1 Monday, 6 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, The Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Good morning, ladies and
9 gentlemen. Before we start with the direct examination of this witness,
10 there's two matters I would like to announce. All those things are
11 related to the scheduling arrangement. The first thing is that today and
12 tomorrow, in the morning session, we'll finish at 1.30 instead of 1.45,
13 and we'll continue at 3.00 until 4.30.
14 Another matter is on Wednesday, if we have to sit, we have to sit
15 in the afternoon from 2.15 until 7.00. And at the same time, I want to
16 reiterate the Bench's position that if Mr. Blagojevic wants to ask some
17 questions to the witness, the best way is for him to write down his
18 questions on a piece of paper and pass it to his counsel. The statement
19 by the accused normally is not a good way because we sense there's a
20 danger for himself to incriminalise himself.
21 Having said that, could we have the witness, please.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Mr. Obrenovic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: How are you this morning?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm well. Thank you. And ready to
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
4 Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And good morning, Your Honours.
6 WITNESS: Dragan Obrenovic [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Mr. McCloskey: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Obrenovic.
10 A. Good morning, Mr. McCloskey.
11 Q. I'd like to start off with a document that has been previously
12 marked as D22/1. You have the original B/C/S version in front of you, if
13 you could just take a moment to look at that. And the English is on the
14 ELMO. You've had a chance to view this document prior to coming to Court
15 today, haven't you, Mr. Obrenovic?
16 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey, I have. It is on one of the CDs that the OTP
17 supplied me with, at least my lawyer and myself.
18 Q. And do you recall this document coming to the Zvornik Brigade
19 during the war period?
20 A. The kind of document that I'm reading through here and now, coming
21 from the main staff, never arrived. But another one did, a similar one.
22 I would say a copy compiled by the Drina Corps and forwarded to the
23 Zvornik Brigade.
24 Q. Okay. And do you know roughly when the Drina Corps' version of
25 this got to the Zvornik Brigade?
1 A. I remember it as being the winter of 1994, which means probably a
2 little later than the date it states here. The 24th of October is what it
3 says here. So I'm guessing it might have been some 20 days later or
4 thereabouts. I don't remember the exact date.
5 Q. Did this document cause any concern within the command for any
7 A. Well, I would say it did with Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, the
8 commander. Perhaps the term you used "concern," I don't know whether
9 that's the best term. But yes, in a sense he was rather angry or
10 something along those lines.
11 Q. Can you explain why you think he was angry, what he indicated.
12 A. I'll do my best, Mr. McCloskey. I saw it as Lieutenant-Colonel
13 Pandurevic considered that a similar instruction had already been issued,
14 or rather that he had been -- Drago Nikolic, security officer, had been
15 given greater authorisations than he had expected with respect to what
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic thought that security officers should have,
17 should be given.
18 Q. And did Drago Nikolic try to use this document in any way to do
19 anything, increase his authority or his powers?
20 A. Perhaps I ought to say that before this document arrived, not this
21 document but the similar one, the Zvornik Brigade headquarters, that
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic had already ordered that Drago Nikolic was
23 not allowed to send out any mail without his knowledge, and the commander
24 insisted that all his letters be opened from the superior command and from
25 the security organs as well. He also requested that the brigade stamp
1 should not be placed on a signature by Drago Nikolic, and he also asked
2 that Drago Nikolic should do duty work as a duty officer, like everybody
3 else at the forward command post or the command post, wherever. And we'd
4 discussed this previously.
5 So if I remember correctly, in this instruction, certain things
6 were ordered in such a way that Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic had to give
7 up his own concepts.
8 Q. Did this document allow Drago Nikolic to get out of his
9 obligations to be duty officer at the forward command post or the brigade
11 A. I think in a way --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his answer.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. The interpreters didn't get your answer, so let me just ask the
15 question again. Was Drago Nikolic able to get out of the duty officer
17 A. Drago Nikolic insisted that he shouldn't be a duty officer, and he
18 attempted to have that prevail. But the commander remained persistent and
19 did not want to give up his ideas so that nonetheless, despite everything,
20 Drago Nikolic was the duty officer both at headquarters and the forward
21 command post when his shift came up.
22 Q. What about communications, as you've talked about? Did this
23 document or the document related to it change the way communications were
24 delivered back and forth to the corps regarding who could look into them
25 and who couldn't?
1 A. I think that after this instruction was given, Drago Nikolic
2 looked at his postal mail, if I can put it that way, the mail he sent out
3 to the security organ of the superior command. That means
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic. He could send that without it having being
5 signed by Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, so it could be directly signed by
6 Drago Nikolic. And vice versa, the correspondence or communications
7 coming in. If Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic would be sending something and
8 if it was addressed to Second-Lieutenant Drago Nikolic, security organ of
9 the Zvornik Brigade, in person, then those communications would go
10 directly to Drago Nikolic and not to Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic.
11 Q. Okay. If we could go to the next --
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey, would you please repeat the number of
13 this document. It seems to me that we missed in the transcript.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's D22/1.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to the next document, it's
17 P117C is the English and D is the B/C/S. And if we could have the B/C/S
18 for the witness and the English for the ELMO. B/C/S is handwritten.
19 Q. Again, if you could take a little time to review this. I know
20 you've had a chance to review some of these prior to court.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra, your objection is still running.
22 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a 12 July intercept at 16.40 hours.
24 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, do you recall this particular conversation?
25 A. I do recall it, Mr. McCloskey.
1 Q. Do you recall actually having this conversation on the 12th of
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And so in your review of this transcript, does this appear to be
5 an accurate transcription of that conversation as far as you can remember
6 way back then?
7 A. Yes. And already the first sentence says what I told you about
8 two or three days ago, that I sent my intelligence man. I said I sent
9 Captain Vukotic to -- or rather, the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac
10 Brigade, and that's how this begins.
11 Q. Okay. Can you -- I won't have you go over that story again, but
12 we may have bits and pieces of it. Who were you speaking to? We see
13 "Obrenovic" and then it says "X." Who is X, if you recall?
14 A. X was Colonel Jocic from the command of the Drina Corps.
15 Q. Do you know what Jocic's position was that day?
16 A. Perhaps that day he was the operations duty officer in the Drina
17 Corps. I'm not quite sure. But by establishment, he was in the
18 operations of the -- we called him an operations officer.
19 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to start. Like you've said in the
20 beginning, you received information from your intelligence officer, and
21 you start providing the corps with, as you say, a detailed picture in the
22 third line. But this -- the fifth line: "The Turks are, my guys had
23 captured a Turk alive, but unfortunately later on they..." And then in
24 parentheses someone in background on Obrenovic side says "that has been
25 shot." And then Jocic says "they have sent him." And you say: "Yes,
1 they have sent him for exchange."
2 Can you explain what that business about -- did someone on your
3 side say that he'd been shot?
4 A. Yes, I think that this is Captain Vukotic, that he said that. The
5 communication line was open. It was an open line, the one I used. And he
6 was in the office, and he added this expression as an aside. And it meant
7 that that person had been killed.
8 Q. So when you said "yes, they have sent him for exchange," was that
10 A. No. As you can see in the previous sentence, I started talking,
11 and I said: "But unfortunately, later on they..." And then
12 Captain Vukotic came in with the comment "that has been shot." And then
13 Colonel Jocic said "they sent him." And then this prompted me to say
14 "yes, they sent him for exchange." Because of the communication line, we
15 knew they were being listened in to, tapped into.
16 Q. And then it says: "They have information from both him and from
17 the spot." So is it your understanding that -- what do you think that
18 means, "they have received information from him"? Which person is the
20 A. As I've already said, Captain Vukotic was in the 4th Battalion, or
21 rather was 8th Battalion previously. And early in the morning we received
22 information that there was somebody who had been captured up there. But
23 not only because of that, but also because of gaining an insight into the
24 situation, I made the decision and sent Captain Vukotic to this 4th
25 Battalion for the simple reason of gaining an impression as to what we
1 could expect from those forces, along the usual corridors in our
2 direction. So that was the idea, that there was a live prisoner up there
3 somewhere, and Captain Vukotic left. However, while he was on his way to
4 the 4th Battalion, that particular prisoner was no longer alive. And the
5 people he talked to up there told him that -- he received information
6 about the interrogation of that prisoner while he was still alive. And on
7 the spot, the other soldiers told him what had actually happened so that
8 this observation relates to that, that means they have information about
9 the interrogation of that prisoner and also what other soldiers and
10 officers told him in Kajici about the situation there. And it was all to
11 do with the forces that might be moving and advancing towards the Zvornik
13 Q. Did Vukotic tell you the circumstances surrounding the shooting of
14 this prisoner?
15 A. No, he didn't give me the details. I don't remember.
16 Q. And then the remaining part of this intercept is -- indicates the
17 knowledge you learned about the various forces as you testified to last
18 week. Is that right?
19 A. Yes, because I had information from Captain Vukotic, but I said
20 that Lieutenant-Colonel Mane Djuric the deputy officer of security in
21 Zvornik called me up who was up there, at Konjevic Polje on the spot or
22 thereabouts, and provided detailed information as to who was where. So
23 Captain Vukotic and Lieutenant-Colonel Mane Djuric were my sources of
25 Q. On the second page of the English, there's a -- I'm not sure where
1 it is on yours, but there's a mention of -- you say the second group from
2 the Protection Regiment, and then Jocic says "yes," and you say, "patrols
3 along the Kasaba/Jelah axis."
4 Now, who-- again, can you just remind us, who the protection
5 regiment is. Just take a minute if you need to find it.
6 A. Mr. McCloskey, it's a battalion of the military police from the
7 63rd Protection Regiment of the main staff. That's who that is about.
8 And it was permanently located --
9 Q. I'm sorry, just for the record, did you say 63rd or 65th?
10 A. I apologise. I meant the 65th Protection Regiment of the main
11 staff. It's a battalion of theirs that was constantly deployed there and
12 its basic location was in Kasaba. And they were moving along that road.
13 Q. Okay. And so could you -- can you show us where you learned that
14 they were stationed, if you could use the pointer again, where the
15 Protection Regiment so we know where the Kasaba/Jelah axis is as you state
16 in the intercept?
17 A. This is where Kasaba is here. And I think that Jelah is -- this
18 is a large-scale map. This is the bridge at Kaldrmica.
19 Q. And for the record, that's just south of Nova Kasaba on the map,
20 the bridge at Kaldrmica?
21 A. Yes. Well, it's on the road towards Cerska, that particular
23 Q. Then that would be north of Nova Kasaba?
24 A. Yes, you're right. I apologise. Quite right.
25 Q. All right. And if we could go to the next exhibit, which is
1 P118A, and page 6 for the ELMO. I think it has been marked for you. And
2 the B/C/S has been marked.
3 If you could go to 13 July in that B/C/S exhibit. But first,
4 could you tell us the title of this exhibit, this book that we've given
6 A. Mr. McCloskey, on the cover here it says "IKM," which means
7 forward command post, Kitovnice. It is the logbook or diary of the duty
8 officer so that we don't get confused, this is the diary or logbook of the
9 duty officer at the forward command post, not the operations duty officer
10 at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters, but the logbook kept by the senior
11 officer at the forward command post.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. And this is a collection of pages from that notebook that they
14 kept up there.
15 Q. And if you could look to the 13 July entry, it says: "I took over
16 duty (unscheduled) from Lieutenant Drago Nikolic at 2300 hours." And
17 under that is the name "Major Galic." Does this fit into the account that
18 you had provided us earlier, about Drago Nikolic contacting you and asking
19 to be relieved from the forward command post?
20 A. I would say that that was the continuation. When he asked me to
21 relieve him at the forward command post, I said, "See who the next duty
22 officer is according to the schedule." And when that comes about, you
23 call him. So quite obviously, the shift was at 2300 hours which would
24 make it part of that schedule.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
1 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. We would like to object to
2 this -- not to the authenticity -- to the authenticity, but not to the
3 ability of Mr. McCloskey to direct from this document, but I do want to
4 object that up until this morning, this document was missing pages that
5 had to do with July 13th, 14th, and 15th. 13th and 14th. We were just
6 handed these additional pages before Court began today. But up until this
7 time, those pages, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th, were missing. And I just,
8 for clarification purposes, need to know whether this was a document
9 provided by Mr. Obrenovic or how they secured this document.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: This document has never had any missing pages.
12 The -- what we provided you were the English translations of one of these
13 newer logbooks that were provided to us, and we have just provided the
14 English translations of those pages. So those things don't have anything
15 to do with this logbook. We'll get to that logbook in a minute. But it's
16 a different logbook as the witness was trying to make that clear.
17 This logbook was obtained in a search warrant of the Zvornik
18 Brigade years ago and has been provided in English and in B/C/S for years
20 MS. SINATRA: I will accept the fact that this is not an Obrenovic
21 document. But I do have to object because we were just handed today, this
22 morning, the 13th and 14th out of this logbook which was not part of the
23 documents translated and given to us prior to this morning.
24 JUDGE LIU: Are you sure of that?
25 MS. SINATRA: I'm comparing it right now to the one that's on the
1 monitor, and it's exactly the document that we were handed this morning.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Stewart in giving copies of these documents, I
4 don't know a week or so ago, so that everyone knew which exhibits we were
5 using. Last night, we found out that we inadvertently left out the
6 English translation in that handing out, but of course that handing out
7 was only, you know, the most recent version. I mean, recent handing out
8 of the document, this English thing had been around for years. We just
9 missed it when we handed it out at first, so there's nothing new here.
10 JUDGE LIU: As for the documents, this Bench is also worried about
11 the validity of the documents in this case. I believe that in the future,
12 the both parties need not to furnish us with the whole set of the
13 documents again so long as we already have these documents. They could
14 only give us the relevant part of certain documents with the correct
15 indication of from which document those parts come from so that we could
16 find out those documents in our binders back in the office before the
17 sittings. I think this is the most economical way for that.
18 And as for the B/C/S versions, well, I believe that this Bench
19 only needs one copy of the B/C/S version. There's no need for the parties
20 to furnish us with three sets of the B/C/S version because we don't read
21 the B/C/S; we merely rely on the English, and that would reduce a great
22 amount of the work in copying these documents.
23 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
24 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I just want to renew my objection
25 because we just received -- although P18 was provided to us, as the Court
1 has just stated, the most relevant part of P18 had been missing up until
2 this morning. So our objection is that we are surprised by the most
3 relevant part of the document that was just provided this morning.
4 JUDGE LIU: I think we will bear in mind your objections. We will
5 check into our files whether we have those documents furnished to us
6 before. And when we come to the admission of the documents, we'll deal
7 with this issue.
8 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, just to clarify, this particular
11 document and the import of it was clearly mentioned by Rick Butler and
12 cited by Rick Butler in his report, and the English was provided years
13 ago. So this is not an issue where something new has occurred.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll check it anyway.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, at some point after the war were you able to
17 assemble some relevant documents related to the wartime period surrounding
19 A. I would say yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us about that, when you were able to identify these
21 documents, how you ended up getting them.
22 A. Mr. McCloskey, sometime in the early spring of 1999, that is,
23 before the bombing of Yugoslavia, I received a phone call one day from the
24 corps commander who ordered me to go to the Mali Zvornik barracks in the
25 afternoon of that day. He said --
1 Q. Can you ID who the corps commander was at that time?
2 A. Yes, I apologise. It was Major-General Svetozar Andric. He said
3 that in the barracks, I would find a man. He didn't mention his name.
4 And he said when I saw him, it would be clear to me, and that I should
5 take measures to provide him with working conditions, accommodation, food,
6 and so on. On that day, I really went there in the Mali Zvornik
7 barracks --
8 Q. Can you tell us where Mali Zvornik is.
9 A. Yes, Mali Zvornik is right across the Drina, on the right bank of
10 the River Drina facing Veliki Zvornik, right here. So it's in the
11 Republic of Serbia. At that time, it was the Federal Republic of
13 In the barracks I mentioned, I found General Miletic with two
14 other men. I didn't know the other two men, and I still don't know their
16 Q. Was General Miletic the general you mentioned earlier in your
17 testimony, the same one?
18 A. Yes, yes. The general who was in the main staff during the war,
19 and we mentioned him two or three days ago. I don't remember when
21 In that room, there was a big pile of documents, and there was a
22 smaller room next to it where they were sitting. This was full of
23 documents. They had a photocopying machine. They were going through the
24 documents, and they copied some of them. This was the first time I saw
25 that pile of documents. Maybe it's not the best way to describe it. But
1 there, I talked to General Miletic. We had coffee. We discussed his
2 accommodation and the other things that General Andric had ordered me to
3 take care of. That was the first time I saw those documents in that
5 Q. And so what did you do?
6 A. One or two days later, or rather on that same day, I had a short
7 conversation with General Miletic. We had coffee and sat down together.
8 But I didn't have an opportunity to look at any of the documents at that
9 point in time. A few days later, one or two days perhaps, I went to the
10 same place in the afternoon to visit the general and to see if everything
11 was all right, to see if everything was as our commander General Andric
12 had ordered. And then I had a longer conversation with General Miletic,
13 but again, I didn't look at the documents or anything else. They
14 completed their review of these documents in five or six days, as I
15 remember now, roughly.
16 After that, to be quite honest, I felt suspicion arise in my mind.
17 I knew that I had been in Zvornik, and that sooner or later the
18 Prosecution would raise the issue of my responsibility in all these
19 matters. And I found it strange that they were looking through these
20 documents, bypassing regular procedure. This was sort of semi-illegal. I
21 don't know if that's the best expression. But then it struck me that it
22 might be a good idea for me to look at these documents as well and to see
23 what there was there. I didn't succeed in this, however, because the
24 soldiers who were there in the barracks, although some of them knew me,
25 told me this was not possible without written permission from
1 General Andric, the corps commander.
2 I called him up, and he told me on the phone to type out a request
3 for this activity, which I did. The courier took it to him, and he gave
4 me written permission saying that I could look through these documents. I
5 received two identical documents without a date, and also the key to that
7 On two occasions, one day and the next, I went there and looked
8 through as many documents as I was able to in that time. And on that
9 occasion, I took some of the documents, and those were the ones I handed
10 to you. I copied General Andric's notes of permission in order to be able
11 to enter the room more times, but the guards were there, and the
12 noncommissioned officer who was there would only accept original
13 documents. So I was able to enter the room on only two occasions, and
14 that was the time I had available to look through a portion of the
15 documents. And I took the ones that I gave you.
16 Q. And were the documents that you took and provided to us mostly
17 original documents?
18 A. Yes. The documents I took from Mali Zvornik were originals, and I
19 handed to you several other documents as well which were not from Mali
20 Zvornik, but from the ministry of defence, and those were copies
21 concerning the buses and I don't remember what else. But all the
22 documents from Mali Zvornik are originals.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. I didn't have a photocopying machine there. They took it away
25 before my arrival.
1 Q. And those documents were provided to the Prosecution pursuant to
2 your guilty plea and plea agreement?
3 A. Yes, you're correct, Mr. McCloskey.
4 Q. And if we could go to P119A, and if you could take a look at the
5 photocopy of this document --
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
7 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour. Before Mr. McCloskey goes into
8 this document, P119, this is the document provided by Mr. Obrenovic, and I
9 believe that the chain of custody that Mr. McCloskey has described is an
10 incomplete chain of custody, and we object to these documents as being
11 unreliable at this point because this is -- the chain of custody has been
12 tarnished. And I would like, if Mr. McCloskey is going to try any of the
13 evidence provided by Mr. Obrenovic, that he give a complete chain of
14 custody of these documents prior to going through them.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems to me that the chain of custody is very
16 clear from the explanations by this witness and by Mr. McCloskey.
17 Is there something missing, Mr. McCloskey?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: There is some more detail, Mr. President. My plan
19 was to in private session briefly go through it at the end. I can go
20 through it at this point in private session if you wish. I just was, out
21 of trying to be as efficiency as possible, save that part to the end. But
22 if you prefer, I could do it now.
23 JUDGE LIU: Which do you prefer, Ms. Sinatra?
24 MS. SINATRA: I would ask him to prove that the chain of custody
25 is reliable prior going into any of the Obrenovic documents.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into private session, please.
2 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
3 [Private session]
13 Pages 2567-2569 – redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that was my -- the evidence for
10 chain of custody. There are other witnesses that could be brought in, but
11 it's not the intention of the Prosecution at this time to go any further
12 unless there's any request or need.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think you have to wait until you hear the
14 cross-examination of Ms. Sinatra on this issue. Then you decide.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right.
17 Q. If we could -- you've had a chance to look at P119. This appears
18 to be a regular combat report from the command of the Drina Corps to the
19 main staff. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And is this one of several original Drina Corps daily combat
22 reports that you provided the Office of the Prosecutor?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And do you recognise the signature at the end of this report?
25 A. It looks to me like the signature of General Krstic.
1 Q. If this is, in fact, the signature of General Krstic, could you
2 give us your opinion on who was commander at the time that this document
3 was signed?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll object to that, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I would object to that. I think there's a lack of
7 foundation. He's asking the gentleman to speculate based on this one
8 document and this one signature.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe the question is not a proper one. And
10 could we go through the document first. Then we'll come to this question.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right, Mr. President. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Can you briefly describe in paragraph -- well, can you just
13 briefly outline what this document does and what it says in relationship
14 to the Zvornik Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade.
15 A. Mr. McCloskey, this document was issued by the command of the
16 Drina Corps on the 13th of July, 1995. And the document itself is a
17 regular combat report which this command sent to the main staff of
18 Republika Srpska on the same day. And roughly the document contains the
19 following elements: Information about the enemy; under two, the combat
20 readiness of the units of the Drina Corps; three, the situation on the
21 ground in the area of responsibility of the corps; five, security and
22 morale situation, all this referring to the Drina Corps; six, the
23 logistics support. Then the casualties for the previous day and up to the
24 time when the report was sent. And then the conclusion and the order for
25 what is to be done. And finally the signature and the square seal with
1 the code of the telegraph station saying that the document was received on
2 the 13th of July at 19.45. And that the coded document was sent on the
3 same day, the 13th of July at 20.10 hours.
4 Q. And in the decision, what does it have? Does it make any
5 statement about Drina Corps forces?
6 A. Will you allow me to read it?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. "Decision with the main forces of the corps: Persistently defend
9 the line with 20-hour reconnaissance and observation of the enemy without
10 interruption so as to avoid any surprises with part of the forces in
11 cooperation of the forces of the MUP; control the depth of the territory;
12 discover, block, imprison, and disarm the forces of the Muslims which have
13 been broken up; the population and material goods, also protecting
14 ourselves from any attack from behind" --
15 Q. Let me interrupt you there. Were there any Zvornik Brigade troops
16 actually doing this, what the general is saying in this report?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. All right. And as you have described earlier, many of things
19 you've described is what is being described in this report?
20 A. This is a summary reflecting precisely this.
21 Q. And do you know from the corps level what the corps generally
22 refers to when they're writing their daily combat report to the main
24 A. At that time, there were elements that were prescribed for
25 reporting and which command would report what. Obviously, the Drina
1 command corps had to report on these eight elements I have just read out.
2 Each of these elements was to be reported on with a summary of what had
3 happened on the previous day.
4 Q. But the Zvornik Brigade, for example, what source documents from
5 the Zvornik Brigade, if any, would the Drina Corps use in drafting their
6 daily combat report about what was going on in the Zvornik area?
7 A. Mr. McCloskey, what they would use, the corps command would use
8 for the elaboration of this document, a regular combat report similar to
9 this one. It would be sent from the command of the Zvornik Brigade one
10 hour prior to that. It would use the extraordinary combat report if that
11 existed depending on the situation. And also, oral reporting from the
12 duty officer which were to be sent out every three to four hours at the
13 time. So they would compile all this information, process it from all the
14 units, and this would be the product of all that.
15 I don't know if I've made myself clear, not only from the Zvornik
16 Brigade but the Bratunac and all the other units, too.
17 Q. Okay. And in the -- the signature block at the bottom, it says:
18 "Commander, Major-General Radislav Krstic" and it's signed. What was
19 Major-General Krstic the commander of at this time?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object. I am going to object --
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, Mr. Karnavas.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I think he's -- well, I guess Mr. McCloskey is
23 trying to get through the back door rather than through the front. I
24 think he could ask the gentleman who was the commander at that time
25 because I believe that that was somewhat of a contentious issue during the
1 Krstic case because it would appear that both on the 13th, you have two
2 commanders. The question is who was really in command, who is officially
3 or de facto, de jure, in command, and I think that this gentleman may not
4 be the best possible person to give us a definitive answer. So if he
5 would rephrase, I think he can get to where he wants to go. But the way
6 it's stating it, I believe he's asking the witness to assume certain facts
7 which at least at this point are not in evidence.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, just ask the witness who was the
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour.
11 Q. Who was the commander at this time?
12 A. Mr. McCloskey, if I read through this document, and it is the
13 report of the 13th of July, 1995, as the commander here, we have the
14 signatory as Major-General Radislav Krstic. Three or four days ago, I
15 said that as to the shift of commanders, I learned from
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Borovcanin at the meeting in my own office on the 15th.
17 So that's what I know about. I can't tell you about the exact hour. I
18 have no precise data about that. If I did, I would tell you.
19 Q. Does this document provide any indication of whether or not
20 General Krstic was a commander at the time and date that this document was
22 A. According to this document, the corps commander is General Krstic.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could go to the next document, P120A.
25 Q. If you could just take a moment to look at that, and can you tell
1 us what this document is.
2 A. Mr. McCloskey, what I'm holding in my hands is an interim report
3 by the command of the 1st Zvornik Brigade for the 14th of July, 1995.
4 Major Dragan Obrenovic is the signatory, me, and the document was compiled
5 by Major Dragan Jokic, and it was typed out by Staff Sergeant Misko Vasic.
6 The document was sent out on the 15th of July, 1995, at 01.10 hours to the
7 superior command.
8 Otherwise, as far as the contents of the document itself goes, it
9 is the following: "Tonight at around 20.20 hours, a large group of
10 Muslims passed through the broader Maricici area, proceeding towards the
11 Zvornik-Caparde Road."
12 Q. Does this have to do with anything that you testified about last
14 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I already said at the time that on the
15 evening of the 14th, once we were broken up at Snagavo in the ambush, and
16 when I managed to collect the units up and organise our defence and see
17 what we needed -- see how many casualties we had, I wrote down on a piece
18 of paper precisely this and gave it to the signalsman who relayed it on.
19 And I said that the time I wrote this was most probably around 23 to 2400
20 hours. And you can see that the document was sent out on the 15th of July
21 at 01.10 hours. So while this was relayed to the radio centre, radio
22 communications centre, and from there to the operations hall, and while
23 these two men typed this out, the time that took, it was conveyed at
24 precisely 01.10 hours, and that's it.
25 Q. How do you know from this document -- is there any indication from
1 this document that Dragan Jokic was involved as you have said in
2 communicating this document on to the corps?
3 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is a poor copy. But in the lower left-hand
4 corner, above the word "chief of staff," there is an abbreviation. In
5 Cyrillic, it says DJ/MV. So according to the rules at the time, this
6 meant the initials of the individual who compiled document and the
7 individual typing out the document. Those are the initials at the bottom,
8 DJ/MV. Here you have the -- here you have it, DJ, the person typing out
9 the document was Dragan Jokic -- no, I'm sorry. The person who compiled
10 the document was Dragan Jokic, and the person doing the typing was MV,
11 Misko Vasic. I don't know whether that was his proper name. But we
12 called him Misko Vasic, and he was from our office there and was a staff
13 sergeant. So this is according to the regulations.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could now go to Exhibit P121A, which is a
16 copy of portions of intercepts. And if we could put page 7 in the English
17 on the ELMO.
18 Q. If you could find the 14 July section, Mr. Obrenovic. And I am
19 going to ask if you can find any reference to the radio transmission you
20 spoke about last week relating to engineering officers.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
22 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I just wanted to renew our
23 objections regarding the intercept information. This is a logbook that
24 has not been introduced by the Prosecution, and the reliability and
25 authenticity of the logbook of the intercept operator is, of course, also
1 objected to by the Defence.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Have you found any reference to those engineering officers you had
7 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. On page 3, the first half of the page there,
8 it says: "For Maric, Miladnovic, and Mitrovic" and then in brackets, it
9 says: "Engineers to come to Nedo's inn with the excavator in order to
10 widen the road." Then it says: "They went to Sava 66."
11 Q. Does that sound familiar to you?
12 A. I've already spoken about that. Yes, it does sound familiar.
13 Q. Is that the information your signalsman gave to you that you spoke
14 of last week?
15 A. Yes, that's right, Mr. McCloskey.
16 Q. What is the reference to "Nedo's inn?"
17 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think that refers to a facility in Orahovac, a
18 coffee shop along the road from Zvornik to Crni Vrh in Orahovac, and I
19 think that was used as a point for them to know where they were supposed
20 to come.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you.
22 And if we could go to P123A. This is an intercept dated 14 July
23 at 9.10 in the morning between Milenko Zivanovic and Major Jokic. And if
24 you could briefly review that and --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
1 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I'm sorry. This doesn't have to
2 do with the authenticity. This has to do with the fact that we're
3 objecting because Mr. Obrenovic is being requested to give an opinion
4 about a document that he was not a participant in. It is purely
5 speculation on his part as to what these people are signifying. He was
6 not present, and he did not hear this conversation.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, we haven't come to this document yet, and it's
8 difficult for me to make a decision at this moment. Shall we go to see
9 how far the Prosecution will go at this point.
10 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I did want to raise an objection in the way the
14 question was phrased. It would appear that the Prosecutor is indicating
15 that this was, in fact, a conversation. Had he, for instance, couched his
16 question as it would appear at least from here that these two gentlemen,
17 then at least it qualifies it. But without the qualification, it's as if
18 Mr. Obrenovic is given an intercept which is supposed to be true,
19 accurate, and complete. And that has not been established.
20 So I don't object to Mr. McCloskey saying "I will hand you what --
21 an intercept, and it would appear that these two individuals are
22 identified" and then at some point later on, when the intercept people
23 come in, he can lay the proper foundation. But for Mr. McCloskey to say,
24 "This is an intercept, and these two people, including Major Jokic, are
25 conversing in this particular intercept," I think that is way beyond the
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, I understand your objection.
3 Maybe, Mr. McCloskey, you could rephrase your question.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, all I was doing is identifying what
5 is said on the document. I'm not trying to put a value judgement on it at
6 this point. It merely says on the document: "9.10 hours between --" and
7 it's a conversation between Zivanovic and Major Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you let the witness answer the question, it
9 will be much better rather than you give some indications on that.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm just trying to be clear for the record on what
11 we're talking about. But I -- thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Have you had a chance to review this intercept, Mr. Obrenovic?
13 A. Correct, Mr. McCloskey. You supplied us with that.
14 Q. Does the information in it sound at all familiar to you, to what
15 you were involved in on the 14th of July?
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I don't
19 see -- Mr. McCloskey asked: "Does it sound at all familiar to you?" Does
20 he mean do you recognise the circumstances of the situation? Evidently
21 Mr. Obrenovic did not hear the intercept, so he couldn't recognise it as
22 sounding like what he heard that day.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Maybe your question is too broad.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll be here for a long time, Your Honour. But I
25 will --
1 JUDGE LIU: I understand. I understand.
2 What if we take a break at this moment, and then we come back to
3 these documents.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
6 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
7 MS. SINATRA: No, Your Honour, I was just rising --
8 JUDGE LIU: You are too eager to do that.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.17 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, this intercept that is here, is that an intercept
14 that has been provided to you for a long time by the Prosecution as part
15 of the discovery materials?
16 A. Mr. McCloskey, yes. Perhaps two years ago, thereabouts, I
17 couldn't tell you the exact date. It is probably recorded somewhere, but
18 yes, we did get that a long time ago.
19 Q. Okay. Looking at the third paragraph where it says -- where J
20 allegedly says: "They were crushed on Vela Glava, and now there's a huge
21 group moving towards the Drina. According to intelligence, towards
22 Zljebac and Mladevac, the group is huge, absolutely enormous." Now, is
23 that information that you were aware of at the time?
24 A. Mr. McCloskey, I was on the spot where that was happening, that is
25 to say at Snagovo, and one of our platoons at Dzafin Kamen, commanded by
1 Aco Kostic, did enter into combat with the column, and this is what we
2 sent to the operations duty officer via the radio centre. We didn't say
3 that the group had been routed but had been divided into two parts, and
4 the rest of it is as we see here.
5 We said at the time 45.000 men. So that for the most part
6 reflects what was going on in the field at that point in time.
7 Q. Okay, let's keep going down a little further. M asked: "Which
8 intelligence officer?" And J says: "Dusko Vukotic." And who is
9 Dusko Vukotic?
10 A. Mr. McCloskey, Dusko Vukotic is a captain, assistant chief of
11 staff for intelligence in the Zvornik Brigade. And at the point this was
12 going on, he was located exactly at Kula Grad.
13 Q. Okay. And as this later on says: J says: "Yes, Kula Grad, to
14 the left of Kula Grad." So that's where Dusko Vukotic was at the time and
15 you know that by personal knowledge?
16 A. Yes, absolutely so. I ordered him on the 13th in the morning to
17 go to Kula Grad and to organise or link up with the civilian police, and
18 he was in fact at Kula Grad.
19 Q. And then it says: "Mane needs to be informed immediately." And
20 then it says in parentheses: "Mane, a MUP employee, most likely a chief."
21 Again, tell us who you think Mane is?
22 A. In my opinion, this refers to Lieutenant-Colonel Mane Djuric who
23 was the deputy chief of the security centre in Zvornik.
24 Q. And then J asked: "Whom should I inform?" And M responds: "The
25 Zvornik public security centre. They're there now. The army is doing
1 other work at the moment."
2 Do you have an opinion on what he means by "the army is doing
3 other work at the moment"? And if you have to speculate, we don't need
4 your speculations. If you have an opinion that you think is credible, we
5 would like to hear it.
6 A. Perhaps General Zivanovic meant something with respect to the
7 activities being under preparation for Zepa.
8 Q. And the VRS was preparing to attack -- well, was actually
9 attacking Zepa on the morning of the 14th. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, you're quite right there.
11 Q. Okay. On the next page of this intercept, J says at the top of
12 the page: "The chief of staff, Obrenovic, is coming now, so we'll take
13 steps immediately." Now, I take it the chief of staff, Obrenovic, is you.
14 And what do you --
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. What does this "is coming now, so we'll take steps," do you know
17 what that means?
18 A. Major Jokic assumed that I would come to the Zvornik headquarters
19 on the basis of some -- something.
20 Q. Do you know what that basis was?
21 A. I really can't say. I can't say or define that. Probably on the
22 basis of the fact that he had information that large forces were moving
23 towards Zvornik, so he thought I should be in Zvornik. But that's just a
25 Q. So at 9.10 in the morning, after this -- after 9.10 in the
1 morning, did you go back to the Zvornik Brigade headquarters on the 14th?
2 A. No, I did not.
3 Q. Okay. If we could go to the next exhibit, P124/A.
4 Just again, this is also an item that was provided in discovery a
5 long time ago that you've had a chance to review before this. So if you
6 could just take a brief look at it, I'll ask you a question or two. It
7 says that it's 11.30 hours -- sorry, 20.38 hours, on the 14th. Again,
8 this is allegedly a conversation between Zivanovic and Major Jokic.
9 Do you see any of the information in this that appears to be
10 incorrect or any indication that this has been falsified in any way?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I would object to the form of the
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: It assumes that the gentleman is capable of knowing
15 the content within this intercept, and so I don't think there's a proper
16 foundation made so he can give an opinion as to whether something was
17 falsified or... So perhaps it could be rephrased.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I could respond to that, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: This witness, as the deputy commander of the
21 Zvornik Brigade, has testified that he is very familiar with the way in
22 which the Zvornik Brigade communicated. He has explained all that. He's
23 also explained that he was aware that the enemy could capture their
24 transmissions. He has also explained that he, as in the previous
25 intercept, is living the events that are described in these various
1 statements. And I believe it's perfectly fair to see if any of the facts
2 in this document that he finds to be not true or problematic in some way
3 that would give us an indication that these were not genuine.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I believe that your question is proper.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. In this particular intercept, do you see any indication here that
7 there is anything wrong or false or a mistake?
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think that this conversation for the most part
9 reflects the situation as it happened. Perhaps there might be some very
10 minor mistakes as concepts, but not as what was actually happening.
11 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next one.
12 P125/A, this is from 14 July allegedly, an intercept at 21.02
13 hours. The document states that it's Palma duty officer Major Jokic and
14 Badem. Can you remind us what Palma is.
15 A. Mr. McCloskey, Palma was the code name in communications for the
16 command of the Zvornik Brigade.
17 Q. And Badem, what is Badem?
18 A. Badem was the same name for the commander of the 1st Light Brigade
19 in Bratunac.
20 Q. So the first line says: "Hello Badem. Let me talk to Beara."
21 You've already told us who Beara is. And then B says: "Who wants to talk
22 to him?" And then it says: "The Palma duty officer wants to talk to him.
23 Beara is needed urgently. Somebody needs him. The superior command
24 urgently needs him, but he has to call me." So when it says the Palma
25 duty officer wants to talk to him, at 21.02 hours, who was the Palma duty
1 officer, the duty officer at the Zvornik Brigade?
2 A. On the 14th, Mr. McCloskey, it was Major Jokic.
3 Q. All right. Then we go down a little further: "Hello, who is it,
4 Major? I'm the duty officer at Palma. I need Beara urgently. This is
5 Major Jokic. Who is that? Why the fuck are you not answering? Is Ostoja
6 there?" Are there times when you were having problems making connections
7 between the radio switchboard and other relays?
8 A. There were, yes.
9 Q. Do you have an opinion as who Ostoja is in this context?
10 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think that this was Ostoja Djuric who was a sort
11 of logistics man for the rear, or something in the engineers company of
12 the Zvornik Brigade.
13 Q. And how about Brko? "Is Brko there?" is the next line.
14 A. If I remember correctly, Brko was the nickname of the deputy
15 komandir of the ceta, company.
16 Q. I'm sorry, what was this person's position? Brko?
17 A. Brko was the deputy commander or komandir of the engineers
18 company, and at the same time the assistant for morale, that that was what
19 his post was.
20 Q. Okay. And the conversation goes back to: "Here is Beara. You
21 have him on the line." And then J says: "Hello." And then X says:
22 "Hello. Is the operations duty officer looking for me? Go ahead.
23 Vojanovic is not here. He is up at Snagovo." Do you know who Vojanovic
24 might be?
25 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think there's an error here. I don't think it
1 should read Vojanovic. It probably refers to Major Ljubo Bojanovic.
2 Perhaps the person listening in didn't hear well. We didn't have a
3 Vojanovic there as far as I can recall.
4 Q. So that should be a B, as in Beara, not a V as in Victor?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Now, just in the last few lines that I mentioned, the subject goes
7 from Beara who we know who he is, to some junior people at the engineering
8 unit. And now it's talking about Bojanovic who is up at Snagovo. Can you
9 help us at all in explaining how three subjects are all talked about
10 within about eight to ten lines?
11 A. Mr. McCloskey, as I understand what is written here in this
12 document here, it's the following: Major Jokic, who was on duty, called
13 the Bratunac switchboard and asked for Colonel Beara. While he was being
14 connected, Jokic spoke on another phone with the engineers company at the
15 same time, and the line to Bratunac remained open so that what he was
16 talking about on the other phone with the engineers company could be heard
17 on that line. And this is where he mentioned Brko and, as it says here,
18 Vojanovic, but I think it's Bojanovic. In my view, he was speaking on two
19 phones at the same time, and there were many such occasions when this
20 happened. There was a lot of communication going on and all the lines
21 were crowded.
22 Q. Okay. As we go down in that conversation, it says: Is that
23 Beara? Jokic here." And then: "BE: ..." And then J says: "We were
24 together, Colonel. Sir, Number 155 called you and asked you to call him
25 urgently." First of all, what was the rank of Beara at the time?
1 A. Beara had the rank of colonel.
2 Q. And what do you think "Number 155" referred to?
3 A. 155 was the number of the extension on the main staff switchboard
4 at Panorama.
5 Q. I think as you said before, can you remind us who you believe
6 answered that extension?
7 A. General Miletic, as I've already said.
8 Q. All right. Then the -- it goes on to repeat, "number 155 that's,
9 I mean, superior command. You go ahead and call them. You have to, so I
10 don't speak like this." Then: "BE:..." Then J: "Yes. Hey. We have
11 huge problems over here." BE is another... And then J says, "There are
12 big problems. Well, with the people, I mean, the parcel."
13 What do you think this sentence means?
14 A. I think that the word "parcel" refers to prisoners. That's how it
15 was used in this context in order not to speak openly.
16 Q. And -- all right. And then it says: "Who? Drago is nowhere
17 around." And who do you believe Drago would be in this context?
18 A. I think that Drago refers to Drago Nikolic who was a
20 Q. You mean chief of security of the Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And then there's a remark at the bottom of the page that says:
23 "Remark, thanks to the switchboard operator's mistake at Badem, we
24 recorded a conversation between X and Y who couldn't be heard while he was
25 intercepting and the line 44 was open for Jokic."
1 Can you explain that?
2 A. I think this remark refers to what I explained just a short while
3 ago, but in my understanding, it wasn't a mistake by the switchboard
4 operator, but probably Mr. Jokic was speaking on two lines at the same
5 time, both lines were open, so that simply the relay registered what he
6 was speaking about on our internal connection with the engineers company.
7 But evidently, the person who was listening realised that two
8 conversations were being mixed up here.
9 Q. Okay. If we could go to P126/a. This is another intercept from
10 14 July allegedly at 22.27 hours, noting participants General Vilotic and
11 Jokic, the duty officer from Palma.
12 Are you aware of any general in the VRS named Vilotic?
13 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. I think that again, probably because of the
14 modulation or something else, the person who was listening didn't hear
15 well. I think that this refers to General Miletic probably.
16 Q. Okay. And it starts off: "Where is Obrenovic?" "He is in the
17 field." Do you know where you were at 22.27 hours on 14 July?
18 A. Of course I do. I was at Snagovo near the crossroads at Borik
20 Q. As you read this over, does this information in this intercept
21 comport with your knowledge of the events as they were happening at the
23 A. For the most part.
24 Q. Okay. Let me ask some specific questions. It goes on to the
25 second page, and J says: "Well, that's it. And those ones promised me
1 some reinforcements, but they still haven't arrived, you know." And then
2 V says: "From where?" And J says: "Well, the blue ones." Who do you
3 think the blue ones refers to?
4 A. Mr. McCloskey, I assume that Mr. Jokic is referring to the civil
5 police who wore blue uniforms. That's why he says "the blue ones."
6 Q. And then the intercept goes on to say: "Well, check that with
7 Vasic," et cetera, et cetera. Who again in the context of this
8 conversation would Vasic be, in your opinion?
9 A. In my opinion, this is Colonel Dragomir Vasic.
10 Q. And then further on down the page, J says: "Obrenovic is really
11 engaged to the maximum." Is that a true statement of your situation at
12 the time?
13 A. Absolutely, Mr. McCloskey. At that time, we were still fighting
14 at Snagovo.
15 Q. And then it goes on: "We are all, believe me. This packet has
16 done the most to ruin us, and since this morning we have been reporting on
17 the number of people, well, well so." And Vilotic says: "Okay, don't
18 talk to me about that." "This packet has done most to ruin us, and since
19 this morning we have been reporting on the number of people," what do you
20 think he refers to when he says "packet"?
21 A. I think the word "packet" refers to war prisoners who had been
22 brought in on buses.
23 Q. And "reporting on the number of people," what are those people in
24 your view?
25 A. Mr. McCloskey, as I understand this, he says "since this morning,
1 we have been reporting on the number of people," I think he's speaking of
2 the column that wanted to break through, the column of the 28th Division.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you.
4 Let's go to the next one, P128/a. This is an intercept allegedly
5 from 15 July, 9.39 in the morning. This is a brief intercept. Can you
6 just tell us what you -- what they're talking about.
7 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is an intercept that took place at 9.39 hours
8 between duty officers Jokic and the duty officer at Zlatar. I understand
9 that a report is being made to Major Jokic that our unit is returning from
10 the Zepa region headed by Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, and they are
11 coming back to Zvornik. They're not saying this openly because they're
12 probably aware that this is being intercepted.
13 Q. Okay. And then P127/a, again, 15 July allegedly, 10.00 a.m. in
14 the morning. And we have participants Pandurevic, Jokic, Mijatovic. Can
15 you tell me who you think these three are.
16 A. Yes, I can, Mr. McCloskey. Jokic is Major Jokic; Mijatovic is
17 Captain Miladin Mijatovic who was in the rear of the command of the
18 Zvornik Brigade; and Pandurevic, Lieutenant-Colonel Vinko Pandurevic, who
19 was our commander, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade.
20 Q. Where do you think Pandurevic was at the time of this intercept,
21 or at 1000 hours?
22 A. I think he was in the command of the Drina Corps in Vlasenica.
23 Q. Why is that? Why do you conclude that or how do you conclude
25 A. I assume that on his way back from Zepa, he dropped into the
1 command of the Drina Corps in order to get information as soon as possible
2 about the situation in the Zvornik Brigade, and that he had this
3 conversation while he was there.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you.
5 Now, if we could go to a document from the 15th of July. It's an
6 interim combat report from the command of the Zvornik Brigade to the Drina
7 Corps in the name of Vinko Pandurevic. And looking at the first page of
8 this document, the first three paragraphs --
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, what's the number of that
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour. 139/a.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. Looking at the first three paragraphs, is it fair to say that
15 that's a description of the military situation in the Zvornik Brigade
17 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 Q. Now, looking at paragraph 4, it says: "An additional burden for
19 us is the large number of prisoners distributed throughout the schools in
20 the brigade area, as well as obligations of security and
21 sanitary/technical measures in the field." And can you tell us in your
22 view "the large number of prisoners," who does that refer to?
23 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think that this expression, "the large number of
24 prisoners," refers to prisoners of war from Srebrenica who were brought
25 from Bratunac to the Zvornik area and put into schools, as it says here.
1 Q. "As well as obligations of security..." What do you think that
3 A. I think what it says here, "obligations of security," refers to
4 guarding the prisoners of war who were in the schools.
5 Q. Are there --
6 A. Guarding them.
7 Q. Are there two ways of saying security in your language, as in
8 guarding prisoners as security and the security branch of a unit?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So this word "security," as it's in this paragraph, does it refer
11 to the security branch in any way?
12 A. I think it refers to guarding.
13 Q. Go ahead. I'm sorry.
14 A. I apologise. I mean guarding the prisoners of war in the schools
15 to prevent their escape.
16 Q. And what word is used to say "security" in B/C/S, in this context?
17 A. It says here "obezbjedzenje".
18 Q. If it means obligations of the security branch, what word would be
20 A. Probably it would say just this. It would say "o baveza organa
22 Q. And in English it says: "Sanitary/technical measures in the
23 field." In B/C/S, that makes a reference to asanacija. What is meant in
24 this context by "asanacija" in your view?
25 A. Restoration of the terrain or sanitation means, to put it very
1 simply, burying. Here it refers to burying people who had been shot.
2 Q. Okay. The next paragraph says: "This command cannot take care of
3 these problems any longer as it has neither the material nor other
4 resources." What problems do you think he is referring to in this
6 A. Mr. McCloskey, he is referring to the danger caused by the arrival
7 of the 28th Division into the defence areas of our three left-wing
8 battalions and the difficult military situation so that now this had to be
9 dealt with.
10 Q. When he says: "If no one takes on this responsibility, I will be
11 forced to let them go," who do you believe he's referring to when he says
12 "let them go"?
13 A. He's probably referring to the prisoners of war in the schools
14 which are mentioned in the previous paragraph.
15 Q. Let's go to Exhibit 129/C, a 16 July intercept at allegedly 21.16
16 hours, between Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic who asked to be connected with
17 General Krstic at Zlatar, but was connected with the OC.
18 Can you tell us what you believe the "OC" is in this context.
19 A. Mr. McCloskey, OC is the operations centre of the Drina Corps
20 command. This is the room in which the duty operations officer of the
21 Drina Corps was with all his communications equipment, documents, his
22 assistant, and so on.
23 Q. All right. And it starts off with: "Hello, Lieutenant-Colonel
24 Popovic speaking." And then it says: "Rasic here. Can I help you." Who
25 do you think Rasic is?
1 A. Mr. McCloskey, if I recall well, Major Rasic was the commanding
2 officer in the security organ of the Drina Corps command.
3 Q. Did he have a nickname of Rale?
4 A. I assume so from this context, but I can't remember his nickname
5 from my own experience.
6 Q. Okay. And then Popovic says: "I was just up there." Knowing the
7 situation as you do and having reviewed this intercept, what is your
8 opinion on what Popovic is talking about here?
9 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think that Popovic, when he says "I was just up
10 there" means the forward command post of the Zvornik Brigade in Kitovnice.
11 He's alluding to the fact that he was with the boss. I think that this
12 refers to our boss, or rather Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic.
13 Q. Okay. And when Popovic a little down the page says: "Well, you
14 got his interim report," what do you think that means?
15 A. I think this statement refers to the interim report of
16 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic of the 16th of July.
17 Q. In part, did that report describe the very difficult situation
18 that the Zvornik Brigade forces were in on the 16th where people were
19 killed that you have described earlier?
20 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
21 Q. There's no references in that report regarding the prisoners or
22 asanacija, is there?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Okay. Then P says -- Popovic says: "It's all just like he wrote.
25 I was there on the spot and saw for myself he had received some numbers."
1 What do you think Popovic means by that?
2 A. When he says "I was there on the spot," he probably means to say
3 the place where the fighting was taking place at Baljkovice.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
5 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I know I have a running objection
6 to all these intercepts, but this is so full of speculation on the part of
7 Mr. Obrenovic, it can't be ignored at this point. He's speculating on
8 what Popovic means and where he's going, and I believe that Mr. McCloskey
9 has crossed the line right now as to whether this person can testify
10 accurately on any contents of these documents at this point.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think from those intercepts, at least this
12 witness could give us some information as far as he knows about the
13 contents of these intercepts. And we quite understand that he's not a
14 person personally involved in those conversations, and all his testimony
15 is his opinion or speculation, if we may say it like this. We bear in
16 mind about that. But let's not rule out the possibility for him to give
17 us some informations about the contents of these intercepts.
18 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I just wanted to bring to the Trial
19 Chamber's attention that before when the speculation was allowed, it was
20 within the Zvornik Brigade. It had to do with the duty officer or it had
21 to do with Pandurevic or it had to do with somebody present within the
22 Zvornik Brigade that he maybe had some personal knowledge of, but it was
23 still speculation. Here we have a main staff person named Popovic and
24 General Krstic in a conversation that Mr. Obrenovic has no personal
25 knowledge about. So this is another level above the speculation that he
1 has already been speculating about.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I did not distinguish the several levels of the
3 speculations. Maybe Mr. Karnavas could shed some light on this issue.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, frankly, I don't have a particular problem
5 with Mr. McCloskey's line of questioning; however, I did note that earlier
6 he remarked to an interim combat report dated July 16. And I don't know
7 whether he misspoke, whether it was July 15, the one we just talked about.
8 But it hasn't been introduced, and I was just wondering, I wanted some
9 clarification whether that was going to be introduced because there seemed
10 to be some sort of a dialogue between Mr. Obrenovic and
11 Mr. McCloskey. That's all.
12 JUDGE LIU: I have the same doubts about that. How could the
13 interim report be filed on the same day as the conversation. Maybe
14 Mr. McCloskey could shed some light on that issue.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this intercept is being discussed
16 at this time by this officer because it affects an issue related to the
17 Bratunac Brigade, as was a major issue in the Krstic case, whether or not
18 the Bratunac Brigade came up -- or members of the Bratunac Brigade came up
19 and assisted in the executions at Branjevo military farm.
20 The Prosecution has --
21 JUDGE LIU: I think we'll see that on the next page of the
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct. The Prosecution has some
24 information it didn't have before that indicates the possibility that
25 Mr. Popovic is not talking about prisoner burial operations only in this
1 conversation. That's according to Mr. Obrenovic's viewpoint, and that's
2 why I'm bringing out Mr. Obrenovic's viewpoint, so the Court can see his
3 viewpoint on this issue which was important in the previous trial, to help
4 clarify an issue which is important. My reference to the 16 July interim
5 report was merely to emphasise that that report did not have to do with
6 prisoner issues; it had to do with military issues.
7 And so the reference in this intercept has to do with military
8 issues, not prisoner issues. A report that has to do with military
9 issues, not prisoner issues, which is supporting Mr. Obrenovic's viewpoint
10 that he has gone to the front, he is meeting with Pandurevic. These are
11 military issues. Whereas it was not clear in the previous trial whether
12 this was military issues or prisoner issues. It is the viewpoint of this
13 officer that at this point, he's talking about military issues. So to
14 keep this record as fair as possible, I wanted this Court to see this.
15 Mr. Karnavas and I have spoken briefly about this topic.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Mr. McCloskey is quite
18 correct. On the second page, the entire conversation turns on the
19 interpretation of "up there" which was a major issue in the Krstic case
20 and which was also focussed upon by Richard Butler. And part of the
21 problem, and I think this is perhaps why the Prosecution is raising this
22 with Mr. Obrenovic, is apparently there is some linguistic differences,
23 nuances in the way folks in Bosnia use the term versus folks in Belgrade,
24 for instance. And I believe Mr. Obrenovic's interpretation is what we
25 believe the interpretation to be, and I believe he's going to testify,
1 that there are two different conversations ongoing at the same time. And
2 as a result of that, based on the Butler report, the Trial Chamber in
3 Krstic made some findings of facts which we believe to be erroneous. And
4 in fact, I have all of the necessary paragraphs which I intend to point
5 out to the Court after Mr. McCloskey covers this area.
6 But we feel that Mr. McCloskey is correct in this instance in
7 trying to clarify a very major point, and we -- in fact, we not only
8 welcome this, but we commend him because we believe that this is part of
9 his exculpatory duties. And so I want to raise that and I want to
10 compliment as well.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I understand what you mean. But
12 as for the issue, I believe the better chance for you to raise it is
13 during your cross-examination.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree. But hopefully, if the Prosecutor does a
15 nice job on direct, I won't have to clarify anything. And I think that's
16 the route that he's going. But we'll see when we get to the cross, Your
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 Mr. McCloskey, we believe this matter as well as the testimony of
20 Mr. Obrenovic is a related matter. You may proceed.
21 Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
22 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, we're just still asking for the July
23 16th interim combat report if he's going to be referring to it with this
24 witness, we would like to have him present it to us for consideration.
25 JUDGE LIU: Do you have it at your hands?
1 MS. SINATRA: No, Your Honour, I don't have it at my hand.
2 JUDGE LIU: Do you have some extra copies available?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sure Ms. Stewart can find it, Your Honour. It
4 has been referred to in this intercept for many years now. But we can
5 find it. That's no problem.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: We do have it, Your Honour. We could be of some
7 assistance. I believe we marked it as D49/1. At least, that's what I'm
8 told by Ms. Tomanovic, and if she says, it has to be pretty accurate.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, but I believe that Ms. Sinatra is entitled to
10 have one.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: We can provide that, Your Honour, for Ms. Sinatra.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation.
13 Yes, Ms. Sinatra. Your microphone, please.
14 MS. SINATRA: If I could just glance at Mr. Karnavas's report, and
15 then I'll hand it back to him if that would be all right with the Court,
16 so I'm familiar with it as we're going along.
17 JUDGE LIU: I believe so.
18 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Let me go back to that paragraph that says: "I was there on the
22 spot and saw for myself he had received some numbers." What do you think
23 that refers to "some numbers"?
24 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think that the term "some numbers" refers to what
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic in his report speaks about the strength of
1 the column of the 28th Division.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. And then it says: "Well, that's not even
3 important... I'll come there tomorrow, so tell the general... I've
4 finished the job." And then it says: "You finished?" And then Popovic
5 says: "I finished everything." What do you think that refers to, the
6 reference to "finishing the job"?
7 A. Mr. McCloskey, this observation "I finished the job" spoken by
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic on the 16th, I believe refers to the solving in
9 Pilica and Branjevo involving the execution of the prisoners.
10 Q. Okay. Let's keep going down. And he says: "I'll come there
11 tomorrow when I'm sure that's all been taken care of, you know." What do
12 you think he means by that?
13 A. "I'm come there tomorrow," that means that Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Popovic would come to the command of the corps, the corps headquarters,
15 where General Krstic was because he was looking for him. And when he says
16 that "all been taken care of," I think it means the remainder of the
17 burials. On the 16th, the people shot had still not been buried. I'm
18 thinking of Pilica here.
19 Q. Okay. And then it goes down and says, "After I bring a transport
20 from there," and then Rasic says, "Right." And then Popovic says: "Well,
21 in general, there weren't any major problems, but up there there were
22 horrible problems. And that thing the commander sent, it was just the
23 right thing." What do you think he means when he says: "Well, in
24 general, there weren't any major problems..."? And if you know. You
25 don't have to speculate. Just tell us what you make of this, if anything.
1 A. I think that this refers to two things. In the first part is what
2 he was doing around Pilica, and the second part is where he makes the
3 observation that that's the thing that the commander had written and about
4 the horrible problems. That's in Baljkovice and the horrible problems
5 that emerged from that.
6 Q. So just to be clear: "Well, in general, there weren't any major
7 problems," what do you think that refers to?
8 A. I would say that that refers to the part of the job
9 around -- concerning the prisoners of war.
10 Q. Okay. And then when he says: "But up there," where do you think
11 he means when he says: "But up there"? What location do you think he's
12 talking about?
13 A. I think he's talking about the location at Baljkovice, which is
14 where most of the fighting took place, the broader area around Baljkovice.
15 Q. Okay. And so -- and it says: "That thing the commander sent, it
16 was just the right thing." What "thing" do you think he's talking about
17 that the commander sent?
18 A. I think it was the interim combat report sent by the commander
19 dated the 16th, referring to the fighting and the casualties and all the
21 Q. Okay. And when it says "the commander sent," which commander do
22 you think he's talking about?
23 A. Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, the commander of the Zvornik
25 Q. Okay. Then Popovic goes on and says: "Just the thing...
1 Horrible... It was horrible." What do you think he's talking about then?
2 A. He's talking about the fighting, where we were.
3 Q. Okay. And then Rasic goes on on the next page and says: "Tell
4 me, did anything arrive there now from Vidoje Blagojevic"? Popovic says:
5 "From Vidoje?" Rasic says: "Today?" Popovic says: "Yes... You mean
6 manpower?" Rasic says: "Yes, yes... Did anything arrive? Something was
7 supposed to arrive." And then Popovic says: "Yes, it arrived. It's up
8 there." What do you think he's talking about, Popovic now, when he says:
9 "Yes, it arrived. It's up there"?
10 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think he's talking about reinforcements which on
11 the 16th when this conversation took place arrived from the Bratunac
12 Brigade. And when I say "up there," I've already said that I think he's
13 referring to Baljkovice and the locations where the heaviest fighting was
14 going on.
15 Q. And it goes on to say: "It's up there, but it didn't arrive on
16 time. And it wasn't brought in on time." And then it says: "And the
17 others who arrived, did arrive, but they were late, and so they weren't
18 brought in on time and that's why the commander who was here had
20 What do you think that means?
21 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think what it means is this: I said last week
22 that I started asking for reinforcements on the 14th in the morning and on
23 the 15th. We kept entreating them to send reinforcements, but they didn't
24 arrive, and so we weren't able to stop the column of the 28th Division on
25 time and it reached the front end of the battalion. And we suffered heavy
1 losses and had to undergo heavy fighting, and this reflects the situation.
2 Q. Okay. And then Rasic goes on to ask about what time Blagojevic's
3 men arrived, and Popovic says he'll check.
4 And if we could then go to the next exhibit, P130/a. This is an
5 intercept allegedly from 16 July at 21.26 hours, just maybe ten minutes
6 after the previous one. Participants Colonel Cerovic and the Palma duty
7 officer. Can you remind us who Colonel Cerovic is.
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, Colonel Cerovic was the assistant commander of the
9 Drina Corps for moral guidance, morale, information, and religious affairs
10 in the Drina Corps command.
11 Q. Okay. And it says that Colonel Cerovic was informed that at 2100
12 hours, 30 men came from Badem (from Vidoje Blagojevic) and then at 1705,
13 30 men came from Dobos, and at 1725, a hundred men came from Banja Luka.
14 Can you just tell us what those various places are.
15 A. Mr. McCloskey, from Vidoje Blagojevic, this thing, it was about
16 the Bratunac Brigade and the commander Colonel Blagojevic. 30 men arrived
17 from Dobos, Dobos is the code name for the 1st Milici Light Infantry
18 Brigade from Milici. 30 people also came from there, and from Banja Luka
19 at 1725, 100 of them. That is from the company of the 1st Krajina Corps,
20 in fact. And they arrived in the evening of the 16th. Let me also
21 mention that on the 15th at around noon, another group of men numbering 50
22 to 60 men from the Bratunac Brigade arrived, and I talked to three of
23 these men and their commanders when I interrupted the meeting with Vasic
24 and Borovcanin in my own office.
25 Q. All right. Now, if we could go to the Exhibit P133/A, and if
1 we --
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, this is a book, a logbook. And
3 just -- I think it would be simpler if the witness could see the original
4 logbook. We provided copies. But in order to keep it safe, we would
5 prefer that it stay in the custody -- the original stay in the custody of
6 the Prosecutor and that this witness be allowed to refer to the original
7 logbook. It is a rather important document, and I think the Court may
8 want to see the original as well.
9 If we could put the English, on page 7, on the ELMO. And if the
10 witness could be... We'll have the witness to see the original, if we
12 Could the witness take a look at the original.
13 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, first of all, could you tell us what this book is.
14 What's it called and what is it?
15 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is a working book of the duty officer for the
16 29th of May until the 27th of July, 1995. It was kept by the operations
17 duty officers in the Zvornik Brigade, each for his shift. And they would
18 record its working textbook. And they would note down anything they
19 considered to be of any importance, and it's the book that I found in
20 Mali Zvornik, in fact.
21 Q. So this exhibit is something that you provided, your Defence
22 counsel provided us pursuant to your plea. Is that correct?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. Before we get to this actual book, can you describe the other
25 logbooks that a duty officer has to deal with so we can understand where
1 this book fits in to this range of responsibilities? Can you just briefly
2 outline this book and what other books they have. We do have some of
3 those other books that may be relevant, but if you can just give us a
4 rough outline of these various books and what they do and what
5 responsibilities are.
6 A. Mr. McCloskey, the operations duty officer, at least in the
7 Zvornik Brigade, kept two other similar books. One was the duty shift
8 book, or logbook, and it had a set form and was kept for every shift. In
9 addition to that, there was another logbook in which the handing over and
10 takeover of duty was recorded. And the records would be made of the shift
11 that had just taken place, and the commander would sign the shift
12 takeover. And there was this workbook which was -- work notebook which
13 was always at hand, and the duty officer, the operations duty officer,
14 would write down straight away anything that he considered to be
15 important. And he would use that book to fill in the logbook or diary on
16 the basis of that book and to write out his report to the commander. He
17 would use this as a reminder.
18 Q. Which one do you have in front of you now, P133?
19 A. I have the workbook of the duty officer, the operations duty
20 officer. When I say "duty officer," I mean operations duty officer.
21 Q. So that's the book that is used in order to fill out the more
22 normal logbook that you've also described?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra.
24 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I'm going to object to Mr. McCloskey
25 testifying. If the evidence is going to come out what the logbook is used
1 for, it needs to come out of the witness's mouth.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, you may rephrase your question.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. That's all right.
4 Q. I think you've made it clear.
5 Let me ask: In the sequences of how books are used, can you
6 explain where this book fits in to the sequence of how they're used.
7 A. Mr. McCloskey, it comes first. So if I'm the operations duty
8 officer, the telephone rings and somebody is reporting something to me, I
9 take this workbook and record what the conversation was about if I
10 consider it to be important. Then I use that, as I've already said, to
11 introduce the vital information into the logbook or operations logbook.
12 And then when I go on to write the -- write out the log or duty shift
13 book, when shifts are handed over, then that's the way we do it.
14 For keeping a workbook, there were no regulations to say how you
15 were supposed to keep it. Each duty officer would decide for himself what
16 he was going to write down in his workbook.
17 Q. Okay. So this you call the workbook. The next one is the
18 logbook. Do we have the logbook, the next one in order that you referred
19 to? Is that one that you provided the Prosecution?
20 A. Yes, it's the blue book with the blue covers.
21 Q. Okay. We'll get to that.
22 And then you've described another book that showed the shift -- a
23 shift-change book. Did you provide that to the Prosecutor?
24 A. No, Mr. McCloskey. I didn't come by that document because I
25 didn't find it together with the other documents. I didn't have it, so I
1 didn't hand it over either, provide it either.
2 Q. Okay. Now, this particular book, the workbook, in -- after the
3 war, did you ever show this workbook to Dragan Jokic?
4 A. Mr. McCloskey, I did not show this workbook to Mr. Jokic, but I
5 did show several pieces of paper copied out from this workbook, what he
6 wrote down in his own hand and the things that referred to the 14th of
7 July when he was the duty officer.
8 Q. Can you identify from the original book that you have in front of
9 you which pages of it you showed to Dragan Jokic? And --
10 A. I'll do my best.
11 Q. -- You're familiar with the ERN number system, so if you could
12 just tell us the page of the ERN number that you recall showing to
13 Dragan Jokic.
14 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think I showed a copy and the last three numbers
15 are 745.
16 Q. All right. And for the --
17 A. The next would be 746.
18 Q. Okay. And just for the record, 745 is page 8 of the English
19 translation. 746 is page 9 of the English translation.
20 A. 747.
21 Q. That's page 10 of the English.
22 A. 748.
23 Q. That's page 11 of the English.
24 A. 749.
25 Q. Page 12 of the English.
1 A. 750.
2 Q. Page 13 of the English.
3 A. 751.
4 Q. Page 14 of the English.
5 A. And 752.
6 Q. Page 15 of the English.
7 A. I can't be sure now whether I showed page 753 as well.
8 Q. Okay.
9 Now, in -- did you ever study this particular document and add
10 anything to it after the war in preparation of your Defence?
11 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. I looked through this workbook, and on some
12 pages, the duty officers hadn't written the date clearly. It wasn't
13 precise. In some places, the date had been entered; and in others, it
14 hadn't. So I tried to work out where a new day began.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Not where a new day began, the interpreter
16 corrects herself, but the place from which that duty officer started
17 writing in the book, that is, when his shift started.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. Why did you do that?
20 A. As I said, I wanted to determine or attempt to determine what was
21 written by which duty officer in order to make sure. At first, I didn't
22 know exactly when what duty officer was on duty, but I tried to clarify
23 the whole picture in my mind.
24 Q. If you had had the duty officer change of command logbook, would
25 that book have helped you determine which person was a duty officer at
1 which time?
2 A. Absolutely. Then I would just have to read what it said there.
3 Q. Okay. That's not a book you had; it's not a book you got from
4 Mali Zvornik?
5 A. As I said, I didn't get that book. I didn't find it there.
6 Q. Okay. Well, if we could -- I want to go through some of these
7 entries with you, and if we could start with your ERN number 7 --
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, it's time for a break. If you've
9 finished the foundation of this document, we'll break here, and then
10 you'll come to the contents after the break.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. And we're pretty close
12 to the end.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And we'll resume at 12.30.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.04 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, please proceed.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
18 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, those pages of the workbook that you showed -- you
19 said you showed to Mr. Jokic, when you -- when roughly in time did you
20 show those to him?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
22 THE WITNESS:
23 A. Mr. McCloskey, I showed copies of these pages to Major Jokic a
24 little before our arrival to have an interview with you in Banja Luka in
25 April 2000, I think it was.
1 Q. And what was your purpose of showing him those pages?
2 A. First of all, I wanted to see whether he wrote those pages and
3 whether he remembered that. And secondly, I wanted to get him to tell the
4 truth about me, and that's, I think, what I said to him. I said to him
5 that he should tell the truth about me, and as for the rest, he could say
6 whatever he wanted.
7 Q. And what did he say, if anything, when you showed him those pages?
8 A. I asked him whether he had written that. I said: "Is this your
9 handwriting?" That's what I said, or something like that. And he said:
10 "Yes, where did you get this?" Then I said that's my own business, and
11 then we read it together. We were sitting at right angles at a table.
12 Q. And how many of those pages did you read together with Mr. Jokic
13 at that time?
14 A. Well, we skimmed through what it said without going into analyses.
15 And those were the pages that I have just said I probably showed him,
16 those few pages, what I said before.
17 Q. Did he indicate that any of those pages were not his handwriting?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Okay. Let's go in your book to the page before the one that you
20 believed you showed to Mr. Jokic. That is, the ERN ending in 744. And if
21 you could take a look at that. And is there anything on that page that
22 you have actually added yourself in this -- in the review that you did
23 that you described earlier?
24 A. Mr. McCloskey, on page 744, just before the last paragraph, I
25 wrote in pencil: "1407" and then I wrote the name "Jokic" in the Latin
1 alphabet, and underlined it with three lines. And I did all this in
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: In the English, that's page 7 of the translation.
4 Can we put the original on the ELMO just briefly.
5 Q. And Mr. Obrenovic, if you can point to the ELMO where you
6 actually -- if we could bring it up a little higher, perhaps.
7 Can you point on the ELMO where the markings were that you did.
8 A. As I said, just before the last paragraph on the right-hand side
9 of the page, this is what it says: "14th of July, Jokic." I wrote this
10 in. This here.
11 Q. So how did you know it was 14 July and Jokic? On what do you base
12 this conclusion from this pencilled note?
13 A. Mr. McCloskey, to put it briefly, there are three things I have to
14 say: First, Major Jokic and I worked together for a long time so we could
15 recognise each other's handwriting. Secondly, as I said, I asked Dragan
16 Jevtic whether he knew Jokic's handwriting. And he confirmed this. And
17 thirdly, I went in chronological order looking at the sequence of events.
18 And you will see the notes on the previous page and the times entered in,
19 and on the basis of this I assumed that this was it. I said this was not
20 0000 hours on the 14th, but in my view the beginning of the shift, the
21 first note made during that shift.
22 Q. Okay. So this handwriting that we see next to your 14.07 Jokic,
23 in the English, it says: "Colonel Salapura called - Drago and Beara are
24 to report to Golic." Do you recognise this handwriting that says that?
25 A. Mr. McCloskey, I am no graphologist, but it seems to me that this
1 is Jokic's handwriting.
2 Q. You stated that the next page in the book was where you first
3 began showing Jokic pages of the book. Do you recall whether or not you
4 showed him this one, the 744, or did you actually, like you said, start at
5 745, regarding the ones you actually showed Mr. Jokic?
6 A. I'm sure I showed him page 745. As for page 744, I'm not sure. I
7 may have shown it to him, but maybe I didn't.
8 As far as I can remember, I copied those pages that contain
9 exclusively his handwriting, not somebody else's. So I can't be certain
10 about page 744. I can't be more precise than I have been.
11 Q. Okay. In your review of this book for the time period of the
12 13th, 14th, 15th of July, did you recognise events noted in this book that
13 you had actually had participated in personally or knew about personally?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Well, we'll go over some of those. But let's first start
16 with -- take a look with 744 at the bottom of the page where you've
17 written your 14.07 Jokic. And it's written in handwriting in the
18 original. "Colonel Salapura called." Who is Colonel Salapura?
19 A. Colonel Salapura, I can't recall his first name right now, but it
20 will come back to me later, but he was the commanding officer of the main
21 staff who was in charge of the intelligence service of the main staff, the
22 intelligence administration, of the Army of Republika Srpska.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Petar was his first name.
25 Q. Okay. Drago. Who do you think "Drago" is in this first sentence?
1 A. I think that Drago refers to Second-Lieutenant Drago Nikolic who
2 was in charge of security.
3 Q. All right. And you've discussed Beara already. How about Golic?
4 Who do you think Golic is?
5 A. Mr. McCloskey, I think Golic refers to Major Pajo or Pavo Golic,
6 probably Pavle, I'm not sure. But they called him Pajo, and it refers to
7 him. And he was one of the -- of the men in the intelligence service in
8 the Drina Corps.
9 Q. Okay. All right, let's go now to your 746, which is page 9 of the
10 English. And it starts out and says: "1000 hours, Palma 1, situation in
11 battalions is regular." We've heard about Palma. Is Palma 1 different?
12 If so, what is that?
13 A. Excuse me, I think it says here Palma II, and I think it refers to
14 the forward command post of the Zvornik Brigade which was at Dzajica Brdo
15 in the village of Kitovnice.
16 Q. Thank you for that correction. And in the next line, "1024 hours,
17 Osmaci - informed Lieutenant Djuricic about the movement of Muslims."
18 What's that?
19 A. In my view, Mr. McCloskey, Osmaci refers to the village of Osmaci,
20 and also the Osmaci Tactical Group from the 1st Birac Brigade which was
21 our left-hand neighbour. And Jokic probably informed Lieutenant Djuricic
22 who was the command of the Osmaci Tactical Group about the movement of
23 Muslims. Last week, I said that after the morning fighting the column
24 divided, and one part set off in the direction of the Drina, and the other
25 part in the opposite direction in the village of Osmaci. And he is
1 informing our left-hand neighbour, which is the usual procedure.
2 Q. So that would be the Muslim column, then, that's a reference to?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. And then the next line is: "1500 hours, Colonel Beara is coming."
5 Did you have any information about that?
6 A. Not at that point in time. On the 14th, after noon, I found out
7 from Major Zoran Jovanovic that Colonel Beara had brought a large number
8 of prisoners in on buses.
9 Q. Okay. And then it says: "Colonel Beara is coming." And then:
10 "In order to," and then it says, "Orovoc, Petkovci, Rocevic, Pilica."
11 What do you think Orovoc refers to?
12 A. The village of Orahovac, and that there is an error here in the
13 entry. That's what I think.
14 Q. And how about the other three places: Petkovci, Rocevic, Pilica?
15 A. Those are the three villages where prisoners of war were kept in
16 the schools, and I spoke about this last week.
17 Q. Okay. Let's go in your book to 750, page 13 on the English
18 translation. The first line says: "Pelemis's TG" and then in slashes
19 written by our translation unit, it says "tactical group." And then it
20 says "has problems with manpower." What do you think this is a reference
22 A. Mr. McCloskey, in my view, this means -- TG could mean telegram
23 from Pelemis saying that he has problems with manpower. He was the deputy
24 of the commander in Pilica and he is probably saying that he has too few
25 men to guard the prisoners and that the people from the village of Pilica
1 were upset because the prisoners had been brought there. That's how I
2 interpret this. It could mean tactical group, as you said, but I think
3 that my interpretation is the correct one.
4 Q. And is there another Pelemis that this may refer to?
5 A. Yes, yes, you're right. There is also Lieutenant Miso Pelemis who
6 was the commander of the 10th Sabotage Detachment.
7 Q. And that was the -- Drazen Erdemovic's group that participated in
8 the executions at Branjevo farm on 16 July?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: For technical purpose, I'm going to object to that.
10 It's leading. He hasn't established this. I know it's hypertechnical,
11 but it's an improper way of getting through the evidence.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 Mr. McCloskey, maybe you could put your question another way.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I can, Mr. President. I did not think that
15 was any matter of dispute, is why I abbreviated it. But I can.
16 Q. Did Miso Pelemis have a unit that was to your knowledge involved
17 in any of the events in the Zvornik Brigade area?
18 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 Q. And what unit would that have been?
20 A. That was the 10th Sabotage Detachment of the main staff. And
21 according to my information, they were in Petkovci and in Pilica.
22 Q. Okay. Let's go to page 13 of the English and page -- sorry, page
23 14 -- page 14 of the English and page 751 of what -- of your original.
24 Let's start with the first sentence from Premijer, "Turks captured our
25 men." Do you have any idea what that is a reference to?
1 A. Yes, I think so. Premijer refers to our intercept group of the
2 Zvornik Brigade that was deployed at Gucevo. And according to me,
3 Premijer told the duty officer that listening in to enemy conversations,
4 they had got information that as it says here, "Turks captured our men".
5 I think this refers to Captain Zoran Jankovic who was really taken
6 prisoner on the 14th in the evening after the fighting at Snagovo.
7 Q. All right. And Premijer, again, what is that for again, just to
8 remind us? What does that mean?
9 A. It is a code name referring in communications to our group
10 listening in to enemy radio conversations. They listened to the enemy
11 radio communications for the needs of the Zvornik Brigade.
12 Q. Okay. How about this next line: "Jokic, delegation from Pilica"?
13 What do you make of that?
14 A. According to what I learned later, that evening a delegation
15 arrived from Pilica in order to protest because the prisoners had been
16 brought to Pilica, to the centre of a village. I think that's what this
18 Q. Okay. And then do you know why -- well, again, do you recognise
19 the handwriting of this statement, "Jokic, delegation from Pilica"?
20 A. I think this is Jokic's handwriting.
21 Q. Do you know why Jokic would write his own name down in the book?
22 A. No, I don't.
23 Q. Okay. Then we come down a few more lines and it says: "Beara has
24 to call 155." Whose handwriting does that look like to you?
25 A. It's the same.
1 Q. Same as your last answer?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what do you think this is a reference to, Beara has to call
5 A. Mr. McCloskey, if I may draw a comparison with the intercepts we
6 had before where this was discussed, 155 is the extension of the
7 switchboard at Panorama, the main staff. And Beara was to call that
9 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next page. It's your 752; it's page 15 of
10 the English.
11 Again, this handwriting at the top of the page "from Beara," do
12 you recognise that handwriting?
13 A. I think it's the same as in my previous answer. I think it is
14 Major Jokic's handwriting.
15 Q. Okay. And "Drago to report" and then "Mane Dukici," "0900, Beara
16 is coming." Is that the same handwriting in your view?
17 A. In my view, yes.
18 Q. This last part that's written out, there's several lines, seven
19 lines, and it's entitled: "Report for the corps." And it starts out:
20 "Tonight at around 2020 hours, in the wider area of Maricici, a large
21 group has passed" and it describes the situation. I won't read it all.
22 And it ends by, "Find a possibility to send more forces for intervention
23 in the morning." What is this?
24 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is the handwritten report that refers to the
25 interim report I held here in my hand perhaps an hour ago, which on the
1 14th, between 23 and 24 hours, I wrote down on a piece of paper and gave
2 to my communications man to send to the duty officer. And he sent it on
3 to the operations duty officer. And probably this is what he noted down
4 and later sent on to the corps command. And I wrote this for Snagovo.
5 Q. Okay. Let's go another exhibit. It's P134. If we could get the
6 original book. 134/A. And the English translation, page 6 on the ELMO,
8 Could you take a look at that exhibit, that book, and tell us what
9 book that is of the various books you have been describing to us.
10 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is the duty-shift book of the barracks duty
11 officer. So this is not the operative that's on duty, but one step below
12 him. This is the duty officer of the barracks in Zvornik.
13 Q. And what is --
14 A. Standard.
15 Q. -- That person's position, what the duty officer of the barracks
16 does and what this book is.
17 A. Mr. McCloskey, the duties of the barracks duty officer pertained
18 to internal duty. That means that he looked after the cleanliness of the
19 barracks, that he made sure that the guards were there on time. He took
20 care of the raising and lowering of the flag and the mealtimes and the
21 units, the lining up of the units to go to the restaurant for meals. He
22 took care of the traffic within the barracks compound, the security and
23 safety of the traffic there. So that his duties were limited to internal
24 order within the barracks.
25 Q. Okay. And could you go to the page that deals with July 9 and 10,
1 1995, which is the first page of the English transcript that we have.
2 Down at the bottom -- well, first of all, we see a report on the
3 situation in the barracks, and then a couple of paragraphs that provides a
4 brief description of the situation.
5 Then we see down at the bottom: "Duty relinquished by, certified
6 by, duty assumed by." Can you tell us what the purpose is of those three
8 A. Mr. McCloskey, on the left-hand side of this page, it says: "Duty
9 relinquished by," that is, the person who was the duty officer up until
10 then, the previous day, and finished off with the 9th in the morning. And
11 "Duty assumed by" is the new person taking over the shift. And in the
12 middle, it says: "Certified by." The signature is illegible. It could
13 have been certified by myself, the operations duty officer in the
14 headquarters, or somebody like that.
15 Q. Okay. Can you make out the signature of "duty relinquished by" on
16 your original?
17 A. I can't make out the signature, but from the heading I see it is
18 Sergeant First-Class Goran Bogdanovic.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. So judging by that, that would have been him, although I don't
21 remember the signature and it's not legible.
22 Q. Is there a signature under certified by?
23 A. Yes, there is. It's just initialled.
24 Q. Do you recognise it?
25 A. I can't really say for sure.
1 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next page, then, the 10th and the 11th.
2 And is there a signature under the certified block for these dates?
3 A. Yes, there is. I signed this.
4 Q. Okay. What time did you sign it, if you recall, or...? If you
5 don't, what time would it be normal for you to sign something like this?
6 A. Yes, perhaps the latter part of your question is the better one.
7 It's difficult for me to say exactly what time, but the usual time was
8 sometime in the morning, between 8.00 and 9.00. 8.00 and 9.00 a.m. At a
9 time it was 8.00 a.m., later on it became 8.30. And then 9.00. So the
10 most precise answer would be in the early hours of the morning, between
11 8.00 and 9.00 a.m.
12 Q. Let's go to the next page for the 11th and 12th July. Who signs
13 the certified block down there, if anyone?
14 A. I think that this is the signature of Sreten Milosevic probably.
15 Q. Is that on 11/12 July?
16 A. No. For the 12th and 13th, I mean.
17 Q. How about 11/12?
18 A. 11/12, I was the signatory there. That's my signature.
19 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next one 12/13. Who is that again?
20 A. Between the 12 and 13th, I think that this was the signature of
21 Captain Sreten Milosevic, assistant for the rear.
22 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next page, 13/14. This is page 5 of the
23 English transcript. Is there a signature there on the original?
24 A. Yes, there is. I think it's Major Dragan Jokic's signature.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go to the next page, page 6 of the English, which is
1 14/15. Is there a signature under the -- well, it says in English
2 "Control," the one between the relinquished by and the duty assumed by.
3 A. There's no signature.
4 Q. So that's completely blank on the original?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Now, in the situation, it notes that among other things: "A bus
7 with prisoners stayed overnight at the compound of the barracks."
8 A. Yes, that's what it says.
9 Q. And who would that have been?
10 A. Probably a bus of prisoners from Bratunac, driven in from
12 Q. Okay. Let's go to the 15th and 16th. Is there a signature
13 between the duty relinquished by and the duty assumed by, the control as
14 we have seen it before, or the certification from the other pages?
15 A. There is a signature in the left-hand corner who relinquished duty
16 and none in the "duty assumed by," or the signature.
17 Q. Okay. And just the last one, page 16 or 17, can you make out any
18 signature of the certified on that particular day? Does anyone certify
19 the changeover of duty?
20 A. On the 16th through the 17th of July, 1995, somebody did initial
21 the document certifying it, but I can't recognise who that was.
22 Q. Okay.
23 Let's go to P137/A. Again, we'll hand you the original book.
24 Just for me to make clear, the last book we were talking about,
25 P130 -- sorry. 134, was that a book that you provided in this group of
1 material pursuant to your plea?
2 A. Yes, you're quite right.
3 Q. Okay. And -- okay, so getting to what you referred to as the blue
4 book, P137/A, can you tell us what that book is.
5 A. Mr. McCloskey, this is the logbook of the operations duty officer
6 in the brigade command. And I said a moment ago that this was one of the
7 books kept by the duty officer in the Zvornik Brigade, and it was compiled
8 according to regulations by the JNA. The format is provided for in the
9 rules and regulations. So in recording information in this logbook, you
10 had to adhere to the principles prescribed. And that's where this logbook
11 differs from the other books where we just had notes jotted down inside.
12 Q. All right. If we could put the English translation on the ELMO,
13 if you could just briefly take a look at the 11 -- it goes 11, 12, 15, 17
14 July, and then 18 July in the English, are there any dates missing in that
15 original book?
16 A. Yes, Mr. McCloskey. We have the 9th, we have the 10th and 11th,
17 the 12th. And then we jump to the 15th. So what is missing on this page
18 is the 13th and 14th. We have a blank sheet, and then we don't have the
19 16th, but we continue with the 17th. And once again, we're missing the
21 Q. Now, can you tell by your examination of that original book
22 whether or not there was anything ever written in for those missing dates?
23 For example, is there any indication that there was anything ripped out of
24 that book?
25 A. No, nothing was ripped out of the book. Everything is as it was
1 originally. And then in lead pencil we see at the end some additions made
2 on the last few pages, but just an identification of the individuals, and
3 I did that myself. Other than that, nothing has been added to or tampered
5 Q. Can you offer an explanation why those dates are left out.
6 A. As far as I know, this happened for two reasons. The first reason
7 is this: I've already explained that actually. Major Jokic, after my
8 arrival on the 15th in the morning at HQ, told me that Colonel Popovic had
9 ordered that nothing should be entered concerning the prisoners and all
10 that business. And the second, realistically speaking, in the brigade
11 headquarters, there was quite a lot of chaos. The situation was chaotic,
12 if I can put it that way. So I assume they just didn't find the time to
13 keep the administration up to scratch.
14 Q. All right. So the information that's noted on the dates that are
15 in this book, there's no reference to prisoners or locations of execution
16 sites or anything like that, is there?
17 A. No, you're quite right, no mention of that is made.
18 Q. All right.
19 If we could go to Exhibit P131/a. This is a document from the
20 general staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, 14 September, 1995, under
21 the signature or the name of General Ratko Mladic. It says: "Urgent,
22 attention, command of the Drina Corps, logistics sector of the general
23 staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, copy to the 1st Zvornik Infantry
24 Brigade for their information.
25 "This is to approve 5 tonnes of D-2 diesel fuel for carrying out
1 engineering works in the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps. The
2 logistics sector of the general staff of the Army of Republika Srpska
3 shall deliver the fuel to the Standard barracks in Zvornik, to
4 Captain Milorad Trpic. Captain Trpic shall be responsible for the
5 accurate maintenance of records on the number of engine work hours of
6 engineering machines, and account accordingly for consumption of fuel."
7 Is there a Captain Milorad Trpic in the Zvornik Brigade or was
8 there at that time?
9 A. Mr. McCloskey, there was no Captain Trpic. And I think this is a
10 printing error, a typing error. And I'm sure that this refers to
11 Captain Milorad Trbic, with a B and not a P.
12 Q. All right. What do you believe this fuel was for at the time?
13 A. Mr. McCloskey, this fuel was needed and later used for tanking up
14 the mechanisation for the engineers and the trucks that performed the
16 Q. Okay. Whose decision was it to open a corridor for the Muslim
17 column, as far as you know?
18 A. As far as I know, Mr. McCloskey, this was a decision made by
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic of the Zvornik Brigade.
20 Q. Were there any consequences from superior command as a result of
21 him making that decision to let those Muslims go that you're aware of?
22 A. I think I can say - I don't know whether consequences is the right
23 word to use - but that already on the 16th in the afternoon, as far as I
24 know now, and I learned immediately after the event then, they ordered
25 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic to come and -- or rather, Colonel Popovic to
1 establish where Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, what the conditions of the
2 agreement were. That is to say, a sort of investigation was conducted.
3 And later on, I think on the 18th, a group of officers came from the main
4 staff. And in addition to other business, they looked into that affair,
5 too. They were two colonels, these commanding officers. I saw it as
6 being them checking out why Vinko had done that, done what he did. And
7 that from the main staff -- that the main staff and the superior command
8 didn't look kindly towards his conduct and actions.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no further questions of this witness.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, there is less than 10 minutes left.
12 Mr. Karnavas, are you going to do your cross now, or we have our break and
13 continue at 3.00?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I would say let's continue at 3.00, if that's okay
15 with you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 We'll resume at 3.00 this afternoon.
18 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.19 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 3.02 p.m.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, you may proceed.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Obrenovic.
24 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Karnavas.
25 Q. I thought that we could begin by just going over your background a
1 little bit and before we jump into the various subject matters. As I
2 understand it from listening to your testimony, you began your military
3 career at the age of 15 basically by attending a military secondary
4 school. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then after that, you went on to the military academy at the
7 age of 18, and you graduated, I believe, when you were age 23.
8 A. Yes, you put that quite correctly.
9 Q. And if my information is correct, as I understand it, you were at
10 the top of your class, if not the number one student in your class. Is
11 that correct?
12 A. How do you mean, judging by my marks or what?
13 Q. Judging by your marks. As I understand it, you were an excellent
14 student; outstanding, in fact. That was the term that I was told.
15 A. Mr. Karnavas, I graduated from the military gymnasium with
16 excellent results, and the academy, I completed as the first among
17 armoured units, and I was fifth in the other courses. The overall result,
18 I came fifth.
19 Q. And as you just indicated, just recently and then in your direct,
20 you specialised in the armoured and mechanised units. Is that correct?
21 Your training at the academy, the military academy?
22 A. Yes, that's correct. That is what I specialised in.
23 Q. And can I assume that someone with your basic training or
24 education, that you were headed for a career as a combat commander, as
25 opposed to, say, in the engineering unit, just to pick an example?
1 A. I'll try and be precise in responding to your question. So in
2 precise terms, I completed the ground forces academy and the armoured
3 units, the land army, that is. And as far as your question is concerned,
4 in the former JNA, there was several combat services such as the infantry,
5 armoured and mechanised units, the artillery, and the engineers unit that
6 you mentioned was not a combat unit, a combat service. It was only after
7 the war that it became a combat service.
8 Q. Okay. So, as I understand it, you graduated in 1986.
9 A. Yes, you understood it correctly.
10 Q. And by April 1993, at a fairly young age, you had achieved the
11 position of chief of staff of the Zvornik Brigade?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. And would it be fair to say that that's a fairly -- you rose
14 pretty high up to that position?
15 A. You could put it that way. There were no commanding officers, so
16 I suppose that was the result of that situation.
17 Q. That in part was because of the war, lack of officers, but also I
18 think it would be fair to say that you were also an excellent soldier.
19 A. Well, it was my superiors who made that assessment. Perhaps they
20 bore in mind all that. But I think the main reason was that there weren't
21 sufficient qualified commanding officers to go around.
22 Q. Now in 1992, the Zvornik Brigade was formed. Is that correct?
23 A. On the 2nd of June, 1992, yes.
24 Q. And when it was initially formed, would it be fair to say that it
25 was a fairly disorganised and dysfunctional brigade, initially as it was
1 getting formulated?
2 A. I share your opinion, yes.
3 Q. But by 1995, the Zvornik Brigade had become fairly disciplined and
4 fairly large in size in comparison to other brigades, such as, for
5 instance, the Bratunac Brigade?
6 A. Mr. Karnavas, the Zvornik Brigade was an infantry Zvornik Brigade,
7 establishment-wise, and a large number of units and men and the machinery
8 it had and the equipment it had it had from the light infantry brigade
9 which was far smaller. Now, as to the second part of your question with
10 respect to the quality and organisation of the unit and whether it was
11 disciplined or not, the Zvornik Brigade was a well-disciplined unit,
12 generally speaking. If you look at the other units of the Drina Corps and
13 the Army of Republika Srpska, no worse, no better than the others. It was
14 a sort of standard-type unit. And I would say that it was far from the
15 desired level of military organisation. If you take NATO as your
16 parameter or a similar organisation, then it would lag far behind. But one
17 knew who did what in general terms.
18 Q. And I think you could say the same if you were to make the
19 comparison between the JNA and the VRS, that there was some differences as
20 far as the quality in those two?
21 A. Yes, that's right. The VRS was of lesser quality than the army
22 units of the JNA.
23 Q. You relied more heavily on reserve officers as opposed to
24 professional officers such as yourself?
25 A. That's right, yes.
1 Q. And the -- would it be fair to say also the soldiers in the VRS
2 were more -- more like citizen soldiers, that is, that they were
3 reservists as well, serving two weeks or what have you at a time as
4 soldiers, and then going back to their homes or their farms. And so there
5 was this constant rotation where they were on duty for a couple of weeks,
6 and then off duty for a couple of weeks. Would that be fair to say? I
7 know I'm generalising right now.
8 A. Yes, generally speaking, that would be a fair assessment.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, are these set of questions
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, it does become relevant throughout the trial.
12 Maybe not particularly to the Prosecution's case in chief, but at some
13 point it does become highly relevant, especially when the Prosecution
14 introduces Mr. Butler, their military expert who believes or at least is
15 of the opinion that the VRS is of equal calibre as the JNA. So here we
16 have a military expert, graduated first in his class. Certainly he's
17 highly qualified to give us an insider's point of view. He's also a
18 Prosecution witness.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would hope we could avoid characterisations of
21 Mr. Butler's opinions because I think that is a mischaracterisation. And
22 from what Mr. Karnavas has just said, it appears he is going well beyond
23 the scope of the direct examination in his cross, which if he chooses to
24 call this witness in his own case, that's fine. I have not objected thus
25 far. I'm not -- but I hope that he will stick to the parameters of the
1 direct examination.
2 JUDGE LIU: In the cross-examination, I believe that the Defence
3 counsel could ask whatever questions they like, but the condition is those
4 questions should be relevant to this case.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: So that's why I asked you about the relevance of your
7 questions. But maybe, you know, for those questions, I hope you get over
8 as soon as possible and come to the most crucial matters.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
10 Q. Now, if we were to compare the Zvornik Brigade with the Bratunac
11 Brigade, would it be fair to say that at least in numberwise of resources
12 and soldiers, or battalions, the Zvornik Brigade was twice as large as the
13 Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. Mr. Karnavas, I really don't know in exact terms what the number
15 of men was for the Bratunac Brigade. I know that it had four battalions,
16 infantry ones, and I knew that it had less men than the Zvornik Brigade.
17 Now, the ratio, I really can't talk about.
18 Q. All right. Well, the Zvornik Brigade had eight battalions, one of
19 which was donated, in essence, to the Bratunac Brigade. Is that not a
21 A. No, I don't think we can say that. The Zvornik Brigade, if we're
22 talking about that period of time, July 1995, had seven infantry
23 battalions. And before, dating back to 1994, our 8th Battalion by
24 decision or rather by order of the Drina Corps commander was
25 resubordinated to the Bratunac Brigade. And in the command sense, that
1 was the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade. So you can't speak about
2 donations of any kind.
3 Q. If you look at it in that sense, you're correct. However, was not
4 the Zvornik Brigade in some sense financing or supporting, providing
5 resources for the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade, formerly known as
6 the 8th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade?
7 A. Yes. The rear of the Zvornik Brigade secured what we called
8 salaries and some personal remuneration of that 4th Battalion, or what was
9 the 8th, whichever you'd like to call it, as well as the rear, butt, the
10 quartermaster section, that is to say, the uniforms and food part of the
11 logistics. The ammunition and combat equipment was under the Bratunac
13 Q. So the 4th Battalion, and I believe it was Radika Petrovic who was
14 in command of that battalion, was subordinated to the Bratunac Brigade
15 during this critical period that we're discussing here today? Or of this
16 trial. Is that correct?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. The term used was resubordinated.
19 These are important military terms, so I'm going to object to the
21 JUDGE LIU: I didn't see that word, resubordinated.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: It can't be resubordinated. It has to be
23 subordinated because it belongs to the Zvornik, and then now it's
24 subordinate to the Bratunac Brigade. But perhaps the witness --
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. Well, Mr. Karnavas, you may put your
1 question in another form so as to clarify whether it's resubordinated or
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Obrenovic, was the 4th Battalion, formerly the 8th Battalion
5 of the Zvornik Brigade, was that subordinated to the Bratunac Brigade or
6 resubordinated? Help us out here.
7 A. Mr. Karnavas, to avoid any misunderstanding, it was completely
8 under the command of the Bratunac Brigade during that period of time, just
9 as its 1st, 2nd, or any other unit.
10 Q. Okay. I think that solves that.
11 Now, on -- the reason I asked the question was because on July
12 12th, I believe, one of your officers, Dusko Vukotic, I believe, who was
13 your intelligence officer, was sent, was he not, to the 4th Battalion of
14 the Bratunac Brigade with respect to the captured prisoner?
15 A. Yes, he was sent to the area of the 4th Battalion. Not only with
16 respect to the prisoner, but to arrive at the relevant information and
17 intelligence that the neighbouring unit possessed and which would be of
18 use to us.
19 Q. Okay. But just so I'm clear, Mr. Vukotic was not asked to contact
20 the intelligence officer of the Bratunac Brigade, Momir Nikolic; rather,
21 he was asked or directed to go directly to the 4th Battalion of the
22 Bratunac Brigade. Am I correct on that?
23 A. Yes, you are.
24 Q. And one of the reasons for asking him to go there was you wanted
25 some information from this particular prisoner as far as where the 28th
1 Division was, where were they headed, the numbers, and so on and so forth.
2 You were looking for intelligence information you might be able to get
3 from this particular prisoner. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct. But not only from the prisoner, but
5 generally speaking from the spot, from the area, both from the prisoner
6 and all other available information there.
7 Q. All right. Now, while we're on the subject, if I could ask you to
8 clarify a point, and I would like you to look at a part of an interview
9 statement given by Mr. Vukotic on September 17th, 2001.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, it's D47 for identification
12 Q. Perhaps you could help us out here.
13 In English, it would be page 53. And I'm looking at lines 14 all
14 the way through page 54, line 5. I apologise for not locating the B/C/S
15 portion for you. But if I could assist you and perhaps you can locate the
16 area. There's a conversation where you're -- where he's being asked about
17 Radika Petrovic, and to whom he has to report. And he seems to be
18 indicating that he reports both to the Zvornik Brigade, and also to the
19 Bratunac Brigade at the same time.
20 A. I apologise, but I can't find that portion. What line did you say
21 it was?
22 Q. Line 14, but it was in English, 53, page 53.
23 A. I have the B/C/S version here in front of me. So line 14 --
24 Q. It might be somewhere around page 47, 48, 49, somewhere around
25 there. I believe it begins at the bottom of the page 48, on line 23 or
1 so. And if you go to page 49, at least it seems to me from looking at the
2 B/C/S version.
3 A. Yes, I've read what it says.
4 Q. Okay. Now, does it not say here, at least that it is his opinion,
5 Mr. Vukotic's opinion, that Radika Petrovic, the commander of the 4th
6 Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade, was reporting both to you as commander
7 of the Zvornik Brigade, and to Colonel Blagojevic, commander of the
8 Bratunac Brigade? Does he not seem to be saying that?
9 A. That's what it says here, but may I be allowed to clarify.
10 Q. Absolutely.
11 A. I've already said that that particular battalion was subordinated
12 to the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, and that is absolutely correct.
13 Now, I think in the summer of 1994, on behalf of the commander,
14 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic, I was personally in the command of the
15 Bratunac Brigade, the headquarters there, and the brigade commander at the
16 time was Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel Slavko Ognjenovic. And I handed
17 the battalion over to him, and the order was at the time, the corps
18 commander had in fact ordered that that battalion should come under the
19 command of the Bratunac Brigade and that their communication, their links
20 were adjusted accordingly, that they should become part of the composition
21 of the Bratunac Brigade. And that's how it stood until this 4th or 8th
22 Battalion appeared in Zvornik on the 20th of July in the morning, 1995
23 that year was. I might have made a slight mistake on the dates.
24 But what Vukotic says is quite normal, and according to the rules,
25 the neighbouring brigade, and I spoke about this three or four days, would
1 be reporting, or rather informing their neighbours. They would be
2 informing their neighbours. So not only did we receive relevant combat
3 intelligence from the Bratunac Brigade, which was our right-hand neighbour
4 or our neighbour in the rear, but we also received information and
5 intelligence from the 1st Birac Brigade which was to our left. So this
6 same man, Vukotic, on the 12th was at Osmaci, with Lieutenant-Colonel
7 Djuricic with the same assignments, to gather information and intelligence
8 which could affect the combat situation where we were.
9 So that's what all is about. When it -- we can't say that he's
10 reporting. The regular standard army procedure was that the subordinate
11 informs his superior. And this is an exchange of intelligence amongst
12 neighbours. Our right neighbour called us up to inform us about one thing
13 or another. So that's what Vukotic is in this context here, that's how it
15 Q. Okay. Would part of that process also be, for instance, the
16 intelligence officer, the chief of intelligence for the Bratunac Brigade,
17 would he not also be passing on information directly to Mr. Vukotic?
18 Would that also be part of the process?
19 A. Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no. It was customary to inform the
20 superior first, your superiors first, and then your neighbours.
21 Q. Okay. Now, I want to go a little bit into Krivaja 1995 and
22 discuss the various orders on that. But before I get there, perhaps we
23 can look at the map and discuss that a little bit. And I believe it has
24 been marked as P138 for identification purposes. I wanted to ask you a
25 couple of questions.
1 As I understand it, prior to and even during and after the fall of
2 Srebrenica, there were some permanent division lines between the RS
3 territory and the BiH territory where you had the 2nd Corps facing, at
4 least in your area, the Zvornik Brigade. Am I correct?
5 A. Yes, you're right. From the right, or rather the northerly border
6 of the zone, the area, right up to the Spreca River.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. It's not on the map, but this area here. Perhaps a little further
9 off, up until the village of Osmaci, was the brigade zone. And units of
10 the 2nd Corps, or rather some of its divisions, the 4th or 5th. I'm not
11 quite sure which.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: The record should reflect that the witness pointed
13 at the Exhibit P138 for identification, and was able to show us with his
14 light, red light, where it was.
15 Q. And those lines had been pretty much fixed for some time prior to
16 July 1995, had they not?
17 A. In a general way, yes. There were some changes in the area of the
18 5th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, then in the 2nd Battalion of the
19 Zvornik Brigade as well, in this area, in the months of April and May
20 1995. But as for the rest, all the other lines had been fixed in 1992, or
21 more specifically in 1993, and not changed since with the exception of
22 those two that we had mentioned.
23 Q. All right. So on one side, you would have the 2nd Corps of the
24 Muslim army, more or less at that borderline, and on the other side the
25 VRS would have its troops, specifically where you were pointing out,
1 primarily it was the Zvornik Brigade who was responsible for that area
2 which was part of the Drina Corps. Am I correct?
3 A. Yes, you are.
4 Q. All right. And so when the 28th Division was leaving the
5 Srebrenica area, they were actually in RS territory, were they not, trying
6 to -- crossing RS territory. Am I correct?
7 A. Yes, that's correct.
8 Q. And of course, they were trying to get to their side, which meant
9 they would have to break through the RS line -- VRS line, which on the
10 other side had the Muslim 2nd Corps?
11 A. I'm not sure what the question is.
12 Q. All right. You have -- after the fall of Srebrenica, the 28th
13 Division is on the offensive, are they not? They're the ones that are on
14 the move, so militarily they're considered to be the offensive -- on the
15 offensive. Am I correct?
16 A. I would say that they were trying to break through from an area in
17 which they were surrounded. It's part of a combat operation, a break
18 through from an area in which they were surrounded. That's how they
19 referred to it themselves in their own documents.
20 Q. Okay. Now -- and as I've indicated, not only by breaking through
21 the VRS lines, you, as part of the VRS, would also be facing the 2nd Corps
22 from the opposite side as well, and that could cause or pose some
23 problems, would it not?
24 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. More significantly in terms of the strength
25 and equipment, the 2nd Corps forces were much stronger, and they posed
1 much more of a danger for the Zvornik Brigade.
2 Q. All right. Now, if we could -- as I understand your testimony,
3 sometime towards the end of June, June 29th I think the date was,
4 Lieutenant-Colonel - was he Colonel? I don't know. I think he was
5 Lieutenant-Colonel - Pandurevic came to your residence and asked you to
6 come back while you were convalescing from an injury?
7 A. Yes, on the 29th in the evening. That's when he came, that's what
8 I said, if I'm not mistaken.
9 Q. And in fact, as I understand it, your commander played a rather
10 significant role on the offensive in the takeover of Srebrenica?
11 A. I think so, yes.
12 Q. Unlike, for instance, yourself, you were left behind with the
13 Zvornik Brigade to, more or less, maintain the positions that you already
14 had and which were fixed for quite some time?
15 A. Mr. Karnavas, I then received an order from the commander that if
16 I took all the necessary measures -- that I should take all the necessary
17 measures to protect ourselves from the 2nd Corps. The assumption was that
18 the units of the 2nd Corps would try to give some relief to the units of
19 the 28th Division, and that they would attack us, that's what we expected.
20 And those were my orders, the orders that I then received from my
22 Q. Right. So if I could show you several orders, and maybe we can
23 discuss them. And I'll begin by showing you what has been marked as D16/1
24 for identification purpose. And it's the July 2nd Drina Corps order. If
25 you could first just look at it and see if you recognise it and if you've
1 ever seen it. Have you seen this order before, Mr. Obrenovic?
2 A. Yes, yes, I've seen it before. This is an order for active combat
3 activities operation number 1, from the command of the Drina Corps dated
4 2nd of July.
5 Q. And I take it you saw it back then in 1995. Is that a fair
6 assumption? Did you ever come across this back in 1995, or was it just
7 recently through your lawyers that you had an opportunity to actually see
8 the order itself?
9 A. I can't be very accurate on this. At that time, I knew that I
10 would not join the attack on Srebrenica, and I didn't pay much attention
11 to these combat orders, orders directly relating to combat activities
12 concerning Srebrenica. I may have seen it at that time. I can't be sure,
13 however. I did see it when my lawyers showed it to me.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. The commander laid this document out, and it was clear enough at
16 the time. I didn't mind that then particularly at that --
17 Q. All right. If you could focus on paragraph number 5, and it's on
18 page 3. If you could just look at that quickly. It's called "Tasks." I
19 believe under that paragraph, you should find a specific, designated task
20 for the Zvornik Brigade. Do you see it, Mr. Obrenovic?
21 A. Yes, I see that, Mr. Karnavas. I've read it, yes.
22 Q. And pretty much would it be fair to say that it, more or less in
23 general terms, sets out what you've already told us actually was
24 implemented through your commander, Pandurevic? In other words, this kind
25 of gives him some general guidance, and then in the end, on the attack on
1 Srebrenica, he more or less complies with this particular task that was
2 assigned to him?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is calling for speculation from this witness.
6 He has already testified he's not sure he saw this. He wasn't at the
7 attack on Srebrenica.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll lay some foundation with the next order, Your
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. Further down on page 4, do you see a section that deals with the
13 Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And I take it in that section, it sets out what the
16 Bratunac Brigade's functions or tasks are supposed to be in this campaign
17 against Srebrenica?
18 A. Yes, it is stated very clearly here.
19 Q. Now, based on your military experience and your background and
20 your familiarity of reading orders such as this one, are you able to give
21 us a general opinion as to how active the Bratunac Brigade was
22 supposed -- was envisioned to be based on this section of the order of the
23 Drina Corps?
24 A. Looking at this document, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that the corps
25 commander, when he put this together, he probably planned for the Bratunac
1 Brigade not to be included in those forces that would be in the first
2 lines of attack; but rather, that in the first line of the attack, there
3 would be the Zvornik Brigade Battalion, as it says here, the battalion of
4 the 2nd Romanija Brigade, and so on and so forth.
5 Q. Okay. Now, if I could show you what has been marked as D42 for
6 identification purposes, if you could look at it --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I won't be needing the map any longer, Mr. Usher.
8 Q. Have you had a chance to look at it, Mr. Obrenovic?
9 A. Yes, I have, Mr. Karnavas.
10 Q. Okay. And have you ever seen this document before?
11 A. Unlike the one before, I believe I saw this document at the time
12 when it was written, on the 2nd or perhaps on the 3rd of July, 1995, most
13 probably at the latest.
14 Q. Okay. And in fact, it's dated 2nd July, 1995, is it not?
15 A. Yes, it is. I believe this was drafted early -- later in the
16 evening or perhaps even at night.
17 Q. And could you please identify or describe to us what exactly is
18 this document that has been marked for identification purposes as D42?
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, as you can see in the header, it's a document by the
20 Zvornik Brigade command dated 2nd of July, and it says: "Preparation
21 order, establishment of a tactical group of the 1st Zvornik Infantry
22 Brigade for carrying out combat operations in the Drina Corps zone." So
23 this is a preparation order, in answer to your question, on the
24 establishment of a tactical group for carrying out active combat
25 operations in the Drina Corps zone.
1 Q. All right. Now having looked at this document and having looked
2 at the previous document which was marked for identification purposes as
3 D16, and in particular, paragraph number 5 which denotes the tasks
4 assigned to the Zvornik Brigade, would it be correct to state that the
5 Zvornik Brigade order that we have here, more or less in general terms,
6 fulfills the tasks that were assigned to it, at least on paper, as far as
7 what the Zvornik Brigade would be involved in or be engaged in during the
8 fall of Srebrenica?
9 A. Mr. Karnavas, in the previous document entitled "Krivaja 1995," it
10 speaks about the tasks of the battalion of the Zvornik Brigade and the
11 directions of its attack. So that's one thing. Whereas here, you have
12 the commander of the Zvornik Brigade establishing a unit, his unit. So
13 these are not exactly related. On the one hand, here, you have the
14 commander establishing a unit to perform tasks on the ground.
15 Q. And the unit was being formed to perform the tasks that it was
16 assigned to it by the Drina Corps. Am I correct?
17 A. Yes, you are correct.
18 Q. All right. And would it not be fair to state that these units
19 that were formed by -- was it Colonel or Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic? I
20 want to make sure I get it -- I know he's a general now.
21 A. He was a lieutenant-colonel, as it says. He was a
22 lieutenant-colonel. I was, myself, a major.
23 Q. All right. Now, so and during the operation, Lieutenant-Colonel
24 Vinko Pandurevic played a major role, did he not, along with these units
25 he had formed?
1 A. Probably, yes.
2 Q. Okay. Now, if you could look at what has been marked as D17 for
3 identification purposes, most likely you have not seen this document. But
4 if you could look at it, and it's an order for active combat actions
5 drafted by the commander of the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade on 5
6 July, 1995. If you could look at that.
7 A. You're quite right, I've never seen this document before.
8 Q. Okay. If I were to give you a few moments to look at it, might
9 you be able to inform us whether this order drafted by Colonel Blagojevic
10 comports with or is consistent with the tasks assigned to the Bratunac
11 Brigade, pursuant to the Drina Corps' order of 2 July, 1995? Do you think
12 you might be able to do that?
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, by just going through this combat order very
14 quickly, an order signed by Colonel Blagojevic and dated 5th of July,
15 1995, it appears to be in the same spirit as that given by the corps
16 commander. It enumerates tasks for all four of the infantry battalions,
17 the logistics units. Without looking further, three battalions on the
18 whole should offer -- should give fire support from their own positions,
19 but the 4th Battalion should carry out the main defence. Those were,
20 generally speaking, the tasks given to them as we said before without
21 going into further detail at this time.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you. But by just looking at it, it would be fair to
23 say, would it not, that the Bratunac Brigade was given a much lesser role
24 to play than, say, Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic in the attack on
1 A. Mr. Karnavas, it's very difficult to form an assessment like that,
2 an assessment of quite specific military issues. I'll try to make this as
3 clear as I can. The whole of the Bratunac Brigade was there. It was
4 their zone of combat activity. They had four of their battalions there.
5 In terms of combat strength, they may not quite have been the same units
6 as those brought in by Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic. But if I understand
7 the corps commander's orders clearly, part of the units, or rather the
8 28th Division was to be blocked from the north while the attack was being
9 carried out from the units positioned in the south, from Zelani Jadar, and
10 that's precisely what it says here. Now, who was more important and who
11 was less important, it's really very difficult for me to say, and I'm not
12 sure who would be well positioned to make this assessment at all.
13 Q. All right. Now the Bratunac Brigade had been located there for
14 quite some time, as the Zvornik Brigade had, in its zone of operation or
15 zone of defence?
16 A. I can't be a hundred per cent certain, Mr. Karnavas, but I think
17 that since the establishment of the Srebrenica enclave, if I remember
18 correctly, maybe in the second half of April 1993, those units were more
19 or less in the same place. As I said before, the 4th, or rather our
20 former 8th Battalion which later became the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac
21 Brigade, was resubordinated to them in very rough terms in the summer of
22 1994, and that's where those units were. Those units stayed there for a
23 longer period of time. You're right in claiming that.
24 Q. Okay. Now, if I could focus your attention on July 12th, 1995, as
25 I understand it on the morning of the 12th at approximately 6.00 in the
1 morning or so, you received some information with respect to the location
2 of the 28th Division, or at least parts of it. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in fact, that can be confirmed, or at least it seems to
5 be -- we seem to have some evidence as a result of a conversation, an
6 intercepted conversation with Radika Petrovic on the morning of July 12th,
7 1995, at approximately 6.08 hours. That would be 6.00 in the morning -- 8
8 minutes after 6.00 a.m.
9 Is that correct?
10 A. You mean whether I talked to Radika?
11 Q. Well, no, you received that information sometime around that
13 A. Yes, slight later perhaps. I did call Radika on the phone, but he
14 wasn't in. He was somewhere at the position with his units, and I spoke
15 to someone else, someone who may have been the duty officer at that
16 headquarters. I think it was a bit later, not at 6.00. The first
17 information I got, I checked with the units at the forward end towards the
18 2nd Corps. It was only after that that I tried to run this past Radika.
19 Q. All right. And the information that you were getting, was it
20 solid intelligence information, or was the situation rather uncertain?
21 A. At the time, I believed this to be reliable information. However,
22 events would later prove that that information was quite wrong,
24 Q. In other words, you were not told the exact strength or the exact
25 numbers of the 28th Division. Is that what you're referring to when you
1 say that the information was wrong?
2 A. I am referring to that, too, but just as illustration, later in
3 the evening on the 12th, I had the information with me, and I went to
4 where the ambush was. And the first information was that there were about
5 150 Muslim soldiers. And then later on, we got information that there
6 were about 300. That's the information I had when I went into combat.
7 And this information was later to prove totally wrong.
8 Q. Do you know if you were receiving any information from the
9 Bratunac Brigade, say, from the head of the -- the chief of the security
10 and intelligence organ, Momir Nikolic? Was he providing any information
11 to your intelligence folks over there?
12 A. Mr. Karnavas, I didn't receive this information personally. I
13 took for granted what they told me at the 4th Battalion. I can't rule out
14 the possibility that Captain Vukotic was exchanging intelligence with
15 Nikolic, or perhaps Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric or even someone from the
16 main staff. This may have been the case. I really don't know. I didn't
17 personally get this information.
18 Q. But the 28th Division, from where it had left and where it was
19 heading would have to go through at least parts of -- between the Bratunac
20 Brigade and the Milici Brigade. Isn't that correct?
21 A. You're completely right.
22 Q. And then finally they would end up in your area, right around
23 where the Zvornik Brigade would be located, before they could go to any
24 number of directions to get to where the 2nd Corps was. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes, they entered the zone of responsibility of the Zvornik
1 Brigade by crossing the River Drina and entering the village of Glodi.
2 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you a couple -- I want to show you
3 a daily combat report dated 12 July, 1995. It's from the 1st Light
4 Infantry Bratunac Brigade. And if you could look at it, and it's marked
5 for identification purposes as D44.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: And also, if you could hand Mr. Obrenovic, D55,
7 what has been marked as D55 for identification purposes, which is an
8 urgent request from Colonel Blagojevic to the command of the 1st Milici
9 Light Infantry Brigade.
10 Q. If you could look at those two documents, Mr. Obrenovic, take your
11 time, I have a couple of questions.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: For the record, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: D44/1, this 12 July daily combat report, was P105.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Sorry about that.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: It was not yet tendered, so I don't know how you
19 best want to use the numbers. I just wanted to clarify the record of
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Karnavas, I'm sorry to interrupt, to clarify
23 the record, you mentioned Exhibit D55. In fact, it should be D45/1.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: 45, I'm sorry. D44 and D45.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have taken a look at these
1 documents, Mr. Karnavas. I hadn't seen them at the time, but I think that
2 I was given them by my lawyers, they having received it from the
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. Okay. Now, D44, what has been marked for identification purposes
6 as D44, is a daily combat report from the Bratunac Brigade, and that's to
7 the command of the Drina Corps, is it not?
8 A. Yes, I can read that from this document.
9 Q. Now, from reading this document, one does not get a sense that
10 there are any problems looming ahead, at least not for the Bratunac
11 Brigade, and certainly there's nothing in here to suggest that there are
12 any concerns with respect to where the 28th Division may be.
13 A. You're quite right. They don't mention that here.
14 Q. All right. Now, if I understand it correctly, the daily reports
15 are compiled in the early afternoon. And I think by 4.00 or 5.00, they
16 have to be sent to the Drina Corps. Is that correct? Or the corps
18 A. Yes, you're right.
19 Q. And as I understand it, if the commander isn't there, or he's
20 busy, the report is nonetheless prepared and sent off. Is that correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. And then the daily -- the Drina Corps would gather all of these
23 various combat reports, and then prepare its own report that it would send
24 to the main staff, and I think we looked at one of those today here. Am I
25 correct on that?
1 A. Yes, you are.
2 Q. Now, if we could look at what has been marked as D45 for
3 identification purposes, and it says -- you'll see it's dated 12 July,
4 1995, same date as the daily combat report. We don't know exactly when it
5 was sent off, or at least I can't tell. But we know that it says
6 "urgent." Now, from reading that, what conclusion can you draw?
7 A. Mr. Karnavas, from what I can read, this is a document of the 1st
8 Light Bratunac Brigade written on the 12th of July. It says urgent,
9 addressed to the command of the Milici Brigade, which means their
10 neighbour on their right. And it is asking for information as to where
11 the Milici forces are deployed on the left flank in relation to the
12 Bratunac Brigade, and they mean that the passage between us, the gap, in
13 order to close off that location. As it says here, the "Poturice," a
14 derogatory term for Muslims, but actually the 28th Division.
15 Q. Right. And I do have two versions of this, and it's handwritten
16 that it was sent actually on 13 July at 15 minutes past midnight. Right?
17 A. That's what it says here, yes.
18 Q. So it would appear that the Bratunac Brigade, at least, was unsure
19 at this point in time as to where the 28th Division was and was asking for
20 information from its neighbour as it should under these circumstances.
21 A. I think that they're asking their neighbours here to tell them
22 where the forces of the neighbours are, that is, the left flank battalion
23 of the Milici Brigade, so that they can organise a joint operation. And
24 quite obviously, they don't have a clear idea of where the 28th Division
25 is here.
1 Q. Right. So they -- so Colonel Blagojevic wants to know what his
2 neighbour is doing, where he's located, and that's the reason for this
3 particular urgent message?
4 A. It appears so, yes.
5 Q. And would it not also appear that there seems to be a lack of good
6 intelligence information as far as the 28th Division, based on this?
7 A. Yes, it would seem so, and I've already said so.
8 Q. Now, if I could show you what has been marked as D46 for
9 identification purposes, and it's an intelligence report from the
10 intelligence organ of the Zvornik Brigade. Would you please look at that
11 for a second. You probably have seen it already.
12 Now, having looked at this intelligence report, it would appear
13 that it's coming from the Zvornik Brigade. Am I correct?
14 A. Yes. This is a document written by the assistant chief of staff
15 for intelligence, Captain First Class Dusko Vukotic. I don't think this
16 is his handwriting, actually, but he did sign it personally.
17 Q. Okay. Now at the top it's dated 12 July, 1995, but I see at the
18 bottom, there's another date which is actually July 13th. And we have
19 1.10 under that, well, 1.10. Right. So that would be --
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Now, from this intelligence report, what -- can you give us a
22 synopsis, just a -- what exactly this report tells us?
23 A. Do you expect me to read it out or to comment?
24 Q. No, no, just to comment. Let me just tell you what I think,
25 because I'm not used to reading these documents. But it would appear to
1 me that the Zvornik Brigade just says, "we have seen from the Bratunac
2 Brigade," they are also a little uncertain as far as what the situation is
3 like. And then I look at the last sentence, and it says: "I estimate
4 that the defence line from Baljkovice on the right to Ravno Brdo," and I'm
5 killing the names, "on the left is threatened, on the primary axis of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When you read this, what does this say?
9 A. When you read this, Mr. Karnavas, that is to say, the whole
10 report, then it just confirms the confusion of intelligence data that
11 there was at the time. And at several points it gives us the frequencies,
12 which means that the information he has at his disposal is coming in from
13 intercept groups, and it's difficult to locate the places, the locations
14 of the units that are being tapped into. It's just guesswork. And
15 finally, it is his assessment that due to all these circumstances, the
16 left flank has been threatened, the left flank of the Zvornik Brigade in
17 actual fact.
18 Q. Now, I understand -- I understand it that it is your belief that
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic may have been spending the night, that
20 particular night and perhaps the previous night, that is, the 11th and the
21 12th, in the Zvornik area.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I believe that might even be the case on the 13th, and you
24 make that assessment based on a log, a fuel log, for his car. Am I
1 A. I saw Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic early on the morning of the
2 12th. We had a short conversation in the Zvornik Brigade headquarters,
3 but yes, there is grounds for thinking along your lines. But on the
4 morning of the 12th, we did have a conversation at the HQ.
5 Q. On the day of the 12th after that conversation, did you by any
6 chance contact your commander to inform him of the situation?
7 A. No, I did not, Mr. Karnavas. We talked orally on the morning of
8 the 12th and didn't hear from each other later on.
9 Q. Now, is that because you had made a mental assessment that perhaps
10 the situation was not quite as threatening as it appeared two or three
11 days later? Might that be the case, or was there some other reason?
12 A. At the beginning, that was the reason. Later on, I didn't really
13 have any physical possibility of doing that. I was in the field, on the
14 ground, and that's it.
15 Q. All right. Well, on the 13th, the day of the 13th, did you have
16 more information during that particular day that would lead you to believe
17 that perhaps the situation was unstable on the ground, for the Zvornik
18 Brigade, that is?
19 A. Mr. Karnavas, on the 13th during the morning, I was on the ground,
20 and we did have information from the intercept groups that there were
21 large forces in the depth of our territory. But through radio, we
22 received information from General Zivanovic or the Drina Corps command
23 that the road had been blocked, the Kasaba/Konjevic Polje Road, of course,
24 and in fact that only small groups had managed to cross over, no large
25 forces. So that for the time being, I personally thought that the corps
1 command was in control of the situation more or less.
2 Q. Right. Had you contacted on that particular day your commander,
3 Pandurevic, to at least give him an update on the situation on the ground?
4 A. No, I didn't. Late in the evening, I talked to General Zivanovic,
5 but I didn't talk to Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic.
6 Q. Okay. And we'll get to that evening. During that day, did you by
7 any chance contact Colonel Blagojevic of the Bratunac Brigade or the
8 commander of the Milici Brigade to find out what information they may have
9 for you?
10 A. No, I didn't. I think the logistics officer from the Bratunac
11 Brigade called me that evening about a tank. That was all. That was all
12 the contact that I had personally with the Bratunac Brigade.
13 Q. All right. But at some point that evening, you did have a
14 conversation with General Zivanovic. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes. Yes, in the evening.
16 Q. Did you initiate that conversation, or did he call you?
17 A. I initiated the conversation.
18 Q. And I take it you were reaching out to General Zivanovic because
19 at the time you believed he was still the commander of the Drina Corps.
20 Is that correct?
21 A. Precisely.
22 Q. Did General Zivanovic at that point indicate to you that he was no
23 longer the commander and that perhaps you should consult with somebody
25 A. No, he didn't point that out. I told him about an enormous
1 column. He ordered me what to do, and I got on with it. But he didn't
2 tell me anything about that.
3 Q. Might I ask, was there a particular reason why you didn't reach
4 out and try to locate your commander to inform him? Is there a particular
5 reason why you went to Zivanovic, which is all the way up, bypassing
6 Pandurevic, albeit you were, I believe by your own testimony, the acting
7 commander at the time?
8 A. Mr. Karnavas, the reason was that I estimated that those were
9 enormous forces, and we had to step in urgently. That was my reasoning.
10 There was no time to lose looking for Lieutenant-Colonel Pandurevic,
11 wherever he was. My estimate was that this was the most intelligent thing
12 to be done at the time, and that's why I did it.
13 Q. Now, was this conversation before or after the conversation that
14 you had with Drago Nikolic, your security, chief of security?
15 A. First, Drago Nikolic called me, and then a bit later I called
16 General Zivanovic. So after my conversation with the security officer.
17 Q. Okay. And we'll talk about that in a little bit. But first, I
18 wanted to show you a couple of orders and see if we can get your
19 assessment of this. And I'm referring to, for identification purposes,
20 it's D28/1. And this is a Drina Corps order dated the 13th of July. And
21 it's directed to the Bratunac/Milici/Skelani Brigades. And then at the
22 same time, since we're dealing with this matter, perhaps you could also be
23 furnished with D18 for identification purposes, which is an order that was
24 drafted by the commander of the Bratunac Brigade dated 14th July, 1995.
25 If you could please look at the corps order first, and then the
1 order drafted by Colonel Blagojevic.
2 A. I'm ready, Mr. Karnavas.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Obrenovic.
4 Now, the order dated 13 July, 1995, which is D28 for
5 identification purposes, is this not an order from the Drina Corps to
6 various brigades?
7 A. Yes, Mr. Karnavas. This is an order from the command of the Drina
8 Corps dated 13th of July, 1995, sent, as you said, to the Bratunac Light
9 Brigade, Milici Light Brigade, and the Independent Battalion of Skelani,
10 those three units. If one looks at the stamp, you can tell that the code
11 was date, or rather hours, 2000 I believe, but this is a rather poor copy.
12 It's difficult to say.
13 Q. Right. It's 2000 or 2030, so that would make it late in the
14 evening on the 13th. Now, this order, is it not an order for searching
15 the terrain?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is this not a normal military function after a battle, to
18 search a particular terrain, especially if civilian population is expected
19 to be moving through that terrain?
20 A. This is obviously the decision of the commander of the Drina Corps
21 for these forces or for most of these forces to be engaged on that task.
22 That was his assessment and his decision.
23 Q. Right. But I guess what I want to get at it is: The searching of
24 terrain is a natural military operation after a battle such as the fall of
1 A. This is only to be expected, that this would have been an order.
2 Q. And so this order is being given to the Bratunac, the Milici, and
3 the Skelani Brigade pretty much at the same time while you are in Zvornik
4 contacting General Zivanovic, more or less alerting him to a threat that
5 is headed your way, that is, the 28th Division. Am I correct?
6 A. Yes, you're correct. It's quite obvious that this was roughly at
7 the same time, a little bit before or a little bit later perhaps.
8 Q. Okay. Can we draw any conclusions that perhaps the Drina Corps
9 was also unaware of where the 28th Division was, its size, its threat, or
10 potential threat, particularly to Zvornik?
11 A. That would be my conclusion. On the 13th around noon, or rather
12 in the afternoon, we received information specifically from the corps
13 command, from General Zivanovic, that the road had been blocked, and that
14 there were no major forces moving in depth. And yet, on the 13th in the
15 evening, we did see those, so you are entirely correct.
16 Q. Right. And you don't have to be a genius to know that the 28th
17 Division had a couple of options to start with. They could head towards
18 Zepa, which was really not an option, or they would head towards Tuzla.
19 And so you really don't have to be a military trained officer to know that
20 they're probably going to go towards Tuzla because that's the only
21 realistic available option left for them. Am I correct?
22 A. You are right, Mr. Karnavas. On the 12th, we even received an
23 order from the command of the Drina Corps to prevent a breakthrough, I
24 think that was the wording, by the 28th Division. The prediction was that
25 this would include Tuzla, Kladanj, and Zepa.
1 Q. Now, if I could get you to look at what has been marked as D18 for
2 identification purposes. And this is an order prepared by
3 Colonel Blagojevic with respect to ground search. Take a quick look at
4 it, and then after you've skimmed it, if you could focus on paragraph
5 number 4. Just read that thoroughly and carefully, please.
6 A. Paragraph 4 of this order from the 1st Bratunac Brigade says:
7 "From its positions, the 4th Infantry Battalion will control the area in
8 front of it, spreading from Lupoglav to Ravni Buljim, and reaching forward
9 as far as Mratinsko Brdo and Sandici."
10 Q. Okay. First, let's talk about this document. Does this document
11 not appear to be an implementing order at brigade level of the Drina Corps
12 order dated the previous day signed by General Krstic?
13 A. Yes, if you look at the header, you can see that
14 Colonel Blagojevic refers to that very same order by the Drina Corps
16 Q. And does it not, in looking at this order, when you look at
17 paragraphs number 1, 2, and 3, he sets out in coordinates what portions of
18 the terrain the 1st, the 2nd, and the 3rd Battalion will be searching?
19 A. That's how it appears.
20 Q. I take it if we had the time, or if it were relevant, I could show
21 you a map, and you would be able to plot it out and figure out exactly
22 which area each battalion was tasked to search?
23 A. Yes, indeed. I could find these on the map.
24 Q. And when you get to the 4th Battalion, it would appear, would it
25 not, that they're not really being asked to do any searching?
1 A. It says here that they should stay in their positions and control
2 the area as ordered by firing from where they were. That's my reading of
3 the document, at least.
4 Q. All right. But when we say "control," in military terms, is he
5 not asking the 4th Battalion to maintain their defensive positions which,
6 in fact, they held for a year or two years earlier, maybe even three
8 A. Yes, that's what it means.
9 Q. Now, when you look at this order from the -- from
10 Colonel Blagojevic, which is dated the 14th, would it also not appear
11 based on what he's tasking the 4th Battalion, that perhaps at the Bratunac
12 Brigade level, at the command level there, there seems to be a lack of
13 correct information with respect to the 28th Division?
14 A. That's possible.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I think I'm right on the dot, Your Honour. I could
17 go on, but I'm sure folks want to go home.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the
19 same courtroom.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.31 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 7th day of
22 October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.