Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 13206

 1                           Monday, 24 June 2013

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.48 a.m.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone in and around this

 6     courtroom.  Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.  This is case

 8     IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.

10             We have a late start due to technical and organisational

11     problems.  The Chamber was informed that both parties would like to raise

12     preliminary matters.  Mr. Groome?

13             MR. GROOME:  Good morning, Your Honours.  The first matter

14     relates to the witness Salapura who testified last week.  In particular,

15     65 ter 25979A, if you recall that is an excerpt from Djurdjevic's diary.

16     The Chamber had reserved P1590 for that exhibit but was awaiting for it

17     to be uploaded into e-court.  That has now been done.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Then P1590, no objections, Mr. Stojanovic?

19             MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  P1590 is admitted into evidence, no need to have it

21     under seal?

22             MR. GROOME:  No, Your Honour.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

24             MR. GROOME:  The second matter could I ask that we go into

25     private session for?

Page 13207

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  We move into private session.

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Page 13208











11 Pages 13208-13212 redacted. Private session.















Page 13213

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 5   (redacted)

 6                           [Open session]

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we are back in open session.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.

 9             The Defence wanted to raise an issue as well or was it the same

10     by any chance, Mr. Lukic?

11             MR. LUKIC:  It's not the same, Your Honour.  We just want to ask

12     you where do we stand with our submission regarding four-day week.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  I will tell you after I've conferred with my

14     colleagues.  There is still some information we asked for missing.  Just

15     to give you one example the latest report on the health of Mr. Mladic,

16     there were comments on the weight, the development on the weight of

17     Mr. Mladic.  We asked for a whole series of measurements.  We haven't

18     received that.  So we are busy with it and we'll try to deliver a

19     decision as soon as possible.

20             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Any other matter?  If not, then is the Prosecution

22     ready to call its next witness?

23             MS. HASAN:  Good morning, Your Honours.  Good morning, everyone.

24     Yes, we are ready to proceed.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to you as well, Ms. Hasan.  Could the

Page 13214

 1     witness be escorted into the courtroom.  No protective measures,

 2     Ms. Hasan?

 3             MS. HASAN:  No, Your Honour.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  No associated exhibits?

 5             MS. HASAN:  No associated exhibit.  However, this witness will

 6     require a Rule 90(E) caution.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

 8                           [The witness entered court]

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning, Mr. Acimovic.

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Before you give evidence --

12             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  -- the Rules require that you make a solemn

14     declaration of which the text will now be handed out to you by the usher.

15     May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

17     speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

18                           WITNESS:  SRECKO ACIMOVIC

19                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you please be seated.  Mr. Acimovic, before

21     you give your testimony, I'd like to bring to your attention that

22     witnesses, and that is therefore you at this moment, may object to making

23     any statement which might tend to incriminate that witness, so if one of

24     the answers would tend to incriminate yourself, then you may object to

25     answer that question.  We could then compel you to nevertheless answer

Page 13215

 1     the question, but testimony, if compelled in this way, shall not be used

 2     in -- as evidence in any subsequent prosecution against you, if there

 3     ever would be any, apart from any prosecution for giving false testimony.

 4     Is this clear to you?

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Then Ms. Hasan will now start her

 7     examination-in-chief.  You'll find Ms. Hasan to your right.  Ms. Hasan,

 8     you may proceed.

 9                           Examination by Ms. Hasan:

10        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Acimovic.  Could you please state your full

11     name for the record?

12        A.   My name is Srecko Acimovic.

13        Q.   Do you recall testifying in Popovic, in the Popovic case, in 2007

14     and in Tolimir in 2011?

15        A.   Yes, I do.

16        Q.   Have you recently had the opportunity to either listen or read

17     that testimony in those cases in a language that you understand?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   Do you recall in Tolimir requesting to add some information to

20     your Popovic testimony relating to a conversation you had with drivers

21     before you left Rocevic school?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Now, taking into account your Popovic testimony, as well as your

24     testimony in the Tolimir case, including this addition you made, if you

25     were asked about those same matters here today, would you provide the

Page 13216

 1     Chamber with the same evidence?

 2        A.   For the most part, yes.

 3        Q.   Now, now that you have taken the solemn declaration, do you

 4     affirm that the testimony that you gave in those cases was true and

 5     accurate, to the best of your recollection?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7             MS. HASAN:  Your Honours, I'd offer 65 ter 28991 which are the

 8     Popovic excerpts and 28992, the excerpts from the Tolimir case, into

 9     evidence.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic?

11             MR. LUKIC:  No objection, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Madam Registrar, we start with the Popovic excerpts.

13     65 ter 28991 receives number?

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, the number will be P1594.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  P1594 is admitted into evidence.  Second one,

16     excerpts of the Tolimir case, 28992.

17             THE REGISTRAR:  Receives number P1595, Your Honours.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  P1595 is admitted into evidence.  You may proceed,

19     Ms. Hasan.

20             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I just ask you, Ms. Hasan, is there any need

21     to put the second one under seal?  I see in the transcript that there was

22     information given by the witness in private session.  It relates to the

23     last lines of this excerpt.

24             MS. HASAN:  As I understand it, because that portion is in

25     private session, it probably should go under seal.  However, we can

Page 13217

 1     provide a public version as well.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but at this moment in order to protect most

 3     likely the names mentioned there, Madam Registrar, to start with, the

 4     Popovic transcript which is now P1595 -- let me see, 94 -- should be --

 5     one second, please.

 6                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  The Tolimir excerpts are P1595.  That should

 8     be provisionally under seal, mainly because of the last half page where

 9     the testimony is given in private session.

10             MS. HASAN:  Mr. President, I just note that in fact, the Popovic

11     testimony also has excepts that were given in private session, so both

12     would have to be --

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Then both should be under seal, P1594 and P1595, and

14     public versions should be prepared.

15             MS. HASAN:  Yes, Your Honour.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  You may proceed.

17             MS. HASAN:  Mr. President, I'll proceed with a brief summary of

18     the witness's prior evidence.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  You've explained the witness the purpose of it?

20             MS. HASAN:  Yes, I have.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed.

22             MS. HASAN:  Mr. Srecko Acimovic was born in the village of

23     Rocevic in the Zvornik municipality.  In July of 1995 he was commander of

24     the 2nd Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade and he held the rank of reserve

25     lieutenant.  In the days following the fall of Srebrenica, Mr. Acimovic

Page 13218

 1     learned that Muslim prisoners were killed in front of the elementary

 2     school in Rocevic and that a Serb woman had been injured.  That evening,

 3     Mr. Acimovic went to the school and noticed soldiers who appeared to be

 4     under the influence of alcohol.  He testified that he did not see the

 5     prisoners but heard them shouting from the gym, pleading for water and to

 6     use the bathroom.  Mr. Acimovic asked the soldiers present there where

 7     the prisoners had come from and who brought them there, but the soldiers

 8     did not answer and denied him permission to speak to their commanding

 9     officer.

10             After half an hour, the witness left the school and from Kozluk,

11     he called the Zvornik Brigade, seeking to speak to the Zvornik Brigade

12     commander, Vinko Pandurevic, or the Chief of Staff, Dragan Obrenovic.  He

13     was told that neither of them was present but was put on the line with

14     Vujadin Popovic, the assistant commander for intelligence and security of

15     the Drina Corps, who had just then arrived at the brigade headquarters.

16             Popovic told the witness that the prisoners would be exchanged

17     the following morning.  Acimovic then returned to the school and

18     testified that he tried to persuade the soldiers to provide them water

19     and give them access to a bathroom.  Eventually, Mr. Acimovic said the

20     soldiers agreed.  He returned to the battalion command where he informed

21     his associates about the situation in Rocevic.

22             Between 1.00 and 2.00 a.m. the next morning, Mr. Acimovic

23     received a coded telegram ordering the detachment of a platoon of

24     soldiers for the execution of the prisoners at the Rocevic school.

25     Mr. Acimovic refused and testified that he sent a response to that

Page 13219

 1     effect.  Shortly thereafter, Mr. Acimovic received another telegram

 2     containing the same order and instructing him to inform his company

 3     commanders and the battalion command of the order.  Another response

 4     setting out his refusal was sent.

 5             Shortly thereafter, Drago Nikolic contacted Mr. Acimovic by phone

 6     and told him that the order had come from above and had to be followed.

 7     Nikolic give the witness until 7 a.m. to comply.  Between 7.00 and 8.00

 8     Nikolic gave -- Nikolic contacted Mr. Acimovic to check about whether the

 9     order had been complied with.  The witness again told him he would not

10     comply.

11             Nikolic instructed Acimovic to meet him at Rocevic at 9.00 or

12     10.00 a.m. in the morning.  Mr. Acimovic again tried contacting the

13     Chief of Staff of the Zvornik Brigade without avail and then went to

14     Rocevic school where he saw many unknown people and soldiers and at least

15     a dozen corpses in the schoolyard.  Vujadin Popovic was at the school and

16     instructed the witness to see whether there was anyone in the schoolyard

17     willing to take part in the executions.  Acimovic testified that he

18     refused and suggested to Popovic that the prisoners should be returned to

19     where they came from or taken to the barracks in Kozluk.

20             Popovic called the brigade duty officer and requested that they

21     urgently send vehicles to Rocevic.  Between 11.30 and 12.15 the witness

22     returned to the 2nd Battalion headquarters leaving other members of his

23     battalion behind at the Rocevic school.

24             That concludes the summary.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Ms. Hasan.  If you have any further

Page 13220

 1     questions you may put them to the witness.

 2             MS. HASAN:

 3        Q.   Witness, in your Popovic testimony, you relate that the president

 4     of the local commune, as well as the priest, told you that while the

 5     prisoners were at the school -- sorry, that prisoners were being killed

 6     at the school and that a local woman from Rocevic had been hit with a

 7     bullet and injured.  Do you recall that?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Could you tell us what type of injury she sustained?

10        A.   I think it was the right or the left arm, a gunshot injury from

11     infantry type weapon.  In the forearm, I believe.  I never had any

12     contact with her but I later found out details about the case.  All the

13     information I received about her I received from the priest and the

14     president of the municipality -- of the local commune, sorry.

15        Q.   Who was the source of that gunshot?  What was the source?  Where

16     did it come from?

17        A.   I suppose that the soldiers who guarded the prisoners, soldiers

18     whom I didn't know, and I've already mentioned that I had seen several

19     corpses outside the school toilets, I suppose that when they were killing

20     those prisoners, they were firing in the direction of the woman's house,

21     so one of the bullets directed at the prisoners found her and hit her in

22     the arm during the shooting in the school.  That is how it was described

23     to me.

24        Q.   And just to be clear, do you know whether or not she was inside

25     her house at that time?

Page 13221

 1        A.   She was outside the house, doing some everyday work.

 2        Q.   How far, approximately, was her house from the Rocevic school?

 3        A.   As the crow flies, I believe some 150 to 200 metres.

 4        Q.   Now, after going to the school on the first day, so after about

 5     8.00 and 9.00 p.m., you then left and went to Kozluk, to your former

 6     logistics unit, where you spoke to the duty operations officer of the

 7     Zvornik Brigade and you've previously testified that was sometime between

 8     8.30 and 9.30 p.m.  Can you tell me how long approximately your

 9     conversation with the duty operations officer lasted?

10        A.   I said I'm not sure about the time interval.  I said I got to

11     meet the prisoners at the Rocevic school and the gym sometime around that

12     time, but I believe that it was after 9.00 when I got in touch with the

13     duty officer of the Zvornik Brigade.  It was after 2100 hours.

14        Q.   Okay.  Just a couple of things.  When you say you got to meet the

15     prisoners at the Rocevic school, what do you mean by that?

16        A.   I was not aware of those prisoners at all until the president of

17     the local commune and the priest had come to my parents' house where

18     I was staying briefly on leave to take care of some personal business,

19     namely to have a bath and return to my unit immediately.  While I was

20     staying with my parents they came to see me, and they had already been to

21     Malisce to look for me, and when they didn't find me there they came to

22     my parents' house and told me about what was going on.  First of all,

23     they asked me if I had any information about these prisoners, I said no,

24     and then they told me what was going on in the school.

25        Q.   Okay.  Now we have your evidence on what you were told.  So am I

Page 13222

 1     correct then, after you spoke to the duty operations officer from Kozluk

 2     that you were put on the line with Vujadin Popovic?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   And he informed you that the prisoners were to be exchanged the

 5     following day; is that correct?

 6        A.   I was looking for some answers, and I told him what was going on

 7     at Rocevic.  He told me not to make a drama of it, that these prisoners

 8     would be exchanged the next day and that somebody is taking care of it.

 9        Q.   Did he tell you who that somebody was?

10        A.   I suppose he meant the unit that was in the schoolyard guarding

11     the prisoners in the gym.

12        Q.   Now, once you learned that from Mr. Popovic, did you -- you went

13     back to Rocevic school.  Upon your arrival there, did you inform the

14     prisoners that they were going to be exchanged?

15        A.   No.  I did not have any contact with the prisoners.  My intention

16     was to inform the president of the local commune and the priest that

17     these prisoners would be taken the next day to be exchanged, to defuse

18     the panic prevailing in the locality around the events in the schoolyard.

19        Q.   Now, Witness, when Lieutenant-Colonel Vujadin Popovic told you

20     this, were you aware that that same afternoon there were prisoners,

21     Muslim prisoners, being executed in the 4th Battalion area, in the

22     Orahovac area, that afternoon?  Were you aware of that?

23        A.   At that time, I had no information whatsoever concerning any

24     prisoners in the area of the Zvornik Brigade.  I've just told you that

25     I found out about the prisoners at Rocevic only.

Page 13223

 1        Q.   All right.  Now, you've previously testified about two telegrams

 2     that you received concerning those prisoners at the Rocevic school.  Can

 3     you tell us, as best as you can remember today, exactly what those

 4     telegrams stated, in particular start -- if you could start with the

 5     first one and then tell us what the second one said?

 6        A.   When the first telegram arrived at my battalion command, I

 7     believe it was 1.00 a.m., I was asleep.  And when the telegram arrived,

 8     my assistants woke me up to tell me about it.

 9        Q.   Okay.  And can you tell us, as best as you can remember today,

10     what the telegram stated?

11        A.   The telegram was in code, and my assistants had decrypted it.

12     The telegram required us to provide a platoon of soldiers, who would be

13     used to execute the prisoners.

14        Q.   All right.  And can you tell us now about the second telegram

15     that you received?  What did that telegram state, as best as you can

16     remember?

17        A.   Since we had responded with a telegram refusing that original

18     instruction, the customary practice was to send a dispatch saying

19     familiarise company commanders with the content of the telegram as well.

20     And of course they were telling us again to carry out the order.

21        Q.   And when you say "carry out the order," which order are you

22     referring to?

23        A.   To provide that platoon of soldiers for that purpose.

24        Q.   So, Mr. Acimovic, did you take both the first telegram and the

25     second telegram, were those both orders?

Page 13224

 1        A.   Yes.

 2             MS. HASAN:  Mr. President, I note the time.  This may be a good

 3     time for the break.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, we started a bit later so therefore we might

 5     continue for a while.  Could I also, Ms. Hasan, I would say anything

 6     between 50 and 70 per cent of your questions are fully covered by the

 7     92 ter statement or 92 ter testimony.  Of course, the purpose is to

 8     elicit any further evidence from the witness in addition to and not to

 9     repeat it.  Could I remind you of that purpose.

10             MS. HASAN:  Thank you, Mr. President.

11        Q.   Witness, those orders that you received, can you tell us where

12     they came from, who sent them?

13        A.   They came, I suppose, from the Zvornik Brigade, or they were sent

14     by the duty operations officer or the assistant commander for security,

15     Drago Nikolic.

16        Q.   And can you tell us where you sent your responses to?  Your

17     responses to those telegrams, where did you send them?

18        A.   To the address from which it was received, but that was the job

19     of the signals unit.

20        Q.   Now, Witness, right after you received the second telegram, you

21     communicated with Drago Nikolic.  Do you remember your conversation?

22        A.   I have to correct you on one point.  It was Drago Nikolic who

23     contacted me, not the other way around.

24        Q.   Okay.  And during the course of that communication you had with

25     him, you've previously testified that he said you had to comply because

Page 13225

 1     "the order had come from above."  Do you recall those words?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   What did you understand that to mean?

 4        A.   I understood that the order had come from the command of the

 5     Main Staff.

 6        Q.   Now, Witness, the telegrams that you received, how did you

 7     receive them, via what communication channels?

 8        A.   I've emphasised already that when we received the first telegram,

 9     I was not present, I was asleep, so my assistants, who were at that time

10     in the room of the duty officer at the battalion command, were the ones

11     who received that first telegram.  In the time it took me to wake up and

12     get up, the telegram had already been encrypted and was lying on my desk,

13     and that's the first time I read it.  And much, much later, I talked to

14     them to find out how the telegram had arrived, and they told me it must

15     have arrived through the usual channels, that means the signals unit, but

16     I cannot maintain anything with any certainty because I was not there

17     when the telegram was received.  My assistants and associates received

18     it.

19        Q.   Did you have secure military lines at your battalion command

20     through which such a telegram could come through or would that have come

21     through another channel available to you?

22        A.   Yes.  A telegram can come through wire communications, which is a

23     secure lines, which connected the Zvornik Brigade with all its

24     subordinate units, or through radio communications, or it can be brought

25     by a messenger.

Page 13226

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I seek one clarification?  You are, on the

 2     transcript, recorded as having said:

 3             "In the time it took me to wake up and get up, the telegram had

 4     already been encrypted and was lying on my desk ..."

 5             May I take it that you wanted to say that it was decrypted?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was decrypted, yes.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Ms. Hasan.

 8             MS. HASAN:

 9        Q.   And, Witness, can you tell us that decryption would typically be

10     undertaken by whom?

11        A.   In view of the fact that the telegram was confidential, it would

12     be done by the duty officer at the battalion command.

13        Q.   How would he go about doing that?  What did he have at his

14     disposal to assist him in decrypting the telegram?

15        A.   The duties officer had at his disposal a brochure entitled,

16     "Phrase book" or "code-book," and using that, you would be able to

17     decrypt all types of telegrams.

18        Q.   Okay.  Now, when you received both the first and the second

19     telegram, were -- you've told us that you were sleeping at the battalion

20     command during the first one.  Where were you when the second one was

21     received?

22        A.   The second one came shortly after, 35 to 40 minutes later.  I was

23     still there with my associates in the room of the duty officer, and we

24     were standing there in shock over the order received by telegram, and as

25     I said very shortly after we received the second telegram, which stressed

Page 13227

 1     that the order had to be carried out and that the content of the first

 2     telegram should be notified to company commanders.

 3        Q.   So was the second telegram you received also encrypted and did

 4     you see the duty officer decrypt that one?

 5        A.   You see, I really can't remember now and I can't say anything

 6     with any certainty.  But it's possible that the second telegram only

 7     stated that the order, number such and such, had to be carried out, and

 8     that the contents of the first telegram must be notified to company

 9     commanders.  So there is a possibility that the second telegram repeated

10     the instructions given in the first one.

11        Q.   Do you recall when you then went to Rocevic school on the second

12     day you were there speaking to Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic and making a

13     proposal about where the prisoners should be taken to?  Do you recall

14     that conversation?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Now, you had proposed that they be taken back to where they came

17     from or to the barracks in Kozluk.  Are the Kozluk barracks near to any

18     factory of any sort?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   What factory is that?

21        A.   The factory of mineral water, Viting.

22        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Acimovic, the prisoners that were held at the Rocevic

23     school, can you tell us where they were ultimately transported to?

24        A.   At the time when the transport began, I was not at the Rocevic

25     school.  I was in my unit.  But from what I learned later, those

Page 13228

 1     prisoners were taken to a locality not far from the Standard barracks at

 2     Kozluk, where they were executed on the bank of the Drina River.

 3        Q.   Sir, I don't know if it's recorded here on the transcript

 4     incorrectly, but you mentioned the mineral water factory.  Was that

 5     called "Viting" or "Vitinka"?  Do you recall?

 6        A.   Vitinka.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Ms. Hasan, if you find such a sign on the

 8     transcript, it means that the transcription department will verify

 9     whether it's correctly or still have to verify whether it's exactly what

10     was said.  So they will do that on the basis of the audio anyhow.  Please

11     proceed.

12             MS. HASAN:  I have nothing further, Mr. President.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Ms. Hasan.

14             Then I think it would be best to take the break now and that we

15     start the cross-examination after the break.

16             We take a break of 20 minutes, Witness.  You may follow the

17     usher.

18                           [The witness stands down]

19             JUDGE ORIE:  We will take a break and resume at five minutes past

20     11.00.

21                           --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.

22                           --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

24                           [The witness takes the stand]

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Please be seated, Witness.

Page 13229

 1             Mr. Acimovic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Lukic.

 2     Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.  You'll find him to your left.

 3                           Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:

 4        Q.   [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Acimovic.

 5        A.   Good morning.

 6        Q.   Judge Orie has already introduced me so I won't repeat that

 7     information.  Since we speak the same language, we'll have to pause.  And

 8     I believe you've already encountered that situation.

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Tell us where you served your regular military term?

11        A.   In Zagreb.

12        Q.   What service did you serve with?

13        A.   It was a vehicle unit, and we provided our services to the

14     military academy at Cernomerec.

15        Q.   Serving your military term there did not make you a reserve

16     officer; correct?

17        A.   No.  No, it did not make me.

18        Q.   You received your rank during the war?

19        A.   By decree of President Karadzic.

20        Q.   Let me ask you something specific:  Rocevic was not in the area

21     of responsibility of your battalion; correct?

22        A.   It was not.

23        Q.   Who issued the order for combat use of your 2nd Battalion to you?

24        A.   Which task do you have in mind?

25        Q.   In the course of those few days, starting with, say, the 11th or

Page 13230

 1     the 12th of July, where was your unit deployed, where were you assigned

 2     to?

 3        A.   We were deployed as follows:  The command of the battalion was in

 4     Malicic [phoen] village and immediately in front of it was Vitinica

 5     village and Seljacka Rijeka on the left-hand side.  To the right there

 6     was Androvicka Rijeka [phoen] up to Boskovici village.

 7        Q.   And what was your task there?

 8        A.   The task of my unit was purely defensive.  The infantry -- it was

 9     the infantry battalion with its assigned defence area, in the specific

10     location I designated.  We were tasked with keeping positions there.

11        Q.   At some point, was the area of the battalion moved?

12        A.   Yes.  It happened precisely in the course of the few days when

13     the Srebrenica operation was underway.  We moved two infantry companies

14     in front of the Serb villages of Odzacina and Vitinica, in order to have

15     a better tactical position.

16        Q.   In the course of that movement did you fortify, in engineering

17     terms, your positions?

18        A.   Not fully because it was a very forbidding terrain where we did

19     not have sufficient material to secure complete fortification, in

20     engineering terms.  We worked on it daily.

21        Q.   Did your battalion see any fighting in that area?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   Let us try and ascertain the sequence of events that you

24     mentioned, just so that it is clear to me in terms of how things

25     happened.  Let's start with the first telegram.  So the first telegram

Page 13231

 1     arrived and then you responded to it?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Then the second one came?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   You responded to that one as well?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   What followed was consultation with the company commanders and

 8     their deputies?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Did you receive Drago Nikolic's phone call after all of that?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   And on the next day, you met with Popovic; correct?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   A few days later, there was a meeting of the brigade command and

15     battalion commanders?

16        A.   I'm not sure within what time it happened, when we had that first

17     meeting at the brigade command.  I cannot say anything for certain.

18        Q.   That is exactly how I found it in your statements and that is why

19     I said in the course of several days.

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Let me ask you something about the school in Rocevic.  Did you

22     know at the time who were the armed people guarding the prisoners at the

23     Rocevic school?

24        A.   I didn't know at the time but later I learned that they were

25     soldiers from Bratunac or some members may even have been from Visegrad.

Page 13232

 1        Q.   Is it correct that they did not even want to talk to you when you

 2     addressed them?

 3        A.   Yes, because I suppose they didn't know me, and that is why I was

 4     not their superior officer, and I couldn't issue any tasks to them or

 5     talk to them.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  When you addressed them, you seemed to have spoken

 7     with an officer at the Zvornik Brigade; correct?

 8        A.   When do you mean exactly?

 9        Q.   When you visited the people in Rocevic, and then you talked to

10     someone from the Zvornik Brigade?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   And the officer told you that he believed that he was convinced

13     that the prisoners would be exchanged; correct?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Did you believe it?  Was it your impression as well at that time

16     that the people would be exchanged?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   After that, to the best of your recollection, you got

19     Vujadin Popovic on the line; correct?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   He was in the command of the Zvornik Brigade at the moment?

22        A.   With the duty officer.  I have to say that the information on

23     exchange was provided by Popovic and not the duty officer.

24        Q.   After that, you conveyed that message to the local priest and the

25     local commune president, that the people would be exchanged?

Page 13233

 1        A.   It was a relief to hear that, when I was told that the prisoners

 2     would be transported and exchanged, and that is why I felt the need to

 3     inform the president of the local commune and the priest.  I told them

 4     that the next day, during the day, the prisoners were to be exchanged.

 5     Pardon me.

 6        Q.   Thank you.  Then, together with the local commune president, in

 7     Rocevic itself, you urged that the people be provided with water;

 8     correct?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Were they given water?

11        A.   Finally, after a conversation and trying to persuade the

12     soldiers, they finally agreed to give the prisoners water and to give

13     them some kind of bowls or vessels that could be used for their needs,

14     for the needs of the prisoners who were detained in the gym.

15        Q.   Thank you.  The following topic I want to discuss is the

16     functioning of your battalion's command.  At the command of your

17     battalion, there was always a duty officer; correct?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   The duty operations officer was in charge of receiving and

20     sending messages on behalf of the battalion, so to both receive and send

21     messages; correct?

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   The duty operations officer made entries into the logbook with

24     regard to all important information received during his shift?

25        A.   Either in the logbook or in certain notebooks, but in any case,

Page 13234

 1     I agree with what you say.

 2        Q.   So we can say then that the duty operations officer is a link,

 3     liaison, between your brigade and the Zvornik Battalion?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5             MR. LUKIC:  I think we got wrong -- it's Zvornik Brigade and

 6     2nd Battalion.

 7        Q.   [Interpretation] Also, the duty operations officer is also a link

 8     between your battalion and the companies under your command; correct?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   If a telegram was received at the battalion, under the rules,

11     would it have been necessarily recorded in the logbook kept by the duty

12     operations officer?

13        A.   All telegrams, I suppose, which arrived at the battalion through

14     the telephone switchboard and the communications department should be

15     recorded into the telegram book, which is kept at the battalion command.

16        Q.   Is it correct that such telegrams were immediately registered

17     upon arrival?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   We'll return to the topic of telegrams, but let me ask you

20     something else first so as to gain a better understanding of certain

21     events pertaining to mid-July 1995.  I know that it isn't simple to

22     recall dates and events from this point, but according to some documents,

23     it was ascertained that the detainees arrived in Rocevic as late as the

24     14th of July, 1995.

25        A.   Yes, that is not in dispute.

Page 13235

 1        Q.   Vujo Lazarevic and Mitar Lazarevic were present at the command

 2     when according to you the telegrams arrived and when you sent responses?

 3        A.   Yes.  I remember the two of them but it's possible that they were

 4     not alone there at the moment.  It's possible that some others were there

 5     too, some of my other closer associates, but I can recall now only the

 6     two of them.

 7        Q.   So you informed them about all of this, about the receipt of the

 8     telegrams, and you discussed it all?

 9        A.   First of all, it was they who informed me, not the other way

10     around.  They were informed of everything concerning these telegrams.

11        Q.   You told them also about going to Rocevic with the president of

12     the local commune and the priest?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   With the president of the local commune and the priest, if you

15     can remember, you were at the school at Rocevic the same day when the

16     prisoners were brought?

17        A.   That evening.

18        Q.   In what way did Vujo Lazarevic and Mitar Lazarevic participate in

19     your exchange with company commanders?

20        A.   I've already said they were in the same room, the duty officer's

21     room, where I was sitting and where the telegrams were received.  We were

22     in a house at Malisce that was commandeered for the needs of the

23     battalion and we didn't have much room, so we went about our duties as a

24     battalion command doing everything in one large room in that house so

25     they were able to see and hear everything concerning the telegrams.

Page 13236

 1        Q.   I suppose they were also aware, then, of the second telegram and

 2     your second reply?

 3        A.   I suppose they should remember it.

 4        Q.   Did you inform them about the telephone calls from Drago Nikolic?

 5        A.   They were sitting next to me as I was talking to Drago Nikolic so

 6     there was no need to inform them, because they were able to hear my side

 7     of the conversation.

 8        Q.   I said we would go back to the telegram.  Today, do you know or

 9     do you have in your possession, the first or the second telegram?

10        A.   No, I never kept either telegram, nor do I know what happened

11     with them after I'd read them.  We were not particularly concerned about

12     the fate of that piece of paper or its archiving.

13        Q.   Did you hold the telegram in your hands?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   Would you agree with me that the telegram was not registered

16     anywhere in your battalion?

17        A.   I cannot say either yes or no, because I never made any

18     inquiries, nor was it my duty to do any filing, registration or keeping

19     records.

20        Q.   Since you were asked in the Popovic case about this, did you try,

21     after that testimony or before this one, to find out whether the telegram

22     had been preserved somewhere?

23        A.   First of all, I did not do any investigative work after the first

24     time I gave evidence in the Srebrenica case, because I was told I am not

25     allowed to discuss it with anyone, so I did not do anything about it.

Page 13237

 1     I didn't speak to anyone.  I don't know exactly what you're driving at.

 2        Q.   Did you try to locate the telegram and see whether it was

 3     recorded somewhere?

 4        A.   First of all, I had no need to locate the telegram.  I had no

 5     need to investigate whether it was recorded anywhere.  It was not my job.

 6        Q.   You say you did not investigate.  Can you advise us where we

 7     could look for it, if we were interested?

 8        A.   They would probably have to be present at the archives of the

 9     brigade which is handled by the signals unit, unless on some specific

10     instruction somebody has removed the documentation concerning these

11     events.  Or perhaps we should take into account the possibility that if

12     the first telegram had arrived by messenger which is not impossible, then

13     I don't know where it would be recorded or filed or archived, a telegram

14     with that kind of text, but if -- if the telegram had indeed arrived to

15     the battalion command in that manner.

16        Q.   So did you have a messenger at that time?

17        A.   I don't understand the question.

18        Q.   At that time, did you have access to a messenger?

19        A.   From the brigade?

20        Q.   Battalion, brigade, whatever.

21        A.   No.  I never contacted a messenger.  If a messenger would bring

22     mail, then he would stay only as long as he needed to deliver it.  He

23     wouldn't stay or linger at the battalion command, and I have to emphasise

24     it's only a possibility that the first telegram arrived by messenger

25     because I was not the one who received the first one.

Page 13238

 1        Q.   What about the second telegram?  Did you receive that one?

 2        A.   I was present when we received the telegram through

 3     communications, through the signals unit at the battalion command.  That

 4     second telegram required us to proceed to execute the order.

 5        Q.   Were you at the battalion command or in the signals unit at that

 6     time?

 7        A.   At the battalion command.

 8        Q.   And the signals unit was about 40 metres away; right?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   So that time, too, you were not physically present when the

11     telegram was received because it was received at the signals unit?

12        A.   Yes, but the signals unit forwards the telegram to the duty

13     officer at the battalion command in the same way.

14        Q.   The duty officer that night was Mitar Lazarevic?

15        A.   That was not the duty operations officer.  He was at the

16     battalion -- he was at the brigade command.  In the battalion command we

17     simply called it duty officer.

18        Q.   At any rate --

19        A.   He was in charge of these activities; I suppose that's what you

20     want to hear.

21        Q.   I want to hear whether that evening, at the battalion, the duty

22     officer was Mitar Lazarevic?

23        A.   To the best of my recollection, it was Mitar Lazarevic but I

24     cannot say it with certainty.

25        Q.   Was it also his duty to register the telegram, to record it?

Page 13239

 1        A.   If he was the duty officer, then he's probably the one who

 2     archived the telegram, who filed it.

 3        Q.   You don't know whether that was done?

 4        A.   No.  I never looked into it.

 5        Q.   So, according to you, the first and the second telegram were both

 6     orders; correct?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   Do you recall whose signature was on them?

 9        A.   At that time I did see the signature, but with the passage of

10     time I forgot, and please don't misunderstand me, I had no intention ever

11     of concealing the name of that officer or the name of the duty officer.

12     That was common knowledge, so I had absolutely no need to withhold it,

13     but after all the questioning started, after so much time about who was

14     on duty at the brigade at the time or who had signed the telegram,

15     I couldn't remember because we focused on the content of the telegram,

16     which came as a shock to me and my co-workers, so we did not pay too much

17     attention to the signature.

18        Q.   All right.  And then you replied to the telegram?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   Well, to whom did you reply?

21        A.   That was the job of the signals unit, to send our reply to the

22     same address from which we received the telegram.  I told you, I did not

23     do these things myself.

24        Q.   You don't know to whom your reply was sent; is that correct?

25        A.   I've already said --

Page 13240

 1        Q.   You said, "I suppose," but do you know to whom it was sent?

 2        A.   I don't know for certain to whom my duty officer sent our reply.

 3        Q.   What is the role of the duty officer at the battalion regarding

 4     the sending of replies?

 5        A.   The duty officer was involved in the writing of our reply.  I've

 6     already said that they were my closest associates at the time, and

 7     I consulted these two associates about the whole thing.  We shared the

 8     same opinion.  I said we should refuse, and they supported me.  So they

 9     were personally involved in all of this.

10        Q.   Now, was the duty officer, Mitar Lazarevic, the one who sent the

11     telegram?  Technically, what was his role?

12        A.   He would call the signals unit and communicate to them the text

13     of the telegram that must be sent.  The signals unit, of course, calls

14     the brigade, et cetera.

15        Q.   And that reply should also be registered; right?

16        A.   I suppose so.

17        Q.   Let's refrain from supposing.

18        A.   Well, it should have been because all the telegrams, incoming and

19     outgoing, should be recorded.  There must be some trace of them at the

20     brigade command.

21        Q.   If it was not recorded, who would be the person who made the

22     decision not to record it?

23        A.   I really wouldn't like to go into these things in which I was not

24     involved.  I did not engage in such activities.  I was not privy to who

25     had what intentions at that moment, and who needed what.

Page 13241

 1        Q.   At any rate, it was not your decision, it was not your order, not

 2     to register that telegram?

 3        A.   Needless to say, we just followed the standard procedure.

 4        Q.   The duty officer at the battalion, was he able to decrypt a

 5     telegram himself or would he require the assistance of another officer at

 6     the battalion?

 7        A.   I believe every duty officer at the battalion command was trained

 8     to decrypt telegrams and specifically would have been able to decrypt

 9     that one and if he ever needed assistance, he was always able to call

10     somebody from the signals unit or ask somebody else for help, if he

11     couldn't do it himself.

12        Q.   How often did you receive telegrams?

13        A.   Every day.

14        Q.   Did you call the commander or his deputy in the Zvornik Brigade

15     to check if the telegrams were authentic as well as the orders they

16     contained?

17        A.   When I learned of the detainees being held at Rocevic, I tried to

18     get in touch with the brigade commander and the Chief of Staff, to tell

19     them what was going on in Rocevic, but the duty officer told me that they

20     were unavailable.  He said that Vinko Pandurevic, the brigade commander,

21     had not returned to the Zvornik Brigade and that Dragan Obrenovic, the

22     Chief of Staff, was not there.  I even insisted at any cost that they get

23     in touch with either one of them, and that they should call me back.

24        Q.   You failed, then?

25        A.   I didn't succeed that day or the next.

Page 13242

 1        Q.   Did you try again at a later stage, for example, during the

 2     meeting you had a few days later at the brigade command?

 3        A.   Pardon me.  We did not have an opportunity to discuss that topic

 4     at that time.  Different topics were discussed, although I can't recall

 5     them now.  I simply did not have occasion to open a discussion on that

 6     topic in front of all those people.

 7        Q.   You believed the order to be unlawful, as you say, and you

 8     refused to carry it out?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Did you try to get in touch with the command superior to the

11     command which issued the order to you?

12        A.   Given that I talked to one of the corps officers, I didn't, and

13     the question -- the person in question was Vujadin Popovic.  That was my

14     contact with a senior officer from the Zvornik Brigade superior command

15     because it was at corps level.

16        Q.   How did you inform him?

17        A.   What do you mean specifically?

18        Q.   Did you inform him about the two telegrams?

19        A.   I didn't discuss the two telegrams with him.  I talked to him

20     earlier, as I explained, when I informed him about the prisoners in

21     Rocevic village.

22        Q.   Did you inform the duty operations officer at the Zvornik Brigade

23     command about it?  Did you talk to anyone there about your intention to

24     refuse and whether you would carry it out or not?

25        A.   I had a conversation after the telegrams, perhaps an hour later,

Page 13243

 1     which may have been around 1.30 or 2.00 a.m.  I talked to Drago Nikolic.

 2     He called, following our refusal to carry out the order, that is to say,

 3     after we responded negatively by way of telegram.  It is then that he

 4     called me on a civilian line, which we had at the battalion command.

 5        Q.   Did the first telegram reach the companies and their commanders?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   How?

 8        A.   It was forwarded.  Since we received the second telegram, it was

 9     stated therein that the company commanders be acquainted with the

10     contents of the first telegram, and it is then that we forwarded the

11     contents of the first telegram to the company commanders.

12        Q.   By what means?

13        A.   Through the signals unit.

14        Q.   So when the second telegram arrived, you then forwarded the first

15     and the second together?

16        A.   Yes, I suppose so.

17        Q.   But you are not certain?  You don't know for sure?

18        A.   It was forwarded to them, although I don't know whether it was

19     done together or separately.  In any case, the company commanders were

20     informed of what our unit was requested to do.

21        Q.   Is it correct that those telegrams, too, had to be recorded in

22     the book of telegrams?

23        A.   I don't think company commanders had such registers in terms of

24     telegrams, and I have the company commanders in mind specifically.

25        Q.   It seems I didn't put my question correctly.  I wanted to ask you

Page 13244

 1     whether the telegram you sent to the companies had to be recorded at the

 2     battalion too, because it included both receipt and sending out of

 3     telegrams.

 4        A.   I'm not sure it was done within our unit, in terms of telegrams

 5     and information we sent from our unit.  That is to say inside the unit

 6     itself.  I'm not sure such documents were recorded.

 7        Q.   The second time you informed the Zvornik Brigade, you also did it

 8     by telegram; correct?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   And that telegram, too, ought to have been recorded; correct?

11        A.   I suppose so.

12        Q.   Under the rules, it should have been?

13        A.   I can agree on that score.

14        Q.   Do you know that that telegram, too, was not recorded?  We don't

15     have it.

16        A.   I don't know about it.  I didn't know it was not recorded in the

17     documents.

18        Q.   A moment ago, we discussed couriers.  On transcript page --

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the counsel kindly repeat the page

20     number.

21             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the Popovic case -- please bear

22     with me.  It is 1D1063.  Can we have it in e-court, please?

23             Can we see the page number so I can calculate which page number

24     we need in the e-court?  Can we enlarge this number, please?

25             JUDGE ORIE:  First is 13066.

Page 13245

 1             MR. LUKIC:  Then it's not that date.  I'll come back to this.

 2     Thank you.  I'm sorry.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Which date did you have in mind, Mr. Lukic?

 4             MR. LUKIC:  I have jotted down 22nd of June, but I need page

 5     13013.  So 13 is -- two 13s in one number cannot be good.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  It should be the 21st of June and that is 1D01062.

 7             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  And it should be approximately page 33, I would

 9     think, if you are --

10             MR. LUKIC:  Let's try that.  Thank you.  So can we have 1D01062

11     in the e-court, please?  Yes, thanks.  Thank you.

12        Q.   [Interpretation] This is your testimony in the Popovic case.

13        A.   I only have it in English.

14             MR. LUKIC:  But it's not the issue I want to explore.  I will

15     definitely have to come back to this later.  I need line 2 and it's not

16     the line I have.

17        Q.   [Interpretation] Let me ask you about it anyway.  It is my

18     mistake.  I apologise.  Some numbers got mixed up.  Is it correct that at

19     that moment, you could not get through to the Zvornik Brigade command,

20     neither by radio or courier -- nor courier?

21        A.   I'm not sure what time you are talking about.

22        Q.   We are discussing the moment when you received the telegram.

23     Could you get in touch by way of radio or courier with the

24     Zvornik Brigade command?

25        A.   I told you we had an open line, which worked.  It was not cut

Page 13246

 1     off.  I could get in touch with the duty operations officer.

 2        Q.   Let me reformulate.  Did you have any radio communication at the

 3     time?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   Could you get in touch with them by way of a courier?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7             JUDGE MOLOTO:  "In touch with them," whom, Mr. Lukic?

 8             MR. LUKIC:  With command of the Zvornik Brigade.

 9        Q.   [Interpretation] Very well.  Let me ask you this.  In your

10     battalion, what device, what piece of equipment, was used to receive

11     telegrams?

12        A.   I stress yet again that the contents of the first telegram --

13     well, I wasn't there when it was received, and accordingly, I cannot say

14     how the telegram reached my command.  As for the second telegram, I was

15     present.  It was received by the signals unit through the switchboard, by

16     wire.  We had wire communication with the brigade.

17        Q.   My question was more general in nature, but thank you anyhow.

18     Perhaps it was put inexpertly.  Do you know which device was used by your

19     battalion, a technical device, used to receive all telegrams?

20        A.   You mean what kind of switchboard?

21        Q.   Yes.

22        A.   Well, I'm not a signals man, but -- and I can't say for sure.  I

23     don't know what type of switchboard it was and what was its designation.

24     I never took an interest.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic, could I ask to you clarify the following?

Page 13247

 1     The witness just said that documents, or they could use a courier to

 2     transfer information.  Earlier the discussion was about messengers.  What

 3     exactly -- because messengers were not there, couriers were there.

 4     That's at least the testimony.  Could you clarify with the witness what

 5     exactly the difference is between a messenger and a courier?

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   You heard the Presiding Judge Orie's question and it confused me

 8     too.  That is why I asked you whether there was a difference.  We

 9     mentioned couriers each and every time, and yet in English, two words

10     were used, the first time around couriers were mentioned, and the next

11     time around, it was messengers.  Are there two positions or is it the

12     same position, the same function, that is to say people who personally

13     carry a message in their hand or bag?

14        A.   It's a completely different system of delivering telegrams by

15     hand.  A courier receives a telegram in person at the Zvornik Brigade and

16     takes it to the battalion command, if that's the system you had in mind.

17     Do you understand me?

18        Q.   I do.  But there was some confusion about the way it was

19     translated.  Are there two separate functions, different types of people

20     carrying it, or is it all one and the same, courier?

21        A.   Courier, if that's what it is about.

22        Q.   Yes.  Delivering messages by hand.

23        A.   Yes.  It's a courier who receives a telegram and takes it to the

24     place of delivery.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  But then the evidence is confusing.  First of all,

Page 13248

 1     Mr. Lukic, I think in the beginning it was translated, I don't know

 2     whether it's the same word or not, "messengers," that is on page 20 and

 3     page 32, and it was later the word "courier" was used.

 4             Now, could I take you back to some of your answers?  You were

 5     asked about the first telegram and you said it is possible that it had

 6     arrived by messenger, as you said then, and you did not know whether it

 7     was -- would be recorded if it was indeed arrived in that way.  You were

 8     then asked, "So did you have a messenger at that time?"  And you said, "I

 9     don't understand the question."  The question was then repeated, "At that

10     time, did you have access to a messenger?"  You asked, "From the

11     brigade?"  Mr. Lukic said, "Battalion, brigade, whatever."  You said,

12     "No.  I never contacted a messenger.  If a messenger would bring mail,

13     then he would stay only for as long as he needed to deliver it."  Was

14     this -- were you talking about what was later translated to us as

15     courier, or was it anything else?  Because later, and I'll take you to

16     that part as well, were you asked -- I take you back to page -- one

17     second, please.  Were you asked, "Could you get in touch with them" - and

18     "them" was then the command of the Zvornik Brigade - "by courier?"  And

19     then I think you said that -- you said, "Very well" -- no, that was the

20     question.  Your answer was, "Yes."  "Could you get in touch with them by

21     way of courier?"  And you said, "Yes."

22             So initially you said:  We didn't have messengers, we had no

23     contact with messengers.  And later, when you were asked whether you

24     could get in touch with the command of the Zvornik Brigade by way of a

25     courier, your answer was, "Yes."  So that confused me.  Did you have a

Page 13249

 1     possibility to send messages by courier to the Zvornik Brigade command or

 2     did you not?

 3             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.  I think this is not about

 4     interpretation.  Maybe the interpretation was not the best so that's

 5     confusing you.  I did have couriers at the battalion command.  There were

 6     also couriers at the brigade command.  And that possibility of

 7     communication existed.  That's not in dispute.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  It seems that it has been resolved.

 9             Mr. Lukic, I am looking at the clock.  We should take another

10     break.  If the witness could follow the usher then we'll take another

11     break of 20 minutes.

12                           [The witness stands down]

13             JUDGE ORIE:  We take a break and we resume at 12.30.

14                           --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.

15                           --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

17                           [The witness takes the stand]

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.

19             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.  I'd like to try and go back

20     to 1D01062, and I need page 36 in e-court.  And it corresponds to

21     transcript page number 13015.

22        Q.   [Interpretation] Mr. Acimovic, I will read out this passage to

23     you so you get correct interpretation.  Were you asked whether you were

24     able to communicate with Obrenovic at the time when you said you called

25     the Zvornik Brigade regarding the telegram, and in line 2, on this page,

Page 13250

 1     it says:

 2             [In English] "Q.  And you are saying that you could not establish

 3     communication through the duty operations officer, through the radio?

 4             "A.  You're right.

 5             Q.  And what about courier?

 6             "A.  No.  That was not available to me because I didn't know

 7     where the courier was at the time.  If I had known where he was, I would

 8     have probably sent him there."

 9        A.   I have to clear this up.  It was wrongly interpreted.  I said at

10     the time that I didn't know where Chief of Staff Obrenovic was, not the

11     courier.  My courier was available to me at all times.  I just couldn't

12     send the courier because I didn't know where to send him.  I didn't know

13     where the Chief of Staff was.  I received such information from the duty

14     operations officer.  Do we understand each other now?

15        Q.   [Interpretation] We do.  And thank you for this clarification.

16     Now I read what is written here, it's true you can understand it that way

17     too.

18             I'm coming back to the telegrams again.  I have to, and you will

19     see later why.  In your battalion, do you know whether and how this

20     telegram was typed up before being sent?

21        A.   I suppose it probably has to be written down in longhand before

22     being handed over to the signalsman.

23        Q.   Do you know whether this signalsman typed it into some kind of

24     device?

25        A.   I think it was written down in a notebook.

Page 13251

 1        Q.   The thing that confuses me is the fact that telegrams are a type

 2     of communication that is dispatched via communication devices, and that

 3     presuppose that is somebody types up the text and it's encrypted on that

 4     device, and on the other side it's decrypted.

 5        A.   I apologise for interrupting you while you were speaking.  It's

 6     not true.  This telegram we sent via wire communications.  That's the one

 7     we used the most because it's the most secure.  The signalsman picks up

 8     the telephone, he dials the voice-based telephone, at the telephone

 9     exchange the telephone rings, the signalsman reads out the content of the

10     telegram to the other communication person, who probably notes it down

11     somewhere and hands it over to the duty operations officer.  And the

12     equipment that you are referring to now is something we absolutely did

13     not have at the Zvornik Brigade.  I don't think any of our units had any

14     need for it.

15        Q.   Can we agree that what you call telegram, what you saw there, you

16     didn't receive it from the other side, you received something that your

17     signalsman had noted down in hand, or explain to us what it looked like.

18        A.   I'll try to be clearer.  If it is a telegram received through the

19     signals unit, then it's a telegram written down by my duty officer, in

20     his own hand, at the battalion command.  And if it's a telegram brought

21     by courier, then it would have been written down at the address of the

22     sender.  Let me try to reconstruct what it would look like if a courier

23     brought a telegram.  The person writing the telegram would note it down,

24     put it in an envelope, seal it, give it to the courier and the courier

25     would take it to the address of the recipient.  So if it was brought by

Page 13252

 1     courier, it had been written personally by the sender.

 2        Q.   Now, one point of clarification, if it was brought by courier,

 3     would it be typed up or would it be written in hand?

 4        A.   I could not maintain with certainty whether this specific

 5     telegram we are discussing was typed or written in hand.  I can't

 6     remember.  But I think that telegrams brought by courier would have been

 7     written on a typewriter.

 8        Q.   You did not see the first telegram.  As for the second one, you

 9     say you were present when it arrived?

10        A.   I read the first telegram but I didn't see how it had arrived.

11        Q.   What about the second one?

12        A.   Yes.  I was present.

13        Q.   Let's focus on the second telegram then.  Was it then noted down

14     by your duty officer?

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   Would it have to go to the signals unit?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Does he note down the encrypted message to be decrypted later?

19        A.   You mean the signalsman?

20        Q.   I mean the duty officer.  He's the one who receives the telegram,

21     right?

22        A.   He receives the contents of the telegram as it was sent to him.

23     If it's encrypted, then he has to decrypt it, because signalsmen should

24     not have access to the content.  It was confidential.  So it would have

25     to be decrypted at the battalion command by the duty officer.

Page 13253

 1        Q.   Since you say you were present when he received it, do you

 2     remember whether he was writing down codes and what this code consisted

 3     of, or he was writing down normal text?

 4        A.   I've said this before.  I believe the second telegram too was

 5     encrypted.  It was in code.  But I can't be 100 per cent sure.  If it was

 6     in code, then the text would consist of various words, numbers, terms,

 7     et cetera.  I can try to explain it to you, if you wish.  That second

 8     telegram, it could be very short while still preserving the desired

 9     meaning.  When the original order is not carried out, then the second

10     telegram would read, "Act upon order number such and such," and since we

11     have the number of the previous order, we know what it's about.  So if

12     somebody possibly gained access to that second telegram, unauthorised, he

13     would be able to read it without understanding it because he doesn't know

14     the content of the first telegram.

15        Q.   Yes.  I see.  I'm only trying to understand the logic and how it

16     worked, since you told me you, yourself, were not a signalsman.

17             So you have wire telephone communication with the brigade command

18     going via Rocevic; right?

19        A.   No, not via Rocevic.  I don't know the specific route of that

20     wire communication, but at any rate it was not via Rocevic because

21     Rocevic was on the opposite side.

22        Q.   Did you have wire communication with the Zvornik Brigade at

23     Rocevic?

24        A.   Only civilian telephone.

25        Q.   With companies inside your battalion, you communicated either via

Page 13254

 1     Motorola or wire telephone communication; right?

 2        A.   We used only wire telephone communication.  Why would we use

 3     Motorolas when the communications that were secure were available?  So in

 4     99 per cent of cases, we used the wire communication.  It was the safest,

 5     the most secure form of communication with subordinate units.

 6        Q.   At the time there were also civilian telephone lines.  Were you

 7     able to contact them?

 8        A.   You mean the brigade?  Yes.

 9        Q.   This telephone communication also went through the signals unit

10     in your battalion; correct?

11        A.   No.  It's a civilian telephone number which has absolutely

12     nothing in common with the telephone exchange at the signals unit.  It

13     was a direct telephone number at the command.

14        Q.   What about the forward command post of the brigade?  You didn't

15     have direct communication with them, did you?

16        A.   No.

17        Q.   No, you did not have it; or no, I'm not right?

18        A.   No, we did not have direct communication with them.  We could

19     communicate with them through the telephone exchange, as with any unit

20     within the Zvornik Brigade.

21        Q.   Do you know that between the Zvornik Brigade and their forward

22     command post, there was a secure telephone communication line or not?

23        A.   I suppose there was one.

24        Q.   You suppose or you know?

25        A.   I believe there was one, because these positions were permanent.

Page 13255

 1     They were not moving.  So I suppose there was a wire telephone

 2     connection.

 3        Q.   Between the Zvornik Brigade and their forward command post on the

 4     one hand, and the battalion on the other hand, there was also radio

 5     communication including and connecting all the radio stations in the

 6     battalion?

 7        A.   That's right.  But that type of communication -- I mean radio

 8     communication -- was used exclusively upon orders of the superiors when

 9     they would say, "Switch to radio communications."  They would send us

10     such a message by telegram when we were not able to use the usual lines

11     of communication.

12        Q.   I wanted to go back to the issue of telegrams so I was just

13     checking what part of that topic we've already covered.  Let's clear one

14     thing up.  Communication and leaving aside couriers, let us discuss

15     technical communication only, oral communication by phone, in which

16     something is being dictated on one end of the line and the same thing

17     being taken down at the other end of the line, that is what you call

18     telephone [as interpreted]; correct?

19        A.   Yes.

20             MR. LUKIC:  I'm sorry, it says, is "what you call telephone."  It

21     should be "is what you call telegram" in line 16 on page 50 of today's

22     transcript.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic.

24             MR. LUKIC:  It was in my question.  I asked about the telegram,

25     not telephone.

Page 13256

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  But then, of course, the answer becomes -- you

 2     say in B/C/S you used the word "telegram" and that reached --

 3             MR. LUKIC:  Yes.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's just verify this.  When you answered the last

 5     question by a "yes," did you hear the question to be that:

 6             "... oral communication by phone, in which something is being

 7     dictated on one end of the line and the same thing being taken down at

 8     the other end of the line, that that is what you call telegram ..."

 9             Is that what you answered yes to?

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.

12             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

13        Q.   A telegram is an important document which contains an order; is

14     that correct?

15        A.   Yes, in any case.

16        Q.   The telegram can be sent by either the commander or the duty

17     operations officer on his behalf; correct?  Or perhaps the Chief of Staff

18     as deputy commander?

19        A.   The telegram can be sent from the brigade to the battalion by the

20     duty operations officer or all superiors, including the commander, the

21     Chief of Staff, the chief of security and intelligence, the person in

22     charge of morale, personnel service, et cetera, or assistant commander

23     for logistics.

24        Q.   But if one receives a telegram containing an order --

25        A.   Yes.  All of those I mentioned can issue specific types of order

Page 13257

 1     within their own domain.

 2        Q.   Let's go back to the second telegram.  If you recall, was the

 3     message taken down by the person at the switchboard and then brought it

 4     in or did he put it through by telephone to your duty officer at the

 5     battalion?

 6        A.   I think the telegram was noted down by the duty officer at the

 7     battalion command.

 8        Q.   Was it regular procedure?

 9        A.   In most cases.  In order to avoid duplication, that, for example,

10     a person from the signals unit writes it down, in order to cut it short,

11     the line is put through directly to the duty officer at the battalion

12     command, who then notes down the information.

13        Q.   Is it correct that a telegram written by hand, based on a

14     telephone conversation, first of all needs to contain two elements:  Who

15     was the spoken message received from, and who it is addressed to?

16        A.   Yes, certainly.

17        Q.   Such a document also needs to contain a heading stating whether

18     it's a report or an order; correct?

19        A.   Yes.  If it is an order, it should read, "Order," yes.

20        Q.   Next, the contents need to be visible; correct?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   And at the end, it needs to contain a signature or actually a

23     signature block of the person on whose behalf or in whose name the

24     message is being conveyed?

25        A.   Yes.  Usually, the position of the person was noted down, such as

Page 13258

 1     duty operations officer or brigade commander or the chief of intelligence

 2     and security.

 3        Q.   Are you saying that there wouldn't be any names?

 4        A.   There is a possibility that there was no name, only the person's

 5     position or duty.  It actually happened in most of the cases because it

 6     is well-known who the person in question is.

 7        Q.   When it comes to the duty operations officer, one needn't

 8     necessarily know who he is?

 9        A.   I agree with you.

10        Q.   Now, we have your reply, which is to be sent to the original

11     address from which the first and second telegrams arrived.  In that

12     situation specifically, who and how -- who sends your response and how?

13        A.   The duty officer at the battalion command.

14        Q.   How?

15        A.   He gets in touch with the signals unit and the soldier at the

16     communication centre at the battalion gets in touch with the

17     communications company at the brigade, sending the telegram.  He reads it

18     out, and as for how that information is exactly received by the brigade,

19     I can't tell you precisely since I was never in a situation like that.

20        Q.   Your duty officer, does he hand over a coded message, an

21     encrypted message, or a clear text, to the signalsman?

22        A.   If we are discussing coded telegrams.

23             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  Could the counsel repeat

24     his question?

25             THE WITNESS:  [No interpretation]

Page 13259

 1             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Sorry, my question wasn't heard and now your response is not

 3     being recorded because we overlapped.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Because you restart, Mr. Lukic, with your question

 5     and then we'll hear the answer again.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   In this specific case, if you recall, how did your duty officer

 8     forward the message that was supposed to be sent to the sender of the

 9     second telegram?  Did he hand it in encrypted or was it a simple text

10     that he handed over to your signals unit at the battalion?

11        A.   As for the second telegram, I repeat, I am not certain whether it

12     was sent encrypted.  It depended on what the original telegram was.  If

13     it had been encrypted, then we responded the same way.  If we received an

14     unencrypted telegram, we replied using the same system.  Is that what you

15     wanted to ask me?

16        Q.   Yes.  The reply also contains the elements we mentioned a moment

17     ago, i.e. the sender, who is the message sent to, the address, contents

18     and signature?

19        A.   Yes, certainly.

20        Q.   Would you agree with me that the point of encrypting messages is

21     to avoid interception?

22        A.   Yes, to have as few people as possible to become familiar with

23     the contents.

24        Q.   Would you agree with me then that if a message is conveyed by

25     wire, there is no need for encryption because it's a secure line which

Page 13260

 1     cannot be intercepted?

 2        A.   Well, you see, I'm not sure, because the soldiers in the signals

 3     unit can hear it, so if it contains confidential information or orders,

 4     it can be known only by the person or persons that the telegram is

 5     addressed to.  That is the whole point of encrypting telegrams.  It would

 6     defeat the purpose to encrypt a telegram if a number of different persons

 7     in the signals units and the brigade and the battalion would become

 8     acquainted with its contents.

 9        Q.   But we will agree, and I have a few technical issues to resolve,

10     but I'll try to boil it down to only one question, which is:  You don't

11     know how encryption is carried out?  You are not familiar with the method

12     and technology of encryption?  Is a word exchanged for another word or

13     exchanged -- replaced by a number?

14        A.   I don't know what you mean exactly.

15        Q.   Let me explain, then.

16        A.   Are you trying to say that I wasn't familiar with the procedure

17     of decrypting telegrams?

18        Q.   I wanted to ask you this:  Could you use the list of call signs?

19        A.   Certainly.  And not only myself but any duty officer in the

20     battalion had to have undergone training to decode a coded telegram.  He

21     could not carry out his duty as duty officer if he couldn't read a

22     specific telegram at that point in time, and if there is such a person,

23     they shouldn't be assigned to that kind of duty.  I suppose you agree.

24        Q.   Then let me ask you this, although I thought I could skip over a

25     few questions.  When the second telegram arrived, when you were present,

Page 13261

 1     in terms of the code list, were words replaced by words or by numbers?

 2     What kind of call sign list was in effect?

 3        A.   I really can't say with any certainty.  I said that --

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I -- Mr. Lukic, I think the witness said

 5     before that he didn't know whether the second telegram was encrypted, yes

 6     or no, so then to ask him how it was encrypted is where he doesn't even

 7     know, and he explained why he -- there might have been no need to have it

 8     encrypted, is not a technical question which doesn't make much sense.

 9             MR. LUKIC:  Yes, I will proceed from there.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Please do so.

11             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

12        Q.   Do you know if the first telegram was encrypted or coded?

13        A.   Was it encrypted?  Yes.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  That question has been put and answered I think,

15     three, four or five times now.  Could we just try to focus on relevant

16     matters which have not been covered yet?

17             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you.

18        Q.   [Interpretation] As regards the first telegram, do you know which

19     code signs list was in effect at the time?

20        A.   What do you mean which code signs?

21        Q.   Were numbers replaced by words or words replaced by words?

22        A.   It could have been both or -- at the same time or individually.

23        Q.   In terms of that telegram specifically, do you recall it?

24        A.   No.  Definitely not.  I can't remember what was used, and I hope

25     you understand.

Page 13262

 1        Q.   Well, I hope you understand I had to ask.  It suffices for you to

 2     say, "I don't remember."  And then we can move on.  Thank you.

 3             Those tables or code lists, they were changed from time to time?

 4        A.   Yes, periodically, every fortnight or so.

 5        Q.   You know Dragan Jokic, the major, don't you?

 6        A.   Yes, certainly.

 7        Q.   Did you know that on the night when you received and sent the

 8     telegrams and responses, that he was the duty operations officer at the

 9     Zvornik Brigade command?

10        A.   It's a well-known fact nowadays.  I do have that information now,

11     but at that point in time I didn't.  I simply didn't remember that it was

12     Dragan Jokic.  I had no need not to mention his first and last name.

13        Q.   I wasn't implying that at all.  We have received one document

14     from the Prosecution.  It's now Exhibit 1501.  It's the book of the duty

15     operations officer of the Zvornik Brigade, and in that book, logbook,

16     that night that communication with you was not recorded anywhere.  Do you

17     have an explanation?

18        A.   I really cannot answer that question, because I had no insight

19     into any of that, nor was I able to monitor it or check even whether

20     somebody made an effort to remove that entry.  So I absolutely don't see

21     how I can be of any assistance.

22        Q.   You told us you called the Zvornik Brigade that night.  Did you

23     try them the next morning?

24        A.   I tried to call Drago, and after that I tried to get in touch

25     with the commander of the brigade and the Chief of Staff, and again

Page 13263

 1     I received the same answer as the previous night, but I insisted, I just

 2     couldn't believe that they were unable to get in touch with the commander

 3     or the Chief of Staff when they had several options available to them.

 4     So I used even strong language speaking to that duty officer, because

 5     I thought it was obvious they just don't want me to speak to these

 6     people.

 7        Q.   Now, when you returned from Rocevic, you called the command of

 8     the Zvornik Brigade again?

 9        A.   You mean on the 14th?

10        Q.   Yes, the 14th.

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   So as you said on page 13140 on the 22nd of June, 2007, you

13     believe you called between 11.30 and 12.15.

14        A.   Possibly.

15        Q.   Again, from the same exhibit that I just referred to, we see that

16     in that interval, the duty operations officer was rotated, Dragan Jokic

17     was replaced by another person.  Now, even that other person failed to

18     record your call.  Do you remember to whom you talked that time?

19        A.   I've already said countless times that I cannot remember who that

20     was.  At the time when I was speaking to that person, obviously I knew

21     who I was talking to.  But later, when the first questioning started in

22     the Srebrenica case, from the first time I was questioned, it's been --

23     it was seven or six years, and at that moment I couldn't really remember

24     who that person was.

25        Q.   But now you know?

Page 13264

 1        A.   Now we have information, and it's not in dispute who they were,

 2     but I really can't say with any certainty.  How could I remember?

 3        Q.   It's fine.  You just have to say you don't remember.

 4        A.   But if I can mention one thing, the commander of the brigade

 5     himself, Vinko Pandurevic, in his own evidence said --

 6        Q.   You really shouldn't analyse other people's evidence.

 7        A.   He said I had tried to get in touch with him to find out how come

 8     these prisoners were at the Zvornik Brigade, and thereby he confirmed

 9     himself that I had really tried.  But he didn't want to speak to me about

10     it.  And you can certainly find it in all the material you have

11     available.

12        Q.   Thank you for this useful instruction but I want to know how you

13     found out.  Did you follow the trials in the Srebrenica cases?

14        A.   Well, it's obvious from all the stories and what you can read on

15     the internet, the short reports.  I cannot pinpoint the exact source from

16     which I learned about this particular point.

17        Q.   You are aware today, aren't you, that on that day you spoke to

18     Drago Nikolic, the day after you called after returning from Rocevic?

19        A.   I know that I spoke to Drago on the 14th, after midnight, yes.

20        Q.   The night between the 13th and the 14th, and -- or the night

21     between the 14th and the 15th?

22        A.   The night when I found out about the prisoners at Rocevic.

23        Q.   The night after the 14th?

24        A.   That could be the 15th then.

25        Q.   The night after you found out about the prisoners in Rocevic?

Page 13265

 1        A.   That would make it the early hours of the 15th.  1.00, 1.30 p.m.

 2             THE INTERPRETER:  a.m., interpreter's correction.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Could you avoid overlap?

 4             MR. LUKIC:  I'm trying all the time.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Let's proceed and keep this in mind.

 6             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 7        Q.   After your second refusal, after the second telegram, when you

 8     refused to carry out the order for the second time, you were called by

 9     Drago Nikolic; right?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   When did that happen?

12        A.   I've already said, and I believe --

13        Q.   I don't think it was recorded.

14        A.   It was after midnight.  It was 1.00 a.m., perhaps 2.00 a.m.

15        Q.   Earlier today, my learned friend asked you, as you were asked

16     before, what Drago Nikolic had told you.  You said he had told you the

17     order had come from higher up, but never before today did you say that

18     higher up meant the Main Staff.  Would you agree with me that today was

19     the first time you said it meant from the Main Staff?

20        A.   I do believe I said it in my earlier testimony.

21        Q.   Well, I was not able to find it.

22        A.   You can rest assured that I said it before, 90 per cent sure.

23        Q.   The Prosecution will correct me if I'm wrong.

24        A.   That's my assumption.  Excuse me.  That was --

25             JUDGE ORIE:  You said you're 90 per cent sure.  That's -- of

Page 13266

 1     course the parties have an opportunity to verify that on the basis of the

 2     transcripts.  Let's proceed at this moment --

 3             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  -- and not enter into a debate on that matter.

 5             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

 6        Q.   You say it's 90 per cent, your assumption, but still it's your

 7     assumption?

 8        A.   My assumption was --

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic, I said let's not have a debate on that.

10     Ninety per cent means the witness is not perfectly certain and then to

11     start a debate on how certain or not, but I think Mr. Mladic would like

12     to consult you for a moment.  And could it be done with the microphones

13     switched off and at a volume level not audible for anyone else in this

14     courtroom.

15                           [Defence counsel and Accused confer]

16             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

17        Q.   Under the rules, Drago Nikolic at the Zvornik Brigade does not

18     receive orders from the Main Staff; right?

19        A.   He probably received them through the corps.  In most cases, of

20     course, I agree with you.

21        Q.   If an order came from the corps, could it be said that it had

22     arrived from higher up, relative to Drago Nikolic?

23        A.   On that occasion, when Drago Nikolic told me that, and from the

24     way he said it, I understood it as meaning the Main Staff.  Whether that

25     understanding was correct, whether I was right, I cannot maintain.

Page 13267

 1        Q.   All right.

 2        A.   My assumption was that it meant the Main Staff.

 3        Q.   All right.  At that time, you had never seen anyone from the

 4     Main Staff; is that correct?  Nor did you receive any orders personally

 5     from the Main Staff?

 6        A.   General Mladic was in my defence area, but I was not present

 7     there at that time, and as for other members of the Main Staff, I'm not

 8     sure whether I had ever been in contact with them in the field or not.  I

 9     cannot be sure about that.

10        Q.   Let me put it differently.  Today, you don't remember that you

11     had received any orders from any member of the Main Staff?

12        A.   Any order that would state specifically that it came from the

13     Main Staff, no.  Am I making myself clear?

14        Q.   Yes, you are.

15             JUDGE MOLOTO:  Just for my understanding of your question,

16     Mr. Lukic, are you talking about an order coming from the Main Staff

17     directly to him and not coming through the chain of command?

18             MR. LUKIC:  Any, any kind, if he's aware that there is an order

19     coming in regard to that operation, Srebrenica operation, or action,

20     whatever we call it.

21             JUDGE MOLOTO:  You're talking about this specific operation.

22             MR. LUKIC:  Yes, Srebrenica operation.

23             May I proceed?  Thank you.  I think it's time for our next break.

24             JUDGE ORIE:  We are close to that point in time.  I think we

25     started at --

Page 13268

 1             MR. LUKIC:  I'm moving to another topic, so --

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  You're moving to another topic.  Then we take the

 3     break now.  Perhaps we first ask the witness to be escorted out of the

 4     courtroom.

 5                           [The witness stands down]

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic, could you give us an indication as to how

 7     much more time you would need?

 8             MR. LUKIC:  More than I asked for, but I hope I'll finish in a

 9     time limit I asked for.  I asked for three and a half hours and I doubt

10     that we can finish today with this witness.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Indeed, you asked for three and a half hours.

12             MR. LUKIC:  Yes.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Let's first take the break.  We will take the break

14     and perhaps during the break, Mr. Lukic, you try to find out whether --

15     especially a lot of hypothetical questions we have heard, a lot of

16     hypothetical questions, not that directly going to the knowledge of the

17     witness, whether you could perhaps skip some of those and see how much

18     time you then still need.  We take the break and we resume at 10 minutes

19     to 2.00.

20                           --- Recess taken at 1.28 p.m.

21                           --- On resuming at 1.50 p.m.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.

23                           [The witness takes the stand]

24             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.

25             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

Page 13269

 1        Q.   Mr. Acimovic, may we continue?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   I'll go back a bit.  You said that General Mladic was in the area

 4     of your battalion?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   Did you have in mind 1993 or 1995, and if it was 1995, at what

 7     time?

 8        A.   I think when operations in Zeca Kosa, Visoko Glavica, and that

 9     area were under way.

10        Q.   Timewise, when it would be?

11        A.   I can't say with any certainty when it took place.

12        Q.   Let's start with the year.

13        A.   Well, it could have been 1994, but I really can't be any more

14     precise.

15        Q.   Thank you.  I'm only interested in whether it applied to

16     July 1995.

17        A.   No.  It's a different period.

18        Q.   Thank you.

19                           [Defence counsel and Accused confer]

20             MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]

21        Q.   Apologies.  Thank you for your patience, because occasionally

22     I consult with the general.  You also told us that there was a group from

23     Visegrad there.  Do you have any additional information to share?

24        A.   I wouldn't say there was a group.  There was the odd individual

25     in that unit.  That's what I heard.  Now, whether that piece of

Page 13270

 1     information is correct or not, I really can't say.  The unit was from

 2     Bratunac, as far as I remember.

 3        Q.   When you say, "the unit," it was the people guarding the

 4     prisoners in the school in Rocevic?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   Is it a fact that they were quite young, the people who stood

 7     guard over the prisoners?  How would you describe them, in your own

 8     words?  Were they tidy or unkempt?  What did they look like?

 9        A.   Well, it was very warm at the time.  They were dressed

10     differently.  Some were in T-shirts, camouflage T-shirts.  Others in

11     shirts.  There were even individuals who were naked to the waist.  But

12     their behaviour didn't strike me as normal.  They behaved in such a

13     triumphant way, implying that someone above the Zvornik Brigade was their

14     superior, as if someone else was in command and control of their unit

15     rather than the Zvornik Brigade.  They were quite gung ho.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  The Chamber has some difficulties in understanding

17     exactly what "gung ho" is.  I'm not a native-speaking person.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Arrogant.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you very much for the explanation.  Let's move

20     on.

21             MR. LUKIC:  Thank you.

22        Q.   [Interpretation] Did they give away the impression as if not

23     belonging to any regular unit and that they were paramilitaries?

24        A.   I wouldn't say so.  You see, at the time, the period we are

25     talking about in 1995, there were no paramilitary formations in our area,

Page 13271

 1     in the Zvornik Brigade, that is.

 2        Q.   And you say that they did not come from the area?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Do you have any details about the persons in question, perhaps

 5     first or last names?

 6        A.   No.  No information could be received about the soldiers.  I did

 7     try to engage in a relatively normal relationship with them in order to

 8     obtain some information, but their attitude was such that they lent very

 9     little manoeuvring space.  They simply were of the opinion that they

10     didn't need to provide whatever information.

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Could we move into private session for a second?

23                           [Private session]

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 13272











11 Pages 13272-13277 redacted. Private session.















Page 13278

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4                           [Open session]

 5             THE REGISTRAR:  We are in open session, Your Honours.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Madam Registrar.  Could the parties

 7     carefully consider tomorrow whether we have to continue into

 8     private session or not.  Perhaps Mr. McCloskey or a person named

 9     McCloskey could discuss the matter with a person named Lukic and then we

10     would like to hear from you.  We adjourn for the day and we will resume

11     tomorrow, Tuesday, the 25th of June, in courtroom I at 9.30 in the

12     morning.

13                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.16 p.m.,

14                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of June,

15                           2013, at 9.30 a.m.