1 Wednesday, 28 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I think the Prosecution has
9 something to inform us before we have the witness.
10 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. And I didn't want
12 to take up much time today, but I did want to tell you that earlier this
13 week investigators from the OTP in Bratunac interviewed two different
14 witnesses that have provided some information that I think would
15 significantly assist the Court. And I would like -- that we will be
16 filing a motion to add them to the witness list. So I just wanted to
17 alert you to that, and we are not laying out everything that they said.
18 But basically we have a person that was a driver for Mr. Blagojevic that
19 can help locate him around the brigade headquarters at certain times. And
20 there is a truck driver that was involved in the burial of bodies from
21 Kravica, not the reburial, but the actual burial at the key times and has
22 some important information.
23 Now, I don't think either of them have passports, so I don't think
24 we're going to be able to get them here by February 6th, and I really
25 don't want to have to schedule them in between this important time that I
1 know we've all been looking forward to having -- get other work done and
2 perhaps some rest. We were thinking that perhaps we could come to some
3 agreement that at the Prosecution's rebuttal case that we be allowed to
4 reopen our case just for these two short witnesses. And who knows,
5 perhaps at that stage of the case, the issues that they resolve will -- or
6 help revolve, I should say, won't be issues anymore. But we're also
7 trying to get them for next week, but we are on schedule. And as you
8 know, we only have four days next week. And it looks like we may be
9 taking most of those days with the two witnesses who are scheduled.
10 So we will be providing this in a written format. And for
11 everyone's consideration. I have mentioned it briefly to Defence counsel,
12 but I wouldn't bring this up if I didn't think it was important and it
13 would help you. I told myself if we didn't finish by February 6th, I
14 would jump off the balcony, so I really want to finish by that time. But
15 these are people we just interviewed and now it's -- in a perfect world we
16 would have interviewed them before. But we've now managed to find them
17 with great cooperation from the local RS authorities, I should say. And
18 we will be putting this down on paper because it's, I think, an important
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 Any brief, very brief, response from Defence.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, if I may. First, I would object to these
23 people coming in at the rebuttal stage. Secondly, I do agree with
24 Mr. McCloskey that they may be important witnesses. Mr. Blagojevic as
25 well as his Defence team has maintained throughout that we want all of the
1 facts and all of the truth to come out before this Trial Chamber. So
2 obviously, it is in our best interest as well that these individuals come
3 and testify.
4 I would prefer to have them testify before the Prosecution rests
5 its case. I think that that would be the most appropriate way of doing
6 it. We could take a recess and during that recess, for instance, we would
7 be responsible for preparing a motion for judgement of acquittal, then
8 bring these two witnesses in and then perhaps be given some additional
9 time, a few days extra, perhaps a week, to complete a motion for judgement
10 of acquittal. So we -- I think we can be -- we can work around this. But
11 I would prefer the Prosecution to have every opportunity to put its case
12 in one piece, because I think when we hear it all, I will be able to
13 demonstrate that they have failed to meet their burden, at least at this
14 stage with respect to large portions of the indictment. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Mr. Stojanovic, any response?
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, prior to the
18 beginning of this session, we were informed that these witnesses are
19 connected with the Bratunac Brigade. And the Prosecutor told us that
20 these two witnesses, practically speaking, had nothing to do with our
21 client. So -- but for professional reasons, I join in this with my
22 colleague, Mr. Karnavas. Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 Mr. Blagojevic.
25 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to state
1 three very brief elements before this Chamber. First of all, I'm not
2 satisfied with the quality of the cross-examination of the witness listed
3 under the pseudonym P-130.
4 Second, yesterday in the organisation of the Registry a meeting
5 was held with myself here at the Tribunal, and at one point a
6 representative of my imposed Defence appeared, an individual whom I fired
7 a long time ago and whose work I still do not accept. In the meantime, he
8 has availed himself of an opportunity to warn me and perhaps even threaten
9 me with an agreement - at least that's how it was translated to me - that
10 he has with the Tribunal, according to which he can do as he pleases. So
11 practically speaking, he told me there was nothing I could do about it.
12 All the time he was being very ironical, he laughed, and he almost
13 said it would be better for you to keep your mouth shut and let me do as I
14 please. Once again, I do not agree with him. I am against this person,
15 and this is the only opportunity that I have to state this before this
16 Tribunal. I should like to appeal to the Chamber to put an end to this
17 engagement, the engagement of Mr. Karnavas, as soon as possible.
18 Third, I also object to the decision of the Chamber, whereby it
19 was allowed for the statement for the person by the name of Erdemovic to
20 be admitted without his appearance before the Tribunal to testify in this
21 case and to be subjected to the cross-examination, but not in the manner
22 that this individual is conducting this cross-examination, in a most
23 amateurish and perfunctory way. Thank you very much, Your Honours. This
24 is all.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, Mr. Blagojevic. According to the
1 Rules of this Tribunal, this Bench believes that the communications
2 between you and your counsel should enjoy some privileged rights, which
3 mean that we, as Judges in this Bench, could not ask you or your counsel
4 the contents, the contents, of your conversation. But anyway, we believe
5 that we should encourage the contact between you and your counsel.
6 As for the decisions, frankly speaking, Mr. Blagojevic, as I told
7 you before, there was a decision rendered by the Appeals Chamber. And we
8 are not entirely happy about certain paragraphs of this decision neither,
9 but according to the jurisprudence of this Tribunal, we have to abide by
10 whatever decisions rendered by the Appeals Chamber. So we regard this
11 matter as over.
12 As for the cross-examination of Mr. Erdemovic, I think it's just a
13 technical issue, and your counsel, Mr. Karnavas and his team, could
14 explain to you about our decisions. We cannot revisit this decision at
15 this stage, unless you have an extraordinary reason to believe that your
16 interest is going to be jeopardised by our decision. You could seek other
17 remedies, like the appeals. But this Trial Chamber will be in a position
18 to review your appeal to the Appeals Chamber to see whether there is an
19 extraordinary reason to appeal.
20 I think that's all I could say to you, Mr. Blagojevic. Yes.
21 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to
22 confirm you understand me and so that I understand what you have just told
23 me. I do not have anything against the decisions rendered by this
24 Trial Chamber and by the Appeals Chamber. I am not satisfied with the
25 situation I have found myself in. Nothing has been changed. The
1 situation has exacerbated in a most progressive manor, and things are only
2 likely to get worse. This is perfectly clear. That's one thing.
3 Second, I do not have any legal assistance. I do not have any
4 reliable information. I am not receiving any reliable and good-quality,
5 well-intentioned information. Everything that's happening here is
6 blurred, as far as I'm concerned, and I'm being skeptical about
7 everything. I simply do not have anyone to address my complaints to. I
8 do not have anyone I can trust in terms of having reliable and the best
9 quality information that can be obtained. This is what I don't have at
10 this moment, and this is what is making my situation very difficult.
11 There is no contact, there is no communication whatsoever between myself
12 and Karnavas. I do not trust Karnavas at all. Perhaps I do not fully
13 understand the issue of the 92 bis statement. I do not understand it
14 because it's a legal issue, after all. But I can see that through the
15 Witness P-130, the situation is being -- is getting more complicated
16 because of this issue. And there is no need for that. This is all
17 interconnected. One cannot have one thing without the other. Everything
18 is very important, very significant. Once again, everything is
19 interconnected because it has bearing on what is being at issue here on
20 the examination in general.
21 That's all, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: I think the transcript has registered your statement
23 correctly there. At this moment, I have no more comments on this very
25 Another issue is about the two witnesses that are going to be
1 called. We believe that we would like to hear those two witnesses in the
2 Prosecution's case, if possible. We might have a short break, as the
3 Defence counsel suggested, and then we'll arrange a hearing, maybe for two
4 or three days, maybe even less, to finish these witnesses so that the
5 Defence could be in a better position to prepare their case.
6 I hope the Prosecution could do whatever possible to make it, and
7 don't jump over the balcony.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Karnavas, for
9 your flexibility. We are trying to do just that and to try to get these
10 folks here as soon as we can.
11 JUDGE LIU: Another matter is concerning of the translation issues
12 raised by the Defence counsel concerning Milosevic's case. I have
13 received some correction notes from the translation booth. They make --
14 they made some corrections concerning the Milosevic's transcript, which
15 can be found on the page 29682, line 19 to 20. Before the correction, the
16 question put to Mr. Deronjic is: "You say that Vidoje Blagojevic,
17 commander of the Bratunac Brigade, ordered you to go to Srebrenica, this
18 is in paragraph 184 on the 11th of July?"
19 The answer is: "Yes."
20 After the correction and checking with the transcript, now we got
21 I believe the correct version. That is:
22 "Q. On the 11th of July - and you say this in paragraph 184 -
23 Vidoje Blagojevic, commander of the Bratunac Brigade, told you that there
24 was an order to go to Srebrenica. This is what you said, is it not?"
25 The answer is: "Yes, that's correct."
1 Well, there is some differences there, and with the legal
2 implications, I believe the parties will get it.
3 Another matter is about the 92 bis documents concerning with
4 Stephanie Frease. The Trial Chamber checked with all the entries in this
5 bundle of the documents. We believe there's no problem with the
6 authenticity and integrity of those intercept-related materials. So we
7 believe that we are in the position to make an oral ruling to admit them
8 into the evidence. Of course the counsel for Mr. Jokic will have the full
9 right to call this witness in the future in their case if they find that
10 there is some very special matters which directly related to the acts and
11 conducts of his client.
12 The Trial Chamber will do its best, as we did with the
13 Prosecution, to help the Defence to get the witness to testify in their
14 case. It is so decided.
15 Well, having said that, could we have the witness, please.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
19 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry for having kept you waiting outside for a
20 long time. Are you ready to start?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 Yes, Mr. Stojanovic, please continue your cross-examination.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 WITNESS: WITNESS P-130 [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic: [Continued]
4 Q. Thank you --
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic, could we go to private session
6 for this series of questions?
7 Yes, we'll go to private session, please.
8 [Private session]
12 Page 6759 redacted, private session
12 Page 6760 redacted, private session
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in open session. You may proceed.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Q. If you remember, you said that the transportation of the from the
16 Bratunac area was completed in the night between the 13th and the 14th.
17 Where did you spend the rest of that night?
18 A. I spent the rest of that night on the clearing or the plateau in
19 front of the gym of the Orahovac elementary school. If you look from the
20 top part, I was in the bottom corner.
21 Q. You mean to say that you were out in the open, that you didn't
22 sleep anywhere, but that you spent the night in the vicinity of the school
23 and the gym out in the open?
24 A. I slept out in the open.
25 Q. Did you notice whether that evening in the gym of the elementary
1 school, whether there were any lights on, whether the power was on?
2 A. I don't know about that. Jasikovac did check the area, and he
3 entered the gym on two or three occasions on the 14th; that was on the
5 Q. Did you personally notice any lights being on or the lights being
6 off since you spent the rest of the night in the open next to the gym and
7 next to the school building?
8 A. I didn't notice and I did not enter the gym at all.
9 Q. Would you have noticed if the lights had been on?
10 A. I didn't pay any attention to that.
11 Q. On the 14th of July in the morning, you went to the Zvornik
12 Brigade command. Is that correct?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Are you sure and will you confirm today under oath that you were
15 not present during the morning roll call in the Zvornik Brigade command on
16 the 14th of the morning?
17 A. Could you please repeat your question, but please go slowly.
18 Q. The question is: Are you sure that you were not on the 14th, in
19 the morning, the 14th of July, present at the morning roll call of the
20 Zvornik Brigade command?
21 A. On the 14th of July in the morning, I was in front of the gym of
22 the Orahovac elementary school. I was not present at the roll call of the
23 Zvornik Brigade -- at the Zvornik Brigade command.
24 Q. Did you at all go down to the Zvornik Brigade command to do
1 A. The entire course of the operation in Orahovac from my arrival
2 until its completion, until the completion of the execution operation in
3 Orahovac, I never once left Orahovac.
4 Q. Do you know that whether any meeting of the security officers of
5 the Drina Corps and the Zvornik Brigade was held in the Zvornik Brigade
7 A. At that time, I was in Orahovac.
8 Q. We understand that that's what you're saying, but the question is:
9 Did you have any knowledge of the meeting of the officers that was held
10 that morning?
11 A. I did not have any knowledge. I didn't know about that meeting at
13 Q. Did you at a later date hear about this meeting being held in the
14 Zvornik Brigade command?
15 A. Nobody told me anything about it, and I didn't have any
16 information about that.
17 Q. Did Drago Nikolic tell you later on about any kind of a
18 coordination meeting or any other kind of meeting that was held in the
19 Zvornik Brigade command?
20 A. Drago Nikolic didn't tell me anything about any meetings. He just
21 told me that he had some duties to take care of and that he was unable to
22 come to Orahovac.
23 Q. Yes. He spoke about the duties he had in the afternoon hours.
24 Did he tell you anything about the duties that he had in the morning of
25 the 14th of July?
1 A. No. I did not have any contacts with Drago Nikolic throughout
2 that day.
3 Q. Do you mean to say that the first time that you saw him on that
4 day of the 14th was in the early evening?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Perhaps this would be a good time for you to tell us more
7 specifically at what time in the early evening. What could have been the
9 A. I cannot be specific, but it was after 5.00.
10 Q. So until that time, until Drago Nikolic came and told you what you
11 have already told us, no executions had been carried out and the
12 executions had not begun by that time?
13 A. Yes, with the exception of the two persons that I mentioned.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like to ask the usher
15 to help me present the witness the Defence exhibit marked for
16 identification purposes as D66. Again, it's part of the transcript from
17 the trial containing the testimony of witness Mevludin Oric. This is the
18 testimony of Oric, Mevludin. The date is the 21st of July, 2003, page
19 1.357 of the transcript, lines 15, 16, 17, and 18. I would now like the
20 witness to have a look at this, too, both the English and the B/C/S
22 Q. Sir, one of the survivors of the events in Orahovac testified
23 before this Tribunal and before the Trial Chamber. When asked by the
24 Prosecutor the following questions: "Do you know roughly what time of day
25 it was that your group was executed?"
1 And the witness answered: "I think it was about 1.00 or 2.00. I
2 did not have a watch, so I can't say accurately what the time was. But I
3 think it was about that time, because the sun was high up -- well high up.
4 I think it was in the afternoon."
5 Yet, you testify here today that there had been no executions,
6 least of all organised executions, until the evening, the early evening,
7 until the arrival of Drago Nikolic. Is that correct?
8 A. I said with the exception of the two persons that were killed.
9 Q. Yes, that's what you say, but I said "no organised executions,"
10 because this we cannot label as an organised execution. So do you still
11 maintain that during the day of the 14th of July until the early evening
12 no -- no one was taken out of the gym and that no organised executions had
13 taken place?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you want to say that the testimony of Mevludin Oric before this
16 Tribunal, in which he stated that these events took place between 1.00 and
17 2.00, that it simply does not correspond with the actual chronology of the
18 events. Is that correct?
19 A. I don't want to comment on the testimony of Mr. Oric. I can only
20 comment on my own testimony.
21 Q. Do you still, even after being confronted with the testimony of
22 this witness given before this Tribunal, still maintain that on the 14th
23 of July, there had been no organised executions until the early evening?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. I will now embark upon a different line of
1 questioning, and I will, at any rate, leave it to the Trial Chamber to
2 give appropriate weight to the testimony of both witnesses, the one
3 present here and the one from another trial.
4 Could you please clarify for us this conversation that you had
5 with the duty officer in the Zvornik Brigade on the 14th of July. Could
6 you please tell us more precisely when that took place, what time of day.
7 A. I cannot be specific about the time of day, but it was in the
9 Q. Would it be closer to noon or closer to the evening?
10 A. Well, in my estimate, it would have been sometime between 1.00 and
11 3.00, or maybe 4.00.
12 Q. I want to remind you of the part of your statement given to the
13 investigators on the 19th of August, 2002. You mentioned this
14 conversation, and you said that you did not remember who the duty officer
15 was, but that you were reminded by the investigator when he mentioned the
16 name. On that occasion you said that the contents, as far as you could
17 remember, of the conversation between you and the duty officer was as
18 follows: When you were asked what the duty officer told you, you stated
19 that the duty officer informed you as follows:
20 "I don't know anything. If I can find somebody, I will send
21 people up there to you."
22 Do you remember stating that?
23 A. When I spoke with the duty officer, Major Jokic, who was there at
24 the time, I was reminded of that fact by the investigator who was --
25 investigators who assisted my in this respect. I first asked him whether
1 he knew whether Drago was, because I needed to talk to Drago Nikolic, the
2 security chief, because I had problems, and whether he could organise some
3 personnel to be sent to me to assist me, as assistance was needed in that
4 location. He told me that he didn't have enough men, but that he would
5 try to do as much as he could.
6 After a certain period of time - and I cannot be specific about
7 how long that was - the group that I mentioned arrived.
8 Q. And immediately after this conversation, you, as you testified
9 here today, here, phoned Lazar Ristic, the deputy commander of the 4th
10 Battalion, asking him to send some men?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you call Lazar Ristic because you concluded on the basis of
13 your conversation with the duty officer that perhaps there wouldn't --
14 there aren't men available to help you guard the prisoners?
15 A. I called him because I thought that even if the first group
16 arrived, it wouldn't be amiss for the second group to arrive also.
17 Q. So you did not receive any promises that the people from the
18 Zvornik Brigade would come?
19 A. The duty operations officer, Jokic, didn't tell me that I would
20 get men. Lazar Ristic, likewise, didn't tell me that he would send men,
21 but they said that they would do as much as they could and that if they
22 found somebody, they would send them.
23 Q. You said that at first you didn't know who the duty officer was at
24 the beginning of your interview with the investigators?
25 A. I didn't say that I didn't know; I said that I couldn't remember.
1 Q. And what is it that reminded you that it could be Dragan Jokic
2 after seven years have passed?
3 A. I remember very well when the two of us spoke, when they mentioned
4 the name, the very name reminded me of the conversation, because I was in
5 Orahovac where men who were about to be executed were located.
6 Q. That is precisely why I want to ask you this question. Is there
7 any document or any piece of evidence that reminded you of the fact that
8 you spoke to the duty officer by the name of Jokic, that that was the name
9 of the duty officer?
10 A. There was no document there at the time to serve as a reminder,
11 but the very book of the duty officer, when I had the opportunity to look
12 at it, made me realise that my recollection was accurate.
13 Q. And this group that arrived in Orahovac, you say that even
14 Sreten Milosevic was with them too. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And he told you that he himself would organise the group to guard
17 the prisoners. Is that correct?
18 A. He didn't say that he would organise the group to guard the
19 prisoners. He took part in organising the overall security when he
20 arrived, and that included this group.
21 Q. Do you mean to say that Sreten Milosevic organised the guarding of
22 the prisoners, not only with the group that arrived with him but with all
23 the others who were present there?
24 A. He joined those who were already present there. He helped me and
25 all the others.
1 Q. Do you remember that at that time Sreten Milosevic was also in the
2 Zvornik Brigade command?
3 A. I don't know whether he was in the Zvornik Brigade command or not.
4 Q. Where had he come from to Orahovac?
5 A. He had come from the Zvornik Brigade, but I don't know exactly
6 from where, and he came when he was asked to.
7 Q. In this conversation that you had with the duty officer over the
8 insecure line, you didn't tell him anything about the fate of the
10 A. No.
11 Q. I understand that you had told him that the guard of the prisoners
12 of war should be redoubled. Is that correct?
13 A. To be quite specific, I told him that if he had the capability,
14 that he should send a group to help us because such assistance was
15 necessary to provide security for the prisoners held in the gym of the
16 elementary school in Orahovac.
17 Q. We heard an expert testimony by Mr. Richard Butler, a military
18 expert, who said that prisoners of war are a legitimate and legal
19 consequence of combat operations. We also heard your testimony, where you
20 said that you did not know what the fate of the prisoners would be until
21 the arrival of Drago Nikolic, but that you had assumed what could possibly
22 be their fate. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you agree with me that guarding prisoners of war is a legal
25 and legitimate military task?
1 A. Well, I am not familiar with the law in this -- to such an extent.
2 Q. Well, to the extent you are familiar with it, would you agree that
3 prisoners of war, generally speaking, must be guarded, that there can
4 be -- there cannot be any prisoners of war who are not guarded?
5 A. Really, I haven't studied these issues, and I cannot possibly talk
6 about the regulations and obligations on the basis of such law.
7 Q. Witness, I wanted to ask you: Do you know who Tanic Tanacko is?
8 A. I cannot recall the name.
9 Q. Let me try to refresh your memory. He was the finest officer of
10 the Zvornik Brigade, otherwise an economist by profession. Do you
11 remember him?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know who I'm talking about when I say Tanac Tanacko?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Can you know if he was with the group of people who arrived with
16 Sreten Milosevic in the afternoon of the 14th?
17 A. No, I cannot -- I cannot remember.
18 Q. Is it possible that he was there but that you did not see him or
19 you do not remember him being there?
20 A. Yes, that's possible.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the
22 assistance of the usher at this point, Your Honour, so that we could show
23 the witness the statement which this individual gave to the investigators
24 of the OTP. The statement in question was given by Tanac Tanacko. We
25 will show the witness the B/C/S version and the English translation of the
1 interview, which was conducted with this individual who declared in this
2 interview that he did indeed arrive in Orahovac at one point and that he
3 was brought -- he had been brought from the rear of the Zvornik Brigade to
4 Orahovac to perform guard duty of the detainees. I will be referring to
5 page 18, line 3 from the bottom in the English version, and page 19 up to
6 the line 14 in the B/C/S version.
7 Q. Witness, the relevant passage in the B/C/S version is on page 17
8 in the middle of the page. For practical purposes, let us just read the
9 relevant portion. So we are talking about the witness who was with the
10 group that arrived in Orahovac and who is telling how it came about that
11 they arrived in Orahovac.
12 He says that on that day they had set out from Standard in a small
13 truck, that there was a shift change, and asked by the Prosecutor who told
14 you to get on to the truck, he said: "Miladin Mijatovic. He was the one
15 who saw me in the corridor."
16 The investigator goes on to ask: "Who is Miladin Mijatovic?"
17 And the witness replies: "I don't know. For a while in 1992 he
18 was the commander of the battalion. Later, he was the chief purveyor of
19 fuel and other supplies for the army."
20 The investigator then asks: "In July of 1995, what was his
22 The witness replies: "I don't know. He was there with the
23 brigade command, but I don't know what he was. He wore civilian clothes
24 and he came to the command all the time."
25 And he finishes by saying: "He was on very good terms with the
2 The question: "Who was the commander at the time?
3 The witness replies: "Pandurevic. Whether he was the commander
4 or not, I don't know, but I know that he was a very good friend of his."
5 Have you been able to read this portion of the statement of
6 Tanac Tanacko?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So one of the individuals who arrived in this group says that he
9 had been sent from the rear, the rear in this case being the finance
10 department, by Miladin Mijatovic. Miladin Mijatovic told him to go there.
11 Do you know who Miladin Mijatovic is?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you tell the Chamber who this person is?
14 A. He's a reserve officer, a member of the Zvornik Brigade.
15 Q. What particular function did he perform at the time?
16 A. He was in the logistics department, in the rear.
17 Q. What was the duty or the function of Sreten Milosevic at the time?
18 A. He was the deputy commander for logistics at the Zvornik Brigade
19 headquarters, the Zvornik Brigade of the VRS.
20 Q. And who was Milenko Jovanovic, whom you remembered having arrived
21 with this group as well?
22 A. Milenko Jovanovic was the headquarters' commander of the Zvornik
24 Q. Can a duty officer issue orders to the deputy commander for
25 logistics, or is it the case that he can only convey to him what is being
1 requested of him?
2 A. Well, some of your questions would require me to examine the
3 relevant regulations and statutory provisions regarding the appointments
4 within the Zvornik Brigade. I don't know how the headquarters of the
5 Zvornik Brigade were organised in terms of sending these people to various
6 assignments, because I no longer had any contact with anyone there.
7 Q. Could you agree with me that for all practical purposes you do not
8 know whether the duty officer with whom you had talked conveyed this
9 message to anyone else, because you were not present there?
10 A. I don't know to whom he conveyed this message and who finally
11 acted on it. I just know that I talked to the duty operations officer,
12 who at the time was Miodrag Jokic [as interpreted] with the request for
13 assistance in terms of personnel.
14 Q. Witness, we have investigated this case and we would like to have
15 you confirm what you have just said. On that occasion, we put to you, you
16 talked to Sreten Milosevic and not to Dragan Jokic, because Sreten
17 Milosevic was at the brigade headquarters at the time. Is that possible?
18 A. No, not with Sreten Milosevic.
19 Q. You are testifying under oath. Are you sure today that you talked
20 to Dragan Jokic and not to Sreten Milosevic on that occasion?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. On that occasion, did you talk to Miladin Mijatovic. Can you
23 remember that?
24 A. No, I did not talk to Mijatovic.
25 Q. After the conversation with the duty officer, did you inform
1 anyone of what you had informed the duty officer? Did you tell this to
2 anyone from the logistics department of the Zvornik Brigade?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Once again please, why did you call Lazar Ristic after that? Why
5 did you ask him for help once again?
6 A. Because he was in a position to send a group of people, since he
7 had contacts with the defence line in the vicinity of the Orahovac
8 elementary school. I did not call Lazar Ristic because I knew him. Lazar
9 Ristic was at his command at the time, but he was not the commander, and
10 that's why I talked to him.
11 Q. You talked to him because you were not sure, you did not have any
12 promise that members from the rear of the Zvornik Brigade would be sent to
13 help with the guarding of the detainees. Was that the reason why?
14 A. Well, I have already said that no one had made any promises to me.
15 Q. Precisely. And also because -- precisely because no one made any
16 promises to you, you tried to obtain help from the 4th Battalion as well?
17 A. I said that neither the duty operations officer, Major Jokic, or
18 Lazar Ristic, the deputy commander of the 4th Battalion, made any promises
19 to me.
20 Q. Can you tell us please, that afternoon, the afternoon of the 14th,
21 how long did Sreten Milosevic remain in Orahovac carrying out the work
22 that you have described?
23 A. I cannot remember.
24 Q. Did he leave before or after the arrival of Drago Nikolic?
25 A. I don't remember that either.
1 Q. Can you remember how long Milenko Jovanovic stayed?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you know when this group from the logistics department of the
4 Zvornik Brigade left Orahovac?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were you present while they were providing security or standing
7 guard around the gym?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was it physically possible for you to see them?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. After the arrival of the group that had been sent by Lazar Ristic,
12 was it necessary for them to remain there, or was it possible for them to
13 go back to their previous engagements?
14 A. I did not make such assessments. I did not have anything to do
15 with saying who would stay and who could go back.
16 Q. Who did this? Who made those assessments?
17 A. Well, those who arrived joined in. No one sent back anyone.
18 Q. I must admit that I did not fully understand. What do you mean
19 when you say that "no one sent back anyone"? Who was in charge of those
20 people providing security and who was in charge of these detainees,
21 generally speaking?
22 A. What I wanted to say was that nobody at any point in time said:
23 You should go back. You're no longer needed here. And I was present
24 there throughout that time in Orahovac and was involved in the security.
25 I provided security. But let me just add that the men who arrived at one
1 point in time were not assigned to the area around the gym; they were
2 assigned to the area near the fence in front of the playground, around the
3 playground, and to the area on the opposite side to the other part of the
4 fencing which exists on the other side as well.
5 Q. And let me -- just one --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well --
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one question, Your Honour,
8 and I will finish with this topic.
9 Q. Witness, if you can just tell us what the distance was from the
10 gym, that is, between the gym and between the area where these men stood
12 A. There were groups of people who were stationed outside the
13 entrance to the Orahovac school gym and near the gym as well, around the
14 gym as well. The remainder of the people were deployed alongside the
15 fence, separating the playground from the plateau. I cannot recall
16 whether this fencing was made of iron or not. So the distance between the
17 gym and the fence, or rather, the road going there could be 50 metres,
18 approximately, 100 metres at a maximum. I cannot be precise. I'm sorry.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. This
20 would be a convenient moment for a break.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think we'll resume at five minutes past 4.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 3.33 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. I would like to be excused from this
1 session, Your Honour, so I can meet with the Registrar regarding some
2 administrative matters which are rather urgent, if that is permissible.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that's your own choice. On the part of
4 the Bench, we have no problem.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: And I think, you know, before you are going, would you
7 please indicate are there any documents you are going to tender through
8 this witness so that we do not forget you?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may leave now.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stojanovic.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Sir, I would now like to ask you to bear with me and to continue.
15 Analysing your statement of the 21st of January, 2004, I see that on page
16 4 you say what you repeated yesterday during your testimony that Drago
17 Nikolic determined the locations for the execution?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You say that he determined the location where the mass graves
20 would be dug?
21 A. I didn't say about the grave locations.
22 Q. Let me quote from your words that: "The engineer unit that
23 carried out the digging, received their instructions from him," meaning
24 Drago Nikolic. Am I quoting your words correctly?
25 A. Drago Nikolic told me that the engineer unit had received their
1 tasks and that we here would have to start carrying out the preparations
2 for the execution.
3 Q. Let me try and quote your words to you again, just to see whether
4 you still maintain it. So when asked by Mr. McCloskey how you know that
5 Drago went and picked that location for the execution, you answer: "Well,
6 on the basis of the digging, the engineer unit did the digging and they
7 received their instructions from him."
8 Is this what you have just said earlier -- I mean, six days ago.
9 Whether -- is it correct or not?
10 A. Drago went to the site where this was being done; I, however, did
12 Q. You confirmed this on page 46 of your testimony the day yesterday,
13 and I want to elicit the following answer from you: I am fully aware of
14 the fact that you say you were not present at the execution site. Is it
15 correct that the engineer unit carried out the digging and that they had
16 received their instructions from Drago Nikolic?
17 A. The engineer unit did the digging; however, I said that if Drago
18 was there -- I don't know where they got their instructions, but probably
19 it was from Drago.
20 Q. You base that on the fact that Drago was up there?
21 A. When the engineer unit received its task to do the digging, I was
22 not present when the arrangements were made as to when, where, and so on,
23 they would do that.
24 Q. You also confirmed that you did not see any machinery used by
25 engineers at that time. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. In light of what you have confirmed for us today, that
3 the engineer unit had received its instructions from Drago Nikolic, am I
4 correct in concluding that Drago Nikolic in Orahovac at the execution site
5 was in charge of the machinery?
6 A. I was not present to be able to say whether Drago Nikolic was in
7 charge of the machinery or who was in charge of the machinery.
8 Q. Was Drago Nikolic up there where the machinery was?
9 A. Drago Nikolic was at the site where the executions of the captured
10 Muslims who had been accommodated in the gym of the elementary school in
11 Orahovac were carried out.
12 Q. Are we talking about one or two sites?
13 A. You mean in Orahovac?
14 Q. Yes, in Orahovac.
15 A. Two sites.
16 Q. How do you know that there were two sites when you were not
17 present at either of them?
18 A. I don't know that on the basis of what I knew that evening, but I
19 know on the basis of the tasks that I had been given in this respect later
21 Q. Do you know whether any other officer was present up there at the
22 execution site in addition to Drago Nikolic?
23 A. No. I'm not aware of that.
24 Q. I now want to ask you once again: Can you confirm whether you did
25 personally take part in the use of the machinery on the 14th of July in
1 the afternoon hours?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you know anything about the use of the ULT-220 machine?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you still maintain that you did not see any kind of
6 construction equipment or machinery there?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So to clarify things, you did not see any piece of construction
9 machinery there; please confirm that.
10 A. I did not see any kind of construction machinery.
11 Q. Thank you. Now I would like you to tell me where you spent the
12 evening of the 14th of July, where were you physically?
13 A. In front of the gym itself on the plateau in Orahovac.
14 Q. And how long did you stay there?
15 A. Until the morning. I can't be specific about the exact time.
16 Q. Did you leave that place at any point?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you spend the night between the 14th and the 15th there at
19 that place?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it possible that you spent the night between the 14th and the
22 15th of July in the Zvornik Brigade command asleep in the room of the duty
24 A. No.
25 Q. Please try to remember. Is it possible that you mistook the
1 nights between the 14th and the 15th and between the 15th and the 16th?
2 A. No, I did not confuse the two nights.
3 Q. You're absolutely sure about what you're saying?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like the usher to
6 assist us to show the witness the exhibit marked for identification
7 purposes as D69.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to clarify. This is -- already has a
10 Prosecution marking of 399, and it may be simpler to keep it marked as
11 what it's been marked.
12 JUDGE LIU: I think at this moment we'll just keep the original
13 number there, and we'll introduce this document into the evidence. In the
14 future if in case we could discuss whether it has a double number there or
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is the
17 exhibit that we received from Mr. Butler, and the -- its designation is
18 P399. This is the record of the presence of the attendance of the
19 personnel of the Zvornik Brigade for July 1995.
25 Q. Am I right when I say that the little cross or little plus sign
1 indicates that the person in question was present in the Zvornik Brigade
2 command and that the absence of a person is indicated with a different
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. According to the attendance regards, you were in the Zvornik
6 Brigade command, both on the 14th and on the 15th of July, 1995, because
7 we have this plus sign here. Am I right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Yet, today under oath you claim that you were not in the Zvornik
10 Brigade command, neither on the 14th of July in the morning, and you also
11 say that you did not spend the night between the 14th and the 15th there?
12 A. This is the attendance record for the officers from the Zvornik
13 Brigade command in their units or indicating that they were carrying out
14 the tasks they had been assigned for these specific days, which would
15 mean -- I mean, the plus sign indicates not that I was present at the
16 Zvornik Brigade command, but at the site where I was assigned.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for assistance --
18 in order to assist you, the English translation does not have the
19 markings, but if you refer to the B/C/S original, you will be able to see
20 the markings there and follow the interrogation.
21 Q. Witness, am I correct when I say that the letter "T" indicates
22 that the person in question was on a field mission?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you agree with me when I say that going to Orahovac would
25 mean going on a field mission?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you mean to say that even those who were in the field outside
3 of the premises of the Zvornik Brigade command had the plus sign next to
4 their names?
5 A. All those who were in the area of responsibility of the Zvornik
6 Brigade in the course of the day were marked with a plus sign. And all
7 those who went to carry out missions outside of the zone of responsibility
8 of the Zvornik Brigade, they would spend five or ten or even more days
9 than that, were marked with the letter "T." This is what I assume. I
10 don't know who kept the records in the unit and I don't know how the
11 record was kept.
12 Q. Well, you see, this is precisely why we wanted to confront you
13 with this piece of evidence. Please have a look at Item 29. Here we have
14 the deputy commander of the brigade, Dragan Obrenovic. He testified here
15 and he said that on that day he had not been at the Zvornik Brigade
16 command, and in order to prove that, he had the letter "T" next to his
17 name. And the reasoning was that he was in the area of responsibility of
18 the Zvornik Brigade, he was in command of the Zvornik Brigade at that
19 time, and that he was at Perunika at that time. Yet, here you say
20 something else, you say that this is not correct. That the letter "T"
21 would be put beside somebody's name, only if that person was outside of
22 the zone of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade.
23 Now, Witness, I want to know: Who is telling the truth? What is
25 A. I don't know who kept the record and I don't know on what basis he
1 did that, how he recorded the attendance of all the officers in the
2 Zvornik Brigade command, whether he put the plus signs only as a formality
3 or whether he really checked what the situation was. The only thing that
4 I know is that I was not at the Zvornik Brigade at that time; I was in
6 Q. We don't want to contradict you. We only want to say that you
7 were in the Zvornik Brigade command on the 14th and that you spent the
8 night between the 14th and the 15th in the Zvornik Brigade command. Can
9 this document serve to remind you and perhaps to show you that you have
10 made a mistake as regards the dates?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Will you agree with me that the person keeping the record did not
13 do that properly when he marked the attendance or that something is wrong
14 here, that the records were not consistent. Your statement, Obrenovic's
15 statement, or this document, it is impossible for all three to be correct.
16 A. I don't want to make an evaluation of the way in which the records
17 were kept. I just wanted to say what I have just said regarding my
18 presence there or absence there.
19 Q. Fine. Will you agree with me that Obrenovic is marked with the
20 letter "T" for the dates of the 14th and the 15th?
21 A. Well, it can be either a "T" or a plus sign.
22 Q. Well, it can hardly be a plus sign, because you can see here two,
23 three, four, five markings with -- for the letter "T" for the period of
24 the 14th and the 17th, but we'll leave that for the consideration of the
25 Trial Chamber. I will not be bothering you with this topic anymore.
1 Fine. So according to your testimony, on the 15th of July in the
2 morning, you were in the Zvornik Brigade command. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. At what time were you there?
5 A. Between 8.00 and 9.00 -- perhaps until 10.00, but that would be
6 the latest.
7 Q. Was there the usual line-up of the command?
8 A. I was not present for the line-up.
9 Q. Was it customary to have a line-up of the command personnel in the
11 A. A daily line-up was customary; however, I don't know whether it
12 indeed took place on that day.
13 Q. Is it because you think you arrived late or later?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Am I correct in saying that the line-up always took place before
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You saw Jokic that morning, didn't you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. According to your statement, you stayed at the command, at the
21 headquarters, until 10.00 or thereabouts. Is that correct?
22 A. I cannot give you the precise time, but I know that I stayed there
23 only briefly.
24 Q. Who gave you the permission to go home?
25 A. Drago Nikolic.
1 Q. Apart from Drago Nikolic and Popovic, did you see any other
2 officer from the Zvornik Brigade?
3 A. Where?
4 Q. At the headquarters, at the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
5 A. I was not with Drago Nikolic or Popovic at the headquarters.
6 Q. So you didn't meet them at any point in time outside the Zvornik
7 Brigade headquarters on the 15th in the morning?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you see any other officer of the Zvornik Brigade in the
10 morning of the 15th?
11 A. No. I don't remember at all.
12 Q. Tell us then what you did between 8.00 and 10.00 at the Zvornik
13 Brigade headquarters.
14 A. I went into the office, then I went to the toilet. I don't know
15 whether I spent there a couple of minutes or so. Then I left the
16 headquarters, and I looked for a vehicle to transport me to Kozluk.
17 Q. Are you telling us you didn't have any contact whatsoever, that
18 is, with any of the officers of the Zvornik Brigade at that time?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you see Sreten Milosevic there?
21 A. No, I did not.
22 Q. Did you see Nenad Simic?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did you see Ljubo Bojanovic?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Is it possible, Witness, for you to have been present there for
2 two hours, that is, during the most intense part of the day, not to see
3 anyone, not to talk with anyone about what you had done, where you had
4 been the previous night? Is it possible that you did not have any
5 conversation whatsoever that morning?
6 A. After I had finished my work at the office, I left the building
7 and I hitchhiked. I was trying to find a lift for Kozluk, because I
8 didn't spend two hours communicating, talking, to the officers at the
9 brigade headquarters. However, I did say that I stayed at the
10 headquarters no longer than two hours in total. That would have been the
12 Q. During that time did you go to Rocevic?
13 A. No.
14 Q. During the same period did you ever go to Pilica, and is it
15 possible that someone saw you there?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Try to remember. I'm talking about the morning of the 15th. Did
18 you go to Pilica? You are under an oath, sir. Were you there or not at
19 that time?
20 A. I was not there.
21 Q. Are you sure about that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Our job will be to find out to what extent you're
24 telling the truth today.
25 Now, let me ask you a couple of things concerning the issue of
1 reburial. Can you tell us when this reburial operation actually started.
2 A. I cannot tell you the precise time.
3 Q. Can you approximate for us as to the time framework when it
5 A. Sometime in October, maybe late September, October, thereabouts.
6 Q. How long did this operation last?
7 A. Are you referring to the area of Zvornik only?
8 Q. Yes, the area of Zvornik.
9 A. For about 15 days. I'm not sure.
10 Q. So you think it was in the latter half of September and the first
11 half of October?
12 A. Once again I cannot be precise as far as the time is concerned,
13 but it would have been at that period.
14 Q. You told us that the Zvornik Brigade headquarters was abreast of
15 the overall operation of reburial?
16 A. Can you clarify the question, please.
17 Q. The day before yesterday you testified, and I can quote the
18 statement that you gave on the 21st and the 25th to the Prosecutor. In
19 this regard you said that the command of the Zvornik Brigade was informed
20 of the overall operation of reburial at all times.
21 A. Yes, they were informed of the operation.
22 Q. When you say that they were abreast of, or familiar with the
23 operation, what exactly do you mean?
24 A. Well, they were aware of the fact that it was necessary to have a
25 reburial operation, that the primary graves had to be transferred to
1 secondary locations, that the existing graves had to be relocated.
2 Q. As a member of the Zvornik Brigade, was it possible for you to
3 carry out the work that you had received without the knowledge and the
4 consent of the command of the Zvornik Brigade?
5 A. No. This was not possible for me. I could not work without an
6 order issued by my superior.
7 Q. Who gave you this order? Which superior officer did it?
8 A. As regards the relocation of mass graves - and this is what I
9 stated two days ago - my first such contact, or the first information to
10 that effect that I received was from Drago Nikolic. This was a rather
11 unofficial contact, because he simply said that there was a possibility or
12 that it would have necessary maybe for those mass graves to be relocated
13 to other places. Later, I was in contact with Drago Nikolic and Popovic,
14 the chief security officer of the Drina Corps, in the office of the
15 security chief when this was explicitly said to me. And as I have already
16 indicated, both of them had arrived from the office where the commander
17 usually sat, but I don't know exactly whom they had seen before that or
18 what kind of arrangement were agreement had been reached in this regard.
19 Q. You also testified that the logistics of the Zvornik Brigade was
20 also involved in this operation?
21 A. I said that assistance had been provided, that is, that two
22 members of the logistics department had been sent.
23 Q. Regarding the participation of these two soldiers from the
24 logistics department of the Zvornik Brigade, you didn't mention anything
25 about that on the 21st and the 25th in your statement to the Prosecutor,
1 but you did speak about it on the 19th. Do you remember that?
2 A. No, I don't. What was the first date that you mentioned?
3 Q. I have the transcript of your interview of the 19th of August,
4 2002, in which you spoke about the fact that members of the logistics
5 department of the Zvornik Brigade had taken part in this operation?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You confirmed this today, but you did not speak about it on the
8 21st and the 25th when you had another interview with the Prosecutor?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The reason being, I assume, because they did not ask you about the
11 participation of the logistics department in this operation, so that's why
12 you failed to mention this?
13 A. I don't know what the reason was.
14 Q. Am I right in saying that any engagement of the logistics
15 department in an activity of this kind cannot be done without an order of
16 the brigade commander and that no one can take part in an activity of this
17 type on their own. Or would it have been possible?
18 A. I don't know who issued orders with respect to that.
19 Q. Is it possible for logistics department soldiers to take part in
20 this activity without the knowledge and without a relevant order of their
21 commander? It's a simple question.
22 A. No, they cannot. It is not possible.
23 Q. Thank you. I assume we know that much about military affairs.
24 Is it possible for members of the engineer force to be part of
25 this activity without the knowledge of their commander?
1 A. Please, do not ask me about this and about such orders. I have
2 never been a brigade commander or a brigade -- or a battalion commander.
3 And I told you right away that I didn't know who issued orders to whom.
4 All I know about is the tasks and the duties that I had received.
5 Q. You're a reserve captain. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You have military education?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Can a unit, such as -- can a unit be used without a relevant order
10 for -- from the commander, and I'm talking about the Zvornik Brigade?
11 A. No, it cannot.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. I don't know why you were afraid
13 to give me this answer.
14 Who was the commander of the Zvornik Brigade at the time?
15 A. Vinko Pandurevic.
16 Q. Was he present there at that time, or was he at a training by any
18 A. I know that he was present there after the completion of the
19 operations. Whether he was present at the very beginning of the
20 operation, I don't know. Drago Nikolic would know this, as well as
21 Popovic, the chief of security of the Drina Corps.
22 Q. Do you know who was the commander of the engineer company at the
24 A. No, I don't who the engineer commander was. I know that the chief
25 of staff of the engineer company was Major Jokic. As to the commanders of
1 engineer companies, I don't know who they were.
2 Q. Well, Witness, there is no chief of staff of the engineer company
3 as such. Such a function does not exist. There is only one engineer
4 company; it has its commander. The company consisted of three platoons.
5 We cannot talk about different company commanders. As for the name you
6 mentioned, Dragan Jokic, he was the chief of engineer force of the Zvornik
7 Brigade; this is just for your information.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let me ask the assistance of the
9 usher at this point, please. I would like to elicit a comment on a
10 document which we have identified as D67. This is a document which was
11 introduced through Witness Butler, the reference being P541. I think we
12 can also use this document for this purpose.
13 Q. So, Witness, this document that we now have in front of us is the
14 document that you were able to see yesterday at the beginning of the
15 hearing. We mentioned the name yesterday, but let us not mention it again
16 today, because of your situation.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe it would be
18 more convenient and more comfortable for all of us if we dealt with this
19 matter in a private session.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to private session, please.
21 [Private session]
12 Pages 6793 to 6797 redacted, private session
7 [Open session]
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. Sir, you expressed a dilemma a while ago. Did you provide the
10 Steier trucks for the transportation of the bodies?
11 A. I don't know what the name of the vehicles is, what is the make.
12 I simply stated the exact reasons. But there was a vehicle - perhaps two.
13 I'm not sure. I don't know about that - that was given by a haulier, a
14 hauling company. Now, whether the engineer machine was malfunctioning,
15 whether it had broken down, or whether Lazarevic had asked for another
16 machine as backup because of the distance of Branjevo, I cannot be quite
17 specific about that.
18 Q. Did you yourself request additional trucks to be used?
19 A. As I have already said, I cannot remember whether it was myself or
20 Lazarevic, but one of us did.
21 Q. Did you determine the location for any of the secondary grave
23 A. I was not in contact at all about the location of the new grave
24 sites, and I was not consulted about that. All those activities were
25 carried out by Lazarevic from the engineer company, together with members
1 of the 5th Engineer Battalion, in cooperation with them.
2 Q. The question was whether you yourself determined the location of
3 the secondary grave sites.
4 A. No.
5 Q. After the completion of this activity, is it correct that you
6 yourself handed in the report indicating that the operation was completed?
7 A. The report was drafted in the office of the security chief, Drago
8 Nikolic, and myself. This report was submitted to Popovic, the security
9 chief of the Drina Corps.
10 Q. That was your report. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you begin with this activity before the first quantities of
13 fuel arrived, and did you then use the fuel from the logistics centre of
14 the Zvornik Brigade?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Does that mean that you did not use the fuel of the logistics of
17 the Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. We did not use that fuel.
19 Q. And later when you received the five tonnes of fuel, you did not
20 return the fuel that you had used before that from the Zvornik Brigade
22 A. No.
23 Q. Can you please tell us in some detail how come that the commander
24 of the brigade rewarded you as participants in this activity with days off
25 and quantities of washing powder. You said that this was your proposal.
1 A. I was not rewarded in this manner after the completion of the
2 operation. The brigade commander, Vinko Pandurevic, was personally
3 informed of it in his office. I told him that the participants in the
4 operation had carried out their task at night and that as such they are
5 entitled to days off. He said that they would be given days off and that
6 he would relay this to the unit commanders so that I didn't have anything
7 to do with that. And it was also said at the time, regarding the washing
8 powder, because of the work conditions, he had spoken to Milosevic before
9 that and asked whether there were any quantities of washing powder to be
10 distributed among the men, and Milosevic did that.
11 Q. So the commander did both on your proposal?
12 A. Yes. I did propose that.
13 Q. So for all intents and purposes, you were the person in charge of
14 the coordination of this whole activity?
15 A. I was tasked to coordinate this group and to provide it with any
16 assistance it may need on behalf of the Zvornik Brigade. I was tasked by
17 the security chief of the Zvornik Brigade, Drago Nikolic, and the security
18 chief of the Drina Corps, Popovic.
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, perhaps this would
20 be a good place to stop. I have just one more set of questions, and then
21 I will be finished.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. We'll resume at quarter to 6.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stojanovic.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Sir, I have several questions left, and then we will wind up. You
3 said you had lived at one point during the war in Kozluk with your family?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That you had arrived in Kozluk in 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You also told us that you had not been able to find accommodation
8 there, so you decided to continue, to go from there?
9 A. Not that I was not able to find a house, but that I could not
10 settle down. So I wanted to solve this problem.
11 Q. Did you stay there for a while in June and July looking for
12 accommodation, I mean in Kozluk?
13 A. Well, I spent the entire period of time in question in Kozluk.
14 Q. So where did you live in Kozluk? Where were you accommodated?
15 A. My first accommodation was on the dirt road, not far from the
16 river. We only had one room -- there was only one room in that house, and
17 there was no glass on the windows of that room.
18 Q. And thereafter?
19 A. I cannot remember exactly at this point, but -- I mean I don't
20 know how much later, but I was -- I moved to a house and I occupied one
21 half of a house which is located in the vicinity of the Zvornik/Kozluk
22 road -- not far from the road, that is.
23 Q. Did you remain there until the end of the war?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Whose house was it, the one you lived in?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Was it a Serb or a Muslim house?
3 A. A Muslim house.
4 Q. During the war, did the owner of the house live in the house?
5 A. You mean whether he came from time to time?
6 Q. Whether he came, whether he spent some time in the house.
7 A. Well, as far as I know, he did not stay in the house. Whether
8 occasionally he came to the house, I don't know.
9 Q. When did you finally leave that house? When did you move out?
10 A. On the 21st or the 22nd of July, 1998. I cannot recall the exact
12 Q. Are you saying that you used this house for about two years after
13 the war had been completed?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you go straight to the United States after you left this
17 A. I first went to Belgrade, and from Belgrade to the United States.
18 Q. Upon leaving the house, did you hand the house over to the
19 Ministry for Displaced Persons or to the owner of the house?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. What did you do?
22 A. Well, I handed it over to the person who was living in the other
23 half of the house.
24 Q. Do you know that the owner of the house had submitted the request
25 for the house to be returned to him by that time?
1 A. No.
2 Q. What did you do with the property that you had found in the house,
3 such as furniture?
4 A. Part of the furniture was taken over by the person who occupied
5 the other half of the house.
6 Q. What happened with the rest of the things?
7 A. I sold the refrigerator and the freezer.
8 Q. You sold the things that did not belong to you. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes. But this, too, had been brought over from another house.
10 Q. How did you decide to go to the United States?
11 A. My wife's family, all of them, are there.
12 Q. Were you aware of your past, of the involvement in the events in
13 Zvornik during the war?
14 A. What do you mean, if I was aware of it?
15 Q. Were you aware of the fact that it was possible for you to -- for
16 your past to be disclosed once you submitted your application to go to the
17 United States?
18 A. I didn't think about that.
19 Q. Let me turn the question around. Did you think that by going to
20 the United States you were not going to be disclosed?
21 A. I didn't know. I simply couldn't imagine that it would come to
23 Q. Are you trying to say that in 1998 you did not feel guilty, you
24 personally, privately, that you did not have such feelings?
25 A. I didn't. I wasn't.
1 Q. With what passport, issued by which state, did you go to the
2 United States?
3 A. I did not have a passport.
4 Q. So they let you in without a travel document?
5 A. It was all arranged for through the immigration agency of the UN.
6 Q. So that's why you didn't need a travel document?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Very well then. Now, you were first contacted by the
9 investigators in the month of August 2002, I mean the investigators of
10 The Hague Tribunal?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. They wanted an interview with you. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did they tell you what the subject of the conversation would be
15 before you proceeded with this interview?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you aware of the fact that you were a suspect?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And despite the caution, you, as you acknowledged, did not tell
20 the truth on that occasion?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. You didn't tell the truth because you wanted to play down your
23 responsibility for the events?
24 A. Well, because of the direct involvement and my direct link with
25 the events.
1 Q. And you're saying that at the time you decided to go to the United
2 States you did not think of that possibility, you did not have that
3 possibility in mind?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On the 3rd of December, 2003, you gave another statement to the
6 investigators. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Again, you are aware of the fact that you're a suspect. Once
9 again, they caution you of your rights?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And once again you decide not to tell the truth. Correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Witness, I understand that it is difficult for you to answer these
14 questions, but once again, is the reason for which you're not telling the
15 truth again your involvement in the events and your attempts to play down
16 the responsibility that you had in the events?
17 A. No.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to present the last
19 document --
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour. The question is worded improperly,
22 and it may be a function of translation. But the reason you are not
23 telling the truth, that is a suggestion that he is not telling the truth
24 today, so that is improper. It may just be a translation issue. I don't
25 think that Mr. Stojanovic means to be saying -- saying that, but that's
1 what the English says, that "you're not telling the truth."
2 JUDGE LIU: I think it's concerning about the statement that the
3 witness made on the 3rd of December, 2003. Am I right?
4 Yes, you may proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the record, yes,
6 I was referring to the statement given on the 3rd of December, 2003. And
7 the answer is correctly reflected in the transcript, to avoid any
8 misunderstanding. And thank you for this intervention because I have a
9 language problem here.
10 I should like to produce one more exhibit that we have.
11 Your Honour, it would be perhaps wise to move into private session
12 for this purpose, in light of the contents of the document that we are
13 going to use.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to private session, please.
15 [Private session]
12 Page 6807 redacted, private session
12 Page 6808 redacted, private session
12 Page 6809 redacted, private session
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: And before the re-direct, Mr. Stojanovic, could I ask
4 you a question concerning the documents. The map of the location inside
5 the security officer's office of the Zvornik Brigade, what's the number of
6 that piece of evidence?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, D63/3.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And how about the document you just used?
9 Were there any numbers attached to it?
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. For the
11 purposes of identification, we used number 67/3, and we would like to
12 tender this document into evidence. And we know that the document is
13 probably going to be used by the other party. Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any re-direct, Mr. McCloskey?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one question, Mr. President.
16 Re-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
17 Q. Witness, did you or Mr. Popovic ever come up with any kind of a
18 rough estimate of the number of victims in the primary graves of Orahovac,
19 Petkovci, Kozluk, and Branjevo Farm?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you relate to us what those estimates were.
22 A. Well, Popovic told me -- I know that at the Orahovac gym, there
23 were between 5 and 600 detained Muslims from Srebrenica. He also told me
24 that there were about the same number of Muslims at Petkovci and Rocevic,
25 whereas in Branjevo there were twice as many. Some were between 15 and
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I have nothing further.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours --
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I think the information was vital to the
6 Prosecution and, you know, for the purposes of this trial. However, I
7 just wish to note that this question was beyond the scope of
8 cross-examination. I know it's a technical issue, but I would appreciate
9 if there are going to be questions that are beyond the scope on rebuttal,
10 that at least permission be sought before asking such questions. But I do
11 appreciate Mr. McCloskey's need to get that information out. I just think
12 that it was beyond the scope.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think during the cross-examination, the number
14 murdered in Orahovac was mentioned several times. And as for the other
15 places, I do not have that recollection. But since this question is
16 raised, I will give the opportunity for the Defence, if they need, to
17 cross this issue again.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm not -- Mr. President, I'm not requesting any
19 additional -- I thought it was -- this might have been pertinent
20 information to be sought on direct examination. And I think because it
21 was, I did not object to it at this point in time. I'm merely pointing a
22 technicality. In the past when I have been asked whether I wanted to
23 cross-examination or re-cross, I indicated it was going to be beyond the
24 scope, at which point I was denied that opportunity. So that was merely a
25 technicality, although, as I said, I understand Mr. McCloskey's need to
1 have that information. And I concur that it is important information to
2 have in this particular case.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just briefly, Mr. President. As they were going
6 over the real detail of the reburial process, it dawned on me that there
7 was other details related to that process that should be asked and that I
8 had not asked. So I think it's, like a lot of things, a combination of
9 yes, it was dealt with on direct, and yes, Mr. Karnavas is right, in a
10 perfect world I would have remembered everything. But I think it is
11 perfectly acceptable re-direct for the reasons that you have stated and
12 those that I have stated.
13 JUDGE LIU: I think that's purely a legal issue. There's no
14 dispute concerning with this practical manner, and I would like to thank
15 Mr. Karnavas for reminding us of this point.
16 Any questions from the Judges?
17 Yes, Judge Vassylenko.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My first question is: How many Muslim
20 prisoners would there be on each bus that arrived at Orahovac school?
21 A. I don't know exactly how many of them were in each of the buses,
22 perhaps 30 to 50. I don't know exactly because they arrived at night and
23 I didn't send them off. I didn't escort them. Only I saw them when there
24 were at there at the entrance.
25 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Were the buses re-used several times or did
1 they only go once each to the collection site?
2 A. I don't know about this operation, the organisation of the
3 transportation and the transportation site.
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: You have testified that two groups of
5 reinforcements arrived, one from Lazarevic and one from Ristic. Before
6 this group arrived, how many soldiers provided security at the Orahovac
8 A. Five, six, or seven. I don't know the exact number. That's an
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And my last question: Do you have specific
11 evidence indicating direct and active involvement of Colonel Blagojevic in
12 the murder operation?
13 A. I don't have any evidence of the involvement of Blagojevic in the
14 murder operation.
15 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Hvala, I have no more questions.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Any questions out of Judge's questions?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 Mr. Karnavas?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: None, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 Mr. Stojanovic?
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] None, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
1 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Mr. McCloskey?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, three documents under seal.
3 699 is the indictment from the U.S., 700 is the record of judgement of
4 conviction of that indictment, and 701 is the pseudonym sheet.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, would you please repeat the numbers, because I
6 got several copies with different numbers, so I'm a little bit confused.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. We had a little glitch there, but the
8 indictment is 699, the judgement is 700, and the pseudonym sheet is 701.
9 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Something is wrong --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: We had a problem and then we -- Janet submitted
11 another sheet. She apparently made a mistake, which I'm sure won't happen
13 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. Karnavas?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Technically speaking, no. However, I don't see the
15 need why we need the indictment or the judgement in. I think we have
16 direct testimony from the witness that he was indicted, that he was
17 sentenced -- well, in effect, he was turned over to the custody of
18 immigration. So I don't see the purpose of adding more paperwork to the
19 paperwork. But technically speaking, I don't object to it. I just don't
20 think it's necessary. As far as 701, obviously, there's no objection.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, would you please tell us the
22 reason we see -- it seems to us that there's no need to admit those two
23 documents into the evidence.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: These are very serious documents and are reflected
25 in the testimony, of course. And my -- and just for the reason about
1 complete openness, so the Court was aware of this material, I offered it
2 in. If the Court doesn't feel it necessary, I would withdraw it. But I
3 do believe it's important in relation to the entire situation here, so you
4 have a complete record of it. But again, it's -- I'm -- I'm fine either
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Mr. Stojanovic, any objections to these three documents?
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We don't have
9 any objections to these documents. We also feel that there is no need for
10 the judgement to be admitted, because it is not the subject of any debate
11 or dispute.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, we believe that the document 701 is admitted
13 into the evidence under seal. And document P699 and P700 are not admitted
14 into evidence.
15 And, Mr. Karnavas, I think you told us that you have no evidence
16 to tender through this witness?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: That's correct, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We just want to have it confirmed.
19 Mr. Stojanovic?
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I tender into
21 evidence Exhibit D63/3, that is a diagram of the premises of the security
22 organ of the Zvornik Brigade; then I also wish to tender into evidence
23 document marked as D67/3, that is the memo from the military public
24 prosecutor dated 26th of March, 1996; and we also wish to have admitted
25 into evidence - although I am aware of the attitude that the Trial Chamber
1 has taken in this regard - D68/3, that is a segment of the statement of
2 Tanacko Tanic, dated 24th of June, 2002, that was given to the
3 investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor. Okay, so that is not the
4 statement, because I know that the Trial Chamber has ruled that it doesn't
5 want to have any statements admitted, but just this segment of the
6 statement. All the other evidence that we used in our examination are in
7 fact already part of the record. Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. McCloskey?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have no objection to the sketch.
10 However, portions of an interview of a witness that has not testified I
11 would object to. If there is some value to portions, it should be -- the
12 whole thing should come in, but that opens up another set of issues. And
13 it's not like the statements that we had of Mr. Deronjic, who was here and
14 who testified. I don't know if we'll see this man or not, Mr. Tanic, and
15 I - without some further clarification of the relevancy of a portion - I
16 would object -- I'm sorry. And the order regarding the number D67/3,
17 which was the military prosecutor document, I have no problem with. It
18 was D68/3, the Tanic statement that my comments should have been directed
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, the document D63/3, the sketch, as well as the
23 document D67/3 are admitted into the evidence. The document D68/3 is not
24 admitted into the evidence because we believe that all the relevant parts
25 have been brought up during the cross-examination. It is so decided.
1 Well, Witness, thank you very much indeed for your coming to The
2 Hague to give your testimony. When the usher pulls down the blinds, she
3 will show you out of the room. I wish you a pleasant journey back.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, Ms. Davis will be handling the next
8 witness, and if I could be excused for the rest of the evening, I would
9 appreciate it.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE LIU: Good evening, Witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good evening.
14 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
15 accordance with the paper Madam Usher is showing to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: NOVAK KOVACEVIC
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. Would you please state your name for the
25 record and spell it.
1 A. Novak Kovacevic.
2 Q. Would you mind spelling it.
3 A. N-o-v-a-k.
4 Q. And the last name, sir.
5 A. K-o-v-a-c-e-v-i-c.
6 Q. What is your nationality, Mr. Kovacevic?
7 A. I am a Serb.
8 Q. And I understand that you're a lawyer by profession?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Where are you currently employed?
11 A. I am currently the district public prosecutor of Bijeljina.
12 Q. And for how long have you served in that position?
13 A. Since the 1st of May, 2001.
14 Q. I just want to ask you a few questions about your background. I
15 understand you received your law degree in 1976 from the University of
16 Sarajevo. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that you thereafter served for a number of years as a basic
19 public prosecutor and a judge in Rogatica municipality?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When did you begin service within the military court system of the
23 A. I became a military public prosecutor in April, year 2000, in the
24 VRS. Before that, I worked in the military court.
25 Q. When did you join the VRS, sir?
1 A. In May 1992.
2 Q. And can you tell the Court briefly what position you held,
3 beginning in May 1992, and your subsequent positions within the VRS
4 military court system.
5 A. In May 1992, this was still -- in fact, when the war broke out, I
6 was the municipal public prosecutor in Rogatica, that was at the very
7 beginning of the war. I was never relieved of my duty there, but when the
8 call-up was effected, I reported to Han Pijesak. And in those days, the
9 military judicial system of the Republika Srpska was beginning to be
10 formed, and I was appointed a judge of the Srpsko Sarajevo military court.
11 That was sometime in June.
12 Q. And for how long did you serve as a judge in the military court in
13 Srpsko Sarajevo?
14 A. Until January 1993.
15 Q. And where did you go subsequent to that?
16 A. After that, I was appointed a judge of the VRS supreme military
18 Q. And was that in January 1993?
19 A. Yes, 1993. That's what I said.
20 Q. Where was the supreme military court located at that time, in
22 A. In Han Pijesak.
23 Q. For how long did you remain in that position as a judge of the
24 supreme military court?
25 A. Up until April 2000. Until I was appointed to the position of the
1 prosecutor of the VRS, the VRS military prosecutor.
2 Q. And was the headquarters of the supreme military court, did it
3 remain in Han Pijesak throughout the entire period that you served as a
4 judge there?
5 A. No, it did not. It was moved to Zvornik. I believe it was in
6 1994. And it remained there until it was dissolved.
7 Q. Now, you mention that in April 2000 you were appointed as the
8 military prosecutor for the VRS. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. What were your -- well, I'll leave that for a moment. How long
11 did you serve in that position?
12 A. Well, not for long, because sometime in May - I think it was the
13 25th of May, but that's not important - the military judiciary was
14 dissolved. It no longer existed. But up until September that year, we
15 had to effect the handover of all our cases to the normal civilian courts,
16 according to their territorial jurisdiction.
17 Q. So if I have understood the chronology, in July 1995 you held the
18 position of judge of the supreme military court, which was then located in
19 Zvornik. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber briefly what your responsibilities
22 were as a judge on the supreme military court.
23 A. Well, I worked cases which mostly dealt with the appeals to
24 judgements and various decisions, because the court of the first instance
25 would deal with all those cases in the first instance. And then the
1 supreme court would deal with all the appeals. That is mostly what I did,
2 and so did my colleagues, in fact.
3 Q. Did you have any investigative responsibilities as a judge at the
4 supreme military court?
5 A. No, because investigations were carried out by the basic courts,
6 the first instance courts. We dealt with appeals.
7 Q. Focusing on the period 1995 for a moment, can you tell us how many
8 basic military courts were there in the Republika Srpska, the military
9 court system.
10 A. Yes, yes. In 1995 the basic courts within the military judicial
11 system were located in Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Bileca, and now I don't
12 remember exactly whether that -- it was that year or perhaps a while
13 later. The basic military court of Srpsko Sarajevo was dissolved. I
14 don't know, as I said, if it was in that period of time, but more or less
15 it was at that time period. And all the cases from the basic military
16 court of Srpsko Sarajevo were transferred to Bijeljina and Bileca,
17 depending on the place where the criminal offenses had been committed. So
18 again we have this territorial jurisdiction principle.
19 Q. Now, you've spoken a couple of times about the territorial
20 jurisdiction issue. Can you tell us what determined the parameters of
21 these districts you've just described.
22 A. On the basis of the law on criminal procedure and law on courts.
23 In other words, the location where a crime was committed dictated the
24 jurisdiction of the court. The court that had jurisdiction over that
25 area -- district municipality adjudicated in those cases. As far as
1 military courts were concerned, their jurisdiction coincided with the
2 areas of responsibility of the corps. For instance, at the beginning the
3 Sarajevo court covered the area of responsibility of Sarajevo-Romanija
4 corps. Whereas the one in Banja Luka, the Krajina corps; the one in
5 Bileca the Hercegovina corps; and the one in Bijeljina covered the East
6 Bosnia corps.
7 Later on the Drina Corps was established, and for a time until it
8 was dissolved was covered by the military court in Srpsko Sarajevo. So
9 the -- this did not coincide. As far as the territorial jurisdiction of
10 the two sets of court, the civilian and the military courts, did not
11 coincide. Because military courts dealt with the cases from their
12 respective corps.
13 Q. Now, you mentioned that the Drina Corps was under the jurisdiction
14 of the Srpsko Sarajevo court, until that district, that Srpsko Sarajevo
15 court district was dissolved. Can you tell us in July 1995 which military
16 court district had jurisdiction over the Drina Corps.
17 A. That's exactly what I'm trying to explain. I cannot exactly
18 remember at this point, but it should be found somewhere in the documents,
19 I mean, the date when the basic military court of Srpsko Sarajevo was
20 dissolved. I don't know whether this was before or after July 1995. I
21 cannot remember the exact date. So before it was dissolved, it was the
22 basic military court of Srpsko Sarajevo that had territorial jurisdiction
23 over the Drina Corps. But if this was after the dissolution of the
24 Sarajevo -- Srpsko Sarajevo court, then the Drina Corps would be under the
25 jurisdiction of the Bijeljina basic military court.
1 Part of the cases, because apart from the territories you're
2 interested in, Srebrenica and Bratunac, this also included Vlasenica and
3 Milici. When the Drina Corps was dissolved, then Vlasenica and Milici,
4 that is the cases from the area relating to the area of Vlasenica and
5 Milici were not transferred to Bijeljina, but to Srpsko Sarajevo court.
6 Now, this only concerns Vlasenica and Milici. Because the area is now
7 part of the Srpsko or was now part of the Srpsko Sarajevo district.
8 Q. Okay. So crimes committed by VRS personnel in and around
9 Srebrenica, Vlasenica, Zvornik in July 1995 would either have been under
10 the jurisdiction of the Bijeljina district if the Srpsko Sarajevo court
11 had already been dissolved, or if that court may not have been dissolved,
12 they may have been under the jurisdiction of the Srpsko Sarajevo district
13 at that time. Is that a correct summary of what you have told us?
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter was not able to translate
15 everything and is kindly asking you to repeat your question.
16 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Davis, you go too fast.
17 MS. DAVIS: Yes, I apologise.
18 Q. With respect to crimes committed, any crimes that may have been
19 committed by VRS personnel in July 1995 in and around Srebrenica,
20 Bratunac, Zvornik, I believe what you've told us is that the military
21 court district that would have had jurisdiction would either have been the
22 Bijeljina district or the Srpsko Sarajevo district, unless that district
23 had been dissolved prior to 1995, July 1995. Is that right?
24 A. Yes. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. So if the Srpsko Sarajevo district was dissolved prior to July
1 1995, then the Bijeljina district would have had jurisdiction over those
3 A. In 1995 -- not the district court in Bijeljina, but the military
4 court in Bijeljina. We're still talking about military courts at that
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Of course.
7 A. The cases from Srebrenica, Bratunac, and Zvornik would be dealt
8 with by the military court in Bijeljina.
9 Q. And the records for many cases in the Srpsko Sarajevo court as
10 you've said were transferred to the Bijeljina district after that first
11 court was dissolved. Is that right?
12 A. Yes. This is what I explained a moment ago, those cases were
13 transferred from the area covered by the Bijeljina district. I'm
14 referring to Zvornik, Srebrenica, and Bratunac. The cases relating to
15 that area went to Bijeljina. And the ones that were completed, the
16 pending ones, all that went to the district military prosecutor in
17 Bijeljina. The same was done with respect of the cases concerning
18 Vlasenica and Milici, who were transferred to the court in Srpsko Sarajevo
20 Q. Okay. You have mentioned that the supreme military court --
21 sorry. You've mentioned that the supreme military court on which you
22 served as a judge was located in Zvornik. Where were your offices
24 A. Our offices were in the centre of the Zvornik town, in the
25 building of the former IZVOR company, not far from the town hall, the
1 police. This is where the court had its seat, not only the court but also
2 the prosecutor's office and the military court as well.
3 Q. So the military prosecutor's offices were in the same building as
4 your building?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How much contact, if any, did you have as a judge with the
7 military prosecutors and the military legal staff in 1995?
8 A. I had contact with them throughout that time, in 1995, and later.
9 Q. You have also told us that you later served yourself as a military
10 prosecutor for a brief period in the year 2000. Can you tell us what your
11 responsibilities were as the, as I understand it, the chief military
12 prosecutor for the VRS.
13 A. Yes. I was the prosecutor of the VRS for a brief period of time,
14 as I told you. My responsibilities included providing opinion concerning
15 cases that reached us as well as the appeals. And in light of the system
16 of subordination, we had control over them -- I mean, we were above them.
17 I'm talking about the prosecutors. And we were able to issue certain
18 instructions to them and to have consultations regarding the cases that
19 they wanted to hear our opinion of. This was sometimes submitted in
20 writing or it was done orally. I'm referring to the military prosecutor
21 of the VRS.
22 Q. As I understand your testimony, are you referring to the basic
23 military prosecutors and some sort of supervisory role of those basic
24 military prosecutors?
25 A. Yes, I am referring to the basic military prosecutors. At the
1 time there were three, Bijeljina, Banja Luka, and Bileca.
2 Q. What sort of -- in your role as superior or supervisor or the
3 basic military prosecutors, what sort of contact did you have with them,
4 whether oral or written?
5 A. Mostly these were oral contacts, but there were written contacts
6 as well. As I indicated, I spent only one month in this capacity. The
7 office was very soon dissolved, and we were instructed to finish, or
8 rather, prepare the cases in order to hand them over.
9 MS. DAVIS: Your Honour, I'm about to address some documents which
10 the first document may take more than the remaining time, so I'm happy to
11 begin and pick up tomorrow, or we can break. It's up to you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
13 Well, Witness, while you are in The Hague, you have to remember
14 that you are still under oath. So do not talk to anybody about your
15 testimony and do not let anybody talk to you about it. You must
16 understand that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
19 And we'll resume tomorrow morning 9.00 in the same courtroom. The
20 hearing for today is adjourned.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
22 at 6.56 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
23 the 28th day of January, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.