1 Monday, 19 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Before having the next witness, are there
9 any matters that the parties would like to raise? Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Just very briefly, and as I
11 have informed Defence counsel, though I wasn't of course able to speak in
12 B/C/S to Mr. Stojanovic, that as we have continued to learn about the law
13 of genocide, I think we learned a little more a few hours ago. And it
14 appears that our complicity in genocide charge, while it incorporates some
15 of the facts we have involved here, it appears that from the ruling that
16 aiding and abetting in genocide may be the more specific and better charge
17 now based on the most recent opinion. We're of course studying that. But
18 given that, it appears as though we will be needing to file an amended
19 indictment to include aiding and abetting in genocide. Aiding and
20 abetting is of course charged but it is not charged specifically to
21 genocide, I don't believe, from the old indictment. I just wanted to put
22 everyone officially on notice of that, and we're just trying to keep up
23 with the current law on this matter, of course.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 Any response?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Just very briefly, I guess. The rules are getting
2 changed as the game is being played. I don't know how it's going to
3 impact our case. I need to see it. It's kind of interesting. I just
4 heard part of the decision, how they got to aiding and abetting in
5 genocide, something that doesn't exist, at least I'm unaware of, and the
6 reasoning behind it. So we probably will be objecting for a variety of
7 reasons, one of that fact that we're well into our case. And number two,
8 I believe at least, you know, from what I've heard, and I have to give it
9 some more thought, that perhaps the Appeals Chamber exceeded its mandate
10 under the -- in creating the Tribunal, because now it appears that they
11 are creating law, something which they're not supposed to be doing. But
12 in any event we're going to have to wait and see. And I assume that if
13 they're going to be amending the indictment, they're going to be throwing
14 out the complicity in genocide portion, unless what I'm hearing is they
15 also want to charge in the alternative to this new addition of aiding and
16 abetting. And of course I'd have to wait and see, and I don't know how
17 that will impact my case because I may need some additional time as a
18 result of this amended indictment. I'm just putting everybody on notice
19 as well. Because I think it's rather unfair to charge Mr. Blagojevic back
20 in 1999 on something, then investigate the case, we start the trial, we
21 have all these amendments, and now in the middle of the game we're
22 amending the indictment yet again. So -- but I can understand why they
23 want to do it, but nonetheless I think there's some fundamental unfairness
24 about all of this.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you. I think this morning I just listened
1 to the delivery of the summaries of the judgement. I haven't read the
2 whole text of the judgement. And that before that, I think I should
3 refrain from making any comments at this moment. But we would like to
4 thank the Prosecution for informing us about their intention. I also hope
5 the Prosecution could have a thorough reading of that judgement before
7 And another matter is that as we said before that we were not
8 quite satisfied with the 65 ter filings submitted by the Defence, and
9 during the examinations of the first witness we found something new in his
10 testimony about the whereabouts of Mr. Blagojevic, which did not appear in
11 the 65 ter filings. So in this case, I believe that the Defence should
12 submit to the other party and to the Trial Chamber proofing notes
13 indicating that important element, which may be exculpatory to your
14 client, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. That was something that we
16 did learn. And I did inform the Prosecution of new developments with
17 these witnesses, but I will -- if I'm being ordered by the Court to
18 provide proofing notes, I will do so, recognising that, at least for
19 technical purposes, it's not in the rules. Nonetheless, I accept that. I
20 only mention that so in the event I want for us to go outside the rules,
21 outside the box, in some of my requests, that I'm not held strictly to the
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, our interpretation is that the proofing notes
24 are supplementary to the 65 ter filings. The witness came here and you
25 have a proofing session with the witness. Suddenly the witness mentioned
1 something that is not listed in your 65 ter filings. So by doing so, we
2 could avoid the wasting of time and any pre-emptive attacks on the other
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: You just have to list that new information or
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
8 JUDGE LIU: If there's no new information, I don't think there's a
9 need to submit proofing notes on that issue.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. Since we're on that topic,
11 this witness did inform us something new last night. I already spoke to
12 the Prosecutor about it. It was about a meeting that he attended on July
13 12th at the SDS headquarters, where Mr. Deronjic was there. The phone
14 rang; it was President Karadzic who congratulated -- then the phone was
15 put on speakerphone to everybody could hear the president congratulating
16 everybody on the liberation of Srebrenica. Then the witness said he heard
17 Karadzic directly speak to Deronjic saying words to the effect that: You
18 are -- everything is under your control, or words to that effect. So
19 that's the only new development.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your information. I hope for the next
21 witness you could submit something in writing.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I will, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 And are there any protective measures for the next witness?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 Could we have the witness, please.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe Mr. Blagojevic wishes to say something;
6 however, in light of the situation, I prefer that it be in private
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We are going into private session.
9 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
22 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR TESIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
3 Witness, do you mind if I ask you a question?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Go ahead, please.
5 JUDGE LIU: I saw you come into the room with a notebook in your
6 hands. What is it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the law on defence and law
8 on the army, published in June of 1992, pursuant to which I as chief of
9 the department of the Ministry of Defence had to work and abide by the
11 JUDGE LIU: Are there any objections from the Prosecution on that
13 MR. KARNAVAS: May I be heard for one second, Your Honours?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: We have made a copy of that law from the Official
16 Gazette. That will be introduced as D60 -- it's already introduced. I
17 beg your pardon. It has already been introduced, but this is his personal
18 copy. We have notified the Prosecutor that we would be using this, and
19 the gentleman came to The Hague with his own copy. We can provide him
20 with a fresh copy as we go through this. We're just going to briefly make
21 reference to it.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
23 I guess there's no objections from the Prosecution.
24 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour. We may want to take a look at the
25 original, but at this point there's no problem.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe during the break.
2 MS. ISSA: Yes, that's fine.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I ask this question just to spell
4 out any suspicions on that issue. You may proceed.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. I was
6 going to do that first thing myself.
7 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
8 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
9 A. Good afternoon.
10 Q. Could you please tell us your name and give us your last name
11 letter by letter.
12 A. Aleksandar Tesic. A-l-e-k-s-a-n-d-a-r T-e-s-i-c.
13 Q. Okay. So your last name is T-e-s-i-c. Correct?
14 A. That's correct, Tesic.
15 Q. Okay. Mr. Tesic, where are you from?
16 A. Today I live in Ljubovija, in Serbia.
17 Q. Where do you work?
18 A. I work at the Ministry of Defence, Bratunac department.
19 Q. How long have you worked there?
20 A. Since the 1st of March, 1981.
21 Q. Now, before we speak about your work, could you please tell us
22 where you grew up.
23 A. I was born on the 23rd of January, 1954, in Bratunac, in Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina. I grew up there, completed elementary school there. I
25 attended secondary school and completed secondary school in Ljubovija, in
1 Serbia. Following that, I attended physical education college in
2 Belgrade. I studied there for three years as a full time student and
3 unfortunately did not complete the college. I hadn't studied enough. I
4 lived in Bratunac up until 1988, at which time I bought a plot of land in
5 Ljubovija and built a house there. I moved into the house in 1990. As I
6 am a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was in the -- I was recorded in
7 the military books in Bratunac and I was recorded in those books back in
8 1971. And my name has remained in the military records of Bratunac to
9 this day, especially since I worked at the then-secretariat for national
10 defence. And as such, as a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as
11 somebody fit for service in the army, I had to abide by the law on defence
12 and law on the army.
13 Q. Okay. Now, if I may stop you here. So if I understand your full
14 and complete answer, at some point you did your military service.
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. And then after completing your military service, at some point you
18 were asked to work for the Department of Defence?
19 A. Yes, that's right. Because I served my military service in Knin,
20 in Croatia, in the signal corps. I was a radio telegraph specialist.
21 Back in 1980, personnel with those skills were needed in the defence
22 department in Bratunac, representatives of the secretariat for defence had
23 selected me out of several candidates, and I started working as a clerk
24 for monitoring and reporting service for -- and for crypto protection. I
25 continued in those tasks and duties until May of 1992, when the war broke
2 Q. All right. Now, today what is your position?
3 A. Starting in mid-May of 1992 and up until today, I've been working
4 as chief of the defence department in Bratunac. The defence department is
5 the smallest organisational unit of the defence department at the
6 municipal level. This pertains to the municipal level.
7 Q. Okay. Now, I want to go step by step. So could you please just
8 tell us just in general terms very briefly what exactly your department
10 A. Pursuant to the law on defence, the defence department deals with
11 the following tasks: It keeps records of military conscripts, of materiel
12 and technical equipment, and cattle as well as everything else that is
13 needed for the defence of the country. In addition to that, the defence
14 department deals with recruitment and sending of conscripts to perform or
15 to serve their regular military service. Also, it deals with
16 reinforcement and mobilisation of recruits, of conscripts, and materiel
17 and technical equipment for wartime units, civilian defence units, for
18 monitoring and reporting services, for communication units, and also
19 coordinates that work with companies and enterprises when it comes to the
20 obligation to perform labour. In addition to that, there's some general,
21 administrative, and financial tasks that the department performs.
22 Q. All right. Now, with respect to mobilisation, could you -- and
23 briefly tell us exactly what do you mean when you say "mobilisation" and
24 what exactly do you mobilise?
25 A. When we use the term "mobilise," that means that at a particular
1 point in time, upon an order from a superior organ, we are to call up
2 either parts of units or an entire unit or carry out a general
3 mobilisation, if that is what the order specifies. If it involves an
4 exceptional situation, situation of imminent threat of war or war
5 situation. Should I explain this in greater detail?
6 Q. Let me ask a couple of questions here. Now, how do you know which
7 people to mobilise or what materiel you need to mobilise and where you
8 would go to mobilise it?
9 A. All of those matters are specified in the plans that we maintain
10 and that we have. Based on the needs of the army, the Main Staff creates
11 certain plans for reinforcement of units, which are, following that,
12 approved by the Ministry of Defence. Then this is sent to the defence
13 department in order to be implemented or rather to carry out the
14 reinforcement or the mobilisation, so that if there is an order to carry
15 out a mobilisation, then the defence department will do so using a
16 well-developed system. There is a general mobilisation and a partial one.
17 Back when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia existed, this
18 system was quite well-developed, and that was the most important aspect of
19 it. Once the mobilisation is carried out successfully, that signifies a
20 top achievement for the Ministry of Defence. All of the preparations for
21 defence would fail if the mobilisation were not carried out properly.
22 Q. Okay. Now, when you say that there was a system in place, could
23 you tell us how the system was developed in case of need -- there was an
24 emergency where you needed to mobilise, what sort of system existed and
25 how was it possible for folks to engage in this mobilisation process.
1 A. Every conscript, even before that, was called up to the defence
2 department, and his wartime deployment schedule was written down in his
3 military booklet. So the call-up for mobilisation was performed on a form
4 which had the title of MOB 11. That was the type of form, and there were
5 two types of forms to be filled in. One was for general mobilisation and
6 the other one was for partial mobilisation. And there was a
7 well-organised courier system. We had couriers who would dispatch the
8 invitations to attend, and all the conscripts were called up very quickly
9 and mobilisation carried out in that way. This also referred to the
10 mobilisation of materiel resources and technical resources, regardless of
11 the fact whether they were privately owned or whether these resources
12 before the war, as they were, they were socially owned. And as this --
13 there was state appropriation later on then. Usually these resources were
14 in the hands of certain companies. When the mobilisation for materiel and
15 technical resources was requested, the courier would take to the
16 individual responsible in a given company, usually that was the managing
17 director. He would be handed a call-up for mobilisation. He would take
18 the piece of paper, the form, and sign for it, saying that he had received
19 the call-up. And then he would be given a receipt for the resources that
20 were taken away.
21 Q. What if, Mr. Tesic, the need was of such an emergency that there
22 was little time to contact everybody via courier? Was a process or method
23 used to inform people that there was a mobilisation going on?
24 A. Yes, of course. Mobilisation can be proclaimed by the information
25 media as well, that is to say it can be broadcast over the radio, it can
1 be televised or posters can be put up in prominent places around town.
2 Q. All right. Now, you indicated that all the men who were
3 registered and had predetermined assignments in the event of mobilisation,
4 was every male given a military assignment, or were there also nonmilitary
5 assignments as part of this mobilisation process?
6 A. Let me explain that to you. The records for the military recruits
7 is kept in the following manner: On one side we have these are assigned,
8 and on the other side the nonassigned persons. And it -- not every
9 conscript has to have a wartime assignment. It might be that there is no
10 need at any given time for them to be assigned anywhere, although mostly
11 all the human potential is kept in line with the strength of the units and
12 their requirements and lists of their names are supplied to the various
13 units and made up by the department itself. To make up the necessary
14 number of men in the units, to have a full complement of soldiers, we need
15 the department to look into this for civil defence purposes as well, the
16 civil defence units and the working -- the enterprises and companies.
17 They, too, are reinforced with military conscripts and those who were not.
18 We can make up the numbers in that way, so the same applies to civilian
19 protection or civil defence and in the monitoring and reporting service.
20 But priority is always given to having the war units supplied with the
21 necessary number of men, of soldiers, especially with young men, an
22 officer's cadre, noncommissioned officers, on the basis of different
23 specialty and training in the various army services and branches, if that
24 is possible. And once that has been accomplished, then we use other
25 people to make up the necessary numbers.
1 Q. You indicated civil defence. Could you explain a little bit about
2 what you mean by civil defence.
3 A. Civil defence or civilian protection is a separate segment of
4 defence, and it is geared towards providing protection and safeguarding
5 people, the inhabitants, and the society's material resources. Civil
6 defence is organised in the following manner: There are staffs for civil
7 defence and there are units for civil defence. The staffs, depending on
8 the levels, whether there was a republican staff, for example, at the
9 republican level and then lower down the regional staffs and the municipal
10 staffs. In large enterprises, you could also have staffs at the level of
11 the enterprise.
12 So civil defence units, as a rule, were of general purpose. They
13 were either of general purpose, that is to say, or specialised ones. The
14 general purpose units were, for the most part, as far as we in Bratunac
15 were concerned, were at the level of a platoon. And even before the war,
16 every local community had one such unit. The special purpose ones were
17 units for, for example, evacuation and safeguarding the population. Then
18 there was another unit for blackouts. Then there was a unit for medical
19 aid and assistance, first aid units that is, and first aid and veterinary
20 assistance as well. There was also a unit for protecting and saving
21 livestock and food of animal origin. Then there was a unit for transport
22 and supplies and a unit for sanitation for the terrain and the biological
23 and chemical protection unit. And I'm saying all this because we
24 inherited this system from the old system that prevailed in the Socialist
25 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in which there was the generally known
1 concept of Total National Defence, or all people's -- All People's Defence
2 and Social Self Protection, in which everybody was incorporated into the
3 system of defence; the citizen, as an individual, and society, as a whole.
4 And nothing much changed later on, when the state of Yugoslavia actually
6 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you were in Bratunac and you were the head
7 of this department for the Bratunac municipality. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Okay. Who was your immediate superior?
10 A. My immediate superior -- how do you mean? At what point in time?
11 Do you mean for a certain period of time? Because they changed. It
12 wasn't the same one all the time. If you're thinking in 1995, for
13 instance, then it was Stevan Ivanovic who was the secretary of the
14 secretariat at the level of the region of Zvornik, if that's who you mean.
15 Q. Okay. And based on this answer - and my question wasn't artfully
16 put - I take it that Bratunac was part of a particular region?
17 A. Of course. I said previously that the Ministry of Defence is the
18 executive organ set up by the government. And at the top is the Ministry
19 of Defence, and then lower down the organisational units are the
20 secretariats. And they are to be found in the regions. They have their
21 headquarters in the individual regions; whereas the defence department was
22 established as the lowest organisational unit of the Ministry of Defence
23 in the local communities, so that the Bratunac local commune belonged to
24 at that period of time the secretariat of Zvornik.
25 Q. All right. Now, can you -- if you recall, what other departments
1 of municipalities belonged to the Zvornik secretariat or region?
2 A. Yes, I can tell you that. Just let me think. Osmaci, Zvornik,
3 Sekovici, Vlasenica, Milici, Bratunac, Skelani, Visegrad, Rudo, Cajnice,
4 and Srpsko Gorazde, as well as Srebrenica after the liberation.
5 Q. Okay. What about Han Pijesak?
6 A. Han Pijesak belonged to another secretariat, the Sarajevo
7 secretariat, in fact.
8 Q. How about Pale?
9 A. And its headquarters was at Pale.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. Han Pijesak, and then I can give you the names of some other
12 municipalities such as Sokolac and the surrounding municipalities like
13 Rogatica and so on, I can't remember them all now.
14 Q. All right. We'll discuss that later. Now, your department, who
15 would you have direct contact with at your level?
16 A. How do you mean contacts? You mean with the commands and units of
17 the army or some other --
18 Q. Yes. With the commands and units of the army.
19 A. Mostly the departments would maintain contacts with the units or
20 the commands of units with their area of responsibility in the
21 municipality in which the department is located. So by the same token,
22 since in Bratunac there was the 1st Light Infantry Brigade, I frequently
23 contacted the command of the brigade. And most often I would contact and
24 have dealings with Major Dragomir Eskic who was the head of the personnel
25 department in the brigade. And very often during the war, I had contacts
1 with the commanders of the brigade, because during the war there were very
2 many of them in that brigade. And they -- one would replace the other.
3 Q. All right. Well, would a -- the corps, for instance, somebody
4 from the Drina Corps, would they contact you if they needed your
5 assistance for mobilisation of personnel or materiel within Bratunac?
6 Would they come directly to you?
7 A. From the corps you mean?
8 Q. Yes. Assuming the rules and the laws were followed.
9 A. Mostly, no. The corps is a superior command, so the corps would
10 contact the secretariat. They were superior to me. And the secretariat
11 was the higher instance, the higher organ, which was superior to me. So I
12 would receive orders from the secretariat. They would be passed down to
14 Q. What about the Main Staff? Could -- would the Main Staff, under
15 the way the law is written, the way it's supposed to function, would the
16 Main Staff come directly to you, or would they need to go to a higher
17 echelon officer?
18 A. Well, that would be a precedent for the Main Staff to communicate
19 lower down. The Main Staff contacted and had dealings with the Ministry
20 of Defence at the highest level. So there was strict observance of the
22 Q. All right. Now, before we discuss the events of July 1995, I want
23 to show you what has been marked as D60 -- or it has been introduced into
24 evidence as D60. If you could please look at it.
25 Do you recognise this document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And what is this document, if you could just tell us very briefly?
3 A. This is the law on defence or the defence act, which was enacted
4 by the assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina in June 1992.
5 And it was in force and valid until a new law was passed, a new defence
6 law and army act, in 1996 I believe. I'm not quite sure of the date.
7 Q. All right. Now, does this law cover the various concepts that you
8 spoke about with respect to mobilisation, civil defence, and what have
10 A. Yes. It regulates the work of the defence ministry, what kind of
11 work it engages in.
12 Q. And there are specific provisions. I don't want to go through
13 provisions in order for the sake of saving some time, but in this law we
14 would find provisions with respect to mobilisation. Correct?
15 A. Yes. If we look at article 10, for example, we will see that it
16 says: "The Ministry of Defence shall carry out the mobilisation of the
17 army, state organs, and organisations, civil defence units and staffs," et
18 cetera, et cetera. And then that: "It shall keep records on personal and
19 technical equipment for the purpose of conscription and mobilisation," et
21 Q. You need to slow down and I don't want -- there's no need to read
22 out --
23 A. Yes, I will.
24 Q. Now, this law also provides for education with respect to civil
25 defence, does it not?
1 A. I didn't understand the word "education," what you mean by that.
2 Q. As far as drills and testing. So, for instance, if we were to go
3 to article 64, 65, 68, we see that there are some specific provisions with
4 respect to drills and training. Correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I take it that as part of -- let me ask you this: As part of your
7 department, was it -- did you or did the Department of Defence conduct any
8 drills or have any training in order to ensure that the mobilisation
9 process of either people or materiel would work as it's supposed to work
10 in time of an emergency?
11 A. Attention was also paid to training for the courier system,
12 because it was an all-important aspect of mobilisation. And if that was
13 well-organised and if that functioned well, then mobilisation could be
14 carried out very speedily and efficaciously in the time necessary. And
15 special attention is paid to seeing that the units have the necessary
16 number of soldiers, the priority units. There was classified A units, et
17 cetera. So we want a full complement for units of that kind. And
18 these -- the soldiers should be -- the conscripts should be nearby, able
19 to report speedily, et cetera.
20 Q. Okay. And just -- again, I don't want to go through this because
21 we can read it and analyse it at our leisure. But also we can find in
22 here such as article 79 and 80 provisions that deal with punishment of
23 punitive measures in the event citizens fail to respond to their duties
24 and obligations. Correct?
25 A. Yes, that's right. That's what is stated in article 79. If they
1 fail to fulfill their materiel obligation, they will be punished. And if
2 they are not prepared and trained for defence, if they do not perform
3 their defence duties, if they do not perform their duties pursuant to
4 civil defence. I don't know if you want me to explain all the different
5 types of obligations and duties briefly.
6 Q. That won't be necessary at this point in time.
7 A. Very well.
8 Q. But this law, would I be correct in concluding that this law more
9 or less sets out the guidelines for your office, for your department and
10 the Department of Defence, with respect to your tasks?
11 A. Yes, you're quite right. And of course the law can have bylaws
12 and bills and provisions of various kinds to enhance it, and instructions
13 and guidelines can be issued by the government or the defence ministry.
14 Q. All right. Thank you. I have no further questions on that.
15 Now, if I can show you another document, what is marked as D114
16 for identification purposes. If you could please look at it. Have you
17 seen this document before?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So I take it you recognise it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What do you recognise it to be?
22 A. These are instructions from the Minister of Defence and this
23 document was compiled on the 18th of May, 1995.
24 Q. And there is another date I see on the front page which says 5
25 June 1995. Can you give us an explanation.
1 A. Yes. Yes. That is the stamp when the document was received and
2 when it arrived at the department. So from that day on is when I have the
4 Q. All right.
5 A. Or rather, the defence department had received the document on
6 that date.
7 Q. Now, you've indicated you've seen this document. Do you have an
8 original -- if I could speed it up a little bit. You provided us with
9 a -- with the original of this document, have you not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And based on that, we copied that. And that's a copy of
12 the original. Correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you have seen the original one here in The Hague since you've
15 arrived. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: And I have it here for the record, in the event the
19 Court or the Prosecution would like to have the original, which was --
20 this is a translation, incidentally, an official translation, by the
21 registry. So ...
22 Q. Okay. Now, briefly if we could discuss this document, just very
23 briefly. Could you tell us what these instructions set out to do.
24 A. Well, it was like this: The minister says that the priority for
25 reinforcing the ranks is for the army units, they must have a full
1 complement. And then the other units and then that they be replenished.
2 And then it regulates matters of how the units are to be replenished.
3 That is to say that the corps commands should submit requests to the
4 secretariat and then the secretariats send an order to the departments in
5 the municipalities for certain units to be replenished. The Main Staff
6 shall issue an order of its own expressly forbidding the commands of the
7 army units to call-up and mobilise at their own initiative, or rather, to
8 engage in the call-up of conscripts. And they are required to send in the
9 request for replenishment to the corps command.
10 Q. Okay. If I could stop you here. So if I understand you
11 correctly, the corps would make -- if the brigade needs something, they
12 would ask the corps to make the request to the secretariat, and then the
13 secretariat would pass down the order down to you. Is that how it would
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, if we went down to paragraph number 5 on Exhibit D14 [sic]
17 for identification purposes, do we see a deviation from what you just
18 stated earlier?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you please explain that to us.
21 A. Yes. If we are dealing with exceptional circumstances, then the
22 request to engage the reserve units may be sent by the command of the unit
23 at the brigade level, directly to the defence department. However,
24 providing that the corps command is immediately notified of that. This
25 pertains to reserve units, to reserve units. I can clarify what reserve
1 forces are. This involves a unit which is composed of military conscripts
2 who had already had their assignments and enterprises, institutions, and
3 companies pursuant to a labour obligation, not an obligation to serve in
4 military service. However, I had an ability occasionally to use reserve
5 forces if there is an urgent need to assist the military. Most often this
6 involved 7- to 15-day assignments, following which they would go back to
7 their companies to perform their labour obligation.
8 Q. All right. Now, in light of your explanation, is that the same as
9 a Workers' Battalion, or am I mistaken?
10 A. Yes. That's exactly what I'm explaining. You've just used the
11 term "Workers' Battalion." That's exactly what it is. This reserve
12 forces from companies. They're called either Workers' Battalion or Work
13 Battalion. That's what it is.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, if I can show you what has been admitted into
15 evidence -- admitted as P417A and this would be -- the B/C/S version is
16 P417B. If I could show you this. Please look at it. Do you recognise
17 this document?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Now, what do you recognise it to be?
20 A. This is the request, or rather, an order which came from the
21 command of the Bratunac Brigade, pursuant to the order of the commander of
22 the Main Staff of the army, to carry out a full mobilisation of all
23 military conscripts from the labour obligation until 1800 hours on the
24 10th of July. And on the second page, we have a table showing the
25 engagement of military conscripts and their assignments in companies or
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. This is signed by -- this document is signed by somebody for the
4 commander, and it was signed by Major Eskic, who was in charge of these
5 personnel matters. This was quite frequent, that Major Eskic would sign
6 such documents. I presume that he had been authorised to do so by the
8 Q. All right. And if we look up at the date, we can see what date
9 this was. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what is that date?
12 A. 10th of July, 1995.
13 Q. Now, in looking at this document and looking at the instruction
14 that we just discussed, would I be correct in concluding that this is --
15 this fits the exception that we read earlier, how the brigade commander
16 could come directly to you, to your department, and make a request under
17 extraordinary circumstances. Is that what we're talking about?
18 A. Yes. That pertains to item 5, which regulates what exceptions
19 they are in the instructions from the Minister of Defence.
20 Q. And having looked at this document, do you recall whether this was
21 executed, this was carried out, this order?
22 A. Certainly. I recall very well, because following the mobilisation
23 of these persons, I personally took them to Pribicevac, this Workers'
24 Battalion, and handed them over directly to General Krstic.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, are we going all the way to 3.30?
2 I've kind of lost --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
5 Q. Now -- so I take it from that answer, on July 10th you recall
6 being up in Pribicevac carrying out this task?
7 A. Yes. That was my duty.
8 Q. Okay. Now --
9 A. To turn these people over with the list VOB 14, that's what the
10 form is called, the form regulating how the people are transferred to a
11 war unit, VOB 14.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, the following day, just by way of reference, was
13 the day that Srebrenica fell. Do you recall doing anything in particular
14 on that day, having to carry out any particular orders?
15 A. I returned from Pribicevac at 1.30 in the morning, so after
16 midnight, with Major Eskic; we returned together. And I stayed at my
17 office. On the 11th -- well, I can't remember exactly. I can't remember
18 what I did on the 11th, but I was in my office mostly. We had other
19 regular duties to discharge. I had to be always present in my office,
20 because the army always needed something. And the army always turned to
21 the Ministry of Defence when it needed something. So I couldn't be absent
23 Q. All right. Okay. Do you know whether -- from your recollection
24 whether you attended any meetings at the Hotel Fontana on that particular
25 day, the day that Srebrenica fell?
1 A. I did not attend the meeting at the Fontana.
2 Q. Okay. Do you know whether you were asked on that particular day
3 now, we're talking about the 11th, the day that Srebrenica fell, whether
4 you were called to attend any meetings that might have taken place at the
5 Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
6 A. I don't remember going to a meeting on the 11th. We had no time
7 for meetings. On the 11th, there was combat going on.
8 Q. Okay. Now, on the 12th, the day after Srebrenica has fallen, do
9 you recall going to any meetings?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. Could you please tell us what was the first meeting
12 that you attended.
13 A. Yes. Let me clarify how it was. The president of the Executive
14 Board of Bratunac municipality Srbislav Davidovic, nicknamed Buco, asked
15 me to take him in my private car to the command of the brigade, because
16 his driver was not available. This was pursuant to an urgent notice to
17 attend from General Mladic. And I did as I was asked. After -- or
18 rather, it takes only 2 or 3 minutes to get by car from the municipal
19 building to the command. As soon as I came back to the municipal
20 building, as I was standing outside in front of the building, somebody
21 told me - I don't know whether it was the secretary of the Executive Board
22 or somebody else - somebody yelled to me through the window to go
23 immediately to the command because I was also being asked to come by
24 General Mladic. Again, I did as I was asked. I entered the operations
25 room where the meeting was taking place.
1 Q. Okay. Let me stop you here. Where is the operations room?
2 A. On the ground floor, to the right.
3 Q. The ground floor of the Bratunac Brigade headquarters?
4 A. Yes, yes. The headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade, which was
5 located in the building of the Kaolin company. The company wasn't
6 operating at the time.
7 Q. Okay. Now, did you see General Mladic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you see Mr. Blagojevic there?
10 A. I don't remember seeing him.
11 Q. Did you know who he was at that point in time?
12 A. Who do you mean?
13 Q. Well, if you saw him in the street, would you know this is Vidoje
14 Blagojevic or would he just be some stranger to you?
15 A. I know Colonel Blagojevic very well. I've known him since he was
16 appointed commander of the brigade, although I also remember him during
17 the time when he was a student of the secondary school for construction in
18 Bratunac. I think he's three or four years older than me. I think he was
19 born in 1950, and he was the second year of students who started attending
20 the school. Had he been there, I would have recognised him, certainly.
21 But as I've said, I don't remember seeing him there --
22 Q. All right.
23 A. -- in the operations room. Because there were some 10 to 15
24 people there.
25 Q. All right. Well, before we discuss what happened at the
1 meeting --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if it's okay, we'll take the break.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
8 Q. Mr. Tesic, we left off on July 12th, 1995, when you were in the
9 Bratunac Brigade operation room at a meeting that had been called by
10 General Mladic. Now, could you please tell us, describe to us, to the
11 best of your recollection what happened at the meeting.
12 A. At the meeting I stayed half an hour at the most. When I entered
13 the operations room, I introduced myself as the head of the defence
14 department, and I greeted General Mladic. He told me to sit down.
15 Immediately after several introductory remarks concerning the event, the
16 liberation of Srebrenica, he asked me directly: What do you think? What
17 are we to do with all these people? I asked him: What people?
18 Q. Let me stop you here. Did you know General Mladic before that
20 A. Yes, I used to see him because he would come to Bratunac. I don't
21 remember whether it was just two times or more that he came to Bratunac
22 before that. And once I saw him in Pale or rather at Jahorina and I think
23 also in Pribicevac.
24 Q. Did he know you -- did he know exactly who you were if he were to
25 see you on the street?
1 A. I don't think so. I don't think he would recognise me.
2 Q. All right. So he asked you a question. And what was your answer?
3 A. I asked him back: What people? And he said: The ones in
4 Potocari. I didn't know about that. He said that there were a lot of
5 Muslims up there and he had meant them. I thought for a little bit and
6 then I said: Well, they should be sent to their territory, towards
7 Kladanj and Tuzla. He didn't make any comment. And this is where it
8 ended, as far as my conversation with Mladic is concerned.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. I stayed there for a bit longer in the operations room.
11 Q. Okay. Let me stop you here. Now, do you recall, Mr. Tesic, being
12 given any instructions or orders or requests from General Mladic?
13 A. I remember that he said that an urgent mobilisation or requisition
14 of buses ought to be carried out as well as trailer trucks. In order to
15 transport the population. Then he also said that transportation should be
16 provided for at least 20.000 persons for that day or the following day at
17 the latest. That's what he said.
18 Q. All right. Now, was that an order to you?
19 A. Well, General Mladic, as commander of the General Staff certainly
20 wasn't joking when he said that. And a certain procedure was also
21 observed as to how the orders are implemented in the written form. In
22 view of the urgency, this order had to be dealt with immediately. And
23 shortly thereafter a written order arrived from the secretariat in Zvornik
24 to carry out a mobilisation.
25 Q. All right. Let me stop you here. Now, when General Mladic gave
1 you that information with respect to the people and the need for the
2 buses, did he ask you to contact anyone in order for this mobilisation
3 process to begin?
4 A. No, he didn't ask anything in that respect.
5 Q. Did you by any chance, based on that request, go to
6 Colonel Blagojevic and ask him: Were there any orders for you to commence
7 the mobilisation process, at least at the departmental level, at your
9 A. No, no.
10 Q. Did you, Mr. Tesic, get any requests from Colonel Blagojevic or
11 anyone else that you recall from the Bratunac Brigade on his behalf to
12 mobilise means of transportation available and registered in Bratunac?
13 A. No. No.
14 Q. Now, you indicated that at one point in time, you received an
15 order. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. Now -- and that order came from where, if you recall?
18 A. It came from the secretariat in Zvornik.
19 Q. All right. Now, before I show you some documents, Mr. Tesic,
20 could you please inform us whether, based on General Mladic's comments to
21 you about the need to mobilise buses and trucks for approximately 20.000
22 people, did you upon leaving the meeting place any phone calls to the
23 secretariat or above the secretariat to the state level?
24 A. No. No. I did not contact anyone. I can say that we had just
25 several buses in working order at the time. And I think that two or three
1 buses had been requisitioned much earlier to the brigade in order to
2 transport soldiers from time to time, from their homes back to the
3 positions and so on. We had one bus which was intending to be used for
4 the regular line between Bratunac and Belgrade, and that was a source of
5 income for us. So we had nothing to requisition when it comes to buses.
6 There was one privately owned bus owned by Radoljub Trisic. The bus was
7 in a fairly poor condition, and I think that it was made operational at
8 the workshop of the Vihor company. And then it was requisitioned.
9 Now, as to the trailer trucks that at the meeting General Mladic
10 requested as well, the only company that had those trailer trucks was the
11 company called Vihor from Bratunac. However, trailer trucks were produced
12 in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and there were frequent blockades
13 on the border with Yugoslavia. And it was very difficult for trucks to go
14 across the border. Therefore, in the territory of our municipality, in
15 Bratunac, we had almost nothing we would requisition for those purposes.
16 Q. Okay. Now, just one minor detail. When you did requisition a
17 privately owned vehicle such as a bus, what was the procedure with respect
18 to who would drive that particular bus that had been requisitioned?
19 A. In situations of that kind, it would be the owner of the motor
20 vehicle who would usually be dissatisfied. He would complain because his
21 wartime assignment was in the brigade and he didn't wish anybody else to
22 drive his bus. So what he wanted to do was to drive it himself, to be
23 able to take care of it, look after it better. And I think that's what
24 was done.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. So today, too, when they are distributed or when motor vehicles
2 are used and other materiel and technical resources which are expensive,
3 which are costly and when they are taken out from private owners, we
4 always take care who we assign them to so that the principle should
5 prevail according to which the driver is allowed to drive his own
6 vehicle --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The owner, interpreter's correction, the owner
8 is allowed to drive his own vehicle.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
10 Q. I want to show you a document that has been marked or has come in
11 as an exhibit, P27 -- I'm sorry, 427. If you could look at this document.
12 Have you seen this document before, sir?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And -- but I have shown you this document before coming into
15 courtroom. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. Now, having looked at it, could you please tell us a
18 little bit about this document. What is it and ...
19 A. This is a document which the command of the Drina Corps sent on
20 the 12th of July, 1995, and it states urgent and relates to the provision
21 of buses for the evacuation from the Srebrenica enclave. It is an order,
22 ordered to the commands of the following brigades, including the Bratunac
23 Brigade --
24 Q. You don't have to -- okay very well. You don't have to read the
25 whole document, just comment on it.
1 A. They are asking for all available buses.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. And it says that the corps command has already issued a request to
4 the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska so that via the secretariat,
5 the Ministry of Defence of Sarajevo and Zvornik, all available buses be
6 mobilised or requisitioned from state and private persons and to be placed
7 at the disposal -- placed at the disposal of people in Bratunac on the
8 12th of July.
9 Q. Okay. Let me stop you here for a second. So if we go down to the
10 third paragraph, we see that it's the corps that is making this request to
11 the secretariat. Correct?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. And we have two secretariats, it would appear, Sarajevo and
14 Zvornik. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, could you tell us from looking at this document what
17 departments belonged to the Sarajevo secretariat.
18 A. The Sarajevo secretariat of the offices listed, what belongs to
19 that is Sokolac, Rogatica, Han Pijesak, and the rest belonged to the
20 Zvornik secretariat or command of the Zvornik secretariat.
21 Q. All right. So consistent with what you told us earlier that the
22 corps would go to the secretariat, this would reflect this particular
23 process. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. Now, let me show you another document, what has --
1 which is Exhibit 434 -- P -- P434. Have you seen this document before?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Have I shown you this document?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay. And given your background, I take it you're comfortable
6 commenting on this document?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Now, could you please explain to us what conclusions
9 you can draw from this particular document, P434.
10 A. It can clearly be seen from this document that the command of the
11 Drina Corps under very urgent addressed itself to the Main Staff of the
12 Army of Republika Srpska, and pursuant to an order by the commander of the
13 Main Staff with respect to providing 50 buses for evacuation from the
14 Srebrenica enclave, they ask that diesel fuel be supplied as well as
15 petrol for the buses. And we can see that it is a large-scale operation
16 which surpasses the capabilities of the corps and its logistics, so that
17 they are asking the Main Staff to help them out and to enable them to tank
18 up on diesel fuel and petrol for the buses. And the signatory is the
19 commander of the Drina Corps, Major General Milenko Zivanovic.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, let me show you another document, P426. I've
21 shown you this document before, have I not?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Now, could you please explain to us how does this document perhaps
24 relate to what we've already seen in the previous documents.
25 A. Yes. This document came from the defence ministry. It was sent
1 from the defence ministry and addressed to the secretariat in Zvornik.
2 And the subject is: Request for mobilisation or requisitioning of buses,
3 on the basis of a request made by the Main Staff of the army. And the
4 document is signed for the assistant minister, for those kinds of military
5 affairs, Momcilo Kovacevic, but it was actually signed for him by Dragan
7 Q. Now, so, from this document it would appear, would it not, that
8 it's the Main Staff making a direct request to the defence ministry.
10 A. Yes. The hierarchy is being respected. How shall I put it? The
11 horizontal and the vertical hierarchy down the line and across the board.
12 Everybody knew who they were supposed to communicate with, at what level.
13 The Main Staff with the Ministry of Defence and the corps with the
14 secretariats and the units, or rather, the commands of the rank of brigade
15 and regiment with the various departments.
16 Q. All right. Now, by -- if I could show you a couple of other
17 documents as what has been marked for identification purposes as D118.
18 For the record, this is from Mr. Butler's report, footnote 638. And I
19 should say also for the record, the English version as an ERN 00889914.
20 Sir, could you look at this document.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now could you tell us from this document, which is dated 13 July
23 1995, could you tell us what conclusions, if any, you can draw.
24 A. The conclusions that I can draw are the following: Since the
25 defence ministry sent out this request to the secretariat in Bijeljina -
1 and this also refers to the requisitioning of buses - the conclusion I can
2 make is this: That it is a broad-based operation which -- and that they
3 need a great many buses. And that this surpasses the number of buses
4 available in the Zvornik and Sarajevo region and that therefore the
5 defence ministry issues orders to other secretariats, that is to say in
6 this particular document to Bijeljina, the defence ministry of Bijeljina.
7 Q. Okay. Now, let me show you one other document, and that has been
8 marked for identification purposes as D117. And it comes from, again, the
9 Butler report, footnotes 241 and 638. And it has -- the English version
10 has an ER number of 00960127.
11 Could you please look at this document.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I've shown you this document as well, have I not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, from this document, what can you conclude, in light of your
16 background and experience at the time?
17 A. This document once again is -- actually, from the heading we can't
18 see that it is from the Ministry of Defence, but the signature is one that
19 I can recognise. It is that of Dragan Kapetina signed for Momcilo
20 Kovacevic. So I recognise his signature and this is a request for
21 requisitioning or mobilisation addressed to the secretariat of Sarajevo,
22 and they are asking for at least 20 buses from the municipalities of Pale,
23 Sokolac, Rogatica, and Han Pijesak, that they, too, should report to
24 Bratunac on the 12th.
25 Q. All right. One more document -- we actually have two more. This
1 would be D120 for identification purposes and has an ER number of
2 03089736, a document obtained from the Office of the Prosecution.
3 Could you look at that, sir.
4 A. Yes, I have looked at it.
5 Q. And could you please tell us if you can draw any conclusions from
6 this particular document.
7 A. From this document we can see that the secretariats - and in this
8 specific case it is the secretariat of Zvornik - and they started to
9 implement the order, to carry it out. In other words, this is an order to
10 the departments or offices covered by the Zvornik secretariat, part of the
11 department. That means Zvornik, Milici, Vlasenica, Sekovici, and
12 Bratunac. So this is an order that was signed by Stephen Ivanovic, the
13 secretary of the secretariat in Zvornik. And we can see that they are
14 asking for the mobilisation of all buses except articulated ones. They
15 are what we call the "harmonica" type of bus or "articulated bus". I
16 think there was one such bus in Zvornik, and they were exempt from this
17 requisitioning order. And that all regular lines should stop, should be
18 cancelled, regular bus lines and services. That's what the document says.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, this order, if I understand you correctly,
20 would have come from the secretariat of your region to your department.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And again, correct me if I'm wrong, based on this order you would
24 carry out the mobilisation process, which you eventually did. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Now, if I could show you one other document, and this is
2 D119 for identification purposes, with an ER number of 03089735.
3 A. This seems to be the same thing, the Zvornik department.
4 Q. Okay. But could you -- it's slightly different than the previous
5 one, is it not?
6 A. Yes, yes. I notice the difference, yes.
7 Q. But again, this is a request for mobilisation. Correct?
8 A. Yes. Once again, to the same municipalities from the secretariat
9 of Zvornik.
10 Q. All right. Now, thank you -- I have no further questions with
11 respect to the documents. Do you want to comment on these documents?
12 A. Just in one sentence.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. This order includes the following: The mobilisation or
15 requisitions of articulated trucks and buses, which means everything, all
16 the vehicles are to be mobilised. The situation was so complex that there
17 was great need for means of transport.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. All right. Now, you indicated earlier
19 that there was as far as mobilisation of transportation was concerned,
20 there was very little available in Bratunac to be mobilised. Am I -- is
21 that -- am I stating your testimony correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. On July 12th, 1995, did you take any particular measures in
24 seeking the mobilisation of what little resources were available in
25 Bratunac, if you recall?
1 A. I can't remember exactly whether that was on the 12th, but it must
2 have been. It probably was, because that was the order. I mean, the
3 mobilisation of the bus we already mentioned from that private owner. His
4 name was Radoljub Trisic.
5 Q. Okay. But did you make any public announcements yourself in the
6 Bratunac area, if you recall?
7 A. No, because there was no need. We didn't have those capacities.
8 Q. All right. Now, I want to switch to, say, a larger area such as
9 Zvornik where they would have, as I understand it, a fairly large public
10 transportation or state-owned public transportation system. Am I correct
11 in stating that?
12 A. Yes. In Zvornik they had a company for public transport. I
13 think it was called Drinatrans.
14 Q. All right. And I'm using this just as an example. It doesn't
15 have to be Zvornik; it could be anyplace else. Concretely, if you could
16 tell us, how would the mobilisation process occur in order to mobilise all
17 the available buses from that particular enterprise?
18 A. That was very easily done. The Ministry of Defence had broad
19 competencies and authorisation. And in its records, it already had a list
20 of all the buses and trucks - and I've already said what records are kept
21 by the defence department - which are registered. So in a very short
22 space of time they can draw up lists of those vehicles. They take out
23 their files, see what was recorded. They type out the list and refer to
24 the order and issue their own order with a stamp and signature by the head
25 of the department. They send the list to the company or anybody who has
1 those vehicles, the vehicles they need. And pursuant to the law, they are
2 duty-bound to hand over the vehicles to the spot designated and the
3 vehicles must be in full working order.
4 If we're dealing with a large municipality, then there's another
5 possibility. A general mobilisation can be proclaimed and carried out of
6 motor vehicles by putting up posters in public places, advertising this,
7 and appealing to the population through the information media. Although
8 I'm not well versed in that kind of thing because that's not what we did
9 in my municipality and we didn't have anything to mobilise in actual fact.
10 So I don't know whether my colleagues acted according to that procedure or
11 not, but I assume they did in the other municipalities.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, just to make sure that we're all clear.
13 With a transportation company it sounds as if with one courier they can
14 mobilise the entire fleet of the transportation company?
15 A. Yes. If it's a higher interest that's at stake, the higher
16 interests of defence or an extraordinary situation of any kind, that kind
17 of thing, such as was the situation at that time, and it was covered by
18 orders coming from the top levels of leadership, both as a request from
19 the Main Staff of the army and also from the Ministry of Defence.
20 Q. All right. Now, staying on July 12th, 1995, do you recall
21 attending any other meetings on that particular day?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Where was the -- where did you attend this meeting?
24 A. The meeting was at the SDS, in the offices there.
25 Q. Okay. All right. And how was it that you got invited to this
2 A. At that time, I was a member of the municipal board of the Serbian
3 Democratic Party, the SDS.
4 Q. All right. Could you please tell us what you recall happened
5 during that meeting.
6 A. I think that it was sometime in the afternoon. I don't remember
7 exactly what the time was. But I wasn't invited there -- or rather -- how
8 shall I put this? It wasn't a party meeting in the strict sense of the
9 word. Quite simply, all the -- all people in leadership positions in the
10 municipality were there. And as Srebrenica had been freed, enormous
11 problems resulted. And I myself in Potocari on that day, I stopped by for
12 a short time and was able to see for myself the number of people that were
13 in Potocari. So I assume that the president of the municipal board of the
14 SDS of Bratunac - and his name was Miroslav Deronjic - as the number one
15 man in Bratunac at that time, convened us all to tell us what the problems
16 in hand were. And generally speaking, how we could get life back to
17 normal in Srebrenica as soon as possible, because the situation up there
18 was terrible. There was no water, there was no electricity. A lot of
19 damage had been done, everything was very dirty. There were mounds of
20 timber, of rubble, much more than at any other time. I don't know why.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. So in Srebrenica, the conditions were very bad. They were
23 unhygienic conditions, and I myself personally saw this as soon as we
24 approached Srebrenica. We began scratching ourselves. There were a lot
25 of lice, fleas, and other such things, very ugly things.
1 Q. Okay. During the meeting, sir - and I want to focus you on the
2 meeting itself - was there any particular conversation that took place
3 that you recall?
4 A. I remember that at one point the secretary entered the room where
5 the meeting was held and called Mr. Deronjic to the telephone. After
6 quite a bit of time or after a little bit of time, Deronjic, with a smile
7 on his face, told all of us that Mr. President, Radovan Karadzic, was on
8 the line. And then he put it on the speakerphone so that all of us could
9 hear the voice of the president. President Radovan Karadzic congratulated
10 us on the liberation of Srebrenica and informed us that he had appointed
11 Mr. Deronjic civilian commissioner for the municipality of Srebrenica,
12 about which we were very happy. I don't know how to explain this,
13 although Deronjic himself was probably a little bit concerned regarding
14 this, because it was quite a challenge to organise a normal life in a town
15 which had been isolated for two or more years. The enclave had lived
16 under abnormal conditions for a long time. And then he said: Deronjic, I
17 will hold you accountable for everything. Make sure that there is no
18 looting there, that the companies are protected, and so on. This is what
19 the conversation was about.
20 Q. Did he say anything about holding him accountable for the people?
21 A. I don't remember him saying that. What he meant - at least that's
22 what I thought - was the organisation of everyday life, cleaning of the
23 city, organising new municipal government in Srebrenica. Because I think
24 it was on the 12th that the state of war was declared in the Srebrenica
25 area. I think that's when it was.
1 Later on, he did become president of the War Presidency -- or no,
2 I apologise. I can't remember. Maybe it wasn't that way.
3 Q. All right. Does the SDS office have a fax machine?
4 A. Later on, it did have. But back then I don't know. I know that
5 they had a speakerphone. I assumed they did have it.
6 Q. All right. Now, I apologise for not having the document here, but
7 yesterday I did show you a document with respect to Mr. Deronjic's
8 appointment, did I not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in reading the one paragraph, I believe it was paragraph
11 number 5, 4 or 5, did you draw any conclusions as to what, based on that
12 document, the president was imposing, what obligations and duties the
13 president was imposing, on Mr. Deronjic as the commissioner for
15 A. I remember that yesterday when I looked at that document. That
16 was the first time I saw it, therefore yesterday. I also remember that
17 the date was the 11th. Now, as to when Deronjic received the fax, I don't
18 know about that. If he received it on the 11th and called the meeting on
19 the 12th, that would seem as though he invited us to celebrate his
20 promotion and to hear the conversation with the president. As for your
21 question about the specifics, I can't remember what the document said item
22 by item. I would like to see it again.
23 Q. All right. So you don't recall whether the document imposed on
24 Mr. Deronjic any particular duties with respect to the people from
25 Potocari -- from Srebrenica.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
2 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. It appears now that counsel is
3 leading the witness, and I don't think this is appropriate.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, the witness told us that he did
5 not see this document before, he just saw it yesterday. So I don't think
6 your question will need --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I was moving on, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please move on.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
10 Q. What was Mr. Deronjic's response, Mr. Tesic? Did he say: Yes,
11 Mr. President, I will take care of Srebrenica, don't worry? Did he say:
12 I can't handle the situation? Did he make any comments?
13 A. Well, not really. He didn't make any comments of that nature. He
14 was happy. He might have said: Oh, this might be too much, as though he
15 had taken up a lot upon his shoulders, a lot of duties.
16 Q. All right. Now, there was an incident that occurred in Kravica,
17 the Kravica warehouse. Did you hear about that incident?
18 A. I heard about it.
19 Q. Did you see what had happened in Kravica, at the warehouse?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When did you see it?
22 A. On the 14th, just a bit before noon.
23 Q. Okay. How is it, first of all, that you learned about the Kravica
24 warehouse incident?
25 A. I learned when I saw it, which is to say the defence department on
1 the 14th of July had an obligation in view of the recruits who had been
2 called up to serve their regular military service, and that was to send
3 them to their military posts. Therefore, I organised bus transportation
4 pursuant to order to the collection point or gathering point in Zvornik.
5 This involved conscripts who were 18 and 19 years old, so young men who
6 went to serve their regular military service.
7 The road to Zvornik took them through Kravica, or rather, by the
8 warehouse of Oka, which is a co-op in Kravica. This site was a painful
9 one, and it surprised us. By the warehouse, almost its entire length,
10 there were corpses lined up, the same way as one lines up logs. I don't
11 know how many, perhaps even 2 or 300, but a lot. We couldn't drive fast
12 because on the road we came across groups of soldiers, therefore we drove
13 very slowly. It was painful for me, and I felt very uncomfortable in
14 front of those children, because they are children after all. They were
15 only 18 and 19, and I felt very uncomfortable that they had seen all that.
16 Some -- after about half an hour from that warehouse in Oka, I arrived in
17 Zvornik. I stayed there for 2 or 3 hours to hand over the recruits who
18 were then sent further on to their military posts. After that, I returned
19 back to my office.
20 Q. Okay. Now, a couple of points. Were you sending those young
21 boys, 18 and 19, to Zvornik because they had -- because of a special
22 request, say, for instance to get involved in some sort of killing
24 A. No. No. I said that that was a regular planned sending of
25 conscripts. These were young troops who went to serve their regular
1 military service in their respective military posts.
2 Q. Okay. Not to be confused with reservists?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. These were young men who had not been trained up to then. They
6 had just been recruited, and that was their first day of military service,
7 which in those days lasted eight months I believe.
8 Q. Now, as I understand it in light of your position, you would have
9 something to do with civil protection, and in particular asanacija. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In light of what you saw in Kravica on the morning of the 14th,
13 did you do anything to engage the civil protection unit?
14 A. The civil protection unit for cleaning up of the terrain and
15 sanitation measures had been mobilised for a long time in Bratunac. Back
16 in 1992 is when it started functioning. However, since there was a need
17 to involve more personnel in that unit, which until then was at the level
18 of a platoon, meaning about 30 people, some other parts of other units of
19 civil protection were added to that unit, such as fire protection unit and
20 labour unit. Therefore, I had no reason to mobilise again those units, to
21 remobilise them. They had already been mobilised. It is just that they
22 were sent to perform that assignment by the municipal civil protection
23 staff, which functioned or operated as needed. Chief of the municipal
24 civilian protection staff was Ljupko Ilic, who also worked with me at the
25 Department of Defence, dealing with civilian protection. Commander of the
1 municipal staff of civilian protection is usually also president of the
2 Executive Board, although it doesn't have to be the case. Therefore, those
3 units of civilian protection which had already been mobilised can be used,
4 if so ordered by the staff of the -- for the civilian protection. And I
5 did not issue orders to those units. My task was to ensure that the units
6 are replenished accordingly and mobilised when needed.
7 Q. All right. So you did not have to ask for the civil protection
8 unit to carry out the asanacion [as interpreted] [sic] because that unit
9 was in existence and it was a process by which it would get engaged. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Your question is not clear. Could you please rephrase it.
12 Q. All right. I first asked you in light of your position whether
13 you did something with the civil protection to -- with respect to
14 asanacija or the cleaning up of the Kravica warehouse. Concretely, can
15 you tell us yes or no?
16 A. I personally did not deal with this.
17 Q. Okay. Now, did the civil protection unit exist at the time for
18 purposes of asanacija?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Do you know whether the civil protection unit of the Bratunac
21 Brigade carried out any asanacija activities?
22 A. I think that you used a wrong term. This is not the unit --
23 civilian protection unit of the Bratunac Brigade, but rather a municipal
24 unit. So this is a municipal civil protection unit, which takes orders
25 from the municipal staff for civilian protection.
1 Q. All right. Do you know whether, do you know whether asanacija was
2 carried out at the Kravica warehouse by the Bratunac municipal civilian
3 protection unit, not civil as it's indicated earlier on the transcript,
4 incidentally, Your Honour.
5 A. Yes. Yes. It was carried out.
6 Q. All right. Now, incidentally, your authority for mobilisation,
7 where does it finish or where does it -- where are the boundaries? Can
8 you go ...
9 A. It all ends at the borders of the municipality. So the records
10 are kept based on the residents, both when it comes to residents, people,
11 and when it comes to the place where vehicles were registered. I have no
12 authorities outside of the territory of the municipality, either to
13 mobilise people or equipment or to keep records, outside of the Bratunac
15 Q. All right. Getting back -- I want to clear up one particular
16 detail back to when you drove by the Kravica warehouse, you talked about
17 seeing the dead bodies. Did you see anybody else there, any soldiers,
18 police, anybody?
19 A. There were several groups, quite a lot of troops wearing various
20 uniforms, multi-coloured ones, green ones, camouflage ones.
21 Q. Did you recognise any of those individuals?
22 A. No. Since the bus, as I've already told you, drove fairly slowly,
23 making it's way and coming across groups of soldiers who were on the road,
24 had I noticed anyone I knew, I would have definitely recognised them.
25 However, I didn't recognise anyone. Despite the fact that I've lived in
1 Bratunac and worked there for so many years and know very many conscripts,
2 hundreds and hundreds of them, perhaps even a thousand, those who went
3 through the Bratunac Brigade. And I probably would have recognised some
4 of them; however, I didn't.
5 Q. All right. Another matter, as you indicated, that on the 12th you
6 had gone to Potocari. Would you please tell us how it is that you went to
7 Potocari, how long you stayed there, what was the purpose?
8 A. Yes. I went to Potocari I think at around noon, most likely
9 immediately after the meeting at the command, which General Mladic asked
10 me to attend. I wished to see, together with the president of the
11 Executive Board, Mr. Srbislav Davidovic, nicknamed Buco, whether there
12 were really 20.000 people there, as Mr. Mladic had said. So I went to see
13 what was up there. I went in my private car with the president of the
14 Executive Board, Buco. I found up there Mr. Ljubisav Simic, president of
15 the municipality, who was taking bottles of juice from a truck and
16 distributing it to the people there. It was on the 12th in the middle of
17 the summer, and it was high noon. So it was very warm. People were
18 exhausted, there were elderly there, women, children. There were two, I
19 believe, water tanks. I don't think we had more than two water tanks
20 which were at the disposal of those people. In my view, Mr. Mladic was
21 right when he said that he needed transportation for 20.000 people.
22 Perhaps there were even a few thousand more.
23 Q. All right. Did you -- could you please describe to us what
24 General Mladic was doing when you saw him.
25 A. It is true that I saw General Mladic at a distance of perhaps some
1 10 metres. He was talking to individuals, telling them: Don't be afraid.
2 There will be no problems. We will help you here. You can state what you
3 want. If you wish to stay here, just say so. Those who wish to leave
4 Potocari should say so and say where they want to go to. Transportation
5 will be provided. There are trucks here, buses are coming, too. So you
6 should just state your mind. Those who remained in the forests obviously
7 do not wish to surrender; they want to continue fighting. And they will
8 see fighting. Those are the words that I heard him say. I was near him.
9 I stayed no more than 30 minutes there, and then I went back to my office.
10 Because I couldn't be absent for a long time, and I also had to prepare
11 the sending off of the young conscripts. I had to prepare the
12 documentation for them.
13 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Tesic, did you believe General Mladic when he
14 was speaking to those people in Potocari?
15 A. Not for a moment did I believe that anything bad would happen to
16 those people, especially after they received aid and assistance from the
17 president of the municipality and some other authorities who did what they
18 could to alleviate their suffering and to resolve that humanitarian
19 catastrophe. I believed that General Mladic truly wanted to transport
20 these people to where they wanted to go, therefore I didn't doubt his
22 Q. Okay. I just have a couple of questions left. During this
23 period, this critical period, the 12th, the 13th, the 14th, 15th, 16th,
24 did you see Mr. Blagojevic or get any requests from him with respect to
25 any activities, be it for mobilisation of trucks and buses or mobilisation
1 for earth-digging equipment?
2 A. I don't remember having seen Colonel Blagojevic at all, nor did
3 he -- nor did the brigade send in any special requests.
4 Q. Mr. Tesic, where is your office located?
5 A. My office is located in Bratunac in the centre of town, in the old
6 municipality building, on the first floor, the last door to the left.
7 Q. And I take it from 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002,
8 2003, 2004 your office hasn't changed, it's been in the same place?
9 A. My office, the office of the head of the military department, as
10 we always used to refer to it and have been doing for the last 40 years,
11 is in the same place. And before me, several of my predecessors worked in
12 that same office, too, and I continued to work there, too, throughout my
13 term of office. And I assume the person who takes over from me will
14 continue to work in that same office, too.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions. Thank you
16 very much. You will be asked some questions by Mr. Stojanovic or his
17 colleague and of course the Prosecutor and the Judges. I would ask you to
18 be as complete and forthright as you have been with me. Thank you again,
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's time for a break. We'll resume at quarter
21 to 6.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 5.18 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, I heard that you have two questions
25 to ask.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE LIU: I hope you could be as concise as possible, because
3 you have taken enough time already.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: As always, Your Honour. As always.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could show the gentleman what has come into
7 exhibit as P687. And if we could put the English version on the ELMO.
8 Q. Mr. Tesic, if you could look at that document, please. Earlier I
9 asked you whether you -- I had shown you this document yesterday.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Now, do you recall looking at this document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you had indicated that this document reflected that it was --
15 it had a date or an appointment date of 11 July 1995. Correct?
16 A. Yes. In the lower left-hand corner, the 11th of July, 1995.
17 Q. Now, if you could look at paragraph number 4.
18 A. I have had a look at that.
19 Q. Okay. Now, having looked at number 4 and now that your memory is
20 somewhat refreshed, would it not appear from reading this document that
21 President Karadzic -- Miroslav Deronjic, the commissioner of Srebrenica is
22 being entrusted with certain duties and responsibilities with respect to
23 the civilians from Srebrenica?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So let me ask you this. Having looked at this now and having
1 heard the conversation on the afternoon of the 12th in the SDS office, a
2 conversation between President Karadzic and Miroslav Deronjic, can you
3 assist us whether President Karadzic was making -- was passing on any
4 particular instructions to Mr. Deronjic with respect to the citizens?
5 A. This decision by the president of the republic,
6 Mr. Radovan Karadzic, is very decisive in speaking about all the tasks and
7 assignments he is issuing to Miroslav Deronjic by appointing him civilian
8 commissioner for the Serbian municipality of Srebrenica. And he is
9 requesting that all the functions of the municipal authority organs be
10 established and to ensure that they function efficiently, and that in
11 cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, they should establish the
12 functioning of the public security station in order to provide safety to
13 citizens and their property and to protect businesses and prevent crimes.
14 And in point 4 it says that: "The commissioner," that is to say Mr.
15 Miroslav Deronjic, "shall ensure that all civilian and military organs
16 treat all citizens who participated in combat against the Army of
17 Republika Srpska should be treated as prisoners of war, and to ensure that
18 the civilian population can freely choose where they wish to live or move
20 "The decisions by the civilian commissioner shall be binding upon
21 all civilian authority organs in the Serbian municipality of Srebrenica."
22 "The commissioner may appoint his associates."
23 And: "This decision shall enter into force on the day of its
24 adoption," that is to say on the 11th of July.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any questions?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Blagojevic.
6 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should
7 just like to say the following: A moment ago, that is to say in the
8 previous session, the civil defence or civilian protection of the Bratunac
9 Brigade was mentioned. This seemed to me to be ill-intentioned. So could
10 that matter be cleared up, please. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I believe this matter has been
12 cleared up by the direct examination.
13 Yes, Mr. Stojanovic, your question, please.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Tesic.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With the Court's indulgence, I
18 would like to ask several questions to clear up the dilemma.
19 Q. Mr. Tesic, in the direct examination you spoke about the
20 structures and units of civilian protection. Am I right in saying that
21 the units of civilian protection are not led by the municipal board of
22 civilian protection at all?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that the municipal staffs of the civilian protection within
25 the frameworks of the self protection are under the control of the
1 regional staffs of civilian protection. Would that be correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The regional staffs and thereby the municipal staffs are under the
4 command of the republican staff of civilian protection. Is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Am I right in saying that within the system of social self
7 protection and according to the provisions thereof, which relate to the
8 functioning and organisation of civilian protection, civilian protection
9 is not under the command of the army at all but has its own system of
10 leadership and command in conformity with the law. Would that be right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. To all intents and purposes, the unit for asanacija or
13 sanitisation as a specialised unit of protection would come under this
14 system of control and command within the frameworks of the system of
15 civilian protection. Is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tesic.
18 My second set of questions refers to what you said in the
19 examination-in-chief and the instructions you handed in, as far as I was
20 able to understand. And in article 2 it speaks of the replenishment and
21 mobilisation of wartime units with military conscripts. Am I right in
22 saying that in the same way the wartime units are replenished with
23 materiel resources, that is to say they are replenished with the technical
24 resources and materiel equipment that is needed to carry on a war?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would that mean then that it is true and correct to say that if a
2 war unit needs a certain machinery, for example, as a resource, then a
3 request for replenishment of that kind is made by the corps command to the
4 secretary of the Ministry of Defence and the secretary of the Ministry of
5 Defence issues an order which binds the departments of the ministry to
6 supply the machines necessary to carry out this replenishment?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would I also be right in saying that it is precisely in keeping
9 with the instructions governing mobilisation and requisitioning that we
10 cannot have a situation in which the head of an engineers unit, for
11 example, comes directly to the department of the Ministry of Defence and
12 asks for certain machines or other resources to be requisitioned,
13 mobilised, without following the procedure provided for by the
14 instructions and guidelines and without knowledge of the commander --
15 assistant commander?
16 A. What I don't know what happened in this specific case, but rules
17 and regulations stand as they stand. And this is how things should be
18 done, through a request and through the secretariat. The replenishment
19 plans are given the okay. But during the war, a lot of other things had
20 to be mobilised and requisitioned to make things over simple. For
21 example, at times what was necessary was the mobilisation of a tractor, a
22 cultivator, agricultural machinery, generally speaking, like saws and so
23 on, and the department would see to that pursuant to the request made by
24 the brigade. I personally can say -- or rather, I don't know what it was
25 like in the Zvornik Brigade, but the Bratunac Brigade, for example, as far
1 as I know, was not replenished with construction machinery. The 1st Light
2 Infantry Brigade had no need of machinery of this kind, construction
3 machinery. And if it did need this machinery from time to time in order
4 to carry out some construction work or build paths through a forest, for
5 example, then the brigade would ask the department to have it provided
6 with this machinery for a few days. And then we would do this through
7 mobilisation and requisitioning. Now, please be more specific and I'll be
8 happy to answer an additional question.
9 Q. Thank you. That's precisely what we wanted to hear. So in a
10 system it had to go through the corps, through the secretariat, and then
11 an order would be issued to the defence department. Am I right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. You're welcome.
15 Q. With your permission, I would like to clarify another issue that
16 came up in examination-in-chief. You said that on that day, on the 14th,
17 you went with recruits or the young troops as we call them to Zvornik,
18 where you had to turn them over so that they can be sent on to their
19 military posts?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember at what time you arrived in Zvornik on that day
22 and to whom and where did you hand over these young recruits?
23 A. I can't tell you that with precision. Assuming that I left at
24 8.00, then I arrived in Zvornik at 10.00. If I left at 10.00, then I
25 arrived in Zvornik at 12.00. So I couldn't tell you exactly. However,
1 the place where we went in Zvornik was a gathering point where people, not
2 only from Bratunac but also from other municipalities covered by the
3 Zvornik secretariat, meaning in that territory, came. This is where all
4 the young troops came. And then they were assigned to various military
5 posts. I couldn't tell you to which military posts those young recruits
6 were sent, but this is something that can be verified in our records. And
7 from there, they boarded buses and I guess one group went to Jahorina and
8 I guess another one went to Bijeljina. I don't know exactly. I assume
9 this is how it was. At any rate, I handed them over to a person, to an
10 official, of the Zvornik Secretariat who was in charge and who dealt with
11 all the escorts, all those people who escorted these young troops. We
12 exchanged documentation, and this is a very well-developed system which is
13 followed to this day.
14 Q. Following this -- or rather, this handing over, was it done at the
15 command of the Zvornik Brigade?
16 A. I can't recall. I know that occasionally we went to the building
17 of the Standard company, but I can't remember whether we did it on to day.
18 I know that sometimes the troops gathered by the bridge. Are you from
19 Zvornik yourself? I don't know how to explain that, but it was in the
20 centre, in the open area near the bus station. This is where it was done
21 before; however, on that day I can't recall where I turned those soldiers
22 on that day.
23 Q. Would you be able to tell me whether it was in the morning or in
24 the afternoon of the 14th of July, 1995?
25 A. I think it was.
1 Q. If I understood you well, you personally do not remember whom did
2 you turn these young soldiers over to?
3 A. No, I don't. If these soldiers went to a number of military
4 posts, then they had a number of escorts accompanying them. Because each
5 bus went to a separate military post, and there was an escort on each bus.
6 Q. So it is possible that on that occasion, that year, it was also
7 done at the Standard building, as was done previously?
8 A. Well, I cannot speculate. I've told you that I can't remember.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions,
11 Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
13 Ms. Issa, any cross-examination?
14 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. I do have some questions. Perhaps I
15 could just get the podium from my friend.
16 Cross-examined by Ms. Issa:
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tesic.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Sir, I'd just like to go back to the beginning of your
20 examination-in-chief. I understand you said that on the 11th of July you
21 met -- you went to Pribicevac with Mr. Eskic. Is that correct?
22 A. No, that's not correct. It was not on the 11th of July. It was
23 on the 10th.
24 Q. All right. So it was on the 10th of July, you went with Mr. Eskic
25 to Pribicevac. Is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And can you tell us, sir, what exactly is the position of
3 Mr. Eskic.
4 A. He was in charge of personnel affairs in the Bratunac Brigade, and
5 he was a major. Later on, he became lieutenant colonel -- perhaps even at
6 that time he was already lieutenant colonel, but I can't remember.
7 Q. All right. And the members of the Worker Battalion that you
8 handed over in Pribicevac, were they members of the Bratunac Brigade?
9 A. When the Workers' Battalion is mobilised, it is put under the
10 command of the unit to which it is being handed over, which is to say the
11 Workers' Battalion was put under the command of the Bratunac Brigade as
12 soon as I turned over the VOB 14 form. And it stays under their command
13 until it is sent back to their work obligation. These are short-term
14 assignments, the purpose of which is to assist the army for 7, 10, or 15
15 days, depending on the situation and the needs.
16 Q. All right. Did you know, sir, when you were in Pribicevac on that
17 day that Commander Blagojevic was there?
18 A. I can't remember.
19 Q. You don't recall seeing Commander Blagojevic at Pribicevac?
20 A. I can't remember.
21 Q. All right. You mentioned earlier, sir, that when you deal with
22 mobilisation issues, you normally have records for the mobilisation of
23 conscripts or equipment. Is that correct?
24 A. What do you mean? What kind of records?
25 Q. Don't you have records of who was mobilised into the army, when it
1 occurs, what equipment is being used by the army? Isn't that what you
2 told us earlier?
3 A. If you mean the mobilisation of the Workers' Battalion on that
4 day, then yes. All military conscripts are recorded in a list. Their
5 names are put on VOB 14 form, and this is certified and turned over to the
6 commander of the brigade.
7 Q. All right. And what about equipment and other materiel that's
8 used by the army, do you have records of those?
9 A. There were receipt forms concerning the call-up papers. So the
10 defence department kept those as evidence that a certain piece of
11 equipment had been requisitioned or mobilised, whereas the brigade or
12 unit -- I don't mean the brigade, I'm sorry. Not the brigade, but the
13 owner from whom a machinery is requisitioned receives a mobilisation
14 call-up paper as well as a receipt that a certain piece of equipment had
15 been requisitioned. In case that machinery should be damaged or something
16 else, the state would have to compensate the owner, at least that's what
17 the law provides.
18 Q. All right. I take it there were records of the buses that were
19 requisitioned from Bratunac. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. Did you review those records before you came here today?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Why not?
24 A. I don't have those records here. I don't have any of those here.
25 However, we knew these facts almost by heart, because we had so very few
1 buses owned by the Vihor company. So we knew them by heart. These were
2 just several old buses, and there was just one new bus which was used for
3 the regular bus line to Belgrade. As I've already said, we requisitioned
4 a bus owned by a private individual, Rodoljub Trisic. It had some
5 problems and was repaired at the workshop of the Vihor company and
6 requisitioned after that.
7 Q. Where are the records relating to the buses now, sir?
8 A. If any of the records exist, they could be found in the archives
9 of the department, or perhaps even at the corps command, since Bratunac
10 Brigade ceased to exist quite a long time ago, as did the documents. The
11 form VOB 8, all of these documents were taken out of Bratunac a long time
12 ago. The VOB 8 form listed all individuals who were assigned to the
13 Bratunac Brigade. And similarly, there should also be records for the
14 buses, which were used by the Bratunac Brigade.
15 As for that particular day, as far as Srebrenica and the
16 evacuation of the people from Potocari is concerned, I don't know whether
17 the Vihor company could have given any other buses for those purposes,
18 because their buses were already in the brigade. This is something that
19 can be verified at the Vihor company as to exactly how many buses, with
20 what licence plates, were owned by the company. This is all I can tell
21 you about the buses in the territory of the Bratunac municipality.
22 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir. So the buses that were from the Vihor
23 company were in the Bratunac Brigade. Is that what you've just told us?
24 Is that right?
25 A. Perhaps two buses were, which were constantly used for the needs
1 of the brigade in order to transport soldiers from positions back home and
2 vice versa. If army needed an additional one or two buses, which is all
3 we had, they contacted us, and we would always requisition them for two or
4 three days until they completed that task. And then the buses would go
5 back to the company, because somebody also had to transport workers,
6 students, citizens.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir. Now, who were using all these buses that
8 were used to evacuate the Muslim population? Who were using the buses?
9 A. What do you mean who was using the buses?
10 Q. Was the army using the buses?
11 A. I don't know that. That wasn't within my purview. If somebody
12 contacted the ministry asking that there be a mobilisation, either of
13 people or equipment, then all that I was responsible for is to turn over
14 either people or the equipment to the command that was in charge. I don't
15 know who used them afterwards.
16 Q. Well, would it be fair to say, sir, the army requested the buses,
17 so they would likely have used them, don't you think?
18 A. We've already discussed this. There was an order issued by the
19 highest organ of the Ministry of Defence concerning mobilisation of buses,
20 which was based, as we have seen through documentation, on the
21 request given by the Main Staff and then sent down to corps and then
22 below, to the secretariats and so on.
23 Q. Yes. You've told us that, sir, and I understand that. Did you --
24 did the Bratunac Brigade, to your knowledge, take part in this process,
25 the evacuation process?
1 A. I don't know who drove the buses.
2 Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not the Bratunac Brigade provided
3 buses for the evacuation process?
4 A. I don't know that either. I don't wish to speculate. I don't
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. It wasn't within my scope of authority -- of responsibilities.
8 Q. Now, earlier, sir, we saw the 12 July 1995 order, among other
9 things, ordering the various brigades to provide all available buses. Can
10 you think of any reason why the brigades wouldn't comply with that order?
11 A. It is a well-known fact that an order coming from a superior
12 command has to be upheld, that order listed several brigades from that
13 area requesting them to provide all available buses for evacuation. All
14 those which they had already had.
15 Q. All right. So if the assistant rear services commander of the
16 Bratunac Brigade told investigators of the OTP that he provided two buses
17 and there were other buses that were taken from the Vihor transportation
18 company, would you know anything about that?
19 A. If the assistant commander of the Bratunac Brigade said so -- are
20 you referring to Dragoslav Trisic [as interpreted]?
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Yes, he had to know. He was assistant commander for logistics.
23 And if there were indeed were two buses, then he would know whether those
24 two buses were given for evacuation or not, because if an additional bus
25 or two from Vihor company were mobilised - and I told you that they didn't
1 have any more than that, other than that new bus that I've told you
2 about - and it was not feasible to cancel that regular bus line to
3 Belgrade because it was a source of cash income for us, if the line did
4 not operate for a day, two or three, then the Vihor company as a
5 transportation company would lose its right to operate that bus line. I
6 personally cannot remember now whether that bus was also requisitioned for
7 transportation of people in Potocari.
8 Q. So what you're saying, sir, is that it's possible that other buses
9 were requisitioned or used for the evacuation that you don't know about.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, it calls for speculation. The
12 question in and of itself is self evident. Anything is possible. What is
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, we would like to hear what the witness is going
15 to tell us.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
17 MS. ISSA:
18 Q. Can you answer that question, sir? Let me repeat the question --
19 A. Could you please repeat.
20 Q. It's possible, sir, given what you've just told us that if other
21 buses were used for the evacuation, you may not know about those buses?
22 Other buses from the brigade, for example, may have been used that you
23 don't know about.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Now the question has been changed and it's from the
25 brigade. Now, the question suggested that there were more than two buses.
1 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, we've already established that through the
2 previous questions. I think this is a proper follow-up question at this
4 JUDGE LIU: I see no problem with this question.
5 MS. ISSA:
6 Q. Would you like me to repeat the question again, sir, or are you
7 able to answer that?
8 A. Could you please repeat it again.
9 Q. Is it possible, sir, that other buses were used for the evacuation
10 that you may not know about, perhaps other buses from the brigade. Isn't
11 that possible?
12 A. Well, there were no -- I don't know how many buses there. If
13 there were some buses with the brigade, then pursuant to an order they had
14 to be used, since there was an order from the Ministry of Defence sent
15 down to us through the secretariat to requisition buses. We requisitioned
16 all the buses that there were and we turned them over to the brigade.
17 Q. All right. Now, sir, when you requisitioned the buses, first of
18 all how did you keep track of the buses that you requisitioned?
19 A. Well, there was a call-up document to requisition a piece of
20 equipment. It was a blue form, MOB 12.
21 Q. Okay. And how many in total did you personally requisition, the
23 A. I couldn't tell you exactly. I don't have anything to conceal.
24 I'm telling you that there were perhaps three or four buses from Vihor and
25 then one bus which was privately owned. That's all. We had no more.
1 Q. Okay. And how were these buses fueled? Where did the fuel come
3 A. I was not in charge of fuel.
4 Q. Who was in charge of fuel?
5 A. There was a gas station within the compound of Vihor. They mostly
6 tanked fuel there, and the logistics base of the brigade also supplied
7 fuel for them. But I don't know about that and I don't wish to go into
8 that. However, frequently they used the gas station at Vihor.
9 Q. Okay. And when you say "the logistics base of the brigade
10 frequently supplied fuel for them," you obviously know something about
11 that. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
12 A. No, I don't know anything about that. I couldn't even tell you
13 where it was located at the time.
14 Q. Well, how do you know that the logistics base of the brigade
15 supplied the fuel? How do you know that, sir?
16 A. I don't know whether that's how I phrased it, that it was the
17 logistics base of the brigade. It was probably the logistics base of the
18 corps. Now, whether it was in Vlasenica or someplace else, I couldn't
19 tell you.
20 Q. Are you changing your previous answer now, sir, from what you told
21 us just 2 minutes ago?
22 A. What do you have in mind? What did I say?
23 Q. I'm just asking you, sir, if you're changing your answer.
24 Initially you said it was the logistics bay of the brigade, and now you're
25 saying it's the corps. Are you changing your answer?
1 A. Yes. It was the logistics base, which I think belonged to the
3 Q. Okay. Now, who provided security for the buses?
4 A. When do you mean? When the people were transported?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Do you mean physical security? What kind of security do you mean?
7 Q. Physical security for the buses.
8 MS. ISSA: I didn't hear the translation, Your Honour.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably the soldiers. I don't
11 MS. ISSA:
12 Q. Okay. Did you know the ultimate destination of the buses?
13 A. No.
14 Q. They didn't tell you where the buses were supposed to go?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, who is "they"? Who is "they"? "They"
16 is a lot.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, I believe you already asked this
18 question and the witness has answered. Because the witness said that he
19 does not know the ultimate destination of the buses.
20 MS. ISSA: He just said no, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MS. ISSA: Sorry. I'll move on.
23 Q. Did you, sir, ever receive an accounting of the fuel that was used
24 to transport the buses?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So if the assistant rear services commander Trisic, Mr. Trisic,
2 says that the fuel was used, accounting of 52.000 that was consumed over
3 the month of July and it was used for the transportation of the Muslim
4 population, do you know anything about that?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: If there -- if she can lay a foundation with
8 respect to the fuel. I believe the gentleman indicated that he didn't
9 have any knowledge with regard to the fuel, and now she's asking him to
10 vouch for what Mr. Trisic said. Now, I can vouch that Mr. Trisic will be
11 coming here to testify, who was originally on the Prosecution list but was
12 taken off. She can pose that question to him directly.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 Ms. Issa, will you please lay some foundations for that question.
15 MS. ISSA: I'm just asking him if he's aware of it, Your Honour.
16 Perhaps he can tell us whether or not he's aware of it.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about that. I
18 don't know.
19 MS. ISSA:
20 Q. All right. Do you know whether the drivers that drove the buses,
21 sir, were they mobilised into the army?
22 A. Well, certainly they were mobilised. That is to say especially
23 those buses were mobilised who were in the army all the time. And they
24 had their permanent drivers, their regular drivers, and they had been
25 mobilised in the brigade.
1 Q. So they had been mobilised in the Bratunac Brigade, the drivers of
2 the buses? Is that what you're saying?
3 A. I don't know exactly what the names of the drivers were, the ones
4 who drove the buses. But I assume that they were drivers from the
6 Q. Okay. Going back to the meetings that you attended, sir, the one
7 on 12 July in the morning, do you remember you told us you attended a
8 meeting in the Bratunac Brigade. Do you recall that?
9 A. On the 12th in the morning, yes. As I said, the meeting when
10 General Mladic was there. Is that the meeting you mean?
11 Q. Yes. That's the meeting I'm referring to, sir. You mentioned,
12 sir, that there were approximately 12 to 15 people at that meeting. Can
13 you tell us who those people were.
14 A. Well, I can't tell you even half their names. I remember and I
15 can certainly say that there was General Mladic at the meeting, the
16 president of the Municipal Assembly, Ljubisav Simic was there; as was the
17 president of the Executive Board, Srbislav Davidovic, nicknamed Buco; then
18 there was the president of the municipal board of the SDS, Miroslav
19 Deronjic; there was myself; and some other officers. But I really can't
20 remember their names and I really couldn't tell you. Perhaps there was
21 someone from the civilian authorities, too, but I really can't remember
22 anybody else.
23 Q. Now, sir, when you say "there were some other officers," you're
24 referring to members of the army?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And can you tell us where they were from, these other officers,
2 what brigade, what unit. Do you know?
3 A. I really don't remember. I don't know. Maybe I didn't even know
4 them, so that's why I couldn't remember. But a lot of time has gone by
5 since then so I really can't remember. But I do know for certain about
6 the ones whose names I gave you. I know they were there for sure.
7 Q. Okay. Dealing then with the meeting that you said occurred at the
8 SDS on the 12th of July, do you remember that meeting you were talking
9 about earlier?
10 A. Yes, I do, but not specifically. Not everything that took place
11 at the meeting. I do remember that a meeting was held in the -- at the
12 SDS premises and I confirm what I said earlier on.
13 Q. All right. And who was at that meeting, sir? Who else was there?
14 A. I can't personally claim who was there by name, the names of the
15 people. But as I say, all the responsible people from the municipality
16 had to be there, including the names I mentioned and also, I assume,
17 members of the board.
18 Q. Was Ljubisav Simic there?
19 A. Well, as I'm here under oath, I can't claim one way or another. I
20 can't swear that I remember him being there.
21 Q. Okay. Was Mr. Davidovic there?
22 A. I really can't remember. Yes, there were a lot of people there,
23 perhaps 10 or 15, but I daren't say any names if I'm not 100 per cent
24 certain. But there might have been 15 people there.
25 Q. 15 people at the SDS meeting? There might have been 15 people at
1 that meeting you said?
2 A. Yes. Or let's say 10. Let's make the number lower, 10. I can't
3 be sure. Well, yes, all right. I'm remembering. And I remember there
4 was Ljupko Ilic.
5 Q. Okay. Anyone else?
6 A. This is how it was: I could give you some more names of members
7 of the municipal board of the SDS who were members. Now, whether they
8 were actually there at that particular time, at that particular meeting, I
9 don't dare say, because I really can't remember.
10 Q. And do you know -- do you remember whether there were some members
11 of the army there at that meeting?
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. Okay. Could there have been members of the army there?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Now, this is a bit way off base. "Could there have
15 been" --
16 MS. ISSA: I'll withdraw, Your Honour --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Now if she wants to say: Was Mr. Blagojevic there,
18 I have no problem.
19 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Issa has promised to move on.
20 MS. ISSA:
21 Q. Sir, I'd like to deal with your testimony regarding the -- when
22 you attended at Kravica on the 14th of July.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you see any members of the Bratunac Brigade military police
25 when you were there?
1 A. I've already said that I did see or I could have recognised -- had
2 I been able to recognise somebody, I would have recognised them and said,
3 because the bus went fairly slowly, perhaps 30 kilometres an hour. But,
4 as I say, I wasn't able to recognise anybody in that situation, although,
5 as I said before, I did know a lot of soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade.
6 But I didn't recognise anybody.
7 Q. Okay. Did you see Radenko Drkovic there? Do you know who Radenko
8 Drkovic is there?
9 A. It's not Drkovic, it's Djurkovic, if that's who you mean.
10 Q. Yes, that's who I mean.
11 A. And I can assume why you're asking me that, but no I didn't see
13 Q. Okay. Do you know he said he was there?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, now we're getting off base. She asked
15 him if he saw him; he said no. The gentleman was here. He testified..
16 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm entitled to ask some follow-up
17 questions in relation to that. I don't think I have to just stop where
18 Mr. Karnavas is suggesting. This is a cross-examination, after all.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I think the question is improper the way it's being
20 posed because it's trying to suggest that the gentleman is lying.
21 MS. ISSA: I'm not suggesting that at all, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, we missed the answer of this witness in the
23 transcript, so I could not make a proper judgement of this dispute.
24 Ms. Issa, will you please repeat your question.
25 Q. Mr. Djurkovic said he was there, sir, on the 14th of July. Do you
1 recall seeing him there? Does that help you refresh your memory?
2 A. I didn't see him. I don't know. I don't remember, really, I
4 Q. Do you know if somebody named Krsto Simic?
5 A. I don't know that he was there, but I do remember that Krsto Simic
6 was an operator for construction machinery. I think he worked in Sase and
7 that he was a truck driver that carried iron ore, or rather a concentrate
8 of lead and zinc.
9 Q. Did you see him at Kravica?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you see any machinery near the bodies?
12 A. No, no. I don't remember having seen that when I passed by. It
13 might have been just a minute. It doesn't take a minute to pass by the
14 Kravica warehouse at Oka. It's just a hundred metres long. So if a bus
15 is moving at 30 kilometres per hour, it just takes him a little while to
16 pass that hundred metres. And I didn't see or recognise anybody.
17 Q. All right. So now you're saying that you didn't pay too much
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. That's not what he said. That is a
20 clear mischaracterisation of the question.
21 MS. ISSA: It's a follow-up question, Your Honour, and I think
22 I'm --
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have to listen to Mr. Karnavas first.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. If you just plainly look
25 at the question. "So now you're saying that you didn't pay too much
2 He indicated that he looked. He indicated the speed. He
3 indicated the time he had available to see, not that he wasn't paying
4 attention. That's a mischaracterisation of his testimony.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Issa, I think the witness answered that. "I
6 didn't see or recognise anybody."
7 MS. ISSA: All right, Your Honour. I can move on.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please move on.
9 MS. ISSA:
10 Q. Now, sir, you said early that you saw many bodies at Kravica. Did
11 you report that to anybody, what you had seen?
12 A. I was in the bus and I had the task or assignment of taking
13 recruits and to escort them and to hand them over at a particular place.
14 That was my job that day. That was my duty. When I returned in the
15 afternoon, I don't know exactly what time - it might have been 1.00, 2.00,
16 3.00, I can't remember, when I returned to Bratunac - but it was already
17 known, people knew about that already because many people were surprised
18 when they saw what they saw, especially the members of the work battalion,
19 some of them, or Workers' Battalion, who were coming back from their
20 assignments. And when they came to Kravica, they had something to see and
21 they were taken aback. And then they went to the municipality. They were
22 surprised. They were astounded as to what was going on there. They put
23 their hands up on their heads, and I saw a few days ago from Jovo Nikolic
24 or Jovan Nikolic. I heard how he came to the municipality building, hit
25 his head across his -- his hand across his forehead and said to Ljubo
1 Simic and Miroslav or whoever, he said to the two of them, because they
2 were responsible individuals: What's going on down there? And when I
3 returned, having accomplished my assignment, all this was common
4 knowledge. People knew about it, so all I could do was to confirm that
5 something was going on down there, but people already knew about it.
6 Q. So it was common knowledge when you returned back to your
7 knowledge, as far as you were concerned, yourself?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. Now, do you know what happened to the bodies, sir, what
10 happened to the bodies in Kravica? All those bodies that you saw --
11 A. You mean with respect to the asanacija, or sanitisation of the
12 terrain and seeing to the bodies being removed, that kind of thing?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I personally don't know about that. I didn't involve myself in
15 that kind of job. That was done by the unit for the asanacion [as
16 interpreted] of the terrain. They had their own commander. And the
17 civilian protection staff, the municipal staff functioned, and the head of
18 the municipal staff was there. And I assumed those people know more about
19 it than I do. I really don't know about that.
20 Q. Are you aware that the bodies were dug up at some point after they
21 were initially buried and reburied? Were you aware of that?
22 A. Well, there were rumours to that effect, one, two, or three years
23 ago. There were stories going around town. But otherwise, I personally
24 don't know about that, when it was done, or who did it, or who gave the
25 order, or who took part in it. I really know nothing about that.
1 Q. Okay. Now, you mentioned, sir, that you were on your way to
2 Zvornik when you saw these bodies?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you tell us who were the soldiers that you were taking over
5 there. Who were they?
6 A. You mean their names and surnames?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Those young soldiers, those who were doing their regular -- going
9 to do their regular service. At this point in time, I can't remember a
10 single name.
11 Q. Do you recall who you handed them over to in Zvornik?
12 A. I don't remember exactly who I handed them over to, no. I said I
13 don't remember.
14 Q. You mentioned earlier, sir, that it can be verified -- names can
15 be verified by your records. Did you try to review those records before
16 you came here?
17 A. Well, I'm sure that some documents and files and records do exist
18 with respect to the 14th of July, 1995, when these young soldiers were
19 sent there and taken in. I'm sure that records do exist, but just off the
20 bat I can't tell you, except that I do know that I took them there. Now,
21 who those young boys were, their first and last names, I really can't say.
22 Q. So you're saying that you're sure the records exist, but you
23 didn't try to locate and review them before you came here. Is that right?
24 Is that what you're saying?
25 A. Well, I didn't look through those records; I didn't look for them
1 either. But I do know that I went that day, and I remember that well.
2 Q. Okay. Now, you mentioned earlier, sir, that you actually went to
3 Potocari because you wanted to see what was going on.
4 A. Yes. Yes. I wanted to see for myself, to see whether it was
6 Q. Okay. How long were you there?
7 A. I've already said, half an hour at the outside.
8 Q. Okay. Did you see Muslims getting on to the buses while you were
10 A. There weren't many buses, a few buses, and they were all full.
11 And as each of the buses arrived, they would board them.
12 Q. Okay. Did you see military age men separated from their families
13 as they were trying to get on the buses?
14 A. I didn't see that. It is my impression that of those 20.000
15 people, if there were that many, I can't say exactly, that 90 per cent or
16 more were women, elderly people. There weren't any military conscripts
17 there. Perhaps there were, but that wasn't my impression, that there were
18 any military-able men there. But some of them were. I don't know. But
19 that was my general impression.
20 Q. All right. Did you see any Muslims being beaten and kicked onto
21 the buses and abused while they were getting on the buses?
22 A. No. No. No. Mostly people helped those people, helped them
23 board the buses. They helped them. And I've already said that the
24 president Ljubo Simic, I saw him there and I do remember that. I saw him
25 handing out fruit juices and that there was a water cistern, water --
1 where drinking water had been brought in and water was being distributed
2 because it was hot. And they had even brought in some food. I happen to
3 remember a truck from Ljubovija, from Serbia, from the Azbukovica company,
4 which is a trading company, one of their trucks. And I knew the driver in
5 actual fact, who had driven in a full truck load.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, when you were in Bratunac, were you in your
7 office most of the time or were you in Bratunac on 12 and 13 July? Is
8 that where you were?
9 A. Yes, yes. I was. I was there.
10 Q. And how much time did you spend there?
11 A. In the office you mean?
12 Q. Or in Bratunac on 12 and 13 July.
13 A. Well, I've already said. From 7.00 in the morning on the 12th I
14 was at the meeting at the command and in Potocari at around noon. In the
15 late afternoon or early evening, I don't know the time exactly, I was at
16 the meeting at the SDS.
17 Q. Okay. So basically, sir, if I can just shorten this, aside from
18 the meetings and spending that half-hour you told us about in Potocari,
19 you were in Bratunac for most of the time on 12 and 13 July. Is that
21 A. I say that I was there on the 12th, as I've already said. Now, I
22 can't remember whether it was in the evening hours that I went home or
23 whether I slept in my office because I had a bed there, a bed in my office
24 during those critical days, so I didn't even leave my office. Now as to
25 the 13th, I really can't say for sure, can't remember where I was.
1 Probably I was in my office preparing the documents for the next day
2 because there were a lot of documents to send these recruits the next day,
3 on the 14th.
4 Q. Okay. Now, did you know when you were there in Bratunac, sir, did
5 you know that there were men who were being detained on the buses in
7 A. I don't know what you mean "detained." I didn't understand the
9 Q. There were men that were kept prisoner on the buses in Bratunac,
10 that were parked in Bratunac. Did you know that?
11 A. Kept prisoner? Well, this is how it was. What I saw was this:
12 In the evening hours - but I don't know whether it was on the evening of
13 the 12th or the evening of the 13th, I can't say for sure - but I did see
14 in Bratunac, in front of the municipality building in the centre, a large
15 number of buses with men, Muslim men. So from the office I did see that,
16 but I don't know whether that was on the evening of the 12th or the 13th.
17 I can't remember.
18 Q. Okay. Did you know that those Muslim men were also kept in the
19 schools, in the Vuk Karadzic school, and the hangar? Were you aware of
21 A. No. No, I wasn't aware of that. Of course later on there were
22 stories going around, but a lot later. But at that point in time, on that
23 day, that evening, the following day, the day after, I didn't know that.
24 I wasn't aware of that, no.
25 Q. Did you know that the men were taken off the buses in Bratunac and
1 beaten and abused? Did you know that?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Were you aware that men were taken off the buses and killed in
4 Bratunac and shot?
5 A. No. No.
6 Q. Did you hear any shots in Bratunac during those evenings?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Didn't anyone report this to you, sir?
9 A. I don't remember.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Just for the record, there has been no foundation
11 that anybody should be reporting any of these activities to this
12 particular individual.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 MS. ISSA: Well, Your Honour, I don't think I need to lay a
15 foundation for that question.
16 JUDGE LIU: No, I'm not asking you to lay the foundation. I just
17 want to ask you how long you're going to last for your cross-examination.
18 MS. ISSA: I just have a couple more questions and then I'm
19 finished so we don't have to keep this gentleman here over night. I
20 actually didn't realise the time, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 MS. ISSA: Thank you.
23 Q. Okay, sir. Did you receive any reports that bodies were found
24 round the buses and the schools in Bratunac?
25 A. There were some individual cases when a corpse would be found.
1 And the unit for asanacion [as interpreted] or sanitisation of the terrain
2 worked on that.
3 Q. So you're talking --
4 A. I remember one -- well, since the municipality in the school you
5 mentioned are 50 to 70 metres apart, I remember that there was a body at
6 the entrance, in front of the school.
7 Q. Okay. And how did you come to know that there was a body in front
8 of the school? Did you see the body?
9 A. Because the commander of the unit, Dragan Mirkovic, he reported to
10 Ljupko as the chief of staff. And we were working nearby. So that's how
11 I came to learn about that, I assume.
12 Q. All right. You didn't learn about the 50-odd bodies that were in
13 Bratunac? You just learned about that one body?
14 A. No, I did learn about that, and I can't remember that so many
15 bodies were found. I can't remember that there were so many.
16 Q. And Dragan Mirkovic didn't tell you that there were more bodies?
17 A. Mirkovic is his name. Well, he didn't have the duty to report to
18 me at all. He would inform the chief of staff of civilian protection.
19 Q. Okay. And Ljupko didn't tell you either, did he?
20 A. I don't remember that he mentioned that many number of bodies.
21 Q. Okay. And just so that we're reminded of this, sir, who was
22 Ljupko again? You've told us earlier, but can you just tell us again. Is
23 this Ljupko Ilic?
24 A. Ljupko Ilic, yes. Yes. He had the duty of chief of staff of the
25 civilian protection and the unit for sanitisation. And it would report
1 orally to the headquarters of the civilian defence protection.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, did you know the destination of the buses that
3 carried the men from Bratunac? You mentioned you saw those buses.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: It's been asked and answered, Your Honour.
5 MS. ISSA: That was a different question, Your Honour. It had
6 nothing to do with the other buses.
7 JUDGE LIU: I think earlier on you asked that question, but since
8 you mention that there's a different, you mean the man from Bratunac that
10 MS. ISSA: Yes.
11 JUDGE LIU: You may continue.
12 MS. ISSA:
13 Q. Do you know the destination of those buses, sir, that carried the
14 men from Bratunac?
15 A. I don't know that, no. And for a long time afterwards I didn't
16 know and I don't know. And I didn't even know -- no, I don't know where
17 they were taken. I simply don't know.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. I thought they were the people from Potocari who was supposed to
20 be, according to Mladic's words, transported to the territory of the
21 federation towards Kladanj and Tuzla. That's what I thought at that time.
22 Q. Earlier, sir, you told us you didn't know the ultimate destination
23 of the buses from -- for the people of Potocari?
24 A. I didn't say that I did now either. I didn't say I knew now
25 either. What I said was I thought they were being driven off towards
1 Tuzla or Kladanj or wherever they said they wanted to go. Because Mladic
2 on the 12th in Potocari said, and I heard him say that personally, that
3 people should say where they wanted to go and that they would be taken
4 there. So that's what I thought then.
5 Q. All right. Now, sir, earlier you mentioned that you went to
6 Srebrenica and you saw some ugly things in Srebrenica. Do you remember
7 that? Do you remember telling us that? What are those ugly things?
8 A. I don't know the exact date, but I do know -- I wouldn't have gone
9 up there at all to see that. There was nothing to see, just ugly things.
10 But I went the insistence and invitation of Rodoljub Djukanovic who at the
11 time was the republican trades inspector, otherwise he was from Bratunac
12 originally and I know him well. And with him there was another man. He
13 was the vice-president - I can't remember his name - the vice premier of
14 the Republika Srpska and some other people like that.
15 Q. We are pressed for time, sir, and I would like you to answer my
16 question. My question is: What are the ugly things you saw in
18 A. Well, I meant the fact that the town was in a pitiful state from
19 the aspects of hygiene, it was in a very poor state. Now, imagine this,
20 as soon as you approached Srebrenica, lice and fleas started biting you
21 and you had to scratch. You began scratching yourself. That's what I
22 meant. And all the black buildings. There was very little place for
23 accommodation and a lot of people there. So they had broken down the
24 walls and had made fires and all the smoke had turned all the walls and
25 buildings black.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. Yes or no, did you see bodies when you were in
3 A. No.
4 Q. Okay. How many mosques were in Srebrenica when the Republika
5 Srpska took over on 11 July?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I object to this question. What is
7 the relevance with respect to the mosques? I don't see anything in the
8 indictment with respect to destruction of religious properties.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
10 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, it goes to the issue of persecutions and
11 genocide. I think if the gentleman can answer the question, I think it
12 could tell us --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, before the question is posed again,
14 the Prosecutor repeatedly over and over again says the attack on
15 Srebrenica was lawful. Nothing in the indictment says that any mosques
16 were targeted and as a result there are [sic] counts in the indictment.
17 They repeatedly tell us that the attacks are lawful and yet now they're
18 trying to go through the back door.
19 JUDGE LIU: I think we're not talking about the attack on
20 Srebrenica at this time, but I could not remember whether the destroying
21 of property, of mosques, was mentioned in the indictment.
22 MS. ISSA: As I understand it, Your Honour, Mr. Ruez did testify
23 about it but it's not specifically referred to in the indictment.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: It's not in the indictment.
25 MS. ISSA: It is my last question.
1 JUDGE LIU: If it's not mentioned in the indictment, you should
2 not ask this question.
3 MS. ISSA: All right, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Any re-direct?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one question, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
8 Q. Mr. Tesic, the records of your office, the records, where are they
9 normally kept?
10 A. On the premises. In the office, there are metal filing cabinets,
11 and that's where the records to be stored are stored. If there is an
12 expiry date, then they are destroyed. That kind of thing. Some documents
13 are kept for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years. Some things lost -- are kept
14 always. I don't know.
15 Q. Has -- has anybody come to look for those documents or to look at
16 those documents?
17 A. You mean linked to Srebrenica? Yes, yes.
18 Q. Was it from the Office of the Prosecution?
19 A. From the Prosecution, no.
20 Q. Who was it that came to look for those documents that have been
21 available over there?
22 A. A state commission turned up from Republika Srpska. And in it
23 were one of the commission members, Smail Cekic was his name, a Bosniak by
24 ethnicity and a lawyer Djordje Stojakovic from Banja Luka. And another
25 from the Ministry of Defence from Banja Luka. His name was Zoran
1 Cvetkovic. They were there for five hours about a month ago, roughly. I
2 can't tell you the exact date. They looked through the documents. The
3 regular post, the confidential post, the strictly confidential post,
4 everything was placed at their disposal so that they could look at it.
5 Before their arrival, I was informed of their imminent arrival by my
6 superior officer, the secretary of the secretariat of Srpsko Sarajevo,
7 Mr. Milomir Krajic [phoen].
8 Q. Thank you. If the Prosecution wanted to look at those documents
9 after all these years that have gone by in the same office that you have
10 been occupying all these years right in the middle of Bratunac, would you
11 have made those documents available to the Prosecution?
12 A. Everything that has to be done has to be done by law. Nothing is
13 hidden. Everything is there. Nothing has been thrown away, disposed of.
14 What there is there is there. That's it.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 At this stage are there any documents to tender? Mr. Karnavas?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, there are some documents. I have
20 it here. D114, D117, D118, D119, and D120.
21 JUDGE LIU: Are there any objections? Ms. Issa.
22 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour. No objections.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Those documents are admitted into the
25 On your side, Ms. Issa, are there any documents to tender?
1 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour, we have no documents to tender.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
3 Thank you, Witness, for your coming to The Hague to give your
4 evidence. And when this hearing is adjourned, the usher will show you out
5 of the room. And at this stage, I would like to remind the parties to
6 make the best use of their time at their disposal, because we are about 15
7 minutes delayed in this sitting. I think the -- especially for the person
8 who is conducting the direct examination. And at the same time, I would
9 like to thank all the people working for us, the security people, the
10 interpreters, as well as the court reporter, for their cooperation. The
11 hearing is adjourned.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
13 at 7.15 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
14 the 20th day of April, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.