1 Thursday, 31 May 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you continue, Mr. Waespi, may I just say
7 that the Chamber will be issuing later today the schedule relating to the
8 Fridays, how we will treat Fridays. Some Fridays we will sit a full day,
9 from 9.00 until 5.00; some Fridays we'll sit a half day, from 9.00 until
10 1.00 or 1.30; and some Fridays we will not sit at all.
11 Now, tomorrow, is a Friday when, according to the schedule we have
12 elaborated, we will sit a full day. But I'm, of course, aware that on the
13 schedule that was issued originally, we were down to sit a normal day,
14 which is a half day on Friday. So I hope this will not inconvenience any
15 of the parties, that is sitting tomorrow a full day. It may that be we
16 can stop at 4.30.
17 I see Mr. Tapuskovic on his feet.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, well, I understand
19 this and I see the reasoning behind it, and we have to use every working
20 day we have. But I wanted to visit the accused in the detention unit
21 after the hearing tomorrow because of the witnesses who have already
22 arrived, in order to be able to discuss what is ahead with the accused.
23 And Friday was our only option to go there to the detention unit, and I
24 wanted to go there straight from the courtroom to discuss the witnesses
25 who are already here, to just to do some essential discussion,
1 consultations with him.
2 I will, of course, abide by your decision, but this is a situation
3 that we in the Defence are facing. It is difficult for us to do all our
4 duties in the defence of our client, and I really have to communicate and
5 consult with my client. I don't see how I will be able to examine the
6 witnesses if I can't consult with him before that, and I wanted to go to
7 see him straight from the courtroom, and the problem is that we can't do
8 that over the weekend.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It is not possible to do that today?
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have three
11 witnesses here. It's difficult to explain, and the fourth one is in fact
12 arriving today. So this is the situation.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, I'm, of course, very sensitive to the
15 issue raised by Mr. Tapuskovic, and we take that into consideration. So
16 that, in principle, we will not sit in the afternoon tomorrow.
17 But, Mr. Tapuskovic, if we find that we need, say, another hour,
18 if we find that we need another hour to finish a witness tomorrow, I hope
19 that we would be able to reorganise the schedule a little. Would that
20 still present a difficulty for you?
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, because of the house
22 rules in the detention unit, I have to be there by 3.00, quarter to 3.00.
23 I have to be there.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We will not sit in the afternoon.
25 All right. Let's proceed, Mr. Waespi.
1 MR. WAESPI: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
3 WITNESS: STEVAN VELJOVIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi: [Continued]
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Veljovic. Let's return to the document we
7 finished off with yesterday --
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. -- which was P694. Do you remember having looked at the first
10 page of this document, Mr. Veljovic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And is it the document again on your screen. Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I believe you weren't sure who signed the document, or you
15 wanted to see who signed the document.
16 MR. WAESPI: So if we could please go to the last page of this
18 Q. And do you accept, looking at the first page which is still there,
19 it talks about quite a number of troops that were to be assembled from
20 various units. I think it was all together more than 10.000 troops.
21 MR. WAESPI: We can go back to the first page later. Well, here
22 it is.
23 Q. Have a look again, Witness. Do you see that it talks about quite
24 a number of troops to be used in this operation?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. Let's go to the last page now. Now can you tell us who
2 signed this order?
3 A. Commander Major-General Dragomir Milosevic.
4 Q. And if you look at these two initials - I'm sorry - if you look at
5 the two initials just to the left of the signature, it is GS and MG. In
6 your opinion, what does that relate to?
7 A. MG would be the typist, and CS that would be the person who
8 actually dictated the text.
9 Q. And who was CS? Was that Cedo Sladoje, the Chief of Staff?
10 A. Most probably that's the initial of Cedo Sladoje.
11 Q. Very well. So you accept that this is a valid order?
12 A. Yes,, it's a valid order. In light of the heading and everything,
13 I attested this document is proper.
14 Q. Now, let's go to the next document which talks about this
15 Operation Lukovac 95. This document was 23rd March. Now, we go into 4th
16 April, so a few days later, and this is exhibit 696, please.
17 And looking at it, can you tell us what it is, Witness?
18 A. The SRK command, strictly confidential, number 20/04-115, 4th,
19 April, 1995, order for artillery number 1/95.
20 Q. And it again relates to the Operation Lukovac 95, as you can see
21 at the top on the right side; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And if you go down to item number 3, you see that among the
24 weaponry used by the corps artillery group are two aerial bomb launchers;
25 is that correct?
1 A. Could you please tell me what item, what number? I didn't quite
3 Q. I'm sorry. It was item number 3.
4 A. Yes. I can see here the corps artillery group, comprising the
5 Howitzer battery, 122-millimetre -- 122-millimetre was the self-propelled
6 Howitzer battery, 130-millimetre cannon, 128-millimetre plumb and multiple
7 rocket launcher, 128-millimetre Oganj, VBR, two aerial bomb launchers will
8 provide support to the forces at the point of the main defence effort.
9 So this is not an attack. This is not a offensive action, but a
10 defensive action, and there you have the commander of the group is the
11 artillery battalion commander.
12 Q. Yes. And if we go to the next page, we see the person who
13 authorised or signed this document, and this is again Major-General
14 Dragomir Milosevic; is that correct?
15 A. Well, I can't see it here. No, no. There is no signature here.
16 There's just a stamp at least here in front of me, on the screen.
17 Q. Yes. Let's just move on to the last page, which is the third
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, the witness --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it's signed.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness said that this is not an attack; this
22 is a defensive action.
23 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: So I wanted to ask the witness what aspects of
25 that order indicate its defensive character?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To prepare the artillery, in case of
2 an attack by the 1st Corps forces, then the artillery should be ready to
3 target the personnel and the firing points, materiel, equipment used in
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: So it was essentially an order requiring the
6 preparation of the artillery in the event of an attack by the 1st Corps
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you very much.
10 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Now, we see here in this document that the commander was prepared
12 to use air bombs. Now, you have told us, I believe two days ago, that you
13 often heard commanders complain that the weapons shouldn't be used because
14 of the safety of your own troops. Did you remember testifying that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And by "commanders," you mean commanders of the SRK, subordinate
17 SRK units?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, if we move -- and I think you also told us -- and while you
20 were answering that question --
21 MR. WAESPI: If P511 could be retrieved.
22 Q. You also told us that some brigades possessed air bombs and others
23 didn't. Do you remember telling us that two days ago?
24 A. Yes. I remember that they had air bomb launchers, and I don't
25 know where they took the air bombs from, what storage facilities, because
1 the air bombs were manufactured, as far as I know, in an area controlled
2 by the Muslim forces, Bugojno, Travnik, something like that.
3 And in our areas inhabited by Serbs and in the area of
4 responsibility of the Republika Srpska army, there were no production
5 facilities for air bombs. And I said that launchers were made just by
6 ordinary craftsmen. This was not done in a factory. This was an
7 imperfect weapon that caused great risk for the crew. For our own forces,
8 it is a very inaccurate weapon because bombs have to be dropped from the
9 planes. That's what they're made of. I think I have already explained
10 all that.
11 Q. Yes. Yes, you did, and I thank you for that.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Waespi, can I just kick in a short question.
13 Returning to the point that the President was raising just a while
14 ago, I was wondering what the impact of the previous document really is.
15 So if we can kindly go back to the previous document on page 1.
16 Thank you for your patience. Because if you look at paragraph 2
17 or point number 2 in that document, as I recall, it also foresees a
18 counter-attack against the enemy, and that doesn't seem to be to be
19 particularly defensive. So I just wanted to clarify what is really the
20 impact of this order for artillery.
21 I understand the witness to say that this order was issued in
22 order to prepare for the defence, but it seems to me that it also
23 anticipates a counter-attack on the following axis, if you see on the last
24 line of paragraph 2: Lupoc-Tunov Stan-Borilovac-Rakitnica and the Kozja
25 Luka-Ogorelikuk axis.
1 Is a counter-attack a normal part of a defence, is my question? I
2 don't know whether you can clarify that, Mr. Veljovic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. These are
4 documents drafted by the brigade staff, and you can see from this, as I
5 already explained yesterday, that sometimes the Chief of Staff and the
6 commander of the corps have their own meetings, and they make decisions
7 without informing the officers in the units, the commanding officers in
8 the units. This is the usual practice in every army in the world.
9 You have various variants for operations and not all of them are
10 then implemented. The commander here specified that if the enemy attacks,
11 there should be intense fire response here in this area between Bjelasnica
12 and Treskavica. Ogorelikuk is a ridge connecting these two.
13 And so if there is an attack, and if it is possible for our forces
14 to launch a counter-attack, we then regain some of our previous positions.
15 But this does not mean that an attack had been launched on their side, and
16 that we actually responded. So we can plan for things that we never
17 implement, because that is how it is done in the military, in the various
18 staffs. You put various things on paper so that you have them in any
19 eventuality, and that way you're ready at a given moment to perform your
20 military tasks.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, Mr. Witness. Let's move on.
23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 If we can move back to P511, please.
25 Q. Isn't that an example, Mr. Veljovic, for the possession of air
1 bombs by one of the brigades as you had mentioned previously?
2 A. Yes. 1st Ilidza Infantry Brigade Command, I already stated that
3 it had a launcher, and it probably had the air bombs, as indicated here.
4 The date was the 12th of June, 1995. That was when the offensive was
5 under way, the offensive launched by the BH army, 1st Corps.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, If could document could be admitted.
8 Previously, it has been marked for identification?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this is will be admitted as P511.
11 MR. WAESPI:
12 Q. Now, I would like to also put to you that these air bombs were
13 actually used. They were launched in Sarajevo; isn't that a fact?
14 A. No. Those bombs were never launched to target the city area in
15 view of their accuracy because the distances here are very small,
16 especially here at Ilidza, Hrasnica, Butmir, because an air bomb could
17 easily have hit our positions, our villages. This bomb is completely
19 Q. And --
20 A. And it is highly destructive; and if it hits an inhabited area, it
21 causes great damage and a lot of casualties. And had it hit an inhabited
22 any area there, would have been 50 or even 100 casualties.
23 Q. And as you just pointed out, Hrasnica was indeed an inhabited
25 A. Highly inhabited area. It borders with our Serb village,
1 Bojkevic, which has about 850 houses. These are two settlements that are
2 physically adjacent. They touch each other.
3 Q. Would you be surprised to hear there is an order by Commander
4 Milosevic acknowledging that he actually launched an air bomb into the
5 centre of Hrasnica, and this dates of 7th April, 1995?
6 A. I don't know about that. I said already that if that had been
7 launched, the casualties would have been enormous. And as far as I know,
8 at the time of the offensive or before the offensive in 1994, there were
9 no such casualties coming from that type of weapon.
10 MR. WAESPI: If Exhibit P225 be prepared, please.
11 Q. This is a combat report by the SRK; is that correct, Mr. Veljovic.
12 A. The command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, strictly confidential,
13 number 20/04-1-103, the 7th of April -- or the 4th. The 7th of April,
14 1995. In April 1995, that's when there was a cease-fire and an exclusion
15 zone for artillery weapons in a 20 kilometre diameter, all the way up to
16 the 1st of May, 1995. All artillery weapons were under the control of the
17 United Nations forces at check-points.
18 I don't know at all how we could have taken our weapons out and
19 carried this kind of action out, and seeing that this order is dated the
20 7th of April, 1995, when the cease-fire was signed a four-month
21 cease-fire, on both sides. The civilian and the military authorities did
22 that, and it was as far back as in December. I think that UNPROFOR would
23 have reacted strongly to that, and that did not happen.
24 Now, how this order came about? Was this just a preparatory thing
25 or was -- or did one of the artillery men just draft this, and did the
1 commander just sign it without knowing? Terrible sanctions would have
2 ensued. We certainly would have been bombed had we tried to take four
3 Howitzers from the check-point. I mean, in May, we were bombed by UN
4 forces; and had we fired an air bomb, we would have suffered catastrophic
5 losses inflicted by NATO aircraft?
6 Q. Let's go to the last page of this document. Can you tell us who
7 authorised, who signed this document?
8 A. This was prepared by Milan Ugresic. The late Milan Ugresic, Mira,
9 typed this out. He was the chief of anti-aircraft artillery. He was not
10 in charge of land artillery at all. He was -- and it was signed by
11 commander Major-General Dragomir Milosevic on the 7th of April, 1995.
12 Q. Now, let's move to the second page of this document. Our forces,
13 "Nasa Snaga." I learned that much. It says, does it not, "We responded
14 to enemy fire as follows," and that of course goes to the Main Staff this
15 document, this combat report. It says under 2: "In Ilidza, PBR
16 120-millimetre" --
17 A. Ilijas, Ilijas first. The Ilijas Infantry Brigade. The weapons
18 are an anti-aircraft gun and an 82-millimetre recoilless gun, and then the
19 Ilidza Infantry Brigade used a 120-millimetre mine, and one 250 kilogram
20 AB was launched in the centre of Hrasnica. According to the interception
21 centre, the Muslims claim that the luna rocket landed. That a rocket
22 landed. Luna is an enormous land to land missile in the zone of the 2nd
23 Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade; that is to say, on our positions.
24 Q. Yes. But going back to the first sentence, what General Milosevic
25 tells here his superior command, the Main Staff is that "we responded by
1 firing by launching a 150-kilogram air bomb at the centre of Hrasnica."
2 That's what General Milosevic informs his superiors about; isn't that a
4 A. Yes. But this is what this sentence says: "According to the
5 interpretation centre, the Muslims claim that a luna rocket landed." A
6 luna is a much bigger rocket. It's a land to land missile. It has a very
7 big range, too. I don't know, it's impossible.
8 Q. Yes. That was the assessment of the Muslim who actually
10 Let's move to the next issue, and, Witnesses, you have been shown
11 on Tuesday, I believe, a series of documents by the ABiH setting out all
12 kinds of weaponry the ABiH had in their possession or used or deployed.
13 And these documents were D190, D191, and D192, and so on.
14 Do you remember having looked at the lists of these documents? I
15 think, the orders came from the commander of the 12th ABiH Division,
16 Mr. Prevljak?
17 A. I can't see anything here. Nothing's come up.
18 Q. Yes. I can show you the documents again, if you want. I just ask
19 you: Do you remember having been shown a series of documents created by
20 the 1st Corps, indeed the command of the ABiH army? Do you remember that?
21 A. The date is the 8th. I cannot --
22 Q. Yes. Let me show you a document. That's fine. Let me show you
23 D190, please.
24 MR. WAESPI: If that could be retrieved. If we could go to the
25 next page, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand this date. Is it
2 the 8th of August or the 8th of June? I can't understand what it says
3 exactly. If it is the 8th of August, I wasn't in the corps. If it's the
4 8th of June, I was in the corps. MR. WAESPI:
5 Q. Okay. Let me detach from these documents.
6 You remember having been shown documents about weaponry, about
7 arms that the ABiH had in defending the city of Sarajevo. Do you remember
8 having seen all these documents about weaponry that the ABiH had?
9 A. In what period?
10 Q. In 1995 while you were operations officer in the SRK?
11 A. Mr. Waespi, I could not see and I could not know precisely in a
12 war situation what the ABiH army had. Such documents about the forces and
13 their deployment were submitted by the intelligence organ. It was for the
14 artillery that here in this courtroom, I saw some documents when I spoke
15 about tactical issues. That's when Mr. Tapuskovic asked me is that
16 correct, is that correct, he showed me their map, and so on.
17 Q. Yes. That is exactly what I am about to -- the documents you saw
18 in this courtroom shown to you by the Defence counsel about the weaponry
19 of the ABiH. You remember having seen these documents here in the
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, among all these documents the Defence showed to you, perhaps
23 during preparatory sessions, have you seen one single document which would
24 show that the ABiH had air bombs and launchers to deploy these air bombs
25 from? Have you seen any single document?
1 A. Mr. Waespi, I heard during the war from intelligence organs,
2 especially in 1994 and 1995, that the Muslim forces imported from some
3 country or manufactured air bombs of their own and that they had them. My
4 lawyer never showed me such documents here, as far as air bombs are
5 concerned, and not in his office either. While I was operations officer
6 in the war, according to the intelligence organs, I heard that the army of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina had launchers and air bombs, and also that they had
8 made something similar to the Serbian forces.
9 Q. And who was this intelligence organ who told that you?
10 A. Well, that was Marko Luganja, intelligence organ; and Bukova,
11 there were two of them; and a lieutenant. And they were involved in
12 gathering this information. I don't know how they gathered it, so then it
13 was reported verbally that the forces of the army of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina already had launchers.
15 Q. And when was it that Mr. Luganja told you that?
16 A. Well, I remember that we discussed that sometime during the
17 cease-fire, January, February, 1995. I don't know the exact date, but at
18 any rate, at a particular briefing that is what was stated, that they had
19 such equipment.
20 Q. And have you seen any evidence of such equipment? Have you seen
21 any document which would prove that these weapons indeed existed?
22 A. Well, I learned that during the offensive, they launched a bomb at
23 the TV headquarters, or rather, the TV of Bosnia and Herzegovina that was
24 under the control of -- well, I don't know what happened. There was this
25 explosion. Now, was it that bomb or something else, I don't know.
1 Q. And who told you that? Whom did you learn that from?
2 A. Well, we found out about this from our colleagues, the operations
3 men from the Ilidza Brigade. And an explosion was heard, a very strong
4 explosion, because we had a forward command post in Vogosca, and it's not
5 that I saw it being fired or that I saw it land, I personally.
6 Q. So the only thing you know about this incident is that you heard
7 the explosion.
8 A. I heard a strong explosion. Because when a powerful thing like
9 that explodes, you hear it hundreds of kilometres away, let alone right
10 there, five or six or seven or ten kilometres away. And I did not see the
11 mushroom going up, because I had the hill of Zuc in front of me,
12 sheltering me.
13 Q. In fact, that's correct, many people heard this powerful
14 explosion. Indeed, UNPROFOR heard it and complained about this explosion
15 to commander Dragomir Milosevic for having launched such an air bomb.
16 Isn't that the fact that it was the SRK who had launched this air bomb
17 into the TV tower?
18 A. No, no. No, Mr. Waespi. No. No. Not at the city, not at any
19 cost. It's not only that it would fall on the Muslim positions but also
20 our settlements like Nedzarici, Lukavica, Vojkovici, Grbavica, Vogosca.
21 No. Who dared launch that, I really don't know.
22 Q. What if you knew that Commander Dragomir Milosevic congratulated
23 his troops for the launching of this air bomb on to the TV tower, which
24 says was a location where lies, Muslim lies were spread? Isn't that an
25 admission that Commander Dragomir Milosevic acknowledges that his troops
1 have fired at the TV tower?
2 A. I'd like to see that. I'd like to hear that.
3 MR. WAESPI: I don't think, Mr. President, this document is on the
4 list that I prepared, because that is an item I couldn't foresee. It was
5 certainly not communicated in the 65 ter summary. I believe the exhibit
6 is P42.
7 With your leave, with leave of the Defence, I'd like to -- P42, I
8 would like to show that to the witness since he would like to see that
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let it be shown.
11 Mr. Tapuskovic.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No. I just want it to be known
13 that the Defence agrees. Mr. Waespi asked whether the Defence agrees to
14 this, and the Defence is not opposed to it but then you have decided
15 already, of course.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: That was my decision, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. WAESPI:
18 Q. Now, can we look at the top of it. It is an SRK document signed
19 in Vogosca, 30th June, 1995, and it goes to all SRK units, and also to the
20 SRK command, the IKM, which is the forward command post in Trnovo. Did
21 you see that, Mr. Veljovic?
22 A. I see that. It says: "Submit to the SRK command Trnovo, forward
23 command post, to all SRK unit on the front line, the report on the
24 situation at the front." Do you want to read it and then I'll answer?
25 Q. Let's just move right to the centre, and the key parts where the
1 TV tower is discussed is in the middle, where it says:
2 "The Serbian soldiers are displaying unprecedented heroism, not
3 letting the enemy get closer to their homes and families. The General
4 Staff of the VRS commander Colonel-General Ratko Mladic commanded the
5 heroism of units in the north-western part of the front, and numerous
6 congratulations also arrived from unit commanders and civilian government
8 "Our artillery forces are responded with precision to the Muslim
9 artillery attacks. In one such response, on 28th June, they hit the
10 BHRTC, radio television centre, the centre of media lies against the
11 struggle of the Serbian people."
12 Does that convince you that the SRK actually launched this shell,
13 this bomb against the TV tower on the 23rd of June, Mr. Veljovic?
14 A. It says here "artillery." That is a different thing from air bomb
15 launchers. I read it properly, so it doesn't say here that an air bomb
16 was launched. It says that the artillery had operated. The artillery has
17 very small launchers, small projectiles; whereas, an air bomb is something
18 completely different, 250 kilograms.
19 Q. Let me stop you there. Do you remember, maybe a half an hour ago,
20 I showed the order of artillery, the plan of artillery in relation to
21 offensive or defensive, whatever you can't to wall it, Operation Lukovac
22 95. And there it outlined all the artillery pieces, which you read out,
23 and you not only talked about proper artillery assets, and I agree with
24 you, but it was also included launches of air bombs, part of the artillery
25 plan. Do you agree with that?
1 A. An air bomb launcher does not belong to guiding artillery fire.
2 Artillery fire was invented by human beings thousands of years ago, and
3 what is used here is some kind of mindless catapult, and that is not
4 artillery. And in this paragraph, it says very nicely that it was
5 artillery, as you say, and one artillery projectile of 100 or 155
6 millimetres. I mean, that is a big difference from 250 kilograms.
7 Q. Very well. Artillery was then responsible for firing the TV tower
8 on 28th of June, 1995.
9 Let's move on just one or two more topics. And the first topic I
10 would like to raise with you is Defence Exhibit 186. Do you remember
11 that, I think, yesterday you discussed a document - I think it was on
12 Tuesday, in fact - dated 12th of August, 1995. And you were also asked a
13 couple of questions by Judge Harhoff about this document, and you were
14 asked specifically about page 2.
15 A. Mr. Waespi, this is not the time when I was in the corps.
16 Q. Yes. That's exactly the point I wanted to make. You can't really
17 comment on the intentions the corps commander, Dragomir Milosevic, made at
18 that time when he drafted this document. Isn't that a fact?
19 A. Yes, but I see here commander, Major-General Dragomir Milosevic.
20 There is no signature. There is no signature on what I see here.
21 Q. Yes. Can you look at the typings, these initials just above the
23 A. DM, UN. I don't know. DM, UN.
24 Q. Well, usually, as you testified, the first two initials mark the
25 person who authored it, who authorised, and the second one is the typist.
1 You remember we had an example with Cedo Sladoje, the Chief of Staff, the
2 initials of the Chief of Staff, CS in the beginning?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So --
5 A. Yes, yes, yes. Yes. Now this DM, is it DM or DN? It is a bit
6 unclear. And is it UM?
7 Q. I suggest it be enlarged.
8 A. Enlarge it, but there is something here, some kind of a signature
9 here but ...
10 Q. Well, since Dragomir Milosevic signed it, I suggest to you that it
11 is DM, and I suggest to you it was Dragomir Milosevic who personally
12 created, drafted this document; and then Mr. or Mrs. UM typed it. Would
13 you agree with me?
14 A. No. No. He does not dictate a text. This is prepared and he
15 just read it is; and if it says the commander, General Dragomir Milosevic,
16 then he signs it his own hand. That means that he approve it is if I
17 signs it in his own hand. But he doesn't draft the text, write the text
18 are. I don't know who this is, DM.
19 Q. Very well. Because you weren't in the Corps Staff at that time,
20 that is no issue. But it is an authentic document, is it not, if you look
21 at the first page of the document?
22 A. Well, it's not signed by the commander, and it's not identical.
23 If somebody signs for him, then it has to say "for," "za." And usually it
24 is Cedo Sladoje. So in the corps he has to authorise people in terms of
25 who can sign what. At this moment, I was not in the Corps Staff, and I
1 don't know the answer to your question. I just see that this is not
3 Q. Yes. But if you look at the -- the top of the document, you can
4 see that it was apparently -- it is stamped by one of the subordinate
5 battalions, the 4th Signal Battalion command. So you agree with me, it
6 might have been in a telex version, that this document left the corps
7 command and was processed by some unit outside the corps command. Do you
8 agree with me?
9 A. "Commander of the SRK, forward command post, strictly confidential,
10 the 12th of August, 1994, very urgent, bring the units to full combat
11 readiness, order, deliver to the SRK command post, 1st Sarajevo Motorised
12 Brigade, 4th Air Defence, Light Artillery Regiment, 4th Anti-tank
13 Battalion, 2nd Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade, 1st Romanija Infantry
14 Brigade, Ilidza Infantry Brigade, 3rd Sarajevo Infantry Brigade.
15 "Based on the information partially confirmed in the field and in
16 order to prevent penetration, deblockade of the so-called BiH army forces
17 from Sarajevo, I hereby order all units on the positions" -- "all units on
18 the positions and in the regions of deployment around Sarajevo ..."
19 Q. So having read all this information, do you accept that this is an
20 authentic document that went out to at least one unit or was processed by
21 at least one unit. Do you anticipate that? Yes or no.
22 A. The top part and everything else is in order, except for the
23 missing signature, and I don't know if this can be acknowledged as an
24 authentic document without a signature. I don't know what the purpose of
25 this document is.
1 Q. Yes. And you were shown the document by the Defence first, and I
2 just note that when the Defence discussed this document with you, in fact,
3 elicited information from you about that document, you didn't raise any
4 doubts about the authenticity of this document. Is that correct?
5 A. Well, yes.
6 Q. Very well. Let's move on. Following from this document, you made
7 a few comments when you were shown this document by the Defence, and you
8 said that "The corps commander, General Milosevic," - and I quote you,
9 because it is an important part of your evidence - "this was particularly
10 stressed and reports were being sent to units saying that such buildings,
11 the civilian population and roads and movements of people shall not be
12 targeted at any cost, except on his specific orders, and he was the one
13 not to ever issue such an order."
14 And that's on page 5752, the transcript of Tuesday, two days ago.
15 Do you remember having testified about that, and do you still stand by
17 A. Can you please -- please read it in entirety and then tell me what
18 do you want me to specifically comment on, and then I can answer your
20 Q. I just want to have you confirm that you indeed said that on
21 Tuesday, that General Milosevic stressed and that reports were being sent
22 to units, that the city not be shelled, except on his specific orders, and
23 he was the one not to ever issue such an order. That's what you said on
24 Tuesday. Can you confirm that?
25 A. Mr. Waespi, an order meant that we were not allowed to fire at
1 built-in areas, roads, and populated areas, only exceptionally on his
3 Q. Yes. And by "his orders," you mean the orders of the corps
4 commander, General Milosevic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, can you give me one example of a staff meeting or another
7 document which would show to the Trial Chamber, to us, of one instance
8 when Dragomir Milosevic gave such an order or issued such a statement,
9 that the city not be shelled? When was that said? When was that
10 "stressed," as you say, by the corps commander?
11 A. You were present here when we commented on the fact that the
12 targets in the town shall not be targeted, and it is specifically
13 emphasised cultural and historical monuments like Bascarsija, Vrbanja
14 bridge, et cetera.
15 Q. I heard you. I just want an example of an instance when General
16 Milosevic told subordinate units or told his Corps Staff about what he
17 just said, that the city shouldn't be targeted? Just one date, if you an
19 A. This was the commander's daily duty to issue warnings to the
20 officers and commands. And when he went to see the soldiers in the
21 trenches, he demanded that they do not target specifically populated
22 area. In order to the to provoke the enemy, use fire against troops only
23 if you are being shot at, and that was the real truth about the document
24 sitting here in the courtroom. He was a man of high morale values and a
25 professional, and I think that his personality is commendable. He was a
1 compassionate person. There were children on both sides. There were
2 friends and neighbours. We intermarried with Muslims and others. There
3 were our people, thousands of our people in the city.
4 Let us just look where the separation lines were. And when they
5 were fired upon, maybe some outskirts areas were damaged, but these were
6 already evacuated. I said this, and I don't think I have to repeat this
7 for the umpteenth time.
8 Q. No you don't have to. But I would like to hear an example when
9 you say that you went to the trenches and commander Milosevic talked to
10 the soldiers. Can you give us the location of one of those trenches where
11 you were with General Milosevic and he talked to the soldiers. Give us
12 the location of that part of the front line or within the front lines, I
13 don't care, and if you remember the date. If you can't remember the date
14 because it is too far away, that's okay. But if it happened on a repeated
15 nature, perhaps you can recall one specific example of the commander
16 talking to his soldiers and reminding them of their duties on the Geneva
17 Convention, as you testified on Tuesday. One example, please.
18 A. Mr. Waespi, only when he went to the Main Staff or to some
19 institutions with tasks and an order, it happened every day. Unless he
20 was on leave, he went to inspect and see the units. He was the only corps
21 commander who visited virtually every trench. This was supposed to be
22 done by an operations officer, but, no, he was the one always in the
24 I often accompanied him, not always, and he always underlined
25 whenever he went there. Whether it was in December, whether it was in
1 June, whether it was during the offensive, he always repeated the rules of
2 warfare. "Gentlemen, comrades, soldiers," this is how he addressed them,
3 "do not violate these rules and set an example just like the Serbian army
4 always did. They shared the last piece of bread with their prisoners of
5 war, and this is what Archibald Rice spoke about the Serbian army in the
6 First World War. And this is what we have to spread around the world
7 about the Serbian army.
8 Q. Why was it important to all the time on a -- on such an intensive
9 rate talk to the soldiers to respect the rules of war if nothing happened,
10 as you say? If the city was never shelled, if nothing happened to the
11 civilians inside the city, why did Commander Milosevic have to all the
12 time repeat it?
13 A. He didn't repeat it every day. He said it in one trench then in
14 another trench; but as I said, that was always an instruction not to
15 violate the rules because this will be followed by liability and
16 responsibility. And this is what command officers are supposed to do
17 because there are all various people in units. I said that yesterday,
18 that there were very serious criminals serving long prison sentences in
19 units. Only once was enough to go to the front line --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Only going to the
21 front line only once was not enough.
22 A. You had to go there on a regular basis and this is something that
23 every army does. If we had an intention and had we fired --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry, Mr. President. I
1 just wanted to mention something about the transcript. On Page 24, line
2 25, [In English] "There were very serious criminals serving long prison
3 sentences in units."
4 [Interpretation] That's the end of it, but in B/C/S, and I'm going
5 repeat that and I'm asking you to please check. This is what he said: He
6 said there were all kinds of profiles within the SRK, ranging from people
7 who had been convicted for certain crimes to doctors, Ph.D.s. That's what
8 the doctor said, and that changes -- what you find in the transcript
9 changes what the witness said totally. That's the reason why I'm on my
10 feet. I notice differences in the translation so far, but this is a very
11 serious one.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We note that correction.
13 THE INTERPRETER: In view of this, can the witness kindly be asked
14 to speak more slowly.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Now, Mr. Veljovic, there was a problem with
16 interpretation just now, and it might have arisen because of the speed at
17 which you are speaking. So would you speak a little more slowly and also
18 into the microphone.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 MR. WAESPI:
21 Q. Are you suggesting then -- I'm just asking you - you can say yes
22 or no, clarify - that it was the criminals, these criminals who were
23 released from prison, that were killing civilians inside the confrontation
24 line in Sarajevo?
25 A. No, Mr. Waespi. What I'm saying is that not -- had this not been
1 brought to their attention every day or once in ten days, they could have
2 made a mistake, and this was to be prevented and there were under constant
3 surveillance of security organs. A man can drink a bottle of brandy and
4 commit an incident, but you can't have a general behind every bush or and
5 at every location and checking.
6 Q. You have now testified I don't know how many hours. I don't think
7 you have ever mentioned the fact that civilians inside the confrontation
8 line, Muslim, Serbs, other nationalities whoever was part of the civilian
9 population in Sarajevo, was exposed to a campaign of sniping were killed,
10 as civilians were killed by snipers, by shelling from outside.
11 Do you accept that the civilian population in Sarajevo was
12 terrorised, that they suffered tremendously. Do you accept that?
13 A. No, no.
14 Q. So all these --
15 A. There were isolated killings on our side as well, even of
16 children, but everybody says by sniper. All rifles can kill at the front,
17 not only snipers. There were two girls of ours who were killed in
18 Grbavica. I didn't address the issue of civilians too much. I was more
19 involved in tactical issues and day to day life of units.
20 Probably you will have witnesses here whose mothers or close
21 relatives were killed. I lost my own brother and other relatives. I
22 could have found him a shelter somewhere. I was a victim myself. I was
23 wounded. I lost my brother, I lost my relatives. My uncle's son and
24 daughter, his wife is the only survivor.
25 So if I'm going tell the Honours all these stories and fairy tales
1 this is not my role in this courtroom. I'm just talking about a military
3 Q. So testimony of international observers, soldiers of UNPROFOR,
4 United Nations, about the suffering of the population of any ethnicity in
5 Sarajevo are fairy tales?
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I don't think accept that that is a
7 reasonable question to put to the witness, Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: Let me rephrase it, Mr. President.
9 Q. The testimony of UNPROFOR, other international observers about the
10 suffering of the civilians inside Sarajevo during the time Dragomir
11 Milosevic was the commander, all these testimonies about the suffering, do
12 they -- do you accept them or you don't accept them?
13 A. No, Mr. Waespi. Let me first explain this. We did not hold this
14 under blockade as shown by this map. There were all supply lines of the
15 whole town of the Sarajevo with 400.000 inhabitants were controlled by the
16 Muslims. Our water sources were under our control. 75 per cent of
17 Ilidza, Lukavica, Moscanica from the area of Hresa, from Radava in the
18 Vogosca sector, not a single water source was under the Muslim control.
19 They had plenty of water. Sometimes breakages happened, but that was
20 something that happened in peacetime as well.
21 Had that been the case, they wouldn't have a drop of water. One
22 of the moves is to block the water supply, and another important resource
23 is gas. It ran through --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please speak more slowly.
25 MR. WAESPI: I have just one more question and then I'm one. One
1 more item, this is about 1992.
2 Q. You told us on Tuesday about what you saw in 1992 and several
3 comments, and I can't really address all of them; for instance, that in
4 April 1992, nothing serious happened. You portrayed, I suggest to you, a
5 fairly one-sided picture of the events in 1992, that the VRS forces and
6 the JNA forces that they didn't shell the city, for instance, causing
7 suffering of the civilians. Are you repeating that today?
8 A. Mr. Waespi, the VRS forces in April were not established yet.
9 There were Serb armed guards, and the JNA did not join these forces. Just
10 like in April, there was the Patriotic League and the Green Berets. There
11 were clashes between these Serbian guards and the Patriotic Leagues and
12 the MUP forces. The VRS was not established in April. It became truly
13 operational in a military sense in June 1992. After the disintegration of
14 the JNA between the 3rd and the 9th of September, when the command on
15 Dobrovoljacka Street was attacked, there were clashes between members of
16 the Territorial Defence and the Serb forces.
17 Prior to the departure of the army, I wasn't involved in that and
18 thereafter I joined the VRS. This is what I said.
19 Q. Yes. But you testified about this time-period, and I'm not
20 interested in whether it was the JNA before may 1992 or the VRS after May
21 1992. But are you saying that, for instance, in May 1992, that JNA or VRS
22 did not shell civilian parts of the city, for instance, Bascarsija? Are
23 you standing by that what you testified on Tuesday?
24 A. Yes, sir. Had only three shells hit Bascarsija, since these are
25 fragile, small houses built in Turkish style, it would have been
1 completely destroyed and reported all around the world. And not a single
2 of these houses was damaged in the slightest during the war, and you
3 cannot say that this is true.
4 Q. Do you know a VRS officer called Mirko or Marko Vukasinovic?
5 A. No.
6 Q. But you certainly know General Ratko Mladic?
7 A. Of course, I do. I have seen him at least ten times.
8 Q. Did you hear him talking?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, if we could have exhibit 03168. It is
11 an intercept which involves General Ratko Mladic, and he talks
12 specifically about Bascarsija. It dates of 28th May of 1992. So if this
13 exhibit could be played please, it's very short.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let it be played.
15 MR. WAESPI: And it has a running transcript which show what is it
16 said. There with two speakers: Ratko Mladic and Mirko Vukasinovic, who
17 is a fairly high ranking VRS officers.
18 [Audiotape played]
19 MR. WAESPI:
20 Q. Mr. Veljovic, General Ratko Mladic, he was interested in the
21 barracks. He was interested in firing at Bascarsija, right?
22 A. You can hear here that they should fire at Bascarsija, but that
23 did not happen. I claim with full responsibility, and I am prepared to
24 face the consequences if it proves to be true that Bascarsija was
25 targeted. That was the 25th of May, and the conscripts were in the
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Stop, Witness. I'm stopping
3 you. I'm stopping you because Mr. Tapuskovic has a point to make.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not hear what
5 date this intercept refers to.
6 MR. WAESPI: 28th of May, 1992.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] My apologies.
8 MR. WAESPI: And I don't have any more questions, Mr. President.
9 Except for the admission of this intercept.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As P750, Your Honours.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the 20th of May, 1992.
13 [Questioned by the Court]
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I just have one question of
15 clarification. I can't remember exactly whether it had to do with the
16 Exhibit P42 or whether it was P225 of the 7th of April, 1995, but I'm
17 going to read the contents.
18 In this exhibit -- and we find it back in the transcript, page 12,
19 lines 2 and 3: In the document itself, General Milosevic said to his
20 superior that his troops launched an air bomb of 150 kilos on the Hrasnica
22 MR. WAESPI: Judge Mindua, this is P255. You're correct, and it's
23 on page 2 in the middle of -- of that document.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you so much, Mr. Prosecutor.
25 So we're talking about P255.
1 In this document, General Milosevic mentions the launching of a
2 150 kilogram air bomb on that centre. In the next sentence, mention is
3 made of Muslims who said that a Luna rocket was launched. I don't quite
4 understand. Could you remind me? There is a reference to a 150-kilo bomb
5 here, and what does that mean, and how do you account for the
6 interpretation by the Muslims? I can't put that together.
7 A. Your Honour, there is a huge difference. If you have a 250
8 kilogram aerial bomb and a Luna rocket which is five to six metres long.
9 It's a huge thing, a huge diameter. And if a Luna had hit, well, this is
10 just some confusion. There would not -- this could not have happened
11 during the cease-fire because we were afraid of air-strikes, reprisals.
12 When we seized four Howitzers because we were afraid there would
13 be an attack, there were NATO air-strikes immediately because of our
14 violation of the exclusion of heavy weapons. And if we had used -- if we
15 had fire add a Luna rocket on such a protected area, then God knows what
16 would have happened. This is either a confusion, errors, or some kind of
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. But your enemies, they mixed
19 things up, right? I'm Talking about this Luna rocket. But this 150 kilo
20 air bomb, or bomb, was it an air bomb? This 150 kilo air bomb, was it
21 effective launched? Yes or no. And what kind of bomb was it?
22 A. At that time it was not launched, and it was not supposed to be
23 launched. The Muslim forces, their officers, their technical people, on
24 the basis of a piece of an aerial bomb or Luna rocket, draw conclusions as
25 to what actually hit the area. There are experts who are able to
1 determine on the basis of the debris what had impacted there, and they
2 concluded this was a Luna rocket.
3 We didn't have Luna rocket launchers. And if a Luna rocket had
4 hit Hrasnica, half of Hrasnica would be gone. It would have to be
5 destroyed, because it's a huge, huge thing.
6 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then I have one last
7 question. So this was not a Luna missile, but what was it then? Was
8 something actually launched; and if so, what was it, in relation to this
9 report made by General Milosevic to the superior command?
10 A. Well, not all orders have to be carried out if there is no need to
11 carry them out, but probably there was an explosion. I didn't see it.
12 Maybe there was a minor explosion that they caused, and then they said it
13 was an aerial bomb, a Luna, whatever.
14 This is really quite unclear. There is a lot of confusion. I
15 know that we would have been blamed for any such attack, any such
16 launching. It would be covered in the media and definitely air-strikes
17 would have followed.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] This is my last question, but
19 you're not answering it, so I will continue.
20 I'm not talking about the way the Muslims interpreted the
21 document. I'm talking about the document that was written by General
22 Milosevic. In this document, if this is a real document, he's talking
23 about this 150 kilo bomb. And my question to you is the following: I
24 would like to know what exactly this thing was. You told us it was not a
25 Luna missile. Fine. But was there a 150 kilo bomb? Yes or no. And what
1 nature was it? Either it did not exist, and thus this document is a fake
2 document, and that's what you're saying it is counterfeit, or it did exist
3 and I would like explanations.
4 A. This aerial bomb was not launched, that's for sure. And I said
5 already that it was not supposed to be launched. And if it had been
6 launched, then we would have here in front of us a document from the
7 United Nations indicating that we had violated the cease-fire by firing
8 such an a heavy weapon into this inhabited area. So this is my response.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: I just have a follow-up question after. I think it's
12 time for the break.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's time for the break. So when we return, the
14 question, and then Mr. Tapuskovic, if he wishes to re-examine.
15 We're adjourned.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Waespi, what is it? Had you a follow-up
20 MR. WAESPI: Yes, just a clarification on the issue raised by
21 Judge Mindua.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
24 MR. WAESPI:
25 Q. The first one, and I'd like, Witness, to go back to P225, second
1 page: "Our forces," the section you discussed with His Honour Judge
3 First of all, it says here, "250 kilograms, AB." Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then going back to the initial sentence, it talks about what
6 "our forces" did. Is that correct. It says, "Our forces."
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where is that, Mr. Waespi.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, where is that.
10 MR. WAESPI: It's just the title of the second paragraph: "Our
11 forces." Just above the --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, yes, I see it. Mm-hm.
13 MR. WAESPI:
14 Q. So here the commander of the corps kind of tells in this combat
15 report his superior command what he did, what the status was of his
16 forces; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the next sentence, or the first real sentence in second
19 paragraph, talks about a past event. It says: "We responded to enemy
20 fire as follows." It looks back.
21 Do you accept that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then it says, in the second part of that three-followed
24 paragraph, it says that: "In this Ilidza Brigade, one 250-kilogram AB was
25 launched at the centre of Hrasnica."
1 So that is past, that's a fact, that's done. Do you accept that?
2 A. I read this, this passage quite well, and I do say that this is
3 what it says here. And it says here that: "According to the information
4 from our audio surveillance officer, Muslims claim that a Luna had hit."
5 I can vouch for the fact that this aerial bomb was not launched.
6 MR. WAESPI: No further questions, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, any re-examination?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes, I
10 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Veljovic, on the first day of your testimony,
12 perhaps at the very outset, I showed you a document, which is D185.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And could we please have it
14 brought to the screen for the witness.
15 Q. You remember that the Prosecutor asked you some questions about
16 this document, too. Do you remember this document? Could you please look
17 at the date on it?
18 A. 13th of September, 1992.
19 Q. Is this your combat report that we've already discussed?
20 A. Yes, it is. Let me just check the signature. Yes, that is what
21 it is. Yes, that's a report that I sent. I was a captain first class at
22 the time.
23 Q. Thank you. At that time, the brigade commander, where you served,
24 who was he?
25 A. It was Dragomir Milosevic. Colonel Dragomir Milosevic.
1 Q. So what is this? Could you please tell us?
2 A. Well, this is just a regular combat report sent to the corps
3 command. I don't know whether Siptic or Galic was the commander, perhaps
4 Sladoje was the deputy commander. But every day, in the afternoon or
5 evening, we from the brigade would send our reports to the corps, and then
6 the corps would send its report to the Main Staff of the VRS, and the VRS
7 Main Staff would then inform the ministry and the government, as it is
8 well established system. You get reports from the battalion and then it
9 goes all the up the chain of command.
10 Q. Thank you. The commander of the 1st Romanija Brigade it at that
11 time, who was the commander?
12 A. It was Colonel Dragomir Milosevic.
13 Q. Thank you. I showed you this document before, and could you
14 please read out item 2, once again.
15 A. "Units of the brigade, respond only in exceptional circumstances
16 when enemy fire reaches such intensity that it endangers the lives of our
17 soldiers." In other words, we were supposed to open fire only when the
18 intensity of the enemy fire reached such levels that it endangered the
19 lives of our soldiers, and we were not supposed to respond to any minor
21 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was the date of this? 13th September 1992.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So at one point you received an order from Mr. Dragomir Milosevic
1 to this effect; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. So we were not supposed to open fire, respond to the enemy
3 fire, on their soldiers until their fire reached such intensity that it
4 endangered the lives of our soldiers, and only then were we supposed to
6 Q. And what are you reporting here?
7 A. Well, we probably inform the corps command about our daily
9 Q. Just a moment.
10 A. Well, we sent this to the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
12 A. And the commander was close by, and he worked alongside of us,
13 exercising command and control.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you notify him that you actually complied -- that
15 you actually did as it is stated here?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you please explain this?
18 A. Well, in the operations organ of the brigade, we collected
19 information from the battalion, and we informed the brigade commander who
20 decided what we're supposed to do and what we are not to do, and he said
21 that fire is to be returned only if there is intense enemy fire. That was
22 the system that was established, and that is how -- that is where we
23 report to our superior command that this was an order that we received
24 from our commander.
25 Q. And then General Milosevic moved to another post; do you know
2 A. Yes. In February, as I already stated, February 1993, he went to
3 the Drina Corps where he was the chief of the operations and training.
4 And in 1993, in June or July, he came back as the Chief of Staff in the
5 corps command.
6 Q. Thank you. When you arrived on the 19th of December, 1994, were
7 his orders in the spirit of this order that he issued at that time, in
9 A. Well, I kept saying throughout my evidence that he always issued
10 such orders. He was always afraid that the troops would not comply with
11 the rules an orders that you were issued, and every time he visited the
12 units he would always warn troops about that.
13 Q. Thank you. And, well, you already discussed this issue; but while
14 we're on this document, could you please tell me something about the
15 investigation that was carried out into the death of the civilian. Could
16 you please tell me, what does it mean? When it says "Soping," what is
18 A. Well that is part of Grbavica. That was part of our area
19 controlled by the VRS. We informed him that the shell had fallen and
20 there were casualties, and we indicate that a couple of hundreds of metres
21 away that civilian and that the security organs, civilians, and law
22 enforcement agencies were carrying out an investigation. Sometime there
23 would be murders in our areas, and the case would be prosecuted and
24 somebody would be sentenced to maybe ten or 15 years in prison. A Serb
25 would kill a Serb.
1 Q. Thank you. My question is the following: Given the
2 circumstances, and in particular during the offensive that you spoke
3 about, could your side have conducted any investigations in the area of
4 responsibility of the BH army?
5 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: That's a new subject. We haven't discussed that.
9 He, certainly not in chief, discussed investigations done or not on
10 civilians deaths. In fact, he denied that there were any cases as such.
11 I didn't touch it in my cross-examination because there was no need to.
12 So that is something new which I have to cross-examine again, whether
13 putting issues to him. So I don't think that's something that should be
14 opened right now.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Prosecutor says it doesn't arise from his
16 cross-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We agree. It is a new subject. It doesn't
19 arise. Move on to another area, and please remember the purpose of
20 re-examination. It's confined to matters that arise out of the
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, but he did mention
23 this on direct, but I do think that you're right.
24 Q. In August of 1995, what did you become and when?
25 A. As I already said yesterday, in August 1995, I was appointed as
1 the acting commander of the 4th Sarajevo Light Infantry Brigade, which was
2 established --
3 Q. Thank you. Thank you. You've given me an answer. My question
4 is: Do you remember when it was? You already stated that.
5 A. On the 1st of August and on the 7th of August, I reported that the
6 brigade was combat ready. On the 1st, I took over; and on the 7th, I
7 reported that the brigade was operational so that my commander knew that
8 he could count on this brigade. And on the 7th of August, it was combat
9 ready. It became operational for combat.
10 Q. And where was Commander Milosevic on the 7th of August?
11 A. I remember that as soon as this brigade was established or perhaps
12 sometime earlier, in fact the whole of the month of August, he was absent
13 because he was undergoing treatment. He had an eye problem, so he was
14 undergoing treatment. He returned in -- sometime in mid-September, I
15 think. He returned to the corps.
16 Q. And could you please tell me when did the NATO air-strikes begin
17 in 1995? I'm not referring to the NATO air-strikes in May.
18 A. NATO air-strikes began on the 30th of August, 1995.
19 Q. And do you remember when General Milosevic returned in relation to
20 this point in time.
21 A. He returned in the second half of September, some -- just before
22 the air-strikes stopped, because the air-strikes lasted for almost a
24 Q. And could you please tell me, in the time-period between December
25 1994, late December 1994 and April or May 1995, can you describe the
1 situation in terms of combat activities?
2 A. The full cease-fire was signed to apply on all front lines between
3 the BH army and the Republika Srpska army.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to now
5 show a document, P744. It's a Prosecution Exhibit. A document
6 originating from the United Nations. It was not translated into B/C/S at
7 the time when it was actually first used in court. At the time when it
8 was shown the -- to the witness, my learned colleague read out this
9 document, and the Defence did not have the B/C/S translation. And I would
10 like to look at item 1 of this document, P744, and I would like to ask the
11 interpreters -- or perhaps I can just show him.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us see it.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the document. The
14 witness doesn't speak English. And since he did tell us that this was a
15 peaceful period, I would like to show him this document so that can he
16 have a look at it.
17 Well, I didn't have the B/C/S version. Could he then have a look
18 at paragraph 1.
19 Q. Would you please read it?
20 A. I? No, I can't. It's a little bit -- "Situation in Sarajevo was
21 normal, but tense in the central city/Grbavica area and
22 Sharpstone/Sedrenik. Sarajevo north remains under a complete restriction
23 of movement in their area of responsibility. Zupa remains calm."
24 Q. Thank you. What you just read Zepa remained calm, but, as you
25 said, the situation was normal in Sarajevo, too?
1 A. Well, he mentioned the city centre in Grbavica.
2 Q. Could you please wait for me to finish my question.
3 This report, does it indicate that what you have just told us,
4 that the situation was calm, in this period, in December 1994 until
6 A. Well, it would have been calm. And had there been any such fire
7 from heavy weapons, it would have been a catastrophe. But this report
8 indicates that the situation was normal but tense. I know what I know,
9 but this is what is stated in the report.
10 Q. Throughout that period, from August 1994 until the end of the
11 conflict, what was the situation like at Spicasta Stijena? What kind of
12 fire was most often exchanged there at Spicasta Stijena.
13 A. That is the area of Grdonj that we talked about yesterday. It was
14 sporadic gun-fire, infantry fire between two warring parties. Nothing
15 more than that. Sporadic, one trench facing another trench. It's 20 or
16 30 metres. Soldiers from one trench are firing at soldiers in another
17 trench. Nothing more than that. And at that time it was peaceful, but
18 there would always be a random shot of two from infantry weapons,
20 You would always hear a gunshot, even in peacetime, from a
21 building, from a trench, from wherever on both sides. It would never
22 happen that no shots were heard. You would just hear an occasional rifle
23 fire or whatever. Sometimes it was celebratory gun-fire, but that was the
24 way it was?
25 Q. Thank you. Tell me, geographically, Spicasta Stijena was part of
1 what hill?
2 A. The hill of Grdonj; that is to say, the feature of the hill of
3 Grdonj. That is near the village of Mrkovic. To the right is the village
4 of Radava, under our control.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please show the
7 witness the photograph that was admitted as P749.
8 Q. When you look at this photograph can you tell us whether at
9 Zlatiste there is a place from which you can see this kind of view of
11 A. Editing can do anything nowadays with photograph, but this is not
12 a place at all because the road could be seen right behind the back of
13 this man on the photograph. Also, the picture is narrower so it's not
14 right, and also there is a trench here as if it were dug only yesterday;
15 whereas, as the picture from Spicasta Stijena has some kind of pole. And
16 can you see that nothing was ever done there, and that is what irritates
18 Spicasta Stijena has no trench and then also there is an iron
19 post, and you never dig a trench near something that is that prominent.
20 So I can't understand that. And also you can zoom in, zoom out in
21 photography nowadays. So ...
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Please.
23 A. I'm not familiar with this area. Imagine if something was not
24 taken that way. I mean, perhaps I could not even recognise the place
25 where I was born, the house where I was born, if such a broad view is
1 taken. I mean, I really cannot recall this.
2 Q. Thank you. So you think that in that sense that is editing?
3 A. Yes, yes. Because I see a trench here, and up there I do not see
4 a trench. And, as a matter of fact, I see some kind of trench that was
5 not dug properly.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where is this trench?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In front of this man who is sitting
8 in it, observing something, sitting there. There's this little thing dug
9 in the ground, whatever. The other picture has this pole, this post, and
10 you can see that the land is hundreds of years old. You will see that no
11 trenches were ever dug there, and yesterday the Prosecutor claimed that
12 there was a trench there. And that's why I cannot recognise it properly.
13 And, also, as they zoom in, zoom out, the city itself --
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Thank you. But where could this be? What place could
16 this be? What place could this correspond to? If we lock at the zones of
17 responsibility of the two armies, where could this possibly be?
18 A. Mr. Tapuskovic, in Sarajevo, there are pits like this and scenery
19 like this everywhere, especially near Trebevic, Grdonj, the river, up
20 there, Sedrenik, and then those settlements up towards Trebevic, parts
21 towards Zlatiste. When you go from Siroka to Debelo Brdo, there are
22 rocks, cliffs, like that, and all sorts of pictures can be taken and you
23 cannot orient yourself.
24 I don't know. I see some bit of wood here, a tiny, little forest,
25 a view towards Kosovo, and in part towards Vogosca, and in this area sort
1 of vis-a-vis Hum, and then Colina Kapa, underneath Colina Kapa, underneath
2 this part here, where Debelo Brdo is, and so on and so forth. However, I
3 cannot say precisely where this is, and tell the Judges this is exactly
4 where this is. That would not be right.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, out there where you were in Zlatiste,
6 where were the trenches where the army of Republika Srpska was in relation
7 to the road?
8 A. The trenches were on the road itself, and one road was at the
9 tower that was built by Austria. This is a very big thing. There were
10 three trenches that only had a view of the town: The right bank of
11 Miljacka, the settlement, that is to say, towards Sedrenik, Zuc, Pofalici,
12 Velesici. All of that could be seen, and those areas towards Sedrenik and
13 Grdonj. And parts of Grdonj could be seen from there as well, everything,
14 because Grdonj is on the other side, the opposite side.
15 Q. Thank you. My last question in relation to this.
16 The place where you were, when this incident occurred, when the
17 bunker was hit, from that place, is there a view of this kind, this kind
18 of view?
19 A. Not this kind. But from that elevation, there is a much better
20 view than from the trenches. 50 per cent better. So it's in our
21 territory way up above the road. Trebevic, when you go up hill at
22 Trebevic, and that's where the view was not a bit better but considerably
23 better. However, trenches were done --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter could not
25 hear the speaker because of the noise coming from the Defence side in that
1 microphone. We apologise.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you please repeat the last sentence.
3 "However trenches were," and the interpreter didn't hear the rest of it.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Can the Defence microphone
5 please be switched off when the witness is speaking. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He asked me about the observation
7 post of the corps command, and I said it was a well-appointed trench. I
8 said that even the explosion of a projectile could not blow it up. He had
9 a good view, and what I see here in front of me is not that at all.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Tapuskovic.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic. I should say that we have
13 spent much more time than was anticipated for this witness. I think seven
14 hours was the time that was estimated, and we are now, I think, into nine
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Eight hours. Your Honours, I'll
17 hurry up.
18 Q. Just one question in relation to all of this. Yesterday you said
19 that this position corresponded to the positions of what army?
20 A. I don't know at all what the place is, where this trench is, and
21 whether this was done there peacetime; or was it just some hole that was
22 found and somebody had his picture taken there, I can't say.
23 Q. Thank you. Can we move quickly through a few documents now that
24 the Prosecutor dealt with in his cross-examination.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] First P694, Lukovac. Yes.
1 Q. You spoke about this considerably when answering Mr. Waespi's
2 questions. This first page speaks about positions and the weapons of
3 which army?
4 A. Mr. Tapuskovic, this is a pure military order, and first in the
5 order there's an assessment of the enemy, then our forces, then
6 neighbouring forces, and then a decision is made. The commander and
7 whoever made this deployment first presents what the enemy deployment is,
8 and the first page is the deployment of enemy forces. In order to
9 elaborate an order, you need seven to ten points, so that this would be
10 done properly. And if this is being done for further activities, then
11 first there is an assessment of the enemy in order to position your own
12 forces. First you assess the enemy and then you view your own forces and
13 you see what you're supposed to do.
14 Q. Please.
15 A. And he says, "In front of our force defence," then and so on
16 and --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness is reading out
18 very fast.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Veljovic, please follow counsel, and don't
20 volunteer information.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You saw this document?
23 A. I never saw this document. I saw it here and now.
24 Q. Thank you. And now when you saw it, this document speaks about
25 what kind of action? Was this action that was envisaged as a large-scale
2 A. This was action that was envisaged on a bit of a larger scale, but
3 it was defensive and then you move into an attack. This was never
4 realised though. That was a preparatory document. And now whether it
5 would be materialised or not, it really on the decision of the commander
6 and the Main Staff, and they never decided and this was never actually
7 entered into.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I can hear the interpreter gasping for breath
9 because you're speaking too fast.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I say that the order is a
11 preparatory document. Whether it will be materialised or not, well, it
12 can just remain as a document stating that it existed. And since this
13 operation was not carried out at all, it is invalid; that is to say, that
14 this operation never took place. We have to look at 100 options; but if
15 we don't carry them through, that is a different matter, and an army makes
16 different documents.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Veljovic. Let's try to cut things short if we can.
19 Thank you.
20 And then just one more question in relation to this, and that is:
21 When it was planned, it was planned for what area?
22 A. It was planned for the area of Mount Igman, right here, between
23 the Herzegovina Corps and the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, precisely up here.
24 That is what i have been saying, in that back water where there is just
25 ridges and rocks and nothing in the middle of nowhere.
1 Q. The last matter that I'd like to deal with. Let's not dwell on it
2 much longer.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] P42 is the document.
4 Q. You see, this is the document that was shown to you a few moments
5 ago by Mr. Waespi and it pertains to the TV building. I'm not going to go
6 back to that though.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please look at page 2 now.
8 Q. Is there a signature here, anybody's signature, a signature?
9 A. There is no signature, but it says Commander Major-General
10 Dragomir Milosevic, but we can all see there is no signature there in
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No further questions.
14 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Veljovic, I have a final question that comes
16 to my mind because you have been the operations officer and working
17 closely together with General Milosevic, and my question relates to
18 General Milosevic's command over his subordinate forces. And I put this
19 question to you because we have heard evidence during this trial to
20 suggest that General Milosevic was merely carrying out orders that came
21 from General Mladic.
22 So I would like to ask you to describe briefly for us, if you can,
23 the independence of General Milosevic in his command over the
24 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps during the time when you were working with him as
25 an operations officer.
1 Do you understand me question?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please reply.
4 A. General Milosevic was authorised to command the unit placed under
5 his command by the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, and to
7 As for assault actions, he only could do that with relation to
8 smaller features. If it involved wider scale operations, he had to seek
9 approval from a superior command.
10 As for other minor things that happened, it was impossible for
11 Mladic to be there on a daily basis and say, "Don't shoot if one company
12 or battalion attacked another." However, if a large-scale operation was
13 launched towards more important features or the town, he was not allowed
14 to do that before reporting to superior officer and seeking an approval
15 for that.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. That was brief and well described.
17 My question to you is then what do you mean by a major operation?
18 Could you give a few examples of what would require the approval of the
19 Supreme Command and also an example of what would not require such
20 approval from above?
21 A. Mr. Waespi, he had the right --
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: His name is Judge Harhoff.
23 A. My apologies.
24 He had the right to improve a tactical position only partly. But
25 in order to capture the whole mount of Igman and to endanger a protected
1 area to link up the forces between the west and the east part, he was not
2 allowed to do that without an approval from the Main Staff of the VRS,
3 because that would mean a large-scale undertaking and he had to report to
4 a higher command in order to -- for them to coordinate command and control
5 and be fully informed of what was happening in whole theatre of war.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Would General Milosevic be entitled on his own
7 authority to launch defensive operations in Sarajevo?
8 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interrupting. Just
9 one thing about the transcript.
10 "The whole theatre of war," you have to add, in Bosnia and
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Interpretation] I didn't quite understand.
13 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] In place of what is written in the
14 transcript on page 51, line 21, you see, what is written was: "What was
15 happening in the whole theatre of war." But the witness said: "The whole
16 theatre of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [In English] Mr. Witness, would you please reply to my question:
19 Could General Milosevic, on his own authority, decide to launch a
20 defensive operation within the Sarajevo theatre.
21 A. Mr. Waespi --
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sorry. My name is Judge Harhoff.
23 A. Your Honour, he had the right for defence purposes to fortify
24 defence positions as he saw fit and best to arrange for engineering works,
25 to have covers and roads built and constructed, to arrange the deployment
1 of weapons and things as he saw best and fit.
2 He is at the lines reached and he is entitled to do all these
3 works, and he has to report back about what is being done. That is as far
4 as defence is concerned. He is entitled to do all these things, but he
5 cannot move forward. He can only look for some better elevations offering
6 better view and deploy forces in those places in order to get the best
7 possible position.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: And if we look to some of the examples that we
9 have been discussing during your testimony, my question to you would be:
10 Would General Milosevic have to seek approval from the superior command in
11 order to apply or to employ modified air bombs, for instance?
12 A. I have no knowledge about that. Most probably he would have to
13 submit a request for these air bombs. But where they were stored and
14 things like that, i don't know that. All I know is that the corps didn't
15 have the air bombs in their depots, where they were, who issued
16 approvals. And I believe it would require an approval from the Main
17 Staff, because this ammunition and some refurbishing probably was under
18 the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence. This is it how I see it.
19 Given that we did not have in the corps this kind of weapons ever,
20 nor would it ever envisaged per establishment during peacetime, these were
21 bombs to be used by aircraft. How all this went on, I cannot say
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: And what about orders to initiate sniper attacks?
24 Would that be something that would fall within the authority of General
25 Milosevic, without having to seek approval from the Main Staff?
1 A. No, Your Honour. The organisation of firing systems at the
2 positions is done by the squad, regiment, battalion, platoon commanders.
3 This is not at all within the jurisdictions of a commander. These were
4 minor orders. He just issue general orders how to engage target. How the
5 commander of a platoon is going to organise firing position, it didn't
6 concern him. These were a minor point. He cannot be at all places at all
7 times. He was directing global tactics of the corps, together with the
8 staff, and you have subordinate units. Just like in a factory, you have
9 engineers, you have managers, and then you have labourers who do the work,
10 you have draftsmen who prepare blueprints, et cetera.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let us be concrete just for a moment. Let us
12 assume, just as an example, that sniper fire is to be directed from the
13 Metalka building in Grbavica. Would that be something that would have to
14 require an order from General Milosevic, or could that be initiated
15 without him giving prior approval?
16 A. It could happen that did he not give an approval, then a platoon
17 commander can issue such an order, but only to engage a military target.
18 He was not allowed to issue orders engaging a civilian target and prepare
19 such positions. But within the company, other commanders would be
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand your position on that. Would the
22 platoon commander then have to report back to General Milosevic after the
23 sniping had taken place from, let's say, the Metalka building?
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: So General Milosevic would not subsequently be
1 informed by his subordinates that sniping fire had been launched from this
3 A. No. He wouldn't be informed, because that was a minor operation
4 done by a squad commander targeting an enemy trench. Every unit had its
5 own scope of responsibilities within its area to better organise its
6 positions and undertake actions, because this is such a low level that he
7 wouldn't stoop to that level to tell each and every person what to fire at
8 this. This is not a job for a general to do. This is it something even
9 to be done by group commanders made up of three men.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: But would an order to launch sniper fire from
11 various parts of SRK-held territory be ordered by General Milosevic?
12 Would he ever be involved in the planning of sniper fire?
13 A. No.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Veljovic, that concludes your evidence. We
16 thank you for coming to the Tribunal to give it, and you may now leave.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, to your
18 colleagues and everyone in the courtroom to the fair treatment you
19 afforded me.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: So your next witness, Mr. Tapuskovic.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Our next witness is Milorad
24 [The witness entered court]
25 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: MILORAD KATIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
7 And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. If I
11 may be allowed to ask the first few questions directly in order to gain
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. You can lead on the non-contention
14 introductory matters.
15 Q. Can you tell us your full name, please?
16 A. My name is Milorad Katic.
17 Q. You were born on the 26th of January, 1954 in Sarajevo?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You finished elementary and secondary school in Sarajevo?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in
22 Sarajevo in 1979?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The conflict that existed there found you in the position of the
25 manager of the Pretis factory, or rather, an organisational unit of
1 Pretis, which was called HDM, and that was in Vogosca, yes?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. Please, can you tell the Chamber whether prior to
4 April of 1992, in addition to the job that you were doing, have -- did you
5 have any other social responsibilities?
6 A. Well, I can say that in 1990, at the first multi-party elections
7 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was elected deputy for the municipality
8 assembly of Novo Sarajevo.
9 Q. Can you please speak at the corresponding pace, and that we should
10 both bear in mind to observe pauses between questions and answers.
11 Can you tell me what this involved, and how did it look like?
12 A. I can say that in the territory of Novo Sarajevo municipality, in
13 the Autumn of 1990, at the multi-party elections, Serbian Democratic Party
14 won these elections. The runner-up was the SDP, the Party of Communists;
15 and the third, according to the election results, was the Party of
16 Reformists. In the fourth place was the Party of Democratic Action. In
17 the fifth place was the HDZ Party. And there was another party, I don't
18 remember exactly, which had seats in the assembly of Novo Sarajevo
20 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Can you tell me on what basis was the
21 constituents and the deputies were elected in Novo Sarajevo?
22 A. At the time, the city of Sarajevo had between 400 and 500.000
23 inhabitants, and Novo Sarajevo municipality had approximately 90 to
24 100.000 inhabitants. I believe that the majority, that is to say 60 to 70
25 per cent of inhabitants, were Serbs.
1 Q. Thank you. Let me now show you a map that we have had an
2 opportunity to see quite a few times here in this courtroom. And, if
3 possible, I would like you to be given a pen with which you're going to
4 mark on the map the area covered by Novo Sarajevo municipality before any
5 conflicts broke out.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the usher to
7 hand the witness the pen.
8 Q. Could you please mark the entire area covered by Novo Sarajevo
10 A. Well, I apologise, I can't see without my glasses.
11 The municipality of Novo Sarajevo covered these areas, between the
12 new town, Cengic Vila; Dolac Malta; all the way up to the Hum hill, and I
13 can't tell you exactly where the boundary was at the Hum hill. Between
14 these two municipalities, there's the local commune of Velesici, and then
15 it goes down. The boundary then goes down below Marindvor into Kovacici;
16 through Kovacici towards the Vrace, or Miljevici hill; and then behind
17 Miljevici to Stanojovici [phoen] and the village of Petrovici. Well, the
18 village of Petrovici is not depicted here in its entirety. But then from
19 Dolac Malta over the Hrasno hill and the Hrasno neighbourhood; the Mojmilo
20 hill; and then into Lukavica, the Bijelo Bojska [phoen] Road; and then the
21 boundary goes to Trvdemici, the local area commune of Telava. And that
22 would be the area covered by Novo Sarajevo municipality.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you please show me the location of your house?
24 A. My house is at Vrace.
25 Q. Could you please mark it, and mark Vraca while you're at that
2 A. I think it's somewhere here. That Would be the Vraca Memorial
3 Park. It's here, and my house is at -- in Ohridska Street, which would be
4 somewhere here. No, no. I made a mistake here. I marked the boundary of
5 the municipality quite inaccurately, because this is really --
6 Q. Well, then, we will have to fix it.
7 A. Yes. We will have to fix it because it goes like this, if I may
8 do it that way.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, well, a mistake
10 seems to have been made, and it has to be corrected because this boundary
11 is quite different.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a very small map. If could
13 you please enlarge it, because this way I really can't see.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we have a larger version,
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's why I say, Your
17 Honours, may I be allowed to make a correction, to correct this line,
18 because really --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, go ahead.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you asked me where the Vraca
21 Memorial Park was. It's here, and my house is here, somewhere here.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Is it possible to erase the
23 previous line, please.
24 Q. So could you please mark the location of your house with the
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. And could you please write a large letter C -- in fact, OPS in
3 large letters.
4 A. What does it mean?
5 Q. Well, it means, and let's leave it like that, the Novo Sarajevo
7 And now could you please tell me what ethnic group was in the
8 majority in this area?
9 A. As I have already stated, 60 to 70 per cent of the population in
10 the Novo Sarajevo municipality were Serbs.
11 Q. And as for the deputies in the Novo Sarajevo municipal assembly,
12 what was their composition?
13 A. Well, I already indicated that the Serbian democratic party was in
14 the lead. I think it had 24 seats; and in the overall municipality, there
15 were 100 seats. And as soon as it won at the 1990 elections -- well, in
16 fact, on the basis of the SDS's victory in the 1990 elections, you can
17 conclude from this fact that the Serbs were in the majority in Novo
19 Q. Thank you. When was the last time that you went to work in the
20 factory where you were employed?
21 A. The last time I went to work, I think, it was a Friday, the 2nd of
22 April, or maybe the 3rd of April, 1992.
23 Q. And what happened in the days that followed? Could you please
24 describe that for the Chamber?
25 A. Well, on that day, I think it was the 3rd of April, when I came
1 home to Vraca with my wife, it was my daughter's birthday on that day, and
2 we prepared the party, the birthday party. That was to take place on the
3 3rd of April and the 4th of April, the following day, and I can tell you
5 Q. Just a moment, please. I think you have said enough. Could you
6 please explain to the Judges what did you know at that time about the
7 developments in Sarajevo or, in fact, anywhere in the territory of the
8 country that still existed at that time? Did you get any information?
9 What did you know?
10 A. Well, I followed the media, I watched TV, I read the papers, and I
11 saw, I realised that in 1991 there were conflicts in Slovenia and then
12 also in Croatia. And I can say that in Sarajevo itself, on the 1st of
13 March, 1992, roadblocks were put up, and a Serb guest at a wedding, Nikola
14 Gardovic, was killed in Bascarsija. There were those roadblocks and then
15 there were also conflicts, I think, around Bosanski Brod. I think it was
16 the village of Sijekovac, and then conflicts in Bijeljina and around it.
17 Q. Thank you. What I want to know is what was your attitude towards
18 all that? What did you think would happen? How did you feel about it?
19 What did you think would happen in Sarajevo? Did you perhaps believe that
20 the events would take a different course?
21 A. I think, and in fact at the time and so did my family, that this
22 was a thing of the past and there would be no conflict in Sarajevo apart
23 from those roadblocks.
24 Q. Thank you. And please, tell me, in the situation and given your
25 job at the time, what were your plans at the time? Did you have any
1 specific plans in your daily life?
2 You have to wait for my question to be recorded in the transcript
3 first, please.
4 A. I got an apartment from my company, the Pretis factory, and I was
5 about to move into this apartment in Sarajevo at that time. And in
6 mid-March, I and my wife, we bought furniture to furnish our apartment and
7 to move into it. It was a new building in Dobrovoljacka Street. That is
8 in the old town municipality, in Sarajevo.
9 Q. Could you please show us where this apartment would had been had
10 not the events not taken course?
11 A. Well, it is a pity that this is such a small scale map.
12 Q. Approximately.
13 A. Well, approximately somewhere here.
14 Q. Could you please mark that with the letter S.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. And did you finally move into that apartment, in light of the fact
17 that you had already furnished it?
18 A. I was there for just one day, together with my wife and my two
19 children. We put things in their proper places. My children decide who
20 had would take such room, but I was supposed to move in for good on the
21 6th of April, 1992.
22 Q. Thank you. And could you please tell us what happened? You said
23 that you had the birthday party for your daughter, and what happened?
24 Something that really put a spanner in the works, so to speak.
25 A. Well, this was on the 4th of April, as I already said. We were
1 sitting outside in the open. The weather was nice, and then there were
2 shots. We heard shots. They were coming from an area further away from
3 the Vraca Memorial Park.
4 Q. Could I please stop you there for a moment.
5 Could you please show us where Vraca is? Could you please mark it
6 with a letter G, but could you please draw a circle around the whole area,
7 so that we get an approximate idea of its size.
8 A. This is the Vraca memorial park, and the clashes --
9 Q. No, no, just a moment. Could you please mark it with letter GG?
10 A. The Memorial Park?
11 Q. The whole area, the whole thing.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Could you now please go on. What happened when you heard the
15 A. When I heard the shots, my neighbours started gathering around the
16 house. It was a spontaneous activity, and they asked me, "What is going
17 on?" Somebody said that there had been some clashes at the police school
18 at Vraca.
19 Q. Thank you. Clashes involving whom?
20 A. Well, as we learned, there were some clashes between the police
21 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it was at the time.
22 Q. But could you please explain how the police forces were supposed
23 to carry out their tasks. So how, how did those clashes occur?
24 A. Well, as I was to learn later, there had been an internal division
25 inside the police force of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1 Q. How, in what way?
2 A. Well, on the one hand, they wanted to divide the police into the
3 Serbian police of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Muslim police, if I can give
4 you an answer of this kind.
5 Q. Thank you. And what happened there at this place where you had
6 all gathered, having heard those shots?
7 A. Well, as I said, people started to gather spontaneously and
8 started asking for weapons because they panicked. They were terrified, if
9 I can put it that way. And I can say that after an hour or two, vehicles
10 started coming with weapons.
11 As far as I know -- now, whether they were members of the
12 Territorial Defence or -- well, panic stricken people simply stood in
13 queues by the trucks and they asked for weapons. Among others, I was
14 there, too.
15 Q. Was there anyone there who did not belong to the Territorial
16 Defence, as you had put it?
17 A. If I can put it this way, it was only territorials who there and
18 people from Vraca, or rather, the neighbouring villages of Miljevici and
19 Petrovici. There won't any members of the other army, if I can put it
20 that way.
21 Q. Were there any soldiers of the Yugoslav army there?
22 A. Nowhere were there any members of the Yugoslav People's Army
23 present there, that is.
24 Q. Can you explain to the Judges now what it was that happened then
25 when you received weapons?
1 A. Well, I can explain. First of all, these weapons were fully
2 conserved. On that day, not everybody was armed. These weapons were
3 being distributed over the next three or four days, and then --
4 Q. Thank you. I'll give you an opportunity to explain that as well,
5 if you wish. But who was it that was being armed?
6 A. It was only the inhabitants who lived that were being armed, from
7 street, Vraca, Gornji Crevaci, where we lived, the village of Mrkovici,
8 and the rest; that is to say, only the local population.
9 Q. Please draw that line here on this map.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Could you please mark that with a R.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. What about the line?
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And where were the houses of all these people who were there?
16 A. Well, our houses were there, at this line that I indicated.
17 That's where we lived, or rather, a bit further this side. If we look at
18 the village of Miljevici or Petrovici and the rest. So it was only the
19 residents of that area.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, we'll have to take the break now.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Tapuskovic.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Katic, let us proceed from where we broke of a few minutes
2 Can you tell the Judges what kind of weapons you received on that
3 occasion, when weapons were received?
4 A. I can say, as far as weapons were concerned, that all of it were
5 automatic or semi-automatic rifles. We did not receive any other weapons.
6 Q. And in the vicinity of these positions of yours and your houses,
7 did you see any other weapons that were there perhaps at that time?
8 A. I have already said that we only got automatic and semi-automatic
9 rifles. I did not see any other weapons. At that time, there weren't any
10 near our houses.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Katic. Can you tell me you were there, you got
12 weapons, and how were you then organised? How did things go then?
13 A. I have already said that we organised ourselves at our own
14 initiative. We immediately appointed a platoon leader. That was my next
15 door neighbour, Ranko Majstorovic.
16 Q. Thank you. What was he, in terms of profession, when he was
17 chosen commander?
18 A. He had a forwarding business. He was not even a reserve officer.
19 Q. You said "platoon." How many people there were, can you tell me
21 A. I can. There were about 30 to 35 of us, in that area, around our
22 houses. We were soldiers, or it was just men, if I can put it that way.
23 Q. And what was it that you wore?
24 A. Again, I can say that there was a variety. Some people wore
25 civilian clothes; then there were others who had been reservists, kept
1 some of their military uniforms. So I can say, quite comfortably, there
2 was quite a bit of variety among the then there at the line.
3 Q. How long was this position that was held by these 30 or so men?
4 A. This position was, approximately, about 250 to 300 metres long.
5 Q. Thank you. Now this commander of yours, the former forwarder,
6 how was it that he gave you orders? What kind of orders did he give you?
7 A. As for orders of my superior commander, they boiled down to the
8 following: That strictly within 24 hours, we had to be vigilant at our
9 positions, and that no Green Berets or members of the Patriotic League
10 should be allowed to pass there. I knew that these were units that had
11 been formed in the territory of Sarajevo. We had to guard our houses, our
12 homes, our women and children, and our property around our houses. That
13 was the main order issued by our superior commander.
14 Q. You were a director in a company, and you had a university diploma
15 of a mechanical engineer. Did you obey these orders that were issued to
16 you by your neighbour who was chosen commander at that moment?
17 A. Well, although I had a university diploma as an engineer, I obeyed
18 my commander because I was an ordinary soldier, if I can put it that way.
19 And while I was a soldier, I did not have any other rank. I was just an
20 ordinary soldier, a member of the army.
21 Q. At that time, did you have an opportunity of seeing any other
22 commander who had something to add to these orders at the very beginning,
24 A. After a few days, I found out that our unit was within the brigade
25 of New Sarajevo, and I met a man who came there as the commander of that
1 brigade. That was the late Budimir Obradovic.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know who
4 deleted all this from this map.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Has there been a technical glitch.
6 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honours. The map will return.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: They will return.
8 Please, continue.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Katic, please go on. I interrupted you. You
11 wanted to say something else, didn't you?
12 A. I met commander Budimir Obradovic who was, as I learned, a reserve
13 officer. He had completed the reserve officers' school, and from him I
14 heard an order that was almost identical to the order issued by my platoon
15 leader, Mr. Majstorovic.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. We should not allow any lack of discipline on the line, lest there
18 be an attack coming from the other side, and we had to prevent any
19 destruction in our neighbourhood and any casualties among the women and
20 children there.
21 Q. This was in the month of April. Tell me, what happened in May,
22 or rather, tell the Judges, not me.
23 A. Well, in the month of May, there were clashes in the territory of
24 the municipality of Novo Sarajevo. The major clashes were in the
25 territory of the local commune of Pofalici. That is where my late
1 mother's family lived, and quite a few of my relatives. My uncle and aunt
2 got killed.
3 Q. Just a moment, please. On this map, can you mark Pofalici,
5 A. May I put a circle there?
6 Q. Yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just one moment, Witness.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, would you tell me what is the
10 significance of this witness's evidence? What is it leading to?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I can't find this
12 in the indictment now, but the charges are that the JNA was transformed in
13 the army of Republika Srpska. And our witnesses are going to show that
14 there was no transformation at all of the Yugoslavia army, and the witness
15 is going to talk about that, but what happened was the most usual kind of
16 spontaneous self-organisation.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is --
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And this is paragraph 7, where it
19 say, or even before that date, even before the 7th of April, the armed
20 forces that supported the Serbian Democratic Party and elements of the
21 JNA, including units of the 4th Corps, occupied strategic positions in and
22 around Sarajevo.
23 No strategic positions were taken up by this group of people.
24 They simply stood at their own doorsteps, and there was no JNA there and
25 there was no heavy weaponry there.
1 I don't have to explain all of that now, but that is linked up
2 with that. The witnesses, who will testify before you here, will show
3 what it was that happened and how it happened, especially during those
4 first few days, especially in relation to what is charged here, that this
5 happened even before the 7th of April, and that strategic positions were
6 taken. That is something that the Defence has it deal with, in terms of
7 the very beginning of the conflict.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: The last sentence in paragraph 7 says, "Much of
9 the bombardment and sniping was from positions in the hills around and
10 overlooking Sarajevo from which the attackers had a clear, detailed, and
11 commanding view of the city and its civilian population."
12 I presume you will also be addressing that, seeking to show that
13 that was not the case.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Precisely.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Continue.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That is the key thing that we
17 wish to show through these proceedings, that the army of Republika Srpska
18 was not on the hills at all, except for a few places, and that people in
19 these municipalities -- well, I'm going to bring witnesses here who are
20 going to speak about these municipalities along the lines of which this
21 witness is going to testify as well, or rather, I will question him.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You said except for a few places. Such as?
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That can be problematic when we
24 speak about Trebevic, which was already mentioned, as well as Grdonj and
25 Spicasta Stijena, perhaps Zlatiste, so a few more places. Everything else
1 about 90 per cent of hills around Sarajevo, the Defence will try to prove
2 were held by members of the BH army, and we will discuss where these
3 positions were in several places and whether they provided such an
4 advantage as cited here in the indictment.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: If you succeed in that, then you eliminate a
6 major plank in the Prosecution's case. That's my own analysis. We have
7 to wait to see what the evidence will show.
8 Continue, yes.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honours, before
10 proceedings are completed, I never purported to say this happened this way
11 or another. These proceedings should provide answers to the questions and
12 one of the key questions in relation to these developments. We're going
13 to hear from other witnesses, and from this witness I would like to hear
14 something about the position that they had.
15 I came to the point of Pofalici, and if I may continue?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I said so some time ago.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you please put a circle around this area of Pofalici and tell
19 us what happened there in May?
20 A. In May, in the area of Pofalici, there was, shall I say, a major
21 battle, and since I had quite an few relatives --
22 Q. Excuse me. Who was involved in this fighting, in this battle?
23 A. The battle was between the residents of one part of Pofalici and
24 the then members of the Green Berets or the Patriotic League or I don't
25 know whether they were called the BH army at that time. I said that my
1 uncle and his wife were killed there, Sreto Madjarevic and Dusan
2 Madjarevic; my relative, Slavujka Djurovic, was also killed; Petar Nikola,
3 my relative, who is still missing to this date. And I also later learned
4 there were many, many civilian casualties.
5 From that part of Pofalici, whoever was able to flee, ran away
6 across Zuc hill and went down either to Rajlovac or to Vogosca by crossing
7 the hills. I know that by evicting or expelling Serbs from that area,
8 particularly towards the peak where men Serbian families by the name of
9 Pajdak used to live, everything was abandoned.
10 In June, the entire Zuc hill and the highest elevation in
11 geographic terms, which was Orlic, were taken by the forces of the BH
13 Q. Thank you. How many people Serb civilians fled from this area to
14 these area areas, Rajlovac, as you said, and so on. How many of them?
15 A. Well, about 5.000 residents of that area fled to Rajlovac or
16 Vogosca. Many came via Pale to Lukavica as well. That was the case with
17 some of my relatives.
18 Q. Can you put a circle around this whole position captured by the BH
19 army on this map, and can you mark it?
20 A. To tell you the truth, I hardly can see the names written on the
21 map, but what I can tell you is that the entire Novo Sarajevo municipality
22 and this part towards Novi Grad municipality was taken over by the army of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
24 Q. Approximately, approximately.
25 A. This is this part that can be seen on -- on the map.
1 Q. But here in the middle of the map, towards the Miljacka river.
2 A. This is complete, this part across the Miljacka river, all of it.
3 Q. So was that the situation in May?
4 A. Not only this situation prevailed in May, in May and in June --
5 Q. No. I am asking you about the situation in May.
6 A. As far as this side is concerned, this is the situation that
7 prevailed in May.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you say at the time - April/May - what happened to
9 the population in other municipalities? You were in this municipality.
10 What was going on there other municipalities?
11 A. Well, I can say that Sarajevo had 400 to 500.000 inhabitants.
12 Out of that number about 150.000 were Serbs. A large number of residents
13 of Sarajevo left Sarajevo in the course of April and May or came to those
14 parts of the city of Sarajevo where the Serbs constituted majority, such
15 as parts of Vogosca, Ilijas, parts of Ilidza, or rather, parts of Novo
16 Sarajevo municipality, Lukavica, Mrkovici, Tilava.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber what happened in June? For
18 example, do you know of any other hills that were close to you?
19 A. Yes, I do know. In June, clashes broke out between members of the
20 army of Republika Srpska which was established sometime in mid-May. This
21 took place on Mojmilo hill. And, initially, at the beginning of the
22 conflict, there were also members of the Territorial Defence on Mojmilo
23 hill. Just like they were in the part where I was, the families of
24 Milosevic, Majmunovic, and some other families.
25 And in June, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina attacked Mojmilo hill;
1 and then in June, I don't know the exact date, members of the army of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina took over an elevation on Mojmilo hill. I remember
3 that there was a tank there, and that was sort of a key elevation with
4 respect to other parts of Novo Sarajevo municipality. This was one of the
5 most important geographical points.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you mark this hill on this map?
7 A. Somewhere here.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we please save
9 this map.
10 Q. But before that, let us put a letter M for Mojmilo, and the one up
11 there to be marked with a letter P?
12 A. [Marks]
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I tender this map
14 to be admitted into evidence as a Defence exhibit.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As D196, Your Honours.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. How long did you stay on these positions that you took up together
19 with your neighbours due to the reasons that you explained? How long did
20 you stay there?
21 A. I stayed at these positions until the 13th of March, 1993, when I
22 was elected president of the then already Serbian municipality of Novo
24 Q. But before that, you said that you were a deputy in the
25 municipality of Novo Sarajevo. Where was the municipal hall situated, in
1 which part of the city of Sarajevo? Just briefly, please.
2 A. The municipal hall of Novo Sarajevo or the Serbian municipality of
3 Novo Sarajevo when I was elected, was in the building of the Faculty of
4 Farming and Forestry at Grbavica.
5 Q. How far was it from the Presidency building of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
6 A. The Forestry and Farming Faculty was about 300 metres from the
7 residence where Mr. Alija Izetbegovic had his offices, and that is as the
8 crow flies.
9 Q. Thank you. But while you were a deputy, and that is prior to the
10 13th of May -- March, before you were elected president of Novo Sarajevo
11 municipality, did you attend sessions of the assembly or other municipal
12 organs in the period while you were an ordinary deputy?
13 A. I attended sessions of the assembly of Novo Sarajevo municipality
14 in my capacity of deputy. These sessions were held once a month, or once
15 in two months, so every once and a half months. So over the period of one
16 year, while I was member of the army of Republika Srpska, or less than a
17 year, I attended these sessions of the municipal assembly five or six
19 Q. Can you describe how it looked like? With respect to the
20 positions that you held, were there any difficulties? How far was it from
21 the place where you were in front of your house? How did you get to the
22 building to attend these sessions?
23 A. I always walked. The distance between my house and the municipal
24 hall is about one and a half or two kilometres. I didn't take the main
25 road, which led from Vraca to Grbavica. This is an incoming and outgoing
1 traffic road from Grbavica to Vraca, and it was always exposed to gun-fire
2 from the left and from the right, or rather, if going down towards
3 Grbavica, from high-rise buildings across the Miljacka or from Zuc hill,
4 and on the left, from Mojmilo, or from the direction of Debelo Brdo.
5 For that reason, I most often went to attend these sessions
6 through an area called Basta of the Kovacici water-works, in order to
7 avoid being shot.
8 Q. And this area that you passed through, is that a populated area?
9 A. I passed through this area, as I said, that I went through Basta.
10 There were fewer houses at the very exit point of Kovacici, and then I
11 went through the populated area of Grbavica, all the way to the municipal
12 hall building.
13 I have to say that the meetings of the municipal assembly in 1992
14 were held for the reasons of premises in a elementary school called Sava
15 Kovacevic, which is right next to the faculty building; that is, the
16 Faculty of Agriculture.
17 Q. Tell me, to cut the long story short, before you were elects the
18 president of the Novo Sarajevo municipality, what kind of problems there
19 were in the Grbavica area that were discussed before this civilian
20 authority? By that, I mean the Novo Sarajevo municipality.
21 A. Well, it is important to say that as soon as a municipal assembly
22 session is convened, the first item on the agenda is information about the
23 political and security situation. The second item was the distribution of
24 humanitarian aid and whether it is possible to get some of the businesses
25 working again.
1 Q. Well, were there any other problems related to other issues for
2 affecting the lives of the people there?
3 A. Well, before the conflict broke out in that area, there were --
4 there had been some crimes. Humanitarian aid was not distributed
5 properly. Not all of the population living in Grbavica at the time was
6 taken care of, and because of the discontent that the people expressed
7 following those cases in Grbavica and the crimes that were recorded.
8 Q. What kind of crimes? Could you perhaps explain to the Judges what
9 kind of crimes are we talking about here?
10 A. Well, people often spoke about this group of criminals operating
11 in Grbavica. Their leader was a man by the name of Batko. He was called
12 Batko, as far as I know, and he terrorised primarily the Muslim
13 population. He instilled fear in them and also in the Serbian, among the
14 Serbian population, too.
15 The authorities in the Novo Sarajevo municipality at the time were
16 not really able to protect the population in 1992, the population of
17 Grbavica; and then because many of the deputies in the assembly demanded
18 that, the president of the Novo Sarajevo municipality was removed from
19 office. And on the 13th of March, 1992, there was a session of the
20 municipal assembly; and of the three nominees, I was elected the president
21 by the deputies by majority of votes.
22 Q. And some higher political authorities in the Republika Srpska, did
23 they also get involved in those problems, in trying to solve those
24 problems, and did this also affect the decisions made by the deputies?
25 A. Well, the higher ranking officials in Republika Srpska probably
1 did have an interest in what was happening in Grbavica. They received
2 reports from the commissioner, from the people who were the chief
3 commissioners for all the municipalities in the city of Sarajevo, and
4 probably some suggestions were made to remove the officials who were in
5 office in the municipality of Novo Sarajevo.
6 Q. I would like to ask you to turn now to the moment when you
7 actually took up this position, and to deal with some military issues,
8 first of all.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please have a clean copy
10 of the same map that we had on the screen a moment ago.
11 Could we please enlarge this area around Grbavica.
12 Q. Could you please first indicate the demarcation lines between the
13 Republika Srpska army and the BH army here.
14 A. I will start from Miljacka, the Miljacka river, then there is a
15 street that goes past the Strojrad, and then it follows the Miljacka.
16 This is the Vrbanja bridge. Misko Ivanovic Street should be somewhere
17 here, and here by the Jewish cemetery. That's the Grbavica stadium.
18 Vjelaposka [phoen] Street. So now I'm talking only about the Novo
19 Sarajevo municipality. That's how it went.
20 Q. Could you please show us Mojmilo on this map, and if you could
21 mark it in the same way that you did on the previous map.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. Could you please put an M inside this box.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Could you please -- if at all possible, it might be impossible,
1 could you please mark Debelo Brdo.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. Just a second. But Debelo Brdo was in your -- where your
4 positions were.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, that was leading.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, you're not to lead, as you well
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I know that I'm not to lead, but
9 this was an obvious error.
10 Q. First of all, it's physically not like this.
11 A. Well, this was the line. I had made a mistake. I don't know if
12 you can accept this, but this here would Debelo Brdo.
13 Q. Could you please mark it with D. Could you please mark this
14 location with the letter D.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Could you please tell -- tell us, in what position was the
17 Republika Srpska army, given those circumstances?
18 A. Well, I can say that if you look at this map, you can see that
19 Grbavica was like a kidney, wedged into the city of Sarajevo. It was
20 exposed to fire from Mojmilo hill, or rather, Debelo Brdo hill. And there
21 were some high-rise buildings on the other bank of the Miljacka river, and
22 fire could be opened from there and also from the area above Pofalici,
23 from the Zuc hill, and other elevations there.
24 Q. And could you tell me what was the distance between the two
25 warring sides on this section of the demarcation line?
1 A. If you have the demarcation line in the inhabited area, such as
2 Grbavica, what it means is that on one side of the street VRS troops would
3 be in the houses there, and the BH army troops would be on the other side
4 of the street. So the distance would be maybe 30 metres.
5 That was true for the demarcation line as it ran along the
6 Miljacka river and also if this area here, across Zlatiste, and further
7 on. And there by the road, the distance between the two sides was maybe
8 30 or 40 metres as you would went to Trebevic, but I didn't mark that on
9 this map because that was another municipality.
10 Q. And could you please explain to the Court what kind of weapons
11 were available at Grbavica?
12 A. There were infantry weapons in Grbavica, automatic and
13 semi-automatic rifles, and there were three or four armoured personnel
14 carriers. And I can explain right away that those armoured personnel
15 carriers are vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns that was 12.7
16 millimetre in calibre, and there was also a 20-millimetre gun mounted on
17 those vehicles.
18 Those APCs were most commonly used in Grbavica on occasions when
19 somebody was wounded, when some VRS troops would be wounded, or if this
20 also happened to civilians as they ran across a street. So they were used
21 to access the scene and to provide cover against any fire from the
22 opposite side, thus making it possible to give aid to the wounded persons
23 and then to transport those persons to hospital.
24 So as for mortars, Howitzers, tanks, or any other heavy weaponry,
25 there were no such things at Grbavica.
1 Q. Thank you. And what about UNPROFOR?
2 But, first, let me ask you: You know about the total exclusion
3 zone for heavy weapons. You heard about it. We will address this issue
5 A. Yes, I heard about it.
6 Q. Yes. And at that time, when that happened, did UNPROFOR members
7 demanded the removal of those weapons that you spoke about, or rather,
8 those vehicles, the APCs?
9 A. Those APCs were not to be moved from Grbavica, but an agreement
10 was reached with the -- with UNPROFOR through the liaison officers from
11 the Republika Srpska army to move those APCs into the alley-ways between
12 buildings or in doorways.
13 Q. I would like to ask you just one more thing: If we look at the
14 whole of the conflict and this situation that you just described to us,
15 the situation at Grbavica, what kind of weapon was most commonly used? So
16 I'm asking you for both sides.
17 A. Well, the weapons most commonly used at Grbavica were infantry
18 weapons, automatic or semi-automatic rifles. We also had an UNPROFOR
19 representative in our municipality. He was an expert, and he was able to
20 determine the origin of fire of those sporadic shots that were fired. It
21 was a Norwegian officer, Steiner Bertinusen [phoen]. And in the evening,
22 he would show me that more such bullets had been fired from the other bank
23 of the Miljacka river into the Serbian side than the other way around,
24 from the Serbian side to the other bank of the Miljacka river.
25 And I have to tell you that snipers are mentioned all the time. I
1 know that if you have an automatic rifle or a semi-automatic rifle, if you
2 put on some kind of a sighting device on such a rifle, you can call it a
3 sniper. I can say that I never saw any VRS troops with that kind of
4 weapons at Grbavica. And I often visited the demarcation lines all along
5 Grbavica, and the distance between the two sides at the demarcation line
6 was between 30 and 40 metres. I have to say that I did not see any such
7 weapons on the other side either.
8 Q. And where was this rifle fire mostly concentrated, if you look at
9 the demarcation line?
10 A. Well, most of the rifle fire in the Grbavica area came from the
11 Debelo Brdo area - that's the area that I didn't draw in properly just a
12 moment ago - and from Mojmilo hill and Hrasno hill, and from the high-rise
13 buildings on the other bank of the Miljacka river.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think my time has
15 run out now, and just one more thing. I would like to tender this as a
16 Defence exhibit, this map.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As D197, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll adjourn for today.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m,
21 to be reconvened on Friday, the 1st day of June,
22 2007, at 9.15 a.m.