1 Tuesday, 18 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. Good morning, everybody.
10 Mr. Lukic, do you have any questions -- or Mr. Stojanovic, do you
11 have any questions to this witness?
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
13 Good morning, Mr. Trisic.
14 Mr. Lukic informed me about yesterday's examination, and today in
15 talking with our client -- after talking to our client, I can say that we
16 have no questions for this particular witness.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much and welcome back to this
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, any cross-examination?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
22 everyone, Mr. Stojanovic.
23 WITNESS: DRAGOSLAV TRISIC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examined by Mr. McCloskey:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Trisic. Mr. Trisic, can you tell us how well
2 you know Colonel Blagojevic.
3 A. Well, in terms of time, I've known him for two years. And I knew
4 him before also, but we really just only occasionally met. We were not --
5 it was not as if we met regularly.
6 Q. He's from Bratunac; you're from Bratunac. Right?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. And when you say those two years, was that the two years that you
9 were working under him from -- during the war years?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And can you tell us, what kind of commander was he? Was he
12 a good commander?
13 A. Yes, he was.
14 Q. Was he respected by his troops and by his officers?
15 A. He was held in high esteem, exceptionally.
16 Q. Was he the kind of man you could come to when you needed to? Was
17 his door always open?
18 A. That's exactly the way it was.
19 Q. So did he communicate well with his officers and his troops?
20 A. Yes, he did.
21 Q. So he didn't secret himself off and he wasn't a loner?
22 A. No, no. He wasn't.
23 Q. Did he issue clear and concise orders to his men and his officers?
24 A. Yes, he did.
25 Q. Yesterday I heard a general in another matter being interviewed,
1 and the person asked him: How can you be responsible for a thousand men
2 under your command? And the general said: The chain of command is an
3 extension of me. Do you agree with that? In the VRS, is the chain of
4 command under a commander an extension of that commander?
5 A. Well, that is a fact of life in the army.
6 Q. It's more than just a fact of life; it's a fundamental principle,
7 isn't it?
8 A. Yes, indeed.
9 Q. And was Colonel Blagojevic the kind of man that would take
10 responsibility for the problems that arose and the things that occurred,
11 or was he the kind of guy that would blame others; blame his subordinates
12 or blame his superiors?
13 A. He was rather the kind of guy who would take responsibility up on
14 his shoulders.
15 Q. Okay. And a sign of a critical part of command is keeping
16 well-informed of what's going on around you, isn't it? Lives depend on
18 A. Well, that's the way it ought to be.
19 Q. Well, that's a critical part of command, isn't it, keeping
20 informed? A good commander keeps informed of what's going on around him.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And Colonel Blagojevic was a good commander.
23 A. Yes, he was.
24 Q. Now, when there are senior officers about in the brigade area,
25 from the corps, from the Main Staff, that's potentially problematic for
1 yourself and for your commander, isn't it?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. If those officers - for example, General Krstic or General Mladic
4 - issue orders, it's -- would be the brigade commander's responsibility
5 to carry out any orders issued to him or his officers, wouldn't it?
6 A. Yes, it would.
7 Q. And it would be natural for a commander in the situation of
8 Commander Blagojevic to try to keep track of what Mladic and General
9 Krstic had in mind, what their orders were, what they wanted, in order not
10 to get himself in trouble with them and undercut their plans.
11 A. Yes, he would.
12 Q. Nobody would want to undercut General Mladic, because if you did,
13 your career could go down the drain, couldn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. I want to show you a document, if I could. It's a document
16 -- I think it's dated 1993, October. It's P857/A. And this document --
17 just near the end, if you could take a look at it, it just makes a
18 reference that Lieutenant Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic was appointed to that
19 position, meaning the chief of staff of the -- looks like the Bratunac
20 Light Infantry Brigade.
21 Do you remember a time in late 1993 when Colonel Blagojevic was
22 the chief of staff of the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. Would you -- I apologise. Would you be so kind as to repeat the
24 question, please.
25 Q. Sure. Do you remember a time in late 1993 when Colonel Blagojevic
1 - or I guess at this time he was a lieutenant colonel - was appointed to
2 the position of chief of staff of the Bratunac Brigade, as it mentions in
3 this document? You were there, as I recall from your testimony yesterday.
4 A. 1993 -- I do not recall this detail.
5 Q. You don't ever recall Colonel Blagojevic coming over to Bratunac
6 and being a deputy commander, your deputy commander, chief of staff for a
8 A. I cannot remember.
9 Q. Okay. And where was Colonel Blagojevic before he became commander
10 of the brigade in -- you may recall he became commander of the Bratunac
11 Brigade on 25 May 1995.
12 A. He was with the command of the Drina Corps.
13 Q. In Vlasenica?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what was his position there?
16 A. I think that he was in the operations sector -- no, sorry. No,
17 no, no. He was at the head -- or the chief of engineering corps.
18 Q. Okay. And you're aware that there was a corps engineering
19 battalion at Konjevic Polje, the 5th Engineering Battalion?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And so, as chief of engineers of the Drina Corps, Colonel
22 Blagojevic would have dealt with and made recommendations regarding the
23 use of the 5th Engineering Battalion at Konjevic Polje?
24 A. Probably.
25 Q. Do you know how long Colonel Blagojevic was the chief of engineers
1 at the corps before becoming commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
2 A. No, no. I don't remember that.
3 Q. Do you have any idea? Two years? One year? Just a couple of
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Calls for speculation. Objection.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 The witness has answered that he has no idea about that.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
9 Q. Now, we've heard in this courtroom that in late May/early June the
10 Bratunac Brigade was involved in a -- some sort of an attack or mock
11 attack on the UN checkpoint at Zeleni Jadar, and that as a result of that
12 attack, that checkpoint was withdrawn by the UN. It was something I
13 believe was referred to as Operation Jadar. Now, such an operation would
14 have taken logistic support, I imagine. Do you recall this operation in
15 the Zeleni Jadar area late May/early June?
16 A. No, I do not recall it.
17 Q. You inventoried -- or we saw an inventory of the UN OPs after the
18 fall of Srebrenica. Do you remember inventorying the materiels left
19 behind at the UN/Zeleni Jadar checkpoint?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, that assumes that there was an
21 inventory of anything that was captured after. So perhaps if we could
22 have a predicate. Perhaps there is a document that would demonstrate that
23 they captured materiel that needed to be inventoried, as we have, for
24 instance, after the fall of Srebrenica.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes --
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: In cross-examination that's not necessary, Your
3 JUDGE LIU: But --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's a perfectly clear question, did he inventory
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, we saw documents of the inventory of the UN left
7 over in Srebrenica, but we are not sure whether that inventory listed some
8 equipment left behind in that Zeleni Jadar checkpoint. That's the
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: My question is not related to that, Your Honour.
11 I just want to know if they inventoried any property from the Zeleni Jadar
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may try. Please go ahead.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY:
15 Q. Did you inventory any property from the Zeleni Jadar checkpoint in
16 June 1995?
17 A. No, I don't remember anything of the kind.
18 Q. We've also heard that some of the battalions were required to send
19 men down to the Zeleni Jadar area prior to the attack on Srebrenica. I
20 take it those -- to help fill the line and take up some of the space that
21 was created there when the UN checkpoint was left. Did you supply any
22 logistics for those men that were moving down to Zeleni Jadar prior to the
23 attack on the enclave?
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. Okay. Now, you have told us -- if I could just briefly now refer
1 to the Krivaja 95 attack plan, the corps plan, which is Exhibit 543. And
2 just, I think, for convenience, there's also the attack plan with Mr. --
3 Colonel Blagojevic's name at the bottom of it, citing this other one. If
4 we could get that document as well. That's a Defence exhibit, I believe.
5 So did you -- I believe you testified you had a chance to know
6 about this Drina Corps attack plan. Is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did you -- were you actually able to read it at some point?
9 A. No. I was informed -- I familiarised myself, rather, with item 9,
10 the logistics. I was not interested in the other particulars.
11 Q. Well, was it in fact read out to you at some point?
12 A. Well, probably.
13 Q. I just note in the minutes of the brigade command of 5 July, it
14 notes that the brigade commander presented the order of the Drina Corps
16 Do you remember that the day before the attack, that Blagojevic
17 presented this order to the brigade command?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. So Colonel Blagojevic would have been fully familiar with this
20 order, Krivaja 95?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And were you aware that this plan did not envision actually taking
23 the enclave?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. And were you aware that there were two principal objectives to
1 this plan? One was to separate the enclaves of Zepa, Srebrenica, stop the
2 infiltration between the two. Are you aware of that objective?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And were you also aware of the objective to -- on the -- during
5 the attack of the Srebrenica enclave, that the objective was to reduce the
6 enclave to the urban area of Srebrenica?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And so if you knew that, Colonel Blagojevic would have been aware
9 of that object as well?
10 A. He would have been.
11 Q. And the city area or the urban area of Srebrenica, about how big
12 is that? We know it's kind of a long -- or it's a skinny, narrow city,
13 but can you just give us roughly what dimensions it would be.
14 A. Are you talking about the area? The width, the length, the area?
15 Is that what you mean?
16 Q. Yeah. Just the width of the town and the length of the town, of
17 the actual urban area.
18 A. Well, it is approximately as regards the length from the sports
19 stadium to the exit from Srebrenica towards Jadar, where there is a
20 bakery, this is about 4 kilometres long.
21 Q. Four kilometres by about how wide?
22 A. Well, about a kilometre, a kilometre and a half.
23 Q. Now, were you aware that at the time of the attack on Srebrenica,
24 a good large number of the Muslim population of the enclave lived outside
25 the urban area?
1 A. We were informed that the bulk of the population was there, in
2 Srebrenica, immediately in Srebrenica proper.
3 Q. Did you know about the Swedish shelter project, where thousands of
4 Muslims lived outside of Srebrenica? You may have inventoried some of the
5 many materiels from that.
6 A. Well, we heard about this settlement in the Jadar valley. I
7 cannot recall its name. If that is the Swedish project you are referring
8 to, I'm not sure.
9 Q. Okay. Yesterday when you were, I believe, speaking of the Krivaja
10 95 document and I believe Colonel Blagojevic's document, you had mentioned
11 you believed that a reference in, I believe it was the Blagojevic
12 document, was a reference to the Drina Corps Krivaja 95 document. And
13 just to try to remind you, the reference was to a document that was dated
14 -- numbered 156-1. And Mr. Karnavas pointed out to you that the Krivaja
15 95 Drina Corps document was 156-2. And you had testified you thought,
16 well -- that it was the same document.
17 Well, we have found a document of that same date dated 156-1. And
18 just to clear this up to make sure we've got the documents straight, I
19 wanted to show you this document 156-1, which is also dated 2 July, and
20 it's directed -- signed off by General Zivanovic, the corps commander, and
21 it is directed to the subordinate units of the Drina Corps. And it's
22 basically a call to arms to get ready and to get troops together for the
23 upcoming offensive activities, which are to begin 4 July. And so if you
24 could just take a look at that.
25 Would this be the correct document, the one that was referenced in
1 the Blagojevic document? It's 862/A, for the record.
2 A. Well, I can't see a thing here. It's a poor copy.
3 Q. I apologise about that. And in any event, I don't think there
4 will be any objection, so we will try to get a better copy for the record.
5 Now, you talked a little bit about Pribicevac. Can you describe
6 the command area of Pribicevac. It's basically a tiny little village on a
7 hillside, isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How many buildings were there at the time?
10 A. Very few; maybe a couple.
11 Q. One was used as a command centre for the corps?
12 A. It was the command of the 3rd Battalion, and I don't know whether
13 the corps command ever used it.
14 Q. Okay. But there weren't very many buildings there is fair enough
15 to say, I guess.
16 A. It is, yeah.
17 Q. All right. Now, you've described briefly your position and the
18 people, the few people that you -- your assistants under you, and you've
19 given us their names. Did you have any more immediate staff besides I
20 think those three people?
21 A. We had a rear company, a logistics company.
22 Q. So you had a whole rear service company that you were responsible
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In fact, Colonel Blagojevic bore overall responsibility of that
1 rear service company; is that right?
2 A. The entire brigade, as a matter of fact.
3 Q. And can you describe how many men were in the rear service
5 A. Let's say 20.
6 Q. And can you just briefly describe to us the, you know, the
7 hierarchy there. Who was in command of the rear service company and what
8 kind of staff did that person have?
9 A. Yes, I can. The company commander was Captain Radosavljevic. He
10 had a technical staff -- quartermaster staff and transport staff, or
11 squad. And he was their immediate superior.
12 Q. And where was this company located?
13 A. In the centre of town, in the vicinity of the medical centre
14 there. It was an old building that used to be used by the Territorial
15 Defence and the agriculture cooperative.
16 Q. And they were active and on duty on 12 and 13 July, this company?
17 A. Yes, save for Captain Radosavljevic, who was off duty at that
19 Q. So who was in charge in his absence?
20 A. Well, squad commanders had their duties, and they would perform
21 them according to their given tasks.
22 Q. Well, somebody must have been in charge of the company when the
23 commander was absent.
24 A. He had an assistant whose name I can't remember at the moment. He
25 had an assistant; however, his job was not that difficult at worst of
2 Q. Now, you've told us that from the corps there was Colonel Acamovic
3 and I believe it was a Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic from the rear
4 services of the corps. What other staff or soldiers, if any, were there
5 in Bratunac on the 12th, 13th, or 14th from the corps, rear services?
6 A. I can't give you all of their names; however, people would come,
7 deliver materiel and equipment, fuel. I personally didn't see them and I
8 was not supposed to see them.
9 Q. But how many corps people were there besides these two officers?
10 Rear service types I mean.
11 A. I wouldn't know.
12 Q. So -- but there was a large group of the Bratunac Brigade that was
13 able to do their rear service, logistics support, transportation,
14 quartermaster job at the time. Is that right?
15 A. We performed our regular tasks, which consisted in supplying our
16 own brigade.
17 Q. Well, did you assist the corps in the operation to help transport
18 the Muslims out of Potocari? For example, did you help with the fuel, the
19 counting of the fuel?
20 A. People from the rear services company did give a hand with
21 everything that was needed.
22 Q. That was their job, wasn't it, to work together with the corps to
23 get the job done, to get all those people moved out to Kladanj, where they
24 could be looked after?
25 A. People from the rear services company were not together with the
1 corps personnel. From time to time, there would be a task which required
2 additional assistance, and that's when we would be called in to provide
3 that additional assistance.
4 Q. So from time to time you did provide additional assistance to the
5 corps in the movement of the Muslim population. Is that correct?
6 A. No. There was no special need for us to do that. The corps had
7 its own organisation, and there was nothing for us to do there, nothing
8 special for us to do there.
9 Q. Well, I think you've said you provided two buses on the 12th of
10 July to help transport the Muslims. Is that true what you said yesterday?
11 Did you provide two buses that had been mobilised by the Bratunac Brigade
12 to help transport the Muslim population?
13 A. There was an order to do that -- to do so.
14 Q. Well, I'm sure there was orders to do all of this, wasn't there?
15 A. In this particular case, there was an order for the buses to be
17 Q. So in the situation for these two buses, you assisted the corps in
18 the job to get the Muslims moved out to Kladanj, as you were ordered.
19 A. That's what Mladic promised to the Muslims, and for us it was an
21 Q. So the answer is: You did assist the corps and the Main Staff in
22 moving the Muslims out with these two buses. Correct?
23 A. The 12th of July, but not later than that.
24 Q. Okay. Well, let's stay with the 12th for now. You also were
25 shown a lot of documents, and I don't really want to go over them, these
1 fuel documents, many of which were written in handwriting that you
2 recognised. Is that right?
3 A. Yes. I did recognise them. They are reports.
4 Q. And so in respect to accounting for the fuel used in the
5 transportation operation, the Bratunac Brigade played a significant role
6 in accounting for this valuable fuel that was used in the operation.
7 Isn't that correct?
8 A. I have to clarify this. Yesterday I said that we had tried --
9 Q. If you could answer the question and then you can clarify --
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour, objection Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman is trying to answer the question and
13 he's being interrupted, rudely I might add, by the Prosecutor. He's
14 entitled to give his answer.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 Witness, you may go on, please.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I was objecting to his answer as
18 non-responsive because there's nothing to clarify. I need an answer
19 before he can clarify. I would like a clarification, that's fine; but you
20 can't clarify a non-answer.
21 JUDGE LIU: Maybe the witness did not understand your question
22 quite well. Let's hear the clarification from this witness first.
23 Witness, you may answer that question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yesterday I said that we had
25 accounted for the entry and exit of fuel, which doesn't imply that this
1 fuel was used, for example, for the transport of Muslims. The paperwork
2 accounting for the entry and exit of the fuel was what was asked from us
3 to do, and this is exactly what we did, the paperwork.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Okay. But in any major operation that involves fuel, accounting
6 for that fuel is an important part of the overall operation, isn't it, so
7 the command knows how it was used, what was used, what wasn't used, that
8 none was stolen? Isn't the accounting an important part of any operation,
9 business, military, or otherwise?
10 A. Accounting is important in any case, because it justifies the use
11 of all the materiel and equipment. And from day one, our paperwork and
12 our accounting was in order in our brigade because it was our obligation.
13 Q. Absolutely. And we also saw that the accounting documents were
14 dated 12 and 13 July, when all this was going on. Right?
15 A. Yes. On the 12th of July, the Muslim population was gathered in
16 Potocari; it's a fact.
17 Q. So the people that were doing the accounting, I believe including
18 yourself, were on the ground at the time the fuel was being accepted,
19 delivered, passed out, so they were on the ground working and doing the
20 accounting at the time of the events. This wasn't some after-the-fact
21 post-accounting, looking over records. Your accounting was done from the
22 ground, where this activity was happening, wasn't it?
23 A. I've already explained that the fuel at the Vihor was dispensed by
24 Vihor staff in the Vihor parking lot at the entrance to Bratunac. And
25 also, the drivers from the corps were involved in that fueling operation.
1 And then, based on what they did, we recorded the fuel that was filled
2 into vehicles.
3 Q. And so you know that because you were on the ground observing that
4 and accounting for it. Either you or your staff; correct?
5 A. I'm sure I wasn't there. My assistant was informed, but he did
6 not need to be present. He was just provided with the paperwork that
7 would justify his subsequent accounting, and that was the procedure.
8 Q. Okay. Well, you talked a little bit yesterday about a statement
9 that you gave to the Office of the Prosecutor back in 26 November 2001.
10 Thank you. And you've had a chance to go over that document because the
11 Defence showed it to you. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And in that interview, did you try to be as truthful and as
14 correct as possible?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Okay. And you've pointed out one thing, which I'll get into
17 later, that you have changed. You admitted that you told the Office of
18 the Prosecutor that Mr. Blagojevic was in Potocari on the 12th, but you've
19 now testified that you were wrong on that point. Is that right? I'll get
20 into that a little bit later, but is there anything else that you want to
21 change of significance in your statement besides that point?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay. Let's --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness come closer to the
25 microphones, please.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY:
2 Q. The interpreters are having a little bit of a hard time hearing
3 you. If you could move your chair up a little bit, they've asked, so
4 you're a little closer to the mike. Thank you. Make yourself
5 comfortable, but this won't be too long. We're not going to be here all
6 day, I hope.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could provide the witness with a B/C/S copy
8 of his statement.
9 Q. I want to just go over some of the things you said, and I'll
10 direct you to certain parts of the statement. I -- we've tried to
11 highlight some of them, but don't -- you don't need to limit yourself to
12 the highlighting, you can, of course, look above or beyond to help
13 understand the context of it. Those highlights are just meant to attract
14 your attention.
15 Now, the first part I want to ask you about is -- it's page 12 of
16 the English and lines 13 through 19. And yours should be page 12, lines 7
17 through 13. And the question is asked: "Okay. The next thing you heard
18 about the evacuation or removal?"
19 And you say: "So in all those activities there were the rear
20 services organs of the corps that were doing their job. So for that part
21 of the operation, the assistant commander for the rear service on the
22 corps level would ask me, request from me something that he maybe did not
23 have at the time and I did have. The fact is that we provided a certain
24 number - I cannot recall exactly how many - a certain number of buses and
25 trucks for transportation of people."
1 Is that true?
2 A. I can clarify.
3 Q. And that's fine, but is that a true statement, first of all? And
4 you can always clarify any answer you give.
5 A. The statement is probably correct.
6 Q. Probably? Only probably?
7 A. I can explain. I can clarify.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. In the brigade we didn't have more than two buses or trucks. When
10 I said "we," I probably meant Bratunac, the buses that belonged to Vihor
11 as well as the lorries that belonged to Vihor which were mobilised by the
13 Q. Okay. And I think we'll get into that a little later, so let's go
14 on to the next section. And that should be, in the English, page 14, and
15 it should be for you page 14 lines 24 through 26. For us it should be
16 about lines 17 through 24. And you're talking about buses and trucks.
17 And the investigator asked you: "And where would you have got those buses
18 and trucks from?"
19 And you say: "In the brigade we had two buses and the rest we
20 took from the transportation company Vihor."
21 And I think that's what you testified to yesterday, that there
22 were two buses in the brigade and that the other vehicles you took from
23 Vihor and provided for this operation. Is that correct?
24 A. When I said "we," I was probably referring to the Army of
25 Republika Srpska. I put myself in that role.
1 Q. Well, I can read to you what you said. You said: "In the
2 brigade, we had two buses."
3 So you're not talking in the VRS; you're talking in the brigade.
5 A. We were not entitled to that. We were -- we didn't have the right
6 to take any buses from Vihor ourselves.
7 Q. Well, they got mobilised.
8 A. Yes, by the corps command.
9 Q. And you were involved in that, getting the buses -- or the -- it
10 says: "The rest we took from the transportation company Vihor."
11 And you've just referred to the Bratunac Brigade, so it's you --
12 it's the brigade and the corps getting these vehicles from Vihor, isn't
14 A. No. It was the corps that mobilised those buses pursuant to their
15 own request.
16 Q. So when you say "we," you're referring to the Drina Corps, even
17 though you're not -- you're a brigade guy. You know, that doesn't make
18 any sense. Can you explain that?
19 That's all right. We can go on.
20 If you could be shown what's been marked as D161. This is
21 something I -- it's a document that was shown to you yesterday, and I'm
22 hoping you have a better photocopy of the B/C/S version. Because we can
23 see on English that there's a little note on the bottom that says: "In
24 the original, items 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22 are connected with a curve
25 brace above which stands: Vihor, 13 July."
1 Now, in the copy that unfortunately was used yesterday, that was
2 hard to see. And we've got the original document that if I could show you
3 that I think it would be most helpful.
4 So first of all, looking at that original document, do you
5 recognise the handwriting?
6 A. No.
7 Q. This was found in the Bratunac Brigade during the search in 1998.
8 A. No, I don't recognise it -- actually, these are two different
10 Q. Yeah, I think you're right. And if you could look from 18 to 22,
11 do you see that little -- that mark? And it says: "Vihor."
12 What does that mean?
13 A. Actually, these are three different handwritings. The upper part,
14 the black ink, is one handwriting; the second one is from 14 to 17; and
15 the third one is from 18 to 22. Yes, I can see the marking "Vihor" and
16 the date. I suppose this fuel was filled in the Vihor company, and
17 somebody must have added this on.
18 Q. Well, and you -- as I just read over your statement, you said:
19 "We had two buses and the rest we took from the transportation company
21 Would these five entries be the buses or vehicles that were taken
22 from Vihor?
23 A. I said that we didn't take them, that it was the corps that took
24 them. But these are not buses. It says here "TAM 130, FAP 1616," and
25 those are not buses.
1 Q. I thank you for clarifying that. You're correct. I should not
2 have said buses.
3 Okay. Let's go to another section, and it's page 15 on the
4 English. And it should be page 15 on yours as well. I'm sorry, I don't
5 have an actual line number. And Mr. Manning, the investigator, asked you:
6 "What about" -- line 3: "What about fuel for those vehicles?"
7 And you say: "The fuel was provided from the corps and all other
8 materiel was provided by the corps."
9 And the investigator says: "Did the UNPROFOR provide fuel as
11 And you say: "Yes, some. Yes, I cannot tell you how much, which
12 part UNPROFOR provided in total. But the DutchBat soldiers gave us one
13 tanker, one cistern with fuel."
14 The investigator says: "Did they give it to you personally, your
15 troops personally?"
16 And you say: "Yes, the brigade. Our brigade took that fuel. We
17 dumped the fuel in the cistern of the tanker truck of the transportation
18 Vihor company."
19 Is that correct?
20 A. I explained yesterday: Colonel Acamovic asked from me to find a
21 solution for this huge quantity of fuel. It was my suggestion, and this
22 is what was indeed done, to dump all that fuel in the tanks of the Vihor
24 Q. Right. And the Bratunac Brigade did that, working with the corps,
25 according to your statement. Is that right?
1 A. Colonel Acamovic asked me to do it, and I obeyed. I did it.
2 Q. Well, did he ask or order?
3 A. A superior officer issues orders.
4 Q. Okay. So this is a true statement that I just read?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: With the qualifications of the explanations that he
6 just gave.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, we could sense that by ourself, Mr. Karnavas.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
9 JUDGE LIU: But -- yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. So what I said -- what you said, excuse me, to us in Banja Luka
12 was correct, and you're adding to it today?
13 A. Mr. Manning, the investigator, put pressure on me, and I felt very
14 uncomfortable at the moment. I did not have the opportunity to explain
15 all the details. The essence of the matter is that the fuel was secured
16 by Colonel Acamovic through Dutch -- through the DutchBat. And he asked
17 me to find a solution for storing this huge quantity of fuel, and I found
18 a solution. This is what I did.
19 Q. You said: "Our brigade took that fuel. We dumped the fuel in the
20 cistern of the tanker truck of the transportation company Vihor."
21 Is that true?
22 A. I said already, yes.
23 Q. All right. Let's go now to the English page 17. And for you it
24 should be page 18, about lines 5 through 8. And Mr. Manning says: "I
25 don't know whether it's simply a misunderstanding, but I'm asking you, the
1 transportation of people - and it's obvious to both of us who we're
2 speaking of - but I want you to tell me."
3 And you say: "Okay. So the fuel was used for the combat
4 activities around Srebrenica and the transportation of the people that I
5 mentioned earlier; women, children, and elderly."
6 Mr. Manning says: "The Muslim population of Srebrenica and
8 And you say: "Yes."
9 Is that correct, a true statement?
10 A. What fuel are you referring to? The 30 tonnes of fuel. Is that
12 Q. I think you're -- that's what's mentioned above. You're talking
13 about, as far as I can tell, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but the
14 fuel that you got from UNPROFOR and put into the Vihor cistern.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't mean to object but --
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: -- for proper context perhaps we could go a page
18 earlier and let the gentleman at least for his own purposes before
19 answering any questions, starting perhaps as early as line 22, page 16, on
20 the English version, where the document with the ERN number of 0067-1769
21 is presented to him. And perhaps -- that was on page 16. It would be
22 page 16, I believe line 24, on the Srpski version. And then he could just
23 -- because I think we are losing some context, because it talks about the
24 30 plus the 52.000 litres. So I think in all fairness to the witness, he
25 should be given an opportunity to read that entire section so he can make
1 sure that he gives us a full and complete and honest answer.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I believe that --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President -- I'm sorry for interrupting.
4 JUDGE LIU: I believe that at the very beginning of the
5 cross-examination on this statement, the Prosecution already said that the
6 witness could read certain pages and consider the question in the context
7 of the whole statement. But thank you very much to point out that place.
8 Witness, you have the statement at your hand. Right?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.
10 JUDGE LIU: You could read the specific pages the Defence counsel
11 pointed out and then answer that question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was giving this statement, I
13 had no idea -- namely, I had data on the consumed quantities. I had no
14 idea where it had been consumed and in which way. Only after I had
15 familiarised myself with the documentation, I realised that the fuel had
16 not been actually consumed but was just accounted for, had been actually
17 passed through our documentation. Obviously, this fuel which we received
18 from the Dutch Battalion could not have been spent for combat operations
19 around Srebrenica, because the combat operations ended on the 11th. It
20 could have been used to transport Muslims, and it was actually received
21 for that purpose, as far as I gathered from Colonel Acamovic.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. Yes. And I think you've said that someplace before, that this
24 fuel was received to transport the Muslims, and you tell us in this
25 statement that at least some of it was in fact used to transport the
1 Muslims. Is that right?
2 A. This fuel we did -- we received from the Dutch Battalion. We got
3 it from them in order to transport the Muslims; that is clear.
4 Q. Okay. If you could go -- if we could go to page 18 in the
5 English. It should be page 18, lines 18 to 20 for you in the B/C/S.
6 Mr. Manning asked: "How could you have gotten fuel from Vihor, Gradina,
7 and the Bratunac municipality? What is the mechanisms?"
8 And you say: "Considering that the corps could not provide enough
9 quantities of fuel or food for the brigade, not only during that period
10 but also earlier, so we as a brigade asked for the assistance from the
11 companies and from the municipality so the quantities of fuel, food,
12 cigarettes that we were lacking in the brigade that the corps could not
13 provide for us, we received from the companies in Bratunac."
14 Is that a correct statement?
15 A. In this way, we obtained provisions of food and fuel for the
16 regular activities for the life and work of the brigade.
17 Q. So the brigade had the ability to go to the municipality and get
18 materiel on a normal basis?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. We go down the page a little bit and Mr. Manning says:
21 "You were able to provide some buses and trucks and fuel for the
22 transportation of the civilians. Who drove the trucks and buses that you
24 And you say: "So not all the buses and trucks we provided. The
25 corps also provided buses and trucks."
1 That's correct. That's basically what you have been telling us,
2 isn't it?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Okay. And then Mr. Manning says: "The ones that you provided."
5 And you say: "Yes."
6 And Mr. Manning says: "Who drove them?"
7 And you say: "The drivers from Vihor company, from the
8 transportation company."
9 Is that right?
10 A. The buses and the trucks that had been mobilised from Vihor to
11 transport the Muslims were -- was only logical they should be driven by
12 Vihor's drivers.
13 Q. So that's a true statement?
14 A. It is true that these buses and trucks which had been mobilised
15 were driven by Vihor drivers.
16 Q. Okay. And the next question is: "And the buses and trucks that
17 were provided by the brigade, who drove those?"
18 And you say: "We had our drivers."
19 And Mr. Manning says: "And they would be from which section of
20 the brigade?"
21 And you say: "The rear service company of the brigade."
22 So the buses -- the two buses that have been spoken of earlier,
23 the people that drove those buses, were they from the rear services
24 company of the brigade?
25 A. The buses that had been mobilised, the two buses in the brigade
1 were driven by drivers belonging to the rear services company.
2 Q. All right. Okay. If you could now go to page 20. It's page 20
3 in the English as well. Lines 21 through 24 in the B/C/S. And around 10
4 through 16. Mr. Manning is asking you about: "What else did you do that
6 You say: "I can't tell precisely what else I could have done that
8 And Mr. Manning says: "Did you -- you explained to me that you
9 had some dealings with your commander on the 12th. When was the last time
10 you saw him on the 12th and where?"
11 And you say: "It's been a long time ago. I can't remember. It's
12 very difficult just to remember one particular day. We were in contact
13 all day, but we were not all the time together. But from the morning
14 until the evening, we were all the time in contact. And one was at one
15 duty and the other was at another duty."
16 So this says that you were in contact all day with Colonel
17 Blagojevic. Not personal contact, but -- is that true?
18 A. Well, what I mean by contact is that we talked on the telephone.
19 If the need arose, we were there in the command; and if the need arose, we
20 would get in touch in this way.
21 Q. Well, this says that you were actually in contact with him, either
22 by the phone or personally, all day. And we know this was a very busy day
23 and it would have been normal for the rear services officer to be in close
24 contact with his commander during this day. So my question is: Were you
25 in contact with him off and on all day, either by phone or otherwise?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, if the gentleman could be given some time.
3 I know that he was advised and told that he could look at it, but the
4 questions are coming like this. The gentleman could be given some time so
5 he could read from 20 all the way to 22, at least all the way -- yeah, to
6 22, end of 22, be given time, because I believe he's asked a series of
7 questions with respect to that, so we can have a more complete answer. In
8 the event that he's not given that opportunity, I want to make it
9 abundantly clear through re-direct examination I'm going to go through
10 each and every line where I believe more context should be placed in these
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, you could raise your objections, but
13 don't make any gestures, especially to make some sounds out of it.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't aware I was, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: This is a courtroom, not a coffee stop.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't aware, I apologise.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course the witness has the opportunity to read
18 this statement, but it's time for a break, Mr. McCloskey. We might have a
19 break now and during the break I hope the witness could take advantage of
20 that time and read the statement.
21 Is that all right, Witness?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, did you read your statement during the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to answer the question?
6 Or, Mr. McCloskey, you may repeat your question.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. This was the area that we talked about on page 20, your lines 21
9 through, roughly, 24. And English page 20, 13 through 16. Where you say:
10 "It's difficult to remember one particular day, but we were in contact all
11 day but we were not all the time together. But from the morning to the
12 evening, we were all the time in contact. And one was at one duty and the
13 other was at the other duty."
14 So is that a fair and truthful statement that you made?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Okay. And on the same subject, it's page 28 about 11 through 16
17 on the English. It's around 13 through 15 in the B/C/S. And Mr. Manning
18 says: "Okay. A simple question of communication. Did your commander
19 have a portable radio, a Motorola or similar?"
20 And you say: "Yes, he probably did."
21 Mr. Manning says: "And if necessary, you could contact him on the
22 radio or telephone or some other means during that period?"
23 And you say: "Yes, yes."
24 So the period we are talking about, is that a true statement for
25 July 12 and 13, that you could contact him if you needed to?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can I clarify this for
2 the benefit of the Prosecutor. On all these pages, from 20 to 28, he
3 insisted for me to say that I was with the commander; I never confirmed
4 this. I just said it was a possibility for us to get in touch via the
5 communication means if the need arose.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, there is no misunderstanding on that point.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY:
8 Q. So like you say here, you're able to get a hold of him when you
9 needed him during those days, 12 and 13?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Let's go on to another subject. And this is about what you
12 tell us about what you see when you're in Potocari. And if we could start
13 with page 29, 14 -- line about 14 in the English. Oddly enough, it's
14 about the same line in the B/C/S. And I'll just read it.
15 Mr. Manning says: "Okay. When you were in Potocari on the 12th,
16 you saw the Muslim civilians. Who was guarding those people? Who was
17 providing security for those people, apart from DutchBat?"
18 And you say: "Our police."
19 And Mr. Manning says: "What police? Military police? Civilian
20 police? Special police?"
21 And you say: "Mostly military police. Military police. Brigade
22 had its police and the corps had their own police."
23 And Mr. Manning says: "And do I take it from that that it was
24 Bratunac Brigade military police?"
25 And you say: "Both, Bratunac Brigade and the corps."
1 So when you were in Potocari, did you see both the Bratunac
2 Brigade military police and the corps military police, like you say here?
3 A. [No interpretation]
4 Q. And they were providing security for the Muslims, like you say
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. Let's go to page 30. English it should be starting about
8 line 4. It should be about line 5 -- roughly line 5 in the B/C/S.
9 Mr. Manning says: "But which ones did you recognise from that
11 And you say: "They were all there that day. The majority of them
12 were there. That was their main task. Maybe the duty officer remained at
13 the brigade, but ..."
14 And Mr. Manning says: "Okay. At some stage the men that did
15 remain in Potocari were separated from the women and children. Are you
16 aware of that?"
17 And you say: "No."
18 Before I get to that separation question, maybe you should look a
19 little bit between my last thing I read to you and that first one so we
20 can tell what unit we're talking about. And Mr. Manning says: "But which
21 ones did you recognise from that day?"
22 As you can see on page 29, one of the things Mr. Manning says is:
23 "Taking back to the crowd of people, the bread, the incidents, the
24 Bratunac Brigade military police are there, you would have seen some of
25 the Bratunac military police you recognise. You lived there all your
1 life. Who did you recognise?"
2 "We met everyone, so it's irrelevant whether I met. I cannot
3 tell you whether I met that military policeman there or I met him in
4 Bratunac or I met him somewhere else. It's difficult. You see those
5 people every day."
6 And then he says: "But which ones did you recognise from that
8 And you say: "They were all there that day. The majority of them
9 were there. That was their main task. Maybe the duty officer remained at
10 the brigade, but ..."
11 So you're telling Mr. Manning there that the majority of the
12 Bratunac Brigade military police were in Potocari that day, on the 12th.
13 Is that correct?
14 A. The Bratunac police, yes.
15 Q. The Bratunac Brigade military police. Is that what you're talking
16 -- that's what you're referring to?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So you stand by this statement that the majority of the -- you saw
19 the majority of the Bratunac Brigade military police in Potocari on 12
21 A. I should just like to say this: Item 6 -- well, probably all of
22 them were there. Most of them, the majority was there.
23 Q. So that's true. The majority -- you believe the majority of them
24 were there?
25 A. Probably.
1 Q. And you know there were about 33 Bratunac Brigade military police
2 on the roster of July 1995? Does that sound about right?
3 A. It's possible.
4 Q. All right. Let's now go to page 30, lines 1 through 6. And it's
5 -- on yours it should be page 31, lines 11 through 18.
6 A. Where is this?
7 Q. Actually, it's -- should be -- I'm sorry. I gave you the wrong
8 page. It should be -- it's page 30, lines 5 through 10. Sorry. That's
9 the one we've already gone over.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, Your Honour.
11 Q. Let's go to page 33, and it should be page 33, line 8 for you, and
12 it's line 7 for us. And you just say: "The military police were there
13 for sure."
14 So there's no doubt in your mind that the Bratunac Brigade
15 military police were there on that date. Correct?
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. Okay. Now, the next reference I want to go to is -- it should be
18 page 50 on yours, lines -- around 2 to 11. On the English it's page 52.
19 But let's start at -- I guess at about line 4. Mr. Manning says: "And
20 who was directing them to do this? Who was directing where the vehicles
21 to go?"
22 And you say: "I don't know about that. Unofficially, I don't
23 know. I mean, I heard, but I think it is a misunderstanding in
24 translation. I heard that they were supposed to go to Kladanj, and that's
25 what I -- that was the separation line where we could drop them, the
1 Muslims, so they could go towards Tuzla."
2 Mr. Manning says: "But you said before that the police would be
3 directing the buses where to park and where to turn."
4 And you say: "Yes."
5 And Mr. Manning says: "And you saw that happening?"
6 And you say: "Yes."
7 And Mr. Manning says: "What sort of police were they?"
8 And you say: "Our military police."
9 And Mr. Manning says: "By 'our' you mean Bratunac Brigade?"
10 And you say: "Yes."
11 So simply, you're telling Mr. Manning that you saw the Bratunac
12 Brigade military police directing the buses where to park and where to
13 turn. So is that true? Did you see that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. And you also told Mr. Manning that you saw the protection
16 -- soldiers from the Protection Regiment in Potocari that day. Do you
17 recall seeing the -- any Protection Regiment soldiers in Potocari on the
18 12th? I can point it out if you want to help -- your recollection
20 A. You want to help me with the page?
21 Q. Page 35, line 20 to 22.
22 A. Yes, that's what I said.
23 Q. So did you see soldiers from the Protection Regiment in Potocari
24 on the 12th?
25 A. Yes, that's what I said.
1 Q. And you said it was something like the 65th paratroopers or
2 something like that. You remember the number 65 as the designation for
3 that Protection Regiment?
4 A. It was Mr. Dean Manning who mentioned the 65 Protection Regiment.
5 Q. Right. He mentioned it first, and then you said: "I'm not sure.
6 We just called them simply Protection Regiment. That sounds like
7 something 65th paratroopers in Serbia, maybe you mixed it up."
8 So does the 65 ring any bells at all?
9 A. I don't remember, no.
10 Q. Now, the Protection Regiment you're talking about, you say that
11 it's a Main Staff unit. Right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And did they have a base that was located near Bratunac? Konjevic
14 Polje/Nova Kasaba area?
15 A. Maybe they were in Nova Kasaba. I can't remember exactly, but it
16 does ring a bell, Nova Kasaba.
17 Q. Okay. Now, I want to ask you about something you said yesterday
18 when you were testifying about what you saw in Potocari. And I've got on
19 page 53 of your testimony Mr. Karnavas asked you: "Now, did you see any
20 members of the Bratunac Brigade there, whether they were soldiers or
21 military police?"
22 And your answer was: "There were members of the Bratunac Brigade
24 And the question was: "Okay. Do you recall what they were doing,
25 if anything?"
1 And you said: "Well, at that moment they were providing security.
2 They were engaged in separating soldiers from the Muslim population."
3 What did you mean when you said: "They were engaged in separating
4 soldiers from the Muslim population"?
5 A. I can't find it here in the statement, but I can explain, however,
6 no problem. I can clarify.
7 Q. Let me just explain. I'm sorry. I'm going from yesterday's
8 testimony, not from what you told us in Banja Luka. So you can just put
9 that aside.
10 A. Well, then, you mentioned page 53. I've been looking for it. I
11 can't find it.
12 Q. Sorry. I was directing the other folks to the trial transcript.
13 I should have been clear.
14 So can you tell us what you meant when you said: "They were
15 engaged in separating soldiers from the Muslim population."
16 A. This is what I said: The DutchBat was engaged in the separation
17 and so were our police. All of us who were there at the moment, including
18 myself, who was one of the soldiers, we wanted to prevent people from
19 crossing a certain line that was set.
20 Q. Okay. Well, we know that the Dutch strung a big -- some kind of
21 tape that separated the population from some of the VRS soldiers and some
22 of the Dutch soldiers. Is that the separation you are talking about?
23 A. The DutchBat soldiers did put this band. There were a lot of us
24 there, soldiers, officers, people who were just curious. And the military
25 police had a task to preserve order, to provide security, to provide
1 security for that operation that was underway.
2 Q. I understand. Did you see able-bodied Muslim men separated from
3 their families as their families were being loaded on buses?
4 A. No.
5 Q. So when you said you were separating soldiers from the Muslim
6 population, you meant separating Dutch soldiers, VRS soldiers from the big
7 Muslim population?
8 A. The police?
9 Q. Yeah.
10 A. I said the police was there to look after the order.
11 Q. Right, the military police of the Bratunac Brigade.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you see any military-aged or able-bodied Muslim men amongst
14 the big crowd of people in Potocari while you were there during that hour
15 or hour and a half?
16 A. Those were mostly elderly people, women, and children. I didn't
17 see able-bodied men among them.
18 Q. And you were there for an hour and a half, in that area among the
19 people, roughly?
20 A. Not among the people, not in the crowd. I was on the other side.
21 Q. You had a good look at the people on the other side of the tape?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. You saw some people being loaded onto buses and trucks from that
25 A. Well, yes. Women, children, the elderly were walking towards the
1 buses in some sort of a column.
2 Q. We have heard horrendous evidence that at that time male members,
3 able-bodied members, were taken away from their families --
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. We've heard no evidence that anybody
5 was taken away when General Mladic was there. The gentleman testified
6 that when he was there, General Mladic was there. I would like to see any
7 footage or any transcript that shows that when General Mladic was there,
8 the males were being separated. That occurred much later. So the
9 possibility exists that while he was there none of that was happening.
10 And I think if -- we can go over this over and over and over --
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's a very fine argument and if he wants to
12 make it, that's fine. Why he needs to make it in front of the witness is
13 beyond me.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I don't think the Prosecution has
15 finished his question yet. Maybe he will set a time frame there.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: He hasn't.
17 JUDGE LIU: No, he hasn't finished his question yet, from the
18 transcript, at least.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. My question was: We've heard some horrendous evidence that at the
22 time on 12 July in the afternoon, male members of the family, able-bodied
23 men, were separated from their families, to the horror and misery of their
24 families. Did you see any of that?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you are telling me what you've heard. I myself
1 didn't see it.
2 Q. That's all I was asking. Okay. Let's go to page -- we can go
3 back to the book that I originally gave you just briefly. And if you
4 could go to page 34, about lines 17 through 22. A person named Mark
5 Vlasic that was in the interview. This is on line 18 of page 34 of the
7 "You mentioned that Blagojevic was in Potocari on the 12th. In
8 fact, he was there with you when you were there."
9 And you say: "That's what I said."
10 And Mr. Vlasic says: "Okay. So while you were there, Blagojevic
11 was there. Both of you saw the military police who were there?"
12 And you say: "Yes."
13 You've had a chance to read this. Does this accurately reflect
14 what you told Mr. Vlasic that day?
15 A. No. It's not correct.
16 Q. Well, I'm not asking right now whether the substance of it is
17 correct, but is that in fact what you said? You see the B/C/S words
18 written down there. Do you have any reason to think you didn't say those
20 A. I've said that I made a mistake, and I apologise to Mr. Blagojevic
21 for the mistake that I made. I was put in a situation where I succumbed
22 to the pressure and I said this, but it's simply not correct. I did not
23 see Colonel Blagojevic there on the 12th of July, 1995.
24 Q. But you did in fact tell us that, as it states in this document.
1 A. Well, I've said that I made a mistake. My answer was wrong and I
2 don't see a problem here at the moment.
3 Q. You told us then that you were with him in Potocari. Not just
4 that you saw him there but you were with him there, didn't you?
5 A. I was not in Potocari with Colonel Blagojevic.
6 Q. I know that's what you're saying now, but you told us you were
7 with him in Potocari, didn't you?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, again, this has been asked and
9 answered. I don't object. I just hope that the Court will give me the
10 latitude and demonstrate the patience it is demonstrating right now as we
11 go over these questions over and over again, because I think that he's
12 answered the question. Now, if he's going to ask the questions over and
13 over again, I would like sufficient latitude on re-direct.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, I think anyway the witness has
15 answered that question. Or if not, the implication is there.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, he answered the question that he told
17 us he saw Blagojevic in Potocari. He has not answered the question
18 whether or not he told us that he was with Blagojevic in Potocari.
19 JUDGE LIU: I understand that. But he said that he's wrong. The
20 precondition is that he told you about that in the previous interviews.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I know. Of course I want the Trial Chamber
22 to understand what he told us, but I think that's clear. So I won't go
23 with it any further.
24 Q. Sir, after telling us that Mr. Blagojevic was in Potocari, did you
25 make any effort to contact us to correct that?
1 A. You did not send me a copy of my statement, although I requested
2 that via Mr. Trivun Jovicic. I don't know what his position is. I never
3 received a copy of my statement, although I did ask for one.
4 Q. Mr. Jovicic is the Republika Srpska liaison officer to this
5 Tribunal, and we never received your request that I'm aware of. And if we
6 did, then we failed to provide it.
7 But my question is: Did you ever make an effort to inform us that
8 you had made a mistake when putting Mr. Blagojevic in Potocari?
9 A. I was not aware of having said that. This interview lasted a
10 whole day, and I just couldn't remember what I said. For example, last
11 year in April Mr. Trivun Jovicic asked me to give another statement.
12 Since I am entitled to receive a copy of my first statement, Mr. Jovicic
13 promised I would get that, but he never contacted me again. I really
14 wanted to see what I had said during the nine hours of the interview that
15 I gave.
16 Q. After you made that statement to us, did you have a chance to talk
17 to Mr. Blagojevic on the telephone or in some other way about the
18 statement you had given to us?
19 A. I really don't know. I can't remember when Mr. Blagojevic was
20 arrested, and this statement I gave on the 26th. And I really can't
21 remember whether Colonel Blagojevic had been at large at the time. If
22 this happened after he was arrested, my statement I mean, then obviously I
23 couldn't contact him.
24 Q. Okay. When was the first time you told anyone that Mr. Blagojevic
25 was not at Potocari?
1 A. I really don't remember who was it that I said that to.
2 Q. Well, did you say it to Defence counsel, which is perfectly
3 appropriate, in preparing for your testimony?
4 A. When I spoke with my associates and when I looked at the TV
5 footage, I realised that I didn't see Colonel Blagojevic there. And this
6 was confirmed to me by my associates. And they told me that
7 Mr. Blagojevic just wasn't there, that he was in the command. And then it
8 was that I realised that I actually hadn't seen him in Potocari.
9 Q. Who were these associates that told you he wasn't there?
10 A. My associates told me that he was in the brigade command. This is
11 what I had just said.
12 Q. Right. But who were the associates? What people told you this?
13 A. For example Milomir Stanojevic, Dragan Josipovic, his
14 associate in the headquarters.
15 Q. So when you interviewed with us, did you think you were on video?
16 A. I didn't see myself on video.
17 Q. But did you think you were?
18 A. Mr. Manning showed me a video footage in Banja Luka. I could see
19 a lot of officers. And then I realised that I couldn't see Blagojevic.
20 However, this statement was given under pressure. I gave in to the
21 pressure, and I made a mistake.
22 Q. But did you think you were on video when you answered
23 Mr. Manning's questions? Did you think you were on video in Potocari on
24 the 12th of July when you answered his questions?
25 A. No. I didn't think that. I didn't even know how much of the
1 video footage there was. I didn't know who was filming the situation, and
2 I just was shown some of it. I believe that soldiers of the DutchBat also
3 had cameras and they were filming. Whether they did it officially or
4 whether they did it with their own private cameras, I don't know. In any
5 case, they were filming what was going on at this what I called separation
7 Q. So you felt there was a whole lot of film of Potocari that you
8 hadn't seen during -- when you were -- when you gave us that statement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Now, going over to the 13th, we've seen some documents
11 relating to the accounting of the fuel. I won't go over those. You've
12 told us the two Bratunac Brigade buses were pulled out of the Muslim
13 transportation operation and provided for the chief of staff and his folks
14 to go towards Bracan. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And when did those two buses come back?
17 A. I can't remember. It was a long time ago.
18 Q. Do you know about the huge convoy of buses and trucks that was
19 lined up in the middle of town in Bratunac on the morning of the 14th of
20 July, the day after the last Muslims were transported out of Potocari?
21 A. I know that there were convoys on the 12th and on the 13th. I'm
22 not sure about the 14th, but if this is what you say, then okay. But I'm
23 not sure. On those days, there were a lot of buses. The whole thing
24 started on the 12th, continued through the 13th. Whether any of them were
25 left there on the 14th, I can't remember.
1 Q. Well, I don't want you to take my word for it. I want you to go
2 back to your memory. You've told us you were in and around the command
3 and this area during this time period. You were around on the 14th,
4 weren't you?
5 A. I was around. I was around, but I can't remember all the dates.
6 For example, sending people to the area of Bracani was a simple task. The
7 commander was given an order to inform me, I informed my associates what
8 needed to be done, and the procedure was simple: Buses, food, and the
9 rest, and I just left it at that. And it was their job to carry the order
10 through. And that's what I did.
11 Q. Where did you spend the night on the 13th of July, that second day
12 that the Muslim population was transported out of Potocari, in fact the
13 day that it was finished that evening?
14 A. In my own apartment, in the centre of Bratunac.
15 Q. How close to the Hotel Fontana?
16 A. Across the road from it, some 50 metres from it.
17 Q. In what direction?
18 A. What do you mean by the direction?
19 Q. North? South? East? West? South-west? North-east?
20 A. Okay. Orientation. My apartment is to the south or south-west
21 from Fontana. It is at the crossroads in the centre of Bratunac.
22 Q. Okay. Well, that night, that afternoon and that night of 13 July
23 that you spent the night there, this Court has heard evidence that there
24 were many, many buses and trucks full of Muslim men parked in lines
25 throughout the town of Bratunac, some in front of the Vuk Karadzic school
1 complex, some in front of Vihor, some in front of the brigade command, and
2 that there were literally thousands of Muslim men of military age that
3 were in the town that night. Does this help your recollection at all?
4 A. I didn't see it. I heard this from people and from my sons, that
5 things of this kind were happening. But however, when one carries out
6 such activities during the day for a whole day, one gets tired, one has to
7 go to bed. I didn't see this. I didn't watch this. I had no reason to.
8 Q. Well, these vehicles, these buses, these trucks, it is the
9 position of the Prosecution that those are the same buses and trucks that
10 were used to move the population out of Potocari, some of those same buses
11 and trucks that were filled up from fuel that was organised by you and
12 others. And that on the morning of the 14th July, some convoy, at least a
13 kilometre, a kilometre and a half long, with all those thousands of
14 Muslims in it, took off towards Zvornik. All those buses and trucks
15 needed a lot of very expensive, very valuable fuel. They would have been
16 filled up probably at the Vihor garage, at the Bratunac Brigade fuel
17 station that we've heard about, and the logistics officer might have heard
18 about this in some respect. Can you tell us anything about this?
19 A. I do not have a single document to the effect that the fuel was
20 taken on the 14th. I do have such documentation for the 13th, but not the
22 Q. So you can't tell us a thing about it from your memory?
23 A. No, I can't.
24 Q. Do you know that the thousands of Muslims in that convoy --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object, Your Honour. This is
1 irrelevant, what happened to them. He answered: I didn't see it, I
2 didn't watch it, I had no reason to. He was asked about the fueling, and
3 he said nothing, that he didn't know anything about it. Now he wants to
4 go into this line about what happened to these people. What is the
5 relevance with respect to this particular witness and his involvement?
6 This is nothing but prejudicial.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, the witness himself is from
8 Bratunac, and I believe that -- I haven't seen the follow-up questions
9 yet, but I believe that Mr. Karnavas [sic] will ask about the destination
10 of this witness, whether -- the destination of those victims, whether this
11 witness knows or not. It's a reasonable question.
12 You may proceed.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY:
14 Q. Do you know that these thousands of Muslims were taken up to the
15 Zvornik area and murdered?
16 A. I heard this later and I read about it in the papers and it was
17 also reported on television. But at the time I didn't know because we,
18 the members of the brigade, did not take part in it. We had no say as to
19 where they would be transported to. Mladic said they would be taken in
20 the direction of Tuzla, whether that was to be via Kladanj or Zvornik, I
21 didn't know. And I had no idea who would be making the decision.
22 Q. Do you know that the Bratunac Brigade military police led the
23 convoy that took these people to their deaths? Two members of the
24 Bratunac military police were at the Pilica school when a busload of
25 Muslims were shot and killed with automatic weapons. You never heard
1 anything about any of that?
2 A. I did not know that.
3 Q. And you have no idea where the fuel came from that went into all
4 these buses and trucks or who put them in there that morning?
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Asked and answered, first of all. And second of
6 all, the Prosecutor now is testifying. Where is there evidence that any
7 fuel was being put in those buses on the morning of the 14th? It's just a
8 pure assumption. I can understand the gentleman is angry after seven
9 years of working on the case, but we've gone far enough on this line of
10 questioning. Where is the proof that on the morning of the 14th buses
11 were actually fueled? If he has it, he can show it to the gentleman.
12 They could have been fueled on the 12th, they could have been fueled on
13 the 13th. Obviously, they needed fueling.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I can respond to that.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: First of all, asked and answered is not a proper
17 objection on cross-examination.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I beg to differ on this one.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: And it can be, if it gets to the point where it's
20 argumentative and the question is not needed to be asked, but on
21 cross-examination to make a point or to test a witness, it is perfectly
22 appropriate to ask a question again. And unless I say it crosses the line
23 where we've all had enough, then it's perfectly appropriate. It's not a
24 proper objection.
25 Secondly, I don't think there's anything wrong with that question.
1 I mean, these buses had to have had fuel. And we know from the facts of
2 the case all the work they were doing on the 12th and 13th.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think to save time there's no need to repeat
4 the same question again and again. I think both parties have to be aware
5 of that. And secondly, I believe that the witness already answered that
6 question, unless you make some differences with previous questions.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. Did you ever get any information that the fuel records for this --
9 for the 14th were destroyed?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection to this. It assumes that they were
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, during the cross-examination the
13 party who is conducting the cross-examination could ask any questions that
14 are possible. We have the witness here. He could answer that question by
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, perhaps Mr. Karnavas has
17 forgotten, but we do have a long list of documents that were, in fact,
18 destroyed. And I don't know what's on it, but I know it's been proven in
19 this case that documents were destroyed, so it's a perfectly reasonable
21 Q. Did you hear anything about documents, fuel documents, getting
23 A. No, we never destroyed any documents about refueling or fuel, or
24 we never destroyed any documents on any materiel or equipment. I never
25 got any such orders.
1 Q. And you don't know anything about the reburial of over a thousand
2 people from Glogova to Zeleni Jadar and other places in September and
3 October 1995?
4 A. As I said yesterday, I did hear about those activities, but I
5 assert that the Bratunac Brigade neither provided security for -- neither
6 provided the transportation means nor the fuel for those activities.
7 Q. So you do know about it?
8 A. It was said here yesterday that Nikolic reported -- informed the
9 command that he had undertaken those activities according to orders from
10 the VRS Main Staff.
11 Q. You said you didn't know anything about it.
12 A. Until that point, until the day when he informed us. Namely, I
13 didn't know why the operation was going on. I wasn't aware of it. I only
14 found out about it after Captain Nikolic had informed us about it at this
16 Q. So you're now telling us that this meeting in October that's in
17 the meeting minutes where "asanacija" is referred to was in fact a
18 reburial of the bodies operation, as far as you know.
19 A. Captain Nikolic did not give us any explanations, and we didn't
20 ask him to clarify anything; why or what.
21 Q. Okay. If we could go back to your interview again. And this is
22 page 51, line 5. It's -- for you, it's page 49, line 1.
23 And Mr. Manning says: "As you said before, the buses and trucks
24 are being organised. The fuel is being organised from UNPROFOR, and
25 there's a large amount happening that day. There must be something that
1 sticks in your head --"
2 A. Excuse me for interrupting. Page 49, line -- which line?
3 Q. Try line 1, around line 1.
4 A. Oh, yes, I see it. All right.
5 Q. Okay.
6 "There must be something that sticks in your head. When you went
7 back to your headquarters, did you explain to Blagojevic what you had done
8 in relation to the trucks and buses? Did you explain about the 30.000
9 litres of fuel from UNPROFOR? Did he give you another task?"
10 And you: "I would rather inform about the buses and trucks and
11 the fuel the colonel in the rear service than Blagojevic himself."
12 Mr. Manning says: "And why is that?"
13 And you say: "We were just one unit under corps command, which
14 was in command of the operation, and the collection of buses and
15 everything was done by the corps."
16 Mr. Manning: "So therefore you would report back to the corps."
17 And you say: "That's logical, and I must have done it like that.
18 "Wouldn't you have also had to advise your commander, particularly
19 as you were using his resources?"
20 And you say: "Of course. After everyone else, then commander,
21 too. But the transportation itself we didn't organisation."
22 Do you stand by that statement today?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't have any further questions.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 Any re-direct?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
5 Q. If we just go -- continue on a little bit on the same page. You
6 also state -- you were also asked: "Of course" -- no, you say --
7 "Wouldn't you also have to advise the commander?"
8 You say: "Yes." You say: "Of course. After everything, then
9 the commander, but the transportation itself we didn't organise."
10 Then the next question is: "You provided the equipment and the
11 fuel and the driver."
12 And your answer is: "Part of the vehicles that we had in our
13 possession. What we had on our disposal we put on disposal to the corps."
14 You stated that. Right?
15 A. Right.
16 Q. Now, let me go back to the issue of mobilisation, because I think
17 it's an important concept. Can you go to Vihor and just simply take
18 vehicles from them?
19 A. Well, in this situation I knew that the mobilisation was being
20 done by the corps, so that there was no need for me to engage those buses
21 myself because the corps had already done it.
22 Q. But generally speaking, when you want to mobilise a bus from
23 Vihor, can you just show up there, announce yourself, and just take the
24 vehicle? Or is there a particular process that you would have to go
1 A. In principle, there was a procedure to be observed, a process to
2 be observed. In some instances, we would do it on an internal, so to
3 speak, basis.
4 Q. Do you know Aleksandar Tesic?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. What's his position?
7 A. He was in charge of a section of a department in the Ministry of
8 National Defence.
9 Q. Do you know whether he would be involved in a process of
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is going beyond the scope.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Well within.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're not contesting the mobilisation --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: It sounded to me like he was. It sounded to me
17 like the suggestion was that he could just go there and take and use as he
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's what he said. He just said again sometimes
20 they could go and do things. We know the mobilisation process. He
21 suggested that the corps had already done it. Going back to Mr. Tesic and
22 the entire RS mobilisation process is beyond the scope.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well --
24 MR. KARNAVAS: With that concession, Your Honour, I'll move on.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please move on.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. You were asked a question about being -- about the commander being
3 well-informed. Do you recall that, early on, about how the commander was
4 always being well-informed? This was --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you a part of your statement.
7 It's on page 35 for us, line 10. And it would be line 34 for you, line 34
8 -- I mean page 34, line 34. And you're being asked a question by
9 Mr. Vlasic, a Mark Vlasic. And the question is --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, objection.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's not proper on direct to just read to your
13 witness. You can provide it to the witness to refresh his recollection
14 and ask him about the subject; you can use it to impeach. But you can't
15 just go reading the statement and asking questions. That's improper.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: First of all, I'm entitled to rehabilitate the
17 witness. This is a form of rehabilitation. What the Prosecution has done
18 in their cross-examination is show that everybody reports to Blagojevic
19 and Blagojevic is kept well-informed. Here he's asked concretely about
20 Momir Nikolic, and the gentleman stated contrary with respect to Nikolic.
21 And yesterday, you will note, that I brought out the fact that the
22 gentleman had worked in the security sector.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, you draw the attention of this
24 witness to certain lines and at certain pages, then you ask your question.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
1 JUDGE LIU: If you are not satisfied with that answer, you might
2 read that sentence.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
4 Q. Could you please look at page 34, line 34. And please review that
5 section with respect to your answer on Momir Nikolic and his reporting
6 habits as a member of the security organ.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. What is the -- what's the English
10 MR. KARNAVAS: 35. Page 35, line 10.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Right around that section, and if you go further
13 down -- line 15 is the answer that would guide us to the rehabilitation.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: My questions were directed towards this witness
17 and -- well, I will sit down.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, thank you. Thank you.
19 Q. Do you see your answer with respect to the security organ?
20 A. Page 34, line 34?
21 Q. If you read downwards -- if you read the next few lines with
22 respect to Nikolic reporting to Blagojevic.
23 A. I was led into a situation here. I have been in a situation here
24 to say that this was from the 12th, but this was not indeed something
25 which happened from the 12th.
1 Q. Do you -- now, this is why I need to read from the document. Do
2 you recall being asked the question --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I would like to have the rules --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, one by one.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll hear him out, Your Honour.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: The rules we worked by in the Prosecution's case:
9 If refreshing the recollection doesn't help, then he -- if the witness can
10 be declared hostile then he can be declared hostile and he can be asked
11 leading questions. This is the rule we worked under. And I'm certainly
12 willing to break the rules to get finished, but you break the rule once
13 and you break the rule a thousand times, and it adds up. And I just want
14 to point out that is the rule we all know we worked under, and that is the
15 rule Mr. Karnavas was trained in.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, I agree with you generally in the rules.
17 But here it seems to me that I could not understand the answer by this
18 witness. So in this situation, I believe there is a necessity for the
19 Defence counsel to take a lead.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Do you recall being asked: "So therefore Nikolic will report to
22 Blagojevic as to what's happening, what he's been ordered to do, if in
23 fact he was taking orders from the corps security organ?"
24 And do you recall giving this answer: "Security organs always
25 work separately from others. There's always some kind of secrecy around
2 Do you recall giving that answer? That's your answer. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right. Then he goes on: "But surely there's some contact of
5 reporting from Blagojevic and Nikolic while they're there at the same
7 And your answer is: "It's possible."
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, when you said yesterday -- or when you said to the
11 Prosecution when they were being -- you were being questioned there about
12 secrecy around the security organ, could you please explain to us what you
13 meant, in light of the fact that you were working for the security organ
14 at some point in time prior to becoming the assistant commander for rear
16 A. The security organs always cooperated with the superior command.
17 That means that was the principle of the work which obtained.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you were asked a series of questions about
19 your answer with respect to Colonel Blagojevic being in Potocari. I want
20 to direct your attention to line -- to page 9, and if you could read to
21 yourself from page 9 line 4, read that page, a portion of it. And please
22 tell us whether you concretely say that the commander was indeed there.
23 A. No, I didn't say concretely that it was so; I supposed that he
24 could be there.
25 Q. All right. And what -- could you please tell us exactly what you
1 told the Prosecutors back then, so at least we have a flavour as to how
2 you put it. And this is line 9. This is early on in the interview for
3 what is going to take place over the course of nine hours. Please read to
4 us how exactly you put it.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, do we have to go into those
6 details? I think everything we get is already there. The witness said
7 that, you know, he was wrong.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand that, Your Honour. And -- but I want
9 to make sure that the record is clear, because the gentleman here is
10 saying we must have, probably, supposedly. This is throughout the whole
11 transcript. Now, I could forego my entire line of re-direct if I was
12 assured that this entire statement could enter into evidence, and
13 therefore I could point out and plug holes into the Prosecution's theory
14 that Colonel Blagojevic was in Potocari as a result of this gentleman's
15 testimony. Unless the Prosecution now wishes to concede, as I believe
16 Mr. Butler conceded, that Colonel Blagojevic was not in Potocari on the
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, this man testified under oath
20 yesterday that he told the Prosecutor that Blagojevic was not in Potocari.
21 He didn't say he hemmed or he hawed or it was a maybe or probably. He
22 told this court yesterday that he told us that he wasn't there.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: No, that's wrong, contrary.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Karnavas had plenty of chance to use this on
25 direct and he didn't use it and we're just going over and over it again.
1 I think it's clear what's happened here. I think the Court understands
2 it. I don't have any objection to this whole document coming in, if you
3 can stand another document. I have no problem. Maybe that can solve our
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Just for the record, Your Honour. I think
6 Mr. McCloskey might be mistaken. The gentleman said that he told the
7 Prosecutors that Blagojevic was there on the 12th, but he was wrong in
8 stating that. He never denied that he didn't tell the Prosecutors that
9 Blagojevic was there on the 12th. I think maybe we're all tired and maybe
10 it was Monday, but I distinctly remember the gentleman stating that, yes,
11 he told the Prosecutors that -- in Banja Luka on the 26th of November that
12 Blagojevic was there, and now he's saying: I was wrong.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, so there's no dispute.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: We agree with that.
15 JUDGE LIU: So there's no disputes on this issue.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: But I also want to point out that the whole
17 statement itself is full of maybes, probablies, I suppose, which shows
18 that he's trying -- it fits well into the gentleman's testimony that he's
19 trying to provide answers and he's guessing half the time.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: So can we have the whole document admitted into
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's a difficult question; we'll deal with it at
24 a later stage. But I don't think on this particular issue that there's
25 any dispute on it.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
2 Q. You were asked about the 5th Engineering Company at Konjevic
3 Polje. Do you know what they were doing there? Who ordered them there
4 and what was their function -- the 5th Engineer's Battalion. I'm sorry.
5 A. What time are you referring to?
6 Q. Okay. Well, you were asked a series of questions by the
7 Prosecutor about the 5th Engineer's Battalion that were in Konjevic Polje
8 back in 1994, I believe, is when they arrived. But do you know who
9 brought them there and what was their function? Why were they there?
10 A. Well, I cannot say with certainty. I don't know.
11 Q. Do you know whether Colonel Blagojevic had anything to do with
12 them being there? Concretely now.
13 A. No.
14 Q. All right. Just one other question. You were asked a series of
15 questions about the separation of the men. I want you to look at, in the
16 English version page 30, and if we can start on line 14. On the Srpski
17 version -- just a second. It would be page 30, right around line 15. If
18 you could read all the way down. There are a couple of lengthy questions,
19 and some information is provided to you regarding what was happening in
20 the Krstic case, by Dean Manning. Could you read that, please.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, could you please tell us: Were you asked during your
23 interview in Banja Luka about whether you saw any separation of men there
24 while you were in Potocari? Do you recall being asked that question?
25 A. I do.
1 Q. Okay. And in fact, in part of the questioning process, Dean
2 Manning even provided you with some information from the Court in the
3 Krstic case. Right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And at that time when you were asked that question -- those
6 questions, did you not tell him that while you were there you did not see
7 any separation?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying to adjust to these new rules, Your
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's a leading question which is not allowed on
13 direct examination --
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no idea where these rules are being made up.
15 I would like to have -- Seriously, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE LIU: This is a re-direct. I think in the re-direct you
17 could ask leading questions.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that is not my understanding. If
19 that is a rule coming from the Bench, I will gladly follow it, but
20 re-direct is normally the same as direct, especially when I am limited to
21 no re-cross. We have to be very careful not to allow leading questions or
22 allow him to go beyond the scope. You don't argue your case through
23 direct, which is what he's doing. That is completely improper; it's
24 happening to each one of these witnesses. It's relatively harmless in
25 this case, I'll grant it, but what I'm trying to do is prevent this
1 constant slippage into this kind of conduct because it will go on and on
2 and on. Leading questions in re-direct, generally not accepted.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, as I said before that the re-direct examination
4 should be strictly within the cross-examination. And since all the
5 matters have already been raised in the direct examination and the
6 cross-examination, there is some leverage in the re-direct examination.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: This does not mean that we'll provide you the
9 opportunity to conduct your direct examination once again.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I totally understand, Your Honour. And frankly,
11 I'm at a loss at some of the things that I'm hearing from the Prosecutor.
12 I will try to re-organise my thoughts to comport with, perhaps, this new
13 method of trial advocacy. But frankly, I don't know what he's talking
14 about. But in any event, I have no more questions at this stage. I'm
15 through with my re-direct.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I think it's time for a break. Should we
17 -- well, since the Judges have no questions, I think we will continue with
18 the admission of the evidence so to finish this witness before the recess.
19 At this stage, are there any documents to tender? Mr. Karnavas?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President. I believe it's -- I believe
21 it's D155, which was the -- it's dated 28 June, 1995 -- actually, maybe we
22 don't need to have to admitted since we already found that it was not
23 relevant to the events surrounding Srebrenica, so I withdraw that.
24 The series of documents under D166, that would be 1 through 10,
25 those were the materiel lists dated 5th July 1995 to 12 July 1995.
1 D156, which is an overview of the amounts of fuel, lubricants, et
2 cetera, received and consumed between 1 July 1995, and 31 July 1995. It's
3 dated 2 August, 1995.
4 D157, the materiel lists of 12 July 1995.
5 D158, the materiel lists which is 13 July 1995.
6 D159, which is a receipt with respect to the UNHCR fuel, that's
7 dated 14 July 1995.
8 D160, the handwritten document of 12 July 1995.
9 D161, handwritten document; this is the listing of fuel for 12
10 July 1995.
11 D152, handwritten document again.
12 D163 -- it should be D162 and then 163, the appropriation of
13 equipment from the former enclave, dated 24 July 1995.
14 D164, which is the intelligence -- it's a document from the
15 intelligence sector dated 13 July 1995; that was from Colonel Jankovic.
16 And D165, which I'm sure the Prosecution has no objections to,
17 which are the Bratunac Brigade minutes of the meeting of 28 June 1965 to
18 16 October 1965. I believe that's it.
19 Now, I should -- and then, of course, the statement, which should
20 come in as D167 -- 171, I'm sorry. 171.
21 And I should note that some of the documents we have unofficial
22 translations, though they are before the registrar to be formally
23 translated. And I would suspect since we've already done most of the work
24 for them, it's just a matter of perhaps fine tuning and giving it the
25 registrar's imprimatur as official translations.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 Any objections, Mr. McCloskey?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just one second, if I could.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Are there any documents to tender on your part?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me one second.
9 Thank you for your patience. We have two documents that have been
10 mentioned here. One is the document that -- of October 1993, mentioning
11 that Lieutenant Colonel Blagojevic was assigned as chief of staff of the
12 Bratunac Brigade. And the other is the copy of the preparatory order
13 dated 2 July, number one, that was referred to in another document. Just
14 to clear the record, and I see Mr. Karnavas -- we understand each other on
15 that. Unfortunately, the copy was not readable for the witness, but it's
16 a military preparatory order for the attack. And I don't think there's
17 any problem. I think it's a historic document the Court should have as
18 other key documents referred to it.
19 And just to remind the Court, both these documents are important
20 documents that were referenced in Rick Butler's report, and we offered
21 into evidence before but they were declined. So that's why they have not
22 been offered into evidence before. And I will try to find more documents
23 like this so -- because I think it's important that the Court, in order to
24 understand Mr. Butler's report, has those documents, because many of them
25 are significant. As you know, I didn't want to go over every document
1 cited by Mr. Butler, otherwise, he would still be on direct examination.
2 But if there are any other key documents, I will try to find some time and
3 bring those up. A few pop up from witnesses, so we bring them up there.
4 JUDGE LIU: For the sake of the record, would you please furnish
5 us with the number of those two documents you offered.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry. The re-assignment is P857, that's the
7 document dated 2 October. And the preparatory order dated 2 July is P862.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
9 MR. KARNAVAS: No objections, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
11 So these documents tendered by the Defence counsel as well as by
12 the Prosecution are admitted into the evidence.
13 As for the document D171, which is the statement of this witness,
14 as a rule we do not admit the previous statement into the evidence. But
15 since the Defence counsel tendered this document and there's no objections
16 from the Prosecution on this very document, this document is admitted into
17 evidence. But, however, there must be a rule to solve the conflict
18 between the live testimony and this statement. If in the future there is
19 any conflict, the live testimony of this witness should have the primacy.
20 It is so decided.
21 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
22 your evidence. When this sitting is adjourned, the usher will show you
23 out of the room. We wish you a pleasant journey back home.
24 The hearing is adjourned and we will resume at quarter to 1.00.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
6 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
7 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: ZLATAN CELANOVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
16 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
17 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Could you please tell us your name.
20 A. My name is Zlatan Celanovic.
21 Q. Could you please tell us your last name letter by letter.
22 A. C-e-l-a-n-o-v-i-c.
23 Q. Where are you from, Mr. Celanovic?
24 A. Bratunac.
25 Q. Where did you grow up?
1 A. In Bratunac.
2 Q. And what do you currently do in Bratunac?
3 A. I have my own private business.
4 Q. And what is that?
5 A. I'm a lawyer, and I have an agency for real estate and legal
7 Q. How long have you been a lawyer, sir?
8 A. Since 1980.
9 Q. Just briefly, could you tell us, where did you study, where did
10 you get your law degree from?
11 A. I studied in Belgrade, and that's where I got my law degree from.
12 Q. Now, in 1992 were you mobilised when Bratunac had the Territorial
13 Defence there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you please tell us what position you held when you were
16 mobilised with the Territorial Defence.
17 A. I didn't understand your question. Are you referring to the army
18 or before I was mobilised? I apologise.
19 Q. No problem. Before the formation of the Bratunac Brigade, we
20 know, we've heard testimony, that there was a Territorial Defence, a TO,
21 in the Bratunac municipality. Were you a member of the TO prior to the
22 formation of the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please tell us first of all when it was that you became
25 a member of the TO.
1 A. 16 April 1992 I was mobilised by the military department.
2 Q. Very well. And could you please tell us, what position or what
3 function did you have with the TO when you were mobilised back on 16 April
5 A. At first I was a foot soldier, a military policeman since I was
6 mobilised into the military police company.
7 Q. What other functions did you hold?
8 A. Again, I don't understand your question, sir. What functions I
9 had in addition to being a foot soldier or what I did? Can you clarify.
10 Q. All right. What else did you do, if anything, besides being a
11 foot soldier when you were with the TO?
12 A. I understand. I was involved in legal affairs. I was an official
13 in charge of legal affairs, religious affairs, and moral guidance. This
14 was my professional duty at the level of the desk officer. Do you want me
15 to go into any other detail?
16 Q. That will be fine for now. When the Bratunac Brigade was formed
17 in 1993, do you recall what position you held with them? When you first
18 got -- became a member of the Bratunac Brigade.
19 A. The same.
20 Q. Were you an assistant commander for legal, religious, and moral
22 A. No.
23 Q. How long were you in that position?
24 A. Until the day of mobilisation.
25 Q. All right. Until the day of demobilisation or the day --
1 mobilisation. Which of the two?
2 A. Demobilisation.
3 Q. All right. And what -- so what year -- what month and year would
4 that be?
5 A. I believe it was sometime before the Dayton, a few days before the
6 Dayton accords were signed in 1995, in the month of December of that year.
7 Q. All right. Now, first I want to talk about -- let me direct your
8 attention to July 1995. Could you please tell us, what position did you
9 hold within the Bratunac Brigade then?
10 A. The one I described. I was the desk officer for legal affairs,
11 religious affairs, and moral guidance in the brigade.
12 Q. All right. Okay. Could you please tell us what your functions
13 were in that capacity.
14 A. My main tasks were to deal with breaches of military discipline
15 committed by army members and to participate in any procedure against
16 those who would commit a breach of discipline or break rules against the
17 army, in keeping with the law. My duty was to, in such cases, if such a
18 person was brought in by the military police on the order of the superior
19 officer, I would take a statement from such a person about the
20 circumstances under which the breach of law took place. Sometimes I would
21 also hear eyewitnesses of the event. I would also be in charge of maybe
22 obtaining a written document about the event.
23 After that, my duty was to inform the brigade commander, or
24 previously the battalion commander, about the incidents, what kind of an
25 incident it was. If my opinion was sought, then I would qualify the
1 incident, either as a misdemeanor or a crime, and what should be done.
2 This was more or less what I did within the scope of my duties.
3 In addition to that, I had some other duties. One of those involved
4 occasional controls of the UNHCR convoys that were transporting food to
5 Srebrenica. I would be checking whether there were any weapons hidden
6 among the food. And this was basically what I did. I would escort those
7 convoys in order to inspect them.
8 In addition to that, I was also in charge of taking statements,
9 even from civilians brought in by the army, because sometimes civilians
10 also did something that damaged the army or something that was targeted
11 against the army. They would sometimes use arms against the law or they
12 would do other things, and one of my tasks was to conduct interviews with
13 prisoners of war. Should those be brought in, I would take a statement
14 for -- from such a person. I would write my report based on that
15 statement and forward that to my commander. I would inform my commander
16 what I had heard during the interview with such a person. The essence of
17 that job was to establish the factual base that might serve the defence of
18 such a person, whether something useful could be learned from those
19 individuals, whether the general situation could be assessed based on the
20 statement. When I say "the general situation," I mean the situation
21 amongst the enemy. Those reports were then read by brigade commanders -
22 there were several of them during my tour of duty - and also the chief of
23 the security organ would read those reports, and they would jointly make a
24 decision on how to use the facts that I had gathered. So this concerned
25 my job. This was part of my duties. This was part of the description of
1 my job, and this is where my role finished.
2 Q. Okay. I'm going to take you step by step. First of all, you
3 indicated that at some point your function was to question people to see
4 whether they had -- were involved in any incidents, whether they were
5 serious or non-serious. Is that right?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us, first of all, who would determine
8 who you would be questioning? Who would determine that?
9 A. It was my duty to hear any person that had been brought in by the
10 military police.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. And the actual decision to that effect was brought by whoever --
13 whosoever was issuing orders in the military police. The basic decision
14 as to whether that person would be brought before me was actually brought
15 by the person in charge in the military police, so I could not interrogate
16 anyone on my own initiative.
17 Q. All right. Were you in your capacity - and it sounds as if you
18 were sort of like a lawyer in the brigade - in your capacity, were you
19 able to conduct investigations?
20 A. Yes, I was not some sort of a lawyer; I was a lawyer. I could not
21 conduct investigations. I could only take statements from people brought
22 before me.
23 Q. All right. And what would happen with those statements?
24 A. I had to and was duty-bound to take those statements to the
25 commander for him to decide what is to be done with the persons who had
1 breached either discipline or a law or what have you.
2 Q. Let's start with the discipline. Are those serious or non-serious
4 A. These were lesser offenses, less-grave offenses. I can give you
5 an example, if you want me to.
6 Q. Yes, give us an example.
7 A. For instance, AWOL soldiers, who leave the unit without leave and
8 then stay at home for a couple of days without authorisation by their
9 superior commander, then the commander in question would inform the
10 military police of that particular incident, the military police would
11 bring the person in, I would take the statement from the person thus
12 brought in, and I would inform the commander that one or two persons or
13 more persons, as the case may be, have given a statement and that this is
14 a breach of discipline punishable by military detention in military
16 If the consequences are of minor nature, of course the offence can
17 be pardoned. If the commander decides that the person should be punished
18 by any kind of sanction, it was up to him to tell me, here, you draw up a
19 text of an order with all the necessary reasoning and explanation as a
20 jurist and bring it to me to sign. So I would do that. I would transact
21 the technical part of the job, and I would, of course, take that order to
22 the commander for his signature and authentication, as he was the only
23 person who was empowered to sign an order punishing a soldier.
24 After that, the military police would receive, either directly
25 from the commander or from the organ in charge, this order and would then
1 bring the person in question to military detention, which was a facility
2 which existed there and could accommodate a number of persons. And that
3 is as far as that part of that particular assignment is concerned.
4 Q. All right. What if the offence was something much more serious
5 than disciplinary action? A criminal offence. How would that be handled?
6 What would you do?
7 A. Well, procedurally speaking, the same thing. However, another
8 consideration, or rather, another legal obligation had to be observed in
9 this particular instance; namely, the commander could not take a decision
10 and impose a penalty for a criminal offence, because that is in the
11 jurisdiction of courts, specifically in the case of the military court
12 which was in charge of our area. So I would observe, follow the same
13 procedure: I would inform the commander what criminal offence was in
14 question, I would prepare what documentation I could, and such a person,
15 in case of the gravest criminal offenses, for instance, grievous bodily
16 harm or murder, would be then referred, with the aid of the police, to the
17 investigating magistrate of the military court which used to be in Sokolac
18 and later in Bijeljina when the territorial jurisdiction changed, in order
19 for him to institute proceedings in keeping with the criminal code -- the
20 criminal procedure code.
21 There would be an accompanying letter with a person and, in
22 addition to it, usually a criminal report, a criminal information to be
23 laid to the criminal military investigator would also be made in order for
24 action to be taken against such a perpetrator or a violator, rather, of
25 the law -- or a perpetrator of a criminal offence. Then the court would
1 proceed as envisaged under the criminal procedure law; first of all the
2 investigation and then the actual trial until the final resolution of the
3 case, which was by then a totally legal matter.
4 Q. I'm going to ask you to please slow down a little bit. Let me
5 guide you through this process.
6 A. I apologise.
7 Q. It's all right. Now, once the matter is referred to the military
8 prosecutor and then it goes up to the military investigative Judge, at
9 that phase would you be involved at all in assisting?
10 A. Very little. Only in one sense. If the investigating Judge of
11 the military court decided - and he could under the law - to conduct
12 certain investigative actions outside the seat of the court in the
13 specific instance in the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade, in some of
14 the rooms, he could do so. He could have a room made available and a
15 secretary, perhaps, for his benefit to conduct it.
16 Q. All right. Other than providing those facilities, would you be
17 engaged in any other activities?
18 A. No, not in those processes, no.
19 Q. All right. Now, before we get to the events surrounding
20 Srebrenica, while you were with the Bratunac Brigade, were you ever a
21 member of the military police?
22 A. Yes, I was, at the very beginning of the war. Because I was
23 mobilised into that particular unit. That was from the 16th of April. I
24 can't recall dates with precision, but my son was born on that date, that
25 is why I remember it. So -- that was until the end of April when I was
1 demobilised, and then again from the 1st of June or the 1st of July, I'm
2 not quite sure, I was mobilised again into the military police. But I was
3 immediately assigned to this particular duty. I did no regular military
4 police duty like patrols and things that are the normal routine of
5 military police. So the emphasis was on technical and legal affairs,
6 which I had to conduct, as I explained a while ago.
7 Q. All right. And during that period and thereafter, did you take --
8 did you have an opportunity to take statements from individuals pursuant
9 to your functions?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Now, just for the record, let me show you what has been marked for
12 identification as D167. If you could take a look at it. Do you recognise
13 this document, sir?
14 A. I recognise what it is, but I myself have not seen it so far. I
15 know what its content is; it is a report on the strength of the numbers of
16 the force in the military police, signed by the commander Milos Petrovic.
17 And inter alia, it contains my name on the very end.
18 Q. Let me walk you through. What is the date on this document?
19 A. The 24th of February, 1993.
20 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the last page, because you indicated
21 your name is there. Right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And is the content in this document accurate?
24 A. Well, relatively.
25 Q. All right. Now, let me show you another document which has been
1 marked as D168. If you could look at this document. Just look at it,
2 please. Let me walk you through it step by step.
3 A. Yes. This is a report on military duties and work in the military
4 police, as it was dubbed. I compiled the report; this is my name and this
5 is my signature.
6 Q. Let me remind you, I would like to go through these documents step
7 by step. First of all, what is the date on this document? I'm referring
8 to D168. What's the date on it?
9 A. The 4th of March, 1993.
10 Q. All right. And as you noted, your name appears in the last page.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is that your signature?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. No dilemma about that?
16 A. No dilemma.
17 Q. All right. Could you please tell us, what is this document about?
18 A. This document is a report on military duties and work from the
19 very outbreak of the war until the date when it was compiled.
20 Q. Why was this report made, if you recall?
21 A. I do recall. It was compiled at the request of the head of the
22 organ for OB affairs, intelligence affairs. He asked that the report be
23 compiled, and probably also the commander of the brigade. I'm not quite
24 sure of that particular fact, but most probably.
25 Q. All right. And who prepared this document, since it bears your
1 name on it?
2 A. I did.
3 Q. Now, in this document it refers to you having interrogated some
4 prisoners, does it not?
5 A. Yes, it does.
6 Q. And in fact, on page 3 in the English version, it notes that there
7 were 35 prisoners, to be exact. Correct? In the English version it's --
8 it would be page 2 in your version. If you go one, two, three, the fourth
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, could you please tell us: What was the purpose of
12 interrogating these captured soldiers and other persons that you, over
13 here, designate as Muslims and as prisoners of war? What was the purpose?
14 A. The purpose was to identify the captured persons and to gather
15 from them data as terms of where they had come from, what was the
16 situation in terms of the enemy's weapons, the enemy's morale, where the
17 combat positions of the enemy were, and most importantly, to try to find
18 out what the intentions of the enemy were, given the fact that in those
19 months many Serbian villages had been attacked and burnt down. So the
20 emphasis was on trying to get intelligence as to when was the enemy
21 planning to attack our positions or what places he was planning to attack;
22 what village, what town, et cetera.
23 Q. All right. Could you please tell us, to your knowledge and to
24 your understanding, what happened to the 35 prisoners of war that you were
25 involved in interrogating? And this would have been sometime between
1 April 1992 and March 1993, in that period.
2 A. After I'd taken statements from these persons, from such persons,
3 these persons would be then escorted to detention, the detention facility.
4 And this was seen to by the commander of the brigade -- actually, in that
5 particular period we had first the garrison commander and then the brigade
6 was formed only later. So terminologically speaking, it was always the
7 commander of whatever level of unit was concerned. And as far as I know,
8 some of those persons were sent to be -- to Batkovic to be exchanged,
9 Batkovic near Bijeljina. Whether it was a collection centre, a detention
10 centre, a prison, it was one of those things. And some of these persons
11 from whom I had taken statements were entrusted to me to take them to
12 Potocari and to hand them over to the armed forces in Srebrenica, which I
13 certainly did. So I handed them over there to them in their territory,
14 and some of -- in regard of some of those persons, the brigade commander
15 tasked me with reporting them to the International Red Cross or the UNHCR
16 - I cannot remember exactly at this point - and to hand them over to
17 them. This was four or five elderly people whom we fed and took care of
18 until the moment when I handed them over to these organisations.
19 Q. All right. In light --
20 A. I have -- I had a few papers on this handing and take-over with
21 the representatives of the Red Cross. That is it. That is all that I
22 know about the further fate of these people.
23 Q. All right. Well, let me ask you: In light of your position, why
24 were you involved in making these arrangements or having contact with the
25 Red Cross and exchanging -- or delivering, I should say, prisoners of war
1 to the UNHCR or to the other side? Why you?
2 A. In my reply, I would proceed from an explanation. I cannot reply
3 with a simple yes or no. If you would allow me, I would like to amplify a
4 bit. For the simple reason that I was a person that had not been
5 discredited in any way prior to the outbreak of the conflict, so I could
6 go to the Muslim's territory, negotiate, if that was the task; to hand
7 over prisoners, if that was my task. So these very same persons that I
8 took statements from, I would escort myself and hand them over to their
9 people in their territory. They perhaps should have also added to the
10 description of my job also the desk officer for humanitarian affairs, but
11 it was somehow implied, in addition to my regular duties, I would also be
12 performing tasks of this nature.
13 Q. All right. Now, in this report you compiled for your superior
14 officer, as far as what you had been engaged in, it also appears that you
15 were doing some intelligence and even counter-intelligence work. Do you
16 see that?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And we then see the name of Lieutenant Drago Nikolic. Is that the
19 same Drago Nikolic who ultimately ends up in the Zvornik Brigade, if you
21 A. I know just this one Drago Nikolic. It was, I believe, August,
22 and until the end of September 1992 this person was in contact with me and
23 never again afterwards. But I believe that at the time he was at
24 Sekovici. Now, whether he went to Zvornik later, I'm not sure. I believe
25 that this is that Dragan, or rather, Drago person. There is no other that
1 I know.
2 Q. All right. Could you please explain to us a little bit, sir, so
3 at least we have a sense of your duties, what exactly do you -- were you
4 doing with respect to intelligence and counter-intelligence work? What do
5 you mean by that?
6 A. Well, frankly speaking, the terms used here are "intelligence" and
7 "counter-intelligence." I really don't know much about those things,
8 about those affairs, but I will tell you what to my mind were intelligence
9 and counter-intelligence affairs. Intelligence work was gathering all
10 possible information about the situation of the enemy on the basis of
11 statements taken or on the basis of some other sources of information in
12 order to portray a picture about the intentions of the enemy, whether he
13 means to attack or burn down a village or not. And similar things in this
14 context; what armaments he had at disposal, where he had his fortified
15 lines and placements from where he could attack us. This is what I
16 understand to be intelligence.
17 And counter-intelligence was, in a way, drawing, my drawing of
18 conclusions, which I would then present to this Mr. Drago Nikolic as to
19 what the situation was, seeing that I was in charge of morale as the desk
20 officer, what was the situation in that particular respect among the
21 troops; whether they were deserting, whether they had complaints, and
22 similar. And possibly whether there was an information from our soldiers
23 or from civilians of collaboration with the enemy, or of our soldiers or
24 civilians collaborating with the enemy, which we simply call treason.
25 So that was the kind of information I was looking for. I didn't
1 gather much of such counter-intelligence information. As for intelligence
2 gathering, that was a standard, and I have already described it: Where it
3 was, which unit, how well armed it was, and things of that character.
4 Later we had a chief of intelligence and security appointed, and
5 after he had been appointed, I believe it was in October or November 1992,
6 I'm not quite sure, he was thereafter in charge of this business, so I
7 would be just there as an auxiliary staff member. And I did it because of
8 the very chaotic situation that came at the beginning of the war, which in
9 fact reigned on both sides, so that is why I had to do it. I hope I have
10 managed to respond to your question.
11 Q. I think you have indeed, and it has been quite comprehensive,
12 might I add. Now, I'm going to ask you to sort of keep your answers as
13 narrow as possible and let me guide you through the process.
14 First of all, who would you report to in your position? In light
15 of your position, who was your commanding officer, your immediate
16 commanding officer?
17 A. Always the commander. And before the commander, not throughout
18 the period of my service in the army, but when he was appointed the
19 assistant commander for the same work, but he was the assistant commander
20 and thereby he was a commanding officer, and that was Major Ratko Jevtic.
21 And I cannot recall with precision the exact date of his appointment.
22 Q. All right. But I want to focus your attention now on July 1995.
23 In light of your position, who was your immediate commander, the one that
24 you would report to?
25 A. The commander was Vidoje Blagojevic.
1 Q. Just -- I think you've answered the question. I don't want to cut
2 you off, but I want to focus you on the questions.
3 Now, to what extent -- first of all, where were your offices?
4 A. My offices. Not offices, I apologise; the one and only office
5 which I had was in an auxiliary building located before you enter the
6 yard, the compound, of the headquarters of the brigade, to the right,
7 namely in the facility where the military police platoon was, the
8 makeshift or auxiliary storehouse of the military police was, and my
9 office was also there. And that is the compound of the ceramic tile
10 factory which was called Ukrasna keramika, or decorative ceramics.
11 Q. So you did not have an office in the headquarters itself where the
12 brigade command was located?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you have an association with or were you ever subordinated to
15 Momir Nikolic, who was the head of security and intelligence, in light of
16 his position and his association with the military police?
17 A. Momir Nikolic was never my superior commanding officer.
18 Q. So you did not have to report to him?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Did you have any work with him? Did you ever have any work where
21 you would have to collaborate with; associate with; coordinate, for lack
22 of a better term, with?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And in what instances would that be?
25 A. Well, in instances when we controlled -- for instance, we checked
1 out UNPROFOR convoys. If Momir couldn't do it, I would do it. In other
2 occasions if they were in a dilemma, the military police, or he himself,
3 as to the manner of application on the law on the army, the law -- the
4 application of force, of coercion against the soldiers, then we had
5 consultative talks. Simply they sought my advice and I would give them my
6 advice on these subject matters.
7 Q. In light of your position, would you sit in on the daily
8 briefings, if there were such, with the other brigade commanders?
9 A. No. I couldn't attend such briefings because I was not a member
10 of the command. I'm not an officer. I was a foot soldier. Nobody
11 invited me to any such briefings. It was not my duty to go and attend
12 such meetings, save for some exceptional cases.
13 Q. All right. Now, I'm going to give you two days that we're going
14 to use as reference points, and we'll take it from there. The first date
15 is July 6th, 1995, and that's when the events surrounding Srebrenica
16 commenced. And then July 11th, which we know as a fixed date for when
17 Srebrenica fell. Now, my first question is: Prior to the events
18 concerning Srebrenica, that is prior to July 6th, 1995, were you given any
19 particular tasks concerning those events, the events that would ensue
20 relating to Srebrenica?
21 A. No.
22 Q. All right. Would you please tell us whether you were on duty at
23 the time.
24 A. I didn't understand your question. On that day or generally
1 Q. Well, generally speaking, were you on vacation, general leave, or
2 were you sick, or were you on duty?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Shin.
4 MR. SHIN: I think, as the witness indicated, it's a little
5 unclear what the time frame is, and "generally speaking" doesn't seem to
6 assist us in that regard.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, the answer is I can understand --
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the time frame is from the 6th of July
9 to the 11th of July?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. If we go further -- if we go to
11 the question, which is rather clear: "Prior to July 6th, were you given
12 any particular tasks?"
13 The answer is: "No."
14 "All right. Would you please tell us whether you were on duty at
15 that time."
16 And he says he didn't understand the question.
17 I'll rephrase it, Your Honour.
18 Q. At or around July 6th, were you on duty or were you on leave?
19 A. I apologise. I'm really not very good with dates. However, if I
20 am to remember, I was never on leave. I was always on duty. I was
21 performing my regular duties. During that period of time, I wasn't given
22 any tasks on top of my everyday duties.
23 Q. All right. Now, during -- from the 6th to the 11th of July, that
24 is from the time when the events concerning Srebrenica began to the time
25 when Srebrenica fell, were you asked to go to the front, to any of the
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you ever go to Pribicevac, for instance, where the Drina Corps
4 had set up its forward command post and where the 3rd Battalion had its
5 regular command post?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Were you given any instructions, any orders, any suggestions by
8 your commander, Colonel Blagojevic, for that period, that is from July 6th
9 to July 11th?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you recall whether Colonel Blagojevic came to visit you during
12 that period, from July 6th to July 11th, where you had your offices in the
13 annex which is in front of the command post where the military police are
14 also generally housed?
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. Now, on July 11th, we know for a fact that that was
17 the date that Srebrenica fell. Could you please tell us if you recall
18 that particular date. Does that date stand out, being that it was, at
19 least for some, a rather memorable occasion?
20 A. Again, I must repeat for the Chamber, I'm really not very good
21 with dates. I remember events, but I'm not so good with dates. I can't
22 tell with precision that I remember the 11th of July, 1995. I do remember
23 the event, however, because the events is what sticks in my mind much
24 better than the dates. I apologise in advance for not being sure about
25 the dates. I don't want this Trial Chamber to draw a wrong conclusion
1 about the things that I'm saying here. I'm here to tell the truth and
2 only the truth the way I remember it, according to the solemn declaration
3 that I read out. Please forgive me for not remembering the precise dates,
4 for not being precise. As for the events that took place, I can describe
5 the events as much as I remember them and to the extent I participated in
6 those events.
7 Q. Okay. Mr. Celanovic, let's talk about events then. All right.
8 A. Very well, then.
9 Q. All right. Well, do you recall the day -- forget about the date,
10 but do you recall the event, the date, when Srebrenica fell?
11 A. Again, I cannot be too precise about that either. I know what in
12 my mind was the thing that marked the fall of Srebrenica. And I don't
13 know whether this was on that particular date. To my mind, Srebrenica
14 fell when it became clear -- when you say "Srebrenica," I understand the
15 whole enclave, not just the town of Srebrenica. To my mind, it was on the
16 13th when the majority of the detainees came to Bratunac. I did hear,
17 however, that it fell on the 11th or on the 12th. I can tell you about
18 the events the way I experienced them, and then you pinpoint a date. I
19 don't want to be -- to make a mistake about things only because I don't
20 remember the dates of things that happened such a long time ago.
21 Q. Okay. All right. Mr. Celanovic, let's stick to events then. Do
22 you recall sometime during that period, that is after the 11th -- after
23 Srebrenica fell, do you recall whether you questioned -- you were asked to
24 question any prisoners of war?
25 A. Yes. Yes, I remember that very clearly.
1 Q. Okay. Good. Now, we're going to go step by step. Do you recall
2 -- well, I'll take a shot at it: Do you recall what day it was that you
3 were asked to do that?
4 A. Again, I can't be sure whether it was on the 12th or on the 13th.
5 Q. Okay. Do you recall where you were when you were asked to
6 question any prisoners of war?
7 A. I was in front of the building where my office was, in the yard in
8 front of that building, to be more precise.
9 Q. Okay. Do you recall the time of day? Was it morning or evening
10 or afternoon or around lunchtime?
11 A. I don't remember that for a fact, but I would say that it was
12 morning, in the morning of the day when most of the detainees arrived and
13 when I interrogated some of them, when I took their statements. Before I
14 took their statements, I had to identify them, I had to take their
15 particulars for identification.
16 Q. All right. We're going to go step by step. Just work with me
17 here. First of all, who was it that asked you to question the POWs, since
18 you've told us earlier that you normally did not do investigations but you
19 would question at request once requested? So who was it that ordered you?
20 A. Ljubisa Beara ordered it. I believe that he was a colonel by
22 Q. Okay. Did you know Mr. Beara from before?
23 A. Yes. I met him on several occasions when he came for inspections
24 to the brigade.
25 Q. All right. Did you know -- do you know where Mr. Beara fit in to
1 the structure in the VRS?
2 A. I believe that he was an officer for intelligence and security
3 with the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army. That's what I thought
4 at the time. He was either in charge of the intelligence and security or
5 maybe some other service with the Main Staff.
6 Q. Okay. All right. Now, could you please tell us what exactly
7 Colonel Beara told you.
8 A. He found me in front of the building, and he asked me what I was
9 doing, whether I was just wasting my time - I was standing outside, it was
10 very hot - or whether I was busy doing something. I told him that I was
11 busy doing my job, and as he knew that I had started gathering information
12 on crimes committed against the Serbian population, I had started
13 gathering statements from the Serbian population that had survived
14 massacres and killings of members of their family, I told him that I
15 already had some statements, and I told him that he would find it best
16 systematised in The Chronicle of Our Graveyards, the author of which was
17 Milivoje Ivanisevic. When I look at this information, although this book
18 is also not perfect, when it comes to data, I can find things out. He
19 told me in case it happened that they brought somebody in or in case
20 somebody ordered for somebody to be brought in, either the army or the
21 police - and when he said "somebody," he was referring to Muslims - that I
22 should try and inspect their IDs to see who these people are and to find
23 out whether any of those could be found in that book, in the list. And
24 when I say "the list," I'm referring to the book Chronicle of Our
25 Graveyards by Milivoje Ivanisevic.
1 This was very much the method of a random sample. If somebody was
2 brought in, we should try and identify the person. And if that name could
3 be found in the book, then I should try and inform one of the officers of
4 the security services, with a view to sending this person to the district
5 court in Bijeljina for further proceedings, because the names in the book
6 were the names of the suspects who probably committed crimes against the
7 civilian population in the area. This is what he told me to do, to take
8 the particulars of the persons who were brought in, to establish their
9 identity if one way or another. One way was to see whether anybody knew
10 the person who was brought in, if they didn't have any ID on them. And
11 this is exactly what I did with the persons who were brought in.
12 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. Now, I believe it's time -- that's
13 all we have for today, though I will ask you to please listen to my
14 questions and let me guide you through tomorrow so we can do this step by
15 step, but I appreciate your complete answer.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 Well, Witness, I'm afraid you have to stay in The Hague for
18 another day because we did not finish your testimony. And during your
19 stay here, you are still under oath, so do not talk to anybody and do not
20 let anybody talk to you about your testimony.
21 And the hearing is adjourned for today, and we'll meet tomorrow
22 morning at 9.00.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
24 at 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
25 the 19th day of May, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.