1 Thursday, 20 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 Good morning, Witness.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good rest yesterday?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you for asking.
14 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Shin.
19 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 WITNESS: ZLATAN CELANOVIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Shin: [Continued]
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Celanovic.
24 A. Good morning, Mr. Prosecutor.
25 Q. I'd like to begin by asking you about some of the duties and tasks
1 that you had described earlier to us. Now, you had explained that you did
2 not report to Momir Nikolic; you reported to -- generally, you reported to
3 the brigade commander. That's correct, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You did, on occasion, work with Momir Nikolic, you explained, and
6 one of those occasions is when you were looking into searching for
7 weapons, as you explained, in some of the humanitarian convoys going into
8 the Srebrenica enclave. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes. We were checking the deliveries of humanitarian aid to the
10 effect of checking whether there were any armaments there as well, nothing
12 Q. Now, do you remember approximately how many times you were
13 involved in this?
14 A. I can't say with precision; 30 times, 20 times, or something of
15 that order.
16 Q. Over what time frame would those 20 or 30 times have been?
17 A. Well, the time frame would be about a year, perhaps a bit more.
18 Q. And a year beginning and ending when? Ending -- I mean, would
19 that be July 1994 to July 1995?
20 A. I can't recall with precision. It was from the beginning they
21 starting delivering humanitarian aid, and when that started exactly I
22 cannot recall.
23 Q. Now, how would this process work? Would you search these convoys
24 for weapons yourself or would you have assistance from someone?
25 A. It was -- I didn't do the searches myself personally. It was the
1 patrol of the military police that had been assigned for that day on the
2 part of the commander of the police or the chief, Momir Nikolic. I was
3 only the person who dealt with the paper so that the whole procedure would
4 be signed to the effect that an inspection had been made, everything was
5 all right. And to inventory, or rather, take a list of the ID cards of
6 the humanitarian personnel that was transporting the humanitarian relief
8 Q. And these documents, including this inventory, in a normal course
9 of your work you would forward that to the brigade commander. Is that
11 A. No. No. No, that was not the customary procedure. If it
12 happened that they were indeed transporting something which was not on the
13 list, if hidden weapons were found or ammunition among the goods being
14 transported, then in such cases the commander had to be so informed
15 through the security organ. However, there wasn't a single such incident.
16 We never found anything which was out of the ordinary, which was
17 irregular, except for some goods which were in a way being transported on
18 these vehicles without having been recorded, accounted for. But these
19 were minor problems, of course, which could be and were resolved in a
20 tolerant fashion in situ, right there. So if I am not too extensive, such
21 objects could not have been driven anywhere in the formal humanitarian
22 assistance but would be returned. They could not enter Srebrenica. In
23 other words, they would be temporarily seized, and when they - I mean the
24 convoy - returned, the officials would then take over those goods and
25 return them; they would be restituted to them. The alternative was,
1 according to the suggestion of the commander, that if Momir Nikolic with
2 his men could not carry this out, that either he or the leader of
3 the -- the commander of the military police should assign a
4 patrol -- not a patrol, rather, a group of soldiers who would search the
5 vehicles, and that I was to get involved in this by controlling the
7 Q. And when you say that this group of soldiers would search the
8 vehicles and you would get involved at the suggestion of the commander,
9 you're talking about your commander, the brigade commander. Is that
11 A. That is right, the commander of the brigade who was the commander
12 of the brigade then.
13 Q. And your immediate supervisor, as you had previously explained, in
14 your normal course of duties?
15 A. No, no. Not officially. This was rather an oral suggestion by
16 the commander. "If he should not be there, you are there and you do the
17 task. I know that you will do it properly." It was not officially
18 prescribed that this or that person should be doing this or that task. I
19 did a hundred tasks which were not written anywhere as my particular
20 assignment. These were minor things and the commander entrusted them to
21 me because he had confidence in me that I would discharge them diligently,
22 properly, and that is why I had to do it. Of course, I accepted it; one
23 does not refuse one's commander, even if it is a simple letter. If I
24 could draw it up better than he could, for instance, or similar. It
25 wasn't a rigid procedure, in other words.
1 Q. And these requests, oral or otherwise, made to you by your
2 commander, this is something that continued when Mr. Blagojevic became the
3 brigade commander, right, it didn't change?
4 A. No. At that time I didn't do any checking, if that is what you
5 are asking. I no longer did any checking. I did it for a while, and
6 after that, a checking point was established at the Zuti Most, the yellow
7 bridge, with persons particularly assigned with controlling deliveries of
8 humanitarian aid to Srebrenica. If that is what you are referring to. As
9 for the other things, these are minor, petty matters. It was only normal,
10 and I believe the commander Blagojevic really had confidence in me that I
11 would, indeed, discharge these minor matters efficiently, and it was not
12 something that was strictly official, according to my regulations of
13 sphere of activity. After all, no one had precisely defined my job
14 description at all. This was a practice which was inaugurated at the
15 beginning of the war, and it remained as such.
16 Q. Mr. Celanovic, where would you maintain these documents, the
17 inventories of material coming in or records about material that hadn't
18 been properly set out in the paperwork for the trucks coming in? These
19 kinds of documents, where would you maintain them?
20 A. After the search, the inspection, whosoever was doing the
21 inspection, a person like myself but a person who was doing that part of
22 the job would be given a copy of the transportation lists specifying the
23 products, the goods, that were being transported, that were being driven
24 away. And I kept the papers in my office. If this was done by
25 Momir Nikolic, he would keep it, and what he did with it, I don't know.
1 But there were no special reasons for this documentation to be kept as
2 some kind of special records. No one required that of us, and in view of
3 the fact that this inspection was carried out without any problems
4 whatsoever and that these people from international organisations were
5 delivering humanitarian assistance to Srebrenica behaved very correctly,
6 indeed transporting the goods which were on the lists. We never found any
7 forbidden goods, or in other words, ammunition of weapons, at least not
8 whilst I was discharging that particular duty.
9 So having this clean situation, nothing could be disputed or
10 disputable, so we had no particular reason to safeguard or deposit
11 anywhere this information or keep it, because we were not maintaining any
12 statistical -- statistics on it.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Celanovic, I would like to move to another one of
14 your -- another one of the functions you've explained to us. You told us
15 you collected statements and information regarding crimes committed
16 against Serbian people. Now, you collected that information from both
17 victims and also, as you explained to us, from witnesses. Correct?
18 A. Yes. Witnesses and -- not victims, the victims were dead. I
19 interviewed the survivors, that is, the population of a village that had
20 been attacked, had been destroyed, those who had survived and whose family
21 members had been killed in such attacks.
22 Q. And you conducted -- you gathered this information -- of course
23 even though there had been no arrests? No one had been arrested and
24 brought in front of you?
25 A. I don't know whom you mean specifically. No one could be arrested
1 at that time just for being a witness. I actually do not understand your
2 question. Please, could you formulate this more specifically. Who was to
3 have been arrested and why? I didn't exactly get it. I apologise.
4 Q. That's okay. I'll -- let me restate that. You conducted this
5 work even though there had been no suspects brought before you. No one
6 had been arrested by the military police and brought before you.
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Now, you explained that, regarding the Muslims who were being held
9 in detention in Bratunac on and about the 13th of July, that you heard
10 only a few days later that they had all been killed. Now, you never took
11 any statements in connection with trying to uncover what happened to them,
12 did you?
13 A. No, never.
14 Q. You never questioned anyone about that as part of your duties?
15 A. No. I could not, because I had no investigative powers. I
16 already explained that only once they brought someone to me according to
17 the orders of somebody else was I able to take a statement. And I
18 personally at no time had in the powers to undertake any investigation,
19 neither under the law nor according to orders. This was the duty of
20 military and civilian judicial organs of the prosecutorial organs and the
22 Q. You never suggested any criminal investigations -- you never
23 suggested that criminal investigations be undertaken? You never suggested
24 that to your commander or anyone else, did you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You didn't even suggest that there be any disciplinary measures
2 taken in this regard, did you?
3 A. It wasn't up to me to make such proposals. Mine was to work as
4 instructed. I was not empowered to give any suggestions to the commander
5 until he asked me to. And this problem actually overcame, exceeded, the
6 bounds of the brigade, of the commander, of a simple ordinary lawyer, desk
7 officer. It was quite clear that this was the work of the state of the
8 government of the judiciary of the police and of The Hague Tribunal, after
9 all, which had already existed at the time. So I believe that not even
10 the commander had the kind of powers required, if he didn't have the right
11 information. Actually, he had no powers to instruct me and to undertake
12 any investigation. And had he instructed me to undertake any
13 investigation out of bounds of my powers or in contravention to some legal
14 provisions according to which I can act, I would have refused, because it
15 is not my competence to do so. As a jurist, I knew full well at that time
16 as well who was in charge of what and who had what competences. Let me
17 not repeat; I do not wish to belabour the point, and tire both you and the
18 Trial Chamber, these were the civilian and military judicial organs which
19 were bound under the law to undertake, after such a horrendous crime, to
20 do their very best in order to detect the perpetrators.
21 Q. Mr. Celanovic, are you telling us -- let me ask you this: If a
22 Muslim were killed in Bratunac on the night of 13th of July, would it not
23 be within the authority of the brigade commander to request or order some
24 investigation, some inquiry?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, you mentioned to us yesterday that the fact that
2 all these people, thousands of people, had been killed was known
3 generally. Soldiers were talking about it and civilians were talking
4 about it. Just so we're clear, you never received any instructions or
5 orders from Colonel Blagojevic to undertake any inquiries or any other
6 information collection in this regard. Correct?
7 A. No -- yes, I never received any such instructions.
8 Q. Well --
9 A. I guess he also knew that other organs were in charge of that. I
10 believe that he knew that. He knew what my powers were, that I was not
11 authorised to undertake any investigations in the sense of a conventional
12 police inspector or investigating magistrate or prosecutor, which are the
13 organs that are officially entitled to undertake such investigations. I
14 perhaps am extensive in explaining. But if you allow me, I have already
15 said before what the procedure was to be observed when a murder happened.
16 In all fairness, this was in cases when a soldier of the Bratunac Brigade
17 killed another soldier or civilian. Then where there was some preliminary
18 criminal actions that we had to undertake in the way which I have already
19 described. This was a totally different situation all together. And I
20 don't know. These moments you say it was the 13th or any other date
21 around that time. I don't know how much people knew as to whether any
22 murders had been committed or not. I had not received any orders to the
23 effect that I was to undertake any inquiries or investigations. And I
24 myself did not have the authority to do so --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... I think you've answered my
1 question and some others as well.
2 If I could just now continue on to talk about some of your other
3 duties. I just want to make sure we got this right. In connection
4 with -- and you've explained to us that -- you've explained this to us
5 before, in the case of a disciplinary breach you would take statements,
6 prepare other documents, and you would report it to your commander, the
7 brigade commander. That's correct, right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if requested you would provide advice on what sort of actions
10 or steps the brigade commander could take in regards to such a
11 disciplinary breach. Correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In the same way in the case of a potential criminal act you would
14 take statements and provide documents, and you would provide that to your
15 brigade commander. Correct?
16 A. Yes. If these persons -- if persons were brought to me.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. The persons who had committed some -- any offence or misdemeanor.
19 Q. You've explained that. Now, you also explained to us that in the
20 case of detainees, whether soldiers or civilians, you would also take
21 statements from them and you would provide it to the commander and to the
22 chief of the security organ. Correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You also explained that it would be the brigade commander who
25 would make sure that prisoners of war were sent to a detention facility.
2 A. Yes. Correct. But if you allow me just a correction.
3 Q. Certainly, a brief correction if necessary.
4 A. It will be brief. It was not always the commander of the brigade.
5 At times it was -- if you observe the genesis of the brigade's formation,
6 first it was the commander of the garrison, the commander of the
7 battalion, and then a commander of the brigade. So it was not always the
8 commander of the brigade, but it was always the commander of the unit.
9 Q. Okay. We understand that.
10 And yet you told us despite all these regular functions, when you
11 took these notes from these -- from these five persons who were brought to
12 you on the 13th of July and the sixth person, Mr. Resid Sinanovic, on this
13 one occasion you did not provide this information to your brigade
14 commander. And just tell me if that's correct. If that's correct, then
15 we'll move on.
16 A. Yes, but these were not detainees.
17 Q. Mr. Celanovic, you've told us they were sent to detention at the
18 Vuk Karadzic school.
19 A. That is something else, yes. That is correct. That was the
20 reception or collection centre.
21 Q. They were brought to you by soldiers?
22 A. Yes, but they were brought there for another reason.
23 Q. They could not have walked away, could they?
24 A. No, they couldn't.
25 Q. Now, I'd like to show you a document, Mr. Celanovic. It's -- the
1 document is Prosecution Exhibit 445. If you could just take a minute to
2 read that document, and I'll just bring your attention to a couple of
3 specific points in it.
4 Have you had a chance to look at it, Mr. Celanovic?
5 A. I have.
6 Q. You see at the top it's -- at the top it says: "Drina Corps
7 command intelligence section." And it's dated 12 July 1995. Do you see
9 A. I see that.
10 Q. It's marked right afterwards. It's marked: "Very urgent."
11 Do you see that?
12 A. Very urgent, yes.
13 Q. And the second page at the bottom you see that it has the
14 signature block of General Zdravko Tolimir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Top first page, you see the
17 addressees. Do you see where it includes the chiefs of intelligence
18 organs. And it includes the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade. Do you see
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, under the addressees list - and you see that there are
22 several other brigades listed there - there's a line that says: "This is
23 the statement by prisoner of war Izudin Bektic."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, the first paragraph indicates that this is a man who was
2 taken prisoner about 1800 hours on the 12th of July near Kajici?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You know where Kajici is, don't you?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. The next paragraph you see a name that we've seen in some of your
7 notes, Zulfo, Zulfo Tursunovic. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The next line reads -- and I'll go slowly, I apologise to the
10 interpreters; we probably didn't provide this either.
11 "He assessed that a group of about 500 armed Muslims, including
12 children and unmarried women fit for military service, set off under
13 Zulfo's commander on 11 July this year."
14 My apologies to the interpreters, if that was okay.
15 This Zulfo, of course, appears in some of the notes you took from
16 these six persons who were brought to you on the 13th of July. Now,
17 Mr. Celanovic, my question for you is simple here: This is an urgent
18 report sent to a number of brigades about -- that discusses the location
19 of Zulfo and some of his men taken from a prisoner. I mean, that would be
20 a fair characterisation of what this document is, wouldn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, this is urgent -- this is an urgent report and the subject
23 matter here is important because lives depend on it, I mean, lives of
24 Serbian soldiers in that area depended on intelligence and information
25 about where the Muslims were. That's obvious, isn't it, Mr. Celanovic?
1 A. That's your conclusion.
2 Q. Do you disagree with me, that lives of the Serbian soldiers did
3 not depend on timely intelligence about the location of Muslim units?
4 A. I don't know where the Serbian soldiers were right at that moment,
5 so I can see neither yes or no. I'm afraid I won't be saying the truth.
6 Q. Mr. Celanovic, I'm not asking you where the Serbian soldiers were.
7 I'm asking you simply as a general matter, isn't it true that the safety
8 of Serbian soldiers --
9 A. I'm sorry. Let the answer be yes.
10 Q. Okay. So you would agree with me, then.
11 You were getting the same kind of information, where Zulfo might
12 have been heading, you were getting that from these people brought to you
13 on the 13th of July, and even when the lives of Serbian soldiers were at
14 stake, it never occurred to you to forward that to anyone?
15 A. It's obvious from this letter who did this, who was involved in
16 this. It's the security organs; and I was not one of them. I did not
17 have instructions to ask where the troops were. I have been repeating
18 this time and again. I was just supposed to ask where Naser's unit
19 commanders were, including Zulfo. Because we had their names in our
20 records as suspects. Namely, they were suspected of having torched Serb
21 villages and killed civilians, that is to say, having committed war
22 crimes. If I asked about Zulfo, one person would say he didn't know where
23 he was; another person would say he went through the hills. So even
24 without my questions, these people spontaneously spoke about this.
25 Q. Mr. Celanovic, if I could -- we've discussed already this issue
1 about the spontaneous statements of these people. My question to you --
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm going to object. I believe he's answered the
3 question. If the gentleman would please listen to the answer. Yesterday
4 I didn't object. There were several occasions where he asked the same
5 question over and over again; he's received his answer, that he wasn't a
6 member of the security and intelligence, that's why he didn't have to do
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the message is very clear in the
9 transcript. And I hope that both the Prosecutor and the witness could ask
10 or answer their questions as concise as possible, because we have spent so
11 much time.
12 You may proceed.
13 MR. SHIN: Very well, Mr. President.
14 Q. I will just ask you one question here, Mr. Celanovic. Even if you
15 had not been tasked, if you learned of a large armed Muslim group moving
16 through the area where you knew Bratunac Brigade soldiers or other
17 soldiers of the Republika Srpska were, are you telling us that you would
18 not give that information to anyone simply because you had not been asked
19 to do -- to collect that information?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I address the
21 Trial Chamber?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are some questions that I
24 simply cannot give mere yes or no answers to. I don't want a single
25 answer of mine not to reflect the truth. I don't want it to look that
1 way, that I'm not telling the truth. I do apologise to the Prosecutor,
2 but what can you say to confused questions? You can only give a confused
4 As for these military groups in the field, there were intelligence
5 organs there and our units were there. I was the last person to find out
6 what was going on. There was not a single reason why I would know
7 spontaneously, or rather, that I would receive a statement, a spontaneous
8 statement, from a person and that I would know which troops were where in
9 an enclave or wherever. Had it -- had the situation been different, than
10 perhaps I would have found out some other way. For example, when a
11 worried soldier, a member of the brigade -- I mean, I would share my
12 information with whom I was supposed to share that information. So this
13 was that personal risk that I ran, whether I am going to transmit that
14 information further or not. My assessment at that moment was that it was
15 not necessary. And I hope that I have given an answer to this last
16 question. I am sorry, but some questions simply cannot be answered by a
17 mere yes or no without getting the wrong impression about my testimony. I
18 keep looking at this solemn statement here. I don't want anybody to have
19 the impression at any point in time that I'm not telling the truth.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Shin, I think you made your point already.
21 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE LIU: Would you please move on.
23 MR. SHIN: Yes, I'll move on to the last area -- last topic.
24 Q. Mr. Celanovic, I'd like to refer you back to this document, this
25 hospital record for Resid Sinanovic that you were shown yesterday.
1 MR. SHIN: And just for the record that's -- that was marked
2 D170 -- I'm sorry, D169.
3 Q. If you can just have it in front of you for reference,
4 Mr. Celanovic. I'm not going to specifically direct your attention to it.
5 Now, you've indicated that that record shows that Mr. Sinanovic was
6 indicated for surgical treatment. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, he wasn't as -- you've testified he wasn't injured or hurt
9 when you saw him, was he?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And during the time -- during these one or two hours that he was
12 with you or with you and Mr. Davidovic, he was not abused in any way, was
14 A. On the contrary.
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. He was accorded every attention, and he was treated as fairly as
17 could be.
18 Q. Mr. Celanovic, there's a hospital in Bratunac, isn't there?
19 A. Medical centre. It's not really a hospital in the traditional
20 sense of the word; it's like a clinic, a health centre.
21 Q. Okay. A health centre. And there's a hospital in Zvornik, too,
22 isn't there?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And there's a hospital in Bijeljina?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Mr. Celanovic, where is Loznica, the location of this hospital?
2 A. Loznica is in the Republic of Serbia.
3 Q. I think that's --
4 A. On the other side.
5 Q. My question --
6 A. Opposite Bijeljina and Zvornik, that is.
7 Q. Perhaps I should have been more precise. It's in another country;
8 it's not in the Republika Srpska. That's correct, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, were you aware that on the 13th of July there were Muslim
11 prisoners in the Bratunac health centre?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So you knew that they were under the care of UNPROFOR?
14 A. I saw the representatives of UNPROFOR in front of the health
15 centre in the yard when I came there. Now, whether they were supervising
16 them or whether they were under the care of UNPROFOR, as you had put it, I
17 assumed they were, but I cannot say.
18 Q. Mr. Celanovic, are you aware that those people in the Bratunac
19 health centre, those Muslim prisoners -- I'm sorry, those Muslim patients,
20 that they survived?
21 A. I heard that they had survived, those who were at the health
22 centre. As a matter of fact, I heard that a baby was born. I heard that
23 as a positive story, and that the baby was delivered although there were
24 no proper hospital conditions there.
25 Q. Mr. Celanovic, do you know where your friend Resid Sinanovic is
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you know if he's alive or if he's dead?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You know that he's listed among the missing on the ICRC's missing
6 list, as well as the other five people who were brought to you on the 13th
7 of July?
8 A. I don't know whether he's on the list, but he has been recorded as
10 Q. Now, speaking of the ICRC, you've explained to us that among your
11 duties the brigade commander had once tasked you with reporting four or
12 five elderly people being brought to the enclave, or reporting them to the
13 International Red Cross. Do you remember that?
14 A. That's not what I said.
15 Q. Mr. Celanovic, if I could quote you directly you say: "The
16 brigade commander tasked me with reporting them" -- I'm sorry. I'll slow
18 "The brigade commander tasked me with reporting them to the
19 International Red Cross or the UNHCR."
20 And then you say a little later: "This'them,' 'reporting them' is
21 a reference to four or five elderly people whom we fed and took care of
22 until the moment when I handed them over to these organisations."
23 You remember that, right? You remember telling us that?
24 A. That is correct. I'm sorry. Perhaps the interpretation I
25 received was not correct at first. Now, that is correct. That is what I
1 said and that's the way it was.
2 Q. Mr. Celanovic, if Colonel Blagojevic had simply asked you to see
3 the International Red Cross about any of the six people brought to you on
4 the 13th of July, or in fact about any of the detainees at the Vuk
5 Karadzic school, they would be alive today, wouldn't they?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, calls for speculation. We have Beara,
7 we have Mladic, we had Popovic, we had their own star witness, Nikolic,
8 running around trying to kill everybody they could get their hands on.
9 And to suggest now that --
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I would like to argue with him as
11 well --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: It's an improper question and Mr. McCloskey should
13 sit down. He is not conducting the examination and this is not a
14 procedural matter.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this kind of bile at this time, and
16 argument I will stand up to until this case is over and it's outrageous.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: The Prosecution is outrageous in this case.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, we have said that we hope that
19 one counsel should deal with one particular witness, unless there is
20 procedure matters that have the general interest or impact. I hope both
21 parties could stick to this rule, otherwise there is no order in this
23 Mr. Shin, I believe that your question has some problems. It is a
24 sort of speculation question. Maybe you could put your question in
25 another way.
1 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. May I address the Court?
3 I can answer the last question.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please. If you can.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With a small correction, though. It
6 is not Commander Blagojevic. At that time Vuksic was the commander.
7 Commander Vuksic ordered me, let's put it that way; let's say it was an
8 order. The way you put the question, let me try to be brief now. That's
9 the way it was. I handed over these persons to the International Red
10 Cross, and I received a signature. These were old and feeble people.
11 Some people didn't even know when they had been born; they couldn't
12 remember the year. Would that suffice for an answer?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note, could the witness please
14 have the other microphone turned on. Thank you.
15 MR. SHIN:
16 Q. Thank you for your explanation, Mr. Celanovic. So I'll just ask
17 you this: What do you think? Do you think --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, calls for speculation. He's asking him
19 to speculate. I don't need to hear the rest of the question. He's going
20 to be thinking about whether Colonel Blagojevic had ordered him to go to
21 the Red Cross as if disregarding all the other facts in the matter, such
22 as who was there with the Drina Corps having its forward command post at
23 the Bratunac Brigade, with Mladic having his forward command post at
24 the --
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think you talk too much. You
1 know, the Prosecution has not asked this question yet, and in some
2 circumstances the speculation questions could be asked if it's related to
3 the subject matter, or if it's the natural result of the development of
4 the events.
5 Yes, Mr. Shin, you may proceed.
6 MR. SHIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Celanovic, in light of all the duties you have explained to us
8 in detail and in light of this latest explanation you've given us about an
9 order provided to you by Commander Vuksic, do you think if
10 Colonel Blagojevic had asked you to list these people brought to you,
11 register them with the ICRC, do you think they would be alive today?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Again, it calls for speculation. It totally
13 disregards all the other facts that are in place. The fact that you have
14 the military police there, the special police, you have Popovic, you have
15 Beara, you have all the other people --
16 MR. SHIN: Mr. President --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If the hypothetical included all those facts, Your
18 Honour, I would have no objection.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, well, Mr. Karnavas, the logic is that some other
20 people were sent to the ICRC at that time and those people, I guess,
21 survived. And those people that were sent to the so-called reception
22 centre were recorded as missing people. So the logic is there.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, the timing is wrong. Vuksic was the
24 commander at the time when the gentleman delivered the old people. Now
25 we're talking about years later.
1 JUDGE LIU: You have the right to ask this question in your
2 re-direct. You could -- in your question you could correct anything that
3 is not satisfied to your need. You may sit down, please.
4 Witness, can you answer that question?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I've already forgotten
6 the question. Could it please be repeated? I listened to this dialogue
7 between Mr. Karnavas and the Court.
8 MR. SHIN:
9 Q. Mr. Celanovic, the question is: In light of all the duties that
10 you have described to us in detail and in light of this latest explanation
11 you have given us about an order provided to you by Commander Vuksic
12 regarding bringing some people to the International Red Cross, do you
13 think if Colonel Blagojevic had asked you to register these five or six
14 people brought to you on the 13th of July with the Red Cross, do you think
15 these people would be alive today?
16 A. Had Mr. Blagojevic, the commander, known, had these people been
17 there at the time, had the International Red Cross been there, had there
18 been a great many circumstances involved, I don't know, I cannot say what
19 he would have ordered me to do. But it is only natural that -- regardless
20 of whether it would be my official duty or not, if the order did not
21 entail the commission of a crime, I would have carried out any order given
22 to me. But unfortunately these people were not handed over. I wish they
23 had been handed over; that's what I wish now.
24 Q. And you wish they had been handed over, because if they would have
25 been handed over they would have survived, they would be alive now. Is
1 that correct?
2 A. That's what I'm saying today. Today I'm saying -- I don't know
3 whether they would have survived had they been handed over. But then, at
4 that time, I believed that everybody would survive. I -- it never crossed
5 my mind to think about what you're asking me today. I believe that all
6 these people would be alive and well and healthy and transferred to Muslim
7 territory. This never crossed my mind that there would be some kind of
8 selection. And to ask for the International Red Cross to come and to take
9 over some of them, I didn't even know where their headquarters were. And
10 it was not my duty --
11 Q. Mr. Celanovic, you said: "I wish they had been handed over;
12 that's what I wish now."
13 And you're saying that because if they had been handed over to the
14 International Red Cross they would be alive now, isn't that the truth?
15 Isn't that what you're saying?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection. It's been asked and answered.
17 JUDGE LIU: No, I don't think so. I think the Prosecution is
18 entitled to clarify something in the answer of this witness.
19 MR. SHIN:
20 Q. Mr. Celanovic, I will ask you again. You said: "I wish" --
21 A. I understand the question. As a human being I'm sorry that these
22 people lost their lives and all other people who lost their lives. That's
23 why I'm sorry that they were not handed over by anyone so they could have
24 survived, even if one person had survived, that would have been a good
25 thing. At a human being, I'm sorry that they did not survive. It didn't
1 have to be me, I didn't have to be involved. But as a human being, I'm
2 sorry. This is not directly related to your question. As a human being,
3 I am sorry.
4 MR. SHIN: No further questions, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 Any re-direct?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
8 Re-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
9 Q. Had the United Nations who set up this Tribunal done its job and
10 kept the enclave demilitarised and kept the Muslim fighters from
11 slaughtering the Serb villagers that were living around Srebrenica, do you
12 think it might have been -- there might not have been any need to attack
13 Srebrenica and try to restrict the enclave back in July 6th, 1995? Had
14 the United Nations done its job?
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Which it had not.
17 JUDGE LIU: This question is out of the scope of the
19 MR. KARNAVAS: It goes --
20 JUDGE LIU: You have to rephrase your question.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
22 JUDGE LIU: Because I don't believe the Prosecution raised this
23 question in his cross-examination.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe it's a hypothetical.
25 JUDGE LIU: I understand that.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
2 Q. When was Mr. Vuksic the commander?
3 A. I think -- let me think for a while. That was some time from
4 February 2003 [sic] until I don't know what time. I don't remember dates
5 well. I'm not good with dates. I know that this happened -- he assumed
6 in February because I was with him before that. He harassed me in a way.
7 There was some incident with him, but I don't remember.
8 Q. That would be 1993 as opposed to 2003?
9 A. I'm sorry. I was -- it is 1993. I was shocked by this last
10 question of the Prosecutor -- moved, in fact, so I have to collect myself.
11 Q. When Mr. Vuksic was there at the commander, had the Main Staff set
12 up its forward command post in the Bratunac Brigade?
13 A. I don't remember.
14 Q. What about the Drina Corps? Had the Drina Corps set up its
15 command post in the Bratunac Brigade?
16 A. I don't remember. I don't think that there was any reason within
17 the regular, normal, activities.
18 Q. Do you recall whether General Mladic was around slapping soldiers,
19 giving orders, kicking officers, as we've heard in this courtroom, in the
20 Bratunac area at the time?
21 A. I heard that in the area where the 2nd Battalion was, that is the
22 hill of Caus and Likari, soldiers told these stories, that he had kicked
23 some people and called them cowards and told them to go move ahead, and
24 on. And that he also slapped some people.
25 Q. Was that back in 1993, though, when Vuksic was the commander?
1 That's what I'm talking about.
2 A. No, no, no, no.
3 Q. When you were told to take those prisoners -- those elderly folks
4 to the unit's yard, did you have Colonel Beara running around Bratunac
5 along with Popovic? Was he around at the time?
6 A. I don't know -- I don't remember whether he moved about at that
7 time. What I can say is how these prisoners - shall I say - these
8 civilians came to the command of the Bratunac Brigade. How they came to
9 be brought before me, if you want me to explain that.
10 Q. Well, I'm trying to focus your attention on -- because it's back
11 when Mr. Vuksic was the commander. Okay. Was Beara in the Bratunac area
12 conducting activities during that period of time when Vuksic was there?
13 A. I cannot recall. He probably was there. He would come
14 occasionally to the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade for control
15 purposes and for other things.
16 Q. Did he have units of the special police, MUP, over there
17 conducting activities, as we've heard in this testimony? I'm talking
18 about 1993. Were they there swarming around the Bratunac area?
19 A. Well, that they were.
20 Q. Now, this was when Mr. Vuksic was the commander?
21 A. Yes, Vuksic.
22 Q. Now, are you an advocate? Do you have the licence to practice in
23 a courtroom in criminal matters?
24 A. No.
25 Q. In fact --
1 A. Not now.
2 Q. Not now, that's right. And in fact, you are what is known as a
3 graduated lawyer. Correct?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. SHIN: Mr. President --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MR. SHIN: This appears to be beyond the scope of the
9 MR. KARNAVAS: It's right within the scope.
10 JUDGE LIU: We haven't heard the follow-up question. Let us hear
11 the follow-up question and we'll decide whether those questions are within
12 the scope or not. I believe Mr. Karnavas is laying some foundations for
14 You may proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. You're a graduated lawyer. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, in order to practice in a courtroom as a defence lawyer or as
19 a prosecutor or to be an investigative judge or to be a judge, you have to
20 have special training, do you not, and not just merely a degree from a law
21 school. Correct?
22 A. I need to be admitted to the bar, to pass the bar exam, to pass
23 the exam. And then be admitted to the bar. And then I would be issued a
24 licence to work in this way.
25 Q. And at the time back in 1995 and today as well, you were not
1 admitted into the bar, were you?
2 A. No, I wasn't.
3 Q. So not being admitted into the bar, could you have conducted
4 investigations like an investigative judge, or could you have initiated
5 prosecutions like a prosecutor?
6 A. I have explained this a number of times, no. No, I could not. I
7 didn't have the statutory powers for that.
8 Q. Did Colonel Blagojevic know what Beara had instructed you to do?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And if he didn't know what you were doing, how he would have known
11 to give you any instructions as to those people that you were questioning?
12 A. Sorry. Could you be more specific. Who?
13 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Here. If Colonel Blagojevic
14 did not know what you were doing and who you were questioning, how would
15 he know what instructions to give you?
16 A. He could not have known. He didn't see me. I would not see him.
17 I hadn't seen him for three or four days prior to the 13th, nor did I see
18 him after that date nor did I get in touch with him in any way after that
19 date. Nor did Beara tell me to inform anyone about what he had ordered
21 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I have a question to you.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE LIU: Since you were not a lawyer at that time, how could
2 Mr. Blagojevic entrust you to be the head of the commission to investigate
3 some acts to stealing the properties of the brigade commander's post?
4 A. Mr. President of the Court, Chamber, I wish to explain. I wish to
5 explain that no one in this court referred to the law on the army as lex
6 specialis. On the basis of which the commander could have -- could
7 entrust a task to a certain individual, he could entrust a person
8 with - and please pay attention to this term - some inquiry actions, not
9 investigating actions, as defined under this law. So in accordance with
10 this, I, as the president of this commission, was entrusted with a task
11 not to undertake and conduct investigations, but to carry out inventories
12 of property, a simple stock-taking operation, and to seal the premises so
13 inspected, so inventoried, and then to give the key -- and to put the key
14 in an envelope, and along with a record of the inventoried property in the
15 flat, to pass it on to the head of the OB, the security and intelligence
17 So this was the same job, in other words, as that which is
18 executed by members of the ministry for displaced persons and refugees in
19 the restitution of property to returnees exercise. These are actions
20 which do not require either a jurisprudence degree --
21 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not hear the end of the
23 JUDGE LIU: Would you please repeat your last sentence because the
24 interpreter did not catch it.
25 A. So these are tasks which do not require a jurisprudence degree.
1 So any vocational background is enough for that. You could be a
2 construction technician, a civil engineering secondary education will
3 suffice for this, for the inventorying and sealing of certain premises.
4 Even the Administrative Procedure Act foresees that this should be done by
5 persons even in state organs of this profile. I gave you an example, for
6 instance, in the case of the workers in the ministry for refugees and
7 displaced persons and refugees, who are not lawyers, not jurists, but have
8 made hundreds of thousands of minutes and records of this type. As
9 members of the commission, I hope that I have managed to reply to your
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
12 Any questions out of my question? Mr. Shin?
13 MR. SHIN: No, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
15 Mr. Karnavas.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: No, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE LIU: At this stage are there any documents to tender?
18 Mr. Karnavas?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. D167, which is from the command of the
20 Bratunac Brigade. D168, this is a crime investigation report from
21 Mr. Celanovic. D169, which is the letter from -- letter to Mr. Londrovic
22 regarding the medical records. D170, which is the decree on temporary
23 usage of houses to show that those who had left could retain ownership.
24 And then D172, the order that established the commission regarding the
25 apartment concerning the last question by you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 Any objections, Mr. Shin?
3 MR. SHIN: No, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
5 Those documents are admitted into the evidence.
6 On the part of the Prosecution, are there any documents to tender?
7 MR. SHIN: Yes, Mr. President. It's a document marked P859. It
8 is the witness statement of Mr. Celanovic taken by the Republika Srpska
9 MUP in Bratunac on the 28th of August, 2003.
10 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, yes. Keeping with the rules, if we're going
12 to stick by the rules, as Mr. McCloskey keeps reminding us, we break it
13 once, we break it a thousand, I believe that was his quote of the day, of
14 that day, statements don't come in. Unless there's a particular need and
15 a basis for it, I don't see how we can break the rule.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, this statement was not taken by this Tribunal;
17 it's by the MUP sometime earlier.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand. I thought this was a general rule by
19 statements, but, you know -- I certainly don't object in principle because
20 I like getting statements in on occasion. But I'm merely quoting the
21 Prosecution since they seem to be having these inflexible rules.
22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Shin, do you have any special reasons to tender
23 this document into the evidence?
24 MR. SHIN: It may just be useful for putting in context what
25 Mr. Celanovic has testified to, but apart from that we don't have any
1 special reasons for moving that in, no.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that you have asked some questions
3 based on this document and all the relevant parts is already in the
4 transcript. So this document is not admitted into the evidence. It is so
6 Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to give
7 your evidence. And we wish you a pleasant journey back home.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I should like to tank
9 this Trial Chamber, this Tribunal, for having made it possible for me to
10 finally say the truth. Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: I think after the hearing is adjourned, Madam Usher
12 will show you out of the room. And we'll resume at quarter to 11.00. The
13 hearing is adjourned.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Before hearing the next witness, are there any matters
18 that the parties would like to raise? Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. As I think the Court helped
20 us point out, we made a typographical error in the amended indictment
21 motion, which was rather significant. And we also had a hard time with
22 the paragraph numbering, which Ms. Stewart is sorting out. I
23 unfortunately just looked down and see that I don't have the indictment in
24 front of me, so I believe there was a paragraph that needed to be
25 changed -- the letter needed to be changed from -- but I better wait until
1 next time, I apologise, to make the actual change on the record, because I
2 notice I didn't bring it with me. I apologise.
3 JUDGE LIU: I see. I hope you could submit your written
4 correction in this respect, because we believe that this mistake, of
5 course, is a typing mistake, but it has great significance to the Defence
6 case. And at the same time, Mr. Karnavas, would you please indicate
7 somehow when are we going to receive your response to that? You know we
8 are working under pressure.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I was unaware of that, Your Honour. But --
10 well, to be honest, I saw it. I looked at it. It's Thursday; we got it
11 on Monday. I was hoping I would take a good look at it over the weekend
12 and have something perhaps early next week. That's the best I can do. I
13 can barely keep my nose above the water. As you see this last witness and
14 the next witness we are about to hear are a little challenging, shall we
15 say, in keeping them to sort of answering in a direct way. So anyway,
16 hopefully by the middle of next week. We certainly don't want to prolong
17 providing a response, it's just that with all the other demands that we
18 have with the witnesses it's been impossible to really focus on this. So
19 the weekend, Friday afternoon, Saturday, I'll be spending and devoting my
20 entire time to that issue.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Here I would like to remind the
22 parties that according to Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
23 under (A), the Prosecutor may amend an indictment (iii) seeing that "after
24 the commencement of the presentation of the evidence with leave of the
25 Trial Chamber hearing the case, after having heard the parties."
1 So it depends on the submission of the parties. We might, I just
2 say we might, at this stage to have a hearing on that request, which I
3 believe should be more concentrated on the legal issues, the rights of the
4 accused, rather than the factual issues. Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one point of clarification.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Is this a two-step process or a one-step process?
8 In other words --
9 JUDGE LIU: What do you mean by one step or two steps?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, the one step is: Does the Trial Chamber
11 grant leave, that's step number one. Step number two: To what extent
12 will the Trial Chamber accept the modifications that are being added or
13 amended in the indictment itself. So I think I need to challenge both, if
14 I decide to challenge. That is I don't want to prejudge the Prosecution's
15 motion, but I might, in all likelihood, I would say, first argue that the
16 Court should not grant the Prosecution leave, but in the event it does
17 grant it leave I need to at least state why I think perhaps that amended
18 indictment is flawed in other technical matters and how I might be able to
19 assist the Trial Chamber in perhaps making the indictment, you know, more
20 favourable to the events.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, I still can't figure out what is one step and
22 what is two steps. Let me say it clearly that -- sorry. And first of all
23 we have to receive the response from the parties. We have to know whether
24 you agree with it or you have some reasons against it.
25 Secondly, we might have a hearing to hear the parties to let the
1 parties -- to give the parties the opportunity to assist the Trial Chamber
2 on such legal issues as I said before. And after that, we'll consider
3 whether to grant the request or not. And even after that, to my
4 understanding, this decision is subject to appeal. And we might, we
5 might, grant that certification of appeal. I'm not sure because I haven't
6 seen the reasonings of the parties at this stage.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE LIU: But we could have this procedure to go as fast as
9 possible, because we are really under pressure at this time.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE LIU: As for the next witness, I have to say that we are
12 somehow behind schedule and we only heard two witnesses this week and we
13 have still three witnesses waiting on the list. And, Mr. Karnavas, would
14 you tell us approximately how long that will take.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. I switched the order a little bit to make
16 sure that we would be able to -- we would have two people waiting over the
17 weekend, if that were the case. This next witness as I said is a little
18 bit of a challenge in focusing him to short, concise answers, but I
19 believe we might be able to finish that gentleman today. The next witness
20 would be a little bit shorter. And then the last witness is a little bit
21 longer. I think if we had -- and I'm not suggesting, though I'm not
22 declining the possibility of having an afternoon session tomorrow, there
23 might be a possibility of finishing all the witnesses. But again, it all
24 depends on this witness here. We might not be able -- if we don't finish
25 him today, then all I can expect is to have one more witness tomorrow.
1 For sure he would be able to finish. So we would finish for this week.
2 And then for the following week, I've looked at the list. They seem to be
3 rather shorter and we would be able to make up the ground so we wouldn't
4 lose any time. I will streamline my direct with this witness, in keeping
5 with the schedule.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much. But I'm sorry to say that
7 we've looked into the schedule and the arrangement of various activities
8 of the Judges, it seems to me impossible for us to have an extra afternoon
9 hearing this week.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: That's okay.
11 JUDGE LIU: There might be an opportunity next week, but I'm not
12 sure at this stage.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
14 JUDGE LIU: And as for the next witness, are there any protective
16 MR. KARNAVAS: There are none, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
18 Could we have the witness, please.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Morning.
22 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: JOVAN IVIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, the witness is yours.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
6 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
7 Q. Good morning, sir.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. Could you please tell us your name.
10 A. My name is Jovan Ivic.
11 Q. And could you please tell us your last name letter by letter.
12 A. J-o-v-a-n, and the last name, I-v-i-c or C with a diacritical
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ivic.
15 A. You're most welcome.
16 Q. Now, first of all, where do you live right now?
17 A. I live in Bratunac.
18 Q. Okay. These microphones are rather sensitive, so you don't have
19 to shout. They'll pick up the sound. Now -- and what do you do in
21 A. I'm a professor of Russian.
22 Q. All right. And how long have you been a Russian professor?
23 A. I've been doing this since 1978.
24 Q. How long have you lived in Bratunac?
25 A. From that year, from 1978.
1 Q. All right. Now, did you do your JNA military service?
2 A. I did. I did my military service.
3 Q. And where was that, sir?
4 A. That was in Slovenia, which was a part of Yugoslavia. And I
5 served in a place called Vrhnika which was quite near Ljubljana.
6 Q. What year was that, sir?
7 A. I joined the JNA in 1976 and I completed my service in September
9 Q. All right. Now, in 1995, in July, were you a member of the
10 Bratunac Brigade?
11 A. Yes, I was.
12 Q. Could you please tell us in which unit you were serving.
13 A. I was in a unit which controlled all entries and exits from -- to
14 and from Srebrenica.
15 Q. And where was that located, sir?
16 A. This unit was located at a checkpoint. The checkpoint was called
17 Zuti Most, the yellow bridge.
18 Q. Now, was there a komandir at that location for that unit?
19 A. Yes, there was.
20 Q. And who was that komandir?
21 A. I myself was the commander.
22 Q. Would you tell us how many members consisted -- made up this unit.
23 How many members?
24 A. There were four of us.
25 Q. And how many would be there on any particular shift? What was the
1 number for the shift?
2 A. We actually did not have work organised in shifts, and we were all
3 this one shift.
4 Q. Okay. Now, before we talk a little bit about this unit, could you
5 please tell us how long you had been at that location carrying out those
6 functions within the Bratunac Brigade.
7 A. I was there approximately from the end of May 1994, and then until
8 about a month or two of the fall of Srebrenica.
9 Q. So that would have been until, say, August of 1995?
10 A. Approximately. I can't remember exactly.
11 Q. All right. Now, could you please tell us who was your commander,
12 your immediate commander, your superior officer, that you would report to?
13 A. It was Mr. Momir Nikolic.
14 Q. And what about the -- this unit that you belonged to, was this
15 part of the military police?
16 A. Formally, yes. But actually, we were a separate group.
17 Q. All right. Now, you say: "Formally, yes."
18 So let me ask you: Did you have any contact with or were you
19 under the directions of the commander of the military police of the
20 Bratunac Brigade?
21 A. I don't even know who the commander of the Bratunac -- oh, no.
22 I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't hear the question properly. Could you
23 please repeat it.
24 Q. All right. Take your time. Just listen to the entire question.
25 Did you take any orders from the commander of the military police of the
1 Bratunac Brigade, since formally you indicated you were a member of the
2 military police?
3 A. I did not, not from the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.
4 Q. I'm not asking -- we're not talking about the commander. I'm
5 talking about of the military police of the Bratunac Brigade.
6 A. I don't know who was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade. I did
7 not receive orders from him -- the commander of the military police of the
8 Bratunac Brigade, I don't know who he was.
9 Q. All right. Am I to understand that you had no report duties then
10 to the military police, the commander of the military police?
11 A. I did not have to report to him, no.
12 Q. All right. Did you report to the commander of the
13 Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. No.
15 Q. All right. Now, at this point in time I want to discuss your
16 functions at the Zuti Most. Could you please tell us briefly and
17 concisely what your functions were at the Zuti Most.
18 A. My duty was, as well as that of the group working with me, was
19 checking everything that went into Srebrenica and everything that went out
20 of Srebrenica.
21 Q. Now, I believe you used the word "control." Could you please tell
22 us what you mean by that, this control or checking.
23 A. It means that when I get approval for something to pass by my
24 checkpoint, then I'm supposed to abide by what the paper I got says.
25 Q. Okay. All right. Now, was that for everything that went in and
1 everything that came out of the enclave?
2 A. Yes, it did.
3 Q. Did you have authority to look into the convoy and to check the
5 A. Yes, I did have the authority.
6 Q. Okay. Did you have the authority to prevent a convoy from going
7 through to the enclave?
8 A. I did, if that is what the paper said.
9 Q. All right. What if you had documentation that matched what was in
10 the convoy, could you on your own stop that convoy, prevent it from going
11 into the enclave?
12 A. No, no way.
13 Q. What about Momir Nikolic, could he prevent that from going in?
14 A. No, he could not do that either.
15 Q. What about the commander of the brigade, could he prevent that?
16 A. No way, no, no.
17 Q. Now, hypothetically, what if there was an item inside the convoy
18 that was not included in the documentation, how could you handle that
19 situation? What would you do?
20 A. I would stop the convoy and ask Momir Nikolic for instructions or
22 Q. Would that be with respect to the entire shipment or just the item
23 that wasn't justified on the manifest?
24 A. Only that which had not been mentioned in the documentation would
25 have been discussed, that which was controversial.
1 Q. Now, what if you couldn't get a hold of Momir Nikolic? What if he
2 was unavailable? What would you do then? Who would you contact?
3 A. I would call a person from the corps who was in charge of passage
4 through Zuti Most.
5 Q. Why would you not contact Momir Nikolic's commander, that is the
6 commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
7 A. Because he did not have the authority for the passage of convoys
8 through Zuti Most.
9 Q. All right. Now, you said you would contact the corps. How would
10 you contact them?
11 A. I had a wire connection from the checkpoint to the corps.
12 Q. So you just call up?
13 A. Yes, I'd call up, I'd phone.
14 Q. I don't think you need to lean in and speak to the mike. I think
15 it will pick it up, so you can just relax. That's better.
16 Now, did there ever come a time in your experience while you were
17 there as the komandir of the Zuti Most unit when the commander, the
18 then-commander, of the Bratunac Brigade tried to interfere with the
19 passage or with your work with respect to the convoy?
20 A. The commander before Mr. Blagojevic - his name was
21 Ognjenovic - tried.
22 Q. Could you please explain to us what happened, the circumstances.
23 A. You mean with Mr. Ognjenovic?
24 Q. Yes. I'm looking -- I'm asking for that concrete example.
25 A. Well, once before the fall of Srebrenica -- because the Dutchmen
1 had restricted shipments of fuel, it happened once that the Dutch in their
2 convoy were transporting a certain quantity of fuel that they had not been
3 entitled to. That is to say, the Main Staff of the Army of
4 Republika Srpska had not given them permission for that quantity. In that
5 case, according to regular procedure, we exempted that fuel. At the end
6 of the day, I sent a report to the duty officer of the brigade regarding
7 all of this. And in the evening when I came home, around 10.00,
8 Commander Ognjenovic called me; he had seen that report. And he told me
9 to come to the brigade headquarters. I came. The commander said: "What
10 have you done?" I said that I exempted or seized this fuel, because it
11 was not included in the permit. And then he said: "Why didn't you
12 confiscate the convoy?" Because before that there had been some
13 discussions, but this was only verbal, that vehicles transporting a
14 particular cargo for which they did not have permission should be seized
15 as such.
16 I never received such orders in writing. And therefore I did not
17 act in accordance with this, which was mentioned only verbally, and I
18 never seized or confiscated a vehicle. Then Commander Ognjenovic said:
19 "Go out. As of tomorrow, you will not be at Zuti Most."
20 Q. What was your reaction?
21 A. I spoke to Momir Nikolic. I told him of this case.
22 Q. And what did Momir Nikolic tell you to do, if anything?
23 A. He said that he would talk to Ognjenovic about this case.
24 Q. And then what?
25 A. And then, because he did not manage to get me back to the
1 checkpoint through Ognjenovic, he said that I should go to Popovic, to the
2 corps. He said that he would send me to the corps, to Popovic, to explain
3 what had happened.
4 Q. Did you meet with Mr. Popovic?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And where was that, sir? Where did you meet him?
7 A. It was in Vlasenica, in his office.
8 Q. Okay --
9 A. I think it was Vlasenica.
10 Q. And what was the result of your conversations with Mr. Popovic?
11 A. The result was that Popovic called Ognjenovic. I was there when
12 he did. And he told him to return me to the checkpoint. And then
13 Ognjenovic said that it was for him to decide, that he was the commander
14 of the brigade and that he would not return me to the checkpoint.
15 Q. And what happened after that?
16 A. Very quickly, I think it was within ten days or so, Ognjenovic was
17 removed, and Momir Nikolic returned me to Zuti Most.
18 Q. All right. Now, in order for you to check the material that was
19 in the convoy, did you receive any paperwork?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. First of all, how did you receive it?
22 A. A member of the military police would bring it to me.
23 Q. And where was the paperwork from? Where did it originate?
24 A. The paperwork carried the signature of the Main Staff of the Army
25 of Republika Srpska. It arrived in our brigade to the communications
2 Q. And then from there it would come to you?
3 A. Then somebody from the military police would take it from the
4 communications section and bring it to Zuti Most. Sometimes I would stop
5 by the communications section and pick it up before I went to work. I
6 would pick up that permit.
7 Q. Okay. Now, you told us in your example with the fuel that
8 you -- had been confiscated, that you made that report to the brigade, and
9 that's how Ognjenovic learned about it. Would you please tell us what the
10 reporting system was from you backwards. You told us you got documents
11 from main corps; what would you do after a convoy left, went through?
12 A. At the end of every day when all the passages envisaged for that
13 day would be completed, I would send a report to the duty officer of the
15 Q. All right. And that way they would know whether the convoy
16 had -- what time it went through?
17 A. Yes. Yes. Then they had information about everything that had
18 happened at the checkpoint on that day.
19 Q. All right. Now, I want to show you some documents. Perhaps you
20 can help us out here. Documents we received from the Office of the
21 Prosecution. And for your convenience and in order to speed up the
22 process a little bit, you'll see that some areas have been premarked so
23 you can focus your attention on those. Now, the first document, which is
24 identified as D173, could you please just look at this document and see if
25 you recognise what the document is.
1 A. The document that --
2 Q. Do you recognise it?
3 A. I do. I do recognise it. This is the kind of document that I
4 received, yes.
5 Q. Let me walk you through this. I know you're anxious. Let me walk
6 you through step by step. All right. Where is this document from?
7 A. It comes from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Does it have a date on it, if you can read it?
9 A. The date is the 2nd of April, 1995.
10 Q. All right. Now, first of all, what is this document? What is it?
11 A. It is a permit from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska
12 for the passage of convoys through Zuti Most.
13 Q. All right. And how do we know it's for Zuti Most? Where do we
14 see that? Could you direct our attention to any particular numbered
16 A. Yes. Paragraph number 3.
17 Q. Okay. Any other paragraphs?
18 A. Paragraph number 4. Paragraph number 5. And paragraph number 6.
19 Q. Just as an example, if we could stay with paragraph 3, if you
20 could tell us what is contained in this paragraph that would be of
21 interest or of importance to you, being that you were at the control
22 sector at that Zuti Most.
23 A. This is important because I see that I -- that the International
24 Red Cross team from Bijeljina was allowed to enter Srebrenica on the 5th
25 of April, 1995. And to -- no. Not on the same day. On the 8th of April,
1 1995, they are allowed to return from Srebrenica. And then reference is
2 made to the content of the convoy. That is to say what was to be
3 transported and also the number of personnel.
4 Q. All right. And the items that would be in this -- the contents of
5 the convoy, is that what you would be looking for or looking at to ensure
6 that nothing that wasn't included in this paperwork was not among the
7 contents. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Okay. Now, on this particular document, is there any other -- you
10 see some handwriting, do you not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you recognise this handwriting?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. And is there a signature as well?
15 A. Yes, the signature of Momir Nikolic. And a recommendation
16 addressed to me.
17 Q. Now, whose handwriting is that and whose signature is it, if you
19 A. This is the signature of Momir Nikolic, and it's his handwriting.
20 Q. And what does that state? What is he -- what has he written on
21 this particular document that has come from the Main Staff of the Army of
22 Republika Srpska?
23 A. He wrote the following: "Not a single convoy or team of the
24 International Red Cross or any team of the Doctors Without Borders may
25 enter Srebrenica without my permission and presence."
1 Q. Okay. Let me just ask you one question here at this point. What
2 if you could not get a hold of Momir Nikolic to get his permission, could
3 you, for instance, contact the commander of the Bratunac Brigade to get
4 his permission for the convoy to go through?
5 A. I could not. He was not in charge for such passages; the brigade
6 commander was not in charge of that.
7 Q. So if you couldn't get Momir Nikolic's permission because he was
8 unavailable, where would you -- from whom would you seek permission to
9 allow the convoy to enter Srebrenica?
10 A. Well, I've said. I would have asked the corps if anything was
12 Q. Okay. Now, let me show you another document. This one having
13 been marked for identification as D174 -- actually, there are several
14 pages to this. Again, all of these documents have been presented to us by
15 the Office of the Prosecution and bear an ERN number. I want to look at
16 the first document, the first one. Do you recognise the document, sir?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And could you please tell us what is this document?
19 A. It is also permission from the Main Staff of the Army of
20 Republika Srpska for the passage of a convoy or convoys via the yellow
22 Q. All right. Now, over here could you point out just very briefly
23 which sections would be significant for you.
24 A. The only thing of significance to me is the passages through
25 Zuti Most. And here it is indicated the 27th of May, 1995, a Russian
1 convoy has been authorised passage, a Russian convoy transporting
2 humanitarian relief to Srebrenica composed of --
3 Q. We don't need to go --
4 A. -- nine trucks, 72 -- carrying 72 tonnes of flour. That is for
5 that convoy. And then for the next one, the next convoy which was to
6 enter Srebrenica, which I believe was on the 28th of May, it is illegible
7 here, also 1995. It was also a Russian convoy with nine trucks carrying
8 72 tonnes of flour.
9 Q. Okay. Now, that one says Gorazde.
10 A. Yes, Gorazde, but below that is Srebrenica. Where we have the
11 approval for the Swedish construction project, approving the entry of one
12 motor vehicle and 10 tonnes of material for the construction project.
13 Q. Okay. Let me --
14 A. Then --
15 Q. If I can stop you here so we can go through this a little quicker.
16 So we see that there are several references from Karakaj to Srebrenica -
17 correct - on these pages?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And Karakaj would be in the direction of Zvornik. Right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I think if we look at the top of the paragraph this would
22 consist of a weekly paragraph from the week of May 27 to June 2nd?
23 A. Yes. The plan for the entry of humanitarian relief deliveries to
24 Srebrenica for that particular week.
25 Q. Now, the next document which is attached to this document, which
1 is again 174, there is some handwriting on that page.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: And for the record, the ERN number is 01331262.
3 Q. If you could look at it. Do you see it? Do you see that
4 page -- that hand --?
5 A. Yes, found and looked at.
6 Q. Okay. Step by step. Again. Whose handwriting is it?
7 A. This is my handwriting.
8 Q. Are you sure about that?
9 A. I'm a hundred per cent sure about it.
10 Q. All right. And could you -- we have a translation that was
11 provided to us by the registrar here, but I would like you to read it very
12 slowly and if we could hear the translation to what you read, as opposed
13 to what we have on the document itself. So slowly could you read your own
14 handwriting aloud, that is, so the translators can hear.
15 A. As already said: "My battalion still has the mission to guard the
16 population of the safe haven referred to and consequently to maintain an
17 observation post on the confrontation line."
18 That is all.
19 Q. All right. Now, just to make sure that I have it right, is it
20 "safeguard" or "guard"? Which of the two is on that -- on your document?
21 If you could just read it one more time, sir. Just read it aloud and read
22 it slowly.
23 A. Its mission is to safeguard the population.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note it is the same word.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the population of the safe haven
1 referred to, and consequently to maintain an observation post -- to have
2 an observation post on the line of confrontation.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. So there's nothing -- so there's nothing in
5 this document that states that you are to make life difficult for the
6 observers on the confrontation line?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: Well, first of all, I think there is some confusion
9 in terms of the translation we have received from the interpreters in
10 here. So other than read out what it says, what his handwriting is, I
11 don't think any more can be said. And we heard from the interpreters that
12 I understand the word "guard" can also mean safeguard. So we don't really
13 know what he means. But -- now putting something else to him, I think
14 that's leading, I would suggest.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, you read the translations there,
16 then put your question to this witness.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: You have to lay the foundations first.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, yes.
20 Q. Let me read to you what was translated, a portion of which I read
21 before we got an objection from Mr. Prosecutor here. This is what was
22 officially translated and please follow along and to see if it's correct.
23 You may wish to put your glasses on because I'm about to read.
24 "As has been said before, my battalion's mission is still to
25 guard the population in the safe area in question and therefore to make
1 life difficult for the observers on the confrontation line."
2 Is that what you wrote?
3 A. This is totally the opposite of what it says here. There is no
4 reference to making anything difficult, just to maintain an observation
6 Q. All right. Very well. Now, since that's your handwriting, do you
7 know what is this in relation to?
8 A. I don't remember in connection with what this was written.
9 Perhaps it can be outside the convoy's context.
10 Q. And the reason, for the record, that this is being read at the
11 time is because this document followed the previous document, as was
12 provided to us. So we weren't sure whether this was connected.
13 Now, if you could go to the last page, and if we look at the ERN
14 number on that page which is 01331263. It follows the previous page that
15 we just read out. There we have a note, do we not, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what does that note state?
18 A. This is a note from the Main Staff.
19 "We do not consent to having on Wednesday, the 31st of May, 1995 a
20 satellite telex being delivered to Srebrenica with equipment for the
21 requirements of the UNHCR office."
22 Q. All right. Now, what does this note tell you, being at the
23 checkpoint, if anything?
24 A. That means that that is not permitted so it cannot enter it.
25 Q. All right. And what if you were to find this satellite telex and
1 equipment in that particular shipment, what were you to do?
2 A. I would have called Momir Nikolic, as a rule, that's what I would
3 have done.
4 Q. All right. Now, if we go to the next line it states: "The convoy
5 leaders will carry manifests of the load and persons they are
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. Now, could you please tell us what significance does that have in
10 relation to what you were doing at the time, if anything.
11 A. Well, I would take this manifest from the convoy leader. I would
12 collate it with the permit which was given to me. And I would see whether
13 they matched, whether the manifest matched the permit. And of course, I
14 would then proceed with checking.
15 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, I want to show you another
16 document -- you're welcome.
17 A. You're welcome.
18 Q. I want to show you another document which has been marked as D175.
19 I would like to focus -- first of all, do you recognise what this document
21 A. I recognise it.
22 Q. And again, this is a similar document to what we've just been
23 seeing, a weekly plan. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now -- and this again is from the Main Staff, is it not?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. And we have a date on it, do we not, sir, or the period --
3 A. Yes, we do.
4 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention where it says:
5 "Karakaj-Bratunac, two lorries," and then so on and so forth.
6 A. Yes, I can see that.
7 Q. Now, do you know whether this convoy would have been checked
8 through to Srebrenica or whether this was to remain in Bratunac?
9 A. The destination of this convoy was, in fact, then Bratunac so it
10 could not go on to Srebrenica, seeing that its destination in the first
11 place was Bratunac.
12 Q. Did you have anything to do with this -- controlling this
13 particular convoy?
14 A. No. No. Because it did not pass by my checkpoint.
15 Q. Now, I want to focus your attention on the first line. It says:
16 "We consent to implementing the weekly plan of the Belgrade UNHCR."
17 And then it has the authorisation and then the schedule. Do you
18 see that, sir?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. And from that can you draw any conclusions with respect to the
21 Main Staff's involvement as to the humanitarian aid that would go into
22 places like Bratunac?
23 A. Well, the conclusion can be that all passengers through
24 the -- through Republika Srpska at the time, including two towns which
25 were controlled by Serbs, were approved by the Main Staff of the Army of
1 Republika Srpska.
2 Q. And the towns that we see on this document, were they all
3 controlled by Serbs at the time, Bijeljina, Vlasenica, Sokolac, Visegrad,
4 Bratunac, and so on?
5 A. I can see that all these places were controlled by Serbs.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you.
7 A. You're welcome.
8 Q. Okay. Now, I want to go through another document. This has been
9 identified as D176 -- actually, there's two parts. 176.1 and 176.2. But
10 as with the previous documents, we will go step by step. Would you please
11 look at the first document, and just from looking at it are you able to
12 recognise what it is?
13 A. This is a report from the Zvornik Brigade to the Drina Corps
14 command on the passage of a convoy to Srebrenica composed of --
15 Q. Step by step. Let me lead you, please. First of all, what is the
17 A. The date is the 4th of July, 1995.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, if I can direct your attention to the bottom or
19 to the -- towards the end of this regular combat report from the Zvornik
20 Infantry Brigade to the Drina Corps, if I could direct your attention to
21 paragraph number 10. Do you see that, sir?
22 A. I do.
23 Q. Okay. And would you please tell us what does that tell us? What
24 does that convey to you?
25 A. It tells me that all reports on the passage of convoys or namely
1 that all checkpoints sent reports on the passage of convoys to the
2 superior command.
3 Q. But on that particular day, 4 July 1995, what conclusions can you
4 draw from paragraph number 10?
5 A. That there are no restrictions on humanitarian assistance being
6 sent to the people of Srebrenica prior to the attack on Srebrenica itself.
7 Q. I just want to go step by step. On this particular day, July 4th,
8 it says here: "UNHCR convoy going from Belgrade to Srebrenica, composed
9 of two off-road vehicles, eight trucks, and 12 persons crossed the border
10 at 1000 hours."
11 Okay. Do you see that, sir?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Now, first of all where would the border be? Which border are we
14 talking about?
15 A. The border would be in Karakaj, in Zvornik.
16 Q. All right. Now -- and this is coming from where? This UNHCR
17 convoy is coming from where?
18 A. From Belgrade. The UNHCR from Belgrade.
19 Q. All right. Now, once it crosses the border, assuming that it's
20 heading to Srebrenica, in which direction would it be going?
21 A. It would be going from Drinjaca to Bratunac to Zuti Most and then
22 to Srebrenica.
23 Q. All right. Now, I want you to look at the next document that's
24 attached to this -- to the one that you're reading, which is marked for
25 identification as D176.2. If you could look at that, sir. And again,
1 step by step. Please look at it, and I'll lead you through with my
2 questions. Do you know what this document is, sir?
3 A. This is a daily -- a regular combat report. Yeah, I know what it
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. And what day is it? For what day?
6 A. It is also the 4th of July, 1995.
7 Q. Okay. Now, if we go down to paragraph number 8, do you see that,
9 A. I do.
10 Q. Okay. Now, for the record I'll read it and we'll discuss it.
11 "Convoy passage: An UNHCR Russian convoy entered the area,
12 consisting of two jeeps, eight trucks, and 11 people. Cargo: Food. The
13 convoy left the area without cargo."
14 What does that mean, if you know?
15 A. It means that our brigade also sent reports to the Drina Corps on
16 the passage of convoys, because this is the same convoy which entered
18 Q. All right. Would this be the same one that was referred
19 to -- would it appear, I should say, to be the same one, July 4, 1995?
20 A. Yes, it is the same convoy going from Belgrade to Srebrenica and
22 Q. Well, assuming the events in Srebrenica commenced on 4 July 1995,
23 from this daily combat report it would appear, would it not, that two days
24 prior to that, on 4 July 1995, a humanitarian convoy went through
25 Srebrenica by way of the Zuti Most?
1 A. Yes, absolutely so.
2 Q. All right. And one last question from this: Can a conclusion be
3 also drawn as to whether the Drina Corps is able to track the passage of
4 convoys from checkpoint to checkpoint?
5 A. Yes, it is so able, because they were receiving reports.
6 Q. All right. Now, I want to go through one last document -- set of
7 documents. This is -- this has been marked as D177. And there is -- as
8 in the previous one, there is a 1 and a 2, two separate documents, though
9 they are -- we'll discuss them together. So it's D177.1 and D177.2.
10 First of all, focus your attention, please, to the first document. Look
11 at it so we can discuss it.
12 A. Yes, I've taken a look at it.
13 Q. And first of all, where is this document from?
14 A. It is again from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. And what is it, sir?
16 A. This is also a permit for carrying out deliveries of humanitarian
17 assistance of the UNHCR from the direction of Belgrade, according to the
18 following scheme or plan. For example, on the 23rd of May, 1995, the
19 entry into Srebrenica is approved of a Russian convoy consisting of six
20 trucks carrying 48 tonnes of flour, 9 tonnes of beans.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. And on the very next day, on the 24th of May, 1995, Karakaj to
23 Srebrenica, entry into Srebrenica again is approved of six lorries, also
24 this time carrying 48 tonnes of flour, 48 tonnes of beans, 688 tins of
25 tinned beef, 4 tonnes of sugar, detergent and other requirements,
2 Q. All right. Thank you.
3 A. You're welcome.
4 Q. Let me just walk you through, because in a couple of minutes we
5 can be through with this document. So if I could direct your attention to
6 the number. Is there a particular -- of this document, a reference
7 number. Do you see it where it states: "Main Staff, Army of Republika
8 Srpska," do you see a reference number there?
9 A. Yes, I see it.
10 Q. It's 06/20-202. Do you see that?
11 A. Yes, I see it.
12 Q. Then if we were to go down on this page where perhaps I guess the
13 date would be 21 of May, Karakaj, Srebrenica, do you see that. And it
14 talks about --
15 A. I do.
16 Q. And we see two trucks of --
17 A. The Swedish construction project.
18 Q. And if we then were to go to the last page of these documents
19 which is for identification purposes D177.2. If you look at that, and if
20 I could just walk you through very quickly. This is a daily combat
21 report, is it not, sir?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. It is from the Bratunac Brigade to the Drina Corps.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the date is 21 May, 1995. The date at the top, sir.
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Now if I can focus your attention to what you were look at which
3 is paragraph 8. Now, it would appear that if we were to look at this
4 particular paragraph, compare the number from the VRS document that we
5 looked, the Main Staff document, D177.1, we would see that the number
6 corresponds, does it not?
7 A. Yes, it does correspond.
8 Q. And in fact, if we were to pay close attention to this particular
9 paragraph and then compare this -- the items that appear on this paragraph
10 with the items that are listed or noted in the previous document from the
11 Main Staff, they would match, would they not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Again, this is an example of what you were doing when you
14 indicated that when a convoy would go through to the enclave, you would
15 notify the command so that this information could be put into the daily
16 report and sent to the Drina Corps. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And at least this way the corps was know that the convoy had made
19 its way through?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I have no further questions on this document.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: And I see it's about time for the break,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll have a break for 30 minutes. We'll resume
25 at 12.30.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, please continue.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
5 Q. Mr. Ivic, I now want to focus your attention to the period of July
6 6 and onwards. And as a point of reference, it has been established that
7 July 6th was the day when the events commenced concerning Srebrenica and
8 July 11th was the day that Srebrenica fell. The first question is: Prior
9 to July 6th, did you receive any particular instructions or any unusual
10 instructions, instructions out of the ordinary, during that period?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 Q. Were you informed in any way, in light of your position, your
13 special unit under the command of Momir Nikolic and the corps, of what was
14 going on concerning Srebrenica?
15 A. No, I was not informed.
16 Q. Now, did anything unusual happen between the 6th of July and the
17 11th of July at the Zuti Most where you were located, that you were able
18 to see?
19 A. Perhaps a day or two before the 11th of July I did notice
21 Q. All right. Do you know the exact date? Was it one day or two
22 days before the fall of Srebrenica? And if you don't know, it's okay.
23 A. I just remember that before the fall of Srebrenica a tank close to
24 our checkpoint in the evening was firing at Srebrenica. That was the only
25 unusual thing that happened in terms of operations from Zuti Most towards
2 Q. All right. And do you know who was in the tank, which unit? This
3 is a particular detail that I'm sure the Prosecution would like to know,
4 what unit was operating that tank, if you know.
5 A. I don't know which unit it belonged to, but that evening I saw
6 Borovcanin there.
7 Q. Now, did you know Borovcanin?
8 A. No.
9 Q. How did you know he was Borovcanin if you didn't him?
10 A. Later on I heard that that was Borovcanin.
11 Q. All right. You didn't know him at the time?
12 A. I did not know him at the time, and that was the first time I saw
14 Q. Were you aware that Mr. Borovcanin at one point in time, I don't
15 know the exact year, but one or two or three years earlier had been
16 associated with the Bratunac Brigade -- I mean, the -- I'm sorry. The
17 Bratunac police department, MUP. Were you aware of that some time -- a
18 few years earlier?
19 A. I did not know.
20 Q. All right. Did any -- did Mr. Borovcanin or any of his men come
21 to you or did you have any contact with them?
22 A. I did not have any contact, but he sat there at the checkpoint.
23 Q. Well, did you have a conversation with him, greet him?
24 A. No. He was with some men who I didn't know.
25 Q. Now, did you see Nikolic there at that point in time, and we're
1 speaking about Momir?
2 A. I don't remember having seen him that evening. Maybe he was
4 Q. I'm not asking you to guess. I'm asking you what you recall and
5 what you know. Do you know whether he was there, yes or no?
6 A. I don't remember whether he was there.
7 Q. All right. Now, the day that Srebrenica fell, July 11th, 1995, do
8 you recall that day? That's a pretty special day, rather unusual. Do you
9 recall it?
10 A. I remember.
11 Q. All right. Were you on duty that day? That is, were you at your
12 post at the Zuti Most?
13 A. I was.
14 Q. Now, did you -- a detail that we haven't covered. Could you
15 please tell us what your shifts were. What sort of shifts did you and
16 your men have at the Zuti Most? Were you on ...
17 A. We did not have any shifts. We came in the morning and we waited
18 for all the planned passages for that particular day to take place. Once
19 the approved convoys would pass there, we would go home. We slept at
21 Q. But surely there must have been somebody guarding or somebody at
22 the checkpoint, the Zuti Most checkpoint, 24 hours a day?
23 A. At the time when Srebrenica fell and during those days, on the eve
24 of the fall, we were there round the clock. We were there for 24 hours.
25 We slept at the checkpoint, too. We were all there.
1 Q. All right. Now, do you recall on that particular day if anything
2 unusual happened at the checkpoint. What do you recall?
3 A. I recall some troops that I did not know. And I remember a tank
4 at the checkpoint. I remember some men who I did not know either who had
5 trained dogs. They were waiting there to go towards Srebrenica.
6 Q. Did you notice any DutchBat at that time, any of the Dutch
8 A. At that time, they could not come to the checkpoint. I didn't
9 notice them.
10 Q. Now, we know that there was a meeting -- in fact, two meetings in
11 Bratunac with the DutchBat and one with a representative of the Muslim
12 community from Potocari. Were you there when they would have come by and
13 through the Zuti Most on the -- that date, that is July 11, 1995?
14 A. I was there.
15 Q. Okay. And at that point in time, were the -- was Borovcanin over
16 there? Because you mentioned you saw Borovcanin, you saw this tank, and
17 now you've indicated that there were some soldiers with trained dogs, some
18 units that you didn't recognise. Were they there at that point in time?
19 A. Correction. Borovcanin was there the night before Srebrenica was
20 entered. And these units were there on the day when Srebrenica was
21 entered. There were at Zuti Most on that day.
22 Q. Now, a point of clarification. You say "when Srebrenica was
23 entered." Did you go into Srebrenica?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Now, on that day -- are we speaking the day the buses went towards
1 Srebrenica? Which day are you talking about? The day that folks entered
3 A. I'm talking about the day when people were entering Srebrenica.
4 Q. Okay. Well, are you talking about Potocari or Srebrenica?
5 A. Potocari, Potocari.
6 Q. We've got to be specific. So let me see if I can get this
7 straight now. What day are you referring to when you say people were
8 entering Potocari. What is that day? Who is entering and what is
9 happening on that day, so we can use that as a reference point?
10 A. I think that was the first day when the army entered Srebrenica
11 from the other side. These troops at Zuti Most were waiting to go into
12 Potocari because the civilian population was in Potocari. They had no
13 need to go to Srebrenica, these men from Zuti Most.
14 Q. All right. Was that the same day that the buses arrived?
15 A. No. I think that was the first day, as far as I can remember. I
16 think that's the way it was.
17 Q. Okay. About what time did the, if you recall, did the DutchBat
18 with the representatives of the Muslim community go by the Zuti Most. Do
19 you know about what time?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
21 MR. WAESPI: Yes. I know it's a difficult exercise so late in the
22 day, but a couple of issues weren't really said by the witness, for
23 instance that buses arrived and also that representatives of the Muslims
24 came. So if -- I understand Mr. Karnavas, please today, but he has to be
1 MR. KARNAVAS: As far as, Your Honour, whether there are issues
2 that are unresolved, the Prosecutor, I am sure, will have the opportunity
3 to cross-examine and resolve any unresolved issues he may have in his
5 JUDGE LIU: But, as a matter of fact, I think you should do your
6 best to establish the day so we could have a clear record here.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, of course it depends on how good the memory of
9 the witness is.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying to get back to events and then slowly
11 work that way through, otherwise I would have to lead. But I will try,
12 Your Honour.
13 Q. Now, let's go back to the beginning. And I want to focus your
14 attention to the day when the buses went towards Potocari. Okay.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When I'm referring to Potocari, I want you to think of Potocari,
17 not Srebrenica. All right. Now, do you recall that day when the buses
18 were going to Potocari, they first started going?
19 A. I recall that they were going to Potocari, but whether it was the
20 day when Srebrenica was entered or the following day, that is something I
21 cannot say with any certainty.
22 Q. All right. Okay. Well, we got that out of the way. How many
23 days were buses going to Potocari, if you recall?
24 A. I think they were going for two days.
25 Q. All right. Now, when you saw Mr. Borovcanin and that tank, how
1 many days prior to the buses going to Potocari did you see him? So use
2 the buses going there that first day when you saw them, use that as a
3 focus -- focal point and work backwards, if you can recall.
4 A. As far as I can remember, it was two days before the buses went to
5 Potocari, as far as I can remember.
6 Q. All right. Now, do you recall how many days before the buses
7 started going to Potocari that you saw DutchBat and any representatives
8 from the Muslim community from Potocari going towards Bratunac, passing
9 through your checkpoint? And I'm talking about the first time.
10 A. No. The Muslims did not go to Bratunac before entering
11 Srebrenica, but members of the Dutch Battalion came regularly to discuss
12 things with the representatives of our brigade. Regularly they did that
13 before entering Srebrenica.
14 Q. All right. Well, let's skip that part. Let me focus on the two
15 days that you saw the buses arriving. First of all, do you recall from
16 which direction they were coming? Were they coming from Srebrenica or
17 were they coming from Bratunac?
18 A. They were coming from the direction of Bratunac.
19 Q. All right. Now, do you recall about what time of day was it when
20 the buses began arriving, the first day?
21 A. I don't remember exactly, but I think it was in the morning.
22 Q. All right. Were you given any specific instructions on that day?
23 A. I was not given any instructions.
24 Q. Did Momir Nikolic come by to check up and give any -- give you any
25 instructions or suggestions or any information as to what was happening?
1 A. On the day when Srebrenica was entered, he was at Zuti Most like
2 many others. And it was said that we should provide for the unhindered
3 departure of vehicles from Potocari without keeping them, and that this
4 should evolve without any kind of difficulty.
5 Q. Now, was that the day that the buses were arriving, or was that
6 the previous day? Which of the two, if you remember, and these are
7 important details?
8 A. As far as I can remember, I think it was the day before the buses
9 left, on the very day when Srebrenica was entered. I remember that it was
10 said then. Now, I cannot remember whether the buses departed on that very
11 same day or the following day.
12 Q. All right. Did you see any higher-echelon officers while you were
13 at the Zuti Most?
14 A. At the time when Srebrenica was entered, I did not see a single
15 officer from the Bratunac Brigade. I only saw the civilian authorities.
16 Q. Did you see General Mladic or General Krstic or General Zivanovic
17 or Colonel Beara or Lieutenant Colonel Popovic? Did you see any of those
19 A. Now I am refuting what I said. On the day when Srebrenica was
20 entered, I did see General Mladic. As he was leaving Srebrenica, he
21 passed through my checkpoint with his escort in the direction of Bratunac.
22 Q. All right. And what did he do? Did he stop? Did he talk to you?
23 A. That first time he passed there, he didn't stop at the checkpoint.
24 Q. Did anyone else pass through the checkpoint on that day after
25 Mladic, General Mladic, had gone through?
1 A. I don't think so, except for the soldiers who entered Potocari
3 Q. So there were no Dutch Battalion officers going to Bratunac the
4 day that Srebrenica fell after you saw Mladic?
5 A. I think that in the evening the representatives of the Dutch
6 Battalion went to Bratunac, together with the representatives of the
8 Q. Okay. Was that the same meeting that General Mladic went through
9 your checkpoint?
10 A. Yes. Yes. The same day, the same evening.
11 Q. All right. And is that the same evening that you saw Borovcanin,
12 or was that on another day?
13 A. Borovcanin was there the previous evening, I think.
14 Q. Okay. All right. Now, during the days when the buses were coming
15 and going, the 12th and the 13th of July, did you go into Potocari?
16 A. I did not.
17 Q. How far is Potocari from the Zuti Most?
18 A. 2 or 3 kilometres.
19 Q. Did any members of your unit go into Potocari?
20 A. They did.
21 Q. Well, you said that there were four of you. How many of the
22 four -- of the three?
23 A. Two of them.
24 Q. Okay. And who ordered them, if anyone, to go there, if you know,
25 if you know?
1 A. I don't know. I think they went out of curiosity.
2 Q. So you don't know whether they were ordered or not?
3 A. I don't know whether they were ordered.
4 Q. Did they give you a report or did they tell you what was happening
5 once they returned?
6 A. Yes -- well, they didn't give me a report. They talked to me. It
7 was a private conversation.
8 Q. Well -- but you indicated as we began that you were the komandir
9 of this unit. That would put you responsible for their activities, would
10 it not?
11 A. Yes. That's the way it was supposed to be, but there was
13 Q. Now, what does that mean "improvisation"? Anybody can do whatever
14 they want, is that it?
15 A. No. It means that it's the winds of war that make things get out
16 of control.
17 Q. All right. Did you report their absence to Momir Nikolic, since
18 he was your immediate commander?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Is there a reason why you didn't report that they had left their
21 posts and had gone into Potocari, assuming that they had not been ordered
22 to go there?
23 A. There was no reason for me to talk about it. They could have done
24 so whenever they wanted to do it if there were no obligations at
25 Zuti Most.
1 Q. Now, during those two days, the 12th and the 13th, did you see
2 Colonel Blagojevic go into Potocari because he had to -- assuming he would
3 have gone through the Zuti Most?
4 A. I did not see him.
5 Q. Did you see General Mladic after that one time, that is the day
6 that Srebrenica fell, did you see him again?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When was that?
9 A. I think it was the day when the Muslims were evacuated, but I'm
10 not sure. I think it was the first day of the evacuation and the second
12 Q. All right. And could you please tell us what you noticed when
13 General Mladic was there.
14 A. One convoy was returned, and I noticed a man who had climbed up on
15 a truck and was talking to some of the Muslims there who had been wounded.
16 Q. All right. Now, first of all this one convoy, who was in the
17 convoy or what was in the convoy that had been returned?
18 A. It was the Dutch convoy. It was the convoy of Dutch vehicles, and
19 the Dutch were evacuating persons who was seriously wounded. That's who
20 was in that convoy. However, the convoy was returned from the
21 Muslim-controlled territory. The Muslims did not want to take their own
22 people in, at least that's the explanation that the leader of the convoy
23 gave to me. And then they came back to me with the intention of going
24 back to Potocari.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. I stopped that, because then they no longer had a permit to go in.
2 It was late at night. And I called the brigade, I called Momir Nikolic.
3 There was no one there to help me. I called the duty officer, and I
4 explained the situation to him. He said: "No one can help you with
5 that." And I said: "General Mladic is there; ask him." But it was
6 already 2.00 in the morning, as far as I can remember. And he said, the
7 duty officer said: "Oh, Mladic is asleep now. Nobody would dare wake him
9 So that's how the convoy spent the night there. I was waiting for
10 someone to help me the following day.
11 Q. Did help arrive the following day?
12 A. Well, the next morning General Mladic came to Potocari. It was
13 perhaps around 8.00 or 9.00 in the morning, and he stopped at the
14 checkpoint at Zuti Most. Then he saw one of the soldiers who was clinging
15 on to this truck, as it were, and he was talking to these wounded. And I
16 walked up to the general, in the hope that he would tell me something as
17 to what to do with the convoy. And he asked me: "Who is that guy over
18 there?" And I said: "General, sir, there is nothing I can do about him."
19 And the general told me: "Go away, you bear, you. Why don't you protect
20 the innocent people? Take a gun and shoot him." Then he climbed up on to
21 the truck. He talked for a while to the people there. And then he went
22 to Potocari, in the direction of Potocari.
23 Q. And what about the people that were in the convoy? What happened
24 to them, the wounded ones? What do you recall?
25 A. Well, this convoy leader told me that he had formidable problems,
1 that three people had died that night at the checkpoint. He asked me what
2 he was to do; there was no way I could help him. But very soon after
3 General Mladic left, somebody - I don't remember who exactly - told me
4 that I was supposed to turn the convoy in the other direction and they
5 should head for Muslim territory again. And that's the way it was. The
6 convoy then went in the direction of Bratunac.
7 Q. All right. And after those two days, how long -- when the buses
8 were coming, the buses and the trucks, did you do anything else, did you
9 have any other duties after those two days after the Zuti Most?
10 A. Well, after that we were there formally. There were no
11 obligations to speak of, because the civilian police came to man the
12 checkpoint very shortly thereafter.
13 Q. Okay. Now, I want to focus your attention on Momir Nikolic, your
14 commander. Now, at that point in time, that is, when you were the
15 komandir at the Zuti Most, were there ever occasions when there would be
16 meetings between Momir Nikolic and the DutchBat, commanders of the
18 A. Yes. Such meetings were held very frequently, in fact.
19 Q. Do you know what Momir Nikolic's rank was, his actual rank?
20 A. As far as I know, he was a captain. That was his actual rank, but
21 unofficially another rank was being bandied about as well.
22 Q. What do you mean by that "unofficially"? Other higher officers
23 were saying that he was higher than a captain or was Mr. Nikolic --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
2 MR. KARNAVAS:
3 Q. How did Mr. Nikolic represent himself to the DutchBat? What rank
4 did he allow himself to have?
5 A. What he said and the way I was supposed to address him in the
6 presence of the Dutch was that he was a major.
7 Q. All right. That's a higher rank than a captain, for those of us
8 who haven't served?
9 A. Yes, of course. Definitely, of course.
10 Q. So not only did he represent himself as a major, but you, too,
11 would have to address him as a major, right, in front of the Dutch?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. Okay. Now, did he ever also purport to represent himself as the
14 commander of the brigade, or at least give that appearance?
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. McCloskey can object if he wishes. There's no
16 need to be whispering objections to his colleague.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, did you hear the objections
18 raised by Mr. Karnavas?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and I've heard it before. And I -- it's my
20 recollection that I don't have any problems speaking in whispers to
21 Mr. Karnavas [sic]. I'm trying not to irritate anyone in this, but we
22 occasionally do whisper to each other. It's not meant to be anything very
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, the discussions between the counsels within a
25 team is allowed in this courtroom, but the condition is that it should not
1 obstruct the proceedings of this case. If there is an objection raised by
2 the other party, I believe you have to bear that in mind.
3 You may proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
5 Q. Now, do you recall my question, sir?
6 A. Would you be please so kind as to repeat it.
7 Q. We're focusing on Momir Nikolic. Was there ever an occasion where
8 Momir Nikolic gave the impression that perhaps he was the commander of the
9 Bratunac Brigade, to the Dutch, that is?
10 A. Well, one could say so. One could say that he did.
11 Q. Could you give us just an example, one example, as to when this
13 A. For example, I remember this one occasion when representatives of
14 the DutchBat were raising an objection to the effect that at some point at
15 the separation line between the Army of the Republika Srpska and the
16 representative of the Dutch Battalion, these Serbs had opened fire. And
17 then I heard Nikolic say: "I doubt that that is so. My soldiers have no
18 orders to open fire," which actually amounts to his being the commander of
19 all these soldiers of the Bratunac Brigade.
20 Q. All right. One final question: Do you have an opinion as to
21 Momir Nikolic's character for truthfulness and honesty?
22 A. I think that his attitude towards obligations, Momir Nikolic's
23 attitude towards obligations at Zuti Most, where the passages were
24 concerned, was in my view a correct attitude. I think that I can say
25 that. It was a correct attitude, after all. Whereas, in some situations
1 I would have some criticism to level at him.
2 Q. All right. Now, I'm speaking about his honesty. What sort of
3 criticism would you have regarding his honesty, his telling the truth,
4 being an honest person?
5 A. Well, say he was correct in discharging his obligations at
6 Zuti Most. But there are a few things which I didn't like that I could
7 tell you about.
8 Q. All right. Such as?
9 A. Well, such as when there was a meeting, Mr. Karremans would be
10 there, for instance, or before him Mr. Vermeulen, the commander of the
11 Dutch Battalion, with their representatives. And I had this feeling.
12 Now, whether it is a question of Momir Nikolic's character or what, but I
13 somehow felt that he was too conceited and perhaps some people took
14 exception to that. So on such occasions he seemed to go out of his way to
15 arrive at least one minute or several minutes after everybody else had
16 come so that everybody was supposed to wait for Momir. That is one thing
17 that I didn't like, for instance. Or this other example which I gave you
18 a while ago, that he would sometimes use up titles which did not belong to
19 him or he would actually make believe that he was the commander of all the
20 soldiers. Otherwise, I never had any problem in regard to passages on his
21 part. He was always correct as regarded that particular obligation.
22 Otherwise, he was a bit too conceited, I think.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you very much, sir. I have no further questions. I
24 appreciate your honesty. I believe there may be some questions from
25 Mr. Jokic's attorney. If not, I'm sure the Prosecutor will have some
1 questions. If you could be as honest and forthright with them as you have
2 been with me, I would appreciate it. And the Judges may have some
3 questions as well. Thank you very much.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any questions to this witness?
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 Good afternoon, Mr. Ivic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Our Defence has no questions for
11 this witness.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
13 Any cross-examination, Mr. Waespi?
14 MR. WAESPI: Yes, there is, Mr. President.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ivic.
17 A. Good afternoon to you, sir.
18 Q. Do you have a nickname?
19 A. Well, they call me Rus [phoen], the Russian, because I'm a teacher
20 of Russian.
21 Q. When you had interactions with DutchBat, did they also call you
22 Jovo, or were you known also as Jovo?
23 A. Yes, yes. Well, they called me and everybody else also calls me
24 Jovo. Of course my proper name is Jovan.
25 Q. Now, you knew the DutchBat members quite well, I understand?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. And they knew you as well?
3 A. Yes, and I was glad of that.
4 Q. And I believe you also, apart from speaking Russian and perhaps
5 other languages, you also speak German, don't you?
6 A. No, no. I only speak Russian and 5 per cent of English. I don't
7 speak any German at all.
8 Q. How did you talk to the members of the DutchBat, in what language?
9 A. I talked to them in a limited way. I would say something in
10 English, and then I also sought, if I needed to have a lengthy
11 conversation with them on some subject, I sought the services of an
12 interpreter. And an interpreter would be -- would come.
13 Q. So if you would -- I think you have told us earlier that you had a
14 wire line to the corps. Is that correct? Telephone connection to the
16 A. Yes. I also had such a connection with the Dutch -- or rather,
17 the Dutch checkpoint which was near mine, as well as with the corps.
18 Q. Do you remember which Dutch checkpoint you were connected to?
19 A. There was a Dutch checkpoint at the separation line, and we also
20 had a checkpoint at the line of separation. So we had to exchange
21 information. It was dangerous to go from point to point; we had to have a
22 connection, a communication connection, which was in fact established on
23 my insisting. Mr. Boering, I believe, ensured this connection for us.
24 Q. And I take it you occasionally would pick up the phone and call
25 this DutchBat post. That's what the purpose was of that phone connection?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. Now, just incidentally, when you talked to the corps, who was on
3 the other line of, you know, the phone conversation when you talked to the
4 corps? I believe you said in Vlasenica. Whom did you talk to?
5 A. Probably the duty officer of the brigade would answer the call,
6 and through him I would ask for my party -- or rather, for the person in
7 charge of the convoys in the corps.
8 Q. Now, I asked you about the corps, and you responded by saying you
9 would talk probably to the duty officer of the brigade. Did you mean
10 brigade or did you mean or say corps?
11 A. I -- slip of the tongue. I meant of the corps. Yes, slip of the
12 tongue. Sorry. Corps.
13 Q. Let's change subjects and go to the convoys. You were shown a few
14 exhibits about weekly plans to allow convoys through to the enclaves, such
15 as Srebrenica. Do you remember that?
16 A. Yes, I do remember.
17 Q. Now, these trucks, these few trucks which passed your checkpoint,
18 do you know what happened to them, where they were discharged? Did you
19 follow the movements later?
20 A. You are talking about this convoy which came back at the time of
21 the evacuation?
22 Q. No. I'm sorry. I'm not talking about convoys with wounded. I'm
23 talking about the convoys with supplies and goods in their --
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 Q. Which came from outside --
1 A. Generally.
2 Q. -- towards the enclaves. Do you understand that?
3 A. Yes. Now I do. Yes. And what is your question?
4 Q. Do you know whether these convoys, the goods actually reached
5 their destination, be it in Potocari or Srebrenica? Do you know that?
6 A. Well, my task was to let them pass through the checking point.
7 And what happened with them -- to them at the -- in the adversary's
8 territory, I don't know. But I suppose that it reached its desired and
9 intended destination after having passed through the checkpoint.
10 Q. But you don't know whether the population, for instance, of
11 Srebrenica actually received those goods?
12 A. How could I have known? I don't know. That is enemy territory.
13 How could I have found out?
14 Q. Now, do you know how many people were in the enclave of Srebrenica
15 whose entries, as you told us this morning, you sort of guarded, checked?
16 Do you know how many people were living inside the enclave in need of food
17 and supplies? Do you know that?
18 A. Well, there was different information as to the number of people
19 who lived there, different figures were being given ranging up to even
20 50.000. But I don't know what their exact number was; this is the figure
21 that I heard from some people.
22 Q. Do you know that these people were -- whatever the figure is we
23 heard, 40.000, 50.000, do you know that these people were dependent on
24 those goods and supplies that entered Srebrenica? Do you know that?
25 A. I know, of course, that they needed this, that they had formidable
1 problems because of the shortage of food. In fact, some people even got
2 in touch with the Muslims at the line of separation, and they told them
3 all sorts of stories, how they had no salt, how they had virtually
4 nothing, how they were practically starving. And this was common
5 knowledge that they lacked many a thing, at least that is the kind of
6 information that reached us.
7 Q. And you also knew that DutchBat was inside there, in desperate
8 need also of their supplies?
9 A. I believe that the Dutch only had problems with fuel in the last
10 days. Because they had all sorts of goods, or rather, all sorts of
11 foodstuffs there which they left behind after they left, meaning they had
12 no problems with food but just with fuel. Tonnes of food were driven away
13 from their base after they had departed.
14 Q. Well, you weren't aware of that in those days, between
15 11th -- between 8th and 11th of July, the observers inside the enclave
16 described the food situation as: Hopeless. That it was a food stocking
17 UNHCR warehouse was almost zero. You weren't aware of that?
18 A. No, I wasn't aware of that.
19 Q. Now, you were in charge of that checkpoint at Zuti Most, and you
20 didn't allow food and other supplies into the enclave, thus furthering the
21 crises the people were suffering already. Isn't that correct?
22 A. Sir, you are not familiar with things. You cannot put it this
23 way. It was not I who forbid anything. I was given permission whether to
24 let a convoy pass through or not. I was neutral myself. I was only too
25 glad to help, but nothing depended on me. I described the procedure which
1 was to be followed regarding the permission for entry and exit a while
2 ago. I was only a technical person there.
3 Q. So despite the fact that you knew the situation was critical, you
4 still maintained this extremely strict policy of not allowing food
5 sufficient into the enclave; you just followed the orders you were given.
6 Is that what you are saying?
7 A. Yes, I just followed the orders that I was given, and I didn't
8 give it much thought. I didn't like it. It hurt me to see people
9 starving, but my task was to execute orders.
10 Q. So you were part of the concept we just described in this
11 courtroom as convoy -- as terror convoy. You were a part of that?
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Objection, Your Honour. This is really getting out
13 of control. He's indicated the process. He gets orders from the Main
14 Staff. Now, if Mr. Waespi wants to lay a foundation as to how this
15 gentleman was involved in some kind of terror -- convoy terror or whatever
16 term he's using, fine. But I think this is out of line.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, that's a little bit out of the limits. If you
18 want to pursue this question, you have to explain to this witness what is
19 the terror convoy, or you may simply rephrase your question, but your
20 question another way.
21 MR. WAESPI:
22 Q. Well, Witness, were there other ways for convoys to go into the
23 enclave than the one you were in charge of?
24 A. Allow me to reply to this question and to say this at the same
25 time, if you allow me.
1 Q. Sure.
2 A. There was no other way for a convoy to enter Srebrenica except
3 through Zuti Most. And the other thing which I wanted to say is this:
4 There is a book which the Muslims of Srebrenica - let me say this to
5 you - which the Muslims of Srebrenica wrote which also mentions a
6 Professor Jovo. And people who spent the entire war in Srebrenica say at
7 Zuti Most: There was Jovo, the Russian, the type of the good teacher guy.
8 The Dutch also published a book which I have also read. And in that book
9 they say: At Zuti Most, the checkpoint was manned by Jovo. And they also
10 say -- this doctor whose name I cannot recall, he's from Amsterdam, a
11 Dutchman, who is in charge of this department for Srebrenica events in the
12 Dutch institute. He talked to me in Bratunac. Mind you, this is what he
13 told me, via his interpreter: We have heard a thousand of nice stories
14 about you and your checkpoint from our soldiers, and we want to talk to
15 you. So please bear with me. How can you ask me this demonising
16 question, legally speaking? And words do have a very deep meaning for me.
17 I studied language. Thank you.
18 Q. Let me go on then to the convoy you have mentioned I believe -- or
19 which was mentioned, an UNHCR convoy which may have reached the enclave on
20 the 12th or perhaps on the 13th of July. Do you remember an UNHCR convoy
21 coming alongside your checkpoint which was manned by a Russian and perhaps
22 a Korean woman? Do you remember a convoy consisting of a few white
24 A. Did you say on the 12th of July?
25 Q. A convoy from UNHCR or organised by UNHCR consisting of five white
1 trucks. There was a Russian person leading the convoy and perhaps a young
2 Korean woman. Do you remember that convoy on the 12th or the 13th of
4 A. No, I cannot recall that. It was chaos. I cannot remember the
6 Q. Now, the --
7 A. Maybe if you told me something else, perhaps that could jog my
9 Q. Well, were there more UNHCR convoys in those critical days after
10 the fall of Srebrenica, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th? Were there more UNHCR
12 A. Well, I can't remember. I don't think so. There is no reason for
13 convoys to go there because the population had left. Where would they go?
14 Who would they go to when there were no inhabitants left? There was no
15 reason for humanitarian convoys after the fall of Srebrenica. There was
16 no logic. The population had left, so who would anything be taken to.
17 Q. So that's fine. You don't remember that?
18 A. I don't remember, and I don't think there were any convoys.
19 Q. Okay. Let me go to the 11th of July, the night of the 11th of
20 July, and I believe you saw Mr. Borovcanin.
21 A. Was it the 10th or the 11th? I can't remember. But one evening
22 just before the fall of Srebrenica, I did see him at my checkpoint. I
23 don't know exactly which evening it was, but it was just before the fall
24 of Srebrenica. Whether it was one or two evenings before that, I can't
25 remember. Perhaps even three, but I doubt it.
1 Q. Yes. And there were quite a few people with him, a few soldiers
2 around him.
3 A. Well, you could not say quite a few, but there was a group of
4 people there with him and I didn't know them.
5 Q. And they stayed the night over there in a ditch awaiting further
7 A. Oh, no. No. It's not a trench or any such thing. It's a --
8 there's this container and then there's this asphalt road. I don't know
9 whether it was his soldiers or not. He was there, but somebody was firing
10 from the tank. Now, I don't know whether it was his soldiers firing from
11 the tank, but he was there. And they didn't spend the night there. It
12 was impossible to spend the night where I was. There were no conditions
13 for that kind of thing there. There was only just this one trench and
14 there were no trenches there. There was just this one container, and then
15 they returned somewhere to Bratunac or wherever.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry to interrupt. Witness, I understand
17 you are eager to give your evidence, but your voice is loud enough. You
18 don't have to approach the microphone. I believe after this sitting the
19 interpreters could not hear anything.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can repeat this, if necessary.
21 JUDGE LIU: No, I mean that you don't have to approach the
22 microphone. Your voice is loud enough.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a professional deformity. It
24 comes with my line of work, teaching in a school.
25 JUDGE LIU: I understand that, yes.
1 You may proceed.
2 MR. WAESPI: Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Ivic, the next morning or the following morning after these
4 people, Mr. Borovcanin, stayed there, there was an advance, I believe you
5 have told us, towards Potocari?
6 A. So Borovcanin did not spend that night there. He was there for a
7 while. The following day, there were some soldiers there at the
8 checkpoint with a tank. There were a lot of them. I think it was that
9 day - I am sure, actually - when they entered Srebrenica. Whereas, these
10 people were coming through Zuti Most going to Potocari. That's when that
11 unit with the trained dogs was there, too. They all went to Potocari.
12 Quite simply, that's where the Dutch raised the barrier and they went
13 through their checkpoint as well. So there were no incidents involving
14 the Dutch.
15 Q. Yes. We'll come to that. Right now, did you have a minefield, by
16 the way?
17 A. I don't know anything about that. It was not my task to know
18 about things like that. I don't know about that.
19 Q. So you're saying you don't know whether there was a minefield in
20 your area? Wasn't that dangerous?
21 A. I don't know whether there was a minefield. That was not my task
22 to establish a minefield, or do I don't know what. If there was a
23 minefield somewhere, it was apart from the checkpoint.
24 Q. Okay. Let me show you a document which has been marked as P159.
25 And I would like to draw everybody's attention on page 2, the second
1 paragraph under the heading of 12th July. And in your -- Mr. Ivic in your
2 B/C/S version it is also on page 2, the top paragraph.
3 And let me just read out what it says here. "Between" -- and it
4 concerns, as I said, 12th of July, 1995.
5 "Between 0500 and 0630 hours, the pioneers of the
6 Bratunac Brigade, led by Captain Gavric, cleared a passage through a
7 minefield or groups of mines towards Budak or immediately around the
8 Zuti Most/Potocari road. Members of the 1st Company of the Zvornik
9 Special Police Unit, led by a pioneer from the Bratunac Brigade, set off
10 through the cleared passages towards Potocari to create the conditions for
11 the introduction of hardware."
12 And then it talks about the casualty of a person. Somebody was
13 killed, died, in this course. And let me finish with the last sentence.
14 "The first task - to take control of the UN checkpoint on
15 Zuti Most - was completed successfully without incidents. The Dutch UN
16 members did not react."
17 Now, does that refresh your memory about how things occurred that
18 morning? Do you remember anything of that?
19 A. I would ask you to give me some more information. Now I remember
20 this; now I do remember it. But this minefield is 800 metres away from my
21 checkpoint, to the right. And from Zuti Most towards Potocari, even if
22 there had been a minefield, I could not have reacted. Those were
23 somebody's orders that had nothing to do with me. Other people were
24 entrusted with that.
25 Q. So you're saying you had nothing to do with anything that is
1 written in here, not the minefield and not --
2 A. Nothing, nothing whatsoever. Absolutely nothing.
3 Q. How about the "take control of the UN checkpoint on Zuti Most,"
4 were you involved in that?
5 A. No, no. The soldiers went up there, and I stayed at my
6 checkpoint. I had nothing to do with that.
7 Q. In fact, that's not what happened. Didn't you pick up your phone
8 in the morning between 8.00 and 10.00 and call the Dutch checkpoint?
9 Don't you remember that?
10 A. Yes, I did that on several occasions, as a matter of fact.
11 Q. I'm talking about that morning. Did you pick up the phone that
12 morning and talk to the members of DutchBat, of this checkpoint that had
13 to be abandoned afterwards?
14 A. Yes, yes, I did. I told them that this duty officer had called
15 me - or I can't remember - from the Bratunac Brigade, that now this tank
16 which was at my checkpoint would go to Potocari, along with a lot of
17 troops. I was told to call the checkpoint to say that nothing bad would
18 happen to people at the Dutch checkpoint. These troops were not
19 interested in the Dutch. "Do not put up any resistance." That is what I
20 was told to say. "Do not shoot. Our soldiers are not going to touch you;
21 they're not going to fire a single bullet. The aim of the army is to
22 reach Potocari." I followed that. I remembered and I am telling you
23 quite literally what happened. A soldier from the Dutch checkpoint raised
24 the barrier for our tank to pass by, and nothing else happened, nothing
25 bad happened. That's what I mean. They continued their journey, and
1 there is no way I can know what happened after that. That is how I
2 prevented an incident from breaking out there, but it's not that I wanted
3 to do I don't know what to jeopardise the Dutch in any way. I just
4 conveyed a message from the brigade so that there would be no incident
5 there, and nothing did happen. And I am pleased that it is so.
6 MR. WAESPI: I think, Mr. President, that is a convenient time to
7 break, because I am about to go into another area.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, would you please tell me how much time do you
9 still need to finish your cross-examination.
10 MR. WAESPI: I think it would be probably another half an hour,
11 perhaps even a little bit more. But certainly no more than one session.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you.
13 Well, Witness, I'm afraid that we have to keep you here in
14 The Hague for another day because we did not finish your testimony. And
15 during your stay here, you have to remember that you have under oath, so
16 please do not talk to anybody about your testimony and please do not let
17 anybody talk to you about it. Do you understand that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I fully understand that.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
20 The hearing is adjourned until tomorrow.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 1.44 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
24 the 21st day of May, 2004,
25 at 9.00 a.m.