Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1472

1 Monday, 27 October 2003

2 [Sentencing Proceedings]

3 [Open session]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 [The accused entered court]

6 --- Upon commencing at 3.07 p.m.

7 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case

9 number IT-02-60/1-S, the Prosecutor versus Momir Nikolic.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

11 This is a sentencing hearing for Mr. Momir Nikolic in accordance

12 with Rule 100 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the Tribunal, as

13 well as a decision rendered by this Trial Chamber October 6th, 2003.

14 Before we start, could we have the appearances, please.

15 For the Prosecution?

16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Peter McCloskey, and I'm accompanied by

17 Stefan Waespi, Mr. President.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

19 For Mr. Momir Nikolic, please.

20 MR. LONDROVIC: [No interpretation]

21 JUDGE LIU: Well, do we have the interpretation? I think there's

22 some technical problems. I'm sorry.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear me now, Your Honour?

24 JUDGE LIU: Would you please try it again, Mr. Londrovic.

25 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.

Page 1473

1 Appearing for Mr. Momir Nikolic are myself, his lead counsel,

2 Veselin Londrovic, and my esteemed colleague, co-counsel Stefan Kirsch,

3 attorney at law from Frankfurt, and with us is our interpreter,

4 Ms. Vesna Anic.

5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

6 Mr. Nikolic, can you hear the proceedings in a language that you

7 understand?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I can, and I

9 understand the language spoken.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And do you have anything to complain

11 during your stay in the Detention Unit?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour, I have no

13 complaints. There are no problems as regards the Detention Unit.

14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 JUDGE LIU: Now we'll have the sentencing hearing.

17 As we understand, that both parties submitted their sentencing

18 briefings, as well as the supplementary submissions already, so I'll give

19 each party about 20 to 30 minutes to brief the Court the highlights of

20 their briefings. Shall we start from the Prosecution?

21 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. As I have stated

23 earlier in this -- in this court, it is not my intention at this time to

24 go at length into the Srebrenica case. This Court is fully aware of that

25 case. And we are here today because Mr. Nikolic has chosen to admit the

Page 1474

1 facts in the indictment and plead guilty. And the Prosecution will be

2 relying in part on what he said when he testified as the factual basis for

3 this guilty plea, as well as the few testimonies from the record of a

4 previous trial. And I would like at the -- to say some remarks at the end

5 of this proceedings as my remarks now will -- will be brief.

6 We know that this Srebrenica case involves the forcible

7 transportation, the forcible removal, the ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian

8 Muslim population from Srebrenica and the operation to separate, detain,

9 and murder over 7.000 Muslim men from that enclave. Many of the facts of

10 that case have been spoken to in bitter and stark detail by Mr. Nikolic

11 himself, but today I will briefly go over some of the -- the facts, the

12 statements of the four people that we have offered the Court that I

13 believe are a representative sampling. We did not want to bring anyone to

14 the great and terrible burden of coming all the way from their home and

15 again having to speak of these events. We believe 92 bis was specifically

16 designed for this kind of thing and -- and so we have not chosen to put on

17 what may typically in an adversarial process be a long hearing where we

18 pour out the entire facts of the crime. But I will just briefly remind

19 you what some of these witnesses had to say.

20 Let's start with Lieutenant Van Duijn, the Dutch lieutenant who

21 was on duty at the time, from the 10th, the 12th, through the 13th of

22 July. And as you'll recall, he witnessed the -- the shelling of the -- of

23 the civilian population and the -- and their flight to Potocari, and he

24 witnessed the fear in their eyes and in their being and he saw the

25 separations of the men and the women, and he -- and he told about that.

Page 1475

1 He's told about that over and over again. I think his testimony is a --

2 is a good representative sample of what the Dutch soldiers saw and what

3 they can provide. You'll recall he made a comment that he thought he

4 was -- he was watching a combination of two movies, Sophie's Choice and

5 Schindler's List. I guess we can be thankful that his generation of

6 soldiers has to refer to movies to recount the horrors of World War II,

7 but it does remind us that -- that Srebrenica was and is the worst

8 massacre coming out of Europe since that time, and his testimony and

9 others like him help the world to see that, but of course, did so

10 Momir Nikolic's.

11 Another person that we know as Witness DD, a Muslim woman who was

12 at Potocari and who vividly describe it is separation of her 15-year-old

13 boy from her represents the -- one of the greatest tragedies of this case,

14 the -- the mothers that were left behind that without their men, without

15 their boys, and what horror they went through.

16 Then we have Witness I. You may recall he's a Muslim man, a

17 rather elderly fellow that was separated from his sons, from his family at

18 Potocari. He was no threat to anyone. He was detained in Potocari, then

19 he was detained in Bratunac for at least two days, subjected to the -- to

20 horrors of that detention in Bratunac. And then he, along with thousands

21 of others, was bussed out to the Zvornik area, where he was taken to the

22 Branjevo military farm and subjected to the mass execution of over 1.000

23 people at the Branjevo farm, where he survived, he and others survived to

24 tell us about it. And one -- just a reminder of his -- of his testimony,

25 at the end, which perhaps he gives some of us some reason to hope, because

Page 1476

1 he told us the story of a -- I think it was a Serb waiter, somewhere

2 around Zvornik, that helped him out and gave him some soup and someone

3 that he'll never forget because out of all this horror and all this ethnic

4 strife here was at least one man that was willing to help his brother.

5 And for a man like this, an old fellow, to be able to get up and tell his

6 tale and tell his -- what happened to him and end it with that -- with

7 that -- that event at that little cafe in and around Zvornik is -- gives

8 us, I think, some reason to hope, as this plea agreement does and what has

9 happened here today, what has brought us here today.

10 Our last 92 bis witness is a psychologist, a Muslim psychologist

11 from Tuzla, Teofika Ibrahimefendic [phoen], who reminds us and tell us of

12 the difficulty that the women and survivors of Srebrenica had to go

13 through and are still going through to this very day. And it's important

14 to remember what she said about that and how it's different from

15 other -- what other families and other victims of this war went through,

16 and it's different because the scale was so massive and that the numbers

17 of the Muslim men from the families were taken away and that these women

18 are left, in her words, with perpetual uncertainty about what would happen

19 to them and that is something that they would never recover from.

20 And she goes on to describe how that was particularly difficult on

21 the children. And she describes one particular instance where a boy was

22 pointed at by a soldier and -- in Potocari and -- and was told that -- and

23 the mother said, "Oh, he's only eight years old. Don't take him. Don't

24 take him," and the soldier said, "If he was ten years old, he would be

25 separated." And of course, this boy to this very day is afraid and lives

Page 1477

1 in fear from being separated, from being taken away.

2 So I think these -- these four witnesses are a representative of

3 this case and are a reminder of the horror, the breadth, the scope of this

4 crime, but I would also point out to you the testimony of Momir Nikolic,

5 his admissions, his acknowledgments, and compare it to what you know, what

6 else -- what other information you know and consider it as you consider

7 the sentence. But at this time, I would like to -- I think it would be

8 more appropriate to direct my comments regarding cooperation to the end,

9 when it would be more in context.

10 But I can say now that, as you know, we are here pursuant to the

11 plea agreement, and it was -- this plea agreement was contingent upon the

12 full cooperation of Mr. Nikolic, and it is the view of the Prosecution

13 that he has cooperated fully with the Prosecution and that his testimony

14 at trial was credible and that in looking at his testimony you need to

15 compare the testimony of other witnesses in the overall programme to

16 finally determine it for yourselves. But the Prosecution is satisfied

17 that he has met his obligation, and we stand by that agreement and we

18 recommend that based on that agreement, he should face a sentence of

19 between 15 and 20 years. And at the end of these hearings, I would like

20 to explain why I feel that his cooperation is so valuable and why

21 these -- this term of years is appropriate in a situation and in a case as

22 serious as this. I think it would be better if that was explained at the

23 end. But, of course, I can -- I always am available to answer any

24 questions the Court has on this agreement and Mr. Nikolic's cooperation in

25 it.

Page 1478












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Page 1479

1 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you.

2 The Bench has a question to you, Mr. McCloskey. In your

3 sentencing brief and mitigating factor, the section "Cooperation with the

4 Prosecution," the Prosecution indicated that "Mr. Nikolic has provided the

5 valuable information for the trial of Blagojevic and Jokic, an ongoing

6 investigation into events of Srebrenica, including the specific locations

7 of two hitherto unknown mass graves in the Srebrenica area." Could you

8 elaborate on this point? Was one of the graves Black Peak, or Crni Vrh,

9 which may be one of the largest mass graves yet discovered?

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Your Honour, I don't believe that the graves

11 that were identified by Mr. Nikolic was the grave that has been commonly

12 referred to as Crni Vrh, which is in the Zvornik Brigade zone of

13 responsibility, as far as I know. And I believe that grave is from the

14 ethnic cleansing of 1992. The graves that Mr. Nikolic identified were in

15 the area south of Potocari, in the back country there, in the -- in a

16 similar area where other secondary mass graves were. We've identified

17 some eight or nine secondary mass graves from the Glogova grave site, the

18 Glogova grave site being the victims from the Kravica warehouse,

19 some -- at least 1.000 victims from the Kravica warehouse and from other

20 killings that may have occurred along the road. These -- these

21 graves -- this grave at Glogova was disturbed in the end of September and

22 October by the VRS forces, and they were buried in separate graves roughly

23 containing between 100 and 200 people each in the road near Zeleni Jadar,

24 which is just outside the Srebrenica enclave, some 10 or 20 miles south of

25 Srebrenica. The graves that were identified by Mr. Nikolic are closer, I

Page 1480

1 believe are between Srebrenica and Potocari, and he was able to point to

2 us on a -- on a good military map where these sites were, and he -- we

3 were able to, with the assistance of -- of some governments and getting

4 aerial imagery under Rule 70, were able to identify disturbed earth in

5 those specific locations. This is the -- one to have traditional methods

6 that we had identified graves before. We are -- we have been working with

7 the international community. We have gone to those sites. We have

8 identified them as -- as -- as grave sites, but we have yet to have been

9 able to receive the authorisation to put a shovel in them. And though

10 everything I know at this point indicates to me that this is disturbed

11 soil that occurred at the time of the events in question and it appears

12 very much like a mass grave, and I can provide you more information on

13 that, but I would prefer to go into private session very briefly, if you

14 want any more information.

15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

16 [Trial Chamber confers]

17 JUDGE LIU: Now I turn to the Defence for Mr. Nikolic. Do you

18 have any opening remarks at this stage?

19 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the Defence

20 understands these sentencing proceedings properly for Mr. Momir Nikolic,

21 it is our view that the -- at the end of the sentencing proceedings we

22 shall have an opportunity to make an oral closing statement after the

23 Defence witnesses have been heard and exhibits tendered, part of which we

24 have already submitted, but in the meantime we have gathered some more

25 documents. So I would not like to waste time now, in order to avoid

Page 1481

1 repeating myself, I wish to say that in its closing statement, the Defence

2 will draw attention to the key elements of our written sentencing brief.

3 Therefore, I ask Your Honour to allow me over the next ten minutes only to

4 tell you very briefly what it is the Defence intends to do during the

5 sentencing proceedings. If I understand these proceedings correctly,

6 please allow me to present in brief what it is the Defence plans to do

7 during this hearing.

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may. Please.

9 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the sentencing

10 hearing for Mr. Nikolic, the Defence intends to call four witnesses who

11 will testify viva voce, and they will speak about the personality and

12 character of Mr. Momir Nikolic up to the outbreak of war on the territory

13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Defence had intended to call a fifth

14 witness, and protective measures had already been granted for that

15 witness, who had the pseudonym DC, but for objective reasons this witness

16 was unable to travel to The Hague. He had a prostate operation and is now

17 recovering.

18 In this sentencing hearing, the Defence further intends to tender

19 certain documents, most of which Your Honours have already received

20 together with the sentencing brief. And I believe there will not be any

21 problems with accepting these exhibits. They are marked A1 to A14 in our

22 brief. I will briefly tell you what documents these are. These are

23 excerpts from the register of marriages and births for Mr. Momir Nikolic

24 and his wife, Dusanka, excerpts from the register of births for

25 Mr. Nikolic's two sons, and his mother, Mrs. Milenija Nikolic. Further,

Page 1482

1 there are documents showing what Mrs. Dusanka Nikolic's salary is,

2 Momir Nikolic's wife, and the amount of the pension received by his

3 mother. Further, the Defence wishes to tender a written statement by an

4 investigator from the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Ken Corlett, which

5 shows to what extent Mr. Nikolic cooperated before his arrest. Further,

6 there is a statement by the Bratunac police station certifying that

7 Mr. Momir Nikolic was never previously convicted of any crime. Further,

8 there is a certificate from the Srebrenica court and the Bijeljina

9 district court, and these are the courts with subject matter and

10 territorial jurisdiction according to the laws of Republika Srpska

11 certifying that no criminal proceedings have been instituted against

12 Mr. Momir Nikolic for any crime.

13 Further, there is a report on the behaviour of Mr. Momir Nikolic

14 in the Detention Unit, and in the forthcoming proceedings the Defence

15 intends to present to the Court three further documents, one of which is a

16 letter of the current mayor of the Srebrenica municipality. And when one

17 reads this letter, one can see that the current mayor of the Srebrenica

18 municipality absolutely supports the admission of guilt and acceptance of

19 responsibility by Mr. Momir Nikolic.

20 The following document that the Defence intends to present to the

21 Trial Chamber is an article from the Wall Street magazine, the European

22 edition of that magazine, which is entitled "Comments and views," and the

23 article demonstrates -- or rather, the contents of the article demonstrate

24 that the Prosecution has made significant progress with respect to

25 establishing the truth about the fall of the Srebrenica enclave, and they

Page 1483

1 managed to make this progress when they obtained a plea agreement with

2 Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic. This article also shows that for a long

3 time now public opinion has been expecting them to appear before this

4 Tribunal. They have been expecting such important and credible witnesses

5 to appear before this Tribunal, witnesses such as Mr. Nikolic and

6 Mr. Obrenovic. And the third document, the third document that the

7 Defence will present to the Trial Chamber is an article from the New York

8 Times, which is entitled "Truth of The Hague." And in our opinion, it is

9 a very important article, as it was written by one of the victims of the

10 events, of the crimes perpetrated in Srebrenica in July 1995, and this

11 victim expresses himself in very affirmative manners with regard to the

12 plea of guilty entered by Mr. Nikolic.

13 Before I call the first witness for the Defence, who has not

14 requested protective measures, I - the witness is Mr. Milorad Krsmanovic -

15 I would like to request the Trial Chamber to allow

16 Mr. Stefan Kirsch, co-counsel, to give a brief clarification of a

17 paragraph in our sentencing brief, which we have submitted -- which we

18 submitted on the 14th of July of this year to this Trial Chamber.

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Londrovic. One -- just one

20 question: As for those documents, are you going to tender them through

21 the live witness or as 92 bis documents?

22 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I intend to tender them through

23 the witness, a witness who in the Defence's opinion will also speak in

24 positive terms about the guilty plea of Mr. Nikolic. I think that there

25 is no doubt to be cast on these pieces of evidence and that the

Page 1484

1 Prosecution will have no objection, since we have already discussed these

2 documents with our colleagues from the Prosecution, and they didn't

3 express any concern or any doubts about this evidence.

4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

5 Mr. Kirsch.

6 MR. KIRSCH: Thank you, Your Honour. May I just draw

7 Your Honours' attention to our sentencing brief. I refer to page 14, and

8 the court file is page 91, paragraph 38. There it reads, the first

9 sentence: "Mr. Nikolic did not voluntarily surrender since he was not

10 aware of the sealed indictment and did know that an indictment against him

11 was issued only a few days before his arrest." When I went through this

12 document some days ago, it would appeared to me that probably it should

13 read, adding another "not" before the second "know," so it would read

14 "Mr. Nikolic did not voluntary surrender since he was not aware of the

15 sealed indictment and did not" - this would be the change - "know that an

16 indictment against him was only a few days before his arrest." I hope

17 that it was clear what we went to say in that.

18 And the second minor issue was in the sentence it said, "An

19 indictment against him was issued only a few days ago." More properly, it

20 should read, "was confirmed a few days ago,".

21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Now we're at the stage of dealing with

22 the evidence. Mr. McCloskey, for the sake of the record, are you sure

23 that you're not going to call any live witness?

24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour, I am sure I do not intend to

25 call any live witnesses.

Page 1485












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Page 1486

1 JUDGE LIU: And how about those written statements? Are

2 they -- are you going to tender them through the 92 bis?

3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour. Those were statements of a

4 previous trial, 92 bis.

5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

6 Any objection from Defence counsel? Mr. Londrovic?

7 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I have understood

8 my colleague from the Prosecution well, if we are referring to the written

9 statements that we have already received with the written submission, with

10 the sentencing brief, if that is what is in question, we have no

11 objections to make to those written statements. If it doesn't concern

12 anything new, if it only concerns those statements, we have no objection

13 to make.

14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. McCloskey?

15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it's the statements of the four witnesses.

16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. If there's no objections from the Defence

17 team, we decided that those four statements are admitted into evidence at

18 this stage.

19 Now could we have the first witness, please.

20 Well, while waiting for the witness, the scheduling for this

21 afternoon is that we will make a break at 4.30 for 30 minutes and that

22 we'll resume at 5.00 and sit for another 90 minutes until 6.30. We hope

23 we could finish the four witnesses on the list today.

24 [The witness entered court]

25 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness. Can you hear me?

Page 1487

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.

2 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.

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

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


6 [Witness answered through interpreter]

7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

9 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Londrovic, the witness is yours.

10 Questioned by Mr. Londrovic:

11 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Krsmanovic.

12 A. Good day.

13 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, my name is Veselin Londrovic. I represent the

14 accused, Mr. Momir Nikolic. And on behalf of the accused,

15 Mr. Momir Nikolic, I will be putting a certain number of questions to you,

16 which mainly concern your statement which you gave to Mr. Nikolic's

17 Defence counsel. To ensure that the Trial Chamber knows which statement

18 is concerned, it's been designated as TBB1 and attached -- and it is

19 attached to our sentencing brief.

20 Since we speak the same language, I would like to ask you to

21 first make sure that you have heard my question and to wait for the end of

22 the interpretation. You will hear when the interpreter has finished

23 interpreting the question. Then you could answer my question to

24 facilitate the interpreter's task. Have we understood each other?

25 A. Yes.

Page 1488

1 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, could you tell this Trial Chamber your first and

2 last name, your date of birth, and your place of birth.

3 A. My name is Milorad Krsmanovic. I was born on the 26th of August,

4 1954 in Repovac in the municipality of Bratunac.

5 Q. And what is your nationality, Mr. Krsmanovic?

6 A. I'm a Serb.

7 Q. Could you tell us which university you graduated from and what

8 subject you studied.

9 A. I finished the University of -- I graduated from the University

10 of Forestry, and my profession is -- by profession I'm a forestry

11 engineer.

12 Q. Could you tell us where you live at the moment.

13 A. I now live in Repovac, in Bratunac municipality.

14 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, do you know Mr. Momir Nikolic?

15 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Momir Nikolic.

16 Q. Could you tell this Trial Chamber in greater detail since when

17 you have known Mr. Momir Nikolic.

18 A. I have known Momir Nikolic for almost my entire life, since Momir

19 and I live close to each other. We grew up together, and we socialised

20 throughout our lives.

21 Q. Could you tell this Trial Chamber how far it is from your house

22 to Mr. Momir Nikolic's house.

23 A. About 300 metres.

24 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, you said that you were about a year older than

25 Mr. Nikolic. Did you go to the same primary school? Did you go to the

Page 1489

1 primary school that Mr. Nikolic went to at the same time and to the same

2 secondary school at the same time?

3 A. We went to primary school together, but Mr. Momir Nikolic was in

4 a lower class because he was one year younger. I went to secondary school

5 in Ljubovija and Mr. Momir Nikolic went to secondary school in Bratunac,

6 engineering secondary school.

7 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, did you study together with Mr. Nikolic in

8 Sarajevo?

9 A. We studied in Sarajevo at the same time, but Momir studied

10 general national defence and I studied forestry, but we would often see

11 each other in Sarajevo.

12 Q. Is it true to say that when Mr. Nikolic finished the University

13 of National Defence he returned to Bratunac and found employment there?

14 A. Yes. After he had graduated, he returned to Bratunac and found a

15 job in the secondary school there.

16 Q. Could you tell this Trial Chamber what Mr. Nikolic did exactly in

17 Bratunac.

18 A. He taught a subject called general national defence in the

19 secondary school in Bratunac.

20 Q. In the meantime, did Mr. Nikolic get married? And if he did, do

21 you know his wife's name?

22 A. Yes. He got married, and his wife's name is Dusanka.

23 Q. Did they have any sons? Did Mr. Momir Nikolic and Dusanka have

24 any sons? And if they did, do you know their names?

25 A. Yes. Momir and Dusanka Nikolic have two sons. The elder one is

Page 1490

1 called Branislav, and the younger one is called Aleksandar.

2 Q. If you know anything about this, could you tell the Trial Chamber

3 what Branislav and Aleksandar do.

4 A. The elder son, Branislav, is studying in Belgrade, and the

5 younger son, Aleksandar, is going to school in Bratunac.

6 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, does Momir's 70-year-old mother live in the

7 household with -- of the Nikolic family, with Dusanka and Momir Nikolic?

8 A. Yes. Mrs. Milenija Nikolic lived in the same household, in the

9 Nikolic household.

10 Q. Is Mrs. Milenija Nikolic retired?

11 A. Yes. She is an old-age pensioner.

12 Q. Do you know what Mr. Momir Nikolic's wife does?

13 A. Mr. Momir Nikolic's wife teaches literature in the Bratunac

14 primary school.

15 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, would it be true to say that the salaries of

16 those who work in education and that the pensions that old-age pensioners

17 receive in Bosnia-Herzegovina are not very high?

18 A. Yes. Teacher's salaries and old-age pensioners' pensions in

19 Bosnia and Herzegovina are extremely low.

20 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, in your testimony today, you said that -- in the

21 testimony you have given so far, you said that you studied together with

22 Momir Nikolic, that you both returned to Bratunac and found employment

23 there. Did you continue to see Mr. Momir Nikolic? And if you did, could

24 you provide this Trial Chamber with more details about how you socialised,

25 what you did, where you'd go.

Page 1491

1 A. When we graduated, we both returned to Bratunac and found jobs.

2 We continued to see each other. We would very often go to cafes together.

3 We'd go fishing together. We'd visit each other's families. We had

4 common friends whom we would visit, those sort of things.

5 Q. And your -- your friends, were they of mixed ethnic composition?

6 A. Yes. Our circle of friends was of mixed ethnic composition.

7 Q. Were there Muslims among your friends? That is to say, were

8 there Bosniaks among your friends?

9 A. Yes, there were.

10 Q. When you socialised, did you ever notice that Mr. Momir Nikolic

11 had nationalistic tendencies, with respect to ethnic groups?

12 A. No. Mr. Momir Nikolic never had any nationalistic tendencies

13 with regard to other ethnic groups.

14 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like to

15 ask the usher to show the witness a document. This is a version of a

16 document designated as document A2, which is attached to the sentencing

17 brief.

18 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, I would like to ask you -- if it's necessary to

19 put it on the ELMO, I do have a version in English.

20 Mr. Krsmanovic, could you please have a look at the document and

21 read it. Have you read it?

22 A. Yes, I have.

23 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, you've been Mr. Momir Nikolic's for a long time,

24 so you could answer this question even without the document, but would it

25 be true to say that Mr. Momir Nikolic has no previous convictions?

Page 1492












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Page 1493

1 A. As far as I know, Momir has no previous convictions.

2 Q. Thank you.

3 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I'd now like to ask the usher to

4 return those documents to me. And there is another document that I would

5 like to show the witness. This document is designated as A3. This is the

6 English version.

7 Q. I'd like to ask you to read this attestation as well.

8 Mr. Krsmanovic, is it true to say that no criminal proceedings

9 have been instituted against Mr. Momir Nikolic in Republika Srpska, no

10 criminal proceedings for crimes of any kind have been instituted against

11 him? Is that correct?

12 A. As far as I know, criminal proceedings have never been instituted

13 against Mr. Momir Nikolic.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask the usher

16 to return the documents. I have no other documents to show the witness.

17 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, is it true to say that in -- from 1989 to 1991

18 there was an increase in inter-ethnic tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

19 A. Yes, that's true.

20 Q. Can you briefly tell Their Honours how in this period, when

21 inter-ethnic tensions were rising among the various groups in

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, how Mr. Momir Nikolic behaved in that period.

23 A. As far as I know, Mr. Momir Nikolic was not a member of any party

24 in that period. He behaved like a citizen who did not favour any

25 political parties. He did not attend any political rallies. He behaved

Page 1494

1 like a neutral citizen, as far as political parties were concerned.

2 Q. And did his attitude towards other nations and ethnic groups

3 remain unchanged?

4 A. Yes, it did.

5 Q. After the end of the war and the signing of the Dayton Peace

6 Accords, can you list the institutions and companies in which Mr. Nikolic

7 worked?

8 A. Yes. After the signing of the Dayton Accords, Mr. Nikolic first

9 got a job in the Ministry for Displaced Persons and Refugees. After that,

10 he was employed in a trading company called Guber. After that, he was

11 employed in a company called Kartonaza.

12 Q. What happened to Mr. Nikolic after this company was privatised?

13 A. After the privatisation of the Kartonaza company, Momir Nikolic

14 worked there for a brief period of time, but then he was made redundant.

15 Q. And how did Mr. Nikolic behave then?

16 A. After he was fired, Mr. Momir Nikolic withdrew into himself. He

17 rarely went out, and he rarely visited the places he used to go before.

18 Q. While Mr. Nikolic was the director of the Kartonaza company, did

19 you ever hear from anyone that he embezzled any funds in that company

20 called Kartonaza?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you hear from anyone that any kind of investigation was

23 carried out against Mr. Nikolic in connection with the embezzlement of

24 some funds in that company?

25 A. No.

Page 1495

1 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, are you aware that in December 1999 Momir Nikolic

2 gave an interview to investigators of The Hague Tribunal in Banja Luka?

3 A. Yes, I'm aware of this, because Mr. Nikolic told me about it.

4 Q. Can you tell Their Honours what he told you on his return from

5 that interview?

6 A. He didn't tell me the details, but he said the interview was

7 long, that it was exhausting, and that he was afraid that he might be

8 indicted for the crimes that had occurred in Srebrenica.

9 Q. Are you referring to the year 1995?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, as the personal friend of Momir Nikolic, would

12 you please tell us your opinion about the following fact: If Mr. Nikolic

13 had known he was indicted, would he have, in your opinion, voluntarily

14 surrendered to The Hague Tribunal?

15 A. We never discussed it, but it was my impression that

16 Momir Nikolic, had he known he was indicted, would have surrendered

17 voluntarily.

18 Q. Mr. Krsmanovic, can you tell this Chamber on what facts you base

19 this opinion of yours, or rather, from what facts do you draw this

20 conclusion?

21 A. I can draw this conclusion from the fact that Mr. Nikolic didn't

22 leave his home. He didn't socialise with his friends. He spent all his

23 time either at home or close to his home.

24 Q. Is it correct that Mr. Nikolic did not leave his home to go

25 elsewhere to hide or conceal himself?

Page 1496

1 A. No, he didn't leave.

2 Q. Is it true that Mr. Nikolic was arrested in front of his house

3 while he was having coffee with his 70-year-old mother and that he did not

4 resist arrest?

5 A. Yes, he was arrested close to his home.

6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Krsmanovic.

7 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, these are all my

8 questions for this witness.

9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

10 Any questions on the side of the Prosecution? Yes,

11 Mr. McCloskey.

12 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge Argibay.

15 Questioned by the Court:

16 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Good afternoon, sir. May I ask you, where were

17 you in the period between June and October 1995?

18 A. Between June and October 1995, I had a work obligation.


20 A. In the Jesenik timber company in Bratunac.

21 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Did you have time to still meet Mr. Momir Nikolic

22 by that time? I know it was a war and you were both of you in different

23 appointments, but did you have time to get together some days?

24 A. No. No, we did not socialise in those days.

25 JUDGE ARGIBAY: So he never made a comment to you by that time of

Page 1497

1 what was happening?

2 A. No.

3 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you.

4 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's question?

5 Mr. Londrovic?

6 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

8 Mr. McCloskey?

9 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

11 At this stage, are there any documents to tender, Mr. Londrovic,

12 through this witness?

13 MR. LONDROVIC: [Microphone not activated]

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

15 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to ask Your

16 Honours, apart from documents marked A2 and A3, I also wish to tender all

17 the other documents from A1 to A13. A14 is a report on

18 Mr. Momir Nikolic's behaviour in the Detention Unit. I have no witness

19 through whom to tender this document. I will simply ask Your Honours to

20 admit the document marked A14.

21 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. McCloskey?

22 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President. I have no question that

23 it's -- it's a reliable document and is what counsel says it is.

24 JUDGE LIU: Well, since there's no objections, I believe that

25 those documents are admitted into evidence. And --

Page 1498

1 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE LIU: And normally there's two ways for the parties to

3 tender documents: One is through 92 bis; the other is through a live

4 witness. The parties cannot tender any documents through the annex to any

5 filings. Those annexes to the filings, just to have some reference

6 purpose which should not be granted as any documentary or evidential value

7 to it. Thank you.

8 Thank you, witness, for coming to give your testimony. We all

9 wish you have a pleasant journey back home. The usher will show you out

10 of the courtroom. You may leave now.

11 [The witness withdrew]

12 JUDGE LIU: It takes a long time to have the next witness.

13 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I take it there's no protective measures or

15 anything for any of the witnesses that are coming?

16 JUDGE LIU: No, I don't think so. I think the counsel has

17 informed us the first two witnesses, not to enter any protective measures.

18 Am I right, Mr. Londrovic?

19 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, the first two

20 witnesses did not ask for my protective measures; while, the third and

21 fourth witness did ask for protective measures, that is, for a pseudonym

22 and image distortion. And Your Honours granted these measures at the last

23 Status Conference, as far as I can recall.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. The protective measures have been granted on

25 the 8th of September already.

Page 1499












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Page 1500

1 Could we have the next witness, please.

2 [The witness entered court]

3 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

5 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in

6 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, Bozo Momcilovic, solemnly

8 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

9 truth.


11 [Witness answered through interpreter]

12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.

13 Mr. Kirsch, yes.

14 MR. KIRSCH: Thank you, Your Honour.

15 Questioned by Mr. Kirsch:

16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Momcilovic.

17 A. Good afternoon.

18 Q. Mr. Momcilovic, just before I start, if there's any question

19 about the questions I will ask you, if you don't understand anything,

20 please don't hesitate to ask me and I might rephrase the question. Do you

21 understand? Since we need an interpretation.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Mr. Momcilovic, could you again please state your full name.

24 A. Bozo Momcilovic.

25 Q. I'll try to go through your personal background very quickly.

Page 1501

1 It's true that you were born on the 25th of January, 1962?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. That was in Kravica, which is in Bratunac municipality?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. I understand that you're still living in Bratunac municipality?

6 That's right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Am I right that you went to primary school in Kravica, which you

9 finished in 1976, and then you went to the secondary school of economics

10 in Srebrenica, which you finished in 1980?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And after finishing the secondary school, you went to serve in

13 the JNA for one year; that's true?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Can you tell us where that was?

16 A. In Rijeka, Croatia.

17 Q. Croatia. Thank you. What did you do after finishing your

18 military service?

19 A. I went to the Faculty of Economics at the University of Belgrade.

20 Q. And you finished there with a degree after five years? That's

21 right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. What did you do then?

24 A. I waited for a year to find employment, and I started working in

25 1987.

Page 1502

1 Q. Could you tell the Court, please, where you started working then.

2 A. In a state-owned company called Ciglana in Bratunac. This was a

3 brickworks.

4 Q. Are you still working in Ciglana today?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Could you please tell us for how long you worked within that firm

7 and when you moved to another firm, which this was.

8 A. Eleven years. And in 1998, I went to work in the timber company

9 or forestry management company in Bratunac.

10 Q. I'm right that you're still working there today?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Momcilovic.

13 Now, when did you first get to know Mr. Nikolic?

14 A. I first heard about Mr. Nikolic in the early '80s, and I met him

15 in person sometime in 1988, when I started working.

16 Q. So what were -- what were the circumstances when you first heard

17 about Mr. Nikolic?

18 A. I heard about Mr. Nikolic from my friends, who went to the

19 secondary school in Bratunac.

20 Q. Could you tell us what you heard about Mr. Nikolic in the time

21 then.

22 A. Mr. Nikolic was a teacher in that school, and he was teaching

23 defence. I heard from my friends that he was a strict teacher but that he

24 was extremely fair in the way he marked his students.

25 Q. At that time, did you hear at any time that your friends told you

Page 1503

1 that Mr. Nikolic was discriminating between pupils from different ethnic

2 backgrounds?

3 A. No. I even heard that he was exceptionally correct to all

4 children, regardless of their financial condition, their ethnic

5 background. All he cared about was whether they had learned their

6 lessons, not what their affiliations were.

7 Q. So when did you get to know Mr. Nikolic personally, then?

8 A. I met him sometime later, but I knew who he was. He didn't know

9 what -- who I was. But then I really got to know him when I started

10 working in the Ciglana company.

11 Q. How was that? Did you have any kind of business relationship to

12 him at that time?

13 A. No. It wasn't a business relationship, but Bratunac is a small

14 town and people with a university education all knew each other.

15 Q. So am I right that at this time you started meeting Mr. Nikolic

16 from time to time, having a drink or having a dinner or lunch together?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And what -- what did you learn about Mr. Nikolic's, let's say,

19 family background at that time?

20 A. I know that he's married. When we met, he had a son. Later he

21 had another son. He lived in a family house next to his father's and

22 mother's house. I know his wife's name is Dusanka, his elder son was

23 Brane, and his younger son was Sasa or Sale. I know that his wife is a

24 teacher, that she teaches literature, and that in 1995 or 1996 his father

25 died.

Page 1504

1 Q. When you met Mr. Nikolic from time to time in this circle, were

2 there also people from not Serb origin, meaning Croats, Bosniaks?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Did you hear at any time hearing Mr. Nikolic making any kind of

5 nationalistic statement or arguing in favour of a Greater Serbia, whatever

6 in that direction?

7 A. No.

8 Q. So when in the period between 1989 and 1990 inter-ethnic tensions

9 developed in the area, did you hear then of any incident Mr. Nikolic was

10 involved, like rally or -- or whatever?

11 A. No, never.

12 Q. Do you have any knowledge if at that time Mr. Nikolic was a

13 member of the SDS party?

14 A. I know that he was not.

15 Q. Were you a member of the SDS party at that time?

16 A. No, I wasn't.

17 Q. Is it true that Mr. Nikolic at that time served in the Bratunac

18 municipality for the Territorial Defence staff?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And was later on called to serve in the army; that's true?

21 A. He was mobilised.

22 Q. Do you know in which year this was?

23 A. I don't know exactly.

24 Q. Do you know what Mr. Nikolic did after he was demobilised? And

25 maybe you can tell us also if you recall when that was.

Page 1505

1 A. I know that in early 1996 he worked in the Ministry for Displaced

2 Persons and Refugees, and later he became the director of the socially

3 owned company Guber in Bratunac, and later on in 1998, he became the

4 director of the DP Kartonaza company in Bratunac, a socially owned

5 company.

6 Q. Do you know what happened after the Kartonaza company was

7 privatised?

8 A. I know that the new owners appointed a new director, and then

9 Nikolic lost his job.

10 Q. At that time, did you meet with Mr. Nikolic from time to time?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Did he ever speak to you about an interview he gave in

13 Banja Luka, I guess it was?

14 A. He did mention it, yes. I didn't ask him about the details. I

15 know he went to Banja Luka.

16 Q. Did you ever speak to Mr. Nikolic about -- that he was afraid

17 maybe to be arrested because of the events that happened in Srebrenica in

18 1995?

19 A. We never discussed it in any detail.

20 MR. KIRSCH: So if the Court would allow me, I would like to ask

21 just two more questions.

22 Q. The first is being aware of the guilty plea of Mr. Nikolic, do

23 you think that this was a -- an important step to regain peace and to gain

24 reconciliation in Bratunac municipality?

25 MR. KIRSCH: I'm asking for an opinion, so I'm not sure if the

Page 1506












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Page 1507

1 Court will allow me to do that.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my personal opinion, this is a

4 positive step and requires great courage to admit one's guilt, and the

5 Court will determine the sentence. This required courage, and I admire

6 him for it.

7 MR. KIRSCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Momcilovic. I have no

8 further questions. Thank you.

9 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from the Prosecution?

10 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you, witness, for coming to give your

14 evidence. The usher will show you out of the room. We wish you a

15 pleasant journey back home.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

17 [The witness withdrew]

18 JUDGE LIU: And it's time for the break. I understand that the

19 next two witnesses are under protective measures. So during the break I

20 hope the registrar will set up the necessary preparations for the next two

21 witnesses.

22 And we will resume at 5.00.

23 --- Recess taken at 4.30 p.m.

24 --- On resuming at 5.03 p.m.

25 [The witness entered court]

Page 1508

1 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

3 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.

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

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


7 [Witness answered through interpreter]

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

9 Yes, Mr. Londrovic.

10 Questioned by Mr. Londrovic:

11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. DB, the Trial Chamber has granted your

12 request for protective measures, so your name will not be used in this

13 courtroom to address you. We will use your pseudonym, DB, to address you.

14 And you have -- your image has been distorted and your voice has been

15 distorted too. Before I start putting questions to you, I would just like

16 to ask you to wait for me to finish my question, as we both speak the same

17 language.

18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Londrovic, I think you have to ask some

20 questions about the background of this witness and we could go into the

21 private session for that.

22 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I intended to do

23 that, but I just wanted to tell the witness that he should not reply too

24 rapidly, that -- I wanted to warn him that he should wait for the

25 interpreters to finish interpreting.

Page 1509


2 Let's go to the private session, please.

3 [Private session]

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 [Open session]

24 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the usher to

25 take our exhibit marked DS15 and show it to the witness, and I would like

Page 1510

1 to ask the witness to read what is contained in the document. But he

2 should not read it out aloud. He should just confirm that this is in fact

3 his name.

4 A. It is correct.

5 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the

6 document to my learned colleagues from the Prosecution and to the

7 Trial Chamber. To be of assistance to the Trial Chamber, this document

8 has been marked TAB4.

9 Q. Mr. DB, could you now tell the Trial Chamber whether you know

10 Mr. Momir Nikolic.

11 A. Yes, I do.

12 Q. Could you tell us how long you have known Mr. Momir Nikolic for.

13 A. Since the '80s, since the school time period.

14 Q. Is it correct to say that Mr. Nikolic was your teacher in

15 secondary school and he taught you national defence?

16 A. Yes, he did, occasionally.

17 Q. When you say "occasionally", do you mean during one school year,

18 two school years, a long or a short period of time?

19 A. Half an academic year. He was working there as a substitute.

20 Q. While Mr. Momir Nikolic was your teacher, did he ever demonstrate

21 intolerance of any kind towards pupils of non-Serb ethnicity?

22 A. No, he didn't.

23 Q. Did Mr. Nikolic's pupils have a good opinion of him as a teacher

24 and as a man?

25 A. Yes, they did.

Page 1511

1 Q. Mr. DB, you said that Mr. Nikolic worked as a teacher of defence.

2 Could you tell us now who his colleagues -- who the colleagues that he

3 would see most frequently were while he was a teacher.

4 A. He would mostly see a colleague who taught the same subject,

5 defence. His name was Sabid Mujkic.

6 Q. Is Sabid Mujkic a Bosniak?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. Mr. DB, could you now tell us whether you know where

9 Mr. Nikolic's house was? And if you do, could you tell us where his house

10 is located and what the name of the place where his house is located is

11 called.

12 A. It is in Repovac. It's on the outskirts of the entrance to the

13 town of Bratunac or it's on the outskirts of Bratunac.

14 Q. Do you know what the ethnic composition of Repovac is, which is

15 on the outskirts of Bratunac, and where Mr. Nikolic's house is located?

16 And I'm referring to the pre-war period.

17 A. The composition of the population was mixed.

18 Q. When you say that the population was mixed ethnicity, would it be

19 correct to say that there were both Bosniaks and Serbs who lived there?

20 A. Yes, that's correct.

21 Q. Mr. DB, did you ever hear anything about Mr. Momir Nikolic as a

22 neighbour? Did he ever have any conflicts of any kind with anyone?

23 A. No. He was never involved in any conflicts with his neighbours,

24 not during those years.

25 Q. Mr. DB, did you ever have the opportunity of being in the same

Page 1512

1 company with -- in Mr. Nikolic's company, in the same company with

2 Mr. Nikolic?

3 A. Yes, on several occasions, for a drink.

4 Q. If I say that you would go to cafes and restaurants in Bratunac,

5 would that be correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And the people you were with with Mr. Nikolic, were they also of

8 mixed ethnic origin?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Could you tell this Trial Chamber what you would discuss on such

11 occasions, what you would talk about.

12 A. The usual things. We didn't discuss the war then.

13 Q. In the course of those conversations, did you ever feel that

14 Mr. Nikolic demonstrated intolerance of any kind towards members of other

15 ethnic groups?

16 A. No, I never noticed such a thing.

17 Q. Mr. DB, are you aware of the fact that Mr. Nikolic admitted that

18 there was a crime that was perpetrated in Srebrenica in July 1995 and that

19 he has pleaded guilty before this Trial Chamber on a count of persecution

20 as a crime against humanity?

21 A. Yes, I've heard about this, through the media.

22 Q. Mr. DB, do you personally accept this admission of guilt,

23 admission of responsibility on the part of Mr. Momir Nikolic?

24 A. Yes, I do.

25 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like to

Page 1513












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Page 1514

1 request us to go back into private session very briefly, if possible.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.

3 [Private session]

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 [Open session]

19 JUDGE LIU: Now we're in the open session, Mr. Londrovic.

20 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21 Q. Mr. DB, do you believe that when one admits one's guilt it helps

22 to truth to be established more rapidly, and by admitting one's guilt it

23 is possible for the ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina to become

24 reconciled with each other more rapidly?

25 A. Yes, I agree with that.

Page 1515

1 Q. Would you recommend that other accused admit their guilt if they

2 feel that they are responsible?

3 A. Yes, I think that would be good for everyone.

4 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

5 questions.

6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

7 Any questions, Mr. McCloskey?

8 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

9 [Trial Chamber confers]

10 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage, are there any documents to

11 tender, Mr. Londrovic?

12 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. We intend to

13 tender three other documents -- three more documents into evidence with

14 the next -- through the next witness.

15 JUDGE LIU: Well, according to your practice of these

16 proceedings, I suggest that the document with the witness name on it

17 should be tendered into evidence under seal, that is, the document DS15.

18 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was going to

19 suggest this. This is Defence Exhibit DS15.

20 JUDGE LIU: I guess there's no objections, Mr. McCloskey?


22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. This document is admitted into

23 evidence as DS15.

24 Well, witness, thank you very much indeed for coming to The Hague

25 to give your evidence. The usher will pull down the blinds and show you

Page 1516

1 out of the room. We wish you a pleasant journey back home.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

3 [The witness withdrew]

4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Londrovic.

5 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, while we are

6 waiting for the following witness to appear, my colleague, Mr. Kirsch, has

7 told me that this witness has been granted voice distortion, and the

8 witness didn't request voice distortion and he only requested image

9 distortion and protection for his name. He requested that his name be

10 concealed. And this is also the case for the next witness.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Londrovic, we only requested -- we only

12 granted the request that the witness requested, which means -- which means

13 there's no voice distortion but the witness will have the pseudonym and

14 the facial distortion.

15 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, then there must have

16 been a mistake in the transcript.

17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. And how about the next witness?

18 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] The next witness has also asked

19 for a pseudonym to be used and has asked for facial distortion, and you

20 granted this request at the last Status Conference. I'm not sure of the

21 date.

22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

23 [The witness entered court]

24 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, witness.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

Page 1517

1 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.

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

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


5 [Witness answered through interpreter]

6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.

7 Yes, Mr. Londrovic.

8 Questioned by Mr. Londrovic:

9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. DA, I would like to inform you that this

10 Trial Chamber has granted your request for protective measures. A

11 pseudonym will be used and you will have facial distortion. Everyone in

12 the courtroom will use the pseudonym DA to address you.

13 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to ask the usher

14 to show you this Defence exhibit, marked DS16.

15 Q. Could you just have a look at the exhibit to see whether your

16 name is written down on the document. Don't read it out aloud though. If

17 it's correct, just say yes.

18 A. Yes.

19 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please show the

20 exhibit to my learned colleagues from the Prosecution and to the Trial

21 Chamber.

22 Your Honour, could this exhibit be sealed, be presented under

23 seal. I don't think anyone would object to that.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. Of course.

25 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we go very

Page 1518

1 briefly into private session?

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.

3 [Private session]

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 1519

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 [Open session]

7 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Mr. DA, can you tell us whether you know Mr. Momir Nikolic.

9 A. Yes. I have known Momir Nikolic since secondary school through

10 his sister Zorica, who attended primary school with me from the fifth to

11 the eighth grade.

12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises: Primary school.

13 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Nikolic finished university?

15 A. Yes. After graduating from the secondary school of civil

16 engineering, he graduated in national defence in Sarajevo.

17 Q. And do you know whether Mr. Nikolic, after graduating from

18 university, from the Faculty of National Defence, returned to Bratunac and

19 started to work there?

20 A. Yes. After graduating from university, he came back to Bratunac

21 and got a job at a teacher in the Bratunac secondary school.

22 Q. Can you tell Their Honours what jobs Mr. Nikolic did.

23 A. Mr. Nikolic was a teacher of general national defence in the

24 Bratunac secondary school.

25 Q. Mr. DA, did you socialise with Mr. Nikolic? And if you did, can

Page 1520












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Page 1521

1 you explain in greater detail to Their Honours where and how this

2 occurred.

3 A. As Bratunac is a small town, we would all see each other. We

4 would often sit in the Fontana Hotel and have coffee together.

5 Q. This circle of friends to which you and Mr. Nikolic

6 belonged - and I assume there were others - was it of a mixed ethnic

7 composition?

8 A. Yes. We always sat in a circle of friends that was of a mixed

9 ethnic composition.

10 Q. While you were sitting in this way, having coffee, what did you

11 talk about mostly? What was the topic of your conversations then?

12 A. It was usually everyday topics, life in the town of Bratunac, the

13 economy, education, and so on.

14 Q. Did you ever hear Mr. Nikolic expressing negative opinions about

15 any nationality or ethnic group or that he advocated Greater Serbian

16 ideas?

17 A. No. I'm not aware of any such thing, and such topics were never

18 raised in our conversations. And also, Mr. Nikolic had friends among the

19 Muslims, the Bosniaks.

20 Q. Can you give us names, if you know, of Mr. Nikolic's good

21 friends?

22 A. Mr. Pekar Dubicic [phoen]. They, as bachelors, socialised for a

23 long time.

24 Q. Mr. DA, while Mr. Nikolic was working as a teacher, did you ever

25 hear that he drew distinctions among the pupils he taught, along ethnic

Page 1522

1 lines?

2 A. No, I never heard any such thing. I had close relatives who

3 attended that school and whose teacher he was.

4 Q. Mr. DA, is it true to say that in the period from 1989 to 1991 in

5 Bosnia and Herzegovina there was an increase in inter-ethnic tensions?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Can you tell Their Honours how Mr. Nikolic behaved in this period

8 of time.

9 A. In the period when the conflicts in international relations

10 began, I never saw Mr. Nikolic at the SDS rallies or the rallies held by

11 other political parties in Bratunac.

12 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Nikolic belonged to the SDA; yes or no?

13 A. No, he didn't.

14 Q. To avoid confusion, does your answer know that -- mean that he

15 was not?

16 A. It means I'm not aware of such a thing.

17 Q. Mr. DA, are you aware of the fact that Momir Nikolic has pleaded

18 guilty before The Hague Tribunal for the crime that occurred in Srebrenica

19 and that he has accepted responsibility?

20 A. Yes, I'm aware of that, and I think that he's the first person

21 from the Bratunac and Srebrenica area to admit guilt for the crime that

22 happened in Srebrenica.

23 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we go back to

24 private session very briefly?

25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.

Page 1523

1 [Private session]

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 [Open session]

25 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. We are looking for

Page 1524

1 the English version of this letter in order to distribute it among the

2 parties while Mr. DA is reading the text.

3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Londrovic, does this letter have a number on it?

4 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the letter is marked

5 01-014-786/03, and it was written on the 8th of October, 2003.

6 JUDGE LIU: Are you going to tender this letter into evidence at

7 a later stage? Well, if so -- if so -- we'd better have a DS number.

8 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

9 Your Honour, we can mark this document as DS17.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

11 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Mr. DA, have you read this letter?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Would you be so kind as to tell me whether you entirely support

15 the complete contents of this document.

16 A. Yes, I fully support the entire contents of this document.

17 Q. Thank you.

18 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like to

19 show the witness another document, which the Defence would like to mark as

20 Exhibit DS18. I will ask the usher to hand the English version to my

21 learned friends and to Your Honours. I will ask the witness to pay

22 attention to the paragraphs that have been marked in red, highlighted in

23 red. And in order not to waste time, I will read this. It is a letter

24 written by Mr. Emir Suljagic.

25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

Page 1525

1 MR. McCLOSKEY: The Prosecution hasn't been provided with this

2 material. If we could have that.

3 I have seen this before. I just meant I hadn't seen it in court.

4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Londrovic.

5 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Mr. DA, this is a letter written by Mr. Emir Suljagic, one of the

7 victims of the Srebrenica crimes in 1995, and this was published in the

8 New York Times on the 1st of June, 2003. I will ask you to pay attention

9 to the paragraphs highlighted in red, which I will quote: "Mr. Nikolic's

10 confession, in which he described in chilling detail how he helped

11 organise the mass execution and burial and an extensive cover-up, all of

12 which he says army superiors ordered him to carry out, punches a big hole

13 in the Bosnian Serb wall of denial. Serbs should have no reason to doubt

14 his admission. Mr. Nikolic has nothing to gain by exaggerating. I don't

15 expect the confessions by Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Obrenovic to transform

16 Bosnian Serb views. Many of the men he named as co-conspirators are still

17 at large. Some of them still hold senior positions in the Bosnian Serb

18 army. One of them is a member of the parliament. But the confessions

19 have brought me a sense of relief I have not known since the fall of

20 Srebrenica in 1995. They have given me the acknowledgment I have been

21 looking for these past eight years. While far from an apology, these

22 admissions are a start. We Bosnian Muslims no longer have to prove we

23 were victims. Our friends and cousins, fathers and brothers were killed,

24 and we no longer have to prove they were innocent."

25 Mr. DA, do you fully support the views expressed by

Page 1526

1 Mr. Emir Suljagic?

2 A. Yes.

3 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one more

4 document, DS19. I would like to show this also to the witness. The

5 English version may be distributed to the parties. I will ask the witness

6 again to pay attention to the highlighted parts. This is an article

7 entitled "Review and outlook: Revisiting Srebrenica," which was published

8 in the Wall Street Journal Europe.

9 Q. Mr. DA, please pay attention to the parts I will read to you.

10 "In a separate trial in the Srebrenica case, the testimony came about

11 when a former Bosnian Serb intelligence chief and a brigade commander

12 agreed to stand witness against two comrades as part of a plea bargain.

13 In itself, that was a success. Prosecutors are finally succeeding in

14 finding strong witnesses. Since May, eight people have made a plea

15 bargain, compared with eight in the decade before then."

16 "To questions by the Defence counsel why he ignored Geneva

17 Conventions" -- I will make a digression here. This was a question put by

18 Mr. Blagojevic's Defence counsel to Mr. Momir Nikolic as a witness:

19 "Questioned by the defence attorney why he ignored the Geneva

20 Conventions of war, Mr. Nikolic shot back: 'Do you really think that in

21 an operation where 7.000 people were killed that somebody was adhering to

22 the Geneva Conventions?' This testimony sets the dreadful record straight.

23 Some Serbian politicians contended this massacre never took place. Now

24 two credible Bosnian Serb witnesses explain how it happened. Some Bosnian

25 Muslims worried that they would never know the details or see justice

Page 1527












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Page 1528

1 triumph. Justice aside, at least they now know what took place. The

2 intriguing detail of the testimony in the Srebrenica case was that the

3 massacre was carried out by Bosnian Serb army and police, some of whom

4 were on Belgrade's payroll. This fact alone would strengthen the already

5 strong link between the Serbian leadership, principally Mr. Milosevic, and

6 the thugs committing the crimes on the ground in Bosnia, where 200.000

7 people perished between 1992 and 1995."

8 And would you just pay attention to the last paragraph: "The

9 wheels of justice have turned very slowly in addressing Balkan crimes, but

10 they are now turning faster and we are finally getting clearer testimony

11 defining who was to blame. The next question is whether Serbia's new

12 leaders will accept their responsibility to help round up the suspects

13 still at large and deliver them to The Hague."

14 Mr. DA, my last question to you is: Do you fully support

15 everything I have read out and do you support these conclusions?

16 A. Yes, fully. I support all this fully, and I stand by this

17 conclusion. The admission by Momir Nikolic has opened up all these

18 processes about the crimes that happened in Srebrenica.

19 Q. Mr. DA, thank you.

20 JUDGE LIU: Any questions, Mr. McCloskey?

21 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President

22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

23 Questioned by the Court:

24 JUDGE LIU: Witness, I have a question to ask you: Do you know

25 Mr. Nikolic served in the capacity of the chief of the department of the

Page 1529

1 Ministry for Refugees and Displaced Persons in Bratunac and as a

2 co-coordinator of the Ministry of the Municipality following his

3 demobilisation in April 1996?

4 A. I'm not aware of this. I came to Bratunac in 1998. But I do

5 know that he was the director of a company called Kartonaza in Bratunac.

6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Judge Vassylenko, please.

9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Sir, can you tell us what was the reaction of

10 the Serbian community to the -- Mr. Nikolic's guilty plea?

11 A. It was not good.

12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Thank you. I have no more questions.

13 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judge's question?

14 It seems to me there's none.

15 Yes, Mr. Londrovic.

16 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Only one question, Your Honours.

17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Londrovic.

18 Further questioned by Mr. Londrovic:

19 Q. Mr. DA, you said the reaction of the Serbs to Mr. Momir Nikolic's

20 guilty plea was not good.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Is there a part of the Serb community which considers

23 Mr. Momir Nikolic a traitor of Serbian interests?

24 A. Yes, I think that's what they think.

25 Q. Did you have an opportunity to talk to individual Serbs who

Page 1530

1 condemn Mr. Nikolic's guilty plea and his admission of responsibility?

2 A. Yes.

3 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have

4 no further questions.

5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

6 Questioned by Mr. McCloskey:

7 Q. Just to finish that one point, are you aware of any Serbs that

8 supported Mr. Nikolic's guilty plea?

9 A. Yes.

10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. At this stage, are there any documents to

11 tender? Mr. Londrovic?

12 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to tender the

13 following documents as Defence exhibits: DS16, DS17, DS18, and DS19.

14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any objections?

15 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President.

16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. These four documents are

17 admitted into evidence.

18 Well, witness, thank you very much for coming to The Hague to

19 give your evidence. When the usher pulls down the blinds, she will take

20 you out of this courtroom. We wish you a pleasant journey back home.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you too.

22 [The witness withdrew]

23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have finished the witnesses called by the

24 Defence team. Mr. Londrovic, are you going to make any statement at this

25 stage? Of course, at the end of the proceedings, which means tomorrow

Page 1531

1 afternoon probably, the parties, both parties will have the right to make

2 closing statements. Anyway, if you want to make any statements at this

3 stage, you may do so, Mr. Londrovic.

4 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. At this

5 point, I have nothing to say. At the end, Mr. Nikolic's Defence will

6 present its closing arguments and say everything it feels is relevant and

7 important for the sentencing of Mr. Nikolic.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

9 Well, tomorrow afternoon we'll hear the Rule 98 witnesses. There

10 are three witnesses called by this Trial Chamber. The purpose for calling

11 those witnesses is to assess the cooperation between Mr. Nikolic and the

12 Prosecution and not due to concern about lack of the factual basis to

13 support the guilty plea and subsequent conviction. I want to make this

14 very clear to both parties.

15 This Trial Chamber has made three confidential orders concerning

16 with these three witnesses in this proceeding. In each order, we defined

17 very clearly the scope of the areas that we would like to ask some

18 questions to those witnesses. I hope both parties will function within

19 those scopes defined in those three orders.

20 The procedure is that the witness may summarise his previous

21 statements or the Trial Chamber may ask some questions to those witnesses.

22 Then the parties could ask some questions to that witness. But all the

23 questions should be within the scope defined in our orders.

24 Are there any questions concerning of the procedure for

25 tomorrow's proceedings? Mr. McCloskey?

Page 1532

1 MR. McCLOSKEY: No questions, Mr. President. I did just want to

2 make it clear for the record that one of those witnesses the Prosecution

3 has spoken to as a -- as a Prosecution witness and -- and -- about this --

4 about the subject matter of the entire case, including the subject matter

5 that the Court was interested in, as I'm sure counsel is aware. The other

6 two witnesses the Prosecution has not spoken to, nor do they intend to

7 speak to at this time.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you for your information.

9 Mr. Londrovic, any questions? Concerning with tomorrow's

10 proceedings?

11 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour, but I

12 wish to clarify the procedure. As far as I understood you, the witness

13 will first make a statement, then Your Honours may question him, and then

14 I assume the order is as follows: The witness may be questioned by the

15 Prosecution, my learned friends, and finally by the Defence. Would you

16 please confirm whether I'm right.

17 JUDGE LIU: I believe so. Most of what you said is right, but

18 sometimes a witness is reluctant to make any statement at first, and maybe

19 we'll begin by questions asked by the Judges so that is more direct and

20 that will give the proper guidance to the witness and tell him the scope

21 of the questions. Maybe we will begin with the questions asked by the

22 Judges tomorrow, and then the Prosecution will ask some questions, and the

23 Defence also could ask some questions.

24 Yes. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.

25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have no problems with any of

Page 1533

1 that; though I would -- if the Court would consider, I have not spoken to

2 counsel about this, but perhaps it would be more appropriate that the

3 Defence start with the cross-examination of these witnesses, since it is

4 their -- their client at sentencing. I may not have much to cross-examine

5 on, and we could save time, as opposed to me wondering how much I should

6 cross-examine.

7 JUDGE LIU: Well -- well, Mr. McCloskey, those witnesses are

8 Court witnesses. In the civil law system, I think the Judge will ask the

9 questions mainly. I don't think there is a strict line between the direct

10 examination or cross-examination. I think everything could be very

11 flexible. If you do not want to ask a question after Judges' questions,

12 then maybe the Defence could ask the question first. We just want to give

13 you an opportunity to -- to ask questions.

14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Well, I would like to take you up on that

15 opportunity, and especially try to bring out any problems in the testimony

16 or any untruthful situations. I'm just saying I may be -- we may be able

17 to save more time if I do that second, as opposed to first. But I can

18 discuss that with counsel too to see, and we're flexible obviously.

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.

20 And Mr. Londrovic, I understand your client wants to make a

21 statement at the end of the proceedings. Am I right?

22 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you are right.

23 Mr. Momir Nikolic, after the closing arguments by his Defence counsel,

24 intends to briefly address the Chamber, and this will not take longer than

25 ten minutes, in our estimation. The essence of what he intends is to

Page 1534

1 publicly express his remorse once again and to say that he spoke the

2 absolute truth and to explain the reasons for his guilty plea and the

3 reason why he accepted responsibility for the crimes that occurred after

4 the fall of the Srebrenica enclave in 1995.

5 JUDGE LIU: Well, at this stage, I have to tell you that after

6 Mr. Nikolic's statement, the Chamber may ask him some questions, which of

7 course will not go to the -- the convictions but only concerning with the

8 cooperations. You understand that?

9 MR. LONDROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I fully understand that, and

10 I think my client understands that too.

11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much.

12 Well, this afternoon we are ahead of time, so we are adjourned

13 until 3.00, tomorrow afternoon.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.05 p.m.