 July. You had ended by telling
24 us that you had told Colonel Jankovic of the able-bodied Muslim men in
25 Potocari. Where were you when you informed Colonel Jankovic of this
2 A. On the 11th of July, 1995, in the evening, I was in my office at
3 the brigade headquarters.
4 Q. And was there any other discussion on any other related matters
5 after you informed him of that, that you recall?
6 A. You mean Colonel Jankovic?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. In connection with Colonel Jankovic, yes. As for that day, and
9 the intelligence I received on that day, I told Colonel Jankovic whatever
10 I found out through intelligence organs from the units, from the Bratunac
11 Brigade, the battalion. And especially, I conveyed to him the information
12 I received from the 2nd Infantry Battalion. After that, we talked about
13 the duties we were facing and the meeting that was scheduled for 11.00 the
14 same evening.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, Mr. President, there is a buzz in my ear
16 after he finishes talking. Maybe I can switch...
17 That sounds...
18 JUDGE LIU: Is that okay now? If not, we'll have the technician
19 come in.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't hear it any more, Your Honour. If I start
21 hearing buzzes, I'll let you know. But it's okay.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY:
24 Q. Mr. Nikolic, could you outline just briefly the intelligence
25 situation that you informed Colonel Jankovic that night, that you were
1 getting from the battalions.
2 A. Yes, briefly. During the day, I was receiving information from
3 the intelligence organ of the 2nd infantry battalion, information on the
4 movement from Srebrenica towards the U.N. Base, DutchBat base in Potocari.
5 I was told that there were large numbers of people moving down that road.
6 Later, it turned out that those had been civilians. On the basis of their
7 reports and their assessment, we found out that there had been able-bodied
8 men among those people. And my information was among those people moving
9 towards the town, there were between 1.000 and 2.000 able-bodied military
10 age men. For the most part, I received this information personally from
11 the intelligence and security organ.
12 Later, when I talked to people in the operations room, when I
13 talked to the operations duty officer, I found out that the operations
14 duty officer at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters was receiving the same
16 Q. Did you receive any information about the 28th division forces
17 that evening?
18 A. That evening, there was some indications, some assessments that
19 forces of the 28th division had abandoned the town of Srebrenica. And
20 that they headed for the Jaglici and Susnjari village areas. They headed
21 towards an area where there was a passage that they had used before during
22 the war. Those units were grouping, forces were being evacuated to head
23 for those villages, or rather, areas.
24 Q. Did you share that information with Colonel Jankovic also?
25 A. Yes, yes, I did share that with him. Colonel Jankovic, as I said,
1 was staying in my office the whole time.
2 Q. You also mention that had you spoke to Colonel Jankovic about the
3 upcoming second meeting of 11 July. What did you discuss with him about
4 that next meeting?
5 A. We only agreed very briefly what to do. Rather, that we should
6 continue the tasks that I had started, that we should carrying out
7 preparations for the meeting that was scheduled for 2300 hours, that was
8 expected to take place at 2300 hours.
9 Q. What were those preparations?
10 A. Mostly those were regular preparations concerning security
11 measures that would be taken in cases where officers from the main staff
12 or from the corps command were in the area, providing security for the
13 Fontana Hotel where the meeting was scheduled to take place. It was about
14 providing physical security and taking other measures related to security
15 measures and making sure that representatives of DutchBat and the Muslim
16 side got there safely.
17 Q. While you were in the brigade command at about this time, did you
18 speak about any of these matters to your commander, Mr. Blagojevic?
19 A. As I said, in that period, in the evening on the 11th, I did not
20 personally see Commander Blagojevic. But I've said in my previous
21 testimony that whatever information I had on enemy forces and activities,
22 and whatever other information I had, I duly informed the duty operations
23 officer about it.
24 Q. Aside from the duty operations officer, did you speak to any other
25 Bratunac Brigade officers that night, before going back -- or before
1 leaving the office?
2 A. As I said, it was Colonel Jankovic. I can't remember specifically
3 whether I talked to him about those tasks, except the talks that I had
4 with the military police commander.
5 Q. Now, aside from what you've told us earlier, did you have any
6 additional talks with the military police commander, who is, as you have
7 stated, Mirko Jankovic, just so we're not confused, not Colonel Jankovic?
8 A. Yes, the military police commander, I told him that some of his
9 military policemen would again be needed at 11.00 to provide security at
10 the Fontana Hotel during the meeting.
11 Q. So what was the next thing you did after these discussions with
12 Colonel Jankovic and Mirko Jankovic? Where did you go?
13 A. I went myself to the Fontana Hotel, and I was preparing the
14 security measure, the carrying out of the security measures.
15 Q. And can you describe for us that meeting, who was there, who did
16 you see arrive at that meeting?
17 A. That evening, at the second meeting, I saw General Ratko Mladic,
18 commander of the main staff. I saw General Krstic, who was the commander
19 of the Drina Corps. I saw Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric. I saw Colonel
20 Jankovic. They were representing the army of Republika Srpska.
21 As for DutchBat, the commander of DutchBat, Lieutenant-Colonel
22 Karremans was there, alongside with his deputy Major Boering, and I think
23 Mr. Rutten, one of the other officers, was also there.
24 Q. Was there a representative of the Muslims that you recall?
25 A. Yes, I apologise. I forgot about that. Representative of the
1 Muslim side was there that evening, Mr. Nesib Mandzic.
2 Q. Have you had an opportunity to review the video of that meeting in
3 the possession of the Prosecutor?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Again, you cannot be seen on that video, can you?
6 A. No, I can't. During the meeting itself, I was not in the room
7 where the meeting took place.
8 Q. Where were you during the meeting?
9 A. I was outside that room in another room, a bigger room from which
10 you entered the room in which the meeting was taking place. I was near
11 the door which separated the two rooms. There is a sliding door
12 separating the two rooms, so I was outside the room where the meeting was
13 taking place in the other room, the bigger room.
14 Q. Were you able to see what was going on in the meeting?
15 A. Yes, I could both see and hear what was happening inside the room,
16 who was in attendance and what was being discussed.
17 Q. What was your impressions of what was going on in this meeting?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object to the line of the
19 questioning or the way it's phrased. If he could ask the gentleman to
20 describe what he saw, then the Court can conclude what impressions he
21 might have formed at the time.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. McCloskey, I could not understand your
23 question, so maybe you could rephrase it to be more specific.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. Can you describe briefly what happened at the meeting, that you
1 saw and heard.
2 A. Yes, I can. The meeting kicked off around 11.00 as ordered by
3 General Mladic when the DutchBat people had finished their first meeting.
4 I already said who was present at the first meeting. And unlike the first
5 meeting, when those present did not even sit down around the table to
6 talk, the second meeting was more like a meeting in its nature. The first
7 part of the meeting took place in a more or less fair atmosphere.
8 Mr. Karremans was talking about the situation in Potocari. He was talking
9 about priorities, in terms of what needed doing to put the situation back
10 in control. Mr. Karremans enumerated, or rather listed, everything that
11 he thought was urgent in Srebrenica. Mostly he was referring to medicine,
12 to food, water, the evacuation of the wounded, assisting the wounded,
13 supplying some of the medicines, and other issues of more or less
14 humanitarian character.
15 The next part of the meeting was very different in tone.
16 General Mladic spoke to Nesib Mandzic telling him that the fate of the
17 Muslim people was in his hands. He still insisted at the meeting that
18 members of the civilian bodies, bodies of the civilian government and of
19 the army, should be present at the next meeting. At one point,
20 General Mladic said that his people could either survive or disappear and
21 that it was all up to Mandzic, or rather down to how the situation would
22 evolve over the next period.
23 After that, there was nothing else worth pointing out, I think.
24 The meeting was over. General Mladic personally ordered me to see members
25 of DutchBat and the Muslim representatives back to the yellow bridge,
1 Zuti Most, and back to Potocari.
2 Q. What, if anything, was anticipated for the next day based on what
3 you saw at that meeting?
4 A. Yes. Towards the end of the meeting, General Mladic said that he
5 would order his troops to cease-fire until 10.00 the following day and
6 that he would expect to see all of them at 10.00 attending the meeting the
7 next day.
8 Q. So did you escort Mr. Mandzic and the Dutch back to Potocari?
9 A. Yes. I escorted Mr. Mandzic and the Dutch as far as the yellow
10 bridge, and then they continued on to Potocari, their base.
11 Q. What did you do after that?
12 A. After that, I went back to the yellow bridge. I told the police
13 and members of the Bratunac Brigade who were manning the yellow bridge to
14 take over the representatives of DutchBat the next day, that a meeting was
15 scheduled for 10.00. And if they were no longer on duty the next day,
16 that they should inform the people who came to relieve them about this.
17 Then I went to the brigade headquarters. There was nothing special
18 happening. It was already quite late, so I went back home to sleep.
19 Q. When you went back to the brigade headquarters, did you see any of
20 the senior officers of the brigade or the corps or the main staff or any
22 A. At that time, once I was back, I didn't see anyone. It was quite
23 late in the evening. There was no one around.
24 Q. Going on to the 12th of July, when did you come on duty on 12
1 A. On the 12th of July, I arrived just past 7.00. I came to the
2 Bratunac Brigade headquarters, to the operations room. After that, I went
3 to my office, so that must have been just past 7.00.
4 Q. What happened of significant at the Bratunac Brigade that morning,
5 if anything?
6 A. As far as I remember, nothing special, nothing significant.
7 Intelligence kept coming in from the field that the position of the Muslim
8 convoy travelling towards Konjevic Polje and on to Cerska was already
9 known on the 12th. This was the information that had been forwarded to us
10 before the 12th, the morning hours on the 12th.
11 Q. Do you recall any meetings of senior officers at the Bratunac
12 Brigade headquarters that morning of 12 July?
13 A. There were meetings being held in that period of time at the
14 Bratunac Brigade. But I'm still not sure whether it was on the 12th on
15 the 13th, and I can't say specifically. I know there were a number of
16 such meetings. However, if it was on the 12th or the 13th, I really can't
18 Q. Do you remember a morning meeting on the 12th or the 13th, you're
19 just not sure which day it is?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object here for a second.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman has indicated that there were
23 "meetings" plural. And he mentioned several days. I would ask the
24 Prosecutor to please not re-characterise the witness's testimony in a way
25 that suggests a potential option from which the witness can select. In
1 other words, leading the witness. Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes --
4 JUDGE LIU: You may put it another way.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I will try, Mr. President. But to call the
6 Court's attention to the answer to the witness: "But I'm still not sure
7 whether it was on the 12th or the 13th." That's what I meant to get to.
8 JUDGE LIU: I think the problem is the witness said there are a
9 number of meetings. And your question is a morning meeting on the 12th
10 or 13th.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. You mentioned that there was a number of meetings, and you also
13 mentioned that you couldn't remember whether it was the 12th or 13th. Do
14 you remember anything about any meetings during that time period, and if
15 you could tell us which time period it is, to clarify?
16 A. I do remember that there were meetings on both the 12th and the
17 13th at the Bratunac Brigade command. But what I wish to say is that it
18 was seven or eight years ago, and I have been reminded by certain
19 documents that I had in my possession. So I can say that on that basis as
20 well, I can confirm that there was a meeting on the 12th in the Bratunac
21 Brigade headquarters.
22 Q. Is there one document in particular that helps you remember a
23 meeting on the morning of the 12th at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
24 A. There is a document of the chief of the state security centre,
25 Colonel Vasic which shows that in Bratunac, that meeting was held at that
2 Q. Do you have any recollection -- sorry. First of all, were you at
3 that meeting?
4 A. No, I wasn't at that meeting.
5 Q. Do you have any recollection of who you saw present at the
6 Bratunac Brigade headquarters at that time?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't mean to interrupt the Prosecutor. However,
9 he has made reference to a particular document. I think at this point in
10 time, the document should be introduced or shown to the particular witness
11 so we know exactly which document he's making reference to because the
12 gentleman did indicate that now his memory, at least in the preparation of
13 his direct examination, and perhaps cross, has been refreshed by documents
14 furnished to him by his lawyers during the course of the last year or so.
15 So he's not testifying from an independent memory, but rather from
16 documents that he's reviewed. He has also indicated that he wasn't
17 present at the meeting, and so at this point, I think, to make -- so we
18 can have a clear record and for the purposes of perhaps cross-examination,
19 the Prosecutor should show the document to the gentleman so we are sure
20 which document in particular he's referring to. Thank you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Mr. Karnavas. I believe that the
22 Prosecutor will come to that document later. You may proceed.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there -- as one might imagine, this
24 witness as well as other witnesses have referred to many, many documents.
25 I can't be prepared to have each document that this witness has used to
1 refresh his recollection. That particular document is a well-known
2 document. I can put my finger on it. It was provided to Defence counsel
3 a few days ago. It's a well-known document. And we have it and we will
4 tie it up. I have saved the document presentation until the end so we
5 could hear just from the witness. And so if -- I think we can tie that
6 document or anything else that appears relevant from the direct at the
7 end, that which was my intention.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: For the moment --
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: -- For the moment, I am satisfied with that answer,
11 Your Honour. But only for the moment.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We will see.
13 You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. So do you recall any senior officers present at the brigade
16 headquarters about the time this meeting was going on?
17 A. Yes, I do remember, Mr. McCloskey. On that day, that is, the
18 12th, General Mladic was present, General Krstic, Lieutenant-Colonel
19 Popovic, Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric, and of course it was normal that
20 Colonel Jankovic would be at the brigade headquarters. And as far as I
21 can recollect, Mr. Or Colonel Vasic was also present from the security
22 centre in Zvornik.
23 Q. Just to, again, clear up the record, did you say
24 Lieutenant-colonel Kosoric was present, not Osoric?
25 A. Yes, Kosoric.
1 Q. Do you recall seeing your commander Blagojevic at the brigade
2 headquarters that morning on 12 July?
3 A. Yes, I did see him. He was present.
4 Q. What did you do that morning, 12 July?
5 A. As I have already said, on the 12th of July, the talks were
6 continued at the Fontana Hotel. And after just briefly being at the
7 headquarters, I went to the Fontana Hotel, and I was working on the
8 preparations for that meeting scheduled for 10.00.
9 Q. Did you --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt for one second.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I'm sorry, I could not see you because of the
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 The previous line of questioning, the Prosecutor asked who was at
15 the brigade headquarters, and the gentleman listed several officers.
16 Prior to that, the gentleman talked about a meeting. Then the next
17 question -- then shortly thereafter, he was asked whether
18 Colonel Blagojevic was there. That is giving the impression that somehow
19 Mr. Blagojevic was at a particular meeting that was being held. And I'm
20 quite concerned that there's no clear record here as to whether this
21 gentleman here saw Mr. Blagojevic on that particular morning at that
22 particular meeting, but the transcript and the way that the presentation
23 is going from the question and answer would somehow give the impression
24 that since he saw him and since there were others there and since there
25 was a meeting, somehow assuming there was a meeting that Mr. Blagojevic
1 was also at the meeting with all these other high-powered officers.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you may ask some questions to
3 clarify that point. From the transcript, there may be some
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have no indication that this
6 witness saw Mr. Blagojevic at this meeting. All I know is that he was at
7 the brigade headquarters. That's all we brought out on direct. That's
8 what the record reflects. I can try to clear that up, but I know
9 Mr. Karnavas is very good at cross-examination, and I will try to make
10 that clear, clearer for Your Honours.
11 Q. Mr. Nikolic, did you ever see anyone actually at a meeting on the
12 12th of July?
13 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. I said that I wasn't at that meeting, and I
14 couldn't see who was actually present at that meeting.
15 Q. So the people that you have described present that morning at the
16 Bratunac Brigade headquarters were the people you've already described.
18 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
19 Q. Whether or not they were at that meeting, you don't know because
20 you weren't at that meeting. Is that correct?
21 A. Clearly so, yes.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, is there anything else that the
23 Court is concerned with on that point?
24 JUDGE LIU: No, you may proceed.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY:
1 Q. When you went to the Hotel Fontana, did you meet with any officers
2 at that time?
3 A. Yes. On the 12th, in the morning, I had a meeting prior to that
4 meeting with Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic.
5 Q. And where was this that you met with them?
6 A. We met at the plateau in front of the Fontana Hotel, in front of
7 the entrance, the plateau in front of the entrance to the hotel.
8 Q. Was there anyone else in the area of this area in the front of the
9 Hotel Fontana?
10 A. In the area in front of the Fontana Hotel were also members of the
11 physical security, that is, members of the Bratunac police who came to
12 provide security for the hotel.
13 Q. What, if anything, was said between you and Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Popovic and Kosoric that morning in front of the hotel?
15 A. Yes, we talked. And in answer to my question to Popovic and
16 Kosoric as to what would happen next, Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic told me
17 that on that day, the women and children would be evacuated and that they
18 would be evacuated in the direction of Kladanj. Also that on that day,
19 the men, the able-bodied men, would be separated and that those men would
20 be temporarily detained once they had been separated. And when I asked
21 what would happen to them next, he told me that all balijas needed to be
23 That was a conversation in the presence of Popovic, myself, and
24 Kosoric. In continuation, we discussed the provisional places of
25 detention for the separated men. I suggested to Popovic and Kosoric that
1 the buildings of the Vuk Karadzic elementary school, that the Djuro Pucar
2 Stari secondary school in Bratunac, the gym, and the hangar should be used
3 as detention facilities for the men separated from the group at Potocari.
4 That was a part of the conversation we had.
5 Another part of that conversation relating this operation had to
6 do with my own role, and I was told that my task in that operation would
7 be to coordinate the forces that would be engaged in Potocari for this
8 operation of separation, temporary detention, and later the killing of
9 those men.
10 Q. Were there -- were there any locations discussed for the killing
11 of the Muslim men?
12 A. Yes, yes, Mr. Prosecutor. The places of execution were discussed,
13 and two locations were mentioned. The first to be mentioned was the
14 brickworks, the Ciglana, a state-owned company in Bratunac, and the area
15 of the Sase mine in Sase village.
16 Q. Who brought up these two locations as possible locations for
18 A. I mentioned both locations. But in view of the way in which they
19 reacted, my conclusion was that they already knew, that is, that both of
20 them already knew about both locations.
21 Q. You mentioned that Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic was saying these
22 things to you. Did Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric say anything during this
24 A. Mr. Popovic spoke, after which the same was repeated by
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric.
1 Q. When Popovic said that all the balijas needed to be killed, can
2 you tell us what this term "balija" is a reference to and what it means?
3 A. Balija is a term mainly used to denote Muslims, so the reference
4 was to Muslims who were at the time located in Potocari. Actually, balija
5 is a derogatory term for the Muslim people.
6 Q. How long did this discussion between you three last roughly?
7 A. It was very brief. Seven to ten minutes on the outside, not more
8 than that.
9 Q. And what did you do after this discussion?
10 A. After that discussion, I remained in front of the Fontana Hotel.
11 Actually, I was first at the reception desk, then within the hotel
12 compound as I was expecting that third meeting at 10.00 to take place.
13 Q. And did superior officers arrive at the meeting at about that
15 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. I can list the participants at that meeting
16 because I saw them in person as they arrived.
17 Q. Do you know if General Mladic was present at the Hotel Fontana
18 before or during the discussion you had with Kosoric and Popovic, or did
19 he arrive afterward?
20 A. General Mladic was already in the Fontana Hotel.
21 Q. Same question for General Krstic; do you know where he was at the
22 time you were having this discussion with Popovic and Kosoric?
23 A. They were already all of them in the Fontana before I had this
24 conversation with Popovic and Kosoric.
25 Q. Can you tell us from your knowledge --
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman indicated that "all of them." Who is
3 "all of them" that he's now referring to? Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may ask some questions to clarify this point.
5 I guess it's the participants of that meeting, but I'm not sure.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that was, of course, my next
7 question, and the interruption from counsel is I believe at this point
8 really uncalled for. And I'm endeavouring to make this as clear as
9 possible. It's hard when the rhythm and the flow of the question/answer
10 is constantly broken up, but I will continue to try.
11 Q. Can you tell us from your own personal knowledge, besides Mladic
12 and Krstic, who was at that Hotel Fontana meeting on the morning of the
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to interrupt
15 Mr. McCloskey, but there seems to be two meetings. There's the 10.00
16 meeting that the gentleman said he went there to make sure that security
17 was there and to prepare for that particular meeting. Then there was a
18 line of questioning where he was asked was General Mladic there already.
19 He had indicated yes. General Krstic. And then he says "all of them."
20 So there would appear at least to be another meeting preceding the 10.00
21 meeting which is separate and apart from any other meeting that might have
22 taken place at the headquarters that he might have viewed sometime between
23 7.00 and 9.00.
24 So the purpose of my objection was whether when he says "all of
25 them" is he referring to a meeting prior to the 10.00 meeting, or is it
1 the 10.00 meeting? And I apologise if I'm interrupting or throwing off
2 the Prosecutor. That's not my intention.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that you made things
4 more complicated for us. And I'm a little bit confused about all those
5 meetings. But anyway, this is important testimony, and we have to make
6 that matter clearer.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. I'm asking you about the meeting at the Hotel Fontana on the
9 morning of the 12th that is on video. That was the main reason for you
10 being there, according to your testimony. Again, who were you able to see
11 that was present at that meeting on 12 July at the Hotel Fontana?
12 A. On the 12th of July, at 10.00, the meeting was attended or the
13 people who arrived to attend that meeting were the following officers:
14 General Mladic was present, General Krstic, Colonel Jankovic,
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric, and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. From the
16 ministry of internal affairs, Colonel Vasic was present as chief of the
17 security centre in Zvornik as well as representatives of the Dutch
18 Battalion, Mr. Karremans, Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans, Mr. Boering, and
19 Mr. Rutten. And from the Muslim side, the meeting was attended by Nesib
20 Mandzic, Mr. Nuhanovic, and a lady whose name I am really unable to
21 remember just now, a lady who was in the team representing the Muslim
22 side. And of course, an interpreter, Petar Uscumlic, was present.
23 Q. Do you recall an Ibro Nuhanovic being present as well?
24 A. Yes, I said Ibro Nuhanovic was present as well.
25 Q. How about anyone from the civilian authorities of the Bratunac or
1 Republika Srpska?
2 A. Yes, attending the meeting was the president of the Municipal
3 Assembly of Bratunac, Ljubisav Simic; the president of the executive
4 council of Bratunac Municipality, Srbislav Davidovic; and in the capacity
5 of commissioner for civilian affairs of Srebrenica, Mr. Miroslav Deronjic.
6 Q. Can you tell us what is this commissioner of civilian affairs that
7 Mr. Deronjic was holding?
8 A. As far as I know, he was nominated by the president of the
9 republic, Mr. Karadzic, as a person who should take all necessary measures
10 to ensure protection for the civilian population, to communicate with
11 them, to provide medical aid, and to make sure that everything functioned
12 in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. That is my understanding of
13 his role. His role also was to organise the functioning of authority in
14 Srebrenica, to appoint the chief of the MUP and the other necessary bodies
15 for Srebrenica to renew or normalise life again. That's as much as I know
16 regarding his role.
17 Q. Did you attend this 10.00 Hotel Fontana meeting yourself?
18 A. No, Mr. McCloskey, I did not attend this meeting. I was not even
19 inside the premises where the meeting was being held.
20 Q. And why was that?
21 A. One of the reasons, there are several reasons. One of the reasons
22 is that I realised fully what was going to happen, so there was absolutely
23 no need for me to listen to what was being said. And it was my assessment
24 that all that remained was purely technical matters on technical aspects
25 of that operation, that is the operation of evacuation and forcible
2 Q. So what in your mind was going to happen at this meeting?
3 A. Well, roughly speaking, that the demands and questions that had
4 been discussed at the previous meeting, that is, the one held on the 12th
5 at 2300 hours would be specified regarding provision of fuel,
6 transportation, the provision of buses and trucks, and other such
7 technical matters.
8 Q. And where were you during the time of this -- the 10.00 meeting at
9 the Hotel Fontana?
10 A. For a while, I was sitting in the lobby outside the hall. And a
11 part of the time, I was in the area in front of the Fontana Hotel.
12 Q. Why didn't you go to Potocari and begin the responsibilities that
13 had been discussed between you and Popovic and Kosoric?
14 A. Simply because I hadn't received any specific order for a specific
15 assignment. We did discuss these things, but it was not a concrete or
16 specific assignment. Furthermore, the evacuation and what we had been
17 discussed was not possible just then because there were no buses or trucks
18 or anything like that yet.
19 Q. In that discussion with Kosoric and Popovic, were the Muslims
20 going to be given an option to stay if they chose?
21 A. I can only say what my impression was, based on what I had heard.
22 In theory, this would have been possible. In practical terms, my
23 conclusion was that it would have been impossible.
24 Q. What do you base your conclusion on?
25 A. For example, I base the first part of my conclusion on
1 General Mladic's statements. I will try and paraphrase what he actually
2 said. He said that he was the one who could guarantee safety, the safety
3 of other people, that civilians were not the target of the army of
4 Republika Srpska, the UNPROFOR, or other members of international
5 organisations. He said that whoever wished to stay should speak out and
6 say so on an individual basis, whether they wanted to stay or leave.
7 That's what he said. In theory, some of the Muslims would be allowed to
8 stay. In practical terms, I know what Mr. Popovic and Kosoric told me.
9 Quite simply, the position was that all civilians would be evacuated, that
10 the men would be detained -- separated, detained, and killed.
11 This was a position that clearly indicated the operation would go
12 through to the very end and would be applied to everyone.
13 Q. To try to clarify this, when you say you heard General Mladic
14 making these statements, where was it -- where was he and when did he make
15 these statements?
16 A. This was at the second meeting, at the second meeting at 11.00
17 when he spoke about what I've just said.
18 Q. On the evening of 11 July?
19 A. Yes, yes, the evening of 11th of July, 11.00.
20 Q. All right. Did you receive clear information or instructions on
21 what you should be doing that morning of 12 July?
22 A. Yes, I received clear instructions after the meeting on the 12th
23 of July, after the meeting that begin at 10.00.
24 Q. And who did you receive those instructions from?
25 A. I received those instructions once the meeting was over from
1 Colonel Jankovic who had been present at that meeting. So following the
2 meeting, I received instructions.
3 Q. And where were you and Colonel Jankovic when you received
4 instructions from him?
5 A. I was outside the Fontana Hotel, and Colonel Jankovic had left the
6 meeting. We met just after he left the Fontana Hotel, and he issued me
7 with instructions as to what I should do.
8 Q. During the time he issued you these instructions, was there anyone
9 else present or within earshot of you and Colonel Jankovic?
10 A. At that specific time, no. There were other people leaving the
11 building. There were some policemen nearby. Two of us talked to one
12 side, and the other people were leaving on the other side. So it wasn't
13 possible for anyone to overhear our conversation.
14 Q. And what did he say to you? What did Colonel Jankovic say to you?
15 A. Colonel Jankovic told me what my next assignment would be. He
16 said on the 12th, I should work in Potocari and coordinate the activities
17 that were underway in Potocari itself, that I should give instructions and
18 that I should coordinate the evacuation of the civilian population, of the
19 women and children, to coordinate work on the separation of men and their
20 temporary transfer and detention.
21 Q. Was there any discussion with Colonel Jankovic relating to the
22 killing of the Muslim men that would be separated?
23 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. There was no discussion with Colonel Jankovic
24 about that operation, the killing of men.
25 Q. What did you do after receiving these instructions?
1 A. I waited for a while. I did not leave for Potocari immediately
2 because the buses had not yet arrived at the time when I received my
3 instructions from Colonel Jankovic. I said for a while outside the hotel
4 in the area just in front of the hotel.
5 Q. Did Colonel Jankovic refer you to any particular person to conduct
6 these duties with in Potocari?
7 A. Yes. He told me that as for coordinating those activities that
8 were part of the operation, I should speak to Mr. Jevic who was a member
9 of the special brigades of the MUP, Dusko Jevic.
10 Q. Did you know who Dusko Jevic was at the time?
11 A. Yes. I knew Dusko Jevic personally. I'd known him from before
12 the operation. But at that time, I didn't know precisely what his role in
13 Potocari was. I knew he was a member of the special brigade of the
14 ministry of internal affairs, but I didn't know specifically what his role
16 Q. Now, the special brigade of the MUP, is that the same organisation
17 that Mr. Borovcanin was a member of that you had spoken of earlier?
18 A. Yes, it's the same unit.
19 Q. At that time, did you know the hierarchy between Mr. Jevic and
20 Mr. Borovcanin?
21 A. Well, roughly, yes. I was aware of it. I knew that
22 Mr. Borovcanin was Mr. Jevic's superior.
23 Q. Did you see anyone else around the Hotel Fontana at this time?
24 A. While I was in the area outside the hotel, I noticed myself Petar
25 Uscumlic and Mr. Josipovic. I also noticed members of DutchBat who after
1 the meeting were on their way back to Bratunac.
2 Q. Were there any discussions between you and the DutchBat people?
3 A. Yes, after they returned, they asked me what the plan was for
4 later concerning the buses, the evacuation and so on and so forth. I told
5 them that preparations were underway and that the buses would soon be
6 there. I told them they should go back to their base in Potocari to wait
7 for the evacuation to start.
8 Q. Do you recall which members of DutchBat you said this to?
9 A. I remember specifically Mr. Rutten because I knew him personally,
10 and I had been in touch with him countless times before. I don't remember
11 specifically who the other officer was.
12 Q. What did you do after speaking to these Dutch officers?
13 A. After that, I went to Potocari. Actually, I stayed for a while
14 outside the hotel, and then I left for Potocari.
15 Q. Did you stop by your command post before going to Potocari, the
16 headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade?
17 A. No, not then. I didn't go to the command post of the Bratunac
18 Brigade because it was on a different road. I went straight to Potocari
19 from the hotel, from outside the hotel.
20 Q. Before going to Potocari, did you communicate with your commander
21 Mr. Blagojevic about anything?
22 A. No, not on that day. On that day I didn't communicate with him.
23 I didn't talk to him on that day.
24 Q. Did you speak with him later that day?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm going to ask that he stop leading
1 the witness. The witness indicated and I quote: "He says on that day I
2 didn't communicate with him. I didn't talk with him on that day." And
3 then the question is: "Did you speak with him later that day?" It's a
4 suggestive question.
5 Now, if Mr. McCloskey wishes to refresh the memory or to impeach
6 his own witness, I have no objection to that. But as it's phrased, it's
7 leading in nature. I appreciate the difficulties the gentleman is having
8 at the time. This is a very key witness, it's a delicate issue, and I
9 just want to go by the numbers on this one.
10 JUDGE LIU: I believe that the witness has already answered that
11 question. He said: "Not on that day." Mr. McCloskey, if you have some
12 evidence that the witness had the opportunity to speak to Mr. Blagojevic,
13 just show it to him. Otherwise, I'm afraid that you have to drop this
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it's not a leading question, I
16 don't believe, is it?
17 JUDGE LIU: No, I don't think it's a leading question. But the
18 answer is quite obvious from this witness. He said: "Not on that day.
19 On that day, I did not communicate with him. I did not talk to him on
20 that day." I think that's quite clear.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, I can try to get to this question,
22 Your Honour. But I'll go on. Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY:
25 Q. When was the --
1 A. Your Honours, if I may be allowed to clarify this, I think there
2 has been a misunderstanding. My understanding of Mr. McCloskey's question
3 was about that day before I left for Potocari, whether I saw the
4 commander. That's how I understood the question. And my answer was that
5 on that day, I meant that specific time of day before I left for Potocari,
6 I did not see Commander Blagojevic. I abide by that. However, on the
7 12th, on that same day, I did, in fact, see Mr. Blagojevic, but not before
8 I had left for Potocari. That's my final answer to this question. I
9 think I failed to understand Mr. McCloskey's question clearly enough, so I
10 can only offer my apologies with this correction.
11 Q. Why didn't you speak or communicate with Commander Blagojevic
12 before going to carry out these duties in Potocari?
13 A. The reason was simple. I've already referred to my conversation
14 with Colonel Jankovic. Colonel Jankovic, among other things, told me that
15 the units that I was to coordinate in Srebrenica had been issued orders
16 and that the units that would take part in that operation were already in
17 Potocari. I believed, as seen perfectly normal, that the commanders had
18 already assigned units and planned all activities related to the
19 evacuation. I thought my role in the whole thing was clear. That's why I
20 didn't deem it necessary to go back to the commander to ask for more
21 orders and more instructions.
22 Q. So about what time did you get to Potocari that day?
23 A. Roughly speaking, about 1.00, perhaps a little later, between 1.00
24 and 2.00.
25 Q. Can you describe the units that were present in Potocari at the
1 time you got there.
2 A. Certainly. What I can state with certainty is that I saw police
3 units there and units of the army of Republika Srpska. As for the police
4 units I saw, I saw units under the command of Mr. Jevic. Those were units
5 of the special brigade of the MUP. Further, I saw members of the public
6 security station in Bratunac whose chief was Josip Bratunovic. I also
7 recognised members of the police with German shepherds. I also saw people
8 from the corps police. I saw people from the 10th reconnaissance and
9 sabotage detachment as well as members of the Drina Wolves from the
10 Zvornik Brigade. I also saw members of the Bratunac military police. I
11 saw members of our 2nd and 3rd Bratunac infantry battalions. Those
12 roughly speaking were the units that were present in the area. I may have
13 missed out on one or two of the units, but those units were certainly
15 Q. The units of the 10th reconnaissance and sabotage detachment,
16 where are they from?
17 A. The 10th reconnaissance and sabotage detachment was attached to
18 the main staff. I know that. They were directly under the command of the
19 main staff.
20 Q. And the record says "Bratunac military police." Is that Bratunac
21 Brigade military police?
22 A. Yes, yes. That's who I had in mind, the Bratunac Brigade military
24 Q. Do you recall any other military police units that were present in
25 Potocari there?
1 A. As I've already said, there were members of the corps police in
2 Potocari, members of the police battalion from the Drina Corps.
3 Q. And any other units that you recall from the main staff besides
4 the 10th sabotage detachment?
5 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. There were also some members of the 65th
6 Protection Regiment also attached to the main staff.
7 Q. Can you just briefly describe the scene in Potocari when you
8 arrived there.
9 A. Yes. That day in Potocari, there were in my assessment between 25
10 and 30 thousand people in a very small area. They were put up in various
11 compounds belonging to companies. It's an industrial area, mainly in the
12 village of Potocari itself. The situation was very difficult. It was
13 horrendous. There were many people there who were exhausted. They looked
14 bad. There were many sick people there, many children, elderly people.
15 There was chaos there. They were scared. The situation was very
16 difficult among those people there who were awaiting transport.
17 Q. Did you carry out the instructions that you'd heard from Kosoric,
18 Popovic, and Colonel Jankovic?
19 A. Yes. I did exactly what I had been ordered to do, exactly in the
20 way in which I was issued instructions.
21 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what you did.
22 A. Yes. When the first buses arrived, or rather just before, I got
23 in touch with Mr. Jevic. I told him how the evacuation should be
24 conducted and what his role was in connection with the buses, organising
25 those buses, and other issues related to the transport of the civilian
1 population. Then I gave instructions to units who were separating the men
2 from the rest. I gave them instructions to separate all military-aged men
3 in Potocari, and I showed them the house in which these men were to be
4 temporarily detained. After that, I said the men would be taken to other
5 facilities that were assigned for their temporary detention.
6 As for that particular aspect, I was the direct coordinator for
7 those units who were busy separating and detaining the men and evacuating
8 the civilians towards Kladanj.
9 Q. Which units actually took part in the physical separation of the
10 men from their families?
11 A. On the 12th, the units taking part were both the police units, the
12 unit with German shepherds. Police units from the Drina Corps also took
13 part. Elements of the 10th sabotage detachment also took part, soldiers
14 from the 65th Protection Regiment, as well as elements of the
15 Bratunac Brigade police.
16 Q. About how many members of the Bratunac Brigade military police
17 platoon were present in Potocari taking part in these events?
18 A. Well, based on my knowledge, there would have been between 10 and
19 15 people, 15 maximum, from the Bratunac Brigade in the area at that time.
20 That was as many as they could afford to second to us in addition to their
21 normal day-to-day tasks.
22 Q. Who was the ranking soldier present from the Bratunac Brigade
23 military police?
24 A. In Srebrenica -- I'm sorry, in Potocari, Mirko Jankovic was
25 present. He would come occasionally. He was the commander of the
1 military police platoon of the Bratunac Brigade. As far as ranks or other
2 officers from the Bratunac Brigade were concerned, I don't think there was
3 anyone else in the platoon. He was, I believe, a lance corporal or a
4 senior corporal, something like that. I'm not sure.
5 Q. The infantry battalions from the Bratunac Brigade that you
6 described, what were they doing in Potocari on the 12th?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: To the mischaracterisation. The gentleman
10 indicated "units" not battalions. In his previous answer, he indicated
11 that he saw members of the Bratunac Brigade, and then he characterised
12 them as units. The question by the Prosecution was battalions. So that's
13 a mischaracterisation.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, according to my records, the witness testified
15 the 2nd and 3rd battalions of that brigade was present. I mean, that is
16 from his previous answer.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Right, Your Honour, that they were from battalions,
18 but the question, the way it was phrased, it was as if the entire
19 battalion was there. As I understand his testimony from earlier, it
20 was -- he said units, unless I wasn't listening correctly and until
21 there's a clarification by the witness that the entire battalion was
22 there, the 2nd and 3nd battalion were in Potocari on that particular
23 morning. But it's my impression that he said units.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think it's a big issue. But anyway,
25 Mr. McCloskey, you may ask some questions to clarify this issue before we
1 have the break.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, there's -- I have made no
3 suggestion that the entire battalions were there, and I think that was
4 clear from the questioning. But I will -- thank you. I'll...
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I clarify this
6 matter. I said that in addition to the units that I've enumerated,
7 present in Potocari were also elements of the 2nd and 3nd infantry
8 battalions of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. I apologise. I
9 will try to be very specific and precise when answering questions.
10 I can also add that present there were also elements of the 2nd
11 and 3nd infantry battalions from the 1st Light Infantry Bratunac Brigade.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY:
13 Q. Perhaps one last question before the break. What were the
14 elements of these battalions doing in Potocari on the 12th?
15 A. Elements of those battalions mostly helped with the evacuation.
16 They secured the area in Potocari, the area in which the civilian
17 population was being held, and they helped with the evacuation and
18 transfer, rather, deportation of Muslims from Potocari.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: It looks like it's about break time,
20 Mr. President.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll have 40 minutes break. We'll resume at 10
22 minutes past 12.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 11.32 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we are in Potocari on the afternoon of 12 July. Can
3 you give us another example of how you coordinated the activities that
4 were going on.
5 A. I can, Mr. McCloskey. I could give you endless examples, but I'll
6 mention one. When the evacuation started, or rather, the transport of
7 women and children, some problems arose in connection with the buses and
8 establishing some sort of order with them. And Mr. Jevic was in charge of
9 this part of the operation. After I had noticed this problem, I ordered
10 Jevic to change the place where the buses were turning around, and that is
11 what he did. He relocated this, or rather, he moved this position some
12 100 or 200 metres towards the UNPROFOR compound where there was an
13 expansion so that the buses could make their about turn and the column
14 could be formed under more normal conditions.
15 There were other examples, too. For example, at the spot where
16 the men were separated from their families, I suggested to the soldiers
17 that they take care and make sure that they would let pass as many
18 civilians as a bus could take so as not to cause a chaotic situation.
19 That is, not to allow more civilians to come out than could be boarded
20 onto the buses and trucks. I suggested that they acted in that way, and
21 they followed my instructions.
22 Q. What senior officers did you see in Potocari that day, the 12th of
24 A. On that day in Potocari, I saw first of all General Mladic. Then
25 I also saw General Krstic. I saw Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. I saw
1 Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric. I also saw Major Dragoslav Trisic from the
2 Bratunac Brigade. Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic, Colonel Acamovic. From
3 the police, I already said I saw and coordinated with Dusko Jevic, and I
4 could say that there were many officers present in Potocari on that day.
5 And I have listed those that I actually saw and can remember.
6 Q. Did you see Mr. Borovcanin?
7 A. I'm not sure whether I saw him on the 12th or the 13th, and I'm
8 really unable to confirm that. I did see him in Potocari, but I'm not
9 sure that that was -- actually, I did see him on both days, but I had no
10 communication with him on either of those days.
11 Q. Did you see Mr. Blagojevic in Potocari on the 12th of July?
12 A. No, no, Mr. McCloskey, I did not see Colonel Blagojevic in
13 Potocari on the 12th myself.
14 Q. Did you see him on the 13th of July in Potocari?
15 A. No. I didn't see Colonel Blagojevic in Potocari on either day
17 Q. You said you saw Major Trisic. Can you remind the Court who this
18 is and, if you know, what he was doing?
19 A. Yes, I can. Major and reserve Dragoslav Trisic was the
20 assistant commander of the Bratunac Brigade for the logistics. And what I
21 know for certain is that Major Dragoslav Trisic was also engaged as a
22 member of the team for organising transportation and evacuation of
23 civilians from Potocari. I forgot to mention and wish to add that in
24 Potocari, I also saw officers from the Bratunac Brigade, from the
25 logistics department, Captain Milosavljevic, and corporal or senior
1 corporal Mr. Stevic, and Mr. Pavle Loncarevic. All these officers were
2 from the logistics organ of the Bratunac Brigade.
3 Q. And Mr. Acamovic, what was he doing -- what was he and what was he
5 A. Colonel Acamovic was the assistant commander for logistics in the
6 Drina Corps. And he was assigned, and I know that to be in charge of the
7 overall organisation of the transportation, the provision of trucks and
8 buses for logistic support in the sense of the provision of fuel, the
9 distribution of personnel, et cetera.
10 Q. And how about Mr. Krsmanovic who you also just mentioned?
11 A. Yes, I mentioned Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic. Mr. Krsmanovic is
12 an officer from the logistics organ of the Drina Corps. He is an officer
13 in that body, and he feels engaged to be chief of the transportation
14 service and the immediate superior was Acamovic.
15 Q. Did you communicate that day, the 12th, with Colonel Acamovic?
16 A. On the 12th, I did not communicate with Colonel Acamovic because I
17 had no need to contact him.
18 Q. How about Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic, did you communicate with
19 him on the 12th?
20 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.
21 Q. During this process of evacuation of the women and children and
22 the separation and detention of the men, did you see any of the Muslims
23 abused by Serb soldiers or police?
24 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. At the very spot where the separation was
25 taking place of the men from their families, I saw innumerable cases of
1 abuse and mistreatment of the men being separated.
2 Q. What kind? What kind of abuse during the separation did you see?
3 Can you describe it?
4 A. I can. After the separation, which was done in a rough and
5 inappropriate way, personal belongings were seized and thrown onto a pile
6 which was formed on the way to the White House where they were taken. Then
7 there was physical abuse and beating of those men with hands and feet.
8 Then there was verbal abuse; that is, they were called balijas and Turks
9 and Ustashas and the like. Then those who passed through this point were
10 turned back from the buses they had reached and separated and told to go
11 back to the place where the already separated men were temporarily
13 Q. Did you see any superior officers of the MUP or superior officers
14 of the VRS forces ever attempt in any way to stop this abuse?
15 A. No. While I was present there, during the separation and this
16 mistreatment, I didn't see any of the immediate officers in command trying
17 to prevent the mistreatment of these men.
18 Q. Did you yourself do anything to try to stop this?
19 A. No. I didn't do anything. I didn't try to prevent the
20 mistreatment or the abuse of those men.
21 Q. Was this a dereliction of your responsibility as a military
23 A. Well, one can say that though I was aware and an eyewitness of
24 what was going on, I didn't undertake anything myself personally, nor did
25 I insist that such measures be taken by the officers in charge of units
1 that I was coordinating. And I do think that it was a dereliction of my
3 Q. Do you think your failure to prevent these abuses encouraged the
4 abuses in any way?
5 A. Yes, I think so. I think that my behaviour also contributed to
6 the abuse continuing throughout the period of evacuation.
7 Q. Can you explain that, why junior soldiers might feel encouraged
8 when their seniors are not preventing them from such abuse?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Calls for speculation, Your Honour. He can
12 describe exactly what he in particular did to encourage. As I understand,
13 he participated in some of the abuses over there, so he can give that
14 description. So maybe then, there may be a follow-up question. But the
15 way it's stated, given the lack of foundation, he's asking the witness to
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, it is a speculation because he
18 could not say why the junior officers did that. You may rephrase your
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. The fact that your seniors had issued orders of the nature that
22 you've described, separating Muslim men to be killed, and the fact that
23 senior officers were present during this abuse, did that encourage you in
24 any way to continue this dereliction of your duties?
25 A. It did.
1 Q. Is a military officer supposed to lead by example?
2 A. He is.
3 Q. Do the junior troops look to their officers on how to properly
4 conduct themselves?
5 A. They didn't.
6 Q. Should they have?
7 A. Yes, of course.
8 Q. How long were you in Potocari on the 12th before you left the
10 A. Most of that day I spent in Potocari; that is, the day of the
11 12th. Once I arrived at Potocari, I stayed there. I stayed there until
12 the last convoy arrived. That is when men started to board the means of
13 transport, those that were separated for evacuation.
14 Q. And then what happened?
15 A. I don't understand the question, actually.
16 Q. What did you do at this point during the last part of the day in
18 A. After that, I went to the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade.
19 Q. And about what time did you arrive to the Bratunac Brigade
21 A. Well, shall we say between 20 and 2100 hours, roughly, around that
23 Q. What did you do there?
24 A. At the Bratunac Brigade headquarters, after my involvement in
25 Potocari, I informed the Bratunac Brigade commander of my activities
1 during that day.
2 Q. Where were you and the commander when you informed him of your
3 activities of the day?
4 A. I personally informed the brigade commander in his office at the
5 Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
6 Q. Was there anybody else in the office with you and your commander
7 at this time?
8 A. No, the two of us were alone.
9 Q. Can you outline for us what you had told your commander about your
10 activities that day.
11 A. I told him everything that had happened on that day, the 12th, and
12 what I had been involved in. I told him about the orders I had received.
13 Then I told him that I was engaged in Potocari. I told him what my duties
14 were there. I told him how the evacuation evolved and what my main tasks
15 were. I told him about certain details regarding the separation of those
16 men in Potocari and the deportation, or rather, detention first in the
17 White House and then in the Vuk Karadzic elementary school. I told him
18 that I had information that those men would later be killed. I didn't
19 tell him who my source was, who had told me that. And that would be in
20 brief the contents of the information I passed on to him.
21 Q. What, if anything, did Mr. Blagojevic say to you as you were
22 explaining him these events?
23 A. Nothing special. He didn't say anything in particular. When I
24 was reporting to him about the situation in Potocari, I told him that the
25 situation was extremely difficult, that there were many problems, that it
1 was all dreadful. His reaction was nothing in particular. He just said
2 that he was aware that that was so and that he had no special opinion
3 about it, that those were the orders and that what was being done was what
4 had been ordered.
5 Q. What did you take him to mean when he said to you that he was
6 aware that "that was so" and that "those were the orders"?
7 A. I can just say what my impression was at the time, and that was
8 that this operation which was being implemented, that he had been informed
9 about it, that he was well aware of it, and that what I told him was
10 nothing new to him and that these were not new information that he was
11 hearing for the first time.
12 Q. Did he do anything to dissuade you from carrying out future
13 conduct in relation to the separation and murder of the men?
14 A. No, I didn't receive any instructions or any orders of any kind.
15 Q. Did he do anything to dissuade you from taking part in the
16 organisation of the transportation of the women and children from
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did he do anything to encourage your continued involvement in
20 these events that evening? Did he say or do anything that evening to
21 encourage your continued involvement in this operation to move out the
22 women and children and detain and kill the men?
23 A. No, he didn't say anything along those lines that would give me
24 the impression that he was encouraging me to do anything else.
25 Q. Did he -- what was your understanding of what your duties would be
1 the following day, 13 July, based on your meeting with your commander?
2 A. My understanding was that the following day, I would continue to
3 be engaged in that operation until its completion, that is, the
4 evacuation, separation, and detention of the separated men.
5 Q. And did your commander ever say anything that night suggesting
6 that you would continue those duties the next day?
7 A. That night or rather that evening he didn't, but the next day he
9 Q. Okay. So how long do you think you were in the office talking to
10 your commander about the day's events that evening?
11 A. I think that that conversation didn't last long. Shall we say
12 between 15 and 20 minutes, very roughly speaking, and a maximum of that
13 amount of time.
14 Q. What did you do after the meeting?
15 A. After that meeting, I went to my own office and wrote a report to
16 the corps command, to the department for intelligence and security
17 affairs, regarding the situation and the progress of the evacuation during
18 that day.
19 Q. Were there any significant details in that written report that you
20 didn't -- or that you hadn't discussed with your commander in your
21 previous meeting with the commander?
22 A. No. There was nothing in particular except, I wish to point out,
23 that in that report I didn't indicate the intention to kill. I wrote down
24 all the other information I had in that report to the command of the Drina
1 Q. What did you do with that written report?
2 A. That report I took to the communications centre where there is a
3 code. I handed it to the person who actually dispatches such reports, and
4 that evening he sent that report to the corps command.
5 Q. Did you deliver the written report to anyone else personally?
6 A. No. That report does not -- is not as a rule handed to anyone
7 else. That was the normal practice. After the exchange of information, I
8 wrote down what I had informed the commander of, and there was no need for
9 me to carry that report to anyone, and not even to the commander for his
11 Q. Did you have any other dealings with any other officers at the
12 Bratunac Brigade that evening?
13 A. I did. At the Bratunac Brigade headquarters on the 12th in the
14 evening, I talked to -- but this was not in the form of an official
15 conversation, in the operations room, I spoke to a group of officers who
16 happened to be there that evening.
17 Q. Who do you recall were there in that group?
18 A. I remember the presence of the assistant commander for logistics,
19 Dragoslav Trisic. I think, but I'm not sure, that also present were his
20 associates from the transportation service and the technical service. I
21 think that an officer from the operations and training sector was there,
22 Milorad Micic, I think. Anyway, officers from the brigade command.
23 Q. Was this informal meeting as you've called it, did that occur
24 before or after your meeting with Mr. Blagojevic in his office?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this was no meeting. I just came there. After
1 sending the report, I came to the operations room. It was just an
2 informal contacts with those people because that was our regular habit, to
3 gather there after the day's activities.
4 Q. What did you discuss of significance?
5 A. We mostly discussed the situation as it was in Potocari. Each one
6 of us briefly expressed his views and impressions of what he had seen
7 during the day. So we discussed this difficult situation, the evacuation,
8 and everything that they had seen and I had seen in Potocari. We did not
9 discuss the question of killing, and I didn't discuss that matter with
11 Q. Did you have a particular assignment that evening in the Bratunac
13 A. Yes. On the 12th of July, 1995, I was the duty officer in the
14 command of the Bratunac Brigade.
15 Q. And briefly describe to us what the duties of the duty -- brigade
16 duty officer were at that time in your brigade.
17 A. The duties of the duty officer in the brigade are mostly to sit
18 there, to be on duty in a room that is known as the operations room.
19 Also, the duty of the officer on duty is all the information received from
20 a superior command and all requests or needs coming from subordinate units
21 of the battalion, to receive them in that operations room, to record them,
22 and the information that he considers to be urgent or are marked as
23 urgent, that about them he should inform the chief of staff or the
24 commander. Also, the duty of the duty officer is to record all
25 information as he receives them regarding the movement of enemy forces or
1 intelligence information, regardless of the level they may be coming from,
2 which means from both subordinate units and superior commands, from
3 neighbouring units. And in a timely fashion and fully, to inform the
4 chief of staff or the commander of the brigade of the same.
5 And also, as is quite normal, to control and take all measures to
6 provide security for the headquarters and all the other tasks that may be
7 assigned to him, aside from his regular duties by the chief of staff or
8 the commander and to carry them out. And of course, this also implies
9 passing on orders from superior units to subordinate units when they go
10 through the duty officer.
11 Q. What were the working hours of the duty officer that night?
12 A. In fact, to all intents and purposes, the duty officer would stay
13 on duty by 12.00 insofar as I can remember, and at 12.00, he would be
14 relieved by the assistant duty officer in the brigade. That was the
15 principle. However, as on that day I had been busy with the activities in
16 Potocari, I was being replaced by staff officers. And that night, I
17 stayed until 3.00 in the morning at the brigade headquarters.
18 Q. So when you say normally, the duty is to 12.00, is that 12.00 noon
19 or 12.00 midnight?
20 A. 2400 hours, midnight. That's what I mean. 12.00 in the evening,
22 Q. And so why did you stay until 3.00 a.m.?
23 A. I stayed until 3.00 a.m. Because during that day, I had not been
24 in the operations room for the most part. I spent most of the day back in
25 Potocari. But I remember most clearly is the reason my assistant was
1 standing in for me most of that time. When I arrived in the operations
2 room, he left to rest and relieve me later on as the duty officer.
3 Q. And who was this person that relieved you?
4 A. That evening, Mirko Jankovic stood in for me. He was the
5 commander of the military police platoon in the Bratunac Brigade.
6 Q. Do you know who the duty officer was during the day when Mirko
7 Jankovic was in Potocari and you were also in Potocari, as you've
8 described earlier?
9 A. Well, all I can tell you is that this was the established
10 practise. If the duty officer needed -- for example, this did happen to
11 me a number of times before this day we're talking about. In that case,
12 the clerks, for example, Milorad Micic was an administrator in the
13 operations and training department who would very often relieve operations
14 duty officers because he was physically there, and he had the spare time
15 to do it. And he would often stand in for me and for other people, too.
16 I don't remember exactly who replaced me on that particular day.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may object here.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I would ask if you could please caution the witness
20 to answer the question and only the question. He was asked a particular
21 question, and then it was a non sequitur that has nothing to do with the
22 question he was being asked. And if he wishes to volunteer information,
23 or if he needs to explain an answer, he can ask permission or he can just
24 do so, as is the habit in the Court.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think the witness answered the
1 question by his last sentence. Of course, the witness has to understand
2 that this is a question/answer process. If the Prosecution need more
3 informations, he could ask you about those informations. Just concentrate
4 on the questions the Prosecution asks to you. Do you understand? Thank
6 You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. And what did you do at 3.00 a.m.?
9 A. At 3.00 a.m., I went back home to sleep.
10 Q. And when did you next continue your duties as an officer of the
11 Bratunac Brigade?
12 A. I continued my duties on the 13th, in the morning. Just after
13 7.00, I arrived at the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
14 Q. And what did you do that morning at the brigade headquarters?
15 A. That morning, I spent some time in the operations room after which
16 I spoke to Commander Blagojevic.
17 Q. Before speaking to your commander, did you receive any
18 intelligence information about the Muslim forces?
19 A. Yes. On the 12th in the evening, and on the 13th in the morning,
20 I was receiving intelligence on the position and movement of the Muslim
22 Q. What information did you get about the Muslims on the morning of
23 the 13th in the direction of Konjevic Polje?
24 A. I received information that they were moving towards Konjevic
25 Polje, that already at that time in the morning hours, Muslims had been
1 captured there.
2 Q. And when you went to see your commander, was there anybody else in
3 the room with you and he?
4 A. No. No, there was no one else, just the two of us alone.
5 Q. What did he say to you, if anything?
6 A. He told me to continue my activities, the ones that I'd started on
7 the 12th, that I should get involved on the same tasks and assignments
8 that I had been involved in on the 12th of July.
9 Q. Did he mention any of those things specifically, any of the
10 specific tasks?
11 A. The same tasks as the previous day. The evacuation of the
12 civilian population, the women and children, the separation of men, and
13 the coordination of work in the Potocari area where forces were active as
14 on the previous day.
15 Q. And did you make any reports to him, or any statements?
16 A. Aside from the information that was related to the movement of
17 Muslims and their column, we also knew that men were beginning to be
18 captured on that road, on the 13th.
19 Q. Did you tell your commander that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did he have any comment about that?
22 A. No, nothing special.
23 Q. And so what did you do after that -- let me ask. Was there
24 anybody else present at that meeting?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: It has been asked and answered. The answer was no,
1 nobody was present in the room.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, you are too fast.
3 Well, Mr. McCloskey, maybe you could reconsider your question.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I wasn't sure I had asked if. I just
5 wanted to make sure it was clear. If Mr. Karnavas tells me I did, I
6 believe him, and we can go on to another question.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may continue your question to make sure that
8 question is answered.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY:
10 Q. Can you just -- just to make sure, was there anybody in the room
11 when you had this meeting with your commander on the morning of the 13th?
12 A. No. As I have said before, no one else.
13 Q. What did you do after that meeting?
14 A. After that meeting, I went to Potocari. In Potocari, I found
15 units that were already active there. That day, like the previous day, I
16 worked on coordination, on providing assistance, providing advice related
17 to the continuing evacuation, to the separation of men, to the temporary
18 detention of men, and the transfer of men to a temporary detention
19 facilities in Bratunac.
20 Q. How long were you there on this visit to Potocari on the 13th?
21 A. I was in Potocari only very briefly on the 13th. So on the whole,
22 this lasted for one hour at most, perhaps a little longer after which I
23 went back to the headquarters, or rather, to the military police building
24 where the military police were stationed.
25 Q. While you were in Potocari on the 13th, did you see any abuse of
2 A. Yes, I did. I saw the same thing that had happened on the
3 previous day, on the 12th.
4 Q. Did you see any Muslim men or women or children murdered by anyone
5 in Potocari on the 12th or 13th?
6 A. No. Neither on the 12th, nor on the 13th did I see anyone killed.
7 However, I did hear that these things had happened outside the base where
8 the civilian population was gathered.
9 Q. Where did you get this information from, that someone -- or that
10 Muslims had been killed outside the base?
11 A. I heard this from the DutchBat people, and also from some soldiers
12 who were in Potocari, or rather, from the policemen who were in Potocari,
13 policemen from the Bratunac security station.
14 Q. So when you say "policemen from the Bratunac security station,"
15 you're talking about MUP, Ministry of the Interior police forces?
16 A. Yes, those were members of the ministry of internal affairs from
17 the Bratunac public security station.
18 Q. On the 12 or 13th, was there any gunfire in and around Potocari?
19 A. There was gunfire on both days, both in and around Potocari.
20 Q. What did you do when you went back -- you said you went back to
21 the Bratunac Brigade command. I believe you went to the offices of the
22 military police. What did you do there?
23 A. Yes. When I arrived at the military police building, I found out
24 that during that day, General Mladic was supposed to pass down the
25 Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road along with a group of officers.
1 Q. Who did you find this out from?
2 A. The duty operations officer of the military police told me. So
3 did the commander of military police, Jankovic.
4 Q. So does the military police platoon have its own separate duty
5 officer as from the brigade duty officer?
6 A. Yes. According to its structure, a military police platoon had a
7 duty operations officer within the military police platoon on a daily
9 Q. And we'll have an exhibit later on, an aerial image. But can you
10 just tell us briefly where the military police offices are compared with
11 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters offices.
12 A. I can. The Bratunac Brigade headquarters was at the Kalin
13 factory in Bratunac. In front of that building, there was another prefab
14 building at a distance of about 20 or 30 metres from the brigade
15 headquarters. This building was not physically linked to the
16 headquarters, but it was in the immediate vicinity. Like I said, nothing
17 special, two buildings. One was the brigade headquarters, and the other
18 was the police building nearby. That's all.
19 Q. So what did you do with this information about Mladic going in
20 that area, if anything?
21 A. After that, I took a vehicle and a police officer with me, and I
22 drove out on to the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road. I wanted to check
23 whether the road was safe.
24 Q. About what time did you leave Bratunac and drive along the
25 Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road?
1 A. I can't be very specific about this, but it may have been about
2 11.00, perhaps half past 11.00. Maybe even a little later, but it was
3 around that time.
4 Q. And what did you see along that road?
5 A. All the way down that road as far as Kravica, I didn't see
6 anything out of the ordinary. Near Kravica, in the Sandici area, I saw
7 forces of the special brigade of the MUP. In Sandici, I saw heavy
8 weaponry, Pragas, self-propelled machine-guns, tanks that I knew belonged
9 to the MUP special brigade. Further, I saw forces deployed between
10 Sandici all the way to Konjevic Polje.
11 Q. Did you know who was in command, immediate command of these forces
12 stationed along this road, these MUP forces?
13 A. I knew that those were forces under the command of Ljubisa
14 Borovcanin. The immediate commander was Dusko Jevic.
15 Q. And did you see any Muslims along that road at that time?
16 A. Yes, I did. I saw several captured Muslims as I was passing on my
17 way to Konjevic Polje.
18 Q. Do you recall roughly the area that you saw the captured Muslims
19 and roughly how many?
20 A. As I was passing, I saw them in the Sandici area. There must have
21 been between 10 and 15 men who had been captured, perhaps even less than
22 that, but roughly speaking.
23 Q. Had you met with Dusko Jevic in the morning of the 13th during
24 your visit to Potocari that morning?
25 A. Yes. In the morning on the 13th, I met Dusko Jevic in Potocari.
1 In addition to the instructions to continue with the same tasks as on the
2 previous day, I also told Dusko Jevic to convey the order to his units
3 along the road that the captured Muslims should be assembled in one place,
4 that they should be secured, and that they would later be evacuated to
6 Q. And are you referring to Muslims captured along the Konjevic
7 Polje/Bratunac Road?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. So back on your trip along that road, where did you go?
10 A. Would you please repeat the question. I don't think I understood
11 the question.
12 Q. Just going back to your trip along the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje
13 Road, where did you end up driving to and stopping?
14 A. I came from the direction of Kravica and stopped at the junction
15 in Konjevic Polje.
16 Q. And what did you see there at this junction? Can you just
17 describe for us what this junction looks like and who, if anyone, you saw.
18 A. Yes, I can. The junction is a crossroads mainly. There's a road
19 coming from -- turning off right to Kaznemik [phoen], and then to the
20 right there's a road leading to Nova Kasaba and Vlasenica. It was there I
21 found members of the MUP from the Bratunac public security station. There
22 were a large number, or rather many Muslims there who had been captured
23 and detained in a house guarded by men from the engineering battalion from
24 Konjevic Polje.
25 Q. Can you describe what the engineering battalion is, who it
1 belonged to, what kind of facility was there.
2 A. The engineering battalion was part of the Drina Corps. The
3 battalion was based in some privately owned houses in Konjevic Polje.
4 That's where the headquarters was, their communication centre, the
5 kitchen, and other facilities. I think partly they were using the
6 elementary school in Konjevic Polje, the elementary school building to
7 accommodate their people and provide logistics for them. All in all, this
8 is a unit which before combat operations had already been stationed in the
10 Q. And you mentioned you'd seen large numbers of Muslim prisoners in
11 this area. Can you give us any kind of an estimate of roughly the amount
12 you're talking about.
13 A. In that area, according to my rough estimate, there were between
14 200 and 250 Muslims who had been captured. If you count in all the
15 captured persons who were in a meadow in Konjevic Polje, those detained in
16 one of the buildings across the road from the junction itself, an old
17 building, and some of the captured men who were put up in a house used by
18 members of the engineering battalion, that would have been the total
19 number of people captured in Konjevic Polje.
20 Q. There's a gas station today in Konjevic Polje. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, there is one. The gas station is where the old building was,
22 the one that I have been talking about.
23 Q. This old building is one of the buildings where the Muslim
24 prisoners were stored?
25 A. Yes. Yes.
1 Q. So what did you do when you got to this area and you saw this?
2 A. I spoke to the MUP people who were manning the checkpoint there.
3 I told them to assemble all the Muslims that had been captured and detain
4 them in those buildings. I said that transport would be organised and
5 provided for those Muslims in the course of the day, and they would
6 eventually be transferred to Bratunac.
7 Q. Was there some kind of a MUP headquarters building in Konjevic
9 A. They had a permanent checkpoint there. I do know that in that
10 period of time, a unit from the special brigade was housed there in the
11 premises of the elementary school in Konjevic Polje, whereas the command
12 in Konjevic Polje, the only command or headquarters, was of the engineers'
13 battalion which had its headquarters in Konjevic Polje.
14 Q. So after informing the MUP officers there of what to do with
15 captured prisoners, what else did you do?
16 A. After that, I waited for General Mladic to arrive, and it had been
17 announced that he would be passing through Konjevic Polje. In the
18 meantime, I was informed by members of the MUP that an important prisoner
19 was being held in a house, and his name is Resid Sinanovic, and he was
20 important because he was on the list of war criminals, former head of the
21 public security station in Bratunac, or the MUP in Bratunac.
22 Q. So what did you do in relation to Resid Sinanovic?
23 A. In relation to Resid Sinanovic, when I left for Bratunac, I
24 personally took Resid Sinanovic with me in the car and drove him to the
25 police of the Bratunac Brigade.
1 Q. Why did you do that?
2 A. I did that because I was told that he was among the people who
3 were war criminals and that he was responsible for certain acts or
4 military activities that had taken place in Bratunac Municipality. And I
5 simply thought that as such, he needed to be taken and handed over to the
6 police, interrogated regarding those events because in that period of
7 time, there was certain killings and murders among the Serb population,
8 military men and civilians, that had not been fully investigated.
9 Q. Who in particular do you recall did you turn him over to at the
10 military police?
11 A. I took Sinanovic over myself, drove him to Bratunac, and turned
12 him over to Zlatan Celanovic, a graduate lawyer who was a member of the
13 Bratunac Brigade.
14 Q. Did this lawyer, Mr. Zlatan, is his first name, was he associated
15 with the military police in some way?
16 A. Celanovic, Zlatan, in practise had a role and position in the
17 military police platoon. And throughout that period, even though in paper
18 and according to orders he had different duties by establishment, he was
19 engaged throughout until the end of the war in the military police
20 building, and he engaged in activities that mostly were related to the
21 military police and had to do with legal matters.
22 Q. Did he ever interview and interrogate prisoners to your knowledge?
23 A. Yes. Yes, Zlatan Celanovic did interview prisoners, compile
24 reports, and a copy of those reports would also be sent to me.
25 Q. Let me just take you back to Konjevic Polje. Before you take Mr.
1 Sinanovic to Bratunac, what do you do there at Konjevic Polje?
2 A. In Konjevic Polje, I gave instructions to the officers of the MUP
3 and the units engaged there as to how prisoners should be treated after
4 being captured. I waited in Konjevic Polje for the arrival of
5 General Mladic. In Konjevic Polje, I reported to him. I saw him address
6 the captives in Konjevic Polje. And after he left, I returned to
8 Q. What instructions did you give the MUP on how to deal with the
9 prisoners that they had in Konjevic Polje?
10 A. I told members of the MUP that the prisoners in Konjevic Polje:
11 Those that surrender or those that are captured should be detained in
12 premises that can easily be secured, that during the day transportation
13 would be organised, and that those imprisoned Muslims would be transported
14 to Bratunac during the day.
15 Q. From your knowledge, what was going to happen to those prisoners
16 that went from the Konjevic Polje area to Bratunac?
17 A. The same that was to happen, or rather, what had been planned and
18 ordered regarding prisoners in Potocari. And in my opinion, all those
19 captured in that period enjoyed the same status, whether it was on the
20 roads or in Potocari itself.
21 Q. What was that status?
22 A. Those prisoners were to be transported to Bratunac, temporarily
23 detained in premises and buildings designated for that temporary
24 detention, and after that, killed like all the others that had been
25 separated on the 12th and 13th in Potocari.
1 Q. Had any officer or superior specifically told you that regarding
2 the fate of the Muslim men along the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road?
3 A. All I can do is describe to you my encounter with General Mladic
4 and his gesture when I reported to him regarding the prisoners. He
5 addressed the prisoners and said to those in the meadow not to worry at
6 all, that transportation would be organised, that they would be
7 transferred to free territory. That was what he said when he addressed
8 them. When he completed that speech, in the middle of the road where I
9 had reported to him, I asked him: "General, sir, what is going to happen
10 to these men?" And he simply gestured. He didn't say anything. With his
11 hand in answer to my question, he waved his hand and showed me what would
12 happen. I understood that to mean that those men would be killed.
13 Actually, I saw that to be a confirmation of what was already
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may interrupt, I notice that the
16 witness made a gesture. I don't know if that was the gesture that
17 General Mladic made, but he did make a gesture, and it wasn't recorded on
18 the record. Perhaps Mr. McCloskey could clarify that point.
19 JUDGE LIU: I believe Mr. McCloskey will ask a few questions along
20 this line. You may proceed.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can the record reflect that the witness made a
22 gesture with his hand across his chest area with his palm down, just a
23 sweeping gesture.
24 Q. Prior to this gesture from General Mladic, what did you think was
25 going to happen to the men captured along the Konjevic Polje/Bratunac Road
1 on the 13th?
2 A. I didn't have any thoughts about it. I knew what was going to
3 happen to them, Mr. Prosecutor. I knew that those men would be captured,
4 and after that killed. I knew that.
5 Q. And what did you base that knowledge on, if you could just briefly
6 tell us?
7 A. That knowledge of mine was based, first of all, on the
8 conversation I had had with Mr. Popovic and Mr. Kosoric. They personally
9 told me what had happened to those men. He told me what would happen to
10 the captured Muslims. So this was all part of a unified operation, so the
11 status of those captured along the roads did not differ in any sense from
12 those in Potocari. Those captured along the roads were able-bodied men.
13 In Potocari, there were some who were able-bodied, some who were not. And
14 it was quite clear that if I was told that those men would be captured,
15 temporarily detained, and after that killed, then it is quite clear that
16 the fate of those who did not surrender and who did not come to Potocari
17 would be exactly the same.
18 And there was no other conclusion that I could draw except that
19 those men would suffer the same fate as those separated in Potocari.
20 Q. Okay. So what did you do after dropping Resid Sinanovic off at
21 the military police barracks?
22 A. I didn't understand your question. I'm sorry.
23 Q. Sorry. After you took Resid Sinanovic to the military police,
24 what did you do then?
25 A. After that, I, Mirko Jankovic, and Mile Petrovic, that is, the
1 police commander and deputy police commander, from the compound of the
2 Bratunac Brigade barracks, we took an APC which Mirko Jankovic knew how to
3 drive, and we drove off to the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road.
4 Q. Now, when you say Mirko Jankovic and Mile Petrovic, they are
5 police commander and deputy police commander of the Bratunac Brigade
6 military police. Correct?
7 A. Yes, yes, I meant the military police.
8 Q. And where was this -- APC is an armoured personnel carrier. Is
9 that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And where was this APC from?
12 A. The armoured personnel carrier was from the Dutch Battalion, and
13 it had been seized when the Srebrenica enclave had been captured.
14 Q. What colour was it when you were -- you and Mirko Jankovic and
15 Petrovic were in it?
16 A. It was a white armoured personnel carrier with the UN letters
17 written in bold capitals, as far as I can remember.
18 Q. So where did you go in this APC?
19 A. After we took the APC, we drove off to the
20 Bratunac/Konjevic Polje Road.
21 Q. And what were you doing as you were driving along the road in this
23 A. As we moved along in this APC, Mirko Jankovic was driving. Mile
24 Petrovic used a loudspeaker which was in the APC, and I sat on the APC.
25 We drove from Kravica towards Konjevic Polje, and after Sandici, Mile
1 Petrovic took the megaphone and called on the Muslims to surrender, the
2 Muslims who were in the woods along that road.
3 Q. Where did you first stop, if anywhere, along this road?
4 A. We stopped for the first time somewhere in the region of the
5 village of Pervani. I think after Sandici, there is Lolici, and then
6 Pervani villages.
7 Q. And then what did you do?
8 A. When we stopped on that occasion, five or six Muslim soldiers
9 surrendered to us. We took them into the APC and continued on our way to
10 Konjevic Polje.
11 Q. And then what did you do?
12 A. We reached Konjevic Polje. I got off the armoured personnel
13 carrier and told Mile Petrovic to take the prisoners to a group of other
14 prisoners who were already there. And I went and sat down under the eaves
15 of a house that had been burnt and where a certain number of Muslims were
16 sitting there already, captured Muslims. I told him to take those Muslims
17 to join that group. And after that, to come back to the spot where I was.
18 Q. And what happened then?
19 A. After some 10 minutes or so, I heard a burst of fire not far from
20 the spot where I was. And this burst of fire reached me from the
21 direction of the building where the petrol station is now. This was on
22 the bank of the River Jadar. Shortly after that burst of fire, Mile
23 Jankovic [as interpreted] came under this awning where I was sitting and
24 told me the following: "Chief, I've taken revenge for my brother, and
25 I've killed them."
1 Q. What did you do upon receiving this information?
2 A. I didn't do anything.
3 Q. Did you ever report his killings up your chain of command?
4 A. I did not, Your Honours and Mr. Prosecutor. I didn't inform
5 anyone about that killing because I felt that in view of all the numerous
6 killings and the knowledge I had as to what would happen to all those
7 prisoners, I didn't feel that any such report would have any sense.
8 Q. So what did you guys do after that?
9 A. After that, together with Mirko Jankovic and Mile Petrovic, I
10 returned to the Bratunac Brigade.
11 Q. And about what time did you get back to the Bratunac Brigade?
12 A. This could have been in the evening by then. So between 18 and
13 1900 hours. I really can't be more precise than that. But anyway, late
14 in the afternoon, it still wasn't dark but it was the afternoon.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I've just noticed -- I
17 have been watching the monitor here. And it indicates that the gentleman
18 might have said that it was "Mile Jankovic." We have a Mirko Jankovic and
19 a Mile Petrovic. But it denotes that a Mile Jankovic was the one that
20 came back and said: "Boss, I just took revenge." So if we could have
21 some clarification.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, sometimes we also got confused with all those
24 Mr. McCloskey, you may clarify this matter for us by asking some
25 questions to the witness.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. Who was it that came back and told you he'd just taken revenge
3 upon the Muslims?
4 A. Mile Petrovic.
5 Q. Okay.
6 Now, when you drove back to Bratunac that, as you described, late
7 afternoon, early evening but it was still light, what did you see along
8 the road between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac?
9 A. Returning from Konjevic Polje on the way to Bratunac, I saw
10 columns of captured Muslims moving towards Konjevic Polje. Then I also
11 saw columns of captured Muslims moving towards Sandici, which means in the
12 opposite direction. Then I saw again, as we moved along, some bodies next
13 to the asphalt road. There would be groups of two, three, four, or five
14 bodies, depending. Then in Sandici, I saw a large group of captured
15 Muslims in a meadow in Sandici.
16 And in Sandici, I recognised and identified the same combat
17 vehicles that I had seen on my way to Konjevic Polje, which means a Praga,
18 self-propelled machine-gun, and tanks. And after that, in the Kravica
19 area, I saw several soldiers, but nothing in particular. In Kravica, I
20 also saw members of the Bratunac MUP on my way back, and they were
21 standing in front of the old cultural centre which had been burnt and
22 destroyed. And after Kravica, I didn't see anything special. I continued
23 on my way to Bratunac.
24 Q. Did you see any Muslim prisoners alive or dead around the area of
25 the Kravica warehouse as you went by it that afternoon/evening?
1 A. No, I already said that in -- on that part of the road, I didn't
2 see any prisoners in the area of Kravica.
3 Q. On your trip from Bratunac to Konjevic Polje and back, the second
4 one you've just now described, aside from yourself, Mirko Jankovic, and
5 Mile Petrovic, did you see any members of the Bratunac Brigade along that
7 A. When I was there, I didn't see members of the Bratunac Brigade
8 along the road. I saw members of other military units. There were
9 troops, but I really was not able to tell which units they belonged to
10 because the uniforms of civilians and policemen are almost identical.
11 Q. Were you able to recognise by name any of the MUP officers that
12 you saw in Konjevic Polje?
13 A. Yes. In Konjevic Polje, I did recognise members of the MUP from
14 Bratunac. There was Nenad Deronjic, a policeman. And another policeman,
15 Mirko -- I know his name, but I can't remember the surname. Mirko Peric.
16 So one was an older policeman, and this Deronjic was a younger policeman.
17 And they were in Konjevic Polje.
18 Q. On your first trip to Konjevic Polje where you picked up Resid
19 Sinanovic, did you see any Bratunac Brigade soldiers or officers along
20 that road or in that area?
21 A. No. I really didn't identify or see any members of the Bratunac
22 Brigade along that road that I was moving on.
23 Q. And a subject you briefly mentioned, the uniforms of the special
24 brigade of the MUP under Borovcanin and Jeftic, was there any way to
25 distinguish those uniforms from the uniforms of VRS soldiers such as the
1 Bratunac Brigade or other VRS soldiers?
2 A. Well, let me tell you, you could only tell by the insignia that
3 the special brigade wore on their sleeves, the sleeves of their uniforms.
4 That emblem and insignia differed, and you could identify them by those
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this might be a good place to stop
7 for the day. I think we're about through.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Could I ask you at this moment how long, how
9 many hours, are you going to use for tomorrow?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll take a look at my outline. One second.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I hope to finish tomorrow. It's
13 hard to gauge precisely, but I only have two pages of the outline. I have
14 some documents and a couple of intercepts to go over. But I don't think
15 that there should be any lengthy discussion on any of those. I am very
16 much going to try to finish up tomorrow.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's very encouraging. And we lost some time.
18 For instance, last week we lost two days. And today we lost one sitting.
19 And if you need some time longer, we might sit tomorrow afternoon. But we
20 hope we will not.
21 Well, tomorrow morning, we'll go back to Courtroom III upstairs.
22 So we'll resume at 9.00. The hearing is adjourned.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
24 at 1.36 p.m. To be reconvened on Tuesday,
25 the 23rd day of September, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.