1 Wednesday, 3 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Any cross-examination? Mr. Karnavas?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: This witness calls for no cross.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
12 Mr. Stojanovic?
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. We
14 do have a couple of questions for this witness, and with your permission
15 we should like to proceed.
16 WITNESS: PERO PETROVIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 Q. We listened to your answers yesterday and we have read your
22 statement, the one that you gave to the OTP on the 27th of November, 2002,
23 and on the 1st of December, 2002. But there are certain things that have
24 remained unclear, and I would like to ask you for your help. Let me just
25 ask you to wait a little before you proceed with giving your answer,
1 because we have to be mindful of the interpretation because we speak the
2 same language. So please bear in mind, just a brief pause between
3 question and answer. Thank you.
4 In the statement -- or rather, in your testimony yesterday and in
5 your statement given in 2002, you said that you were mobilised on the 20th
6 of May, 1992, and that formally speaking, the commander of your unit was
7 Mihajlo Galic. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes. As far as I know I was mobilised into a detachment as far as
9 I recall, and that was my first commander, the first commander I was
10 assigned to.
11 Q. Were you given any war assignment in that unit? Were you deployed
12 on one of the positions of that unit for a while before you were
14 A. I don't understand. What do you mean for a while? For the entire
15 period of the war or ...
16 Q. I'm interested in the period prior to withdrawal from the unit
17 before you went back to the local commune. I'm interested in the year of
18 1992. Were you ever deployed at the frontline or at any other position,
19 and if so, where?
20 A. Before I withdrew from the unit, I was part of that unit. I was
21 mobilised until the 16th of March, 1996. So from the 20th of May, 1992,
22 until 1996. So throughout that period of time, I would always respond to
23 any invitation or order by the commander, except in some exceptional
24 circumstances when I was not available.
25 Q. So where were you deployed in 1992?
1 A. I cannot remember. I believe -- well, the siege of the battalion
2 was in Kiseljak, and it was in 1992 so it must have been Mr. Galic who
3 summoned us to report to the unit before the battalion was deployed. Now
4 I remember. At one point it became a battalion, the 23rd Battalion. So
5 from August onwards, the battalion was deployed on the separation line
6 between Pilica and Teocak. My assignment at the time was in the rear of
7 the unit.
8 Q. When you say that your unit was deployed as far as Teocak, is it
9 true that it was up to the point which is called Tursanovo Brdo?
10 A. Yes. In the area between Pilica and Teocak, so I believe this was
11 Tursanovo Brdo and a very small hamlet, Krcina [phoen].
12 Q. Was that the furthest right point of the area which was held by
13 the Zvornik Brigade?
14 A. Well, I didn't spend a lot of time there, but that should have
15 been the case I believe.
16 Q. So you will agree with me when I say that you were the right-wing,
17 the furthermost right point which was held by the Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. Yes. Yes. That would be the location on the map.
19 Q. The members of the battalion, were most of them mobilised
20 conscripts from the local area, from Pilica, Lokanj, and Sijes [phoen].
21 Did you have any specific task in that unit?
22 A. I don't remember exactly. I was in the kitchen, in the rear, that
23 is at least how I was registered on the -- on the schedule. That's all.
24 Q. If I understand you correctly, you were already president of the
25 Pilica local commune at that time in 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us when you were elected president of the local
4 A. I believe that it was on the 11th of May, 1992.
5 Q. Let me remind you that in the statement that you gave to the
6 Office of the Prosecutor in 2002, you stated that you were president of
7 the local community from the 20th of April 1992. Today you're saying that
8 you were elected on the 11th of May. What is correct?
9 A. It's possible that we didn't understand each other at the time.
10 On the 11th of April, I was a member of the council of the local commune,
11 but I was active in that council even before that in 1990 and 1991. So
12 it's possible that a mistake occurred, that there was a misunderstanding.
13 It was on the 11th of May, as far as I can recall at this point.
14 Q. The way I understand was that you were given an opportunity to
15 re-read the statement when you arrived here in The Hague and that you
16 entered certain corrections in your statement in handwriting, that you
17 corrected everything that you thought was -- had been incorrectly
18 translated or worse, erroneous?
19 A. Yes. And I did so on the last page of the statement taken in
20 1995. I didn't have anything in particular to say in connection with
22 Q. But from what I can see from the statement, you entered certain
23 corrections in respect of 1992.
24 A. Sir, as far as I was able to understand, that's possible, but only
1 Q. I don't understand. What do you mean when you say "only
2 partially"? Did you or did you not enter any corrections in the statement
3 in which you said that you were elected president of the local community
4 on the 20th of April?
5 A. I didn't pay much attention to the dates. I was concerned with
6 words rather than the dates. So as far as I can recall at this point,
7 those are the dates that I remember.
8 Q. So it is possible that the statement that you gave contains other
9 mistakes that you failed to notice and did not correct?
10 A. As far as I could observe yesterday, there were certain problems
11 with the chronology of the events -- I mean, as we discussed it during the
12 testimony and as it was described in the statement, and it was a little
13 bit confusing for me, I must admit.
14 Q. I do agree with you, Mr. Petrovic, and this is exactly why I think
15 that it is possible that there are still mistakes in the statement. So if
16 you should notice something that is not correct in your statement during
17 our conversation, please let me know. So it is not correct that on the
18 20th of April, 1992, as it is stated in the statement that you signed,
19 that you were elected president of the local commune. The correct answer
20 is the 11th of May, 1992. Am I correct?
21 A. The 11-day [as interpreted] difference -- I mean, I cannot recall
22 at this point when it was exactly, and I also know -- I mean you said that
23 I gave another statement on another occasion, and I don't understand what
24 exactly you have in mind, if you can explain this to me.
25 Q. Witness, I mentioned the statement, or rather, the record of the
1 statement that we received yesterday, which reflects your conversation
2 with the OTP on the 30th of November this year, that is when you arrived
3 here in the Netherlands. So this is the other statement.
4 A. Okay. Now I understand what you meant. I was thinking of other
5 statements, the ones taken in 2002.
6 Q. So we will use both statements, the one that you gave on the 27th
7 of November, 2002, and the Prosecutor's note of your interview of the 30th
8 of November, 2003.
9 I believe that you stated that you had had several breaks of
10 service in your unit because you were busy at the local commune as the
11 president of the local commune. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. Petrovic, were you the president or a member of the SDS at the
15 A. Just a member.
16 Q. Did you have any specific function or did you hold any specific
17 office within the SDS?
18 A. No. I was just a member of the Zvornik chapter of SDS.
19 Q. When did you become a member of the Zvornik SDS board -- a member
20 of the municipal assembly in Zvornik?
21 A. In 1992.
22 Q. Let me remind you that the assembly was elected in 1990, right
23 after the first multi-party elections. Were you an SDS deputy at that
24 time or did you become the deputy only later on?
25 A. I became the deputy later on, subsequently.
1 Q. In 1992, so I am referring to the period between April and May
2 1992, were you also an SDS member at the Zvornik Municipal Assembly?
3 A. No. I believe it was only later in the end of 1992 or maybe
4 beginning of 1993. I don't know exactly, but I'm sure that I was not a
5 deputy during that period of time that you just mentioned.
6 Q. According to the results of the elections in the Pilica local
7 commune, did the SDS hold power in Pilica?
8 A. Yes, but let me finish the previous question. The government was
9 not formed according to the multi-party election results. It was the
10 citizens who proposed candidates for the local commune assembly,
11 regardless of their party membership as required by the statute of the
12 local commune. So the deputies of the local commune assembly are elected
13 directly by the citizens, according to the proposals or nominations. So
14 practically speaking, there were no elections for local commune assembly
15 deputies, and they were not based on political party membership.
16 Q. However, you will agree with me if I say that the local commune
17 assembly elected you, a member of the SDS, as the president of the local
19 A. Yes. But let me explain. The assembly was established at the
20 meeting of the citizens, and then it was only after the assembly has been
21 established that the members of the assembly can elect their president.
22 Q. So they elected you as a member of SDS on the 11th of May, 1992.
23 Is that correct?
24 A. I was the president of the local commune council. And after the
25 war broke out, the assembly stopped working. So it was the council of the
1 local commune that is in charge of the work of the local commune if the
2 assembly is no longer functioning.
3 Q. So after the breakout of the war, it was the local commune council
4 that was established, and it was constituted as the local Crisis Staff.
5 Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, but it was first the Territorial Defence staff prior to the
7 relevant instruction of the council, that is, prior to the outbreak of the
8 war, we had the so-called Territorial Defence council. And the
9 Territorial Defence was under the control of the Ministry of Defence, as
10 was the civilian protection department. The Territorial Defence had its
11 competencies and its responsibilities, and the council members had their
12 responsibilities, but that did not mean that they could not be members of
13 the Territorial Defence staff.
14 Q. Were you also elected president of the Crisis Staff in Pilica
15 during that period of time?
16 A. What period of time are you talking about?
17 Q. April/May, 1992.
18 A. No. Between the 20th of April and the 30th of April, the
19 president of the Crisis Staff was another gentleman, and I became
20 president on the 30th of November, as far as I can recall at this point.
21 Q. On the 3rd of July, 1992, you were the president of the local
22 commune council. Now, to your local commune, a group of people was
23 brought from the technical school in Karakaj. The Muslims in question had
24 been captured in the village of Djulici.
25 A. That is how I understood it to be.
1 Q. Mr. Petrovic, did you have any particular tasks with regard to
2 these prisoners or whatever you wish to call them, the prisoners that had
3 been brought from the village of Djulici in 1992?
4 A. None whatsoever.
5 Q. These people, while they were detained in Djulici, did you
6 organise distribution of bread to the Pilica community centre?
7 A. What do you mean "while they were detained in Djulici"?
8 Q. No. There's been a misunderstanding. While the people from
9 Djulici were detained in the Pilica community centre, did you organise
10 distribution of bread for them during that period of time?
11 A. Yes, on one occasion, but not me personally. I had asked a number
12 of citizens to buy bread, and I think I myself went to buy some bread in
13 the local shop in Pilica as well. The next day I went to the Territorial
14 Defence to see Mr. Marko Pavlovic in order to have the proper food
15 distribution organised, which indeed happened two days later through the
16 security service.
17 Q. On that occasion, did you ask Marko Pavlovic who those people
18 were, what kind of prisoners they were?
19 A. No, I didn't ask any such question. I didn't inquire about the
20 nature of these detainees. My main concern was to ask Marko Pavlovic to
21 organise distribution of food for them, and I wanted someone else to take
22 care of them because it was summertime, this was in a densely populated
23 area, and I was afraid of an outbreak of epidemics, in view of the
24 conditions that were highly improper for that purpose.
25 Q. So what did Marko Pavlovic tell you on that occasion?
1 A. He said that he would try to organise food distribution, to see
2 what we could -- would do with them, what should be done with them, and
3 that the security service would be informed about the situation.
4 Q. Did he tell you that they were not your responsibility?
5 A. Yes, something to that effect. I couldn't quote his words, but he
6 drew my attention to the fact that there was a security service which
7 would be in charge of them.
8 Q. In your statement you mentioned a name, Jovo Ivanovic. Is it true
9 that Jovo Ivanovic during that period of time in 1992 was vice-president
10 of the Zvornik municipality War Presidency?
11 A. He was the vice-president of the War Presidency in Zvornik? I was
12 never aware of the fact that he was the vice-president of any War
13 Presidency. I'm not sure what period of time you're talking about. I
14 know that there was a War Presidency in 1995.
15 Q. In May 1992, what was Jovo Ivanovic responsible for? What kind of
16 work did he perform?
17 A. I'm not aware of that. I know that he was a deputy, peoples'
18 deputy in May 1992. As to what specific duties he had at the time, I
19 don't know.
20 Q. Was he also a deputy on the basis of his membership of the SDS?
21 A. He was in the SDS before, too. When I became a deputy in
22 1992/1993, he was already a deputy. As far as I remember, I think he was
23 the president of the executive committee of the Municipal Assembly of
24 Zvornik before the war, as far as I can remember. I remember that he was
25 the president of the executive committee before the war, but when the war
1 broke out, I didn't follow this. I don't know what position he held.
2 Q. When we say the president of the executive committee, would you
3 agree with me that the executive committee had executive authority in the
4 municipality of Zvornik?
5 A. Yes. Before the war, they did a bridge and a request was sent to
6 the executive committee. I remember that the signature for the
7 construction of the bridge was Jovo Ivanovic's. That was before the war.
8 And during the war, I can remember that the director was Pilica/Zvornik
9 company and Vitika [phoen].
10 Q. In 1992, are you aware that at the level of the Zvornik
11 municipality a Crisis Staff was formed?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. As part of the Crisis Staff, was the president of the executive
14 committee of the municipality -- of Zvornik municipality, a member of the
15 Crisis Staff by virtue of his position?
16 A. I'm not sure that's a possibility.
17 Q. Do you know Dragan Obrenovic from that period, who was later the
18 deputy commander of the Zvornik Brigade?
19 A. I have known Dragan Obrenovic. I knew him for a few months during
20 that period while he was the commander of some unit. I didn't know him
21 personally. I knew some of my friends. I had some friends who were in
22 the reserve force of the JNA, and they said that Dragan Obrenovic was the
23 commander, but I didn't know him.
24 Q. Are you aware of the fact that as the commander of the mechanised
25 battalion in 1992, while he was in Zvornik he participated in the work of
1 the municipality of Zvornik Crisis Staff, together with Jovo Ivanovic?
2 A. I'm not aware that he was in the Crisis Staff. I was down one
3 occasion, perhaps. I don't know what position he held. I can't remember
4 whether I saw him. Perhaps I did, but I didn't know him personally. I
5 don't know the composition of the Crisis Staff. As to what positions
6 people held, well I heard that some people were members of the Crisis
7 Staff, but I didn't hear that this was the case for Dragan Obrenovic.
8 Q. Yesterday in response to a question from the Prosecution, you said
9 that you knew Dragan Jokic from that period. Is that correct?
10 A. I knew Dragan Jokic towards the end of 1992 and the beginning of
11 1993. We worked on a stretch of road, and I think in 1994 he worked on
12 another stretch of road in the Pilica municipality. But in 1994, I
13 cooperated to a lesser extent because he had a man who was taking care of
14 that particular stretch of road. And then Dragan Jokic's unit and the
15 engineer unit was involved in that work as far as I can remember the
17 Q. What did you conclude with regard to Dragan Jokic? What sort of a
18 person was he?
19 A. Yesterday I said that I had very positive memories of him. I
20 cooperated in a very correct manner with him, especially when building
21 roads, when the municipality provided fuel, transport, the quality of the
22 work when constructing the roads was very good in the municipality. And
23 we were very grateful at the time to Mr. Jokic. That was the first time
24 we built such roads in the municipality by using that system.
25 Q. When you socialised, when you knew him, when you would meet him,
1 did you ever notice in the war conditions, in those conditions of war,
2 that he manifested signs of nationalism of religious or national
4 A. I didn't even think about that. We never discussed the subject.
5 Everything mostly concerned tasks, and the tasks I had to the
6 municipality -- well, these are things that we discussed. We didn't
7 discuss other matters.
8 Q. So you never heard any such story from him? Could you just
9 confirm this. Is your answer yes?
10 A. Yes. The microphone was not working.
11 Q. Thank you. I would just like to conclude this series of questions
12 within another question. Yesterday, if this date is correct, because it
13 is not in accordance with your statement, on the 14th, 15th, and 16th, as
14 you mentioned Sunday, you said that you were at home. And on the 17th
15 when you came to the municipality. Mr. Petrovic, during that period from
16 the 14th to the 18th of July, 1995, did you see Dragan Jokic personally in
17 Branjevo, Pilica, anywhere?
18 A. As far as the dates are concerned, in my statement it says the
19 12th of June. It has to be the 12th of July. I know it was about Petrov
20 Dan. I don't know whether it was the 11th or 12th or the 14th, 15th,
21 16th, I don't know. I'm not sure of the exact date, but to answer your
22 question, I didn't see Mr. Jokic anywhere, apart from the conversation
23 that we had.
24 Q. So you didn't see him, but did you hear that during that period --
25 did you hear anyone say that Dragan Jokic was in Branjevo during that
2 A. No, I never mentioned this. No, I never said such a thing.
3 Q. Thank you. I'll just return to this conversation now, because the
4 Defence, Mr. Petrovic, is claiming that on that day you didn't have such a
5 conversation with Dragan Jokic, who is present here. And by putting
6 questions to you and presenting you with pieces of evidence, we shall
7 attempt to determine whether you did or didn't have such a conversation.
8 If I have understood you correctly, Mr. Petrovic, it was only on
9 the basis of his voice that you concluded that you were speaking to
10 Dragan Jokic. Am I correct?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Please, it is important for you to wait for the interpreter to
13 finish and then to answer the question. Thank you. Because this is a
14 linguistic barrier that we have to bridge.
15 Would you allow for the possibility that, given the time that has
16 passed from the time that you spoke to the person whom you say was Jokic
17 and investigators, is it possible that the person on the other side was
18 someone else?
19 A. Well, after so much time -- I'm thinking about that. I know that
20 I discussed this subject and that the duty officer, that's how he
21 presented himself, as Dragan Jokic. Perhaps there was a variation, a
22 difference. I wasn't there personally. I wasn't on the site, so I wasn't
23 able to see Jokic.
24 Q. So as you did not see him personally, you only heard him, you
25 allow for the possibility that it might have been someone else. Am I
2 A. Yes. He presented himself as the duty officer, Dragan Jokic.
3 That is how he introduced himself at all times.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. We will now try to follow the chronology
5 of events to see whether we are right or not. In your statement, you said
6 that on that morning, or on that day - we won't mention the exact date
7 because we have a problem - you said that you met Slavko Peric. And here
8 in the translation, it says that this was a person on the staff. Can you
9 please explain to us who Slavko Peric is and what duties he had at the
11 A. I corrected this yesterday. We didn't use the term "staff." We
12 said -- we used the terms battalion and brigade. Slavko Peric was someone
13 from the battalion. What was it called at the time? The 1st Infantry
14 Battalion. And I think -- what was his position called? I think he was a
15 security officer in the battalion, something like that.
16 Q. If I say that Slavko Peric was the assistant -- was the deputy
17 commander of the battalion for intelligence and security affairs in the
18 1st or Pilica Battalion, would I be correct?
19 A. Well, if that's the name of that position, yes. I don't know
20 exactly. I know that he had something to do with security in the
22 Q. Would you agree with me that at that time he held a high military
23 position, a high military rank in that battalion as a security officer?
24 A. Well, I'll probably agree with you. Assuming he was the assistant
25 commander, he must have had such -- he probably had such responsibility.
1 Q. And you say further on in your statement that you asked
2 Slavko Peric what the problem was. And he said that from the
3 headquarters, from the command of the brigade, he had received a telegram,
4 and that some prisoners would arrive. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Did he say where those prisoners would arrive?
7 A. He said I don't know anything. I have to prepare the premises. I
8 have to prepare some facilities. I asked where. He said: I don't know
9 anything. I have to prepare the facilities, get the facilities ready.
10 Q. And did he say which facilities where he had to prepare?
11 A. No, he didn't. But my conclusion was that that area was Biskurija
12 [phoen] near the school, was near the school.
13 Q. Do you mean the school that we call Kula in the village? Can you
14 tell us about what time it was on that day.
15 A. Well, as far as I can remember, it was sometime between 11.00 --
16 between 10.00 and 11.00, something like that. Perhaps a little later. I
17 don't know.
18 Q. Where did this conversation take place?
19 A. On the road in front of the school, near the entrance to the
21 Q. Had you organised this meeting or was it accidental?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer, the
23 interpreter did not hear.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, the interpreter did not hear the answer.
25 Witness, would you please repeat the answer.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We met accidentally, by chance.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just for the sake of the
4 transcript, in response to the question how you met, whether you had
5 agreed to meet, whether it had been organised, or whether it was an
6 accidental meeting, the witness replied that they had met by chance in
7 front of the school.
8 Q. Very well. I don't think it's necessary to ask, but correct me if
9 I'm wrong. Peric, Slavko, is from Pilica, from the same village as you.
10 Am I correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you aware of the fact that Slavko Peric gave statements to the
13 investigators on two occasions?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Have you ever spoken to Slavko Peric about what was to happen,
16 that you were being summoned to come to The Hague or did he speak to you
17 about his testimony?
18 A. Yes, a few days ago we spoke about the fact that I had received a
19 letter, a summons from The Hague. He said that he had also given a
20 statement. I didn't know that he had given a statement.
21 Q. Did he mention that conversation at all, the fact that you met by
22 chance in front of the school?
23 A. No, he didn't mention that. He didn't speak about that subject.
24 Q. Would you be surprised if I told you now that in the statement of
25 Slavko Peric's, in front of me, he didn't mention the fact that he spoke
1 to you about 10.00 on that day?
2 A. It wouldn't be a surprise. Perhaps he couldn't remember.
3 Q. So you say that it is possible that Slavko Peric might not have
4 mentioned your accidental meeting?
5 A. Well, perhaps it was insignificant, so he didn't mention it.
6 Q. Very well, Mr. Petrovic. If I try to explain this, Slavko Peric,
7 and you say that he held a fairly high military position at the time, he
8 informed you about what was going to happen. The question is: Why, in
9 spite of that fact, you wanted to go and check with the brigade commander
10 to see what was going to happen?
11 A. Because at that time, Slavko quickly said: I received a telegram
12 and prisoners will arrive. And he went somewhere else. I went to check
13 this out, because throughout the wartime period, although Slavko is a
14 relative of mine, we weren't on good terms. He didn't say this to me in a
15 friendly manner, and I couldn't really believe him.
16 Q. Why weren't you on good terms? Because your political views
17 diverged or some other reason?
18 A. At the time, I didn't feel a difference in political opinion, a
19 difference in political opinion, but because of the position he had, there
20 were problems with the army and perhaps it was his duty to conduct himself
21 in a certain manner. If I told him why I hadn't joined the army -- or I
22 hadn't come to the army, he didn't accept it, and he became angry.
23 Q. Can I conclude on this basis that you are saying that you didn't
24 believe what Slavko Peric told you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And that that is the reason for which you wanted to check the
2 information that you had received from a woman whom you had also met by
3 chance in the brigade command?
4 A. Yes -- no, not in the brigade command. I didn't meet the woman in
5 the brigade command.
6 Q. I didn't even say that.
7 A. What is your question?
8 Q. The question is: Am I correct when I say that the reason for
9 which you wanted to check this in the brigade command, you wanted to check
10 the allegations that you had heard from a woman you had met by chance, the
11 reason for this is that you did not believe the information that
12 Slavko Peric provided you with, Slavko Peric, the duty officer in the
13 Pilica Battalion?
14 A. Well, the information that the woman provided with me was
15 information I received before Slavko Peric mentioned this. When
16 Slavko Peric told me about this, I didn't -- I wasn't completely
17 distrustful. I believed it to an extent, but he didn't go into details.
18 He didn't explain it to me. So I wanted to take the opportunity to check
19 the facts in the brigade and to see if it would be possible to do
20 something so that the prisoners didn't come to Pilica. That's why I tried
21 to establish contact with the brigade commander, et cetera.
22 Q. Mr. Petrovic, how did you go to Sepak village?
23 A. In a car of an acquaintance. Perhaps it was Niko Micic but I'm
24 not sure.
25 Q. And you said you didn't find Jovo Ivanovic at home. And that at
1 your request a relative of his allowed you to use his telephone. Is that
3 A. Yes, that is correct. Something like that happened as far as I
4 can remember. He was doing something in the yard, perhaps working on the
5 fence. Jovo Ivanovic wasn't there; he came later as far as I can
6 remember. So that's what I chose to do. I remember that we used a
7 wireless phone.
8 Q. I haven't understood you correctly -- very well now. You are
9 saying it's possible that Jovo Ivanovic came when you were speaking to the
10 brigade command [Realtime transcript read in error "commander"]?
11 A. Something like that, as far as I can recall that event.
12 Q. And that relative, did he listen to the conversation with the
13 brigade command [Realtime transcript read in error "commander"] or were
14 you on your own at the time?
15 A. Perhaps we were sitting at some table in the yard.
16 Q. Was the relative standing there, too, while you were speaking?
17 A. Well, I can't remember. He was somewhere nearby. I can't
18 remember where that relative was exactly. He was somewhere on the
19 grounds. I can't describe where he was now.
20 Q. Can you tell this Trial Chamber --
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
22 MS. ISSA: Excuse me, Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. I note
23 in the transcript it refers to brigade commander and I believe the
24 question related to the brigade command and I believe that needs to be
25 corrected in the transcript.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think that is on page 20, line 14.
2 MS. ISSA: Yes. Line 17.
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, would you please check it. There are
4 two places in your question.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honours. So I
6 don't think anything will be in dispute.
7 Q. The question was: When you spoke to the brigade command, not when
8 you spoke to the brigade commander, on that occasion was that relative
9 present? Just for the sake of the transcript, you cannot state with
10 certainty whether he was in the immediate -- whether he was right by you,
11 but he was somewhere in the vicinity. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, that relative -- I don't know
13 whether Jovo was somewhere there at the time. I know we spoke about this
14 matter, but I don't know whether he listened to the conversation. We
15 discussed the subject. We discussed phoning the brigade command. But as
16 to whether he heard the conversation or perhaps -- or whether he went off
17 somewhere else, I can't remember right now.
18 Q. But can you tell us and can you assist us in trying to determine
19 the facts, what was the name of Jovo Ivanovic's relative who was present
20 when you spoke to the brigade command?
21 A. Well, I can't remember now. Perhaps it was Jevto Simic from
22 Pilica, but I don't know whether he came with me or whether he was already
23 there or was someone else there, too, I can't remember. But Jevto Simic
24 is my relative. Perhaps at the time he was working for him; that is a
1 Q. If I have understood you correctly, perhaps he came with you from
2 Sepak to Pilica to work at Jovo Ivanovic's?
3 A. It's possible that he came with me at the time, or perhaps he was
4 already there. I'm not sure whether he came with us or whether he was
5 already there. As far as I can remember, I think that he was in the yard
6 at the time, but I think that he was doing some work on the fence around
7 the yard and there were other workers who were there, but I can't remember
8 who they were.
9 Q. Could he have heard that conversation?
10 A. No, he couldn't.
11 Q. He was, you wanted to say?
12 A. He was near -- well, it's possible he was nearby.
13 Q. So would I be correct to say that the conversation you had with
14 someone in the Zvornik Brigade command, would it be correct to say that no
15 one heard that conversation, including Jevto Simic who was nearby?
16 A. Yes, but we commented on this matter before I phoned and
17 afterwards. Perhaps we spoke about it in a group -- spoke about who I had
18 to phone and what had to be discussed, as far as I can remember the event.
19 Q. What was the reason for your travel to Sepak from Pilica to make a
20 phone call?
21 A. Well, there was no telephone in Pilica, but I can't remember.
22 Q. Sorry. I don't understand you. You cannot remember whether it
23 worked or not?
24 A. I'm not aware of the reason why it didn't work. I know we went to
25 Sepak because it was impossible to phone from Pilica, but I don't know the
1 reason why the lines were down. We often went to the post office there
2 during the war, because the lines were often down during the war. And
3 this is what I had in mind when I declared in my statement that the
4 telephone was not working.
5 Q. That's exactly what I was going to ask you about, Mr. Petrovic.
6 When you say that the telephone was not working, are you referring to
7 Pilica, to the nearby households, the catering businesses, or to the
8 telephone in your office?
9 A. Well, I think that the main switchboard in Pilica was a very old
10 one, and I believe that some lines were down and some were not. I know
11 that one part of Pilica did have telephone working and the other did not
12 for a longer period of time.
13 Q. Do you know where Milijan's Cafe is located in relation to your
15 A. Yes. On the road towards Bijeljina, some hundred metres away,
16 further down the road.
17 Q. You mean it is about a hundred metres away from your office?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How far from your office is the house of Jovo Ivanovic in Sepak?
20 A. 3 to 4 kilometres, maybe more.
21 Q. Do you know whether during that period of time, that is in
22 mid-July, there was a telephone line at Milijan's Cafe?
23 A. No, I cannot remember. I know there was a phone, but I'm not sure
24 if the phone was working. There had been a phone before the war; I know
1 Q. If I told you that in July 1995 there was a telephone bill issued
2 to this catering business for telephone services carried out in the past
4 A. It's possible, because sometimes the lines would be down for three
5 to four days, sometimes they would be working for a couple of days. I
6 know that when the lines were down, we would go to the next nearby local
7 commune to use the phone. So it is possible. I know that the reason why
8 I went there was because the phone wasn't working in Pilica. I know that
9 we spent a year or two in Pilica without a telephone -- or rather, that we
10 were having problems with telephone lines during that period of time.
11 Q. Would you agree with me if I say that it is more logical for you
12 to go to Milijan's Cafe which was only 100 metres away to try and make a
13 phone call and to check what Slavko Peric had told you than to go to Sepak
14 to perform such a conversation?
15 A. I agree with you. It is more logical, but maybe at that time I
16 knew that the telephone in Milijan's Cafe was not working. Maybe I was
17 not sure. Maybe if the telephone was not working on that day, I decided
18 to go there. I mean, I didn't have information, exact information, as to
19 which telephone in which household was working on that particular day.
20 I'm not ruling out the possibility that on that day it was working in my
22 Q. It was working, sir, but what I'm trying to say that it is
23 possible also that Jovo Ivanovic's telephone was not working either. I'm
24 just saying that instead of covering the distance of 100 metres, you
25 decided to go to the nearby village which was 3 to 4 kilometres away and
1 to make a phone call from there?
2 A. Yes. When I think about that, it was more -- would have been more
3 logical, but I also remember that I never used the telephone in
4 Milijan's Cafe. It was not my habit from calling from there.
5 Q. We believe that if you went to Jovo Ivanovic, Mr. Pero, it was
6 because you wanted to check with Jovo who at the time was a member of the
7 War Presidency, because we are talking about 1995, he was one of the
8 prominent SDS leaders, you wanted to see with him what was going on and
9 what you were to expect. Am I right or not?
10 A. As for the War Presidency, I think that it was Mr. Jovan Mitrovic
11 who was the president of the War Presidency at the time. I was not aware
12 of the members of the War Presidency, and I didn't know that Jovo Ivanovic
13 was a member of the War Presidency. I had never heard anything to that
14 effect and I was not informed of that.
15 Q. But you will agree with me -- after all, you said that you were
16 both members of the Zvornik Municipal Assembly on behalf of SDS, and that
17 at the time you knew that Jovo Ivanovic was the president of the executive
18 council in 1992. And in 1995 you said there was also a War Presidency in
19 the municipality of Zvornik. Is this correct?
20 A. Yes, but again I'm not aware of who the members of the
21 War Presidency were. Nobody informed me of that. I only know that
22 Jovan Mitrovic was a member of the War Presidency. I never inquired of
23 the membership of the War Presidency. There was no need for me to know
25 Q. We have the members of the presidency, I do not want to insist on
1 that. All I want is to put to you the reason why you went to Sepak. It
2 was not -- I was not interested into the members of the War Presidency;
3 this is not important for us at the moment. But is it possible that it
4 was for those reasons that you went to Jovo Ivanovic's house, that you
5 wanted to talk about what was to happen in view of the large number of
6 prisoners that was arriving and you wanted Jovo Ivanovic to tell you what
7 to do?
8 A. Well, I agree that Jovo Ivanovic did have some very important
9 functions within the municipality, but I don't know whether he was a
10 member of the War Presidency. It's possible that I did. Maybe that was
11 the reason why I want to the house of that person. There is certain logic
12 to that, I agree. As to what specific function at that particular moment
13 he had, I was not aware of that.
14 Q. Precisely, Mr. Petrovic. That is exactly what we are trying to
15 say, and that was the reason why you went to Sepak. And that was the
16 reason why you needed Jovo Ivanovic to tell you what would happen. Before
17 I show you a Prosecutor's exhibit, let me ask you: Do you remember what
18 time it was?
19 A. Well, it could have been one hour after the conversation that I
20 had had with Slavko, as far as I can recall.
21 Q. So between 12.00, half past 12.00 -- I mean the conversation with
22 the Zvornik Brigade command from Sepak?
23 A. I guess.
24 Q. Let me conclude with this topic. You testified yesterday that you
25 had first talked to the switchboard at the brigade, and it was the
1 switchboard people who put you through to the duty officer?
2 A. That should have been the case. I -- I must have gone through the
3 switchboard. I told you all the details that I knew about.
4 Q. Does that mean that this was not necessarily the case, that you
5 are not sure, which is an acceptable answer. So you're not sure if you
6 first talked to the duty officer or someone at the -- or that you first
7 talked to someone at the switchboard who then put you through to the duty
8 officer? You're not sure who it was?
9 A. Well, I don't remember how exactly it went.
10 Q. That's fine with me. That is a perfectly acceptable answer, in
11 view of the lapse of time. But do you abide by your statement that you
12 first talked to the person who was on duty at the switchboard and then you
13 wanted to be put through to the duty officer, which is what happened?
14 A. Well, I guess. I'm not sure that's how they worked. I remember
15 that I called them. What the procedure was, I don't remember. But you're
16 trying to make me say that I don't remember. It is possible that I have
18 Q. Well, I do understand if you have forgotten. That is certainly an
19 acceptable and frank answer. If you say: I don't remember, that is also
20 fine with us. These are really very important issues and we have to be
21 precise. I want to hear from you that possibility, that that was not
22 necessarily the case.
23 A. Well, I'm not sure. What I know was that I was eventually told
24 that I should not busy myself with that, that that was not my task. And I
25 wouldn't have known that if I had not called. I don't know. It's
1 possible that I had just picked up the receiver.
2 Q. Precisely. You knew that Dragan Jokic was the duty officer, so
3 that's why you concluded that it was him who said that this was none of
4 your business, that those were war prisoners?
5 A. Well, I didn't know that before. I may have known later, after I
6 talked to Dragan Jokic and after he told me that I should not interfere.
7 Q. However, you are not sure that the man with whom -- you're not
8 sure that the man with whom you talked is precisely the person present
9 here in the court, this Dragan Jokic?
10 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the answer of the witness.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Am I correct?
13 A. Okay. Well, I don't know any other proof at this point. This is
14 what I remember. If you have any other evidence. But from what I know
15 the only conclusion is that's how it went, that it was on that day that I
16 learned that Dragan Jokic was the duty officer. And that is what we
17 discussed during that conversation. He told me that this was not my
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, maybe this is a good
20 moment for the break before we proceed with presenting the evidence that
21 we have preferred. This is really the key moment of our
22 cross-examination. Thank you for allowing me to complete this.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I quite understand that, because since you said
24 let's conclude on this topic, at least we have gone through two pages.
25 But anyway, we'll have our break and we'll resume at 4.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, would you please speak a little bit
4 louder and speak directly to the microphone, because during the break I
5 was informed that the interpreters could not catch up with you. Thank you
6 very much.
7 Mr. Stojanovic, please continue.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Can we continue. Mr. Petrovic, on the 30th of November, you gave
10 a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor. Did they mention anything to
11 you about the fact that the conversations that took place at the Zvornik
12 Brigade command were being listened to by the members of the BH army?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you happen to hear from other sources that the conversation of
15 the Zvornik Brigade were being intercepted?
16 A. No.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may ask the assistance of
18 the usher, please. I would like P229 to be distributed. I should
19 actually like to show it to the witness so that we can hear his comment.
20 I'm interested in page 2, which contains the text in B/C/S.
21 Q. Mr. Petrovic, I would like to draw your attention to the sentence
22 before -- that appears before the names Zlatar, Zivanovic; Jokic, duty
23 officer, on the 12th that is the frequency was not active between 11.30
24 and 2020.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] So with your permission,
1 Your Honour, I should like to ask my question.
2 Q. Now, in accordance with the testimony of some BH army members
3 which we had the opportunity of hearing, they testified before this
4 Chamber how they went about the frequencies and how it was possible for to
5 intercept your conversations -- or rather, the conversations on Channel 3.
6 That was the frequency of the Zvornik Brigade command. Now, the time in
7 question is 2128 [as interpreted] of this particular conversation. The BH
8 army claim that the frequency was not active from 11.30 until 2020. Now,
9 the way that I interpret this, Mr. Petrovic, is that between that period
10 of time between half 11.00 and 20 minutes past 8.00 p.m., they were not
11 able to intercept any telephone conversation that may have been -- that
12 may have taken place at the Zvornik Brigade command.
13 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm going to object to that.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MS. ISSA: First of all, with all due respect, I don't think that
16 Mr. Stojanovic's interpretation is necessarily accurate, nor is it
17 relevant. And I don't think that he can put a question in this form to a
18 witness. And I'm going to object to that question and ask that he not be
19 permitted to pursue this line of questioning in this manner.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, so far as I know, I didn't hear the question
21 yet. Maybe the question itself is quite relevant. Would you please allow
22 Mr. Stojanovic to finish his question.
23 MS. ISSA: Certainly, Your Honour. I was under the impression
24 that he had finished it, but I --
25 JUDGE LIU: I think it's a statement just on his part. While the
1 different parties may claim different things and have different
2 interpretations. But you have to focus on the questions. I hope
3 Mr. Stojanovic could ask a question so then we could see whether it is
4 relevant or not.
5 MS. ISSA: Certainly.
6 JUDGE LIU: But we will bear your objections in mind.
7 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'm
9 trying to establish the relevance of what the Prosecution is claiming as
10 well as the relevance of what we claim. So if the Prosecution can rely on
11 this evidence, I see no reason why it should not be verified.
12 Q. My question for you, Mr. Petrovic, is as follows: Is it possible
13 that between half past 11.00 and 20 minutes past 20 hours on the 14th of
14 July, no conversation was intercepted. And you said that you made that
15 call between 12.00 and half past 12.00.
16 A. I'm not familiar with this date, the 14th of July. This does not
17 accord with my recollection. The conversation, according to what I
18 remember, should have taken place around the 12th of July, but again I'm
19 not sure. This date, the 14th of July, doesn't really ring a bell. I
20 don't know. I'm not sure that this took place after 11.30. It could have
21 been sometime around 10.00. Again, I don't remember the exact hour, but
22 the date doesn't look familiar, the 14th of July.
23 Q. I'd like to be able to understand you completely. Are you trying
24 to say that the conversation did not take place on the 14th or that the
25 conversation did not take place between 12.00 and 12.30 on the 14th of
2 A. According to my previous statements and according to my knowledge
3 as far as the dates are concerned, the events we are talking about took
4 place sometime before the 12th of July. And now I'm confused. I don't
5 know where this date, the 14th of July, has come from. This doesn't mean
6 that you're not right, but I'm not sure, once again, that this did not
7 take place before 12.30. I'm not sure about the hours, at any rate. I
8 can only approximate the time.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, for
10 insisting, but let me try to clarify.
11 Q. Do you think, Mr. Petrovic, that the conversation that you
12 discussed, just as you mentioned it in your statement, took place before
13 St. Peter's Day, that is the 12th of July, or after the 12th of July?
14 A. It happened just prior to the arrival, but my recollection is that
15 it took place sometime around the 12th of July. But it is also possible
16 that it had taken place before the 12th of July. At least, this is the
17 impression that I have at this point. You see the date here, but I know
18 that it was one or two hours -- maybe three or four hours before the
19 arrival of the prisoners that this conversation had taken place. And as
20 far as I remember, it was during the morning hours. But I'm confused
21 about the date. I really don't know what is correct.
22 Q. This really favours our position, and I would like to establish
23 the truth. Dragan Jokic was not the duty officer in the Zvornik Brigade
24 on the 12th and around that date. So if you insist that the conversation
25 took place at that time, I'm not going to insist, but if you're now
1 telling this Chamber that the conversation may have taken place on the
2 14th, then I have to insist. Because on the basis of that, it turns out
3 that no one -- it follows that no one was able to intercept any
5 A. But I really cannot remember the exact date. I said around
6 Petrov Dan, St. Peter's Day, which is on the 12th of July. Whether it was
7 a day before that or a day after that, I don't know. But in my statement,
8 I said that it was on the 12th of July.
9 Q. Let us try this way: If I say that this was not on the 14th of
10 July, but rather on the 12th of July or maybe before that day -- that
11 date, would I be correct?
12 A. From what I can remember, it should have been sometime around the
13 12th. I'm sorry, I cannot be more precise as far as the date is
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. I believe this is something that we can
16 live with, as far as the date is concerned, because it is not disputed
17 that on the 12th of July Dragan Jokic was not the duty officer at the
18 Zvornik Brigade command. But let me ask you the following: What was your
19 understanding of those prisoners of war? Did anyone mention the fact that
20 they would be killed or whether any talks about the possibility of their
21 being exchanged?
22 A. Well, there was no reason for anyone to mention anything to that
23 effect. My understanding was that it would turn out differently than it
24 eventually did. I stated to the investigators of the OTP that that is
25 what I believed, or rather, that the war year of 1995 was under some sort
1 of military organisation. No one ever mentioned to me why these prisoners
2 would be important.
3 Q. On that day, on the 14th of July, did anyone say anything to the
4 effect that they would be killed?
5 A. No. Like I said, I never knew what would happen. No one ever
6 told me anything about it, none before that, not at that time, not after
7 that. It's not something that I was able to hear from someone else.
8 Q. Were there any talks about the exchange? Did anyone tell you that
9 they were waiting to be exchanged?
10 A. No. I never had any conversation with anyone to that effect. I
11 was merely observing the events.
12 Q. To follow-up on this, do you know that in the 1st Infantry Pilica
13 Battalion, that is the 1st Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, there was
14 also Dusan Jokic, that he was a reserve officer and that he was with the
15 mortar group?
16 A. Let me try to remember the name. Jokic, the mortar battery, I'm
17 not sure. There may have been a man by that name, but in 1992 -- I cannot
18 remember. What period are you talking about?
19 Q. I'm interested in the summer of 1995, July 1995.
20 A. I didn't have any information about a mortar platoon at the time
21 or a Dusan Jokic.
22 Q. Very well, Mr. Petrovic, let's return to the 15th. According to
23 what you said yesterday, on that day, having been to the school, you
24 decided to go to the municipality for the sake of organisation and the
25 demobilisation of a soldier. Am I correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in response to a question from the Prosecution, you resolved
3 the dilemma that you had or did not have and that was your statement that
4 you gave when preparing for this trial on the 30th of November. I'd like
5 to remind you that according to these notes that we have received, you
6 stated that on the following morning, the day after the prisoners had been
7 brought in, you went to Zvornik to deal with affairs that had to do with
8 the local commune. As he was passing by the school, he saw buses that
9 were parked there. There were prisoners in the school, et cetera. And
10 yesterday you said that what had been recorded by the Prosecution was not
11 correct. Am I right?
12 A. I'm sorry. I didn't hear the first question.
13 Q. Is it correct to say that on the 30th of November, you told the
14 Prosecution that the morning after the prisoners had arrived you set off
15 to Zvornik. You passed by the Kula school, and on that occasion you saw
16 buses that were parked there and prisoners in the school. And then
17 yesterday in the course of the examination-in-chief, you denied this. You
18 said there was a misunderstanding and that that concerned the 14th -- and
19 that on the 15th you hadn't passed by the Kula school. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. Yesterday, as far as that event is concerned, I said that
21 when I spoke to Slavko Peric, I went to the office. I went to Sepak. I
22 returned from Sepak and went home to deal with some minor affairs. And on
23 that day, I returned to the Kula school again. I think that that is what
24 I said.
25 Q. Does that mean that on the following day before heading for
1 Zvornik, you didn't pass by the Kula school?
2 A. Well, perhaps I didn't pass by, and if I did, it was in a car.
3 Because I took different routes. But on the first day when I went home on
4 that day, I returned home, I didn't see anyone. When I returned the
5 second time, perhaps there was a misunderstanding in the translation and
6 it seemed to be on the second day. But the second time I returned was on
7 that day when I was in Sepak.
8 Q. According to what we have received and the Prosecution has pointed
9 this out to you, too, it says that this happened on the following day, the
10 following morning. Well, I just want to clarify this. What is correct?
11 The first statement given to the Prosecution or the second one given to
12 the Prosecution or what you stated yesterday?
13 A. Well, my second statement, the second time I returned home, I saw
14 that, that's probably what I said. The second time I returned home, I saw
15 that. I thought that referred to my second return, but on that day I
16 passed by on two occasions, once when there were no prisoners and the
17 second time when there were prisoners there.
18 Q. So can I conclude what is stated in the statement, or rather, in
19 the notes, is not correct, the record of the discussion with the
20 Prosecution on the 30th of November?
21 A. Yes. It's correct to say that I passed a second time, but it
22 doesn't mean on another day. The second time I passed by, I saw it.
23 Q. I understand you. You just want to say that it was on that day
24 that you passed by the school and saw the prisoners, and that was when you
25 passed by on the second day?
1 A. Yes, the second time I passed by, and perhaps it seems as if it
2 was on another day, on the second day.
3 Q. It has been recorded here that that was on another day, after you
4 had spent the night at home and went to Zvornik, that that happened on
5 another day.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
7 MS. ISSA: I think we've been over this a number of times now.
8 It's getting quite repetitive. The witness has made it clear what his
9 answer is and I'm going to suggest respectfully that we should perhaps
10 move on from this point. It is getting repetitive and rather confusing.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe so, Mr. Stojanovic. And especially I
12 could not understand the question you asked just now.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I won't ask any
14 more questions about this matter. I think we have solved the -- resolved
15 the matter. But I want to say this, and this is the purpose of the
16 question: That this witness has changed the statement that he gave to the
17 Prosecution on the 30th of July. He did that yesterday, and he said that
18 this was correct and we have seen that that was the case. He gave a
19 statement on 2002, and then he changed it on the 30th of November, and
20 then yesterday he said again that he didn't pass by the school on that
21 second day. So he's changed his statement again. So I'm not going to ask
22 any more questions about this. If the Prosecution thinks that this is not
23 correct, they should say so.
24 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I think the witness has made it clear that
25 the statement he made during the course of the proofing session may have
1 gotten somewhere lost in the translation. He explained that. He
2 explained that he passed by the school twice, and perhaps there was a
3 misunderstanding through the translation. And I think that's fair. I
4 don't think we can really draw anything further from that, and I don't
5 think this would be an appropriate time to make an argument.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 And, Mr. Stojanovic, please move on.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. All I
9 wanted to do is to show that the testimony of the witness had been changed
10 many times and there are constant translation problems.
11 Could the usher help us to show the witness Exhibit P225 [as
12 interpreted]. This is a Prosecution exhibit. And could the Prosecution
13 perhaps provide a B/C/S version. We have a sufficient number of copies in
15 This is 525, P525. You have it in our list; it's the report from
16 the state security. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Petrovic, please pay attention to the last paragraph. It's a
18 document from the Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior, the state
19 security sector. And it is a report being forwarded to the Ministry of
20 the Interior.
21 MS. ISSA: Unfortunately I don't have a copy because the only copy
22 we have now given to Mr. Stojanovic and the witness. Perhaps we can -- I
23 guess we have now put it on the ELMO. But I assume there's no other extra
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
1 MS. ISSA: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We've got enough copies.
4 Q. In the last paragraph it says: "Early in the morning of the 15th
5 of July, a group of about 100 prisoners, Muslim prisoners from Srebrenica
6 managed to escape from Gornja Pilica in the Zvornik municipality."
7 Mr. Petrovic, we've had the opportunity of hearing Mr. Ruez's
8 testimony here, an investigator in the Srebrenica case, and he spoke about
9 information about shooting in front of the Kula school, shooting directed
10 at the prisoners who had been brought there. I have just shown you this
11 report from the state security of the Republika Srpska Ministry of the
12 Interior. Do you know anything about this event?
13 A. About the shooting in front of the school?
14 Q. Yes, that's right.
15 A. No.
16 Q. On the 15th, were you informed, either in Zvornik or in Pilica, of
17 such an incident?
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but
19 the witness has told me that he hasn't heard the interpretation.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you repeat the question, please.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
22 Q. Did anyone tell you in Zvornik, because you said you went to the
23 Zvornik municipality, or in Pilica, did anyone tell you about this
24 incident that occurred a day or a night before?
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness's
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I was on the 15th, I can't be
3 sure whether I was there on that date because I was in Zvornik.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Do you know anything about this event?
6 A. I personally don't know anything about this event, but -- I wasn't
7 there, so how could I know about it? As for the event at the Kula school,
8 I've told you about that, but I don't know anything else.
9 Q. Yesterday when asked by the Prosecution, you said that on the 15th
10 you also gave bread to prisoners in the cultural centre in Pilica. Is
11 that correct?
12 A. I have to say that I can't provide you with the exact dates. It's
13 a little confusing, but yesterday I said - and I didn't mention any
14 dates - I said when the prisoners arrived I went to take bread with
15 someone. But whether it was on the 15th, I don't know. All of this
16 happened around the 12th, that's what I'm saying. I can't say whether it
17 was on the 11th or on the 12th or on the 15th.
18 Q. Very well. So could we then agree that it was one day after the
19 prisoners had arrived, or rather, the first day that they arrived in the
20 cultural centre in Pilica?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. I would just like to remind you once again on the
23 statement you gave about the prisoners in 1992. On that occasion you said
24 that you had organised a supply of bread for those prisoners, and you said
25 that a military officer or someone in charge in the Territorial Defence,
1 Mr. Pavlovic told you that you should not get involved and that this was
2 not your concern. Now in 1995, the situation happened again. You gave
3 the prisoners bread, you organised the supply of bread, and someone from
4 the Zvornik Brigade command told you once more that this was not your
5 concern. You used the same words. Am I correct?
6 A. Yes, you are.
7 Q. Doesn't it seem to be a bit odd to you that when prisoners had
8 come to the local commune in which you are the president, on both
9 occasions you organised the supply of bread and someone else tells you
10 that this is not your concern. When the same situation is repeated and
11 the same words are used. Is that what happened, Mr. Petrovic?
12 A. Yes. Yes, they repeated the exact words, but I said I couldn't
13 quote exactly what someone told me in 1992. But the gist of what the
14 person said was what you said, but I can't remember the exact words used
15 by someone at the time. I didn't make an effort and I wasn't able to tell
16 The Hague investigator exactly what someone told me in 1992 and 1995. But
17 I told them what my understanding had been of the situation.
18 Q. I've tried to quote from your statement. I have it in front of
19 you. I think I was clear about that, but the substance of what you said
20 is that on both occasions when you as the president of the local commune,
21 as the most responsible person in the local commune, when you asked what
22 was going on and you organised the supply of bread, on that occasion
23 someone else told you that was not your concern. Am I correct?
24 A. Yes. You have come to this conclusion. You're correct. Someone
25 else told me that.
1 Q. Mr. Petrovic, is it possible that you as the person in the
2 position of highest authority as the president of the local commune, on
3 the 16th or on some other day when there were so many civilians in your
4 local commune, is it possible for you to say that you were at home and
5 that you slept through this?
6 A. Well, it's quite possible when prisoners of war were concerned.
7 And I think perhaps it was a Saturday or a Sunday, and perhaps it was
8 because a month earlier I had a death in my family and I didn't have a
9 permanent post in my office. And it's possible that if the citizens
10 needed something, they could find me at home. And also during that
11 period, I was supposed to be assigned to a war unit in the Zvornik Brigade
12 in the Nisici plateau. I said that I was returned home. So when I was at
13 home and there were such situations in Pilica, I wouldn't be present. I
14 came to this conclusion because there were prisoners of war, so even if I
15 wanted to I couldn't have changed anything.
16 Q. Mr. Petrovic, this is what we are trying to demonstrate, it's
17 because you didn't want to be present. To justify why you weren't there,
18 you used the words: Go home. It's not your problem. These are words
19 used in 1992 when the prisoners from Djulici came and these are words that
20 were used in 1995 when prisoners from Srebrenica came. Is that correct?
21 A. I think so, but I said I can't say exactly what someone told me.
22 That was my understanding. That's what I understood had been said.
23 Q. Naturally I don't expect you to reproduce the exact words used,
24 but we're in a very difficult situation because of these words. And
25 That's why I'm saying that you said that this was on the whole correct.
1 You were told in 1992 and 1995 that you should not get involved, that this
2 was no business of yours, and you were the president of the local commune.
3 And according to the statute of the local commune, you were the person in
4 the position of highest authority at the time. This all took place in the
5 basement of your office? Am I correct? Mr. Petrovic, you were up on the
6 floor and this all took place in the basement of your office.
7 A. No. First of all, this is not correct to say that this was on the
8 base of the statute, that the president in the local commune presides and
9 cooperates with third parties -- well, those are the responsibilities
10 according to the statute as far as I know. He doesn't preside over the
11 council of the local commune in the sense that he implements the decisions
12 of the local commune and has authority to cooperate with, as they say,
13 third parties.
14 Q. That's correct. You are the president of the local commune
15 council, and you were the person who has to implement decisions of the
16 council of the local commune?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I don't see how anyone else could have more responsibility than
19 the president of the local commune, and this is contained in the statute.
20 But let's return to the 16th or some other date that you cannot remember
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. You were at home, if I have understood you correctly, on that day
24 and you don't know what was happening in the killing fields of Branjevo
25 and the cultural centre. But on the 17th when you arrived you said that
1 you had seen a lorry that was transporting bodies from the cultural centre
2 in Pilica together with soldiers, escorted by soldiers. Am I correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Am I correct to say that this vehicle was a Raba lorry and
5 Djordjic Radivoje, your acquaintance was driving it?
6 A. I can't tell you what kind of vehicle it was, I can't distinguish
7 them, but whether Radivoje was the driver, I don't know. I don't know
8 whether Radivoje Djordjic was the driver. I didn't say that I passed by
9 there. I couldn't see who was inside.
10 Q. Mr. Petrovic, one witness has testified here, has provided a
11 statement to the Prosecution. I didn't think it necessary to show this
12 document. If necessary, I will. But I just want to remind you that this
13 witness appeared and he was to monitor the machines involved in the
14 harvest. And he said he saw tractors and elderly people from the local
15 commune who were involved in the transport and burial of the victims. Do
16 you know anything about this?
17 A. No, I don't know about this. I can't confirm it and I can't deny
18 it and I can't say that it's true or not. I didn't say that.
19 Q. Am I correct to say that in Branjevo in the activity of burying
20 these people, the local commune and the police participated in this
22 A. No.
23 Q. Am I correct to say that you personally participated in organising
24 the burial?
25 A. No.
1 Q. I want you to help us again. You're under oath here. Tell this
2 Trial Chamber who participated, who was involved in the burials on the
3 17th in Pilica or on some other day. Help us solve this issue.
4 A. In my statement, if it's been correctly translated, I said I saw a
5 number of people there who were -- walking around Pilica who were present
6 in Pilica. And that was an inhabited place where the army would go. They
7 would come from the field, come on leave. There were citizens going to
8 the post office, the shops, and so on. There were people in uniform, so I
9 don't know what positions these people had. I don't know what their
10 duties were.
11 Q. Mr. Petrovic, do you know that within the Zvornik Brigade there
12 was an R or reserve battalion?
13 A. Yes. But as far as I know, this was a reserve battalion that had
14 soldiers who would be involved in work and they would join military units
15 when necessary.
16 Q. Would you agree with me that these were mostly elderly people, not
17 the first -- not soldiers involved in active duty?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have information, but I'm not
20 sure. I said the reserve battalion was composed of people who had work
21 obligations, regardless of their age, et cetera. They would be mobilised
22 when it was necessary for the unit. I don't know how people were
23 mobilised into that unit -- into those units, as far as I know.
24 Q. In the indictment, which is a basic document for us, it says -
25 I'll paraphrase - that members of the R Battalion, of the Zvornik Brigade,
1 transported bodies from the cultural centre in Pilica to the killing
2 fields in Branjevo. Do you agree with that?
3 A. Well, when we talk about -- when we discuss the battalion, we're
4 talking about these people, but I think there was some work platoons in
5 the battalions, in the units. But I don't know the entire procedure now;
6 I don't know exactly who did what. They were in these lower units, these
7 work platoons. I know some colleagues who were involved in work; they had
8 work obligations. They would sometimes send them into combat; that's how
9 I know about this. But the main purpose of the R Battalion, I wasn't
10 interested in that.
11 Q. But the question was: Was it possible, and would you say that
12 it's correct, that what is stated in the indictment is correct, that
13 members of the R Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade were involved in this?
14 A. I don't know whether that was possible.
15 Q. Well, then I will ask you: Could representatives or members of
16 the local commune of Pilica have been involved in this who were organised
17 in the civilian protection or in some other manner, could they have done
18 this within the local commune?
19 A. Could they have done it within that framework, the units of
20 civilian protection? The staff, the municipal staff of the civilian
21 protection -- well, the members of the civilian protection, they couldn't
22 have done this if someone wasn't mobilised into the army from the civilian
23 protection. At that time, I as the president of the local commune, didn't
24 know exactly when someone was a member of the civilian protection. I
25 didn't even have about 70 per cent -- it didn't exist for about 70 per
1 cent of the time.
2 Q. Let me try to understand, also in view of the interpretation that
3 we received, is it possible that members of the civil protection from the
4 Pilica local commune took part in this. Can you say yes or no or I don't
5 remember or if you can give us our comment on this.
6 A. I don't understand what you mean when you say "in this."
7 Q. In the process of burial, that is the removal of the bodies and
8 the burial of the bodies, the bodies from the Pilica cultural centre and
9 the Branjevo Military Farm?
10 A. As far as the programme of the civil protection is concerned, it's
11 very difficult for me to explain to you how it was organised. I'm not
12 ruling out the possibility that this was the case, but I really don't know
13 anything about it. There are different various units of the civil
14 protection service. There is the fire brigade, the flood emergency
15 brigade, and to be frank, I've never heard of a unit which would have been
16 in charge of burial. I don't remember that this was part of the civil
17 protection programme. Each civil protection or civil defence unit had
18 its -- their programme. I don't remember having a unit which would have
19 been specifically in charge of burials.
20 Q. Are you familiar with the term asanacija or the mopping up unit
21 which would have been part of the civil protection department?
22 A. I'm not familiar with such a unit. It's possible that the Zvornik
23 Territorial Defence had a unit to that effect, yes, but I don't know. I'm
24 not familiar with this term as far as the local commune is concerned. In
25 my capacity as the president of the local community, I was unaware of
1 that. I was never informed of any such procedure.
2 Q. Mr. Petrovic, as far as the entire operation is concerned, the
3 burial and the transport of bodies, did you see any machines such as
4 tractors taking part in this operation?
5 A. No. Let me clarify. I never saw any burial. I was never present
6 at Branjevo. I was not aware of that, and I am not aware of any machines
7 taking part in such a burial.
8 Q. Did you ever have an opportunity to see any construction machine,
9 either present at Branjevo or moving in the direction of Branjevo?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Mr. Petrovic, for the purposes of our case, can you help us with
12 the following: When exactly, at what time, did you see Slavko Peric on
13 that day, when he told you that those were war prisoners? At what time of
14 the day could it have taken place?
15 A. I don't remember exactly, maybe sometime before noon in the
16 morning hours. It was summertime; it was already very warm.
17 Q. Could you be more specific? At about what hour in the morning?
18 A. 10.00 or 11.00, thereabouts. Again, I don't remember the exact
20 Q. Now, why am I asking this? We intend to examine a witness that
21 has been announced to appear shortly who talked about the composition of
22 the security service within the Zvornik Brigade. And we are interested in
23 this particular detail, because this witness will testify about these
24 events. Is it possible that you did not have contact with Slavko Peric?
25 This witness says that the security officer was at the command of the
1 Zvornik Brigade. Slavko Peric does not mention the fact that he talked to
2 you. Do you still abide by what you said? You are under oath. Are you
3 still telling us that a conversation with Slavko Peric did indeed take
4 place and that it was Slavko Peric who informed you of the imminent
5 arrival of prisoners of war?
6 A. Of course I remember having talked to Slavko. The only thing I'm
7 not sure about is the exact hour and the date. Again, it was sometime
8 around St. Peter's Day and prior to the arrival of the detainees. That's
9 all I can say. Well, if the Chamber needs to know, I will try to talk to
10 other witnesses to establish when that was.
11 Q. We have a Prosecution exhibit to that effect and a testimony of a
12 witness to that effect as to how Jovic happened to find himself at the
13 force engineers' unit when he issued certain orders. This does not tell
14 you the times that you mentioned.
15 Mr. Petrovic, is it still your testimony that you had a
16 conversation with Dragan Jovic about the man present here in the
18 A. Well, I already told you that I had been in Sepak and that I had
19 discussed the issue at the brigade.
20 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the last sentence of the witness.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that he introduced himself as
22 Dragan Jokic.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. Would you agree with me that it is possible that the person
25 present here in the courtroom, Dragan Jokic, may not have been the man
1 with whom you had had this conversation?
2 A. Well, from what I am able to tell as far as the voice is
3 concerned, it was him. However, I'm not ruling out the possibility that
4 it was not him.
5 Q. For the purposes of the interpretation and the record, the last
6 sentence: You are not ruling out the possibility that it was not Dragan
8 A. I can repeat the whole thing or I can repeat the last sentence.
9 He was introduced to me as Dragan Jokic, duty officer. And I was
10 convinced on the basis of our telephone conversation that it was Dragan
11 Jokic. But I'm not ruling out the possibility that it was someone else.
12 I'm testifying about what I believe to be true.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. Let me conclude with a couple of
14 questions that I wish to clear up with you and concern your testimony
15 yesterday. Where was the key of the local commune when the soldier came
16 to see you to ask for the key on that day?
17 A. I had the key of the local commune, and no one asked me for that
19 Q. Where was the community centre or the youth centre key?
20 A. The youth centre key was with an Agroprom employee who had
21 accommodation there, which is the reason why he had the key.
22 Q. Am I right if I say that normally the key was at the local
24 A. No, you're not. All these facilities are in the -- are the
25 property of the Agroprom company. I raised the issue of the ownership at
1 a couple of meetings, and the Municipal Assembly finally allocated the
2 community centre to the local commune, but not everything has been
3 arranged, administratively speaking.
4 Q. I'm sorry. I don't understand. When was the ownership of this
5 community centre transferred to the local commune and when was it the
6 property of Agroprom?
7 A. I raised the issue of its ownership while I was a deputy. I'm not
8 aware of the existence of any evidence to that effect, but there must be a
9 decision of the municipality to that effect, that is, that all such
10 facilities would be transferred to the local commune. And this was the
11 case with the Pilica community centre, but it was only this year that we
12 were able to collect any money from that -- it was only this year that it
13 became our property.
14 Q. Let me try to understand. In July 1995 the Pilica community
15 centre was the property of Agroprom and not the Pilica local commune?
16 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. We did not understand the witness.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to who had the keys, we don't
19 JUDGE LIU: Witness, would you please repeat your answer, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, at the time of the
21 events, Agroprom had the keys, or rather, one of their employees who was
22 in charge of that. And since he -- since they had the keys, they were the
23 owner of this facility. In other words, the local commune could not have
24 the keys, let alone myself. There was an employee of Agroprom who was in
25 charge of that, who was in possession of those keys.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. You testified yesterday that a man wearing military uniform came
3 to see you and ask for the key. Can you just tell us at what time that
5 A. Sometime in the evening hours, towards the end of the afternoon.
6 Q. In the evening hours, would that be after 6.00 p.m.?
7 A. Yes, in the evening, perhaps a little earlier than that.
8 Q. At nightfall in summertime, that would have been then at 2000.
9 But is it possible that it took place at 6.00 p.m.?
10 A. I'm not sure, but it was around that time. I can talk in terms of
11 time of the day, but the exact hour I don't know.
12 Q. I couldn't agree more, Mr. Petrovic. But these hours are very
13 important for us because there are certain indications as to the exact
14 time when those people were brought to the Pilica community centre. But
15 let me turn to a question that was raised yesterday.
16 You said that on that day you had gone to the town hall to take
17 care of things having to do with the mobilisation, or rather, the
18 demobilisation of a member of the Zvornik Brigade. What was the procedure
19 that was normally applied in -- to demobilisation when you wanted to have
20 members of the brigade be used for the purposes of the harvest?
21 A. Well, it was customary for the local commune to submit a list of
22 people to the municipality, a list of people who owned a combine. And
23 such a list was always sent to the commission which was in charge of the
24 harvest. I think that the request was then sent to the Ministry of the
25 Defence, and then the Ministry of the Defence sent a memo to that effect
1 to the brigade command, which in turn would forward it to the battalion
2 command. And then it was the battalion commander who took the final
4 Q. So it was the brigade command which needed the support of the
5 battalion command, but this all went through the Ministry for Defence?
6 A. No, the other way around. It was the local commune that sent such
7 a request to the municipal commission which, I assume, would turn to the
8 Zvornik branch of the Ministry of Defence, who would then contact the
9 battalion command -- or rather, the brigade command. And it was the
10 commander who then decided whether so-and-so would be released or
11 demobilised for this purpose. That was my understanding of the procedure.
12 Q. The request originates from the local commune, and you went the
13 whole circle, via the Ministry of Defence, the brigade command the
14 battalion command -- or rather, the unit, the command of the unit under
15 whose jurisdiction the relevant member was?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Can you tell us who this soldier was whom you requested to be
18 demobilised for the purposes of the harvest?
19 A. Lazar Rakic, who came to me on that day. I had a list of people
20 who owned a combine, but I didn't have his name on my list. So he came to
21 see me to tell me that and ...
22 Q. And as far as paragraph 51 of the indictment is concerned, let me
23 ask you if you were familiar with any reburial activity?
24 A. No, I personally don't have any knowledge of that.
25 Q. Are you aware that the bodies were removed from the Branjevo
1 Military Farm?
2 A. What do you mean if I'm aware? Me personally?
3 Q. Yes. You personally.
4 A. Whether I saw that or heard that?
5 Q. Yes, or if you have any knowledge to that effect.
6 A. No. The microphone is not working. No I didn't see any such
7 activity take place.
8 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the bodies were removed?
9 A. Well, I heard stories to that effect, but I didn't believe them,
10 or rather, I personally didn't know about that. But I did hear rumours.
11 Q. Mr. Petrovic, those bodies were indeed removed from the area taken
12 to the so-called secondary burial site, and this is a well-known fact.
13 Finally let me ask you: Your answers to the effect that you know nothing
14 about what happened on the 14th, the 15th, the 16th, or any other date,
15 and about the events involving burial of the bodies only show your effort
16 to minimise the role that you as the president of the local commune had at
17 the time.
18 A. Well, I was the president of the local commune, but I was absent
19 one evening, one whole day, one evening, and then the following day until
20 noon. And this is what I stated in my statement. Saturday, Saturday
21 evening, Sunday, Sunday morning. When I -- at the time I was giving my
22 statement, I said I would need a calendar to establish the exact days, but
23 I remember that I spent one evening, one whole day, and one morning at
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, I think many questions have been
1 asked and answered many times. I hope you could wind up your
2 cross-examination as soon as possible.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
4 actually concluded my cross-examination. I do not wish to take up any of
5 the Court's time any more.
6 JUDGE LIU: Any redirect? Ms. Issa.
7 MS. ISSA: Just one question, Your Honour, thank you.
8 Re-examined by Ms. Issa:
9 Q. Sir, do you know whether or not Mr. Jokic was a member of any
10 political parties before or during the war?
11 A. I don't know. I didn't see that.
12 Q. Do you know if Mr. Jokic was at any time a member of the SDS?
13 A. I'm not aware of that. I don't know all members of the SDS, so I
14 don't know. I'm sorry, that's the only answer I can give you. I don't
15 know whether he was a member of the SDS. I cannot remember -- at least
16 while I was there.
17 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
18 MS. ISSA: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Ms. Issa?
21 MS. ISSA: Yes, there are. We will be tendering the following,
22 Your Honour: P17.2, P666 and 667.
23 JUDGE LIU: I see. To my understanding, that document P17.2 has
24 already been admitted.
25 MS. ISSA: My understanding, Your Honour, was that it was referred
1 to in Mr. Ruez's evidence, however it had not been admitted at that point.
2 I don't believe it was tendered. Perhaps it was missed. But that's the
3 information I have, so I'm seeking to have it tendered at this point.
4 JUDGE LIU: And I have a question concerning the documents P666
5 and 67. Are there any marks by this witness on that map?
6 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour, there are no marks. The witness
7 simply referred to particular places, particular street -- not street, but
8 a particular town on the map which was not visible or perhaps was not
9 present on other maps that we have tendered in the past. I think it was
10 Tisic [phoen], if I recall correctly.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 Any objections, Mr. Karnavas?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: No objections, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Mr. Stojanovic?
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No objections to these two
17 exhibits, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: I think three exhibits.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If we accept that the number 17
20 has not yet been admitted, then, yes, the same goes for that particular
21 one. We have no objections to these three exhibits.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. These three exhibits are
23 admitted into the evidence.
24 Are there any documents on your part, Mr. Stojanovic, to tender at
25 this stage?
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We have used
2 the same three exhibits which we used during the examination of
3 Mr. Butler, so we do not have documents to tender. Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
6 your evidence. We all wish you a pleasant journey back home. During the
7 break, the usher will show you out of the room.
8 It's time for a break and we'll resume at quarter to 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 [The witness entered court]
12 --- On resuming at 5.58 p.m.
13 JUDGE LIU: Good evening, Witness. Can you hear me?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: MILOS MITROVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
21 Yes, Ms. Davis.
22 MS. DAVIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Examined by Ms. Davis:
24 Q. Good evening, Witness. I wanted to start by asking you a couple
25 of questions about our meeting the other day. Do you remember meeting
1 with me and with an investigator in our offices on Monday of this week?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And during that meeting, we advised you of your right to remain
4 silent and to have a lawyer present during the interview to represent you.
5 Is that right?
6 A. A lawyer is not necessary.
7 Q. That's right. And at that time you waived your rights and you
8 agreed to speak to us without a lawyer. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you also agreed to testify in court today without a lawyer.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I want to inform you that as you can see there's a screen around
14 you and that for the purposes of any video of these proceedings that's
15 going to the outside world, your face is being distorted, so you're
16 protected in that sense. My understanding is you are comfortable with
17 having your name used during these proceedings. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, you can use my name.
19 Q. Okay. Would you please state your name and spell your name for
20 the record.
21 A. My name is M-i-t-r-o-v-i-c, that's the last name; and M-i-l-o-s.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mitrovic, can you please tell us your nationality.
23 A. I am a Serb.
24 Q. Is it correct that you joined the Bosnian Serb army in 1992?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And with which unit were you affiliated when you first joined the
2 VRS in 1992?
3 A. First I was in the civilian police. And afterwards -- well, I was
4 for six months in the civilian police. And later on, I was a member of
5 the military police for about two months.
6 Q. Was the military police unit with which you were affiliated
7 attached to a brigade of the VRS?
8 A. In the battalion of the military police, I was in Petkovci.
9 Q. And is that attached also to a brigade or not?
10 A. Yes, the Zvornik Brigade.
11 Q. Did there come a time when you became a member of the Zvornik
12 Brigade engineering company?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And when was that?
15 A. Well, I think it was in December, towards the end of December,
16 something like that.
17 Q. In which year?
18 A. 1992.
19 Q. How did it come to pass that you were transferred from the
20 military police to the engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. Well, there were six of us in the military police in Petkovci and
22 three died in Klisa, three remained. So I was at home after that. I went
23 there. I reported to the command, and they said I should wait. So after
24 that, Captain Jokic and Milan Mijatovic appeared. They asked me to go to
25 the engineering company. They said that they had to mobilise people.
1 They had a few Muslims that had been left when they went to Subotica.
2 Q. I just want to back up for a moment. You mentioned that
3 Captain Jokic and I believe you said Mijatovic came to see you. Is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when you say "Captain Jokic," which Captain Jokic are you
7 referring to?
8 A. I am referring to Dragan Jokic.
9 Q. And can you tell us one more time what Captain Jokic and Mijatovic
10 told you when they came to visit you.
11 A. They told me -- they asked me whether I could go to the
12 engineering unit. They said they would mobilise Skip because he was with
13 me and he was needed for the engineering unit.
14 Q. Am I to understand that you were in possession of a Skip?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And how did you gain possession of the Skip that you had?
17 A. Well, this neighbour Muslim, when they were supposed to go to
18 Subotica, he asked me whether he could leave that machine with me. When
19 they returned, I was to return it to them. I agreed and took the machine
21 Q. So Captain Jokic came to you. Where were you when he came to you
22 with Mr. Mijatovic? I'm not sure if Mr. Mijatovic is around.
23 A. I was at home.
24 Q. So Captain Jokic and Mijatovic came to you and told you that they
25 had to mobilise the machine. And what were you told, if anything, with
1 respect to your obligations?
2 A. Well, they said I should go with the machine. I said I wasn't
3 very well trained because I had never operated such machines. They said
4 that wasn't a problem, that there would be a machinist up there, and I
5 would receive training from him. That's how I went to the engineers.
6 Q. Now, you've referred to the machine as a Skip. Can you describe
7 for the Trial Chamber what the machine looks like that you are referring
9 A. That was a Torpedo machine. It had rubber on it and it was
10 like -- it had tyres like a tractor. It had a bucket for loading and
11 behind it had a small bucket for digging canals.
12 Q. So there were two buckets on the Skip?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. And do I understand that one of the buckets was in the front and
15 one in the back?
16 A. Yes.
17 MS. DAVIS: I would ask the usher's assistance in showing to the
18 witness an exhibit that has been marked P354. This is, in fact, the
19 second page of that exhibit.
20 Q. Witness, if you could, using the pointer that the usher is handing
21 to you, could you tell us - and I'm afraid the edge of the exhibit seems
22 to be cut off slightly - could you tell us whether any of the machinery
23 that's depicted on this exhibit resembles the Skip that you're describing.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Which one, if you could point to it, is that?
1 A. [Indicates]
2 Q. And you're pointing to the upper right diagram. Thank you.
3 What colour was this Skip that belonged to your neighbour that was
4 mobilised at the request of Captain Jokic and Mr. Mijatovic?
5 A. It was yellow.
6 Q. And was it in working order?
7 A. Yes, it was.
8 Q. After you joined the engineering company and the Skip was
9 mobilised, was the Skip then used by the engineering company in the course
10 of its duties?
11 A. Well, yes, it was.
12 Q. For how long was the Skip used by the engineering company?
13 A. For about three months I think.
14 Q. And who operated the Skip during this period?
15 A. Me and Cvijetin Ristanovic.
16 Q. Can you tell me where the skip was stored when it was not in use
17 during this period.
18 A. In the base, in the youth settlement in Karakaj, in the youth
19 centre, youth area.
20 Q. Now, you mention a youth settlement in Karakaj. What was that?
21 How did that relate to the engineering company, if it did?
22 A. There were barracks there for the youth actions. When they worked
23 in Zvornik and Tuzla, and this is where the people who were involved in
24 these actions were provided with accommodation.
25 Q. But you mentioned that this was the -- you've mentioned a base and
1 then the youth settlement. Is the base what was used by the Zvornik
2 Brigade engineering company as its compound?
3 A. Yes, that's where we were positioned.
4 Q. Now, you also mentioned that the Skip was used by the engineering
5 company for three months. What happened after three months?
6 A. After three months later, the motor left and then Captain Jokic
7 said I could take the machine home and that I should tow it there and
8 leave it, at home.
9 Q. Turning your attention to July of 1995, were you still a member of
10 the Zvornik Brigade engineering company at that time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were you a member of a platoon within the brigade -- within the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And which one was that?
16 A. That was the transport platoon and fortification platoon.
17 Q. What were the duties of the fortification platoon, generally?
18 A. Well, it had to cobble roads, dig canals, dig communicating
19 trenches, and the like.
20 Q. Who was your commander in July of 1995?
21 A. You mean the platoon commander?
22 Q. We can start with the platoon commander, yeah.
23 A. It was Damjan Lazarevic; he was the platoon commander.
24 Q. And what was the chain of command above Mr. Lazarevic at that
1 A. There was Dragan Jevtic; he was the company commander.
2 Q. Anyone else?
3 A. The chief of the engineers, Captain Jokic, Dragan Jokic.
4 Q. And from whom did you take orders in July of 1995?
5 A. I took orders from the company commander or from the platoon
6 commander or from the chief of the engineers, Commander Jokic, if he was
8 Q. In July of 1995, did you have any particular machinery to which
9 you -- that you were assigned to operate as the member of the
10 fortification platoon?
11 A. There was the Skip that was mobilised from Glinica from the
12 tactical group Birac.
13 Q. Was this the same Skip to which you were referring before, or is
14 this a different Skip?
15 A. The same one.
16 Q. This is the one from your Muslim neighbour or a different -- I
17 should have been more specific when I said "before."
18 A. No, a different one that was mobilised from the company in
19 Glinica, TG Birac.
20 Q. And what brand was this Skip from Birac?
21 A. Torpedo.
22 Q. And is the description of this Torpedo Skip essentially the same
23 as the description of the Skip that you've told us about that you had
24 obtained from your Muslim neighbour?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. And is it accurate to say that the diagram on the upper right
2 corner of the exhibit to your left on the ELMO also is similar to the Skip
3 that you operated in July 1995?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When was the Skip mobilised from Birac, if you know?
6 A. I don't know exactly when it was mobilised, but it was mobilised
7 when necessary, when it was necessary to carry out work.
8 Q. And in 1995, with what sort of frequency was the Skip being used
9 by the engineering company?
10 A. It was used often, because it was necessary for repairing the
11 roads, for digging canals. So it was mostly with us in the engineers.
12 Q. And when you say "with you in the engineers," was it stored --
13 where was it stored when it wasn't in use in the summer of 1995?
14 A. It was in the barracks in a Latin school settlement where we were
15 deployed. It was in the warehouses.
16 Q. Is that the engineering compound that you're referring to?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Perhaps it would be helpful if you could briefly describe the
19 engineering compound for the Trial Chamber.
20 A. Well, there were some warehouses there where we were deployed.
21 There was a facility where the command was located, another one where we
22 would sleep. And there was a canteen.
23 Q. Did the officers and the enlisted men in the engineering compound
24 sleep in the same facility or in separate facilities -- buildings I should
1 A. In separate ones.
2 Q. And was -- you mentioned a command building. What was in the
3 command building?
4 A. The chief of engineers was there, the company commander, the
5 platoon commanders, the commanders.
6 Q. Were there any sleeping facilities for enlisted men in the command
8 A. No.
9 Q. I would like now to turn your attention more specifically to the
10 13th of July, 1995. Can you tell us what duties you were engaged in on
11 the 13th of July.
12 A. On the 13th of July, we were down there where the facilities were
13 located. The chief of engineers, Jokic, I don't know whether he ordered
14 Dragan Jevtic and the soldiers who were available to take all their
15 military equipment to go to Standard and to join -- we should join the
16 logistical unit there. And we were told that we would go -- that we
17 should go to Snagovo.
18 Q. Now, what time of day did you receive word that you were to go to
19 Standard and join the logistics unit and then go to Snagovo?
20 A. I think that was about 10.00 or 11.00, but I'm not quite certain.
21 Q. And from whom did you actually receive the instruction to gather
22 your belongings and get ready to go to Standard?
23 A. From Jevtic.
24 Q. And you mentioned that you were told that you were to go to
25 Standard and join the logistics unit, and then that you would go to
1 Snagovo. Is that, in fact, what you then did?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Were you told by Jevtic what you would be doing there?
4 A. Well, we were told that there would be a big column of Muslims
5 from Srebrenica and that we should go up to Snagovo in order to direct
6 people, to prevent them from going to the town, to Zvornik.
7 Q. And when you say "to direct people to prevent them from going to
8 the town," do you mean the column of Muslims?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. And how many members of the engineering company were mobilised to
11 go to Snagovo on the 13th of July with you?
12 A. I think about 15 of us.
13 Q. Were any officers accompanying you?
14 A. Dragan Jevtic accompanied us.
15 Q. What happened when you arrived in Snagovo?
16 A. When the lorries took us there, we went out into the field. And
17 we took up position along the combat line.
18 Q. And what were your duties there on the combat line?
19 A. Well, our duties were to direct the column of Muslims, to prevent
20 them from heading towards Zvornik.
21 Q. What do you mean when you say "direct the column of Muslims"?
22 A. Well, I think that they knew where they were to go, and this was
23 to prevent the column from dispersing and to enable them to go towards the
24 elevation they were heading towards, to make it possible for them to pass
1 Q. Did you have any interaction with the column of Muslims while you
2 were at Snagovo?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And how long were you there at Snagovo on the line?
5 A. I stayed there from the 13th until the 14th in the afternoon.
6 Q. Aside from Jevtic who accompanied you, did you see any other
7 officers of the Zvornik Brigade while you were at Snagovo?
8 A. In the morning of the 14th at about 4.00 a.m., Major
9 Dragan Obrenovic came by.
10 Q. And what happened when Obrenovic came by?
11 A. Well, nothing in particular. He just passed by, by our lines, and
12 continued on his way.
13 Q. You mentioned that you left the line at Snagovo on the 14th.
14 About what time was it that you left?
15 A. I believe it was sometime in the afternoon, at about 3.00 or
16 4.00 p.m. I'm not sure.
17 Q. And how did it come to pass that you left the line?
18 A. Well, we were informed through the radio communications that we
19 should report to Orahovac.
20 Q. When you say "we," who are you referring to?
21 A. Myself and Miladinovic. The two of us were supposed to report at
23 Q. And who is Miladinovic?
24 A. He was also one of the construction machine operators.
25 Q. Now, you mentioned that you were informed through the radio
1 communications that you should report to Orahovac. How did you actually
2 receive the message that you were to report at Orahovac?
3 A. Well, it was Dragan Markovic who was told by the communications
4 people what to do. He conveyed the message to Jevtic, the commander, who
5 told us that we should report and that we should come back with the
7 Q. And what trucks are you referring to?
8 A. The trucks that had brought reinforcement to the line.
9 Q. Now, you mentioned that Miladinovic was another machine operator.
10 Was he from your -- from the engineering company also?
11 A. Yes, he was.
12 Q. And what types of machines did Mr. Miladinovic operate for the
13 engineering company?
14 A. He operated a bulldozer and an excavator.
15 Q. Of the 15 men from the engineering company who had been sent to
16 Snagovo with you, were there any other machine operators, aside from you
17 and Miladinovic?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know who sent the order that was conveyed to you through
20 Markovic and Jevtic?
21 A. No.
22 Q. What was your reaction when you received the order that you should
23 report to Orahovac?
24 A. Well, we were confused, because we didn't know what was going on.
25 We were also afraid, because we were not aware of the reasons why we were
1 now being sent back from the line.
2 Q. Did anyone else from the engineering company accompany you when
3 you left, aside from Miladinovic?
4 A. No.
5 Q. So Jevtic remained at Snagovo when you left?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Where did you and Miladinovic go?
8 A. We went back to the base, to the facilities there.
9 Q. Did you report to anyone when you returned to the compound?
10 A. Yes, we did. We reported to Slavko Bogicevic, I believe.
11 Q. And who is Slavko Bogicevic?
12 A. He was the officer in charge of morale for the force engineers.
13 Q. Were there any other officers present when you reported back to
14 the barracks?
15 A. I don't remember, but I think that Damjan Lazarevic was there;
16 however, I'm not 100 per cent sure.
17 Q. What happened when you returned to the base and reported to
19 A. When we reported to Bogicevic, he said that Miladinovic should go
20 with them in a TAM truck and that I should remain at the compound.
21 Q. And when you say "with them," do you mean with Bogicevic or with
23 A. Bogicevic went, accompanied by the TAM truck driver,
24 Mr. Miladinovic, so the three of them.
25 Q. Do you know where they were going?
1 A. No, I didn't know that.
2 Q. Did Bogicevic indicate to you and Miladinovic when you came back
3 anything about where he was -- where Miladinovic was being sent?
4 A. No.
5 Q. When Miladinovic left -- well, did Miladinovic then leave with
6 Bogicevic and the driver of the TAM truck?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what did you do?
9 A. I stayed at the compound in the dormitory of the compound.
10 Q. And for how long did you stay there in the dormitory of the
12 A. I spent the night there on the 14th, and I spent the entire day of
13 the 15th. And again, I spent the night at the compound.
14 Q. On the evening of the 14th, did you see Miladinovic or Bogicevic
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. Turning to the 15th of July, did you receive any orders or
18 instructions on the 15th of July?
19 A. No, nothing.
20 Q. You mentioned that you were at the compound the entire day of the
21 15th and spent the night there on the 15th. Who else was at the compound
22 that you saw?
23 A. You mean on the 15th?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Almost nobody -- Vojislav Sekanic was, I think, there at the
1 command, together with a guard.
2 Q. And where on the compound did you spend the day on the 15th?
3 A. In one of the huts there.
4 Q. What do you mean when you say "huts"?
5 A. Well, this is where the dormitories were; this is where we slept.
6 I slept in one of the dormitories there.
7 Q. Were you in the command building at all on the 15th?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Turning to the 16th of July, can you tell us whether you received
10 any orders on that day.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what were the orders that you received?
13 A. At about 8.00 or 9.00, I don't know the exact time, the force
14 engineers' commander, Dragan Jokic, arrived, and he told me that I should
15 go to Kozluk with the Skip, together with Nikola Rikanovic. That I should
16 report there to Damjan Lazarevic, that he would be waiting for us.
17 Q. Where were you when Dragan Jokic came and told you to report with
18 the Skip to Kozluk?
19 A. I was at the base in the dormitory, at the compound.
20 Q. And did Mr. Jokic tell you where you were supposed to find
22 A. He told us to go there to the mineral water factory Vitinka and
23 that Damjan would meet us somewhere on the road.
24 Q. Did Mr. Jokic tell you what you would be doing when you met
25 Mr. Lazarevic?
1 A. He didn't say what we would be doing. He just said that Damjan
2 would be waiting for us, and that he would give us the instructions as to
3 what we would be doing.
4 Q. Now, you mentioned earlier that Lazarevic was your platoon
5 commander. Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Was Jevtic still at Snagovo at this point?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In Jevtic's absence, to whom did Lazarevic, as platoon commander,
11 A. You mean when we came back from the tasking or --
12 Q. I'm sorry. More generally, setting aside this particular day. If
13 Jevtic was unavailable or in the field, to whom would a platoon commander
14 report in the chain of command?
15 A. To the force engineers' commander.
16 Q. And that was Mr. Jokic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell us what happened when you arrived in Kozluk.
19 A. When we arrived in Kozluk, Damjan Lazarevic was waiting for us at
20 the road. He told me to step down from the vehicle, so I got out. And he
21 told me to come along to see what should be done.
22 Q. Now, was Lazarevic -- did you find Lazarevic where you had been
23 told you would find him by Mr. Jokic?
24 A. Yes. He waited for us on the road.
25 Q. And where did Lazarevic take you after you got down from the
2 A. He took us along a path leading to the Drina, on the right side of
3 the road.
4 Q. And what did you see when he took you along this path?
5 A. Once we got there, I saw bodies of people that had been killed.
6 Q. When you say "bodies of people that had been killed," can you give
7 us an estimate of how many bodies you saw there.
8 A. I couldn't tell you how many, because the area was covered with
9 holes from which sand and pebble stone were excavated. But one could
10 sense the smell already hanging in the air, but it's difficult to tell how
11 many there were.
12 Q. Now, you mention that the area was covered with holes. Were the
13 bodies in the holes?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And how many holes did you see that had bodies inside?
16 A. There were two to three such locations. I don't remember exactly
17 how many.
18 Q. How large were the holes across, in terms of metres?
19 A. I don't know. I don't remember. They were not very large,
21 Q. I apologise for asking these difficult questions, but were the
22 bodies that you saw lying in the holes lying on top of one another or was
23 it one layer of bodies?
24 A. They were laying on top of one another. There were no layers of
1 Q. Could you see any -- what type of clothing the corpses had on
3 A. As far as I could see, civilian clothing.
4 Q. And were you able to identify any wounds or any evidence of how
5 the bodies -- how the people had been killed?
6 A. No. I was not, because they must have been killed sometime ago.
7 It was not possible to get closer to the bodies to see.
8 Q. And just to clarify, who was with you at this point when you were
9 viewing the bodies in the pits?
10 A. Damjan Lazarevic and Nikola Rikanovic.
11 Q. And what happened after they showed you where these bodies were?
12 A. Well, he told me to put earth on top of the bodies.
13 Q. And did you do that?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Now, I assume that was with the Torpedo?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. How long did you work with the Torpedo covering the bodies with
19 A. Well, I worked for about half an hour, then the ULT-220 arrived.
20 Q. What is the ULT-220?
21 A. It's a kind of loader with rubber tyres, a type of excavator used
22 for loading things and trucks.
23 Q. Turning again to the exhibit that is still next to you on the
24 ELMO, Exhibit P354, can you tell us whether you see anything on -- any
25 diagram depicted there that looks like the ULT-220 or the type of machine
1 that the ULT-220 was.
2 MS. DAVIS: If we can have the assistance of the usher --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not here.
4 MS. DAVIS: I believe only a portion of the exhibit is shown at
5 the moment.
6 THE WITNESS: [Indicates]
7 MS. DAVIS:
8 Q. And you're pointing to the bottom left drawing on the exhibit, for
9 the record?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, who brought the ULT-220 to Kozluk?
12 A. Rade Boskovic did.
13 Q. Who is Rade Boskovic?
14 A. He used to work at Josanica. He was in charge of loading.
15 Q. Did he work at Josanica in July of 1995?
16 A. I don't remember. I don't know where he worked at that time.
17 Q. Can you tell us what Josanica is.
18 A. Josanica is a quarry where stone is excavated for the purposes of
19 road construction.
20 Q. And this ULT-220, did it belong to the Zvornik Brigade?
21 A. No.
22 Q. To whom did it belong?
23 A. It belonged to the Josanica company, and when necessary it was
24 commandeered for the needs of the Zvornik Brigade.
25 Q. So the old 220 had been, to your knowledge, by the Zvornik Brigade
1 engineering company on previous occasions?
2 A. Yes, when necessary --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] If I understand the question
5 correctly, it was a leading one. That is, that the machine had been used
6 for the needs of the Zvornik Brigade. That's not what the witness said.
7 The witness said that it had been mobilised for the needs of the
8 Zvornik Brigade -- I mean, it was not mobilised for the needs of the
9 Zvornik Brigade engineering company. The witness only mentioned the
10 Zvornik Brigade, and that's not one and the same thing.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Davis, maybe you could ask some questions to
12 clarify that.
13 MS. DAVIS: Certainly, Your Honour.
14 Q. When you mentioned that the ULT belonging to the Josanica company
15 had been commandeered for the needs of the Zvornik Brigade, to which --
16 for the needs of which unit, if any, was the ULT-220 commandeered?
17 A. Force engineers.
18 Q. Do you know why the Boskovic arrived at Kozluk with the ULT-220?
19 A. I don't know the exact reasons why he came to assist me, because
20 they knew that this machine was not properly working and that I would not
21 be able to finish the work. And that was the reason why this other
22 machine was being sent, I guess.
23 Q. Okay. When you mention the machine that was not properly working,
24 which machine are you referring to?
25 A. To the Torpedo, the Skip.
1 Q. And what was wrong with the Torpedo?
2 A. The hydraulic system wasn't working properly, and then the machine
3 itself was not strong enough for major work.
4 Q. You also mentioned that they knew that the machine wasn't working
5 properly. To whom were you referring when you said "they knew"?
6 A. The command of the force engineers, the chief force engineer.
7 They all knew that the machine was not in perfect working condition.
8 Q. Okay. What happened when Boskovic arrived at the site at Kozluk
9 with the ULT-220?
10 A. He continued with covering the bodies with earth.
11 Q. Did he arrive and immediately begin doing that, or were there any
12 conversations between any of the people that were present?
13 A. I just think that he said hello that Damjan and started working.
14 Q. I take it, then, that he knew what he was to do when he arrived?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, calls for speculation. She has been
16 leading slightly. Now she's speculating or asking the witness to
17 speculate. I think that she -- if she rephrases, we can all derive a
18 particular conclusion.
19 MS. DAVIS: I would be happy to rephrase the question.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
21 MS. DAVIS:
22 Q. Did Boskovic appear to know what he was to do when he arrived at
23 the site?
24 A. No. No, he didn't know.
25 Q. And how did he learn what he was to do?
1 A. Well, probably because he reported to Damjan. He went up to
2 Damjan, and it was Damjan who told him what he was to do.
3 Q. After Boskovic began assisting with the ULT-220, did you keep
4 working with the Torpedo as well?
5 A. No, I stopped. I moved to the side, because there was no need for
7 Q. And how long were you there at the site at Kozluk after Boskovic
9 A. For about an hour, an hour and a half. I don't know exactly how
11 Q. Where did you go when you left the site?
12 A. You mean after we had finished the work, as we were going back?
13 Q. Yes. After you finished the work.
14 A. After we had finished the work, Damjan told us to go back to the
15 base in Karakaj.
16 Q. With whom did you travel back to the base in Karakaj?
17 A. With Nikola Rikanovic.
18 Q. And how long did it take you to get back there?
19 A. Between 40 and 45 minutes, something like that.
20 Q. Did you have any discussion with Rikanovic in the vehicle as you
21 were driving back to the base?
22 A. No. I felt bad. We didn't talk about anything.
23 Q. What did you do when you returned to the base or the engineering
25 A. Well, I returned there. I left the machine there. Damjan
1 Lazarevic went with us, and he said we could go home, that we were free.
2 Q. So you left the machine, and did you immediately go home or ...
3 A. Yes. As soon as Damjan appeared and said we could go home, as
4 soon as he said that we were free, yes, we did.
5 Q. Okay. Did Damjan return to the base with you in the same vehicle?
6 A. No, he didn't.
7 Q. And did you see Damjan arrive back at the base when you were
9 A. No, I went to the dormitory. I went to the bathroom, washed my
10 hands and my face, and then Damjan appeared after that.
11 Q. Were you required to report to anyone when you returned,
12 generally, when you returned from a job?
13 A. We weren't required because -- to do so, because the platoon
14 commander was there and it wasn't necessary for us to report, since the
15 reports would be relayed containing information about what had been done.
16 Q. And do you know whether Damjan, in fact, relayed any report about
17 what had been done?
18 A. I don't know about that.
19 Q. So you returned to the base and you went to the barracks. And how
20 long thereafter did Damjan appear to tell you that you could have the day
22 A. I don't know. I think about 10 or 15 minutes later.
23 Q. Do you know why you were given the day off?
24 A. I don't know why, probably because we didn't have any particular
25 duties at the time. Damjan told us that we could go home.
1 Q. I would -- well, do you recall when we met in our offices a couple
2 of days ago looking at excerpts from the Zvornik Brigade engineering
3 vehicle logs?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. I'd like to show you just a couple of those excerpts now and ask
6 you a couple of questions about them.
7 MS. DAVIS: If the usher could provide the witness with Exhibit
8 P516 and the B/C/S version is /B, I believe.
9 Q. Do you recognise this document?
10 A. Yes, I recognise it. It's a transport order.
11 Q. And can you tell us which vehicle this is -- this document is for.
12 A. It is for a Torpedo excavator.
13 Q. Is this the Skip to which you were referring earlier, the Torpedo
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. You can see on the middle of the right-hand side of the first page
17 that your name appears with the name of Mr. Ristanovic. Do you see that?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Can you tell me what that signifies, the fact that your names
20 appear there on this vehicle log.
21 A. Well, it means that we were the operators of the vehicle, and it
22 also concerns fuel needs and it also states what was done where.
23 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber the -- how the fuel needs
24 were logged, that you just referred to, on these documents.
25 A. Well, they would take account of the consumption and the number of
1 hours worked. As they knew how much fuel the vehicle would consume, they
2 would keep a record of the fuel used.
3 Q. Okay, and who makes -- who was responsible in July of 1995 for
4 making the entries of the fuel used?
5 A. I don't know. I can't remember exactly.
6 Q. Was this a form that you, as an operator, would fill in?
7 A. No. We didn't fill it in. At the beginning when we received the
8 fuel up in Standard, we would fill in these transport orders and fill in
9 the information on the amount of fuel required. But later on, we didn't
10 do this. They would bring in the fuel in canisters and fill up the
11 vehicle with the amount that was needed.
12 Q. If you could turn to the next page of this exhibit. You'll note
13 that there is an entry on the right-hand side for the 14th of July, 1995,
14 that indicates the vehicle was used from the -- by the VRS and went on a
15 route from the base to Orahovac and return. And the description says:
16 Digging trenches in Orahovac. Do you see where I'm reading?
17 A. Yes, I do. This machine on the 14th didn't leave the base. It
18 was in Karakaj, but it didn't go to Orahovac at all.
19 Q. Can you -- and did you go to Orahovac on the 14th?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. Can you explain why this vehicle log indicates that the vehicle
22 went to Orahovac to dig trenches on the 14th.
23 A. Well, they probably needed fuel for some other vehicle and they
24 needed a new machine and so on.
25 Q. Can you explain to me what you mean by "they needed a new
2 A. Well, perhaps the fuel was needed for this machine and it was
3 provided for some other machine that didn't have a transport order.
4 Q. Did all of the machines used by the Zvornik Brigade have transport
6 A. Well, I don't think so.
7 Q. On the next entry on this page is for the 16th of July, 1995, in
8 case the vehicle was used by the VRS and went from Base, Kozluk, to Base.
9 Description: Digging trenches in Kozluk. Does that comport with your
10 recollection of what this vehicle was used for on the 16th of July?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the far right column of the document, second page, still on the
13 second page, in column numbered 20, there are -- would appear to be some
14 signatures, do you recognise that signature?
15 A. No, I can't.
16 Q. Do you know who was responsible for signing off on these logs on
17 this page of the -- this entry of this type of log?
18 A. I think it was the company commander.
19 MS. DAVIS: With the usher's assistance if the witness can be
20 shown Exhibit P515.
21 Q. Witness, if you could take a look at this document. Can you tell
22 me which vehicle this log entry is for.
23 A. It's a TAM 75, T-A-M.
24 MS. DAVIS: I apologise, Your Honour, I believe the witness has
25 the wrong exhibit.
1 Q. Are you now -- if you can look at the -- in the centre of the
2 exhibit, are you looking at P515/B now?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And looking at this document, can you tell me which vehicle this
5 is for.
6 A. Well, it was an excavator which was defective. I think it was
7 stationed in Josanica and had been defective for several years.
8 Q. And again, your name and Mr. Ristanovic's name appear on the
9 right-hand side of that page. I assume that has the same significance as
10 it did on the other log, that you were assigned to operate this vehicle.
11 Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know -- you say that the vehicle was defective and had been
14 defective for several years. Was it defective and not in working order in
15 July of 1995?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And again, looking at the fuel entries just below where your name
18 appears and also at the second page, there appears to be an indication on
19 this document that the vehicle was used at Orahovac on the 14th of July
20 for trench digging. Can you explain that entry.
21 A. No, it wasn't used, because the vehicle was defective and the fuel
22 was probably needed. And it was probably because this excavator had a
23 transport order and it had been registered.
24 Q. I just have two final questions for you. Do you know of any
25 investigation by the Army of the Republika Srpska into the murder of the
1 civilians that you were covering with earth at Kozluk?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge of whether anyone from the Zvornik
4 Brigade or other brigades were ever punished for any involvement in the
5 death of the civilians buried at Kozluk?
6 A. No.
7 MS. DAVIS: I have no further questions. Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Well, Witness, I have to remind you, as I did to other witnesses,
10 during your stay in The Hague, do not talk to anybody about your testimony
11 and do not let anybody talk to you about it. Thank you.
12 And we'll resume tomorrow afternoon in the same courtroom.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
14 at 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
15 the 4th day of December, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.