1 Wednesday, 15 February 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
9 WITNESS: MOMIR NIKOLIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
12 Your Excellencies. Good morning to everyone.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning to Mr. Nikolic.
15 A. Good morning, Mr. Karadzic.
16 Q. I'm not sure that my sixth channel is on. I don't know if it
17 works. In any case, yesterday we discussed a number of instructors. I
18 wanted to show you 1D5096, which is your document of March 1993. I'm
19 sorry, 5096.
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, do you hear me?
21 THE ACCUSED: No. No translation, nothing in Serbian channel.
22 JUDGE KWON: If the usher could take a look into the microphone.
23 Probably you need to turn up the volume after the change of the system.
24 Do you hear me now, Mr. Karadzic? I hope it now has been sorted
1 THE ACCUSED: Yes. Yes. Thank you.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5096, please. I believe there is
4 a translation.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you recall this document of yours?
7 A. Yes, I do. I wrote it and sent it to the Drina Corps command and
8 its department for intelligence and security.
9 Q. Can you tell us something briefly about this document, and we can
10 see that you put the instructors under quotation marks.
11 A. Can I please have the Serbian version zoomed in. Thank you.
12 Yes, that is correct. It is in quotation marks.
13 Q. Can you tell us something about the document? What prompted you
14 to write it? Did we indeed require some training but not of this sort,
15 and did they abuse the principle of voluntariness, which was regulated by
16 law, whereas, at the same time, they did as they pleased. Perhaps we can
17 scroll down the document so you can remind yourself.
18 A. In principle, I am familiar with the contents. If you are
19 interested in any details, I would have to read through it because I
20 haven't seen it in a long time. In any case, it is my report sent to the
21 Drina Corps command, its department for intelligence and security, where
22 I stated all the problems concerning the stay of "instructors" from the
24 As far as I remember, I listed all such problems that we had with
25 them in Bratunac in general and in the Bratunac Brigade. Towards the end
1 of the document, I believe I also offered my assessment as to what type
2 of people they are and what their ultimate goal was. In addition to
3 everything I have said thus far, I believe I also included information
4 about what I knew of their engagement and who engaged them. I know
5 precisely what it is all about, but if you want to go into specific
6 details, I will be able to explain since I know exactly what was going on
7 and what the problems were. I also know what it was that I informed my
8 superior command about in this document.
9 Q. You agree that here you say that they were introduced to you and
10 that they were supposed to carry out some training and withdraw from the
11 municipality of Bratunac. They had no authority or right to meddle into
12 any -- with any Bratunac affairs save for the training at the camp.
13 A. Could we please scroll up so that I can follow it in the text.
14 It seems you are following the text. Yes. This is what you just said.
15 I said that I was told that they were being engaged to carry out
16 specialist training following which they were to withdraw from the
17 territory of Bratunac. This was acceptable to me, that kind of police
18 and reconnaissance training was something we required.
19 Q. Thank you. Can we see the bottom half of the page.
20 There you mentioned that a JPO unit was formed, a unit for
21 special purposes, and by the end of the period it seems that they were no
22 longer under anyone's control. Can you tell us something more about
24 A. For your benefit and the benefit of the Chamber, I need to
25 establish -- I need to explain this establishment of the JPO unit. The
1 way I was told initially was that they were there to carry out training.
2 It was never foreseen that they should establish a unit of their own. It
3 was planned that reconnaissance members of my brigade and members of the
4 military police go to a facility, a camp, that was assigned to them where
5 they were to attend training, specialist training in police work and
6 reconnaissance work. However, the people I mentioned at the beginning of
7 the letter who arrived established a unit. In keeping with the previous
8 arrangement, we did send some policemen to their camp. We also sent
9 members from the reconnaissance unit, but in addition to that personnel,
10 they picked those from the Bratunac Brigade with whom we had problems,
11 too, the most problematic soldiers, and included them in training.
12 Instead of a training camp, we ended up with a very problematic, arrogant
13 unit which no longer abided by what had been agreed.
14 As I mention here, the unit called itself Special Purpose Unit.
15 Yes, the establishment of a unit for "special purposes." They began
16 mistreating people and intervene in the life of Bratunac according to
17 their own beliefs. They had no respect for military rules, civilian
18 authorities or the civilian police. They had their own rules which they
19 imposed. In the text I go on to explain about what was going on and
20 specify some examples.
21 Q. You say that in front of General Morillon they beat up the then
22 commander of the Bratunac Brigade, and when you requested that the
23 policemen sent to them for training be returned to their units, they
24 turned on you, too; correct? It says:
25 "They kicked Ognjenovic in the presence of General Morillon.
1 When I requested that the policemen and reconnaissance personnel be
2 returned, they turned on me as well."
3 Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. Were they in conflict with Mauzer's unit at a certain point in
6 time which, by that time, had resubordinated itself to the army? Did you
7 know of their conflict and that Mauzer headed towards them with some
8 cannons and APCs and then they released his men?
9 A. Yes, I know what happened, and I personally took part in
10 resolving that situation. Some of Mauzer's soldiers were arrested by
11 that unit which was not authorised to detain or bring in or interview
12 anyone. It wasn't their task. Mauzer's unit, the Panthers from
13 Bijeljina, was a very powerful unit ready for combat. They had both
14 equipment and weapons as well as officers, and in terms of strength, they
15 were far stronger than this unit.
16 First, they tried to resolve it by peaceful means, asking that
17 they return the soldiers they had arrested, and since they refused,
18 Commander Mauzer and his officers ordered a movement towards their camp.
19 They had APCs, combat vehicles, and they set out to attack them, to free
20 their soldiers. We all intervened and eased the tension so as to avoid
21 bloodshed, and in the end they indeed released those soldiers from the
23 Q. Thank you. Can we go to the bottom of the page.
24 There you say:
25 "In the brigade in Bratunac, there is great dissatisfaction, and
1 it is only a matter of moment when there would be an armed clash between
2 them, the citizens, and the officers and soldiers of the brigade."
3 It means that the citizens were against them, too; correct?
4 A. At that time, everyone in Bratunac was against them, starting
5 with the citizens, members of the police, civilian authorities, and
6 members of the Bratunac Brigade.
7 Q. Thank you. It seemed they had a special taste for SDS people.
8 They mistreated them in particular, including Deronjic; correct?
9 A. They mistreated everyone including Deronjic, who was the then
10 Municipal Board President in Bratunac. They mistreated the municipal
11 president. They attacked the police station. There was an exchange of
12 fire. And as you can see in my report, there were also individual
13 examples of mistreatment of members of the Bratunac Brigade, detention,
14 beatings of officers who passed out due to such beatings. And when my
15 officer, assistant commander for logistics, was arrested and after I saw
16 what they had done to him, I turned to Mijovic, who was their commander,
17 and I told him that unless he released Trisic and stopped mistreating
18 members of the Bratunac Brigade, I was prepared to come there with the
19 units and liquidate them all to get my soldiers, reconnaissance men, and
20 policemen back. And then they were free to train whoever they wanted.
21 After that threat, he indeed put a stop to it. I told him that I
22 would report it to my superior command, as I did. I explained all of the
23 problems that existed and asked that they be withdrawn from our
25 Q. In the middle of the page you say that they seemed to have
1 occupied some check-points, took upon themselves to carry out police
2 duties and even looted UNPROFOR and UNHCR convoys and that it, too,
3 contributed to the overall situation.
4 A. Everything I wrote here and everything you read out now is
5 correct. They tried -- actually, it wasn't they tried. At one point in
6 time they absolutely took over Bratunac, life in general in Bratunac.
7 And the saddest of all was the fact that no one dared confront them or
8 oppose them.
9 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that this was before the liberation of
10 Podrinje and that Bratunac as such was isolated except vis-a-vis Serbia,
11 that you could not reach Pale through our own territory? You would have
12 to go out to Serbia and then take hundreds of kilometres, taking the
13 roundabout way, Zvornik, Caparde, Sekovic, and only then could you get to
14 Pale. You wrote this on the 5th of March and the liberation of Podrinje
15 took place sometime towards the end of March, beginning of April.
16 A. Yes. I wrote this in March, and it is correct that the
17 winter/spring offensive was over by then, end of March, beginning of
18 April, and we did not have any communication. That's what you asked me
19 about. We did not have any communication through Konjevic Polje to
20 Nova Kasaba, Vlasenica and Pale. We had to go through Serbia and then to
21 Zvornik on the Bosnian side and then further on towards Sekovici,
22 Vlasenica, that area up there.
23 Q. Not taking the main road via Konjevic Polje but different
24 byroads; right?
25 A. Yes, that's right, different byroads.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted,
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2062, Your Honours.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Now I'd like to ask you whether you agree that at that point in
7 time, the Muslim side had under their control a large part of the
8 territory from Zepa, Srebrenica, parts of the Bratunac and Milici
9 municipalities and Zvornik, all the way up to Kamenica. So this is a
10 rather big area that they linked up, and they kept it under their control
11 until we launched our spring offensive.
12 A. I can give you an affirmative answer with respect to all of these
13 territories that you referred to. As for the territory of my
14 municipality where I was involved, I can tell even more specifically that
15 in this period before the winter/spring offensive, that is to say, until
16 the attack on Kravica, when it was taken on the 7th of January, 1993, the
17 forces of the Muslim 28th Division kept all of the territory of Bratunac
18 under their control. The only part that remained free was part of the
19 urban area, say 4 or 5 kilometres from town maximum. All the other
20 villages had fallen and were under the control of the Muslim forces.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that in many of the peace plans it had
22 been envisaged that large parts of Podrinje would be part of the Muslim
23 republic, the Muslim constituent republic, and that this struggle of
24 theirs was completely unnecessary?
25 A. Well, I cannot draw any conclusions as to what they find
1 necessary or unnecessary. If I understand you correctly, you're speaking
2 about the Muslims. Of course, I know of the Muslim objective of having
3 Podrinje within their republic. Now, whether they needed to fight or
4 not, that is really something that was for them to decide, and I cannot
5 comment upon that, and I do not wish to comment upon that.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the following: At that time --
7 actually, is it correct, then, that in Zepa, Konjevic Polje, Srebrenica,
8 all the way up to Zvornik, Oric's soldiers could have been in that entire
9 area, and indeed they were there when necessary?
10 A. The members of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina from Srebrenica, I
11 think it is indispensable to say that, first of all, they were the armed
12 forces of Srebrenica, and then they established the 28th Division. And
13 after that, they brought together all their forces in the area, including
14 Zepa, and this became the 8th Operative Group.
15 The forces of the 8th Operative or Operations Group were in the
16 entire area that you referred to. And this 8th Operations Group that
17 covered this broader area that you referred to consisted of forces from
18 Srebrenica, that is to say, the municipality of Srebrenica, the
19 municipality of Zepa, and the areas that belonged to the Bratunac
20 municipality, and these were the units that were in Konjevic Polje and
21 Cerska. So all of these forces were covering the area that you
22 mentioned, and they were all within the 8th Operations Group under the
23 command of Commander Naser Oric.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you remember their actions at the time aimed
25 against neighbouring Serb villages, and do you remember that they were
1 very active in combat upon orders from their Main Staff? For example,
2 incursions like the one in Kravica on Christmas Day in 1993, and
3 elsewhere. So, please, could you tell us about the end of 1992,
4 December, when Skelani fell victim. Can you tell the Trial Chamber about
5 that, about the degree of suffering at that point in time.
6 A. Yes. I know exactly about the period when I was in Bratunac, and
7 the period that you are referring to is primarily the end of 1992 and the
8 beginning of 1993.
9 I just wish to correct you on one point. You said "incursion in
10 Kravica." The attack against Kravica was a large-scale Muslim offensive
11 involving a large number of Muslim soldiers who were attacking Kravica
12 from all sides. For the 28th Division, this was a strategic goal in
13 Podrinje, to take Kravica and Podrinje and place the area under their
14 control. That is indeed what happened.
15 Everything that you're interested in in relation to attacks
16 against villages in my municipality and the area of responsibility of my
17 brigade, that is to say, from the attack against Bjelovac -- actually,
18 first Sase and then Bjelovac and then Kravica, these large-scale attacks
19 and offensives are something that I can talk about. But, in a single
20 sentence, a large number, say, percentage-wise, 92 or 93 per cent of the
21 territory of Bratunac was under the control of the Muslim forces until
22 the winter/spring offensive. So it was only 4 or 5 kilometres within
23 Bratunac that had remained, and this offensive that was launched by the
24 Muslims was so fierce that even the town of Bratunac itself was about to
1 Q. Thank you. And in addition to Kravica, Bjelovac and other places
2 just like Skelani, Fakovici, are infamous because of the slaughter of
3 civilians, when many women and children were killed; right?
4 A. During all of these attacks, Skelani, Fakovici, Bjelovac, Sase,
5 Kravica, there were military casualties, but there were also a great many
6 civilian casualties. It's really been a very long time, almost 20 years,
7 17, 18 years, whatever. I no longer remember the structure of the
8 casualties of all these attacks, but in my office I did have specific
9 information as to how many soldiers were killed during these attacks and
10 how many civilians were killed.
11 What I can state here with certainty is that there were soldiers
12 who had been killed but also that there were a great many massacred
13 civilians that had nothing to do with the military, women, children,
14 young girls, old men over 70 and 80 years old and so on. I do not have
15 an exact list of names, but the Institute for War Crimes headed by
16 Ivanisevic has this information, because I gave this to them after every
17 operation and every massacre that took place there.
18 Q. Thank you. Let me refresh your memory a bit.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5097. Could we take a look at
20 that, please. The date is the 9th of January, 1993.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you remember that at that point in time the chief of security
23 was Ranko Kuljanin in the Drina Corps?
24 A. Yes. I know that at that point in time Ranko Kuljanin was chief
25 of security, and I know him personally.
1 Q. We don't have the translation yet, but I would like to ask you to
2 take a look at this document and to present it to us. This is a report
3 on the examination of an imprisoned Muslim, and he's talking about a
4 planned attack from Srebrenica and Glogova, and he says where it would
5 start from, from Petokrake, that hill up there, isn't it? So Oric would
6 command that attack from Petokrake and so on.
7 Could I please ask you to read this and present this document to
8 the Trial Chamber in two or three sentences.
9 A. Please do give me a bit of time, because this is the first time I
10 see this report. Could I just briefly take a look at it.
11 Yes. I have seen the content of this intelligence report.
12 Could -- yes. Yes. That's right. I would like to see the upper part.
13 The 9th of January, if I can see this right, 1993, is the date.
14 Please, what was the question for me?
15 Q. Do you agree that what was discovered here was that there was an
16 attack against Bratunac that was being planned from the area of
17 Srebrenica and an Intervention Platoon came to the area of Bratunac for
18 sabotage purposes, and that they found mortar shells for an 82-millimetre
19 mortar in Sase and so on. So you did find out that the attack would take
20 place within two or three days; right?
21 A. This is the period after the fall of Kravica. Kravica was
22 attacked on the 7th and it fell on the 7th, and by the 9th of January,
23 1993, it had completely been taken. All other territories -- well, this
24 is precisely the situation I talked about a moment ago. Everything had
25 been taken except for 4 or 5 kilometres within Bratunac itself. Glogova,
1 Kravica, Muslim forces had entered all of that. That is 4 or
2 5 kilometres away from the centre of town itself. From the area of
3 Potocari, the forces were in the area of Budak, and that is also
4 4 kilometres away from Bratunac, from the town of Bratunac, from the
5 centre of town. From the area of Fakovici, from that direction. The
6 Muslim forces were in Voljavica or, rather, at the boundary at Pobrdje,
7 and that is only 2 or 3 kilometres away from the town of Bratunac. So it
8 is only this one part along the Drina River, that is to say, along the
9 old road that goes to Zvornik, it was only that part that hadn't been
10 attacked, say, until this day, this particular day, the 9th.
11 And then the village of Polom was attacked. That is this area by
12 the Drina River. And the Muslims took that area, Gornji Polom, and they
13 almost got to the Drina River itself in that part. So this entire area
14 had fallen, and they took up very favourable positions for taking the
15 town itself.
16 Without even reading this report, this intelligence report, I can
17 say that my information was also that an attack against Bratunac was
18 being prepared and that it was hardly likely that Bratunac would be able
19 to defend itself in view of the general collapse of the units that were
20 in the area of Kravica. People got killed. Those who did not get killed
21 fled to Serbia across the Drina, and then other people fled to Serbia
22 too. So we had very few forces. We took up new positions because we had
23 been moved from our old positions as they were taken by the Muslim
24 forces, and the fall of Bratunac was expected then, in 1993, in this
25 period that I see referred to in this report, that is to say, sometime in
1 January 1993.
2 Q. Thank you. And at the same time you have problems with different
3 instructors. Well, in all fairness, somewhat later, if we remember that
4 text, but they were already in Bratunac, or they took advantage of this
5 dangerous situation, and they offered their services. Do you know when
6 it was that they actually came?
7 A. I don't know. I don't know the exact date when they came, but
8 they had already established this camp of theirs, and I think that they
9 were in Bratunac, but I really cannot say what the exact date is when
10 they arrived, because I no longer remember.
11 Q. Concerning this document of yours that the authorities managed to
12 get rid of them and was the army able to do the same? Were they driven
14 A. Following my report, they stayed in Bratunac for a while until
15 the organs of the Drina Corps command and the Main Staff negotiated, so
16 to say, their withdrawal. Irrespective of what I wrote and what I asked
17 for, for their withdrawal it is either required to use force or that they
18 be made to withdraw by the person who sent them there in the first place.
19 They were directly answerable to Colonel Ilic who was in the operations
20 and training sector of the Main Staff. My information was that he was
21 their boss and that he brought them there. They had been in Skelani
22 previously, as he had been. So it was a connection from some earlier
23 periods, and he held sway over them. He had influence.
24 Q. He, too, was dismissed later on; correct?
25 A. I think so, because of different crimes and participation in
1 plunder together with this unit, but I'm not familiar with any details.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I seek to tender this
3 document, and it could be marked for identification pending translation.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll do that.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D2063, Your Honours.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let us try and see what the situation was before our offensive,
8 but as I call it, counter-offensive, in the spring of 1993. Do we agree
9 that the area where the 8th Operations Group was, commanded by Naser
10 Oric, kept bothering, so to say, the Serb units and settlements along the
11 separation line? They were in constant activity and things simply became
13 A. What I know for a fact is that until the counter-offensive of the
14 Serb forces was launched, we had lost many men, assets, and equipment as
15 well as territory. That is evident. Of course, it was war booty for the
16 forces of the 28th Division. That is why we conclude that there was
17 intensive combat. The Muslims were attacking, and we were then defending
18 ourselves and withdrawing as we did. We kept losing territory day by
19 day, and we were reduced to the territory I have already explained.
20 Q. Thank you. We agree, don't we, that the main road from Vlasenica
21 and Milici to Zvornik was mostly under their control, and we couldn't use
23 A. If I understood well, you said the road from Vlasenica to
24 Konjevic Polje and on.
25 Q. And up to Zvornik. It is the best road, the main road, to
1 Zvornik and Serbia from Vlasenica.
2 A. In terms of my brigade, the part of the road which forks -- after
3 the fork in Konjevic Polje was the most important for my unit. We
4 couldn't use it from Konjevic Polje to Zvornik, and the road from
5 Konjevic Polje to Bratunac and on to Serbia, from Konjevic Polje all the
6 way up to Hranca and Donji Magasici which is 4 kilometres from Bratunac,
7 that part was controlled by the Muslim forces.
8 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that our only way of communicating by
9 road with Zvornik, Bijeljina, and Banja Luka was to use a side road from
10 Vlasenica to Tisca, Sekovici, Caparde and Crni Vrh? It is a byroad which
11 is much longer.
12 A. Yes, I know of that road and I used it.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you have information that that route was
14 frequently attacked, too, and that the Muslim forces ambushed not only
15 military units but civilian vehicles, buses, and that a great number of
16 civilian passengers were killed or injured there?
17 A. That was not within the area of responsibility of my brigade. I
18 would rather not go into things I am not certain of. I don't know such
19 ambushes there because I never worked on such matters.
20 Q. Thank you. Our counter-offensive was launched, which was quite
21 successful and resulted in the liberation of one part of Podrinje up to
22 Srebrenica itself. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes. In the winter and spring offensive, all the territory we
24 had lost previously was returned, including the liberation of
25 Konjevic Polje and Cerska, as well as the liberation of all the territory
1 that had previously been captured by Muslim forces, including the road I
2 mentioned, which was important for us to travel between my unit and our
3 superior commands, between Bratunac, Kravica, Konjevic Polje, Vlasenica,
4 Pale, and onwards.
5 Q. Thank you. During the Muslim offensives, what was happening with
6 our civilian population in the villages which fell into their hands?
7 Some of them were -- some of the people were killed. What about those
8 who were still alive? Did they flee or did they remain in the territory
9 controlled by the other side?
10 A. During the Muslim offensive -- offensives, when those villages
11 were occupied, like Skelani, Fakovici, Kravica, et cetera, which were
12 occupied in their biggest attacks, once that territory was occupied, the
13 civilians for the most part withdrew to Bratunac. No one remained in
14 that area. A great percentage of those civilians then went on across the
15 Drina to Serbia to stay with their families and relatives or friends.
16 That is where they lived.
17 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that they killed even the cattle in
18 those villages and set fire to the houses so that the inhabitants were
19 unable to return even if they wanted to?
20 A. I can confirm a part of your question which has to do with
21 looting and burning of houses and property, including outhouses and all
22 such buildings. I could see for myself that in every village that was
23 entered by the Muslim forces, after they had plundered, they set them
24 ablaze. There were killed cattle, but I can't confirm that they killed
25 all cattle. They would come and take the cattle away following village
2 I just wanted to explain something else for the benefit of the
3 Chamber. With every such attack and entry into the village that was
4 being attacked, the army came in first and carried out the combat part of
5 the operation. Following the soldiers, practically immediately or
6 shortly thereafter, a great many civilians arrived. I would dare say
7 that there were thousands of civilians who entered those villages. I
8 could see that for myself in Bjelovac and in Kravica.
9 After the soldiers had completed the combat part, the civilians
10 came in and took away everything they could find in the village, food,
11 corn, wheat, furniture, other things, as well as livestock, sheep,
12 cattle, et cetera, and only then they torched the whole place down. In
13 Kravica not a single house was spared as well as in Bjelovac and
14 Fakovici. That was their modus operandi.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you recall that their civilians left Kamenica and
16 Cerska even before our army arrived and they gathered in Konjevic Polje
17 and went on to Srebrenica?
18 A. This detail that you are referring to, to the effect that they
19 assembled before we entered Cerska and Konjevic Polje, that is something
20 I am not aware of it. But I do know this: It was a very powerful attack
21 on Konjevic Polje and Cerska which was executed by our forces. I know
22 about that, and I know that all civilians from those villages withdrew
23 before our units entered the villages. That attack was not aimed at
24 Cerska on a single day, but the attack included the area from Zvornik to
25 Konjevic Polje, which is some 30 or 35 kilometres from Cerska.
1 As the Serb forces advanced, the civilians realised they were in
2 danger and withdrew before the advancing forces. I cannot say whether
3 they all withdrew or whether someone remained or was captured, any of the
4 civilians, but I do know that in general they were withdrawing to
5 Srebrenica, which was controlled by the Muslim army.
6 JUDGE BAIRD: Dr. Karadzic, can you assist, and I stress assist,
7 the Chamber with the relevance of this line of cross-examination?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will be happy to,
9 Your Excellency. Mr. Nikolic, during our interview, when we discussed
10 what preceded the key events he testified to, he said that there were
11 enormous hatred not only as a result of this war but also from
12 World War II and all the previous wars. I was simply trying to paint
13 that picture so that we can see what made the July of 1995 situation
14 possible. What was the basis, the cause for action of individuals,
15 groups, and perhaps even commands. Not in order to justify but to
16 understand how things developed up to the point that the events we are,
17 in particular, interested in could take place, and besides the issue of
18 Cerska was supposed to go in that direction, as well as the instance when
19 I put a stop to the operation in 1993, and Mr. Nikolic, as an army
20 officer, will be able to answer those questions.
21 JUDGE BAIRD: I thank you very much indeed. Proceed, please.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, time is limited. Speaking for myself,
23 I'm struggling to understand why you need two hours and a half to try to
24 simply show -- to paint the picture. Please continue.
25 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Just to be clear, Your Honours, no objection,
2 sorry to interrupt, but in Mr. Karadzic's explanation to Your Honour
3 Judge Baird, just to be clear, Mr. Nikolic in the interview where I was
4 present by video-link did discuss that there was enormous hatred in the
5 area which has built up, but the basis, the cause for action of
6 individual groups and perhaps even commands, that's something
7 Dr. Karadzic is saying, I assume, is relevant, but it's not something
8 Mr. Nikolic said in the interview.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. We'll see.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I will try to go over this topic more quickly, Mr. Nikolic. Do
13 you recall that following the liberation of Cerska, in the media and
14 public there was an entire campaign of lies where it was stated that
15 there was bloodshed there and massacres, and General Morillon came for
16 that very reason to the area seeking to verify that for himself? Do you
17 recall such stories?
18 A. I never went to Cerska, and I don't know much about it. As for
19 this specific question, I know that in the media there was much talk of
20 Cerska, and there was a lot of negative reporting about what had happened
22 I don't recall a specific date, but around that time of the
23 attack on Cerska and the offensive I do remember that General Morillon
24 went there personally, but that's the extent of information I have.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you also remember that in the foreign media and in
1 the local media it was said that the Serbian forces, the VRS entered
2 Srebrenica in 1993, and a massacre was perpetrated there, and there were
3 streams of blood. They were barely able to show that this was false. Do
4 you remember this at the time that it had been declared that Srebrenica
5 had fallen?
6 A. I remember there being information conveyed according to which
7 Srebrenica had fallen and according to which the Serbian forces had
8 entered the town, but I don't remember information according to which a
9 massacre had been perpetrated and that there had been a bloodshed. I
10 know about this fabrication. The information was erroneously presented.
11 The Serbian forces were in the vicinity of Srebrenica and around
12 Srebrenica but not in Srebrenica. I apologise. In fact, I really do not
13 remember the details with regard to those fabrications, those
14 manipulations. In general terms I know about the sort of information
15 provided, but I wasn't concerned with it.
16 Q. Thank you. In the Tolimir case -- in the Tolimir case,
17 page 12544, you said that you had almost taken Srebrenica but that your
18 forces were stopped by an order from the Main Staff and the president of
19 the republic.
20 Could we see P43, please, so that you can have a look at that
21 document that you probably had in mind when you stated this in the
22 Tolimir case.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P0043. D0043, D. That's the one.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Please have a look at this. It's dated the 16th of April; is
1 that correct? Is this the order that you were referring to halt all VRS
2 activity against Srebrenica and in its surroundings except for those
3 necessary for defence. Please have a look at the text, Witness.
4 A. I just need a little time because this is the first time I've
5 seen this document. Yes, I've read through this order of yours.
6 Q. That's a document that put an end to our operation that could
7 quite easily have resulted in the taking of Srebrenica. Isn't that the
9 A. The attack on Srebrenica -- or, rather, ceasing to proceed with
10 the operation meant that our forces were prevented from entering the
11 town. I personally participated in that operation with my unit. I was
12 in the Pribicevac sector, in the Crni -- Crni Vugara [as interpreted]
13 sector, and in the course of that operation, a day, one and a half days
14 or two days were needed at the most to enter Srebrenica but three or four
15 hours would have been sufficient, in fact, to actually enter the town
16 because it was as if there were barely any more resistance from the
17 Muslim armed forces.
18 The order you have shown me is an order I see for the first time
19 now, and when I was answering Mr. Tolimir's questions, I didn't have this
20 order in mind. Today is the first time I've seen this document.
21 In Pribicevac there was a -- there was a communication system and
22 via that system we were informed in the evening hours at the time of the
23 attack, I don't know the exact date. Perhaps it was on the 15th of April
24 or perhaps on the 14th of April. I don't know exactly when we went to
25 that sector, but in any event, in the evening hours, it was the eve of
1 the day on which we had planned to enter Srebrenica, and at that time we
2 received an oral order according to which the commander of the Main Staff
3 and the president of the republic, Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Ratko Mladic, had
4 ordered the Serbian forces not to enter Srebrenica and to stay at their
5 positions. This was the order that was conveyed to the units. I don't
6 know whether it was conveyed to all the units, but the unit in which I
7 was, on the axis I was on, received that order. Given that no one
8 launched an attack on the following day, I assumed that all the other
9 forces around Srebrenica involved in the attack also received that order.
10 Q. Please have a look at item 5. Is it correct that it wasn't
11 requested that soldiers be transformed into POWs but into civilians? In
12 item 6, it says:
13 "Don't conduct any investigation into war crimes ..."
14 I, in fact, prohibited the conduct of investigations into their
15 war crimes until the situation calmed down.
16 A. Mr. Karadzic, I don't think it's necessary for me to comment on
17 this order of yours. It's quite clear. Your positions, you orders with
18 regard to certain issues is quite clear, but as I have said, I've never
19 seen this order before, and I don't think it makes sense for me to
20 comment on it. I've told you what I know in relation to your order and
21 in relation to halting the attack, but it is true. I can confirm this,
22 that at that period of time there was not even the possibility of
23 proceeding. We didn't even enter Srebrenica. We didn't have any
24 prisoners and so on and so forth. What you have written down here, well,
25 this is your order, and I don't think I should comment on it.
1 Q. Thank you. That's quite sufficient. Are you confirming that you
2 didn't take prisoners then and that there were no investigations, their
3 soldiers, well, it was sufficient for them to hand over their weapons to
4 UNPROFOR and to be treated as civilians. No one was requesting that they
6 A. I can't confirm that, that I knew that at the time, but --
7 because when we received the order I didn't know the contents of the
8 order, so I can't confirm that. What I can confirm is that in my
9 brigade's area of responsibility, my brigade and I myself didn't have
10 POWs, nor did we have any tasks or the possibility to check the situation
11 with regard to disarmament, surrendering weapons, and so on and so forth.
12 These are things that you regulated through your order, but I wasn't
13 aware of this, and I didn't participate in this.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you have any information according to which the
15 military circles held it against me because this operation to take
16 Srebrenica was halted? Did many officers and soldiers hold this against
17 me? Was this an unpopular move in the eyes of the military from the
18 point of view of military and defence interests?
19 A. All I can tell you is about the situation in my brigade, my unit.
20 There was dissatisfaction because of that order. All the soldiers and
21 officers were very unhappy, because the operation had been halted and
22 because you had issued such an order.
23 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that afterwards, Srebrenica was
24 declared a protected zone, and it was supposed to be a protected zone for
25 the civilians without any troops present in it. It was supposed to be a
1 demilitarised zone.
2 A. Yes. Immediately afterwards, immediately after the ban on VRS
3 units entering Srebrenica, General Morillon and UN forces arrived. And
4 as far as I know, on the 18th of April, Srebrenica was declared to be a
5 demilitarised and protected zone under the protection of UN forces.
6 Q. Thank you. However, it never was demilitarised. The military
7 continued to strengthen its forces in relation to its structure and the
8 weapons it disposed of. Isn't that correct?
9 A. Yes. According to the information I have, from that point in
10 time up until the fall of Srebrenica in 1995, Srebrenica was not
11 demilitarised. It was not disarmed, and the military developed. There
12 was the formation of the 8th Operations Group which raised their level of
13 organisation to a higher level with regard to 28th Division.
14 JUDGE KWON: Before we move on to next topic, could we collapse
15 the English and zoom in B/C/S part, in particular the signature part.
16 Since it was not translated, Mr. Nikolic, would you kindly read
17 what is in the stamp, a round stamp. The upper part seems to be
18 Republika Srpska, but ...
19 We can zoom in a bit once again.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't decipher this.
21 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Can I help? Does it say the "President of the Republic"? Is
24 that in the lower part of the stamp?
25 A. All I can say is what I see, and I can't see it. You can enlarge
1 this as much as you like, but I can't decipher this down here. I can see
2 P, R, E, only three letters, and I can't read anything else.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at the top to
5 see the heading.
6 JUDGE KWON: No, no, that's sufficient. Shall we see the stamp
7 again, the signature part again.
8 I am not sure if you can answer this question, but I take it
9 because you -- it is your native language. You see there
10 "Dr. Radovan Karadzic" in Cyrillic. Do you usually put a dot after
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know. I
13 don't want to speculate. I don't think you do put a dot. That's what I
14 think, but I really don't know.
15 JUDGE KWON: Fair enough. Thank you.
16 Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at 1D5104.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. But while this is still on the screen, Mr. Nikolic, would you
20 agree that this was written on a typewriter, not on a computer, this
21 order? Can you have a look at this order again? Can you see that a
22 typewriter was used and not a computer?
23 A. I can only make assumptions, but please don't put such questions
24 to me, because I don't want to guess. I don't know whether a typewriter
25 was used or not. I don't know what the difference would be if it had
1 been written on a computer. I don't know what was used to write this
2 order, and I don't want to -- to guess, so please don't put such
3 questions to me.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 1D5104. Thank you.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. This is an order dated the 1st of January, 1994. Please look at
7 it carefully. In the spring of 1993, it was declared to be a protected
8 zone, and this is what the Main Staff of the supreme commander of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina orders on the 1st of January. It was prepared a
10 little earlier perhaps.
11 Here's the order. Is it true that the 8th Operations Group is
12 being formed, the 8th Srebrenica Operations Group? Have a look at the
13 structure on the first page. It mentions the 280th, the 281st Brigade
14 being established. Does this relate to the strengthening of the army
15 after the zone had been declared to be a protected zone?
16 If it's easier for you, perhaps the usher could give you a hard
17 copy, whereas all the other participants could look at the screen, at the
18 English version.
19 A. It's not a problem. I can see everything quite well.
20 Q. When you're ready, ask for us to go to the next page.
21 A. We can have a look at the next page.
22 Q. So, five brigades up to the 284th and Independent Mountain
23 Battalion. Was all this carried out? All the orders here, were they
24 carried out?
25 A. As to whether everything ordered here was carried out, that's not
1 a question for me. I can't answer that question.
2 As to whether I have any information about the reorganisation of
3 their armed forces in Srebrenica, yes, I did have information on the
4 transformation of the 28th Division, on the establishment of the
5 8th Operations Group, which included within that group all the forces
6 from the area of Srebrenica and a brigade from Zepa. And naturally, I
7 also had information about the establishment of these units that had been
8 listed here, from the 280th Brigade up to the independent units and the
9 headquarters support units that were formed as part of the
10 8th Operations Group.
11 Q. Thank you. Could we have a look at the next page in the English
12 version and please have a look at item 1, mobilisation preparations.
13 Here they're asking 110th per cent of unit strength and of equipment and
14 materiel. Does this mean that the unit has to be fully equipped as per
15 wartime establishment and even more equipped than necessary when manpower
16 is in question? And it says the Secretariat for National Defence should
17 supervise these additional -- this additional manpower.
18 So they didn't have a problem with manpower; is that correct?
19 A. You told me to take a look at mobilisation preparations, that
20 section. It's quite obvious that the brigades and other units that are
21 referred to in the previous text were supposed to be manned 100 per cent
22 on the basis of the mobilisation plan, or, rather, 110 per cent. So that
23 means that these units were supposed to be established and fully manned
24 and equipped with materiel in accordance with this written information.
25 Q. In that word, they were not handicapped, and they were not
1 supposed to be diminished in any way; right?
2 A. According to what I see in front of me, they were manned
3 100 per cent. That is to say that they were not supposed to be decreased
4 or restricted in terms of manpower or materiel.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have the last
6 page in Serbian.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So your brigade took part of this upon itself; right? They had
9 to work vis-a-vis the separation line and the area of responsibility of
10 your brigade probably matched the boundaries of the municipality itself;
12 A. I just have to correct you a bit so that all of this would be
13 correct. The area of responsibility of my brigade did not correspond to
14 the area of the municipality. It did take part of the municipality of
15 Srebrenica as well. However, you are right. Whenever possible, the area
16 of responsibility would coincide with the territory of the municipality
18 I can confirm here that -- actually, I saw the map a few days
19 ago, and I measured the area of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade.
20 It was between 42 and 45 kilometres. That's the area of responsibility
21 of the Bratunac Brigade, including the 4th Battalion from the
22 Zvornik Brigade in this period, the critical period. So the area was
23 between 42 and 45 kilometres, facing the enclave of Srebrenica. It was
24 controlled by -- or, rather, members of my brigade held that part of the
1 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that in spite of the demilitarisation
2 agreement and the protection of Srebrenica, Srebrenica did engage some of
3 our brigades, and can you tell us which brigades of ours had to be there?
4 You know about your own brigade, 40-something kilometres of front line
6 A. Around Srebrenica, that is to say, around the protected enclave,
7 I mean, I'm talking about the period after the 18th of April. So in
8 addition to my brigade, on the right wing facing Srebrenica there was the
9 Milici Brigade. There was also a Light Infantry Brigade practically
10 identical in terms of its personnel level when compared to the
11 Bratunac Brigade. And in the area of Pribicevac, Zeleni Jadar, et
12 cetera, on the left, that is, was the Independent Skelani Battalion.
13 That was the situation in the period that we're discussing now.
14 Just by way of information, I'd like to add that from time to
15 time we had parts of other units, from other brigades and corps.
16 Roughly, there would always be one battalion, sometimes perhaps a
17 Police Battalion of Republika Srpska, that would also be at these
18 positions. Sometimes battalions from other brigades, corps, et cetera.
19 However, the permanent composition was the Independent Battalion of
20 Skelani, the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, and the Milici Light
21 Infantry Brigade.
22 Q. Thank you. And these reinforcements were never brought in for
23 offensive purposes but only with a view to consolidating the defence of
24 Serb areas until July 1995; is that right?
25 A. I can say that basically they were brought in to reinforce our
1 positions. The continued permanent task was to separate the enclaves of
2 Srebrenica and Zepa. Usually when this was insisted upon, additional
3 forces were required to keep these positions, these spaces in between
4 that were not covered, so that this can be done in proper military
6 Q. Thank you. After the break, we are going to show that document,
7 how they used this for illegal purposes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now I would like to tender this
9 document, please.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, this will be admitted.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D2064, Your Honours.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The Registrar is kindly requested to repeat the
13 number loud and clear.
14 JUDGE KWON: Exhibit D2064.
15 Yes. We will take a break for half an hour and resume at 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. You mentioned today that these reinforcements were there
22 exclusively for Defence purposes and also to break up the link between
23 Zepa and Srebrenica. Do we agree that this territorial link between them
24 was not legitimate and was not in accordance with the agreement on
25 protected areas, and the road that would link the two enclaves and
1 Skelani was supposed to be in our territory and that they linked up the
2 two enclaves in contravention of the agreement?
3 A. I'll be very specific. I never saw the agreement in writing, and
4 I do not know all the things that are defined in the agreement, and I
5 cannot give you an answer to that question. I cannot answer you in the
6 affirmative, whether that's what it says there, that there should be no
7 communication whatsoever.
8 What I know for sure is that we tried to prevent this
9 communication between the two enclaves, and my understanding of this was
10 that this intention of ours was fully legitimate.
11 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that Zepa was a more favourable
12 location for bringing in weapons illegally by helicopter and that there
13 was also more food in Zepa, and that on a daily basis, caravans of
14 50 horses went from Zepa to Srebrenica and vice versa?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we just have a time-frame for when caravans
17 of 50 horses daily went from Zepa to Srebrenica?
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the time before
20 the fall of Srebrenica and Zepa, that is to say, between the -- in the
21 period from the declaration of the protected zone until 1995. So the
22 witness already did testify about this. Perhaps it would be best for him
23 to tell us in which periods this happened.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to answer the first
25 question you put, and that had to do with Zepa and your question whether
1 the situation was better there and whether conditions were more
2 favourable for receiving supplies.
3 I don't know what the situation in Zepa was, and I do not wish to
4 go into that at all. I do not wish to answer that type of question,
5 because I really do not know what the situation was like there. I do
6 know that in the area of Zepa - that is what I know for sure, that is -
7 that in Veliko Polje, Malo Polje and in the area of Zepa, there was an
8 area that was very convenient for the landing of helicopters and for
9 bringing whatever could be brought in by helicopter. I know with
10 certainty -- so I know with certainty that between Zepa and Srebrenica
11 there was communication that was almost permanent and that there was
12 communication involving trips to Zepa from Srebrenica and vice versa.
13 Regardless to the extent to which the Serb army wanted to
14 separate them, the configuration of the terrain is such that you simply
15 could not prevent that kind of communication, on foot, through those
16 caravans, as you call them. That was there all the time. Throughout the
17 war, that is. All this time from the beginning of the war, when
18 Srebrenica and Zepa were declared demilitarised zones and all the way up
19 until the fall of both enclaves.
20 Q. Thank you. You spoke about that, did you not, in your interview
21 with the NIOD institute on the 20th of October, 2000, on page 5. 1D5056.
22 We can take a look at this. 1D5056, on page 5.
23 What you say there is that up to 50 horses went there and back
24 every day.
25 Do we agree that there were weapons there and ammunition and
1 other goods?
2 Can this be zoomed in and then page 5.
3 Do you remember this interview, giving this interview to this
5 A. Yes, I do. And my answer to your question is that that is
6 correct. Actually, that is what I know, namely, that this transport --
7 or everything, different kinds of goods that are necessary for normal
8 life, and then ammunition, weapons, everything that they exchanged by way
9 of these contacts. Well, those are the questions I spoke about.
10 As for their movements, trade, supplies, and mutual contacts, I
11 had information about all of that and I have testified about that as
13 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that in July 1995, too, such a task was
14 underway and that it began at the Echo Observation Post -- or, rather, in
15 the Zeleni Jadar area, which means in the area between -- that links up
16 these two enclaves.
17 A. If I understood your question correctly, I believe that the
18 direct cause for the attack at the control, at the check-point, and the
19 attempt to take up the enclave in the area of Zeleni Jadar, there the
20 trigger for that attack was not to prevent -- or, rather, it wasn't the
21 only trigger for the attack.
22 One of the reasons why the VRS did that was that the Drina Corps
23 command and the Main Staff demanded, requested, that the Zeleni Jadar
24 check-point be moved some 400 to 500 metres towards Srebrenica to be
25 within the enclave, because the Serb side considered throughout this time
1 that their check-point was actually without the borders, outside of the
2 borders of the enclave and that it should be pushed back into the
3 enclave. And the other reason was that this check-point, by the very
4 fact of where it was, actually hampered the Serb side to provide supplies
5 for its rear, and the position of this check-point also hindered the
6 communication between Zeleni towards Milici, Jasenovi and in that general
7 direction. In other words, that check-point was smack in the middle of
8 that intersection.
9 Q. Thank you. In this period of time when Srebrenica was a
10 protected area, did you have information, perhaps not precise, on the
11 number of people living in Srebrenica, on the population in Srebrenica?
12 In other words, do you know that they actually presented -- exaggerated
13 the numbers of inhabitants when they presented them to the international
14 sources in order to get more humanitarian aid than they would normally
15 have gotten? In order to give it to the army.
16 A. Well, I won't pretend that I had precise information, but I do
17 have general assessments and -- on the number of civilians and the
18 population in Srebrenica.
19 Q. I would like now to show you a document of theirs from
20 January 1994.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have 4372 from the
22 65 ter list, please. 4372. Could we just zoom in on this document,
24 We are expecting to have the interpretation as well -- the
25 translation but I will read it out for you. This is Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 Srebrenica municipality. The date is 11 January 1994, and it is sent to
2 the statistics bureau of the BH republic, the Department of Statistics in
3 Tuzla and the district secretary for defence in Tuzla.
4 And then it says:
5 "Pursuant to your document 031-01/93 of 7 January 1994, we
6 forward the requested information as follows:
7 "The number of the local inhabitants in the municipality is
9 "The local population which was dislocated within the
10 municipality numbers 10.756.
11 "The number of expelled people from other municipalities is
13 "Note: The information you requested are forwarded for your
14 statistics, which you should not provide to international organisations
15 because in our communications with them, we used the figure of
16 45.000 inhabitants."
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is this consistent with what you knew about the situation in
19 early 1994, the number of people there, as well as this exaggerated
20 figure that is presented?
21 A. Well, my assessment -- and of course, I did not look at the
22 structure the way it was presented here by the Muslim authorities. My
23 assessment had to do with the total number of the Muslim population, and
24 I can tell you that my assessment was similar to the ones we see here,
25 and in my assessments I always had the figure of between 40.000 and
1 45.000. These were my assessments, but now I see here that there are
2 some -- there's some precise information for the statistics bureau. So
3 what I can say is that my assessment was similar to what we see here.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you know this person, Fahrudin Salihovic, the
5 president of the Srebrenica municipality?
6 A. I had several conversations with representatives of the civilian
7 authorities and the Muslim army in Potocari after the zones were declared
8 demilitarised. Whether Salihovic was at the time the president -- I
9 think that I did not have contacts with the president. I think I had
10 contacts with the chief of security.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, if we add up these figures, we'll see that the
12 total would be around 37.000, whereas what they're presenting is 45.000,
13 which means that it's a figure inflated by some 8.000, based on this more
14 precise information. In other words, there were 24.000 local people, and
15 as for refugees, about 16.000 in total. Let me see what that comes out
17 So we get the figure of some 36.000 to 37.000; correct?
18 A. Yes, that's correct. When you add it all up, that's
19 approximately the figure.
20 Q. Now, can we agree that this was the peak and that later on, in
21 view of the legal and illegal departures, the number could only have gone
22 down in July 1995. It couldn't have gone up.
23 A. In view of this overall assessment, I can say that I had
24 different assessments at different times, so generally speaking, I cannot
25 really claim, as I sit here, that this was the maximum figure. I
1 performed these assessments on a continuous basis at the time. The
2 figures, the numbers were larger at times, at times they were smaller,
3 but in my assessment, the largest concentration in Srebrenica was after
4 the spring -- winter and spring offensive, in other words, when from
5 Konjevic Polje and Cerska and that area, Glogova and all the other
6 villages, people started coming in after the VRS took control there. And
7 approximately I would say that I at times even arrived at a larger figure
8 than I see here, but I do have to believe the official statistics.
9 Q. Thank you. But can we agree that there were departures, but
10 there was no mass influx at the time following this date that we see
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I see Mr. Nicholls is on his
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, before you answer, Mr. Nikolic.
15 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection, just Mr. Reid's found a translation
17 and can upload it for the Defence.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this,
20 JUDGE KWON: You are not challenging the authenticity of this
21 document, Mr. Nicholls?
22 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know yet, Your Honour. I have to look at
23 it a bit more carefully, but we do have a translation.
24 JUDGE KWON: Can we see the translation? Is it uploaded? Yes.
25 What is your submission as to the admissibility of this document,
1 Mr. Nicholls?
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't object, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We will admit this.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit 2065, Your Honours.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. Would you just answer this question. Is it correct
7 that as of January 1st, for instance, 1994, up until July 1995, there
8 were no people who were fleeing into Srebrenica, and, rather, that people
9 were leaving out of Srebrenica, so that this figure, if we compare it to
10 the figure we saw a moment ago, in July 1995, could only have been
11 smaller, not larger?
12 A. As far as I know, after Srebrenica was declared a demilitarised
13 zone, there was no reason anymore for mass influxes of population into
14 Srebrenica. Yes, there were individuals who came from Zepa and other
15 areas, but there was no mass influx. As far as I know for certain is
16 that sometime in 1994, I can't tell you the exact date, but sometime in
17 early 1994, with approval and in an organised manner and according to
18 plan, people from the enclave left for Kladanj and Tuzla and other areas,
19 and they numbered around 3.500 to 4.000 people. They left in organised
20 convoys and with the approval of the VRS and the authorities that were
21 competent in that respect.
22 Q. Thank you. But there were also able-bodied men who fled,
23 crossing over our territory. Did you know of that? And they would
24 organise chases after these deserters.
25 A. Well, according to the information and what I know with certainty
1 is that there were individual flights from Srebrenica, but there were
2 also individual arrivals from Tuzla -- of people from Tuzla into
3 Srebrenica. But if we are talking about a mass exodus, then we can only
4 refer to the convoy that I spoke about a moment ago. But these
5 individual arrivals could not really affect in any significant way the
6 total number of people in Srebrenica.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see 1D5079.
9 Unfortunately, we don't have a translation, so I will not refer to this
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Now I would like to ask you -- I'd like to go back to some other
13 matters. You had information about the inflow of humanitarian aid to the
14 Srebrenica enclave. Can we agree that these convoys were first checked
15 when they entered Republika Srpska at the Karakaj and Zepa bridge, and
16 the second, the next check, was at the Yellow Bridge on the way out of
17 Republika Srpska, between Bratunac and Srebrenica, and that you were in
18 charge of this stretch of the road.
19 A. Yes. I can agree in principle, but I would like to be specific
20 and quite clear. We are talking about detailed checks here. If that's
21 what you're referring to, then I can agree with that.
22 So the first detailed check of any convoys that entered
23 Republika Srpska was done at the first crossing once they entered the
25 Now, each convoy leaving Srebrenica and every individual
1 departure of any representatives of international organisations from
2 there were checked at the Yellow Bridge because that was the first
3 check-point when leaving the Srebrenica enclave.
4 Q. Thank you. In view of the fact that they inflated the number of
5 inhabitants by 8.000, in view of the fact that a large number of that
6 population lived in villages and that they lived on their own land, so
7 they had cattle and they also produced food, do you feel that or do you
8 think that a large portion of that humanitarian aid actually went to the
9 28th Division, and had it not been so, that the population would have had
10 quantities of food that were sufficient for them?
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, bear in your mind that you are not
12 giving evidence. I don't think the witness has confirmed the number
13 8.000 in terms of inflation.
14 Yes, Mr. Nikolic. Could you answer the question?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer the last question. It
16 does not pose a problem. But I also wanted to say that I discussed my
17 assessment, and I confirmed only the figure I worked with. Everything
18 else Mr. Karadzic said comes from the document he has shown, and I can
19 neither confirm nor deny. That figure has to do with elections.
20 The other part of the question put by Mr. Karadzic is something I
21 can clearly answer. May I?
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have an explanation which may be
24 useful for the Chamber. Yesterday, we discussed the structure of the
25 armed forces in Srebrenica, and we discussed the principles of how those
1 units were manned. Almost 100 per cent of the personnel were municipal
2 residents, people who lived there or arrived from other parts of the
3 country which they had abandoned when their homes were attacked by the
4 Serb forces. The exact situation was on the Serb side as well. My unit
5 relied exclusively on the local inhabitants. Even if one wanted to, the
6 army could not be separated or cut off from the population. Every
7 soldier in the enclave was somebody's brother or father with a family
8 there. So you can't split two and say, This is the aid for the civilians
9 and the soldiers will not use it. They will, whether you want it or not,
10 because they are members of the families.
11 Now, as for how much was taken up by the army of that total aid
12 or how much it kept only for themselves, that is only something I can
13 assess. In any case, the quantities entering Srebrenica, in my
14 assessment, based on the number of people that were supposed to receive
15 it, in my view, the quantities were insufficient. I don't know whether I
16 was correct in presuming that, but I shared my assessments with you. I
17 believed that given the number of the population, the humanitarian aid
18 that was arriving was insufficient for a normal life. On the other hand,
19 I agree that this humanitarian aid which arrived was to a large extent
20 used by members of the 28th Division -- or, rather, members of the
21 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you. Perhaps it's a call for speculation, but it is a fact
24 that those five brigades were only the users of food rather than
25 producers, and that was another aggravating factor. If the enclave had
1 indeed been demilitarised, perhaps the situation would have been
2 different. Otherwise, we had soldiers who had no other duties and
3 consumed that aid.
4 If it is too complicated, I will withdraw this question. But the
5 fact remains that the soldiers were there to fight. They were not there
6 to produce food as they should have. Correct?
7 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer, Mr. Nikolic.
8 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, one, it was a statement not a
10 question in any fair sense. I think Mr. Karadzic realised that at the
11 end and that's why he started to withdraw it. And second, it's the --
12 the false premise built in, unless he has a basis for it, that had
13 everybody -- had these men -- with the amount of people in the enclave,
14 that there would have been plenty of food for everybody if everybody had
15 been farming. That's just, I think, not in evidence and is a
17 JUDGE KWON: So I note he has withdrawn. Let us continue.
18 Mr. Nikolic, can you answer the question? Shall I repeat it for
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please be so kind.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, could you put your last question
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Thank you. Given the fact that it was supposed to have been a
25 demilitarised zone, were the able-bodied men deployed to the brigades
1 rather than being at home? They should have been there and not at the
2 front lines. In other words, by virtue of their deployment, they became
3 a nonproductive category of the population.
4 JUDGE KWON: Could you not put just one question at a time,
5 Mr. Karadzic?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. In a year or two I'll
7 be more skilled in this.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer this question,
9 Your Honour. I have understood.
10 I can answer it precisely. Yes, we fully agree that the members
11 of the 28th Division and of other units in Srebrenica were armed and that
12 Srebrenica was not a demilitarised zone. Their basic task was engagement
13 in the units where they were deployed. I absolutely agree.
14 As for the second part, we can only make a premise based on the
15 previous conclusion. In other words, they were engaged in one task and
16 were unable to work on anything else.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we please have
18 1D5075. Translation is still pending, but since it's a relatively short
19 document I would kindly ask for your understanding.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. On the 15th of July, 1994, Oric reported on some negotiations
22 with the aggressor side, i.e., the Serbs. He says that demilitarisation
23 lines were being discussed and the issue of fire being opened on the
24 population inside the demilitarised zone as well as free flow of medical
25 evacuation from Srebrenica and the return of people to Srebrenica for
1 family reunification.
2 By virtue of your position, did you prepare this meeting or
3 participate in it?
4 A. I recall this meeting precisely, and I was in attendance, and I
5 negotiated as part of a team on the Serb side. It was chaired by
6 DutchBat commander, and it was held in DutchBat -- in the DutchBat base
7 in Potocari. There were representatives of both the Muslim and Serb
8 side. On the Serb side, there was a military team. And on the Muslim
9 side, there was a mixed team; in other words, Naser Oric with his chief
10 of security, and the representatives of the civilian authorities.
11 The meeting was actually chaired by Mr. Franken, who I believe
12 was deputy commander of DutchBat, as well as Mr. Boering, I believe. I
13 think the meeting was attended by a military observer representative as
15 We discussed all these matters, whereas the main point was to
16 establish the line of -- lines of demilitarisation around Srebrenica as
17 it remained undefined. The Drina Corps command and the Main Staff kept
18 insisting on the need to solve it.
19 Q. Although the agreement had a precise map, but it seems there was
20 some confusion in the field or that people simply did not honour the
21 agreement in terms of the map. Was this your experience?
22 A. I was able to see what the agreed borders of the enclave were.
23 On the map it slightly differed -- or, rather, not slightly, but it
24 differed from the situation in the field. Irrespective of the set
25 borders, we remained at our lines. We tried to rely on the features that
1 are there, such as hills, elevations, river beds, streams, valleys, so
2 that both in reality and on the map we tried to reconcile the borders of
3 the enclave.
4 We did deviate from the agreement in such parts of territory
5 where one cannot see anything, because of the location of the border. If
6 there was a depression, we moved to the next vantage point, and that is
7 where the Serb forces took up their positions and dug out trenches.
8 The thing that was disputed the most was in the area of
9 Zeleni Jadar, and we were never able to come to terms about that, whereas
10 the rest of the borders were agreed and harmonised with the map as well
11 as in the field.
12 Q. Does it mean that you gave in sometimes and left a valley to them
13 by choosing the next vantage point, which may not have been necessarily
14 in the enclave but outside? In other words, sometimes your movements
15 were to their benefit?
16 A. There were concessions on both sides. I need to say for the sake
17 of the Chamber that one doesn't need to be physically present in order to
18 control an area. You can control it from your firing positions 4- or
19 5- or 600 metres away. We knew where the borders were. But since we
20 wanted to have a better tactical position and a safer situation for our
21 troops, we did make certain concessions as did the Muslims.
22 Q. Thank you. At this meeting it was more or less agreed that lists
23 of the sick and students be created and cases of family reunification,
24 and it seems that the Serb side accepted everything. It only requested
25 that the Serbs who were still in Srebrenica be allowed to leave freely.
1 There is the sentence: An agreement was reached that lists be
2 drafted by the 30th of July.
3 A. I can tell you exactly what this is about. There were frequent
4 requests from the enclave to transport and evacuate the wounded,
5 seriously wounded, and sick. In other words, those who could not be
6 provided adequate medical treatment in the enclave or in the medical
7 institutions in Srebrenica. That's why we agreed that all those they
8 wanted to have evacuated to Tuzla, Sarajevo, or Kladanj should be put on
9 a list which was supposed to be forwarded to me, and then I was to send
10 that list with an explanation to my superior command, because they were
11 responsible for issuing a permit or refusing a permit.
12 I also requested in turn, since there were still Serbs in the
13 enclave, mostly the elderly, I simply wanted to know for certain whether
14 they wanted to leave Srebrenica or not. I knew what the situation was
15 like, and I knew it was difficult to remain. That is why I asked them to
16 bring those people physically to see them at the Yellow Bridge and to ask
17 them myself whether they wanted to leave Srebrenica or not.
18 Indeed, it developed that way. They brought everyone who was
19 still in Srebrenica to the bridge, and when the people wanted to go, we
20 organised their departure. There were, however, one or two women who did
21 not want to abandon their apartments or houses and they remained.
22 That's it regarding the issue of departures. Did you ask me
23 about anything else?
24 Q. To put it briefly, is it correct that both you and your superior
25 commands were very forthcoming and that when it came to the sick and
1 students, you approved their requests basically always without imposing
2 any restrictions?
3 A. Yes. Any individual request on their part was sent by me to the
4 Drina Corps command. In most of the cases, there were no problems about
5 evacuating the sick to Tuzla. I knew some of the people who were
6 evacuated personally. Some of them had been injured or had spinal
7 injuries, et cetera. So there was no problem in that department.
8 Q. Do you remember that we even allowed political figures to go to
9 Sarajevo if they were to attend peace talks? We even provided approvals
10 for their departure, and you probably controlled that aspect of the
11 situation in terms of their representatives leaving.
12 A. As far as I recall, and I think I still remember the fact that
13 there were no departures across the Yellow Bridge. I don't think there
14 were any requests in that regard. Maybe there were some direct requests
15 put to the senior commands, but as far as I recall, not a single such
16 request came to me. In other words, their political or military
17 representatives did not go across the Yellow Bridge as far as I remember.
18 I did not receive such requests.
19 Q. So you had no control of them being put on board of a helicopter?
20 It happened in Sokolac; correct?
21 A. Yes. We couldn't control that. We didn't know who was
22 transported to Sarajevo by helicopter.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
25 marked for identification, and the translation has perhaps already
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll do that.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D2066, Your Honours.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. Am I correct if I say that in that respect, the
6 Serbian side showed that it took into consideration humanitarian civilian
7 issues that concerned the population in Srebrenica? Even the students
8 were allowed to leave, as we can see in this document relating to the
10 A. All I can say is that with regard to all the issues that we
11 discussed and reached an agreement on, the Serbian side respected the
12 agreement. The obligations undertaken were respected.
13 Q. In the course of the examination-in-chief, you mentioned convoys,
14 and the Chamber asked you about UNPROFOR convoys. Do you agree that the
15 convoys were quite frequent and that many convoys entered the area, a far
16 greater number of convoys entered the area than said in the media?
17 A. I'll first answer the last part of your question. I can't say
18 how this was presented in the media or what actually entered the area. I
19 didn't follow this, but what I can confirm is that the convoys did enter
20 the area in accordance with the requests and the plans and the
21 authorisation provided by our authorities, the organs who were
22 responsible for such issues. Sometimes there were frequent convoys,
23 numerous entries. Sometimes it wasn't that frequent. But they had their
24 own plans, and having obtained authorisation, they would go in.
25 Q. Thank you. Am I correct if I say that you had fewer
1 irregularities reported because these irregularities would be detected at
2 the entrance to Republika Srpska? So you had fewer problems, fewer
3 actions to take than those who were at Karakaj. You didn't have to
4 prohibit entry as much as they did, or restrict entry as much as they
6 A. I don't know about the experience they had in Karakaj or at other
7 check-points. All I can talk about is the Yellow Bridge check-point
8 where the military police was engaged, and I was occasionally present
9 there, too, as well as organs from my brigade. So I can tell you about
10 that check-point and back up what I say with arguments.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now I'd like to have a look at --
13 could we have a look at 65 ter 3688.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Is this one such authorisation, dated the 29th of April, 1995?
16 Authorisation provided for a convoy. It says what it consists of,
17 technical assistance, an ambulance, three lorries with trailers. And
18 there's a convoy for Srebrenica, personal equipment. Is this the usual
19 sort of pass for entry, dated the 29th of April, 1995?
20 A. Yes. This is a customary authorisation provided for a convoy
21 that entered or had to leave Srebrenica.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could it be admitted?
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2067, Your Honours.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at
1 65 ter document 3689.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you have a look at this document. Is it the 30th of April,
4 one day later? So we have one for Karakaj, then two for Karakaj,
5 two lorries, and three for Karakaj, two 18-tonne lorries, and then other
6 things. The first one is for Gorazde, flour, nine lorries of flour,
7 28 tonnes, and beans, and so on and so forth.
8 Is that the customary pass issued by the Main Staff?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. And that's a day after the previous one we saw; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could it be admitted?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2068, Your Honours.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at
16 65 ter document 3691.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Would you agree that the date here is the 12th of May here and
19 there is flour for Gorazde and for Srebrenica as well as beans. Then it
20 says Karakaj, Drinjaca, and then for Srebrenica Russian flour, 16 tonnes,
21 then the Swedish thing, the Swedish project. This was authorised on the
22 12th of May; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could it be admitted?
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2069, Your Honours.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 65 ter document 3690.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. The date here is the 9th of May, 1995. Authorisation is given to
5 grant the request for a certain body for humanitarian -- from a certain
6 body for humanitarian aid. It says on the Zvornik-Bratunac-Srebrenica
7 axis and then back, an ICRC team will travel along that road. Then you
8 have the names of the people who will be on the team. Plastics are being
9 provided, and so on and so forth.
10 Do you know about this? It's the usual form of authorisation
11 provided for the 29th of May.
12 A. Yes. All these authorisations that concern entry into Srebrenica
13 arrived in my brigade. I can't remember each and every authorisation,
14 but this is the usual way in which such authorisation was provided.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could it be admitted?
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2070, Your Honours.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 3692 now, which is
19 also a 65 ter document.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. The date here is the 16th of May. Is this also a convoy, an
22 UNPROFOR convoy, a Dutch-Belgian convoy from Kiseljak to Srebrenica? So
23 they came from other directions as well, not only from Serbia; is that
25 A. Yes. There were supplies or convoys that arrived from various
1 directions, not only from Serbia.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could it be admitted?
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2071, Your Honours.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now have a look at
6 65 ter document 3693.
7 The 17th of May, 1995. On that date, again, the coordinating
8 body made a request and authorisation was provided by the Main Staff
9 which was sent to the Drina Corps command.
10 Let's have a look at item 1, delivery of medical supplies,
11 construction material, hygiene supplies for an MSF team in Srebrenica,
12 and this was to be done on the 18th. And then the route is mentioned
13 that is to be used.
14 Further down, all these needs which were authorised are listed.
15 Then under item 2, that also concerns Srebrenica, from Belgrade
16 via Zvornik.
17 Then item 3, the return of some of those convoys is mentioned.
18 Could we have a look at the third page. I think there's nothing
19 on the second one in the Serbian.
20 It says that this passage was approved by the weekly plan of the
21 UNHCR whose implementation was in course. It said check things and make
22 the passage possible along the route mentioned.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Is this the usual way of providing authorisation for such
1 A. Yes. I've already said that.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could it be admitted?
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2072, Your Honours.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now see 65 ter document
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Would you agree that this is authorisation provided? Again it's
9 a request from the coordinating body, Republika Srpska, and it has to do
10 with the delivery of UNHCR humanitarian aid. And then it says the 25th,
11 Kotorman, Gorazde, and then Karakaj, Srebrenica. On the 21st of May,
12 Kotorman, Gorazde, Karakaj, Srebrenica. It mentions beans, flour. And
13 then it mentions flour and 9 tonnes of beans, 39 tonnes of flour. And
14 then on the 24th of May, Karakaj, Srebrenica, 2 tonnes of beans and other
15 items. Sugar, 17 and a half tonnes of sugar, and so on. Then Karakaj,
16 Zepa, Karakaj, Gorazde.
17 Here we have the 25th of May. That is a mistake. The
18 25th of April. Do you agree?
19 Well, in fact, can we see the third page in the Serbian?
20 Then there's something for Srebrenica and Mladenovac -- no, this
21 in fact concerns the return. Gorazde, Rajkovac, Srebrenica, Mladenovac,
22 Mladenovici, UNHCR. And then the 24th of May, you have the names of some
23 people who were provided with authorisation.
24 So there's quite a lot of traffic to Srebrenica. Wouldn't you
25 say so, Mr. Nikolic? Quite a few things were authorised here and quite a
1 few things were delivered.
2 A. Well, I can't comment on that. As for authorisation provided,
3 all those things went in. I think this was a weekly supply. There were
4 daily supplies provided, and there were authorisations provided for
5 weekly entries of those convoys.
6 Q. Thank you. When such authorisation is provided, no one prevented
7 anyone from entering at the Yellow Bridge; is that correct?
8 A. Let me just be precise. This authorisation was issued in written
9 form unless subsequently an oral order was passed down the chain of
10 command. Then the Main Staff of the Drina Corps and the Bratunac Brigade
11 might issue an order and then everything would enter. There were
12 exceptions when an oral order would subsequently be issued and that
13 concerned restricting the entry of certain supplies. They were there in
14 April, May, and June, in that period of time. So if there were no such
15 interventions, if there were no subsequent requests, then this
16 authorisation was binding for us.
17 Q. Thank you. Sometimes between the time that passed between the
18 authorisation and the entry of the convoy there was combat, and this
19 would be a genuine reason, a good reason for which a convoy would have to
20 wait to enter the area. I'm not just talking about the year 1995. I'm
21 talking about the period as a whole.
22 A. I can't remember the entry of convoys being postponed because of
23 active combat that was still ongoing. If there were such cases, if there
24 was such combat it couldn't really influence the passage of convoys
25 because the routes used by the convoys were quite safe. On the whole,
1 when there were incidents it was in other areas.
2 Q. Ah-ha. You are only speaking about your area of responsibility.
3 A. Yes, only about my area of responsibility.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this be admitted?
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2073, Your Honours.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have a look at
8 65 ter document 3695.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Could you please take a look at this. It's the 22nd of May,
11 1995, and it says there what it was that was approved. This mainly has
12 to do with Sarajevo. Let us see what pertains to your zone.
13 Do you see the second paragraph?
14 "We have not approved the transport of containers with oils,
15 grease, solvents, and antifreeze."
16 This seems to be industrial products rather than anything else;
18 A. I agree with what is written here. That is the only part that I
19 agree with. As for the rest, I don't know what types of oil these were,
20 and I cannot comment upon that.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at page 3 now --
23 or, actually, page 2, but it's the third one as well for some ...
24 You can see further on what else was approved.
25 And then can we go one page up to see what it was that they did
1 not approve.
2 In Serbian, we see the lower half, and it says:
3 "We would also like to inform you that we have not approved the
4 transport of the following convoys and teams: Diesel" -- something for
5 the canteen. Then 4, some kind of rotation of personnel. Then gas, oil,
6 rotation of personnel.
7 Can we have the next page now.
8 JUDGE KWON: Page 6 in English.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you agree that all of this has to do primarily with
11 restricting -- or, rather, imposing restrictions upon UNPROFOR rather
12 than the population? Gasoline, diesel. Number 16. It says from
13 Srebrenica to Koviljaca --
14 JUDGE KWON: Now page 18.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. "19. Transporting a new team of civilian police from Sarajevo to
18 Do you agree that most of this has to do with the military,
19 military materiel, things that can be used as military materiel? Does
20 most of this not apply to that rather than food for the population?
21 A. Well, I agree with that. I did not really focus on the first
22 page if this convoy -- or, rather, if this approval is for the
23 Dutch Battalion and UNPROFOR forces, then I absolutely agree that
24 everything that is being brought in is intended for the Dutch Battalion,
25 not civilians. So then there is the military observers, and there is
1 civilian police, and that certainly differs from the humanitarian convoys
2 that were approved by the UNHCR and that went through them.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2074, Your Honours.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at 65 ter 3697.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Could we agree that this is the 26th of May? This seems to be a
9 weekly document as the one from the 20th of May. We agree for the weekly
10 plan of humanitarian aid supplies to be observed from the 27th of May
11 until the 1st of June, 1995; right?
12 A. Yes, that is right.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the last page now?
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. That is customary, isn't it, as far as weekly plans go?
16 A. Yes. It is signed by General Manojlo Milovanovic, Chief of
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2075, Your Honours.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have
22 65 ter 3698?
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. There is more here, isn't that right? It includes Russian
25 convoys as well. Is this the 26th of May? And then there is Karakaj and
1 Srebrenica here, the Russian convoy, and then Karakaj, Srebrenica. There
2 is Kotorman, Gorazde, and Karakaj, Srebrenica for the 27th and the
3 28th of May. Then the 30th of May, Karakaj, Srebrenica, Russian. I
4 don't know how many -- 64 metric tonnes of flour. And then further down
5 Karakaj, Srebrenica, 5 tonnes of something. I don't know what. Then the
6 31st of May, Russian. I don't know how many tonnes of flour, 2.1 tonnes
7 of beans, 1.376 boxes of beef, 18 boxes of dummies, one -- for babies
8 that is. One lorry of school equipment.
9 Can we move on to page 3 now.
10 There's something written here. Can you recognise the
11 handwriting? Whose is it?
12 A. No. No. I don't know whose it is.
13 Q. It says here:
14 "As already stated, my battalion still has a mission to guard the
15 population in the safe area."
16 Right? And then there's some reference to making life difficult
17 for observers on the confrontation line.
18 A. I don't know what this is all about, and I have no comment.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have the last
20 page. The next page in Serbian.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So we see here what the restriction refers to. We agree that on
23 Wednesday, the 30th of May, 1995, a satellite telex should be brought to
24 Srebrenica along with equipment that is necessary for the UNHCR office.
25 So the army has this suspicion here that this could jeopardise
1 their security, this telex. Do you agree that that is exclusively in the
2 hands of the army itself, that it's not for the civilian authorities to
3 say, and that approvals or lack of approval is guided by their feeling of
4 security regarding these things for which approval is sought?
5 A. I wouldn't really want to comment on this conclusion of yours.
6 It is well known who is supposed to take care of the security of units
7 and staffs. That is clearly defined, and I would have no special comment
8 in relation to that.
9 Q. However, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, I know that some
10 of the members of the Trial Chamber are familiar with military matters,
11 but who is in charge of security? Can the co-ordination body order
12 something to the Main Staff that would work to the detriment of the
13 security of the army?
14 A. I have a very clear answer there. First of all, I cannot even
15 imagine any such thing, that someone from the co-ordination body, where
16 serious and responsible people are, I cannot imagine them doing anything
17 that would jeopardise the security of the army that they belonged to.
18 Whose army is this? If I know that Vice-President Koljevic sat on this
19 co-ordination body and Biljana Plavsic for a while, and
20 Lieutenant-Colonel Milovanovic, I certainly cannot assume that they would
21 make any decision that would be against the interests of the military.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you just tell the Trial Chamber whether it is
23 correct that the question of the security of the army itself is
24 exclusively under the army, that it does have the right to protect
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I mean, maybe Mr. Karadzic can break it down a
3 bit, because the question is whether it is correct that the question of
4 the security of the army itself is exclusively under the army. I don't
5 know what that means. It's so broad. If you're talking about who has
6 the power or right to say that a certain piece of equipment goes on a
7 convoy into an enclave, that's one thing, but the way it's phrased I
8 think is so overly broad as to be not helpful.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I agree with Mr. Nicholls.
10 Could you reformulate your question.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that it is the duty of the army to take
13 care of this, to see whether something that is brought through the lines
14 would work to their detriment? Are they supposed to assess that, and are
15 they supposed to take protective measures that would protect them from
16 that kind of damage?
17 A. Mr. Karadzic, I fully understood your first question as well.
18 Security and taking preventive security measures, that is to say, to
19 prevent any kind of misunderstanding and any kind of jeopardy with regard
20 to the units themselves, is exclusively under the jurisdiction of
21 military organs. The next thing I wish to say is that at the same time
22 this is indeed under the military, but it is also in the interest of the
23 political leadership not to jeopardise the security interests of soldiers
24 and of the army as a whole.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2076, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, wasn't the last one 76?
4 26th of May. This is the 28th of May. Or maybe I didn't even tender it.
5 The 26th of May, can that be tendered as well?
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE KWON: What it's 65 ter number, Mr. Karadzic? I don't
8 think you tendered it.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 3698.
10 JUDGE KWON: That's what we just admitted.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I probably haven't
12 called up this one yet, 3699 then. Could that please be called up,
13 65 ter number 3699.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I'd like to ask you to focus on this, the 28th of May. Approval
16 is given for Srebrenica from Skelani, Bijeljina, et cetera, 30th of May,
17 1995, arrival, departure. The name of the team leader is provided, and
18 then 2 tonnes of cement and 200 litres of diesel, et cetera. That is for
20 Is that the usual form of such approvals?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please take a look at the
23 next page. It's hard for me to read somebody else's handwriting.
24 There is some note here. Somebody is writing to Colonel Vukovic
25 and saying the road they wish to use via Zeleni Jadar is within the
1 boundaries of the safe area of Srebrenica.
2 "I cannot grant your request."
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So did the route sometimes have to be changed for some reason?
5 A. As for what I see before me, in this particular case I really
6 don't know what this is all about, and I wouldn't want to speculate.
7 However, often there were requests to change the route to Srebrenica.
8 When arriving from Zvornik along the Drina, Zvornik, Drinjaca,
9 Zeleni Polom, Kasin Polje [phoen], Drinski Most, Bratunac, Srebrenica,
10 that was the route, and there were often requests made for the convoy to
11 take the asphalt road, because the road that they had received permission
12 to use was a macadam road. So that is the only thing I can say in
13 relation to the question that you put to me.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
15 JUDGE KWON: I note that this is a draft translation. Whose
16 translation is this, Mr. Karadzic?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Possibly of the team. I'm not
18 sure. Oh, OTP, it's theirs, because we don't have this seal or stamp.
19 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls, can you confirm that?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe it is a CLSS translation, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE KWON: I'm asking because I didn't see any translation of
23 the handwritten part. Probably most of them were noted as illegible.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I believe if we go to the last page, I don't have
25 it up on my screen anymore, that it does make a reference to the last ...
1 JUDGE KWON: I see only "Illegible," and then there's no note --
2 referring to the handwritten part.
3 Whether it makes sense or not, Mr. Nikolic, could you read this
4 part? Is it legible to you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I shall try. I shall try. I
6 cannot. I just see until the beginning: "In view of your request,
7 that" -- I cannot. I cannot discern this. I really cannot decipher
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
10 Given -- I note the time. We will take a break now for an hour
11 and resume at 1.30.
12 The last one we haven't given a number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D2077, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.31 p.m.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we have 1D5106.
19 It seems that we still have no translation.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Is it correct that on the 3rd of January, 1995, Colonel Palic
22 said that he was to transport some assets between Zepa and Srebrenica,
23 and that out of the five received RPG-7s, he should be allowed to have
24 four instead of two that were planned. Is it an anti-armour asset?
25 A. Yes. RPG-7, as we can see, is a launcher used to launch missiles
1 or shells aimed at destroying armoured vehicles.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have this admitted, please.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Yes, we will do that.
4 THE REGISTRAR: MFI D2078, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I was informed by the court officer as
6 to the potential misunderstanding about the -- about the amount of time
7 for your cross-examination. The Chamber clearly stated that you should
8 not exceed the time, the same amount of time, which is spent by the
9 Prosecution, which is 6 hours and 15 minutes. I think you have spend so
10 far four hours and 20 minutes. You will have a bit less than two hours
12 Please continue.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I state my position on this?
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I planned my cross-examination
16 based on the previously announced nine hours asked by the Prosecution.
17 On the other hand, we also wanted Mr. Tucker's testimony pertaining to
18 1993 to be excluded, which was not accepted by the Bench. In other
19 words, I have an intelligence officer here who is very familiar with
20 1993. It would be a shame to gain first-hand knowledge from the -- this
21 intelligence officer. That is why I focused on 1993 so much, because
22 other than this witness, I have no other Prosecution witnesses to examine
23 on that topic. Therefore, I had planned to use nine hours, and I wanted
24 to ask you to be allowed to continue throughout the day tomorrow, because
25 my assessment was based on the previous OTP assessment.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. Apart from the issue of our
3 understanding of the -- what the Chamber communicated, which I think was
4 clear, the fact is that most of Dr. Karadzic's time has been spent with
5 eliciting evidence favourable to his case that was not touched upon by
6 the cross-examination is something that the Chamber wouldn't have known
7 before when it made its ruling that he was to have the same amount of
8 time as the Prosecutor. So I would ask you to consider, having now heard
9 the cross-examination, that it was necessary for him to cover topics that
10 are eliciting evidence favourable to our defence case, and so the time
11 should not be the same. We should be given some additional time to do
13 JUDGE KWON: Before I make any comment myself, I will consult my
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will rise to discuss this.
17 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I'm so sorry, I know the Court is
18 trying to get away, but it occurred to me that I might have some quick
19 scheduling information that the Court would maybe not want to hear about
20 after it had deliberated and it may be significant to it. So there were
21 two quick matters that perhaps should be raised. I'm very sorry.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Okay. We'll hear you.
23 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: First of all, Mr. President, as you know, the OTP
25 has been quite successful thus far in accommodating shifts from normal
1 sittings to extended sittings without any gaps and that was through, as
2 I've mentioned before, some very extensive and even heroic efforts by
3 people behind the scenes.
4 In this instance, we are clearly having difficulty in filling the
5 added time resulting from the extended sittings for next week, and I was,
6 in any event, going to alert the Court to the prospect that we would have
7 a gap by virtue of the additional time from the extended sittings next
9 Secondly, I know that Mr. Robinson has raised the issue of
10 Mr. Block's testimony, and I just -- the Court -- I don't know the extent
11 to which the Court is familiar with that. I can discuss that now if
12 necessary, but if the Court's already aware of that possibility in
13 calculating or in assessing whatever impact the schedule over the next
14 few days may have on its decision in this instance, then I don't need to
15 raise it, but I will say I have had some discussions with Mr. Robinson
16 about it. While I don't agree with all of the factors he raised, I also
17 indicated to him that the OTP did not have any objection to Mr. Block
18 proceeding on Tuesday and, in fact, considered that -- considered that we
19 agreed with that as an appropriate schedule.
20 So I thought it best to let the Court know now.
21 JUDGE KWON: Just to have a full option, how long do you expect
22 that Mr. Block's evidence in chief will last?
23 MR. TIEGER: I think an hour or less, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE KWON: His amalgamated statement contains how many pages?
25 MR. ROBINSON: 13.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thirteen. If led live, how long would that take?
2 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour to stand up with -- the two of
4 us, but I'm familiar with that statement. I think it will be, as
5 Mr. Tieger said, less than an hour. That's the outside --
6 JUDGE KWON: Even if led live.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: No. If led live, I think it would be on the order
8 of about two hours. And I think not live, it would be less than an hour
9 by --
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: -- by quite some measure.
12 JUDGE KWON: We will rise for 15 minutes.
13 --- Break taken at 1.44 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 2.10 p.m.
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, the Chamber observes that there is no
16 absolute right for the accused to be granted the same amount of time for
17 cross-examination as used by the Prosecution. As a matter of fact, the
18 Chamber was originally of the view that the accused could adequately
19 cross-examine this witness in four to four and a half hours. However, in
20 the circumstances, the Chamber considered that it would be appropriate to
21 allow the accused, as a maximum, to use the same amount of time as used
22 by the Prosecution for their direct examination. However, the Chamber
23 takes into account the accused's argument that there was a
24 misunderstanding, and given this, the Chamber exercises its discretion
25 and allows you to complete your cross-examination within three and a half
1 hours from now. That will make in total about eight hours. However, the
2 Chamber will exercise stricter control over the direction of this
3 cross-examination and urges you to start with and concentrate on core
4 issues of this case. And I emphasise again you need to prioritise your
5 lines of questions.
6 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
7 THE ACCUSED: Thank you very much.
8 [Interpretation] Could we see 1D5101.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. While waiting for that, let me ask you the following: Did you
11 know that the Muslim side was planning and, in fact, commenced, as of the
12 15th of May and the 15th of June, large-scale operations throughout
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Zepa area. The purpose was to
14 assist the forces around Sarajevo.
15 A. At the time I had information of a general kind, nothing very
16 specific, and all I want to say is that I know nothing about those
17 matters and don't want to testify about them. If there's anything that
18 concerns Srebrenica and my brigade's area of responsibility, that is
19 acceptable, but given the issues that you have just mentioned, well, I
20 know nothing about them.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you agree - this is something you must have
22 noticed - that the 28th Division and the 8th Operations Group as of the
23 15th of June stepped up its combat activities in the Srebrenica area.
24 And here we have seen documents in which they say that this is what they
25 were doing in order to help Sarajevo. Did you hear this increased level
1 of combat activities as of the 15th of June?
2 A. We're speaking about 1995, I assume, June 1995. I can tell you
3 that I regularly and intensively assessed the intentions of the
4 28th Division, of the 28th Division's forces, and I had fairly reliable
5 information about their intentions. And naturally I knew about the
6 incidents that occurred during that period of time. In my area of
7 responsibility, I was aware of all the incidents. After so much time has
8 passed I can't remember all of those incidents, but I know that there
9 were sniper incidents. The enclave would be left, ambushes would be
10 laid, and so on and so forth. There was such activity during that period
11 of time that you are referring to.
12 Q. Thank you. Without going into the details, can we base ourselves
13 on your awareness of their intentions? Is it correct that their
14 intention was to extend the so-called free area, to link it up with
15 Kladanj and Tuzla, and to drive out the Serbian troops and the Serbs from
17 A. Yes. In my assessments, I, on the whole, always attempted to
18 establish what their intentions were, what the intentions of the forces
19 from Srebrenica were, to establish what their final objective was.
20 There's a series of activities that pointed to their intentions. That
21 included Oric's departure, with trips to Tuzla and supplies and increased
22 communications between Zepa and Srebrenica.
23 And on the basis of the overall situation and all the
24 intelligence that I had, I made an assessment which I forwarded to the
25 Drina Corps command, and in that report I drew the following conclusions.
1 The 28th Division had the following intention: In the forthcoming
2 period, they wanted to act together with forces and a unit from Zepa, the
3 forces of the 8th Operations Group, and at one point in time they wanted
4 to break out at the Zepa, Han Pijesak, Pjenavac, Kladanj, Crni Vrh, Tuzla
5 axis, and from that position they wanted to launch an offensive, the
6 purpose of which would be to clear that area, and that included Podrinje.
7 They wanted to feed the Serbian forces in that area, in fact.
8 So in general terms that was my assessment of their objective at
9 the time.
10 Q. Thank you. You reported to the corps command and what you knew
11 of was probably something that the Main Staff also knew. Isn't that the
13 A. I'm almost convinced of the fact. I can't really confirm that,
14 but since I know how reporting proceeds and how you forward intelligence
15 and intelligence assessments, well, naturally the corps command received
16 that information, because the report was addressed to them, but I'm sure
17 that all that information, all these important assessments, all these
18 intelligence assessments reached the top of the VRS Main Staff.
19 Q. Thank you. Could you please have a look at the following: The
20 VRS Main Staff knew what their plans were, and could you have a look at
21 what was authorised at the time. This is a document from the UNHCR. So
22 what was authorised for Srebrenica? Look at it, on the 27th of June,
23 1995, 8.5, 12.5 tonnes of sugar. Then you've got oil, 7.5 tonnes, then
24 6 tonnes of beans, 7 tonnes, and 300 -- 3 tonnes of a different kind of
25 beans. That's the 27th of June, and it was just prior to the Srebrenica
1 operation. Fifty-three tonnes of food for Srebrenica.
2 A. Yes, that is what it says here in this document. I didn't see
3 the title. Is it an authorisation?
4 Q. A report according to which this was authorised.
5 Could we have a look at the next page.
6 This is for the 27th of June. It's a report on the leader of the
7 team -- or from the leader of the team to people who entered the area.
8 So if you receive such information or such a document, they go in. Your
9 people let them through. Isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes. I've explained the procedure on a number of occasions when
11 you showed similar authorisations to me.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nikolic, are you in a position to explain to us
13 what this document is about?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a minute. This document is a
15 list from the Russian humanitarian convoy for Srebrenica. The date is
16 the 27th of June, 1995. We have the personal details that concern the
17 convoy, the leader, the driver, and then there's the notification number,
18 other information. It's a humanitarian convoy for the Srebrenica
19 enclave. That's what I can see. Those are the conclusions I can draw
20 when I have a cursory look at the document.
21 JUDGE KWON: So the last numbers are notification numbers. Did
22 you say so? IMP.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think these are the
24 identification numbers on the cards that they have on them. That's what
25 I know from my own experience.
1 JUDGE KWON: So does it mean that they entered Srebrenica
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry. Yes. I can't confirm that
4 on the basis of this document because I don't see that it says that they
5 entered Srebrenica anywhere. What I can see is that it's a list from the
6 Russian humanitarian convoy for Srebrenica. Then I see the date
7 27th of June, 1995. However, it is customary to have in addition to
8 these names, in addition to the drivers, there's a list of the lorries,
9 of the vehicles used. They are specified. The registration number is
10 specified. The type of car and the quantity and kind of goods that is
11 being delivered is also mentioned. I can't see this in this document. I
12 can't comment on that, because on the basis of this document I can't see
13 how many lorries are entering. I can't see what is entering Srebrenica
14 and what quantities are at stake. All I can see is that drivers are
15 mentioned. We have some names, it mentions UNHCR members, and as far as
16 I can understand the document, these numbers here are the numbers that
17 they have on their identification cards. Those are the conclusions I can
18 draw from these documents if I go into a detailed analysis.
19 Q. If I can be of assistance in this document -- well, the document
20 consists of a number of pages. If we go through it, we'll reach other
21 pages. In the previous one, it's the 27th of June, and there's
22 equipment. Here we have individuals who are mentioned. Can we go
23 through it?
24 Can we see the other pages?
25 Here it's the 20th of June, 1995. That's the date, and it says
1 that they entered -- these ticks here mean that they entered the area.
2 Isn't that correct? And the number 34 was corrected?
3 JUDGE KWON: On what basis, Mr. Karadzic? On what basis does
4 Mr. Nikolic know this? How can he know?
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Nikolic, is this how you would mark the documents when
7 someone entered the area? Would this mean that someone entered the area?
8 A. On the basis of this kind of document, the one I have in front of
9 me, now that 17 years have passed, I cannot reliably tell you whether
10 they entered or not. I can't tell you about that, the fact that someone
11 used a pen or a felt-tip to tick these markings off doesn't show that
12 they entered Srebrenica, for me.
13 I will be even more precise. What I can see here is something
14 that could have taken place at the first check-point at Karakaj. This
15 could have been done there, or in Sarajevo, at the pass. This could have
16 been done anywhere else. Someone could have taken a pen and made these
17 markings at these other places. So the only conclusion that one can draw
18 is that this document is a document that someone who is responsible for
19 controls had on him. He carried out certain controls, but nothing else
20 can be concluded.
21 Q. Let's go through the remainder of the document. Everything is
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's see the remainder of the
24 document. Could we see the following page, please.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. This is for the 20th of June. It has to do with quantities
2 expressed in tonnes. We have soap, sugar, beans, canned fish, powdered
3 milk, biscuits, flour, canned fish, et cetera, et cetera.
4 Does it say 55 tonnes?
5 A. Mr. Karadzic, in order to be sure that I've understood you -- I
6 see the date here, the 20th of June, 1995. Before that, I saw that the
7 driver had the date of the 27th, if I remember correctly. Can you
8 explain this to me? Can you tell me whether the goods that I see
9 registered here under this date -- or, rather, the drivers, were those
10 the drivers who were driving this cargo, and were they on that list of
11 the 27th? That is what creates confusion as far as I'm concerned.
12 Q. We'll see, Mr. Nikolic, but the convoy that goes on a particular
13 day, for example, this truck, 657, is carrying 4 tonnes of soap. The
14 other one also has 4 tonnes of soap. Then this other one has 8 tonnes of
15 sugar, and so on.
16 Now we are going to see what the grand total is in the report of
17 Republika Srpska. So we're going to see the quantities that are entering
18 the area at the time of this large-scale Muslim offensive against
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
21 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Just a couple points, Your Honour. One,
23 unfortunately we don't have a translation of any of these, it appears, so
24 I can't tell exactly what they say, but Mr. Karadzic, at page 68, around
25 line 8, started all these authorisations, which I don't think he's
1 established other than saying they are in any way and wasn't able to do
2 through the witness.
3 Second, if it saves any time to remind him our case is not that
4 no convoys ever entered Srebrenica. Our case is clearly spelled out, and
5 I won't refer to the document, but there -- in our view, there was to be
6 an unobtrusive reduction, which was not to garner bad publicity but at
7 the same time to create poor conditions in the enclave. So the fact that
8 showing each individual particular convoy that went through -- it's not
9 up to me to say where he's going, but it's not our case that no convoys
10 went through at any time, which appears to be what he's combatting.
11 JUDGE KWON: Further, I'm wondering whether this witness is an
12 appropriate one to deal with these global convoy issues.
13 Mr. Karadzic, I told you to come to the core issues of the case,
14 in particular the issues raised in his examination-in-chief, but still
15 you are insisting upon this line of question. The Chamber is not
16 interfering with your line of questioning or conduct of your
17 cross-examination, but bear that in mind. Your time is limited.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency. However, I
19 kindly ask that we move on.
20 First of all, the most dangerous accusation is contained in the
21 following: That for political or military reasons we were denying people
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic. Mr. Karadzic, it is not time for your
24 submission. Ask questions to the witness, please.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Can we have page 313 of
1 this -- of this.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Nikolic, let me ask you, when leaving Republika Srpska and
4 when entering Srebrenica, did your service check convoys?
5 A. Convoys were checked in detail when they would leave the enclave
6 of Srebrenica going to Zagreb, Belgrade, wherever they went. That was
7 our obligation on the basis of the order that we had received from the
8 corps command and the Main Staff. Other check-points checked them when
9 they were entering Karakaj from Serbia and elsewhere, when they were
10 entering the territory of Republika Srpska.
11 Q. Thank you. So at the bridge, you only conducted these
12 superficial checks or you did not check at all whatever had been checked
13 previously at Karakaj?
14 A. We did check all the convoys that were entering. Sometimes it
15 wasn't a detailed check, but sometimes when there were reinforced
16 measures of control, then these checks were detailed, although there had
17 been checks in Karakaj, although the police would escort them to the
18 Yellow Bridge. In this period that I have already mentioned, March,
19 April, May, June, the beginning of the operation, we had conducted
20 intensive checks of these convoys.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we get page 3 of this. We're
23 going to skip individual days, so three pages further ahead. 308 is the
24 last ERN number. One page further.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you agree that this is the State Committee for Cooperation
2 with the UN and international humanitarian organisations co-ordination
3 body for humanitarian operations, and do you agree that the date is the
4 22nd of June, and that it says from the 21st of June until the
5 30th of June, the following has been approved, and so on and so forth?
6 Is that right? This is a weekly approval; right?
7 A. I can only confirm what is written here. I cannot confirm
8 anything beyond that.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The next page is empty, so can we
11 have the one after that.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Underneath the UNHCR sign, is that a stamp of Republika Srpska,
14 "Co-ordination body for humanitarian aid," the 22nd of June, 1995, and
15 then it is specified what it was that was approved. And further down
16 there is the seal of Republika Srpska. You can see that at the bottom of
17 the page. Karakaj, Srebrenica, the 27th of June, what we looked at a
18 moment ago, and up there it's the 24th of June.
19 And then can we have the next page now.
20 The 23rd of June, Srebrenica, the Russian convoy. We've seen
21 that specification. Then the 24th from Srebrenica, the names of persons
22 who are drivers. And then the 27th of June. And further on, if we look
23 at the next page, we will see that it goes all the way to the 30th.
24 Is it correct, Mr. Nikolic, that at that time, this is basically
25 until the end of June, that these convoys did pass through as had been
1 approved by the co-ordination body? Did you stop them from getting
2 through, or did they actually manage to get to their destination?
3 A. I just feel it is necessary to say what really happened there,
4 and that is the following: These separate permits that you presented to
5 me, I mean, drivers on one list, cargos on the other list, I did not
6 receive that in my brigade. And I don't know what it was like at this
7 top level, at the level of the co-ordination body, how they communicated
8 amongst themselves and how they reached agreement and how they came to
9 final solutions.
10 As for yellow -- as for the Yellow Bridge, as for my brigade, the
11 Bratunac Brigade, we would get a permit where it said which is this
12 convoy that has been approved when this entry has been allowed, for when,
13 rather, and then there is a specific list of the content of the truck.
14 So this is a complete document, including their -- the personnel bringing
15 in these goods, the numbers of their IDs, and the cargos that are being
16 brought in. That is the kind of complete document that I would receive.
17 So now you've created a bit of confusion in my mind. That is the
18 kind of document that I used to see, whereas what you've shown me is how
19 this happens gradually, how this final approval is created, if you will.
20 So what we used to receive was what I told you about a moment ago. Once
21 we received all of that, then we have all this information from that
22 approval and we see what it is that is supposed to enter, and then we act
23 in accordance with orders.
24 I have already told you, for us, it was this approval that was
25 binding except in situations when in addition to a written approval, we
1 do not get oral orders stating that we should look more carefully or why
2 we should say, Wait a moment. You cannot enter yet. And then they would
3 wait. So this was the general course of action that was taken for all
4 who entered Srebrenica or left Srebrenica.
5 Q. Thank you. In Cyrillic we see what it says at the top of the
6 page and we also see the date.
7 JUDGE KWON: I tried to be very patient, but this is another
8 example of wasting your time, Mr. Karadzic. All the witness can do is
9 confirm what is written in this document.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have the next
11 page of the document so that it is clearer. I am asking the witness the
12 following: This shows that it has been approved, and I'm asking whether
13 anyone stopped that from happening at the Yellow Bridge, or was all of
14 this that has been approved actually brought in.
15 JUDGE KWON: You heard the submission of Mr. Nicholls. He can
16 repeat. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I was just going to make an objection,
18 Your Honour. That's a question that has been asked and answered over and
19 over again, where the witness stated, We followed the approvals we
20 received from the Main Staff through the Drina Corps to my brigade, and
21 we followed them unless we received an oral order to the contrary. So
22 the question has been answered more than once.
23 JUDGE KWON: And, Mr. Nicholls, I take it that
24 General Milovanovic is coming as your witness.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Who is the author of the clearance documents we saw
2 earlier on.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Very, very many of them bear his signature,
4 Your Honour.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I told you many times to prioritise
7 your questions, and even allowing you some extension, I told you to come
8 to the issues.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. All right. If
10 General Milovanovic is really going to come, but I have no assurance to
11 the effect that they might give up on this altogether as they have done
12 before, so I was afraid that this would be my last opportunity. But
13 let's go on.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Nikolic, do you know, do you agree that at that point in
16 time, say, on the 4th and on the 7th of July, 1995, large groups left
17 Srebrenica to reconnoiter and to carry out terrorist operations against
18 our population and that they even charted the course that they would take
19 during their withdrawal on the 11th and 12th? Were you aware of these
20 departures of theirs?
21 A. The 4th and 7th of July, 1995?
22 Q. We are in 1995 now throughout.
23 A. I am not aware of any exits on the 4th or 7th of July, because
24 the operation started on the 6th, and absolutely this is the first time
25 that I hear this kind of information, that they got out on the
1 4th and 7th of July and carried out various actions, operations. This is
2 the first time I hear this.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Maybe this document has already
8 been admitted on some occasion.
9 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat the number, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D5083. Can we zoom in for the
11 benefit of the witness. I don't know if the translation is done. I'm
12 expecting an answer from Ram.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Anyway, do you agree that this is a document dated the
15 4th of July, 1995, and it's a report sent to the command of the
16 283rd Light East Bosnian Brigade. Just take a look at what they did and
17 where they were. The task of the group was to secure the road between
18 Jelenca, Ljeskovik, and so on and so forth, and two other groups
19 continued moving along Bijela Voda, Ljeskovik, and so on. Could you
20 please take a look at this. And it says there were 32 soldiers in one
21 group and there were 18 soldiers from their group. They rested for
22 two hours and then went towards Zeleni Jadar. They killed some men on an
23 APC. I think that you confirmed that earlier on.
24 A. This is the first time I see this report, and really, now, I
25 mean, you've given me a countless amount of information. I really should
1 take a proper look at this. I mean, let me just take a look. This is a
2 report of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 283rd Brigade. I don't
3 know, really. Really. I don't know about these events. I don't know.
4 I have never heard of these activities specifically, especially not the
5 7th of July, 1995.
6 And they refer to Ljeskovik and these other villages. In order
7 to get to Ljeskovik, they have to leave the enclave, and they have to go
8 deep into territory that is not under their control -- or, rather,
9 through territory that is not under their control. So believe me, I
10 don't know. I cannot give any comment with regard to this report because
11 this is the first time I see it, and I'm unaware of all of these things
12 having happened.
13 Q. Have you heard of Memiseva Vodenica [phoen], and do you know that
14 that is when they killed some of our men in an ambush? Take a look at
16 "When we arrived at Sinan's house near Osmace, a TAM van came.
17 They killed some people, stole some things."
18 Have you heard of that?
19 A. I heard about their sabotage activities and an ambush they laid
20 for a lorry, but this was a police lorry. There were 10 or 11 policemen
21 involved, I believe, but that incident did not occur on this date. I
22 heard about that incident, but not that it occurred on the date that
23 you're referring to. That's my problem. The incident itself is not
24 problematic for me. The problem is that I can't relate this to the
25 report that you are showing me and to the date the 7th of July.
1 Q. The 4th of July?
2 A. It doesn't make any difference whether it's the 4th or the 7th.
3 I can't make such a link.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, one, the witness has made it clear he can't
6 comment on the document. Two, I can't read it, but if the document says
7 some Muslim soldiers killed somebody and stole some things, what's the
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Before that, Mr. Nikolic, does this
10 document refer to event on 7th of July?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The 4th of July, Your Honour. I
12 don't know whom you put the question, Your Honour. It's the 4th of July.
13 It was an action taken just before our action. And four soldiers were
14 killed here, not 11 policemen. We had 11 policemen earlier on. It's the
15 4th of July, and four soldiers were killed in a van in the depth of our
16 territory. The witness said this himself. If that's where they were,
17 that was in the depth of our territory.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can tell you for certain, and
19 I'm sure about this, is that the soldiers who were killed weren't killed
20 in the area of responsibility of my brigade. That's what I know for
21 certain. And if soldiers were killed, they weren't from my brigade,
22 because I know for certain that during that period of time there were no
23 soldiers killed from my brigade. If you show me the names of the
24 individuals concerned, perhaps that would refresh my memory, but I doubt
25 that I would forget such a thing, regardless of when it took place.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This is a Muslim document. There's no doubt about that. Isn't
3 that correct? You can have a look at the last page to see the signature
4 and the stamp.
5 Do you know Seval Smajlovic?
6 A. No. I had no information about Seval. I don't know who this
7 person is. This is the first time I've seen the document and his
8 signature. I know who the Chief of Staff was, I know about him, but I
9 know nothing about this man here. So whether this is a Muslim document
10 or not, well, when I look at the stamp, I would say so, but I can't
11 confirm whether this is an original document or not. That's not a
12 question you can put to me.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe that you will not admit
14 this document into evidence through this witness; isn't that correct?
15 JUDGE KWON: Correct, Mr. Karadzic. We will not admit this.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] After it's been uploaded, could we
17 see the document dated the 7th of July, 1995, and a report from the
18 command of the 28th Division to the 2nd Corps. This has to do about the
19 reconnaissance they carried out along the line they would use to withdraw
20 four days later.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Just while we have a quiet moment, at the very
23 end, Your Honours, I would like to make a very brief submission. It will
24 only take a couple of minutes.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If that's the case -- well, it will
2 be uploaded tomorrow, and I hope the translation will also be available.
3 In fact, it's been uploaded, but we're waiting for this to be officially
4 done. If that is the situation, then we could give this time to
5 Mr. Nicholls. Tomorrow we will be better equipped to examine this.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
7 Mr. Nicholls, shall we excuse the witness?
8 MR. NICHOLLS: [Microphone not activated] That's fine,
9 Your Honour. I don't think it matters much, but that's fine, yes.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nicholls, yes.
11 JUDGE KWON: Microphone.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry. Yes. That would be fine, Your Honour. It
13 won't take long.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: And would I ask to go into private session,
17 JUDGE KWON: All right. Then I would like Mr. Nikolic to be
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: We continue tomorrow morning, Mr. Nikolic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE KWON: Could the Chamber move into private session.
24 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE KWON: Tomorrow, Mr. Karadzic, you will have two hours and
21 50 minutes.
22 THE ACCUSED: Three hours -- I heard you the three hours and a
23 half --
24 JUDGE KWON: From then. So tomorrow you --
25 THE ACCUSED: I spent half an hour after you told me --
1 JUDGE KWON: Forty-five minutes, Mr. Karadzic, 40 minutes.
2 The hearing is adjourned.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.59 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day
5 of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.