1 Tuesday, 7 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Madam Registrar. Could you
6 call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
10 Everyone is present here except Mr. Bourgon. Prosecution is
11 Mr. Vanderpuye and Mr. McCloskey. All right. No preliminaries? Yes.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is one preliminary matter that I wanted to
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Please go ahead.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: In preparing for this afternoon's session, I came
16 across an error that the witness pointed out to me included in the
17 statement that was admitted yesterday. I wanted to wait until I had the
18 opportunity to address the court and also address counsel with respect to
19 that. That relates to a statement that was made in paragraph 13 of that
20 prior statement to the ICTY, and it is a reference to many people while
21 he's at the camp dying of malnutrition and then includes a reference to a
22 cousin of his. And in fact, that reference is erroneous, and I'll clarify
23 that with the witness on the record, but it should be a reference only to
24 the cousin having died of malnutrition as opposed to many people.
25 If there is an objection, I certainly will address that issue but
1 I just wanted to clarify it for the record so that there is not a
2 misrepresentation, inadvertent as it may be, going to the Court.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections? I hear none.
4 Mr. McCloskey.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: One other detail, Mr. President. I think, as I
6 mentioned to Mr. Cubbon yesterday, the next witness in line got here a day
7 later than expected because of a family emergency, and I have finished
8 proofing him and we are ready to go, if we get done earlier than the
9 estimates, we can go, there has been a small proofing note that I've given
10 Defence counsel and I'm -- so we are ready if there is -- if need be.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Vanderpuye, the authorisation or the
12 go-ahead you asked is granted. So --
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You will proceed with that.
15 In the meantime, I asked you yesterday, Madam Registrar, to check
16 out with the Defence teams whether they have revised their estimate.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm thinking aloud. I'm just counting or adding.
19 Yes, okay. We'll come to that later, Mr. McCloskey, because I am not that
20 confident that we will be finished with this witness today. So ... all
21 right. Let's -- any further matters? None?
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-139 [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Please take a seat.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to continue with your testimony.
5 Mr. Vanderpuye will be finishing soon and then I will hand you over to the
6 Defence teams.
7 Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel,
10 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye: [Continued]
11 Q. Mr. Witness, yesterday we had gone over a number of errors that
12 were contained in the written statement that you signed on the 18th of
13 May, 2000. I wanted to clarify for the record, there is a reference in
14 your statement in paragraph 13 regarding a number of individuals that died
15 as a result of malnutrition at Batkovici. Specifically, the statement
16 reads that many died as a result of malnutrition. Is that an incorrect
18 A. Yes. That is an incorrect statement.
22 Q. All right. Also for clarification of the record. You indicated
23 yesterday that you were in the military from 1992 until --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to redact obviously. Let's be careful.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: I apologise.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This has already cost us a 5- to 10-minute break.
4 We redact lines 19 to 21 on page 3, please.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And then also line 25. Okay.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
8 Q. You had indicated that you had been in the military yesterday in
9 your testimony.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, were you part of -- were you a member of the Territorial
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Of the individuals that you had mentioned you were with in
15 Baljkovica on the 18th or the 19th of July, were any of them members of
16 the military or the Territorial Defence?
17 A. You mean when I was captured or ...
18 Q. As you knew them on the 18th or 19th, did you know any of them to
19 be members of the Territorial Defence or the military prior to that date?
20 And please avoid naming them.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And how many of the five were members of the military or
23 Territorial Defence?
24 A. Two were civilians, three were soldiers.
25 Q. During your journey, can you tell us approximately when it was
1 that you encountered these five individuals?
2 A. The day before we were captured.
3 Q. In your statement, you made a reference to the camp at Batkovici
4 [Realtime transcript read in error "Baljkovica"] as a concentration camp.
5 Can you tell us what the conditions of the camp were at the time that you
6 were there?
7 A. The conditions were very, very hard. We had to work. We had to
8 go wherever we were sent. There was very little food. There was
9 practically no medical assistance given. It was very difficult.
10 Q. At the time that you were in the camp, were you at some point
11 registered with the Red Cross?
12 A. Yes. They did come.
13 Q. You also indicated that while you were there, you had been
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did that interrogation precede or follow your registration with
17 the Red Cross?
18 A. Later.
19 Q. And do you know by whom you were interrogated?
20 A. I don't know the name. All I know that they were from security.
21 Q. On how many occasions, if you can recall, were you interrogated
22 while you were at the camp at Batkovici?
23 A. Twice.
24 Q. And on either occasion, did the person who interrogated you
25 identify themselves to you?
1 A. No.
2 Q. At the time that you first reached the area of Baljkovica --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, is there a problem with interpretation
4 or what?
5 MR. HAYNES: Well, I think I anticipate, it's line 21, the witness
6 was asked a question about being interrogated at a camp "Baljkovica". The
7 camp is at Batkovici. Baljkovica is not a camp and it would be a pretty
8 important mistake in the transcript for those two places to be confused.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think point taken. This needs to be -- do you
10 agree with this, first of all, because I'm not in a position even if I
11 knew whether to confirm or not, but --
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do agree. Perhaps I misspoke inadvertently.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's take care of that.
14 And is this -- Mr. Borovcanin, is there what you wanted to
15 address? All right. Okay.
16 Go ahead.
17 And thank you, Mr. Haynes.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE:
19 Q. At the time that you first reached the area of Baljkovica, did you
20 arrive there alone or with other individuals?
21 A. I wasn't alone. There were more of us.
22 Q. Without naming the individuals that you arrived with, can you tell
23 us whether the individuals that you arrived with included the five that
24 you had testified about previously that were lined up on the ground and
25 later shot?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. In all, approximately how many people did you arrive with
3 in Baljkovica before anyone was either captured or surrendered?
4 JUDGE KWON: I think it should be pronounced Batkovic, not vica.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Did I refer to a camp?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No. No. It's whether with an L or whether with
7 a T.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm referring to the one with an L.
9 JUDGE KWON: Not ending with A, just --
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. I apologise. I'm referring to the area in
11 which the individual was captured, not the camp that he was later brought
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's agree on this because it's important. I mean,
14 you're the one who is most interested obviously, Mr. Haynes. Do you
15 distinguish between the name of the camp and the name of the location? Of
16 the area?
17 MR. HAYNES: Yes. The camp is Batkovici.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And the area is Batkovica?
19 MR. HAYNES: Baljkovica. They are all laughing at me but I
20 thought that was quite good.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think what I'm trying to refer to is Baljkovica
24 which is not the camp but the area in which the capture occurred.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And I take it you agree with what Mr. Haynes --
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: I do agree, although I can't quite pronounce it
2 as well as he can.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE:
5 Q. I believe my question was: In all, approximately how many people
6 did you arrive with in Baljkovica before anyone had been captured or had
7 otherwise surrendered, that you observed?
8 A. Before I was captured or ...
9 Q. Yes, before you were captured. Or before anyone else had
11 A. There were 10 of us.
12 Q. Okay. And as far as you're aware, of the 10 that arrived there,
13 how many were captured?
14 A. Six of us.
15 Q. And of the six of you that were captured, how many of you, if you
16 know, survive?
17 A. Just the two of us.
18 Q. And when you say "the two of us," to whom are you referring?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. If he's going to mention a name, then
20 let's go into private session because it's just one name to which he can
21 easily be tied.
22 So let's go into private session for a short while.
23 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session.
8 For the record, the examination-in-chief is finished and now we
9 start with the cross-examinations. I'm informed Mr. Zivanovic that --
10 okay. I notice that Mr. Haynes has -- is standing up. He's going first.
11 Take your time, Mr. Haynes.
12 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
14 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. I don't appear to be receiving interpretation. Can I try that
17 again? Good afternoon.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. Thank you. Before I start asking you questions, I'm going to do
20 my very best to make sure that none of the answers you can give me will
21 reveal your identity, and if I'm going to ask you about names or places
22 that are personal to you, I will do that privately, okay?
23 A. Very well.
24 Q. And for your benefit, unless I ask you for a name, I don't want
25 you to give a name. Do you understand?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, when you arrived at the camp at Batkovici, the fact that you
3 had arrived there was notified to the international commission for the
4 Red Cross, wasn't it?
5 A. I don't know anything about whether they were informed or not.
6 Q. Well, when you arrived at Batkovici, did you give your name and
7 your personal details to anybody there?
8 A. After two days, I think, once I got there, two days after I got
9 there, the Red Cross came and identified us.
10 Q. And did you give your correct name and details?
11 A. I did.
12 Q. The same details that were on the piece of paper that was shown to
13 you yesterday by the Court when you started to give your evidence?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did you understand that the purpose of giving your name and
16 details to the Red Cross was to enable people to know where you were?
17 A. Of course.
18 Q. For example, your government, your army, your family and friends?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And when eventually you left the camp at Batkovici, did you
21 discover that people who knew you had found out that you were at
23 A. Could you please repeat your question?
24 Q. Yes. When eventually you left Batkovici, and you saw people whom
25 you had known from before, did you discover that they had discovered you
1 were at Batkovici?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. HAYNES: Can we go into private session for two or three
5 questions, please, Mr. President?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Haynes. Let's go into private
8 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 MR. HAYNES:
13 Q. Did you ever receive any communication from the army of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina about providing evidence of war crimes in Srebrenica?
15 A. No, I didn't.
16 Q. Were you aware that the high court in Tuzla was receiving evidence
17 from alleged victims of war crimes in Srebrenica?
18 A. No, I wasn't.
19 Q. Were you aware that the MUP State Security Service of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina was carrying out investigations into war crimes in
22 A. No, I wasn't.
23 Q. And nobody in Tuzla whom you had known from Srebrenica told you of
24 any of those investigations?
25 A. No.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the objection?
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: The nature of the objection has to do with the
3 time frame to which my colleague is referring.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I suppose you can address that without
5 any problems, Mr. Haynes?
6 MR. HAYNES:
7 Q. So that we are clear, at any time --
8 MR. HAYNES: Perhaps it better be in private session, actually.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session again.
10 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
2 MR. HAYNES:
3 Q. Did you not think you had important evidence to give about the
4 events you'd witnessed in July of 1995?
5 A. Well, of course. The only thing I did do is talk to people from
6 the Red Cross.
7 Q. Now, on the 18th of May of 2000, you met a man called Bruce Bursik
8 and you spoke to him together with a female interpreter called Alma Delic.
9 Do you remember that meeting?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did they come to your home?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Where did you go to meet them?
14 A. We met in a neighbouring town, in a hotel.
15 Q. And how long did you spend with them?
16 A. Well, I'm not quite sure. About a couple of hours.
17 Q. And during that couple of hours, you understood you were in no
18 danger of getting yourself into trouble?
19 A. Well, I don't know why I would be afraid.
20 Q. Well, did you feel comfortable to speak to them honestly and
22 A. Of course I felt that I could speak honestly, openly and frankly
23 about some matters. I was not afraid of anything, only perhaps I didn't
24 wish to talk about my private life, my personal life.
25 Q. And as a result of that conversation, a document was produced,
1 wasn't it, which is called a witness statement?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And do you recall putting your signature on every page of that
4 witness statement and signing a declaration at the bottom of it?
5 A. I remember that I signed it but I don't remember that I actually
6 did sign each and every page.
7 Q. Do you remember it being read back to you before you signed it, in
8 your own language?
9 A. I'm not sure, but it is possible that that was the case.
10 Q. Well, do you remember whether you, in fact, made any corrections
11 when it was read back to you?
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. Very well. I want to come to last Sunday afternoon, that's two
14 days ago, which you spent with the gentleman over there in a room
15 somewhere in this building. Do you remember that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How many people were there?
18 A. Two persons.
19 Q. Does that include the gentleman who has just been asking you
20 questions? Was it him and one other?
21 A. He was there, and a young lady, an interpreter.
22 Q. How long did you spend there?
23 A. Say about two and a half hours.
24 Q. And how did the meeting go? Did it begin by you being shown your
25 May 2000 statement and having it read over to you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And did you point out the mistakes in that statement immediately
3 or at some later stage?
4 A. While I read it, I did notice some mistakes. Now, were they
5 mistakes in translation, well, most probably, as it was being translated.
6 So that would be about it.
7 Q. Well, I don't suppose that took up the whole of two and a half
8 hours. So you were doing something other than reading your statement for
9 two and a half hours. Were you shown anything?
10 A. I really don't know what you mean.
11 Q. Well, were you shown any photographs?
12 A. Yes, one.
13 Q. Just one photograph?
14 A. One.
15 Q. And was that of a building or of a person?
16 A. I didn't hear this last word.
17 Q. What was the photograph of?
18 A. On that photograph I could recognise a facility; namely, the
20 Q. And what was said to you when that one photograph was shown to
21 you? Were you told, "This is where we believe you were held; can you
22 confirm that?"
23 A. I was asked whether I could recognise the building and where it
25 Q. Were you shown any videotapes or anything like that?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Any other written material?
3 A. No. I just had to read what I had to read, and there was that one
5 Q. Very well. I'll move on from that.
6 Now, the 39 men that were held prisoner in the toilet next to the
7 wood varnish factory, would they be the same 39 men who were taken to the
8 camp at Batkovici from Zvornik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How long were you held in Zvornik?
11 A. Well, about three days approximately.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to say that I think he answered that
13 yesterday. He gave the duration on one place and then another until the
14 very end, when he was --
15 MR. HAYNES: I wasn't sure that he had but if he had, I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
17 MR. HAYNES:
18 Q. When you arrived, were the other -- were the other prisoners
19 substantially there? Were you one of the last to arrive or were you one
20 of the first to arrive? Do you remember?
21 A. I was the first to arrive. There was no one else there.
22 Q. I want to ask you in particular whether you remember two other
23 prisoners who may have been there at the same time as you, two brothers,
24 who were taken to hospital for treatment and who came back carrying
25 envelopes with X-ray pictures inside them. Do you recall that?
1 A. I recall two brothers. Can I tell you where they were from?
2 Q. We will go into private session if you're going to do that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session, please.
4 [Private session]
19 please. [Open session]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We are in open session.
21 MR. HAYNES:
22 Q. You now you were arrested as a soldier in enemy territory, weren't
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In fact, just before you were arrested, you had been carrying
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. And more than that, you'd had your arms ready to shoot at Serbian
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let's be realistic. Being arrested in those circumstances,
7 whatever side you were on in this war, the best result you could have
8 hoped for was to be taken to a detention camp?
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. I mean, perhaps you can help us. You'd been patrolling for three
11 years in the Srebrenica enclave. What facilities did your opstina have
12 for the detention of prisoners of war?
13 A. To tell you the truth, it hardly ever happened that somebody would
14 be taken prisoner. Even if they would be taken prisoner, the only
15 facility for that was the police station.
16 Q. I'm going to move on to another topic now.
17 I don't want to take too long over this, but can we agree, however
18 difficult it is to work out the days, that you arrived in Baljkovica no
19 later than the 16th of July?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Well, can we just go through it as it were from both ends very
22 quickly? You left Susnjari late in the evening of the 11th of July?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The following day, you were ambushed in the morning and shelled in
25 the evening, and you might recall the details of that ambush where you
1 were carrying stretchers?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. On the 13th, the day after that, you saw people being killed who
4 tried to cross the road at Sandici?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And on the 14th, you climbed down some cliffs near Kuslat using
7 electrical wires and you crossed the Drinjaca river?
8 A. It couldn't have been the 14th. No way.
9 Q. Well, would it have been earlier or later than that?
10 A. Only after that.
11 Q. For what it's worth, you said in your witness statement that you
12 arrived in Baljkovica on the 16th. But we'll carry on. After you'd
13 crossed the river, you made towards Snagovo, do you recall that?
14 A. We set out towards Rasovo, towards Udric, not towards Snagovo, the
15 same direction but Snagovo was pretty far off from there.
16 Q. Well, perhaps we can approach it another way. You spent at least
17 three nights, didn't you, not very far from Baljkovica?
18 A. That was it roughly, from Udric and then to Baljkovica, roughly
19 it's that amount of time. Because we were ambushed quite a few times and
20 then we had to go back and then we had to go around. So approximately
21 that was the time it took.
22 Q. When you made your -- I'm sorry, can I start this question again?
23 When ultimately you were captured, you were interrogated, weren't you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And if I can put it this way, to a large extent, it was a pretty
1 standard interrogation?
2 A. Well, my opinion is that it is so. Whoever was taken prisoner was
3 probably interrogated first and then they did whatever they had planned on
5 Q. And you could hear other people being interrogated as well,
6 couldn't you?
7 A. I could not hear that. I could only see people being taken out
8 one by one, to be interrogated.
9 Q. The more unusual questions you were asked were -- you were asked
10 whether you had ever received arms packages disguised as aid in the
11 enclave, weren't you?
12 A. Yes. We were asked.
13 Q. And you were also asked, weren't you, why you had not gone to the
14 free territory through the corridor when it had been opened for you?
15 A. They put many questions to us. As for an open corridor, we didn't
16 have that anywhere.
17 Q. Well, let's start at this point: Were you asked why you had not
18 gone through the open corridor?
19 A. I don't remember that question. I don't think they asked me that.
20 Q. Very well. As you made your way towards Baljkovica, were you
21 aware of fighting ahead of you?
22 A. I don't think there was a single place from Kamenicko Brdo to
23 Baljkovica, where there was no shooting. Every 500 metres, every
24 kilometre, there were ambushes. So there was shooting all over the place.
25 Q. And were you aware, that beyond Baljkovica, was the free
2 A. I wasn't aware of that. When I came to Baljkovica, a group came
3 together with me. I was in that group. As we got there, we found quite a
4 few people who had already been there. There was quite a big group of
5 people there, about perhaps 1.000 persons. I found that strange, why they
6 were there. I asked them why don't you go? And they said, you can't get
8 About 20 of us set out to try to get through. When we got too
9 close to the line, we were shot at. Fortunately, no one got wounded or
10 killed. We went back to that same group up there, and this same group
11 that was with me set out and we went our separate ways at one point. 10
12 of us remained, and we thought that they had taken that road, although
13 they had actually gone left, and we went right. So that is where we went
14 our separate ways.
15 We arrived in the evening, we spent the night there, by a brook
16 that we tried to cross in the morning. When we saw that we couldn't cross
17 the brook, about 8.00 in the morning, as we were wondering where we would
18 go and what we would do, we were simply exhausted, we fell asleep, and
19 were awakened by gunfire. We were being told to surrender. We were told
20 that we were surrounded and that we had nowhere to go. That was it.
21 Q. Were you aware of fire coming from, as it were, beyond Baljkovica,
22 from the area of the free territory?
23 A. We saw the line. It was the line where the Serb soldiers were.
24 Behind that line, roughly three or four or 500 metres away, there was yet
25 another line on the other side, towards Tuzla. The Bosnian army was at
1 that line.
2 Q. And were they firing?
3 A. I don't know who you mean, the Serb soldiers or ...
4 Q. The Bosnian army that you could see towards Tuzla, firing towards
5 Serb positions?
6 A. No, they weren't.
7 Q. What about the people who were with you, who were advancing
8 towards Baljkovica, were they firing on the Serb positions?
9 A. No.
10 Q. So, as you moved towards Baljkovica, was there any fire going on
11 at all?
12 A. From our side or from the Serb soldiers' side?
13 Q. From anybody.
14 A. It would happen scores of times or more, mostly coming from the
15 Serb side. Because we were ordered not to put up resistance at all. Most
16 of us had wives, children, who were already in Potocari and we were told
17 that any resistance on our part could harm our families who were already
18 in Potocari. Had we put up a resistance, perhaps none of this would have
20 Q. From whom were you receiving those orders when you were at
22 A. Not when we were in Baljkovica. The orders were issued when we
23 left from Susnjari.
24 Q. Now, I want to see if I can understand this. You arrived in
25 Baljkovica with a group of about 10 people?
1 A. I'm going to have to explain my answer.
2 I arrived at Baljkovica with some people. I don't know exactly
3 how many of them there were. As for where I was captured, that's where I
4 came with 10 people. And the place where I was captured, I heard over the
5 radio, and I said that yesterday, that the commander who was there was
6 speaking with someone. I don't know with whom. He asked what was the
7 name of that place, because he was taking down our particulars, what our
8 names were, who we were, where we were from and so on. He was asking. He
9 had a notebook where he was noting down everything, all the first and last
10 names. He asked how he should write in this place, and the answer he got
11 was that it was Tisova Kosa. So now we know where I got to, with how many
12 people and with how many people I was taken prisoner.
13 Q. I was only asking you how many people you arrived with when you
14 first got to Baljkovica. Do you recall that?
15 A. Perhaps it was a group of 20 to 30 people. Although people were
16 arriving after me. There were also people ahead of me. So I would say
17 that there were people ahead of me, 100 metres in front of me, that were
18 arriving also a hundred metres behind me. But the group that I arrived
19 with had about that many men.
20 Q. And how many of those men were armed?
21 A. Very few. Even the ones that were armed had some hunting weapons
23 Q. And when you arrived at Baljkovica, there were a very large group
24 of people there, wasn't there, a thousand or more?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And using your best estimation, was that group of people all
2 armed, mostly armed, some of them armed or very few of them armed?
3 A. Very few of them were armed, because people who were armed were
4 walking in the front, and they reached that place first. They passed
5 through first. All the people that were left behind included very, very
6 few armed people.
7 Q. Did you talk to people in Baljkovica?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did anyone mention the corridor to the free territory?
10 A. Mostly people were saying who they knew, they were talking amongst
11 themselves, where they could go to pass through. People were mostly
12 unarmed. You could not cross the lines unarmed. Some were saying that
13 they were going to the left, through Kladanj. I didn't know the area,
14 actually. I didn't know where you could pass or which areas you could
15 bypass. One was tired, hungry, thirsty, bare foot, without sleep, so it
16 was just the simplest thing. If somebody said, "Let's go this way," you
17 would simply go that way and follow them. People had different opinions
18 as to where to go. Some said, "Let's go this way." Some said, "Let's go
19 that way." And that's how groups of people, 10 people, 3 people,
20 5 people, 20 people, started going off, depending on what they decided
21 amongst themselves.
22 Q. You left that area with a group of 20 other people, didn't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. HAYNES: Can we go into private session?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Let's go into private session, please.
1 [Private session]
11 Page 3710 redacted.Private session
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
8 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
9 Q. At the time you left Baljkovica, was there any fighting going on
10 in the area then?
11 A. No.
12 Q. As a soldier yourself, were you aware that commands were getting
13 through from your -- the command of your army to people on the ground in
15 A. Could you please clarify your question? Where we were when? I
16 mean, about these orders, where they were coming in from and where we
18 Q. Did you receive any orders when you were at Baljkovica?
19 A. No, we didn't. We -- there was nobody to receive the orders
21 Q. Were you aware, when you were at Baljkovica, of a large -- the
22 movement of a large body of people across the valley to the free
24 A. No.
25 Q. You didn't see thousands of people walking across Baljkovica?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Nor hear them?
3 A. No, because if I had seen them, I would have crossed over together
4 with them.
5 Q. You weren't aware of a surge of people in any particular direction
6 when you were there?
7 A. I could have seen that before Baljkovica only, that people were
8 going towards Baljkovica, but that was the last stop.
9 Q. I mean, were you not concerned, as an armed man, to leave all
10 these unarmed people behind in Baljkovica?
11 A. Could you please repeat that question?
12 Q. Yes. Your group was armed and they left behind a group of
13 substantially unarmed people. Didn't you think you should stay and
14 protect them?
15 A. In such circumstances, no one was paying attention to anyone else.
16 We saw that we had been betrayed by all sides. It was clear to everyone,
17 whoever was just a normal person, a regular person, understood that we had
18 been betrayed, first by the United Nations because we were supposed to be
19 a safe zone, a protected area. When they betrayed us, no one trusted
20 anyone else any longer.
21 As for what you say that we were armed, an armed person, if there
22 are 20 of us in a group and five are armed and 15 are not armed, it means
23 that altogether we were not armed. If the majority of us were armed, that
24 would mean that we were armed. The people who stayed behind, amongst them
25 I said a minority was armed, perhaps in a thousand people there were 100
1 or 150 who had hunting weapons. And anyone who knew anyone together in
2 groups of 10, 15 or 20 people, they would get together in these groups,
3 and in every group there were perhaps two or three rifles and the group
4 would have 10, 15, up to 50 people, it depends.
5 Q. Did you ever hear Serbian soldiers calling to you through
6 megaphones when you were at Baljkovica?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Let me just ask you this: Did you think, if there was a corridor,
9 you would have been able to walk through it carrying your automatic
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would object to the question, Mr. President. I
13 think that it calls for speculation. The think the witness has testified
14 repeatedly that he wasn't aware of any corridor that had been opened, and
15 I think the question simply invites a speculative answer from this
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think objection is sustained. And I suggest
19 you move on to the next question. Or next area of questions.
20 MR. HAYNES: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: He's already said that he was not aware of any
22 corridor and any answer would be speculative.
23 MR. HAYNES:
24 Q. The following day, after you'd left Baljkovica with this group of
25 people, you were involved in a fire-fight, weren't you?
1 A. You mean when I was captured or ...
2 Q. No, the day before you were captured.
3 A. No. No. Only when I tried to get across the line, in those -- in
4 the group of 21, they fired at us, so we turned back. That was the only
5 time when there was firing directly at us. They didn't allow us to get
7 Q. That's what I was referring to, in fairness. Were you surprised
8 by the fire that came upon you on the 17th of July or the day on which you
9 tried to cross the line?
10 A. I was surprised.
11 Q. And how close were you to the fire, the group of you, when it
13 A. Maybe 150 to 200 metres.
14 Q. And none of your group were killed or injured in that exchange?
15 A. No.
16 MR. HAYNES: It's about three minutes before break time but this
17 is actually a very convenient moment.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. We'll have a 30-minute break. That
19 means we'll start again at 13 minutes past 4.00. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Haynes.
23 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Witness, I'm going to move on but I just want to ask you three
25 questions to recap on what we've just been dealing with, if I may.
1 The first is this: You told us that you were able to see the
2 lines of the Bosnian army beyond Baljkovica, you said about 400 or 500
3 metres behind the Serb forces from where you were, and that they were not
4 firing at Serbian positions; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Were you surprised that they weren't firing at Serbian positions?
7 A. I was not surprised at all.
8 Q. And you said that when you arrived at Baljkovica, there was no
9 fighting. Did it surprise you there was no fighting at Baljkovica when
10 you got there?
11 A. That didn't surprise me either.
12 Q. I just want to clarify your evidence, as it were, about the whole
13 of the line of cross-examination I've just conducted. Is it your
14 testimony that throughout three days and three nights in the area of
15 Baljkovica, you never heard one word about the corridor to the free
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think -- you've put that question about six times
18 already, Mr. Haynes, and he's always given you a no answer. So --
19 MR. HAYNES: As long as the witness is happy with that position,
20 then so be it.
21 Q. Now, can we move to the morning of your capture? The area in
22 which you were sleeping or hiding was an area of very tall grass, wasn't
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you have no idea, do you, what happened to three of the people
1 who had been with you the day before?
2 A. I don't know what three people you mean.
3 MR. HAYNES: Can we go to private session, please?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly. Let's go into private session, please.
5 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 MR. HAYNES:
8 Q. Now, you were asked four times to surrender while the group of you
9 were in the long grass there. That's correct, isn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Over what period of time?
12 A. It was in the afternoon hours.
13 Q. It may be my fault for asking a loose question but what time --
14 what was the difference in time between, as it were, the first time you
15 were -- heard calls for you to surrender and the time at which you
16 actually did surrender?
17 A. It wasn't a long time, perhaps only about 20 minutes.
18 Q. And after the first time you were asked to surrender, was there
19 any shooting then, or not until later?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you mean yes, there was shooting after the first time you were
22 asked to surrender?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was that shooting over your heads or into the grass itself?
25 A. Above, over our heads.
1 Q. And after the second time you were asked to surrender, was the
2 shooting then over your heads or into the grass?
3 A. Again, over our heads.
4 Q. After the third request, was the firing into the grass or over
5 your heads?
6 A. They were firing at us.
7 Q. So that the fire was directed at the group of you in the grass
8 after two warnings, or after two requests for you to surrender?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And from what distance was the fire being directed at you?
11 A. Between some 20 and 50 metres, depending on where the soldiers
13 Q. And how many soldiers were shooting at you, do you think?
14 A. Well, approximately around 20, at least.
15 Q. And you said from all around you, completely encircling you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Were you aware of anybody being hit by fire in the long grass?
18 Did you hear anybody cry out or --
19 A. No.
20 Q. And eventually you decided to surrender so you threw away your gun
21 and you walked out?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us how long you were held at the site of your capture
24 before you were driven away somewhere else?
25 A. Well, say, about an hour.
1 Q. And during that time, you were held by soldiers who wore a certain
2 insignia, wearing red, white, and blue colours with a double-headed eagle
3 on it?
4 A. I remember very well this eagle with the four Ss, the four
5 Cyrillic Ss, where it said "Vojska Republika Srpska," the army of
6 Republika Srpska, camouflage uniforms.
7 Q. I'm going to see if I can help you here, and I'm going to ask the
8 usher, please, if she'll call up 7063 and go to page 5.
9 Now, for the benefit of the Court, these are in e-court and
10 because they had to be scanned, they've come out black and white. We can
11 in fact show the witness these documents in colour, so I'm going to ask
12 Ms. Kaker if she'd call up these documents in colour, please.
13 Now, on each of those insignia, you can see in the centre the
14 eagle with the four Cyrillic Ss in the middle of its chest. Is that the
15 insignia you're talking about?
16 A. It wasn't these.
17 Q. No. I'm not suggesting that it was, but was the eagle that you
18 saw with the four Cyrillic Ss similar to the design you see in the centre
19 of each of those insignia?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. And the indication that these were soldiers from the VRS army, was
22 that similarly like the letters we see at the top of those badges?
23 A. No, I cannot remember whether this is the way it was, abbreviated,
24 or whether it was the full sentence, the army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Thank you very much but can we take it that unlike these badges,
1 the ones you saw did not give any indication of what region the brigade
2 came from? You see on the first one there, on the left, it says "Srbacka
3 Brigada," doesn't it?
4 A. Yes. If it had been written, I would have known roughly what
5 brigade it was.
6 Q. That's very helpful. Thank you very much.
7 Now, your impression was that these soldiers came from Serbia
8 itself. That's correct, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And what was that based on, their accent or something about the
11 equipment they had or what?
12 A. The way they talked.
13 Q. Thank you, Witness.
14 And after about an hour, as you've told us, you were taken away in
15 a black Mercedes motor vehicle, weren't you?
16 A. No, no.
17 Q. Well, were you taken away by two soldiers whose names you knew as
18 Zoran and Goran?
19 A. They were not soldiers. They were from the military police.
20 Q. Thank you. It's probably my fault that we've got a disagreement.
21 There were two men who took you away called Zoran and Goran; you agree
22 with that?
23 A. They called them Zokie and Gokie.
24 Q. That will do for me. And were you taken away in a Mercedes motor
1 A. They first took me on a truck, a small TAM truck called Tamic, to
2 this place where the line was. There were quite a few Serb soldiers
3 there, 300, 400, 500, I cannot say exactly. They were roasting some meat
4 there on the spit. As we got there some were yelling, saying, "Bring him
5 down here so that we can roast him on the spit."
6 They were asking me all sorts of things. Many soldiers walked up
7 to me and said -- asking me who I was and where the others were, this and
8 that and the other thing. I was kept there for, say, half an hour, 40
9 minutes. A commander ordered them to drive me to Zvornik. That's when
10 the black Mercedes came. They put me into this Mercedes. I was sitting
11 next to the driver. That same policeman sat behind me but this time there
12 was only this one there. He sat behind me. And that's how they drove me
13 to Zvornik.
14 We talked, sort of. This policeman told me to admit everything I
15 knew, not to lie about anything, that I would be better off that way, and
16 if they ask me whether I should be sent to Fikret Abdic, to wage war for
17 them, that I should say yes to that, that that's better than them killing
18 me. And I said, "Right, no problem." While he was telling me to confess
19 all of that and that it would be better for me, he said, "Well, if they
20 interrogate you, and if they put your name into the black book, you're
22 I kept quiet because I knew that my fate was in somebody else's
23 hands and that I had no choice. It would be the way my fate was, and I
24 said, "No problem."
25 Q. Were you the only prisoner taken away in the Tamic truck and the
1 only prisoner in the black Mercedes?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Amongst the group of you that had been hiding in the grass, was
4 there something unusual about you? Were you younger than anybody else or
5 were you of a more senior rank than anybody else?
6 A. Well, we were of different age groups. The youngest person among
7 us was -- well, I think he was born in 1989, and the oldest one was, say,
8 born in 1940, 1940 something.
9 Q. I don't suppose you really mean somebody was born in 1989. That
10 would have made him six years old.
11 A. Oh, I'm so sorry, I actually meant 1979.
12 Q. Was there something special about you that meant that of those you
13 say were captured you were the only one to be taken in a car to Zvornik?
14 A. While I was captured, the commander talked to someone over the
15 radio and they were discussing some exchange. Since I said I was a
16 soldier, they needed soldiers for an exchange, so most probably they
17 decided to leave me for an exchange. This man, this commander, who was
18 there, said to me that I would be exchanged. I didn't believe that. I
19 kept thinking about what that soldier had told me, that they wanted to
20 slit my throat and that they probably left me there to have my throat
21 slit. This soldier who wanted to slit my throat asked, "Should I take
22 him?" And then he hollered at him and said, "Fuck you, I'm not saying
23 anything to you." And then he ordered these other two policemen to take
24 me away.
25 I thought that they were going to kill me. When they took me down
1 there, I waited for about 15, 20 minutes, up to half an hour until the
2 truck came. They put me into that truck and they drove me to where those
3 Serb soldiers were.
4 Q. I just want to clarify one thing with you. The conversation that
5 you heard the commanding officer have on his radio was one in which he was
6 told not to kill you, wasn't it?
7 A. I just heard him say that I was needed for an exchange.
8 Q. Now, two questions further about, as it were, what you saw at
10 The operation that you saw the Serbian soldiers conducting, which
11 led to your capture, was an operation of combing the terrain, wasn't it?
12 A. Well, I don't know exactly what this looks like to you, because
13 when we were surrounded, we were all asleep then. Now, I don't know, most
14 probably they saw us when we arrived there, because we were so tired, we
15 had had so little sleep that we fell asleep as soon as we sat there,
16 although we could have returned from that place, say 100 metres, 200
17 metres. Perhaps we would have been safer there. But we were so tired
18 that we just fell asleep there. They came there and surrounded us and
19 that's where they took us prisoner. Now, did they see us and then
20 surround us, or did they set out to clean up the terrain, I don't know.
21 Q. Thank you. Once the terrain had been combed, the next military
22 objective is to clean up the terrain, isn't it, to pick up discarded arms
23 and to dispose of dead bodies and the like?
24 A. Could you please just clarify that question? At least a bit for
1 Q. Yes, I'll do my best. What I was suggesting to you earlier was
2 that the soldiers who took you captive were combing the area to try and
3 find whether there were any enemy forces still on their territory. That's
4 what I was suggesting to you they were doing.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I would object to the question. I
7 don't think that the specific legal grounds that it assumes a fact that's
8 not in evidence. The witness hasn't testified that that was the operation
9 that the soldiers were engaged in or that was his observation.
10 MR. HAYNES: I simply put that that was what I was suggesting to
11 him to explain the following question.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And at the same time, however, he did
13 answer you that he was asleep together with the others, who were also
14 asleep, and he can't answer your question. So if he can't answer -- if he
15 can't tell you what they were doing, all the rest becomes speculation,
16 suppositions. I don't really --
17 MR. HAYNES: I don't think it does, actually, but if you'll permit
18 me a couple of questions, we'll get there.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me consult with my colleagues on this.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Please phrase it a little bit differently, Mr.
22 Haynes, and kindly bring this chapter to an end. Thank you.
23 MR. HAYNES:
24 Q. Do you understand the military term asanacija?
25 A. This is a question to me or --
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. No.
3 Q. I'll ask one more question on this topic, then I'll leave it. You
4 saw a lot of dead bodies scattered around the area in Baljkovica, didn't
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And at some stage, to make the area hygienic, they would have
8 needed to be removed, wouldn't they?
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. Limiting this to the Baljkovica area, how many dead bodies do you
11 think you saw in the three days that you were there in that area?
12 A. There were bodies everywhere. As for those killed, I think there
13 were fewer killed there than in the area around Konjevic Polje, Sandici,
14 Kamenica. All the people who were wounded there or were killed, because
15 the distance wasn't great, so once the breakthrough was made, the corridor
16 was broken through, which was done by armed soldiers. They managed to
17 carry across or bring across all those who had been wounded, so that's how
18 they were saved. So in that area, on that terrain, I saw perhaps about
19 100 to 150.
20 Q. Thank you. I've only got one or two more questions and then I'm
22 When you arrived at Zvornik, you've described being interrogated
23 now, I think, by three people or three sorts of people. Firstly, the man
24 whose name you thought was something like Vukasinovic?
25 A. You're right. I was visited by three types of people. That's how
1 it was. There were soldiers, officers and policemen.
2 Q. And to cut matters short, the abuse you received there were from
3 some drunken policemen, wasn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. HAYNES: Thank you, Witness. I have no further questions.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes.
7 Who is going next? Mr. Ostojic will be cross-examining you and he
8 is counsel for Ljubisa Beara.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. I'm going to ask you a series of questions, I hope not to be
14 repetitive, and I thank you in advance for discussing some of these issues
15 with me. We have gotten to know a little bit of each other because we are
16 smiling back and forth but, obviously, some of these are serious topics
17 and I apologise in advance for having to have you recollect some of these
18 issues and thank you for your patience.
19 Sir, this afternoon, you testified when my learned colleague Mr.
20 Haynes was asking you questions, that the shelling on July 12th, 1995, you
21 were shelled in the morning and ambushed in the evening. Do you remember
22 that? Maybe I could help you. It's not a trick question. Okay.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him recollect and try to remember.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough, Your Honour.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it's just that the question
1 is unclear to me, because we were shelled on two occasions. This is what
2 is unclear. I don't know what -- which occasion are you referring to,
3 because we were shelled once in the early morning, on the 12th, then we
4 were shelled on the 12th in the evening, except it was in a different
6 MR. OSTOJIC:
7 Q. Thank you for that and that's the way I understood your statement.
8 In fact, in your statement, if I can just quickly give you the overview
9 that I have, and you correct me if I'm wrong. At 8.30 in the morning, in
10 Buljim, you were ambushed. At 9.30 in Kamenica, there it was an ambush or
11 an attack. And then according to your statement, at 2230 or 10.30 p.m.,
12 there was another ambush. And then approximately from 10.30 to midnight
13 on the 12th of July, there was another ambush, whether by shelling or
14 grenade. So four times on the 12th of July 1995; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. It's all correct. It's just that the times are not correct.
16 When you say in the morning, at 9.30, I think you said, near Buljim, but
17 when you mentioned the second time at 9.30, it was in the evening. So it
18 was at 2030 hours; that's when the second shelling took place. That's
19 what the issue is. The first ambush was near Buljim. There was fierce
20 firing, people were killed there, then they began to shell. I returned to
21 the place where this happened. I was perhaps some 100 -- a few hundred
22 metres ahead, and quite a few of my relatives were left behind, so I went
23 back. And I could see they were bringing in wounded from that area. So I
24 was just asking anyone if they knew the way.
25 In the column, I returned to help those who had been wounded at
1 the rear of the column. I was bringing them out. Of course, when the
2 shelling would subside a little bit, we would move forward. When the
3 shelling began again, then we would go and take shelter. Then we would go
4 back again to get the wounded. Those who had been killed, we left them in
5 a creek and we just covered them with some leaves and branches because you
6 cannot really carry a person's dead body more than a few kilometres. It
7 would be senseless to carry the bodies all the way to Tuzla. I mean, I
8 can explain this to you. It's not a problem. I can tell you how it was
9 in detail, going from that place.
10 Q. If I may just put a question to the witness perhaps?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
12 Q. I apologise. It's acceptable what you said and I accept that.
13 Just concretely, at 8.00 in the morning, according to your
14 statement, there was an ambush at Buljim, correct? And I think in your
15 statement also you say that 30 were killed and 45 injured approximately,
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And then the next ambush or attack that occurred was approximately
19 an hour and a half later in Kamenica, correct?
20 A. Yes, yes, just one moment.
21 Q. Please.
22 A. The ambush was in the morning, just below Buljim. Practically the
23 whole day we spent above Kamenica waiting for those who had gone ahead to
24 send an order, whether we would be able to come across and where, at
25 Vlasenica or somewhere else. It doesn't matter. So we were waiting like
1 that until the evening. That's where we were. Towards evening, there was
2 an explosion. I don't know what exploded. Then the shooting began from
3 all directions at us. Probably they discovered that we were there so they
4 opened fire from all directions and there was shelling, and a lot of
5 people were killed there. This happened on the 12th in the evening,
6 perhaps at about 9.30 or something. I didn't have a watch. I know that
7 it was getting dark. It was July so it got dark later. But it was early
8 evening, you could already see some moonlight.
9 Q. And, sir, when you say that lots or many of people were killed at
10 that ambush at Kamenica, in your statement, I recall that you said between
11 500 to a 1000. Is that still your testimony today?
12 A. From what I can recall, of what happened, I believe that it is
13 around that figure. I had the opportunity to return to that place,
14 looking for some relatives, to see if they had been wounded, also because
15 of my brother whom I lost there. Then we were looking, using the
16 cigarette lighter and then whoever you would look at, it wasn't that
17 person, it wasn't him, it wasn't him. There were many who were seriously
18 wounded, who couldn't get up, who couldn't move. You could see that they
19 were still alive but they were almost 99 per cent dead people.
20 Q. Who other than you were assisting in providing any medical
21 attention to the wounded and can you tell us how many wounded there were,
22 to the best of your estimation?
23 A. I believe that there were more wounded than killed. And you
24 provided the help that you were able to provide, whether you knew somebody
25 or not, and if you were able to carry someone, that's what you did. You
1 carried them for 100 metres, 500 metres, however long you could. Then
2 there were new ambushes. And then people who were carrying these people
3 too got wounded or killed. So that this number of wounded and killed
4 grew. It increased, as we were advancing at each hundred metres or a
5 kilometre. It just kept increasing.
6 Q. Now, at one point in your statement, in connection with this
7 Kamenica ambush, you state that we built stretchers to assist the
8 wounded. And I want to talk to you a little bit about that. Who is
9 the "we" who built the stretchers? You and just all the other men that
10 were there?
11 A. I knew some people from Bljeceva. That's a village close to where
12 I was. Should I continue?
13 Q. [Microphone not activated]
14 A. Whom I knew. And they were carrying a relative of theirs, and as
15 I came up, I helped them to carry this person. While we were carrying
16 him, we covered perhaps 200 metres from the time we set off. And then a
17 man came out from behind a tree with an M53 rifle, and I was familiar with
18 the weapon, and he rushed out and he started shooting at us. All the
19 people who were in front of me, because he fired at us from a distance of
20 perhaps 10 to 20 metres from the right-hand side, they all fell. I fell
21 too. I could just feel hot air all around me, and I thought that I had
22 been wounded also. When the shooting stopped, the person just went back
23 behind that beech tree and went down the slope. I got up. I could see
24 that I was able to walk, but no one else there was able to stand up.
25 Q. I said your statement, sir, in connection with that -- thank you,
1 I don't necessarily need to repeat it. What I needed to know just on that
2 part, during that time, which I have on my notes as being in the evening,
3 sometime -- we won't argue about the time. I know there were -- how many
4 people actually were killed in that ambush that you were the only survivor
5 when the man came with the machine-gun? How many people in that group
7 A. I think that there were eight of us altogether.
8 Q. Let me go back to just the stretchers, if I may. You mentioned
9 that they were stretchers that were made from the wood and from blankets.
10 I believe in your statement, do you know -- is that correct?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Do you know how the blankets were tied to the actual wood that you
13 were holding to carry the injured?
14 A. They tied the ends of the blanket, one end to the front end and
15 the other side to the back end and there were two poles that were used.
16 That's how they tied that together.
17 Q. Are you familiar with the technique where you can strip a collar
18 off or a sleeve of someone and then use it as a knot to tie the blanket to
19 a pole or a wood to make it into a makeshift stretcher? Are you familiar
20 with that technique at all?
21 A. I know, I'm familiar with that technique, but there was no time to
22 use it. All there was time for was to tie it as soon as possible and to
23 get out there. You would need more time to use that technique than you
24 needed to just tie the both ends to the poles.
25 Q. Just share with me, sir. You learned this technique based on your
1 military training and experience, correct?
2 A. No, I did not.
3 Q. Where did you learn that technique?
4 A. I come from the country. I'm a man from the village. If I were
5 from the town, perhaps I wouldn't have known this technique.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and turn to another topic.
7 That is, you mention in your statement, late midnight the 12th of July
8 1995, you noticed that there was strange behaviour within the group or
9 column of men that you were with and there were suicides that were being
10 committed. Do you remember that at all?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you also say in your statement that they were shooting each
13 other. Do you remember that, sir?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you estimate for us, to the best of your recollection, how
16 many suicides were there and how many people actually shot at each other
17 or ultimately killed each other within the group that you were with?
18 A. This all happened after the second shelling, below the Kamenicko
19 Brdo, Kamenica hill. It was in the direction of a village called Suljici.
20 After that shelling, I was able to see something like that. I actually
21 had the opportunity to see that on two occasions.
22 Q. Both at that same place?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Where was that other place that that occurred, suicides and people
25 turning arms against one another?
1 A. It happened at a hill above the village that I mentioned. I think
2 the name of the village is Suljici. So it was on that hill. People
3 behaved strangely. They were sleepy. Anything you would say to them, the
4 people would listen to you. If you were to tell them, go this way, they
6 Q. I don't know if I heard the other area. It was both then within
7 that mountainous area called Suslici [phoen], correct?
8 A. No.
9 Q. I'm sorry?
10 A. Suljici.
11 Q. And both of those incidences that you experienced with the suicide
12 and the men or people turning arms against each other, both happened in
13 and around that area, correct?
14 A. No, not both.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. Just below.
17 Q. If I just get an answer -- I'll move on, Your Honour. I can move
18 on on this.
19 A. It's not a problem at all. Perhaps some two or three kilometres
21 Q. Just if I may ask one question on this just to wrap it up, Your
22 Honour. Sir, just estimate for us, if you can, how many people in your
23 estimation that you saw died of suicide and/or by killing each other
24 within the groups that they were with by turning arms on each other?
25 A. I saw two such cases. In one, one person killed another. In the
1 other case, I don't know whether you could consider that to be suicide,
2 because the person killed two -- four more people. I just wanted to
3 explain a little bit about that, and it's all in my statement. When this
4 shelling was going on, and then when it stopped, this second shelling, we
5 tried to rush through and there were large or big clouds of smoke because
6 of this shelling.
7 Q. We have that in your statement and I apologise for cutting you
8 off. So I don't want to repeat it, but thank you for that. I was just
9 curious, because in the statement, it didn't have the precise number and I
10 needed your help on that. The next point, if I can have your assistance
11 on -- and that is the area of Konjevic Polje, on the 13th of July 1995,
12 you mentioned, I believe, previously, that that's where most or the
13 greatest amount of people actually died as a result of gunfire or battles
14 or ambushes, correct?
15 A. You mean the people who were surrendering or --
16 Q. No, because I think you testified that -- about that already in
17 Sandici earlier and we have your testimony and your statement on that.
18 I'm talking about the ambush that occurred on the 13th of July 1995 at
19 Konjevic Polje. Was there an ambush there when the column was trying to
20 go through?
21 A. I'm a little bit confused by the dates.
22 Q. The dates, let me just maybe help you with that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One --
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Two things. It has happened already more than once
1 during your cross-examination, Mr. Ostojic, that you put questions to the
2 witness which more or less arise from what he -- what is included in the
3 statement, in the witness -- so-called witness statements. We would like
4 you, in future, when you do that again, to refer the witness directly to
5 that part and read out to him if necessary the relevant part on which you
6 are basing your questions. That's the first thing.
7 And the other --
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: On for that purpose, I think since we -- this is
10 only the second in the line of cross-examinations, and we don't have
11 previous testimony of this witness, but we have his witness statements. I
12 think they should be made available to him while you are examining him.
13 The third thing is addressed to you. If you are getting tired, do
14 let us know and we will stop. Or if you require a break, do let us know
15 and we'll have a break.
16 In the meantime, Madam Registrar, if we could procure a hard copy
17 of the statements and have them at his disposal.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose the B/C/S version. I don't know that he
20 understands English.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I was just trying to speed
22 the process up and I apologise to the Court for that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate that but as you know we look at things
24 with a completely different pair of spectacles.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I was -- fair enough, Your Honour. Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure you will find no objection to do that.
2 Yes, I think the witness wants to tell us something. Yes?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for all of that. I would
4 just like to say one thing to you: A gentlemen put this question to me
5 about the ambush, when I was ambushed. I came across several ambushes, so
6 I don't which one he was referring to. I would be glad to answer but I
7 would just like to know what ambush the question was related to. Thank
9 MR. OSTOJIC:
10 Q. And thank you. That's more than fair. And I thought I was
11 referring to the ambush that I believe you mentioned in your statement is
12 in Konjevic Polje and I will find that for you. I'm not sure if the
13 witness has his statement yet with him.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Is it e-court Exhibit 63 maybe?
15 MR. OSTOJIC: I believe the Prosecutor tendered the exhibit into
16 evidence, so we are relying on that tender therefore.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: What we would like the witness to have is exactly
18 P02288, in hard copy. I don't want the witness to be scrolling up and
19 down. If the Prosecution can provide a copy, if that is easier, just make
20 sure that it is shown to the Defence before it is handed to the witness.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: I believe we do have a copy available for the
22 witness's inspection --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Show it to Mr. Ostojic so that he's satisfied that
24 it's the right document. All right? Thank you. So witness, any time --
25 witness -- witness --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time you wish to pause and check the relevant
3 part of a statement to which you are being addressed, please do so, by all
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will, yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Do tell us as well. Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I shall. Thank you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic?
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And thank you for your
11 Q. Sir, let me direct your attention first to the second page of that
12 statement after your general background information. And it's under
13 paragraph number 5. Just to recap quickly, I think under paragraph number
14 5 it states that the same day, the 12th July 1995, at about 8 -- "08:00
15 the column was ambushed." Do you see that?
16 A. I see that.
17 Q. And that was the ambush that was below the hill of Buljim,
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And then immediately after that, you talk about another ambush
21 that happened at the crossroads of Konjevic Polje and Kravica. In the
22 same paragraph, shortly there after, I think you give an estimate of how
23 many kilometres you walked, approximately three. I think it's in your
24 statement, if I can just have you look there.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye?
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I think what Mr.
2 Ostojic is referring to is the road that runs between Konjevic Polje and
3 Kravica. I don't believe that there is an indication it was in the
4 crossroads or an intersection or anything of that nature. But that's --
5 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll read the exact thing, Your Honour. Shortcuts
6 sometime take longer. Thank you for that. If I may, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think that's the best way to. This is what
8 we suggested actually.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
10 Q. It says here in the fifth paragraph of your statement, "This is
11 the road which runs between Konjevic Polje and Kravica." Do you see that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And would that, sir, be the second ambush that you experienced, on
14 that date, the 12th of July, 1995?
15 A. The 12th of July, that's when the first ambush took place, below
16 Buljim, as it says here, near Bare. That was the first ambush. The
17 second shooting, well, ambush, whatever you may think it is, happened in
18 the evening, above Kamenica, around 9.30 approximately. Then, well, there
19 were a few ambushes, from Kamenicko Brdo, where the second ambush took
20 place, one, two, three times, up until the asphalt road. It happened
21 three times. It happened when we were carrying the wounded person. That
22 was the third time. And then moving further on from there, 200, 300, 500
23 metres approximately, doesn't matter, but all of that through the woods,
24 over this meadow, where we reached an ambush yet again. When we moved to
25 the right, there was an ambush there and quite a few people got killed.
1 As we went back, these 200, 300, 400 metres back, as we were discussing
2 where we would go and what we would do, gunfire came from our left-hand
3 side. Again people got killed there. And then we walked down the slope a
4 bit to the right, through these big ferns. To our right, were some houses
5 that had been burned. Now, were there Muslim or Serb, I don't know. As
6 we were running down the meadows, shelling started. Then I lay there,
7 down on the road. When I felt this strange smoke, I told people to get
8 their T-shirts wet or whatever else they had to put it on their mouths. I
9 was wondering whether it was some kind of poisonous gas or something.
10 Many people did that. Many people around me. My brother was there.
11 As we went on from there, when the shelling stopped, again we got
12 up and we went further down. As we ran from there, at that moment, a
13 shell came, a shell fell there, in front of one of my neighbours. Right
14 by him perhaps. Threw him into the ferns, a few metres. I thought that
15 he must have been totally dismembered but after a while, the man got up,
16 and he said, to me, "Do you think that I'm all swollen?" And I said, "No,
17 you're fine, you're quite normal." And the man behaved in a very strange
18 way as we were there together, perhaps due to the detonation, the
19 explosion or whatever. I have no idea, was it the smoke? Was it fear?
20 Was it all of it?
21 As we were running, in a column, further down, as we were passing
22 by this field and we got into the woods, perhaps only about 10 metres or
23 so, and then further down, there are some rocks, and then you go right
24 down to the river. Just as we were getting into the woods, there were two
25 men on the right side, two men on the left side. They had weapons in
1 their hands, and they were saying, "Faster, faster," to us. When the last
2 one got there, as people were running in front of me, he slipped and fell
3 into the river. I planned to hold on to a branch, a tree branch because I
4 saw people sliding into the river.
5 As I was holding on to this tree, I heard some noise. I turned
6 around, these people who were standing on the two sides caught the last
7 one who got there. This man did not have a rifle. And he was
8 saying, "Let me go, let me go." I just heard them say, "Slaughter him,
9 fuck his mother." When I heard all of that I let the branch go, and as I
10 let the branch go, a bomb exploded. A grenade exploded. And when I saw
11 what happened to the rest, I jumped and I fled from there.
12 Q. Now, thank you for that answer. Let me just generally ask you, if
13 I may, sir, from the time that you left Susnjari on the 11th in the
14 evening up until the time of your capture, whether it's the 18th or 19th,
15 or whatever day it is, just that date, those three or five days, is it
16 your testimony -- or am I correct, sir, that you experienced these
17 ambushes and this gunfire that was happening each and every day? Each and
18 every day the men in your column were being shot at and killed; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And can you estimate to the best of your recollection, sir, while
21 you were with your column walking through the woods or the trek that you
22 took to try to get to the free territory, you also saw dead corpses on the
23 road; correct? During that five or whatever period time it is, from
24 Susnjari up until the time that you were -- that you surrendered.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And those were people who had been killed prior to the ambushes
3 that you experienced; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So your part of the column experienced ambushes, and it's likely
6 or reasonable, at least to you, that the men or the column before you also
7 experienced some ambushes on that same road or trail or however we can
8 describe that; correct?
9 A. You're right. At all these places, there were ambushes. My
10 column and columns consisting of other people, I mean the column that I
11 was in, it was never the same column that I had left Susnjari in. I
12 always came across these other people, and then when we would get to an
13 ambush, then some people would get killed and then others would run away,
14 and then we would meet up with people from other columns. And they kept
15 changing, if I can put it that way. We met people, other people, we were
16 never in the same column. Because if we were all moving in one column, I
17 mean, had we been able to move in one column, it would mean that we would
18 have all gotten killed. I wouldn't have had anyone else to go along with.
19 So it was always different, somebody lost somebody else, and then somebody
20 else would meet up with yet other people, so, well --
21 Q. Two very minor points, if you could help clarify for me, sir.
22 When you were going back and assisting the wounded in this column, isn't
23 it true that the majority of them had suffered gunshot wounds and that was
24 the cause of their death? To the best of your ability.
25 A. There were quite a few people whose throats got slit, who had been
1 wounded. I personally did not see people doing that but I heard from
2 other people, when we would meet up in a column, as you were changing
3 these columns, you know. I mean, you would run away and then you would
4 meet other people, you would meet these people, and somebody would say, I
5 saw with my very own eyes how they were going behind the last people who
6 were moving from Srebrenica. I mean, from Buljim, from Kamenica, from
7 Konjevic Polje, never mind.
8 But as I said, from Srebrenica, towards Tuzla, the last people who
9 were moving along saw all sorts of things happening. And they saw that
10 these were Chetniks who were cleaning up the terrain. They were killing,
11 slaughtering the wounded. They saw that with their very own eyes. I'm
12 not talking in my own name. I'm talking about these people who told me
13 about that.
14 Q. Thank you. Thank you for your honest answer and helping us here.
15 All I wanted to know is that if you saw any gunshot wound victims there.
16 But let me ask you this: During the five-day period or so from
17 the time that you left Susnjari to go to the free territory up until the
18 time you surrendered, can you estimate for us to the best of your ability
19 how many men died as a result of these ambushes or fire-fights that you
20 experienced on your trek to Tuzla or Nezuk?
21 A. From Srebrenica to Tuzla?
22 Q. Once the column was formed and thereafter up until the time of
23 your surrender, that which you personally experienced and that which you
24 saw personally, the corpses as you've described for us in your statement,
25 do you estimate that the number is, what, I hate to put a number to you
1 but -- I'm asking you, inviting you to give me a number.
2 A. Well, I could say a formal figure, even if I had been counting, I
3 wouldn't have dared to say anything in terms of an exact figure.
4 Well, maybe -- well, let me put it this way: I came across some
5 seriously wounded people who could not move. So quite simply, a person
6 could count them as dead. And there were others who were actually dead.
7 At least 1500.
8 Q. Thank you very much, sir. And good luck.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
11 Who is next?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic is defending Mr. Nikolic in this case
14 and she will be cross-examining you next.
15 I don't know if you know, Ms. Nikolic, but you have been assigned
16 a temporary co-counsel to assist you, so he will be most welcome.
17 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Is it possible to get an estimate so that we can
19 let the witness go if --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but I think we have another 12 minutes now and
21 then three-quarters of an hour, so you will be cross-examining the
22 witness --
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I think that I will finish by the
24 break. I need about 15 minutes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
1 And Mr. Lazarevic?
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't believe I will have any significant
3 cross-examination, perhaps just two questions.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
5 Madam Fauveau?
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Ten minutes or so, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
8 Mr. Krgovic?
9 MR. KRGOVIC: Ten minutes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So hopefully we should be able to make it with this
11 witness after the break, by the end of today's sitting. So -- but,
12 however, the next witness, if he happens to be here, you can send him
13 home. By "home" I mean send him to the hotel.
14 All right. Ms. Nikolic.
15 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
16 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
18 A. Good afternoon.
19 Q. I'm going to put a few questions to you related to period after
20 the 21st of July.
21 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Could you help me with the document,
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sorry for [Microphone not activated]
24 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. You testified in great detail today that after the
1 21st [realtime transcript read in error "12th"] of July with a group of 39
2 persons you were transferred to the north to -- near the village of
3 Batkovic to a camp for POWs in the territory of the municipality of
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In addition to your own group, there were other prisoners or
7 detainees coming in from Srebrenica, Vlasenica and so on, right?
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Can we please move into private
10 session because we are going to refer to some names in this document?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go into private session. We are in private
12 session already. Thank you.
13 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. Who is next? Have you made
19 arrangements amongst yourselves or not? Mr. Zivanovic has already
20 informed the registrar -- the Deputy Registrar that he will not be
21 cross-examining the witness.
22 Mr. Krgovic? Mr. Krgovic is appearing for General Gvero.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
24 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. I'm going to put a few questions to you that are related to the
2 very beginning of your statement and of your testimony. They have to do
3 with your coming to Susnjari. That's going to be the topic that I will be
4 dealing with. You said in your statement, that was admitted into evidence
5 here, in response to the Prosecutor's question, that in the evening on
6 that day, I think it was the 12th of July, sorry, the 11th of July --
7 A. The 11th of July.
8 Q. -- that you were ordered to leave the trenches where you were and
9 to go to Susnjari, is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When you came to Susnjari, when you came to that place, you were
12 in a group together with people from your unit?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You want to go into private session? Let's go into
16 private session. I still didn't get the interpretation of what you said.
17 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I said let's go back to open session.
4 But that seems to be according to the transcript a response to your
5 request to go into private session. While we were already in private
6 session. So --
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the problem is when I
8 said, "Let's go back to open session," I said that in English, and because
9 I was overlapping with the English translation, it did not go into the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. It's okay. I just wanted for the record
12 to explain that we are not two crazy persons, one saying exactly the
13 opposite of what he should be saying. So let's continue in open session,
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Sir, from what I understood from your statement, you were at the
17 rear of the column; is that correct?
18 A. Rear, meaning it's in the front or in the back?
19 Q. It means to be in the back.
20 A. To tell you the truth, I was not in the back of the column. I was
21 somewhere in between. There were a lot of people. The column was very
22 long. In order to go through Buljim -- through a crossing in Buljim,
23 where that section was mined, we had to go one by one past that place. So
24 the column was kilometres long. So even though, even if I was in the
25 front of the column, I was just one amongst hundreds and thousands of
1 people, so I still wasn't at the front. So I was somewhere between the
2 middle and the front. It's a little bit hard now to decide, to say. It's
3 hard to say that I was in front. It would be another thing if there were
4 only 20 of us. Then I would be able to say that I was in the front or in
5 the back.
6 Q. So are you trying to say that your position in the column changed
7 as it was moving?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. The unit that was next to you or that was behind you, was that the
10 mountain battalion under the command of Ejub Golic at the time when the
11 column was formed?
12 A. Yes. He was the last one.
13 Q. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
14 A. No problem.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It makes it possible for us to have the break here.
16 We did not have any redactions? No. So we now have Mr. Lazarevic again,
17 Madam Fauveau, and that's it. All right. We can have a 30-minute --
18 25-minute break. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.13 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
24 Q. Good afternoon.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. I have practically two questions for you relating to actually a
2 qualification or a clarification of what you said today. The first
3 question has to do with the people who took you from the place where you
4 were captured, who took you to the village, and then after that who took
5 to you Zvornik. Today, on two occasions, you said you were taken away by
6 police officers. Did you think of military police officers? This is what
7 you said in your statement -- paragraph 12, first sentence.
8 A. Yes, military policemen.
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I think it would be smart to move to
11 private session because the answer the witness gave to Mr. Krgovic and my
12 questions are related to these.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means. Let's go to private session, please.
14 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, Mr. Lazarevic has concluded his
16 cross-examination and Madam Fauveau for General Miletic is about to start
17 her cross-examination and has asked to go into private session. So let's
18 go into private session.
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 3752-3755 redacted.Private session
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Today you said this was on page 24, lines 11 to 16, you had
11 received an order whereby you should not resist the Serbs because your
12 family was in Potocari. When you had decided, I mean the people living in
13 the enclave of Srebrenica, when you decided to leave for Susnjari, under
14 the command of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you knew you had to cross
15 Serb lines, didn't you?
16 A. I don't know how we could get out of there without crossing Serb
17 lines. I don't know if there was any place where we could pass without
18 Serb lines being there. Excuse me. If there was such a place somewhere,
19 where we could pass without it being a Serb line, that we could pass
20 across safely, then very well, but I know 1.000 per cent, not just me, but
21 all the gentlemen here, that no such place existed.
22 Q. If you had received the order not to resist the Serbs and you
23 needed to cross Serb lines, why did you just not simply surrender to the
25 A. Madam, I had occasion to see with my own eyes people surrendering
1 without a single shot being fired, and these people were executed right
2 there in cold blood, meaning that if we had surrendered, all of us at that
3 time, then, as you say, we would all have been killed.
4 Q. Why did you not go to Potocari with your relatives?
5 A. I would have gone there, and I would have -- would have met the
6 same fate as those 3.000 who had been picked, ranging from three years of
7 age and up.
8 Q. Today you said, this was on page 30, line 12 to 16, that you had
9 been betrayed by the United Nations. Did you feel also betrayed by the
10 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. This is quite a question, but I will respond. As for the
12 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I would not involve it here. As for the
13 United Nations, and the rest --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... about United
15 Nations and the rest. I think you can safely go to the next question,
16 Madam Fauveau. I don't see any relevance in what he thinks about the
17 Bosnian government's role in all this. It's not the Bosnian government
18 that is being tried here.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You said that the United Nations had betrayed you because
21 Srebrenica was a safe area. Is it true that Srebrenica was to be a safe
22 area and a demilitarised area?
23 A. I think that it already was a safe area, and you're asking the
24 question of should it have been a safe zone. As far as I know, it was a
25 safe zone, according to all of the Geneva Conventions. Unfortunately,
1 what happened happened, and others can judge who should bear the
2 responsibility for that.
3 Q. Sir, is it right that Srebrenica was to be a demilitarised zone?
4 A. Could you please clarify that word, "Demilitarised"?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Prosecution, do you contest this, that it was
6 supposed to be because I think --
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Your Honour. I think it's pretty clear what
8 this was. It was what it was.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Finished. Stop. Stop there. There is no
10 argument that it should have been demilitarised.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I assume that there is no argument
12 to state that it had been demilitarised. Maybe I can just ask the
13 question or maybe the Prosecution would like to respond.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I will not involve the Prosecution in that but
15 you can ask the question, because I think if you look at the adjudicated
16 facts, you already find quite some material on this, which has -- any way,
17 if you think that that is not correct, you have every right to contest it
18 but I think amongst the adjudicated facts, you have already an
19 acknowledgement that the situation on the ground was far from what
20 demilitarisation meant.
21 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Fine, Your Honour. I withdraw my
22 question and I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Is there re-examination, Mr.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, Mr. President, there is not.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I just have one question.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE AGIUS: When you were captured, you mentioned at one stage
4 that one of the soldiers or officers that were interrogating you also
5 mentioned your brother.
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That both of you would be spared and exchanged if
8 you did something or whatever. How did he know about your brother?
9 Did -- was this something spontaneous on his part or was it you that
10 mentioned the existence of your brother to him?
11 A. He mentioned it first to me and I was really surprised by the fact
12 that he found that out, and how he found it out. It's my opinion that the
13 person, and I don't know if I am permitted to say his name --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
15 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So that brings your testimony to an end ^ here. You
11 will be assisted to facilitate your journey back home. On behalf of
12 everyone, I wish to thank you for having come over and also I wish you a
13 safe journey back home.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Now, documents, exhibits? Mr. Vanderpuye? I
16 think we have only got one or two.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct, in addition to the statement.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Not the statement. That has already been given a
19 number, 2288.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's correct.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You've got nothing else?
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, it's just the pseudonym sheet and the prior
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But those are already admitted.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Haynes?
2 MR. HAYNES: Yes. 7D63, page 5, which is the sheet containing
3 four military insignia.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. Do you have any objection?
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm not certain exactly what it's being offered
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's being offered because the witness was shown
8 those insignia and initially he said it wasn't like that. So if it wasn't
9 like that, at least we will have evidence of what it wasn't like. Then we
10 also have a specimen of the eagle and he agreed that the eagle was like
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is no objection.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's admitted and marked, I don't know
14 what number. Madam Fauveau, you made use of --
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic.
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Could 3D17 please
18 be admitted?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And this will be kept under seal. There
20 is no objection, I take it, no?
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: There is no objection, but there is a matter of
22 clarification, because when the witness was shown that document, he
23 referred to a name that was positioned on the third line down on page 1.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: And can I go to private session for a moment?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, certainly. Let's go into private session.
2 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before we adjourn, I notice Mr. Haynes.
14 MR. HAYNES: I'm very sorry. I'd completely fallen asleep and Mr.
15 Ostojic turned around to remind me that there was something that we
16 collectively wish to raise.
17 The question of the distribution of proofing notes came to our
18 attention following a remark of Judge Kwon's yesterday, which made it
19 apparent to us that these documents are being circulated to everybody.
20 And in our view, they ought not to be circulated to the Bench. It was
21 particularly relevant in this case, because what was said in the proofing
22 note in relation to this witness, did not in fact become a matter of his
23 testimony, and so documents are being circulated to you, the Tribunal of
24 fact, that are -- that are, in our view, not properly put before you. I
25 don't think this is a contentious issue because we did raise it with the
1 Prosecution during one of the breaks today and it looks as though it's
2 simply a case of somebody having a circular e-mail address that includes
3 too many addresses. But we did want to raise that collectively now.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I can tell you that I think this is the first
5 proofing notes that we have received since we started in August. To be
6 frank with you, I thought there would be special reason for it, which
7 ultimately never emerged. I speak for myself. I am not interested in
8 proofing notes. And although there is no hard and fast rule here what the
9 Bench should receive and what it shouldn't receive, there are other
10 Chambers, as you are aware, that insist on having all previous statements
11 of witnesses made available to the Judges, proofing notes made available
12 to the Judges. We have not adopted that system here. You know where we
13 come from. And we are not interested, unless that becomes an issue.
14 Unless the witness says no, it's not true, I never said that while I was
15 being proofed. You know, but I --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: But in any case, I mean, I am not interested in
18 them, but since the practice in this Tribunal varies, I wouldn't impose my
19 preference on any of the other three Judges in this trial.
20 MR. HAYNES: It's probably something we don't need your help on at
21 this stage. We can sort it out between ourselves.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the position. And I think we've discussed
23 this before and there is no interest that I know of from anyone of us to
24 have proofing notes.
25 JUDGE KWON: Can I ask that in this case, the evidence-in-chief
1 was introduced in part by -- in the form of written statements. What harm
2 there would be in receiving the supplement of the written statement? So
3 this is not in strict terms a proofing note.
4 MR. HAYNES: No, a further statement. The difficulty I suppose
5 with a proofing note is, and I didn't explore it with this witness,
6 although it was in my mind to do so, is you don't actually know whether
7 he's approved the proofing note. The proofing note is a document created
8 by those who sit down and talk to him and summarise what they say they've
9 talked to him about. And it may very well be that were the witness to
10 look at that proofing note, he'd say actually, that doesn't reflect what I
11 was saying. And it doesn't bear any signature of his and it doesn't bear
12 any acknowledgement by him that it's an accurate reflection of what was
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we need to discuss this any more.
15 MR. HAYNES: I don't, but out of courtesy, I answered the
16 question. We can sort it out between us. We don't need your help.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You can sort it out. And what I would like to point
18 out, for example, that rather than having this, I would agree completely
19 with you that if there are supplementary -- if there is supplementary
20 information to the written statement, that should come from the horse's
21 mouth, from the witness's mouth, and not indirectly prior -- previously
22 from the Prosecution itself. I mean, going through this, for example, I
23 do notice that there are some statements mentioned in this document that
24 the witness never repeated.
25 MR. HAYNES: Right.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So there is one further reason in my mind why I
2 wouldn't like to receive these. But that's again my position, and I have
3 taken this position in previous cases, but I also left free the other
4 Judges that were composing the Trial Chamber with me to show another
5 preference, and it did happen.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I may address the issue. And I did explain to
7 Defence counsel earlier that I am actually the one who is responsible for
8 distributing these proofing notes and I did so Sunday night, I believe it
9 was. And there was nobody really around to make the policy determination
10 as to where they should go at the time that I distributed them. And I
11 copied the Court. I just copied the court with the documents that had
12 been disclosed with the Defence, to the Defence. It was not an intent
13 to -- with any intent to kind of influence the Court in any way improperly
14 and I do apologise for that.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think that ever crossed our mind, either
16 then or now, Mr. Vanderpuye. I mean, so, please, don't worry about this.
17 But you -- now it has been raised and you know what our preference or our
18 position is more or less.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you kindly.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, I leave everyone free to take a different
21 approach if that is so desired.
22 So we will adjourn until tomorrow at 2.15.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.53 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
25 November, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.