1 Monday, 3 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Good morning, everybody.
11 Good morning, Witness. Would you please stand up and make the
12 solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 Thank you.
16 WITNESS: MICO GAVRIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
23 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
24 Q. Good morning, sir.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Would you please tell us what your name is.
2 A. My name is Mico Gavric.
3 Q. G-a-v-r-i-c.
4 Q. Mr. Gavric, where are you from?
5 A. The village of Opravdici, Bratunac.
6 Q. And where do you currently live?
7 A. In Bratunac.
8 Q. Would you please tell us a little bit about your background.
9 Where did you go to school?
10 A. Yes. I was born on the 15th of September, 1957, in the village of
11 Opravdici, Bratunac municipality. I went to primary school in Kravica. I
12 went to the secondary vocational mining and technical school in
14 Q. All right. Did you attend any further schooling after that?
15 A. After I had graduated from the secondary vocational technical
16 school, I went to do my military service. And I completed the school for
17 reserve officers of the artillery department. Once I had returned from
18 the army in 1979, I went back and got a job in the zinc and lead mine of
19 Sase in Srebrenica.
20 Q. All right. This school for reserve officers, can you tell us a
21 little bit about that. How long did it take and what was the focus of
22 your studies?
23 A. The school for reserve officers lasted seven months. It began on
24 the 1st of September, 1978, and went on until the 30th of April, 1979.
25 Q. All right. So after you completed this school, you said you went
1 back to work in the Sase mine. Is that correct?
2 A. After I had completed school - and this school lasted for seven
3 months - I did some practical training, that is to say I did my military
4 service in the 3rd Guards' platoon -- regiment of Pozarevac, where I was
5 an instructor, a teacher at the school for reserve officers of -- at
6 republican level of the first army of the former Yugoslavia.
7 Q. And for how long were you an instructor there?
8 A. I was there for six months.
9 Q. All right. Now, when you returned to the Sase mine, what position
10 did you hold there?
11 A. After returning from my military service, I went back to the mine,
12 the lead and zinc mine in Sase, in Srebrenica, where I was the leader or
13 manager in the productions department. That is to say, I was shift
14 supervisor in the lead and zinc mine for production.
15 Q. Can you please tell us whether you were supervising any
16 individuals, and if so, what was the number of people that you were
18 A. As I said a moment ago, I was supervisor, which means that I was
19 in charge of production in the mine, in the lead and zinc mine, where I
20 had usually about 150 to 230 employees under me and my shift. And I was
21 their immediate superior.
22 Q. For how long did you work at the Sase mine?
23 A. I worked there until 1990 when I left.
24 Q. All right. And after you left, where did you work?
25 A. After leaving the mine, I went to work in a private company, and
1 it was my own company. I established it in 1990.
2 Q. Where do you work today?
3 A. I work in the same company, as I did previously, but now there are
4 more employees.
5 Q. And you said that's your company. Could you please tell us how
6 many employees do you have.
7 A. We have a permanent staff of 30 workers, and that is in season, in
8 high season -- actually, in high season, if need be, we have 10 to 15
9 extra workers that we take on through the youth organisation, youth
11 Q. Now, were you ever mobilised during the war?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. Could you please tell us when was it that you were mobilised.
14 A. On the 17th of May, 1992.
15 Q. And could you please tell us when you were mobilised what
16 functions, if any, did you have.
17 A. When I was mobilised on the 17th of May, 1992, I reported to the
18 TO command of Bratunac, and the commander of the TO of Bratunac I think,
19 as far as I remember, was Mile Bozic, a major, or perhaps it was
20 Momir Nikolic, a captain, as far as I remember at the time.
21 Q. All right. Now, when you were mobilised, in light of your
22 military service with the JNA and your schooling that you had, were you
23 given any particular tasks?
24 A. Yes. Since I was one of the superiors who had been trained for
25 ground force artillery, I was given the assignment of forming and
1 establishing the artillery units, or rather, that I was to make up a full
2 complement for the command cadres and crews.
3 Q. All right. During that period of time, could you briefly tell us
4 what sort of equipment the TO had with respect to your particular unit.
5 A. Yes. In the initial stage of establishment of the units of the
6 Territorial Defence, the artillery group, as we used to call it at the
7 time, had within its composition six mortars of 82-millimetre calibre;
8 four mortars of 120-millimetre calibres, the M-52 type; two Howitzers of
9 105 millimetres; two cannons of the M31/37 type, manufactured in Russia;
10 and four artillery pieces of the B-1, 105-millimetre calibre type -- I'm
11 sorry, I meant 86-millimetre calibre.
12 Q. Now, if you could just briefly list the Muslim offensives against
13 the Serbs in that Bratunac area from the time you were mobilised until the
14 time Srebrenica was declared an enclave.
15 A. Yes, I'll do that. The first onslaught by the enemy forces was on
16 the 29th of May, 1992, when they captured our combat vehicle, the DR9. At
17 the time, we were led by Captain Momir Nikolic. On that day, we had a
18 large number of wounded and killed. Then the following offensive by the
19 Muslim forces was launched on the 9th of June, 1992. And that took place
20 against the village of Obad, where I think there were between seven to ten
21 civilian casualties, mostly elderly people, I mean elderly men. The
22 following offensive launched by the Muslim forces was against Serb
23 territory and Serb villages, and that was on the 5th of July, 1992,
24 against the village of Zagoni, where there were 12 dead, mostly civilians,
25 elderly, and small children.
1 The next operation, or rather, attack launched by the Muslim
2 forces from the direction of Srebrenica was an all-out attack against all
3 the Serb villages in the surrounding parts, starting out from the village
4 of Zagoni, and that was attacked on the 5th, and then we liberated it.
5 After that came the village of Borici in Bratunac municipality. This was
6 followed by Kunjerac, another village, and the waterworks there that
7 supplied the town of Bratunac with its water supply. And then Rudnik, or
8 rather, the mine, the zinc and lead mine of Sase and Srebrenica, followed
9 by the village of Zalazi, where I think there were between 60 and 70
10 casualties. Of those 60 or 70 casualties, ten were taken alive, our
11 soldiers were taken alive, and probably they were killed. And -- because
12 today nobody knows where their graves are.
13 Q. What about Serb attacks against the Muslim forces?
14 A. If you will allow me to complete what I was saying about the
15 Muslim offensives, I will do so and then I will go back and give you the
16 chronological order of the Serb offensives.
17 Q. All right. Sorry to interrupt. Okay, go ahead.
18 A. After the 7th, or rather, the 12th of July, which was St. Peter's
19 Day, Petrovdan, the following operation launched by the Muslim forces
20 against Serb villages took place on the 8th or 9th of August, 1992. And
21 it was against the village of Jezestica. I think that it was the 20th of
22 August when the Magasici village was attacked, and in both these attacks
23 they were mostly civilian casualties. In the first attack, which as I
24 said was between the 8th and 9th against the village of Jezestica,
25 someone, one of the Muslim fighters, cut off the head of one of our
1 fighters who were putting up the village defence. And I know that that
2 man's surname was Mladjenovic and his head was cut off. And in the
3 village of Magasici on the 20th of August, in addition to the many
4 casualties, there was a woman who was the wife of the priest, and she was
5 between the ages of 20 and 21 and she was pregnant, she was expecting a
6 baby, and her throat was slit.
7 The next operation launched by the Muslim forces was -- took place
8 at the beginning of September against the village of Takovici, or rather,
9 the local commune there. It was in this area that they set fire to and
10 killed everything they encountered on the way. They burnt down the
11 primary school and the Orthodox church. The following operation launched
12 by the Muslim forces took place on the 14th -- between the 14th and 15th
13 of December, 1992. And that was against the village of Bjelovac. I think
14 there were 109 casualties on that occasion. In the area, I know that many
15 civilians were killed. I can also say that soldiers were killed as well;
16 that's the truth. But amongst the civilians, unfortunately, I do know for
17 a fact that an old lady was killed, and I know her, her name was Lavta
18 [phoen]. I think she was 84 years old. Then there was a young girl and
19 several other young girls who were killed, which confirms that they --
20 that they were not soldiers.
21 The next operation launched by the Muslim forces took place on the
22 24th of December, 1992, against the village of Glogova. It was in this
23 village that there -- the casualties were all soldiers, and there were 12
24 of them. And they were providing security for the Bratunac/Kravica road
25 and communication line.
1 The next operation launched by the Muslim forces was one that took
2 place on the 7th of January, 1993, on the day of the Orthodox Christmas
3 and -- just a moment, please, to collect myself. I apologise. Everything
4 was destroyed. I am sorry for this, but it's my -- the area that I come
5 from, so -- anyway, I think there are about 70 victims. And the final
6 official onslaught in 1993 by the Muslim forces took place on the 16th of
7 January. At that time it was a municipality, today it is the local
8 community of Skelani. They killed everyone they came across, and at the
9 border crossing itself on the bridge, they killed a certain number of
10 people, too.
11 I would like to say that those are all the Muslim offensives in
12 the Bratunac area that I remember. And they were completed by the
13 proclamation of -- when Srebrenica was proclaimed an enclave, that is to
14 say by the 18th of April, 1993.
15 Q. All right. Now, during this period, certainly you're not
16 suggesting that the Serbs were not attacking the Muslims or launching
18 A. In certain cases, when there were -- when a Serbian village was
19 attacked, when the village of Jezestica in fact and the village of
20 Magasici, and I'm taking them in order. So I'm starting on the 8th and
21 9th of August, and then I'm going on to the 20th of August. But I
22 apologise, I have to go back to the 5th of July, the village of Zagoni,
23 then we come to the 12th. So in all these Muslim operations, if I can put
24 it that way, the Serb forces, wherever they had occasion to regain control
25 of their territory and liberate the Serb villages and pull out the dead
1 and wounded, they did so.
2 Q. All right.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I don't think those issues are
4 related to the subject matter of this case. Could we move to the critical
5 period as soon as possible?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: We will be moving, though, Your Honour, if we look
7 at the indictment, we look at paragraph 18 that talks about May 12th. And
8 then we go on to paragraph 19, there's a total absence of any Muslim
9 attacks against the Serbs. Then if you look at my pleadings, when I
10 suggested to Judge Schomburg that additional facts needed to be included
11 in the indictment for purposes of objectivity and fairness and
12 perspective, Judge Schomburg denied my motion as being premature and
13 indicated in my decision that I could bring these matters out during the
14 trial. So I just wanted to briefly cover that period, but I take the
15 Court's point and I will be moving on. But that was the reason why I
16 wanted to get this historical context in the record.
17 Q. Sir, could you please tell us whether you served in the
18 Bratunac Brigade.
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And could you tell us about what time was the Bratunac Brigade
21 formed, to your recollection.
22 A. Yes. The Bratunac Brigade was formed on the 14th of November,
24 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us in the Bratunac Brigade
25 what position you held.
1 A. Yes. Once the Bratunac Brigade was formed, I was appointed to the
2 duty of head of the artillery of the Bratunac Brigade.
3 Q. So I take it you had the same -- more or less had the same
4 position that you had when there was a Territorial Defence?
5 A. During my testimony, you will be able to see that from start to
6 finish I was at that duty, at that position.
7 Q. Okay. Now, could you please tell us when the Bratunac Brigade was
8 formed, did the military equipment that you had when it was a Territorial
9 Defence, did it increase at any point, your particular unit?
10 A. My particular unit, as far as I remember, did not increase in
11 terms of military equipment, nor did it decrease while the war operations
12 were going on.
13 Q. Now, if we could focus in July 1995 - and we're going to get there
14 in great detail - but if you could just tell us the operational condition
15 of the equipment that your unit had.
16 A. The condition of the equipment that we had, or rather, our
17 artillery pieces, it was in relatively good condition. All the
18 shortcomings or problems that ensued we dealt with through putting in a
19 request to the corps, or rather, the institute at Hadzici, Sarajevo.
20 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us how many -- since you
21 were the commander of this artillery unit, could you please tell us how
22 many men were you supervising.
23 A. If we look at the overall number of men and the command
24 departments and crew and the physical security, computers, and so on, we
25 had about 80 persons.
1 Q. Now, in addition to or aside from your particular unit, did the
2 battalions have their own artillery hardware that they would use?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. Were you also -- they under you? Were you the superior officer
5 for those units that were working within the battalions?
6 A. No. According to the rules, the infantry battalions, according to
7 the establishment, had battalion fire groups, anti-tank groups, and
8 according -- under their leadership were the platoons of 70 -- 60-, 82-,
9 and 120-millimetres mortars or recoilless guns for anti-armour combat.
10 Q. Who was your immediate, your immediate, commanding officer?
11 A. I was personally and directly subordinated to the brigade
12 commander, because I belonged to the brigade command.
13 Q. All right. Now, I want to focus on July 1995, that period. And
14 in particular, as a point of reference, I'm going to use July 11th as the
15 day that Srebrenica fell. All right?
16 Could you please tell us whether you participated in those events,
17 the attack on Srebrenica.
18 A. Yes. Yes.
19 Q. All right. And could you please tell us where your unit was
20 located at the time.
21 A. As the Bratunac Brigade was, for a long time throughout this
22 period, on the defensive, our units and our artillery fire positions were
23 located in the areas in the rear behind the front end of the
24 Bratunac Brigade.
25 Q. All right. Now, did you change your positions for the attack on
2 A. No, because there was no need.
3 Q. All right. Now, first of all I want to go through some documents,
4 and then we're going to get to it step by step. If I could have you look
5 at P405, which has been admitted. So you have the Srpski version, which
6 is P405B. Could you please look at that for a second.
7 Now, before coming here today, have you seen this report?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. And when -- where and when did you see it?
10 A. This is the combat report of the Bratunac Brigade. I think I saw
11 it in the brigade command.
12 Q. Okay. Now, if you could look at number 2. Incidentally,
13 what -- we see at the top of it, we see it's dated 4 July, 1995. Is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. All right. Now, if you look at paragraph number 2, it states
17 here: "The brigade commander," the second sentence starts with: "The
18 brigade commander is visiting the artillery firing positions and the chief
19 of staff is visiting positions of the 2nd Battalion infantry -- the
20 2nd Infantry Battalion."
21 Do you recall whether on that particular day, July 4, 1995, the
22 brigade commander visited your firing positions?
23 A. To be quite honest, I don't remember.
24 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you the next document, which is
25 P406. And again, your version would be 406/A. Do you recognise this
1 document, sir?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. And what do you recognise it to be?
4 A. Just a moment, please. This is an order issued by the commander
5 of the Bratunac Brigade for an attack on Srebrenica.
6 Q. All right. Now, have you ever seen this document?
7 A. I personally received this document from the commander of the
8 Bratunac Brigade, and I was duty-bound to sign for it and to read it.
9 Q. All right. Now, is there anywhere in this particular document
10 that would be of particular interest for your unit?
11 A. In this order for combat operations under item 6.1 and 6.2 -- just
12 a moment, please. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. If you could just -- I want to focus on that -- on those
14 paragraphs now. Now, could you please explain to us what does paragraph 6
15 refer to.
16 A. In paragraph 6, this refers to fire support of the brigade
17 artillery for the defence of the town of Bratunac, according to the order
18 issued by the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
19 Q. All right. Now, 6.1, I want to go down the list. Could you
20 please explain to us what does that mean.
21 A. 6.1 means that if any enemy movement is observed in these areas,
22 where it says the Potocari school, they're not referring to the school
23 building but to the area around the school, Pecista, that's a village in
24 front of the front end of the Bratunac Brigade. Budak, Pale, and Cizmici
25 also. All these are places on the line of the enemy defence in front of
1 the front end of the Bratunac Brigade.
2 Q. All right. Mr. Gavric, I want to go step by step. You see the
3 paragraph that says 6.1 and then 6.11, 6.2. So I want to do it step by
4 step. So just looking at 6.1, it says here: "The brigade consisting of
5 105-millimetre Howitzer platoon," is that you?
6 A. Yes. Yes.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... millimetre gun platoon, is
8 that also your unit?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And a B1 gun battery. Where were they located?
11 A. The units of the brigade artillery were located behind the front
12 end of defence of the Bratunac Brigade, behind the first line of defence,
13 that is. And each of these batteries had its own area of operations and
14 covered a certain area of defence of the Bratunac Brigade.
15 Q. What's in front of these platoons? What is the direction that
16 they're facing?
17 A. Each artillery piece has to be set up on its firing position, when
18 the firing position is taken up. The basic task of the commander of that
19 firing position is to see what the direction is towards the enemy and the
20 basic direction of an artillery piece can be 4 or 5 degrees to the right.
21 I'm talking about how far it is from the main direction and the same to
22 the left. Depending on the artillery piece itself, its range, it has to
23 be established how far it is to be located from the first line of defence,
24 which means in principle that if the units are on the defensive, then the
25 artillery pieces have to be behind the front line for two-thirds of their
1 range. For example, if the range of an artillery piece is 9.000 metres,
2 the artillery piece has to be placed 6.000 metres behind the first line of
3 defence, where its own units are.
4 Q. All right. Now, we have four battalions in the Bratunac Brigade.
5 Is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If you could just tell us in which battalion was this located,
8 your position? The 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd, or the 4th?
9 A. In the composition of the combat operations, the commanders of the
10 batteries and the artillery monitors have to have their observation posts,
11 if possible, at the first line or near the first line. And from this
12 point, as far as is possible, they can have a good view of their own units
13 and of the enemy positions. In this case, I'm talking about my particular
14 case, my observation post was located on 438, or rather, on elevation 438,
15 the Kalinsko Brdo. And this was part of the defence of the 2nd Infantry
16 Battalion of the 1st Company.
17 Q. All right. So if we went to the map, we would be able to locate
18 where your unit was?
19 A. Yes, certainly.
20 Q. Thank you. If we go to 6.11, your tasks. Just look at that
21 document, and again we're referring to P406. I want to go one by one.
22 6.11. Now, I'm going to read it and then we're going to go through it.
23 The first part, the subparagraph says: "Open fire on observed targets in
24 the sector of the Potocari school, Peciste, Budak, Pale and Cizmici."
25 Now, did this happen? Did you carry out this task?
1 A. When an order for combat operations is drawn up, the platoon
2 leaders are duty-bound to send the commander a suggestion concerning their
3 units as to how and what they should do. The brigade commander studies
4 all this and then reaches a decision on the use of these units and their
5 tasks. In my proposal to the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, when
6 drawing up the combat order, I proposed that artillery preparation should
7 be carried out toward the enemy first line of defence, and thus simulate
8 an effect from the direction of Bratunac in order to get the enemy to
9 focus their forces on us. Because our task was to defend the town of
10 Bratunac. The 1st Infantry Battalion, the 2nd Infantry Battalion, and the
11 brigade artillery, that is.
12 Q. All right. Now, getting back to my question, it says here: "Open
13 fire on these observed targets."
14 Did that occur?
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. All right. Let me go down to the next one. It says: "Prevent
17 the enemy from introducing fresh forces from the depth toward their
19 To the best of your recollection, did you do anything to
20 accomplish this task, to prevent the enemy from producing fresh forces
21 from their depth toward their positions?
22 A. No.
23 Q. All right. The next task says: "Open barrage fire in the
24 Potocari sector in case of possible attack, and prevent withdrawal of
25 UNPROFOR weapons toward the depth of the enclave."
1 Was this task carried out?
2 A. Barrage fire, yes, but prevent withdrawal of UNPROFOR weapons, no.
3 Q. Okay. Now, we're going to talk about the barrage fire, but I want
4 to go first down the line so we'll come back to that. The next says:
5 "Combat readiness at 0300 hours on 6 July 1995."
6 Was this task accomplished? Were you ready by the period of time?
7 A. Certainly, yes.
8 Q. All right. Now, let me go down to 6.2 and then we'll return to
9 the barrage fire. 6.2, it says here that: "The 128-millimetre launcher
10 platoon will provide support from the fire positions in the Kaolin
12 And then it says: "At 0300 hours on 6 July 1995, it will fire
13 four projectiles, 50-kilogramme air bombs, on the Potocari sector."
14 And then it says: "The school, the 11th of March factory, the
15 Gracic hill, the coordinates, trig coordinates 377 Kula and Orici."
16 Now, was this accomplished?
17 A. No. In this combat order, some corrections should be entered. I
18 assume these are typing errors. The 128-millimetre launcher platoon was
19 something we did not have. We had a 70-millimetre launcher, and this was
21 Q. All right. But further down we -- okay. If we make that
22 correction, aside from that, looking at this task, was it carried out,
23 where it says: "0300 hours on July 6th."
24 That's what I'm focusing your attention on.
25 A. The readiness of the unit, yes, that did happen, but not the
2 Q. All right. So what you're saying, if I understand you correctly,
3 at 0300 hours on 6 July, you did not fire the four projectiles on the
4 Potocari sector, as it states here in the order. Is that your testimony?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Now, let's go back to where you said that there was
7 some barrage fire. Now, from this particular document, it would appear,
8 it would appear, that the Srebrenica campaign began sometime in the early
9 morning hours of July 6th. Is that your recollection?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And we said that July 11th is the date when Srebrenica fell. So
12 did you order your unit to commence any firing on the 6th of July, 1995?
13 A. No.
14 Q. What about the 7th of July, 1995?
15 A. No. No.
16 Q. What about the 8th?
17 A. No.
18 Q. What about the 9th?
19 A. No.
20 Q. What about the 10th, the day before Srebrenica fell?
21 A. No.
22 Q. What about the 11th?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us where it was that this
25 barrage fire took place, where did you order it and why?
1 A. On the 11th, the 12th, 1995, at around 1400 hours, I observed a
2 large-scale movement of the population from the direction of Srebrenica
3 toward Bratunac. More precisely, from my observation post, I was able to
4 see the entry into Srebrenica. I'm speaking of the road leading from
5 Bratunac to Srebrenica. The Vidikovac neighbourhood, the Solocusac
6 village, Kapetanova Cuprija, also known as Poligon. The local commune of
7 Donji Potocari, and all the villages in front of the first line, that is
8 in the Potocari area. While observing from the artillery observation post
9 through the artillery equipment, the S61, I observed that in that mass of
10 people there were many men in camouflage uniforms who were carrying
12 Q. Let me stop you here. You said the observation post equipment,
13 and then you said it was the S61. Could you please describe to us what
14 equipment are you referring to.
15 A. That is equipment for artillery observation. When a soldier who
16 is in charge of observing adjusts the instrument and looks through it in
17 the desired direction, it brings the desired target ten times closer so
18 that at any point you can see it completely clearly.
19 Q. All right. From your position to where you saw the mass of people
20 with the soldiers, as you described it, could you please tell us: What
21 was the distance? What was their distance?
22 A. As the crow flies, about 1.000 metres, which in practice seen
23 through the document [as interpreted] is 100 metres.
24 Q. All right. So could you please tell us what you were able to see
25 with your equipment on that particular day.
1 A. On that day, that is the 11th, 12th of December, perhaps 1995, at
2 around 1400 hours I observed long lines of men, women, children who were
3 moving in the direction of the town of Bratunac. As I was in a very
4 difficult situation, I had to respect the combat order, which says:
5 "Open barrage fire to prevent enemy advances."
6 In this case when I saw what kind of people were in that mass, I
7 decided to correct this barrage fire at the expense of my own forces, to
8 the detriment of my own forces, which means that I went 500 metres from
9 our own front line and 3 kilometres away from the population who was
11 Q. All right. I want to clarify a couple of points. First of all,
12 you indicated it was the 11th or 12th of December, 1995. We're talking
13 about July -- 11 July 1995. Correct?
14 A. I -- yes, I mixed up months and dates. What I wanted to say was
15 the 11th of July, 1995.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you said something about making a
17 correction. Could you please tell us what did you mean when you said you
18 decided to correct the barrage fire at the expense of your own forces?
19 First of all, what is a correction?
20 A. Correction or adjustment is something that must be done if
21 possible before using artillery to fire on a certain target, because of
22 differences in time and temperature. At different temperatures, the range
23 of artillery pieces changes. In this case, it was necessary to carry out
24 the correction or adjustment. And you have to check on artillery hit on
25 an imagined target in a certain area.
1 Q. All right. Okay. So is that sort of like a test firing when you
2 say "making a correction"?
3 A. Yes, that's precisely right.
4 Q. All right. Now, when you were making this -- first of all, let me
5 ask you this: Why did you think it was necessary to make this correction?
6 You told us that you have to if you're going to use the equipment, but why
7 did you think it was necessary to make the correction, because the
8 assumption would be that at some point you're going to be using this
9 equipment, this artillery, against someone or some target?
10 A. I have to say that correction or adjustment in this case viewed
11 from my point of view had two positive effects. It -- one, it allowed
12 your own forces on the defence line to know that if an attack would take
13 place, they would be reinforced and have -- receive backup by us. And
14 secondly, I am telling the enemy forces that they won't be able to pass
15 through if they want to storm an entry into town. And at the same time, I
16 was issuing a warning to the enemy side not to involve civilians who might
17 be killed.
18 Q. Now, when you say "the enemy side who might involve civilians,"
19 who are you referring to?
20 A. I am directly referring to the soldiers, not the civilians,
21 because these soldiers are persons under arms, bearing arms, and who were
22 in the 288th -- I'm sorry, 28th Division.
23 Q. Well, how did you know they weren't the DutchBat, the Dutch
25 A. I was very well able to recognise the blue helmet soldiers, or
1 rather, people from the DutchBat, the Dutch soldiers. Because they moved
2 around in their vehicles going in front of the civilians. And at one
3 point when I was angry, I was angry when I saw on these vehicles, on the
4 driver's and co-driver's side and at the back of the vehicle, there were
5 enemy soldiers in uniforms latching on. And I thought, and this was
6 probably true, that certain people who had got their hands dirty wanted to
7 find refuge in the base of the DutchBat.
8 Q. All right. Now, did you ever see -- well, first of all, what was
9 the number, if you can give us an approximation. You saw this mass of
10 people and you see these soldiers that you identify as the 28th Division.
11 Can you give us an estimation of how many there were that would cause you
12 alarm to carry out this correction?
13 A. In the entire group, that is to say the population who moved out
14 of Srebrenica, including the women, the children, the elderly, and the
15 soldiers, in my free estimation, there might have been about 40.000.
16 Q. Okay. Now, that's 40.000 of all the people?
17 A. I said overall, including the women, children, elderly persons,
18 civilians, and soldiers.
19 Q. Okay. What happened to those soldiers? Were you where ever able
20 to see where they ultimately went?
21 A. At one point in time when this mass of people, if I can put it
22 that way, stopped in the industrial zone of Potocari - and I'm saying the
23 11th of May factory, the zinc factory, the Feros factory, and, or rather,
24 the automobile transport company of Srebrenica, this was an area where
25 this entire group of people stopped, all the people that moved out of
1 Srebrenica. After a certain period of time you could notice that certain
2 groups, certain groups of soldiers, were leaving the area, that space, and
3 moving in the direction of Gornji Potocari, in the direction of Jaglic.
4 Q. Do you know whether there is a road that heads in that direction?
5 A. Yes, there is a village road or a macadamised road leading to the
6 village of Jaglic.
7 Q. Now, did you fire at that group of soldiers that you saw that came
8 with the mass of people and then left, did you fire at them?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us exactly what you did, where you
11 fired. When you made this correction, what were you aiming at?
12 A. Two corrections or adjustments were made. One correction was made
13 with the aim of barrage fire, intended in the front line of our defence
14 and warning the enemy that they won't be able to pass through if they
15 wanted to enter the town forcefully. The second was with the artillery
16 pieces. The 122-military guns, cannons. And we carried out a correction
17 on the Serbian village located right above Potocari. The slopes of that
18 village, and it's called Studenac, are north facing, whereas I was on the
19 southern slopes, south-facing slopes of Kalin hill, to I was very well
20 able to look at the imagined artillery hits or corrections.
21 Q. Why were you making a correction on a Serbian village?
22 A. That Serbian village I think numbers about five houses. And those
23 houses had been burnt down to the ground, so there was nothing there, no
24 soldiers, no civilians, and it served me very well to prepare my
1 Q. All right. Now, after making those corrections, could you please
2 tell us whether you carried out any barrage fire. Before the correction
3 with the 105-millimetre Howitzers was carried out and the barrage fire, we
4 did not engage in barrage fire anymore, we didn't need to. But we did
5 target enemy forces who held the decisive defence at elevation 789 which
6 was called Divljakinje.
7 Q. All right. Now, before we get to that, could you please tell us
8 how close were you firing to the mass of people?
9 A. About 3 to 4 kilometres away from that mass of people. If you
10 mean the population, the inhabitants that had rallied in Potocari. So 3
11 to 4 kilometres away from them.
12 Q. Now, are you firing behind them, are you firing to the side of
13 them? In which direction? If they're coming down the road towards the
14 industrial centre there in Potocari?
15 A. The population that had fled from Srebrenica was located in the
16 industrial centre zone, and the Divljakinje elevation or feature was
17 located to the north-east of them. And the projectile curve could not
18 have endangered that population, those people, because it was viewed to
19 the left. It was to the left of the population and me.
20 Q. Okay. Now, was that the correction that you were carrying out, or
21 was that the second firing to Divljakinje?
22 A. In the course of the 11th of July, twice, I used the Howitzer
23 105-millimetre twice. The first time was for corrective purposes of the
24 imaginary line in the defence of the town. And the second time was two
25 hours later when I had noticed enemy forces located around Divljakinje,
1 setting up their defence there.
2 Q. All right. Did you at any time aim your fire at civilians?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Now, before carrying out the corrections and firing two hours
5 later, did you receive any particular orders from your commander? You
6 told us that you -- your immediate superior commander was
7 Colonel Blagojevic. Did you receive any particular orders to carry out
8 those tasks?
9 A. No, none. No orders during the combat operations, except a
10 written combat order, the one that I had received prior to the operation.
11 Q. All right. So if I understand you correctly, you were basing this
12 order as the grounds for carrying out those tasks?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Well, did you contact your commander to let him know that you were
15 about to carry out these activities?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Why not?
18 A. For me, as the chief of artillery, I had had a written order, and
19 a written order was sufficient authorisation, giving me competency to use
20 the -- to use and resort to artillery fire when and where necessary.
21 Q. All right. But initially, earlier, you told us that you had
22 endangered in some way your own men, you know, the brigade soldiers.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you -- well, first of all, explain to us what you meant by
1 A. When you're shooting or using artillery pieces across your own
2 forces, there must be a safety zone, as it's called. If an
3 artillery -- for an artillery projectile, the closest that is allowed to
4 fall near your own forces. And this safety margin depends on the weapons
5 and their calibres. It is different for different artillery pieces. Most
6 often this safety margin ranges from 300 to 600 metres.
7 Q. All right. And why did you think it was some sort of a -- well,
8 were you within that safety margin when you fired the corrections, you
9 made the corrections?
10 A. When I made those corrections, as I've already stated, in my
11 assessment I had -- I would rather say that I had brought our own force's
12 safety into question rather than the civilians. And in any artillery
13 targeting, there is always a law of probabilities, and that firing can
14 jeopardise -- by firing, you can jeopardise your own forces. But in this
15 particular case, everything turned out fine, the way in which I had
16 imagined it.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. I erred on the side of the safety of my own forces.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, in light of the time.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll have a break now. We'll resume at quarter
22 to 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.48 a.m.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
2 Q. Mr. Gavric, during that period from the 6th to the 11th, did you
3 at any point in time fire in the -- in the direction of Srebrenica,
4 targeting Srebrenica, the town itself?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. Now, aside from your artillery unit, do you know
7 whether the VRS, the Drina Corps, and other units that were there or that
8 were -- they had artillery equipment on the ground being used at that
9 point in time?
10 A. The artillery pieces, artillery equipment, was something that all
11 the operational units had, those that were engaged in the attack on
12 Srebrenica for their own support, fire-power support.
13 Q. Were you by any chance in communication with those units so you
14 would be aware of what their activities were?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Could you please explain to us, just very briefly, what sort of
17 communication means you had from your location, say with the -- your own
19 A. We had a radio device. It was the RUP-12 or a Motorola of the
20 M1000 type.
21 Q. All right. And could you communicate with the commander,
22 assuming that he was in, say, Pribicevac, could you communicate with him
23 with your radio?
24 A. Yes, I could, but I did not communicate because I had no need to.
25 Q. All right. Now, I understand that there is a rocket platoon in
1 the Bratunac Brigade. Are you -- were you aware of that or am I correct
2 in stating that?
3 A. Yes, you are correct. There was a rocket piece, a rocket weapon,
4 which was more for psychological purposes than as a piece of equipment
5 that could actually achieve any great targeting.
6 Q. All right. Do you know who was the commander of that rocket
7 platoon? Do you recall?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who --
10 A. Milos Loncarevic.
11 Q. All right. And were you in charge of that rocket platoon, in
12 light of your position as the commander of artillery?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. Did you by any chance during those days, the 6th, the
15 7th, the 8th, the 9th, the 10th, the 11th, the 12th, or the 13th, did you
16 give the rocket platoon any instructions or orders I should say to fire
17 their equipment?
18 A. As far as I remember, no.
19 Q. All right. Incidentally, where were they located, if you recall,
20 during this period of time?
21 A. I think they were near elevation 438, to the west of my
22 observation post.
23 Q. Could you tell us whether you were aware of whether they had
24 changed their position, the ones that they held previously to, in light of
25 the attack on Srebrenica.
1 A. I don't remember exactly whether they changed it, but that -- that
2 was a mobile weapon and you were able to change its position, quickly
3 change positions in line with circumstances and requirements.
4 Q. All right. And if I understand you correctly - and I just want to
5 make sure that we all are clear on this - on those days from the 6th to
6 the 11th, the position -- your position had not changed to what it had
7 been previously. Correct?
8 A. Since the beginning of the war and the establishment of the
9 Bratunac Brigade and the defence of the Bratunac Brigade, my observation
10 post was always at elevation 438, Kalinsko hill, until the end of the
11 operation at Srebrenica.
12 Q. All right. Now, I want to go through some documents. But perhaps
13 before I do that, let me ask you: Did you fire again at any targets,
14 aside from the two that you told us, on the 12th, the 13th, the 14th, the
15 15th, the 16th, did you fire artillery equipment?
16 A. After the 11th of July, the artillery did not have any need to
17 fire at all.
18 Q. All right. Now, before we discuss what you did after this day, I
19 want to go through some documents, the first one being Prosecution
20 Exhibit 411. You'll have 411/B, which is the Srpski version. If you
21 could look at that. What is this, sir, this document?
22 A. This document is a combat report, which is -- which was sent out
23 daily to the command of the Drina Corps, and it speaks about the
24 activities of the brigade over a period of 24 hours.
25 Q. All right. And -- well, what day is this daily report, combat
1 daily report? If you look at the top of the page.
2 A. As far as I can see in the lower right-hand corner, you can see
3 this. But it's not legible at the top. It says the 6th of July, 1995.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, if you go to paragraph number 2 and look at the
5 second paragraph in that numbered paragraph, it states, does it not:
6 "Firing support against set targets was provided by 70-millimetre shell
8 And then in parenthesis, it says: "(School at Potocari, 11th
9 March factory and wide area to the village of Potocari").
10 Do you see that, sir?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, earlier you told us that in spite of the order of 5 July
13 1995, paragraphs 6.2, that you had not carried out that particular task,
14 and I'm referring to Prosecution Exhibit 406. Do you recall me asking you
15 whether you had carried out the task listed in the commander's order of 5
16 July, paragraph 6.2?
17 A. Please, take a look at the combat report and paragraph 6 of it, I
18 think, where it says how much artillery and infantry ammunition was spent.
19 And it says that infantry ammunition, 7.62, 5.000 pieces; mortar shells,
20 120-millimetres, ten pieces; and mortar shells, 82-millimetres, 20 pieces.
21 Which testifies to the fact that none of these weapons were within the
22 composition of the brigade artillery, but it was the artillery group.
23 Q. Now, I just want to make sure I follow your answer. By looking at
24 paragraph 6 in this daily combat report, are you suggesting that it's
25 somewhat contradictory of paragraph 2?
1 A. Yes, that's precisely what I'm saying. Somebody -- the person who
2 wrote this report should have, in paragraph 2, stipulated the fact that
3 fire-power support at certain targets was carried out by battalion fire
4 groups and not the artillery brigade, because point 2 and point 6 of this
5 combat report are contradictory.
6 Q. All right. And so I take it just to make sure that in spite of
7 looking at this daily combat report of 6 July 1995, you stand firm behind
8 your previous testimony, that on that particular day you did not fire your
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Now, if I can go on to the next document, and this is
12 Prosecution Exhibit 412. And this would be 412/B for you. Do you
13 recognise -- well, what is this document?
14 A. This is again a daily combat report to the command of the
15 Drina Corps. I have it in handwriting, the printed part is not legible.
16 And it's dated the 7th of July, 1995, if that's the one you mean.
17 Q. That is the one that I am referring to. Now, if you could please
18 look at paragraph 2, sir. It says: "Our forces returned the fire and
19 also fired artillery at the enemy's firing positions."
20 Do you see that?
21 A. This is paragraph 2 in the daily combat report. Is that what
22 you're referring to?
23 Q. That is what I'm referring to. Do you see that? The first
24 sentence of paragraph number 2.
25 A. A large number of combat reports I understood were done
1 mechanically, according to a pattern, without looking at the reports from
2 the field. The person who was on duty that day and drew up this combat
3 report mixed up the battalion firing group and the brigade artillery. And
4 this is not one and the same thing.
5 Q. All right. So are you suggesting, sir, that this daily combat
6 report dated 7 July 1995 that has been identified as Prosecution
7 Exhibit 412, to your understanding, knowledge, and belief, it does not
8 reflect what occurred with respect to your unit on that particular day?
9 A. This document does not reflect the situation of my unit on the 7th
10 of July. It cannot be the way it's stated here.
11 Q. All right. Let me show you another document --
12 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Sorry, Mr. Karnavas. Could you please take a look
13 at page 31, I think line 23. And I think the witness said when clarifying
14 about the combat report on the battalion firing group and the brigade
15 artillery. He said this is not one and the same thing and the transcript
16 has omitted the "not." That changes the thing absolutely.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: That's -- yes. Yes. I -- thank you very much,
18 Judge Argibay.
19 Q. Going -- I'm trying to figure out how to rephrase it now. In your
20 earlier answer, you indicated that whoever wrote this combat report mixed
21 up their facts. Could you please again clarify for us -- would you please
22 clarify for us how is it that you believe that the duty officer who wrote
23 the daily combat report was mistaken with respect to paragraph 2 as it
24 relates to artillery.
25 A. To clarify, within the composition of the brigade, there is a
1 brigade artillery. Whereas I said, there is 122-millimetre gun battery,
2 105-millimetre Howitzer, and B1 76-millimetre guns. Within the battalion,
3 as battalion artillery support, there are platoons of 82-millimetre
4 mortars, 120-millimetre mortars, and recoilless guns. Looking at this
5 paragraph of the combat report of the 7th of July, I can see that the duty
6 officer who drew up this report does not distinguish between the battalion
7 firing group and the brigade artillery group.
8 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, if we could go on to the next document,
9 and this is -- this has been introduced as -- or has an identification
10 number of D131.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise for this delay.
12 Q. Now, sir, do you recognise this document?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. And I take it you have the handwritten version in
15 Srpski. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right. Now, was this document ever shown to you by the Office
18 of the Prosecution when you met with them and you gave an eight-hour
19 statement as a witness back on 28 November, 2001?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MS. ISSA: Excuse me, Your Honour, for interrupting. We actually
22 don't have a copy of that document. I don't know if Mr. Karnavas has an
23 extra copy for us.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, did you furnish this document to
25 the Prosecution?
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Well --
2 JUDGE LIU: Because it's a new document.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: They furnished us with this document, so it's part
4 of their disclosure material. But if we haven't, as part of our
5 obligation prior to coming here, I apologise. But we should have an extra
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. Do you recall whether this document was shown to you by the
10 investigator in Banja Luka when you met with them on the 28th of November,
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Now, if we could just look at the document first. All
14 right. First of all, could you tell us what it is.
15 A. This is a report on the consumption of materiel and equipment and
16 ammunition in the period from the 10th of July to the 12th of July, 1995.
17 Q. Could you please tell us who generated, who made this document? Do
18 you see any signature lines that would give you some sort of an indicator
19 as to who was responsible for creating this document?
20 A. The signature is not completely legible, but in my view this would
21 be the signature of Dragan Trisic, who was the assistant commander for
22 logistics. He was a major by rank.
23 Q. Okay. Now, in looking at this particular document, could you
24 please tell us, as we can see on the left side there are numbers 1 to 17,
25 which of the numbers referring to materiel used, which of these numbers
1 relate to your unit?
2 A. As for my unit, the numbers that relate to it are numbers 14,
3 105-millimetre Howitzer; number 15, 122-millimetre, it says here Howitzer,
4 but in fact it should be a gun M-31/30.
5 Q. All right. What about number 13, the 100-millimetre T-55? Does
6 that refer to your unit?
7 A. No. That is a tank, a self-propelled artillery piece, which did
8 not belong to the brigade artillery group.
9 Q. All right. So to your knowledge, this particular document has on
10 number 14 and number 15 the -- at least it reflects the consumption of
11 materiel that would have been used from the period of 10 July to 12 July,
12 1995. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, in looking at point 14, it says: "Bullets, 105-millimetre
15 Howitzer," and then if we go all the way to the right it says: "60
17 To the best of your knowledge, would that figure be accurate?
18 A. You should say 105-millimetres, not 100. As for 60 pieces, that's
20 Q. Okay. Now, when would -- when were those consumed, if you know?
21 The 10th? The 11th? Or the 12th?
22 A. This was used on the 11th of July, 1995.
23 Q. Okay. And again, you indicated that there were two firing
24 positions, there was the one correction, and then two hours later you had
25 the firing towards Divljakinje. So which of the two are we talking about,
1 if we look at number 14?
2 A. The consumption of ammunition for the 105-millimetre Howitzer
3 refers to the correction that was carried out, that is the preparation for
4 the barrage fire, and the targeting of targets on Divljakinje, 7, 8, and
5 9. This was done by one unit, and it used this amount of ammunition.
6 Q. All right. Now, if we go to number 15, where you indicated this
7 is incorrectly stated, it has 20 pieces. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Now, again, could you please tell us first of all, does this
10 figure of 20 pieces accurately reflect the amount of shells consumed
11 during that period, the 10th, the 12th of July?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And could you please tell us how were they consumed or where were
14 they consumed, in which direction?
15 A. If you will allow me to clarify this, I can do so right away.
16 Q. Okay. Please do so.
17 A. When taking up firing positions with artillery pieces, the crews
18 and commanders of the firing position are duty-bound to rectify or adjust
19 the targeting equipment using an artillery -- using artillery equipment.
20 In this case, the commander of the firing position made an error. And
21 when designating the fundamental direction of the 122-millimetre, he did
22 not carry out rectification of the equipment, the sights. When I ordered
23 him to correct this equipment, the sights, toward the village of Studenac,
24 which was above Potocari on the northern slopes of the hill, I noticed
25 that rectification of the sights and the angle-measuring equipment and
1 distance-measuring equipment had not been carried out, because from the
2 hit of the projectile, I did not hit the envisaged target. At that time I
3 was very angry. I called the commander of this firing position and
4 ordered him to carry out, as soon as possible, rectification of the sights
5 and the distance-measuring equipment, and he did this right away. When
6 they had completed this, they reported to me to say that the artillery
7 pieces were ready for the correction. Then we continued carrying out the
8 correction in view of our intended target, and very soon we achieved the
9 desired effect and hit the envisaged target, that is the village of
11 To clarify this a little bit, an artillery hit is not a hit on one
12 point but on an area, because artillery pieces of different calibres cover
13 wider areas. They have bigger hits.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I began -- now, before coming here today,
15 have you had a chance to look at your statement, the statement that you
16 gave to the investigator over that eight-hour period back on 28 November
18 A. Until I arrived here, no.
19 Q. Okay. Now -- but before coming here, before testifying today, you
20 were provided with a copy of your statement for you to read and look over?
21 A. I said I didn't have an opportunity of seeing it until I arrived
22 in The Hague, but when I arrived in The Hague I was given this document
23 and I read my statement.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, in reading your statement did you notice
25 the area in the statement where you were asked about this particular
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All right. Now, in your statement at that point in time, when you
4 were questioned by Dean Manning, do you recall what your answer was,
5 having been shown this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Would you please tell us what your answer was when he confronted
8 you with this document and asked you questions with respect to the
9 consumption of materiel, as it related to your unit?
10 A. As the gentleman, the investigator, showed me this document, I
11 only noticed the 12th of July as the date here. And that's why I said the
12 document was incorrect, because my units did not fire any ammunition on
13 that date.
14 Q. All right. Now, that document, does it say the 12th of July?
15 A. On the document it says the period from the 10th to the 12th of
16 July, 1995. But at the time, I didn't notice this, I didn't notice that
17 it said 10 to 12th. I only noticed the 12th of July as the date.
18 Q. Okay. Now, at the beginning -- at the top of this document, what
19 does this say as far as date is concerned?
20 A. I don't understand your question.
21 Q. All right. If you look at the very top of the page, it says -- it
22 tells us what date it is, does it not? The very top on the left side. Do
23 you see where it says St. Peter's Day, 1995?
24 A. I don't see a date, but I see a description of the day. It says:
25 "St. Peter's Day, 1995."
1 Q. All right. I apologise for phrasing my question inartfully. Tell
2 us, do you know what day that is, St. Peter's Day?
3 A. St. Peter's Day is on the 12th of July. On that day, my unit did
4 not fire. This is the report delivered by the assistant commander for the
5 consumption of materiel and equipment, for the period from the 10th to the
6 12th of July, 1995.
7 Q. Okay. Now, could you please tell us -- well, you told us that
8 from the -- from that point onwards, you did not use your artillery
9 equipment again. Correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you tell us, if you recall, when you received your next
13 A. Yes, I remember.
14 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us when it was, the date.
15 A. That was on the 14th or the 15th of July, or to be more precise at
16 00 hours or at 0020 hours in the command of the Bratunac Brigade, from the
17 brigade commander, Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic.
18 Q. All right. Could you please describe to us or tell us what was
19 the order that you received between, you know, the 14th and the 15th of
21 A. The order was about the use of my unit, the Zvornik Brigade, to
22 secure the Zvornik/Sekovici/Tuzla communication.
23 Q. All right. Could you be a little more concrete. What exactly was
24 being asked of you by your commander?
25 A. He asked that I order and lead my unit and take it to Zvornik to
1 report to the command of the Zvornik Brigade. And from there I would be
2 deployed to secure the above-mentioned communication.
3 Q. All right. Were you being asked to also take the artillery
4 equipment with you?
5 A. Unfortunately, no. At that point in time, my unit had orders to
6 be used as an infantry unit. And I did not like this at all.
7 Q. All right. Well, could you tell us what happened.
8 A. When the commander told me, or rather, gave me this order, for the
9 first time in my military career I refused an order. I was angry and so
10 was my commander. We were angry at each other. I asked that I be issued
11 a written order. I wanted to have a written document ordering me to take
12 my unit along an unsafe road with only infantry weapons and go to carry
13 out a task on unknown terrain where I was not familiar with anything.
14 Because there was a large chance that we might be killed even before we
15 reached the place where we were supposed to carry out this task. To
16 explain this further, in those days the enemy forces were breaking through
17 from the direction of Srebrenica towards Tuzla. And in several places,
18 there was a danger of all of us getting killed because the communication
19 of the road cut through terrain across which they were moving. That was
20 one thing.
21 Another thing was that we were going together with the units that
22 had quite different training and was not as well prepared and as well
23 armed. And I felt they could not oppose in infantry fighting an enemy
24 that was superior in numbers and weapons. I did not want to go and carry
25 out this task where something ugly might have happened. I might have
1 survived, but a lot of men -- that's why I wanted a written document. I
2 wanted it to be known who ordered this; however, I was not given a written
3 document. After a certain time, I did accept, I did agree to go, because
4 the commander promised that he would relieve me on the following day.
5 During this conversation when I was receiving this order, Dragan Trisic
6 was present. He left the room at one point. He was probably surprised by
7 my reaction. When the commander officially told me that these orders had
8 come from higher up, I understood that it was not up to him and that I was
9 putting him in an unpleasant situation. So we set out and at 0100 hours,
10 we set off towards Zvornik. On the way -- well, we arrived safely in the
11 command of the Zvornik Brigade --
12 Q. Let me stop you there for a second. About what time did you leave
13 the Bratunac Brigade and head towards the Zvornik Brigade?
14 A. As far as I remember, it was about 0100 hours on the 15th of July.
15 Q. How many men were with you?
16 A. About 40.
17 Q. How long did it take you to get to the Zvornik Brigade?
18 A. 40 to 45 minutes.
19 Q. Now, when you arrived there, do you -- had you been to the
20 Zvornik Brigade command before?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, when you went there, could you please tell us what you did.
23 A. Yes. When I arrived at the command of the Zvornik Brigade, I went
24 to find the duty officer because as it was around 0200 hours there was
25 just the assistant deputy officer there. So I reported to him and said
1 that I had arrived from Bratunac, and that I had orders to report there.
2 That person - I don't remember whether he was an officer or an NCO, or
3 whatever - he told me that the officer or rather Obrenovic was sleeping
4 because he was tired. And I asked him to convey to him that we had
5 arrived and that we should be deployed and given our assignment. He went
6 out, he left and when he returned he told us that we were told to stay
7 within the factory compound, in the premises there, and that we would stay
8 there until further notice, and if necessary we would be informed. And
9 that's what we did.
10 Q. All right. Now, when he said that Obrenovic was sleeping, did you
11 know who he was referring to?
12 A. Probably or quite certainly he was thinking of the chief of staff
13 of the Zvornik Brigade, that Obrenovic.
14 Q. All right. Now --
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, on page 42, line 22 or 21, there
16 was just an assistant deputy officer there. Deputy or the duty officer?
17 It's important.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, we're going to -- thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Now, who was -- when you got there, who did you report to?
20 A. I reported first of all to the reception area where there was a
21 military policeman providing security to the entrance to the brigade
22 headquarters. Then after that, he showed me where the operations room of
23 the Zvornik Brigade was located. And it was in this room that I came upon
24 the deputy duty officer, because from 0000 hours to the morning hours, the
25 regulation was that the deputy duty officer was on duty, whereas the duty
1 officer would be on duty until 00 hours.
2 Q. All right. And it was this officer that made a reference to
3 Obrenovic, the deputy duty officer?
4 A. The deputy.
5 Q. Okay. At that point in time, did you know Major Jokic?
6 A. I don't remember ever having met the man.
7 Q. All right. Now -- so you were told to stay there. Where did you
8 stay overnight?
9 A. We stayed in a room -- or actually, it was a factory. The
10 soldiers were put up there, and I spent most of the time outside. Because
11 it was summertime and dawn broke early. So we stayed to the end, or
12 rather, to the shift. We didn't leave the command area of the
13 Zvornik Brigade, and we weren't deployed anywhere.
14 Q. All right. Now, the next morning, did you by any chance see
15 Mr. Obrenovic there -- then to get your next orders now that you had
16 reported to the Zvornik Brigade?
17 A. No. I didn't see him or report to him. They knew I had arrived
18 and that I was ready and waiting. And if necessary, I thought that he
19 would let me know and inform me what was needed.
20 Q. Well, did anyone from the Zvornik Brigade, be it Obrenovic or the
21 duty officer of the day, did they ever contact you? And we're speaking
22 now of July 15th, 1995, the morning hours.
23 A. Nobody. After my arrival and my reporting contacted me at all,
24 until the arrival of Major Eskic from the Bratunac Brigade who took one of
25 the companies from the 2nd Infantry Battalion led by the commanding
1 officer of the Company, Zoran Kovacevic.
2 Q. All right. I want to break this down and I want to go step by
3 step. First of all, who is Major Eskic?
4 A. Major Eskic, his first name was Dragan, his second name was Eskic,
5 was a personnel officer in the Bratunac Brigade.
6 Q. All right. And at what time did Major Eskic arrive -- what time
7 did you see him?
8 A. As far as I remember, that was between 10.00 and 12.00.
9 Q. And how did he arrive?
10 A. They arrived by bus. He got off the bus. He was the first to get
11 off the bus, and behind him was the commanding officer of the company,
12 Zoran Kovacevic.
13 Q. Did you know Zoran Kovacevic at that point in time?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Did you have a conversation with Major Eskic?
16 A. I talked to Major Eskic, and he told me that the commander,
17 Blagojevic, had ordered them to come and replace me, relieve me, as we had
18 agreed, I and my commander. So that the commander sent Major Eskic on
19 behalf of the brigade command, and that was standard practice. He did
20 that fairly frequently.
21 Q. Would you please tell us at what time you returned or you left for
22 the Bratunac Brigade.
23 A. As far as I remember, I know that it was about 12.00, or rather, I
24 was in Bratunac at about 12.00. And it was soon after Major Eskic arrived
25 that I ordered the lining up of unit. We took the bus, and I took that
1 same bus back.
2 Q. All right. Now, before Major Eskic's arrival, before he came, on
3 that particular morning, 15 July 1995, did you encounter any other
4 individuals there, any officers?
5 A. At around 8.30 or 9.00, when I arrived at the entrance gate and
6 the reception area, I met a young man, nicely dressed in an all-in-one
7 suit. And as far as I knew him, I think he was Lukic. And he tried to
8 talk to me. I was to give him some of my men to go with him on one of his
9 assignments. I refused to do that. And there was a very unfortunate
10 exchange, but I don't know what the other man was by rank. He was the
11 security man Drago Nikolic. He involved himself in our heated
12 conversation, and the late Dusko Nikolic, he's deceased today, he was also
13 a school friend of mine. He was killed.
14 Q. All right. Let me ask you this: You mention Lukic. Does he have
15 a first name?
16 A. I don't know his first name. I don't know it to this day after
17 all this time. All I know is they referred to him as Lukic. I heard a
18 lot of ugly things about him, bad things about him. And he wasn't at my
19 level. He was a soldier, or whatever. But he wasn't in a position to
20 issue any orders to me, let alone me give him my men.
21 Q. All right. Do you know where Mr. Lukic was from? Did you know at
22 that point in time?
23 A. At that time, I did not know. Today, I do know.
24 Q. And where is he from, to your knowledge?
25 A. As far as I know, he was from the surrounding parts of Visegrad.
1 Q. All right. Now, once you -- incidentally, when you returned to
2 the Bratunac Brigade, did you inform your commander of Mr. Lukic's
3 request, that is for you to give him some men for whatever assignment he
4 was carrying out at the time?
5 A. I don't think I did, because I didn't think I needed to do that,
6 so I didn't. I didn't give my men to anybody without having received
7 previous authorisation and instructions to do so.
8 Q. All right. So you returned, I take it, if you left around noon,
9 by 1.00 or so on the 15th of July, 1995, you should have been back in
10 Bratunac. Could you please tell us what you did for the rest of that day.
11 A. Upon returning from that assignment, I went back to the command of
12 the Bratunac Brigade. I let the unit go and have a rest, because there
13 were no other assignments or tasks. I returned. I came upon my commander
14 there. And I said hello to him. We were on friendly terms, and we were
15 satisfied that we had respected our -- each other's orders, or rather, I
16 respected his order and the rest.
17 Q. All right. Now, on the 16th, were you given any assignments?
18 16th of July, 1995?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Okay. What about the 17th of July, 1995?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you please tell us what assignment you received on that
23 particular day.
24 A. From the afternoon of the 15th to the 17th in the morning, I had
25 days off, free days. My commander gave me that free time off. And on the
1 17th, the 17th was a Monday, the 17th of July was a Monday to the best of
2 my recollections, I received orders, an oral order to take part of my unit
3 of the 3rd Infantry Battalion that he led. I think he was
4 Lieutenant Colonel Zekic. His name was Dragan Zekic, I believe. And part
5 of the Workers' Battalion. Actually, he was a 2nd Lieutenant. So I was
6 told to go to the area of Kravica, or more exactly to the Sandici bend by
7 Krajinovici village and Kamenica village and to reconnoiter the terrain
8 there for certain groups and search the area to see that there weren't any
9 stragglers in the Konjevic Polje area.
10 Q. Where were you when you received this order?
11 A. I received that order in the headquarters, in our hall there,
12 where we would usually be given orders.
13 Q. Aside from Dragan Zekic of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, was there
14 anyone else assigned or with you to carry out this task of searching the
16 A. I don't know about the other units, except for part of the
17 3rd Battalion and the Workers' Battalion. So I did not know about the
18 others until I reached the terrain, whether any other unit would be
19 joining us in searching the terrain.
20 Q. All right. When you got to the terrain, incidentally, were you
21 given coordinates as to where -- what section of the terrain, on the map?
22 Were you given coordinates where you should carry out this searching
24 A. No. I didn't need to. I was born in the area, so I knew it very
1 Q. All right. Now, when you got to the terrain, were there any other
2 units in the terrain that were also there to conduct or to assist in this
3 searching operation?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you please tell us which units were there.
6 A. Apart from our own units from Bratunac, from the Bratunac Brigade,
7 the ones that I mentioned, I found there another unit, a unit of the
8 special police, commanded by Dusko Jevic, nicknamed Staljin. They say
9 that they were the special forces, but I say that they were Serb
11 Q. All right. And why do you say that?
12 A. In that unit comprised of all the men who were brought in through
13 certain channels from Serbia, and my sister's son was among the men there.
14 So they had deserted, they had fled, and they were engaged in other
15 business. And I don't know through which channels they happened to be in
16 the special police, but that's what they were.
17 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us when you got to the
18 terrain and you found this MUP unit what you, Mr. Zekic, and Dusko Jevic,
19 also known as Staljin, did.
20 A. At that point in time when the unit was lined up, at that bend,
21 when I say unit, I mean the unit of the Bratunac Brigade, I told Zekic
22 that we would be searching the terrain in a column, in line. And Dusko
23 said we should divide up the terrain, that he would take his units to
24 search the terrain from the communication line, the road, from the asphalt
25 road and go as far as he was able to. When he deployed these -- when
1 these units were deployed, I remember that the special detachment of that
2 police arrived below the village of Kamenica, somewhere in that area. So
3 we travelled together, we went in column together. The soldiers were
4 behind us, and we would deploy each soldier and told him which direction
5 to take in our search. So Dule issued orders to his men and I issued
6 orders to my men. In moving around the terrain, there's a village path, a
7 road, a village road. So looking at it from Kravica and Konjevic Polje
8 and Bratunac to Sandic hill, to the left, toward those villages, or rather
9 that line that we were supposed to take up and have as our departing
10 point, point of departure in searching the terrain. And what I can tell
11 you is this: It was a terrible sight to behold. Although I had already
12 had four years of wartime experience, but what I came across was an
13 enormous number of enemy soldiers who were dead.
14 Q. Okay. Let me stop you here for a second. We're going to talk
15 about that. First, you need to slow down a little bit so everything is
16 being translated. Polako, polako.
17 A. Yes, I understand.
18 Q. Now, I just needed to cover some points before we get to what you
19 saw. You talked about Dusko Jevic being there, the commander of the MUP.
20 But we also now have you, a commander; as well as Mr. Zekic, who is also a
21 commander. Who is in charge?
22 A. If you recall, what I said a moment ago was that the commander,
23 Colonel Blagojevic, would often and usually when he thought that precise
24 information should arrive from the terrain and that everything should be
25 done properly, as he had envisaged it, he would always send out
1 somebody -- one of us from the command, from the brigade command. This
2 particular time I was sent on that assignment, I was given that task. And
3 because everybody would receive written or oral orders, and my commander's
4 orders were as follows, these were his final words: If you take enemy
5 soldiers prisoner or civilians prisoner, you should act pursuant to the
6 convention governing prisoners of war. And you can check this out in all
7 the written orders issued by my commander.
8 Q. All right. When you got to the terrain, was Mr. Zekic along with
9 you, with his men?
10 A. Zekic was with me almost the whole time, right up until the end of
11 that particular operation. And as Zekic at that moment was feeling a
12 little ill, he had back pains, so he found it difficult to move around
13 that kind of terrain. And we decided once we had deployed the units and
14 issued them their assignments, Zekic had personal links with his superiors
15 that we could go down the communication road from which we would be able
16 to observe what was going on in the terrain.
17 Q. What about Dusko Jevic? Did he proceed along with his men, or was
18 he hanging back with you and Mr. Zekic?
19 A. Dusko Jevic also issued orders of the kind we did. And together
20 with Zekic, he went along the communication road towards Konjevic Polje,
21 and his units were in physical contact with our units. His left flank and
22 our right frank viewed from the Bratunac direction towards Konjevic Polje,
23 on the left side of the road.
24 Q. All right. We have a couple of minutes left before it's time for
25 a break, but if you could tell us very briefly: What is it that you saw,
1 that site that you talked about, when you got to that part of the terrain
2 as you were searching it on the morning of the 17th of July, 1995?
3 A. When we got to the departure point, I first of all came across a
4 path which might have been 4 or 5 metres wide, and I gained the impression
5 that a whole herd of animals had passed that way. I couldn't have
6 imagined that men would have left a trace like that. There was just one
7 or two sharp stones sticking out, but anyway which would have led me to
8 deduce that a large group of people might have actually passed by that
9 way, which I found out later on. When I reached this vantage point, I
10 found many people who had hung themselves with their belts. I saw many
11 people who had committed suicide by shooting themselves under the chin and
12 the bullet passing through their bodies. I saw many people who had placed
13 a bomb under themselves. I saw many people with irregular type wounds
14 that were probably caused by artillery shots that hit them. And when I
15 say "artillery," I know that along that axis there was the special police
16 detachment equipped with Praga weapons, and I assume that some of them
17 were wounded with those weapons. There were large groups on a whole open
18 space, for example, people who were dead, who had been killed. And I
19 learned about that when I handed over certain people during that
20 assignment. I learnt that some shock bombs or mines were used that I had
21 never encountered before, dumb grenades as they're called. And sometimes
22 somebody would do so much shooting until he was shot himself by somebody
23 in that mass of people.
24 Now, I take up a little bit of time here but I have to tell you a
25 an anecdote, something that I experienced. When I was training, doing my
1 internship in Pozarevac, I was in the 3rd Garrison regiment, and
2 General Petar Gracanin had decorated not only me, as being a good soldier
3 and officer, commanding officer, but there was a luncheon and we asked him
4 how he came to be limping. And he said he had this limp from the battle
5 of Sutjeska during World War II, and he told us the story of how you could
6 go for hours and days at Sutjeska encountering one body after another,
7 jumping across bodies. And at the same time, I backtracked and remembered
8 what had happened some 20 years previously when I, going from the village
9 of Kamenica down to Konjevic Polje, that I could have passed that route
10 without stepping on the ground. I stepped on one body after another. So
11 anybody who had been there would know just how many corpses there were.
12 It was an absolutely dreadful, horrific sight to have witnessed.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think it's time for a break.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
15 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 12.30.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Ms. Issa just went into this -- the room here
20 outside. She should be here any second.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll wait for a few minutes.
22 MS. ISSA: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
25 Q. Mr. Gavric, when we left off, we were on 17 July 1995, when you
1 were searching the terrain. Now, could you please tell us what happened
2 during that searching operation.
3 A. During the searching operation, in the afternoon hours Zekic told
4 me that our units had come across some minor resistance. I said to him
5 that our units should be stopped, as our units and enemy units were in
6 close proximity. I said to Zekic that they should call upon the enemy
7 units to surrender, say that there were a large number of us, and that we
8 should try to avoid loss of life. If they did not listen to us, we could
9 introduce technical equipment.
10 At that point, I received a report that a child between the ages
11 of 9 and 11 had set out towards our units holding a white tee-shirt in
12 their hand and waving it up high. I said to them that they should send
13 the child back and that the child should say to those people that they
14 should surrender to avoid any other problems. The child at first didn't
15 want to do that, but at the insistence of our soldiers probably, it did go
16 back. And shortly afterwards, there was a fight among their units. As
17 far as we were able to ascertain later on, some of them were in favour of
18 surrendering and others were not.
19 At that point, the child came back followed by a certain number of
20 men. I said to them that they should take certain positions and that
21 those who wanted to surrender should lay down their weapons, raise their
22 hands, and put their hands behind their necks, which is what they did.
23 This was at the village of Pobudze, the hamlet of Rahunici, where there
24 used to be a four-year elementary school. This was quite close to the
25 road, and we ordered them to bring them to us. When they did that, I
1 ordered that they be lined up, that they should lie down, put their hands
2 on their backs, and that their hands should be tied. In the vicinity,
3 there was a meadow, and there was some raspberries near that meadow.
4 Raspberry plants are fragile and they have to be tied up with twine. So
5 the twine was taken from those raspberry bushes, and these peoples' hands
6 were tied. When these people were lined up, I noticed that in the group
7 there were also minors. I asked that someone who had documents showing
8 that they had been born after 1980 should present these; however, they had
9 no documents. But I based my judgement on their appearance and I judged
10 that there were three children among them. I immediately withdrew the
11 children from the line-up. They were not tied up. And I ordered the
12 soldiers that no one was to be maltreated or interfered with in any way.
13 There was an unusual situation with regard to the children. There was a
14 soldier who they addressed as a volunteer, and he wanted to liquidate
15 those children. I ordered the soldiers to take that man away and disarm
16 him. They said: "Why are you doing this since they're killing our
18 I said to them: "You're probably not a soldier and not a Serb."
19 According to the ethics of a Serbian soldier, one never kills
20 someone who is elderly, infirm, imprisoned, because they are all
21 protected, especially those who surrender. They probably have good
22 intentions, and that is why they must have protected status. The children
23 went out on to the asphalt road where my driver was. Milan Nedeljkovic
24 was his name.
25 Soon after that, I spoke to Momir Nikolic and I told him that he
1 should send buses for our men and that I had a certain number of men who
2 had surrendered.
3 Q. Let me stop you there for a second. Where was Momir Nikolic when
4 you spoke to him?
5 A. Momir Nikolic - this was in the afternoon - was in the operations
7 Q. All right. Now, getting back to that incident, I'm not sure
8 whether I understood you correctly. When you were talking about the one
9 soldier who wanted to liquidate the children, was it he who said or they
10 being the soldiers that you told to take this man away that protested and
11 said: Why not, since they've done it to our children?
12 A. I will clarify. He wanted to take those children and probably
13 liquidate them. He asked me why I was protecting them. He wanted to tell
14 me that Muslim soldiers had killed our Serbian children in this way. I
15 ordered one of the soldiers from that group, from the 3rd Battalion, to
16 take that man away. And then I asked him whether he was a soldier and a
17 Serb. He told me that he was a volunteer. I had never seen him before.
18 Q. Okay. All right. Now, when you called Momir Nikolic and you
19 asked for the buses, what was his response, if you recall?
20 A. As far as I can recall, he said that the buses would come, that
21 the prisoners were to be sent to Konjevic Polje with Dusko Jevic, he
22 probably knew about this. He said that Dusko was with us. And he said
23 that somebody from Konjevic Polje would take them over, probably to take
24 them to the camp that existed in the area of Bijeljina. This is what I
25 did. Dusko Jevic took over the men. He lined them up two-by-two. He
1 secured them with his men, and right away he set out in the direction of
2 Konjevic Polje, because we were near Konjevic Polje.
3 Q. That was my next question. How close were you to Konjevic Polje
4 at this particular point in time?
5 A. A kilometre or maybe a kilometre and a half.
6 Q. All right. Well, why didn't you send them towards Bratunac?
7 A. I didn't send them in the direction of Bratunac for the following
8 reason: 30 or more men had to be taken to Bratunac by bus for 20
9 kilometres, then the buses would have to go back to go to Bijeljina. It
10 was more logical because there was a collection centre, there was security
11 for these men from Konjevic Polje to be taken to Bijeljina.
12 Q. All right. Did you ever hear about what happened to these men
13 that you handed over to Dusko Jevic?
14 A. Unfortunately, no. But the other day -- the following day I was
15 going about my private business - and I said this in my statement of the
16 27th of November, 1992 -- 2002 - I saw them in a warehouse and I thought
17 they were all there. But a policeman from the special police did not let
18 me go there, and while I was talking to him, somebody probably recognised
19 me. And from that point on, I lost track of them.
20 Q. All right. What about the children? What happened to the
22 A. That's a special story. For all normal people, the story is so
23 difficult at times but also interesting at times. First, they lied to me.
24 They said that two of those boys who are well-dressed and looked very
25 nice, they were quite pretty, they said they were from Karacici, that
1 their parents had walked into a minefield and been killed, and that they
2 had gone with that group of people. I asked the third boy where he was
3 from. He said that he was from Kasaba, that his father had been killed or
4 was missing and he was going with this group. I asked them: "Well, then
5 why did you surrender? Do you know who I am?" And they said: "Yes, we
6 do." And I said to them: "I am a Chetnik officer." And they laughed and
7 they said: "You're no Chetnik. A Chetnik has blood up to his elbows, a
8 Chetnik has a long beard and an insignia of crossed knives, and you are
9 dressed very nicely."
10 I laughed at them and I patted them on the head and I said to
11 Milan that they should be given something to eat. I had asked what they'd
12 had to eat in the last few days, and they said they had eaten snails and
13 that somebody had shot a boar and that they had found berries in the
14 woods. They started playing in the asphalt road and one of them said:
15 "It's so nice here where there were no mines around," because these
16 children had been under great stress. Then they got in the car with me,
17 the official vehicle. We joked and chatted along the way. And when I
18 arrived in the command of the Bratunac Brigade, I took the children to the
19 military police, where I found some policemen eating some meat. And I
20 said that the children should be given clothes, that they should be
21 allowed to wash, that they should be given something to eat. And I wanted
22 to see the room where the children would sleep. And I said that the
23 children should be given medical attention, so that everyone would know
24 they had not been killed. When I left them there, they weren't happy.
25 They wanted to stay with me. Probably they saw me as someone who provided
1 safety for them. However, I went home. My home was some 200 metres away
2 from the command of the Bratunac Brigade. And in the morning, I'm now
3 speaking of the 18th of July, I found those children. They were cheerful.
4 I asked them how they were. I asked if they were hungry. They were all
5 satisfied and happy.
6 After that, I received information that Miso Pelemis had been
7 looking for me. I didn't know Miso Pelemis, but on one occasion we had
8 met in passing briefly. He asked me whether I would allow him to exchange
9 those children for certain of his men who had been taken prisoner in the
10 area of Zvornik. I think this was a group of policemen from Doboj, as far
11 as I knew, eight policemen and one komandir. I said yes, on one condition
12 that the children be taken for exchange.
13 Soon after that he arrived in a white open jeep. The children
14 were not happy with my decision. I explained to them that I had business
15 of my own to attend to, and that this gentleman would take them away to
16 give them back to their families. When they set out, they waved to me,
17 but they were a little bit confused. This was a difficult moment for me.
18 I knew that these children were now leaving, but I was happy that I had,
19 as I thought, done something humane. And I think that those children soon
20 found their parents -- in fact, I know that for a fact now. Some of them
21 are almost married. I heard this from Mr. Naser Oric, also known as
22 Gazda, because in 2003, or rather, 2002 on the 1st of September, I
23 attended a lunch in the Tuzla Hotel in Tuzla, and he told me that one of
24 these young men had got married and that they had lied to me because those
25 two pretty boys were the sons of his uncle, his first cousin. Knowing
1 that their last name was Oric, they thought if they told me their real
2 names, they would probably be liquidated. But whatever their last names,
3 this would not have happened.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you.
5 Now, earlier on you said that you wanted them to have medical
6 attention. Was it medical attention or some sort of other attention so
7 that everybody would know that those children were okay?
8 A. Yes. Let me clarify. I asked that those children have a change
9 of clothes, that they be given a bath. And we had doctors in the town who
10 could examine them, because those children had travelled for days. If
11 they set out on the 12th, and it was already the 17th, they had been in
12 bad conditions, bad for an adult, let alone a child. I wanted them to
13 have a medical checkup so that there would be a record that those children
14 had been in Bratunac and there was nothing wrong with them. And I think
15 that this document has to be still in existence with the Serbian
17 Q. Okay. All right. Now, aside from this -- well, while we're still
18 at it. You said that -- we talked about you giving a statement to the
19 Prosecution on the 28th of November, 2001. You indicated today that when
20 you got to the terrain, you learned that there was Dusko Jevic there with
21 his MUP unit, and you also told us about Mr. Zekic. Now, in your
22 statement to the Prosecution -- and I can give you a copy of it. I just
23 want to make a reference to a couple of lines and give you an opportunity
24 to comment on it. And this is on page 29, line 5.
25 You were asked a question by Mr. Manning: "Okay. Were you in
1 command of this group of men?"
2 And your answer was: "I was not in command of that group, if you
3 understood, but I came on behalf of the command of the brigade just to
4 link them up -- link up the police and Zekic because they didn't know each
5 other personally."
6 Could you please explain to us what you meant by that when you
7 gave your statement to the investigator from the Prosecution.
8 A. In this statement, which I made in Banja Luka, I was a commanding
9 officer in the Bratunac Brigade who had been given orders to go and be
10 with the subordinate units on the ground in order to have this job
11 completed in a normal way and for our commander to know about this in
12 full. I was directly responsible at that time for the units of the
13 Bratunac Brigade. Dusko Jevic was a partner, not a subordinate. My
14 responsibility and his responsibility were equal. He was answerable for
15 his units, and I was answerable for what the Bratunac units -- the units
16 of the Bratunac Brigade were doing.
17 Q. All right. Now, this is the 17th of July. By this point in time,
18 had you heard whether there had been any atrocities?
19 A. I did hear that there had been atrocities in the area of Kravica,
20 but I didn't know any details about this. It was not part of my job.
21 Q. All right. But I take it you knew of the Kravica incident before
22 this particular day when you were searching the terrain?
23 A. I don't think so. I don't think I knew about it before, because
24 this was a very broad area. At the time I had my own duties, I didn't
25 know where the 1st Infantry Company, the 1st platoon was going. I heard
1 about this from colleagues, from friends, who talked about it later on.
2 Q. All right. When you handed the prisoners on the 17th of July to
3 Dusko Jevic, as Momir Nikolic had instructed you to do, what did you
4 expect or what were you expecting to happen to those prisoners?
5 A. Every normal person - when I say "normal person," I'm referring to
6 the officers who were in that operation - and in my view the order which I
7 had heard issued orally was that there would be a camp in the area of
8 Bijeljina and that all those who surrendered would be taken to that camp
9 to be exchanged for Serbs from the Tuzla basin and the Sarajevo basin. So
10 I expected that those prisoners would be taken there and then exchanged.
11 Q. All right. I take it since then, since that period of time, you
12 must have learned about what happened to a lot of the Muslim prisoners
13 that were either captured or turned themselves over or were separated at
15 A. You mean in that period or do you mean until today?
16 Q. Well, I'm saying by today you must have heard what had
17 happened -- what has happened.
18 A. The whole world has heard about those events, and so have I. But
19 I don't have any information about this. I only know there was killing.
20 I know that there was certain groups who did this, that this was not done
21 by organised units. That's as far as I know.
22 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you a document. I'm going to
23 switch over to another period of time. I want to show you a document that
24 has been marked as P98. It's been marked for identification purposes.
25 Please look at it first.
1 Now, in the translation it says: "Report to the brigade members."
2 And then it says: "Submitted," and it would be to the unit of the
3 3rd Infantry Battalion. And the Srpski version, does it state: "Report"?
4 A. No.
5 Q. What does it state there?
6 A. It says: "Information."
7 Q. All right. Now, is there a difference between information and a
9 A. In all cases, as in this one, there does exist a difference. An
10 information like this, the assistant commander for morale guidance and
11 religious affairs would write this kind of information; whereas, a report
12 is compiled by a commander officer for a specific unit.
13 Q. Is there a difference between information and an order?
14 A. Similarly, every order must be addressed or must refer to a prior
15 order. So either going from top to bottom or bottom to top; whereas, this
16 doesn't exist here. It must be terms of reference.
17 Q. All right. Now, the date here is 4 July 1994. And the last page
18 we have the name of Lieutenant Colonel Slavko Ognjenovic. Did you know
19 this individual?
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. And who was he, sir? Who was he?
22 A. Lieutenant Colonel Slavko Ognjenovic I think was for two and a
23 half years the commander of the Bratunac Brigade. And an officer that I
24 would not like to encounter frequently, because his goals were to be a
25 colonel or a general. He didn't think of the price, at all costs.
1 Q. All right. And this information here, had you seen this -- back
2 in 1994, had this been distributed to you to look at and to perhaps even
4 A. As far as I remember, I did not receive this and I wasn't that
5 interested, because this piece of information, the one that I'm looking at
6 now and have before we here, my commander wanted through that piece of
7 information to demonstrate to somebody just how great a commander he was.
8 And that he can see further than others. So I considered that through
9 this piece of information he just wished to aggrandise himself and put
10 himself above others.
11 Q. All right. Well, if we could just look at the first paragraph,
12 first number of paragraphs. Reading it, if you could read it to yourself,
13 and tell us what do you derive from this paragraph?
14 A. This is a purely information given out by the commander,
15 lieutenant colonel, I assume he wrote this. And he is putting forth an
16 idea that somebody from the Main Staff would arrive and that the units
17 should be placed on combat readiness, and that they should be at the ready
18 to demonstrate this situation which was good, fairly good. That's how I
19 understand it.
20 Q. All right. Now -- and who was the commander that -- this is
21 Ognjenovic that we're talking about. Right?
22 A. Yes, yes. This is the information he signed, as far as I can see.
23 Q. From that first paragraph, does it note anywhere that he, being
24 Ognjenovic, having recently visited the corps command was being given any
25 orders for him to pass down as far as what the brigade would be engaged
2 A. Had he received orders, it wouldn't say "information" at the top
3 here. He would refer to some order. He would say: "Pursuant to
4 such-and-such an order," whereas this is a pure piece of information.
5 Q. All right. Now, I want you to go -- paragraph number 2 at the
6 very, very end before -- right -- immediately before paragraph number 3,
7 this information states: "There will be no retreat when it comes to the
8 Srebrenica enclave. We must advance. The enemy's life has to be made
9 unbearable and their temporary stay in the enclave impossible, so they
10 leave the enclave en masse as soon as possible, realising that they cannot
11 survive there."
12 Do you see that section?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. Now, was there any movement of advancing towards the
15 enclave from the moment this information report -- this information is
16 dated, that is 4 July 1994, and the campaign on the attack of Srebrenica,
17 which was a year later, a year plus two days to be exact?
18 A. If we take into consideration this information and the 18th of
19 April, 1993, when Srebrenica was proclaimed a protected area, movement on
20 the part of the units of the Bratunac Brigade towards Srebrenica did not
21 take place until the beginning of the operation in July 1995. So there
22 was no movement.
23 Q. All right. Did you by any chance -- were you given any orders to
24 use your artillery equipment to make the enemy's life unbearable during
25 that period of time? Did Ognjenovic -- did Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic
1 give you any such orders?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you carry out any orders on your own?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were any meetings ever held by Lieutenant Ognjenovic to sort of
6 rally his commanders to try to implement this piece of information in this
8 A. No.
9 Q. All right. Now, I want you to look at paragraph 13. When you
10 look at paragraph 13 and you look at Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic's
11 language in the last paragraph -- in the last section of paragraph number
12 2, did you notice any inherent contradictions?
13 A. 100 per cent.
14 Q. And could you please tell us exactly what do you mean by that?
15 A. In point 2 it says that the enemy in Srebrenica and the population
16 in Srebrenica as -- that their lives are being made very difficult.
17 Whereas, in point 13, he prohibits the use of all firearms directed at the
19 Q. Well, he says that unauthorised opening of fire is strictly
20 forbidden. That's what you're referring to?
21 A. Yes. There's nothing else I would be referring to. This is what
22 it says in the information.
23 Q. Now, do you recall when Colonel Blagojevic took over as the
24 commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
25 A. I don't remember the exact date, but I do know that after the
1 replacement that turned up precipitously that for our former commander, I
2 know that Commander Blagojevic, Vidoje Blagojevic, a colonel from the
3 Drina Corps took over to take up the command of the Bratunac Brigade.
4 Q. Now, when he took over, do you ever recall there being any
5 meetings where this information was discussed as a policy to be
6 implemented by the brigade under his command?
7 A. No.
8 Q. If you could very briefly tell us or compare, perhaps, the
9 differences between Colonel Blagojevic and Lieutenant Colonel Ognjenovic,
10 based on your observations and your experience, having worked under both
11 of their commands.
12 A. Those differences are enormous. If I were to set them all out, I
13 would be able to put a lot of negative points on one side. When I say
14 "negative," it would to Ognjenovic, and positive would refer to
15 Mr. Blagojevic. Mr. Ognjenovic only had one basic goal, aim. All he
16 wanted to do was to become a big officer himself. And I think that for
17 people who understand me, I've said enough on that score.
18 Now, when I'm talking about Colonel Blagojevic, on the other hand,
19 he was a man who was an unhappy man, an unfortunate man, who arrived at an
20 unfortunate time, who took up his duties in unfortunate -- at an
21 unfortunate time. Because all these decisions, or rather, all his orders
22 were so clear-cut that we always understood them, and that is the main
23 thing as far as I see it. He was a man who shared everything with us,
24 took part in the operation together with us. But it wasn't up to him,
25 because there were far more responsible people and superior people who
1 ordered us what to do. So all these combat orders reflect best his
2 visions and his opinions with respect to Ognjenovic. So I don't know what
3 I can actually add to that. If you have any specific questions, please
4 ask me; and if I'm able to, I shall answer them.
5 Q. Well, thank you. I think that answers the question. I just
6 wanted to, by way of example, perhaps solidify the point you had indicated
7 with respect to this document being an information. You indicated that
8 had this been an order, it would reflect where it came from and there
9 might be some sort of number or notation. Is that correct?
10 A. Take a look at a combat order, the one we received for an
11 attack -- to attack Srebrenica. In the upper right-hand corner, somebody
12 has to refer back to an order and say which order he relies upon. And
13 that does not exist in this particular information.
14 Q. All right. Well, let's look at that, and that would be
15 Prosecution Exhibit 406. And I also want to show you another document,
16 Prosecution Exhibit 543.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, as you indicated in that list of
18 exhibits, this document P98 was not tendered by the Prosecution. Am I
20 MR. KARNAVAS: That was not tendered.
21 JUDGE LIU: If it was not tendered, we are not going to consider
22 it. So is it necessary for you to attack these documents?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, because it has been referred to,
24 on numerous occasions, that Colonel Blagojevic was aware of Ognjenovic's
25 information, although they claim to have been some sort of a policy. And
1 that the attack on Srebrenica was a continuation of that policy, and
2 they're anchoring part of their argument as to the forcible transfer, and
3 Mr. Blagojevic being a member of the joint criminal enterprise in part on
4 this particular document. That's why. I don't want to speak of their
5 Prosecution tactics, but that's my understanding of it.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. This document is mentioned in
8 the indictment. It also is mentioned and discussed in Mr. Butler's
9 reports and cited as such. I did not ask Mr. Butler to comment on it; I
10 thought it was self-explanatory. That document and others like it that
11 Mr. Butler had cited and mentioned in his report but had not talked about,
12 we offered into evidence a while back. And the Court I think denied our
13 offering those materials into evidence. So this was part of a larger
14 group of documents that we did offer. I think at the time the Court was
15 not aware and I don't think we pointed out that among that big group of
16 documents that Mr. Butler cited, there's some rather significant ones,
17 this and a few others. There are a few others as well that I can point
18 out to the Court, but this does -- Mr. Karnavas does bring up a problem
19 and I think he's absolutely justified in using this document because it is
20 a -- an important document. But the reason it didn't get offered with
21 Mr. Butler is because I didn't ask him about it. But that was the case
22 of several of those documents because there was just too many to ask him
23 about everything. I hate to take us back into time like that with all our
24 documents, but that's the -- that's the story on that. Mr. Nikolic also
25 talked about the document, I'm told.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think since we spent a lot of time on this
2 document, the best way is to have it admitted, no matter as a Prosecution
3 document, or as a Defence document.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I just have to clarify one point.
7 Q. If we could look at these two documents, Prosecution Exhibit 406.
8 Now, this is the document we talked about earlier, that's 5 July 1995, the
9 order for active combat operations. Am I right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Now, I want you to look at this other document, Prosecution
12 Exhibit 543. And it's dated 2 July 1995. Is there anything in these two
13 documents that would give you the impression that they're related, and if
14 so how?
15 A. As I said a moment ago, for somebody to write and issue an order
16 in writing, he must refer to some other order. And in the order to the
17 Bratunac Brigade of the 2nd of July, 1994, that order is based on a
18 previous order, 0207, and the Drina Corps command Krivaja 95. So on the
19 document of the Drina Corps, on the right it says: "Krivaja 95," and that
20 is also included in the order by the commander of the Bratunac Brigade,
21 which means that he bases his order on the previous order, and this shows
22 you that it is in fact an order that somebody issued and he was just
23 passing it down the line, implementing it.
24 Q. And we don't have that in this other -- this information, do we?
25 A. Well, there's a big difference, not to have to repeat, between an
1 information and an order. And an order is issued by the brigade
2 commander; an information is compiled, as I said a moment ago, pursuant to
3 the rules and regulations, the deputy commander for morale guidance and
4 religious affairs.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Gavric. I don't have any more -- I'm
6 sorry. I forgot to mention one other point. Now that we've clarified
7 this, did there come a time after the searching of the terrain on July 17
8 that you talked about, did there come a time when you came across or you
9 were handed another set of prisoners that had been captured?
10 A. You mean that day or over the coming days?
11 Q. Over the coming days, weeks, months. I don't know.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. Do you recall how many men we're talking about?
14 A. I think the number would be seven.
15 Q. Do you know where they came from or where they were captured?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you tell us.
18 A. One morning - I don't know exactly what -- how much time had gone
19 by after the end of those operations in Srebrenica - but I came to the
20 Bratunac Brigade headquarters to take up my duties, and some of the
21 military police told me that Sreten Petrovic had taken prisoner a group in
22 the Alibegovic area.
23 Q. Slow down a bit. Who is Sreten Petrovic?
24 A. Sreten Petrovic was for a time the commander of the 3rd Battalion,
25 but since he was wounded during the Srebrenica operation at Divljakinje
1 789, that feature, he was in hospital undergoing treatment, and he had
2 recovered, and I think one of his next assignments, when he collected some
3 information, was to collect a group of men up and take those seven men
5 Q. All right. But he was with the Bratunac Brigade?
6 A. Yes. A very good soldier he was.
7 Q. All right. And could you tell us what happened to those men, just
8 ultimately what happened to them.
9 A. All of them are alive and well and living all over the world,
10 which is proof that in the Bratunac Brigade when decisions were made,
11 nothing happened that is being rumoured and talked about.
12 Q. All right. Well, just -- you gave us the bottom line, but once
13 they came to the Bratunac Brigade, these prisoners, where did they go?
14 A. On that morning when I received that information, I went into the
15 police building, came across these seven men in a room sitting around
16 without any security guards, and in that group I happened to recognise a
17 young guy who was about -- yes, I'm hurrying again. Yes, as I said, he
18 was 20 to 23 years old.
19 Q. If I could just interrupt you here because we're trying to be as
20 efficient as we can. Where did the men go from the Bratunac Brigade?
21 A. I personally took those men to the command of the 2nd Romanija in
22 Knezina and they were exchanged there at Isevic hill.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. And I apologise for not going into all of the
24 details. I want to thank you very much. I have no further questions,
25 Mr. Gavric. Now I believe the Prosecution or Mr. Stojanovic, the
1 Prosecution, and the Judges may have some questions. I would appreciate
2 it if you could be as forthright and honest as you have been with me.
3 Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any questions to this witness?
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
7 Good afternoon, Mr. Gavric.
8 I just have a few questions, Your Honours, with respect to the
9 events in the Zvornik Brigade.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gavric, before we go on to what is most
12 important to me, could you help me out once again, and may we take a look
13 at P406 once again. And may I ask for the usher's assistance to give you
14 a copy in the B/C/S language.
15 A. Which point are you interested in, paragraph?
16 Q. May we just take a look at the first page first, please, and the
17 three letters "MAB" written in handwriting.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you tell us what this abbreviation is.
20 A. It is a mixed artillery brigade, or rather, battery. Mixed
21 artillery battery. M-A-B, MAB.
22 Q. Am I right in saying that the unit you belonged to within the
23 frameworks of the Bratunac Brigade had the character of being a mixed
24 artillery battery?
25 A. The abbreviation is how it stands, and the mixed should have been
1 the mixed artillery group. Because if you had different calibre weapons
2 included, then that would be a mixed artillery group in principle. But we
3 called it the MAB, M-A-B, that is to say, battery. In certain circles we
4 referred to it that way.
5 Q. During your examination-in-chief, you said that together with the
6 auxiliary personnel, that is to say those working the computers, security,
7 and so on, that you had about 80 men. Is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. According to the rules and regulations of service, does it say
10 that the chief of artillery, for example, as a staff officer should be an
11 advisor to the commander for matters of artillery; whereas the mixed
12 artillery battery or mixed artillery group, whichever you like, has its
13 own commanding officer and that he is the commanding officer commanding
14 that particular unit?
15 A. I'm going to try and explain that to you now. The chief of
16 artillery is a professional man. In translation, let me put it this way:
17 It is his duty to make proposals to the brigade commander. Then the
18 brigade commander is duty-bound to study the information contained in the
19 proposal - in this case, my own proposal - and to make the final decision
20 as to whether he adopts my proposal or rejects my proposal and then
21 implements it through an order or not. Whereas, the commanding officer of
22 the mixed group, compared to the chief, the chief makes up part of the
23 command of the brigade. And he has commanding officers, komandirs, of the
24 batteries. So each of these units has its own commanding officer or
25 komandir. So that is establishmentwise what it looks like.
1 Q. The commanding officers or the komandirs are in command of each of
2 the units, the battery, the group, the artillery battalion, or the
3 regiment. Whereas the chief of the artillery branch as in arms and
4 services would advise the commander. Am I right there?
5 A. Yes, you're quite right. And when it comes to major operations
6 such as this one, the chief of artillery must be directly superior to his
7 subordinates, that is the commanding officers of the units, et cetera,
8 down the line, down the chain of command.
9 Q. In this period, that is 1995, mid-1995, in practice carry out both
10 duties, were you the head of artillery and at the same time, the komandir
11 of this unit, this battery, or group?
12 A. Precisely so, yes. Because we were a small brigade. We didn't
13 have enough staff, so that much of this work was on my shoulders, if we
14 are referring to the artillery.
15 Q. So you were both head of artillery and komandir of the artillery
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. You're welcome.
20 Q. We no longer need this exhibit.
21 During the examination-in-chief by my colleague, Mr. Karnavas, you
22 spoke of the night of the 14th to 15th of July when at around 0145 hours
23 you arrived in the command of the Zvornik Brigade. Do you remember that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You also confirmed that you had contact with the assistant duty
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this assistant duty officer transmitted to you Obrenovic's
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you complied with that order and remained there to be ready in
7 case of need?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. According to the duty officer's statement, Obrenovic was there at
10 the time and he was sleeping upstairs?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Would I be correct in saying that practically at that time you
13 were subordinated to Obrenovic, acting on the instructions you received
14 when you set out from the command of the Bratunac Brigade?
15 A. As soon as I came to report to the brigade command, I was,
16 according to the establishment, subordinate to that brigade.
17 Q. If the assistant duty officer is speaking the truth, Obrenovic at
18 that time was physically present in the brigade command or headquarters?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. I will now ask the usher to assist me and to give both
21 the witness and Their Honours an excerpt from the transcript from the
22 examination of Mr. Obrenovic.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The first two pages,
24 Your Honours, are in English, and the other two are an unofficial
25 translation by our own translator of the transcript into B/C/S. I would
1 like this shown to the witness. So most -- this is actually a transcript
2 of the 7th of October, 2003, page 2.697.
3 Q. Mr. Gavric, I will ask you to read the 17th line, line 17, in
4 B/C/S. When -- on examination by Mr. Karnavas, Obrenovic replies:
5 "Several questions have been put here, but general speaking yes. That's
6 how it was. I can't recall every detail of Gavric's statement, but I do
7 know that he said on the 14th in the evening he had been there, but this
8 is not possible because on the 14th in the evening I was engaged in combat
9 operations. I could not have come to Zvornik, even had I wanted to,
10 because I was cut off."
11 Sir, if what you are testifying to today is correct and if what
12 the assistant duty officer told you is correct, am I right in saying that
13 what Mr. Obrenovic is saying is simply not true?
14 A. It's hard to say, because I personally did not see the man. So
15 there is a possibility that the assistant duty officer said that Obrenovic
16 was asleep. Or maybe he didn't check. He didn't know he wasn't there.
17 And I cannot assert this, because I did not speak to Obrenovic personally.
18 I only spoke to the assistant duty officer. And I'm only saying what he
19 told me, and I abide by that.
20 Q. That was precisely my question. So if what the assistant duty
21 officer said is true, then what Obrenovic is saying is not true. Is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So both cannot be true at the same time?
25 A. Well, on the 14th we didn't have an opportunity. This was in the
1 early morning. We didn't speak directly. And if the assistant duty
2 officer of the Zvornik Brigade said that, well ...
3 Q. And to remove another dilemma, you said today during the
4 examination-in-chief that you practically didn't know Dragan Obrenovic
6 A. I don't remember ever having seen him. And when I entered the
7 courtroom, I saw someone sitting here. I assume it's him because I've
8 seen him on television.
9 Q. So you are quite sure that the person who introduced himself as
10 the assistant duty officer, who said that Obrenovic was there, that he was
11 asleep, and that he had left a message for you, that was not Dragan Jokic?
12 A. No, it couldn't have been. I assume he is a high-ranking officer.
13 He could not have been the assistant. He could have been a corporal, or
14 rather, an officer, but anyway this was not him.
15 Q. [No interpretation]
16 A. I'm 1.000 per cent sure.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gavric. I have no further questions.
18 A. You're welcome.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Well, we have about five minutes.
20 Ms. Issa, are you going to start your cross-examination now or we
21 have an early break so that your cross-examination could be intact
23 MS. ISSA: I'm in Your Honours' hands. I think perhaps it might
24 be better to have an early break since there's such little time left. But
25 if Your Honour wishes me to start now, I could.
1 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. Karnavas?
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, it's up to you. I have no objection
3 if they wish to start tomorrow.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Maybe we could start tomorrow.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I guess we can.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Well, Witness, I'm sorry that we have to keep you here overnight,
8 because we haven't finished the proceedings here. So during your stay in
9 The Hague, do not talk to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about
10 your testimony. Do you understand that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 The hearing is adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
15 at 1.39 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
16 the 4th day of May, 2004,
17 at 9.00 a.m.