1 Wednesday, 5 September 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Good morning, Madam
6 Registrar. If you could kindly call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, ma'am.
10 For the record, all the accused are here. Amongst the Defence
11 teams I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Bourgon, and Mr. Haynes.
12 Prosecution is represented by Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Thayer.
15 MR. THAYER: Mr. McCloskey had a doctor's appointment that was
16 essential this morning. He will join us as soon as he's through.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you for that information, Mr. Thayer.
18 So I see on my screen our representative of the registrar,
19 Ms. Yaiza Alvarez Reyes, flanked to her right by a gentleman who I take it
20 is the witness. I am also informed that there is a magistrate present and
21 a legal officer. Perhaps they could identify themselves for the record
22 before we proceed.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Magistrate, unfortunately your name did not
3 register. If you could repeat it, please, sir.
4 MAGISTRATE (redacted): I said, Your Honour, (redacted).
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you so much and good -- in your case it
6 would be good evening. So it's --
7 MAGISTRATE (redacted): I beg your pardon. I have to address a
8 technical problem [indiscernible].
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. It is 9.15 in the morning here on the
10 5th of September. Before I address the witness directly I wish to inform
11 him as to who is present in this courtroom and what measures we have taken
12 or put in place for the purpose of the protective measures that we granted
13 some time back.
14 I am the Presiding Judge and my name is Carmel Agius. I am
15 flanked on my right by Judge O-Gon Kwon and to my left by Judge Kim
16 Prost. On my extreme right we have Judge Ole Bjorn Stole, who is reserve
17 Judge in this case.
18 Then of course there are the seven accused here, and if at any
19 time the witness wishes to know their names, I will give him the
20 information. They are each assisted by a team of lawyers, and then for
21 the Prosecution there is only one gentleman present with his -- assisted
22 by his case manager. The lead counsel will be showing up later on,
23 because as stated he's got a medical appointment this morning. The rest
24 are legal and clerical staff of this Tribunal.
25 Now, Witness.
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You are going to start giving evidence in a few
3 minutes, and before you do so, I need to explain to you that our rules
4 require you to make a solemn declaration to the effect that in the course
5 of your testimony you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and
6 nothing but the truth. The text is going to be handed to you now by Madam
7 Registrar. Please read it out aloud.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And that will be your -- go ahead.
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
11 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-100.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir.
14 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You would be aware that we have put in place for you
16 some protective measures, namely the use of a pseudonym instead of using
17 your real name. You will be known here and in the records as PW-100. We
18 have also put in place face and voice distortion. Let me explain --
19 THE WITNESS: I have been informed, thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me explain to you how this is going to work.
21 One moment, because we have a technical problem here.
22 Now, let me explain to you what's going to happen. We were
23 informed by our technical man here that direct reception via videolink as
24 it is happening now would not transmit your image or your voice in a
25 distorted manner, so inside the courtroom, inside the four walls of the
1 courtroom, we can see you and we can hear you. That's nothing special,
2 because whenever a witness comes to testify live with the same protective
3 measures here in The Hague those who are present inside the courtroom can
4 see him or her and can hear his or her voice.
5 What's important is that we have ensured that outside the four
6 walls of this courtroom the transmission to the public takes place with
7 the protective measures in place, namely your visual appearance and your
8 voice are already being distorted. We have also taken an extraordinary
9 measure to ensure that the application of these protective measures is
10 full; namely, that since we usually get quite an audience in the gallery,
11 and in this case anyone sitting in the public gallery could see the
12 screens or the monitors that are available to most of counsel here in the
13 courtroom, we have closed down the courtroom curtains so that anyone who
14 may be in the public gallery cannot have a visual view of the courtroom
15 itself or any of the monitors.
16 I want an assurance from you that this is to your satisfaction,
18 THE WITNESS: It is.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So what's going to happen now is
20 Mr. Thayer is going to ask you a series of questions, an
21 examination-in-chief. He will then be followed by some or all of the
22 Defence teams on cross-examination.
23 Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. Before I proceed, I think
25 a caution pursuant to Rule 90(E) would be in order and I believe that's
1 already been explained to the witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Thayer.
3 Witness, we've been asked to draw your attention to a special
4 provision of our rules explaining -- laying down and explaining a right
5 that you have which at the outset I must tell you is not an absolute
7 Now, in the course of the examination-in-chief or
8 cross-examinations, you may be asked questions which if answered
9 truthfully could potentially expose you to future criminal proceedings.
10 I'm not saying that there will be such questions, but I cannot exclude
11 them either. My duty is to alert you to a right which our rules protect,
12 namely the right against self-incrimination of a witness.
13 Should there be any such questions and you wish not to answer such
14 questions because they are incriminatory ones, then you can address us,
15 the Judges here, and ask for an exemption. We may decide to grant you an
16 exemption or we may decide exactly the opposite. And this is why your
17 right is not absolute.
18 If we exempt you then of course we will move on to the next
19 question and you won't answer the incriminatory one. If we compel you to
20 answer such so-called incriminatory questions then you enjoy a further
21 right under our rules, namely that unless your answer to such questions
22 constitutes false testimony, then whatever you state in answering such
23 questions would not be used and could not be used against you in any
24 future criminal that proceedings.
25 Have you understood my explanation?
1 THE WITNESS: I have.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I think, Mr. Thayer, we can now safely
3 proceed. Thank you.
4 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. And good morning to you
5 and to Your Honours. Good morning everyone up here.
6 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
7 Q. Sir, good morning to you. Good morning to Madam Registrar. And
8 good morning, Your Worship.
9 Sir, we haven't met or even --
10 MAGISTRATE (redacted): I beg your pardon. I have to address a
11 technical problem.
12 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Your Worship.
13 MAGISTRATE (redacted): Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor. The technical
14 difficulty was [indiscernible] recording, a difficulty with the recording
15 equipment [indiscernible].
16 MR. THAYER: I take it we're ready to proceed?
17 MAGISTRATE (redacted): Certainly.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Witness, Madam Registrar will be shortly handing you a piece of
21 paper. I would ask you simply to read the paper to yourself and please
22 confirm that your name is written next to the pseudonym PW-100.
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. Thank you, Witness. Again, we've not met or spoken. We're just
25 going to basically have a conversation this morning. I'm going to take
1 you very carefully and chronologically through these events. I would just
2 ask you to please, especially with all the technical hookups we've got and
3 the interpretation, please take your time, listen carefully to the entire
4 question no matter who's asking the question, and take your time in
5 answering. If you don't understand any part of a question anyone asks
6 you, please just say so. If you need a break at any time, again please
7 just say so. And you may see me from time to time looking away, looking
8 down. I'm not being rude. I'm just checking my monitor to see that the
9 transcript is accurate or looking at the exhibits. Okay?
10 A. Okay.
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, may we enter private session for a few
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, Mr. Thayer.
14 [Private session]
11 Page 14787 redacted. Private session
8 [Open session]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Now, sir, just bearing in mind Mr. President's caution about any
12 information that might disclose your identity, would you please just take
13 us through what happened, how you got from Janja to wherever your
14 destination was in Bosnia?
15 A. In the buses. The buses had taken us to -- to the final
17 Q. And when you arrived in Bosnia do you know what authority was
18 taking control or custody of you?
19 A. In the beginning we believed it was reserve police force, and then
20 the following day we had realised that actually it has been a special
21 police force.
22 Q. And where exactly were you taken?
23 A. To Jahorina [indiscernible] time.
24 Q. And was there a particular facility where you were taken to, sir?
25 A. I believe it was called hotel Jahorina.
1 Q. And can you describe for the Court approximately how many men in
2 your similar circumstances were brought down with you to the Jahorina
4 A. I would say about 300 to 350.
5 Q. When you arrived at this location what were you told was going to
6 happen to you?
7 A. Nothing, just training. In the beginning before we had been
8 transferred to Jahorina we'd been told that actually we're just going to
9 be doing the guarding, like guarding duties of the municipalities and --
10 and nothing, nothing combat way type of duty to be concerned at all.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask you to make a brief
12 pause between questions and answers, please.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Our attention has been drawn by the
14 interpreters that they are encountering some problems. They would kindly
15 ask you to allow for a brief pause between question and answer since you
16 both speak the same language. Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Sir, was there anyone in particular in charge of this training
19 that you just referred to a few moments ago?
20 A. Yes. There was a gentleman by the name of Dusko Jevic in control
21 of facility.
22 Q. And I'll ask you some more questions about him in a little while,
23 but while you were there, that is after your first day of arrival, were
24 there other busloads of men in your similar circumstances arriving or did
25 they all arrive in one batch with you?
1 A. I would say that there had been few batches of buses coming in.
2 Q. And would that have resulted in the total of approximately 300 to
3 350 men that you mentioned before, sir?
4 A. I believe so.
5 Q. Were you free to leave this -- this area or this facility?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And at some point were you issued any uniform or -- or equipment?
8 A. Yes, we had.
9 Q. Can you please describe that for the Trial Chamber?
10 A. We just had been -- one morning, I believe it was second morning,
11 we had been just lined up and given the uniform, and couple of days after
12 that we had been given the personal weapons.
13 Q. Would you please describe the uniform? How was it designed? What
14 colour was it?
15 A. Two-piece camouflage.
16 Q. And what kind of weapon were you issued, sir?
17 A. I would say it's automatic rifle which probably NATO would be
19 Q. Were you issued any protective gear?
20 A. Yes, we have.
21 Q. And what was that, sir, and would you describe it, please?
22 A. It was a bullet-proof vest.
23 Q. Do you recall what colour it was?
24 A. Yes. It was light blue.
25 Q. And do you remember the quality of that -- that vest, sir, the
1 quality of the construction?
2 A. I wouldn't say it was too great. It was poor quality.
3 Q. Now, sir, I want to ask you a few questions about the structure
4 and organisation of yourself and the other men that were brought down to
5 Jahorina. From now on, sir, I'll just refer to them as recruits, okay?
6 A. Okay.
7 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber how you and your fellow
8 recruits were organised?
9 A. We have been split in half like two divisions with further split
10 of every half into the four units and each of unit has been split in a
11 further four smaller units.
12 Q. Okay. You referred to two divisions. Did those divisions have a
13 name, platoon, company?
14 A. I don't -- I don't remember this at this present in time, but it
15 was -- I believe it was Company 1, Company 2.
16 Q. Okay. Do you remember the name of the person who commanded the
17 1st company?
18 A. The 1st company, I believe his name was Mane.
19 Q. Do you recall at all what he looked like?
20 A. Dark hair, medium -- medium to -- to larger build, strong. I
21 would say mid-30s then.
22 Q. Okay, sir. And -- I'm sorry, I didn't know if you were finished
23 with your answer.
24 A. I'm finished with my answer.
25 Q. And how about the commander of the 2nd Company? Do you remember
1 his name?
2 A. His name was Nedzo Ikonic.
3 Q. And can you offer any type of description for Mr. Ikonic?
4 A. A similar height like Mane. He was not as built as Mane. He was
5 slightly slimmer. Dark hair.
6 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that the two companies were then
7 subdivided into four other units. Those four other units, can you recall
8 approximately how many men were in each of those four units, and if you
9 remember the name of -- that was given to those units, that would also be
11 A. To be quite honest with you, I can't remember now but if -- if you
12 wouldn't mind if I could look up the statement that I have given before so
13 I can refresh my memory a bit.
14 Q. Okay, sir. We can do that, and that is your OTP witness statement
15 at page 5, and it is also page 5 of the B/C/S version. I think you'll
16 find the information there, and I'll just let you read it and let us know
17 when -- when and if your memory has been refreshed.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You know we are not privy to prior witness
21 statements to the OTP or to others except that we get an indication that
22 they exist? I have here two witness statements purportedly made by the
23 witness. One goes to the 12th of December and the other one to the 18th
24 of December, both 1995.
25 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Which one are you --
2 MR. THAYER: I'm referring to the OTP witness statement that began
3 14 December and ended in 18 December as opposed to the statement to the
4 UNHCR which was taken earlier that month.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Could you verify also with the witness
6 the ERN number of the page that you just pointed out to him?
7 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President. That is ERN 00363825.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That -- Mr. Thayer, that doesn't correspond with
9 what we have here. If it's the 18th December 1995 OTP witness statement
10 that you are referring to, the B/C/S ERN is 0307 -- starts at 03074399 and
11 ends with 4418, and the English ERN 1499649 to 9672.
12 We want the witness to know that it's not the practice of this
13 Trial Chamber at least to have available prior witness out-of-court
14 statements, so we need, however, to be able to know precisely what he is
15 reading and what he is referring to.
16 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. I mean, we're proceeding this
17 way. If he had been here I would have handed it to him.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's one further reason why we need to inquire and
19 make sure --
20 MR. THAYER: Certainly.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: -- which document he's referring to.
22 THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, I can assist. The
23 document provided to the witness in English, witness statement ERN
25 JUDGE AGIUS: And which page, Yaiza, is he reading?
1 THE REGISTRAR:  He's reading the English version, page
2 number 6.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Page number 6. All right. That would help you
4 focus better, Mr. Thayer, and your -- the other Defence counsels, yes.
5 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. Sir, have you had an opportunity to review that page?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And let me just repeat the question I asked previously. Do you
11 remember the generic name of the individual units that the companies were
12 subdivided into?
13 A. I cannot recall any generic name of the unit, but, yeah, it was
14 Company 1 and Company 2, and we had four platoons per company.
15 Q. And, sir, do you recall the names of any of the platoon leaders?
16 A. In Company 1 platoon 1, Nedzo. That is the first name, but I
17 don't think it's the same person as the -- the Company 2 leader. It's
18 Company 1 platoon 2 Tomo, company 1 platoon 3 Nedzo again and company 1
19 platoon 4 is Goran.
20 Q. You've mentioned three Nedzos so far today. The second Nedzo who
21 you mentioned was a platoon leader, is that the same Nedzo as Nedzo Ikonic
22 or is it a different Nedzo?
23 A. We had different Nedzo.
24 Q. And within each of the platoons you indicated that they were
25 subdivided into four smaller units; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One -- one moment yes Mr. Lazarevic.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, just for the record I would like to
4 identify that witness is literally reading his statement out. This is
5 what I can see. If the witness cannot remember, that's all right for him
6 to look at it and refresh his memory, but reading his previous statement,
7 it's meaningless. I mean, I don't see the point of this kind of
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Do you wish to
10 comment on that Mr. Thayer?
11 MR. THAYER: Sir, having -- Mr. President, I'll ask him if he's
12 refreshed his --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly, or perhaps you can deal directly with
14 on this point with the witness who should know that he should be giving
15 testimony live and not reading from his previous statement. He may refer
16 to it, of course, if he needs to refresh his memory, but then his
17 testimony should be testimony and not reading out from the -- from the
18 previous statement.
19 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
20 MR. THAYER:
21 Q. Sir, you were -- you were furnished with a copy of your OTP
22 witness statement and you obviously had an opportunity to review it.
23 Having reviewed it, do you have an independent recollection of the names
24 of those platoon leaders without having to actually sit down and look at
25 it while you're answering the question?
1 A. To be quite honest with you it has happened 12 years ago so, yeah,
2 now if I'm more aware I would be able to tell the names without looking at
4 Q. Okay. But the question is did reviewing that statement refresh
5 your recollection and enable you to answer the question without having to
6 read the document as you are answering the question? In other words,
7 could you answer the question now without making reference to the
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. One moment, Mr. Thayer. For the record lead
11 counsel for the Prosecution Mr. McCloskey has entered the courtroom.
12 MR. THAYER: And I don't know if that satisfies my friend. I
13 mean, I can ask him to answer the question again but I think we've --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness has understood precisely what
15 the point was and we can proceed. He can refresh his memory any time this
16 becomes necessary, but then his testimony should -- should not be reading
17 out from the previous statement.
18 MR. THAYER:
19 Q. Now, sir, within the smallest unit, that is the units within each
20 platoon, did those lowest-level units have somebody that was a leader of
21 any kind?
22 A. Not really. It was a one person out of lowest level that actually
23 was a person, not a leader in a grade state, but that was the person, like
24 a spokesperson of that part.
25 Q. And who appointed that lowest-level spokesperson, as you put it?
1 A. The leaders of the platoons.
2 Q. And that lowest-level spokesperson, was he somebody like yourself
3 and your fellow recruits or was he is somebody who was a regular special
4 police brigade member?
5 A. I would -- I would say it was the same person recruit that how --
6 appeared to be that he wore the same uniform. Everything was the same.
7 Q. Now, as for the platoons and the platoon leaders, you just
8 mentioned, I believe, four names. Were those platoon leaders recruits
9 like yourselves or regular special police brigade members?
10 A. They would be regular special -- they would be regular members.
11 Q. And which platoon were you in, sir?
12 A. I believe I was in 3rd Platoon.
13 Q. And who actually conducted your training? Who oversaw it?
14 A. It was overseen by the -- by the platoon leaders and by the
15 company leaders.
16 Q. And by the way, sir, do you recall the names of any of the platoon
17 leaders for the 2nd Company?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Would you please describe this training that you received. How
20 long did it last, and what did it consist in?
21 A. In the beginning it was purely fitness training, and then after we
22 did receive the training to get handle with the personal weapon, bits and
23 pieces of training with the mines, bits and -- we had the shootings as
24 well in target shooting, bits and pieces like in the hostage situation,
25 reacting of the hostage situation, like in the real life the proper
1 police -- a special police force member how would react in a hostage
2 situation, and we did -- had a brief training on -- with rocket-propelled
4 Q. Now, during this period of -- of training, other than your
5 training officers, these platoon leaders and the -- the other regular
6 special police brigade members, the company leaders that you described,
7 did you see other regular special police brigade members in that area of
8 Jahorina where you were?
9 A. Yes. They used to be -- usually there is a -- there are other
10 facilities on -- on a close vicinity, different hotels that served in a
11 different purpose. I believe there was another station of the regular
12 Special Police Unit in Jahorina in different hotel and there was a hotel
13 for, I would say, politicians or -- we were not allowed to go into these
15 Q. And were you and your fellow recruits treated any differently by
16 the superior officers at this Jahorina facility than the regular special
17 police brigade members were treated?
18 A. Definitely, yes. We have been mistrusted, been called deserters,
19 and were not allowed, actually, to move any further. We could not enter
20 these other two facilities. We would only be able to enter the facility
21 where we have been in.
22 Q. Now, you mentioned Dusko Jevic some time ago.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you just share any recollections you have of him during this
25 period of time with the Trial Chamber? What do you remember about him?
1 A. In which sense?
2 Q. Any sense is --
3 A. Can you please clarify the question?
4 Q. Certainly, sir. First of all, anything about his attitude,
5 anything about the way he trained you, anything he said or did that stands
6 out in your mind in particular. Let's start there first.
7 A. Okay. In the beginning he gave us a lecture how he's a soldier
8 and how every single soldier should be behaving in the combat and
9 especially when there is a prisoner of war that should be held and kept
10 under Geneva Convention and that there is no harm to be done to them under
11 no circumstances. If there is any mistreatment to be done to them, those
12 fighters are becoming more fierce fighters if they get exchanged, and they
13 take the arms on the other side, and that's -- that's pretty much it. And
14 sometimes he would -- it was -- it was pretty much contradictory person.
15 Sometimes he would be saying things like that and sometimes he would come
16 to us and say, like, to kill a person is not a big deal. It just -- you
17 know, you should kill one to see how not -- it's not hard.
18 Q. Did he ever tell you anything about what to do in terms of killing
19 a prisoner of war?
20 A. If -- if prisoner of war had to be killed it should be done in a
21 military way with the bullet and not with any other different type of
23 Q. Do you remember anything in particular about his appearance, sir?
24 A. In -- in which sense?
25 Q. Do you recall anything about his physical appearance that stands
1 out in your mind? If not, that's okay. We'll move on.
2 A. Physical appearance like physical description of him or --
3 Q. Sure. We'll start there.
4 A. It was -- it was not -- not tall. He was not tall, dark hair,
5 moustaches, slim build. Looks like -- did look like Joseph Stalin.
6 Q. And in fact was he known by any particular nickname, sir?
7 A. Yes. That's what we had learned later on, that actually his
8 nickname was "Stalin."
9 Q. Now, sir, I want to move into a new area now. Did you receive an
10 order at some time to leave Jahorina?
11 A. Before we -- we have been shifted to the area of Potocari, no, but
12 when we have got the order, we had the alert, and we had quick assembly
13 and we had been informed that we are leaving for Potocari.
14 Q. And who do you recall issuing that order to you, sir?
15 A. When we have been assembled Mr. Jevic was there with somebody who
16 was of highest rank to him, and I did see that person briefly, and that
17 was just quick -- quick short statement and off you go.
18 Q. At that time, sir, before you departed were you told anything
19 about what your assignment was going to be?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And at that time, sir, before you departed what information, if
22 any, did you have about the progress of the military assault on the
23 Srebrenica enclave?
24 A. We had no information at all, absolutely nothing. We didn't know
25 what was going to happen to us. We were just -- didn't have any
1 information, nothing.
2 Q. So how did you actually leave Jahorina, sir?
3 A. If I can recall properly, on the buses.
4 Q. And who actually left?
5 A. All -- all -- all conscripts or how you're going to call them.
6 Everybody left.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Only -- only handful -- only handful of injured people or who had
9 medical problems had been left behind, but I would say everybody left.
10 Q. And forgive me if you've already answered this question. I know
11 you told us which platoon you were in, but which company were you in, sir,
12 and who was -- who was your company commander?
13 A. If I could recall, I was in the 2nd Company, and Mane was in
15 Q. Okay. Well, I believe you told us earlier on -- sorry, my mike
16 wasn't on. Sir, I believe you told us earlier on that Mane was the
17 commander of the 1st company; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct, yes.
19 Q. Okay. So do you believe that you were a member of the 1st company
20 then, sir, and that Mane was your commander? Is that fair to say?
21 A. That would be fair to say. I believe so, yes.
22 Q. Did you leave the same day that you received this order, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And where did you go?
25 A. We ended up in school, if I could recall properly. We ended up in
1 a school near -- in the close vicinity. I really didn't know where --
2 where we were.
3 Q. You mentioned in the close vicinity. In the close vicinity of
4 what location, sir?
5 A. Probably in close vicinity of Potocari or Bratunac, somewhere
6 around there.
7 Q. And --
8 A. All I remember it was -- all I remember, it was near Drina River.
9 Q. And by any chance do you remember the village in which the school
10 was located, and if you don't, that's okay, we can just move on.
11 A. I don't recall that name now.
12 Q. Do you recall approximately what time of the day you arrived
14 A. I would say it was late afternoon.
15 Q. And when you arrived there do you recall whether there were any
16 other units of the regular special police brigade or just ordinary police
17 officers or the army billeted at that same location?
18 A. I could not recall any of them. It was only us from Jahorina
20 Q. And did you spend the first night there, sir?
21 A. Yes, I believe so, yes.
22 Q. Okay. I'd like to ask you some questions now about the next day.
23 What was your assignment that day?
24 A. Our assignment that day was to go to Potocari and to secure
25 perimeters. We had been informed that the problems are not expected and
1 that we are just there to secure the compound.
2 Q. And who has given you this assignment and information, sir?
3 A. I believe that was gentleman by the name Mane.
4 Q. And do you recall what the -- the jump-off point was from where
5 you started to head into Potocari?
6 A. It was close to the UN post before Potocari, on the road. I don't
7 recall the particular point, but it was not very close to Potocari. It
8 was the UN post. It was actually the Dutch post that was there on road.
9 Q. And did Mane or any other officer tell you anything more, number
10 one, what to expect when you reached Potocari?
11 A. We have been told that there are going to be civilians, that
12 they're going to be shipped to Tuzla or exchanged, and there is no
13 problems to be expected. There won't be any problems there. And our task
14 there is to make sure that no federal army, if there is any members left,
15 can come in and hurt anybody.
16 Q. And prior to departing for this check-point, sir, or prior to
17 setting out towards Potocari what, if anything, were you told about what
18 your role, that is your fellow Jahorina members' role would be, if
19 anything, with respect to the civilians in Potocari?
20 A. I can't recall any, any particular orders apart of making sure
21 that everything goes okay.
22 Q. And when you say making sure everything goes okay, what are you
23 referring to, sir?
24 A. That there is no problem, actually to make sure that the civilians
25 are all right.
1 Q. And what was your understanding as to what was going to happen to
2 the civilians, sir?
3 A. My understand --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you answer the question. Yes,
5 Mr. Lazarevic.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that the witness already explained what
7 his actual task was. Everything in the last three questions, I don't
8 see -- I believe that this question is just repeating the previous ones.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the previous questions were -- and answers,
10 in particular, were rather broad and to an extent vague. In answering
11 this last question, he would probably clarify at least his understanding
12 of the order received.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Sir, did you understand the question?
15 A. Can you please repeat it?
16 Q. Sure. What was your understanding as to the role that you and
17 your fellow Jahorina members were supposed to take with respect to these
19 A. To make sure that the civilians are not hurt and to -- to protect
20 them from any -- any possible attack from the federal army of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. And my understanding was that they're going to all be
22 shipped to Tuzla.
23 Q. And what was your understand --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. There's one part I don't understand.
25 First what he understands by the federal army of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
1 and then depending on his answer I will consider putting a second one.
2 Which was the federal army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, your
4 THE WITNESS: My understanding is that is the army that is
5 Croatia and Muslim army.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And why would the BiH army, then -- the federation
7 did not exist as yet. Why would the BiH army, as distinguished from the
8 VRS army, want to -- or wish to harm Muslim civilians?
9 THE WITNESS: Probably some provoking attack or something like
10 that. Just it was made clear to us that we need to protect the civilians,
11 if anybody basically comes in shooting, to shoot back.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So, sir, your understanding was that the civilians,
13 Muslim civilians, needed to be protected from any possible provocative
14 attack by the BiH army.
15 THE WITNESS: That is correct, yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. It also occurred to you that they could also
17 be the subject of attacks from the -- by the VRS, and was it your
18 understanding that you were there to protect them from that too?
19 THE WITNESS: No. No. At no point it was said that perhaps VRS
20 or any -- any part of any arm of Republika Srpska is going to do any harm
21 to the civilians.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
23 Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Now, sir, what was your understanding as to the role that you and
1 your fellow Jahorina members were to take with respect to the
2 transportation or evacuation of these civilians to Tuzla, as you had just
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. This is --
5 THE WITNESS: To be quite honest with you --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We have an objection.
7 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that was a very, very leading question.
9 It already suggests that his unit had some tasks in respect to the
10 transport or evacuation. He was asked what was his understanding of the
11 task of his unit. He answered that. There is no -- he never suggested
12 they had anything to do with the evacuation or transportation. Now this
13 question is a very leading one. My colleague is literally putting words
14 into the mouth of the witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: If anything, the question itself lends itself to
16 misinterpretation basically because I don't necessarily read it to mean
17 that the Jahorina members, including the witness, were tasked with the
18 transportation or evacuation of the civilians. The way I understand it at
19 least is knowing that there was going to be or you were told that there
20 was going to be a transportation or evacuation of those civilians to
21 Tuzla, what was your role?
22 MR. THAYER: If any.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: In that respect, if any, yes. That's how I read the
24 question. Although as it is as you put it I think it could lend itself to
25 the way Mr. Lazarevic understood it.
1 So now I think I've made it clear and if that is what you had in
2 mind asking the witness then the witness can proceed to answer the
4 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, that was precisely what I was trying
5 to ask.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And I thank you both, Mr. Thayer and Mr. Lazarevic.
7 Witness, perhaps now you can answer the question.
8 THE WITNESS: I don't think -- I never thought that we going to be
9 doing anything with the transportation. My belief was when I got there
10 and with the point when I have been posted that actually just stand there
11 because we really didn't know what are we doing there simply because we've
12 been told we're going to secure the premises to make sure nothing happens
13 to civilians.
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. Okay, sir. I just want to ask you one or two more questions on
16 this topic before we move on. Do you remember what you told the OTP
17 investigators on this topic when you met with them in December of 1995?
18 A. Would you mind if I look it up?
19 Q. Not at all, sir. I can direct your attention to your OTP witness
20 statement, the same one that we mentioned before at page 7. In English
21 the ERN is 01499655, and it's the paragraph that begins: "The next
22 morning we were assigned to reach the Dutch compound."
23 And for my friends following in B/C/S, I believe that is also page
24 7, and it is the top of the page, and this ERN is 03074405.
25 Do you see where it says: "Our mission was to prevent the Muslim
1 fighters from entering the area and we were also to take in charge the
2 evacuation of the civilians"?
3 A. Yes, that is correct, yes.
4 Q. Okay. My question, sir, is, number one, do you recall saying that
5 to the investigators in 1995?
6 A. When I see this on a statement, and back then in 1995 it was
7 closer to the event, I would -- I would say I did say that, yes.
8 Q. Now, the second question related to that, sir: Is that an
9 accurate statement, that your task was to prevent the Muslim fighters to
10 enter the area, which is what you've testified, and that you were also
11 supposed to take charge of the evacuation of the civilians?
12 A. Yes, we were supposed to take charge, yes, actually the unit
13 itself, but did it take charge, I don't know.
14 Q. Okay. I think I understand, sir. So we'll discuss what you
15 yourself and the people around you were doing and I'll ask you some
16 questions perhaps about what other members of the Jahorina contingent were
17 doing and then -- and we'll move on.
18 A. Okay.
19 Q. Now, we're still on our way into Potocari on that -- that
20 morning. Do you recall approximately what time of the morning you set off
21 for Potocari?
22 A. If I could recall properly, it was around 9.00 in the morning.
23 Q. And did you set off on foot or by vehicle to enter Potocari?
24 A. On foot.
25 Q. And how did you proceed, sir?
1 A. We had went into the formation group of -- of guys on the one side
2 and group of guys on the other side. So-called tactical formation.
3 Q. And were you yourself walking in the field, as it were, on the
4 ground, or were you on a road of any kind?
5 A. We were on a road, yes.
6 Q. And was Mane among you as you entered Potocari?
7 A. I can't remember, to be quite honest with you.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. But I would say -- I would say that some of the leaders would be
10 there, yes.
11 Q. And can you estimate for the Trial Chamber approximately how long
12 it took you to reach the Dutch compound in Potocari?
13 A. Probably two to three hours, I think, walking.
14 Q. And did you hear any shooting or did you receive any fire,
15 gunfire, as you approached Potocari?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Would you please describe for the Trial Chamber, sir, what you saw
18 when you approached or when you actually came upon the UN compound there.
19 A. A lot of people. A lot of civilians there. They had been dressed
20 as civilians. Lots of women and children.
21 Q. And, sir, did you see them right at the Dutch compound itself in
22 that factory building, or did you see them somewhere else, that mass of
23 women and children?
24 A. In the Dutch compound.
25 Q. And did you also see Dutch soldiers at that time?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Sir, did you continue down that road a little bit further beyond
3 the Dutch compound?
4 A. I can't recall it now, no.
5 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber the condition of these
6 civilians that you saw, both their physical condition, and if you can
7 describe their emotional state if you were able to observe that as well,
9 A. It was -- it was hot there and picture there was not really nice.
10 Childrens were crying. People were scared.
11 Q. What was your reaction, sir, personally to that?
12 A. I didn't like it.
13 Q. When you reached the base, when you reached this UN compound, did
14 you see any other special police brigade, regular special police brigade,
15 members or units there as well?
16 A. I believe there were some, yes.
17 Q. Do you recall whether there were any regular VRS, regular army
18 units or soldiers at the Dutch compound when you arrived, sir?
19 A. Not inside the Dutch compound, no. Nobody was inside the
20 compound, because Dutch soldiers would not allow nobody in -- in the Dutch
21 compound at that stage. And later on in the day I did see few members of
22 VRS as well.
23 Q. Do you recall any particular VRS units that stick out in your
24 mind, sir?
25 A. Yes. I did -- I did see a few members from Drina Wolves.
1 Q. And how was it that you knew that these people were with the Drina
3 A. There -- there was insignia on their left shoulder on their
4 uniforms on -- of wolf head.
5 Q. And how were you able to recognise these members of this regular
6 special police brigade that you saw down at the Dutch compound when you
8 A. They -- they wore the similar insignia but different with -- with
9 the White Eagle, so you can distinguished, and it's written down on that
10 insignia what unit they belonged to.
11 Q. Okay. My last question before we take a break, sir, is can you
12 describe what the special police brigade patch looked like? I think you
13 started to a little bit, but if you could just describe what it looked
14 like as best as you can remember.
15 A. I can't remember now, that's the thing. It's 12 years down the
17 Q. We understand, sir, and we'll move along.
18 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, if we can take the break now. I
19 think we've pretty much hit the mark.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Witness, we are going to have a short break
21 of 25 minutes, and then we'll resume soon after that. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Good evening again to you, Witness. Are you with us?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. We're still in Potocari. I just asked you about whether
5 you could remember the patches or emblems from the special police brigade.
6 Do you recall what the uniforms of the regular special police brigade
7 members looked like?
8 A. Yes. They are one-piece overall in camouflage colours.
9 Q. And the colours of the overalls were what, sir?
10 A. Camouflage.
11 Q. Okay. Blue, green, red, black?
12 A. From memory I'm not sure in Potocari, but from memory I know there
13 has been blue and green. At that stage I believe they were green.
14 Q. Okay. Now, can you describe how you and your Jahorina recruits,
15 fellow recruits, were deployed in Potocari?
16 A. My particular small unit was deployed around Potocari compound,
17 and I had been in a corner which is -- which is remotely -- really in a
18 corner. Couldn't see any happening. It was fairly distanced from the
19 road and it was near by a small creek and there has been in between 15 to
20 hundred metres in between each of us.
21 Q. And you described a road. What road was that, sir?
22 A. That was the road that we had been walking on to reach Potocari.
23 I believe it was the main road that was leading to Potocari.
24 Q. And did that main road run in front of the UN base?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. How long did you remain in that location where you were
3 A. Until late afternoon around 4.30, 5.00.
4 Q. And during that period of time what, if anything, did you see from
5 your position with respect to the civilians?
6 A. I could not see civilians. I did see -- the only person that I
7 had seen is the UN soldier on other side of the fence. I could not see
8 civilians at all.
9 Q. And at any time did you see any buses in and around the UN
11 A. At that time I can't remember seeing any buses in around the
13 Q. On this day when you were in Potocari, do you recall ever seeing
14 buses in that area?
15 A. I don't remember now.
16 Q. Okay, sir. Do you remember -- do you remember what you told the
17 investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor back in 1995 about that
19 A. Not from 12 years down the track.
20 Q. Okay. Let me direct you to the same witness statement, and it's
21 at page 8. The ERN is 01499656, and the B/C/S, I believe, is also pages 7
22 through 8. Through the top of page 8, ending at 03074406.
23 Sir, let me just direct your attention to the paragraph that
24 starts: "I stayed there until the evening," and if you could just look at
25 the first couple of sentences right above that paragraph.
1 You discuss speaking with that Dutch officer -- or Dutch soldier,
2 and then it says: "From there I could see buses and trucks on the road
3 passing by. They arrived empty from the direction of Bratunac and they
4 were crowded with people when they returned towards Bratunac."
5 Let me ask you, sir, having read that portion of your statement,
6 does that refresh your recollection, number one, about what --
7 A. Yes, that would --
8 Q. Sorry, does that refresh your recollection about what you told the
9 OTP in 1995, first of all?
10 A. Yes, that would be correct. Yes.
11 Q. And is that your memory, sir?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Now, until I think you said about 16.30 did you leave that
14 position for any reason until that time?
15 A. Until that time, no.
16 Q. And why did you leave that position at that time?
17 A. I was hungry.
18 Q. Okay. So what did you do after that?
19 A. We went and we got some things to eat and tried to find some more
20 water and trying to regroup because we have been there as a lost sheep.
21 We didn't know what was happening, and plus we had been under the shock
22 being scooped so fresh from Serbia. So we really, really didn't know what
23 we're supposed to do next.
24 Q. Okay. During the course of that day did you see Mane in and
25 around the UN compound?
1 A. I haven't seen Mane in and around the UN compound at that point of
2 time, but when I was giving the statement, I have seen the video. I have
3 been shown the video where I have -- where I have recognised Mane on the
5 Q. Okay. Well, we'll get to that a little bit later. What do you
6 recall Mane's role being, if any, during this day at Potocari?
7 A. From -- from the video shown, it appeared to me that he was
8 liaison officer of some sort with the gentleman from Dutch Battalion.
9 Q. And do you recall whether at the time you had any information or
10 that you learned any information or heard any information to indicate that
11 Mane was acting in this role as a liaison officer?
12 A. There was a rumour that he was taking the role as a liaison
13 officer. There was lots of rumour going in between the recruits.
14 Q. Now, where you were, sir, were you able to observe any of the
15 transportation of the civilians, either the grouping or the separation or
16 the boarding of any of the buses?
17 A. No.
18 Q. During the course of this day, did you receive any information
19 regarding who, if anyone, was taking part in that process of organising,
20 separating, and boarding the civilians on those buses?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, sir, before you give your answer.
22 Mr. Lazarevic.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, I just want to make one objection. I don't
24 believe there is a foundation for this question, because if we look at the
25 previous question, "During the course of this day, did you receive any
1 information --" well, before this. "Were you able to observe any of the
2 transportation of the civilian, either the grouping or the separation of
3 the boarding." The answer was "No," of the witness. So this question
4 that follows during the course did you receive any information was taking
5 part in process, we need to know whether he has knowledge about this
6 process going on, and if so then the follow-up question would be, Then how
7 did you receive any such information.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. I think one was
9 predicated over there on the other.
10 MR. THAYER: I think that was my question.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start with his knowledge or otherwise of the
12 events that you mentioned, that is this group or separation or -- or
13 boarding of any of the buses, because you put them all in the alternative
14 and not cumulatively. We could deal with that first and then you can put
15 the second question to him afterwards.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Sir, at any time during that day did you receive any information
18 concerning what was actually happening to those civilians in Potocari?
19 A. After I have left that post where I had been, in talking with the
20 other guys of the same unit in the same uniform, we could recognise each
21 other in the same uniform. I have heard in a talk that actually there has
22 been some separation, but I haven't seen it.
23 Q. And --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally Mr. Thayer, while we are still on
25 particular day, the witness hasn't been asked and he hasn't furnished us
1 with any information as to the exact date when he first found himself in
2 Potocari. If he would remember the date.
3 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. I've had some conversations with
4 my friends on this topic. I'll put the question to the witness.
5 Q. Sir, do you recall what the date was that you arrived in
6 Potocari? Do you recall the date that you entered Potocari?
7 A. I would say it was 13th of July, in between 13th and 15th. I'm
8 not sure at this stage today in 2007, but it's there.
9 Q. Well, what is your recollection, sir, of the date that you left
11 A. I believe thinking about it we perhaps left Jahorina on 13th, have
12 came to destination probably 14th we have been in Potocari. If I could
13 refresh my memory with the statement, but again you have to understand it
14 is 12 years down the track, and I am trying to suppress all these
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. One other thing for the record. Mr. Haynes
17 for accused Pandurevic is now present in the courtroom.
18 Go ahead, Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. Thank you, Witness. Maybe we'll come back to the actual dates a
21 little bit later. For now, though, I just want to work with what happened
22 on these particular days, and let me just clarify.
23 The first day we're talking about is the day you got the order to
24 leave Jahorina and that you left Jahorina; correct?
25 A. That is correct, yes.
1 Q. And the second day is the day you entered Potocari; that is
3 A. That is correct, yes.
4 Q. Okay. Now, back to your conversation with your Jahorina
5 colleague. You told us that he passed on to you information that there
6 had been separations. Did he tell you whether he had any information
7 about who was participating in those separations? What did he tell you,
8 if anything?
9 A. I cannot recall it, I'm sorry.
10 Q. Okay. Just hang on a minute. Sir, I'd like to refer you to your
11 statement to the Office of the Prosecutor. It's at page 9. At the very
12 top. It's ERN 01499657. And in the B/C/S that's at page 8, ERN
14 I just want to refer you to the section -- do you see where it
15 says: "The evacuation was nearly over and from some conversations with
16 soldiers forcibly brought from Serbia like myself who were in charge of
17 overseeing the evacuation I learnt that 500 people had been evacuated from
18 the UN compound and approximately 5.000 from Potocari"? First I want to
19 ask you, sir, do you recall whether or not you actually said that to the
20 investigators in 1995?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Is that a correct statement of what you heard?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. The next sentence is: "I heard that some soldiers and policemen
25 had separated people before they boarded the buses. These people were
1 taken to a house to be interviewed and after that put on buses and
2 evacuated. I did not see anything and this was what was told to me."
3 Do you recall saying that to the investigators in 1995, sir?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. And is that accurate. That portion that I just read to you, is
6 that true? Did that happen? Did you hear that?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Sir, do you recall seeing Dusko Jevic at any time during this day
9 when you were in Potocari?
10 A. Just briefly, yes.
11 Q. And what was he doing, if you can remember?
12 A. He was just standing up on the front of the house.
13 Q. And which house is that, sir?
14 A. It was the house and a photo was shown to me in -- when I had --
15 when I'd given the evidence, and that was the house. It was the "White
16 House." I didn't pay too much attention to it.
17 Q. And that "White House", where in relation to the entrance to the
18 UN compound is it located?
19 A. It's on the other side of the road, if I can recall it correctly.
20 Q. Now, sir, in the conversation that you had with your fellow
21 Jahorina members, did they tell you what role, if any, Mane played in the
22 separation of the men and women?
23 A. I don't recall hearing anything of that role, if there was any.
24 Q. Do you have any information or recollection as to where Mane was
25 posted or operating during this day?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Mr. Lazarevic.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: And I object. This question was already asked and
3 answered. Before the break I believe that my colleague already asked
4 whether he saw Mane on that day and whether he has any knowledge of what
5 Mane did on this day, and the witness, I believe, said that he doesn't
6 have any knowledge on this.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
8 One moment.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Mr. -- we think Mr. Lazarevic's objection
11 should be sustained. Please move to your next question, Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: Certainly, Mr. President.
13 Q. Now, sir, did you spend the night in Potocari or did you return to
14 the school near Bratunac?
15 A. We have returned to school near Bratunac.
16 Q. And prior to returning, did you and your Jahorina recruits gather
18 A. We did gather not immediately before the return but when we were
19 around, you know, for food and water. We did gather around the house
20 where the water was and we did see some women and children there and we
21 gave them the food.
22 Q. Okay. Well, let's just talk about that for a second. What was
23 the reaction, if any, that the civilians had to you when they saw you?
24 A. They were scared.
25 Q. Now, did you leave Potocari in the buses?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And at any time prior to -- at any time prior to leaving on the
3 buses were you mustered and reviewed?
4 A. I don't think so.
5 Q. Okay. Well, let's just take a moment and if I could just refer
6 you again to your statement at page 9, ERN 01499657. And that is also on
7 page 8, ERN 03074406, of the B/C/S version.
8 I just direct your attention to the line that begins: "I left
9 Potocari...." Do you see that, sir?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Okay. Do you recall whether you did anything before you left,
12 whether they were organised in any way?
13 A. We had been organised as a formation in front of the compound and
14 boarded the bus.
15 Q. And do you recall approximately what time that was?
16 A. It would be probably around 9.00, 9.00 p.m.
17 Q. And did you spend the night at that school?
18 A. Yes, we did.
19 Q. Okay. That brings us to the next day, sir. Can you tell the
20 Trial Chamber what your assignment was that day?
21 A. The following day we were supposed to have a day off, but in the
22 afternoon we had been called up to relieve our colleagues, that they have
23 been somewhere, and that was on a stretch of the road between Konjevic
24 Polje and Kravica.
25 Q. And were you told what your colleagues had been doing on that
2 A. Not at that point, no.
3 Q. So what did you do, sir?
4 A. We had boarded the buses and we went.
5 Q. And can you recall and describe the general location where you
6 were taken?
7 A. We had been taken to this stretch of the road and nearby there was
8 a meadow and a house, and there were actually a few houses on the other
9 side, and there were some prisoners sitting on the ground, and these guys
10 that we need to relieve them, they had been guarding them. So we needed
11 to relieve them on guard, and we needed to relieve them on that stretch of
13 Q. Okay. You indicated that this road ran between Kravica and
14 Konjevic Polje. Had you ever --
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Had you ever been to this area before that you recall?
17 A. Never in my life.
18 Q. Can you estimate at all for the Trial Chamber approximately how
19 far this debarkation area at the meadow was from Kravica?
20 A. I would say it was probably couple of kilometres a way.
21 Q. And approximately what time of the day did you arrive there, sir?
22 A. It was late afternoon.
23 Q. When you arrived did you see any heavy weaponry present?
24 A. There was a tank and anti-aircraft vehicle.
25 Q. Can you describe that vehicle at all?
1 A. It seemed to be like a little tank on wheels with machine-gun on
2 the top of it. It was -- how to say it. It was armoured vehicle.
3 Q. Do you recall how many barrels it had?
4 A. To my memory three.
5 Q. Okay. During this time do you recall ever hearing the tank or
6 that three-barrelled armoured vehicle being fired?
7 A. No, not really, no.
8 Q. Okay. That's fine, sir. You indicated that you were replacing
9 your fellow Jahorina members. Did you see any members of the regular
10 special police or any other military units there when you arrived?
11 A. To my memory there was -- we had seen few guys from the special
12 police, yes.
13 Q. And do you recall whether there was any attempt to communicate
14 with any Muslim men?
15 A. Yes. There had been calls on a megaphone to come down and they're
16 going to be shipped away and exchanged.
17 Q. And do you recall to which unit the person who was doing that
19 A. To my memory, it was regular special police force.
20 Q. And let me just ask you again, sir, because I think I asked you a
21 compound question before and I apologise. Do you recall seeing any
22 regular army units or soldiers in this location when you arrived?
23 A. Where, in school or where? Can you clarify the question, please?
24 Q. Yes, sir. When you arrived at this area that you described as a
25 meadow with the prisoners.
1 A. Mm-hmm. I haven't seen to my knowledge, to my memory, any members
2 of military at that stage then.
3 Q. Now, after you arrived at this location did you remain at the
4 meadow or were you deployed elsewhere yourself?
5 A. I have remained in a meadow for a short period of time and then
6 have been deployed on a stretch of the road after the meadow.
7 Q. And can you estimate approximately how far the stretch of road on
8 which you were deployed was from this area near the meadow?
9 A. Couple of hundred metres.
10 Q. And physically would you please describe for the Trial Chamber how
11 exactly you and your Jahorina recruits were deployed along that road? How
12 many and what distances approximately?
13 A. It was -- it was two approximately every 50 to 100 metres again,
14 but it was in pairs.
15 Q. And could you see your fellow recruits to your left and your right
16 from where you were standing?
17 A. On the road, yes, I could.
18 Q. And when you were deployed to the road, what was your assignment
19 while you were on that road? To do what, sir?
20 A. Just to be on the road and perhaps collect any -- anybody that
21 comes down, or to prevent any forcible passing through from -- from the
23 Q. And when you say perhaps to collect people that were coming down,
24 can you be more precise about what you're talking about, sir?
25 A. If was anybody coming down to surrender, our task was perhaps to
1 take them and -- and just pass them on.
2 Q. Okay, sir. Was that perhaps your assignment or was that in fact
3 your assignment while you were on the road?
4 A. We hadn't been debriefed about assignments as such, and I don't
5 recall being given any tasks as such. We just have been told that we need
6 to be there on a stretch of the road. If anybody surrenders, alert your
7 authorities so you can pass the prisoners.
8 Q. And as you sit here today, sir, do you have any recollection of
9 who passed on those instructions to you?
10 A. Those instructions would have been passed by the command -- by the
11 platoon leaders.
12 Q. Now, that -- that actual day when you first arrived to this
13 location near the meadow and when you were deployed, did you personally
14 take part in any surrender by any Muslims that day?
15 A. Nobody did surrender to me and my colleague directly. Whoever was
16 surrendering, there was about 100, 150 metres away from us, uphill there
17 was a small road coming from the mountains, and whoever was coming from
18 the mountain was going along those -- along that road.
19 Q. Okay. Please continue.
20 A. And they would go to -- to the other guys. And then the other
21 guys would get the men and -- and call for -- for whoever is going to
22 come -- come to pick them up and just sit them and -- and guard them for
23 the prisoners to be picked up.
24 Q. And when you say other guys, sir, are you referring to your fellow
25 Jahorina -- your fellow Jahorina members, the -- the regular special
1 police brigade members, or both?
2 A. Along the stretch of the road to my knowledge from what I've seen
3 we have been from fellow Jahorina, and if anybody would surrender at that
4 point in time to that stretch of road, it could be surrendering to
5 Jahorina guys. And then they would be calling in to their -- like whoever
6 is on the top of them, informing them that actually we have a prisoner or
7 somebody has got a prisoner, and then the vehicle would show up and pick
8 them up.
9 Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you just a question about the
10 communications. How were people communicating with each other amongst
11 yourselves, your Jahorina colleagues, and the superior officers?
12 A. Well, all depends how high you're going superior officers in
13 between us. We're just talking. We didn't have any other mean of
14 communications. And it was above us, the guys, they had hand-held two-way
16 Q. And what level soldier or special police member had those two-way
18 A. To my recollection the two-way radio was given to these guys
19 that -- Jahorina members who were in charge of these smaller units to
20 report to their commanding officers.
21 Q. Okay. Now, when -- when you say Jahorina members, do you recall
22 whether any of the recruits like yourself had these two-way radios, or
23 were the only people with two-way radios regular special police members?
24 A. Some of the members of Jahorina, very few, had these two-way
1 Q. Okay. And what do you recall the regular special police brigade
2 members doing during this day when people were surrendering?
3 A. They were just calling them down, to my knowledge. They were
4 calling them down.
5 Q. And when these buses arrived to take the prisoners away, were the
6 prisoners escorted on these buses? Were they guarded?
7 A. I would say so.
8 Q. Well, do you recall whether it was Jahorina members guarding them
9 or regular special police brigade members or someone else.
10 A. On the buses -- on the buses definitely not Jahorina members. And
11 I'm not sure about the regular special police members and -- and the army,
12 I'm not sure about that, but to my recollection on these buses Jahorina
13 members were not on. Jahorina members were going with the other vehicles
14 later on. You know, day or two down the track.
15 Q. Do you recall the coordination and communication, if any, between
16 the Jahorina recruits like yourself and the special police brigade, the
17 regular special police brigade members, who were there in this area?
18 A. I don't recall any direct communication. I haven't seen it.
19 Q. Well, did you have an understanding based on any information that
20 you received what the communication or coordination was between the
21 Jahorina members and the regular special police brigade members?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
23 Mr. Lazarevic.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe it's basically the same question that
25 was posed a second ago. The witness, I believe, clearly answered that he
1 has -- he doesn't recall any direct communication between these two.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, Mr. Thayer.
5 MR. THAYER: I just interpreted his answer to mean personal.
6 That's why I went to the general in my follow-up question.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It's still the same thing, but if you can bring out
8 the difference between the previous question and this one, explain it, in
9 other words, to the witness, then you may put the question, but you need
10 to rephrase it of course.
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Sir, did you become aware at any time during this day as to
13 whether there was any communication or coordination of any kind between
14 the regular Jahorina members and the regular -- I'm sorry, the Jahorina
15 recruits like yourself and the regular special police officers?
16 A. To my knowledge I didn't know that there was any direct
17 communication. What was more a feeling is that we were like sheep there.
18 We didn't know what to do. So when we had been posted somewhere, we stood
19 there without asking many questions.
20 Q. Well, do you recall who would be consulted if you did have
22 A. If I did have a question I would have to go through the Jahorina
23 member who had the two-way radio and ask the question or raise an issue,
24 and he would call up whomever he needs to call up to resolve the issue.
25 Q. Okay. Sir. Do you remember what you said on this issue in your
1 deposition taken in 2002?
2 A. No, not really.
3 Q. If I showed you a portion of that transcript, do you think that
4 might help refresh your recollection?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Let me direct you to page 12 of the English, lines 23 to 32.
7 That's ERN 01499695 in the English and page 10 of the B/C/S at 03074530,
8 the third question and answer on that page.
9 Do you see the question: "How was it when the prisoners were
10 collected that you were able to notify somebody that they needed to be
11 picked up?" And your answer.
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Do you see the answer, "There was a group of the normal regular
14 police force and they had such device and somebody would run to them and
15 tell, like, we have a few prisoners"? Do you see that, sir?
16 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Okay. Do you recall saying that during the deposition?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Is that an accurate statement, sir?
20 A. It would be, is he.
21 Q. And the following question: "Where was the contingent of regular
22 special police located?" And your answer is, "A bit further up, maybe
23 half a K."
24 A. Yeah half a kilometre.
25 Q. Just a clarification. When you refer to having such a device what
1 are you talking about, sir?
2 A. Two-way radio.
3 Q. Okay. So you're referring to contacting the regular special
4 police brigade officers via two-way radio; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct, yes.
6 Q. Sir, I want to ask you some questions about another series of
7 events. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what, if anything, you recall that
8 stands out in your mind happening later that day, that same day that you
9 arrived at this area with the meadow and were deployed?
10 A. The prisoners that they have been surrounding in -- surrounding
11 in, they had been shipped by the buses. And very, very late in the
12 afternoon, early, early evening, there was 10 to 15 people left, and we
13 have asked the question when the next bus is going to come to pick these
14 people up, and it was told to us that there won't be any more buses and
15 that we need to get rid of them, shoot them.
16 Q. Please continue, sir.
17 A. And on which the reaction was, "Really? Are you crazy? What are
18 you saying?" We just could not believe what we heard, because we believed
19 that all these people and all these prisoners is going to be shipped and
20 exchanged in Tuzla for the Serbs that actually have been living in Tuzla
21 and that some sort of agreement has been reached between the governments
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska to exchange them, all for
24 Q. Now, sir, who gave you this order to shoot these remaining
1 A. That order came through the gentleman by the name Aleksa.
2 Q. And who was Aleksa, sir?
3 A. He was a deputy commander of 1 platoon.
4 Q. Do you remember which company his platoon belonged to?
5 A. He was -- he was deputy to Goran because Goran was not there all
6 the time. He was rarely there. And that was, to my memory, was the
7 first -- I'm not sure now which -- which unit it was, but he was a deputy
8 of gentleman by name Goran.
9 Q. Okay. Do you remember who the company commander was of Aleksa's
11 A. I believe that was the gentleman by the name Mane.
12 Q. Now, why was Goran rarely there?
13 A. I'm not sure what was the reason, but he was seen drunk and
14 probably not fit to be there.
15 Q. Now, sir, was this Aleksa to your recollection a Jahorina member,
16 I mean a recruit like yourself, or a regular Special Police Brigade
18 A. The gentleman was there when we came there, and it's difficult to
19 say was he belonging to the regular unit or he was rounded up like
20 ourselves, but I would say he was a member of a perhaps regular unit. I'm
21 not sure.
22 Q. Well, do you remember whether he had any communication equipment?
23 A. Yes. He had two-way radio.
24 Q. Do you recall approximately how many of your fellow Jahorina
25 members were present when you were given this order by Aleksa to execute
1 these remaining prisoners?
2 A. About four or five.
3 Q. And do you recall where you were when he gave you this order?
4 A. We have been down on a road nearby the meadow.
5 Q. So what happened next, sir?
6 A. A few volunteers went up and we heard bursts of shots, and those
7 volunteers they came down, and that was basically it.
8 Q. Did you see Aleksa coming down with those volunteers?
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 Q. And what was Aleksa's reaction when you refused the order to
11 execute the prisoners?
12 A. Not really happy, and he did say in probably threatening, we have
13 interpreted it as a threat that, "You will remember me. You're going to
14 see for this."
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Thayer, something that needs some
17 Previously to your question do you recall approximately how many
18 of your fellow Jahorina members were present when you were given this
19 order by Aleksa to execute those remaining prisoners, the witness answered
20 about four or five. Now, later on he says to your next question, so what
21 happened next, he says a few volunteers went up.
22 Were these few volunteers from amongst those four or five or were
23 from some other different group?
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Sir, did you understand Mr. President's question?
1 A. Yes, I did, sir. It was when we had been given that order. At
2 that point of time it was four or five of us. Three of us did refuse that
3 order and two of us from Jahorina compound went up and they have collected
4 few other guys who volunteered to go and do the dirty job.
5 Q. And, sir, did you ever speak to anyone from among these people who
6 committed this execution?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber what they told you and who they were
9 if you remember.
10 A. I did spoke to a guy from Jahorina by the name or nickname, it's
11 difficult to say because nobody would say their full name. His name was
12 Crnogorac or nickname was Crnogorac, which means like Montenegro man. And
13 I simply asked him, "How could you do such a thing?" And he answered
14 it, "It is a revenge for my family being wiped out.
15 Q. Did you receive any information, any other information from or
16 about anyone else who helped execute those prisoners, sir?
17 A. I'm sorry, I can't remember.
18 Q. Do you know, sir, or did you receive any information as to whether
19 or not this Aleksa communicated with anyone over that hand-held radio in
20 between the time he gave you the order to execute and that execution was
22 A. I don't have a knowledge of any communication, but common sense
23 would tell me that he would not have such authority being on such a low
24 level to order something like that.
25 Q. Sir, were there any consequences to you and your fellow Jahorina
1 members who refused to carry out that order to execute the prisoners?
2 A. Yes, and they were rather light to our surprise. We just had been
3 under the sort of watch and without food and any contact with other
4 members for one day, and we did think why would that happen and why would
5 be that light, and we just thought that maybe the resources were stretched
6 out, so they couldn't just get rid of the guys, maybe they needed the
7 manpower or something.
8 Q. Did you ever learn or receive any information as to what happened
9 to the bodies of those prisoners who were executed?
10 A. No, I hadn't.
11 Q. Were you told anything by this Jahorina member nicknamed the
12 Montenegrin about actually how they were executed? Where were they? How
13 were they positioned?
14 A. Some of them were executed just coming in, with a shot in the
15 head, and some have been executed with a burst of fire.
16 Q. This punishment that you received, sir, who delivered that order
17 of punishment to you?
18 A. It was one of the guys from Jahorina that was in some sort of
19 charge to us at that point of time. It was just a person who had
20 been "appointed" by the guys in charge to look over us.
21 Q. And was this person a regular special police brigade member or a
22 recruit like yourself?
23 A. Recruit like myself.
24 Q. And did he indicate to you whether he was passing on this order or
25 whether he was actually originating this order?
1 A. I'm not sure about that.
2 Q. Now, sir on this -- on this first day when you were deployed along
3 the road, did you begin hearing about any other executions which occurred
4 in this area?
5 A. Not in the first day but one or two days down the track, yes.
6 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber what you heard and from whom.
7 A. I heard it from the fellow recruit that actually has been in one
8 of the escorts with the smaller vehicle of some of the prisoners to a
9 store facility in Kravica, that actually that has been something.
10 Q. And when you refer to a store facility, what kind of facility or
11 structure are you talking about, sir?
12 A. A warehouse.
13 Q. And what did this fellow Jahorina member tell you happened at this
15 A. These prisoners that we are supposed to be sent and exchanged to
16 Tuzla actually have been executed there.
17 Q. And what was this fellow recruit's reaction to this?
18 A. He was cursing. He could not believe what is happening, because
19 we have had far too many shocks in a short distance, in short period of
20 time that we have been there and we just could not believe that that is
22 Q. Did he tell you who was executing these prisoners, what unit the
23 killers belonged to?
24 A. He did mention that they did belong to a regular special police
1 Q. Now, sir, do you recall approximately how many days you spent
2 deployed along this stretch of road while the Muslims were surrendering?
3 A. To my knowledge and to my recollection around five days.
4 Q. And did you also receive at some point a new assignment that had
5 to do with this road that you were posted on?
6 A. Not to my knowledge, no. And those five days that we have been on
7 a stretch of road I cannot recall any new assignments.
8 Q. Do you recall being tasked along with some regular VRS units to
9 sweep the terrain anywhere?
10 A. Yes, but that was after we had been withdrawn from the stretch of
11 the road.
12 Q. Okay. Can you describe approximately how long after you had
13 withdrawn from that stretch of the road you were given this new
14 assignment, sir?
15 A. When we have been retrieved from the stretch of the road I believe
16 we had been given half of the day off or even whole day off and then we
17 would sweep the terrain with -- with military force the following day.
18 Q. So can you just describe personally what you did during this sweep
20 A. Personally we had every person to my left and my right every
21 probably two to three metres and walking along the bushes and the trees
22 and trying to find any survivors or prisoners or anything. Just to sweep
23 the forest.
24 Q. And do you recall the approximate location in which you performed
25 this sweep?
1 A. No, sir, it was a mountain.
2 Q. Do you recall in relation to Kravica where you were performing
3 this sweep or in relation to Konjevic Polje? And if you can't remember,
4 that's fine, I'll move on, but I just want to see what your recollection
6 A. I really cannot recollect, but my -- I believe that it was from
7 Kravica towards Konjevic Polje.
8 Q. And did you encounter any Muslims during this sweep, whether they
9 were alive or dead?
10 A. We did. We did encounter a few dead bodies, and not close to me.
11 It was a few left like pocket of resistance that actually was higher up in
12 the mountain that actually regular police force was called in to deal
14 Q. And did you see or did you become aware of any Muslims
15 surrendering during this sweep operation, sir?
16 A. Not to me, but when we came down I did see few people did
17 surrender, yes.
18 Q. And when you say a few people, can you describe the size of this
19 group of people?
20 A. Probably around, I don't know, 10 to 20. I'm not sure.
21 Q. Okay. Do you remember what you told the investigators from the
22 OTP during your interview in 1995 on this topic?
23 A. Would you mind if I had a look?
24 Q. I'll give you the site. Hold on one second, please. If you
25 turn -- sir, if you turn to page 14 of your OTP witness statement. In the
1 English that's ERN 01499662. And in the B/C/S I believe that's page 12,
2 ERN 03074410. And I just draw your attention to the second paragraph
3 headed "Sometime later."
4 A. Yes, I can see this.
5 Q. Do you see where it says: "While you were on the road we saw the
6 military unit coming downhill with a group of about 100 to 150 prisoners"?
7 A. Yes, I do see that.
8 Q. Do you recall -- do you recall saying that to the investigators at
9 the time, sir?
10 A. Yes, I do, and this was in referral to the army people, and I
11 did -- I did say -- just on this note, I did say that my estimate might
12 not be accurate, because I don't think that my estimate would be accurate.
13 Q. Okay. Let me ask you. As you sit here now, what is your best
14 recollection of how many prisoners this group of army soldiers came down
15 the hill with?
16 A. It definitely would be two busloads, and that would be probably in
17 the vicinity of 100 to 150, but I just wanted to make sure that you don't
18 take me that it was 100 or 150, because my estimates are not that great
19 with numbers and age.
20 Q. Fair enough, sir. And do you know where these prisoners were
21 taken and by whom?
22 A. They have been boarded on buses and taken away.
23 Q. Was this by the army or by the special police brigade?
24 A. I cannot recall that, because I believe that some of the drivers
25 I've seen have been civilians, and it's difficult to differentiate who's
1 who when everybody is wearing camouflage uniform, and you can
2 differentiate between camouflage uniform and civilian clothes, and it's
3 very hard to make a judgement when you had whole day walking through the
4 woods on a -- on a hot day, very tired, very stressed out. It's very,
5 very difficult to -- to make correct observation.
6 Q. Fair enough, sir. And if I may, let me just go back to the time
7 when you were deployed along that road from Kravica to Konjevic Polje and
8 were waiting for prisoners and being on the lookout for prisoners
9 surrendering. Do you recall whether you during that period of time, any
10 time while you were posted there during that five days as you recall the
11 number of days, do you recall whether you personally took any Muslim who
12 surrendered into custody?
13 A. Not myself. Myself and my partner, we did have one attempt of
14 surrendering, and we just waved the person to go away. We just told him
15 to go -- just waved to go away. We didn't want to take them in.
16 Q. Did you observe any Muslims surrendering during that five days in
17 your vicinity, sir?
18 A. It was one particular surrendering of one Muslim fighter or
19 civilian or how you call it that actually is in my memory. The guy came
20 in, probably around 150 to 200 metres uphill, up-road, surrendering to a
21 person, recruit from Jahorina, and on the point of surrendering he had
22 handmade grenade that actually he has throw down on this person, and that
23 Muslim that has been surrendering has been shot in self-defense. But the
24 person, we have been told later that actually the person, the Jahorina
25 recruit was severely disabled with that incident. He was alive but
1 severely disabled.
2 Q. Now, sir, other than the first day on which you arrived at that
3 meadow area, after that first day whether or not you personally saw any
4 Muslim surrendering, can you estimate for the Trial Chamber based on what
5 you were hearing how many Muslims were surrendering on a given day while
6 you were posted there?
7 A. On a given day when we were posted there, on the first day there
8 was a lot of people there before we arrived. On our arrival it was a lot
9 of people, but everyday it was very few, not much, not many, and going
10 into the third, fourth, and fifth day it was basically nothing.
11 Q. Now, sir, back to this -- the sweep operation. How many days did
12 you spend doing that?
13 A. One.
14 Q. And where were you deployed next?
15 A. I believe we went back to Jahorina.
16 Q. And is it fair to say, sir, just to move things along, that after
17 that you were deployed in the Manjaca area and elsewhere through the fall
18 of 1995?
19 A. Yes. That is correct, yes, but not through Jahorina unit. In --
20 through Jahorina unit after we had been on Potocari and after mission, we
21 have been sent to guard the lines on a nearby hill, but with Manjaca that
22 was afterwards, after Jahorina.
23 Q. And you were -- you were made part of a -- of a different brigade;
24 is that correct?
25 A. That is correct, yes.
1 Q. And would you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber how your
2 military service came to an end? Again without, if you can, identifying
3 yourself in any way.
4 A. After we went on Manjaca and when we came back to the base I did
5 ask for the leave after few months being in a highly stressed situation.
6 I just wanted to leave and see the family, which luckily has been granted,
7 and after that I just run away as far as I could.
8 Q. Okay, sir. I just have a little bit more time that I want to
9 spend with you, and I'd like to show you some brief video clips. I think
10 you've already described them or referred to them, and with any luck
11 you'll be able to see them through the transmission.
12 MR. THAYER: With the Court's indulgence, I just want to verify.
13 Mr. President, for the record we will be reviewing a segment from
14 the trial video, Exhibit number P02047. The -- the first segment will run
15 from 2 hours 25 minutes and 55.00 seconds.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Sir, first of all, are you receiving the video feed?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. We've paused for the record at 2:26:18:3. Do you recognise
21 anyone in this video still?
22 A. Okay. I don't know the gentleman standing there with the
23 bullet-proof vest, but that person is more than likely a person that has
24 been brought from Serbia in Jahorina camp with us. And the gentleman on
25 our right-hand side, by the appearance I would say he is a UN soldier.
1 Q. And, sir, what makes you say that you believe that the other
2 person without the blue beret was a Jahorina recruit like yourself?
3 A. Same bullet-proof vest.
4 Q. Okay, sir. We're going to continue to run the video clip.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. Now, sir, you've seen this video clip before. We're pausing at
8 2:26 -- bear with us. We're having technical difficulties.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: And I apologise. I cannot see the witness, the
10 image of the video. I don't have the image of the witness from (redacted).
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No, but that's how it has to be. Whenever we are
12 playing a video, then automatically you get a blank screen.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I apologise then for
15 MR. JOSSE: I think you might need a redaction there, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's Mr. Lazarevic [inaudible].
17 [Videotape played]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm being advised by the court
20 reporter that she just needs the page and line citation for the redaction
21 again. It wasn't picked up. It wasn't audible for her.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The page is page 62 of our transcript, line 25.
23 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
25 MR. THAYER: May I proceed?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead. Thank you.
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Sir, we've paused at 2:26:27:4. Having viewed this video clip
4 previously and seen it again now, do you recognise any one in this video
6 A. The gentleman and the left is the gentleman that disguised himself
7 by the name Mane.
8 Q. Okay. Sir. We are going to show you a second video clip that
9 will run for approximately three and a half minutes. And for the record,
10 this will begin at 2:45:37.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. THAYER:
13 Q. Now, sir, we've just reviewed a video clip shot from a car on this
14 road. We have paused at 2:47:23:1. First I ask you whether you were able
15 to observe any soldiers being deployed along that stretch of the road on
16 this video clip.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And how does that correspond to your recollection of how you and
19 your fellow Jahorina members were deployed while you were there?
20 A. That was us.
21 Q. Now, showing you this particular video still at the time I've
22 mentioned. Do you recognise what unit this individual depicted in it
23 belongs to?
24 A. That gentleman was from Jahorina, but from which particular unit I
25 don't recollect.
1 Q. Okay, sir. We'll just continue running for another minute or so.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. THAYER:
4 Q. Sir, we've stopped at 2:47:52:6. Do you recognise to which unit
5 the individual in this video still belonged?
6 A. That gentleman did belong to Jahorina unit as well.
7 Q. Do you recall the names of either of these two men as you sit here
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. Okay, sir, just a couple of more questions for you. Sir, are you
11 aware of any investigation being initiated by the Republika Srpska special
12 police brigade following deployment of the forces including your forces to
13 Potocari and the road that you described in July of 1995? Are you aware
14 of any investigation being initiated?
15 A. Investigation, you mean of what?
16 Q. Of any activities by the Special Police Brigade or by your
17 Jahorina unit. Are you aware of any investigation being initiated by the
18 RS special police following your deployment there?
19 A. I was too low to had such a knowledge of anything like that. Even
20 if it was initiated, which I'm not aware of, I would definitely not heard
21 about it.
22 Q. Okay, sir. Well, let me ask you, did Dusko Jevic or Mane or any
23 other officer from the Jahorina training centre ask you for a report
24 concerning the actions of you and your fellow colleagues or regular
25 special police members concerning your activities in Potocari and along
1 that road in July of 1995?
2 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
3 Q. What were you told at the time, sir, would happen to you, if
4 anything, if you ever spoke about these events?
5 A. We would end up in The Hague being tried for war crimes.
6 Q. Were you ever threatened in any way concerning your personal
7 safety if you ever spoke about these events?
8 A. I don't recall any direct threats, but we have been told that
9 actually we might be -- we will be picked up and get prosecuted by The
10 Hague Tribunal.
11 Q. And who told you that, sir?
12 A. To my recollection that gentleman would have been Dusko Jevic.
13 Q. And when did he tell you that, if you remember?
14 A. It would have been -- I don't remember to pinpoint the accuracy,
15 but it would have been on the end of all events.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: One -- one question while you check whatever you're
17 checking, Mr. Thayer.
18 Witness, when according to you this Dusko Jevic gave you this
19 warning or threat, were you alone at the time with him or were there
20 others present --
21 THE WITNESS: No. No, I'm sorry to interrupt, but no. We had all
22 been said in group, in the various group that at the time it was believed
23 in 1995 that Hague is only to be tried to Serbs and -- and we've been
24 there. We will be tried on Hague if we ever spoke about anything.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 MR. THAYER:
2 Q. Sir, just one follow-up question. Do you remember what you said
3 in your deposition about any threats that you received?
4 A. Would you mind if I look up and refresh my memory?
5 Q. I'll refer you to page 35, line 23 in the English. And I believe
6 that's page 30, ERN 03074550 of the B/C/S and the ERN on the English is
8 The question was put to you: "Do you recall being threatened with
9 death if you ever told anybody what you had seen..." Do you see that
10 question, sir? I know this isn't easy, sir.
11 A. This question is --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Sorry to interrupt you, but we have an
14 Mr. Lazarevic.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that the witness should read the whole
16 paragraph because frankly from what comes from following lines it's
17 basically the same that he said right now.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We don't have -- thank you,
19 Mr. Lazarevic. We don't have a copy of the statement, so we take your
20 word for it, and I suggest the witness to follow the advice of -- or
21 suggestion of Mr. Lazarevic and read the entire paragraph and then perhaps
22 he can proceed to answer the question.
23 THE WITNESS: "Do you recall being threatened with death if you
24 ever told anybody that you had seen or what you have to be -- or that you
25 would have to be tried before a criminal tribunal for war crimes?"
1 Answer: "Yes."
2 "Who would threaten in that manner?"
3 "If everybody, all superior officers, they used to come around and
4 tell us, like, if you go and talk about anything about war, about here,
5 you're going to end up in The Hague. You like struck in Bosnia. You have
6 nowhere to go. If you go they're going to grab you. They're going to
7 trial you."
8 MR. THAYER:
9 Q. Do you remember -- do you remember giving that answer, sir?
10 A. Yes. And I did give correct answer yes, we have been threatened
11 that we have -- that we going to be prosecuted in The Hague but not
12 directly death threats, because there is -- I believe there are two
13 questions in this question, and I did answer this question with yes. Not
14 direct life threats but it was a threat.
15 Q. Well, let me refer you to another statement that you gave even
16 before your statement to the OTP in December of 1995. This is the
17 statement to the UNHCR. In English it's 01499641, paragraph 19. And in
18 the B/C/S it's page 3, also paragraph 19, 03074666.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Mr. Lazarevic.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, it's a matter of clarification
21 whether we are going to consider it to be a witness statement or just
22 notes taken from the interview of the witness, because I would really like
23 to be fair toward witness and I believe that my colleague also have same
24 intent. This was not written by the witness. This is sort of notes from
25 the statements that witness gave to -- to officials of UNHCR.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer can answer that. We cannot.
2 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, my submission is that this is a very,
3 very detailed recordation by somebody that interviewed this witness, and I
4 can clarify the basis for this document in a question for the witness and
5 then ask him one question and we'll be concluded.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The whole thing boils down to the following: Is
7 that other statement, the way you've described or referred to it, is it a
8 collection of notes taken during an interview with the witness or is it a
9 verbatim transcript of a recording of an interview with the witness by
10 someone else?
11 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I would say it's in between. It's a
12 very detailed narrative account based on the interview or interviews that
13 he had with the UNHCR in much the same way that a witness statement is
14 recorded by the investigator. Although I don't think this was signed by
15 the -- by the witness, it is a document that is drawn up based on
16 obviously whatever notes were taken during the course of the interviews
17 and turned into a very detailed report, as it were. I would refer to it
18 as a report.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Thayer. I think for the
20 time being you may proceed, and then we regulate your questions if
21 necessary, and if Mr. Lazarevic draws our attention to any problem that he
22 envisages. Go ahead.
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Sir, in paragraph 19, and you were referred to in this document
25 simply by some initials, "IC," do you see where it says, "'IC' was
1 threatened of death if he told anyone what he saw and that if he did so he
2 would have been tried by a tribunal for war crimes"? Do you see that,
4 A. Before -- yes, I can see that, but before we continue discussing
5 this statement given in UNHCR, I just would like to make a point that I
6 did raise a lot of discrepancy in this statement simply because
7 interpreter was Macedonian with a poor command of Serbian language, and I
8 did raise lots of discrepancy in this statement, and I don't agree with --
9 with some of the things in the statement.
10 Q. Well, my final question to you is simple, sir. Do you agree or
11 disagree with the statement made here in this document that you were
12 threatened with death if you ever spoke about these events?
13 A. I disagree that I had been --
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Overlapping speakers]... that--
15 THE WITNESS: -- threatened with death.
16 MR. THAYER: Thank you for the clarification, sir. I have no
17 further questions.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I --
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe he disagreed and I --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes, yes.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- also made an objection.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It is being corrected now, Mr. Lazarevic.
23 So thank you Mr. Thayer, and thank you, Witness, for your
25 We need to have a break now. We'll have a 25-minute break, but
1 before we do so, let me see, is there a problem? Does any one of the
2 accused have a problem? No.
3 All right. We'll have -- if you have a problem, speak up.
4 Okay. We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's first have a revised estimate of the
8 anticipated cross-examinations. The Pandurevic, Gvero, and Nikolic teams
9 have indicated that they don't wish to cross-examine this witness. Is
10 that still the position? Okay.
11 Mr. Zivanovic for --
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I will not cross-examine this witness, Your
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Meek.
15 MR. MEEK: Nothing, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Nothing. All right.
17 Madam Fauveau.
18 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] We have no questions, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, madam.
20 So basically that leaves you, Mr. Lazarevic. Take your time, and
21 I understand that the witness is available also tomorrow.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I believe that there's --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. One moment, Mr. Lazarevic.
24 Yes, Yaiza.
25 THE REGISTRAR:  Well, in fact, we're wanting to know
1 if we will need to be here tomorrow because we need to organise here
2 since -- yeah, wanting to have -- to make some arrangements.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In fact, my next --
4 THE REGISTRAR:  [Indiscernible].
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 MAGISTRATE (redacted): [Indiscernible].
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I couldn't hear Magistrate (redacted)
8 MAGISTRATE (redacted): Tomorrow it [Realtime transcript read in
9 error "does"] doesn't pose a difficulty, Mr. President, but if it goes
10 beyond tomorrow, we'll have to make arrangements.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I thank you. I'm sure of that and I appreciate
12 that, Magistrate.
13 My next question is, Mr. Lazarevic, is how long do you anticipate
14 your cross-examination to last?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, I don't think I will be able to
16 complete my cross-examination today. I believe I will have to stick to my
17 estimation, my previous estimation of time.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And your estimation was one hour and a half?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, that's true.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's start. So tomorrow we will
21 need roughly one hour or so.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We were discussing whether it was at all possible to
24 proceed beyond quarter to 2.00, but it seems that logistically that will
25 be difficult because another -- another trial needs to start at quarter
1 past 2.00 and they have one witness that they need to finish today. So --
2 yes, Mr. Josse.
3 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I don't want to confuse matters but I
4 think what the learned Magistrate said, that it doesn't prove a difficulty
5 tomorrow and it's been transcribed wrongly. I think that's what he said,
6 and unfortunately, our transcript says the complete opposite. Your Honour
7 might want to confirm with the learned Magistrate.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Josse. I have the same
9 impression. I didn't compare what I heard with what the transcript says,
10 but I just heard that Magistrate (redacted) saying that he needs to know so
11 that they make the necessary arrangements in any case.
12 Is that correct, Magistrate?
13 MAGISTRATE (redacted): Mr. President, tomorrow poses no difficulty
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 MAGISTRATE (redacted): It only poses a difficulty if it goes beyond
17 the six hours we've set aside tomorrow.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. That's very clear. Thank you.
19 And we won't need all the time that has been allotted in any case, there
20 being no further cross-examinations except for the Borovcanin Defence
22 Mr. Lazarevic, please go ahead with your cross-examination, and
23 could you introduce yourself to the witness and to Magistrate (redacted),
24 please. Thank you.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: By all means.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Good afternoon, Magistrate
3 (redacted). My name is Aleksandar Lazarevic, and today together with my
4 colleagues here I appear for Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin.
5 Witness, in this examination I will address you as witness or sir
6 without mentioning your name, and the only reason for that is to protect
7 your identity. Please do not misunderstand me as trying to humiliate you
8 in any way or to offend you. This is purely for purposes of protecting
9 your identity. Do you accept is that?
10 A. Yes, I do. Thank you.
11 Q. Very well. Can we start then?
12 A. Yes, we can.
13 Q. You see, first of all I would like to identify, because I believe
14 there has been some confusion created in the course of
15 examination-in-chief. All your statements that you have given so far
16 related to the events in Srebrenica. The first one, I believe, was given
17 in Skopje from the 14th through the 18th of -- or through the 17th of
18 November, 1995; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that would be correct.
20 Q. Thank you. You have had occasion recently to review again this
21 document. I don't know if I should call it a proper statement. You have
22 seen it in the course of examination-in-chief or prior to that.
23 A. When? When was that? When are you referring to? Which time are
24 you referring to?
25 Q. I am referring to the fact that this document has just been shown
1 to you during the examination-in-chief conducted by my learned friend from
2 the Prosecution.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And just to try to establish the status of that document, when you
5 reviewed it, and you are free to look at it again, is that a document
6 written in the first-person singular, as if you personally wrote it as a
8 A. I did not wrote it as a statement. I was talking to the gentleman
9 in UNHCR through the interpreter which is of different origin and
10 different language than Serbian, and that person did have difficulty
11 grasping all the meaning of Serbian language, and my command of English
12 was not very well, so I couldn't talk directly to the gentleman that I was
13 speaking to.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record before you proceed, Mr. Lazarevic, on
15 line 18 of page -- on page 73 you see November 1995 there. It should be
16 December 1995, I suppose. Do you agree to that?
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, Your Honour, it should read November,
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Then the information that we were given -- it's a
20 witness statement here. The date is 12/12/1995.
21 Mr. Thayer. Yes.
22 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, our understanding was that that
23 statement was finalised on December 12th, and part of that may be from the
24 fax line which we see at the top of that statement. But frankly I don't
25 have the cover sheet or -- or the -- any other documentation that
1 indicates when precisely this UNHCR series of interviews were conducted.
2 We know that it was before December 12th. And if you look at paragraph 45
3 of the document it refers to the 14th, 15th, and 17th of November, but we
4 don't know when it was actually finalised.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Then Mr. Lazarevic seems to be right and we can
6 proceed accordingly.
7 Mr. Lazarevic. Thank you, Mr. Thayer, and thank you,
8 Mr. Lazarevic.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. And I thank my learned friend for this
11 Q. [Interpretation] Now that you have looked at this document, let us
12 clear up one thing. You never signed this document to confirm the
13 veracity of its contents, did you?
14 A. No, I didn't.
15 Q. Thank you very much. After that you met with the investigators of
16 the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY from the 14th through the 18th
17 December 1995, and on that occasion your written statement was compiled
18 and it has been extensively used during your examination. Can you confirm
20 A. Yes, I can.
21 Q. Thank you. Just one more thing. According to my records, on the
22 24th of July, 2002, you gave another statement in your country of
23 residence before a magistrate. Is that correct? Do you remember that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Thank you. Now that we have identified these three statements,
1 have you given any other statements before any other court, state
2 authority, or any other body in charge of investigation of any kind other
3 than the three I have mentioned?
4 A. Not to my knowledge, no.
5 Q. Thank you very much. In the statements that you have given, the
6 three that I have mentioned, that is, you told the truth to the best of
7 your recollection as far as these events are concerned; is that correct?
8 A. That is correct, yes.
9 Q. Thank you. I would now like to move on to the substance of your
10 testimony as we heard it today. It was new to me because it was not in
11 any of your statements, but you answered to one of the Prosecutor's
12 question saying you did not do your military service in the former
13 socialist federal Republic of Yugoslavia before June 1995; is that
15 A. What I meant with that answer, I was not associated with the war
16 happening in Bosnia, but I did do compulsory conscription (redacted)
18 Q. That clears up my confusion, because I had understood previously
19 that you had never been in the army at all.
20 So you did serve the 12 or 13 months, whatever it was at the time,
21 of compulsory military service?
22 A. Excuse me. Can we just go to private session, please?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session for a short
25 [Private session]
11 Pages 14857-14861 redacted. Private session
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We are in open session, Witness and Mr.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thus the number that you have given us as far as I can understand
12 is an approximation. You are not a hundred per cent sure about the number
13 of the people who were there.
14 A. This is correct, yes.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. In this regard I would like to show you
16 another document which is 4D00119.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, at this point I would like to just
18 verify with our legal officer whether she -- I'm sure that she doesn't
19 have a hard copy of this document. We are requested to provide all hard
20 copies of the documents that we intend to use during cross-examination
21 seven days ago, and in our review we found this document only two days
22 ago. I gave a copy of the document to the Prosecution. It is in e-court,
23 but I don't believe that the hard copy of this document is available to
24 the witness right now.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you for that, but I think we can upload
1 it if it is in e-court and show it to the witness just the same.
2 Can you verify that, please?
3 Is this the document you had in mind, Mr. Lazarevic?
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. That's the one.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we can proceed, assuming that the witness can
6 see it. We will zoom in --
7 THE WITNESS: I --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We will zoom in as required, as we go along, but the
9 important thing is you are receiving at least the image of this document
10 in both languages.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can see the documents but they are fairly
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I can imagine that, but we will be zooming in
14 the -- on the relevant parts, so don't worry about it.
15 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Sir, maybe it won't be that important for you to see the document
18 clearly because I'm just going to read the relevant portion of it. The
19 document was sent by the deputy minister of the interior of Republika
20 Srpska on the 23rd of June, 1995, to the President of Republika Srpska,
21 Radovan Karadzic. In the first paragraph of this document it reads as
22 follows: "With regard to your document, confidential number 01-1118-3/95,
23 dated 22nd June, 1995, we hereby inform you that by 1000 hours on 23 June
24 1995 our collection centres in Janja and Zvornik have handed over to the
25 VRS armed forces a total of 1.586 conscripts delivered by MUP Serbia. Of
1 this number, 149 conscripts were handed over to the MUP staff on Mount
3 Witness, I assume that you have not had an occasion to see this
4 document before. However, now that I have read the relevant portion of it
5 to you, you see that according to this document 149 men were sent to
6 Jahorina at the time. Would you say that perhaps this number is a better
7 reflection of the number of people who found themselves on Mount Jahorina
8 at the time you were there?
9 A. That could be the case. As I have indicated before, my number
10 estimates are not that great.
11 Q. Thank you very much. I will no longer need this document.
12 Based on the statements you provided to the UNHCR, I can tell that
13 you spoke about your position, about the units that you joined, and you
14 said there, if your words were transcribed correctly, about that unit was
15 that that unit should have been part of the reserve force of the army of
16 Republika Srpska.
17 First of all, can you tell me whether you adhere by the position
18 that your unit was a reserve unit of the army of Republika Srpska? And if
19 you do adhere by that and if that is still your position, can you tell us
20 what would be the basis of your position?
21 A. Okay. When we got to Janja, we have been asked where -- like we
22 have had some sort of choice where we would like to go, and on a question
23 what is the choice, we have been told that the choice is in between police
24 and army. On further question what would the police do, we have been told
25 it's going to be a duty of police reserve guarding the consuls, guarding
1 the premises, not involving in a combat situation, on which I have asked
2 to go that way.
3 Q. I understood your answer very well. However, the statement says
4 that your unit was part of the reserve forces of the VRS, but I believe
5 that your answer that you have just given us provides enough
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours there are two more minutes to go and
8 I am now moving to a completely different topic, so maybe it would be
9 useful to adjourn for today at this point.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. We'll do so.
11 Witness, our time is up. We are stopping here for today. We will
12 continue tomorrow starting at the same time as today. (redacted)
14 And I also wish to thank you, Magistrate (redacted), and your
15 assistant, for cooperating in this, for your patience. We will see you
16 again tomorrow morning, tomorrow evening or afternoon in your case. Thank
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day of September, 2007,
20 at 9.00 a.m.