1 Wednesday, 29 August 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.28 p.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Madam Registrar and good afternoon,
6 everybody. Could you kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci. I notice that all the accused are present.
10 From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Mr. Krgovic and
11 Mr. Ostojic. That's about it. Prosecution I notice the presence of
12 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
13 I understand there is some preliminary. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, good afternoon, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, everyone. Could we go into private
17 session just briefly.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course. Let's go into private session briefly.
19 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I give you the floor, Mr. McCloskey, we are
24 sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Judge Stole, although he was here this
25 morning, is not feeling well at all and he has asked me to relieve him.
1 So he hopes to be able to join us tomorrow. That's number 1.
2 Number 2, yesterday, you know that we had this inconvenient power
3 outage. We convened you all here for a short while at 5.00. We were
4 under the impression that the sitting was not being recorded. It now
5 transpires that it was recorded and since it seems that it was not
6 transmitted due to having been considered to be in closed session, when it
7 shouldn't, and we wouldn't have conducted it in closed session, we are
8 just declaring that it should be considered to be a sitting held in open,
9 public session, and not in closed session. So it should be made available
10 to whoever requires a transcript thereof. Having said that, let's go back
11 to private session for a while, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 14424-14425 redacted. Private session
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session. Please go ahead.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'd like to raise the issue of disclosing of
2 information report from June 2000 as to Prosecution Witness 109. He is
3 scheduled to testify here with a conference link on this Friday and I got
4 information report in a redacted form from the Prosecution. I'd ask them
5 to provide me with an unredacted form of this report, and this morning,
6 they refused to do that. I was notified that the redactions are related
7 to the address and some contact details of the witness but I see from the
8 same report that the witness refused to give any address or contact
9 details, so I need this report in unredacted form so -- for proper
10 preparation of my cross-examination, and I'd ask the Chamber to order the
11 Prosecution to disclose this information report in its entirety without
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We are talking of Witness PW-109. That's his,
14 nom de plume, his pseudonym. Who is going to respond to that?
15 Mr. Thayer? I suggest you first give information as to what the redacted
16 parts actually refer to and then respond to the rest.
17 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon.
19 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, everyone. Just to be on the safe
20 side, if we could move into closed session or private session for this?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 14428 redacted. Private session
6 [Open session]
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Gospodin Lazarevic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to start
11 giving the evidence that you would have started giving yesterday.
12 Unfortunately you know what happened. We had a power outage. I'm sure
13 that was explained to you and that's why your testimony has been delayed
14 for today. I'm sorry for that but it was beyond our control.
15 Before you start your testimony, you are bound by our rules to
16 make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth. The text
17 of the solemn declaration is being handed to you now. Please read it out
18 aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: DAMJAN LAZAREVIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Please make yourself
25 Now, Mr. Lazarevic, you are here to testify on certain events that
1 the Prosecution alleges to have taken place in July of 1995. You will be
2 asked questions by the -- Mr. Thayer for the Prosecution and then by the
3 various Defence teams, but before Mr. Thayer starts with his questions, I
4 need to explain to you or caution you on a right that you enjoy under our
5 rules. It is being suggested or alleged that you were -- you lived
6 through some of the events that are alleged by the Prosecution, and it is
7 not to be excluded that questions could be put to you by either Mr. Thayer
8 or by any of the Defence teams which, if you answer truthfully, could tend
9 to incriminate you.
10 I am not telling you that there will be such questions but just in
11 case such questions are put to you, then you can -- you have a right to
12 ask the three of us up here to exempt you from answering such questions.
13 We have a choice. After hearing you, we can decide to exempt you from
14 answering such questions or alternatively, we can decide that in the best
15 interests of justice, we will compel you to answer such questions. So
16 this right is limited and it is not an absolute one. However, in case
17 such questions are asked and we compel you notwithstanding your request to
18 answer such questions, then whatever evidence you give in answering such
19 questions, unless it is false evidence, cannot be used against you in any
20 subsequent criminal proceedings. Is that clear enough to you?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And were you alerted to this before you came into
23 this room to testify?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was indeed. I was prepared.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. And that clears the way
1 for the first question from -- by Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
4 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Would you please state your full name for the record?
7 A. Damjan Lazarevic.
8 Q. And how old are you, sir?
9 A. 53.
10 Q. And where were you born and raised?
11 A. In Celopek, near Zvornik, and I currently reside in Zvornik.
12 Q. And you identify yourself as a Bosnian Serb; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I just want to ask you a couple of questions about your military
15 service history. It will just take a moment. But please correct me when
16 I'm done if I've gotten anything wrong or you need to clarify anything.
17 When the Zvornik Brigade was formed, you began serving in the road
18 and bridges platoon of the Zvornik Brigade's Engineering Company; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you served in the Engineering Company until shortly after the
22 Dayton Accords or agreement was signed, is that also correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, prior to serving in the Zvornik Brigade, can you just
25 describe for the Trial Chamber, please, what your military service was
1 from the beginning of the war up until that time?
2 A. Well, before the war I worked in a company, and when the war broke
3 out, we were all mobilised. I was on the front line for some two months
4 or so. And when the Engineering Company in the Zvornik Brigade was
5 established, I was assigned to that brigade because when I served in the
6 army, I was in charge of roads and bridges in the Engineering Company.
7 That was my duty in the former army. And that's why I was assigned to the
8 newly established engineers' company in the rear of the brigade where I
9 was in charge of building roads, bridges and similar things.
10 Q. Okay, sir. Just one final question on your military service
11 history. After the war broke out but before the formation of the
12 Zvornik Brigade, did you serve in a TO or local unit of some sort at the
13 front lines?
14 A. Before the conflicts broke out? No. I didn't.
15 Q. Okay. After the conflict broke out but before the establishment
16 of the Zvornik Brigade, did you serve with -- in a local unit by the name
17 of the Celopek unit? Because everybody in the unit was from the area of
19 A. Yes. That was the Celopek Platoon.
20 Q. Okay. I want to turn your attention, sir, to 1995 and
21 specifically to the time period of July of 1995. The Zvornik Brigade
22 itself was headquartered in some facilities that we have been referring to
23 as Standard. But where was your Engineering Company itself headquartered?
24 A. At the beginning, we were at the Standard, at the command, and
25 then we separated and we had our premises in the so-called youth
1 neighbourhood or youth area. That's what the youth brigades had built
2 before the war, and that's where we were located after that.
3 Q. And in close proximity to this area where your engineering command
4 was headquartered, were there also some companies or factories or other
5 businesses located close by?
6 A. Around our premises, there were companies. For example, Glinica,
7 the metalworks called Univerzal, and in the broader area, there were some
8 other companies. The two that I've mentioned were the closest to us.
9 Q. And was the Glinica facility or factory also known to you by any
10 other names?
11 A. Birac Holding, the company Glinica of Birac.
12 Q. Okay. Would you please describe for the Trial Chamber how your
13 Engineering Company was structured? For example, who was the chief of
14 your company?
15 A. Major Jokic, Major Jokic. He was the chief of engineers.
16 Q. And do you recall his first name, sir?
17 A. Dragan Jokic, Major Dragan Jokic.
18 Q. And who served directly under him?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer. Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd just like my
21 colleague to clarify because he started his question and I referred to
22 page 12-- sorry, to page 12, lines 10, when my colleague is asking how the
23 engineering is -- company is structured, and then he follows with a
24 question about the chief of engineering. The two are separate and I think
25 my colleague should clarify that before asking questions to the witness.
1 Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right. Could you comply, please,
3 Mr. Thayer?
4 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Your Honour, I think the next couple of
5 questions, at least I hoped, would clarify that points which is obviously
6 one that's important and we have alluded to that before.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, both of you.
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Now, sir, with respect to your Engineering Company, from your
10 experience and your recollection, in terms of the chain of command that
11 operated at your company, who was directly below Chief Jokic in that chain
12 of command as it related to your company?
13 A. Do you mean at the moment when the conflict broke out or maybe
15 Q. Again, sir, I'm focusing on July of 1995.
16 A. Dragan Jevtic. He was the company commander.
17 Q. And can you distinguish for the Trial Chamber what the difference
18 was between the roles and responsibilities of the chief of engineering,
19 Major Jokic, and Mr. Jevtic? If you know, if you recall.
20 A. The chief of engineers was superior to all of us in the company,
21 and all the orders and tasks we received in the company, we received from
22 him. Actually, the company commander received those and distributed them
23 down the line to various parts of the company.
24 Q. And do you recall where Mr. Jokic, Dragan Jokic, had his office?
25 Was it at your company command near the youth settlement or was his office
1 at Standard in the brigade barracks?
2 A. I believe that he had his office in -- down there in the Standard,
3 but he was very much present in our headquarters. Whenever we -- he had
4 time he would be with us, with our unit.
5 Q. Okay. Now, below Mr. Jevtic, who was next in line in the chain of
7 A. The deputy commander of our company was Slavko Bogicevic and he
8 also acted as the chief of morale, guidance but he was also the deputy
9 commander of the company, Slavko Bogicevic.
10 Q. And was there also a company clerk of some kind in your
11 Engineering Company?
12 A. I wouldn't know. He was the one who was acting as the deputy
13 commander, and the officer for morale. He drafted daily orders and things
14 like that.
15 Q. Okay. Do you remember an individual by the name of Sekonjic?
16 A. Vojkan Sekonjic?
17 Q. Yes, sir.
18 A. He was the company officer, the company desk officer, in our
20 Q. And would you explain what his role and responsibilities were, to
21 the Trial Chamber, please?
22 A. He would draft the daily orders. He would also take attendance.
23 He would be the one to record who was absent, who was present, in the unit
24 on what day.
25 Q. Okay. Just a couple more questions about the structure and then
1 we'll move on to a different area, sir.
2 Was your company divided into platoons and if so, would you
3 describe how many and what they were called?
4 A. First we have the Pioneer Platoon; the second platoon was the
5 platoon for roads and bridges; and the third platoon was the platoon for
6 engineering works.
7 Q. And, sir, in July of 1995, did you have any particular position
8 within any of these platoons?
9 A. I was the commander of the Roads and Bridges Platoon, which means
10 that throughout the conflict I was in charge of building roads and
11 bridges. This is what I did.
12 Q. And in July of 1995, did you have a particular rank, sir?
13 A. I was the sergeant second class. This is the rank that I obtained
14 from the former army, and then, after different manoeuvres that I
15 attended, I got the rank of a staff sergeant. And that was my rank at the
17 Q. And how many men were in your platoon?
18 A. 10 to 12, maybe.
19 Q. And who was your immediate superior? I know you've given us the
20 structure but when you were the -- in charge of that platoon, who was your
21 immediate superior? To whom would you report directly?
22 A. The company commander.
23 Q. Now, would you describe for the Trial Chamber, please, how your
24 company typically received its tasks? How would orders typically flow
25 through or flow into and through your company?
1 A. Every morning there was a briefing. The major would go to the
2 brigade command. He would attend those briefings. And after the
3 briefings ended, he would either come to us or he would call the company
4 commander or his deputy on the phone and tell them what to do and what we
5 were supposed to do. He would receive his tasks from the command and then
6 he would convey those tasks either directly in person verbally or over the
7 phone. He would tell us what to do and who was supposed to do it.
8 Q. And just so the record is clear, you referred to the major.
9 You're referring, I take it, to Major Dragan Jokic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What kind of construction equipment or heavy machinery did your
12 platoon have itself in July of 1995? As opposed, for example, available
13 to it from outside?
14 A. We did not have much, maybe two or three lorries and a 75
15 bulldozer, a Skip, which was a very small building machine, like a tractor
16 with a bucket, and also had the digging part in the rear. It was a small
17 machine that was not capable of engaging in any major construction works.
18 Q. Okay. I'm going to take a couple of moments with you to talk
19 about some specific pieces of machinery. So let's just take them one at a
20 time and I'm going to ask you some questions about each one. You
21 mentioned bulldozers, specifically I think you mentioned a 75 bulldozer.
22 The -- that piece of machinery, was it referred to by any particular name
23 or nickname?
24 A. Just a bulldozer, a 75, a Caterpillar machine. That machine had
1 Q. And did you ever refer to it as just simply a Dozer or Dozer 75?
2 A. Dozer, bulldozer. Those were the names, the two names.
3 Q. And you described somewhat what a Skip is. Can you try to
4 describe it in just a little bit more detail for us, please?
5 A. A Skip? A Skip is a machine which can be used in construction, in
6 front it had a loading and unloading bucket, a small bucket, and in the
7 back it had a backhoe for digging canals, trenches, that bucket is
8 somewhat smaller, the one in the back. And the machine itself is somewhat
9 smaller. It's a small building machine, a small construction machine.
10 Q. And is it wheeled or is it on tracks?
11 A. Wheeled.
12 Q. And I want to use a specific term that comes up from time to time.
13 I don't mean to injure your language but have you heard the term
14 "Rovokopac" or "Kopac" and if so, what does it refer to?
15 A. Yes. Many people call this thing Rovokopac. This is a machine
16 that digs holes. You can use it in the construction industry, in private
17 life, for bigger-scale works, for smaller-scale works.
18 Q. Now, with respect to larger jobs and larger machinery that are
19 required for those jobs, did your company itself have larger Rovokopacs,
20 for example, or did you have to obtain them elsewhere?
21 A. We did not have any larger machinery. Whenever the brigade needed
22 something larger, then we would requisition such machinery from various
23 construction companies that had them, backhoe excavators, loading
24 machinery and staff. It all depended on what various companies had at
25 their disposal and that we needed at the time.
1 Q. Okay, sir. I want to turn your attention specifically to a series
2 of days that my friends and I all know that you're here to talk about.
3 Would you please tell the Trial Chamber whether you recall receiving an
4 order on a particular day in July of 1995 to go somewhere? And if so,
5 please tell the Trial Chamber what that order entailed.
6 A. On the 14th June, I accompanied my son, who was going to the army,
7 I was below the Standard with my son. My son was on his way to the army.
8 I went home and on the following day, when I returned to the unit, I was
9 given the task to go to Orahovac. When I asked why, they said, It is for
10 you to go and for us to know. Trenches are being dug over there. You
11 have to do something and you have to go.
12 That's how I went. I had to go. I didn't have a choice.
13 Q. Okay. Let me just stop you right there, sir. In your answer, and
14 I'm just referring to the transcript here, page 18, line 10, you referred
15 to the 14th of June of 1995. And I'm asking you about specific events
16 that occurred in July of 1995 and I just want to clarify the date and the
17 month that we are talking about here, of these events.
18 A. I'm sorry, I misspoke. I know what you're saying. I gave you the
19 wrong month.
20 Q. Okay. So we are talking about being with your son on the 14th of
21 July 1995; is that correct, sir?
22 A. Yes, it is correct, yes, yes.
23 Q. Okay. Now, you told us that you received this order the next day,
24 which would be the 15th of July. Would you please take the Trial Chamber
25 through the events of that day, from the very beginning, and let's just
1 start with where did you receive this order and from whom?
2 A. I got that order at the command -- at the company. Major Jokic
3 was not there but Slavko Bogicevic was and some others and Major Jokic
4 called and I was immediately sent up there to do whatever was being done
5 there. I had to go. And when I arrived there, actually on my way up
6 there, I came by a group of soldiers, somewhere around the school. There
7 were a few of them there. I don't know the exact number. And there was
8 some two or three soldiers with white belts. I proceeded to a well by the
9 road leading to Krizevici. When I arrived there, on the right-hand side,
10 I saw some meadows and a group of people or young men in that meadow.
11 They had been dead. They had been killed. And I was told that there is a
12 machine up there towards the flyover that had left on the 14th and that
13 was already digging the graves. I went up there and below the fly bridge
14 I did get a glimpse of the situation. I could not go any closer. I
15 couldn't -- I couldn't stand the sight, and I returned. There were other
16 people who were doing that. I returned on to the road, and then I
17 returned to the base, and then I went home.
18 Q. Okay, sir. I'm going to take you back a little bit and ask you
19 for some more details about this day that you've just described. That
20 morning, on the 15th of July, when you arrived at the company command, did
21 you encounter any company soldiers talking amongst themselves about
23 A. At the entrance towards the barracks, there was a group of
24 soldiers from a unit. They were discussing Orahovac. They said there
25 were some people up there that should be buried. I didn't pay much heed
1 to it and I went to the office where Slavko was, as well as Sekonjic and
2 the rest. I was told that I should go up there as soon as possible to do
3 that. I asked, "Why me?" And they said, "Well, it's you. Just go up
4 there. You've got nothing to do with it but you just need to be there.
5 You can say that your machine broke down and that you couldn't have done
6 any work today." But however, it wasn't possible for me to do that.
7 Q. Okay. Now, these soldiers who were talking amongst themselves,
8 were they Engineering Company soldiers, sir?
9 A. Yes, our soldiers.
10 Q. And you said that they were discussing Orahovac and that there
11 were some people up there that should be buried. Did you overhear them
12 saying anything about how those individuals died? Whether they were
13 killed in battle or whether they were killed some other way, under some
14 other circumstances?
15 A. I don't know. I didn't hear anything from them about how they
16 died. I just heard that they said that there were people up there.
17 Q. You told us that you left the compound. Were you told exactly
18 where to go?
19 A. To Orahovac.
20 Q. Were you told to go any place in particular in Orahovac?
21 A. From the place where the school is towards the Krizevici road.
22 Q. Did you go alone, sir?
23 A. A vehicle brought me as far as the school, and then I continued on
25 Q. Now, when you arrived at the school, you said you saw some
1 soldiers and some men in white belts. Do the white belts mean anything to
2 you in terms of what the position or role of that individual is?
3 A. Well, the only ones who had white belts were the military police
4 in our brigade. No one else.
5 Q. When you arrived at the school, how did you get to this other
6 location that you described that was near a water source or a water point
7 and the railroad tracks?
8 A. The first location was next to the water point, in the meadow
9 there. The other one was just below the tracks, somewhat further up. I
10 went there on foot. I went on foot from the school to that location after
11 I had come out of the vehicle.
12 Q. What was your specific assignment that morning, as it was relayed
13 to you by Mr. Bogicevic?
14 A. That I should go up there. He said, "A machine is already up
15 there and you report there, see to it that they are buried." That is why
16 I went there. As I said, I saw something under the overpass and returned
17 after that. I saw some people working there.
18 Q. When you arrived at the school, were you told anything about any
19 machinery that was already present in the area working?
20 A. At the base I was told that the machine had already gone up there
21 with the engineers. After that, once I got there, no one told me
22 anything. I wasn't down there by the soldiers next to the road. I went
23 on after I passed the school and to the location itself.
24 Q. Okay. Well, when you arrived at the school, how did you know
25 where to go? How did you know where to report?
1 A. At the base, I was told to follow the road to Krizevici. It
2 passes by the school. That's the main road to Krizevici. And they
3 said, "Well, next to the road you'll see where the location is. Just keep
5 Q. And do you recall approximately what time of the day it was when
6 you arrived at the school?
7 A. Say, 7.30, 8.00 p.m.
8 Q. Was this in the evening, sir, or in the morning?
9 A. In the morning.
10 Q. Okay. When you arrived at the school in the morning, do you
11 recall seeing any VRS officers from any brigade, from the corps, from the
12 Main Staff, in the area of the school?
13 A. No. When we passed by in that vehicle, I saw a few of those
14 soldiers before the school. As for any officers, I didn't see any, be it
15 at the school or at the location itself where the thing was being done.
16 Q. After you walked to this other site, along the road to the area
17 where the water source was, can you describe in more detail what you saw?
18 A. The water point was the first location next to the road. The
19 other one is further up next to the overpass. I saw some killed soldiers
20 and civilians. I continued all the way up to the overpass. To the
21 right-hand side, I could see one part of it and then I returned and went
23 Q. This first group of dead people, sir, you described as killed
24 soldiers and civilians. Why do you say that they were soldiers and
1 A. Because I noticed that a few of them had camouflage uniforms on.
2 I presumed they were members of an army. And there were also civilians
3 wearing civilian clothes.
4 Q. And can you estimate approximately how large this group of bodies
6 A. I don't know. There was a pile, a heap. I cannot tell you
7 exactly. Well, a group of them, around 20, 25, 30. I can't say. I can't
8 provide a figure. They were lying on top of each other.
9 Q. And when you continued walking, you've described a railroad track.
10 Is that railroad track on the ground, or is it elevated, sir?
11 A. It is elevated. That is the overpass across which the railroad
12 tracks pass on, go on to Tuzla.
13 Q. And how far did you continue along that road leading towards the
14 railroad tracks?
15 A. It's not much of a distance, perhaps 150 or 200 metres, between
16 the first and the second location, that is. That is my assessment. As to
17 whether there was more or less, well ...
18 Q. Well, where did you stop, sir?
19 A. First I stopped just before the overpass. I was standing there
20 for a short while thinking whether I should continue or not. And then
21 once I passed the overpass, to my right-hand side I could see a few
22 corpses right nearby, to the right side of the overpass, perhaps some 20
23 or 30 metres away.
24 Q. Now, you just mentioned seeing a few corpses as you were standing
25 near the overpass. Can you estimate for the Trial Chamber, thinking back
1 on that day as you saw what you saw from your location, how many corpses
2 approximately did you see at that second location?
3 A. A larger number. They were somewhat dispersed. They were not in
4 a pile. They covered a distance across the meadow. I don't know how
5 many. I didn't come close. I could see from afar that that group was
6 larger than the first group at the first location.
7 Q. And from your position near these railroad tracks, were you able
8 to see any machinery at work?
9 A. There was a machine, the BGH. It is a backhoe/excavator. It was
10 sent there on the 14th. I don't know who sent it up there.
11 Q. And this BGH, do you recall whether the one you saw had a
12 particular model number attached to it?
13 A. BGH, I think it was a BGH-500.
14 Q. And can you describe the size and what this BGH machine looked
15 like, for the Trial Chamber, please, just generally speaking, what's its
17 A. It is a construction machine used to dig canals, building
18 foundations. At the front it has a bucket. It is a tracked vehicle. It
19 can turn in any direction. It is a construction machine.
20 Q. And does BGH also make a 700 model, sir?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And do you have any specific recollection as to whether this
23 machine that you saw on that day was a BGH-500 -- I note that you say "I
24 think it was a BGH-500" -- or a BGH-700?
25 A. Well, what should I tell you? I didn't pay any particular
1 attention as to the number but I do think it was a 500 one, the smaller
3 Q. And are both of these models larger than the Engineering Company
4 had in its own inventory at the compound?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. While you were in this area that day, did any other equipment
8 A. There was another ULT 220 that came. It was the property of the
9 Birac Holding of the aluminum oxide factory.
10 Q. And this ULT 220, what kinds of machine is it? What does it do?
11 And if you could describe what it looks like, please?
12 A. It is a self-propelled construction machine with wheels. In the
13 front it has a loading bucket.
14 Q. And as opposed to the Rovokopac type of machinery, such as the
15 BGH-500, what is the ULT 220 designed to do? You've told us that the BGH
16 is designed to dig trenches with its bucket. What is a ULT 220 primarily
17 designed to do, sir?
18 A. It is mainly used to load construction material. That's its
19 principal purpose. But it can also be used for smaller excavations on
20 flat areas, but it cannot dig deeply.
21 Q. And --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, by any chance, do you have perhaps
23 photos of all these machines which we could show to the witness and also
24 to us and it would make everybody's life much easier?
25 MR. THAYER: I do, Your Honour, I do. I can show them now or I
1 can wait until a little later but if Your Honour wishes I can do it right
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it will speed up and facilitate the whole --
4 MR. THAYER: If we may have 65 ter 2069 on e-court, please?
5 Q. Sir, unfortunately this is the best photograph we have. Do you
6 see an image on your -- in front of you?
7 A. Yes, I do. It is an excavator, a BGH-500.
8 Q. And it is the machine that is directly in the centre of the
9 photograph, correct?
10 A. The machinery next to the person in the photograph.
11 Q. And is this the piece of machinery you recall seeing at Orahovac?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. THAYER: May we see 65 ter 2070, please? Now, that picture
14 really hasn't come out -- I have a better colour. It looks like we loaded
15 this -- this got loaded in black and white somehow. With Madam Usher's
16 assistance, if I could just place this on the ELMO? I see we are having
17 some technical difficulties.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Meek is stealing the show.
19 MR. THAYER: Okay.
20 Q. Sir, do you recognise this piece of machinery?
21 A. Yes. It is a ULT 220. It is a self-propelled construction
23 Q. Now, where were you, sir, when you first saw the ULT 220 arrive
24 that day? Where do you remember being when you first saw it?
25 A. By the water point. I was there when the machine arrived, this
1 ULT 220.
2 Q. And in this case, sir, was it driven by itself or did it come on a
4 A. By itself. It has rubber wheels and it moves by itself.
5 Q. And do you recall whether you had been told to expect this second
6 piece of equipment that day?
7 A. I didn't know about it. No one told me about it. This machine
8 arrived after some time, I don't know how much later, though.
9 Q. And where did it go, sir?
10 A. To another location.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Or to the other
13 A. There were some people there were the public utility company.
14 They loaded bodies on to the bucket and the machine would take them away.
15 Q. And where did the machine take those bodies, sir?
16 A. To the mass grave that had been dug out by the BGH-500.
17 Q. And the bodies that were loaded on to this ULT 220, which bodies
18 were these, sir? Were these the bodies that you had described earlier
19 encountering when you first arrived at this scene or were they other
21 A. It was at the other location. As for the group of killed people,
22 the dispersed one, they were up there and I saw that some of them were
23 uniformed and that others were civilians.
24 Q. Okay. Let me just try to clarify this in the couple of minutes
25 that we have before the break. You say you saw members of the public
1 utility company loading bodies. First of all, which public utility
2 company are we talking about, sir?
3 A. The public utility company of Zvornik.
4 Q. And where did you see them loading these bodies on to the ULT 220?
5 A. Once the ULT has arrived, they started loading the bodies, and
6 then I went away. I went up to the school, and they continued their work
7 by themselves. I did not return. And once they were done with it, they
8 returned to their respective bases.
9 Q. Okay. Sir, the bodies that you saw the public utility workers
10 loading on to the ULT, were those bodies bodies from the smaller group
11 that you described seeing first or were they bodies from some other
12 location or some other group?
13 A. It was the other location, up there. Since the machine was first
14 working at the other location.
15 Q. Beyond the railroad tracks is what you're saying?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, should we take the break?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: We can take the break now. It will be of 25
19 minutes. Thank you.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, may I proceed?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please proceed, Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
25 Q. Sir, you recall going back a few minutes ago when you were shown
1 the photograph of the BGH digger. Do you recall the colour of the digger,
2 sir, as you saw it on the 15th of July?
3 A. Yellow.
4 Q. And do you recall the colour of the ULT 220 that you saw on the
5 15th of July?
6 A. Also yellow.
7 Q. Now, sir, what was your reaction when you saw all of these bodies
8 at the upper site?
9 A. Well, not pleasant, not comfortable.
10 Q. Prior to travelling to that site, both near the water point and
11 beyond the railroad, had you received any information, either overheard
12 anyone speaking or heard anything, about executions taking place in
13 Orahovac on the 14th?
14 A. I heard in the unit that what had been done had to be buried, that
15 people had to be buried up there.
16 Q. Now, you told us earlier in your testimony that your reaction to
17 receiving the order was, "Why me? Why do I have to go?" Was it your
18 understanding that you were --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was it your understanding that you were being sent to oversee the
21 burial of people who had been executed?
22 A. They sent me to be by the machine in case something went wrong, in
23 case one of the machines broke down, so I was there to intervene and they
24 told me, "You have nothing to do with what's going on there." I did go
25 there but I couldn't stand the sight very long, so I went back.
1 Q. Sir, based on your experience in the Engineering Company, what was
2 your understanding of the relationship between the public utilities entity
3 and the civil protection entity in the Zvornik municipality?
4 A. The public utility company was established, we all knew why, and
5 we knew what the public utility company's function was in the
6 municipality. Now, as to why they sent those older people there to bury
7 these other people, to collect them in the bucket and to carry them to the
8 graves, I don't know.
9 Q. Okay. Well, let me just ask you this, sir: What is your
10 understanding of what the civil protection people did in the Zvornik
11 municipality? What was the purpose of civil protection?
12 A. Well, the civil protection, the word is self-explanatory. It's to
13 provide assistance and help in case of fire, a natural disaster or similar
14 things. People would gather to help other people in certain parts of
15 town, in local communes, whereas the local utility company would be
16 engaged in all sorts of municipal activities, collecting garbage, cleaning
17 the town and things like that.
18 Q. Sir, do you recall who was operating these two machines when you
19 were at the site near Orahovac?
20 A. The BGH-500 was operated by Cvijetin Ristanovic, the machine
21 operator, I believe. His profession was handling construction machinery.
22 That was his position in the company where he had worked before the war
23 and later on. As for the other machine, the ULT 220, which had come from
24 the Glinica Birac company, was operated by somebody called Rade but I
25 can't recall his family name.
1 Q. Okay. How long would you estimate you stayed at this location,
2 whether it was near the water source or up near the railroad? How long
3 did you stay in that general area?
4 A. I left earlier. I went on to -- on foot down to the school. A
5 car came by from the line near Krizevici. The others remained to finish
6 the job. And then they themselves retired to the base. But I don't know
7 when that was. I don't know how late it was when they arrived. I believe
8 that they worked until the dusk. The following day when I arrived at the
9 unit, they told me that they had finished around 6.00 or 7.00 or
11 Q. Now, how long would you estimate you were in Orahovac on the 15th
12 of July, from the time you arrived at the school to the time you left in
13 that vehicle to return to the compound?
14 A. I could not stand the sight. That's why I went back to the
15 school. There was an unpleasant scent in the air. And I must have spent
16 about three or four hours in the whole area, walking to and fro the school
17 and the water fountain.
18 Q. And when you returned to your company, did you report to anyone,
20 A. No, I didn't. I don't even remember whether anybody was in the
21 office, whether Slavko was there or anybody else. I returned and then I
22 went back home.
23 Q. Do you remember speaking to anybody at the company compound
24 about --
25 A. No.
1 Q. Okay. Before we move on, let's look at 65 ter 1705.
2 Sir, do you see an image in front of you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Take your time and get acquainted with it, and when you think you
5 know or recognise what you're looking at, please just let us know and I'm
6 going to ask you some questions about it.
7 A. Yes, I can see everything well.
8 Q. Okay. Can you just generally describe what this photograph
10 A. This is the place where the mass graves are, the two graves, the
11 grave number 1 and the grave number 2. This is the road leading up to
13 Q. Can I just interrupt you for a second and ask Madam Usher to hand
14 you the pen that I warned you might be coming.
15 Would you mark with an X where the water source was that you
16 stated was close to the road?
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And would you please draw a circle to indicate the area where you
19 saw the first group of bodies that you told us about? And if you could
20 just put a number 1 inside that circle for us, please?
21 A. [Marks]
22 Q. And if you could draw another circle and indicate the area in
23 which you say you saw the bodies dispersed, and if you could mark that
24 area with a number 2, please?
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. And if you would, just place your initials on the area where you
2 were standing when you came closest to seeing the bodies in area number 2.
3 A. [Marks] Here.
4 Q. And if you would just write your initials there, please, there,
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. And if you would, just put today's date on the lower right-hand
8 corner. And today is the 29th of August.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. Thank you, sir.
11 MR. THAYER: I think we can save this. And we are done with this
13 Q. Sir, at some point did you receive another assignment similar to
14 the one that you were given on July 15th?
15 A. Yes. On the following day, when I arrived at the unit, on the
16 16th, that was, I was again said to go to Kozluk for the same reason.
17 What had been done had been done, and then they told Milos Mitrovic to
18 take the small Skip there.
19 Q. Okay. And, sir, when you say what had been done had been done,
20 please tell the Trial Chamber -- I know it might be difficult -- just tell
21 the Trial Chamber what that means.
22 A. It means that people were executed at that location, and then I
23 had to go subsequently to finish the job off, to bury the people.
24 Q. Do you recall who gave you this order to go to Kozluk?
25 A. When I was at the unit, Slavko was there, Major Jokic was not
1 there, he was not at the unit, and Sekonjic was there and an order came
2 from Milos to go there with a small machine and for me to also go there to
3 bury the bodies. They were in the crevices, in the field. Nothing had to
4 be dug. Just the earth had to be put over the bodies.
5 Q. Okay. We'll get to that in just a few seconds, sir. Just one
6 question. Where did this order to you and the order to Mr. Mitrovic
7 originate, sir?
8 A. I believe that Slavko sent Milos, Slavko Bogicevic sent Milos
9 there. And I myself was told that I should also go there when I came in
10 front of the office. I was told to be there as well. I was told that in
11 the office. I don't know whether it was Slavko Bogicevic or Sekonjic, but
12 one of them told me, "The major had told you to go there to finish the job
14 Q. And did you travel to Kozluk by yourself, sir?
15 A. I was not alone. I was driven in a TAM lorry, TAM 75, which was a
16 military vehicle. The driver drove me there, and then I proceeded on foot
17 to the location because it was not easy to get to that location because of
18 the stench that was spreading around.
19 Q. Now, do you recall approximately what time you arrived at this
21 A. Around 8.00 or thereabouts, in the morning again.
22 Q. And would you please describe, as best as you can, what this area
23 that you came to looked like, where was it located, what was the ground
24 like when you arrived there?
25 A. It was the location where the gravel was being dug for the
1 construction industry. That's the kind of the terrain. There were holes
2 in the ground from which gravels used to be excavated from, and all that
3 was there. Somebody had also brought broken glass in one of the crevices
4 there was broken glass. I believe that it had come from the Kozluk glass
5 factory, the broken glass would be transported from the factory and
6 unloaded in that same gravel field.
7 Q. Okay. You referred to a factory in Kozluk, sir. In fact, as you
8 travelled to this area where the gravel pits were, did you have to pass
9 any particular factory to get there?
10 A. By the Vitinka Kozluk mineral water plant.
11 Q. And is that the company to which you were just referring when, as
12 I see it here on the transcript, it's referred to as the Kozluk glass
14 A. No. The factory produced mineral water and they probably used
15 glass bottles to bottle the water, and when whatever glass got broken in
16 the process would be deposited in those gravel pits, I suppose.
17 Q. Okay. And do you recall what colour the glass was that you saw,
19 A. The bottles would predominantly be either white or green. The
20 white, however, prevailed. There was some green glass, however, but I
21 didn't pay too much heed to the site. I just passed by that pit.
22 Q. And was this location close to a water source or a body of water?
23 A. In the immediate vicinity, maybe 20 or 30 metres away, is the bed
24 of the Drina River.
25 Q. Now, can you describe where you saw the bodies and the condition
1 of the bodies, for the Trial Chamber, please?
2 A. Those gravel pits, on the surface, the bodies were decomposing.
3 You couldn't stay for any longer. It was almost impossible to come any
4 closer than maybe 20 metres. When I passed by that gravel pit containing
5 glass, I hurried away. I couldn't stand the stench.
6 Q. Could you tell what kind of clothing the bodies were clad in, sir?
7 A. During the short period of time that I spent by the gravel pits, I
8 could see that there were some uniformed persons, and there were also
9 bodies in civilian clothes.
10 Q. And were these bodies, sir, already in the pits or were they on
11 the surface of the ground?
12 A. All of them were in the pit. Just a few of them were on the
13 surface. But it was all kind of close. The bodies were not scattered far
14 away from the pits. They were all close to each other.
15 Q. Did you see anyone else, other than Mr. Mitrovic and the driver,
16 while you were at this site?
17 A. The driver who had brought me remained behind. Only Mitrovic came
18 with this small Skip in order to bury the bodies and to prevent the stench
19 from spreading. There may have been some three or four uniformed young
20 men with normal belts, but they were masked. Their faces were painted.
21 There was a group of some three or four of them. I did not approach them.
22 I didn't ask them who they were. I couldn't recognise them. They were a
23 bit further away from me and I wouldn't be able to tell you what they were
24 doing there. Mitrovic could not do anything with his machine. His
25 machine was very small, so that after a certain while, the ULT 220
1 arrived. This is a bigger machine. The driver got off his cabin. You
2 could tell that he found the whole situation very difficult to sustain but
3 he had to do it. I don't know whether he was under the pressure of these
4 young men. And as I say, I don't know who they were, where they had come
5 from. He had to do it.
6 Q. Did you order that ULT 220 to be brought to that location, sir?
7 A. No, not me.
8 Q. Who did, if you know?
9 A. I suppose that the order came from the unit. I suppose that they
10 had realised that nothing could be done with the small machine, that that
11 small machine was not fit for that job in that location, that it would
12 take a very long time to accomplish the task, and I suppose that they had
13 sent the big machine from the unit.
14 Q. And do you know who was operating this ULT 220?
15 A. This machine belonged to the stone quarry in Josanica which is a
16 company that quarried stone. This was their machine and the operator was
17 Rade Boskovic. He was an employee of that company and he was the operator
18 of that machine that belonged to them.
19 Q. And do you recall approximately how long you stayed at this site?
20 A. Not long. Again, I left earlier. Milos left before me, with the
21 small machine that was useless. Rade remained there after me. And then
22 since he drove that self-propelling machine he returned in that machine
23 once he had accomplished the job.
24 Q. Well, did you leave before Mr. Boskovic finished the job or did
25 you leave with him or did you leave after him?
1 A. I left before him.
2 Q. Did you in fact see him operating his ULT 220, sir?
3 A. Well, I had to see that. He passed by me. He went there to
4 finish whatever had to be finished.
5 Q. And did you actually see him doing the job that he had been sent
6 to do, sir?
7 A. I wasn't in his immediate vicinity. I was a bit further off. But
8 I did see him working.
9 Q. And where did you go after you left this site in Kozluk?
10 A. I went to the unit. I got off the vehicle, and when I found no
11 one in the office, I went back out in the street, I hitch-hiked and
12 returned home and Rade returned to the base on his own.
13 Q. Now, sir, were you ordered a third time to go somewhere?
14 A. Yes. Every morning, whenever I came to the unit, I would be
15 issued with tasks. Therefore, time came for the third day, when they told
16 me to go to Branjevo. I asked what was I to do there and they
17 said, "Well, the same job as the previous one awaits you." That's what
18 they told me at the unit. Slavko and Sekonjic told me that, to go there
20 Q. And were you told to go anywhere in particular in Branjevo?
21 A. In Branjevo, there was an execution by the farm, by the pig farm,
22 in the area of Branjevo, and a pit was supposed to be dug out to dump the
23 bodies in. I was told that the people from the utility company would come
24 to load the bodies.
25 Q. And were you already familiar with this farm in Branjevo?
1 A. I was not. Well, during the war, I would pass through that area
2 on that road, via Branjevo, but I wasn't very familiar with the location
3 itself, with the pig farm. I never went in there. I just passed by on
4 the road.
5 Q. How did you get there, sir?
6 A. I got there in a small vehicle.
7 Q. Did you drive yourself or did you have a driver?
8 A. No. They sent a driver from the unit.
9 Q. Do you recall approximately what time you arrived?
10 A. I think it was past 8.00 or around 8.30, 9.00. It is rather far
11 from Zvornik.
12 Q. And just to be clear, was this in the morning or in the evening?
13 A. In the morning.
14 Q. Would you please describe what you saw when you arrived at the
15 Branjevo Farm that morning?
16 A. When I arrived, the vehicle stayed down the road, just before one
17 is supposed to turn to the farm. I came to the farm itself and I
18 encountered a group of workers from the farm. They were standing on the
19 road. They told me -- well, they asked me whether anyone would come to do
20 anything, and I said, "Yes, I guess so. I was sent up here." After that
21 a BGH arrived on a trailer truck, after which a ULT arrived as well by
22 itself. Whether any of the workers told them where to dig, I don't know,
23 but I think it was supposed to be as far from the sties as possible. I
24 didn't even have time to leave when they started digging, once the BGH
1 Q. Now, when you refer to workers from the farm, are you referring to
2 civilian workers or military workers, sir?
3 A. These were elderly civilians that were renting out the facilities
4 and working on the farm, elderly people.
5 Q. And do you recall seeing anyone from the rear battalion at that
7 A. At the moment of my arrival, no one was there. However, later the
8 elderly people from the public utilities company arrived to help with the
9 whole thing, to get it over with.
10 Q. And what were these elderly people doing, sir?
11 A. Nothing at the moment of my arrival. They were standing within
12 the perimeter, next to the sties.
13 Q. And then what did they do, sir?
14 A. They went to their own facilities. Occasionally they would come
15 out of the buildings, just to see what was going on with the burial.
16 Q. Well, did you see anyone other than the operator of the BGH or the
17 operator of the ULT, who were operating their machines? Did you see
18 anyone handle any of the bodies, do anything physically with any of the
20 A. Not at the moment of my arrival. I only saw those people from the
21 farm, and later when I saw the machine operators.
22 Q. Well, you said that the public utility people had been sent to
23 help. What did they help do?
24 A. To load the bodies into the bucket. Sometimes the operator would
25 pick up the bodies with the bucket itself, but mainly they were loaded on
1 to it manually.
2 Q. Now, are you aware that there was something known as the rear
3 battalion in the Zvornik Brigade, sir?
4 A. Yes, I am.
5 Q. And what was that rear battalion comprised of, in terms of the men
6 in that battalion?
7 A. Predominantly, these were somewhat older people who were not
8 supposed to go to the front lines, to the positions. They were in the
9 rear, to do various tasks that had to be done. Usually elderly people or
11 Q. And do you recall seeing any members of the rear battalion also
12 working with the public utilities workers that day?
13 A. In the group, when they arrived, there may have been two or three
14 of them with them. I can't recall exactly. I can't recall any names. I
15 didn't know any of them. But there was a group from the utilities company
16 and perhaps two or three men from the rear.
17 Q. Now, did you stay at this site the entire time you were there, or
18 did you go back and forth to some other location during this process of
19 loading up the bodies and burying them?
20 A. I was there almost up until the end, but not really close to them.
21 I was next to the road and towards the outpatient clinic. It was supposed
22 to cater for the Lokanj part of the area. I was closer to the road that
23 was between the sties and the clinic.
24 Q. And when you were at this clinic, did you speak with anybody or
25 did you see anybody there that you recall?
1 A. I was there with a captain, a captain first class, I think, who
2 was there at Lokanj. By profession he was a teacher. I can't recall his
3 first or last name. He was an older person. His house was close to the
4 clinic itself. I went up to see him and then we were standing by the
6 Q. And can you describe anything about his appearance?
7 A. It is an older man, somewhat stout. He had a belly. As far as I
8 can recall what he looked like, he was rather heavily built.
9 Q. And do you recall whether this captain was part of any particular
10 battalion and, if so, do you recall to which brigade his battalion
12 A. He was with the Lokanj Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
13 Q. And do you recall approximately what time of the day it was when
14 you left Branjevo?
15 A. In the evening, around 7.00 or 8.00.
16 Q. And when you left, had the digging and burying been completed or
17 was it still going on?
18 A. Some bodies remained. I left, and once they were done, the
19 self-propelling machine went on its own. The other one was loaded on to
20 the truck, and sent to the base.
21 MR. THAYER: Now, if we may have P02103 on e-court, please, and
22 specifically page 210.
23 Actually, may we have page 212, please.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. THAYER: May we have page 212, please.
1 Q. Sir, do you recognise this location in this photograph?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. What is it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us what it is, please, sir?
6 A. It's the Branjevo Farm.
7 Q. You mentioned some pigsties, sir. I just ask to you take that pen
8 and you may require some assistance.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Madam Usher.
10 Q. Would you just please draw an X on the pigsties that you recall?
11 A. [Marks] Over here, in this part.
12 Q. And when you refer to "this part," are you referring to the two
13 long buildings with the red roofs, sir, as being the pigsties?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Now, do you see the area in this photograph where the bodies were
16 being buried?
17 A. Should I mark it?
18 Q. If you can, if you can draw a circle in the area where the bodies
19 were being buried.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. All right, sir. I'd just ask you to place your initials on the
22 lower right-hand corner and today's date, the 29th of August.
23 A. [Marks]
24 MR. THAYER: We can save it. And we'll be done with this exhibit.
25 And when we are done, if we could have page 210 up, please? Thank you,
1 Madam Usher.
2 Q. First question, sir, do you read English?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Okay. Just ask you to look at this and can you tell us what this
5 overhead image represents?
6 A. It is the same location at Branjevo as shown in the previous
8 Q. Okay. And if you would, please mark with Xs the pigsties.
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. And if you would, just draw a line to indicate the area in which
11 this digging and burying was going on. If you can do it with a circle,
12 fine but if it's just easier to draw a line to show the extent of the area
13 that you recall seeing.
14 A. It is this part here. [Marks]
15 Q. Thank you, sir. If you would just again place your initials in
16 the lower right-hand corner and today's date, the 29th of August.
17 A. [Marks]
18 MR. THAYER: We can save this and we'll move on from this exhibit.
19 Thank you, Madam Usher.
20 Q. Sir, did you ever speak to Major Jokic, your chief of engineering,
21 about these assignments that you received?
22 A. I did. Whenever we met. We didn't meet daily but on occasion. I
23 would ask him about it and he said, "Well, someone had to do it. Since
24 you were there with your men, from the road and bridge platoon, you were
25 tasked with that, since you know how to work in the field. That's why you
1 were sent."
2 Q. Sir, based on what you were seeing and hearing over these days
3 when you had these assignments, were these executions a secret in your
4 company? Or was it something people were talking about and knew about?
5 A. I don't know. Before the whole thing, I spent two or three days
6 at home getting ready to see my son off to serve his military term. I
7 didn't know about the whole thing. Once I returned to the unit, it was
8 then that I was told what I was supposed to do. Before that, I had no
9 knowledge of it.
10 Q. And these assignments that you received to bury the bodies of
11 these people who had been executed, were they a secret in your company?
12 A. I don't think so. It was no secret at all. All of the people in
13 the company knew that it had to be done. The soldiers talked about it
14 between themselves.
15 Q. Now, sir, on each of these days when you were sent to these three
16 locations, were you the highest-ranking member of your company at those
18 A. I was, but the soldiers were the operators. Since I was a staff
19 sergeant from the times before the war, I was assigned to accompany them.
20 That was my task within the company, to carry out such tasks and to
21 command the road and bridges platoon.
22 Q. And is it your testimony that you did not issue a single order to
23 any of your men in connection with these three assignments?
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: "No" what? "No," you didn't issue a single order
1 or, "No," this is not your testimony? What we want to know from you very
2 clearly, Mr. Lazarevic, is: Did you on occasion at any time issue a
3 single order to any of your men in connection with these three
4 assignments? What's your answer to that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not, not to anyone. I never
6 issued a specific task.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that clear, Mr. Thayer?
8 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. Did you ever mark any of the sites with pegs or in any fashion
10 prior to the bodies being buried at any of them?
11 A. Not me. That's for sure.
12 Q. Did you ever show anyone at any of these sites where to bury the
14 A. Not me.
15 Q. Did you become aware at any time after these events of any
16 operation to dig up all those bodies and rebury them elsewhere?
17 A. After the initial burial, you mean?
18 Q. That's correct, sir.
19 A. I heard about it.
20 Q. When did you hear about it, sir?
21 A. After some time. I don't know how much later exactly.
22 Q. And do you have any information or knowledge about your
23 Engineering Company being involved in any way in such activities?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. Can you share that information for us, please? What
1 information do you have of your Engineering Company being involved in any
2 way with the reburial of these bodies?
3 A. I heard that the machine operators went somewhere. The ones who
4 did the initial burying were called in to dig the bodies out.
5 Q. And, sir -- I'm sorry, please continue.
6 A. I was assigned to do that the same way it was done the first time,
7 from the engineering base. I was told to go there with them when they
8 begin working, they made a list of men. Major Jokic and Slavko Bogicevic
9 did that. They were the people who were supposed to do that.
10 Q. And do you recall when you were given this assignment, sir?
11 A. I was at home. I was on furlough on that day. I was off duty.
12 They called me on the phone. Slavko Bogicevic called me. And told me to
13 come urgently. I went there. He was standing in front of the barracks.
14 He handed me a piece of paper. I asked him what that was. And he
15 explained to me that the bodies had to be dug out and transferred
16 somewhere, and he also handed me the list of people who were supposed to
17 go with me. Again I asked, "Why me?" But it turned out that the major
18 actually decided that he should go with that group of people. He didn't
19 want to do that. And instead of going himself, he called me at home and
20 when I got there, he gave me that list and told me what to do and what had
21 been prepared.
22 Q. And this is Major Jokic, sir?
23 A. Major Jokic and Slavko Bogicevic.
24 Q. Now, do you recall approximately what month this occurred, this
25 assignment to dig up the bodies?
1 A. I don't know when, what month. I don't know the date. I can't
3 Q. Was it in 1995, sir, before the end of the -- before December of
5 A. It was in 1995, but I don't know what month.
6 Q. So, did you, in the end, personally participate in any way in this
7 reburial -- or digging up and reburial of the bodies?
8 A. I participated in the same way as before. I was there, but I was
9 not in the immediate vicinity of the site. The people who were doing the
10 reburial knew what to do, and they did it on their own. They were the
11 ones who dug the bodies out and did the rest.
12 Q. Do you recall the names of any of the locations that you went to
13 during this reburial operation?
14 A. I went to the same locations where the bodies were originally
15 buried. That was my task. My task was to be there.
16 Q. And on any of these occasions, did you follow the bodies to the
17 locations where they were to be reburied?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Now, sir, I want to review some more documents with you. The
20 first is 65 ter number 297.
21 Now, sir, with Madam Usher's assistance, I want to show you an
22 original document, original item. Sir, if you would, just pick up that
23 book, feel free to pick it up. Would you just leaf through it and tell us
24 if you recognise what it is?
25 A. This is the book where daily orders and tasks of the Engineering
1 Company were recorded.
2 Q. Okay. And if we could go to page 135 in the original B/C/S, and
3 that's page 15 in the English, and, sir, that's page 126 of the original
4 there. If you're looking at the logbook, in the upper right-hand corner
5 it's page 126.
6 Sir, can you read what the first line of that page 126 says?
7 A. "The duty officer in the company command on 15 July 1995 will be
8 Sergeant First Class Damjan Lazarevic."
9 Q. Okay. And at the very top of that page, sir, what does it say?
10 What's the very first line on the page?
11 A. "Daily order of the company commander for 15 July 1995."
12 Q. And do you recall what the purpose of this logbook was?
13 A. It showed who the duty officer in the company was, what people
14 were supposed to do, what they did, on certain days. I was assigned as
15 the duty officer in the company on the day when I was sent to Krizevici,
16 to Orahovac. I was not even in the company. The common practice was if
17 somebody was sent away to the field, then somebody else would act as the
18 duty officer, and it could have even been a foot soldier. It did not
19 necessarily have to be an officer. That was a common practice in the
21 Q. Okay. And who do you recall being responsible for writing in this
22 information every day?
23 A. The company officer did it most of the time. If he wasn't there,
24 then it would be the deputy company commander.
25 Q. And when you say "company officer," to whom are you referring
1 specifically, sir?
2 A. The person who recorded daily orders. If he wasn't there, then it
3 would be Slavko Bogicevic the deputy commander or if even he wasn't there
4 then it would be the company commander himself who would make a record of
5 the things that people are supposed to do on a certain day.
6 Q. Okay, sir, I'm sorry, I asked an unclear question. What was the
7 name of the company officer? I think you may have referred to him as the
8 desk officer.
9 A. Sekonjic, Vojislav, Vojkan Sekonjic. I believe that his name is
10 Vojkan, actually.
11 Q. Now, I want to turn your attention to numbers 4, 5, 6 and 7 on
12 this page under the heading of "tasks." Again, that's on the 15th of
13 July, page 126, the page -- if you just turn to page 126, the page you
14 just had, or if you want to look at your computer, do you see
15 under "tasks", sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What does number 4 say?
18 A. "BGH-700 to work in Orahovac."
19 Q. And the next line, number 5, task number 5, what does that say?
20 A. "The ULT 220 to work in Orahovac."
21 Q. And the next line, number 6?
22 A. "The ULT to work in Petkovci." I don't know anything about this.
23 I don't know anything about bullet number 6.
24 Q. Okay. How about bullet number 7? What does that say, sir?
25 A. Again, I know nothing about the bullet number 7.
1 Q. That is working with the excavator at Petkovci, you don't know
2 anything about that, correct?
3 A. Correct, I don't know. I know nothing about the bullet number 6
4 or 7.
5 Q. Okay. May we look at the next page of this document? And, sir,
6 if you want to just look at the next page, page 127, no, I don't think you
7 need to turn the page. I think you'll see that it's right there. And
8 what does the first line there say, sir, at the very top of the page?
9 A. "Daily order by the company commander for 16 July 1995."
10 Q. And if you would, would you just read task number 2 and task
11 number 3?
12 A. "Working with the BGH-700 in Orahovac."
13 And number 3: "Working with ULT 220 in Orahovac."
14 Q. And if we may look at the next page of the document, please? And
15 sir, if you just turn the page to page 128, as it's marked there. What
16 does the first line say on this page, please, sir?
17 A. "Daily order by company commander for 17 July 1995."
18 Q. And would you please read entries -- first entry number 2?
19 A. "Working with BGH-700 in Branjevo."
20 Q. And the next item, the next task, number 3, please?
21 A. "Working with ULT 220 in Branjevo."
22 Q. And task number 5, please?
23 A. "BGH-700 should be transported to Branjevo."
24 Q. And does it indicate how? By what means?
25 A. No, it doesn't indicate that.
1 Q. Okay. Okay, sir, you can close that. And thank you.
2 I want to show you a couple of more documents, sir. If we could
3 look at 65 ter number 301. And with Madam Usher's assistance, I'm going
4 to hand you the original because it may be more legible for you. And
5 actually, we need the next page, because I think this was ERNed backwards
6 but I'll --
7 Sir -- and if we could just scroll to the top of the document.
8 There is something in handwriting at the top of the page on the right-hand
9 side, and it seems to be underlined. What does that say, sir?
10 A. "Birac holding," the aluminum factory in Birac, Birac Holding.
11 Q. And if we could just scroll down? That's fine actually. There
12 appears to be a line with a date range of July 1st to 31st, 1995. What
13 does that line indicate, sir?
14 A. I can't see it on the screen.
15 Q. Okay. We have the original there. There is -- there is a line
16 with --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Can someone point to the line with the pointer,
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. Sir, if you look back at your computer, can you see the line
21 that's being shown to you? I know it's a little difficult?
22 A. "Backhoe excavator, Torpedo."
23 Q. Okay. Well, right above that line, sir, what does that line
24 indicate, the line above the line that says --
25 A. The 1st of July.
1 Q. Yes. What does that line indicate, sir?
2 A. 1st of July to 31st of July.
3 Q. Okay. And the second line, as you've just read it, underneath
4 that? What is the second -- the line directly underneath that date
5 indicate? There is something in Cyrillic and then something typewritten.
6 Could you just read that, please?
7 A. I can't see a thing on this.
8 Q. Okay. If would you look at the original, then, just hold it up?
9 A. "D-2."
10 Q. Okay. Right above that line, and you read part of it a moment
11 ago, what does that line say? Can you read the Cyrillic and then the
12 typewritten line after it?
13 A. What I've read was, "Backhoe excavator, Torpedo." What else
14 should I read?
15 Q. And what is this document, sir? Can you tell the Trial Chamber
16 what this document is?
17 A. This is a travel and work logbook which existed for every
18 construction vehicle or every piece of construction equipment that we had
19 in our possession.
20 Q. And we've already explained what Rovokopac is. What is "Torpedo"?
21 Is that just a brand name of a digger?
22 A. I suppose that it was its brand name. It was also a smaller
23 machine looking like a tractor, with a small bucket in the front and a
24 somewhat bigger digging basket in the back for digging holes, and I
25 suppose that Torpedo is the make of that machinery.
1 Q. And if you can just look a little further down on this document,
2 there are two names that appear. Can you read those, sir?
3 A. Cvijetin Ristanovic and Milos Mitrovic. These two names mean that
4 there was one machine and two operators. They would take turns. For
5 example, one would work for two or three days and then he would be off for
6 two days and the other would take over. Both names are here to indicate
7 who was the one who filled the tank with fuel. In any case, these two
8 people operated one machine. One machine, two operators, that's all.
9 Q. If we could just look down a little further, there is a larger
10 chart, and on the first column on the left side, there appear to be some
11 dates. Do you see the chart, sir, and there are some dates?
12 Thank you, thank you, Madam Usher.
13 A. Yes, I can see the 11th, the 14th, the 16th, the 21st, and in the
14 last line, 23rd.
15 Q. And what do the two lines for the 14th and the 16th indicate to
16 you, as you read the information going from left to right, let's start
17 with the entry for the 14th of July. What does that entry say?
18 A. The date, and then there is the number of the travel order, and
19 then after that the quantity of fuel issued.
20 Q. In litres, sir?
21 A. In litres, yes.
22 Q. And then going all the way across to the far right of the chart,
23 what's that last column, sir? What does that indicate?
24 A. These are signatures, the signatures of somebody from the rear,
25 confirming how much fuel had been issued and used for whatever work was
1 done with the machine.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, if we could go to the other page of this
3 document, please? And again, sir, if it helps you to look at the
4 original, please do so. We'll have it up on the screen and just feel free
5 to use whichever one is more legible. Again, on the far left, we have a
6 column that appears to have dates on it. Just generally speaking, sir,
7 without looking at any particular entry, what is this page designed to
8 communicate? What's the information on this page supposed to tell the
10 A. This is a -- the description of every particular day of where the
11 machines were sent, which route they took. For example on the 11th of
12 July 1995, the Republika Srpska army. It says, "The base," and I can't
13 decipher the next word.
14 Q. That's okay, sir. We are going to be talking about a couple of
15 the other ones in particular. But if you look at column number 16, as we
16 move across the document from left to right, what does that indicate, sir?
17 A. These are vehicle hours.
18 Q. Okay. The number of hours that the vehicle was in use; is that
20 A. The number of hours that the machine was used according to the
21 travel order or the work order.
22 Q. Now, if we could swing back to the far left of the document, sir,
23 I just want you to read, please, the entire entry for -- do you see a date
24 of 14 July, 1995?
25 A. "The base-Orahovac-the base, digging trenches in Orahovac."
1 Q. And the time there? Vehicle time? Use time?
2 A. Five hours.
3 Q. And, sir, if we could look at the next entry underneath that one,
4 underneath the entry for the 14th of July, what does it say?
5 A. "The base-Orahovac-the base, digging trenches in Kozluk."
6 Q. Okay, sir, I just want to make sure we have read the right line.
7 If you could look at -- see the entry for the 16th, and just move slowly
8 to the right under column 4. Can you read what it says there for the
9 entry on the 16th?
10 A. "The base-Kozluk-the base. Digging trenches in Kozluk."
11 Q. And the time if you can see it there on the original, the time
13 A. Eight, eight hours.
14 Q. And just to go back to column 2, what does that column indicate
15 for those dates on the 14th and the 16th, column 2?
16 A. "The base-Orahovac-the base" on the 14th and on the 16th, "The
17 base-Kozluk-the base."
18 Q. Okay, now if you're looking at the column number 2 -- Do you see
19 that, there sir, as you're moving left to right, columns 1 through 20, I'm
20 asking you about column 2?
21 A. "Indication" -- yes, I can see the VRS, the army of Republika
23 Q. And that's the case for the 14th and the 16th; is that correct?
24 A. I think so. I believe that the same applies because no other
25 indication has been put.
1 Q. Thank you, sir. I'm sorry, please finish your answer.
2 A. But these two machines, on those two days, on the 16th, it did go
3 to Kozluk but it did not do anything. And on the 14th, this particular
4 machine was not up there. It was not in Orahovac. The other one, the
5 bigger one, the BGH-500, was there. Somebody just put this information
6 randomly. When I arrived in Orahovac, a BGH was there. The Torpedo
7 wasn't there. The Torpedo was in Kozluk. Milos Mitrovic took him there
8 but it was useless. He could not do anything with it.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think it's time for a break and we
11 just have a couple more documents to review with the witness when we
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I'm handing to Madam Registrar the clean copy
14 of what you handed to us earlier on, indicating the parts that you need to
15 redact. What is not cancelled on the sheet that I'm handing to you must
16 not be redacted. Just give it to Mr. Thayer. Then we'll verify it,
17 Mr. Zivanovic, later on, and you will have the newly redacted copy. Thank
19 We will have a 25-minute break, please.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 May we have 65 ter number 302, please? And may I have the
25 assistance of Madam Usher?
1 Q. Okay, sir. Do you see a document on the computer in front of you?
2 And I've also given you the original of that document, if that's easier
3 for you to read. Okay.
4 There is a typewritten line at the very top of the document, just
5 above that series of numbers. Can you read what that typewriting says at
6 the very top of the document, sir, please?
7 A. "Construction machine, the property of the Birac Holding company."
8 Q. And just looking a little further down the document, what is the
9 date range again for this piece of equipment?
10 A. From the 1st of July until the 31st of July 1995.
11 Q. And what is this piece of equipment from Birac Holding, sir?
12 A. Construction machine ULT 220, four wheels, self-propelled, colour
14 Q. And there is a name that appears in the small chart just a little
15 further down. Do you know -- can you read that and can you tell the Trial
16 Chamber who that person is?
17 A. It's the name of the operator of that piece of equipment. He used
18 to work at the holding, at the Birac Holding company. His name was
19 Veljko Kovacevic.
20 Q. And proceeding down a little further into the larger chart, do you
21 see some entries for the dates of July 15th and July 17th, in terms of the
22 fuel that was used?
23 A. Yes. On the 15th of July, 60 litres of fuel was put in. On the
24 17th of July, 100 litres.
25 Q. And do you see two other entries also for the 15th and the 17th,
1 in that same column, and if so, what are the fueling amounts there?
2 A. The 15th, 40 litres, the 17th, 70 litres.
3 Q. Now, if we may have the second page of this document shown on
4 e-court, please?
5 And, sir, I couldn't tell -- if you could turn the page over, if
6 you could look at the back of the document? Okay. And in column 1, do
7 you see two dates, sir? One underneath the other?
8 A. The 17th of July 1995, VRS, digging trenches in Orahovac.
9 Q. Okay. Just ask you to take another look, if you would, under
10 column 1, if you could look at the date on the very first entry there,
11 right under column 1 where it says the date. Can you take a look and tell
12 us what that date is for that first entry?
13 A. The 15th of July 1995, VRS, digging of trenches in Orahovac.
14 Q. And how many hours does this log indicate this ULT 220 worked on
15 that day at Orahovac?
16 A. It says here 5.00.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Five hours.
18 A. But it should have been longer. But someone wrote down five hours
19 only. I don't know why.
20 Q. Okay. And looking down at that second entry, if we could scroll
21 all the way to the left, thank you, what is the second date under column
22 1, sir?
23 A. The 17th of July 1995, VRS, digging trenches in Branjevo.
24 Q. And how much time was spent at Branjevo, according to this log?
25 A. It says here eight and a half.
1 Q. May we have 65 ter number 299 on e-court, please? And again, sir,
2 I'm going to show you the original with the assistance of Madam Usher.
3 A. Could I make a correction as to the other date?
4 Q. Certainly, sir.
5 A. This machine was not at Branjevo on the 17th. There was another
6 machine there. It was also a ULT 220 but it was the property of the
7 quarry at Josanica, not this one. I know it for certain.
8 Q. Okay. And the fuel that was used to refuel these vehicles, where
9 was -- where was that done and whose fuel was it?
10 A. The VRS, our brigade, at the gas station. That's where our
11 vehicles were filled with fuel.
12 Q. Okay. This is the last document I'm going to show you, sir. And
13 again, what's the date range for this vehicle? If you could look at the
14 front, page. Thank you, sir. Do you have -- do you see the image on your
15 screen, sir?
16 A. I can't see it. I can see the original much better.
17 Q. Great. Thank you, sir. Then if you would, please read the date
18 range on this document.
19 A. This is not a construction machine. This is a truck, a vehicle,
20 2626 D2. It is a truck used to transport material.
21 Q. And the manufacturer of this truck, if you can read it, sir?
22 What's the word right before 2626?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the make of the truck?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here D2, type of fuel.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. It's the line before, above that.
1 What's the make? You've told us that this was a truck, a 2626, or
2 whatever the number is, but what make was the truck?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A Mercedes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead, Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, again, there is a name a little lower down.
7 Can you read that? And do you know who that person is?
8 A. I do. Milan Milovanovic. He used to be a driver in our unit.
9 Q. And if we go down to that larger chart, if we could just scroll
10 down a little bit, there are some entries for the 14th and 17th of July.
11 Do you see those there, sir?
12 A. The 14th of July, 1995, yes.
13 Q. And how much fuel was --
14 A. 30 litres. On the 17th of July, it was 30 litres as well.
15 Q. Now, from your recollection, sir, if a vehicle was requisitioned
16 from an outside company like the Glinica or Birac Holding as you've
17 referred to it, would that company be responsible for fueling the vehicle
18 or would it be VRS, in this case, Zvornik Brigade, fuel that would be used
19 to keep that vehicle going and to -- and refueled?
20 A. Predominantly the vehicles would be provided with fuel by the
21 brigade. However, if the brigade was short of fuel, then they were
22 supposed to be provided fuel for by the companies from which they were
24 Q. Okay. If we could go to the next page, please, sir, and I just
25 have a few more questions on this document for you. If we could scroll up
1 just a little bit, and, sir, going down column 1 all the way on the left,
2 do you see an entry for the 14th of July?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And would you please just read across this entry and tell us what
5 it says?
6 A. The 14th of July 1995, "The base at Krizevici, transport of an
7 excavator on a trailer."
8 Q. Now, does it say "base at Krizevici" or "base to Krizevici", sir?
9 A. The reference is made to the engineering base, to Krizevici and
10 back to the base.
11 Q. Okay. If would you just look down to the very next row, at the
12 entry for the 16th of July, and if you would just read that entry all the
13 way across, please, sir?
14 A. The 16th of July, 1995, "Base to Orahovac, transport of excavator
15 and trailer."
16 Q. And the next entry at July 17th, sir?
17 A. The 17th of July, 1995, "Base to Standard," which is where the
18 seat of our brigade was, "To Branjevo, to base. Transport of BGH-700."
19 Q. And, sir, just continuing to go to the right on that line, if we
20 could scroll over a little bit, do you recognise the signature there on
21 that particular entry on the 17th of July?
22 A. The 17th, it is my signature. I signed this. Someone was
23 supposed to sign. When I was present, I would. If I was absent, it would
24 be signed by someone else.
25 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir. I think we are done with these documents.
1 Now, sir, I just want to ask you some additional questions about
2 the reburial of these bodies. You referred to a list of people that had
3 been compiled and shown to you, of people that, I believe, were supposed
4 to work, people that belonged to your company, during this operation. Do
5 you know who compiled that list, sir?
6 A. From my company, two or rather three operators were singled out.
7 The rest were from other units, not from the engineering unit. There were
8 only three of our men from our unit.
9 Q. And when you say "unit," sir, are you referring to other units or
10 battalions of the Zvornik Brigade or are you talking about other brigades?
11 A. I mean other units. From my unit, from the engineering unit,
12 there were only three men. The rest were from the Zvornik Brigade, from
13 its different units.
14 Q. Were you ever shown a map of the locations where these bodies were
15 going to be reburied, sir? Or did you ever hear of such a map?
16 A. No, never. No one has ever shown me such a map, and I don't know
17 of its existence.
18 Q. Are you aware of or did you receive any information about who
19 chose these reburial locations?
20 A. No.
21 Q. When you were at these same three sites, when the bodies were
22 being dug up, were you there when the vehicles that were used to transport
23 those corpses arrived to take them away, sir?
24 A. I was. I was there when they arrived, and when those people
25 started loading, but not too close. However, I was in the vicinity.
1 Q. Can you describe what kind of vehicles were used to transport
2 those bodies?
3 A. The vehicles of the company, trucks from various companies. Our
4 vehicles were old, and we couldn't use them to complete the work.
5 Q. And how often do you recall those trucks having to arrive to
6 transport those corpses from these various locations, sir, to be reburied?
7 A. Whenever needed at each of the locations; whenever needed they
8 would arrive there.
9 Q. Are you able to even estimate how many times at these locations
10 these trucks arrived, sir, to take away these bodies?
11 A. I wouldn't know how many times each of the vehicles came, but they
12 were present at all three locations when there was a reburial.
13 Q. And, sir, was this during the day or during the night?
14 A. In the evening.
15 Q. Can you describe what it was like for you, in terms of the smell,
16 as these bodies were being dug up and placed on these trucks?
17 A. Well, it was unbearable. The machine operators would abandon
18 their vehicles in order to get some air. They couldn't stand it.
19 Q. To your knowledge, did the brigade receive any assistance from any
20 other brigades or units, for example, the 5th Engineers, or any corps
21 level or higher level units, in carrying out this operation?
22 A. I don't know. As far as I know, we did the digging out. As to
23 who subsequently reburied the bodies, I don't know. We weren't able to
24 know. And we weren't told either. I don't know where the load was taken
1 Q. So, sir, then is it your testimony that as far as you knew,
2 Zvornik Brigade Engineering Company members were not tasked to help bury
3 those bodies wherever they may have been buried? I should say should
4 rebury those bodies, wherever they had been reburied.
5 A. No.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's clarify this now because as put, it may lead
7 to -- leave some doubt.
8 You are confirming to us, Mr. Lazarevic, that the Zvornik Brigade
9 Engineering Company was not tasked with the reburying, reburial, of any of
10 these bodies; is that correct?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, it was not.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Now, sir, to your knowledge, from what you were told at the time
15 or from what you heard later on, were there other burial sites that were
16 exhumed, unearthed, at which this operation occurred, in addition to the
17 three that you were involved with, did you ever become aware that that was
18 done elsewhere, where other mass executions and burials occurred?
19 A. No. I'm not aware of it. I know the three locations, our
20 locations in the area of Zvornik, and the people buried and then reburied.
21 As for any other locations, I don't know anything about that.
22 Q. Can you estimate approximately how many days this reburial
23 operation that occurred in the Zvornik Brigade zone of responsibility
25 A. Maybe five or six days at the most. This is how long it went on
1 for. If we are talking about the three locations in the area of the
2 Zvornik Brigade.
3 Q. At any of these locations, when you were present, was there anyone
4 of a higher rank or authority than yourself?
5 A. While I was present there with the soldiers, nobody else came. I
6 did not see anybody. However, I wasn't there all the time, while all this
7 was being done, I would pop by for a moment and stayed there just for a
8 short while, but then I would leave, I would go as far away as possible
9 because I just couldn't stand the stench.
10 Q. Now, given that this process, this operation, took several days,
11 can you tell the Trial Chamber where you recall all of the fuel that would
12 have been needed for this operation coming from?
13 A. From the brigade, from the Zvornik Brigade.
14 Q. From what you saw, from what you had been told by Mr. Bogicevic or
15 perhaps by Major Jokic, did this operation appear to you to be coordinated
16 solely by the Zvornik Brigade or by some higher level command, sir?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Meek?
18 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, that calls -- it's leading and a
19 suggestive question. It calls for speculation.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. You can rephrase the question. The way you
21 put it, it's marginal. Mr. Meek may be right. So I would suggest you
22 rephrase it.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Sir, you were there. Based on what you saw, based on what you
25 were told by the people within your command, did it appear that this
1 operation was something that was coordinated entirely by the
2 Zvornik Brigade?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Meek?
4 MR. MEEK: Same objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me consult with my colleagues, now.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The reason why I asked you to rephrase the question
8 in the first place is because you could have put a very direct question.
9 To your knowledge, or do you know who coordinated this whole operation?
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, can you answer that question?
12 A. Major Trbic, who was in the Zvornik Brigade. He was up there in
13 the command.
14 Q. And sir, who is Major Trbic?
15 A. He was up there in the brigade. He was a major in charge of
16 security, I believe. I don't know. But I believe that he was in charge
17 of security.
18 Q. And, sir, what is the basis of your answer that it was Major Trbic
19 in the Zvornik Brigade who coordinated this operation?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes?
21 MR. MEEK: Judge, I believe that question also misstates the
22 evidence. The witness just said Major Trbic was in the command. This
23 witness also, Your Honour, has already testified in the last ten minutes
24 that no one told him anything about this situation.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop. I mean, there is a limit beyond
1 which you shouldn't go. The reference to the Zvornik Brigade, I think
2 Mr. Meek is right, because the -- not completely because actually the
3 previous answer was, "He was up there in the brigade. He was a major in
4 charge of security." The only thing is that on line 23 on the previous
5 page, he said, "Major Trbic, who was in the Zvornik Brigade. He was up
6 there in the command." That's the only thing, but you can clarify this
7 and you have also not asked him for the first name of this so-called
8 Major Trbic.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Sir, just a couple of questions to clarify. First you heard
11 Mr. President's question. Do you recall the first name of this
12 Major Trbic?
13 A. Nothing comes to mind, but I know the man. He was from our
14 brigade. I can't remember off the cuff.
15 Q. And when you say he was "up at the command," what do you mean,
17 A. At the command. He was in charge of all these reburial and
18 transfer of bodies.
19 Q. Which command, sir?
20 A. At the command of the Zvornik Brigade. He was up there, and
21 people addressed him as to what to do and how.
22 Q. And again, sir, what is the basis of your testimony that it was
23 this Major Trbic at the command of the Zvornik Brigade who coordinated
24 this reburial operation?
25 A. Because, after every job, he would summon us up there to inquire
1 as to what had been done, how much had been done. That's how I know. I
2 never spoke to anybody else. Nobody else called me to report to him
4 MR. THAYER: With the Court's indulgence, may I just have a
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President, just two more questions.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Sir, did you know at the time who Mr. or Major Trbic's superior
11 was in the command?
12 A. Drago Nikolic. He was in charge of security, him and Trbic both.
13 Q. And sir, do you recall whether or not you told the investigator in
14 Banja Luka in 2002, when you met for your interview, any of this
15 information about the reburial operation? Do you recall whether at the
16 time you mentioned any of this information to him?
17 A. Well, he did ask me questions, but at the moment I did not provide
18 any answers to him about that.
19 Q. And when do you recall first telling any investigator or anybody
20 about this reburial operation and the people that were involved in it and
21 your role in it?
22 A. I did not. Nobody ever asked me as to what, when, why. Nobody
23 ever asked me about that. If they had asked me, I would have told them.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, sir. I have no further questions.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One question before we adjourn, because I suppose no
1 one would like to start the cross-examination at this late hour.
2 Mr. Lazarevic, during the days when you were called to go to Orahovac and
3 Kozluk, did you meet or see or speak to Major Trbic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're talking about the initial
5 burials, the first time around?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Only the second time around,
8 during the exhumation operations, he was my superior for that operation.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. We will continue tomorrow afternoon,
10 Mr. Lazarevic, when the cross-examinations will start. In the meantime, I
11 need to tell you that between now and tomorrow, when you continue with
12 your evidence, you're not to discuss or talk to anyone in connection with
13 the subject matter of your testimony. Is that clear?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Clear.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Thank you,
16 everybody. We'll reconvene tomorrow.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 30th day of
19 August, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.