1 Monday, 23 July 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, this morning we are to have a
6 witness by videolink.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not getting any translation. Just a minute.
9 I'm not having any translation into English.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, it's going to be fine now. Can
11 you hear the interpretation now?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic. I do apologise. This comes from dealing with
14 too many matters at the same time.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, before we start our work
16 today, I have to share some information with you regarding the remaining
17 five witnesses that should be examined by Thursday. I don't think that
18 there will be any problems. We should be able to deal with that. But I
19 have to say that we have had excellent cooperation with the witness and
20 victims unit and I'm sure that we will continue having such cooperation
21 with them in the future because we managed to solve even the problems that
22 cropped up over the past few days with joint efforts.
23 First, we had problems with the witness who did not have a
24 passport and we managed to procure a passport for him on Saturday. He was
25 supposed to be here on Friday, and there were some problems about witness
1 T-57. The witness who obtained his passport on Saturday is T-25. Two
2 witnesses, one of whom I wanted to examine today were supposed to be here
3 on the 21st of June [sic], Saturday, but they arrived last night after
4 9.00 p.m. I intended to proof one of them and to examine him today but it
5 was impossible to proof him yesterday because he arrived at 9.30 p.m. and
6 it was impossible for me to do anything about proofing him because it is
7 against the rules to proof a witness at such a late hour, in light of the
8 fact that this witness had travelled. But we managed to resolve all those
9 problems and I am sure that all these witnesses will be examined by
10 Thursday. But after the first witness on our list for today, I don't have
11 another witness available for today.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, you appear to have been caught in
14 a set of circumstances over which you had very little control, and in
15 those circumstances, the Chamber has to understand your position. Of
16 course, we want to make the best use of the Court's time. It is
17 regrettable that you'll have no witnesses after the first witness, but I
18 must stress that the last day for this session will be Thursday. We are
19 not sitting on Friday. Let us proceed with the videolink for this
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have another
22 request to make. I have already contacted my learned colleague
23 Mr. Waespi, and this is not because we don't have another witness for
24 today, but because in the opinion of the Defence this witness is very
25 important. We first asked for one hour for each side and the Court
1 decided to allot 30 minutes, and, Your Honours, I really am asking you it
2 will be difficult to examine this witness in half an hour via videolink.
3 We have to use a video-clip that lasts five minutes, tender some documents
4 and the witness has to tell us something about himself. But I would like
5 to ask you therefore to allot some more time for us to examine this
6 witness via videolink. That's not because we don't have another witness
7 lined up after this one.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: And how much time would that be? 20 minutes?
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I hope that 30 more
10 minutes -- in fact what we asked for originally, one hour, that that
11 should be enough.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Ms. Edgerton, you're rising to support
13 the application for the extended time?
14 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, I can deal with this witness in
15 whatever time is allotted but for everyone's information once the witness
16 is sworn in, I will be raising objections on the use of the video and some
17 of the documents.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. We'll grant you one hour, Mr.
20 Now, let the witness make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: MILOSAV GAGOVIC
24 [Witness appeared via videolink]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit, and you may begin, Mr. Tapuskovic.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
3 Examination by Mr. Tapuskovic:
4 Q. Good morning, sir.
5 A. Good morning, Mr. Tapuskovic.
6 Q. We have to use our time as efficiently as possible and speed
7 things up as much as we can. I first have to do what I have to do to
8 introduce you to the Trial Chamber. Do you understand me?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you please tell the Judges your full name?
11 A. Milosav Gagovic.
12 Q. You were born on the 12th of August 1938?
13 A. Yes. Am I going too fast?
14 Q. No, no. You're doing fine. In the village of Pluzine in
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You completed your elementary education in Niksic in Montenegro?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then you went on to start the secondary education in Niksic
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Then you graduated from the secondary military school in Sarajevo?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You graduated from the military academy, the studies lasted for
25 four years, in Belgrade?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You are also a graduate of the command and staff school in
3 Belgrade; that course of studies took two years to complete?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You are a retired colonel of the Yugoslav People's Army?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. From 1968, you lived and worked in Sarajevo in the military school
8 centre, teaching the course in the department for firearms?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you were the
11 assistant Commander of the 4th Corps for logistics?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The Commander of the 4th Corps, your commander, was
14 Major General Djurdjevac?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. My learned colleague from the Prosecution will now object to the
17 testimony of this witness. That's what she indicated, that she would be
18 objecting to the testimony of this witness.
19 Well, probably when the time comes.
20 So, Mr. Gagovic, let us continue. Could you tell us briefly
21 something about your job in the Yugoslav People's Army at the time when
22 the conflict broke out? So could you please tell us first what barracks
23 were you? Where was your workplace?
24 A. I was at the corps command, as you indicated I was the assistant
25 commander for logistics, and I did my work in this sphere. I was a member
1 of the collegium of the corps commander, and because of that, I was
2 acquainted with all the work and all the activities that the 4th Corps
3 command was engaged in.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. On the 10th of May, I was appointed the representative of the 4th
6 Corps commander after General Djurdjevac retired.
7 Q. Well, thank you, thank you. That will be enough for now. I will
8 now continue with my questions. Mr. Gagovic, you've just explained to us
9 what you were. How many barracks were there in Sarajevo, in the area of
10 responsibility of the 4th Corps where you did your work, as you just
11 explained to us?
12 A. The barracks in Sarajevo were located at Lukavica, that was under
13 the command of the 4th Corps and the other barracks, Marsal Tito,
14 Jusuf Dzonlic, the Jajce barracks, Viktor Bubanj, Pazaric barracks. Those
15 were the barracks where units belonging to other formations were
16 stationed. But in the disciplinary sense, they were all subordinate to
17 the 4th Corps command because it was the most senior command in Sarajevo.
18 Q. My next question to you is as follows: Sarajevo was the capital
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It had those barracks, and I assume that there
20 were troops in those barracks. In the 40 years from the Second World War
21 until that time, was the situation there identical to any other city in
22 the former country?
23 A. Yes. Definitely. It was completely the same.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Ms. Edgerton?
1 MS. EDGERTON: I find that to be a leading question.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it is.
3 MS. EDGERTON: I wonder if it could be rephrased.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is leading. It has to be reformulated.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Gagovic, could you please tell me, you were there from 1968.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. As an officer?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. From the time of your arrival there, that's 1968, until this time,
11 were troops stationed in those areas at all times?
12 A. Yes. The military was stationed in Sarajevo, and it was held in
13 high esteem and it contributed greatly to the preparations of Sarajevo for
14 the 14th winter Olympics. And many officers were -- received
15 commendations, awards, from the city council, and everybody was held in
16 high esteem.
17 Q. Tell me, was that the case throughout the country when it came to
18 the army?
19 A. Since I served in Slovenia and in Croatia, I went to school in
20 Serbia and in Montenegro where I was born, I also served in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, so I can say that I covered the entire country and I can tell
22 you that everywhere in the country, the army was held in great respect.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, let us move on to 1991, which is why you are
24 asked to come here and testify. In the course of 1991, and in early 1992,
25 through the chain of command, through your position, did you learn
1 anything about the events in Slovenia and Croatia and other parts of the
2 country, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, but not concerning Sarajevo?
3 Were you able to learn what was going on there?
4 A. Through the chain of command--
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Please stop. Don't answer the
6 question. Ms. Edgerton, is it relevance or -- what is your point?
7 MS. EDGERTON: Absolutely, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What's the relevance of this, Mr.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. I was expecting this
11 question and I have prepared very well to reply. First of all, let me
12 refer you to paragraph 7 of the indictment, but even beyond that, I would
13 have called many more witnesses had I disputed the agreed facts. Agreed
14 fact number 5, in June of 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence
15 from SFRY and under the circumstances that ensued, they tried to gain
16 recognition as sovereign states. That had an impact on Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina as well. This is paragraph 5 of the agreed facts, and this
18 can be found in the judgement in paragraph 194. Item 9 of the agreed
19 facts, and this be found in paragraph 195 of the judgement, it reads as
20 follows: "Until the end in 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army further in the
21 text JNA withdrew from Slovenia and Croatia and headed towards strategic
22 positions in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
23 And finally, in order to clarify this even more, item 17 of agreed
24 facts, paragraph 196, where it says, "In April of 1992, based on the
25 decision of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the loyal units of
1 Territorial Defence, together with paramilitary groups of Bosnian Croats,
2 paramilitary forces, and Muslim forces were all incorporated into the army
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, hereinafter the army of BH." So this is the
4 relevancy. This is why this witness is so relevant. I have to refer you
5 back to these agreed or established facts which are very important in
6 order to understand the events that ensued in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 Your Honours, I can continue to refer to you to paragraphs that
8 are all listed in our briefs, when we asked that this witness be called
9 here to testify. There are further ten paragraphs that confirm this, and
10 this all is linked to paragraph 7, to the established facts which are very
11 important and can all be linked to this witness.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, isn't the point of agreed facts
14 that the parties don't have to lead evidence on it because it's agreed?
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I have a right
16 to challenge them. I'm entitled to that. That is one of my basic rights.
17 I have to challenge some of those facts, and I have to tender through this
18 witness some documents that illustrate these facts when it comes to
19 Slovenia and Croatia. So far, these documents have not been used here,
20 since this has to do with paragraph 5 and especially paragraph 9, which
21 was not fully recognised in the Galic judgement at all. Because the
22 documents that I have to introduce through this witness --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are saying you have to challenge these facts
24 that -- to which you have agreed?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to
1 understand the context, it says here, it had an impact on Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina, and then the rest of the text follows. I do not intend to
3 challenge everything, but in order for you to understand what this is
4 about, I have to tender several documents which are even more illustrative
5 when it comes to the entire problem. It's not just this. A lot of other
6 facts emerge based on these documents which completes the picture and
7 challenges some other facts. It reinforces some facts and brings into
8 question some other facts.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I can see that even if the facts are
10 agreed, you may still wish to use them. The point of agreeing it, though,
11 is that there should be no dispute between the parties about the existence
12 of those facts during the Court proceedings. Ms. Edgerton, he says that
13 he's adducing this evidence as part of the context, I think.
14 MS. EDGERTON: He may say he's adducing this evidence as part of
15 the context but the argument he's painted, Your Honour, with respect, is
16 one of rebuttal of adjudicated facts. And if my friend is rebutting, for
17 example, with respect to adjudicated fact number 5, which says in June of
18 1991, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from the SFRY and tried
19 to gain recognition from sovereign states, I gather that by this line of
20 questioning, he's disputing the fact that Slovenia and Croatia declared
21 independence from the SFRY. So perhaps he could actually clarify his
22 position in rebuttal.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you talking about agreed facts or adjudicated
24 facts? Because there is a difference. Of course, you have a right to
25 rebut adjudicated facts. Which is it, Mr. Tapuskovic?
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm dealing now
2 with adjudicated facts.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Which ones?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And I listed some of them. Item
5 5 of the adjudicated facts, especially towards the end, where it says that
6 everything that took place in Slovenia had an impact on Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina. These documents, and I can tell you which documents I'm
8 talking about, there are three of them, and they deal with the work of the
9 Presidency of the SFRY at the time which was headed by Stipe Mesic. Based
10 on these documents, you can see that certain things were announced and
11 then took place, and that they happened in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
12 same way they happened in Slovenia and Croatia. These documents speak of
13 those events, and they are not referred to in the judgement. However,
14 these documents explain the broader context in a legal sense and then
15 there is also the issue of the transformation of the JNA.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute. Adjudicated fact number 5 reads,
17 Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence from the SFRY in June
18 1991. During the following months, they strove to establish themselves as
19 sovereign states. This had an impact in BiH.
20 So what aspect of that are you seeking to rebut by this evidence?
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I wish to rebut much that follows
22 after that. I haven't got time to read all of that. There is a number of
23 facts listed here. As I told you, I could refer you to many of them. But
24 what it says here, in a short sentence, this had an impact on Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina as well. There is a whole number of wrong aspects here, and
1 this will be illustrated by the documents that I intend to show to the
2 witness because this witness knows quite a lot about them.
3 There is a number of facts that were established here,
4 adjudicated. We did not agree to all of them, and we do acknowledge that
5 it had an impact on Bosnia and Herzegovina but not the impact described in
6 this judgement and I can tell you exactly which facts we challenge. The
7 documents that I intend to introduce through this witness rebut a number
8 of other established or adjudicated facts which you intend to use in the
9 proceedings against Dragomir Milosevic. I could list at least 20 to 30
10 such items but I don't think it's necessary if I explain to you the
11 context that this witness is about to give evidence and to indicate some
12 other things.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll proceed this way, Mr. Tapuskovic. We'll
15 hear you putting the evidence to the witness which you say rebuts item 5
16 in the adjudicated facts, and we'll make a determination as we go along on
17 an individual basis.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to make it
19 as clear as possible, when we continue I would kindly ask you to look at
20 item 9 of adjudicated facts where it says, "Until the end of 1991, the JNA
21 withdrew from Slovenia and Croatia and headed towards strategic positions
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina." This is perhaps one of the key items that Defence
23 has to contest because the army had been in place there since 1945 until
24 the conflict erupted, and it could never withdraw towards any strategic
25 positions. This is the decisive issue for all of us here and through the
1 evidence of this witness --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let us hear the evidence, and we'll decide
3 it on an individual basis. We'll decide the question of admissibility on
4 an individual basis.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Gagovic --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: But as you proceed with this type of evidence,
8 then you must direct us to the adjudicated fact that it seeks to rebut.
9 For example, you just mentioned adjudicated fact number 9. So that's the
10 way I'd like you to proceed, just tell us the adjudicated fact to which
11 the evidence relates.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm now referring
13 to 5, 9 and 17. First of all, primarily item 9. May I continue?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Continue.
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Gagovic, where had you come from and how many troops were
17 there in 1968 or in the year that we are dealing with, 1992? Had you
18 arrived there from somewhere else or were you there already in 1968, and
19 if so, with whom?
20 A. I came to Sarajevo in 1968 in order to attend the school for
21 infantry officers, and I came there with other officers from Rijeka. I
22 received an order to -- moving me there, to the centre of military
23 schools, and I remained in Sarajevo until 1992. I remained there
24 continuously, except for the time when I went to Belgrade to attend the
25 military academy, following which I returned back to Sarajevo to serve in
1 the command of the 7th military district.
2 Q. Thank you. Who did you command? Were there any soldiers there?
3 A. I worked with cadets of the secondary military school. There were
4 soldiers there who served the army, and I also later worked at the
5 barracks in Lukavica, naturally every army has soldiers and commanders.
6 Q. On average, how many troops were there in such a school centre
7 throughout all those years and decades?
8 A. Well --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, please.
10 MS. EDGERTON: I'm not rising with an objection but I actually
11 find because they speak the same language, Mr. Tapuskovic is speaking
12 again before the interpretation is -- into English is finished and it
13 poses some difficulty for me. I don't know about the rest of the
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic, that's true. Please ensure
16 that you don't overlap, Mr. Tapuskovic and witness. Please ensure that
17 you observe a pause between question and answer.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, how many soldiers, rank and file soldiers, were there in
20 such centres, in centres such as Sarajevo doing their national service?
21 A. Well, on the average, two or three thousand. That would depend on
22 each generation of recruits. And there were also cadets from the military
23 high school and from the military academy, the ground forces.
24 Q. Was that the case in all the other centres in Slovenia, in
25 Croatia, in Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in all the
1 other republics of what was then the former state?
2 A. Yes. Certainly, that was the case. It was the same in Rijeka, in
3 Slovenia, in Crnomelj where I was, in Sarajevo. It would all depend on
4 the actual specialisation of the unit, its place in the establishment and
5 so on, but otherwise it was all the same.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Judges about your knowledge
7 of the events in 1991 and 1992 in Slovenia, Croatia and some parts of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
9 A. Well, I would say that the break-up of the single-party system in
10 1990, the army was depoliticized. Politics was no longer involved in the
11 JNA. It was in the barracks and it dealt with its own business. In 1991,
12 we learned that one part of the Slovenian nation in Slovenia and the same
13 thing went for Croatia and later on in Bosnia, does not have a proper
14 attitude towards the members of the Yugoslav People's Army. And once
15 Slovenia declared its independence as an independent republic, the most
16 reckless move was made, the barracks were blockaded, our power lines,
17 water supply lines, were cut, and it went as far as the maltreatment of
18 the families of the JNA officers. We received those reports regularly
19 from the 1st military district command and from the political
20 administration, and we also were in direct contact with our colleagues
21 serving in Slovenia, and we -- and Croatia. And we had Slovenians and
22 Croats and Muslims, Serbs, all ethnic communities were represented in the
23 corps command at that time.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton?
1 MS. EDGERTON: Can I just see if I understand that we are not
2 talking about Sarajevo in this regard at all. Is that the case?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, what are we speaking about here? Is
4 this for Sarajevo or otherwise?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was not the situation in
6 Sarajevo yet. These developments happened in Sarajevo in 1992 but this
7 was the situation as it evolved first in Slovenia, then it spilled over to
8 Croatia. And only in 1992 did we encounter this kind of situation in
9 Sarajevo or in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in fact.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. My learned colleague from the Prosecution got to her feet to
12 object and she was right in doing so, but now you were telling us about
13 those most terrible things, you came to a point where some really terrible
14 things started to happen to the soldiers in Slovenia?
15 A. Well, the most difficult thing for us was when we learned that
16 some units in Slovenia came under armed attack. First, the border units
17 then the units in smaller garrisons and those larger units in larger
18 garrisons and barracks were blockaded and some moves were made that nobody
19 could really allow. The power lines and the water supply lines were cut
20 and this forced the JNA's hand.
21 Q. Well, you're talking about power and water. You don't say
22 anything about any casualties?
23 A. Well, there were casualties. I don't know the exact figure but it
24 was more than 46.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please stop. Ms. Edgerton?
1 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, I've just gone through the adjudicated
2 facts and there is, with respect, no mention of any evidence that might
3 relate to blockades or attacks on barracks in Slovenia, which is the area
4 we have been dealt with and sometime I submit that this doesn't go to the
5 adjudicated facts in any regard and is irrelevant.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Gagovic, to make things perfectly clear for --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. I'm calling on you to respond to the
11 objection and then I will make my ruling.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, in the end, the witness
13 said that soldiers were killed and that to his knowledge 46 soldiers were
14 killed in Slovenia to his knowledge. I wanted to find out what was
15 happening in Sarajevo in the beginning of 1992. Was it the same thing? I
16 have to take it step by step in my work. I couldn't simply ask him, well,
17 could you please tell me how many soldiers were killed in Sarajevo if any
18 and what is the relationship, what is the link between what happened in
19 Slovenia and what happened in Sarajevo? This is what I have to ask him
20 next. My next question in relation to what was happening in Slovenia,
21 what had been announced in advance and about what was happening in
22 Sarajevo. I want to ask him whether he knew anything about it. Was it
23 the same thing that had happened in Slovenia that was now happening in
24 Sarajevo, in the streets of Sarajevo? I can't ask those questions without
25 going step by step.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Bring the witness now to Sarajevo.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Mr. Gagovic, could you please, then, tell us after all those
5 events that you just told us about, what happened in Sarajevo in March,
6 February, and in particular April 1992, and that had to do with the army,
7 first of all?
8 A. Well, the same scenario that unfolded in Slovenia and Croatia
9 started to unfold in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. First of all,
10 let me say that the JNA had an agreement with the BH government to set up
11 a joint, mixed police and military units that would control all the
12 vehicles --
13 Q. Sir, sir, Mr. Gagovic, I have to ask you to give us the most
14 drastic events in March and in April because the political aspect of it we
15 have in writing. What did you, as a commander, and your troops go through
16 in March and April, if you can tell us that?
17 A. I just wanted to establish a link between this agreement that was
18 complied with until the 2nd of May 1992. And as for the -- what was
19 happening with the paramilitaries in Sarajevo and in Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina in March, there were no such activities. The only exception
21 is that the HVO forces from Croatia moved in the Slavonski Brod area into
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the same thing happened in Neum where they moved
23 towards Prozor and some paramilitaries joined them. This is what happened
24 in Gorazde Bijeljina.
25 Q. Mr. Gagovic, we have very little time. Could you please tell me
1 what happened in the streets of Sarajevo in March and April? Could you
2 just give me a direct answer to this question?
3 A. Well, in March and April, there were no conflicts between the
4 paramilitary forces of the BH and JNA in March and April. There were
5 conflicts with the forces that had arrived from Croatia into the Bosnian
6 territory. But in the town itself, some paramilitaries killed some ethnic
7 Serbs, among them was the Nikola Gardovic a guest at the Serbian wedding,
8 an athlete, a police officer, Pero Perovic, the Trifunovic brothers and so
9 on. And in May, the conflicts broke out that you were asking me about.
10 Q. And what happened in May?
11 A. Well, on the 2nd of May, I said that we had this agreement with
12 the Minister of the Interior that all the units, movements were to be
13 announced and logistics units that were supplying the military district
14 command headed out towards Bistrica from the Viktor Bubanj barracks to the
15 army district command. And in Skenderija, it was ambushed by the
16 paramilitaries or at that time those were perhaps not paramilitaries any
17 more than military units. It was -- it came under attack and the JNA
18 centre came under attack. The military factory and the barracks were
19 blockaded and an attack was launched on the Butmir airport.
20 Q. Thank you. I would now like to show you a video clip with the
21 approval of the Trial Chamber. It lasts 55 minutes but the Defence made
22 an excerpt lasting five minutes and then if we could watch this and then I
23 will be asking you some questions?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, your promised objection?
1 MS. EDGERTON: Absolutely, Your Honours. This is a video that the
2 Prosecution received after 5.30 on Friday afternoon, a total of 55
3 minutes, not one word of it transcribed into English. We received
4 sometime later on that evening timer numbers that the Defence counsel
5 intended to play for the witness. So having, with some difficulty, I
6 admit, because most machines here were unable over the weekend to play
7 that video clip, having watched those timer numbers I would object to this
8 being used on two grounds. First of all, the absolute late notice of this
9 material which was not on the Defence Exhibit list in any regard and not
10 sought to be added at any time prior to that, and the absolute irrelevance
11 to the potential criminal liability of the accused in this case.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you give us an example as to why you say it's
13 irrelevant? Or do we have to look at one ourselves?
14 MS. EDGERTON: We could do both, Your Honour. In the
15 Prosecution's submission this relates to the killing, death of a number of
16 JNA soldiers in May -- either May 2nd or 3rd of 1992 in Sarajevo. But
17 without having any access to any translation material, I'm only guessing
18 that on the basis of the pictures that I was able to see in front of me.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you saying that the evidence appears to
20 relate to the killing of JNA soldiers in May 1992. Mr. Tapuskovic -- in
22 MS. EDGERTON: And for the record, Your Honours, we don't deny
23 that that happened. In fact that's one of the adjudicated facts. If I
24 have a moment I can even direct you to the related facts. Those would be
25 number 29, 30, 31 and 32, and the Prosecution does not deny in any regard
1 that there were some JNA soldiers killed in the context of the fighting
2 taking place on those days.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, let us focus now on the two
4 grounds on which the objection is based. First, lateness and lack of
5 translation, and secondly, relevance.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we disclosed this
7 to the Prosecution as early as on Friday. This is probably the only case
8 that something was disclosed to the other parties three days before it is
9 exhibited in the courtroom. We had discussions with the Prosecution
10 in -- on Friday and I think on Saturday we discussed it. The first
11 objection was that the clip lasted 55 minutes and then we said that we
12 would be playing only five minutes 50 seconds out of the 53 minutes.
13 That's one thing. And we also said that we would be supplying a
14 transcript. We've already submitted the transcript to the translation
15 service. It contains two and a half pages of what actually contains
16 direct order, a document. There is a very brief reply at the beginning to
17 what the commentator is saying, and all the other things are the authentic
18 orders issued by those people to burn, to scorch, to destroy everything
19 before UNPROFOR arrives at the scene. So these are authentic documents
20 that pertain to the events of the 2nd of May, and there may be some things
21 that relate to other things happening in those days. But this is
22 authentic material that was obtained from audiotapes. These are orders
23 issued by certain people saying that everything should be destroyed,
24 burned, killed, before the United Nations come.
25 So this is a document that deserves your attention, and all you
1 have to do is look at paragraph 29. I don't even have to mention any
2 other items. When it says that on the 2nd of May while President
3 Izetbegovic was in Lisbon attending negotiations, that a large attack was
4 carried out on the town and I will now be able to show to you who carried
5 out this attack on the basis of authentic documents. And I can also quote
6 paragraphs 27, 44, and I don't want to now read them.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have here 29, item 29 of the adjudicated facts.
8 It says on the 2nd of May 1992, a major JNA attack on the centre of
9 Sarajevo occurred while President Izetbegovic was in Lisbon for
10 negotiations. Now you're seeking to rebut this by saying what? You're
11 not seeking to rebut it?
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not rebutting this. I'm
13 rebutting the end of that sentence, a massive attack on the centre of
14 Sarajevo was carried out. It was carried out by paramilitaries, and you
15 can see it in the clip. It is suggested here that the JNA carried out
16 this attack, where it's not the case. I intend to show that the
17 paramilitaries attacked, not the army, and you can see the soldiers
18 killed, and you can see how Sarajevo was torched and destroyed.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, isn't that a rebuttal? You're seeking to
20 rebut it by showing that the attack was not carried out by the JNA but by
21 the paramilitaries. That's my understanding of what you are doing.
22 You're saying, yes, there was an attack but it was not done by the JNA, it
23 was done by paramilitaries. And this clip will substantiate that, is that
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Among other things.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll hear it and as for the translation, it
3 doesn't appear to be very long so we'll listen to the interpretation.
4 Do you have the transcripts? Do you have any translations at all?
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, DD004360, this is in Serbian
6 and the interpreters can interpret that. We took the transcript down.
7 It's in e-court.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Now, just advise me on this technical
9 matter. How will the interpreters get that to translate it? Putting it
10 on the ELMO or --
11 THE INTERPRETER: We were given transcript in B/C/S, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the interpreters already have that. All
13 right. So the interpreters have the B/C/S transcript and they will
14 interpret that. Ms. Edgerton?
15 MS. EDGERTON: For the Prosecution's part hearing the argument of
16 Mr. Tapuskovic and learning more than I certainly knew even having watched
17 those portions of the video, I again would reinforce my objection as to
18 the relevance and, of course, the problems and the fairness or unfairness
19 that hearing this video at this time at such late notice would pose to the
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: As for the first, I believe Mr. Tapuskovic has
22 established a basis for using this video. He's using it, as I understand
23 it, to rebut adjudicated fact number 29, which says that a major JNA
24 attack on the centre of Sarajevo occurred. And he says this video will
25 establish that while there was an attack, it was not done by the JNA, it
1 was done by the paramilitaries, and I have to allow him to do that, if
2 that's what the video will show. If the video doesn't show that, then
3 we'll exclude it. As for the lateness, I will ensure that you're not in
4 any way prejudiced, Ms. Edgerton, and I will address that when the time
5 comes. Yes, go ahead.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is DD00 -- well, this is the
7 film, the clip.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] In Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 1991
10 onwards, it was exposed to a continuous pressure and attacks by
11 paramilitary formations. These paramilitary formations regardless of to
12 what extent they pretend to be self-organised, were nevertheless,
13 organised by the highest levels of the official BH authorities; that is to
14 say, the Party of Democratic Action, as the representative of the Muslims
15 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Sarajevo, daily Oslobodjenje on the 14th of
16 September 1992, the assistant Minister of Defence of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina, Mole Bisic [phoen] stated that back in May 1991, Patriotic
18 League was established as an illegal organisation which encompassed all
19 paramilitary formations. In the daily Nacional on the 25th of August --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Stop, please stop. Mr. Tapuskovic, you need to
21 lay some kind of foundation. Who is speaking? And when was the video
22 made? And who took the video?
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the video -- this was the
24 voice of the commentator. This is something that we can exclude and you
25 do not need to assess that. I understand that. However, we were unable
1 to cut it out of the clip. All other audio sounds are those by people who
2 were issuing orders, "Kill, torch" and so on. This is a documentary that
3 was made and we are not showing it in its entirety, no. We are showing
4 only the pieces that were filmed in Sarajevo on the 2nd of May, at the
5 time when a lot of soldiers were killed. These were all authentic
6 documentary clips.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who made the documentary? You say it's authentic
8 but you haven't satisfied us. Who made it? And how are we to know who is
9 speaking? How are we to identify the persons who are speaking?
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This is the voice of the
11 commentator. However, the orders were issued by voices of unidentified
12 people, and you can hear what they are saying, "Kill, destroy, torch," and
13 so on. This is the film that was made by the Republika Srpska Ministry of
14 the Interior team for investigating and documenting war crimes. This was
15 made by them.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: When? When?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The documentary was filmed or
18 rather the clip was filmed on that same day, the footage, and there are
19 statements following that given by various personalities at the time,
20 Ganic, Izetbegovic and so on. I selected only the authentic documentary
21 footage that is self explanatory. I did not include any of the statements
22 given by these persons. No. This is the film made by Republika Srpska
23 Ministry of the Interior team for investigating and documenting war
24 crimes. All of this went through the official channels of state
25 Prosecutor's Office in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I received it from them.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Let us hear the clip and then we'll
2 make an assessment of it. Please continue. This is for the video.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "It seems that there is
5 one -- another one under the tram and another one on the corner near the
6 trade union centre, behind a pillar. There is one behind the first tram
7 next to the trade union building.
8 OSA seeks urgently more men with OSA and zolja rocket launchers.
9 We are in a bad situation -- they are in a bad situation. They seek help.
10 Fire at them. Destroy them. They are the army are blocked in the
11 streets of Valter Peric from the Zagreb hotel towards Skenderija, towards
12 the constitutional court, and they are trapped there. They need to be
13 destroyed. UNPROFOR is moving to Zagreb hotel. UNPROFOR is on its way to
14 the Zagreb hotel. They will get there soon. They need to be destroyed,
15 destroyed before UNPROFOR gets to the Zagreb hotel. They are in that
17 Hey, cameras.
18 Let them stand ready to open fire at the command. Dedo, you will
19 be issued an order when to shoot. For the time being, just stand ready.
20 Message from Zagi, order from Zagi for all units, all movable
21 vehicles of the enemy to be destroyed, prepare incendiary devices and
22 torch everything. I repeat. The units most closest to Dobrovoljacka,
23 block everything.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have the transcript
25 beyond this point.
1 MS. EDGERTON: I saw General MacKenzie speak and I did not hear
2 any translation.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was there a translation to what that person was
4 saying? I wasn't able to identify him as Ms. Edgerton was.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours that would have been
6 very useful for the Defence but I didn't want to burden you with that. It
7 lasted several seconds. Before we move to the footage showing imprisoned
8 soldiers but it would be very, very good for the Defence to hear that. We
9 were unable to skip over that. What is important is that we see what
10 happened to the soldiers here, in what state they were in but this is the
11 very end of the clip.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: So do you want us -- you want more to be shown,
13 is that so? All right. Yes, let us have the rest.
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is the film, a
16 document, and you saw how this all ended. You saw how the soldiers looked
17 like. You could see who carried out the attack. You could see the
18 insignia of the paramilitary forces. You could see who did the shooting
19 on that day, on the 2nd of May. That's precisely what happened in
20 Sarajevo on that day. You saw what was torched, who issued orders for it
21 to be torched, to be fired upon, to be destroyed. You can hear the
22 orders. It is impossible now to establish who -- whose voice it was.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: How are we to know who gave these orders? We
24 heard voices. That's a mystery. Are we to take your word for it?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] But, Your Honours, you don't have
1 to assess any of the words uttered. The document, the film, is self
2 explanatory. You could see who did the shooting, who shot from sniper
3 guns, who torched and who killed. If you are going to question a document
4 such as this one, a film such as this one, and this is something that has
5 already been in possession of the Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina, this was used in various trials, and is still being used in
7 various trials against specific people, about 300 of them, in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina for these acts. These people are being tried right now.
9 This is an official document of Republika Srpska which was turned
10 over to competent prosecutors who are now trying these people. Of course,
11 my time here is limited. I cannot give you all the facts. I know all the
12 indictments. I have the names of the people who have been indicted for
13 these acts, and this is just a documentary evidence of the crimes
14 perpetrated on the 2nd of May. It would have been good to hear the
15 entire -- to see the entire film of 55 minutes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: How are we to know who perpetrated these crimes
17 by looking at that film? I need some assistance on that.
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will assist you.
19 Let us just stop the clip at certain points and then you will see where
20 it -- what it says there.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Tapuskovic, you know very well
22 when it comes to videos, films, images anything is possible. Some things
23 are true, other things can be fabricated, you can edit, you can manipulate
24 various films. When it comes to this Trial Chamber, we have often heard
25 and seen video excerpts and we always ask to see who shot the movie or the
1 video. And sometimes we even had journalist, reporters, who were here to
2 testify to the fact that they were the ones who shot these images. Today
3 you show us a video clip, we see some soldiers with some signs belonging
4 to the ABiH. Very well. We can see that. However, who shot these
5 images? Who and when? We have seen various images but are these edited
6 images? Is it many different years edited together? Or are these -- did
7 these events happen on one occasion, on one day? We don't know.
8 You tell us that this is a document that stems from the Ministry
9 of Interior of the Republika Srpska. I imagine, of course, that the
10 ministry is able to give us the identity of the person or the institution
11 that shot this movie and this is how the Chamber would be able to judge.
12 These images were shot within the events, we see those insignias. I
13 cannot imagine that a soldier from Republika Srpska was there shooting the
14 movie and the ABiH soldiers were consenting to it. I mean, I have to
15 know -- we have to know who shot these images.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, of course we have a
17 witness here.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Tapuskovic, we really wish to follow your
20 point and to follow your line of thinking. The purpose of showing us this
21 clip was to rebut the facts included in the adjudicated fact number 29
22 that says that on the 2nd May 1992, a major JNA attack was launched in
23 Sarajevo. And you are saying that it was not the JNA that launched the
24 attack; it was rather the paramilitaries associated with the Bosnian army,
25 if I understand you correctly.
1 Now, the difficulty I have in concluding this assertion from the
2 video is that I can't see who launched the attack. What I saw on the
3 video clip was soldiers in fight, and yes, indeed, they were wearing the
4 insignia of the paramilitaries associated with the Bosnian army. But I
5 can't conclude that this was the ABiH that launched the attack. It could
6 have been but it could just as well have been the JNA who had launched the
7 attack. What I saw were just soldiers in fight. And then I ended up
8 seeing a number of prisoners, which suggests perhaps that that battle was
9 lost by the JNA, but I can't be sure. I simply have a difficulty in
10 accepting what you are trying to prove to me.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Judge Harhoff, this
12 event of the 2nd of May was testified about by many people here. That's
13 the date when the Yugoslav People's Army tried to leave one of the
14 barracks and this is what happened. This document is as it is. You can,
15 of course, question its authenticity and I don't know what decision you
16 will take on this but we have already admitted into evidence in this case
17 the firing on the Presidency, the Markale shelling and a number of video
18 clips that were tendered by the Prosecution and this despite some of the
19 objections that we made about how the footage was filmed and so on, but
20 documents were always admitted. The video clips were always admitted.
21 Now we have a self-evident document. You cannot see a single
22 soldier attacking. You can see that only the paramilitaries are firing
23 their weapons from the corners where everything that was around it was
24 torched, where the order was issued to burn, torch, everything. You saw
25 what the troops looked like at the time when they were captured. But the
1 footage shows quite clearly how the people in Sarajevo, those
2 paramilitaries, operated. If you look at the insignia on the persons
3 using the sniper rifles, you will see some insignia that used some Turkish
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll admit the video. Of course, the Chamber
7 will have to make its own assessment as to the weight to be attached to
8 what is shown in the video. We'll take the break now.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, it has been brought to the Trial
12 Chamber's attention that you did not object to adjudicated facts 1 to 53,
13 and that includes, of course, the adjudicated facts that you just brought
14 to our attention and to which this video relates. I'll just read from the
15 Trial Chamber's decision on adjudicated facts:
16 "In its response, the Defence submits that proposed facts 1 to 53
17 concern the general context of the conflict with respect to the acts
18 allegedly committed by the accused, response paragraph 8, and defers to
19 the Trial Chamber's decision with regard to those proposed facts, response
20 page 3. While the Defence here states that it takes no position with
21 regard to proposed facts 1 to 54, the Trial Chamber notes the Defence's
22 submission that it does not object to proposed fact 54. The Trial Chamber
23 will interpret the Defence submission as being that it takes no position
24 only with respect to proposed facts 1 to 53."
25 Mr. Tapuskovic, were you aware that you had not objected to facts
1 1 to 53, which, of course, include proposed facts 29, 30, 31? I think the
2 video, I believe, related specifically to proposed fact 29. In light of
3 that position, how can you then seek to lead evidence to rebut fact 29?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, when it comes to
5 paragraph -- or adjudicated fact 29, rather, I cannot challenge the fact
6 that on the 2nd of May 1992, President Izetbegovic was in Lisbon attending
7 negotiations and that a major attack was carried out on the centre of
8 Sarajevo. But what I'm saying is that the paramilitaries carried out this
9 attack. I'm not challenging the claim that a major attack was carried out
10 on Sarajevo but I categorically claim on the basis of the evidence that I
11 obtained, that it is no longer possible to claim that a major attack was
12 carried out without an agent. I categorically claim that on that day --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: The matter is quite simple. You did not object
14 to proposed facts 1 to 53, which includes fact 29 which says that a major
15 JNA attack occurred on the 2nd of May 1992 on the centre of Sarajevo. You
16 did not object to it. So it's not -- you're not entitled now to bring
17 evidence to dispute that. And I take a very dim view of that, because
18 you're an officer of the Court and must act accordingly. In the light of
19 this, all the evidence that has been led in relation to this matter will
20 be disregarded by the Trial Chamber, and the -- we rescind the decision to
21 admit the video.
22 Please move on to the next area of this witness's evidence.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to say
24 something in this regard. The Defence has been injured, prejudiced, by
25 this decision. In my view, I have the right to call evidence that
1 pertains to everything that the paramilitary units had done. The
2 paramilitary units are the cause, at the heart of all the developments in
3 the Sarajevo theatre where the conflicts occurred and there is a whole
4 series of things. I mentioned only this paragraph.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not hearing you because I don't consider your
6 conduct to have been appropriate for an officer of the Court. You did not
7 object to proposed fact 29. It's as simple as that. And so it's not open
8 to you at this stage to lead evidence to rebut it. You should have
9 considered your position before deciding not to object to proposed fact
10 29. And I don't wish to hear you on the matter.
11 Let's move on to the next area of this witness's evidence.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to tell you
13 even if I were to suffer consequences of that, I'm not an officer of this
14 Court. I'm the Defence counsel for the accused Dragomir Milosevic. I
15 don't know whether I got the right interpretation of this term but I'm
16 trying to do my job as well as I can. I am not an official of the Court.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Every lawyer here is an officer of the Court. It
18 includes the Prosecution and the Defence.
19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, first you decided to admit
20 this and then you made your decision, and I have to say something, I have
21 to object to it. This is the first time that something like this was
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have heard what you have said. We've heard
24 what you have said. And you should now proceed with the rest of this
25 witness's evidence.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Gagovic, what did the paramilitary forces do in this time
3 period before your withdrawal from Sarajevo? Is this the only thing, the
4 thing that you just saw?
5 A. Well, from the 15th of April, when the Territorial Defence Staff
6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued its order, the paramilitary units in
7 Bosnia stopped existing. In this order, they ordered that all those units
8 should be placed under their command. So as of that date, the armed
9 forces of the federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina were more active, as
10 you can see for yourself on the 2nd of May, the JNA as an armed component
11 was not present there. No armed elements of the JNA were there. It was a
12 supply unit, a quartermaster unit, that was bringing dinner and so on to
13 the troops.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is no translation into French?
15 JUDGE MINDUA: Into French, there was no translation.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Has that matter been attended to?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, it's fine now.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Just continue.
19 Mr. Tapuskovic, continue. It's not necessary for him to repeat
20 what he said.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So did you see the sniper sights on the rifles and all those
23 insignia? How many paramilitaries were there before the --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: To what adjudicated fact does this relate now,
25 Mr. Tapuskovic? And I hope it's not one of those that you have already
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not accept the
3 facts -- any facts except the general fact, and even those general facts
4 have their background. These are not facts that are beyond any dispute.
5 A fact cannot be carved in stone. It can be unassailable in some parts
6 but it cannot be ossified. My general attitude is that general context is
7 general context, but general context is not set in stone. I did not take
8 all those facts for granted. Those facts contain many things that have to
9 be elaborated further. I cannot challenge the fact that two plus two make
10 four but I can challenge the facts that pertain to the facts that are not
11 set in stone, that are not beyond dispute, not as a whole. So there are
12 no facts that could not be elaborated further.
13 So it is my view that this attitude that is taken that these facts
14 have been adjudicated and they have been set in stone to such an extent
15 that I cannot dispute them. Yet, I can challenge them because if one fact
16 is true, that Izetbegovic was in Lisbon attending negotiations and then
17 next fact is something that I can challenge, perhaps I -- if that is so,
18 if all those facts are not to be challenged, then I don't have to call any
19 evidence. The adjudicated facts do not have the status of a fact that
20 cannot be addressed by anyone and that cannot be placed in a broader
21 context. That is contrary to any legal logic.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: But Mr. Tapuskovic, the procedure is simple. If
23 you didn't agree with the fact, you should have said so at the time.
24 Because there are other facts that you clearly disputed. There is a whole
25 set of facts that you disputed. But in this particular category from 1 to
1 53 you accepted them. You did not object to them.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] In that case, Your Honour, we
3 fail to understand each other. Even though those facts may be accurate
4 when it comes to certain information and certain dates, they cannot be
5 considered as something that cannot be contested. These are the facts
6 that can be elaborated upon, completed, that can be further broadened.
7 There are no such absolute facts that cannot be worked upon. This
8 documentary material and this witness, for example, they cannot be
9 excluded because I apparently accepted some adjudicated fact. No fact can
10 be given these qualities, namely that it is unassailable, that it is
11 sacrosanct and frozen forever and ever.
12 I do not wish to dispute the position of the Chamber, but to
13 believe that for those reasons a context cannot be broadened, and that a
14 fact cannot be further elaborated, I have to say that it is contrary to
15 the interests of justice. It is my opinion. Perhaps it's wrong, but it
16 is my opinion. If this film, if this footage, is not sufficient to
17 illustrate the activities of paramilitary formations, which are mentioned
18 in a lot of places throughout the judgement, then I do not understand how
19 come I'm not allowed to broaden some facts, even if I myself consider them
20 to be adjudicated facts.
21 [Trial Chamber confers].
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Of course, you may put questions about
23 1992, because that's part of the case. The issue arises when you're
24 seeking to rebut a specific adjudicated fact that you have already
25 accepted. And that was the case in relation to adjudicated fact number
1 29, because you had two approaches, two responses to the adjudicated facts
2 proffered by the Prosecution: Some, you accepted, and this falls in that
3 category; and there is a whole batch that you didn't accept.
4 Now, in relation to those that you didn't accept, you are entitled
5 to rebut them. But in my understanding, where you have already accepted
6 an adjudicated fact, it's not open to you to question it during the trial
7 because the whole purpose of -- or one of the main purposes of this system
8 of adjudicated facts in the Tribunal is expeditiousness. Mark you, not at
9 the expense of fairness but expeditiousness is one of the purposes of the
10 adjudicated facts concept, and if a party who has already accepted an
11 adjudicated fact is allowed to reopen that fact during court, then that
12 purpose is defeated. But you can, you can, without relying on an
13 adjudicated fact, adduce evidence relating to 1992, because it need not
14 necessarily relate to an adjudicated fact. And as I said before, the
15 issue only arises when you're seeking to rebut an adjudicated fact which
16 you have already accepted. That, I will not allow to you do. But you may
18 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I give
19 additional explanation in relation to that?
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Just proceed.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm being put in an impossible
22 situation, Your Honours. I simply cannot proceed with my work if I wish
23 to do it bona fide as it needs to be done, zealously. You know very well
24 when the problem of adjudicated facts was resolved just recently. I have
25 worked previously for two years on this case without adjudicated facts
1 being a factor that needed to be taken into consideration. This was put
2 on the agenda practically a day before the trial began and it was a
3 contentious issue until recently. I believed that there was no need to
4 deal with August of -- with the period before August 1994, with general
5 background information, allegations and so on because that did not seem
6 relevant in view of the defence.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, proceed with the examination of
8 the witness.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] How can I continue with the
10 evidence of this witness who came to testify about 1992? In that case it
11 is completely irrelevant.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have said that you may lead evidence about
13 1992. You have led evidence in this case about 1992. The Prosecution has
14 led evidence in this case about 1992. What you may not do is seek to
15 rebut a specific adjudicated fact which you have already accepted. Isn't
16 that simple? I don't see anything mysterious about that.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'm afraid of what I might
18 say, so it's better if I just keep quiet. When the time comes for closing
19 arguments, I will say everything that I believe needs to be said.
20 Q. Mr. Gagovic, what happened with the JNA in those days? What was
22 A. Looking at the footage that I saw, from the 2nd and 3rd of May, I
23 can say that I'm an eyewitness to all of those events. Perhaps it will be
24 clearer for the Court if I say the following because the footage doesn't
25 depict everything. On the 2nd of May, the Yugoslav People's Army did not
1 carry out any sort of an attack, either on Sarajevo or on any other
2 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 On the 2nd of May, Ejup Ganic, who was representing Izetbegovic
4 who was away, issued an order to block all barracks in the city of
5 Sarajevo, to block the military hospital, command of the 2nd Military
6 District, and to display radically hostile attitude in future towards the
7 members of the JNA. His order was carried out by subordinate units in
8 such a way that they blocked the quartermaster's unit, who was supplying
9 food to the 2nd Military District. They set an ambush for that unit, they
10 opened fire, they destroyed military vehicles, and killed and wounded a
11 number of soldiers.
12 Immediately, or rather at the same time, simultaneously, an attack
13 was carried out against the Yugoslav People's Army's centre where there
14 were just five people, together with the Lieutenant-Colonel. Five
15 soldiers and their Lieutenant-Colonel started putting up resistance until
16 the Lieutenant-Colonel was wounded his name was Bozinovski and it was at
17 that point they ceased with the resistance so that they could get
18 treatment for their superior officer.
19 Q. Just a minute. In order to stop with this topic, because it's not
20 relevant, could you please tell us this: What was your only goal under
21 those circumstances given what was happening to the soldiers?
22 A. The main and the sole goal was to provide medical assistance to
23 the wounded, to evacuate them and to evacuate those who were killed.
24 Q. No. Thank you. I'm putting questions to you so that we can
25 conclude with your evidence as soon as possible. What was your plan?
1 What was your main plan in relation to the entire army?
2 A. It is well known that there was an order in place to relocate the
3 army. The Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina had issued an order to
4 relocate the JNA into Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The General Staff,
5 on the 4th of May, issued such an order; namely, that all members of the
6 JNA were to be sent to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and that members
7 of the JNA who were from other republics should go to their respective
8 republics. The time for implementation of that order was 15 days. That
9 was the time period during which that order was to be implemented.
10 However, the units of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
11 blocked the barracks and they did not allow the units of the JNA to leave
12 the barracks in order to get moving towards the Federal Republic of
13 Yugoslavia. As a result of that, a group of senior officers headed by
14 General Nedjo Boskovic and Colonel Cadzo started negotiating with the
15 Bosnian government.
16 On the 10th of May, the military hospital was unblocked --
17 Q. Mr. Gagovic, just a minute, please. We are running out of time.
18 Maybe we will revert to this topic a bit later. You told us what you
19 learned from the reports that you received about what was going on in
20 Slovenia and Croatia. I would like for us to see a document in order to
21 establish whether what you have told us earlier was correct. Let me show
22 you this document, DD01586. Let us see the first page. Please look at
23 the first page.
24 A. Yes, I have looked. And based on this I can see that the orders
25 and information we received from our superior command were based on this,
1 on the documents emanating from the Presidency.
2 Q. Thank you. Please read the heading, the title, and could you
3 please at least read who was present?
4 A. It is quite clear to me, without even reading it, that everybody
5 was present, Drnovsek was present, Mesic chaired the Presidency meeting --
6 Q. Thank you. But I hope that you were taught how to proceed.
7 Please read what it says here. Please read the title, the date and
8 everything else that is written here. I can't do that on your behalf.
9 Please read it out aloud.
10 A. "Shorthand notes of the 125th session of the Presidency of the
11 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia held on the 12th of July 1991, at
12 10.30. Present: Stjepan Mesic, President of the Presidency."
13 Q. Thank you, thank you. Please see the page 11 in B/C/S and page 10
14 in English. Please take a look at the speakers on page 11.
15 A. Mr. Ante Markovic, Veljko Kadijevic. On this page, Veljko
16 Kadijevic, federal secretary of Defence, led the discussion at this point.
17 Q. Just a minute, please. You said Veljko Kadijevic. Please start
18 reading from this section where it says, "Losses in Slovenia."
19 A. "Losses in Slovenia, on the part of the army as I've told you 144
20 dead and -- or rather 44 dead and 184 wounded. Current crisis spots in
21 Yugoslavia are, the Knin Krajina, Slavonia, Baranja, Serin, Banja, Kordun,
22 Lika. Possible new crisis spots, Kosovo, Sandzak, western Macedonia,
23 Herzegovina. Armed formations outside of the armed forces --"
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please stop. Ms. Edgerton is on her feet.
25 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honours. Your Honour, it looks by
1 the number of this document it comes from the OTP. I actually have two
2 submissions. I hardly think that this witness is in a position to comment
3 on this document, not having been present at the meeting of the former
4 Presidency at the time. I think the document, because it so far predates
5 the period of the indictment is largely irrelevant. But, in any case, if
6 Mr. Tapuskovic wants to tender it from the table even without through this
7 witness, I have no objection to the authenticity of the document. As I
8 said, I think it comes from the OTP. The only thing I would ask is that
9 the full translation be tendered when it's available.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, what are you seeking to establish
12 by this evidence?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] First of all, this document is
14 available through the electronic database of this Tribunal to everyone.
15 Secondly, this witness said that information came from Slovenia about the
16 victims. This document speaks of 44 dead as a result of the events in
17 Slovenia, with a forecast that the same would take place in other regions
18 which is what happened in February, March and other months preceding the
19 withdrawal of the Yugoslav People's Army.
20 This document also speaks about paramilitaries, armed formations
21 outside of the armed forces. This is precisely what this witness was
22 about to speak of; namely, the figures about the numbers of
23 paramilitaries. This is the information that he received through the
24 General Staff at the helm of which was General Veljko Kadijevic. And if
25 you allow him to continue, you will see what happened afterwards and how
1 the paramilitaries transformed into an illegal armed force. The witness
2 will tell you that the information he received through the chain of
3 command was accurate and it's further supported by the content of this
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is 1992, isn't it? What year is this?
6 MS. EDGERTON: The document dates from 12 July 1991.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, 1991. So how does this affect the question
8 of the criminal liability of the accused? How does it affect the -- any
9 of the charges in the indictment? Why should we be spending time on this?
10 That's the point.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] -- if any general context is
12 important here, the one that led to the tragedy in this country. Why are
13 facts 1 through 53 important at all? What is the relevance of the general
14 context? Let us not -- I'm telling you, Your Honours, the best thing
15 would have been if we had just dealt with the events from the 8th of
16 August onwards and with the crimes that General Milosevic was charged
17 with. In this manner, any attempt to shed any light on to the tragedy
18 that unfolded in this country is doomed. It is impossible to do it. To
19 the causes of all that. If we are to deal only with the crimes that are
20 the -- that General Milosevic is charged with that would be the easiest
21 thing for the Defence because most of them have not been proven, regarding
22 the murders and so on. And I would be so happy if I found myself in a
23 situation in which I were to defend him just against the charges of the
24 campaign --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Ms. Edgerton, you have heard the
1 reply. He says the Prosecution by pleading the adjudicated facts prior to
2 1994, has allowed him to deal with contextual matters and other matters
3 prior to 1994. He says that you have let in this evidence.
4 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, actually, at the heart of my
5 submission was that I didn't find it appropriate for this witness, who
6 wasn't at this meeting of the Presidency, to be able to comment on any
7 aspect of the content of the document. And I'm quite happy if
8 Mr. Tapuskovic simply chooses to tender the document from the bar table
9 himself. I have no objection to its admission and its authenticity. I
10 simply rose because I didn't see the point on dwelling on it in great
11 detail through this witness.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're not questioning its relevance?
13 MS. EDGERTON: No. I said I think it's largely irrelevant because
14 in my submission it has absolutely no bearing on the outbreak of the
15 conflict in Sarajevo in April 1992 and thereafter. It's a contextual
16 document and in my view little more than that, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we admit the document. Move on to another
18 subject area.
19 INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please give the document a number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit D341, Your Honours.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, what was the attitude of the JNA top, primarily of the
24 General Staff, about what the army should do while it was still in the
25 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
1 A. Well, the view of the superior command, and of the General Staff,
2 was that all the problems and all the issues should be resolved
3 peacefully, exclusively by peaceful means. And that care should be taken
4 to protect the lives of the people, of soldiers, officers, citizens, their
5 families and that as much patience is exhibited as possible and that a
6 team would come from the General Staff to conduct negotiations with the
7 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina about de-blocking of the barracks and
8 the pullout to the territory of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. And the Yugoslav People's Army, did it have any strategic goal
10 involving any of those locations except for what you said, to save the
11 lives of its troops?
12 A. No, no other goal because if it had any other goals it would not
13 have remained in the barracks. It would have been manning the positions
14 from which it would be possible to carry out those goals.
15 Q. And what happened to the weapons?
16 MS. EDGERTON: I'm very sorry, Your Honours. But perhaps we could
17 just establish a little bit more foundation that would go to show the
18 basis of some of this witness's comments about the strategic goals of the
19 entire JNA and the views of the superior command and the General Staff.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic, lay a foundation for this
21 witness's knowledge.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. As the deputy commander for logistics, you told us something about
24 the lives of the troops. At that time, when all these events started to
25 happen, did you have any other goal apart from bringing the soldiers, the
1 young people, out of these areas alive?
2 A. That was the only goal. There was no other goal. And it is very
3 well known to the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 Q. Do you know what order was issued by Hasanefendic on the 27th of
5 April 1992?
6 A. I know that. I held it in my hands. I read it. He issued an
7 order. I will just relay to you one part of it. That was to block all
8 the barracks, all the military units, that they should be disarmed,
9 captured, arrested, and that as few of them should be allowed to leave
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina alive.
11 Q. Let me now just read to you or I would like you to look at a
12 document just very quickly because my time is running out. It's DD04321.
13 That's page 4 in the B/C/S. And page 4 in the English. But could you
14 please explain to us who was Blagoje Adzic?
15 A. Blagoje Adzic, just let me look at this document.
16 Q. DD004321. Could you just read the first page? What is it, then?
17 A. Well, I can't see it very well. It says, "Shorthand Notes."
18 Q. Could you please read it?
19 A. Do you mean this part where it says that you have to know that all
20 the communications --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton, please.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Sorry, Your Honours, just to note that as of 1.30
23 yesterday this document wasn't available in e-court. I'm not objecting to
24 the document but making the observation this is the first time I've been
25 able to see the document.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, why is that?
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It was in e-court on Friday. It
3 was submitted to the official who had gone to Belgrade. So I really can't
4 understand what my learned colleague is saying, except if her real purpose
5 is to confuse me every time she gets up.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I doubt that that is her purpose. But she
7 is not objecting. Let us proceed.
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Gagovic, were you not told that when you were shown a document
10 that you have to read what it says?
11 A. Well, I'm just asking you whether this is the document,
12 02942723/GS, here on page 4 in front of me. That's what I have.
13 Q. No, no.
14 A. Well, then I didn't get the document that you're talking about
15 because these are the conclusions of the people from the Presidency.
16 Q. This is the document 02942 -- no. No. It's a mistake. Just a
17 moment. So in front of me I have a document 02942723. That's document
18 DD004321, the first page discusses the work of the Presidency. That's the
19 shorthand notes of the meeting held on the 2nd of March --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Presidency, the SFRY Presidency.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated] Ms. Edgerton. And not
23 to confuse Mr. Tapuskovic, I hope.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Far from it, Your Honours. That would never be my
25 objective. This document that my friend is referring to now we received
1 this morning, and the Prosecution was not given a translation of the
2 document. I wonder if there is a translation available.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is there a translation available, Mr. Tapuskovic?
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I've already told you, page in
5 English is page 4. I gave you the reference. English page 4. But I
6 wanted us to look at page 1 first. There it is.
7 Q. So do you have in front of you 02942723?
8 A. 724. I have 02942724.
9 Q. Well, that's page 2.
10 A. Yes, yes. That's page 2 on the cover page there is the number
11 that you referenced.
12 Q. Could you read this, please?
13 A. 23, it says the following, "SFRY Presidency, strictly confidential
14 shorthand notes of the meeting of the SFRY Presidency with the
15 representatives of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. "Held on the 2nd of March 1992."
18 Q. Thank you. Now let us turn to page 4 in B/C/S and that's page 4
19 too in the English version. But could you first explain to me who
20 Blagoje Adzic was at that time?
21 A. Blagoje Adzic was the chief of the General Staff. And after
22 Kadijevic left the Presidency, he was the acting federal secretary of
23 National Defence.
24 Q. Please, what did he say at this meeting and does this correspond
25 to what you just said just a moment ago regarding this problem that is
1 discussed here and that you were familiar with? Could you please read
3 A. Well, okay. I will. "You have to know that all the communications
4 with Krajina --"
5 Q. No, no.
6 A. Well, at page 4, this is what I have. The number is 27 of the
7 marking, it's 2942727.
8 Q. No. I have 26.
9 MS. EDGERTON: I'm not rising to be obstructionist at all, but --
10 [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's page 3 if that's what you want
13 me to read.
14 MS. EDGERTON: If my friend wishes to tender the document, I have
15 no objection. He's having difficulty with the pages and we are all having
16 difficulty with the electronic system. Again, I have no objection to the
17 authenticity of the document. I'll reserve my comments on relevance and
18 I'm quite happy if he simply tenders the document.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, don't reserve your comments on relevance.
20 Let's hear your submissions on that issue.
21 MS. EDGERTON: As a contextual document, background to the
22 transformation of the JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it may have some
23 relevance. And nothing more than that. I was just actually, Your Honour,
24 rising to try and be helpful with respect to the electronic system and the
25 pages to try and see if that assisted Mr. Tapuskovic.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We admit the document.
2 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit D342, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Could you repeat the date, please?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's the date of the document? This is for the
5 Court deputy.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The 2nd of March.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: 2nd?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] 2nd of March 1992.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] But since this document has
11 already been admitted as a Defence Exhibit, am I correct? Well, since the
12 witness has already given us his evidence and since he read this and since
13 he said what he said, I would like to ask him.
14 Q. It says here that Adzic presented the following view:
15 "As for the fate of the army, it will depend on your fate and what
16 you yourselves do there. All those who think that they can solve all the
17 problems with the army is mistaken. If you don't find a political
18 solution, then you have general chaos and civil war in Bosnia and
20 So was this your view that you talked about, you, as the army
21 leadership in Sarajevo?
22 A. Well, yes. This was expressed in the orders that were received to
23 the superior units -- to the subordinate units, interpreter's correction.
24 Q. Could you tell us what happened to the barracks that you left
25 behind and what remained in the barracks and in the depots?
1 A. Well, in accordance with the approval of the BH government, the
2 barracks were -- started being abandoned on the 10th of May, starting with
3 the military hospital, and all the equipment and the vehicles, ambulances
4 and so on, were to remain there. And in accordance with an agreement
5 mediated by President Mitterrand, they were supposed to be used by the
6 civilians for civilian use. As for some other barracks, all the weapons
7 that were there, howitzers, artillery and so on, were to remain there and
8 of course, the equipment, certain quantity of combat sets and so on, that
9 all remained. They were the last to leave Sarajevo. That was on the 5th
10 of May. So from the 4th of May until the 5th of June --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Microphone not activated]. Yes, yes. Just a
12 minute. Just a minute, please.
13 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, I'm sorry. There's no foundation to
14 this answer whatsoever.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, what is the basis of your knowledge as
16 to the information you've just given?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was the stand-in for
18 the Commander of the 4th Corps. That was the most senior unit in the
19 command in Sarajevo. And it was through me that the chief of General
20 Staff regulated all the issues pertaining to the pullout of the JNA from
21 Sarajevo and the area around it. So this is why I had all this
22 information and I indeed published a book on this topic.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Oh, you have a book on this topic?
24 You have published a book, you say?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is it entitled?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "When the vanquished win."
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: The vanquished. Well, congratulations.
4 Mr. Tapuskovic.
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Well, I didn't want to ask you about the book and the wealth of
7 information therein, but I wanted to ask you what happened with the
8 weapons after the JNA pulled out?
9 A. Well, it depended on the type of weapons. The heavy weapons
10 remained in the barracks, and units carried their light weapons with them,
11 with the exception of the cadets in the Marsal Tito barracks, from the
12 military high school and academy.
13 Q. Were you among -- in fact, who was the last to leave Sarajevo and
14 does it have to do with those cadets, those children?
15 A. Yes, precisely. There was a problem regarding the departure of
16 the cadets because the leaving behind of heavy weapons in the hands of the
17 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the part of Republika Srpska was a
18 problem. And both leaderships had to reach an agreement, so an agreement
19 was not reached until the 3rd of June, and the cadets arrived in Belgrade
20 on the 5th of June. There were no problems. None of them were injured.
21 But they had to leave all the materiel, all the equipment, all the heavy
22 weapons in the barracks. So they just left without anything as students.
23 Q. And what happened with the depots? Where were they located, the
24 depots and who took the ammunition?
25 A. The smaller depots were spread throughout Sarajevo and the
1 environs. The largest one was in Faletici. Paramilitary forces of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina tried to get into these warehouses to get the weaponry.
3 And prior to that, they carried out large quantities of weaponry illegally
4 to say so. Then there was a conflict between the forces of the
5 Territorial Defence of the Republika Srpska and the BH federation forces,
6 and the majority of the weaponry ended up in the hands of the army of
7 Republika Srpska.
8 The General Staff wanted to resolve the issue of the two-thirds,
9 which allegedly belonged to the Federation Army, by providing some of the
10 weaponry from the warehouses in [Unintelligible] if I'm not mistaken. The
11 first contingent arrived on the basis of the agreement with the European
12 Community and UNPROFOR, with General MacKenzie and that arrived to the
13 building where UNPROFOR was headquartered, the PTT building in Sarajevo.
14 However, as soon as the first contingent arrived, paramilitary forces
15 attacked these vehicles, looted the weaponry, and that was it. Everybody
16 was trying to advocate a peaceful solution but it was not to be.
17 Q. Who kept the majority of the heavy weapons at the time when the
18 JNA pulled out of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. At any rate, the larger amount of weaponry remained in the hands
20 of the army of Republika Srpska because the members who were Serbs
21 responded to the call-up issued by the JNA, whereas Muslims and Croats did
22 not respond to the call-up into the JNA. So that when the JNA pulled out,
23 the Serb members of the JNA remained in Bosnia and the weapons remained in
24 their hands too because nobody disarmed them.
25 Q. Thank you. What was more important to the JNA, weapons or young
1 men who were 18 or so?
2 A. Precisely the young men who were 18, because had it been for the
3 weapons, the JNA would have resorted to force to unblock the barracks. It
4 would not have resorted to negotiations.
5 Q. I have no further questions. Thank you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 Ms. Edgerton?
8 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, if I could just have a brief moment to speak
9 with Mr. Waespi, Your Honours?
10 [Prosecution counsel confer]
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] May I just add one more thing?
14 Just to make it clear. When it comes to adjudicated facts, we did
15 not -- we did not contest their veracity. We contested their accuracy.
16 It just occurred to me. My colleague just reminded me. We did not
17 challenge their veracity. We did not bring -- or rather we did not bring
18 into question their relevancy, we brought into question their veracity,
19 their accuracy, and this is what it says in our brief. This is our
20 position. I think that you failed to take this into consideration when
21 ruling on this. Just to make it clear what we challenged was the
22 relevancy of adjudicated facts in our brief or rather, the Defence did not
23 challenge the relevancy of these facts, it challenged their veracity.
24 That's how it was. It all happened so quickly that it did not occur to me
25 to bring up this argument when you ruled on this, but it is clearly stated
1 in our brief that we challenged their veracity.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I wish I understood what you are saying. I never
3 said you challenged the relevance of the adjudicated facts. I simply
4 said, and I read the passage from the Trial Chamber's decision, that you
5 did not contest adjudicated facts 1 to 53. And the decision said
6 specifically, expressly, that you deferred to the Trial Chamber's decision
7 with regard to those proposed facts.
8 Ms. Edgerton?
9 I don't wish to hear any more on this issue.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
12 Q. Witness, are you able to hear me in a language you understand?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I'm going to ask you some questions based in part on some of the
15 things you've said today and I'll try and be as brief as possible.
16 And perhaps we could start with some things you may feel that
17 you're in a position to agree with. For example, sir, and is your proper
18 title General or Colonel, sir?
19 A. I have the rank of a Colonel.
20 Q. Colonel, would you agree with me, since you were in place in
21 Sarajevo during -- between 1991 and 1992, that the JNA 4th Corps was
22 effectively the nucleus of what became the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps?
23 A. It only appears to be so for the simple reason that the 4th Corps
24 was manned by conscripts from Sarajevo and the vicinity. When the JNA
25 mobilised young men, it was only the Serbs that responded. The Muslims
1 and the Croats did not respond to the call-up into JNA. So that the units
2 were manned by the Serbs from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 about 90 per cent of them were. When the JNA pulled out and moved into
4 the territory of the SFRY, it was only the Serbs who remained, and they
5 became free. Just as the Muslims and the Croats could go and join their
6 own forces, so could the Serbs. So that practically speaking, all of the
7 units established in the territories of the former Yugoslav republics had
8 their nucleus in the members, former members, of the JNA and
9 Territorial Defence, which were -- which had been two components of the
10 armed forces of the SFRY.
11 Q. So in essence you would agree with me, then?
12 A. I wouldn't agree to the extent that this was just a renamed corps.
13 No. It wasn't just renamed. They established a new command, a new
14 organisational and establishment structure, new units, but there were
15 members of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps who had been previously members of
16 the 4th JNA Corps.
17 Q. And were those largely the commanding officers, sir?
18 A. Few senior officers moved from the 4th Corps to the
19 Romanija-Sarajevo Corps. More came from other republics, more of them
20 came from other republics, including Territorial Defence and Serbian
21 generals, one of them being General Mladic.
22 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you to turn, in one of the binders my
23 colleague, Mr. Registrar, has, to a document that bears the number 03460.
24 The tab is about halfway through your binder.
25 MS. EDGERTON: And I think copies have been made available to
1 Your Honours. One copy has been made available to Your Honours. It is in
2 e-court however, 03460. I'm told by my colleague, Ms. Bosnjakovic, that
3 everybody has a binder available.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document bears my signature.
5 However, I never wrote such a document.
6 MS. EDGERTON:
7 Q. I wasn't sure based on the video screen I see in front of you that
8 you were actually able to see the document, sir. Have you got in front of
9 you a document with the heading, "4th Corps command" dated 17 May 1992,
10 which says:
11 "On the basis of the command of the 2nd Military District order
12 dated 14 May, in aim to change titles of units of the 4th Corps in time,
13 we submit to you new titles of former units of the 4th Corps."
14 And as you said it bears your signature on the bottom, sir; is
15 that correct?
16 A. It is my signature. This is my signature. However, I never wrote
17 this. Never. Because it says -- it has initials NG -- MG, as though I
18 typed this order myself. There is a stamp and my signature but I can
19 assure you that I never wrote such a document, because prior to this, I
20 tried to --
21 Q. I'm sorry, Colonel. Please, just a moment. We have a question
22 from a member of the Bench here.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm trying to see whether I have [Microphone not
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 MS. EDGERTON: It's also published in e-court, Your Honours but
2 you're more than welcome to have my copy.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed.
4 MS. EDGERTON:
5 Q. Now, Colonel, you said this document bears your initial on the
6 bottom but it's not a document that you wrote. Does that mean it's a
7 document written by one of your subordinate officers?
8 A. It's not that. I personally did not sign such a document ever.
9 However, this is my signature.
10 Q. Colonel, I don't quite understand. If you didn't sign the
11 document but your signature appears, are you disputing the authenticity of
12 the document? Or is the document consistent with what was going on on the
13 17th of May, in terms of the restructuring of the 4th Corps?
14 A. As far as I am familiar with the names of these units, these units
15 were in existence after the 20th of May, after the corps had been
17 Q. Are you disputing the accuracy of the document --
18 A. And I did not participate in the establishment of the corps.
19 Q. Are you disputing the accuracy of the document, sir?
20 A. This is a forgery. This is not an accurate document, as far as
21 I'm concerned. It's possible that the names of the units coincided.
22 However, I was not competent to issue such an order.
23 Q. On what basis are you claiming that the document is a forgery,
25 A. Because the -- this shows that the establishment of the
1 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was analogous to the establishment of the 4th
2 Corps, and the 4th Corps disbanded practically on the 20th of May. I was
3 there, the only one who remained. I also had an assistant for political
4 affairs. We had two aides and a driver, and that's all who remained
5 there. The other command and the other commanders established the
6 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps using most likely members who had previously been
7 members of the 4th Corps. And I would have remembered if I had --
8 Q. You would have remembered if you had what, sir?
9 A. If I had written such a document.
10 Q. But is that not your signature on the bottom, sir?
11 A. It is, but it's not difficult to analyse somebody's signature and
12 to put it on another document. They had a stamp.
13 Q. Are you saying that your signature has been forged on this
14 document, sir?
15 A. I don't think that it was forged. Nobody could forge it to this
16 extent. It is my signature. But the content, everything above the
17 signature, is something that I do not remember or that is to say, I was
18 not competent to rule on these issues, to issue such an order. Because
19 there was a different officer who was in command of the corps and it was
20 within his competency to establish a corps with such an organisational and
21 establishment structure.
22 Q. But, sir, you've already testified that you had been appointed to
23 act on behalf of or in, if I could find your exact words, you were
24 appointed representative of the corps commander of the time. And sir, I
25 put it to you that the -- your successor, the next corps commander, didn't
1 arrive on scene until two days after this document. So that, sir, would
2 put you in exactly the position in which you could issue a directive
3 renaming elements of the 4th Corps and giving them titles that they would
4 carry on as elements of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
5 A. Had I done this, I would have needed to receive an order from my
6 superior command, which at that time was the 1st military district, in
7 order for me to do it in this way. However, my order was that all members
8 of the 4th Corps who were citizens of the SFRY, soldiers, officers and
9 civilians serving in the army, were transferred to the Federal Republic of
10 Yugoslavia; whereas members who were from Macedonia, Croatia and other
11 republics could go to their respective republics and join formations
13 Q. Sir, you've said you didn't have the capacity to issue such an
14 order, but I'm putting to you that's exactly the capacity that you've
15 testified that you held at that time. You were representative of the
16 corps commander pending the arrival of your successor, and your successor
17 hadn't come on to the scene yet.
18 A. No. Nobody succeeded me in the 4th Corps. I was in command of
19 the 4th Corps of the JNA, whereas Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was established
20 independently of the 4th Corps. But members of the 4th Corps, which was
21 logical, who were from Bosnia-Herzegovina, became members of the SKR. To
22 make it more clear, the government of Republika Srpska offered me to be a
23 commander of that corps and I refused. Similarly, the Federation of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina also offered me to become commander of the TO of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I rejected this offer as well. I told them that
1 it was their task and that they were to deal with it and I proposed
2 General Mladic for that position.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Ms. Edgerton or, rather, witness,
4 on the 17th of May 1992, you were in theatre. Do you at least recognise
5 the fact that the titles of units that changed here, those titles that
6 changed and that figure on this paper, on this piece of paper, did this
7 happen or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The names of units of the 4th Corps
9 of the JNA are correct, and I'm not familiar with the names of units
10 within RSK -- SRK. I'm not familiar with the process of organising and
11 establishing the units within Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. I'm just not
12 knowledgeable about that.
13 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] So you were the commander and you
14 recognise the changes that took place here did take place indeed, but you
15 are telling us that you are not the one who drew or who wrote, rather,
16 this document?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It wasn't within my competency. If
18 you know how the army is structured, you will know that I cannot write to
19 someone as to how to organise and establish a corps without being its
20 commander. Had I been the commander of that corps, then, yes, I maybe
21 would have written this but I wasn't. On the left side, you can see the
22 names of the units of the corps that I commanded as a stand-in commander.
23 But then on the right side you see that it says -- it has other names and
24 those are the units of the SRK that was actually a corps within the army
25 of Republika Srpska.
1 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
2 Ms. Edgerton.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Colonel, were you in the habit of signing several
4 documents on a daily basis?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I signed definitely a number of
6 documents, documents that were addressed to the government of Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, General Staff, units that were under my command. Yes, I
8 definitely signed many documents. But a document with such contents is
9 just not plausible, could not have received a stamp because it could have
10 been a unit that was part of the TO.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Now I wanted to ask whether it was
12 perhaps possible that since you signed many orders, many documents, daily,
13 that you might have signed this and forgotten about it. Is that possible?
14 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I didn't hear the answer to the question.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My signature on such an order would
17 have had no weight, no significance, because in order to establish a
18 corps, that can be done only by the superior command, the command that is
19 superior to such a corps. And the command that was superior to
20 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was the command of the Territorial Defence of
21 Republika Srpska. They were the ones who regulated establishment and
22 organisational issues of their units.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
24 MS. EDGERTON:
25 Q. Colonel, did you sign this document or didn't you, yes or no?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Are you maintaining that this document is a forgery, yes or no?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If I told you, Colonel, that this document was provided to the
5 Office of the Prosecutor by counsel for the Defence of General Galic, who
6 was at one time commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, would you change
7 your position with respect to the document, with respect to its
9 A. No. That would not change my position, because legally I wasn't
10 entitled to do what this document does. I wasn't legally empowered to do
12 Q. Sir, my question wasn't about whether or not you were legally
13 empowered, and, with respect, I would suggest that this document only
14 assigns new titles to units. My question was whether or not you would
15 change your position about the document being a forgery knowing it was
16 provided by counsel for the Defence of General Galic?
17 A. I said that regardless of who is the source of this document, I
18 simply wasn't competent to do this because I don't know who would have
19 accepted my order about re-establishing the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps.
20 Q. Thank you, Colonel. We could move on and --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: After we've taken the break you may move on.
22 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Edgerton?
1 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, Your Honours. I wonder if I could tender this
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we admit it.
4 MS. EDGERTON: My apologies. For the record, I wonder if we could
5 tender this document, please.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] First, I object to the -- because
8 the contents of this document have to be compared with paragraph 3 of the
9 indictment. And we should check which brigades were under the control of
10 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, and you can see that there is no mention of
11 Pale engineers, the Pale medical and so -- and so two, four, five, six --
12 eight items have nothing to do with what is stated in paragraph 3 of the
13 indictment. So that's my objection. And also, in light of what the
14 expert or rather Witness said, I wanted to object against the admission
15 but you've already decided.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. I'll reconsider it, absolutely, but Ms.
17 Edgerton, what do you have to say to that?
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, it goes to the witness's credibility
19 and I'm entitled to offer --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Precisely, it goes to the credibility and so
21 it's -- she's entitled to have it admitted on that basis. Thank you.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as exhibit P912, Your Honours.
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. Now, Colonel, if I could ask you to turn to a further document in
25 your binder, it bears the number 03244. And that document is an order
1 from General Tomislav Sipcic dated 22 May 1995, to the command of the 2nd
2 Romanija Brigade dealing with the organisational and formation alterations
3 in the corps. Have you been able to find that document?
4 A. Yes, I can see it in front of me.
5 Q. Now, I note that -- well, you said even though you were
6 effectively acting corps commander you didn't have capacity to issue such
7 an order as the formation or consolidation of a military corps. I see by
8 this order, General Sipcic has done that. Now, my question for you is:
9 Is what you read in this document consistent with your recollection of
10 what was going on at the time?
11 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, would you like my copy?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is the second time, though. I question the
13 authenticity of these documents.
14 MS. EDGERTON: 03244.
15 Q. While we are doing this, Colonel, I wonder if you could deal with
16 my question. Is what you read in this document about the transformation
17 of Bosnian Serb military and Territorial Defence units into elements of
18 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps consistent with your recollection of what was
19 going on at the time?
20 A. I remember when the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was
21 formed, and I know that Colonel Tomas Sipcic was at the head of this
22 command. And probably, or rather not probably but definitely, the command
23 of the Territorial Defence of Republika Srpska, which was his superior
24 command, issued him an order to form the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, to
25 establish it. And at any rate, a large part of the members of the armed
1 forces that were in the JNA 4th Corps now made part of this new corps
2 because they were territorially speaking from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. So --
4 A. So that this command, the Sarajevo-Romanija command was not in the
5 building where I was at Lukavica. As far as I can remember, it was first
6 in Tvrdinic and then it moved to Pale, to one of the buildings there, a
7 hotel of some sort. I'm not sure what its name was, Planinka or something
8 like that.
9 Q. Thank you for that information. So I take from your answer that
10 to the best of your recollection, this document is consistent with what
11 was going on at the time?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MS. EDGERTON: And, Your Honours, that document is already
15 admitted into evidence as to my recollection, P770.
16 Q. Just if I may now, Colonel, a couple of questions about your
17 background. Under the 4th Corps, you said you were the deputy commander
18 of logistics; is that correct?
19 A. Assistant to the commander for logistics.
20 Q. And in that capacity, you said you were acquainted with all of the
21 work and all of the activities in the 4th Corps; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And by May of 1992, you were appointed representative of the corps
24 commander after the retirement of General Djurdjevac?
25 A. Yes. On the 10th of May, or rather, the 11th, that was when the
1 official order was dated, he was appointed to this post and he was
2 relieved of his duty as the assistant to the commander for logistics.
3 Q. And by that date, you had actually moved yourself out to Lukavica
4 barracks and that's where you operated from; isn't that correct?
5 A. Yes. I moved on the 1st of April 1992 to the Lukavica barracks.
6 Q. And that was something that you did essentially of your own
7 volition, even though General Kukanjac, the 2nd military district
8 commander, had decided not to move at that time, true?
9 A. Yes, precisely.
10 Q. And from Lukavica, you operated as representative of the corps
12 A. As the assistant to the corps commander, and then the stand-in.
13 That was as of the 10th of May.
14 Q. From the 10th of May until what date, sir?
15 A. Until I went to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That was on
16 the 5th of June. And on the 6th of June, I submitted my request for
17 retirement, 6th of June.
18 Q. Now, what did it mean, in terms of your function? What did it
19 mean to be stand-in for the corps commander? What did you do?
20 A. I carried out all the duties of the corps commander. That is
21 understood. But I did not have a decree to the appointment -- about my
22 appointment which would have entailed my getting the rank of a general.
23 That's because I refused this kind of appointment.
24 Q. And in carrying out all the regular duties of a corps commander,
25 how were you informed of what was going on in the field, in the theatre?
1 A. I was in constant contact with the subordinate commands. I was in
2 constant contact with Fikret Abdic, a member of the BH Presidency, with
3 General MacKenzie, with Colm Doyle until the 7th of May, his tour of duty
4 ended then. And I was in constant contact with Colonel Hasan Efendic the
5 commander of the Main Staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina and -- and with the
6 leadership of Republika Srpska.
7 Q. By "leadership of Republika Srpska," who in particular are you
8 referring to, sir?
9 A. Well, specifically we were in communication with the President of
10 Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, at the time.
11 Q. And when you say you were in constant contact with all subordinate
12 commands, did that mean you were in contact through telephone, yes or no?
13 A. Exclusively by phone.
14 Q. Telegram?
15 A. With MacKenzie, with MacKenzie, he'd come to my office regularly.
16 Q. Sir, I'm talking about subordinate levels of command. You said
17 you were in constant contact with your subordinates and I'd like to know
18 how you communicated with them and how they reported up to you.
19 A. Using communications equipment, and as for those who were in the
20 immediate vicinity of the Lukavica barracks, we had daily briefings,
21 regular daily briefings.
22 Q. In fact, you were in -- in terms of military control, you were in
23 full, complete control of what was going on in Sarajevo while you were
24 acting as corps commander, weren't you?
25 A. I had full control over members of the 4th Corps, but I did not
1 have full control over the Territorial Defence troops, that was
2 established on the 12th of May by Republika Srpska in an effort to start
3 putting together its own armed forces, its own army.
4 Q. Not only, sir, did you have full control over members of the
5 4th Corps, but you also had operational control of members of the
6 Bosnian Serb police forces, as well as Bosnian Serb --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
8 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] He's already given a direct
9 answer. He did not have any control over the Republika Srpska Territorial
10 Defence troops. So this is repetitive. And only in the end was this last
11 part added about the police force, but the witness said that he had
12 control over the Yugoslav People's Army and had no control over the
13 Territorial Defence of Republika Srpska.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I consider that she is putting the question
15 as a whole. So that part which is repetitive can be ignored and the part
16 which is new is to be answered.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
18 Q. Sir, you also had operational control of members of the Bosnian
19 Serb police, as well as Bosnian Serb and Serbian military -- sorry,
20 paramilitary forces?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic?
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what I am objecting
23 to is that the Prosecutor is now putting something to the witness that the
24 witness had already answered. The witness said that he did not have any
25 control. So now the Prosecutor is putting to the witness, so "you had
1 control over the Territorial Defence" and then the question goes on. And
2 he never did confirm that he actually had control over the Territorial
3 Defence of Republika Srpska.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the adversarial system, you are allowed to put
5 your case to the witness irrespective of whether the witness -- it
6 reflects the witness's position and this is what I understand Ms. Edgerton
7 is doing. Notwithstanding the evidence that he has given, she is saying,
8 her instructions are that he did have control and so she's entitled to put
9 that to him. Let us hear the answer.
10 MS. EDGERTON:
11 Q. To finish the question -- to finish the question, Colonel, you
12 also had operational control over members of the Bosnian Serb police and
13 Bosnian Serb and Serbian paramilitary forces who were taking part in
14 actions around Sarajevo at this time, did you not?
15 A. I did not have any powers over the police of the Serbian Republic
16 or of the paramilitary forces or the Territorial Defence of the Serbian
17 Republic. I cooperated with Stanisic, the Minister of the Interior, if it
18 was necessary to do some work in the area of responsibility of the
19 4th Corps, just as I was cooperating with minister Delic Mustafic, if
20 anything needed to be done in the area that he controlled.
21 Q. So as opposed to operational subordination, you're talking about
22 operational coordination, then, is that the case?
23 A. About the coordination and cooperation. Perhaps this latter term
24 might be a bit better.
25 Q. Was that also the case with respect to the Serbian paramilitary
1 forces who were active around Sarajevo in May 1992?
2 A. Serbian paramilitary forces and the Territorial Defence in the
3 municipalities had their own commands, and as for the Crisis Staffs we
4 were in telephone contact with them because this was also going on in the
5 area of responsibility of the 4th Corps.
6 Q. Was this operational coordination -- did this operational
7 coordination with respect to the Serbian paramilitary forces include the
8 Seseljevci who were active in Grbavica and the Arkanovci who had come to
9 take part in operations in Ilidza in May 1992?
10 A. We did not have any cooperation with Seselj's men or Arkan's men.
11 I don't even remember Seselj's men being present in the Sarajevo area.
12 There may have been in March or April, there was a group at Grbavica in
13 that period. And as for Arkan's men, there were just reports about them
14 in the media, and I am not aware of Arkan or his men being present in
15 Sarajevo while I was there.
16 Q. Could I then, for everyone's benefit, ask -- and this may test
17 technology a bit, that a telephone intercept be played? The transcript
18 bears the number 03316. The transcript is in e-court. And hopefully
19 copies are in everyone's binders under that tab number. And if everyone
20 has found the transcript, could I ask it be played, please? And I assume
21 Belgrade will advise us if they are not for some reason able to hear it.
22 They also have backup copies there.
23 [Audiotape played]
24 MS. EDGERTON:
25 Q. Colonel, did you recognise your voice in the conversation that you
1 just heard?
2 A. Yes, yes, I recognised my voice and I remember that.
3 Q. And you also then recognised the voice of your Commander-in-Chief
4 at the time, Ratko Mladic?
5 A. He was not the Commander-in-Chief, but he was the acting commander
6 of the 2nd military district but he was already -- he was already the
7 chief of the Main Staff of Republika Srpska, and the airport was
8 considered to be a -- it was considered --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did you recognise the voice of Ratko Mladic?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
11 MS. EDGERTON:
12 Q. Did you hear General Mladic say to Mr. Unkovic from the Crisis
13 Staff of the Serbian Municipality of Ilidza that the most important thing
14 now is that the military formations, no matter who they belonged to, be
15 put under the command of the 4th Corps headquarters to Gagovic? Did you
16 hear him say that?
17 A. Yes, I heard him say that.
18 Q. Do you now, having heard Ratko Mladic say that you were to have
19 command of all military formations no matter who they belonged to, do you
20 wish to change your position as to the nature of your command and control
21 over Serbian and Bosnian Serb forces around Sarajevo at the time?
22 A. No. No. I can say now that this was an airport, a Yugoslav
23 People's Army was securing the airport. And the units of the Territorial
24 Defence of the Ilidza municipality wanted to take over. And
25 General Mladic here is in a double role, as he is the acting commander of
1 the JNA 2nd Army and the chief of the Territorial Defence Main Staff. In
2 order to prevent the Territorial Defence from taking anything, he is
3 ordering them to place themselves under my command and then I was supposed
4 to deal with all those problems.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, towards the end of the conversation, did you hear
6 Mr. Unkovic say we have some Arkan's men here and ask General Mladic
7 whether they were under our control? Command, pardon me.
8 A. Yes, I heard that and it cannot be ruled out that there were some
9 Arkan's men at Ilidza because there had been such groups that came in but
10 for such a unit to get there in an organised manner with the connivance of
11 the 4th Corps, that was not possible. I rule that out. But there were
12 individuals and groups of this kind all over the place.
13 Q. And Mladic says, "They all are" in reference to the Arkan's men.
14 Now, hearing that, do you wish to change your earlier answer with respect
15 to your operational coordination with the Arkanovci?
16 A. Well, I cannot change my evidence because his forces were part of
17 the Territorial Defence of Ilidza municipality with Unkovic and I didn't
18 ask Unkovic about the structure of his detachment or brigade or whatever
19 it was, whether they hailed from Ilidza or whether they were volunteers
20 come from I don't know where.
21 Q. Thank you, Colonel. Could I ask that this be tendered as the next
22 Prosecution exhibit, please?
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 913, Your Honours.
25 MS. EDGERTON:
1 Q. Now, to move on to another area, you said in your testimony in
2 chief, Colonel, that your prime preoccupation, your overriding
3 preoccupation in May of 1992 was the safety of the young persons in the
4 barracks. You wanted nothing more than to get those young people out. Do
5 you remember that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. But actually, sir, that wasn't your only preoccupation at that
8 time. You had another significant task, as we've just heard by your own
9 testimony and in this intercept. You were commanding Bosnian Serb forces
10 that were working towards the division of Sarajevo, weren't you, sir?
11 A. No. I was not in command, because the Serb forces that worked on
12 the division of Sarajevo, well, that was not done by the military. That
13 was done by the politicians. Territorial Defence units were set up by
14 Crisis Staffs in the areas where Serbs were in the majority, Lukavica,
15 Rajlovac, Zlatiste, Ilidza and so on. And they -- their only purpose was
16 to protect the homes and lives of the inhabitants living there. There was
17 no intention on their part or on the part of their superior commands or
18 leaders to -- they did not have any designs on Sarajevo. Now, as to what
19 politicians at the higher level did, I didn't want to go into that.
20 Q. But, sir, you've just said you coordinated and consulted with
21 Bosnian Serb leaders and when I asked you who in particular, you
22 identified Radovan Karadzic. Sir, on the 12th of May 1992, the Bosnian
23 Serb leaders promulgated their strategic goals for the coming years and
24 strategic goal number 5 was the division of Sarajevo. Do you not recall
1 A. I remember that from the press. I remember from the press that
2 they proposed the division of Sarajevo based on ethnic structure.
3 However, no military steps were taken to implement that division.
4 Q. Sir, if no military steps were taken to implement that division,
5 what would you call the bombardment of the city of Sarajevo on the 14th of
6 May 1992, with such intensity that UNPROFOR and other international
7 organisations were forced to withdraw?
8 A. The bombardment of the city of Sarajevo was non-existent while I
9 was in Lukavica and in command there. There were cases where fire was
10 opened against enemy formations, and when UNPROFOR pulled out, they pulled
11 out because of the fact that one of the mortar units of the army of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina was opening fire precisely behind the building of
13 engineering when UNPROFOR was headquartered at the Lukavica settlement and
14 other Serbian settlements throughout Sarajevo. This is why we warned
15 UNPROFOR and on the first day they expelled them from those positions and
16 on the second day we were forced to use our artillery to move them out of
17 those positions, because they endangered our lives. There was no
18 bombardment of Sarajevo. Do you know what can be bombarded? Only a city
19 that has no troops. And at the time Sarajevo had 50 to 70.000 soldiers
20 who were constantly opening fire towards positions in Serbian settlements.
21 Q. Sir, you just asserted that the bombardment of the city of
22 Sarajevo was non-existent while were you in Lukavica and in command there,
23 yet UNPROFOR and other international officials met with Slobodan Milosevic
24 on the 30th of May 1992, to complain to him about the bombardment of
25 Sarajevo. If it was officials of Bosnia-Herzegovina who were responsible
1 for that bombardment, do you think they would have gone to
2 Slobodan Milosevic, sir?
3 A. I don't know anything about the officials of Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 addressing Slobodan Milosevic, but I know that I was in daily contact with
5 General MacKenzie. Everything that was taking place in the city of
6 Sarajevo was resolved in the triangle between Fikret Abdic, member of the
7 Presidency of BH, General MacKenzie, command of the 4th Corps and command
8 of the TO of Bosnia-Herzegovina headed by Hasan Efendic.
9 Q. Sir, I would like -- I'd like us to move on to another intercepted
10 conversation, please. And in your binders, the transcripts appear at
11 03160. And with Your Honour's permission, there will be this transcript
12 and I think a short videoclip and then I'll be able to conclude with
13 Your Honour's permission. 03160. It's a conversation involving
14 Biljana Plavsic on the 14th of May 1992.
15 [Audiotape played]
16 MS. EDGERTON:
17 Q. Now, Colonel, you testified just a couple of minutes ago that the
18 bombardment of Sarajevo was non-existent at the time that you were in
19 Lukavica. I put it to you that 14 May 1992 was exactly the time you were
20 in Lukavica and the bombardment was such that Biljana Plavsic was
21 complaining about it. Hearing that, do you wish to change your answer
22 with respect to the bombardment of Sarajevo?
23 A. No. That will not affect my answer. This is the reason for that:
24 From the building where the mother of Biljana Plavsic was, and
25 Biljana Plavsic went to visit her mother, on that building there were
1 units of machine-guns and snipers, active members of the army of the
2 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shooting at the brigade positions in
3 Lukavica. Biljana Plavsic called me about this and I'm surprised that
4 you're not offering that intercept. So it no longer was a civilian
5 building. It became a military objective.
6 And you are not blaming -- you cannot blame the unit opening fire
7 on that building. You should blame the unit that had originally turned
8 that civilian facility into a military one. That's the position of
9 international law. I mean, it doesn't require any deep thinking. That's
10 how it is. They even turned medical facilities into military ones.
11 Q. That's not the answer to my question, actually, Colonel, but
12 perhaps we can move on.
13 In your capacity as assistant commander for logistics of the 4th
14 Corps, in which you said -- and I repeat -- you were acquainted with all
15 of the work and all activities of the 4th Corps, and as acting commander
16 of what was to become the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in General Djurdjevac's
17 absence, you must have had detailed knowledge of --
18 A. That's according to you.
19 Q. -- the level of weapons in the possession of your forces, did you
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So you must have been aware of the presence of dozens, if not
23 more, of mortar and artillery pieces ringing the city of Sarajevo and
24 aimed at the city centre all under the control of your forces. Weren't
1 A. No. That's not exactly how it was. There were units and weapons
2 of the 4th Corps. However, there were also units in the city of Sarajevo
3 itself, in possession of both artillery pieces, mortars, snipers --
4 Q. Colonel, excuse me?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I didn't ask you about any weaponry in the city. I asked about
7 mortar and artillery pieces ringing the city of Sarajevo and aimed at the
8 city centre. In fact, sir, they were there, they were seen there from as
9 early as October of 1991. Are you asserting you weren't aware of that?
10 A. In October of 1991, I don't think that there was anything there
11 because in December of 1991, in the corps command, Alija Izetbegovic came
12 to visit. He came to visit us in mid-December, and he informed us about
13 the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Simultaneously telling us that
14 they would organise a referendum for an independent state of
16 Q. Colonel?
17 A. Yes, please go ahead.
18 Q. Colonel, are you asserting that you weren't aware that they were
19 there by October 1991?
20 A. They were where? I didn't understand.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic?
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if all of these
23 facts are undisputed facts, then I am wondering why are they being put to
24 the witness? If I was not allowed to dispute established or adjudicated
25 facts, then I don't see why is it necessary for the Prosecutor to put any
1 questions relating to adjudicated facts. If all of this has been
2 established as is the position of the Prosecution, then why is the
3 Prosecutor allowed to put any questions relating to the adjudicated facts?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Does this relate to an adjudicated fact?
5 MS. EDGERTON: It relates to his credibility, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Credibility, yes. Yes, go ahead.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it's very easy to
8 say so, that it has to do with the credibility, whereas in fact it
9 pertains to the substance of the problem. However, you have allowed this
10 question, so there is nothing I can do.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead, Ms. Edgerton.
12 MS. EDGERTON:
13 Q. Sir, to go back to the question, when did you, who you say -- you
14 said you were acquainted with all of the work and all of the activities of
15 the 4th Corps and were you acting commander of the predecessor to the
16 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, when did you become aware of the presence of
17 heavy weapons and artillery and mortars in the hills ringing the city of
18 Sarajevo aimed at the city?
19 A. The presence of artillery weapons around Sarajevo was a fact but
20 only once the JNA units pulled out of Kiseljak and Visoko. In Lukavica
21 there had already been two units of the JNA. As for the Territorial
22 Defence at the time we had no contact with them and we knew nothing about
23 their activities. You are mentioning mortars, and those were most likely
24 weapons that had been confiscated by police at the chicken farm, and
25 somebody wanted to smuggle that from Pale to Ilidza. Other than that, in
1 October of 1991, there was even no hinting that there would be a conflict
2 in the territory of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We were simply
3 preventing paramilitaries from getting armed.
4 Q. When, then, were the weapons placed there?
5 A. Well, that was sometime -- I don't know the exact dates, but
6 sometime in April, those units relocated from Kiseljak and Visoko to Pale
7 and Lukavica.
8 Q. Are you asserting --
9 A. Those were the units of the corps.
10 Q. Are you asserting, sir, that the hundreds of mortar and artillery
11 pieces ringing the city of Sarajevo and pointing at the city centre were
12 only brought there in April of 1992?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Which units brought them there? As the assistant commander for
15 logistics, you would know, wouldn't you?
16 A. Well, I do know. The units of the 4th Corps. The 4th artillery
17 regiment and the 4th anti-armour regiment of the 4th Corps of the JNA.
18 Q. And the 216th Mountain Brigade as well, sir, isn't that the case?
19 A. The 216th Mountain Brigade was headquartered in Han Pijesak, and
20 it was brought to Lukavica only once they started blocking the barracks
21 and it was under the command of General Milosevic, who was under siege at
22 the time.
23 Q. You didn't answer my question, sir. The 216th Mountain Brigade
24 was one of the 4th Corps units responsible for the placement of heavy
25 weapons in positions around Sarajevo, weren't they?
1 A. No. The Mountain Brigade, as its name indicates, has no heavy
2 weaponry. Its largest calibre weapon is a 120-millimetre mortar. In the
3 newly-established category, it is known as infantry weapons because those
4 are weapons that are carried by horses and so on. And that unit did not
5 arrive in the territory of Sarajevo until the conflict had begun, which
6 was sometime in May or later.
7 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour, could I just tender that Plavsic
8 intercept, please?
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: It will be received as Exhibit P914, Your Honours.
11 MS. EDGERTON: And, Your Honour, I have no further questions of
12 this witness.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Any re-examination, Mr. Tapuskovic?
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, Your Honour.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 Q. When asked by my learned friend, you said that you and your
17 command post moved to Lukavica at your own initiative. Why did do you
19 A. I did that on the 1st of April 1992 because it was my assessment
20 that it was impossible to ensure supplies and carry out my orders in the
21 location where I was, which was in Bistrica.
22 Q. Was there something else going on that prompted you?
23 A. Naturally, there were things going on, march events involving
24 paramilitary formations in Sarajevo and the vicinity indicated that there
25 was a risk that the units in the barracks in Bistrik would be blocked and
1 that we would be basically in the hands of the enemy.
2 Q. Witness, what about Lukavica in geographic terms? Can you
3 describe its position in relation to other geographic features?
4 A. It is in the northwestern part of Sarajevo.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, please stop.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a suburb of Sarajevo in a way.
7 MS. EDGERTON: If we are getting into the geography around
8 Lukavica barracks, I would submit that's not something that arises from
9 the cross-examination.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Does it, Mr. Tapuskovic?
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It certainly arises. My learned
12 friend kept saying that the JNA was on the hills, and I wanted to put it
13 into perspective. I wanted us to see where Lukavica is and I wanted to
14 establish whether the JNA was at Hum, Zuc and other positions. Because my
15 learned friend mentioned the hills saying that the JNA had its positions
16 in the hills and I wanted to establish where Lukavica was, whether it was
17 a hill and what was located at Zuc, Hum and so on. Whether artillery
18 units of the JNA were positioned there or not. I wanted the colonel to
19 tell us that if he still remembers it.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're point, Ms. Edgerton, is that your
21 cross-examination was confined to specific geographical areas?
22 MS. EDGERTON: My question to my cross-examination strictly
23 related to at what time he became aware -- my cross-examination question
24 specifically related to at what time the witness became aware of the
25 placement of mortars and heavier weapons in the hills around Sarajevo.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, put the question directly as to whether
3 Lukavica was on the hills or on the plains.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Would you please answer the question that the Chamber insists
6 upon? Was Lukavica on a hill? Would you just explain its geographic
8 A. No. It wasn't. Lukavica has -- is 530 metres above sea level,
9 just as Marindvor is. So those are not hills. And secondly, one does not
10 position artillery weapons on a hill. I am not here to educate anyone.
11 I'm just telling you that the units of the 4th Corps were not positioned
12 on hills. The 49th Mechanised Brigade was in Lukavica with its forces.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. You spoke about the formation of
16 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. Can you tell us what weapons, what troops,
17 and what officers were placed under the command of the 1st Corps of the
18 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. I said something earlier and now let me tell you something more
20 about what Alija Izetbegovic --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Stop. Same point?
22 MS. EDGERTON: Way outside this time, I would suggest, Your
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: This doesn't arise. Move on to another question,
1 Mr. Tapuskovic.
2 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can I perhaps reformulate?
3 Perhaps if I can reformulate my question, I may have led the witness. I
4 wanted to ask what the 1st Corps of the BH army was established of.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All the corps that were established
6 in the area of the former Yugoslavia were founded on the armed forces of
7 the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, either JNA or the TO.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: That doesn't arise either. Move on to another
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Could we please look at document that speaks to -- well, perhaps
12 the best thing would be to conclude my re-examination and not to ask any
13 more questions. Thank you very much. Thank you, Colonel.
14 A. Thank you.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Colonel, that concludes your evidence. We thank
16 you for giving it, and you may now leave.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [Videolink ends]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Tapuskovic, as you had informed us earlier
20 that you don't have any other witnesses, and the Chamber accepted your
21 explanation, we'll adjourn until tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.37 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day of July,
24 2007, at 9.00 a.m.