1 Tuesday, 22 August 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good morning, Madam Registrar. Could you
6 kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
10 Mr. Popovic, can you follow the proceedings in your own language?
11 THE ACCUSED POPOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 Mr. Beara, same question.
14 THE ACCUSED BEARA: [Interpretation] I can, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic.
16 THE ACCUSED NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 THE ACCUSED BOROVCANIN: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Miletic.
21 THE ACCUSED MILETIC: [Interpretation] Fully.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Gvero.
23 THE ACCUSED GVERO: [Interpretation] I can, thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And Mr. Pandurevic.
25 THE ACCUSED PANDUREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your
1 Honour. Yes, I can, thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you all.
3 Appearances for the Prosecution.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Peter
5 McCloskey. With me today is Nelson Thayer and Janet Stewart.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey, and good morning to you
7 and your team.
8 Appearances for Vujadin Popovic.
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honour. For Vujadin Popovic
10 Zoran Zivanovic, Julie Condon, and Kelly Pitcher.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zivanovic, and good morning to you
12 and your team.
13 Appearances for Ljubisa Beara.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. John
15 Ostojic, Nebojsa Mrkic, and Chris Meek for Ljubisa Beara. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Meek, and good morning to you and
17 your team.
18 Appearances for Ljubomir Borovcanin -- for -- sorry, for Drago
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Jelena
21 Nikolic, Stephane Bourgon, and Bojan Stefanovic representing Mr. Nikolic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Nikolic, and good morning to you
23 and your team.
24 Appearances for Ljubomir Borovcanin.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Aleksandar Lazarevic
1 and Mr. Miodrag Stojanovic for Ljubomir Borovcanin.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic, and good morning to you
3 and your team.
4 Appearances for Radivoje Miletic.
5 MS. FAVEAU: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Natacha
6 Faveau-Ivanovic for General Miletic, together with my assistant Nikolic.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you and your team.
9 Appearances for Milan Gvero.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic and
11 Natalie Wagner for Milan Gvero.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Krgovic, and good morning to you
13 and your team.
14 And appearances for Vinko Pandurevic.
15 MR. HAYNES: Your Honour: Peter Haynes, Djordje Sarapa, and
16 Francesco Rindi.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you Mr. Haynes, and good morning to you and
18 your team.
19 So let me start off with the left over from yesterday's sitting.
20 Towards the end of the sitting, Mr. Krgovic, for Accused Gvero, raised
21 what we considered to be an important matter related to the timing of the
22 filing of exhibits or documents that are meant or intended to be used at
23 cross-examination -- during cross-examination. We had left it at that
24 yesterday, expecting the Prosecution to ponder about it and come back this
25 morning with some kind of response.
1 Do you take a position on that, Mr. McCloskey?
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I'm sorry to say I didn't fully
3 understand the argument yesterday, and I -- if you could restate the
4 issue, I'm sure I can provide a --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Would you like to do that yourself,
6 Mr. Krgovic, or shall I do it for you?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, given the fact that we
8 have been using e-court, the documents that have been used in
9 cross-examination would be submitted to the Prosecutor in hard copy once
10 the witness took his solemn declaration and started to be examined. Since
11 we have now been using this new system, the Defence team for General Gvero
12 suggests that the same thing should be done for e-court, meaning at the
13 moment when the witness starts testifying on direct, that these documents
14 should be released on e-court and delivered to the Prosecution in that
15 form, once the witness takes his solemn declaration.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. -- so much, Mr. Krgovic.
17 Mr. McCloskey, what I suggest is the following: What was
18 suggested or was -- what is at the back of -- in the background of
19 Mr. Krgovic's submission is a decision handed down by Trial Chamber III in
20 the Milutinovic trial on the 16th of August, which regulates this matter.
21 It regulates it in a way which, in the mind of Mr. Krgovic, is
22 commendable. So what we are suggesting is that you have a look at this
23 decision - I can make it available and then you can let me have it back -
24 and then after the first break please come back with some kind of
25 response. Our position so far is that we think that the decision in
1 Milutinovic is commendable, too. So I suggest that you have a look at it.
2 Usher, please.
3 And then later on in the day you can come back to deal with it.
4 The other thing I wanted to mention is that my understanding is
5 that when you finish with your opening statement, it will be then
6 Mr. Ostojic, for Accused Beara, who will go first. And he will then be
7 followed, as agreed, by Mr. Bourgon or Madam Nikolic, and the statement by
8 Mr. Gvero will come at a later stage, when the opening statements are
9 concluded. All right. Thank you.
10 You have as much time as you need, and of course the time limit
11 that will be allowed for the Defence will be regulated accordingly in the
12 same manner.
13 Yes, Mr. McCloskey, unless there are other preliminary issues that
14 you would like to address. I see none.
15 Yes, Mr. McCloskey. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 We left off yesterday going over some of the key documents for
18 General Miletic. I will continue. I would like to take you first to a --
19 what's referred to as a 13 July Main Staff VRS army report to the
20 president of the Republika Srpska. Now, Ms. Stewart will put that up on
21 the stand and blow it up a bit so we can especially see the heading at the
22 top so that you can see what that is. This is what is fundamental to --
23 again, to the brigades, the corps, and the Main Staff. It was required
24 for each of these units to send reports to their superior command, and
25 this is a little different since this is the Main Staff sending their
1 report to the office of the Presidency, to Radovan Karadzic. We have a
2 large collection of these particular Main Staff reports and we -- for the
3 year of 1995, and they -- many of them, in fact most of them for that
4 year, are under the name of General Miletic, or Colonel Miletic, standing
5 in for the Chief of Staff. There are some that Milovanovic himself
6 writes, but for our period of time we mostly see General Miletic sending
7 these important reports to the president.
8 Now, these reports are the goings-on in all the different corps on
9 a daily basis, and clearly it would take quite a bit of staff work for
10 this to be assembled and sent on to the corps, so we are not suggesting
11 that General Miletic would have written every word of this himself, though
12 as a good general and a good staff officer he should be aware of the high
13 points and would be aware of the high points. This is crucial information
14 for the president to have, and I'll show you some of the information.
15 Going directly to the 13th, if we could now go to page 3,
16 paragraph 6(a). If we could blow up paragraph 6(a) so we can get a good
17 read of it. This is, again, the Drina Corps section, and it's a report on
18 what's going on in the Srebrenica area. And it says: "The enemy from the
19 former enclave of Srebrenica is in a state of total disarray and troops
20 are surrendering in large numbers to the VRS. A 200 to 300-strong group
21 of soldiers managed to break through to the general sector of Mount Udrc,
22 from where they are trying to break through to the territory under Muslim
24 This is the kind of critical information that this general would
25 and should be aware of. And you can see how important this information
1 is. This is bad information. Two to three hundred. It was much more
2 like to 5 to 6.000, and this was the first bit of bad intelligence that
3 was getting up to the president's office that caused a lot of the distress
4 later on. But this shows that General Miletic is aware of the situation,
5 he's monitoring the situation, he's reporting the situation. These are
6 all key elements in getting the job done, which, as you know, includes
7 moving out the population.
8 In fact, if we go down to paragraph 2, situation in the territory,
9 if we blow that up: "There is an organised and planned transfer of the
10 population from Srebrenica to the territory under Muslim control."
11 He uses just about every word except "forcible" in there. Again,
12 this shows -- this is important information, he is reporting basically
13 what is the commission of a crime to the president. He is a key link in
14 the information chain. It's not -- command bunkers are targeted for a
15 good reason; to stop this kind of vital information so decisions don't get
16 made with proper information and armies collapse. General Miletic is a
17 key member of that staff, passing on key information to the Presidency.
18 He would have, of course, been an excellent target, a military target, for
19 any of the Muslim army.
20 The next document I'd like to go to is a report dated 14 July from
21 General Tolimir, and he's sending it from the command of the 1st Podrinje
22 Light Infantry Brigade, sometimes better known as the Rogatica Brigade,
23 whereas you recall from yesterday he had been sent by Mladic to look after
24 the Zepa operation. And we note from that document -- if we could blow it
25 up a bit. Maybe if you're sitting closer to it you can read it, but I can
1 tell we're going to need to make that bigger. I know it's -- looking at
2 the ELMO fondly, but I'll try to avoid it.
3 This is to the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska personally to
4 General Miletic. Now, this is something you will see not infrequently.
5 When a general or an officer wants to make darn sure someone gets
6 something, they say, "Personally to," because they know it's going to a
7 staff, and in order to get that vital communication communicated, they
8 will write "Personally to," and they do it obviously for a reason. And
9 this one from Tolimir is obviously personally to General Miletic, so we
10 know General Miletic is at the Main Staff, doing his job that day. And it
11 is related to the protection of TVP, which is military information.
12 And I won't read this to you, but you can tell that it has to do
13 with connecting the Drina Corps communications network to the Main Staff
14 so that everyone can be fully informed with the radio traffic. And this
15 is General Tolimir providing key information to General Miletic, which is
16 key information for the operation and shows how important both of them
17 are. Neither of them are mere paper shufflers, technical people that
18 aren't involved.
19 The next document I would go to is a document that comes out of
20 the Main Staff - again, if we could blow that up - on 15 July to the 1st
21 Krajina Corps from General Miletic. And it says, "Chief of Staff's
22 representative" down there. I believe that's just a mistranslation of
23 "standing in for the Chief of Staff." Translation, as you know, can
24 interpret things differently, but we will get this corrected before it
25 becomes an exhibit. In any event -- and I won't spend the time to read
1 this, but what this is is General Miletic notifying the Krajina Corps that
2 they will send a unit to assist Zvornik. Now, this is the -- to assist in
3 the combat operations. And unless we see evidence that it is involved in
4 the murder operation or the forcible transfer operation, we give the
5 reasonable doubt to the Defence. This appears to be in support of the
6 combat operation. But it shows General Miletic sending troops and -- and
7 it's in a firm command-like way. If you read this -- the language, the
8 command shall do this, they shall do that, this is the kind of orders and
9 directives that is normal for someone in this position, standing in for
10 the Chief of Staff, to issue. These are orders, though, as we've said,
11 technically the Chief of Staff cannot issue or originate orders. He would
12 be doing this under his mantle that he has been authorised to do from his
14 All right. Now, this is an intercept dated 17 July, and it's --
15 involves Krstic and the commander. And the commander refers to Krstic as
16 Krle. You will see on a video General Mladic referring to Krstic as Krle.
17 This is his nickname that a few chosen people used, General Mladic one of
18 them. Colonel Beara used it as well, as you'll see in another intercept.
19 What we can see from this, if we can blow it up again so we can maybe read
20 it a bit better:
21 "Krstic: The commander ...
24 "Krle, can you hear me?"
25 Krstic: "I can hear you.
1 "Full steam ahead."
2 Krstic: "Understood."
3 Commander: "Get in touch with Miletic on a secure line. Full
4 steam ahead. I didn't accept the Turks' conditions."
5 Krstic: "Understood.
7 Now, this has to do with Zepa. On the 17th of July there are
8 negotiations, if you can call them that, they are not really negotiations,
9 but they are between Mladic and the BiH officials, and they go on for a
10 few days before this is finally resolved in a certain way on the 27th.
11 And what Mladic is doing is he's calling Krstic, the man who's in charge
12 of the attack on Zepa, to let him know first and foremost he did not
13 accept the conditions - you'll see that there are various agreements that
14 are discussed during the Zepa case - and that the first thing he wants
15 Krstic to do is get in touch with Miletic and tell him that. Miletic is
16 at the command post likely. He is the man at home that needs to know
17 what's going on. Krstic is the command of the operation, is the first man
18 that needs to know. Miletic is the coordinator, as the chief of
19 operations and standing in for the Chief of Staff, is the next man that
20 needs to know. And that shows the important role that each of these
21 individuals is playing. All right.
22 Lastly, I have another document from Tolimir, this one dated 21
23 July, and this also having to do with Zepa. Tolimir is writing from the
24 Podrinje Brigade. And again, it's to General Miletic. Can you blow that
25 up chunk by chunk so they can see it.
1 It's to General Miletic personally, and it's the situation on
2 Zepa. And I won't go through all of this, but it basically talks about
3 the Muslims organising the defence in certain areas and that they have --
4 using the UNPROFOR flak jackets and combat equipment and are targeting
5 UNPROFOR to try to provoke NATO's reaction and up to antics to confuse the
6 Serb enemy. Then he says: "I propose to ban the arrival of
7 representatives of UNPROFOR and international organisations in the zone of
8 combat operations for mediation in negotiations."
9 That's number 3. This is important so they can control the
11 And then number 4: "We believe that it is more profitable to hold
12 direct negotiations after inflicting losses on the enemy's manpower. We
13 ask you to provide" a means to do this, basically.
14 Then the second paragraph says: "It would be most profitable to
15 destroy them by using chemical means, or aerosol mines and bombs. By
16 using these means, we would cause the fall of Zepa and surrender of the
17 Moslems. We will continue combat operations with direct attack weapons to
18 break through in the mentioned directions."
19 This is an assistant commander making a proposal to use chemical
20 weapons. Now, there's a lot about chemical weapons in the news, but there
21 are different kinds of chemical weapons. The JNA and the VRS had some
22 pretty ugly stuff; however, they also had material that was called -- I
23 believe it's called CS, and it's fundamentally tear gas. And while the
24 investigation has not borne out the exact kind of chemical weapons
25 suggested here, I -- it appears more likely that they're talking about
1 tear gas as opposed to some of the more psychotropic drugs that are much
2 more dangerous, but the investigation is still working on that. But at
3 this point, again, I would look at this more as tear gas than I would as
4 anything more extreme.
5 However, the next paragraph - and if we could blow this one up -
6 this is a different story.
7 "We believe that by destroying the refugee columns of Muslim
8 population from directions of Stublici, Radave, and Brloske Planine, we
9 would force the Muslims to surrender quickly."
10 Now, this is General Tolimir. He wants to bomb the Muslim
11 civilian refugee columns to force them to surrender, and he's telling this
12 to his colleague General Miletic. Now, you don't talk this kind of
13 criminal trash to someone that is not part of your organisation and part
14 of your mind-set. This kind of horrendous criminal proposal goes to
15 General Miletic for a purpose. He's the man that will deal with it. And
16 we know from the facts of Zepa that certainly the civilian population was
18 Let me go on to General Gvero. Now, as the assistant commander
19 for legal, religious, and moral affairs, it's a difficult position to
20 define, even for the VRS officers I've asked. At the brigade level, most
21 of the assistant commanders are dealing with the funerals and the
22 arrangements with the families of lost soldiers, and with issues, of
23 course, related to law and religion. At the level of the Main Staff,
24 General Gvero deals with similar issues sometimes, but it appears he's
25 mainly dealing with media issues, propaganda issues, dealing with the
1 international forces, and he seems to be a jack-of-all-trades for General
2 Mladic, and we'll point to certain individual documents that show that and
3 you'll hear more about this from the evidence.
4 So the first document I'd like to go to is another document from
5 Tolimir. And this is a document I made reference to. It's an important
6 historical document, because as it's dated July 9th, it appears to go out,
7 if you look at the date stamp, very late; 2350 hours. And it is -- it
8 says: "Very urgent to the President of Republika Srpska for information
9 and the Drina Corps IKM." That means forward command post. You'll be
10 hearing "IKM" over and over again; that means forward command post. And
11 again we see this Generals Gvero and Krstic personally.
12 Now, we know that, and you'll see other evidence, that Generals
13 Krstic and Gvero are at the Pribicevac forward command post of the
14 Srebrenica operation, and that's why this is being sent to them. And this
15 is basically, as I said before, an indication that the president has now
16 decided to take the enclave. And so that critical information is going to
17 Gvero and Krstic personally. And you will note they are no longer
18 concerned about the UN, they are no longer concerned about NATO -- I'm
19 sure they're still very much concerned but not so much to hold them up.
20 They now decide to go anyway. And interesting to look at the last two
21 paragraphs are -- they want to ensure safety of the UNPROFOR members and
22 the Muslim population, they want to guarantee the Geneva Conventions are
23 in place, and this is -- and that is something that Tolimir is stressing.
24 The same fellow that wants to bomb the refugees, and the same army that at
25 the time that this is going on has -- is now holding Dutch hostages and
1 has targeted the Srebrenica civilian population during their attack. And
2 on the 11th, two days after this, they threaten to kill the Dutch hostages
3 if NATO drops any more bombs. So I think you should take a good look at
4 this document, but I think you will see it for what it really is. And --
5 but again, as it pertains to General Gvero, it shows how important he is.
6 He is Mladic's man in Srebrenica. He is there so the key decisions can be
7 made on whether to attack or whether or not to attack. Krstic, of course,
8 is commanding the operation, but Gvero is Mladic's eyes and ears to the
10 Okay. The next document I'm going to is -- it's got a couple of
11 dates on it; 10 July on the left side on the top, and 10 June on the right
12 side. It's referring to the events of Srebrenica up till about 10 or 11
13 July, so it's clearly coming from that July time period. And it's --
14 comes from the information service of the Republika Srpska Main Staff.
15 And as you can see, it is coming from Lieutenant-General Milan Gvero. I
16 won't go over all of it today. The first page is a synopsis of Srebrenica
17 and the examples of how the Muslims have been violating the truce and that
18 the enclaves were never demilitarised and that they constantly attacked
19 outside of the villages, outside the enclave, which is all true. As you
20 read it, you'll see the tone of it is somewhat inflammatory. It's
21 directed to vilify the Muslims and in an inflammatory propagandist tone,
22 but fundamentally the information in it is true.
23 And then we get to the second page and it goes on to the more
24 recent events, many of which are also true, again the same tone. And then
25 the last half of the page, where it begins: "They also killed a United
1 Nations soldier ..." This is true, as you recall from yesterday.
2 "UNPROFOR, although fully aware of the Muslim terrorists as well
3 as the complete military actions, does not prevent them."
4 Now he's going into what unfortunately become a similar refrain,
5 referring to Muslims as terrorists. Now, there were some terrorists among
6 the BiH army and they did some terrible things, but the tone of this is
7 that Muslims and Islam amounts to terror and they are terrorists.
8 Then he goes on to say: "Our combat activities at the moment are
9 directed towards simply neutralising the Muslim terrorists and are in no
10 way directed against civilians or members of UNPROFOR."
11 This is flat out not true. They have directed their attack at the
12 civilians and at UNPROFOR, driving UNPROFOR from their OPs and dropping
13 shells around the UNPROFOR base, basically terrorising UNPROFOR as well as
14 the civilian population.
15 "Some UNPROFOR members, for their own safety, have crossed into
16 our territory and are our guests now, well sheltered and safe."
17 Well, they are at the Hotel Fontana, they are being looked after,
18 they are being filmed, they are being used as propaganda pawns at this
19 time, so he is right. The next day, when NATO drops bombs, they are told,
20 "You keep doing that, NATO, and we are going to kill these men." This is
21 used in combination, propaganda and strategy the next day. It's all part
22 of the ongoing operation to get his public behind him and get the word out
23 to the world in a false way to allow their job to be easier.
24 Then he gets into his last paragraph and kind of an ugly talk
25 about foreigners, media, and says: "In Srebrenica the main decisions are
1 made by people of little strength and intelligence. Their advisers from
2 an Islamic centre are just the same."
3 Saying the enemy is stupid is designed to demean the enemy,
4 designed to raise the furor of the public and the soldiers. This is the
5 kind of thing that leads to war crimes.
6 All right. Now I'd like to go to an intercept, and I believe it
7 is dated the 11th of July, and it's between General Gvero and President
8 Karadzic. And they can't hear Karadzic, so all these words are Gvero.
9 Gvero says: "I just talked to Nicolai."
10 Now, Nicolai is the UNPROFOR Dutch general who was in charge at
11 the time.
12 "I just talked to that General Nicolai.
13 "We asked for ... He wants to - he says, stop attacking the UN.
14 I told him that his information is probably from Muslims and that we
15 haven't attacked the UN. I'm asking him to stop the operation immediately
16 and get those planes out of our sky, and as far as the UN, if they were
17 fired on at all, then they were fired on by those who they are protecting:
18 the Muslims. And if they are under threat, they should cross over to us
19 and they'll be safe.
20 "That's right, I told him, Mr. President.
21 "Everything is going according to plan, don't worry."
22 General Gvero is fully engaged in the plan, he's speaking directly
23 to the president of the Republika Srpska, he's passing on his propaganda
24 lies that he's telling to UNPROFOR. This is at a time when they have
25 threatened or are about to threaten the death of UN soldiers. This shows
1 General Gvero fully connected to the command structure and fully involved
2 in the operation that will lead to the take-down of the enclave and the
3 eventual movement out of the Muslim population.
4 All right. Another intercept between Gvero and Karadzic. Same
5 thing; all you get is Gvero.
6 "President, Serbian silver, the Serbian church, the Serbian
8 Srebrenica is famous for silver mines. So he is again still in
9 touch with President Karadzic, telling him the Serbian flag is flying at
10 the Serbian church, and that's Srebrenica.
11 Now, another report from 11 July, and this is to the Drina Corps
12 headquarters and the Drina Corps forward command post from General Gvero,
13 from the Main Staff. And it's a very -- and it's entitled: "Warning on
14 the treatment of UNPROFOR and personnel in the enclave of Srebrenica." I
15 won't read it all, but it's a very strict and tough direction to not be
16 rude or do anything bad against the UNPROFOR. And in the end, it says
17 why: "Such attitude towards UNPROFOR units are at this moment of
18 multifarious importance for the realisation of the assignment at hand and
19 of our set objectives."
20 It's not because it's humanitarian, it's because it meets our
21 objectives. Multifarious. I'd love to hear the Bosnian word for that.
22 But that's classic Gvero thinking. It shows the power he has. He's the
23 man at the command post. Mladic is walking through Srebrenica. Tolimir
24 is at Zepa. Milovanovic is at the Krajina. Miletic is also at the
25 command post, but probably doing more work.
1 All right. Let's go now to a 13 July order, again from the Main
2 Staff, under the hand of Milan Gvero. This is actually entitled:
3 "Order." As an assistant commander he is not empowered to make orders,
4 but as a top Main Staff general, Mladic may authorise him to make such
5 orders, and he obviously felt comfortable, either with Mladic's direct
6 authority or authority on his own, to send out this order regarding the
7 capture of the people in the column. And I -- again, I won't go through
8 it all, but I want to point out the first big paragraph. And it says:
9 "Based on the instructions received and following the defeat in the
10 Srebrenica enclave, the men from the enclave fit for military service were
11 tasked with crossing over to Tuzla and Kladanj in groups and carrying
12 weapons. Among them are inveterate criminals and villains who will stop
13 at nothing just to avoid being captured and reach Muslim-controlled
15 Now, remember when I said you lead by example. This group has got
16 women in it, it's got a few kids, two-thirds of it is not armed. You'll
17 see a picture of this rag-tag group. The first quarter or third of it is
18 armed and is tough and has killed some Serbs, so no problem there. But
19 when you describe a group to your soldiers as inveterate criminals and
20 villains, "among them are inveterate criminals and villains," you're
21 asking them, you're giving them the green light to commit crimes. This is
22 not the way he was trained. None of these men were trained to write this
23 kind of thing; it's what occurred after this war started and it's what led
24 to these crimes.
25 All right. Another --
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. McCloskey, I'm not sure whether this is an
2 appropriate time, but if I can ask this: How do you suggest we would
3 follow your opening statement if we are to read it later on? You haven't
4 published these documents. You haven't given the reference number. Any
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would be privileged for you to read my opening
7 statement. I don't think you have to. I think the evidence will speak
8 for it. We will provide you with all of these documents in the order that
9 they are spoken of, and the date -- the date and nature of my first
10 description of them is actually pretty good because the -- and especially
11 if you have them in a packet. I can give that packet to the Defence and
12 to the Judges without any problem.
13 JUDGE KWON: So I would appreciate if you could give it -- try to
14 produce at least a list of documents.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. I think that's a good point. Mr. Bourgon
16 made a similar point this morning and we were looking at 65 ter numbers,
17 but it seemed a little rough so I decided not to do that. But I take your
18 point, but we will provide you with that -- with that list and the
19 documents themselves, if that's preferable.
20 Also, as I mentioned prior to trial, it's our intention to provide
21 the Court and the Defence, as soon as we can finish it, binders on the key
22 documents, the key intercepts, and a short synopsis of the key evidence of
23 -- for each accused and provide that to the binders [sic]. And this is
24 what this case will be all about. I think that will be very valuable. We
25 have not finished with it. I hope to finish with it soon.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And please interrupt me at any time and ask
3 questions. This, of course, may be -- well, you can always ask, as you
4 know, questions any time, but given that many of these issues we won't get
5 to for several months and that these are the issues that this case will be
6 tried upon, I certainly appreciate any questions. I may not have the
7 answer but I can try to direct you to the future evidence. As you know,
8 nothing I say now is evidence.
9 All right. Now I'm going to a document dated 17 July, 1995. It's
10 to the Main Staff of the VRS, to General Milan Gvero, assistant commander
11 for morale, religious, and legal affairs, and it's from the president,
12 Radovan Karadzic. And he's basically chewing out Gvero. And this is what
13 he said, and I won't read all the dates and orders that he says Gvero has
14 violated, but I hope you'll get the gist of this.
15 "Despite my order reference number -" and then lots of dates -
16 "referring to the prevention of the drain of secret information, my
17 directive ... dated December 5 regarding contacts with international
18 organisations ... April 3rd about making contacts with foreigners ..."
19 Another order of May 31 and January, 1995, "regarding the means of
20 information," then "regarding the work of the State Committee for
21 Cooperation with the UN and International Humanitarian Organisations.
22 "You are acting contrary to all these mandatory documents.
23 "You have sabotaged the order pertaining to the Information
24 Ministry's exclusive task of information, which inflicted serious
25 propaganda-related damage, both domestically and abroad. You supplied
1 information outside the assigned channels. You made unauthorised contact
2 with international organisations without the presence and permission of
3 authorised state organs and made decisions about the evacuation of the
4 sick and injured, for which the State Committee for Cooperation with the
5 UN and International Humanitarian Organisations is in charge.
6 "Considering everything mentioned herein, and pursuant to Article
7 80 of the constitution of Republika Srpska and amendment 40 to the
8 constitution, I hereby order:
9 "1. Immediately send a written statement about this
10 non-compliance with an order and exceeding authority, following which you
11 will be called for an interview to give a personal explanation."
12 Now, the first part of this was mostly stuff we've been hearing
13 about, his contact with international organisations, his dealing with
14 propaganda issues, seriously affected Karadzic. So these were not just
15 silly little press releases and other things. But we also see that,
16 according to Karadzic, he made decisions about the evacuation of the sick
17 and injured. And we see some evidence that he's involved in a meeting
18 with organisations about that. So he's clearly involved in that as well.
19 Amazingly enough, we have a copy of General Gvero's response.
20 It's short and to the point. And it's also dated 17 July from the Main
21 Staff -- excuse me, it's dated 18th July from the Main Staff regarding the
22 subject of the 17 July document from Karadzic. And it says, if we could
23 blow up that part:
24 "I have carried out all the activities mentioned in your document
25 as ordered by my immediate superior - the commander of the Main Staff of
1 the Army of Republika Srpska.
2 "All the ... were carried out and motivated by the need for the
3 fight of the Serbian people and the army to be successful, as can be seen
4 from the success of the VRS in Srebrenica, Zepa, and on other fronts."
5 This is the theme of the Prosecution's case. Gvero is following
6 the orders of Mladic and ordered to be successful in Srebrenica and Zepa.
7 He's playing a substantial role, a key role, and that role is not just to
8 take them down militarily but to move out the population, knowing that
9 people would be killed, people would die. There were foreseeable
10 consequences of that. He says it for us; unbelievable.
11 Last document for General Gvero. This is another one of these
12 reports from General Tolimir from the Rogatica Brigade area about Zepa.
13 And it's dated 25 July. This is a few days before Zepa was semi-resolved.
14 And it's to the Main Staff of the army, personally to General Gvero or
15 General Miletic. Very interesting that Tolimir is looking at these guys
16 as semi-interchangeable. Miletic is the Chief of Staff, standing in for
17 the Chief of Staff, doing all that work; Gvero is helping out and doing
18 the work that you've seen him do. They both have similar hats for Mladic,
19 and they're the key guys to talk to. Milovanovic, again, is in the
20 Krajina, the corps commanders are at their fronts. So that's important to
21 see how key these guys are.
22 Now, this is talking about the Muslims and accepting an agreement,
23 though I don't think the agreement has finally been hashed out yet.
24 Various discussions about the state commission on war prisoners. During
25 this time the Muslims are very much concerned that if they turn themselves
1 in, they are also with the ICRC getting registered, and the Serbs are
2 fighting it.
3 But number 2 is the interesting part, paragraph 2, if we could
4 blow that up.
5 "The Muslims demand that General Gobillar --" Now, General
6 Gobillar is a French general high up in the command of UNPROFOR at that
8 "The Muslims demand that General Gobillar comes to Zepa as
9 UNPROFOR representative and representatives of ICRC.
10 "Pass on to UNPROFOR a request to send an officer of a colonel
11 rank from Sarajevo Sector to UNPROFOR check-point 2 -" that's at Zepa, by
12 the way - "at Boksanica to monitor the execution of the agreement."
13 So he doesn't want a colonel -- or he doesn't want a general, he
14 wants a colonel. And then the next paragraph:
15 "Make a note to them that we don't want them to send a general
16 considering that we have information that they want to take advantage of
17 his presence according the similar scenario when they took advantage of
18 the presence of General Morillon in Srebrenica in 1993."
19 Tolimir is sending this to Gvero and Miletic. They all very
20 clearly remember General Morillon stepping in and saving the Muslim
21 population from the Serb army and the onslaught, and they don't want the
22 same thing happening in Zepa. Keep the French generals out of here; we'll
23 take a colonel. And sending that on to these guys. They think
24 historically; they are remembering the past. And this shows Gvero,
25 Miletic, Tolimir, all of them acting in their positions, as they should,
1 getting the job done, taking down -- disabling the UNPROFOR forces so that
2 they can control the situation.
3 Now, in Zepa the men never reached an agreement because the VRS
4 was never able to satisfy them that they wouldn't be harmed, and so they
5 ended up some 500-plus, thousand swimming across the Drina River or taking
6 rafts or boats or wheelbarrows on logs and getting to Serbia around the
7 latter part of July and August, whereupon the Red Cross showed up and
8 started registering them. And so if you made it to Serbia in early
9 August, you survived. Some 500 to a thousand men survived because they
10 got to Serbia and the Red Cross got involved. Now, whether the Red Cross
11 was there and was able to get involved before Milosevic and his forces
12 could do anything about it, or whether Milosevic sent them and took
13 advantage as a propaganda ploy is the subject of another trial at another
14 time, which, as we all know, did not finish.
15 You'll see intercepts directly related to the events going across
16 to Serbia.
17 It's been about an hour, and that was my last item for General
18 Gvero, so I think it's a good time to stop, Mr. President.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So I thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
21 We'll have a break of 20 minutes, starting from now. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 9.57 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 10.21 a.m.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey, you may proceed. Thank you.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
1 Okay. Now we're on to General Pandurevic, at the time a Colonel
2 Pandurevic, the commander of the Zvornik Brigade. As I've briefly
3 alluded, he was leading a task force of the top Zvornik Brigade units and
4 was one of the key assaulting units. And I want to show you just a still
5 from a photograph -- still from a video that you'll see with Mr. Ruez's
6 testimony. And this is a still from the approach from the south, from
7 Zeleni Jadar, down -- getting close to Srebrenica. And you'll see that we
8 have General Mladic in the forefront. To his left is General Krstic,
9 body-guard next to General Krstic, and to Mladic's right is Vinko
10 Pandurevic. You'll see the video clip with General Mladic together with
11 General Krstic and Pandurevic as they make a triumphant walk through
12 Srebrenica. And at one point Mladic, who knows the camera is in front of
13 him, is saying: "On to Potocari, on to Bratunac." And you'll see Colonel
14 Pandurevic lean over to him and says something to the effect that,
15 General, the Muslims are -- we have to get the Browning up on the hills,
16 the Browning meaning the Browning machine-gun, in order to help secure the
17 area, that we shouldn't just walk down this valley until it's secured. So
18 Colonel Pandurevic is thinking like the general that he is. Krstic is
19 standing back quiet, not saying anything, and Pandurevic is the one that
20 has the courage to look at Mladic and tell him that, you know, there's
21 more that needs to be done, and Mladic basically says: Do what you need
22 to do.
23 I mention that because clearly there is a character and courage
24 there. And I would say that General Pandurevic would be a general you
25 would want to defend your village in other times, but not in this war. He
1 had the courage to be a part general and didn't lack the courage to be a
2 real general, and you'll see that throughout.
3 Now, I want to go to the one document for General Pandurevic, it's
4 the most important document in the case against Pandurevic; it is the
5 veritable smoking-gun document. It shows him in charge, with knowledge of
6 the prisoners in his zone, and knowing what's going on with them. Now,
7 I'll go over this document because, like all documents, it takes some
9 It is what's called an interim combat report. Now, the way the
10 system worked was they had regular combat reports that were due in the
11 afternoon, I believe, early evening; and then when something special came
12 up, they wrote what is called or what we translate as interim combat
13 reports for special, urgent situations. We don't have all the interim
14 combat reports to the Presidency, we have all the regular ones. But we
15 have, we believe, all the interim combat reports from the Zvornik Brigade.
16 We searched the Zvornik Brigade in 1998. It was one of the searches of
17 any army ever. It was actually the second search. The first search was
18 from the Krajina Corps in Banja Luka. A few weeks later we searched the
19 Zvornik Brigade and got copies of many of these critical documents that
20 had not been destroyed.
21 And this document, we know from previous testimony from a Zvornik
22 officer, was a document that was dictated to this officer by Pandurevic
23 himself personally. So there's no question about this document, there's
24 no question it came from Colonel Pandurevic.
25 And taking you back to the -- this is the evening hours of 15
1 July. We look at a -- there's a stamp on it, if you want to look at the
2 original, a sent stamp, that says it was sent at 1925 hours, so it would
3 have been dictated sometime shortly before that, likely. And as you
4 recall, at this time Pandurevic has been back in his brigade for several
5 hours. He came back at about noon. He of course took a detailed report
6 from Obrenovic, as detailed as it could be in this kind of combat
7 situation and a situation where they had some 6.000 Muslim men that they
8 had to kill. But he received that report, as I told you, regarding the --
9 both the combat events as well as the thousand prisoners in the school and
10 the problems they would have guarding them and burying them.
11 Sorry, a fly seems to have made its way into the courtroom.
12 So after receiving Obrenovic's report about the thousands of
13 Muslim men in the schools and the problems with guarding them and burying
14 them and receiving the military situation, he is in -- he is in very dire
15 straits. As I explained, the 2nd Corps is on his front, the 28th Division
16 is at his rear. He has some 5 or 6.000 Muslim prisoners located in the
17 schools in his area, guarded by his troops and being buried by his
18 engineering units, the bulldozers, the men, the materials. I could go on
19 and on and on about how much this takes of the Zvornik Brigade, and you'll
20 see the logs and the references to all this material, but he knows all
22 And he can tell the Muslims are gearing up for a final push
23 towards Nezuk and towards them. And so that's the context by which he is
24 writing this. And I'll go over it slowly with you because, as I say, it's
25 the key document. It is to the -- his commander, which is of course
1 normal, the Drina Corps command.
2 "Since the fall of Srebrenica, in the territory of the 1st Zvornik
3 Infantry Brigade area of responsibility, in the wider area of Pandurice,
4 Planica, Crni Vrh, Kamenica, and Glodansko Brdo, there are about 3.000
5 armed and unarmed enemy soldiers." Recognises that this column has got
6 some people who are armed and some who are not armed. 3.000 is probably
7 an underestimate. It's probably more like 4.000, 5.000, 6.000. These
8 numbers are impossible to get exactly, but within a reasonable
9 intelligence figure, though he may tell us it's not reasonable given that
10 it was off. 3.000 anyway; a large force.
11 "Brigade forces are sealing off and searching the aforementioned
12 region. A few hundred enemy soldiers have so far been liquidated."
13 Now, "liquidated" is an English term that implies murder. I don't
14 think that is a fair translation always in the context of the reports that
15 we see. We occasionally see reports where they're referring to
16 liquidating the enemy in what could be combat. So, as is our general
17 habit, if there are potentially two reasonable interpretations, we will
18 give them the benefit of the doubt. We also see the term "liquidation"
19 referred to to what it precisely means in English. For example, you'll
20 see documents coming out of, I believe it's the Rogatica or Visegrad
21 Brigade, saying: Today we liquidated ten Muslims, and from them we
22 learned the following, and then a long list of information they learned
23 from their interrogation. In that context, liquidation clearly means:
24 Today we murdered Muslims, but before we murdered them, we got this
1 So in this -- at this point, I do not -- we do not -- Mr. Butler
2 does not view this as that we have murdered 300. Also, as you may recall,
3 by the evening of 15 July, there are some 1.000 Muslim men from Orahovac
4 that are murdered -- have been murdered and are being in the process of
5 buried, and there are some 1.000 men from Petkovci that have been murdered
6 and are in the process of being buried. And by the evening of 15th July,
7 they're just finishing up or they're still murdering some 500 to 1.000
8 people from the Rocevic school at the Kozluk, on the banks of the Drina
9 River. So if he was silly enough to give them the exact figures on the
10 number that they murdered, it would be more in the area of 2.500 to 3.000.
11 So this figure of a few hundred enemy have been liquidated is probably a
12 reference to enemy killed during -- in the woods. Now, whether it was
13 combat in the woods or murder in the woods is difficult to tell. There
14 was certainly combat going on in the woods at this time, though you will
15 see murders of people in the woods that were certainly not combat related.
16 But 300, that's probably an overestimate at this point. There had not
17 been a major engagement, they had not suffered major losses, but clearly
18 the number of enemy had been killed in the woods at this time, and that's
19 what that refers to as far as we can tell.
20 Then: "Throughout 15 July 1995, BH army forces of the Tuzla 2nd
21 Corps launched fierce attacks on the brigade defence area in order to link
22 up with the forces which had been cut off. The attack on the defence area
23 of the 4th, 6th, 7th Battalions along the Petkovci-Memici stretch was
24 launched at 0430, with simultaneous actions by the besieged forces."
25 This is true. There were not serious casualties during this
1 action, though being on the receiving end of artillery is, I'm sure, an
2 ominous experience, and this is what this paragraph is reflecting.
3 "Enemy attacks were vigorously supported by all calibres of
4 artillery and tanks. Attacks of varying intensity followed one another
5 from the direction of Nezuk and Kalesija on Memici. The attack on Memici
6 is still in progress. All targets deep inside the territory, and the
7 suburbs and town of Zvornik have all been under artillery fire. All
8 attacks have been repulsed successfully so far. So far, according to
9 information received, we have four dead and a dozen or so wounded."
10 Not significant -- well, four people are significant, but the real
11 losses have yet to come for the Serbs.
12 "With all available forces, we have sealed off the wider area of
13 Crni Vrh and Planica and partially the area of Kamenica.
14 "All brigade forces are fully engaged and we have no reserves."
15 And here are the two paragraphs that will be paragraphs that you
16 will study and review and compare to the evidence throughout this case:
17 "An additional burden for us is the large number of prisoners
18 distributed throughout the schools in the brigade area, as well as
19 obligations of security and sanitary-technical measures in the field.
20 "This command cannot take care of these problems any longer, as it
21 has neither the material nor other resources. If no one takes on this
22 responsibility, I will be forced to let them go."
23 Okay. At this time there's nobody left alive in the Orahovac
24 school, there's nobody left alive at the Petkovci school. There may be a
25 few left alive at the Rocevic school, but not many. But in Pilica there's
1 at least 500 at the cultural centre in downtown Pilica. There's probably
2 at least a thousand to 1.500 people jammed into the Kula school in Pilica,
3 and it's there that they're having problems guarding them and shooting
4 them, and it's a mess, and that's what he's referring to. It's what the
5 duty officer of that day, Jokic, told Obrenovic about; Obrenovic told his
6 commander. His commander is now reporting it up the chain of command.
7 Now, as it says: "The additional burden for us is the large
8 number of prisoners distributed throughout the schools in the brigade
9 area." That's clear what that means; there's no other reasonable
10 interpretation: He knows the prisoners are there.
11 "... as well as obligations of security and sanitary-technical
12 measures in the field."
13 Now, obligations of security. You've heard the security branch
14 has been made responsible for murdering the prisoners. And in the Serbian
15 language the term "security" is used in two different ways: The security
16 branch is one term and the term security for guarding people is another
17 term. The term that is used in this document is the term to guard people.
18 So I don't want to suggest that he's saying we have the obligations of the
19 security branch, though he knows of that obligation. What he's referring
20 to in this document is his obligation to secure those prisoners.
21 He goes on and says: "And the sanitary-technical measures in the
23 Now, the way that the term that is used -- and I'll read it in
24 English and give you the Bosnian term because it's a term you need to
25 become and you will become familiar with. "Distributed throughout the
1 schools in the brigade area as well as obligations of security," and
2 "asanacija." Now, "asanacija" is a Serbian military term that you will
3 find in the Serbian military dictionary, and it refers to the cleaning-up
4 of the battle-field, and it can refer to cleaning up animal dead,
5 destroyed vehicles, and human dead. We see it referred to in this case in
6 documents repeatedly as cleaning up the human dead. In fact, it's
7 referred to the burial of the human dead. And we see -- for example, we
8 see it in the notebook of the Bratunac Brigade in October during the
9 reburial operation, which I haven't really mentioned much of. But clearly
10 in the notebook Momir Nikolic has written down at the command meeting
11 that: "Today we are engaged in tasks given to us by the Main Staff of
12 asanacija," and that's the time that they are reburying everyone. So
13 that's how it is generally used and that's how we see it used.
14 Now, in this situation we know that at the time he says
15 "asanacija" his engineering unit, with the help of the civilian
16 protection, are still in the process of burying some thousands of
17 prisoners that were killed in Orahovac. The -- many of the bulldozer
18 drivers have testified and talk about that. You'll see it in the records
19 of the engineering unit, going to Orahovac on the 14th, on the 15th, on
20 the 16th. So these units are engaged in burying people at Orahovac.
21 They're also burying people at the dam. You'll see the engineering unit
22 talking about an ULT-220 being sent to the dam. ULT is a huge loader that
23 has the ability to dig holes. So they're burying people at Petkovci at
24 this time. They haven't started burying people at Kozluk, but they soon
25 will have and they'll have a huge job to bury people at Branjevo Farm. So
1 when he says,
2 "as well as obligations of security and asanacija," what he's referring to
3 is burying the dead. So he knows there are thousands of people in his
4 schools, it is a huge burden to guard them, and that is a huge burden to
5 bury them. At the same time, he's getting hit from the rear and the front
6 and Zvornik's in place. This is the reason why we see this: He is under
7 tremendous stress. And he writes it down and says it like it is. He's
8 not happy with the situation by the tone of this, but he knows the
9 situation. He knows precisely what's going on. And he knows that if
10 you're guarding prisoners and you're burying prisoners, you darn well know
11 you're killing them. And he has taken responsibility for this, as he
12 says. And he says: If I don't get help doing it, I'm going to let these
13 guys go, which means he's going to let the rest of the guys in Branjevo
14 go. And if he had called the ICRC, they had gone to Pilica, right across
15 the river, then those people would have been alive today. 1.500 people.
16 He could have stopped the executions at Kozluk, another 500 to a thousand
17 people. He didn't. He stayed on. It happened on his watch, with his
18 troops, with his knowledge. He's the commander, he knows it, he takes
19 responsibility for it.
20 Okay. Let's go on to Mr. Borovcanin. I mentioned earlier that
21 when he was assigned from his position in Sarajevo, it was on the 10th of
22 July, and there's a document that shows that. This document is not in
23 dispute. Mr. Borovcanin acknowledged this document and that it's
24 truthful, and I'll go over it a bit. But it is dated on the 10th of July
25 and it's under the hand of -- or the name of Tomislav Kovac, but I believe
1 someone who signed it is signing it for him. And this is an indication
2 that pursuant to the order of the supreme commander, Karadzic, this order
3 is issued.
4 So, as I mentioned before, in order to put the MUP under the
5 command of the army, you had to get the authority of the president, so
6 this is clearly what this is about. And it basically says that he
7 detaches himself from the Sarajevo front and he goes with the following
8 units: The 2nd Special Police Detachment from Sekovici - that's one unit
9 of the special police from the outfit that he's from; the 1st Company of
10 the PJP unit of the Zvornik SJB - that's the civilian outfit I talked
11 about. CJB, SJB are used pretty much interchangeably for the civilian
12 police organisations. A mixed company of the joint Republika of Serbian
13 Krajina - that's what RSK means - Serbian and RS MUP forces and a company
14 from the training camp at Jahorina.
15 Now, Mr. Borovcanin told us that the Serbian MUP did not come with
16 him, and we -- the investigation has not been able to identify any members
17 of the Serbian MUP in the Srebrenica location that -- of the Srebrenica
18 and Bratunac area of the Zvornik municipality. You know from the
19 indictment, and I -- there were murders in Trnovo of Srebrenica victims in
20 later July by these events by a member of the Serbian MUP, and those were
21 people that Mr. Borovcanin was working with in Sarajevo. But we have not
22 been able to confirm whether or not they came with him to Srebrenica.
23 They were clearly back -- they were clearly a unit of the Skorpion from
24 the Serbian MUP in Bosnia, killing Srebrenica victims, but we do not
25 associate that directly in any way with Mr. Borovcanin. This Trnovo event
1 seemed to be one of practicality, where there were buses that had come
2 from the Sarajevo area and Muslim men must have been -- and this is
3 speculation, Muslim men must have been put in the buses that were going
4 back to Sarajevo anyway, because we know for a fact that people from
5 Potocari, from the woods, were murdered in the Trnovo area and buried.
6 It's on video. It's not a video I intend to show you today; you'll see it
7 at some point. But we don't associate that, to be clear, with
8 Mr. Borovcanin.
9 Then it basically says he is to report with his unit to Bratunac
10 11 July, 1200 hours, and he's obliged to contact General Krstic. He is
11 now under the command of General Krstic.
12 All right. Let's go to another -- another document, another --
13 just a photo. You'll see Mr. Borovcanin on the photo. He had a cameraman
14 that -- a quasi-journalist who would -- who was designated to go with him
15 from Belgrade, and he was with him, filming much of Mr. Borovcanin's
16 contact. Whether he filmed this one or if this is Serb TV, I don't know,
17 but this particular shot is of Borovcanin on the 12th of July in front of
18 the Muslims that are gathered there. And he is doing a propaganda stunt,
19 handing out chocolate to the children. You will hear testimony from Dutch
20 soldiers that after the cameras were turned off some of the Serb soldiers
21 came and took away the chocolate. But this is clearly a propaganda stunt,
22 showing that he is part of the propaganda operation. And there in
23 Potocari, where troops under his command are present and assisting in the
24 separation of the women and children and present when the brutality of
25 Potocari is occurring.
1 Okay. The next photograph is a photograph of Mr. Borovcanin, and
2 the man in the beret, the black man, is Major Kingori. He's a United
3 Nations military observer from Kenya. And there -- this is on the 13th of
4 July. This is shot by Mr. Petrovic, the journalist from Belgrade. And
5 they are discussing various things and the organisation of what is going
6 on. Mr. Borovcanin is active on the ground, in command on Potocari both
7 days, 12th and 13th, in the middle of this horrendous crime scene of
8 deportation and abuses of the public.
9 You may recall seeing the shot and -- of the Muslim men standing
10 on the balcony of the famous white house. Well, Mr. Borovcanin is
11 standing in this photograph that -- that we're looking at, is standing in
12 front of the white house, facing those men on the balcony. You'll see
13 when it's panned that first they start with him there and then they pan to
14 the white house, so he's looking right at the men that are jammed on that
16 All right. Then Mr. Borovcanin later goes along, with his
17 cameraman, along the Bratunac-Milici road, where the various crimes I have
18 mentioned occurred, Kravica principally, and I did not mention the crimes
19 of Nova Kasaba a little farther down the road, but they also occurred
20 there, as described in the indictment. I didn't mention the crime in
21 Sandici, that after Kravica in the evening, about 16 people were still at
22 the meadow that didn't have transportation anywhere, and the Jahorina
23 unit, called the deserter unit because they were made up of a bunch of men
24 that were found having run off to Serbia and were brought back and put in
25 the forces of the RS police. Well, this unit was guarding these men at
1 Sandici and one of the members of the unit will testify that he was given
2 an order by his commander after radio contact to murder the 16 people. He
3 said he didn't take part of it but the others did and those people were
4 murdered. It was a unit under Borovcanin's command, clearly organised,
5 and authorised from above after the Kravica warehouse massacres.
6 Okay. Going back to Kravica, I want to show you a photo that --
7 this is the photo I referred to before that Mr. Borovcanin was standing
8 right in front of this house when these men were looking out like that.
9 If we could go to the still photograph of the video of the Kravica
10 warehouse, and if we don't have it immediately, that's okay. We can come
11 back to it. What happened is Mr. Borovcanin and Mr. Petrovic were on the
12 road and went to the Kravica warehouse with the film running, and the film
13 goes by the warehouse and you see this massive pile of bodies in the front
14 of the warehouse, and the still you can see it from the warehouse. And it
15 goes on, and then you hear automatic gun-fire and you see buses parked in
16 front of the warehouse. And then the film goes black. Now, the Petrovic
17 film was distributed throughout the world to -- when it got to Reuters and
18 others, I believe, but before that Mr. Petrovic gave his copy to a radio
19 -- the I think it's called B-92, the Belgrade -- the famous Belgrade TV
20 station, and they played the section showing the bodies. And then Serbian
21 state security got in and that had not been seen for many years until
22 Mr. Borovcanin in his interviews provided us with that, as did a Dutch
23 journalist. And the copy of this film that was provided, Reuters had the
24 bodies excised and other incriminating things. But you'll get to see at
25 this trial both the excised, edited version, as well as the version that
1 was played over the radio [sic].
2 So if we could just see a still of that photo. It's resisting,
3 but in any event it was being filmed, the bodies in front of the
4 warehouse, was being filmed in the same vehicle that Mr. Borovcanin was
5 driving. And in his interview he's acknowledged to us that he was there
6 and went by the Kravica warehouse at this time. Of course, he had to. It
7 was on film and it was acknowledged. Everyone knew that he was with
8 Mr. Petrovic, so he didn't have any choice, really.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, what's the problem, Mr. Lazarevic?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I -- earlier yesterday I objected.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, so what?
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: And I really have to say again that I hate to
13 interrupt my colleague particularly at this moment, but since we really do
14 have the intention to ask for exclusion of Mr. Borovcanin's interview, I
15 would really appreciate it if the Prosecution would not mention what was
16 said in the interviews, otherwise it would cause some prejudice towards
17 Mr. Borovcanin.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: On what legal basis do you maintain that?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Well, if the Prosecution
20 intends to tender Mr. Borovcanin's interview into evidence, well let's
21 just wait for the tenderance of the evidence. We will object to this and
22 are already preparing a written motion with our arguments.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I see no legal basis for impeding the Prosecution
24 from making reference to the document, which obviously they intend to
25 bring forward because otherwise I don't see any point in making reference
1 to it now.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if I could briefly just respond. I
3 have the full and honest belief that this interview was taken completely
4 appropriately under the Rules of the Tribunal, and I anticipate it being
5 entered into evidence, otherwise I would not have mentioned it. I have
6 invited counsel frequently to -- if they intend to challenge a witness
7 statement, a suspect statement -- an accused's statement or there are some
8 significant piece of evidence that they would wish to challenge, that they
9 should do so prior to trial to help us save time. This is the way many
10 adversarial systems are set up. We, unfortunately, do not have those
11 rules and we get by just fine here, but this is the problem it creates.
12 But I think basically if I have a good-faith belief that this can come in,
13 as Your Honours understand that I do, then I will refer to it. I tend to
14 refer to these things fairly briefly. It's not my intention to put on the
15 statement in the opening statement.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: As is being pointed out by my colleague Judge Kwon,
18 exactly, this is a separate matter that will be addressed and determined
19 when it arises. For the time being we just have an intimation of it, but
20 that does not in any way lead to the legal consequence that you should be
21 prohibited or impeded from making reference to it. So go ahead,
22 Mr. McCloskey, and then we'll deal with the matter of the statement when
23 it arises.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Borovcanin is in the vehicle that is filming
3 this and he told the investigator that they went to this area, that his
4 troops were there, his commanders were there, and one of his commanders
5 had burned his hands on a weapon and that he picked up this commander and
6 took him to the Bratunac hospital and did nothing to stop or prevent
7 anything that was going on. Fundamental story. You'll see how the
8 indictment has been built around that, and you'll see the evidence that
9 Borovcanin's troops are all along this road and they are the ones that
10 are in control of the area.
11 Mr. Borovcanin also says the people that are killing these men are
12 Milan Lukic and his men from Visegrad. Milan Lukic is a name that you may
13 recall; he's in custody now. There will be reference that Milan Lukic may
14 have been in the area, but on the 13th of July the men from the Visegrad
15 Brigade's bus had broken down and hadn't made it yet. You'll see that
16 evidence. So Lukic may have been there, but there's no indication that
17 his men were there. There's every indication that the MUP troops,
18 Borovcanin's troops, the 2nd Sekovici Detachment were the ones that were
19 in control of this area. And he was the one that had the power and the
20 ability to stop there; however, as the key commander under Krstic at that
21 time, murder operation had been going on all day long, Krstic had been
22 through that area, there's no question that Borovcanin was updated as part
23 of the murder operation. This killing occurred as part of the murder
25 Now, the issue that you will hear and that you'll have to decide
1 is related to the burned hands because there is -- we have the record, the
2 medical record, of Borovcanin's officer who has burned hands and that are
3 being treated in the Bratunac health centre. And the story, which we
4 don't -- we hear not only from Borovcanin but many people was that the
5 Muslims were gathered in this warehouse, they made a break for it, they
6 grabbed a gun, shot a Serb, and this officer grabbed the Muslim's gun and
7 took it away from him. The other soldiers then opened up on the Muslims
8 and they were all killed.
9 Well, that's the Serb version; it is not the reasonable version.
10 The reasonable version is this: The Serbs decided it was time to kill the
11 people at the warehouse, as they had decided to kill the people at the
12 Jadar River, the Cerska Valley, Nova Kasaba. They put buses in front of
13 the area so that it couldn't be seen from the road so well. They stopped
14 the traffic of the women and children. They got the last man inside the
15 warehouse. They opened fire, and as they opened fire, a Muslim, in a
16 last-ditch effort to save himself, came out of the crowd and took a weapon
17 and fired it, killing a Serb soldier. One of Borovcanin's men did get
18 killed and a Bratunac Brigade Red Beret did get wounded at Kravica. We
19 see the medical records. So this incident with the burned hands took
20 place, we're confident that it did, but not the way that the Serbs say it
21 did. That -- the Serb version is not reasonable.
22 In any event, you'll find that this warehouse is divided into two
23 halves and that one half has probably about 500, the second half has about
24 500. Even if you look at it under the Serb version, a sudden thing that
25 starts with a few killings, well, it's clear. We have two survivors from
1 this warehouse, one in both sides of the warehouse, as God would give us.
2 And it took hours - you can imagine how long it takes to kill 500 people
3 jammed in two sides of a warehouse, and they'll describe it for you. It
4 took hours. They first of all were shooting at one side of the warehouse
5 and throwing hand-grenades in and then calling people out that survived
6 and shooting them; it went on and on and on. And then after that --
7 actually, during that time you hear from the other -- the victim that
8 survived the other side. Suddenly he hears all this shooting down the
9 way, and the Serb that's guarding him is saying: Look, see what your
10 people are doing, they're attacking us. Why are they doing that? That
11 doesn't help you. Shortly after all the shooting stopped in the other
12 side of the warehouse, the Serbs go to this side of the warehouse and open
13 up and kill those hundreds of people except this lucky guy that you'll
14 hear from.
15 So even if you look at it from this unreasonable Defence
16 perspective, when Borovcanin is there, he is there while the executions
17 are still going on. Hundreds and hundreds of people are still in the
18 process of being killed. This isn't just some quick response to the
19 Muslims that he -- that's under control and he leaves. He gets there,
20 there's a huge pile of bodies. I think it's on your screen now. This is
21 a huge pile of bodies that's being filmed in the car as he goes by, and
22 you'll see the buses down the road and you'll hear the gun-fire occurring.
23 And he is there at the time, meeting with his commanders that are involved
24 with this; he does nothing. He is the man in control of the area and he
25 does nothing. The killing goes on. They go to the other side of the
1 warehouse. They open up with automatic weapons and hand-grenades. Even
2 there's -- it looks like there's an RPG round that gets thrown in there.
3 And then through the night they are killing individuals that they call
4 out, and they throw hay over the bodies so they can't be seen from the
5 road. And Mr. Borovcanin and his troops are all over this. It's his
6 area, it's the area that he is in charge of and he is in command of and he
7 is responsible for.
8 Now, later on in the evening of the 13th at 2040 hours
9 Mr. Borovcanin has a conversation with General Krstic. This is at the
10 time where most of the men in the warehouse are dead. There are probably
11 still many that are bleeding and slowly dying in the warehouse, and he is
12 now probably, I believe, at the Bratunac Brigade. And so he gets on the
13 phone with General Krstic.
14 "Hello, this is Krstic.
15 "Hello, this is Borovcanin, General. How are you?
16 "Well, where are you, fuck it?
17 "I'm here at the command post.
18 "How's it going?
19 "It's going well.
20 "Don't tell me you have problems.
21 "I don't, I don't.
22 "... went somewhere towards you.
23 "That's exactly what I want to know.
24 "Is there anything special for us from you?
25 "Working on this part ...
2 "At the moment.
3 "We'll continue that tomorrow.
4 "All right, man.
5 "Okay. We'll be in touch."
6 Now, do you have any problems? No, I don't. We've just killed a
7 thousand people. That's not a problem. This is a clear indication that
8 General Krstic, who is clearly directing the early parts of this operation
9 -- General Krstic by the evening of the 13th is getting ready for the
10 Zepa assault down in the Zepa area, but is clearly on board and part of
11 the murder operation plan, and so he knows exactly what is going on. And
12 Borovcanin, who has just killed a thousand men, has been part of the
13 killing of a thousand men, is having a nice chat and everything is fine.
14 It clearly shows these men are linked. This is the same evening that
15 Borovcanin's men murdered the 16 people at Sandici field because they were
16 left over and had no way to go.
17 And to show you that this murder was part of an operation that,
18 unbelievably, wasn't that big a deal to some people, I want to show you
19 another document. It's from the 5th Engineering Battalion, dated the 14th
20 of July. It's a regular combat report, and it's from their deputy. I
21 don't think their commander would have been so silly to make a comment
22 like this, but the deputy, Kame Simunic [phoen], did. So this is his
23 regular combat report, reporting on the events that had occurred before,
24 to the Drina Corps command, which of course goes from the Drina Corps then
25 on, and then the Drina Corps reports to the Main Staff.
1 It says: "The enemy:
2 "A large enemy group was infiltrated in the region of Pobudje Brdo
3 and the region of Konjevic Polje." You'll recall that's not far from the
4 area of Kravica. It's the area where the Muslims were turning themselves
6 "Units of the 5th Engineering Battalion and the MUP successfully
7 resisted the enemy. About 1.000 to 1.500 enemy civilians and soldiers
8 were arrested and killed."
9 There's no ambiguity there, because on the 14th, when he's writing
10 this, about a thousand to 1.500 Muslim civilians and soldiers are dead and
11 being buried under the supervision of Mr. Beara in this massive grave in
12 Glogova that you will soon see right near Kravica, and there's no other
13 1.000 or 1.500 killed soldiers. They killed, I'm sure, some going through
14 the woods, but arrested? They first arrested them, then they killed them.
15 Unbelievable document found in the new Drina Corps. The MUP and the army
16 working together precisely.
17 You'll also see that he asked for 50 litres of diesel fuel to help
18 bury them. It's an engineering unit. They had bulldozers. A bulldozer
19 came down from Zvornik to help bury them, as did bulldozers from other
20 areas. It was a joint operation.
21 Mr. Beara. We first see Mr. Beara in the area and involved in an
22 intercept on 13 July at 1009 hours. If you could bring that up. And he's
23 speaking to someone named -- who he refers to Signor Lucic, likely a
24 person from the 65th Protection Regiment. And Beara says: "Do you hear
25 me? Do you know that 400 balijas have shown up in Konjevic Polje?"
1 "Balija" was one of the worst terms that were used against the
2 Muslims. There were other terms. "Turks" was constantly used.
3 "Podarice" [phoen] is another term I have heard used in the Bratunac
4 Brigade reports, but "balija" is one of the more extreme terms that was
6 And the person says: "I know.
7 Beara says: "Where are they now?
8 "They came down.
9 Beara: "And they've been rounded up, disarmed, everything?"
10 And Beara says: "Excellent!"
11 They can't hear all the conversation. That's what those dots are.
12 There is modulation problems, there is other issues that you'll hear
13 about, but they write down what they hear.
14 Beara says: "Excellent, excellent, great! And there is someone
15 to guard them, huh?
16 "Yes, there is, there is."
17 Beara: "Good."
18 The guy says: "We have a huge group."
19 And Beara says: "Yeah, well, you can also those 20, so that the
20 forces are not dispersed."
21 Then he says very clearly: "Shove them all on the playground.
22 Who gives a fuck about them?"
23 It speaks for itself. Playground is the soccer field at Nova
24 Kasaba, as far as the investigation can reveal.
25 "Okay, then."
1 Beara says: "They're locked up, right?
2 "Do you have enough room over there?
3 "Well ...
4 "Well, it's not really detention there at your place, it's just -
5 "There's room.
6 And then Beara says: "Yeah. Well, line them up in four to five
8 Now, three or four hours later, if we can go to the next
9 photograph -- well -- this is the playground at Nova Kasaba at about 2.00
10 on the 13th. This is aerial imagery provided by the United States
11 government and taken from far above the area. And that area outlined in
12 trees is roughly the size of a soccer pitch. And those little dots lined
13 up in rows or lined up in squares are Muslim prisoners, just like Beara
14 had wanted.
15 Can we go back to -- briefly to that intercept. I won't spend a
16 lot of time now on the rest of the intercept, but there is a fellow named
17 Zoka gets on the line, and Zoka is the nickname of Zoran Malinic, the
18 commander of the military police unit that's stationed at Nova Kasaba, and
19 they obviously know each other and they have a bit of an exchange. And
20 Zoka tells Beara about this group that: "Well" -- in the middle of the
22 "Well, here it's ... They're killing themselves ... There are
23 also plenty of wounded."
24 Beara says: "You mean they're doing it amongst themselves?"
25 And then you can't hear Zoka, and Beara says: "Uh-huh."
1 And then Zoka says: "They're killing."
2 Beara's response to this is: "Well, excellent. Just let them
3 continue, fuck it."
4 We did have Muslims that committed suicide, both in Potocari, and
5 as they surrendered sometimes they laid on hand-grenades or killed
6 themselves before turning themselves in, so they were indeed killing
7 themselves. And Mr. Beara appears to agree with that.
8 Okay. The next exhibit is from what we call the duty officer's
9 notebook of the Zvornik Brigade. This will be a very important exhibit
10 for you that we will provide to you in a format that will make it very
11 usable. Each of the brigades, the corps, the Main Staff, always had a
12 duty officer. That was one of the top entrusted officers, usually, in the
13 unit that was on the phone and organising and taking care of things
14 always; when the commander was gone, when the commander was there. The
15 duty officer was the person who was the person passing on information and
16 making sure everybody was informed. And sometimes when there's no one
17 else around, the duty officer actually has to make the decisions. So it's
18 an important -- important position. And in the Zvornik Brigade, like
19 elsewhere, they had a little paper notebook where the duty officers would
20 just scratch down little notes. When they got something over the phone,
21 they would, like many of us may have, where they would scratch notes, but
22 it was something that was kept officially because military information is
23 important and sometimes you needed to go back to that.
24 They also had a formal notebook that -- usually where they wrote
25 up the daily combat reports and it was dictated from. But this is the
1 rough notebook. Now, we have that, we have the original. The reason we
2 have it was because, I believe it was 1998, they -- there was an effort
3 made to get the Drina Corps archives out of Bosnia. General Miletic was
4 involved in that, and he was working with Obrenovic to get those documents
5 over to Mali Zvornik across the river. And Obrenovic was allowed to go
6 look at those documents, and he knew he was under investigation at the
7 time, and he managed to grab a bunch of original documents, including this
8 notebook. And when he pled guilty, he gave it to us. Now, we have showed
9 that notebook to many officers of the Zvornik Brigade, and all of them
10 that we have talked to, I believe -- I believe all or almost all have
11 recognised their handwriting in this book, this inked handwriting, and
12 acknowledge that they wrote it.
13 And so this is a very interesting piece of evidence, like this
14 Tribunal may -- it's rare that we get to see this kind of evidence because
15 it's really the note of what's going on at the time. And so I'll go over
16 a bit of that with you so that when it comes up you'll have a basic
17 understanding of it. And it helps give us an idea of where people are and
18 what they're doing and what they're involved in.
19 The first one I would look at would be 13 July. They don't always
20 date the page, so some of the dating has to be done by analysis, but it's
21 not that difficult to figure out. But on 13 July there's a note down at
22 the bottom, sort of the last part, if we could blow that part up. It
23 starts with: "President of the municipality ..."
24 "The president of the municipality, Mitrovic -" it happens to be
25 the president of the Zvornik municipality - "called and asked that a
1 flat-bed trailer -" Colonel Beara crossed out - "be sent to Bratunac to
2 bring a bulldozer 1.000. Colonel Beara passed on the message."
3 The person who wrote this told us that what that meant is he
4 received that message and passed it on to Colonel Beara. The only reason
5 you needed a bulldozer on the 13th of July was to bury bodies and they
6 needed bulldozers to bury bodies we know were being generated along the
7 road and other places. Beara was the man coordinating this effort, so he
8 was the man receiving the information.
9 The next notation, again, is 14 July -- excuse me, is 14 July.
10 That last one was 13 July. And to make it clear, the last three digits of
11 the ERN are 339. And I go to the bottom line: "Colonel Salapura called -
12 Drago and Beara are to report to Golic." Colonel Salapura is the chief of
13 Main Staff intelligence. So it's Tolimir who is intel and security, and
14 then under him is Salapura for intel, Beara for security. As I mentioned,
15 they worked closely together. And Colonel Salapura will be a witness. He
16 was in the area. He won't admit to being part of this, but that's who he
18 So he's called on the 14th and he's looking for Drago and Beara.
19 And they're to report to Golic. Now, Golic is Pavle Golic. He is the
20 intel officer at the Drina Corps, who is -- as you'll see from some of the
21 intercepts, is there at the Drina Corps headquarters in Vlasenica
22 coordinating the events, including the operation to murder and bury
23 people. The important part about this is it shows that Drago and Beara
24 are in a unit and they are to report together. In the context of the
25 Zvornik Brigade, well, while Drago is not an uncommon name, when you refer
1 -- when you see "Drago" being referred to, it's Drago Nikolic. You can
2 see by the context, and when you see all the evidence, I'm sure you'll
3 reach that conclusion. And I won't go into a whole lot of detail on that
4 but -- at this time, but that's -- Drago Nikolic was one of the people who
5 was one of the duty officers, even though he didn't want to be because he
6 felt he didn't have to be because he was a security officer, but
7 Pandurevic went out and he had to be a duty officer. And he was during
8 these days. We'll get to that a bit later.
9 Okay. Again on 14th July when Dragan Jokic is duty officer, he
10 gets a call, and the note is at 1000 hours the situation in the battalions
11 is regular. It's -- one of their jobs is to check the different
12 battalions. They had seven battalions at the time, and they would all
13 check in with the duty officer.
14 At 1024 information about Osmaci and the movement of the Muslims.
15 1500 hours: "Colonel Beara is coming in order to -" blank -
16 "Orovoc, Petkovci, Rocevic, Pilica."
17 It's a misspelling of Orahovac. Petkovci, a little tiny village
18 where the school is where the Muslims are being held. Rocevic, a little
19 tiny village where the school is where the Muslims are being held; Pilica,
20 a little tiny village where the Muslims are being held. This is a direct
21 reference to Beara coming to the Zvornik area to organise the work that
22 needs to be done in relation to these men and these schools.
23 Okay. Another 14 July notation, last three digits of the ERN 346,
24 just going to the middle of the page. Short note: "Beara to call 155."
25 155 is the Main Staff extension for General Miletic; that's clear from the
1 record. It's Milovanovic's office, but Miletic is now there and you'll
2 see that frequently.
3 And now I think I'll go to the fifth -- let's go to the 15th of
4 July at 0954 hours, and it's the morning of the 15th. Beara is in
5 Zvornik, and there are prisoners that need to be killed at Rocevic and
6 Pilica. Thousands of prisoners.
7 Pandurevic's situation is extreme. He's on his way back at this
8 time. Obrenovic is fully engaged in fighting the column. You know the
9 problems we've discussed with the stretching of the Zvornik Brigade
10 troops, both dealing with the column and dealing with the Muslims. So
11 Beara is not getting any more help from Zvornik, and so he calls General
12 Zivanovic, who had been the corps -- the commander up until the previous
13 night when Mladic, in an impromptu ceremony, retired him and designated
14 Krstic as his commander. The night before this intercept, and that's
15 important. Zivanovic obviously -- excuse me, Beara obviously doesn't know
16 that. And this and the following intercept are crucial intercepts, so I'm
17 going to spend some time, and I apologise, I'm spending more time than I
18 had estimated, but as you can tell, this is very important.
19 So Beara says: "Hello General, sir.
20 "Hello, this is Zivanovic.
23 "No, that's postponed.
24 "It can't be postponed as long as there are ..."
25 Beara: "Okay there, but that's a new position, a new day, a
1 new ..."
2 And then Beara: "Okay then listen, bro,"
3 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. I don't think we are following.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I agree. I am trying to locate the part you are
5 reading from, but I can't see it on my screen.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise. We had our first little glitch.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. It happens and it will happen again.
8 The last four digits ERN are 2612, that's what we have on the screen.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, that's the following conversation --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- that Beara has with Krstic after Zivanovic
12 tells him he can't help him anymore. So if we can -- oh, okay. Pardon
13 me, that was, I'm sure, my fault.
14 So let's go back to the conversation that Beara first makes to
15 General Zivanovic. The first part that I was reading is largely small
16 talk. These guys have known each other for a long time and they're
17 laughing and carrying on. And then it appears that Beara gets down to
18 business and he says: "You know that day, I informed the commander about
19 it, Furtula didn't send Lukic's intervention platoon."
20 Now, Lukic is this Milan Lukic we believe from Visegrad who has an
21 intervention platoon that Beara got an order from Mladic that he would be
22 able to use to kill people. You'll -- this is what this means.
23 Furtula is the commander of the Visegrad Brigade, and Lukic -- and
24 Zivanovic says: "And Lukic is waiting at Blagojevic."
25 And Beara says: "Lukic is here with me and his driver and we
1 urged them on that."
2 Zivanovic says: "Yes.
3 "And yesterday Furtula sent one soldier without an arm and another
4 one that Lukic knows as a drunkard, fuck him.
6 "Instead of platoon."
7 Zivanovic says: "Oh dear!"
8 Beara says: "Simply he doesn't give a damn about the commander's
9 order. Well now, that platoon has 60 men."
10 The commander's order would have been Mladic's order to murder the
11 prisoners. The people from Visegrad have not arrived. There's another
12 intercept on the 13th that talks about the people from Visegrad, commanded
13 by a guy named Boban Indjic, his bus has broken down and he needs somebody
14 to go get them, and Visegrad is a long way away. So we appear to have a
15 broken-down bus issued going on, and those guys have not showed up, at
16 least to Beara's knowledge they haven't, and Beara is pretty upset.
17 Beara says: "Have him send at least a half."
18 Zivanovic says: "Yes, yes."
19 Beara says: "Say again?"
20 Zivanovic: "To send immediately."
22 And Zivanovic says: "I can't order that anymore."
23 I can't help you, provide you with troops anymore.
24 And then Beara says: "Uh-huh."
25 Zivanovic says: "385."
1 They talk about 385, Zlatar and 385.
2 And Zivanovic finally says: "Ask for extension 385."
3 Well, clearly established that extension 385 at Zlatar is where
4 you get General Krstic. That's General Krstic's extension. Zlatar is the
5 code name for the Drina Corps.
6 And so a few minutes later, at 10.00, let's go to that other
7 intercept we were looking at, and Beara -- you can see that it's between
8 Ljubo Beara and General Krstic.
9 "General, Furtula didn't carry out the boss's order."
10 It's the same thing. He's not getting the units that Furtula was
11 supposed to give. Furtula was a brigade commander who was at the 12th of
12 July meeting in Bratunac that Vinko Pandurevic was also present. This is
13 likely the time that this was passed out, though it is not precisely
15 In any event, Krstic: "Listen, he ordered him to lead out a tank,
16 not a train."
17 Krstic is now speaking some kind of code.
18 Beara says: "But I need 30 men, just like it was ordered."
19 Krstic: "Take them from Nastic or Blagojevic, I can't pull
20 anybody out of here for you."
21 Nastic is the commander of the Milici Brigade; Blagojevic is the
22 commander of the Bratunac Brigade. Krstic is in the middle of the second
23 day of the assault on Zepa. And Pandurevic is running back to Zvornik.
24 Zvornik is maxed out, so that's why you don't hear him say: Get them from
25 the Zvornik Brigade.
1 Beara: "But I don't have any here. I need them today and I'll
2 give them back tonight. Krle, you have to understand. I can't explain it
3 to you like this."
4 Krstic: "I'll disturb everything on his axis if I pull them out,
5 and a lot depends on him."
6 Axis is something they refer to as axis of attack.
7 Beara: "I can't do anything without 15 to 30 men with Boban
9 Krstic: "Ljubo, this line is not secure."
10 Beara: "I know, I know."
11 So they know these lines aren't secure but in their arrogance,
12 their impunity, they keep talking.
13 Krstic: "I'll see what I can do, but I'll disturb a lot. Check
14 down there with Nastic and Blagojevic.
15 "But, I don't have any. If I did, I wouldn't still be asking for
16 the third day."
17 So Beara has been working on this project for three days.
18 "Check with Blagojevic, take his Red Berets."
19 We had a Red Beret wounded at Kravica, but otherwise the Red
20 Berets, as Beara said in the previous intercept, it's not clear where they
22 "They're not there, only four of them are still there. They took
23 off, fuck 'em, they're not there anymore."
24 Krstic: "I'll see what I can do."
25 Beara: "Check it out and have them go to Drago's."
1 This is again a reference to come to the Zvornik Brigade, come to
3 Krstic: "I can't guarantee anything."
4 Beara: "Krle, I don't know what to do anymore.
5 "Ljubo, then take those MUP guys from up there."
6 That's the MUP guys from Zvornik.
7 "No, they won't do anything. I talked to them and there's no
8 other solution but for those 15 to 30 men with Indjic. They were supposed
9 to arrive on the 13th but didn't."
10 That's the bus that broke down. Somebody from the MUP refused to
11 help Beara. I haven't found any volunteers to tell me that they were the
12 ones that wouldn't help them because they would have to acknowledge they
13 knew about it. It was either the Zvornik CSB, Vasic, it could have been
14 Borovcanin, but it was the MUP obviously refused to help.
15 Krstic: "Ljubo, you have to understand me, you guys fucked me up
16 so much."
17 What Krstic is referring to is Krstic is trying to take down the
18 Zepa enclave and the murder operation is demanding resources away from the
19 combat operation, and that's what's missing him up.
20 Beara: "I understand, but you have to understand me too, had this
21 been done then, we wouldn't be arguing over it now."
22 Krstic: "Fuck it, now I'll be the one to blame."
23 They're worried about blame, they're worried about getting in
24 trouble with Mladic. Krstic is, Pandurevic is; they all are. At this
25 point they're following Mladic blindly into oblivion, and they're scared
1 of being -- with good reason. Their career will be over if they don't
2 follow the orders from Mladic.
3 Then Beara: "I don't know what to do. I mean it, Krle. There
4 are still 3.500 'parcels' that I have to distribute and I have no
6 Krstic: "Fuck it, I'll see what I can do."
7 "Parcels" is a term you'll see referred to over and over again as
8 the Muslim prisoners. And as you know now, at about this time there are a
9 couple thousand or 3.000 -- over 3.000 prisoners still left in the Pilica
10 area, and likely others, that have to be distributed, and Beara doesn't
11 have the men to kill them. That's when we -- later, we see the next day
12 we get the 10th Sabotage Detachment that comes in and acts as the main
13 executioner. But as these events unfold and you learn who the
14 personalities are, the terms, it will be abundantly clear that the way
15 I've described this is exactly the way it occurred.
16 And I think we're over the break time. Thank you for your
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey. How much more time do
19 you require?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I hope to finish by the end of the day. I'm
21 sorry, my calculation on the discussion of these documents is -- was not
22 as good as I would have liked it to be, but I have very few closing
23 comments after the documents.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I'm raising this because I think we need to
1 Mr. Ostojic, when I had asked you at the -- during the pre-trial
2 conference, you had indicated roughly two hours. Are you still in that
3 region or do you -- would you like more?
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Roughly about an hour and a half to two hours, Your
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you.
7 And, Mr. Bourgon, or Madam Nikolic, I don't know which one of you
8 would --
9 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. For sure not more than
10 two hours. Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So we may still be able to start with
12 the first witness on Thursday. Yeah. Okay. Thank you.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.37 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.06 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 I apologise, but I realise I forgot to mention one paragraph in
18 this important 15 July interim combat report by Colonel Pandurevic, so if
19 we could go back to that briefly. I talked about the two paragraphs
20 related to the prisoners, but then there's another paragraph underneath
21 that says: "I made an offer to the commander of the other side to
22 separate out the civilians and have the others surrender, but he refused,
23 asking that they should all be released together.
24 "The situation is still complicated but under control."
25 Now, at this time Pandurevic did have radio contact with the
1 command of the 2nd Corps folks - I believe it was Semso Muminovic - and
2 they discussed what to do. And Pandurevic apparently made him this offer
3 which the Muslims weren't going to stand for, and so nothing was resolved.
4 But that is a reference to his contact with this 2nd Corps to deal with
5 the Muslim 28th Division is there, coming up. He knows that there are
6 civilians amongst them, he knows there are soldiers. He offered to let
7 the civilians through, to keep the soldiers. There's nothing to do with
8 the Muslim men at the schools.
9 Okay. Just to make sure that's clear. All right. Now, I want to
10 go on to -- we're still with Mr. Beara in an intercept of 16 July at 1111
11 hours. Ljubo Beara and the one Cerovic. Colonel Cerovic, he is the
12 officer and probably the duty officer of the Drina Corps command in
13 Vlasenica. And Cerovic calls and says: "Hey, listen to me. Triage,
14 report today which ... taken prisoners."
15 X says: "Yes."
16 X says: "To do triage?"
17 Cerovic: "Triage has to be done on the prisoners."
18 Now, on the 16th the only prisoners they have are the some 1.500
19 to 2.000 in Pilica.
20 X says: "Colonel Beara is right here by me."
21 So we have Colonel Beara at this area which is the Zvornik
22 Brigade, as you'll soon see.
23 "Colonel Beara is right here by me."
24 Cerovic: "Give me Beara."
25 X says: "Go ahead."
1 Beara says: "Yes?"
2 Cerovic says: "Ljubo?"
3 Beara: "I hear you."
4 Cerovic: "Hello! Cerovic speaking."
5 Great radio code discipline.
6 Beara says: "I hear you."
7 And Cerovic says: "Trkulja was here with me just now and he was
8 looking for you. I don't know."
9 Beara: "Yes."
10 Cerovic: "So, he told me ... he got instructions from above."
11 Now, Trkulja is a Main Staff officer who was sent to the Drina
12 Corps to provide information about what to do with the prisoners and at
13 Pilica. And he has stopped by the Drina Corps headquarters.
14 And Beara says: "Yes."
15 And Cerovic says: "To do triage on those."
16 And then he's interrupted.
17 Beara says: "I don't want to talk about it on the phone."
18 Cerovic says: "Okay.
19 Beara says: "Okay, take care."
20 Well, as we know, "triage" is a medical term whereby you separate
21 the wounded who have a chance to live and be treated, and the less -- and
22 treat them first and save the less-serious people until last or the fatal
23 ones not at all. In this context we believe it means a darker impression,
24 that triage means we are to kill the prisoners.
25 Let's go to the next document that will give us a little more
1 information about this, and this is a page out of the duty officer
2 notebook. And from 16 July, the same day as this last intercept, and
3 there's a notation at 1115 hours, and you'll recall the intercept was
4 noted as 1111 hours. So at about the same time -- about the time of this
5 intercept, this notation is made:
6 "It was reported from Zlatar --" that's the Drina Corps
7 headquarters Vlasenica, where Cerovic is the duty officer or on duty --
8 "that a triage of wounded and prisoners must be carried out and that it
9 was reported to Beara."
10 So this is -- now we know for sure that this conversation is
11 between the Drina Corps and the Zvornik Brigade, that Beara is at the
12 Zvornik Brigade, just in the vicinity of where the prisoners are to be
13 executed. The executions started at Pilica in the morning, probably a bit
14 before this or about this time. All right.
15 Then lastly I want to go to an intercept of August 2nd, and as you
16 recall when we briefly got into the Zepa events, the Zepa men refused to
17 surrender and instead they went wholesale across the Drina to Serbia.
18 They didn't feel they could make it to BiH territory, so they went to
19 Serbia instead. And there was a big effort by the -- Krstic and the Main
20 Staff to get at those people, and this is what this intercept is about
21 between Krstic and Popovic. And Krstic says: "Yes?"
22 Popovic says: "Hey, Boss." Popovic knows who his boss is.
23 Krstic says: "Go ahead."
24 Popovic says: "Beara just called me. He came back from there
25 this morning."
1 Krstic: "Yes."
2 Popovic: "He said he reported to Miletic."
3 Krstic: "Yes."
4 "There are about 500 to 600 of them over there," referring to the
5 prisoners over in Serbia now.
6 Krstic: "Did you understand me, man? What do we have to do with
7 them up there?
8 Popovic: "It's like this. They don't allow anyone to talk with
9 them at all."
10 Krstic: "Is that clear to you, Popovic?"
11 Popovic: "Yes."
12 Krstic: "You and Kosoric straight on to Bajina Basta."
13 Bajina Basta is where they are, that's the town in Serbia right
14 across the river. You remember Kosoric is the intel officer who works
15 closely with Popovic.
16 "Do you know what you're supposed to do?"
17 Popovic: "He tells me: You'll go there for nothing." This means
18 Beara. You'll go there for nothing.
19 Krstic: "Get in touch with that Markovic, the commander of the
20 ... battalion."
21 Popovic: "Yes."
22 "I want you to bring me Turks back here. Is that clear, man?"
23 Popovic: "Well, everything is clear to me, except if they won't
24 give them?"
25 Krstic: "What do you mean, they won't give them?
1 "Well, they won't give them."
2 Krstic: "They're our Turks, man!"
3 Popovic: "Well, the MUP doesn't allow any access."
4 Krstic: "What?"
5 Popovic: "The MUP doesn't allow access, do you understand?"
6 Krstic: "I'll turn the gun barrels on them. Do you understand?"
7 Popovic: "Understood."
8 Krstic: "That's it. Go there as soon as possible."
9 Popovic: "Understood."
10 Krstic: "Go on.
14 This is the commander and his security officer dealing with Muslim
15 prisoners that they want to get and bring back to Bosnia. Now, we don't
16 believe they are going to bring back 500 to a thousand people from Serbia
17 and kill them, but they certainly are making a huge effort to get them.
18 This is an indication that of course the Zepa men fled to Serbia, Krstic
19 wants them back. Krstic and Popovic working together as they had done all
20 through the murder operation to deal with prisoners issues. It shows how
21 rabid Krstic is about this, and Popovic is trying to tell him, Look, the
22 Serbs are just not giving them back.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Excuse me, Your Honour, the reference is not
25 correct in 17 two. These are not Popovic words. "I want you to bring me
1 Turks back here." It is Krstic who was --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Line 17?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct, that's what I said. Oh, I'm
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you in agreement in or in disagreement?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, that's what I said. I guess the transcript
7 -- I've been talking a bit quickly. We are in agreement. That was
8 Krstic, the man that was a bit on the rabid side.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So there is no problem. Let's proceed.
10 Thank you.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: So we've switched here to Popovic. Of course
12 Miletic, Krstic, and as well as Beara are involved in this intercept,
13 again showing the same kind of involvement we saw through the murder
15 Now, let me go to Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, lieutenant commander
16 of the security branch of the Drina Corps. He was --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me -- one moment, Mr. McCloskey, just to have
18 this clear in my mind. In this last document that you have been referring
19 to, namely an intercept of August the 2nd, which I understood you were
20 referring to in relation to accused Beara, there is a certain Popovic
21 mentioned who is one of the interlocutors. Is that, according to you, the
22 accused Popovic that we have here or --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it is, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I just want to make that clear.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is our interpretation of that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. So as I mentioned, that intercept happened
3 to be one of those documents that wrapped in quite a few people. But now
4 let's go to some examples of the Popovic material. Popovic was with
5 General Krstic on the 11th and Mladic and Pandurevic, and as they came
6 through Srebrenica. So I have a series of photographs just to show you
7 where Mr. Popovic was at certain times. This first photograph is a still
8 from a video that you'll see. You see Krstic on the far left. Popovic is
9 in the tee-shirt with the rifle in his right-hand. Pandurevic is --
10 that's when Pandurevic is talking to Mladic about getting the Browning up
11 on the top of the hill. And so they're having a bit of a discussion about
12 that, very short. But that shows that Popovic is there with these guys on
13 the 11th of July, involved in the entry into Srebrenica.
14 Okay. The next shot is a shot where on the 12th of July where --
15 it's after the 12th of July meeting at the Hotel Fontana. General Krstic
16 is giving an interview to the Serb press right across the street from the
17 DutchBat compound, telling the Serb press that all is fine and everyone
18 will be allowed to leave, and there is buses and trucks going by, getting
19 ready to take the women and children away. The men are soon to be
20 separated and the violence is occurring as this video is being shot, but
21 mostly behind buildings and other places at this time, as you'll hear from
22 the DutchBat witnesses.
23 But if you look over the left shoulder of Krstic, you will see
24 Lieutenant -- it's a fuzzy picture, but you'll hear evidence that this is
25 in fact Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic with him on the 12th of July, in
1 Potocari as the events are unfolding.
2 The next photograph. I've got this slightly out of chronology
3 because this occurred just before the last photograph. This is the front
4 of the Hotel Fontana, the morning of the 12th of July, right before the
5 meeting at 10.00 that Mladic had with the Dutch Battalion, with the Muslim
6 representatives, and with various other civilian representatives. This is
7 where Mladic said he wanted to screen people for war criminals, 16 to 60,
8 and he told the Muslims it was up to them whether they wanted to survive
9 or disappear. So right before this meeting these folks, the -- as you
10 look to the left of the screen, the man with his hand on his right hip and
11 the moustache is Momir Nikolic. The man next to him, going to the right,
12 is Radislav Jankovic. He is an intel officer just arrived not long before
13 this from Serbia but is now a senior intel officer with the VRS, and he
14 spoke some English; that's one reason why he was there. Then we have a
15 body-guard of Mladic. And then on the far right we have Vujadin Popovic.
16 Okay. So as we go into the meeting at the Hotel Fontana, you can
17 see Vujadin Popovic drinking the water. As you look at the screen, to his
18 left is a man that I believe is the -- the media affairs officer,
19 Milutinovic. I'm not exactly sure on that right now. That picture is one
20 we've had difficulty identifying. The person at the end of the table is
21 Radislav Jankovic. Going on the other side, the person next to Popovic is
22 Miroslav Deronjic, the head of the party in Bratunac who you'll be hearing
23 from. Then next to Deronjic is Dragomir Vasic, the chief of the CSB
24 Zvornik. Then the person who's -- all we see is the back of his head, is
25 Major Boering of DutchBat, and there is a Muslim woman next to him. But
1 at this key meeting here again we have Popovic.
2 Now, if we could go to a notebook of 15 July, the duty officer's
3 notebook of the Zvornik, last four digits 9356. Thank you. There's a
4 note that the duty officer, Nenad Simic, who was the Zvornik Brigade legal
5 -- morale, legal, and religious affairs person at the time, wrote down
6 this note that Drago and Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic are to report to Major
7 Golic early in the morning. Again, that is Drago Nikolic and Popovic
8 reporting on the work they're doing. And on the 15th of July their work
9 was dealing with the prisoners in the Zvornik Brigade zone and murdering
11 Okay. Then a bit later on the 15th, Drago Nikolic took over as
12 duty officer, and we know this from a handwriting example and some other
13 evidence. And so on that same page, if we could blow up the part that
14 says "Requests: 1st Battalion." This is done in Drago Nikolic's hand,
15 and there's a request from the 1st PB, that means 1st Battalion. That is
16 the battalion that is responsible for the area of Pilica, and that's where
17 the some 2.000 prisoners are being held at this time. And they need 50
18 litres of oil, that's diesel oil, and 20 litres of gasoline. And that's
19 for the transport of troops to Kula. Kula is the school where the
20 prisoners are being held at this time. School -- Kula is this tiny little
21 village, you can hardly call it a village, and there's a school there. So
22 on the 15th of July they're transporting 1st Battalion troops to Kula, and
23 there's only one reason you would transport troops to Kula, and that's to
24 guard the some 1.500 or more Muslims that are there.
25 So here we have the 1st Battalion having to spend resources and
1 time when on the 15th of July the Muslims are hitting them from both
2 sides. This is the problem that Pandurevic was dealing with, but this is
3 his people doing what they have to do to keep these prisoners; not to let
4 them go but to keep them and kill them.
5 There are also ten crates of 7.62 ammunition. Now, 7.62
6 ammunition is the ammunition that goes in the automatic rifle known as the
7 AK-47 which was the principal rifle used in the mass executions. The ten
8 crates for the 1st Battalion were very likely for the murder operation.
9 The 1st Battalion area is way up north. The column never got there.
10 There wasn't much pressure from 2nd -- from the 2nd Battalion. The mere
11 coincidence that they need that many crates at that time when they're
12 going to need to spend almost all day murdering prisoners, the 10th
13 Sabotage Detachment doing most of the trigger pulling, but with the
14 bullets from Vinko Pandurevic.
15 All right. The next one is 16 July, and if we could -- it is
16 another notebook entry. And this is Milorad Trbic is the duty officer
17 taking these notes down, and if you could blow up the middle part where it
18 starts 0855 hours.
19 "Golic asked Popovic to call him and said that he can forget what
20 he asked for and what he wrote about. He knows what he is supposed to be
21 doing according to the agreed procedure (boss from Panorama 01). Message
22 conveyed to Popovic at 0910."
23 This, remember, is the duty officer notebook from Zvornik, so this
24 means Popovic is in the Zvornik Brigade zone and the duty officer has the
25 ability to convey this message to Popovic. It's not clear what Popovic
1 asked for, but what is clear is that he is told by the superior command
2 that, and I quote: "He knows what he is supposed to do according to the
3 agreed procedure (boss from Panorama 01)."
4 Panorama is the code name for the Main Staff, and when they talk
5 about the commander of a -- whatever unit, they refer to him as 01. So 01
6 for Zlatar and the Drina Corps is Krstic; 01 for Panorama is Mladic. 01
7 for Zvornik is Pandurevic. So whatever this is about, Popovic is told on
8 the 16th to get to your job and the procedure that was agreed on by
9 Mladic. And that was conveyed to him, and there is only one thing at this
10 point that Popovic was working on in the morning, and that was organising
11 the murders.
12 Okay. Now -- and related to that we have an intercept. It's
13 dated 16 July, and it's between the Zlatar duty officer and the Palma duty
14 officer. Now, Palma is the code name for Zvornik. They didn't change
15 these names, so these were pretty much present all throughout -- well, a
16 good part of the war, certainly 1995. And what this is about is Popovic
17 needs diesel fuel to carry on the work that he's doing. And fuel at the
18 time in Bosnia was like gold. It was hard to get, and they took very
19 careful accounting of fuel, so the reason this rises to the level of the
20 conversation is because it's such a commodity that is difficult to find
21 and absolutely critical for a murder operation. We have at this time some
22 1.000, 1.500 people, 2.000 people at the Kula school and the Pilica
23 cultural centre. At 10.00 a.m. they're being bussed and trucked to the
24 Branjevo military farm a few kilometres away. You'll probably get to do
25 this drive if it's not snowing on us, and you need lots of fuel to run
1 buses back and forth, back and forth. A bus takes about 50 people, 60
2 people, a little more if you really jam them in. But you need fuel for
3 that. This is the work Popovic is doing, and you'll see this when we take
4 a look at this.
5 "Hello, Zlatar. Give me the duty officer.
7 "Palma duty officer speaking. 500 litres of D2 for
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic."
9 Zlatar: "For Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic?
11 Line disconnects, they have to do it again.
12 "The duty officer at Palma.
13 "Who do you want?
14 "I want to talk to the Zlatar duty officer.
15 "Hello! How did you get connected here?
16 "Hello! Is this Basevic?
18 "Is that Basevic?
19 "Just a moment.
20 "Hello! Is that Basevic?
21 "Yes, it is."
22 Basevic is the logistics officer for the Drina Corps. He's the
23 man that would be distributing fuel.
24 "The guys at Zlatar didn't understand well, I asked for the duty
25 officer, you know?
2 "Lieutenant Colonel Popovic is here at Palma, you know?"
3 And the person says: "What?"
4 "Popovic is at Palma."
5 And the person says: "Yes." This is Basevic that says "Yes."
6 And the Palma duty officer says: "500 litres of D2 are urgently
7 being asked for him or else the work he's doing will stop."
8 Now, it's 1358 hours. The murder operation at Branjevo has begun.
9 It's 10:00, 11:00, and it's continuing with the busses going back and
10 forth, back and forth, bringing people to be executed.
11 Basevic: "Well, fuck him, don't you have 500 litres of oil?
12 They're asking for 2 tons loaded.
13 "Well, I don't know. He just called me from the field and told me
14 to pass you the message over there."
15 From the 1st Battalion near Pilica, you can't call directly on a
16 military line to the Vlasenica-Drina Corps headquarters; you've got to go
17 through the line that they have directly to the Zvornik Brigade
18 headquarters where you get the duty officer. That's why there is this
19 exchange going on.
20 Then Basevic: "Two tons of oil are arriving now at your place ...
21 You can't find oil. Should I deliver them to you by helicopter?
22 "Well, then, get in touch with Rosevic."
23 I don't know what that means.
24 "Is Major Golic there, by chance?
1 "Let me talk to him."
2 So now Palma now wants to talk to Golic, who we've heard about.
3 "Golic, Pop --" That's Popovic's nickname. You'll hear it a lot.
4 "Golic, Pop just called me and told me to contact you. 500 litres
5 of D2 have to be sent to him immediately, otherwise his work will stop.
6 Yeah, man. Yeah, 500 litres or else his work will stop. Go on, right
9 Immediately after the end of this conversation Palma says: "A bus
10 loaded with oil is to go to Pilica village. That's it."
11 So, yes, there's been a reference to his work; yes, we know he's
12 in Zvornik; and now we know the oil is to go to Pilica village, 500
14 "No, it should go with its fuel tank from the vehicle battalion.
15 "So it's separate?
16 "Yes, yes, it should be separate.
17 "There is, but Lieutenant-Colonel Krsmanovic over at your place
18 has to call the vehicle battalion here." Krsmanovic is a Drina Corps
19 logistics guy.
20 Okay, so at the very same time as this intercept, let's now go to
21 the duty officer notebook. It's the next exhibit. And there's a notation
22 at 1400 hours, and you'll recall this intercept was 1358 hours. So again
23 Trbic is the duty officer. "At 1400 hours Popovic requested a bus with a
24 full tank and 500 litres of D2. Zlatar duty officer and Golic informed."
25 So these two intercepts put together with a reference to Pilica
1 and what we know is going on is an absolute smoking gun. It shows beyond
2 any reasonable doubt that Popovic is involved in doing his job, which is
3 organising for the transportation of the Muslim men from Kula to be
4 murdered at Branjevo. There's also another document, it's a Zvornik
5 receipt document that actually is the receipt for 500 litres of fuel with
6 Popovic's name on it and Pilica mentioned again.
7 Absolutely solid evidence, clear, unambiguous that this man is
8 doing his job, transporting people to their deaths.
9 Okay. Another entry from the book, the notebook. This is on 16
10 July, and this is a message -- it's noted down in the middle of the -- in
11 this notebook that there's a message from Zlatar that Lieutenant-Colonel
12 Popovic must go to Vinko Pandurevic in the field at 1640 hours. The
13 message through the 1st Battalion that Popovic must report to the duty
14 officer so he can be sent on to a task by Zlatar.
15 So this shows us that Popovic is indeed at the 1st Battalion area
16 because that's where messages are being sent to get to him, and it shows
17 that Zlatar has something in mind for him and that he must go to see
18 Pandurevic in the field. Now, you'll hear from other evidence that this
19 is about the time that -- that Vinko Pandurevic had opened up a corridor
20 for the Muslim column to go through, and this information went out, leaked
21 out through the police, and was -- eventually found its way to the Main
22 Staff, to the president's office. And so you'll see the evidence that the
23 Main Staff is -- and the president are very concerned that someone has
24 opened a column up and -- or -- and let them through. And Pandurevic did
25 this on his own without approval, after, as I mentioned yesterday, some 50
1 of his troops and MUP soldiers were killed in this massive swarm of
2 people. And the Drina Corps and the Main Staff want reliable information
3 of what is going on, and so who do they -- to see what this commander may
4 be up to, and so who do they send but a security officer. Naturally they
5 are the ones who are looking into what commanders do. So they have
6 Popovic in the field, they get him, they send him out to the forward
7 command post, away from his job at Pilica, where he actually sees some of
8 the results of this awful battle, and he reports back on the results up to
9 the corps and about how awful it was. And he also talks about -- a bit in
10 that conversation about the murder operation. But that's what that's
11 about, but that provides us important information about the whereabouts of
12 Popovic, what he's doing, what Vinko Pandurevic is doing, and ties in to
13 the genocide in that the Main Staff, the corps, wanted to get everybody.
14 They did not want this column out. They could not understand why anybody
15 would open a column. Pandurevic was faced with the reality of more deaths
16 of his soldiers, opened up the column, and told his people about it later.
17 And as you'll see, the Main Staff sent some senior officers a day
18 or two later to find out and investigate this because they weren't at all
19 pleased, but as a result I think they came back satisfied that Pandurevic,
20 under the circumstances, had done the right thing by opening up the
21 column. Okay.
22 Mr. Nikolic, as you recall, or may recall from yesterday, we first
23 see Mr. Nikolic when he calls Dragan Obrenovic from the forward command
24 post and says: I've just received a call and the Muslim -- thousands of
25 Muslims prisoners are coming. We have to house them and kill them. And I
1 won't go through that with you again. But, as I said, he was able to be
2 relieved and go attend to his duties to the Muslim prisoners.
3 And if we go to what is called the forward command post log-book,
4 the Drina -- the Zvornik Brigade has a forward command post and they keep
5 a log-book, and we have translated the sections that appear to be
6 relevant. We note -- and I'll take you to that exhibit now. 13 -- if you
7 could blow up that middle one, Janet, that's 13 July, and it's Major Galic
8 who is one of the officers of the Zvornik Brigade. And he writes: "I
9 took over duty (unscheduled) from Lieutenant Drago Nikolic at 2300 hours.
10 "Last night was relatively quiet with individual attacks by enemy
11 forces from" these various places, "but there were no losses or damages."
12 So what we see is in the evening, after the time Obrenovic tells
13 us he receives the call, we actually have Major Galic making an
14 unscheduled substitution for Drago Nikolic, corroborating Dragan
15 Obrenovic's testimony, and it's clearly a normal reaction. They've got
16 hundreds of Muslim prisoners that are now arriving - we know that from a
17 survivor - and Nikolic has to go deal with it. So he gets an unscheduled
18 relief from a very important post, the forward command post.
19 Okay. The next -- next document is a log-book entry for a vehicle
20 that belongs to the military police. And if we could -- that's the front
21 of it, showing that it's a Zvornik Brigade military police book, but if we
22 could go to the next section. That's the blank one, it should be the next
23 one after that that actually talks about the dates. And if we could blow
24 up the 13 July part, both pieces. There are two 13 July. Thank you. And
25 it shows this vehicle on the 13th of July going to the little village of
1 Orahovac, then to Zvornik, and then back to Orahovac, then Standard, which
2 is the name of the Zvornik Brigade headquarters, then down to Bratunac.
3 Bratunac where, 13th of July, you know the -- the prisoners are being --
4 are being held. They have not been transferred en masse yet until the
5 evening of the 13th, and this is -- shows the involvement that the MPs are
6 obviously having at key locations. And if we go on to the next page that
7 shows the 14th through the 17th, this becomes very clear. Here's another
8 shot, but it's the same vehicle and it's just a continuation, if you go to
9 the next page. If we could blow up basically the 14th through the 17th,
10 if that's possible.
11 If you look at the trips, you'll recognise Standard -- on the
12 14th: Standard-Orahovac, Orahovac-Rocevic, Orahovac-Zvornik,
13 Standard-local. 14th of July, that's when the prisoners are there, being
14 killed. Prisoners are going to Rocevic at the same time.
15 15 of July, Karakaj-Rocevic-Local-Standard-Divic-Zvornik. Now, 15
16 of July, Rocevic, that's the key time for Rocevic. Then we look also at
17 the 15 of July Standard-Kozluk. That's where people are being killed.
18 Standard-Rocevic-Kozluk. So they're all over Kozluk and Rocevic, these
19 tiny little places, on the key day that people are being killed. So
20 they're monitoring that.
21 16 of July, Kula, a tiny little village next to Pilica.
22 Local-Standard-Kozluk, that's where they're being buried at that time.
23 Rocevic, maybe there's prisoners still at the school. Pilica, back to
24 Pilica on the end of the day.
25 17 July they go down to Kravica. I don't know why they're going
1 down there then. Now, I can't put Drago Nikolic in this vehicle, but it's
2 clearly a military police or security vehicle. He would be directing the
3 military police. He would know what they're up to and what they're
4 involved in. It would be his job to direct them and organise them, and
5 you'll hear from some of these military police officers that have
6 identified Drago Nikolic at Orahovac and involved in these events.
7 Another document related to the military police is a roster which
8 I will show you a photocopy of the Serbian version, or the Zvornik Brigade
9 version, a partial part of it. Not that section, but it's the one with
10 the names. I think you've got it. There. Okay.
11 This is a roster of the military police company that Drago Nikolic
12 had responsibilities over, and what you'll see from an expert report, and
13 I'll show the actual original document. We don't normally need to bring
14 in original documents, but this one I will bring in for you unless we get
15 a stipulation. This shows about 12 to 14 members of the military police
16 on the day of 14 July, and you can see in the original version that the
17 lettering that's noted in the box has been changed. And from O to T. And
18 then on the back of the document you'll see a little legend, and it's -- T
19 is terrain, which means being out in the field, and then you see erased by
20 pencil erasures O/Orahovac. So what we see in this document is about 12
21 or 14 MPs that are -- have been -- originally had an O next to their name
22 at Orahovac, it's been erased, and T has been put over the top. And then
23 I think there's six or seven on the next day, the 15th, where R has been
24 erased and T has been put over the top of that, and that means -- R is for
25 Rocevic and they put T over the top. This is the unit that Drago Nikolic
1 is responsible for. This is a clear indication -- and you'll hear from
2 testimony of people that were there at Orahovac, that they were there and
3 this is an effort to cover up all of which Drago Nikolic would have known
4 about and been part of.
5 All right. One last document that I'm not going to go into in
6 detail, and that is the -- a document related to the -- the story I told
7 you about. This document is dated 26th July. It's under the hand of
8 Drago Nikolic, and it's to the military prosecutor in Bijeljina. It's
9 about -- it's entitled: "Collaboration with enemy, report, delivered to."
10 And then it goes into explaining how, after Srebrenica, these people were
11 captured and they were assisted by a couple of Zvornik officers and that
12 they -- and then they were prosecuted. This is one of many documents
13 related to that very grim affair, where, after being used as witnesses
14 against Serbs, these men were killed. Drago Nikolic was part of that, he
15 knew about it, he's responsible for it.
16 This also shows us that there is an active system in place to
17 punish people for doing wrong. And I haven't said anything about it at
18 this point, but -- and I won't say much. But they had a clear system in
19 place to prosecute wrong-doers. No one was ever prosecuted for this.
20 Vinko Pandurevic did nothing to prosecute or investigate or anything.
21 Neither did Mr. Borovcanin. It was their duty to do so; they did not.
22 It's clear as a bell.
23 So that ends the -- many of the critical documents of the case.
24 Where this case will largely be tried, these documents, these intercepts,
25 the testimony from the various witnesses, especially the insider witnesses
1 that will go directly to the acts or conduct of the accused. But let me
2 just say some final words.
3 When criminal orders originate from the top, they spread downward
4 like a disease, infecting most of all the people in positions of power and
5 authority, tasked with carrying out those orders. It doesn't have to be
6 that way because following criminal orders is not an imperative. A
7 soldier becomes infected when he does so under his own free will. It is
8 not like a disease, it's not infectious. You do it when you choose to do
9 it. A soldier, especially an officer, is different. He is first and
10 foremost a creature of duty, a creature of honour, and a creature of code.
11 There is no important human job in our society [sic]. They are the men
12 that protect us and protect our homes, and they live by a very strict and
13 important code that this Tribunal is mandated to enforce. These men
14 received that training; they know the difference between good and evil.
15 They chose wrongly. Their duty tells them loudly and clearly that they
16 must not embrace criminal orders. Every soldier has a choice. He can
17 pick up the phone or the gun and do the bidding of men like Mladic, or he
18 can choose not to follow the orders and stand down. Call the ICRC, get
19 out of town, ruin your career. This, of course, creates a tremendous
20 strength of character and courage, none of which these accused in court
21 today possessed. Where they lost their honour, I don't know. Probably
22 early on in this ethnic war. Only they know that.
23 When you're considering the issue of intent, please remember each
24 of these men wilfully and voluntarily chose to support these awful crimes
25 with the knowledge that their contribution would play a significant and
1 crucial role in the commission of those crimes. The only way we will get
2 into the minds of these accused is through their actions and statements.
3 Your Honours, I believe you may - in fact should, based on the
4 evidence - infer that these men intended the known results of their
5 conduct. The evidence in this case will provide you with no reasonable
6 alternative. This is not a case of mere aiding and abetting. If this
7 Tribunal is to stand up to impunity, it must require that men are
8 responsible for their actions.
9 Okay. In conclusion, I want to take you briefly back to the
10 victims to remind us all again why we're here in the first place. To do
11 this, I want to share with you the words of a woman from Srebrenica named
12 Mirsada Malagic, whose words I will never forget. She testified in the
13 Krstic case. Near the end of her testimony Judge Rodriguez told her that
14 she would have to stay another day, as you know that happens, and he
15 suggested she go out and see a bit of The Hague, and so she did that. And
16 when she came back and finished her testimony, this is what she told us.
17 Think about genocide when you hear what she said.
18 "Yesterday afternoon when I returned from here, I went out to walk
19 around your city. That is what I wanted to tell you. I couldn't really
20 see much, but what I really liked, what caught my eye, was a monument that
21 we visited, and that monument was to women, that is, women awaiting
22 sailors who never came back. And the monument to those wives touched me
23 profoundly. I should like to find this statue and take it to Bosnia with
24 me. Perhaps it could be likened to mothers and wives of Srebrenica who
25 have been waiting and hoping for all those years, except that we followed
1 different roads. We could turn to our empty forest. We saw our sons, our
2 husbands off to those woods and never found out anything about them again,
3 whether they were alive or dead, where their bones are lying. Many
4 mothers have died hoping against hope, and it's quite possible that all
5 the mothers would end up like that because their numbers are dwindling
6 every day."
7 Mirsada lost her husband Salko, her two sons Elvir and Admir -
8 Admir was only 16 - her father-in-law Omer, both Salko's brothers Osman
9 and Jaspur, her nephew Samir, and this wasn't unusual. Many lost and
10 suffered more. The loss of these men and boys and the crippling of those
11 left behind can be simply put: This is a Bosnia genocide we must never
12 forget. Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. McCloskey.
14 Just one moment so that we will discuss something.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic, are you in a position to start
17 now? And continue tomorrow, of course.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: I would prefer to start in the morning, as I said,
19 but I'll do as the Court wishes. Whatever your pleasure is.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic. Perhaps you can go on today for
22 about 30 minutes, and then we stop because we would need to have a break
23 for the staff in any case. And then you will resume tomorrow. Is that
24 acceptable to you?
25 MR. OSTOJIC: That's acceptable.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: I would just ask if I can get a podium to place my
3 paperwork on.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: That would help.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, could you please assist Mr. Ostojic.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Is this normal? I don't recall having to share one
9 podium between Prosecution and Defence. Okay. All right. Thank you.
10 And Mr. Ostojic also is tall.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
12 Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. As you know, my name
13 is John Ostojic, and I'm here representing Mr. Ljubisa Beara. Good
14 afternoon to my learned colleague at the Office of the Prosecution, and to
15 my colleagues at the Defence table.
16 We have heard some comments from the Prosecution today, and with
17 the Court's indulgence, I will take off the head-sets. I will try to
18 follow as much as possible. We're here for two reasons: One obviously
19 that was expressed yesterday and today in some of the closing remarks, and
20 that is to express our sympathy to the victims, the families, and the
21 friends of the people who died in Srebrenica in 1995. It's undisputed
22 that July, 1995, was a tragic, horrific time which caused senseless loss
23 of lives on all sides. It was a war that the Prosecutor himself
24 acknowledges may have been legitimate to a certain extent. There was a
25 war that was going on there since 1992.
1 We are not here and we would never attempt to minimise the tragedy
2 or the pain and suffering experienced by these victims, their families, or
3 their friends. We are here also, however, to the extent possible, to seek
4 the truth, the truth about, at the very least, Mr. Beara. The truth that
5 you have not heard thus far, quite candidly, the truth that we wish
6 through the evidence, with your patience and your guidance that you all
7 will hear at the conclusion of our evidence in this case. We respectfully
8 ask that each defendant be judged solely on their conduct, not to judge
9 all of them, as the Madam Prosecutor yesterday told us, with this
10 collective guilt; however, in my opinion, from looking at the web that was
11 weaved by the Prosecution, there is a sense of collective guilt that
12 they're trying to prove by lumping parties together and lumping people
13 together. We ask that the Court respectfully, as I'm sure and confident
14 that you will, do not - and I repeat do not - utilise this theory of
15 collective guilt.
16 It's my view that when we judge someone or anyone, specifically
17 Mr. Beara - I always mispronounce his name; I apologise - that we in fact,
18 in order to know a man, in order to understand a man, in order to glean
19 what a man or a person is all about, we don't start with an intercept or
20 we don't start with a document that I'll discuss later may have some flaws
21 and quite candidly has many flaws within it and subject to numerous
22 interpretation. But to judge a man we must learn first about his
23 biography. What is he about? Where was he born? Where does he come
24 from? What was his education and upbringing like? What was his family
25 situation like? To know about Mr. Beara, we covered some of his biography
1 in our pre-trial brief, but I'll share it again with you in a general
2 overview. We expect that the evidence will show, through witnesses,
3 specifically why this is both relevant and important. But if you're going
4 to judge a person, respectfully, we must know that person in greater
5 detail than in just the three days that the Prosecution is alleging that
6 he participated in these horrific crimes.
7 We believe that with Mr. Beara's background and biography, the
8 Court will be convinced that he could not and did not possess the criminal
9 intent necessary for the crimes alleged, specifically genocide,
10 extermination, murder, persecution, deportation, and any other war crimes
11 during the time at issue.
12 Mr. Beara was born on July 14th, 1939, a significant date, we
13 believe. He was born in Sarajevo, in former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina. He completed and was brought up, completing both grammar
15 school and high school in Sarajevo. His father, Jovan, was a second
16 lieutenant in the Royal Army before World War II. His father was captured
17 in 1941 and was a prisoner of war in Germany for four years, until 1945.
18 Mr. Beara's father, Jovan, was re-activated into the JNA and
19 became a major in the air force. His family comes from a small village
20 called Bare, very similar spelling to his last name, but it's B-a-r-e.
21 It's in Sinj in Croatia. Mr. Beara grew up and was taught by his military
22 father never to discriminate, never to hold biases or to have prejudice
23 against any peoples. Mr. Beara grew up and followed in his father's
24 footsteps. Mr. Beara was not a Serb nationalist; he was a Yugoslav,
25 someone who believed in the multi-ethnic, multi-ethnic structure of that
1 former country, being born and growing up in Croatia, living in Sarajevo,
2 following his father's footsteps as a Yugoslav officer.
3 Mr. Beara attended the Military Maritime Academy from 1959 to
4 1963, following in his father's footsteps of honour, code, and duty. In
5 1973 he was designated as the chief security officer for the military
6 coast region in Split, Croatia, which covered not only the coast area, but
7 a large inland section of approximately 75 kilometres.
8 In 1985, Mr. Beara obtained the rank of a naval captain. He never
9 became an admiral, stayed at the level of a naval captain. I believe the
10 evidence will show that the naval captain is the equivalent of a colonel.
11 So from 1985 the evidence will show that Mr. Beara has not been promoted
12 and has not been elevated to any military position other than the one he
13 maintained approximately ten years prior to the events that we're here
14 discussing at this trial. We believe that is significant for two
15 reasons: One, the Prosecution suggests that it's significant, but not for
16 Mr. Beara. They took portions of their theories and apply it differently.
17 If it's significant for all accused, it should be significant for
18 Mr. Beara that he was not promoted. It is indicative of certain things,
19 and we hope that when our Defence case comes through, you will find why we
20 feel it is important.
21 From 1992, Ljubisa Beara was stationed in the Crna Rijeka as a
22 staff officer in the Main Staff of the VRS. His rank at that time was
23 changed from a naval captain to a colonel, which is essentially a parallel
24 ranking in the different systems after 1992.
25 Ljubisa Beara is married and has been married since September
1 23rd, 1962. He has two sons and two grandchildren. I believe the
2 evidence will also show that bringing up those two young men and his two
3 grandchildren, he has never shown them or tried to teach them
4 discriminatory prejudice or to be biased against any peoples but has
5 continuously looked at all people equally.
6 We believe the evidence will show, just by the background, as I've
7 stated earlier, that Mr. Beara cannot and did not possess the criminal
8 intent necessary, not just for genocide, not just for extermination and
9 murder, but also for persecution where you need an elevated intent of
10 discriminatory intent. I'll only highlight some of his background now and
11 bring forth testimonials and evidence to this Trial Chamber when I'm given
12 that opportunity.
13 Professionally and personally, there were many victims of the war
14 in former Yugoslavia. In 1992, Mr. Beara also personally and
15 professionally had a setback, many setbacks, but professionally speaking
16 one of the main setbacks that Mr. Beara had, which is what we believe the
17 evidence will show, indicated a detachment from the Serbs because of
18 Mr. Beara's background. In 1992, as I'm sure the Prosecution knows and as
19 the evidence will show, in approximately April through June of 1992, there
20 was a killing of two paramilitary soldiers. In 1992, these two
21 paramilitary soldiers apparently tried to take a VRS transport vehicle.
22 At the time, they were able to seize this transport vehicle and take it.
23 Subsequent to that, the men who -- the military men who were going to
24 retrieve the military vehicle, transport vehicle, there was a gun battle.
25 Two soldiers, two paramilitary soldiers, died. Mr. Beara was accused of
1 participating in the killing of those two soldiers in a transport vehicle.
2 Now, you might be wondering how is it related. We believe the
3 evidence will show that on that April, 1992, date when those two
4 paramilitary soldiers were shot killed -- shot and killed, blame was
5 placed on Mr. Beara, a staff security officer. At that time, Mr. Beara
6 spent 47 days in jail awaiting his trial in order to prove his case.
7 After three trials, several appeals, at each of the trials Mr. Beara was
8 vindicated. He was found not guilty of those killings. But that is not
9 where the evidence stops with respect to this 1992 incident.
10 What's important about the incident and why we believe it reflects
11 the start of a detachment for Mr. Beara is the fact that we don't know or
12 haven't yet told you who were those two paramilitary soldiers who stole
13 the military transport? They were not Muslim, they were not Croats; they
14 were Serbs. Mr. Beara at that time was being charged with a crime for
15 killing two Serb paramilitary soldiers who stole a Serb vehicle. He was
16 being prosecuted not by Croats, not by Muslims, but by Serbs.
17 Mr. Beara's run-in with the law, respectfully similar to this,
18 also occurred approximately one year and three months later -- one year
19 and five months later. It's an action that's been reported as the
20 September, 1993, action. It's significant, we believe, because the
21 military, as the Prosecutor seems to suggest, is very strict in
22 discipline, follows many specific rules and codes. At this point in 1992
23 we suggest that there was a loss of confidence in Mr. Beara and he was
24 moved off to the side. He became a member of the Main Staff security unit
25 with no personnel, with no troops to command, and with no authority vested
1 in him at any time from 1992 through well beyond July, 1995. This is one
2 reason, we suggest - and we believe the evidence will prove - why he was
3 isolated and detached from all the events that happened here.
4 1993, as I started to say, the incident is called the September
5 1993 action. We hope to bring evidence, and we will with respect to the
6 July -- or with the 1992 incident, bring the Prosecutor, and I believe a
7 Judge we're bringing as well, to verify and substantiate what I'm telling
8 you, and we have documents to support that.
9 September 1993 action is a relatively well-known incident reported
10 primarily, though, in the former Yugoslavia. What was September 1993
11 action? It was an action purportedly set up to make a military coup
12 against President Radovan Karadzic. Again, who was implicated in the
13 September 1993 action? Unfortunately, Mr. Beara. We suggest, as we did
14 with the 1992 incident, that that event is also relevant and important,
15 both from a military standpoint and from a personal standpoint, to show
16 and reveal that Mr. Beara was actually detached and not closely linked, as
17 the Prosecutor seems to suggest, but detached from the events involving
18 Srebrenica in July of 1995.
19 I failed to mention with respect to the 1992 incident, Mr. Beara
20 did get punished for that, not only spending 47 days in jail, but he also
21 was sanctioned for using what they considered to be inappropriate language
22 when he was advising or telling his men to retrieve the transporter with
23 these two Serb paramilitary officers -- soldiers. He used words that
24 Mr. McCloskey says are derogatory, and indeed they are. There's no
25 dispute about that. But when you see that evidence, you'll see that he
1 used those same derogatory words against the Serbs, and he got punished
2 with a six-month to a one-year probationary period because the witnesses
3 testified and said he shouldn't use derogatory words, although he did, and
4 it may have been custom and practice, not to the extent the Prosecution
5 suggests that there is a meaning to those word, but just in general
6 colloquy between officers, or between staff officers or between people.
7 I hope we don't judge Mr. Beara or any individual, on using either
8 profanity or using a derogatory word, because that, I believe, is not what
9 this Tribunal is set up to be and that, I believe, is not what any
10 criminal institution is set up to be. But you'll find that Mr. Beara did
11 use derogatory words, both against Serbs and supposedly or purportedly
12 against Muslims, as Mr. McCloskey expects to prove in his evidence -- in
13 his case.
14 I believe it's insignificant. I don't believe using those words
15 really indicate what one person feels about one ethnic group or another.
16 It certainly should not be used. It certainly is something we try to
17 deter and refrain from doing, but unfortunately it happens from time to
18 time, but I don't believe it reaches a criminal level of culpability or
20 Mr. Beara's personal and professional life, his detailed biography
21 alone, and the two incidents we've discussed thus far proves that he did
22 not at any time have the power, the control, or the authority to do any of
23 the crimes that are alleged by the Prosecution. We believe that he was
24 detached. And if you look at the evidence of the Prosecution, even the
25 evidence that they gleaned here with us today about Mr. Beara, you'll find
1 that there are reasonable interpretations for each of the documents. But
2 not just reasonable, more plausible. More plausible and perhaps even
3 truthful explanations as to what the documents suggest and really meant to
5 I don't accept the intercepts, and I'll tell the Court why when we
6 file our motion, when the evidence comes in. We don't believe they are
7 reliable. We don't accept them as being truthful in all cases. And,
8 quite frankly, if you look at, by way of example, one intercept that the
9 Prosecutor tried -- or showed you today, that was the intercept between
10 Mr. Beara and Mr. Krstic. Beara says on the lower part of that
11 transcript: "I've been waiting three days."
12 If it's true that Mr. Beara said he's been waiting three days, on
13 the 15th does it not indicate clearly enough that he's done nothing for
14 three days? Not according to the Prosecutor, because it doesn't fit into
15 his web of collective guilt. If it's true that Mr. Beara is on that
16 intercept, he plainly says: "I've been waiting three days." Nothing has
17 happened. We'll go into more of the specific evidence tomorrow of what we
18 believe the security staff officer, Mr. Beara, was doing and how he was
19 doing it.
20 But I'd like to just, with the last couple minutes, just address
21 the Court in this if I may: We think that the evidence will prove that an
22 acquittal is not only a fair and honest result, but it would be the
23 correct decision, most respectfully, as it relates to Mr. Beara. I
24 address only him because I represent him and believe that the evidence
25 should stand or fall with each of the accused and not in a total vacuum.
1 The evidence will prove that not every Serb in the world is guilty
2 of war crimes. The evidence will prove that not every male Serb is guilty
3 of war crimes in Srebrenica. The evidence will prove that not every male
4 Serb military person is guilty of war crimes in Srebrenica. The evidence
5 will prove that in fact not every Serb military staff officer in the
6 security unit is guilty of war crimes, and I respectfully believe and have
7 the conviction and look forward to share with you that the evidence will
8 prove that Mr. Ljubisa Beara is not guilty of the crimes charged by the
10 I'm not sure if it's a good point to stop. I may continue, but --
11 thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That's perfect, Mr. Ostojic. The understanding is
13 we will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00. Mr. Ostojic will continue and
14 finish his opening statement, to be followed by the Defence for
15 Mr. Nikolic. If there is a time to spare, then, Mr. Gvero, we will ask
16 you to make your statement, as per your wish expressed during the
17 pre-trial conference.
18 How long do you think you will require for your statement? How
19 much time?
20 THE ACCUSED GVERO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that
21 the indication we gave was half an hour, but it seems that 10 to 15
22 minutes would be sufficient.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Gvero. You may sit down.
24 So the understanding is please prepare yourself for your statement
25 tomorrow because it's very likely that it will -- it will take place
1 tomorrow. And that's it. So I think we should cover all the remaining
2 territory tomorrow and then start with the first witness on Thursday. In
3 the meantime, we are sure we'll have ready our decision on protective
4 measures because it relates also in part to the first witness.
5 Thank you, good afternoon, and see you tomorrow morning.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.23 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 23rd day of
8 August, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.