1 Thursday, 7 June 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'd like us to go into private session so that I
6 can discuss a particular matter.
7 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Ms. Isailovic, can I just put a question to you
3 while we wait? I understood you to say that the three witnesses which we
4 have mentioned are to be offering evidence through 92 bis. That is to say
5 that they will not appear in court. And in that case, we -- in that case,
6 a pseudonym would be sufficient to protect their identity. But the
7 question is then: Do you anticipate that any of them might appear for
8 cross-examination under 92 ter?
9 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the three witnesses
10 are in the group of witnesses to come under Rule 92 bis, and, of course,
11 we even envisaged the possibility under Rule 92 bis to have them appear,
12 all the same. This is the reason why we are going to comply with your
13 order, and you are going to receive supplemental information so that you
14 can rule as to the protective measures for the three witnesses. So we
15 quite understood, fully understood, this possibility; that is, that
16 further to your order, under Rule 92 bis, you could decide that the
17 witnesses should appear before you. In such an event there would be face
18 distortion and that might be then a topical matter. And this is what we
19 are going to do. We are going to comply.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are waiting for the witness.
21 The court deputy is checking on the witness.
22 [Trial Chamber and usher confer]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are being updated on the problem of the
24 appearance of the witness. The witness has not been found in any of the
25 rooms where he should be. This has been reported to the Victims and
1 Witnesses Unit, and also, I believe, to the security.
2 If the witness is not here within a reasonable time, we would move
3 to the next witness.
4 Mr. Tapuskovic?
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, of course this is
6 how it has to be. However, as far as we were informed yesterday, this
7 witness has to be picked up from the hotel at 4:00 p.m. That was the plan
8 for yesterday with the Victims and Witnesses Unit. So according to this
9 service's plan, his witness is supposed to be where he is going to be
10 picked up at 4.00 p.m. However, he may already be here, but anyway, we
11 will have to wait for him and it will all depend on how this is going to
12 be organised and arranged.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we have been told that he has been found
15 and will be here in a few minutes. So we'll have an exercise in patience,
16 in waiting. But I must say I didn't understand Mr. Tapuskovic's assertion
17 that the witness was to be picked up at 4.00 p.m. Oh, it's the next
18 witness you're talking about, the next witness? I see. Okay.
19 [Microphone not activated] ... something might happen which might
20 require that the other witness be present. It seems to me that they
21 should have two witnesses here at any given time.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: To keep you updated, the court deputy has just
24 informed me that the vehicle transporting the witness has just arrived.
25 So our wait may end in another three or four minutes.
1 As an indication of how long we have been waiting, you might have
2 noticed that the security guards have changed positions. They do that
3 every half an hour.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please sit, Mr. Elez.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before the examination-in-chief continues,
8 Mr. Elez, you owe the Court an explanation as to why you're late. You
9 should have been here for 2.15.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The appointment was made for me that
11 way. I waited in the lobby of the hotel at quarter to 2.00. Nobody came
12 to pick me up, so at 2.10, 2.15 I made a call to find out what was going
13 on, why nobody was there. I don't know.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: When were you picked up? What time were you
15 picked up?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't have a watch
17 but I believe it was 20 past 2.00, and the traffic was jammed, as far as I
18 could see.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: What -- where are you staying? Well, don't
20 answer that. Don't answer that. But that would have to be done in
21 private session. But I'm going to have the court deputy bring this matter
22 to the attention of the registrar so that a full report explaining the
23 late arrival of the witness is made to the Court tomorrow.
24 Proceed, Mr. Tapuskovic.
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
1 Thank you.
2 WITNESS: Vaso Elez [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic: [Continued]
5 Q. Witness, yesterday we started the examination-in-chief, and now I
6 have to cover a few general matters that did not seem topical for the
7 Defence yesterday. I would like to ask you, at the moment when you joined
8 the army of Republika Srpska, had there been any proclamations from any
9 side about joining various armies?
10 A. Yes. On TV and on the radio there were announcements. Late
11 Mr. Alija Izetbegovic called on all able-bodied men to join the army of
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I could not join that army because I didn't
13 belong there.
14 Q. What about the population of Grbavica? Were there any calls made
15 on them from the other side?
16 A. Yes. The other side also proclaimed a mobilisation.
17 Q. Thank you. Could you please explain to the Judges -- you have
18 already stated what your relations were with members of other ethnic
19 communities. When the conflict broke out, what was your attitude to
20 members of other ethnic communities, if there were any around you at the
21 time of the conflict?
22 A. In Grbavica, interethnic relations were normal. In entranceways,
23 even in buildings, even joint guard duty was organised between Serbs and
25 Q. I don't know if you understood me. That was before the conflict.
1 Now we are talking about the time when the conflict already broke out. At
2 the outset, were Muslims subjected to any unpleasantries? How did you
3 treat members of other ethnic communities, I don't know, Croats, Muslims,
4 maybe, gypsies, if there were any.
5 A. Most of the Muslims had crossed over to the other side of the
6 Miljacka river. Many Croats had joined the army of Republika Srpska.
7 Some Muslims who stayed on with their families did not want to accept
8 rifles, although a couple of them did. I know that they helped unload or
9 distribute humanitarian aid. In other words, they performed the kinds of
10 work for which they were able.
11 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty?
13 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, I wonder if we might have the basis
14 of the witness's knowledge of these fairly general statements that he is
15 making. It's always possible that I've missed something but so far I have
16 heard the witness say that he lived in Grbavica at a particular flat, that
17 he joined the army, and that other than a brief stint as a platoon leader,
18 he served in a trench as a private along the Miljacka river, and yet the
19 witness is giving general statement about the -- general statements,
20 excuse me, about the behaviour of entire ethnic communities and I just
21 don't see the basis for him to be able to make these statements.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us ask him, then.
23 Witness, what is the basis for the statements that you have just
24 made? How did you acquire that knowledge?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Presiding Judge, I was
1 an eyewitness to some of the developments, not all, but from what I was
2 able to see, I can speak about my immediate neighbourhood. I know what my
3 neighbours in my building did, or people in the building next door. That
4 is how I made my conclusions.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Anything further, Mr. Docherty, I think
6 you'll have to take up in cross-examination.
7 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Precisely. And only after
9 cross-examination will I perhaps come back to this subject.
10 Q. I'm interested in picking up on one of the things you said. When
11 was your second child born?
12 A. My second child was born in November 1995.
13 Q. Thank you. So -- thank you. That will be enough. And at the
14 time of the Dayton Accords, what happened with you, your family, your
16 A. After the Dayton Accords were concluded, Grbavica fell under the
17 federation. We did not dare to stay because we had the threats issued
18 over the mass media. Not a single soldier dared to stay on with his
19 family. We left our homes and we left that territory.
20 Q. Thank you. When you joined the army of Republika Srpska, as you
21 explained the last time, who were the people who made up your unit in the
22 location which you described last time?
23 A. In my unit, most of the troops were local people from town, and I
24 knew them. There were also some people who had crossed over from the
25 other side, from neighbourhoods such as Pofalici. Some of them left their
1 families back on the other side.
2 Q. Thank you. Do you know when General Dragomir Milosevic took over
3 command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
4 A. General Dragomir Milosevic took over command in August 1994. I
5 remember that because sanctions were imposed at that time by Serbia and
6 Montenegro, and humanitarian aid stopped coming or continued in a
7 trickle. Neither the people nor the army had much food.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you explain to the court who at that time
9 occupied the positions on the confrontation line between the two armies
10 while General Milosevic was the commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
11 A. I don't think I understood the question.
12 Q. Who were the soldiers, the fighting men, who made up the unit to
13 which you belonged at the time when General Dragomir Milosevic took over
14 command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
15 A. The unit that was on the other bank of the Miljacka river was
16 called, I believe, King Tvrtko.
17 Q. Please. All right. I'm not going to interrupt you. What did you
18 mean when you said that the King Tvrtko unit was on the other side?
19 A. That unit was positioned there only then, at the end of 1994. We
20 found that out when they started crossing over to our side. A couple of
21 soldiers from that unit crossed over to our side. We had a report about
22 that. Out of 56 soldiers who were on that line, left -- abandoned their
23 rifles the next day and crossed over to our side.
24 Q. And they were from which ethnic community, the soldiers of that
25 King Tvrtko unit?
1 A. They were all Croats.
2 Q. Thank you. What I actually meant to ask you was who were the
3 fighting men in that platoon, in the company, at the moment when General
4 Dragomir Milosevic took over command? Who were the men in your own unit?
5 A. They were the same soldiers as in 1992.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we see again
8 for a moment the map that was on the screens at the end of the previous
9 session? I would later like to save that map and ask two questions.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is this the map on the screen?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No. I meant the photograph of
12 the city. Last time I asked our learned friend Shawn to keep it handy.
13 It was actually a photograph.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us see whether he has complied with your
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 Q. Witness, last time you gave us all the explanations to accompany
18 these markings. Could you explain the Trial Chamber once again, at the
19 time when General Milosevic took over command and you were on those
20 confrontation lines, as you described, what were the activities on that
21 confrontation lines when you were there? What was going on?
22 A. Our army, marked in red, was along the Miljacka river in
23 residential buildings, on the ground floor, and we were additionally
24 protected by sandbags, and we were facing the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 on the other side. We don't see the flanks here on this picture, but on
1 the flanks, they were positioned in private homes. They were all
2 fortified. Grbavica is situated in a depression, like in a pot. It was
3 surrounded on all sides and there was only one way out, the road via Vrace
4 that went uphill and it was constantly under fire. Grbavica was under
5 fire from Debelo Brdo, Mojmilo hill, Hrasno, Pero Kosoric, a
6 neighbourhood, from high-rise buildings, from the top of the Energoinvest
7 building, the building we called Sibicara, from the science school of the
8 university. We don't see here the building of the Executive Council, but
9 they had positions even there. And the entire area was covered.
10 Q. You say fire was coming among other sources from Debelo Brdo. If
11 we look at this position, what does that mean? You were facing Miljacka
12 river. What does it mean fire coming from Debelo Brdo?
13 A. Troops of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were on Debelo Brdo.
14 They were behind our backs, if we were in Grbavica, just as they were on
15 Mojmilo hill.
16 Q. Did anything happen to you personally during the conflict?
17 A. In 1994, troops were being concentrated, troops of the ABH, in
18 locations around Sarajevo such as central Trnovo, and in 1994, I was in a
19 place called Polom, where I was wounded on the 24th September 1994, by a
20 mortar shrapnel.
21 Q. Thank you. How long were you out of combat due to that injury?
22 A. I was on sick leave for 45 days, and after that I went again to
23 Polom. And the same locations as before. We had to assist the Ozrenska
24 unit because strong forces were concentrated around Sarajevo. At that
25 time there were no major attacks against Grbavica but there were attacks
1 on other surrounding locations.
2 Q. For how long -- how long did you have to be in Prolom and in other
3 locations that you just mentioned?
4 A. That lasted until end December 1994, when there was a cease-fire,
5 until May 1995. We observed the cease-fire. Perhaps there were
6 individual violations, like in March, the killing of two girls by soldiers
7 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who shot at the two girls from the
8 direction of --
9 Q. All right. We've heard about that. But tell me, did you ever
10 meet General Dragomir Milosevic?
11 A. I believe it was in the spring of 1995, when commander Dragomir
12 Milosevic was touring the forward defence lines. I was at the time in my
13 position next to the Miljacka river, and at that time, he addressed the
14 troops staying, "Take care of yourselves, boys. If you have survived this
15 long, hold on a bit longer." And then he said, "There were reports on
16 television citing civilian casualties and saying that somebody is shooting
17 at the civilians" and I said to the commander, "We can't see a thing from
18 here. We rarely see even a soldier running across, and there can be no
19 civilians here. This area is an area where there are only business,
20 office buildings, and anyway, we would never shoot at civilians because we
21 all have families. And even on the other side, many of us have families
22 who stayed there, immediate family or more distant family. So it's nobody
23 from our side who is shooting."
24 Q. Tell me, was it possible for anyone to cross over from one side to
25 another? I'm talking about civilians.
1 A. Grbavica was rather constrained. There weren't any broad lines.
2 Some attempts were made across the Miljacka. I didn't see that. I heard
3 about that. And these attempts ended in the Miljacka. Also, near
4 Zeljeznicar stadium, two other streets -- well, the street is not very
5 wide, so people would run across there. So quite a few people tried to
6 cross over to the other side. Some succeeded, others didn't. And those
7 who did cross over talked about what had happened.
8 Q. Thank you. I would like to tell you -- I would like to show you a
9 document, actually. That is DD003028 -- or 3208, rather.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Whilst the document is being
11 retrieved, I would like to ask a question of the witness.
12 Witness, you said that when General Milosevic advised you not to
13 shoot at civilians, and also to take care of yourselves, you said you
14 answered to the commander that there were no civilians around and that
15 anything -- anyway, nothing was happening there. When you
16 say "commander," did you mean General Milosevic himself or did you say
17 that to your own commander of your own unit?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the answer that I gave to
19 commander Dragolub [as interpreted] Milosevic.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Personally, you spoke to him
21 personally, is that so?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, to him personally, because as
23 I've already said, I happened to be there on the positions as he was
24 touring them.
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I see. Very well, but please
1 answer this question, and it's my last question: There were no military
2 activities? In other words, your unit was not shooting, it was not firing
3 any shells or anything of that type?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While the cease-fire was on, no
5 gunfire was opened. We fully observed the cease-fire. It was easier for
6 us, too, when it was that kind of situation, when there were no
7 casualties. We thought that in that way the war had stopped.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: How frequently did General Milosevic tour the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how frequently he
12 toured the positions. I saw him then. I heard that he did tour the
13 positions but I did not happen to come across him.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: You saw him only once, then?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Q. Mr. Elez, please take a look at this document. It's a bit blurred
19 but this is the form that I found it in. Could you please have a look and
20 see who it was that issued this document? Please look at the date.
21 Please look at what the heading says.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: It should be enlarged. Can it be enlarged?
23 Because it's difficult it read.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I can see it. I think I can
25 see what it says.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Well, if you can, could you read out the letterhead and the
3 heading first?
4 A. "Army unit 5454." The date is the 15th of October 1994. I think it
5 says, "Combat report to the commander of the 101st Motorised Brigade."
6 Q. Thank you. Could you now please take a look at paragraph 2, that
7 says, "Our forces"? And could you have a look at it and what is it that
8 happened at 2015 hours?
9 A. I can see it. Is it necessary for me to read it out?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. "At 2015 hours, our guard, who is at Palma noticed an escapee who
12 tried to escape to the aggressor's side. He opened fire and on that
13 occasion he wounded him."
14 Q. Thank you. Is that the kind of thing that happened, that you
15 heard of, and that you have not seen, as you said, when somebody would try
16 to cross over to the other side where the army of Republika Srpska was?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty is on his feet. Mr. Docherty?
18 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, again the witness has no basis for
19 answering this question and counsel as much as conceded that in the way he
20 put his question: Is that the kind of thing that happened, that you heard
21 of, that you have not seen? I mean, we should be hearing from witnesses
22 with firsthand knowledge, if at all possible, and I object to a witness
23 looking at a document from not even his own military unit, indeed from the
24 opposing side, and then generalising on the basis of that document to
25 things that he apparently has no firsthand knowledge of.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We do take in hearsay.
2 MR. DOCHERTY: I realise that, Your Honour. I'm not objecting on
3 the grounds that it's hearsay. I'm objecting on the grounds that it's not
4 reliable, and I think that Rule 89(C), although it gives Trial Chambers
5 very broad discretion, does say that Trial Chambers may take into -- may
6 admit into evidence any reliable evidence, and I put it that this question
7 is calling for unreliable evidence by asking the witness about things that
8 he has heard but not seen. We doesn't know from whom. We don't know how
9 reliable the source is. The source is not here. I cannot cross-examine
10 the source and subject their evidence to the test of cross-examination.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a feature of all hearsay evidence.
12 MR. DOCHERTY: Again, Your Honour in this particular case it goes
13 to the reliability. I've made my submission, in any event.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I respond?
16 First, I asked the witness what he knew about such matters, and he said
17 very nicely that there were places where one could cross over but that
18 this kind of thing would happen and this is what I asked him before I
19 showed him the document. Then I showed him the document. I did expand on
20 the question, that is true, in the spirit of what the Prosecutor just
21 said, but he said even before I showed him this document that this kind of
22 thing happened. My next question to him would be, to have it sound even
23 more convincing, I think that he can answer this, where was this facility
24 that is referred to here, Palma? From the place where he was, could he
25 see that facility or at any rate, did he know where Palma was, from where
1 the guard opened fire, as is written here, and hit the man who was trying
2 to escape.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us proceed on the basis, then, that you
4 will ask the witness from where he was could he see Palma. So I'll ask
5 the witness that. From where you were, could you see Palma?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not see Palma from where I
7 was because Palma is by the Zeljeznicar stadium, Grbavica number 2, by the
8 Loris building, Zeljeznicar stadium, that is to say, where Strojorad is.
9 I know full well where the building is.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Maybe you didn't understand what
13 he said. He said Palma is by the Loris building. Did you hear that? Did
14 you hear him say that?
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is your next question?
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, could the Loris building be
17 seen from that location, from the place where he lived and where he moved
18 about most of the time?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ask him the question.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you answer that question? You said Palma was by the Loris
22 building. How tall was Palma? Did you know that?
23 A. From the place where I was, where my apartment was, where the
24 position was, one could not fully see the Loris building or Palma, for
25 that matter, but behind the Palma building, one could see high
1 skyscrapers, four skyscrapers. Then also a square called Pero Kosoric
2 square. From these skyscrapers, you can see enough.
3 I can tell you about a particular case that happened. Dusan
4 Karan, an officer, stayed on there. He lived there. He was an elderly
5 man, 70 years old, a retired officer of the Yugoslav army. He is the
6 father of my brother-in-law. One of his sons lived there in Sarajevo. It
7 was established that somebody shot that man and killed him, from those
8 skyscrapers, on their side. They ascribed this killing to us. The
9 post-mortem established that we were the not ones -- we were not the ones
10 who were shooting but that they were shooting from their side.
11 Q. What about these -- such cases that, like the one described here?
12 Were they ascribed also to the army of Republika Srpska?
13 A. Many who were on the other side, on the other bank of the Miljacka
14 in Sarajevo and who happened to cross over, sometimes through an exchange,
15 cross over to our side, or something like that, they talked and there were
16 stories going around to the effect that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
17 when there were mass gatherings or regularly when people went to fetch
18 water, the army placed explosive devices, which resulted in casualties
19 among the civilian population and then they blamed us. I don't know. I
20 was not an eyewitness, but there were a lot of stories that were told
21 about that kind of thing. As Markale was described too.
22 Q. Thank you. That's not what I asked you. How many such cases were
23 there according to your knowledge, cases like the one described in this
25 A. There were several cases. I don't know the actual names involved
1 but quite a few things like that happened.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document,
3 well, I'd like to tender it as a Defence Exhibit.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As D216, Your Honours.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Could we try to wrap this up now? Actually, first, Your Honours,
8 [Microphone not activated].
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Tapuskovic, please.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The photograph, the photograph
11 disappeared again, the one that we took while the document was displayed.
12 However, I hear from the representative of the Registry that it's still
13 around and that it can be kept as a Defence Exhibit too.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this photograph that was marked by
15 the witness was admitted as D215 yesterday.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Elez, can you tell us now, after the period that you described
18 to us just now, the period that was more quiet, when there was a
19 cease-fire, when did the conflict break out again?
20 A. In the summer of 1995, I think it was June or July, there were
21 more frequent attacks coming from the flanks of Grbavica. That is to say
22 from Miska Jovanovica, Beogradska, Ljubljanska, Ozrenska street, then from
23 the Mojmilo hill, attacks at Djukica Potok.
24 Q. Thank you. When did this escalate, though? When was all of this
25 displayed to a large extent? When?
1 A. One could notice that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was better
2 armed because they fired at us more often and with more ammunition,
3 gunfire, artillery at all fronts.
4 Q. Thank you, thank you. However, when was this particularly
5 pronounced, if we are speaking in terms of time?
6 A. June, July, August. I'm talking about months now.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. I don't remember all the details about the period after that. I
9 know that there were attacks on all fronts, such as Trnovo.
10 Q. You've said enough. You mentioned the street of Miska Jovanovica
11 and then Investbanka and some other street. Now, I'd like to show you a
12 document. This document, does it correspond to what you were describing
13 until now, the attacks coming from the flanks and so on and so forth, all
14 the things you said? The document is DD002614.
15 Mr. Elez, can you please look at the letterhead, the date and what
16 is written immediately below the letterhead? And can you please read it?
17 A. "12th Division command, Sarajevo, the 1st of July 1995. Interim
18 combat report on our attacks, BD, combat operations, on the Grbavica
20 Q. Thank you. Can you first look at item B, which begins with the
21 words, "On" --
22 A. "At about 1120 hours on the 1st of July 1995, after provocation
23 action by our snipers, and assets on Zagrebacka street".
24 Q. Thank you, thank you. Can you also please look at what is
25 described under item A, at the beginning? If you can read that because
1 minutes ago you mentioned a street. Does this correspond to what you
3 A. "On the 20th of June 1995, JG 4/115 consisting of eight officers
4 and men mounted a strike against the probably combat sector of the
5 aggressor on Miska Jovanovica street, corner of Ivana Gorana Kovacica
6 street, conducting -- "
7 Q. Thank you, thank you. Can you also take a look at this paragraph
8 which begins, "On" and then there is a date, the first number is 26?
9 A. "On the 26th of June 1995, the 4/115 BBR, POS targeted A 8 BBT of
10 the aggressor in the butcher's, the Investbanka and the red building in
11 order to distract and tie up the aggressor and to mount a surprise attack
12 on the facility that the assault group 4/115 BBR had temporarily occupied
13 on the 20th of June 1995."
14 Q. Thank you. Is this consistent with what you were telling us a
15 minute ago about the attacks from the flanks and incursions in your
16 territory? Does this correspond to what you said spontaneously a minute
18 A. This is one of who knows how many incursions? Maybe a 50th
19 incursion by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the flanks, as I
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document,
23 DD002614 be admitted into evidence as a Defence Exhibit?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As D217, Your Honours.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Since you already mentioned this and described, there is another
3 document, number DD003542, and I would like to you confirm if this
4 document also corroborates what you said.
5 A. This document --
6 Q. Can you please wait a little bit? It's not up yet.
7 Witness, please, now you have it. Can you first look at the
8 letterhead, the date and the issuing party of this document?
9 A. Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, army General Staff, number
10 1/825-1059, date 11th of July 1995.
11 Q. Thank you. Can we scroll it a bit up and can you tell me who
12 signed this document?
13 A. This was signed and stamped by Army General Rasim Delic. That's
14 his signature.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you now read paragraph 1 that you can see, the
16 whole of it you can see on the screen, and then we shall quickly finish
17 with this.
18 A. "Up to the 15th of July -- "
19 Q. No, no, please, the first paragraph, beginning
20 with, "Considering."
21 A. Yes, yes. "Considering that we have entered into the fourth year
22 of war against Serbia and Montenegrin aggressor and in the stage of
23 liberation of PZT, and that types of combat actions well known to us,
24 frontal combined and partisan do not always use adequately and according
25 to the existing situation, and present experiences show -- " I cannot see
1 exactly -- "that partisan type of combat action within the same, we use
2 very little, although the arrangement of our forces, particularly
3 characteristics of the terrain enables that, and for the purpose of
4 intensifying the partisan type of combat actions, active actions, and
5 particularly combat action diversions, I hereby order."
6 Q. Thank you. Can you now look what is written under item 4 and can
7 you please read that out?
8 A. "These tasks to be realised as frequent as possible and as deep as
9 possible, to PZT, and create with the enemy as great as possible
10 insecurity. Actions to be taken according to the system, destroy and come
12 Q. Thank you. Does this correspond to what you said earlier, also
13 with regard with the previous document, and what you described in your
14 evidence here?
15 A. This document fully corresponds to all my statements.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can this document
18 be admitted as a Defence Exhibit?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What are you asking us to draw from this
20 document, Mr. Tapuskovic, in particular, paragraph 4? What are you
21 asking us to say that this document illustrates, so far as your case is
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the time that involves
24 the most important counts from the indictment, i.e. June and July, so if
25 you look at the indictment, you could see that the majority of incidents
1 happened in June and July. The witness explained here before you how
2 these activities looked like in that period, and this is the best document
3 relating to the things that were dominant in that period and which
4 inevitably gave rise to the necessity regarding these incursions written
5 in block letters, destroy and come back, destroy and come back.
6 Therefore, it was impossible not to respond to these actions.
7 And if you were to examine the whole document, that was the period
8 when the most difficult things were happening in this conflict. These
9 combat operations were conducted on a daily basis and they inevitably led
10 to certain difficulties and hardships for everyone living there. I'm not
11 going to separate civilians and soldiers at all. Ergo, this demonstrates
12 to what extent the responses by the army of Republika Srpska were
13 unavoidable because it was impossible not to respond to a sabotage action,
14 precisely as it says here, to cause provocation and to be active elsewhere
15 on the front during the fiercest offensive. So this shows to the highest
16 possible extent the necessity of responses that the army of Republika
17 Srpska did. And a necessary response to a certain action under
18 international law is permissible.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're saying that the charges in the indictment
20 that relate to this period, in fact illustrate the responsive character of
21 the Serb attacks?
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. The necessity of responding
23 to numerous sabotage actions based on a very simple principle: Destroy
24 and come back. It was impossible not to respond to it. There is not a
25 single army anywhere in the world that would refrain from responding to
1 this. They had to devote their attention to these actions rather than to
2 shoot at civilians from hills. And this remains to be seen whether there
3 were any incidents of direct shooting by the army of Republika Srpska,
4 deliberately targeting the civilians or whether this was the period that
5 was one of the most difficult ones.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You might also want to make something of the
7 sentence, "And create with the enemy as great as possible insecurity."
8 You might want to suggest that this goes to the question of terror
9 insecurity, and that so far as the terror charge is concerned in the
10 indictment, that this is an indication that the terror was, in fact,
11 caused and created by the ABiH.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, when the time
13 comes, I'm going to use this document again. Look what it says in the
14 preamble, particularly the characteristic of the terrain enables this. So
15 the terrain particularly had enabled the BH army to do that, and of course
16 we shall particularly focus on to what extent was true what one of the
17 witnesses stated here before you, that nobody had a monopoly over
18 suffering and equally over terror because it was impossible that in such
19 combat actions and we know who started them, at least during these
20 offensive actions, there was not fear instilled in your own population.
21 This offensive made their own population suffer and, of course,
22 also the population on the other side. So I intend, if you accept, to
23 analyse this document at the right time. This witness explained what he
24 experienced, how this looked like, and that this was exactly how it was,
25 that this was done on a regular basis, destroy and come back. That
1 created enormous hardships for anyone living there, whether it be a Serb
2 or a Muslim, for any living human being. It was plight and suffering, if
3 I may put it, and fear that was permanently there for every living being.
4 This document precisely demonstrates largely, as well as the
5 previous one, that snipers were used for provocation purposes, to shoot at
6 bunkers of the VRS and if you analyse this previous document, then you
7 will see how it was done. You have already admitted that document. This
8 is yet another proof that this was done on the orders of the Supreme
9 Command or the chief of General Staff Rasim Delic, i.e., the highest body.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] One moment, please, sir. Witness,
12 this document is a document stemming from the other side. You, sir, as a
13 witness, when you read this document, the military commander who gave the
14 instruction to his soldiers to act in this manner, he is expecting an
15 action from his subordinates, but is that in order to create destruction,
16 civilian targets, or military targets only? Since you are -- you were a
17 soldier, for one.
18 And secondly, this operation, does it concern civilians or
19 military targets? So as a soldier, I would like you to explain to us this
20 document and I'm going to ask you a subsidiary question, if you will. On
21 the ground you yourself, what did you notice? Did you notice that these
22 orders were implemented, as it stipulates here, or differently?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the positions in those parts
24 of town were in houses that were rather dense, these were civilian targets
25 and military targets. A particular case occurred there. This document
1 says that it was aimed at civilians because they killed Sinisa Komjenac's
2 mother then. I knew that she lived there because he was in my platoon,
3 and his mother was there in that apartment, in that red building. That's
4 where his mother lived. They killed her then and he was wounded in the
5 lungs and there was an exchange about 20 days later. So this document
6 proves that there were civilian casualties too. If they were shooting at
7 soldiers, why did they kill this woman?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, an objection, in
9 view of the transcript.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let's hear it.
11 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry. Allow me to
12 interrupt. It may be necessary for the witness to repeat his answer
13 regarding the body of that woman, because this does not appear in the
14 transcript. I'm looking -- [In English] "There was an exchange about 20
15 days later."
16 [Interpretation] So this is page 27, line 11. The witness said
17 something else, not an exchange, but he mentioned something else. I don't
18 want to answer instead of him so it might be useful to put the question
19 again to him regarding that body.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. Please answer, Witness.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the speaker
22 because other microphones are on on the Defence side.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Your microphone is on, so the interpreter is not
24 hearing the speaker.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sinisa Komjenac's mother was
1 killed. She stayed on their side and they returned her after some 20
2 days, through the Commission for Exchanges. There was a state commission
3 for exchanges. There were such commissions on both sides and they
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Mindua, may I
6 be of assistance? He did mention, when he was speaking a few minutes ago,
7 he mentioned the red building. This red building. Now, who held this red
8 building, in order for this to be clear? And where did the mother live
9 when she got killed in this action? You know, we already discussed that
10 quite a bit, the red building.
11 In this action that is discussed here, in one of these actions, if
12 he could explain to us where this person's mother lived, where, in which
13 part of the building that he mentioned, the red building.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It would be easier to explain with
15 that picture but I can tell you it was on our side. Outside that red
16 building, there was another structure, unoccupied. In the last
17 entranceway they broke out at that location and that's when it happened.
18 From that time on, they held that corner of the red building. It was in
19 their hands.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will break now for 20 minutes.
22 --- Recess taken at 4.01 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is a document which we did not admit
25 because we thought it had been admitted already. In fact it has not. So
1 I'll ask the court deputy to give that a number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this was the colour photograph of
3 Sarajevo marked by the witness. It was originally P00156 and will be
4 admitted as D218.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: D218. Judge Harhoff has a question for the
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. Mr. Elez, I would like to put a
8 question to you in continuation of Judge Mindua's question which you
9 answered earlier, just before the break. And my question is: What do you
10 make of the point number 3 in the order of 11th of July, if we can have
11 that document put back on the screen? The ABiH order of 11th July, signed
12 by commander Rasim Delic. If you see, Mr. Witness, point number 3, are
13 these military targets or are they civilian targets?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These are military targets.
15 Communication network, bridges, et cetera.
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: I would agree with you that they are military
17 targets, but this then raises the question of whether this order was
18 complied with by the ABiH.
19 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. Allow me to
20 intervene. The transcript does not reflect what was said by the witness,
21 page 29, line 16 -- or rather 7, because we can see a verb there. And he
22 used a verb.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm not sure what -- in the English version, on
24 page 29, line 16, it says that these are military targets. That is the
1 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] No. [In English] "Communication
2 network, bridges, et cetera." [No interpretation]
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well.
4 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] ... what -- the people who
5 understand B/C/S heard that.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let's ask the witness. What did you say,
7 Mr. Witness?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that communication networks,
9 bridges are not military targets.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Oh, I see. So in your view, the order here given
11 by army General Delic was unlawful because he's ordering his troops to
12 attack non-military targets? Is that correctly understood? That is your
13 reading of this document?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Witness, everything you described a few moments ago when you spoke
18 about defence Exhibit 217, namely what happened in the street of Miska
19 Jovanovica in Zagrebacka, where are these streets that you referred to
20 here? Where is Investbanka, where is Mesara, where is Crvena Zgrada, the
21 red building?
22 A. These facilities are on the flanks of Grbavica.
23 Q. I know. These attacks came from the flanks. But where are these
24 buildings that I referred to? Where is Zagrebacka street, where is Miska
25 Jovanovica street and notably where is Mesara, Investbanka, the red
1 building, where are they on Grbavica? What kind of buildings are they?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the witness
3 because of the Defence microphones.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please turn off your microphone, Mr. Tapuskovic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These buildings are on the territory
6 under the control of the army of Republika Srpska. These are residential
7 buildings and private homes.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, could
9 document 3542 be admitted into evidence as a Defence Exhibit?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As D219, Your Honours.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you tell the Judges about something you said? You mentioned
14 that in Ozrenska street, what happened happened to your soldiers, and at
15 one moment you stopped sending soldiers and you refused -- and you refused
16 to be platoon leader, and you no longer wanted to have that possibility of
17 sending someone to those positions. You explained that.
18 However, tell me, please, in this offensive, and particularly
19 during the war, who were all the casualties of this conflict in the area
20 where you were fighting, that is to say in Grbavica?
21 A. In Ozrenska street, all the houses were private houses. The
22 inhabitants of those houses went out, stood behind their houses, to defend
23 themselves. Many of them lost their lives, and we had to go to send
24 soldiers up there --
25 Q. Please, Mr. Elez, you explained that. You said that as far back
1 as yesterday. Now I'm asking you, during the course of this entire war,
2 particularly during these events that you were talking about now, who were
3 all the casualties in Grbavica? I don't want to say anything else to
4 you. Can you tell me who the victims were and how many victims there
6 A. Well, everybody were the victims. Soldiers and civilians.
7 Everybody who lived in Grbavica. I can give you the exact number of
8 soldiers because I was involved with that, as I work in the veterans
9 organisation, and we know exactly how many people got killed, how many
10 soldiers got killed. In the 1st Sarajevo Brigade I can tell you that the
11 number is 608, 608 soldiers. As for civilians, also around 600.
12 Q. Thank you. Please, can you say something else to me? You
13 mentioned sanctions that were imposed roughly, as you said a few moments
14 ago, at the time when General Dragomir Milosevic assumed his duties. Tell
15 me what kind of an effect this had generally speaking on the situation
16 that had to do with living in Grbavica, in every respect, in every
17 respect? I don't want to lead you in any way.
18 A. Even before, even before these sanctions, it was hard to live in
19 Grbavica. There wasn't enough food. We lived on humanitarian aid, the
20 entire civilian population and the army. Things were particularly more
21 difficult then for soldiers and civilians.
22 Q. Thank you. Was there any difference from a military point of view
23 regarding activities from either side at the time of that offensive and at
24 the time of Dragomir Milosevic's command?
25 A. Well, from a military point of view, no. There wasn't any
1 difference. There was always -- it was always hard to live in Grbavica.
2 Q. Thank you. Was there any difference in respect of military
3 activities? I'm referring to weapons primarily there.
4 A. As regards military activities, we felt that the army, the army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, had grown stronger. They were using more shells. We
6 know that they captured some tanks behind Trnovo that they used later.
7 They had communication through the tunnel underneath the airport, so they
8 could bring in weaponry and so on.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I think
10 my time is up and I have no further questions.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty?
12 Cross-examination by Mr. Docherty:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Elez.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. Mr. Elez, my name is John Docherty. I'm one of the lawyers on the
16 Prosecution side. You and I have not met before; is that correct?
17 A. No, we haven't.
18 Q. During the armed conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you were a
19 private soldier except for a spell as a platoon leader; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you give us the dates that you began being a platoon leader
22 and the day that you stopped -- the date that you stopped being a platoon
24 A. I became a platoon leader, I don't know the exact date, and that
25 was in early 1993, and I remained in that position until the end of 1993,
1 so roughly speaking, about a year.
2 Q. Now, as a private soldier, you were a member of a platoon; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that platoon was part of a company?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then what comes next, the battalion, after the company, going
8 up the hierarchy?
9 A. Yes, battalion.
10 Q. And who was the commander -- which battalion were you in and who
11 was its commander?
12 A. It was the 2nd Battalion. There were several battalion commanders
13 because one of them was killed, one was wounded, and then another was
14 killed, and actually the third one was just -- let me think for a moment.
15 I do apologise. I know this person very well but I cannot remember his
16 name. Maybe I'll remember -- oh, yes. Anto Petrovic.
17 Q. And then the battalion was part of the brigade; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Same question as before: Which brigade were you a part of? Who
20 was the brigade commander?
21 A. It was the 1st Sarajevo Brigade. The commander was Stojanovic. I
22 think his first name was Veljko.
23 Q. And then finally -- I'm sorry.
24 A. Don't remember his rank.
25 Q. All right. And --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the Prosecutor please
2 turn off the microphone while the witness is speaking?
3 MR. DOCHERTY: Yes.
4 Q. And then finally, above brigade, we reach the corps, which is
5 commanded by the accused, Dragomir Milosevic; is that right?
6 A. Yes. From August 1994.
7 Q. I want to count the steps, Mr. Elez, between you and the corps
8 commander as we go up the military hierarchy. From platoon to company,
9 that's one step. Would you agree?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Company to battalion makes two, correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Battalion to brigade makes three?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And finally brigade to corps makes four steps between you and
16 Dragomir Milosevic, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You spent your entire war in Grbavica, is that right, in the area
19 that you described on your direct examination, along the banks of the
20 Miljacka river?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You did not have any staff duties at the corps level?
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 Q. Nor were you involved in the day-to-day operations of the
25 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, were you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You don't know what orders, if any, Dragomir Milosevic might have
3 issued to artillery units, do you?
4 A. No, I don't know.
5 Q. And it would be the same answer, wouldn't it, with regard to
6 snipers within the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, wouldn't it?
7 A. That's right. I don't know. Sniper was not mentioned, anyway.
8 Q. And you wouldn't know the workings of the military justice
9 procedures in the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, would you, sir? You would not
10 know, for example, under what circumstances an investigation of criminal
11 activity would be opened, would you?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Mr. Elez, what was the last job that you had before you entered
14 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, your last civilian job?
15 A. As a civilian, I worked at the furniture showroom in Zagrebacka
16 street in Grbavica, and that was in the Sipad company. I was the manager
17 of that showroom.
18 Q. And when you did your national service in the Yugoslavian People's
19 Army in 1982, what was your rank?
20 A. I was a lance corporal.
21 Q. And what sort of work did you do? What were your duties in the
22 JNA in 1982 as a lance corporal?
23 A. My duty in 1992, as a lance corporal, was to train an infantry
25 Q. Do you mean 1982 in that last answer?
1 A. Yes, in 1982. In the JNA.
2 Q. So at no time, either in the JNA or in the Sarajevo-Romanija
3 Corps, have you had a position as a commissioned officer with duties for
4 the supervision of a large body of troops; is that correct?
5 A. I was not an officer, except as when I said I was a platoon
6 commander and a platoon is made up of 20 to 25 troops, and the scope of
7 duty is not very big.
8 Q. I want to talk with you a little bit, Mr. Elez, about the location
9 of the confrontation lines around the area where you were serving in
10 Grbavica, and could we begin, please, by looking at Defence Exhibit 218?
11 This is a colour photograph that you spent some time marking yesterday,
12 Mr. Elez.
13 Is that on the monitor in front of you, Mr. Elez? Can you see it
14 all right?
15 A. Yes, I can.
16 Q. When Mr. Tapuskovic asked you where the confrontation line was,
17 you answered verbally that it was the Miljacka river. Do you remember
18 saying that yesterday in response to Mr. Tapuskovic's question?
19 A. Yes. It was the Miljacka river.
20 Q. And you drew the red line to show where the -- so show where the
21 confrontation line was. Do you see the red line on the photograph, the
22 one that extends from one side to the other?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. That's not on the Miljacka river, is it? The blue line above it
25 is the Miljacka river, correct?
1 A. The blue line is on the other side of the Miljacka. It's not on
2 the Miljacka river. The red line that I put signifies our positions. And
3 between the Miljacka and our positions is some 30 metres. Sometimes 15
4 metres, sometimes 30 metres.
5 Q. Well, then what you are saying, if I understand you correctly, is
6 that the Miljacka river is in between the red line and the blue line? Is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And Mr. Elez, the reason I'm asking these questions is that the
10 way you drew that red line -- I don't want to testify but it looks like
11 you've put about seven high-rise buildings on your side of the river, on
12 the wrong side, if you will. Do you see what I'm referring to? Is that
13 what you meant to do?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, he drew this line
16 and he said where the lines were. This line, as it is, does not mean what
17 the Prosecutor himself, my learned colleague, is interpreting. He put
18 this line and he started explaining it. As it is drawn, it indeed goes
19 through the centre of these buildings. He explained how it all looked
20 like. Therefore, my learned colleague is giving evidence himself and
21 explaining the line. Let him explain the line that he put approximately
22 and let us -- let him tell us what it means. As he put it, he just
23 indicated where they were approximately. The river Miljacka itself could
24 not be --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Tapuskovic. The witness is to
1 answer the question.
2 MR. DOCHERTY:
3 Q. Mr. Elez, do you remember the question or do you need to hear it
5 A. I remember the question. Allow me to explain why I drew this line
6 in this way. In this picture, it is impossible to put a line adequately
7 because this is a kind of skewed view. If I had a bird eye view I could
8 have drawn it precisely. Allow me to explain going from right to left.
9 On the right-hand side, you see these two high-rise buildings and the line
10 is at the bottom of the building. Someone is better looking at
11 photographs and someone is not so good. Looking at these other high-rise
12 buildings, it's also at the bottom. And this picture doesn't show the
13 distance up to the positions on the Miljacka. You are right, this looks
14 like as if it is before the line, closer to the line.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat the last sentence
16 he said?
17 A. In all these frontal buildings were the positions, except where
18 you see the waterworks buildings. There were no positions there. That's
19 next to the brotherhood and unity bridge or road. It was behind. You
20 also cannot see the garages there. There are lots of facilities and
21 structures that one cannot see.
22 Q. Mr. Elez, I fear we are making this more complicated than it needs
23 to be. It's just that the way you drew the line yesterday confused me and
24 I'm trying to make clear by drawing the line there, are you claiming that
25 those buildings, even though they are on your side of the river, were
1 under the control of the ABiH, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or is it
2 just the way you drew the line? Because you didn't have a bird's eye
4 A. That's right. That's how it looks like, because these high-rise
5 buildings are on our side.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic is on his feet. When counsel
7 rises, then he has to be heard. What's your point, Mr. Tapuskovic?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] There is again a suggestion of
9 something that the witness never said, that these buildings, where this
10 line runs through, were on the side of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He never said
11 that. He keeps repeating that these buildings were on the territory of
12 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. He's only now trying to explain this obvious
13 fact. If my colleague Docherty is suggesting that these buildings are on
14 the territory of BH army, the witness never said that, that they were on
15 the territory of the BH army.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I didn't understand that that was what
17 Mr. Docherty was suggesting.
18 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, I apologise because I'm -- people are
19 not understanding my questions. I'm just trying to understand what the
20 witness himself says about who had these apartment buildings. And I'm
21 sorry it's turned into such a lengthy process.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: He has given an explanation.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: I think so and I'm prepared to move on.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. DOCHERTY:
1 Q. Mr. Elez, let's move to a map that you marked yesterday, Defence
2 Exhibit 215 and here I think you had a bird's eye view, if you will. And
3 again, Mr. Elez, do you see the map in front of you? And do you see it
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And here, there is a red line along a main street on the north
7 side of the river. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. And that's where you originally put the confrontation line until
10 you were corrected, is that true?
11 A. Yes. That was obviously my big mistake.
12 Q. And you were also asked to draw Mojmilo hill and you drew a large
13 sort of oval-shaped area in the lower left centre of the photograph, is
14 that correct, and labelled it with the letter M, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is it your evidence that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 controlled Mojmilo hill?
18 A. Yes. They had it under their control. They were deployed on the
19 Mojmilo hill.
20 Q. Other witnesses for the Defence in this trial have testified about
21 the drive from Lukavica to Pale along a particular road. Do you see the
22 Lukavica-to-Pale road on this map?
23 A. If it's this yellow line, then I see it.
24 Q. And do you see that the area you've drawn as Mojmilo hill under
25 the control of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina cuts that road in the
1 lower centre of this map?
2 A. Yes. I see. And this is again my obvious mistake. I am aware
3 that this is a road and this road was not under the control of the BH
4 army. It was under our control. So I stand corrected in this respect.
5 Q. And in fact throughout the war, the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps
6 controlled the Lukavica-to-Pale road in its entirety, didn't it?
7 A. Not all the time. I think not immediately in 1992. This road was
8 cut off several times by the BH army soldiers. They made incursions. It
9 was in the territory under the control of the army of Republika Srpska but
10 there were frequent incursions and fire.
11 Q. Were there incursions after 1992? In 1993, 1994 and 1995?
12 A. There was one incursion. I cannot remember whether it was in 1994
13 or 1995, because I wasn't up there on the position. I heard that above
14 Zlatiste, the area of Osmica, were infiltrated by the soldiers of the BH
15 army. They wedged themselves into that area. There were a few soldiers
16 of the VRS killed but this area was soon recaptured.
17 Q. And this area was soon recaptured because this road was very
18 important to the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, wasn't it? If this road was
19 cut, communications between the barracks in Lukavica and the political
20 leadership in Pale became very, very difficult, didn't they?
21 A. I suppose so. BH army soldiers couldn't stay there. They just
22 wedged themselves into that area and then they withdrew. That's what I
23 heard. I cannot speak about this because I wasn't there myself on the
25 Q. Well, one final question on this point: If there are photographs
1 in evidence in this case taken from the Lukavica-to-Pale road, those
2 photographs are taken from areas under the control of the
3 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps; is that a true statement?
4 A. I'm not sure.
5 Q. Has it not just been your testimony, Mr. Elez, that except for
6 some incursions that were beaten off, this road was under the control of
7 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
8 A. Yes. That's what I said. But I didn't understand you about the
9 photographs, your question concerning photographs. Can you please repeat
11 Q. Yes. If there are photographs in evidence in this case and if
12 those photographs, it is shown, were taken from the Lukavica-to-Pale
13 road - and I don't think you saw any such photographs during your
14 testimony, I don't mean to confuse you - but a photograph taken from the
15 Lukavica-to-Pale road is a photograph taken from an area that, in your
16 testimony, was under the control of the SRK except for some incursions by
17 the army of BH which were beaten off?
18 I apologise. That was a long question but if you understood it,
19 could you tell us whether that's a correct or an incorrect statement?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I still don't understand you. What can be seen in
21 the photographs? I don't understand.
22 Q. Let me change the question. At the risk of being repetitive, the
23 Lukavica-to-Pale road with the exception of some incursions by the army of
24 BH that were beaten off was under the control of the SRK, true or not
1 A. True.
2 Q. I want to cover some of the things that you testified about in
3 your direct examination, and so I'm going to be calling up some of the
4 documents that you looked at already with Mr. Tapuskovic. And could we
5 start, please, with Defence Exhibit 216, 2-1-6?
6 Now, I know this is not terribly easy to read but in your direct
7 examination you said that the shooting referred to in the first paragraph
8 under "our forces," did you tell us what time of day that occurred? It
9 was at 2015 hours; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. That's what it says.
11 Q. And that is at 8.15 in the evening, correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. And this document is -- has a date on it of 15th of October 1994,
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. On the 15th of October, at 8.15 in the evening, it is dark in
17 Sarajevo, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And this refers to an individual who was, tell me if you agree
20 with this or not, attempting to cross the lines between two opposing
21 armies in the dark.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, you were, yourself, a private soldier in a trench for a long
24 time, and I'm sure that was a very difficult experience; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were concerned about your personal safety at all times, true?
2 A. Yes, certainly.
3 Q. Is it surprising to you that a person trying to cross the lines
4 during the dark is shot? Is that surprising to you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That does surprise you?
7 A. Yes, it surprises me, because a soldier cannot flee from his own
8 army to another. It was probably a civilian and they shot him in the
10 Q. Where in this document, sir, does it say he was shot in the back?
11 Can you point that out to us?
12 A. Because it is stated in the report that a pedestrian is
13 running - I can't see this very well. Can it please be zoomed in -
14 towards the aggressor's side. That is to say from their side to the
15 aggressor's side. It's their report, isn't it? So if he was leaving
16 them, they were probably shooting in his back.
17 Q. So this is a assumption that you make based upon the report? It
18 is not in the report.
19 A. I get the impression that this is the truth, that at 2015 hours,
20 there was an escapee, that is to say someone escaping from their side, who
21 wanted to cross over to the aggressor's side, and they are calling our
22 side the aggressor's side. That soldier opened fire, as is stated in this
23 report, at that person. Now, was it a civilian or a soldier? Probably a
24 civilian. A soldier never crossed over or fled to the other side. I
25 mean, their soldier. Because at that place, most often it was civilians
1 who were trying to cross over.
2 Q. And as you said in your last answer, this is their report, meaning
3 this is an army of Bosnia and Herzegovina report, correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And so after this incident, this report was written, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And this report from the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you've just
8 testified, seems to you to be the truth. That is to say, the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina shot this man, correct?
10 A. Well, probably, because this is a report from a soldier to his
11 command. I mean, from the people who were on guard there. Well, there
12 were some cases like that and I believe this is true.
13 Q. And this report does not blame the shooting on your side, on the
14 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, does it?
15 A. No, it doesn't.
16 Q. It takes responsibility for what happened that night, doesn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. There is no claim that this incident has been staged by the
19 Serbian side in order to dirty up the reputation of the Bosnian side, is
20 there, that this was faked, in other words?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Mr. Elez, the next topic that I want to cover with you is the
23 incident you described or the occasion you described in your direct
24 testimony when Dragomir Milosevic came to visit your unit on the front
25 lines. You know the occasion that I am referring to; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you remember what day that was?
3 A. I cannot recall the date. I know it was spring time, because that
4 was the first time I met up with him and talked to him. I have already
5 stated that I met him once. I happened to be there and other soldiers
6 were there too, and that is why I remember this moment. Spring time. I
7 could not remember even the month.
8 Q. General Milosevic had a driver, and I believe he had an aide de
9 camp, a lieutenant. Do you remember the names of those people?
10 A. No, I don't.
11 Q. Do you remember what sort of vehicle Dragomir Milosevic arrived
12 in, if indeed he did arrive in a vehicle?
13 A. He did not arrive in a vehicle. It is not safe to get there in a
14 vehicle. He arrived accompanied by the company commander, and there was
15 no driver with him.
16 Q. And before I go on, you mentioned the company commander, and I
17 should have asked this earlier. Could you tell us which company your
18 platoon was in and who this company commander was, please?
19 A. It was the 1st Company, and the company commander was Vukota
21 Q. Do you recall what time of day it was that General Milosevic
23 A. It was in the afternoon, before dark, as far as I can remember,
24 because one could not see completely.
25 Q. So after all these years, 12 years and a little bit, you can't
1 remember what month this happened, you can remember that it happened in
2 the afternoon, you cannot remember the names of any of the members of the
3 general's entourage. Is it safe to say, Mr. Elez, that the only
4 significant thing you can remember about this occasion is General
5 Milosevic's saying to you not to shoot civilians? Is that -- is that the
6 only thing that stands out in your mind after 12 years?
7 A. I remember that because, as I said, it was not dark yet, but
8 Milosevic could not be seen properly. When coming to combat positions, he
9 informs the company commander and he toured with him, at least --
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, but he said what he
11 repeated just now. He remembered who was with him, whereas the Prosecutor
12 is suggesting that he did not know who he had come from, but he already
13 said that he was with the company commander. He said the name and the
14 surname. The first name was Vukota, and I cannot remember the last name
15 now, so he said the name and surname of the person he had come with. He
16 remembered that.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: What was put to him was whether it was safe to
18 say that the only significant thing that he could remember was the general
19 saying not shoot civilians, and whether that was the only thing that stood
20 out in his mind after 12 years. And he's seeking to answer that. And I
21 don't understand your point. Yes?
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, but before that, he
23 said that he did not remember anything but that, whereas the witness did
24 say that he did remember who he had come with. In response to a series of
25 questions he said that he remembered that he had come with the company
1 commander. However, what was suggested to him was that the only thing he
2 remembered was this conversation.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, it's being said that you
4 misrepresented the evidence in suggesting that that was the only thing the
5 witness recollected, that he did recollect other things.
6 MR. DOCHERTY:
7 Q. Mr. Elez, you testified that this was the only time during your
8 service with the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps that the commander of your corps
9 came to visit your unit. It was the only time he came to visit; isn't
10 that right?
11 A. Yes. That's why I remember, because it was the only time. I
12 remember there were other conversations but I cannot remember all of that,
13 and I couldn't see him properly because he came in order to seek shelter
14 into the premises and it was dark and that is why I remember things the
15 way I said.
16 Q. So there were, as you just said, other conversations but you don't
17 remember those other conversations; is that what you just testified to?
18 A. Well, there were other soldiers there that he talked to and they
19 were talking. I remember what I said. Perhaps there was more informal
20 talk, like, "How are you guys? How are your families? Are you hungry?
21 What are your uniforms like? Do you have enough ammunition?" I can't
22 remember exactly. It's hard to remember all of that but you can remember
23 some of it.
24 Q. Yes. I know it's hard to remember those things. I know that this
25 was 12 years ago. But what I'm putting to you, sir, that a visit by such
1 a high-ranking officer, the only time that this occurred during the war,
2 must have been a pretty memorable experience for you. Is that right?
3 A. Well, I don't know what you consider memorable, because at that
4 time we talked a lot amongst us. We had heard a lot of stories, and the
5 topic was the suffering of civilians and that's what we talked about too.
6 Q. It really doesn't matter, Mr. Elez, what I consider memorable. I
7 asked if you found it memorable, the visit of -- the one-time-in-the-war
8 visit of a senior military officer like General Milosevic.
9 A. Well, yes. That was memorable.
10 Q. And at that time in the war, there were a lot of things that were
11 on your mind in that trench along the Miljacka river, things like food and
12 ammunition supply, correct?
13 A. It was not our job to think about either food or supplies of
14 ammunition. When we were in our positions we didn't think about food. We
15 tried to save our ammunition. We didn't have much in stock. I suppose
16 there was somebody who was in charge of that, whose job it was to think
17 about ammunition. And we had to do with the food we got.
18 Q. But here is a general officer, whom you can ask about the things
19 that are on your mind. I mean, this is, as you've described it, for a
20 military context, a fairly informal conversation, correct?
21 A. Yes. There were also other officers touring positions, like the
22 one in charge of morale. They asked us what kind of uniforms we had.
23 There were lots of questions on both sides. We were missing a lot of
24 things. But we had to do with what we had.
25 Q. But the thing that you remember about your conversation with
1 General Milosevic, the thing that you want to give evidence about at this
2 Tribunal, is General Milosevic telling you not to shoot civilians? There
3 might have been conversation about other things, like uniforms and
4 families, but you don't remember that. What you remember is not to shoot
5 civilians? And after all these years, that's what you remember and that's
6 what you want to give evidence of, correct, sir?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I accept that the witness can be
9 confronted with what he really said, but we should find the relevant
10 passage in the transcript and confront him. Yesterday, he said something
11 that the Prosecutor is now quoting back at him but we don't know whether
12 he said it exactly in that way so we should find the passage in the
13 transcript and find his own exact words that he uttered in the
14 examination-in-chief. We need a reference.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is your point that the witness did say in
16 evidence earlier that he remembered other things apart from the general
17 telling them not to shoot civilians? Are you saying that he has testified
18 to other things being said or to his recollection of other things? If
19 that is so, Mr. Docherty, are you in a position to cite the passage?
20 MR. DOCHERTY: I will be in just a moment, Your Honour. I'm just
21 scrolling back. Your Honour, the witness said at page 49, lines 12
22 through -- 12 and 13, "That's why I remember because it was the only
23 time. I remember there were other conversations but I cannot remember all
24 of that and I couldn't see him properly." So I take that, Your Honour, as
25 the witness saying that there were other conversations but he doesn't
1 remember them.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, are you able to draw our
4 attention to any passage in which the witness said he recollected the
5 general saying other things to them?
6 MR. DOCHERTY: Your Honour, may I supplement my last answer?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
8 MR. DOCHERTY: Above that at page 49, lines 20 through 25, the end
9 of the page, "There were other soldiers there that he talked to and they
10 were talking. I remember what I said. Perhaps there was more informal
11 talk, like 'How are you guys? How are your families? Are you hungry?
12 What are your uniforms like, do you have enough ammunition?" I can't
13 remember exactly. It's hard to remember all of that, but you can remember
14 some of it."
15 So again, Your Honour, I take that at least as the witness saying,
16 yes, there was other conversation but all I remember is the injunction
17 against shooting civilians, all that I remember with precision. And I
18 focus on the word "perhaps."
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] 12th page, 14th line. That's the
20 passage which shows the subject discussed. And there is a whole paragraph
21 in line 12 which shows --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Give us the citation, please, Mr. Tapuskovic.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Since I can't speak English, I
24 would like to ask my colleague to read this.
25 MS. ISAILOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, page 12,
1 Mr. Tapuskovic asked a question, so I'm talking about line 12.
2 [In English] "But tell me, did you have a" -- [Interpretation] So for me I
3 would have interpreted that as, "Have you ever met General Dragomir
4 Milosevic?" And then after that, the witness answered, between lines 14
5 and page 13, line 1.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Docherty, I believe it is slightly inaccurate
8 to put this suggestion that you have been putting to the witness because
9 there is in the passage cited other things mentioned by the witness in
10 relation to the general's visit. You were putting to him that, is the
11 general's remark about civilians the only thing that he remembers from his
13 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, I think -- I think that this point
14 has been beaten half to death. What I am attempting to put to the
15 witness, and I'll move on now, is that the witness remembers with clarity,
16 with precision, this injunction against shooting civilians and that as to
17 everything else, despite how memorable the occasion was and how unusual
18 the occasion was, the witness remembers with clarity one point that is
19 helpful to the Defence. That is what I am putting. That is what I would
20 argue from all of the evidence and as I say, the evidence will be what it
21 will be. The record is as it is. And I think that both sides can argue
22 such inferences as are there to be made. I don't think I'm being told
23 that I misrepresented the record. I certainly did not mean to do so. But
24 as I say --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: At this stage, I'm going to end it. At this
1 stage I'm going to end this long debate. I'm not going to allow the
2 question to be put to the witness. It appears to me to be more
3 appropriate for submission in closing arguments.
4 We have the transcript. We have the witness's evidence. And
5 we'll have to make up our minds about it.
6 MR. DOCHERTY: Could we please see Defence Exhibit 219?
7 Q. Do you see that in front of you, Mr. Elez?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in the upper left-hand corner, there is a date on this
10 document, isn't there, of 11th of July 1995? Do you see that and have I
11 read it out correctly?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I want to direct your attention to paragraph number
14 3, "Targets for attack." Do you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I'm going to read these to you, artillery positions, that is a
17 military target, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tanks are a military target, aren't they?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. There are the initials at least on the English side, "PAT."
22 That's an anti-aircraft gun, isn't it, and that is a military target,
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. "Stores of weapon load," military target, Mr. Elez?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I don't know what --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Sorry. But just one more question. We are past
4 time for the break.
5 MR. DOCHERTY: I'm actually -- could we take it now? I'm about to
6 get into something more contentious.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Yes.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.39 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Docherty.
11 MR. DOCHERTY:
12 Q. Ready to proceed, Mr. Elez?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Elez, Exhibit 219, Defence Exhibit 219 is still on the screen
15 in front of you. I'm really following up on a question that Judge Harhoff
16 asked earlier. Communication facilities, armies have communication
17 facilities, don't they?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. They have things like field telephones and radio nets and other
20 means of communicating; isn't that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Bridges, armies have bridges, don't they, sir?
23 A. It's not armies that have bridges. Settlements, population
24 centres, have bridges.
25 Q. And during wartime, armies use those bridges, don't they?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And knocking down a bridge can be a great detriment to an enemy
3 army, can't it, by making it difficult for that army to move around, can't
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. If we could move on, please, to Defence Exhibit 217, please? This
7 is a document that Mr. Tapuskovic had some questions for you on your
8 direct examination. Do you remember the document, Mr. Elez?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What's the date of this document, Mr. Elez?
11 A. 1st July 1995.
12 Q. Have you had an opportunity, Mr. Elez, to look at the amended
13 indictment in this case?
14 A. I don't understand. What amended indictment?
15 Q. Let me take it in stages. You understand that the charges in this
16 case are contained in a legal document called an indictment? Do you
17 understand that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Have you had an opportunity to read that indictment before coming
20 to the Netherlands to give testimony in this case or have you had a chance
21 to look at it since arriving in the Netherlands a few days ago?
22 A. I did not have occasion to see the indictment.
23 Q. If you have not read the indictment, are you aware from any other
24 source that the last scheduled sniping incident alleged in that indictment
25 has a date of 3rd of May of 1995?
1 A. No, I don't know that.
2 Q. Then let's go back to the document. And I'm going to ask you to
3 look at some of the positions that it indicates the army of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina has attacked. And then we are going to look at a photograph
5 and I'm going to ask you to point these places out on a photograph. There
6 is a reference to the butcher's. Do you see that?
7 I'm sorry, Mr. Elez, did you hear me my -- oh, you're waiting for
8 the translation, I apologise.
9 A. I don't have any photograph, I don't have any image.
10 Q. Oh, not yet. I'm sorry, I wasn't clear. I'm going to ask you
11 about some things that are mentioned in this document, and after that we
12 are going to look at a photograph. I apologise for the misunderstanding.
13 Do you see there a reference to a butcher's in the document?
14 A. No.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Direct him to the paragraph.
16 MR. DOCHERTY:
17 Q. Could you look at the paragraph that begins, "On 26 June 1995, the
18 4/115 Brigade POS" and then a little further on there are three locations
19 specified. Is one of them the butcher's?
20 A. Yes. I see it now. I hadn't read everything.
21 Q. And do you know the butcher's that this is referring to?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. There is also a reference, same sentence, to the Investbank
24 building, isn't there?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And as someone who has lived in Grbavica, would you be able to
2 show us the Investbank building on a photograph?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then the last specific place that is mentioned is the red
5 building. Would you be able, if you were shown a photograph, to show us
6 the red building?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then there is actually one more place, which is this document
9 talks about a raid in which four -- excuse me, three four-storey houses
10 were seized; is that correct? It's in the sentence that begins, "The
11 capture of this aggressor feature." And then there is a parentheses and
12 in there the aggressor feature is described as a group of three
13 four-storey buildings. Do you see where I'm reading that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And now let's look at the photograph, and if we could please see
16 65 ter number 02825?
17 Mr. Elez, do you see a photograph on the monitor in front of you,
18 an aerial shot? At the moment, sir, I'm just asking if the photograph has
19 appeared on your monitor.
20 A. Yes, yes. There is an image but that's not the one.
21 Q. On this image, do you see any of the buildings that you -- that we
22 were talking about a minute ago? Do you see, for example, the Invest
24 A. How am I supposed to point it out? I can see it. I can see
1 Q. And now I'm going to ask you, with the help of the usher, to put a
2 B on the Investbank building, B, the English word "bank."
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Do you see the red building? And if so, please mark it R.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Do you -- is the butcher's shop -- I'm sorry. Did you mean to say
7 something? I'll stop.
8 A. I do actually. There is another one next to the one I marked and
9 that one is also red, but I believe "the" red building is the one I
10 marked, although there are two red ones on the picture.
11 Q. Thank you for that. The red building referred to in the combat
12 report we were just reading is the one you've marked, in your opinion,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then lastly, if it's on the photograph, can you mark the
16 butcher's shop with the word -- with the letter S?
17 A. There used to be two butcher's shops here before. I know the city
18 well. Can I show you?
19 Q. Would you, please?
20 A. I'll put a dot on it. In this housing complex, there is one
21 butcher's shop and there is one on the corner. [Marks]. I marked the
22 roof. Here on top -- sorry, on the corner there is one butcher shop. I
23 don't know which one you meant in your question but I believe it was the
24 one on the corner.
25 Q. That's fine. There are two butcher's shops and they are in
1 roughly the same area, is that a fair statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. Why don't you just mark -- I apologise. I didn't mean to
4 speak over you. Could you just mark an S on both of them, so there will
5 be two Ss and that's for "shop."
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, could this photograph as marked
9 please be admitted into evidence but remain on the screen? I have a
10 couple of questions about it.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As P764, Your Honours.
13 MR. DOCHERTY:
14 Q. Mr. Elez, we were talking just a couple of minutes ago about the
15 date of that combat report which you said was the 1st of July of 1995.
16 And is it correct that that combat report refers to attacks on what they
17 call aggressor positions at the locations you have marked on Prosecution
18 Exhibit 764?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Doesn't that mean, Mr. Elez, that as of the date right before that
21 combat report, these positions were under the control of the
22 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, there was also a reference in that report to a number of
25 four-storey -- or three-storey houses or buildings, excuse me, being
1 seized. From the -- was there enough information in that combat report
2 for you to tell where those buildings were?
3 A. I don't know which buildings were meant because there are quite a
4 few of them here. Which four-storey buildings did they mean?
5 Q. If you don't know, that's fine and that's understandable, and
6 we'll move on. Now, right in front of the building that you have marked
7 B, runs the Miljacka river; is that correct?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. And so on the bottom portion of Prosecution Exhibit 764, from the
10 Miljacka down to the bottom of the photograph, we are looking at territory
11 under the command or the control of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is
12 that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. From the building marked B, the Investbank building, someone on
15 the upper floors could fire into the area at the bottom of the photograph,
16 the Sarajevo neighbourhood of Marin Dvor; isn't that correct?
17 A. Inside the Investbank building, there were no positions on top
18 floors. There was a position on the first floor.
19 Q. Sir, excuse me, I have to stop you.
20 A. May I finish?
21 Q. That's not what I asked you, sir. I asked you if a person in the
22 Investbank building could fire into Marin Dvor from that building. With
23 all respect, I did not ask you what positions the SRK had in there.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you have any particular section of Marin Dvor
25 in mind?
1 MR. DOCHERTY: I do, and I'll get to that in a question or two. I
2 wanted to get to the general point first.
3 Q. Mr. Elez, I'll just ask the question again. From the building
4 marked B, you can fire into Marin Dvor, can't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On the left-hand margin of Prosecution Exhibit 764, do you see a
7 street running north and south?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. From your experience as an infantryman, you know, don't you, that
10 firing down a natural funnel like that is an aid to accurate infantry
11 fire, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the building marked B sits at the end, the northern end, of
14 such a funnel, does it not?
15 A. I don't understand which building you mean.
16 Q. Do you see on Prosecution Exhibit 764 a building which you have
17 marked with the letter B?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That building sits at the top, the northern end, of a funnel for
20 infantry fire formed by that street that runs north-south along the
21 left-hand margin of this photograph, doesn't it?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President --
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness has answered yes, but I don't see
1 that building as being at the end. If the funnel is formed by the street,
2 then the building B is not at the top of it. That would be the Metalka
4 MR. DOCHERTY: Mr. President, I'm sorry, the Metalka building,
5 there are two north-south streets here. There's the one in the centre of
6 the photograph and that does terminate --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, I see.
8 MR. DOCHERTY: -- in the Metalka building, but there is another
9 street on the far left margin. It's -- in fact, the left-hand curve, I
10 think, is out of the picture, it's so close to the edge. That's the one I
11 was referring to.
12 And with that, Mr. President, I have no further questions. That
13 concludes my cross-examination.
14 Thank you, Mr. Elez, and a safe trip home.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: But I still don't understand the question because
17 the evidence, the preponderance of evidence, has related to the other
19 MR. DOCHERTY: Yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not to the one that you have mentioned there.
21 MR. DOCHERTY: No.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: And that's why I was misled.
23 MR. DOCHERTY: I try not to mislead judges but -- no. I was
24 simply pointing out that this building also shoots down a natural funnel
25 into the Marin Dvor area, but I concur with you that most of the evidence
1 has concerned shooting from the Metalka building.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, any re-examination?
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I don't
4 have too many things.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
6 Q. Since we have this photograph in front of us, you already spoke
7 about this document and you mentioned Miska Jovanovica and Zagrebacka
8 streets. Were these actions aimed at Miska Jovanovica and Zagrebacka
9 streets? By looking at this photograph can you show whether one can see
10 at least approximately parts of either of the streets?
11 A. One can see on this photograph a part of Zagrebacka street. This
12 is this part next to Investbank marked B and part of Beogradska street, a
13 small portion in front of the red building marked R.
14 Q. Can you please show the Judges where this street is and put a line
15 along the -- this street that is in the photograph, Miska Jovanovica or
16 Zagrebacka street?
17 A. Zagrebacka street is here. It extends further on towards
18 Grbavica. Beogradska street is this little portion that you can see here
19 and it goes further inwards. Miska Jovanovica street cannot be seen or
20 Ljubljanska street or rather part of the upper section of Ljubljanska
21 street can be seen.
22 Q. And where is Zagrebacka street?
23 A. Zagrebacka street is what I marked here going by Investbanka,
24 inwards, and part of it can also be seen here, going to the inner section
25 of Grbavica.
1 Q. Now, looking at this street as a whole, are there any four-storey
2 buildings on this street or on this other street if one was -- were able
3 to see it?
4 A. I don't know what four-storey buildings are in question here. I
5 cannot establish that.
6 Q. You don't know in this photograph. How long are these streets?
7 A. Viewing from the Vrbanja bridge towards Vrace and it goes from
8 Skenderija, so there is a view from Skenderija as well across Vrbanja on
9 the other bank of the Miljacka, all the way to the Vrace junction and
10 further on, the length is about 700, 800 metres.
11 Q. Thank you. When you spoke about the 26th of June 1995, you said,
12 and you drew and marked these buildings, can you tell me now what you
13 first marked with an R, in which part of the building was this woman
14 killed, the one that you mentioned, a Serbian woman, as you said, if you
15 can mark it?
16 A. That was the mother of one of our fighters. I said his name. And
17 she was living in the frontal part of the building, and I'll mark it with
18 a dot. [Marks]. I cannot be specific about the flat in which she lived.
19 I know that this part was seized by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
20 think that is in the front. And this part was seized. I don't know how
21 long they stayed inside. They used to come in, burst into it, come again
22 during the night. So it wasn't safe to keep this.
23 Q. Can you put a letter M?
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Can you tell me, all this surrounding this and other buildings, it
1 says here how many shells landed here. What are these buildings around,
2 regardless of in whose territory they were? Who was living there? Was
3 there the army? Who lived in those buildings?
4 A. These are all residential buildings. People lived there, tenants,
5 former tenants who had been living there before the conflict broke out.
6 The army took up positions on the edges of these residential buildings
7 because this is urban warfare. You cannot move away the battlefield to a
8 field and build trenches and that is how they established a line. Partly
9 they managed to defend themselves, partly they didn't. For instance, this
10 building was captured and it remained like this.
11 Q. Thank you. When you spoke about the 26th, you now said, mentioned
12 a series of buildings, the butcher shop, the red building, et cetera. My
13 learned friend, the Prosecutor, asked you about the document which says
14 that the capture of the aggressor's feature made up of three four-storey
15 buildings, what does this mean? Who captured these four-storey buildings
16 which you don't see here, as you said yourself?
17 A. Which four-storey buildings this referred to, I cannot say. But
18 it was captured by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can this photograph, as it is, be
20 given number -- a number as a Defence Exhibit?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it may be.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As D220, Your Honours.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we just look at Defence
24 Exhibit 215? It's the map with Mojmilo marked on it.
25 Q. In response to the Prosecutor's question you said that you had
1 made a mistake. However, what I would like to ask you is the following:
2 This road that passes here, with respect to Mojmilo, in geographical
3 terms, where was this road with regard to Mojmilo hill, geographically
5 A. This road, Vrace-Lukavica, is at the foot hill with regard to
6 Mojmilo hill, from which there was constant enemy fire coming. It was
7 impossible to use that road. It was risky. That involved the Lukavica
8 neighbourhood, the neighbourhood of Dobrinja, and as I said, there was
9 fire coming from Mojmilo to Grbavica and also on the other side at
10 Lukavica and Dobrinja.
11 Q. Mr. Elez, is that the road that made you relinquish your duty as
12 the platoon commander partly or was the whole road the reason for that?
13 A. No, that's not that road. I wasn't there.
14 Q. That is why I asked you. I wasn't quite sure. Thank you. I have
15 no further questions.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Elez, that concludes your evidence. Thank
17 you for giving it. You may now leave.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you too.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next witness, Mr. Tapuskovic?
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the next witness is
22 a protected one, P53 -- sorry, T53.
23 He has the measures of pseudonym and image distortion.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
2 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: WITNESS T53
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please sit. And you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I would
7 first like to show the witness the paper with his personal details, to get
8 that out of the way. That would be our first Defence Exhibit.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be admitted as D221 under
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
14 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
15 Q. As you know, I appear here as Defence counsel for General Dragomir
16 Milosevic, and I will try to go over a few matters with you very quickly,
17 to cover your background first of all.
18 Could you please speak at a moderate rate and look at the
19 transcript and follow the cursor and do not start answering before the
20 cursor stops. You were born on (redacted)?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Oh, this was supposed to be in private session.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Private session.
24 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, can you tell me if you have any military training or,
1 rather, did you have any military training at the moment the conflict
2 broke out?
3 A. Mr. Tapuskovic, apart from the training I received during my
4 compulsory military service, I have no other training or skills.
5 Q. Did you have anything to do with the Yugoslav People's Army apart
6 from serving in 1984?
7 A. After my regular military service, I was occasionally engaged in
8 the reserve force, but that happened once a year or once in two years.
9 Q. Since I have not a lot of time for you, I'll try to cover a couple
10 of questions quickly. How long did you continue in your job at the
12 A. My last day there, which was a Monday, I believe, the 6th of April
13 1992, I asked the deputy manager to grant me my annual leave in the
14 duration of 15 days, hoping that in the meantime things would calm down
15 and that I will be able to go to work as usual, because at that point it
16 was not possible.
17 Q. I want to ask you what prompted you to ask that 15-day leave? Did
18 anything happen?
19 A. Well, fighting had already started. Shooting began from
20 directions that I was unable to determine, and because I felt unsafe using
21 my car, I wanted to take a break and see how the situation would develop
22 from then on.
23 Q. I think you misunderstood my warning about the cursor. You don't
24 have to make pauses during your answer. Please continue. Is there
25 anything else you wanted to add?
1 A. No.
2 Q. What happened next? Were there any new developments that took you
3 by surprise?
4 A. I was taken by surprise by the combat activities in my immediate
6 Q. Could you explain that a bit? Did you see anything from your
7 vantage point? Where was your home at the time? And what could be
8 observed from your house?
9 A. My home was in the (redacted). If you have a map I
10 could show you.
11 Q. I want to cover this quickly. Just tell us where it is. But
12 first we have to go into private session. And this bit would have to be
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Private session, yes.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 6386-6387 redacted. Private session.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Monday, the 11th day of June,
13 2007, at 9.00 a.m.