1 Thursday, 26 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Judge Argibay
10 won't be able to be with us because of other obligations. The remaining
11 Judges have decided to continue the proceedings in accordance with
12 Rule 15(B).
13 Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you, yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: Would you please stand up. Would you please make the
16 solemn declaration in accordance with the paper the usher is showing to
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: WITNESS P-210
21 [Witness answered through interpreter].
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
23 Ms. Issa, your witness.
24 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour. Good morning.
25 Examined by Ms. Issa:
1 Q. Good morning, sir.
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. In a moment, sir, I'm going to be asking Madam Usher to be handing
4 you a piece of paper with your name on it. And I'm going to be asking you
5 whether or not that's your name without saying it out loud.
6 MS. ISSA: And for the record, Your Honour, that's Exhibit 721.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
8 MS. ISSA:
9 Q. Thank you. Just to start off, sir, with some information about
10 your background. I understand that you are -- your ethnicity is that the
11 of a Bosnian Serb. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you please tell the Judges about your educational background.
14 A. I went to the wood processing industry school for three years.
15 Q. Okay. And when did you do that?
16 A. In 1988.
17 Q. And at some point did you join the army?
18 A. In 1989, I joined the Yugoslav People's Army -- I'm sorry, in 1988
19 that was, the end of 1988.
20 Q. All right. And were you with the army throughout the war?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And during the course of the war, sir, were you at some point a
23 member of the Bosnian Serb Army?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell the Judges when you joined the Bosnian Serb Army.
1 A. I don't remember whether it was March or April 1992.
2 Q. Okay. And what unit did you join in 1992?
3 A. The military police of Bihac.
4 Q. All right. And how long did you work with the military police of
6 A. Several months.
7 Q. And after that, did you move to another unit?
8 A. Yes. The 2nd Battalion of the military police Drvar.
9 Q. All right. And at some point did you receive any special training
10 while you were in the army?
11 A. No special training. I was at Mount Jahorina for training for
12 several months.
13 Q. And what kind of training did you receive at Mount Jahorina?
14 A. Well, some sort of training for escorting people and providing
16 Q. And providing security for what type of people in the army?
17 A. Persons and property.
18 Q. All right. Was there a particular rank of the army or members of
19 the army that you were trained to provide security for?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right. Who were they?
22 A. Brigade commanders.
23 Q. All right. And at some point, sir, did you provide security for
24 brigade commanders?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And when was that?
2 A. From 1993 to 1995.
3 Q. Okay. Where did you provide security in 1993, or to whom? What
4 unit were you part of?
5 A. Han Pijesak, Colonel Lazic.
6 Q. All right. And after that did you move to another unit?
7 A. The Bratunac Brigade.
8 Q. When did that occur? When did you move to the Bratunac Brigade?
9 A. In 1994.
10 Q. And who did you provide security for in the Bratunac Brigade in
12 A. Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic and Colonel Blagojevic.
13 Q. All right. And how long did you provide security for
14 Lieutenant Ognjenovic before you provided for Colonel Blagojevic?
15 A. A couple of months.
16 Q. Okay. And what was the role of Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic and
17 subsequently Colonel Blagojevic in the Bratunac Brigade?
18 A. Commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
19 Q. So can you describe your tasks as providing security for the
20 commander of the Bratunac Brigade in 1995 for Commander Blagojevic.
21 A. Physical security.
22 Q. Okay. Was there anybody else in 1995 who carried out these
23 duties, aside from yourself?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who was that?
1 A. Goran Bojic.
2 Q. Which one of you acted in that capacity most of the time? Was it
3 yourself or Goran Bojic?
4 A. Well, it was more me.
5 Q. Okay. Turning then to July of 1995, can you tell the Judges where
6 you were on the day that Srebrenica fell.
7 A. I was at the Pribicevac hill.
8 Q. And when did you get there?
9 A. We arrived two or three days prior to that.
10 Q. Okay. When you say "we arrived," who are you referring to?
11 A. Colonel Blagojevic, myself, and the driver.
12 Q. Okay. And who was the driver?
13 A. Savo Jovanovic.
14 Q. Okay. And what were you doing there?
15 A. Well, nothing. We were just present there, the command of the
16 3rd Battalion.
17 Q. The 3rd Battalion of which brigade?
18 A. The Bratunac.
19 Q. Okay. And how did you get to Pribicevac? What was your mode of
21 A. It was a Lada Niva vehicle, heavy duty.
22 Q. Okay. And where did you pick up Colonel Blagojevic from before
23 escorting him there?
24 A. The command of the brigade.
25 Q. I'm sorry. Did you say it was at the command of the brigade that
1 you picked him up?
2 A. Yes, command.
3 Q. Okay. And what route did you take to get there?
4 A. Bratunac, Bjelovac, Rudnik, Sase, Pribicevac.
5 Q. On the day that Srebrenica fell whilst you were in Pribicevac, did
6 Colonel Blagojevic give you any instructions?
7 A. Yes. I went to a hill to inform some people about something, I
8 think concerning food.
9 Q. All right. Well, do you recall what he told you to inform them
11 A. Well, I'm not quite sure, but it was something about food, to do
12 with food.
13 Q. And who were you going to inform or who did you inform? Who were
14 these people?
15 A. Well, I can't remember. Actually, the people were from the
16 Bratunac Brigade, but I don't know which people.
17 Q. Okay. And where was this hill?
18 A. Between Pribicevac at Zalazje. I'm not quite sure.
19 Q. And how did you get there?
20 A. On foot.
21 Q. How far is this hill from Pribicevac, where the battalion is
23 A. Well, I don't know. Maybe 1 or 2 kilometres thereabouts.
24 Q. And around what time of the day did this occur?
25 A. About 10.00 or 11.00 in the morning.
1 Q. And after you followed these instructions and informed them of
2 whatever it is you informed them regarding the food, what did you do next?
3 A. I stayed on that hill.
4 Q. For how long did you stay --
5 A. At Zalazje. Four or five hours, roughly.
6 Q. Why did you wait for four or five hours?
7 A. Well, I waited for Colonel Blagojevic to return.
8 Q. Did you expect him to return?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Why was that?
11 A. Because Colonel Blagojevic told me to wait for him and that he
12 would return.
13 Q. Okay. And did he return?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So what did you do after waiting for four or five hours?
16 A. I took a truck and left towards the brigade, the Bratunac Brigade.
17 Q. Okay. And just to clarify, where did you get the truck from?
18 A. I think the truck happened to be passing by, or rather, it was
19 there and he was going that way so I went with him.
20 Q. Okay. And then when you went to the Bratunac Brigade, did you see
21 Colonel Blagojevic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you speak to him?
24 A. No, I didn't, not then.
25 Q. All right. Did you at some point find out that Srebrenica had
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you recall when that was?
4 A. It was sometime in the afternoon, about 5.00 or 6.00.
5 Q. Was it before or after you returned to the brigade?
6 A. When I returned to the brigade, that's when it was.
7 Q. Okay. Now, when you said you returned to the Bratunac Brigade and
8 saw Colonel Blagojevic there, did you see him leave the brigade at some
10 A. No.
11 Q. Around what time did you see him at the brigade?
12 A. About 5.00 or 6.00, when I returned.
13 Q. And what was he doing there, from what you could see?
14 A. I don't know. He was in his office.
15 Q. Do you know how long he stayed in his office?
16 A. Well, I think until he left to have a rest.
17 Q. Okay. Do you know approximately what time that was that he left?
18 A. About 10.00 or 11.00 in the evening.
19 Q. And how do you know that?
20 A. Well, I think that's what it was, around about 10.00 or 11.00.
21 Q. Okay. But what makes you think that he left around that time?
22 A. Well, I think I was at the porter's lodge when Colonel Blagojevic
23 came out.
24 Q. Do you know where Colonel Blagojevic spent the night that evening?
25 A. I think in his flat.
1 Q. Okay. And do you know where his flat is in relation to the
2 command or headquarters?
3 A. Some 200 metres away perhaps.
4 Q. And what makes you think that he spent the evening in his flat?
5 A. Well, he left for his flat.
6 Q. Okay. Now, just as a point of clarification, sir, initially in
7 your statement when you met with investigators on the 20th of February,
8 you mentioned that you went to Pribicevac on the day that Srebrenica fell.
9 You recall telling them that?
10 A. Yes, yes. But I put that right later on.
11 Q. All right. And when did you do that? When did you put it right?
12 A. Well, I corrected it straight away.
13 Q. Okay. Now, when was the next time that you received instructions
14 from Colonel Blagojevic after that day that you told us about, the day
15 that Srebrenica fell?
16 A. I think that was the following day when I went on leave to have a
18 Q. Okay. And what did -- what were the instructions?
19 A. I think Colonel Blagojevic told me to stop by at the school.
20 Q. Okay. And what school was that?
21 A. Vuk Karadzic.
22 Q. Okay. And why -- did he tell you why he wanted you to stop by the
24 A. To see that everything was all right there and to inform the
25 policemen who were there, to tell them that there shouldn't be any
2 Q. Okay. And when you say "to see that everything was all right
3 there," in relation to what? All right with what or with whom?
4 A. Well, I think that there was some people in the hall.
5 Q. What people?
6 A. I think there were people from Srebrenica who were there.
7 Q. Okay. And what makes you think that?
8 A. Well, I think that the people were escorted there. They waited
9 for the buses to go to the exchange, something like that.
10 Q. Okay. And what did Colonel Blagojevic tell you about the people
11 that were there?
12 A. I didn't understand your question.
13 Q. What is that he wanted you to do in relation to those people?
14 A. Just to inform the policemen so that they shouldn't make any
15 problems vis-a-vis those people, nothing else.
16 Q. And when you say "that they shouldn't make any problems," what do
17 you mean by that?
18 A. Not to allow somebody to come in there and make some problems
19 towards those people.
20 Q. Okay. But I'd like you to tell us what you mean by "problems."
21 If you can describe that.
22 A. Well, probably that the policemen shouldn't allow anybody to enter
23 and mistreat the people and provoke them or things of that kind.
24 Q. Okay. Did he tell you anything else when you gave you that
1 A. Just to go and have a rest and that we would see each other the
2 next morning.
3 Q. All right. Did he tell you what you should do if you discovered
4 that, in fact, people were being mistreated and there were problems?
5 A. If there were any problems, he said I should inform him that same
6 evening; if not, I could go and rest up.
7 Q. Now, before we get to what you did after having received these
8 instructions, did you see any officers at the brigade that evening before
9 you left?
10 A. Well, there were some officers there, but I don't know who they
12 Q. Do you know where they came from or what units they were connected
14 A. No.
15 Q. Was there a particular person that you recall seeing there?
16 A. Well, I don't remember. I think Major Pajic was just there. I
17 saw Major Pajic from the brigade.
18 Q. And who was Major Pajic?
19 A. I think he was head of the staff command of the brigade there.
20 Q. And just to clarify, when you say "of the brigade," you're
21 referring to the Bratunac Brigade. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, aside from Major Pajic, you said that there were other
24 officers there. Do you recall their rank?
25 A. Well, there was a lieutenant colonel, a colonel, there was a few
1 generals. I really don't know who they all were.
2 Q. Okay. Now, aside from Pajic, whom you recall seeing from the
3 Bratunac Brigade, did you see any other officers from the Bratunac Brigade
4 that evening?
5 A. I think Nikolic was there, too.
6 Q. Okay. And who was Nikolic?
7 A. He was in charge of security.
8 Q. And what did you see --
9 A. Performed security duty.
10 Q. Thank you. Sorry.
11 What did you see him doing there?
12 A. He was present there in the brigade.
13 Q. Did you see him speaking to anyone?
14 A. I think that Colonel Blagojevic just told him to make sure
15 everything is as it should be, that's all. It was nothing else, so that
16 everything is all right.
17 Q. Everything -- when he told him everything -- to make sure that
18 everything should be -- everything's as it should be, sorry, or to make it
19 right, what was he referring to?
20 A. I don't know what he was referring to. He just told him to make
21 sure that everything is all right, that there should be no problems, but I
22 don't know what he meant.
23 Q. No problems towards whom?
24 A. I don't know. I'm not sure towards whom. He was entrusted with
25 making sure that there were no problems, and this included the people who
1 were at the school.
2 Q. Okay. Now, getting back to that same day when you told us
3 Colonel Blagojevic instructed you to check on the prisoners in
4 Vuk Karadzic school, can you please tell the Judges what you did after
5 receiving these instructions.
6 A. I went to the school. I saw that there were police officers
7 there. I spoke with them. I asked them if everything was all right.
8 They said it was. And I conveyed to them Colonel Blagojevic's orders.
9 They said that everything was all right, and then I went home.
10 Q. Okay. And when you say you saw there were police officers there,
11 what unit were they connected to? Where were they from?
12 A. They were members of the Bratunac military police. There were
13 also some civilian policemen, but I'm not sure where they were from.
14 Q. Okay. And how did you know that some of the officers were members
15 of the Bratunac Brigade military police?
16 A. I saw them before at the brigade.
17 Q. Okay. So you said that you went there, you spoke to these
18 officers, and you told them what?
19 A. I told them that Colonel Blagojevic said that there should be no
20 problems, nothing else. I asked them whether everything was all right,
21 and they said that it was.
22 Q. Okay. And where were the prisoners located in the school?
23 A. They were in the gym right behind the school.
24 Q. And did you go inside the school to check on them?
25 A. I didn't enter the gym.
1 Q. And how much time did you spend at the school?
2 A. I'm not sure. Maybe from 15 minutes to half an hour, maybe a
3 little less.
4 Q. Do you know whether the prisoners were ever removed from the
6 A. They were taken away later, but I don't know where, where to.
7 Q. Okay. Did you report back to Colonel Blagojevic that evening?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Why not?
10 A. Because everything was all right that evening.
11 Q. Okay. Turning then to Exhibit 681.
12 MS. ISSA: If I can ask the assistance of Madam Usher.
13 Q. Now, I understand, sir, that when you and I met yesterday, you
14 looked at this exhibit and you marked a couple of locations on it. Do you
15 recall doing that?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, is that the correct number for that
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 MS. ISSA: I can check that, Your Honour. Perhaps you are right.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MS. ISSA: I'm told it is, Your Honour. It's Exhibit 681.
22 Perhaps there may have been a change at some point, and I apologise for
23 any confusion.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, the document at my hands is in those documents,
25 receipts, from Hotel Fontana, some bills, some coffee bills there.
1 MS. ISSA: I apologise, Your Honour. I do believe that the
2 updated list was provided to Your Honours this morning. Unfortunately
3 we -- I only met with the witness late yesterday, so we didn't have an
4 opportunity to divulge that information.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please proceed. I'll try to figure it out.
6 MS. ISSA: We can certainly get Your Honour another copy at some
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
10 MS. ISSA: I was just indicating we can certainly get Your Honour
11 another copy at some point during the proceedings.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Yes, you may proceed. We got it.
14 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Now, sir, when you and I met yesterday you marked this exhibit.
16 Is that correct? You marked a couple of locations on the exhibit.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It's a little bit hard to see, but what I'm going to ask you to do
19 is to take the pointer that's sitting in front of you and to point firstly
20 to the first location that you marked, which is marked with a triangle on
21 the upper portion of the aerial. You have to do that on the ELMO, which
22 is next to you, not on the screen, sir, because we won't be able to see
24 A. [Witness complies]
25 Q. All right. So first you're pointing to the middle of the aerial
1 where there's an X. Is that correct? You just pointed to that?
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear whether the witness
3 said yes or no.
4 MS. ISSA:
5 Q. Would you repeat your last answer, sir, as the interpreter didn't
6 hear it.
7 Let me ask you again --
8 A. This is the Vuk Karadzic school.
9 Q. And you -- and for the record you just pointed to the middle of
10 the picture that's marked X. That's the Vuk Karadzic school. Is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Now, I see that on the upper corner right underneath the
14 writing you have a triangle; it's very small. Perhaps to assist us, if
15 you could please point to that.
16 A. [Witness complies]
17 Q. Thank you very much. And can you tell us what that location is.
18 A. This is Colonel Blagojevic's apartment.
19 Q. Okay. And can you point to the command, if you can see it on the
21 A. [Witness complies]
22 Q. So it's a little bit off the map, but in that area.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you're pointing roughly around the letter S in the word Bosnia
25 on the very top of the map, for the record.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Turning then to the next exhibit, Exhibit 720.
3 All right. Now, this is a diagram that you drew in my office
4 yesterday, is that correct, or a sketch?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you explain what we are looking at here. I see that you have
7 the letter S in one portion of the diagram. What does that refer to?
8 A. The school.
9 Q. Okay. And can you tell us where the gym is in relation to the
10 school where you -- where the prisoners were located.
11 A. [Witness complies]
12 Q. And that's the letter D. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I see at the very -- in between the school and the gym, you
15 have two lines and it's marked P. What does that refer to?
16 A. It's the entrance to the school, next to the gym.
17 Q. Okay. And can you explain whether the gym is attached or detached
18 from the school.
19 A. Next to the school.
20 Q. Okay. But is it a building that's attached to it or detached from
22 A. Attached.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
24 MS. ISSA: I'm finished with that exhibit, Madam Usher. Thank you
25 for your help.
1 Q. Now, the following day after you -- you went to the school and
2 then you told us you subsequently went home. Did you report back to the
4 A. The next morning.
5 Q. Okay. Around what time was this?
6 A. Before 7.00 a.m.
7 Q. Okay. Did you see Colonel Blagojevic that day?
8 A. Yes. I saw him arriving at the brigade from his apartment.
9 Q. Okay. And around what time was this?
10 A. Around 7.00.
11 Q. Okay. Did you speak to him that day?
12 A. Just in passing very briefly.
13 Q. Okay. Did you at any point have an actual meeting with him?
14 A. No. We just saw each other. He asked me what the situation was
15 last night, was everything all right. I said that it was, and he said,
16 "Very well."
17 Q. And what did he do for the rest of the day?
18 A. He was there at the staff command.
19 Q. Did he leave the command at any point in time?
20 A. I think that that day we just went to the rear base and then we
21 returned immediately to the brigade.
22 Q. Okay. And where was -- where is the rear base located?
23 A. It's about 300 metres from the brigade.
24 Q. And how long did you stay there?
25 A. Not long. Maybe about 15 minutes, 10, 15 minutes.
1 Q. And what did you do there?
2 A. I don't know. Colonel Blagojevic went inside. I was in front.
3 Q. Okay. And can you explain to us what is the rear base.
4 A. It's the base where food and clothing are stored, shoes and so on.
5 Q. Supplies is what you're saying -- telling us. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, something like that.
7 Q. Now, after you returned to the brigade headquarters, what did you
9 A. I was there at the entrance, at the reception desk.
10 Q. And where was Colonel Blagojevic?
11 A. He was in his office.
12 Q. And did you see him or speak to him in the afternoon, after you
13 returned from the base?
14 A. I cannot remember, but I think that we didn't see each other that
15 day, not until the evening.
16 Q. Okay. And where did you see him in the evening?
17 A. He left to go and rest at his apartment.
18 Q. And around what time was that?
19 A. I don't know. I'm not sure.
20 Q. Okay. Did you see any officers -- high-ranking officers from
21 outside the Bratunac Brigade that day?
22 A. No.
23 Q. And what did you do after Colonel Blagojevic left?
24 A. I went to my wife's uncle's house, where I spent the night.
25 Q. Now, that day, that same day that we were dealing with, do you
1 know where were the prisoners that you saw the previous day?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you know how long they remained in Bratunac?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know what ultimately happened to them?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you ever discuss with Colonel Blagojevic what was the fate of
8 the prisoners at the school?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. Moving on then to the following day. What did you do the
11 next day?
12 A. I think that the next day we went to Milici. Yes, we went to
14 Q. Okay. Are you certain about that date?
15 A. I cannot remember the dates now, but more or less I know that
16 after that we went to Milici.
17 Q. Okay. And what did you do in Milici?
18 A. The colonel went to the Milici Brigade, where he stayed for a
19 while, and then we returned to Bratunac.
20 Q. And what did he do at the Milici Brigade?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. Did you see where he went when he went to the -- when he was at
23 the Milici Brigade?
24 A. To the brigade.
25 Q. Okay. And when you say "he stayed for a while," how long was
2 A. I don't know exactly. I'm not sure. Maybe about half an hour to
3 an hour, something like that.
4 Q. Okay. In relation to the day -- to the day that Srebrenica fell,
5 how long after did this occur, that you went to Milici?
6 A. Maybe some four or five days.
7 Q. Okay. After you left Milici, where did you go?
8 A. We went to the brigade, the Bratunac Brigade.
9 Q. Okay. Did you see anybody on your way along the -- on your way
10 back to the Bratunac Brigade?
11 A. There were soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade standing along the
13 Q. Where along the road were they standing? What road?
14 A. The Bratunac/Konjevic Polje road.
15 Q. What were they doing there?
16 A. They were standing on the road.
17 Q. Okay. Did either you or Colonel Blagojevic speak to them?
18 A. We stopped there for a little bit. The colonel went out, asked
19 them if there were any problems, they said that there were none, and he
20 said that if they should run into any prisoners they should bring them
21 back to the brigade so that they would not be mistreated or provoked or
22 anything like that, that they should treat them professionally.
23 Q. Okay. And aside from these soldiers, did you see anyone else on
24 the road on the way back?
25 A. I think that we met a man who was crossing the road. We stopped
1 there. I went out. Colonel Blagojevic also went out. We asked him who
2 he was. He didn't say anything. He was wounded. Then a truck came
3 along. The colonel stopped the truck and told the driver to take him to
4 the hospital, to urgently take him to the hospital.
5 Q. Can you describe this man.
6 A. He had a camouflage jacket and military boots.
7 Q. Okay. And do you know whether he was Muslim or Serb?
8 A. No, I don't.
9 Q. Okay. Now, when you initially went to Milici from Bratunac, what
10 route did you take?
11 A. Bratunac, Konjevic Polje, Milici.
12 Q. Okay. And what route did you return through? How did you return?
13 What route did you --
14 A. The same route. We returned on the same route from Milici.
15 Q. Well, we have a map sitting in front of you.
16 MS. ISSA: Perhaps if we can get the assistance of Madam Usher.
17 Your Honour, that's Exhibit 680.
18 Q. Now, I understand, sir, while we're having the map moved, that you
19 actually marked this map yesterday. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you put your initials and your signature at the bottom
22 somewhere. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. ISSA: Now, I don't know if Your Honour can see the map or if
25 it's come up on your screen. It hasn't come up on my mine yet. Perhaps
1 we can wait a few -- a couple of moments.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we have it.
3 MS. ISSA: Okay.
4 JUDGE LIU: But not very clear.
5 MS. ISSA: Unfortunately I don't -- I have it now.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
8 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry.
9 You're right, Your Honour. It's getting clearer.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it's better.
11 MS. ISSA:
12 Q. Can you -- you drew a blue line on that map, sir, that's sitting
13 in front of you. Can you take that pointer and point to the route you
14 took from Bratunac to Milici and show us what you -- what route you took.
15 A. [Witness complies]
16 Q. Okay. So that was from Bratunac, through Konjevic Polje, to
17 Milici. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. Now aside from this trip, did you take any
20 other trips after you went to Milici, after this trip with
21 Colonel Blagojevic?
22 A. We went to the bauxite mine one day and we stayed a little bit
23 longer on one of those roads. And then afterwards, we returned to the
25 Q. Okay. And can you, while you have the map next to you there, show
1 us the route that you took to go to the bauxite mines.
2 A. [Witness complies]
3 Q. And can you tell us what that route is, what roads you took.
4 A. I didn't understand. How do you mean, what is the road like?
5 Q. Well, can you tell us what route you took, describe it in words.
6 A. Bratunac, Konjevic Polje, Milici, the bauxite mine.
7 Q. Okay. And how did you return to Bratunac?
8 A. I'm not sure whether we returned on the same route or whether we
9 took the road via Srebrenica.
10 Q. Okay. And who was the driver on this trip? Who was driving you?
11 A. I think it was Milan Nedeljkovic.
12 Q. And how much time did you spend there?
13 A. We were there for about a couple of hours.
14 Q. And what did Colonel Blagojevic do there?
15 A. There were soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade there, so we stopped
16 by a little bit to be with them. And then we came back.
17 Q. Okay. Did Colonel Blagojevic speak to the soldiers?
18 A. They talked.
19 Q. Okay. Now, in the previous trip you told us about when you went
20 to Milici, who was the driver on that trip? Do you recall?
21 A. I'm not sure whether it was Savo, or whether it was Pero.
22 Q. Okay. Do you recall the last name of Savo or Pero?
23 A. The two of them, Jovanovic.
24 Q. Okay. Now, after the trip that you took to the bauxite mines, did
25 you go on any other trips with Colonel Blagojevic?
1 A. Well, after several days we went to Drvar.
2 Q. Okay. And where is Drvar?
3 A. The Banja Lucka Krajina area, over there, towards Croatia.
4 Q. And how much time did you spend there?
5 A. Perhaps two or three days.
6 Q. And why did you go there?
7 A. Well, the army -- the soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade were
8 there, and Colonel Blagojevic went to visit the troops.
9 Q. Okay. And what route did you take to get to Drvar?
10 A. We took the Bratunac/Konjevic Polje/Vlasenica route, and we got
11 into a car there. The Bratunac Brigade didn't have any available
13 Q. Okay. Now, when you say you got into a car there, where are you
14 talking about?
15 A. In Vlasenica.
16 Q. Okay. And what did you do with the vehicle that you were driving
17 to Vlasenica?
18 A. It remained there at the headquarters, whether it was the corps
19 command or whatever, anyway, there, Vlasenica.
20 Q. Okay. And after you attended at -- after Colonel Blagojevic
21 checked on the troops in Drvar, where did go next?
22 A. We returned to the Bratunac Brigade.
23 Q. Okay. And what route did you take to return to the
24 Bratunac Brigade?
25 A. Drvar, Kljuc, Mrkonjic Grad, Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Zvornik,
2 Q. Do you recall who was driving when you went to Drvar and returned?
3 A. Milan Nedeljkovic was driving.
4 Q. Okay. Now, aside from these places that you've told us about, did
5 Colonel Blagojevic go anywhere else during the week following the fall of
7 A. I can't remember now.
8 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday when you and I met, I read out to you a
9 daily combat report, which was dated the 16th of July, from the command of
10 the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade --
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may object. I don't see anything in the
14 proofing notes where they use any material to refresh the witness's
15 testimony. And I've repeatedly objected to this concept of trying to
16 taint the witness's memories with previous documents they have. We don't
17 have tape-recordings; now I hear for the first time that they're using
18 documents to show to the witness. If at least they're going to give us a
19 proofing note, which I got this morning, not yesterday, they should at
20 least have the courtesy of telling us exactly what they're going to be
21 putting on to it. And I'm very disturbed that they're using documents
22 with witnesses prior to them taking their testimony because it taints
23 their memory. It's not independent. They could do that here in court.
24 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa, could you give us an explanation.
25 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. I simply read out a portion of
1 where -- of the report indicating where Colonel Blagojevic went and asked
2 the witness whether he's aware of those locations. I don't think that
3 taints the memory of the witness. I think it's something he can simply
4 answer, indicating what he knows about them. I did not read out the
5 entire report; I simply read out the portion that I was about to
6 read -- refer to at this point, the locations specifically.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think your objection is
8 correctly registered in the transcript. We'll allow the Prosecution to
9 proceed, and later on we'll assess this piece of the document and the
10 evidence in the future.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I just want to -- I would
12 just like a cautionary instruction to the Prosecution. They could do that
13 here in court. I don't object to them showing him all sorts of documents,
14 but I'm suspicious by nature. I can't help that --
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm sorry, but we have a witness in
16 court and these monologues are really contrary to the system --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. McCloskey knows the rules. He's not doing the
18 direct examination. And he should control his Prosecutors. He knows the
19 correct procedure. He knows that they're tainting the witness's
20 independent memory by doing those things and I do object, Your Honour --
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas. I think I have already made the
23 Ms. Issa, you may proceed.
24 MS. ISSA: All right. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Now, sir, I was indicating to you that I read out to you a portion
1 of the report, which was dated 16 July, from the command of the Bratunac
2 Brigade that says that: "Colonel Blagojevic visited troops in the
3 Milici Light Infantry Brigade, units of the 65th Protection Regiment, the
4 Protection Motorised Regiment, parts of the MUP and the 5th Engineering
5 Battalion and defined their tasks, and organised their joint action and
7 Are you aware of the troops that he visited, of these troops -- or
8 of these trips?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Can you tell us, sir, during the week after the fall of Srebrenica
11 where was Colonel Blagojevic spending most of his time?
12 A. The week after the fall of Srebrenica you mean?
13 Q. Well, the -- Srebrenica fell on a particular day, sir. So during
14 that week, after that day when Srebrenica fell, where was Mr. -- where was
15 Colonel Blagojevic?
16 A. Well, I've already said. I told you a moment ago where we were
17 walking around those days.
18 Q. Okay. What I'm trying to ask you, sir, was: Where was he --
19 where did he spend most of his time?
20 A. In the brigade.
21 Q. Okay. When you travelled -- the times that you've told us when
22 you travelled in the vehicle with Mr. -- with Colonel Blagojevic, was it
23 equipped with a radio?
24 A. I don't think they had anything, no radio.
25 Q. Okay. Was either yourself or Colonel Blagojevic or the driver
1 carrying a radio, a hand-held radio or a Motorola?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Now, where did Colonel Blagojevic spend his evenings during that
4 week after the fall of Srebrenica?
5 A. Well, mostly he would go to his apartment to spend the night
6 there. He was at the brigade during working hours, and then he would go
8 Q. Okay. And how do you know that?
9 A. I was there. I spent quite a lot of time at the reception desk.
10 Q. Okay. During that same week, did you see UNPROFOR soldiers in
11 Bratunac, DutchBat soldiers?
12 A. I saw them on one occasion. I don't remember where I saw them.
13 Q. Okay. When you say you don't remember where you saw them, are you
14 saying you saw them in Bratunac but you don't know specifically where, or
16 A. No. In Bratunac. Now, whether I saw them at lunch or somewhere
17 else, I can't remember.
18 Q. Okay. Did you see buses in Bratunac?
19 A. Which bus?
20 Q. Well, did you see buses carrying people?
21 A. I saw some buses along the road. Where they were going, I don't
23 Q. Who were they carrying?
24 A. Well, there were passengers, people. How should I know who?
25 Q. Were they men or women?
1 A. I think there were more men.
2 Q. Are you aware of, sir, of the execution that took place at the
3 Kravica warehouse?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you aware, sir, that there's evidence that Muslims were beaten
6 and killed in Bratunac?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Okay. Can you tell us, sir, if Colonel Blagojevic travelled with
9 an escort everywhere he went?
10 A. Well, not always.
11 Q. Do you know whether at some point he visited Belgrade?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: At what point, Your Honour, are we talking about?
13 And I would like to know what the relevance is with respect to Belgrade?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We have the same question, too, Ms. Issa.
15 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I actually withdraw that. It's really not
16 all that important.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 MS. ISSA: I have no more questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 Q. Thank you, sir.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 I think it's time for a break. Let's take a break and we'll
22 resume at quarter to 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Your cross-examination, please.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
3 Q. Good morning, sir.
4 A. Good morning.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to speak up.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. Okay. Sir, as we just heard, if you could just speak up a little
9 bit. And it might help also if you could look towards me so we can have a
10 nice dialogue and I can get you back home safely and soundly, perhaps as
11 early as tomorrow.
12 I understand it, sir, that currently you're working for SFOR. Is
13 that correct?
14 A. I didn't understand the question.
15 Q. Okay. From the documents that I've received from the Prosecution,
16 it shows that you're currently employed with -- as a cook -- or you were.
17 I see. You were employed as a cook with SFOR in Camp Connor. Is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When did you work there, sir?
21 A. I left the base a year ago, or rather, I didn't leave. I --
22 Q. You lost your job?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How long had you worked as a cook over there at the SFOR camp?
25 A. 11 months.
1 Q. Okay. And what sort of soldiers -- what country are those
2 soldiers from?
3 A. America.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you.
5 And currently, as I understand it, you're unemployed. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And your mother is ill, as I have read in one of the documents, or
8 was ill?
9 A. Yes, she's in hospital now.
10 Q. And I take it as you're sitting here today, you're also a little
11 apprehensive or you have some fear, because after all you're here at
12 The Hague testifying in a trial where your former commander is being
13 accused of some serious crimes. Is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. But as you know, you're not a suspect in this case. And
16 I'm sure the Prosecution has told you that you will be going home after
17 testifying, so certainly there's nothing to be worried about. You
18 understand that. Right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Now, before I talk to you about your testimony, the
21 Prosecutor here is claiming that your commander, Colonel Blagojevic,
22 committed murder, committed extermination, committed forcible transfer,
23 committed or was assisting in genocide. Did you ever see
24 Colonel Blagojevic commit any of those crimes in your presence?
25 A. No.
1 Q. The Prosecution also claims that Colonel Blagojevic was planning
2 all of these events, was planning the murder, the extermination, the
3 forcible transfer, genocide, all of that. Did you ever see him
4 participate in any meetings where he was sitting around, planning on how
5 to wipe off the face of the earth all these Muslims that were coming from
6 Srebrenica? Did you ever hear that or see him planning this?
7 A. No.
8 Q. The Prosecution also indicates that your commander was
9 instigating, in other words he was telling folks like you, the soldiers,
10 the military police, Momir Nikolic, instigating them, in other words
11 getting them -- leading them on to go ahead and commit these crimes, kill
12 the Muslim prisoners. Did you ever see or hear your commander do any of
13 those things?
14 A. No.
15 Q. In fact, sir, when I read your statement and I hear your
16 testimony, what becomes abundantly clear to me is that if anything, if
17 anything, your commander was trying to make sure that no one under his
18 command harmed any single prisoner. Is that correct?
19 A. In my opinion, yes, it is.
20 Q. Okay. And I'm -- now I'm going to walk you through day-by-day,
21 blow-by-blow, so we have a clear picture. And as I understand it that
22 because of the passage of time - we're talking close to ten years - that
23 you're a little bit off on the dates. Correct? You're not quite sure?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. But as far as you recall of what you did and where you were, you
1 believe that your memory is fairly good. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
7 Q. And was once commander left and Colonel Blagojevic came, then you,
8 along with the other gentleman, Mr. Bajic [sic], I believe his name is,
9 continued to perform those duties. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And Colonel Blagojevic was there less than two months before the
12 attack on Srebrenica occurred.
13 A. Well, I don't remember exactly, but yes, roughly thereabouts.
21 Q. Now, when you gave your statement initially, the first time, to
22 the Office of the Prosecution, you had indicated that you went to
23 Pribicevac where the forward command post of the 3rd Battalion of the
24 Bratunac Brigade was located on the very same day that Srebrenica fell.
1 A. Yes, but I corrected that later on.
2 Q. Right. And I'm going to talk about that.
3 And then a couple -- two days later as I understand it, you were
4 contacted by phone and by the Office of the Prosecution. And at that
5 point, which was the first opportunity that you had, you informed the
6 Office of the -- the folks from the Office of the Prosecution that having
7 spoken to your wife, who refreshed your memory, you believed that you had
8 actually gone to Pribicevac two or three days before the fall of
9 Srebrenica. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So -- and as I understand it or I'm trying to understand it, it is
12 your wife that is actually refreshing your memory, as opposed to you
13 having an independent memory whether it was two, three, or maybe four or
14 five or six days before the fall of Srebrenica that you had actually gone
15 up to Pribicevac.
16 A. She reminded me of that.
17 Q. Okay. Is it possible, sir, that you might have been up there more
18 than two or three days, four or five days or six days, because we've heard
19 testimony here in court that from the 5th to the 11th, Colonel Blagojevic
20 was the entire time up in Pribicevac. So could you be mistaken? Could it
21 be more than two or three days?
22 A. Possibly. I'm not quite sure how many days it was. I don't think
23 it was more than three or four.
24 Q. Okay. All right. And it was on that particular day, the day that
25 Srebrenica fell, which incidentally is July 11th, 1995, that you recall
1 that your commander gave you an order to go up a hill and to have a chat
2 with some soldiers. And you think that it was regarding food supplies or
3 something to that nature. Correct?
4 A. Something like that.
5 Q. And there -- the commander told you to stay up there because he
6 was planning on coming up. So there was no need for you to return, that
7 he would be coming up, and then together you all would be going back to
8 Pribicevac or Bratunac at some point. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And after four or five hours of being there, as I understand it,
11 you came to the conclusion that your commander in all likelihood was not
12 going to come up. And so you took it upon yourself to get a ride back
13 into town to Bratunac from a vehicle that was heading in that direction.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Might I ask: How long would it have taken you to go from that
17 location to Bratunac, given the conditions of the road and what was
18 happening on that particular day?
19 A. Perhaps an hour.
20 Q. Okay. And do you know whether when you returned to Bratunac it
21 was still daylight, was it late in the afternoon, was it getting dark? Do
22 you recall the lighting conditions of the day?
23 A. It was about 5.00 or 6.00 in the afternoon.
24 Q. Okay. Now, is that because you looked at your watch and you saw
25 that it was 5.00 or 6.00, or are you basing that on the lighting
1 conditions of the particular -- of that day, and we're talking, you know,
2 the middle of July or July 11th, 1995, to be precise?
3 A. I saw it on the clock which was at the reception desk of the
4 brigade command.
5 Q. Okay. And when you went to the brigade, did you go up to meet
6 with Colonel Blagojevic, or did you just sit around where you normally sit
7 waiting for your next assignment?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Well, okay. Yes, did you go see the colonel or were you just
10 waiting for your next assignment? Which of the two?
11 A. I was waiting for my next assignment at the reception desk.
12 Q. Okay. And here is the reason why I'm asking that question:
13 Because it is our understanding that Colonel Blagojevic does not return to
14 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters until way later in the day, perhaps as
15 late as 9.00 or 10.00 at night.
16 So my question is: Is it possible, sir, that you could be wrong
17 as far as the timing when you saw Mr. Blagojevic next?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
19 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm going to object to the form of that
20 question. I don't think -- Clearly, it appears to me that Mr. Karnavas is
21 attempting to give evidence at this point. He could simply ask the
22 witness: How do you know or anything -- something to that effect. But
23 it's certainly objectionable for him to indicate to the witness what he
24 thinks. He's not here to give evidence.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Please rephrase your question.
2 MR. KARNAVAS:
3 Q. Is it possible, sir, that you might be wrong as far as seeing
4 Colonel Blagojevic as early as 5.00 or 6.00 in the afternoon on July 11th?
5 Could it be that it was much later at the time when at least we know that
6 you indicated it was 10.00 or 11.00 when he went off to go to his
7 apartment or when you last saw him?
8 A. Yes. I'm not sure, but I think this was towards the evening,
9 perhaps around 5.00 or 6.00. And Colonel Blagojevic went to his apartment
10 quite late, at about 10.00 or 11.00 p.m.
11 Q. Okay. But at 5.00 or 6.00, was it -- well, let me rephrase the
12 question. Can you sit -- as you sit here today, can you tell us with
13 certainty that it was around 5.00 or 6.00 that you saw Colonel Blagojevic,
14 or are you not sure, which of the two?
15 A. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it was late in the afternoon. I'm not sure
16 about the time.
17 Q. Okay. Now, the following day would be the 12th of July. And as I
18 understand your testimony, it was the following day that you were asked by
19 Colonel Blagojevic to go to the Vuk Karadzic school. Is that correct?
20 A. To stop by on my way home.
21 Q. All right. But I'm trying to get a fix on the date. So if we
22 use -- if we use the 11th, which is the fall of Srebrenica, the following
23 day would be the 12th. Okay. So is it your testimony or is it your
24 memory that it was on that particular day, on the evening of the 12th,
25 that Colonel Blagojevic told you on your way home to stop at the
1 Vuk Karadzic school?
2 A. I'm not sure about the dates and when it was.
3 Q. Okay. All right. First let me just ask you: When you got there,
4 as I understand it, the prisoners were located not in the school, not
5 inside the classrooms on the first and the second floor, ground floor, but
6 in the gym, which is next to the school. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And the numbers of prisoners were -- could fit into that
9 gymnasium. Correct?
10 A. I didn't see how many were there. I could just hear them talking,
11 but I don't know what they were saying.
12 Q. All right. But as far as you remember, there were no prisoners in
13 the school on that particular day, on that particular evening, when you
14 went there?
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. Now, before going to that school, I want to -- let's
17 go back a little bit. You indicated that at some point you overheard a
18 conversation - this is what you told the Prosecutor when you were
19 interviewed - you overheard a conversation where the commander was
20 instructing, ordering, Nikolic to keep everything in order and not to
21 behave brutally toward the prisoners. Do you recall first telling that to
22 the Office of the Prosecution?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you recall, as you sit here today, overhearing that
25 conversation where the commander is telling Nikolic to keep everything in
1 order and not to behave brutally toward the prisoners? Do you recall
2 hearing that?
3 A. Yes. This was in front of the brigade, near the reception desk,
4 as the commander was going home.
5 Q. And then -- well, just let me ask you this: Did Nikolic by any
6 chance say: "Well, you know, I have instructions from Kosoric and Popovic
7 that we're going to kill these prisoners, so why not have a little fun?
8 Why not abuse them a little bit?" Did you hear Nikolic say anything to
9 that effect?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you hear Nikolic tell him that he had orders from above as to
12 what would happen to these prisoners, that they were going to be killed?
13 A. They were talking. They were saying whatever they were saying.
14 But what he said later, I didn't really didn't hear.
15 Q. Okay. But nonetheless what you remember is that your commander
16 was ordering Nikolic not to harm the prisoners. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then he asked you on your way home to go and speak with the
19 military police that were located there. Correct?
20 A. Just to go and see whether everything was all right there and to
21 report on that, in order to avoid any incidents from occurring, to make
22 sure that everything is as it should be.
23 Q. Okay. But in your statement, in your statement, you also
24 indicate - and I'm going to read from it - it says here: "He further told
25 he that I should tell the guards posted there that they should not cause
1 any problems."
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In other words, if I understand what you're telling us, that your
5 commander first wanted you to go there to make sure that the prisoners
6 were not being mistreated. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And secondly, he was also telling you to give an order to
9 his -- to those guards, the military police, to make sure that they did
10 not harm any of the prisoners. Correct?
11 A. I was just conveying Colonel Blagojevic's message. I could not
12 issue any orders to anyone.
13 Q. I understand that you were not issuing the order. The order had
14 been issued by the commander. And so you were conveying the commander's
15 order, were you not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And in fact, I take it that you understood at that particular
18 point in time the importance of your commander's order, did you not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And in fact because you understood and you appreciated exactly
21 what your commander was trying to do, you, when you went to the
22 Vuk Karadzic school, you conveyed the orders personally to the guards.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And in conveying those orders, you also had an opportunity to sit
1 there, look around, and to see whether any atrocities were occurring, did
2 you not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you saw none, did you?
5 A. No.
6 Q. But nonetheless, nonetheless, you instructed the military police,
7 the guards over there, you instructed them or you passed along the order
8 that had been given to you by Colonel Blagojevic. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And your commander had told you that in the event, in the event,
11 you saw something that was improper, that you were to come back to him,
12 locate him, find him, and inform him. Correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But you saw nothing improper. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And not seeing anything improper, you then went home?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, the next day sometime around 7.00, you had an opportunity to
19 see your commander. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And your commander asked you what, if anything, unusual you had
22 seen the night before when you went to visit the guards that were guarding
23 the prisoners at the gymnasium of the Vuk Karadzic school. Correct?
24 A. Yes. He asked me whether everything was all right, and I said
25 that it was. And he said, Very well.
1 Q. Okay. I take it the colonel, your commander, must have believed
2 you. Correct?
3 A. I don't know. I just conveyed what I saw.
4 Q. Well he must have trusted you to pass on -- to go and check up on
5 the prisoners, did he not?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand what the
7 witness said.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. Okay. Let me repeat the question so to make sure that we have a
10 correct answer from you.
11 Obviously, your commander trusted you to go and pass along, convey
12 his order to the guards. Correct?
13 A. I'm not sure whether he trusted me; I think he did but I don't
15 Q. Well, he asked you to go there, did he not?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this was sometime after he had given the order to Nikolic to
18 make sure that the prisoners were not mistreated. Correct?
19 A. Yes. That was when we went home, on the way.
20 Q. Exactly. So it wasn't that he just told Nikolic and rested back
21 and figured that Nikolic, given his propensity for kindness to his fellow
22 human beings would do the right and honourable thing, he wanted you as
23 well to go there and to convey his direct and specific orders to the
24 guards that were guarding the prisoners there.
25 A. I don't know what you mean when you say -- could you please repeat
1 your question.
2 Q. All right. Momir Nikolic was head of security, was he not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The military police are under his supervision, are they not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The military police, according to you, were guarding the prisoners
7 there, were they not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. Now, Colonel Blagojevic doesn't say, "Momir," or
10 "Little Pensioner," which is his little nickname, as I understand, or
11 "Nedjo," how he likes to call himself, whatever, he doesn't say, "Go
12 there and check up." Rather, he asks you after he tells Nikolic to make
13 sure that he doesn't do anything stupid.
14 A. He told me to go on my way home, just to drop by on my way home.
15 This was all in passing and just to tell him if there's something wrong.
16 But everything was all right, just to continue on home.
17 Q. Logically speaking though, sir, would that not have been Nikolic's
18 job for the colonel to say to Nikolic, "Go check up on the men and come
19 back and report to me if there's something wrong." Correct?
20 A. He probably told him also. He said something there, but I didn't
21 hear what he told him later and I didn't know what Nikolic said either.
22 Q. Okay. But assuming that he did tell Nikolic, he's telling you
23 just to be on the safe side or in addition to. Right?
24 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I think that's --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably --
1 MS. ISSA: I'm objecting to that. That's obviously speculative
2 and we're coming to a point where --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I've made my point, Your Honour --
4 MS. ISSA: -- it's becoming an argument, As opposed to question and
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm driving the nail all the way through to the
7 other end on this matter, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: We understand.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. Now, the next day, that would make it the 13th of July, 1995, and
13 on that particular day I take it you don't have a vivid recollection what,
14 if anything, you did with the commander. Correct?
15 A. I don't remember. I remember one day, that day when we went to
16 the logistics base and we came back quickly.
17 Q. Now, the logistics base would have, as you indicated, they would
18 have the supplies like - I wrote it down here - bread and foodstuff. Is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So if prisoners needed to be fed, or if food needed to go to the
22 folks that were in Potocari, I guess that's where they would come from.
24 A. I don't know where that would come from.
25 Q. Okay. But nonetheless, those sorts of supplies are located there?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. Now, on the 13th we heard testimony here that it was
3 believed that on that particular day Colonel Blagojevic's mother was ill
4 and that a doctor was taken to visit her at the village. Do you know
5 whether your commander went there to visit his mother?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. Okay. Is it possible, sir, given your previous testimony, that
8 the colonel did not -- you did not always travel with the colonel, with
9 the commander, that he could have gone to visit his mother without taking
10 you along, specifically given the nature of the visit?
11 A. He would go and visit his mother by himself, too, or maybe this
12 Goran who was with me also went, but I don't know.
13 Q. Okay. Now, on one day, it's unclear exactly which particular date
14 it is, because as you've indicated you're having some problems with the
15 dates, but on one day you indicated that you saw Colonel Blagojevic and he
16 looked extremely concerned.
17 A. Yes, probably, because of his mother, because his mother was not
18 feeling very well over those few days, that's what I've heard, and so he
19 was worried about his mother.
20 Q. Okay. But he didn't express to you the reasons?
21 A. No.
22 Q. And you did not ask him or anyone else. Correct?
23 A. I didn't ask him. I don't know if anybody else did, though.
24 Q. All right. Now, at some point you indicated that you went with
25 the commander towards the Milici Brigade or to the headquarters of the
1 Milici Brigade. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you don't know the nature of that particular visit?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And it's unclear to you how many days after the fall of Srebrenica
6 you had actually gone there. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. And it was -- was it during that trip on the way back
9 that you stopped at Konjevic Polje or in that vicinity where the commander
10 saw his troops and talked to them?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were they on the road or were they off the road? Were they
13 searching the terrain? Because we know that there were orders to search
14 the terrain as of the 14th. Do you know what exactly they might have been
15 doing there?
16 A. They were on the road, but I don't know what they were doing
18 Q. And again, as I understand your -- as I understand your testimony,
19 once again it was your impression that your commander was giving
20 instructions that nothing was supposed to -- that they were not supposed
21 to mistreat any prisoners if they came across any. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. That they were supposed to act professionally. Correct? I
24 believe that was the word that you used.
25 A. That they should behave properly and fair, and that they should
1 bring them to the brigade.
2 Q. Okay. That's what I wanted to get to. And also he had instructed
3 them that if they came across anybody, anyone, that they were to come all
4 the way to the brigade as opposed to some other holding place, some other
5 detention place, but to come all the way there to the brigade headquarters
6 where he was. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could it be, sir, that he was asking them or instructing them to
9 bring them all the way to the brigade headquarters so he could ensure that
10 nothing happened to these prisoners that were captured by his particular
11 men, versus what might have been going on by others?
12 A. Probably to be sure that they are brought there alive and well.
13 Q. Exactly. And after you left on the road you came across someone
14 who was injured. Right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you indicated that he was dressed in fatigues, in army
18 A. He had a military top, a shirt, and military -- army boots.
19 Q. Okay. And I take it from looking at the way he was dressed, you
20 could not tell whether he was a Serb or a Muslim?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Did you see whether he had a weapon?
23 A. No.
24 Q. No, meaning that he did not have a weapon?
25 A. He didn't have a weapon.
1 Q. All right. And did you speak to this gentleman?
2 A. I asked him whether he had any documents, and the colonel came out
3 and he asked him, too, but he just kept quiet.
4 Q. Okay. And when you say "he kept quiet," in other words he did not
5 produce any documents to show that he was a Serb soldier in the vicinity
6 carrying on some activities. Correct?
7 A. He didn't show us anything.
8 Q. All right. Now, given the circumstances, did that not strike you
9 as somewhat odd, if he had been a Serb soldier? Why would he not show his
10 documents to another Serb officer?
11 A. Probably he didn't have them on him. I really don't know.
12 Q. Could it be that he was a Muslim who was in the area and not a
14 A. I'm not sure whether he was a Muslim or a Serb.
15 Q. Did you hear the commander ask this person, who looked like he
16 needed help who was injured? Did you hear your commander ask whether he
17 was a Serb or a Muslim, so he perhaps could make a decision how to treat
18 this particular individual?
19 A. Well, I think the commander heard me ask him for his documents,
20 but he was just silent. He didn't say anything.
21 Q. So -- but in other words the commander never made a request as to
22 whether that particular individual who was injured and needed help and had
23 no documents, in that particular time, under those circumstances, at that
24 location, whether he was a Serb or a Muslim? He didn't ask him what his
25 background was. Correct?
1 A. No. At that point the truck turned up.
2 Q. Okay. And he instructed or he requested the truck to take this
3 unknown individual, be he a Muslim who was trying to make his way to
4 Srebrenica or be he a Serb soldier who was there, to take that individual
5 to the hospital so that individual could get some help. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, you indicated that you took another trip with the colonel,
8 and before we get to that one I wanted to discuss a little bit the
9 document that was shown to you by the Prosecutor yesterday when you were
10 here meeting with them in their office when they were getting you ready
11 for your testimony here today. Okay. And the document that I'm referring
12 to was previously admitted, for the record, as P496.
13 If you could look at -- I have P96B [sic] which is the Srpski
14 version of it, or B/C/S as it is referred to in this court or this
15 Tribunal. If you could look at that, sir, is that the document that was
16 shown to you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. Now, on that particular day, July 16th, just to give
19 you a basis of what they were talking about, it's the day before
20 Colonel Blagojevic goes off to Zepa. All right. At least that's the
21 testimony that we have from this courtroom, that on the 17th of July the
22 colonel himself went off to Zepa at some point. All right. Now, I don't
23 know if that's going to help you. But let me ask this question, because I
24 was a little unclear and maybe you can help us out here: As far as I
25 understand, having searched your memory, you do not recall the commander
1 visiting any of these troops or locations on July 16th, as this daily
2 report reflects?
3 A. I can't remember that.
4 Q. All right. Well, would you have remembered visiting these
5 locations, assuming that this trip actually had occurred, as opposed to
6 merely putting something on writing and handing it over to the
7 Drina Corps, for the purposes of showing that a task that was given was
8 actually performed?
9 A. I don't know anything about that.
10 Q. Okay. And if you were on duty on that particular day - and I
11 haven't heard that you weren't - and if you don't recall visiting any of
12 these sites with the commander where he might have been giving all of
13 these instructions, could it be, sir, that the reason that you don't
14 remember is because this never occurred? In other words, the commander
15 never visited all these places even though we have this piece of document
16 stating that he had performed those tasks?
17 A. I don't remember that, so it's not something that I know about.
18 Q. Okay. But you do know these places that are reflected in this
19 document? I mean --
20 A. No.
21 Q. Okay. Do you recall ever going to these places and maybe not
22 recalling the date? And it's okay if you don't.
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. I guess you can't remember a place if you've never been to
25 it. Okay.
1 Now, we know that the commander goes off with his troops on the
2 17th of July. That seems to be what I would call a fact beyond change.
3 We know it. And we heard you tell us that at one point in time you drove
4 some 600 to 700 kilometres with the commander when he went off to visit,
5 inspect, check up on, look after, his troops in Drvar. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. My question is -- and incidentally, on that particular trip you
8 stayed there for two or three days. Right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And given the distance, it would seem to me that it would take
11 several hours to get there.
12 A. I didn't understand your question.
13 Q. Well, I mean, to go from Bratunac all the way there, to Drvar, if
14 it's between 6 and 700 kilometres, it would take several hours to go there
15 by car.
16 A. Well, yes.
17 Q. Okay. All right. Now, do you recall whether this was before or
18 after the commander went to Zepa?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. Okay. But as far as you recall, this trip occurred after the trip
21 when you went to the bauxite mine?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. Is it possible, sir, that this trip to Drvar could have
24 taken place sometime between -- sometime before he went off to Zepa,
25 before the 17th of July, and maybe you didn't stay two or three days,
1 maybe you just stayed one day or just two days? Is that possible? I
2 don't know. I'm asking you.
3 A. I'm not sure of that either, when that was.
4 Q. Okay. So you can't tell us yes or no? It could be -- could be
5 that it happened before the 17th, it could be that it happened after the
6 17th. You just cannot remember.
7 A. No, I don't remember.
8 Q. But nonetheless, just so we have it right, so the
9 Honourable Members of our Trial Chamber know exactly what's over there,
10 there were battalions from the Bratunac Brigade in Drvar. Correct? There
11 were soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade there. Right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And one of the things the commander did when he was there is check
14 up and see how his men are doing, like a good commander should be doing
15 under the circumstances?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may have a moment, Your Honour.
18 [Defence counsel confer]
19 MR. KARNAVAS: All right. I have a few more questions, but not
20 that many.
21 Q. Now, did you by any chance go to Zepa with the commander, or did
22 you stay behind at the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. I can't remember.
24 Q. Can you remember what happened to the lines, where the 1st, 2nd,
25 3rd, 4th Battalions were located, or whether the lines shifted, or moved
1 or disappeared after the fall of Srebrenica?
2 A. I don't remember. I don't know what happened.
3 Q. Okay. Do you know when the commander came back from Zepa?
4 A. No.
5 Q. It sounds to me, sir, from your testimony that Colonel Blagojevic,
6 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, during that period of time was
7 trying to make sure that all of his men acted properly towards everyone.
8 Am I correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you being close to him, being with him, travelling with him,
11 you never saw him act in any way or encourage anyone or instruct anyone to
12 commit any crimes against anyone. Correct?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you very, very, much, sir, I appreciate your testimony and
15 I'm sure it will be extremely helpful to the members of this
16 Honourable Trial Chamber.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any cross-examination?
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions for this witness,
20 Your Honour, no.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Any re-direct, Ms. Issa?
23 MS. ISSA: Yes, just a couple of questions. Thank you,
24 Your Honour.
25 Re-examined by Ms. Issa:
1 Q. Sir, do you have any knowledge of anyone being killed after the
2 fall of Srebrenica, any Muslims being many killed after the fall of
4 A. No, I have no knowledge of that.
5 Q. When you were at the Vuk Karadzic school, sir, did you see members
6 of the Red Cross at that school or in the area?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't believe, Your Honour, we had any testimony,
9 unless I'm mistaken, that on the 12th, the evening of the 12th that there
10 was anybody from the Red Cross there. Now, I could be wrong, but I
11 certainly don't remember that.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, I think your re-direct should be
13 closely related to the questions asked by Mr. Karnavas in the
14 cross-examination. I could not remember him asking any questions about
15 the Red Cross presence at that time, unless you could show us there is
16 some connections with the questions asked in cross-examination.
17 MS. ISSA: Well, Your Honour, there were a number of questions
18 relating to the Vuk Karadzic school and what he had seen and suggestions
19 put to the witness. And it would be my submission that this might be a
20 relevant fact in relation -- given these suggestions that Mr. Karnavas put
21 to the witness in relation to the Vuk Karadzic school.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this question should be asked in direct
23 examination rather than the re-direct. I hope your question could be
24 asked closely related to the questions put by Mr. Karnavas.
25 Mr. Karnavas, do you have --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Nothing further, based on that excellent, excellent
2 ruling, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MS. ISSA: All right. Well, Your Honour, I do have a couple more
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please proceed.
7 MS. ISSA:
8 Q. Now, sir, you were asked -- it was put to you in cross-examination
9 that you had the opportunity to look around to see -- when you were at the
10 Vuk Karadzic school to see whether atrocities were occurring. Did you go
11 inside the gym? Did you see any of the prisoners?
12 A. I didn't go inside the gym, but I heard stories.
13 Q. When you say you "heard stories" --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe that there might have been a
15 mistranslation, Your Honour. If the question can be asked again. I don't
16 want to suggest what the gentleman indicated.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. Let's clarify this.
18 MS. ISSA:
19 Q. All right. Well, the question was: Did you go inside the gym?
20 Did you see any of the prisoners?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated, sir, that you went to the logistics
23 base where you were -- saw bread and food. Can you indicate how much
24 bread and food you saw there.
25 A. I didn't see either bread or food, just food was stored at the
1 logistics base.
2 Q. Okay. And how do you know that food was stored there?
3 A. Well, I know. I went into the logistics base previously, not
4 then, but I know that they had food, clothing, blankets.
5 Q. Okay. Just by way of clarification, sir, you were asked some
6 questions in relation to the day that Srebrenica fell when you went back
7 to the Bratunac Brigade. You were asked -- you said that in your
8 cross-examination that you were not sure if you had seen
9 Colonel Blagojevic around 6.00 -- 5.00 or 6.00, but you did see him late
10 in the afternoon. My question is if you can clarify that. Was that in
11 the afternoon, as well as in the evening when you saw him leave? Or when
12 was that? How many times did you see him that day?
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Compound question. Let the witness answer. Let's
14 not try to encourage him with multiple choice.
15 JUDGE LIU: But I believe those questions are related questions,
16 and we'll see how the witness will answer this question. If the witness
17 cannot understand it, I believe, Ms. Issa, you have to break up the
19 MS. ISSA: Well, I was trying to clarify it by that last question,
20 Your Honour. Perhaps I can just put it again.
21 Q. How many times did you see the colonel that day when you returned
22 to the brigade?
23 A. When I returned, the colonel was already at the brigade. So that
24 was sometime late in the afternoon. I apologise if I got the time wrong,
25 but I can't tell you exactly. But that's roughly when it was.
1 Q. Okay. And did you see him another time after that sighting that
2 you had of him at the brigade that same day?
3 A. He was at the brigade until the evening, until he left to go to
4 his apartment.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you.
6 MS. ISSA: I have nothing further, Your Honour.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I do have one matter. It does not
8 relate to this issue, but it's a point of clarification because I think
9 the Prosecution is trying to paint the man as being dishonest by saying
10 that --
11 MS. ISSA: Your Honour I'm going to object to this --
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas --
13 MS. ISSA: The comments that Mr. Karnavas is making are totally
15 JUDGE LIU: Do not make this kind of statement in front of the
17 MR. KARNAVAS: The question relates to whether he was aware of any
18 killings. The question should be asked did he hear of any killings.
19 Because I think there's a linguistic nuance here that leaves the
20 impression that somehow he's trying to hide evidence.
21 MS. ISSA: Your Honour --
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I've gotten used to the accusations, but not in
25 front of a witness that's trying to answer the questions, that has yet to
1 answer the Judge's questions. This witness has done a lot to come up here
2 out of his schedule and for him to make up this thing that -- to make it
3 personal, it's outrageous, it's outrageous. And I wish you could please
4 instruct him to stop it.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I'm merely suggesting the
6 way -- because of the linguistic difference, it gives the appearance that
7 the witness, being over there, never heard of anything, obviously then it
8 negates a great deal of his testimony. And I think that linguistic
9 difference needs to be cleared up. So I would appreciate to ask the
10 witness whether he heard, because I think when you say "aware," to them
11 would be the understanding whether they saw --
12 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm sorry, if Mr. Karnavas is going to go
13 on, I'm going to ask that the witness be removed from the room, because
14 this is totally inappropriate.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think you had the opportunity to
16 cross-examine this witness already. And since you mentioned that it is a
17 linguistic issue, I believe that the Trial Chamber will look into it, or
18 if necessary will ask for the assistance of the interpretation booth on
19 this particular issue.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, with all due respect, I would like to
21 have the witness posed the question because there is a distinction between
22 being aware in the sense of seeing, versus hearing of it. And if a
23 witness says: "I wasn't aware of anything," it gives the impression that
24 the witness may be being -- being untruthful in that issue.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, any questions from the Judges?
2 Judge Vassylenko?
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Gospodine Svedok, have you testified before
5 this Tribunal before?
6 A. No.
7 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And when for the first time you were
8 interviewed by the OTP investigators?
9 A. Six days ago.
10 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And then my last question: Were you aware
11 about the killings, or you have heard about the killings?
12 A. I didn't hear about any killings.
13 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. I have no further questions. Hvala.
14 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges questions? Ms. Issa?
15 MS. ISSA: No. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic?
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Yes, Ms. Issa.
22 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour, there are a couple of documents.
23 P680, which was the map; P681, the aerial marked by the witness; P720, the
24 sketch; P721, the pseudonym sheet.
25 JUDGE LIU: Any objections? Yes. I'm sorry.
1 MS. ISSA: And I would ask that they all be admitted under seal.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 Any objections?
4 MR. KARNAVAS: No objections.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Well, those documents are admitted into the evidence under seal.
9 It is so decided.
10 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
11 your testimony. I understand you overcame a lot of difficulties to travel
12 here. We appreciate it very much. The usher will show you out of the
13 room when she pulls down the blinds. We wish you a pleasant journey back
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Wait.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, are we going to hear the next
19 witness this afternoon, or you prefer we hear it tomorrow afternoon?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I -- the latest I've heard was that
21 there is bad fog in Zagreb and the witness was on the Tarmac. And as you
22 probably know this time of year that can be a problem. So far between
23 everyone's work and all and weather, we've been very lucky. And We
24 appreciate very much everyone, including the Defence's, efforts to put on
25 this witness this week. It looks like the weather might be against us.
1 Oh, I might have some update. Today obviously not, we're hoping
2 tomorrow. And I hope that my direct will only be one session. That is
3 the way I have -- the flight's left Zagreb, so it looks good for tomorrow.
4 And unfortunately, I guess there's no courtroom in the morning, but we
5 will be able to proceed in the afternoon.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
7 I have been told by the registrar that we have secured a courtroom
8 tomorrow afternoon, that is Courtroom III. We'll start at 2.15.
9 Since we still have a session, I don't think we should waste that
10 time. So we may spend some time on the procedural matters, including the
11 92 bis documents. So we'll resume at 12.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, since we still have some time, we'll deal with
15 the admission of the documents in accordance with the rule, 92 bis. I
16 think the other day this Bench instructed the registrar to work with the
17 Prosecution concerning of certain documents which proposed by the
18 Prosecution to tender through 92 bis. This is an oral decision in
19 relation to the admission of those documents. The Trial Chamber has
20 reviewed the list presented by the Prosecution in relation to the
21 admission of the exhibits related to these witnesses. Upon careful study
22 of the list, the Trial Chamber found it is appropriate under 92 bis to
23 admit the documents submitted through those witnesses. The set of
24 documents in question are: Exhibits P780, P788, 789, 781, 790, 791, 782,
25 792, 793, 794, 795, 796, 797, 798, 799, 800, 783, 784, 801, 802, 803, 785,
1 786, 804, and P787. It is so decided.
2 The other set of documents is that the Prosecution has filed a
3 motion for the admission of documents on the 23rd of February. The motion
4 requests admission of three sets of documents. The first set, 209
5 documents listed in the footnotes of the expert report of Mr. Butler,
6 which were not tendered by either party during his examination. The
7 second set of documents are 14 documents of the ABiH 28th Infantry
8 Division, dated 13th June to 10th July, 1995. The third set of documents
9 is a MUP report from Zvornik security centre dated 12th July, 1995. This
10 Trial Chamber understands that there are no problems of disclosure or
11 authentication with respect to these documents. It also notes that
12 according to the motion the Defence has not objected to their admission.
13 At this moment we would like to reiterate the principle for the
14 admission of the documents. Under Rule 89(C), the Trial Chamber may admit
15 any relevant evidence it deems to have probative value. This rule leaves
16 a lot of discretion to the Trial Chamber in its decision to admit evidence
17 or not. This rule should, however, be interpreted in light of the
18 Trial Chamber's duty to ensure a fair and expeditious trial under Article
19 20 and 21 of the Statute. In this respect, the Trial Chamber's ability to
20 assess the relevance and the reliability of the evidence presented varies
21 as the case developed. The Trial Chamber are in the position to exercise
22 more control over the evidence to be presented at the end of the
23 Prosecution's case than it is at the beginning of the trial.
24 One particular way of ensuring an expeditious trial is to exclude
25 evidence that is repetitious. As a result, the documents represented at
1 this stage of trial should not be of purely cumulative nature. It should
2 not be a pure repetition of the evidence already admitted, but should add
3 details and information which contributes to a better understanding or
4 assessment of the evidence presented.
5 Furthermore, evidence should, as a rule, be presented in court in
6 order to respect the rights of the accused to a public trial and have the
7 evidence tested in court, especially through the cross-examination.
8 Admission from the bar table should be an exception and could mainly
9 concern official documents which cannot be contested, such as UN reports,
10 resolutions, et cetera.
11 To be more specific, we will deal with the first set of 209
12 documents linked to Butler's testimony. First, the Trial Chamber's
13 decision dated on 7th November, 2003, only admitted Mr. Butler's report.
14 It did not intend to implicitly admit all documents referred to in the
15 footnotes of the report. As a rule, sources and references on the basis
16 of which the expert reaches his or her conclusions should be clearly
17 mentioned in the report, and such is the purpose of the footnotes. The
18 sources mentioned therein should also be disclosed to the other party if
19 requested. There is, however, no obligation for the parties to tender all
20 the documents referred to in the report as exhibits.
21 To the contrary, both parties have the discretion to tender
22 whatever document they deem would best serve their case. A number of the
23 documents were indeed tendered and admitted this way during the
24 examination of Mr. Butler. At this stage, the parties chose not to tender
25 those 209 documents admitted through the motion.
1 Furthermore, the Trial Chamber cannot admit the 209 documents, as
2 it has not seen, on the mere basis that the Defence does not object. The
3 Prosecution would need to indicate why those documents would be necessary
4 at this stage of the trial, in view of the principle reminded above. As
5 it stands, the motion is not sufficiently substantiated in respect of
6 those documents. It is therefore rejected. It is so decided.
7 As for the second set of documents, that is, the 14 documents of
8 the ABiH 28th Division, the documents are not submitted and the Chamber
9 does not know what they are about exactly. In view of the arguments
10 represented by the Prosecution, a few questions arise; however, first,
11 these documents are dated between the 30th of June and the 10th of July,
12 1995, according to the indictment. The counts charge acts which occurred
13 between 12th and the 19th of July. As a result, these documents seem to
14 refer to background information rather than specific counts of the
16 Secondly, in particular could the Prosecution explain to what
17 extent the three elements it raises in its motion refer to the specific
18 counts in the indictment, namely targeting the shelling of civilian
19 targets in the Srebrenica enclave, the rising intensity and the temper of
20 attack on Srebrenica when the attack on Srebrenica began, the conditions
21 of life present in the enclave shortly after and during the time period
22 relevant to the indictment. In addition, is this point purely
23 corroborating evidence or does it add to the evidence already adduced?
24 Mr. McCloskey.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. These few 28th Division
1 documents -- one is a little bit different than the rest. The one that's
2 dated 30 June isn't -- is a clear -- it's a document where the
3 28th Division clearly indicates there was a policy at the highest levels
4 of their army to create havoc outside the enclave in order to draw VRS
5 troops from the Sarajevo area. This was a background piece of
6 information, something that Mr. Butler, I believe, touched on. I know it
7 was something the Defence was interested in. It was never clearly stated
8 so in black and white, as it is in that one document. And we just thought
9 that you would be interested in that particular clear concise viewpoint of
10 the BiH's attitude at that point. While we look at that as background and
11 not particularly relevant to the crimes that later occur, we have always
12 stressed and tried to stress in this case that Srebrenica did not occur in
13 a vacuum, and that we tried to show the perspective of the 28th Division
14 as well as, of course, the VRS.
15 So that was just such a clear statement of their policy, which I
16 know Mr. Karnavas had spent some time on in cross-examination, that we
17 thought -- and I can tell you it was a document from the past case that
18 the Court took some interest in. I know Courts are different, of course,
19 but we thought of that and thought that that as well as the collection
20 that I'll get to would have been something important for you just to see,
21 because it was such a clear statement. If there were any questions about
22 the 28th Division and what they were doing, this document helps point that
23 out. One of the reasons I point to the prior case is that in this case,
24 as you know, we did not call any Bosnian generals, Halilovic or
25 Hadzihasanovic, who are both on trial here. This piece of the evidence
1 went to what the last Court was interested in, and that's why they called
2 those folks. So we just thought, in our housekeeping and in looking
3 through the material, I thought this is something important that you
4 should see and may want to see. So that's that one document.
5 The other documents go to the count of forcible transfer,
6 the -- and I know you're very familiar with the historical lead-up of the
7 various Karadzic documents that say make life unbearable in the enclave,
8 the document that says restrict the convoys, and Mr. Butler's
9 interpretation that the attack on the Srebrenica enclave, reducing the
10 enclave to its urban area was to help create a humanitarian disaster. So
11 one of the main points of these, what are basically combat reports that
12 you're very familiar with and the VRS perspective, were to show that the
13 situation, the humanitarian situation was becoming more dire as the days
14 went on. And this is a particularly important point regarding
15 Mr. Blagojevic. As you may remember, the July -- there's a report signed
16 in the early weeks of July that is the half-year report on the situation
17 in the Bratunac Brigade, where there is mention of their responsibility
18 regarding convoys. And this -- these 28th Division reports show that the
19 convoys are not coming in at that time and people, as a result, are
20 starving. It's the view of the Prosecution that this is precisely the
21 intent of the -- President Karadzic, General Mladic, and the VRS,
22 including the Bratunac Brigade, as indicated in Mr. Ognjenovic's report,
23 you may remember that from 1994 that actually states that policy, and as
24 adopted or taken over by Mr. Blagojevic. So the simple direct statements
25 of things are getting worse and worse, we're not getting food from the
1 convoys goes to the issue of squeezing the enclaves in creating a
2 situation where the Muslim population would have to leave. So that's
3 forcible transfer, right on point, some of the most clear evidence we have
4 on that point.
5 I think Muslims have testified about how it was difficult, but
6 this was a more official viewpoint of that.
7 The other point that this material talks about is the shelling of
8 the town, of the hospital for example. This evidence, as it has come in
9 through General Kingori and the UN military observers is very important
10 for the forcible transfer case because it shows that there was a pattern
11 of shelling of civilian targets, both during the attack and even after the
12 11th there were some -- still some shelling. And when you -- if you look
13 at the UN military observer reports of each day of shelling the town, then
14 now you have the 28th Division reports to look at which also talks about
15 shelling the town on the same day.
16 So as opposed to relying on one set of documents from the UN, we
17 have 28th Division documents that help support that shelling actually did
18 occur. And we also, you'll see, from the daily combat reports of the
19 Bratunac Brigade that they're using quite a bit of artillery shells each
20 day during this case and there is evidence that the Drina Corps in the
21 attack, including the troops involved, were in fact shelling civilian
22 targets, which of course goes to the -- again, the forcible transfer, the
23 intent of the army and the commanders in it to scare these people out of
24 the enclave.
25 So those 28th Division documents give us a very clear and
1 unambiguous statement of the shelling and a very clear and unambiguous
2 statement of the conditions as they worsened as a result of not getting
3 materials from the convoys. So while there is evidence on both these
4 areas, this, I think, is additional reliable and corroborative -- I would
5 like to say corroborative as opposed to cumulative evidence. So we ask
6 that you view it. I felt that the combat reports themselves were very
7 clear, unambiguous. They certainly didn't need any expert to talk about
8 what they were. We all recognise that they are coming from the
9 28th Division, and as such they certainly have reasons of their own and
10 may have some bias to them, like any army may have a bias. And I don't
11 think that is in question. That's why I ask you to look at them in
12 comparison to the other evidence, the UNMO evidence, the evidence related
13 to the Dutch observations.
14 So that's what I would say about the -- those combat reports of
15 the 28th Division.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Any response?
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I have some -- I have a response. It would
19 appear that now the indictment is expanded and now, without stating it in
20 the indictment, now Mr. Blagojevic is now also being charged for the
21 attack on Srebrenica, if we follow that line of thinking. I'm sure that
22 Mr. McCloskey is not thinking in those terms, but I think that one from
23 this aisle listening to that explanation walks away with that conclusion.
24 Why do I say that? I do agree with him with the one document, because I
25 tried from day one and was curtailed, perhaps because the Trial Chamber
1 was not aware of my strategy and my theory of the case, into going into
2 Naser Oric and the 28th Division, into the killings and lootings of the
3 Serb population that was being done with impunity under the eyes, and
4 perhaps even with the assistance of the UN DutchBats who were there
5 supposedly to demilitarise the area, but were giving sanctuary to those
6 criminals who were out there committing those crimes.
7 Secondly, we did present some evidence through Mr. Butler with
8 respect to the situation on the ground. As the war was progressing, it
9 was clear, it was clear as night follows day, that at some point the
10 Muslim army was getting ready for an assault on the Serbs. We -- and one
11 need only look at the Milosevic case where there's testimony come in. We
12 will be asking Carl Bildt to come here and testify because he gives a
13 pretty good explanation that during the negotiating process while these
14 things are going on, the Muslims are being -- are growing in numbers, the
15 arms are being shipped in from the United States, the weapons are being
16 shipped in from the United States and others. In fact, Carl Bildt even
17 indicates that Karadzic was even excluded and they were only negotiating
18 with Mladic at the time, so they could put a wedge between Karadzic and
19 Mladic. But there's documentation that at some point in a near distant
20 future the Serbs were going to be facing an assault, an offensive, by the
21 Muslim forces. And we know already that Tudjman and his army was also
22 being helped by the Americans and provided with weapons.
23 So I think this does give context, which is one of the reasons why
24 when I had Mr. Butler on the stand he admitted that militarily speaking
25 the attack on Srebrenica was -- made sense at that particular time because
1 it was much better for the VRS to be on the offensive as opposed to being
2 on the defensive later on. So that was what was playing out on the
3 ground. And I agree with Mr. McCloskey that there was testimony with
4 respect to that.
5 Be that as it may, I would have liked for us to have had this
6 discussion here with those particular documents, because then it allows me
7 the opportunity to do cross-examination, which is a fundamental right
8 guaranteed by the Statute.
9 With respect to the rest, and this is where I believe there seems
10 to be an attempt and probably, you know, just as a result of trying to get
11 the documents in, but I think there's an attempt to expand the scope of
12 the indictment. Obviously, contextually, I think these documents might be
13 relevant if they were brought in through witnesses and we could have some
14 sort of a dialogue, some sort of evidence, with respect to these documents
15 so you could understand the documents in perspective. These
16 documents -- the Prosecution had ample opportunity to bring in Muslim
17 witnesses. They have AID, which I understand is a secret service of the
18 Bosniaks assisting the Office of the Prosecution, they could have had
19 those folks come in. Whether the generals would like to come in and
20 assist the Prosecutor this time as they did in Krstic, probably not, less
21 cooperative at this point now that they are indicted, accused, and are in
22 the middle of a trial of their own --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: We should be clear that they were brought in by
24 the Court during the Krstic trial.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: By the Court, I apologise. Nonetheless, at the
1 time they were brought in by the Court, they were not aware that they
2 either had been indicted or were in the process of being indicted. So
3 perhaps now that they're here they are less happy to be cooperative,
4 either with the Court, the Prosecution, or the Defence.
5 But I think all of these documents, what the Prosecution is trying
6 to establish is that there is sort of a plan, and it all fits in nicely
7 and neatly into their theory that this was a genocide that actually was
8 preplanned, not days or months, but perhaps even years prior to the fall
9 of Srebrenica. Although, if we take that and we juxtapose it as to what
10 we heard from Mr. McCloskey as to what the 28th Division was doing and the
11 strategy which was pin down the VRS troops, it would seem there was
12 something else in play.
13 In addition to that, there's also, as we understand it - there's
14 documentation and I'm sure the Prosecution knows better than I - that the
15 government of BiH, the Sarajevo government, the Muslim government at the
16 time, was preventing the Muslims from leaving Srebrenica because that was
17 their political chip and it enabled them to tie down the VRS. And so they
18 were using them for that purposes -- for those purposes. And of course at
19 the same time there are these negotiations and Carl Bildt, if we are lucky
20 enough to get him here, will testify that there was some sort of dialogue
21 at the time as to giving greater land around Sarajevo to the Muslims, and
22 Srebrenica be given to the RS. In other words, no ethnic cleansing,
23 instead exchange of territories. This is another political gamesmanship
24 that's going on between other players at a different level, before and
25 perhaps even during these events.
1 And so the question is: If we're going to allow this kind of
2 stuff to come in, will I be able as part of my case to go into these
3 documents and to go into this and to bring witnesses? Because now what
4 we're trying -- what the Prosecution is doing, as I've indicated, is
5 expanding the scope. And they would have us believe, at least from where
6 I'm sitting, that the attack on Srebrenica was a crime, and it's not
7 charged as a crime in the indictment. And when you get to what I just
8 heard, that, you know, the poor people there were starving, well, I agree.
9 The humanitarian aid was being cut off, but as you recall, Your Honour,
10 early on, when I had Mr. Ruez -- and perhaps in the Court's mind at the
11 time there was a misunderstanding or a suspicion that I was trying to
12 justify what had happened because of what Naser Oric was doing. I believe
13 there is a particular principle, tu quoque, which obviously, as I
14 indicated to the Court, that wasn't my -- I was aware of the principle and
15 that wasn't my point. But what I was trying to get out and what I would
16 like to get out then -- now, if this evidence comes in, that in
17 Srebrenica, in fact there were a lot of supplies, but Naser Oric, being
18 the war criminal and war profiteer that he was, was storing all of those
19 food supplies while he was acting as a little warlord over there in
21 The question why he wasn't there when Srebrenica fell, that's an
22 interesting issue. There are lots of different theories. Some may be
23 that if he's not there the 28th Division will leave as opposed to sit
24 there and fight. The question has always been: Why didn't the
25 28th Division at least try to take the weapons away from the Dutch and
1 make some sort of fight against the VRS forces. And if that had happened
2 I think history would have been written slightly differently.
3 So what am I getting at? What I'm getting at all of this is the
4 following: This was not part of the Prosecution's case as they presented
5 it. I do agree to some extent with Mr. McCloskey that this is information
6 that might be relevant and important to the Trial Chamber. But if they
7 want this information to come in, at this stage while they still are on
8 their case in-chief, they should present that evidence, as opposed to
9 back-dooring it, by just saying, here, here's some evidence, here's some
10 documents, read it, factor it in. I think it puts us at a disadvantage.
11 It certainly -- as I said, it seems to expand the indictment. And now I'm
12 forced to fight on a different front as well.
13 Lastly, I would -- how should I put it? I would welcome the
14 opportunity to have those witnesses come in so we could discuss these
15 documents, because we do believe that if we put them into perspective that
16 the Trial Chamber will have a fuller view in deciding what exactly
17 happened before, during, and after. But I think at this stage, I don't
18 know whether this was a tactical decision, or if this was an error on
19 their part or a -- something that they overlooked. It's a huge case, and
20 so it's not unusual to overlook, you know, parts of the strategy of the
21 case. It could also be that they were challenged, challenged in the sense
22 that they couldn't bring in the witnesses to make the foundation to get
23 the documents in. I don't know. But I think at this stage it's a little
24 too late in the game to bring them in this way. But I don't object, I
25 don't object, if the Prosecutor wishes to put on additional witnesses and
1 prolong their case, because they haven't rested yet and I want to give
2 them the fullest and fairest opportunity to put on as long and as big of a
3 case as they possibly can, because at the end of the day I think this
4 Trial Chamber will have to conclude that Vidoje Blagojevic is not guilty
5 of anything that he is charged with in this indictment.
6 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stojanovic, do you have something to say?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I shall try briefly
8 to explain the reasons for which we, after talking to Mr. McCloskey, said
9 that we are not against having this -- these exhibits tendered. And after
10 the discussions today, the question remains open as to what the substance
11 is of having all these exhibits tendered and introduced. And I'd like to
12 focus my -- what I have to say on the reports of the command of the
13 28th Division of the BH army. I'm talking about those exhibits, and the
14 first reason that guided us not to object to having this exhibit admitted
15 into evidence is the report which is called: "Regular combat
16 report -- daily combat report of the 30th of June," where the
17 28th Division, that is to say one of the units from the Srebrenica enclave
18 undoubtedly sports the thesis of the Defence that the safe area of
19 Srebrenica, under one, was not demilitarised, and under two, that they had
20 active combat operations pursuant to orders from the BH army and the
21 command of the Main Staff of the BH army, precisely in order, as they say
22 here, to disburden the Sarajevo area region. And thus launched offensive
23 operations that they set out here and thus let it be known that they do
24 have the potential and the ability to carry something like that out.
25 The quotations and allegations from the Krivaja 95 combat order
1 say that those were the reasons for which that operation was undertaken.
2 The second argument that we use in saying this was that the daily
3 combat report of the 28th Division of the BH Army dated the 6th of July in
4 which, on page 2, it says that: "After an offensive operation was carried
5 out, there was a conflict between" --
6 JUDGE LIU: That's too fast. Slow down. We have plenty of time.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] As I was saying, I was talking
8 about the daily combat report, dated the 6th of July, in which it clearly
9 states that a conflict had taken place between the members of the
10 28th Division and the Army of Republika Srpska, and that on that occasion
11 the BH Army, or rather, the 28th Division repelled all attacks launched by
12 the Army of Republika Srpska. This also -- is also confirmed by a series
13 of daily combat reports from the Zvornik Brigade about the very heavy and
14 difficult fighting that took place in the Srebrenica area and the fact
15 that on that occasion there were substantial losses in the Army of
16 Republika Srpska.
17 The third document that I should like to mention and which we
18 consider to be relevant is the daily combat report of the 8th of July,
19 1995, in which on page 2 we see mention of the fact that in the area of
20 the Srebrenica safe area there was a total of 60.000 Muslims, or rather,
21 Bosniaks. Now, this figure can be of importance, both for the expert
22 testimony of Mr. Helge Brunborg and the existence of genocide. Bearing in
23 mind the information about the number of inhabitants that this honourable
24 Tribunal had before it thus far, it can be relevant, in our opinion.
25 And finally, we have the last report dated the 5th of July in
1 which we can see that in the safe area of the enclaves, the Srebrenica
2 enclave as a safe area, that the humanitarian convoy of the UNHCR did
3 arrive and it was on the basis of that convoy that flour was distributed
4 and the other supplies that were necessary. So this fact, too, indicates
5 what the Defence presented during the case, and that is that at the time
6 of combat operations on both sides, the flow of humanitarian aid and
7 assistance was always present. Now, whether it was sufficient, whether
8 there was sufficient humanitarian aid or not, that is an open question
9 with respect to the capabilities of the UNHCR and UNPROFOR, and not
10 whether it was a systematic and planned political decision to prevent and
11 ban the entry of the convoy carrying humanitarian aid into the safe area.
12 So it is precisely for those reasons that we assume the positions
13 we did in order to demonstrate the thesis that the Defence always held
14 through the testimony and examination of Mr. Ruez and also Mr. Mandzic,
15 and through examining Mr. Mandzic and we tried to prove that through
16 questioning them and their testimony. I think that Your Honours, you
17 yourselves have seen that those daily combat reports are dated from the
18 30th of June until the 10th of July, and therefore outside the time span
19 and that we have no report during intensive fighting and the breakthrough
20 of the column itself of the members of the 28th Division, that is to say
21 from the 11th up until the 16th of July and to all intents and purposes,
22 until they arrived on the territory under the control of the BH Army and
23 that is the relevant period for my client as well.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
25 I'll give a few minutes to Mr. McCloskey for the response.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just as Mr. Stojanovic's words are in our memory,
2 I think that he found some of the details historically helpful to sort out
3 those early -- those key days, and fundamentally that's an important
4 reason. You may find it helpful. We are obviously relying on the combat
5 reports of the VRS. We should look at the combat reports of the
6 28th Division as well. In those reports -- the author of most of them
7 Ramiz Becirovic, who was the acting commander in the absence of
8 Naser Oric, died of, I believe, a heart attack after the war. His
9 commanders, as we've mentioned, two of them are currently on trial. And
10 of course, I could have brought forward any Bosnian army person or person
11 in the enclave and asked them about these documents. However, at some
12 point, as Your Honour is aware, I have made a huge effort to pick each
13 witness individually and not add anything that might be extra. And at
14 some point a document is so basic that it really doesn't -- we don't
15 need -- it's like what they say about experts. We loan them our watch to
16 tell us what time it is. We don't need an expert to tell us what our
17 watch says. These things have five or ten points in them, which I think
18 are all potentially of historical interest. A witness would have been
19 cumulative, time-consuming and I don't think anyone really contests this
20 in any significant way. Mr. Karnavas agreed to allow this material in, is
21 my understanding with Mr. Waespi. He has every chance to change his mind.
22 It throws me off a little bit because when Mr. Karnavas and I agree on
23 something, it's cause for celebration and we don't normally get as perhaps
24 tough as we might in a motion. And so we just tried to lay it out.
25 And I can tell you, this is not trying to broaden the indictment.
1 This is evidence of the forcible transfer, just like we listed a lot of
2 the evidence in the indictment, the various documents that show there was
3 an intent to move these people out. This is just evidence. This is not
4 expanding it in any way. This is just evidence that they wanted to scare
5 them out of town. And this is not some plan to suggest or to argue that
6 this -- there is a pre-planned genocide in place. This is for another
7 trial. I'm not concentrating on whether there was a pre-planned genocide
8 or not; it's for another trial. It's hard for me to imagine -- beginning
9 a serious plan of killing people until you know you have people to kill.
10 So that's why I focused you on the night of the 11th of July when the VRS
11 first realises that they have an a significant number of Muslim men. What
12 happened before that in terms of genocidal plans is in Belgrade and for
13 another case which is not something I'm trying to take you down that road
14 to. I would like to keep us on point in this case, ideally from July 1 up
15 until about September, October 1995.
16 I also -- Mr. Butler chooses his own documents. I don't tell
17 Mr. Butler what documents to pick. He picked a few reports around these
18 dates - I don't recall exactly what they were - for particular things he
19 wanted to say. I can always ask Mr. Butler and sometimes I have to say
20 "Mr. Butler, can you put in your report a section on something or other
21 so the Judges will know that." I generally don't do that often, and this
22 is a particular case where I didn't. This doesn't mean that these eight,
23 nine, ten reports aren't something that are important and I think they
24 speak for themselves. And of course you're the best Judges after, like
25 you say, hearing all the -- just about all the Prosecution's case whether
1 you think they're important or not.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, after hearing the parties and after
5 consultations with my colleague, we believe that those documents that are
6 dated between 30th of June and the 10th of July, 1995, they did not go to
7 the actual conduct and acts by both accused, they are just background
8 information documents. And some of them are corroborating the evidence
9 presented in this courtroom. So it's entirely within the scope of the 92
10 bis scope, and we found that those documents have some probative value in
12 At the same time, I would like to remind the parties, this is a
13 trial with two accused, namely Mr. Blagojevic and Mr. Jokic. The attack
14 on Srebrenica, the military manoeuvre of both sides are not the subject
15 matter of this case. The purpose of this trial is to understand whether
16 the two accused are guilty or not. It is our duty to stop any attempts,
17 if there's any, to expand the scope of the indictment at this stage,
18 especially for the nature of the armed conflict, that is to say whether a
19 military manoeuvre is justified or not, unless those military manoeuvres
20 are closely related to the charges listed in the indictment.
21 At the same time, we also found that those documents, if admitted,
22 will also help the Defence to prepare their case in the future. In past
23 proceedings we received very few so-called official documents of the ABiH.
24 So based on the above reasons, we decided to admit those 14 documents into
25 evidence without cross-examination. It is so decided.
1 I hope Mr. Court Deputy will contact the Prosecution to give them
2 proper numbers for those documents.
3 The last set of documents are the MUP reports from Zvornik
4 security centre dated 12 July 1995. The question we would like to ask to
5 the Prosecution is: To what extent does it add to the evidence already
6 adduced? We hope the Prosecution could be more specific on those issues.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. To fully answer that, I would
8 best need the two or three other very similar reports drafted -- done by
9 the same person, Dragomir Vasic, the head of the Zvornik municipality CSB.
10 He writes a series of reports on this critical day of 12 July. He writes,
11 as you recall, there's one that says he is at an 8.30 a.m. meeting at the
12 Bratunac Brigade headquarters with Mladic and certain things are
13 discussed. This is really the next one in line. And then after that, we
14 had another one that's in evidence that says that at -- I think it's at
15 the meeting of 10.30, certain things occurred. These -- again, this is a
16 major historical document from a person that was in the middle of these
17 events, Mr. Vasic. And as you can tell from the -- from our filings, this
18 is something that -- our version of it was unintelligible, largely. So it
19 took us a while to really get a clear indication that we had this document
20 and what it said. I mean that was -- and that happens with all these
21 documents, and it wasn't until relatively recently that we realised that
22 we did have -- that that wasn't the same as one of the other documents,
23 that it was the new -- the missing link. There was some -- when it was
24 first obtained, I seemed to recall something like it but I wasn't sure if
25 it existed and I kept asking people for it. And we ended up finding this
1 bad translation and we went down and found it recently, as we tried to
2 point out the high points of that in the motion. So that's sort of the
3 little background into this thing.
4 Now, in particular it actually -- my memory of what it says is
5 that it makes a comment about -- General Vasic says -- It speaks of the
6 able-bodied men. I'm not sure I've seen any document that speaks of the
7 able-bodied men of Potocari. These are, as you know, the men that are
8 soon to be killed. So that is the -- something that I would -- I know
9 Your Honours would be very interested in.
10 But now that Ms. Stewart has given me the document, let me go a
11 little bit more routinely through it. Point one in the document -- well,
12 the document first talks about a 10.30 meeting was held, and it identifies
13 some of the people that were there, General Mladic, Vasic, Deronjic,
14 Karremans, and then the Muslims. Interestingly enough, leaving out some
15 of the other army people that we know from other evidence that were there.
16 But then it goes on to list the conclusions of, as you know, important
18 "According to the Muslims, there are 25.000 people in the base in
20 This is, again, as Mr. Stojanovic said, does give us some
21 indication of what, at least the Muslims think, there may be in Potocari,
22 which is something. Then it talks about: "10 per cent are conscripts
23 from 17 to 60 years old."
24 Again, as you recall, at that meeting, the Dutch learned that
25 Mladic wanted the people 17 to 60 screened as war criminals, which was
1 reiterated by Mr. Deronjic, Mr. Deronjic saying that he is the one saying
2 it, the Dutch saying that Mladic said it. In any event, those critical
3 people are discussed. And this actually gives us a potential number, that
4 10 per cent of 25.000 are able-bodied men. As we look at the evidence
5 that is adduced, we'll determine how reliable that figure is, but at least
6 it's something that you may consider in this -- in what is an important
7 issue. How many men were separated at Potocari? Because obviously that
8 goes to the nature of the -- and the size of the crime that's happening in
10 "They want to leave the camp voluntarily and go to Tuzla or
11 Kladanj and request assistance."
12 Well, I think this goes fundamentally to the forcible transfer,
13 and of course, we don't think this is a credible statement, but certainly
14 it's in an official document that the Court should review. As I hope, and
15 I'm sure the Court is aware of by now, it's been the object of the
16 Prosecution to present relevant and important evidence, no matter what it
17 says, be it intercepts, be it documents, we, of course, think you need the
18 whole picture. This is one of those whole-picture documents that you need
19 to see, to see if you think that is a credible statement. Did the Muslims
20 really want to leave?
21 And the -- perhaps the most interesting statement in this document
22 is at number four: "It was decided to grant their requests and with
23 UNPROFOR assistance, presence, and provision of fuel for transportation,
24 the trucks were provided, boarding of vehicles will commence at 1400
25 hours, an escort will be provided to Kladanj."
1 Well, that's a nice official start date of what the evidence has
2 suggested but anyway, having an official document, as I know you want to
3 outline the facts, this will assist you, I think.
4 But then, this is what is, I think, very interesting. "After the
5 inspection, depending on Mladic's decision, able-bodied men may be allowed
6 to go in order to have other from the woods surrender, since our command
7 urged them to do so."
8 Well, here is one of the very few references to the able-bodied
9 men that are so critical to understanding this case. As you know, the
10 Prosecution is arguing that the decision to kill these men was made
11 sometime between the night of 11 July and the morning of 12 July, when
12 Mladic announced the separation. And this is fundamental to our case, and
13 I think Mr. Karnavas has made clear that he thinks -- that he will be
14 arguing the -- and I won't argue for Mr. Karnavas, but he will argue that
15 this decision was made at a later time and so this is a key issue. And
16 here we have Mr. Vasic interpreting it. And it -- the Prosecution's
17 interpretation of this is that Mr. Vasic has not been clued in on the plan
18 to murder those men, and Mr. Karnavas will speak for himself and we'll
19 have evidence on that, and he will suggest that I would guess that there
20 is no plan at that point to kill men. It could also mean that Vasic is
21 aware of the plan but is covering himself. So you may hear various
22 interpretations of this. But this is a fundamental and important issue.
23 I'm sure that Mr. Karnavas and I agree that this is a document you should
24 see so that we can argue it properly.
25 And then there's again more information about the various MUP
1 units and where they are, which -- may help you in terms of sorting out
2 some of the MUP evidence that's come in. And that is -- can be important,
3 but for me to explain why that's important would be going beyond the scope
4 of what I should be doing here now. I don't want to argue my case. But I
5 don't think -- I'm almost positive we would all like this document in for
6 basically some of the reasons I've said and I'm sure Mr. Karnavas will
7 agree with me and he will have his own reasons. So I can sit down and let
8 him give his reasons and maybe I'm wrong.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Mr. Karnavas.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I guess different minds
12 can converge at points in time in this particular trial. I agree with
13 Mr. McCloskey. And when this information was brought to my attention, I
14 had said that I would concur that it should come in, as I had
15 indicated - and Mr. McCloskey's correct - with Mr. Waespi that I did not
16 have any objections. And I want to just clarify that point. Because with
17 the previous documents I had heard a different explanation and given the
18 initial explanation, Mr. McCloskey caused me a little bit of an anxiety
19 attack, hence my recitation. So I just wanted to clear that point with
20 the previous documents, but I don't object to this particular document.
21 And having heard the Court's reasons and having heard the Prosecution's
22 response to my -- reply to my response, I'm comfortable with respect to
23 the previous ruling that the Court made.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 Mr. Stojanovic?
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we had the
2 opportunity to study this document, and the only thing that I would like
3 to say right now regarding our defence, in view of the time and place that
4 this report by Mr. Vasic refers to, and according to our information, the
5 Prosecution received this document from Mr. Vasic, that perhaps this would
6 be a good opportunity, in view of the importance of this document and in
7 view of the quality of the document - and you cannot really see the
8 contents properly from it - that it would be a good opportunity on our
9 part to propose that Mr. Vasic be brought as a witness, as a Prosecution
10 witness, and to testify as to the circumstances the document refers to.
11 And under such conditions, perhaps then we could accept the evidence and
12 the exhibits that the Prosecution is already to an certain extent making
13 use of already.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, concerning of the quality of the original
15 document, Mr. McCloskey, do you have anything to say on that aspect?
16 Because it is really a problem because the faintness of the print of that
17 document is -- would you please tell us: How do you or how the
18 interpreters could distinguish words in this kind of document.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's my understanding from our study -- recent
20 study that this document was obtained in a search of the -- of Zvornik.
21 And we were provided some documents by Mr. Vasic in various interviews. I
22 don't believe this is one of them. And I was -- I will sort that out.
23 But like a lot of these old documents -- the original is readable. And so
24 what happened was we were able to at least make out a 12 July date in the
25 computer filing and a little bit more information. Then we went down to
1 the vault, we got the original, and the interpreter worked from the
2 original. And we've tried to get a decent photocopy of that original,
3 but -- and we can -- we probably can get a better one if we send it out to
4 the pros that we sometimes use. But we're very confident in the
5 translation because they were able to see the original, and of course, we
6 can bring the original to everyone so they can take a look at it and see
7 it. But we do feel that we have one of these original very -- probably,
8 it may disappear in the next ten years, it's that kind of paper. But it's
9 readable and it's available.
10 Now, regarding -- could we go into private session briefly?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go into private session, please.
12 [Private session]
13 Pages 7454 to 7457 – redacted – private session.
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, are there any other matters that the parties
9 would like to bring to the attention of this Bench at this stage?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, we don't have much time and we
11 will be in court tomorrow, but it has to do with the time as far
12 as -- that will be allocated to the Defence in order to go to the field,
13 make the list, present the list, and so on and so forth. And we've been,
14 I think, magnanimous in allowing the Prosecutor to bring in additional
15 witnesses, and this has caused us some delays. And so I'm going to be
16 asking, just so you know, so you can prepare yourself a little bit for
17 tomorrow, that we resume April 5 -- the Defence case starts on April 5.
18 Because I think Mr. Blagojevic indicated a very valid point with respect
19 to Vasic. I -- but I've also been trying to make a very long list of
20 witnesses, including others that the Prosecution has not brought in.
21 So -- but we need to go back into the field and we need to re-assess and
22 then of course, I wanted to meet with Mr. Blagojevic and give him the list
23 to see if he wished to add anybody to the list. So I don't think
24 physically it's possible for us to get everything ready for us to resume
25 putting on our case before April 5. So that's the target date that I'm
1 asking the Court. So that way when I say it tomorrow, there won't be any
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, if we have time tomorrow. It depends on when we
4 will finish, especially on the Friday afternoon sitting.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe, Your Honour, that Mr. McCloskey
6 indicated that he was going to take one session. And frankly, from my
7 understanding of the witness, I don't foresee taking more than a session.
8 I mean, I think even less than a session for the cross-examination. So I
9 don't -- I'm positive that we're going to be finishing up early. I just
10 wanted to alert the Court as to the date.
11 JUDGE LIU: I see. I think the other day we made a ruling that
12 you might file your 98 bis filings three days after the finish of the
13 Prosecution's case. That is still valid.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand. And I'm not quibbling whether those
15 were business days or whether those included the weekend. I'm not pushing
16 on that issue.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's a subject we could discuss tomorrow if we
18 have time.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. But it's the other part that I'm really
20 worried about.
21 JUDGE LIU: I understand that.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, just one question to you: I
24 understand that you could make your closing argument after your case is
25 finished or you could make it at the very end of the Defence case. What's
1 your opinion on that?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: The end.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
4 Well, I think it's time for the break. And we'll resume tomorrow
5 afternoon in Courtroom III at 2.15. The hearing is adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
7 at 1.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
8 the 27th day of February, 2004,
9 at 2.15 p.m.