1 Monday, 23 June 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, good morning to you. Could you
7 call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, ma'am. For the record, all the accused
11 are here.
12 From the Defence teams I notice the absence of Mr. Ostojic,
13 Mr. Lazarevic, Madam Nikolic and Mr. Haynes. Is Mr. Krgovic here?
14 Because I can't see.
15 MR. JOSSE: He's not, Your Honour. This is Nikola Krgovic who
16 has not been in the courtroom before. He's keeping an eye on me on
17 behalf of his father.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: My father would have been very proud of me if I had
19 ever decided and accepted to do that. But I never went.
20 From the Prosecution we have Mr. McCloskey, Ms. Soljan and
21 Mr. Elderkin.
22 The witness is already present.
23 Mr. Zivanovic, if you could cut it short, please, because we have
24 actually -- went far and wide outside the parameters that we had set, in
25 spite of our instructions and directions, both you and the witness
1 continued to practically ignore them completely except for the reference
2 to the Vuga report. Otherwise we have got beyond the real meaning, the
3 definition of these four terms which should have been covered in ten
5 Yes, good morning, Mr. Zivanovic.
6 WITNESS: BOZIDAR FORCA [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
9 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Good morning, Mr. Forca. You have heard that we were requested
11 to shorten your examination. Please tell us which sources in the English
12 language you have drawn upon to formulate your positions on the
13 appropriate terms to be used for these four Serb expressions?
14 A. Your Honours, while preparing for my testimony, I used the
15 Morton Benson dictionary, the English-Serbian/Serbian-English dictionary.
16 I used a NATO dictionary, NATO glossary of terms and definitions, AP 6.
17 [In English] From 2007.
18 [Interpretation] I used the American dictionary, [In English]
19 1-02, Department of Defence Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
20 From 2005, [Interpretation] I have also used instructions from the US
21 [In English] Armed Forces from 2003. [Interpretation] I've used
22 instructions from England
23 from the US
24 [Interpretation] I've used instructions [In English] Joint operation from
25 the USA
1 [In English] staff organisation and operations FM 101-5. And army
2 planning and orders AFM 5-0. [Interpretation] Since we are in Holland
3 I've also used the instructions of the Royal Dutch Army of the land
4 forces command and control from the year 2000.
5 Q. Can you briefly tell us what the -- which appropriate English
6 word did you use for the term "komandovanje"?
7 A. Your Honours, according to all the Serbian language dictionaries
8 and encyclopedias, the adequate term for the English term "command" is
9 "komandovanje" in the Serbian language. I don't think that can be in any
10 way contested.
11 Q. Since this is not a term at issue, I would like you to tell us,
12 with regard to the term "control" that was used in the NATO documents you
13 perused in the English language and that's in relation to the Serbian
14 term of "rukovodjenje"?
15 A. Let me say first what the American language 1-02 says about
16 "komandovanje" and then I will get back to your question. It says that
17 the authority that the commander in legal terms exercises over his
18 subordinates based on his rank. "Komandovanje," "command," implies
19 competence and efficiency in the use of available resources. And mark
20 this, for planning the use of forces, organising, directing, coordination
21 and control. In practical terms, these are the functions of
23 When I told you last Friday that I stayed in numerous countries
24 at various conferences, we were particularly interested in the process of
25 planning and "kontrola." In that sense, NATO uses the guidelines for
1 operation and planning which are of great interest to us, as well as the
2 instructions for the control of operative abilities of the armed forces
3 which we've also used in our work.
4 In answer to Mr. Zivanovic's question, when it comes to the term
5 "control" in English, the NATO dictionary, AAP 6, the basic meaning is
6 that of the competence of the commander for part of the activities of the
7 -- of subordinates or other organisations that are not under his command
8 and which cover the responsibility for the execution of orders or
10 Another important matter, which the text also refers to, is the
11 competence as a whole or in part may be transferred or delegated.
12 A dictionary from the United States, 1-02, states that the basic
13 meaning of "control" in English is a competence which can be less than
14 the full command authority exercised by a commander over a part of the
15 activities of his subordinates or other organisations. Your Honours, the
16 main problem in the translation of the terms "rukovodjenje" and
17 "komandovanje," "command" and "control," arises precisely when we come to
18 the term of "control," because this term, in its more immediate meaning,
19 in fact means to check, to control, to ascertain the state of affairs,
20 which is equivalent to the term of "kontrola" in the B/C/S, in the
21 Serbian language. Now, when it comes to the compound expression of
22 "command and control," when you analyse that expression, you find that
23 the term of "control" has a broader meaning as well.
24 Q. Can you explain this part now that you've come to broach it?
25 A. As I said, for this particular topic, I used the documents of the
1 land forces of the Dutch Royal Army, of the United States and of the
2 United Kingdom, all of which interpret the term of "control" in English
3 in a similar way, and that's to say in the syntagm of command and
5 I will now explain what the term of "control" and the scope of
6 use of that word, how it is defined in these documents.
7 In the document called, "Command and control" of the land forces
8 of the Dutch army, "Control" is to -- means to produce documents and
9 orders based on a decision taken, the conveyance of plans and orders to
10 those involved in the operation, supervision of the execution of the
11 operation, inspection or the controlling of the operation, and the
12 execution of the operation as needed and pursuant to additional orders.
13 Now, the manual, "joint operation, 3-0" from the United States
14 defines the term of "control" as -- or rather defines the term of
15 "command and control" so as to include the receiving and transmitting of
16 information, situation assessment in the immediate environment,
17 preparation of plans and orders, command over the subordinate forces,
18 setting up of the headquarters of a command post, coordination and
19 control of lethal and non-lethal powers, coordination and integration of
20 the support by a joint multi-national organisations, governmental
21 organisations and non-governmental organisations, as well as the public
22 relation activities in the area of activity.
23 Of particular importance to my expert opinion was the American
24 instruction, command and control, FM 6-0, which in its preamble states
25 that up until World War II, there existed only the notion of command
1 without control. In the aftermath of World War II, command expanded to
2 include command and control. The conclusion of the authors of that
3 instruction is that the notion of command and control was present and
4 familiar in the area of the land forces, but was not interpreted
5 correctly. The land forces have struggled to arrive at a definition that
6 would define in precise terms what the duties and activities of a
7 commander are. And whatever the commander does comes under the term of
9 What the staff does together with the commander falls under the
10 term of control. The definition of the expression "command and control"
11 in that dictionary, FN 6-0 is as follows: Command and control is the
12 exercise of the rights and competences by a given commander over the
13 forces assigned to him or attached to him with a view to a successful
14 accomplishment of a mission. The commander exercises command through a
15 situ system.
16 Your Honours, I have photographs with me, the necessary diagrams,
17 and all the documents that I've referred to I have here, and if you want
18 me to, I can ask that this diagram be placed on the ELMO and I can
19 explain as much as I've been explaining to you now with regards to the
20 expression of "command and control."
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections, any objections from anyone? Yes,
22 Mr. Elderkin?
23 MR. ELDERKIN: Again, I'm not sure how this relates to the
24 translation issue. I think that we would like to know what
25 "rukovodjenje" means and "komandovanje," but expression of the NATO
1 system of command and control is way outside the scope of what we are
2 here for.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But hope springs eternal, if you wait a few more
4 hours, perhaps you can get to that. Yes, we can -- I suggest that it's
5 put on the ELMO so that we can see it.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: These documents are at our list and as far as I
7 know they are in e-court.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: They are in e-court. And then we can upload it on
9 e-court if you give us the reference.
10 MR. ELDERKIN: Also, could we have an exhibit number for this,
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'll find it. It is 1D1181.
14 JUDGE KWON: No. I think I found it at 1D1183 on page 5.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, thank you.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Is this what you wanted to explain?
17 A. Yes. Your Honours, you can see the command and control system
18 from the American instruction FM 6-0. I'm going to try and explain this
19 image by starting from the bottom of it. In order for a mission to be
20 accomplished, where it says "mission accomplishment" which need to be
21 exercised by the forces as the object, there is an ongoing planning,
22 preparation and execution, and also an ongoing assessment and
23 reassessment. The essence of the control process is the command
24 operational picture or as we would translate that into Serbian, the
25 common operational picture of the theatre of war, or the zone of
1 operations, for the commander or -- and his staff. This is exercised
2 through the elements of the system of command and control, and the
3 elements are the personnel, equipment and others, facilities, procedures
4 and the IT management. All of this is in the hands of the commander who
5 is the leader, who is the person who passes decisions. This is our
6 understanding of the command and control system.
7 I would like to ask for your attention and I would like to draw
8 your attention to a different page in the same document. The page number
9 is 3-4.
10 Could this please be put on the ELMO or displayed otherwise?
11 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 1184, I believe. No, no. No, sorry. It is just
12 the second page of the same exhibit.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, correct, correct. [Interpretation]
14 Your Honours, the title of this image is, "Control functions of the
15 command and control system," depicts the three key functions with the
16 groups of tasks which all fall under the control function of the command
17 and control system. The first one would be support achieving situational
18 understanding. The second one, regulate forces and operating systems.
19 And the third one, allow the organisation to adapt to change.
20 The activities undertaken by the staff within the aforementioned
21 functions are to determine and dynamically adapt needs to collect,
22 analyse, display, safeguard and convey information and to envisage
23 possible threats within the duration of the execution. When it comes to
24 the regulation of forces, the main tasks are support the commander's
25 decision making, to define limits, to allocate resources to requirements
1 and tasks, to direct operations by producing and disseminating orders, to
2 acquire means to accomplish the mission, to develop specific directives
3 from general guidance. Under the third function, the following tasks may
4 be seen, the first one to forecast change in friendly, enemy or
5 environmental situations, to identify variances in performance from the
6 concept operations and to report significant changes in the situation to
7 the commander.
8 Your Honours, thank you very much for allowing me to present
9 these illustrations.
10 And now, if we are arriving at a conclusion about the terms of
11 "command and control," we said that "command" is the same thing as
12 "komandovanje." "Control" however may be translated in the Serbian
13 language both as "kontrola," which is assessment of the situation, and
14 also implicitly, not explicitly, mind you, as "rukovodjenje." In other
15 words, in the Serbian language, "komandovanje" and "rukovodjenje" may be
16 translated into English as "command" and "control."
17 However, in order to avoid any confusion, in terms of control
18 containing control, for example, and I'm going to draw a parallel when we
19 say fruit salad in the Serbian language, that term contains pears,
20 apples, cherries, and fruit salad which doesn't make any sense. It is
21 logically incorrect. And in that sense, as I've already said, on Friday,
22 the terms are coined on a scientific basis but also they result from
23 conventions that have been adopted. In my view here, we have to go by
24 convention in order to avoid confusion among people. And this would be
25 my proposal, based on my experience, based on my insight, into documents
1 that the term "komandovanje" and "rukovodjenje" in Serbian be translated
2 into English as "command" and "control." But in brackets, "(as
3 managing)," closed brackets. For the control or control in the Serbian
4 language to be translated into English as "control." And then in
5 brackets, there should be the word "check" or "checking".
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Elderkin.
7 MR. ELDERKIN: Just to be clear, this is, I think, what
8 Mr. McCloskey agreed to on Friday.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's my recollection, too.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I would now like to ask you something else, when it comes to
12 professional control can you tell us something about that?
13 A. Of course. Your Honours, as I already said on Friday, expert
14 control does not exist as a term, "strucno rukovodjenje" derives from two
15 different terms: "strucan," "expert"; "rukovoditi," "control." In those
16 terms, the adequate word in the Serbian of "strucan" would be "expert" or
17 "skilled" which implies that an expert would be a more appropriate term
18 because skill is something that has to do with dexterity in performing
19 manual tasks.
20 Since we have already established that commands have expert
21 organs which are involved in expert control, which means that it is the
22 experts who manage -- now when it comes to the term "strucan" in the
23 Serbian language, the English equivalent of that would be expert,
24 specialist and authority. In view of all that has been said so far, my
25 proposal would be that the term "strucno rukovodjenje" in the Serbian
1 language would be translated into English as "specialist managing."
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: We would like to tender all documents from our
3 list but all these documents were not shown to the witness. He referred
4 to that. And if it is necessary, I would put all of these documents to
5 him if it is necessary for tendering.
6 MR. ELDERKIN: That seems entirely unnecessary, in view of,
7 partly Your Honour's direction that the witness would present his
8 evidence orally but it seems unnecessary on the basis of the explanations
9 he has given us for each of the four terms. And we are not learning
10 about NATO doctrine here. We are asking about the meaning of words as
11 used in Serbian.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't think we ought to lose more time on this,
14 and without the need of you referring the documents to the witness, again
15 it will save us time, we are admitting for whatever relevance or
16 importance they may have in due course all the documents that you
17 indicated, except the report, obviously, except the report, and they are
18 being admitted from the bar table. Thank you.
19 So have you finished?
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, yes, Your Honours. [Interpretation] Thank
21 you. I have finished my examination.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
23 Mr. Nikolic, do you have a cross-examination?
24 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you, we don't have any
25 questions for this witness.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Bourgon?
2 MR. BOURGON: No, Mr. President, thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Bourgon. Mr. Gosnell?
4 MR. GOSNELL: No questions, Mr. President, thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Madam Fauveau?
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam. Mr. Josse?
8 MR. JOSSE: No, Your Honour, in the light of the Trial Chamber's
9 ruling on Friday at 22572, we have no questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And Mr. Sarapa?
11 MR. SARAPA: No, Mr. President, thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So Mr. Elderkin?
13 MR. ELDERKIN: And also none from us, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. That's a very practical approach, all
15 of you, I think considering the situation, how it has developed and we
16 could have sent Mr. Forca back home even Friday, if you had heeded our
18 General, it was a pleasure meeting you here in the Trial Chamber.
19 We learned a lot from what you came here to explain to us.
20 On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having
21 come over. And on behalf of everyone present, I wish you a safe journey
22 back home.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Zivanovic, any other document, apart from
2 the ones that we have admitted from the bar table?
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, no, thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So we don't have any documents. And we can start
5 with the next witness. Who is your next witness? I just want to make
6 sure that we've got the right person indicated today.
7 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, good morning. Our
8 next witness is Nebojsa Micic.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's correct.
10 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And I'll be leading that
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, it's my understanding this witness
13 is here to talk about a subject we've some about before, a post-war
14 investigation into Mr. Obrenovic taking tractors or boats. My
15 information is that this matter was never adjudicated or finalised or
16 resolved in any way at the time, so I imagine here that it may have some
17 relevance, but I would hope that we don't -- some of the time frames are
18 pretty long for something we've heard about already with -- I don't
19 understand the real relevance here but -- so I just bear that in mind
20 unless there is something else that I'm not being told about this
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes -- Madam Tapuskovic, would you like to comment
23 on that?
24 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to comment, but I
25 would need to go into private session for that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session, please.
2 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE KWON: In the meantime, Madam Tapuskovic, line 5 on page
25 14, there is a reference to Rule 69. Did you mean Rule 68?
1 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] No. I mentioned Rule 65 ter and
2 the summaries submitted thereunder. I wasn't following the transcript
3 when I was addressing the Trial Chamber. I said that the brief summary
4 of the testimony this witness ought to give was contained in the 65 ter
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have the break now, 25 minutes. Thank you.
8 --- Break taken at 9.52 a.m.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 --- On resuming at 10.24 a.m.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, sir, and welcome to this
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You have been summoned as a Defence witness by the
15 team defending Colonel Popovic in this case. Before you start giving
16 evidence, our rules require that you make a solemn declaration that you
17 will be testifying the truth. Madam Usher is going to hand you the text
18 of the solemn declaration which you're kindly asked to read out loud and
19 that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: NEBOJSA MICIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Micic. Make yourself -- please make
25 yourself comfortable. You are going to be asked first questions by
1 Madam Tapuskovic, who is appearing for Colonel Popovic and she will then
2 be followed by others.
3 Madam Tapuskovic?
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Examination by Ms. Tapuskovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Micic, good morning to you.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Let me introduce myself to you. My name is Mira Tapuskovic and
9 as the Presiding Judge said, I am a member of the Defence team for
10 Mr. Popovic. Kindly answer my questions slowly so that your answer may
11 be entered correctly into the transcript. To allow for this, you have to
12 make a short pause before answering my question so that my question can
13 first be interpreted and entered into the transcript.
14 First, tell us your full name.
15 A. Nebojsa Micic.
16 Q. Please tell us the place and year of your birth.
17 A. Zemun, the 2nd of May, 1959.
18 Q. Tell us something about your educational background.
19 A. I graduated from the military high school and the military
20 academy for the land forces and the security school in Pancevo.
21 Q. When did you first take up a post?
22 A. In 1977.
23 Q. Please tell us where did your career take you from 1977?
24 A. I worked for four years as a platoon -- as a tank platoon
25 commander upon completion of my high school. After that, I enlisted into
1 the security school and --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The security service, interpreter's correction.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and I have spent my career in
4 the security service until my retirement on various duties.
5 Q. When were you retired?
6 A. In the month of February 2002.
7 Q. During your service in the security organs where you said you
8 spent most of your career, can you tell us which duties you performed?
9 A. The first duty I performed was the security desk officer in a
10 regiment. Then a security desk officer in a brigade. Next, I was the
11 chief of security of a brigade. I had the latter duty until 1987. That
12 was still before the breakout of the conflict. Next, I was assistant
13 chief for security of a corps, and I was in charge of
14 counter-intelligence affairs for a short while. After that, I was the
15 chief of security of a corps.
16 Q. Can you tell us which corps that was?
17 A. The 7th Corps, stationed in -- or rather based in Trebinje first
18 and then in Bileca. The next duty I took up was in the security
19 administration, where I was first the desk officer for anti-terrorist
20 combat and anti-constitutional activity. Later on, I became the chief of
21 the anti-terrorist and anti-constitutional activity department in that
22 same administration.
23 Q. Tell us what you were doing when the 1991 events occurred in the
24 former Yugoslavia
25 A. At that time, I was in Slovenia
1 Q. What happened next?
2 A. Once the units of the former JNA withdrew, I was transferred to
3 the Kraljevo garrison. Quite soon, or two months later, I was
4 transferred to the Banja Luka garrison, to the tank brigade of that
6 Q. Can you tell us where is Kraljevo?
7 A. In Serbia
8 Q. You said that this took place several months later. Can you
9 recall specifically which year that was when you became the member of the
10 armoured brigade in Banja Luka?
11 A. On the 29th of December, 1991.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 As you say, you stayed there until the month of April 1997?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. You said that you spent your entire service in the security
16 organ. Can you tell us which regulations you applied in your work?
17 A. We had regulations that specifically applied to us. We had both
18 military and civilian life regulations applicable to us. From civilian
19 regulations, we applied the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code, of
20 the law on criminal procedure, whereas the military regulations governed
21 security affairs, either in the more general rules of service or in the
22 more specific regulations governing the security organs. The security
23 organs had their own internal rules. Therefore --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, it's not clear what time period we are
1 talking about and it's not really even clear which army we are talking
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I take it that when he went to Kraljevo, he
4 was still JNA. That I -- I think that is clear enough to me. But after
5 that, when you were transferred to Banja Luka and then in relation to the
6 events that have just been put to you by Ms. Tapuskovic, I think the
7 question that -- or the point made by Mr. McCloskey is very relevant and
8 you need to tell us exactly when, what time frame you're referring to,
9 and whether you're talking of the JNA or the VRS.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was referring to the regulations
11 that I adhered to, as well as the service I worked for. Until new
12 regulations were adopted, we complied with the regulations or laws that
13 were in force. For instance, before the laws, relevant laws in
14 Republika Srpska were adopted in 1994, we applied the legislation of the
15 former Yugoslavia
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is simply non-responsive to your question.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. You haven't answered the question.
19 Previously, Madam Tapuskovic, in reacting to your previous statement that
20 you were then transferred to the armoured brigade in Banja Luka, pointed
21 out to you that you stayed there until the month of April 1997. And she
22 asked you, then, which regulations you applied to your work, and you
23 started giving an answer. But we are talking of a long period of time,
24 so we need to know exactly when you were referring to the various
25 provisions of the Criminal Code and the rest, what period of time you
1 were referring to, and whether at, at the time, which army you belonged
2 to, whether it was the VRS, whether it was the JNA and then the VRS,
3 whether it was the Serbian army. You need to specify this.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me answer this specifically.
5 Until 1992, when the former JNA withdrew from the territory of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was a member of the Yugoslav People's Army. After
7 that, I remained of my own free will a member of the army of
8 Republika Srpska. And I remained a member of the army of
9 Republika Srpska until I was retired in 2002.
10 As far as the regulations are concerned, we applied the
11 regulations I previously referred to in our work. What needs to be kept
12 in mind is that the regulations changed over time but before the
13 SFRY Criminal Code ceased to be applied, we continued to apply it. Of
14 course, when the Republika Srpska Criminal Code was adopted in 1994, we
15 started applying those. Whatever the case was, whichever legislation was
16 in force, we applied it until new legislation was adopted.
17 Now, we had our internal rules of the security organ, which
18 defined our purview and methods of work, and these did not change until
19 after the year 2000.
20 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Micic, I will have to ask you to speak more slowly because it
22 is difficult to enter everything you say into the transcript.
23 Does this mean, what you've just said, that until certain
24 regulations of the army of Republika Srpska were passed, the JNA
25 regulations were in force as well as the legislation that was in force in
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 As a member of that service of the security organ, which duties
5 did you discharge?
6 A. Just as any other security officer, I had to comply with the
7 rules which defined our purview. There were two sets of tasks.
8 Q. Can you tell us which these two sets of tasks were?
9 A. Counter-intelligence tasks and the so-called staff security
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could just perhaps get whether he's in a
13 brigade or a corps and what year we are talking about during the war,
14 during this time, just a little bit more. We are in a real vacuum here.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Could you pinpoint these to us, please,
16 Mr. Micic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer, and if your question
18 is about the war, I was the chief of security in a brigade.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What brigade and what time precisely are we talking
20 about -- or you are talking about?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the armoured brigade in
22 Banja Luka of the 1st Krajina Corps. I joined that brigade in
23 December 1991, and I stayed with it until April 1997. That's how long I
24 was in that particular position.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Tapuskovic.
1 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Could you please tell us, to provide some further clarification
3 and to answer the Trial Chamber's question, whether the tasks of the
4 security organs are the same irrespective of the unit, whether it is a
5 brigade or a corps?
6 A. The tasks of a security organ differ at different levels. The
7 higher the level, the more specialised the tasks are. You can notice
8 that from my career path that I described at the beginning, but when we
9 are talking about a regiment, brigade and battalion, all the security
10 organs perform two types of tasks. The first set of tasks are
11 counter-intelligence tasks and the other group of tasks are staff
12 security tasks.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah, I would object to any further discussion.
15 We have 20 hours down for Mr. Vuga who is a security officer and he's
16 going to go -- this officer is going to go into what a security officer
17 does and this whole counter-intelligence thing, we are going to get in
18 this -- in a repetitive cumulative thing.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Tapuskovic, Mr. McCloskey is 100 per cent
20 right. Actually, this witness, according to the summary that you have
21 provided, will be testifying to events that relate or go back to the time
22 when he was officer in the security organ of the VRS Main Staff in 1998
23 and 1999. So why don't you go there straight away and forget what was
24 the position when he was in the regiment in Banja Luka, which concluded,
25 finished in 1997, anyway. Go straight to the subject matter that you
1 brought this witness to testify upon.
2 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] You're absolutely right,
3 Your Honours, and this was going to be my last background question. And
4 I wish to be moving on to a different period and talk about more concrete
6 Q. Mr. Micic, do you know and what do you know about the operative
7 subject Kum?
8 A. The operative subject Kum was a subject that was relative to the
9 abuse of office in the sector of the Zvornik Brigade or the so-called
10 503rd Brigade of the army of Republika Srpska. And it was part of a
11 broader operation known under the name of Komfor [phoen]. And that
12 broader operation also dealt with different types of abuses of office in
13 the units of the army of Republika Srpska across the entire territory
14 covered by the army of Republika Srpska.
15 Q. When you say that you dealt with abuses of office, what did that
16 mean at the time, at the level of the operative case?
17 A. This was done with the main goal of curbing the white-collar and
18 property crime which increased during the war and almost went through the
19 roof and started threatening the combat readiness of the units. That's
20 when the operative action was launched, in order to discover the
21 perpetrators of such crimes and to prevent the spreading of this
22 phenomenon in the army of Republika Srpska and to eliminate any
23 consequences of such activities in the units.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 When we are talking about the abuse of power of office that
1 you've just spoken about, what period of time are you talking about?
2 When did the abuse occur?
3 A. This abuse of office occurred during the war, and in the period
4 after the war, obviously. This lasted over a longer period of time.
5 Q. When you said that this particularly concerned the 503rd Brigade
6 of the army of Republika Srpska, what was the previous name of that
8 A. Since the names of the units changed, I know it as the
9 503rd Motorised Brigade, but in unofficial terms it was also known as the
10 Zvornik Brigade.
11 Q. When this Operation Kum was launched, where the headquarters of
12 the brigade was and who was its commander at the time?
13 A. When this Operation Kum was launched, the brigade headquarters
14 was in Zvornik, and its commander was Lieutenant Colonel
15 Dragan Obrenovic.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Micic.
17 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And now I would like to call up
18 Exhibit number 1D435 in e-court.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Mr. McCloskey?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I apologise. We don't have a document with that
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you verify this, Ms. Tapuskovic?
25 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this document was
1 admitted in October, on the 31st of October 2007, to be more precise.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yeah. That may be -- I'm sure that's so but that
4 doesn't mean we have been provided any notice of it. But at this point
5 I'll just withdraw the objection.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed. Thank you.
7 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Q. Do you see the document, Mr. Micic?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. It says, in the left upper corner, that this was drafted by the
11 commander of the 5th Corps, the security department. Can you please tell
12 us, the 5th Corps, what was its previous former name?
13 A. Again, I cannot give you the exact establishment number -- name,
14 but it was known as the Romanija Corps. And when the events were
15 occurring, it was the command of the 5th Corps as it is stated on the
17 Q. Mr. Micic, are you familiar with this document?
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. When did you see this document for the first time?
20 A. If you are referring to a time frame, I saw this document when I
21 was engaged in this particular case. As it says on the document, the
22 author of the document was the security department of the 5th Corps.
23 Q. Thank you. I'm now going to read the first paragraph of the
24 document to you, which states, "In order to prove and document the
25 suspicions that Kum is one of the persons who is a member of a group
1 engaged in criminal activities against the army of Republika Srpska, this
2 department, upon the order and in cooperation with the security
3 administration of the General Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, on
4 the 20th of June, 1999, embarked on the activities to elucidate the
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: This was a sight
8 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In the first paragraph that I've just read out to you, the word,
10 "Kum" has been used and it is in inverted commas. Can you please tell us
11 who this term referred to at the time?
12 A. The word "Kum" referred to Dragan Obrenovic, Lieutenant
13 Dragan Obrenovic, and this would be a customary code name that is
14 normally used in the documents of the security organ, and it is used in
15 communication which is not written communication, and I'm talking about
16 telephone and other similar types of communication.
17 Q. Why would you use a code name?
18 A. As I've already told you, a code name would be assigned to a
19 certain person in order to be able to communicate, to allow for the
20 communication between the security organs in order to avoid using the
21 real name.
22 Q. Who gave this name to this operation?
23 A. I was the one who chose this code name for this particular
25 Q. It arises from the first paragraph that I have just read out to
1 you that on the 26 -- 20th of June, 1999, the activities were launched in
2 order to elucidate the case. Tell me, please, this task, did it have a
3 preceding period, a period leading up to it?
4 A. Yes, there was a period leading up to the Operation Kum. I can't
5 tell you exactly to what extent the security organs of the 503rd Brigade
6 and the corps security organ worked on collecting information to launch
7 this operation. I can only tell you how much I was involved in the case.
8 I can't tell you how long were they involved.
9 Q. And what was your role in this operation, the Operation Kum?
10 A. My role in this case was to coordinate and assist the
11 subordinated security organs, and in this particular case, it was the
12 security organ of the 5th Corps, and the 503rd Motorised Brigade.
13 Q. So you were providing specialist assistance, weren't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And let us now remind ourselves, when you joined the
16 503rd Brigade to work on this operative case, Kum, what was your position
17 at the time and where were you at the time?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. He's never stated he joined the
20 503rd Brigade. That's leading. I can't tell what unit he's a part of
21 from these questions.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Tapuskovic, I think you need to comment on
24 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The witness
25 said that he got the assignment and that he came -- arrived to provide
1 professional assistance and to be coordinator and for that reason I said
2 that when he arrived in the brigade in order to perform this job of
3 coordination and specialist assistant, where had he come from and from
4 what position and I may have put my question a bit awkwardly.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Micic? Did you actually join the
6 503rd Motorised Brigade at the end?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you implied that joining up
8 means becoming part of the establishment, I would say no. I had arrived
9 from the security administration as a temporary assistance and I was in
10 the position that I already mentioned and it was my temporary mission,
11 temporary task, on the order of the Chief of Staff of the security
12 administration of the General Staff of the army. I was there as desk
13 officer for anti-terrorist and anti-constitutional department.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's clear enough. Let's proceed,
15 Madam Tapuskovic.
16 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. At that moment, what phase was the operative case Kum in?
18 A. When I arrived in Zvornik, and I arrived in the unit, this case
19 was in the phase when all the operative information had been collected.
20 This is our jargon. This is a rather low-level. A higher level would be
21 the level when the documentation had -- has been collected and that's why
22 the chief of administration had sent me to coordinate the work and to
23 provide assistance to the subordinated units, in order to move the case
24 from the stage of collecting information into a higher phase which would
25 be either documenting the allegations, confirm the allegations or reject
1 the allegations altogether.
2 Q. Can you describe in very brief terms how did you coordinate and
3 provide specialist assistance to that unit? Did you have to surmount any
4 obstacles in your work or not?
5 A. When I arrived in the Zvornik Brigade, or the 503rd Motorised
6 Brigade, I had a conversation with the commander, Lieutenant Colonel
7 Obrenovic, and the security organ of the 503rd Motorised Brigade,
8 Lieutenant Dragoslav Slavic, was also present during that conversation.
9 I told the brigade commander that I would be spending a certain period of
10 time in the area of responsibility of his unit, and I told him that I
11 would spend a certain period of time in the unit command and on the
12 ground performing some tasks that fall within the purview of the security
13 organ. This was a very short meeting, maybe 15 to 20 minutes, and this
14 was customary for anybody who arrived at a unit. This was just an
15 official meeting, more a protocol matter than anything else.
16 Q. Thank you. You said that there was -- the stage that lay ahead
17 of you was that of documenting what had been investigated. What waited
18 for you in store there?
19 A. In that stage, I had daily meetings with the security organs of
20 the 503rd Brigade and of the security department of the corps,
21 Lieutenant Colonel Momcilo Pajic, who was the chief of security of the
22 7th Corps at the time. From the very start, we made an assessment of the
23 situation and the intelligence gathered, produced a work plan for that
24 particular case, designated the persons responsible for certain tasks
25 arising from and dictated by the case at hand. We divided the necessary
1 work amongst ourselves and embarked on a stage where the intelligence
2 gathered would be double-checked and documented, and I'm referring to the
3 intelligence, the information that had been gathered and in existence
4 before my arrival at the brigade.
5 Q. Tell us, at the time, did you have information to the effect that
6 Dragan Obrenovic had come by certain knowledge concerning Operation Kum?
7 A. Upon my arrival in the unit, there were certain indications
8 showing that Lieutenant Colonel Dragan Obrenovic was able to learn that
9 the activities investigated would be documented. This because he had for
10 a while beforehand been opening the mail arriving for the 503rd Brigade.
11 There was one such case which had been discovered. He also became
12 resentful and hostile toward the security organ and this manifested
13 itself in such a way that he assigned Lieutenant Dragoslav Savic to
14 conduct anti-personnel tank -- anti-personnel mines drills in the area of
15 Kuslat. He did not provide him with the necessary amount of fuel which
16 he needed to carry out the tasks given to him.
17 Q. You say that Dragan Obrenovic -- can you hear me, sir?
18 A. Yes, it's all right now.
19 Q. You said a moment ago that Dragan Obrenovic opened official mail.
20 Can you tell us what sort of mail this was?
21 A. There was one incident where the official mail addressed to the
22 security organ of the 503rd Motorised Brigade had been opened. The
23 contents of the letters is something that I know nothing of. I only know
24 that he had been opening the mail intended for the security organ of that
25 unit, which was the reason why the superior security officer from the
1 relevant department of the 7th Corps had to intervene. He sent a warning
2 to the commander of the Zvornik Brigade and said that this was an
3 unlawful act on his part, to open the mail intended for the security
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. I would like to know if
6 Lieutenant Dragoslav Savic had already been assigned to conduct
7 anti-personnel tank or mine drills in the area of Kuslat before or by the
8 time that Mr. Micic arrived in Zvornik on this assignment.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so. Precisely as you put
10 it. This happened before my arrival there.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And if that is so, do have you an explanation why
12 the same Savic was present when you had a first meeting with
13 Dragan Obrenovic? Why would he be there present?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he was the security chief of
15 that unit. It was only natural for him to accompany me on the meeting
16 with his commander, where I was supposed to inform them of the nature of
17 my stay with that unit. There was nothing out of the ordinary in that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: So it was you who asked Savic to accompany you for
19 that meeting?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely so.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Madam Tapuskovic.
22 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I apologise to you. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: If there is anything besides mail opening and
25 sending people out to minefields, this could go on forever, none of which
1 we've had notice from. I mean, what goes on in an army three years after
2 a war between the security branch -- I mean, they have to give us notice.
3 They can't just cruise through this stuff with all this gossipy material.
4 It's just a total waste of time. We are 1998 for God's sake.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Tapuskovic. Please proceed.
6 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. However, I
7 wanted to make an introduction into the Operation Kum where the subject
8 on investigations and operative activities were certain activities that
9 took place after the war but during the war as well. We will have
10 certain documents to show.
11 Now, can we have shown in e-court --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey? Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm going to have to
14 insist that she make no reference to anything that's happened during the
15 war. We have had no notice of this, this incredible sloppy,
16 unprofessional conduct I've put up with quite a bit and it's just a total
17 waste of time. She's now going to go into the wartime period? I
18 certainly object to that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: What are you going to address with your next series
20 of questions, Madam Tapuskovic? Why don't you -- I've been taught that
21 you should know exactly where you want to go, and go directly there and
22 forget about marginal matters or what could be completely useless or
24 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have numerous
25 documents speaking to the abuse of office committed in the 503rd Brigade
1 and we have documents showing that the very commander of the brigade,
2 Obrenovic, was involved in that. We wanted to make an introduction into
3 that topic but we can skip that. These are documents that we find very
5 JUDGE AGIUS: But you've brought the witness here to testify on
6 the gathering of evidence and what came out of it and that's it. I mean,
7 we are not trying here Dragan Obrenovic for what he might have or not
8 have done before, during and after the war. This is not the purpose why
9 the witness is here. The witness is here to testify on his role in the
10 investigations that he conducted, and that's it.
11 Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I don't object to these documents
13 coming into evidence. I do object to this -- this is an investigator, he
14 can talk about his investigations --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- but to go through every one of his
17 investigative documents would not be appropriate for any investigator to
18 testify to and is a waste of time, but he can tell us about the
19 investigation. I have no problem with that and the documents can come
20 into evidence but to go through every document --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: This is precisely what I was saying, Mr. McCloskey.
22 We want to hear what the witness can tell us about his investigations and
23 the outcome of such investigations, if there was an outcome.
24 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the subject of
25 investigations and intelligence gathering was something -- was in fact
1 the commander of the brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic. We will not
2 be going through all the documents but we have to indicate the group, the
3 set of documents that we have, that we will be tendering into evidence.
4 It was for this reason that we wanted to show through the introduction
5 how the witness came to be involved in this operative action.
6 Q. Tell us, please, did Dragan Obrenovic ever have a word with you
7 after having found out that he was the target of that investigation?
8 A. After that initial meeting where I announced my stay with that
9 unit, and in the course of my work, which effectively lasted some 20
10 days, Lieutenant Colonel Dragan Obrenovic asked, through the corps
11 commander, General Andric, that I explain to him the true reasons for my
12 stay in his unit. After having observed that I summoned for interviews
13 certain commanding senior officers of his unit, who probably informed him
14 what my interviews with them were about and what sort of questions I put
15 to them, he insisted with the corps commander, on the occasion of a
16 briefing which took place at the headquarters at Vlasenica, where
17 six-monthly briefings of brigade commanders took place, at a -- or rather
18 during an interval at that briefing, he insisted that I explain what that
19 was all about.
20 Q. You mentioned, at page 34, in line 22, General Andric. Can you
21 tell us who General Andric was at the time?
22 A. General Andric was the corps commander, and according to the
23 chain of command he was the first superior to the commander of the
24 Zvornik Brigade, that is to say Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic.
25 Q. Did Obrenovic take any countermeasures at that point in time?
1 A. I haven't finished my earlier answer.
2 I accepted the invitation from General Andric and in my contacts
3 with Lieutenant Colonel Dragan Obrenovic, I told him openly that he was
4 the target of an investigation of the security organs. I asked him
5 whether he had any additional questions and very soon thereafter, with
6 the permission of the general, I left the office.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, please answer the question I put to you a moment
8 ago, having learned that he was the target of investigations, did
9 Dragan Obrenovic take any countermeasures?
10 A. As for me personally and the group of people I worked with, he
11 did not take any open measures or actions against us. Whether he did so
12 incovertly [as interpreted], I don't know.
13 Q. Did he try to work toward having certain individuals transferred
15 A. Yes, I do know that one of the witnesses we got in touch with,
16 and who provided us with a statement about abuse of office, and that was
17 Lieutenant Colonel Dragan Jokic, the chief of engineering of the
18 503rd Motorised Brigade, he had him transferred to the command of the
19 5th Corps. There were two or three more officers who were removed, if I
20 can put it that way, at the time and these were officers who disagreed
21 with the method of work employed by Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic, and I'm
22 referring to the very abuse of office committed.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Micic.
24 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now have a look at the
25 document, if it's still in e-court? And I'm referring to the same
1 document, 1D435.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to the use of this document. I think
4 he can use it to refresh his recollection but an investigator's
5 investigative documents are not normally the kind of thing you just
6 plough through like this. He can tell us about it. If he needs to
7 refresh his recollection to it but --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I still haven't heard the question. Let's hear the
9 question first.
10 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Tell us, Mr. Micic, the documents you had at your disposal at
12 which you obtained, did they expressly state the extent of abuse of
13 office ascribed to him?
14 A. Yes. I recall a document which contained seven, eight, nine --
15 nine such sets of problems which tied Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic with
16 abuse of office. We refer to those documents as the overview of
17 intelligence gathered.
18 Q. Can you tell us what the amount of intelligence and documents was
19 that you had and which incriminated Obrenovic with regard to abuse of
21 A. I believe that the dossier amounted to a binder of documents. In
22 other words, there were several documents, briefs, records of interviews,
23 statements taken and other documents.
24 Q. Do you remember the example of office abuse that were listed in
25 the documentation allegedly committed by Obrenovic?
1 A. Yes, I can do that. I remember a car, a Golf, that
2 Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic used for a while as his vehicle, that was
3 later on sold on to the Zvornik bank and was registered to the name of
4 Mr. Obrenovic. I also remember a tractor --
5 Q. Could you please wait for my next question?
6 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we now call up 1D406 in
7 e-court, please?
8 Q. [Microphone not activated]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel. Microphone for the
11 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Micic, in your binder of documents, when you investigated the
13 abuse of the Golf vehicle, did you see this document?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Who was it who issued this document? What is the indication?
16 A. The municipality of Sekovici
17 Q. And now, in the same document, can we move on to the English page
18 number 5 and B/C/S page number 5 as well?
19 Could you please read what you see on the screen?
20 A. I can see a sales-purchase agreement for a passenger vehicle.
21 Q. Do you have this document in your binder?
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 Q. And who was the car sold to, according to this contract?
24 A. According to this contract, the Golf was sold to the Zvornik bank
25 based in Zvornik.
1 Q. And before that, who did the Golf belong to?
2 A. This Golf belonged to the command of the Zvornik Brigade and was
3 used as an official vehicle for the command of the Zvornik Brigade.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Micic, for your explanation.
5 And now, do you have any other example of abuse that was
6 committed by Mr. Obrenovic?
7 A. I remember a tractor that he gave away to Boro Tadic [as
8 interpreted], his father-in-law, as a gift. This was his wife's father.
9 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] And I would like to call up
10 document 1D400 in e-court, please.
11 Q. I'm going to read a short paragraph to you, having heard that
12 Lieutenant Dragan Obrenovic abused his official position and gave away a
13 military tractor, IMT, and gave it as a gift to Boro Gajic from Kozluk,
14 we started collecting and checking information.
15 Mr. Micic, did you have this document in your collection of
16 documents that were relative to the actions of Dragan Obrenovic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us what happened to the tractor?
19 A. This tractor, once it was repaired and overhauled, the
20 registration and chassis number was falsified and the tractor was sold on
21 to Serbia
22 Q. And now something about Dragan Obrenovic's abuse of power when it
23 came to property. Was Dragan Obrenovic involved in that as well?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you give us some more details? When did all this start?
1 A. This type of abuse started, as far as I knew about the property
2 crimes at the time, when he started building his family house in Zvornik.
3 He was building it in a plot that the Zvornik municipality gave to
4 Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic free of charge as a well-deserving citizen.
5 We are talking about a house that he was building.
6 According to the information that we had and that was
7 subsequently confirmed, when he was building this house, he used military
8 vehicles to haul the building materials. He also used servicemen as work
9 power, and he also gave them food from the military supplies. In other
10 words, the troops were engaged to build his house and he fed the troops
11 from the reserves or from the kitchen of the military unit that he was in
12 command of.
13 Q. Mr. Micic, could you please try and remember and tell us when
14 this building plot was given to Mr. Obrenovic?
15 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you the exact period of time or the
16 date, but I personally participated in locating the land certificate from
17 the cadastre of the Zvornik municipality. This document exists and I'm
18 sure that you will be able to see it from there.
19 Q. How was the building material obtained for the building of that
20 particular house?
21 A. Save for some of the building materials, such as the doors, the
22 windows, we could not establish at the time how he obtained other
23 building materials to build his family house.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to call up document
1 1D403 in e-court.
2 Q. Mr. Micic, are you familiar with this document? Did you see it
3 among the documents that referred to the operative case Kum?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you please tell us briefly what this document refers to?
6 A. This document is about the delivery of doors and windows from the
7 company Metalano in Zvornik to the address of the military post in
9 Q. Thank you. What else did you learn about other illegal
10 activities and property illegally obtained by Mr. Obrenovic?
11 A. I remember a building device or a building equipment King, which
12 at the time was also removed illegally from the Zvornik Brigade.
13 Q. Do you know anything about this machine known as King? How long
14 had it been in the Zvornik Brigade before that?
15 A. At the time we established that this piece of equipment called
16 King belonged to a building company or a construction company. As far as
17 I remember the name of the company was Kamenolom which was the stone
18 quarry at the entrance to Zvornik.
19 The machine was pretty much neglected but nobody looked after it.
20 The Zvornik Brigade had it at its disposal.
21 Q. While -- was the King machine also used during the war?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. While we still have the document on the screen, could you please
24 tell us the date on the document? When was this invoice issued?
25 A. The 26th June, 1993.
1 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Micic.
2 Is there anything else you can tell us about any other cases of
4 A. The commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel
5 Obrenovic, availed himself of the so-called war booty. He used about
6 five tractors to fell trees and transport timber. He also engaged troops
7 from his unit to do that.
8 Q. Mr. Micic, if there are no other details you can remember --
9 A. Yes. I remember the building of a different family residence
10 which was recorded as property of his mother in Sremska Mitrovica
11 Stari Banovci settlement. I personally checked the status of that
13 Q. [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
15 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. How did you obtain all this information?
17 A. We obtained the information in contact with the officers and the
18 civilians from the unit and the area. We talked to the members of the
19 unit who obviously were against the commander's ways, i.e., with his
20 abuse. I would not have any comments to his work proper, i.e., to the
21 command and control that he exercised.
22 Q. In order to avoid going through all the documents starting with
23 1D390 to 1D422, which all refer to the information collected about the
24 abuse of power by the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, I'm going to ask
25 the witness some of my final questions.
1 Mr. Micic, how did the whole operative case Kum end up?
2 A. As I've already told you, I was temporarily assigned to this task
3 and my assignment lasted for some 20 days. And the persons in charge of
4 the investigation was the security organ of the 5th Corps and the
5 security organ of the 503rd Motorised Brigade. They were the ones who
6 were tasked with working on the case. And they continued working on the
7 case when I left and was reassigned. I remember that no criminal charges
8 were raised in respect of this case and that, after a certain while,
9 Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic was extradited to The Hague, so I can't tell
10 you what the organ of the 5th Corps and the organ of the 503rd Brigade
11 did in respect of this case once I left.
12 Q. This operative case Kum did not involve just Obrenovic, did it?
13 A. The operative case Kum was not only about Lieutenant Colonel
14 Obrenovic personally. He was the most responsible person in the case.
15 The whole case applied to a group of individuals, members of his unit,
16 among whom he was the highest ranking officer and with him there was also
17 a group of officers and civilians who participated in the matter and
18 exercised different tasks upon his orders. I remember the chief of the
19 technical services, a person -- a person who was in charge of the depot,
20 and some other persons who were involved.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Micic.
22 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
23 questions for this witness.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, and were criminal proceedings ever instituted
25 in relation to these other persons or any other kind of proceedings?
1 Disciplinary proceedings? Apart from Obrenovic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I've just told you, I don't know
3 whether any charges were raised against anybody with regard to this
4 particular case, whether there was any disciplinary responsibility or
5 anything else.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Micic.
7 Now, thank you, Madam Tapuskovic.
8 Mr. Nikolic, do you wish to cross-examine this witness?
9 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. No
10 questions for this witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
12 Mr. Bourgon? Would you like to question this witness,
13 cross-examine this witness?
14 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President, I do have a few questions for
15 the witness.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, please.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Micic. My name is Stephane Bourgon and I'm
19 counsel for Drago Nikolic in these proceedings. I have a very few
20 questions for you and I would first like to ask you to look at a document
21 which is 7DP176, if I can have the document in e-court, please.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, is there any list or anything that you
23 may have sent us to alert us to this material?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon? I don't think Mr. Bourgon has --
25 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, sorry, I was looking at that because
1 I had the wrong document on my screen but this document was on the list
2 of my colleague, Mr. Zivanovic, so there was no -- there was no problem
3 of notice to the Prosecution. I just have a technical question that I
4 would like to ask the witness about the document.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Simply, we don't have that document.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But if it was on the list, it should be retrievable
8 without any major difficulty.
9 MR. BOURGON: It is on the screen, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it the one that we have on the screen now?
11 MR. BOURGON: Yes, it is.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
13 MR. BOURGON: It was on the other screen that I was looking for
14 the document. It has two pages, to be able to --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And do we have an English translation of it?
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it clear or is there agreement that it was on
18 Mr. Zivanovic's list of documents to be used or not?
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It was on from the Prosecution list and this
20 document was tendered into evidence.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I see.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've got a lot of those and it's not on any
23 Defence lists.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would object to the use of any documents at
1 this point, unless he can make a foundation of why.
2 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, this witness is coming to testify
3 about Operation Kum.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: What is this document anyway?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just I'll be brief. This is a serious question
13 of the rule of law. If they are going to be following these important
14 rules, they need to follow them. If this is a document that he's just
15 thought up now as cross sometimes happens, I have no objection. If this
16 was a document that he'd been aware of, I certainly object.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
20 (redacted). There is
21 absolutely no problem, no reason why the Prosecution should not have
22 prepared and be ready for me to ask a question related to this document
23 this morning.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that answers my question. He's known
25 about the document beforehand. He had the number to it, he gave us no
1 notice, it appears, deliberately. If he says by accident he didn't, I'll
2 have no objection. But if he's deliberately withholding a document he
3 intends to use, he's got to follow the rules.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Our position is quite simple, actually. We are
6 letting it go this time but legally, Mr. McCloskey is correct. The
7 understanding and the directive of this Tribunal is that if you have
8 documents that you intend to use for your cross-examination that you give
9 information to your counterparts immediately before the cross-examination
10 starts. Or at least -- exactly.
11 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I take good note of the
12 Court's advice.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's proceed.
14 MR. BOURGON: I would just like to say that concerning this
15 document, I was not expecting to ask this question this morning related
16 to the fact I thought it would be covered in the examination-in-chief,
17 but now it comes out in the testimony, the issue of opening the mail, and
18 I just want to follow up as a normal cross-examination. But I will take
19 the guidance of the Court and apply it to the best of my ability,
20 Mr. President.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
22 MR. BOURGON: However, before my continue, my colleague just
23 raised an issue that there might be something that needs to be redacted
24 concern something that I may have said on the record earlier and I think
25 I refer to page 45, at the end of page 45 which might need a redaction.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to redact the first three lines of
2 Mr. Bourgon's intervention, starting at line 23 right through 25.
3 MR. JOSSE: Could I suggest that to be safe 10 to 15 as well on
4 that page?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think it will be wise to do that. Thank
6 you, Mr. Josse. 10 to 15, and then the first three lines, 23 to 25.
7 Let's proceed. And there is the usual 30 minute delay in
8 transmission. You may proceed, Mr. Bourgon.
9 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Mr. Micic, if you look at the letter that is before you now in
11 your language, I'd simply like to know if this, to your knowledge, is
12 related to the incident that you mentioned in your testimony about the
13 commander of the 503 Brigade opening mail which was addressed to the
14 security organ of his brigade?
15 A. Yes. I said so a moment ago that that particular instance to
16 which this document relates has to do with the unlawful opening of the
17 mail addressed to the security organ of the 503rd Brigade. It is
18 therefore linked with that case.
19 Q. And in terms of timing, would this letter be before or after your
20 arrival in the lines of the 503 Brigade to perform your duties in respect
21 of Operation Kum?
22 A. This event occurred before my arrival at the Zvornik Brigade to
23 work there on a temporary basis.
24 Q. And I take it, Mr. Micic, that when you -- you've testified
25 earlier that you did at one point confront Dragan Obrenovic with some
1 allegations related to Operation Kum, but on the initial meeting you had
2 at the brigade, that is in the company of Mr. Savic, I take it that at
3 that particular time you did not inform Dragan Obrenovic that he was the
4 target of the investigation; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. Yes, correct. Precisely so.
6 Q. And are you familiar with the fact that following the -- both the
7 mail incident and that first visit, that Obrenovic had ordered Savic to
8 be replaced as chief of security and had appointed him as a liaison
9 officer to foreign forces and that he wanted to replace him with
10 Jasikovac as security officer? Are you familiar with this?
11 A. Yes. I am familiar with this attempted removal. However, a
12 commander of a unit may only in agreement with the chief of the security
13 administration, effect appointments in lower units and I'm referring to
14 the corps, brigade, regiment, battalion, wherever there were security
15 organs present, without a decision from the chief of the security
16 administration, such appointments could not be carried out in a legal
17 way. Yes, I am familiar with this attempted removal of Dragoslav Savic.
18 He was ultimately not removed from that position, continued working there
19 and actively participating in my investigations until subsequently he
20 stopped being a member of the VRS altogether.
21 Q. And Mr. Micic, how would you qualify, throughout these events
22 that you were personally involved in, the reaction of Dragan Obrenovic,
23 or the feelings of Dragan Obrenovic, to what you can tell, towards the
24 security branch?
25 A. Since I hadn't been discussing these issues with
1 Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic, I could only make my conclusions on the
2 basis of his actions and behaviour. These conclusions were that he was
3 worried for his own sake and his post, on account of the evidently
4 unlawful activities he was engaged in, such as opening other people's
5 mails, reassigning individuals elsewhere, his conduct toward Savic, and
6 his attitude toward the group of people I worked with. This also went
7 for the group of people surrounding him, whom he engaged in these
8 activities with. His actions directly resulted in him being worried and
9 concerned about possible criminal charges or disciplinary charges being
10 brought against him, all of which led him to his attempts to eliminate
11 those individuals who were potential witnesses and who could testify
12 about these actions of his.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, would you agree with me, Mr. Micic, that an
14 investigation such as Kum, regardless of the results of the investigation
15 at the end, can have some major repercussions on the military career of
16 any officer, especially a senior officer?
17 A. Precisely so. I agree with you.
18 Q. And based on your experience, is it the type of investigation
19 that may prevent a senior officer from being promoted to the next rank in
20 a structure?
21 A. It may, once it goes through the disciplinary proceedings before
22 the competent disciplinary military court, which result in one of the
23 penalties being the ban on any further promotions. The results can also
24 be his dishonourable discharge from that particular post and reassignment
25 to a lower-level post, one which he had been occupying before having
1 committed abuse of office, if you understand me correctly.
2 Q. Thank you. And maybe just one last question. To your knowledge,
3 is there any relationship between the fact that there was Operation Kum
4 and the fact that Lieutenant Colonel Obrenovic was never promoted to a
5 higher rank after the war?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: That misstates the evidence. If you recall, we
8 have -- Major Obrenovic was the rank during our events, and so I think
9 his -- the premise to his question is wrong. I don't recall precisely at
10 this time the date of the promotion.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
12 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, during the war, Dragan Obrenovic
13 held the rank of major. Immediately following the war, not too long
14 after, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, while the commander of the
15 brigade was promoted to colonel on the same day. That's the evidence on
16 the record. My question is not this. My question is: Is there a
17 relationship between these events, Kum, which happened later, and the
18 fact that he was never promoted above Lieutenant Colonel. It's a
19 completely different question and it's to the knowledge of the witness.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's totally speculative given the background.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Either the witness knows, has inside information on
23 this. If he hasn't, he cannot speculate. Yes, Mr. Micic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only know that Lieutenant Colonel
25 Obrenovic was Lieutenant Colonel at the time I was in charge of that
1 case, and I was a Lieutenant Colonel at the time as well. I cannot
2 answer that specific question because it falls within the purview of the
3 personnel services at the level of the corps. I cannot tell if this had
4 any bearing on his promotion or not. This was not within the extent of
5 knowledge that I had at the time.
6 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much, Mr. Micic. I have no further
7 questions. Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: We will soon have the break, but before we do so, I
9 want to know where we stand.
10 Mr. Gosnell, you will not be cross-examining this witness, will
12 MR. GOSNELL: No, thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Fauveau?
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
16 MR. JOSSE: No cross-examination.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And Mr. Sarapa?
18 MR. SARAPA: No questions, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So, soon after the break -- you're not
20 cross-examining the witness?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: No, Mr. President, no questions.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Which means, Mr. Micic, that your
23 testimony ends here, unless my colleagues wish to put questions to you.
24 Thank you very much for having come over to give testimony and please
25 have a safe journey back home.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We'll do the documents after the break.
4 25 minutes, because I have a meeting now.
5 --- Break taken at 11.59 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Madam Tapuskovic, documents?
8 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. A list has
9 been submitted for the previous witness. Those are documents between
10 1D390 to 1D422.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Any objection?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I'm objecting to all those
13 based on the fact that the foundation was not laid. They didn't even ask
14 the person if -- what the results of the investigation were, whether he
15 was cleared, not cleared, clearly made no effort to even do that and
16 without that effort to have been made minimally, I don't think these
17 documents can mean anything to you. They, in fact, they specifically and
18 deliberately apparently did not follow up on where this went. So in my
19 view, with that lack of foundation, these documents should be given no
20 weight at all.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Any remark from the other Defence teams? Yes,
22 Madam Tapuskovic?
23 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that at
24 this moment, it is not that important whether the witness spoke about the
25 outcome of every investigation that had been carried out. The documents
1 were shown to him, he recognised them, and he spoke about their contents
2 and he also explained what activities are described in each of these
3 documents and he also confirmed that these activities had been undertaken
4 during the investigation, so I believe that the documents are indeed
5 relevant for the case.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Bourgon?
8 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. My colleague's argument
9 was that these documents should be given no weight at all. That was on
10 page 52, lines 23 and line 1 of page 53. This is unrelated to
11 admissibility. This will be for the Trial Chamber to determine what
12 weight will be given to these documents but for now they have probative
13 value. (redacted)
21 Our decision is to admit these documents without, of course,
22 prejudicing the weight.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So as I said, without prejudice, of course, to
25 submissions that can be made later on as to their weight, if at all.
1 So that completes our testimony of Nebojsa Micic.
2 Next witness? For the record, we have sitting in the row
3 reserved for the Beara team, a gentleman whose name I don't know. This
4 is following an agreement that there has been between the Prosecution and
5 the Popovic Defence team. The gentleman will be assisting the next
6 witness in the uploading and demonstration of some documents.
7 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I was just
8 going to introduce the gentleman, who is sitting with the Beara team.
9 His name is Bozo Grbic, who will be assisting us during the examination
10 of our witness. He is actually the assistant of Mr. Miladin Kovacevic
11 who is our expert.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to
16 start giving evidence as an expert witness for the Popovic Defence team.
17 Before you do so, our rules require that you make a solemn declaration
18 that you will be testifying the truth. The text is being handed to you
19 now. Please read it out aloud and that will be your solemn undertaking
20 with us.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: MILADIN KOVACEVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
1 Madam Tapuskovic?
2 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Examination by Ms. Tapuskovic:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kovacevic. For the record, I'm going to
5 introduce myself to you. My name is Mira Tapuskovic, and I appear on
6 behalf of Mr. Vujadin Popovic. I'm going to ask you to speak slowly, and
7 before starting your answer, could you please check that my question has
8 been recorded and also I'm not going to start asking my next question
9 before you answer the previous one. This is necessary for the transcript
10 and for the appropriate recording of everything that is being said in the
12 Mr. Kovacevic, could you please give us your name for the record?
13 A. My name is Miladin Kovacevic.
14 Q. Where and when were you born?
15 A. I was born on the 24th of August, 1952, in Bosnia and
17 Q. Thank you. I received -- we received your curriculum vitae which
18 is Exhibit 1D1128. However, could you please tell us, Mr. Kovacevic,
19 something about your educational background?
20 A. My formal education background is as follows. I graduated from
21 the school of natural sciences and mathematics in Belgrade with a degree
22 in mathematics in 1976. After that, I enrolled in post-graduate studies
23 at the University of Zagreb
24 economics, or, rather, in the area of statistics and this was in 1978.
25 After that, I prepared my doctoral thesis and I obtained my PhD
1 in mathematical statistics at the school of economics in Zagreb in 1983.
2 Q. And what about your professional career from the moment you
3 graduated and later on?
4 A. In a nutshell, I am mostly involved with two areas of work. One
5 is state statistics, i.e. public service, and the second is my academic
6 career or teaching at university. I started by joining the institute for
7 statistics of the then Federal Bureau of Statistics of the Socialist
8 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia
9 that institute. At the same time, I was teaching at two faculties, the
10 school of economics in Belgrade
12 I first -- I started by dedicating my work to the statistical
13 methodology, then I continued with demography. Later on, I embarked on
14 all sorts of research, mostly of public opinion and market. And some 15
15 years or so or a bit later, I started being interested in macroeconomics
16 and economics in general, and currently I'm at the position of the deputy
17 of the director of the national bureau of statistics. I am the adviser
18 of the national bank and I am also an associate researcher of the
19 economic institute as a member of the editorial board of a magazine that
20 writes about economic trends and economic policies.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kovacevic.
22 When did you start working as an expert in the Defence team of
23 Mr. Vujadin Popovic?
24 A. Approximately three years ago.
25 Q. And you prepared your expert report marked as 1D1129?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us, in very brief outlines, and can you tell the
3 Trial Chamber and our learned friends what documents were available to
4 you when you started preparing your expert report?
5 A. I received documents successively starting with the moment when I
6 embarked on my research. At first, I had nothing but the report and the
7 annex to the report drafted by Mrs. Helge Brunborg and Mr. Henrik Urdal
8 and then I received documents that consisted of certain written documents
9 or electronic databases and so on and so forth. Some of those documents
10 I used in the demographic department of the Tribunal. I'm talking about
11 the databases which are not publicly accessible, and the most important
12 databases were the 1991 census in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the list of voters
13 dating back to 1977 and 1997 and 1998 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the list of
14 missing persons from the protected area of Srebrenica which was put
15 together by the experts of the Tribunal, Brunborg and Urdal, and a few
16 other documents such as the lists of members of the BiH army, databases
17 of the displaced persons from the protected area of Srebrenica, the lists
18 of -- I don't know, some other lists. I'm talking about rather ample
19 documentation so I can't give all these documents to you off the cuff.
20 Q. You've also told us that you worked here at the Tribunal in the
21 demographic department. When was that? Who did you work with? And what
22 was the outcome of your work here at the Tribunal?
23 A. I worked here on two Tribunal -- occasions, in the month of
24 April, together with my colleagues who were IT specialists and especially
25 those who are specialised in database searches, Mr. Bozo Grbic and
1 Mr. Branko Jirecek were with me on the first occasion. On the second
2 occasion I was working only with Mr. Bozo Grbic. The result of our
3 searches and of our work has been fully described in my report, and
4 actually it is mostly relative to the database searches, primarily the
5 contrasting and matching of the lists of voters with the list of missing
7 Q. So the result of your researches has been involved in your work
8 but how are the data that you analysed during your work at the
9 demographic unit of the Tribunal stored?
10 A. The data are stored electronically, according to the protocol and
11 as such they are available at the Tribunal and available to the Tribunal
13 Q. Listing the documents that you used to prepare your report, you
14 mentioned the list of missing persons. You also mentioned Brunborg's
15 consolidated list of missing persons. Did you use any other lists that
16 were available to you?
17 A. We used the lists that were used to put the consolidated list
18 together, primarily, the ICRC and PMR [as interpreted] list. We also
19 used the list of voters and the census.
20 Q. What is the difference between the two lists that you have just
21 mentioned? The first one being the ICRC list and the second being the
22 PHR list, both of which were at your disposal?
23 A. These lists were generated in the following way. The ICRC list,
24 according to Brunborg and Urdal report, applied to all the victims in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina, actually to all the people missing from Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina
2 of Srebrenica.
3 Q. So your conclusion was what? How did the consolidated report
4 come about and how do you call that list that you used in your report?
5 A. We are talking about the consolidated report based on the
6 previously mentioned two lists, although there are some other sources
7 mentioned in the Brunborg and Urdal's report. There is a consolidated
8 list which was the result of a fusion of the two lists. With the
9 selection of those missing persons that would refer to the protected area
10 of Srebrenica.
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 Since you have gone through Brunborg's work and the consolidated
13 list of Helge Brunborg and his associate, could you briefly describe the
14 procedure underlying the consolidated list relative to the dead and
15 missing from the area of Srebrenica?
16 A. In a nutshell, Urdal and Brunborg, first carried out a fusion of
17 the two aforementioned lists and ended up with one consolidated list and
18 then they checked, i.e., embarked on a process to check the credibility
19 of that list. First, they wanted to establish for every person listed in
20 the list whether that person had existed in respect of the benchmark
21 census from 1991. And second of all, they wanted to establish whether
22 that person is possibly among the living, and they did it by comparing
23 and contrasting the names with the census list from 1997 and 199 -- 1997
24 and 1998. So these are the two lists that were compiled by the competent
25 organisations and the credibility was checked by contrasting the census
1 of 1991 and list of voters from 1997 and 1998.
2 Q. If I can conclude from your explanation by matching the lists
3 with the census, what purpose was achieved?
4 A. The purpose that was achieved was to establish the credibility
5 from the aspect of the realistic or physical existence of a person during
6 the census that was carried out in 1991.
7 Q. And what about matching with the list of voters from 1997 and
9 A. The process of matching with the 1997 and 1998 list of voters was
10 aimed at verifying for each and every person on the consolidated list,
11 whether they are registered in the list of voters that were compiled in
12 1997 and 1998. That was a guarantee that the person on the list was
13 indeed missing, if their names did not appear in the 1997 and 1998 lists.
14 Q. When you were checking the reliability of these lists, what was
15 your approach to the verification of credibility and trustworthiness?
16 A. When it came to the trustworthiness of the list of missing that
17 was compiled by Brunborg and Urdal was on the one hand to reconstruct the
18 process of matching of that list with the census and the list of voters;
19 and on the other hand, I was looking at the ratio between the number of
20 missing on the list with cross matching with other sources of data and
21 the balance relations that were obtained on those data sources, i.e., the
22 documents that mentioned any data either referring to the number of the
23 population, the number of missing, the number of identified and some
24 other figures.
25 Q. Does it mean that in one way or another, you repeated the
1 matching process that you went over the same grounds that Brunborg and
2 his associate had already done?
3 A. Yes. I actually performed the IT processing of the data, which
4 implied the matching of the list with the census and the -- also with the
5 list of voters.
6 Q. You have told us that you also performed the matching with the
7 1991 census. What is the connection between that particular list and
9 A. At the time, I was the head of the department for demographics at
10 the then-federal bureau of statistics. I was in charge of the last
11 census in Yugoslavia
12 Q. Thank you. During his work on compiling the consolidated list
13 and comparing it with the census of 1991, Helge Brunborg used the
14 so-called keys, a total of 71 of them, in order to establish a connection
15 between the persons on the list of missing and the list of persons from
16 the 1991 census. What would be your view of those rules and what would
17 be your comments?
18 A. The 71 keys that you're talking about had been constructed as the
19 ID surrogate which starts from principal ID key that connects of the
20 first name, the family name, the father's name, the sex, the date of
21 birth and the place of birth. These rules were designed in order to
22 select the narrow groups from the census, where a certain pair could be
23 found, on the one hand a person from the list of missing could be found
24 in that group in case when the ID keys are not identical between the
25 census and the list of missing persons.
1 Q. In order to simplify things for us, in order to explain to us the
2 whole ID process that was undertaken, can you give us an example? We
3 don't have to have the whole list of missing persons. In your report,
4 you have several tables with several names. Could you please take a
5 random name from any of the tables? For example, on page 15 of your
6 expert report, this is quite an indicative table, and could you please
7 give us an example of -- I'm talking about paragraph 49, Mr. Kovacevic.
8 Could you give us an example which will show us how the 71 keys were used
9 by Mr. Brunborg?
10 A. The table or the illustration in paragraph 49 does not refer to
11 the census but, rather, to the list of identified persons, and the
12 procedure is described how the list of identified persons was processed
13 but when it comes to the census, I can explain how any individual in the
14 census was compared in order to find a matching pair between the census
15 and the list of missing persons.
16 Q. Okay. Give us an example.
17 A. An example of that so it might be --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Just a moment. Ms. Soljan?
19 MS. SOLJAN: Your Honours, just one point I wanted to make. When
20 we refer to the list of missing, it might be helpful to refer whether
21 it's the OTP list of missing, the ICRC list of missing or the PHR list of
22 missing because they may create confusion in the record. So, for the
23 clarity of the record, to understand which list of missing is being dealt
24 with right now.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Soljan.
1 Yes, Ms. Tapuskovic. I think you can clarify that with the
3 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Tell me, please, you heard the question. Was the list -- or is
5 the list of the dead and the missing that you're referring to the one
6 that was made by the ICRC or is it the list made by Helge Brunborg?
7 A. From the outset we have been referring to the consolidated list
8 of missing made by Brunborg and Urdal which was in fact a fusion of two
9 lists, one of which was made by the ICRC and the other one was made by
10 the organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, or what was it called?
11 Q. Physicians for Human Rights?
12 A. Yes, right, Physicians for Human Rights.
13 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, let us go back to the question that was put to you
14 earlier. Can you give us an illustration with an invented name and the
15 possible information that the consolidated list could provide in order to
16 show us how the matching was done through the application of the 71 rules
17 or keys invented by Mr. Brunborg?
18 A. Yes. Well, here we can see in my report a part of the list of
19 missing persons which was the result of the comparison of that list with
20 the list of voters. That's paragraph 26.
21 For instance, let us have a look at it just to have an idea of
22 it. We can take any person. For instance, under 2: Hadzic, Omer, Mujo,
23 that's to say last name Hadzic, father's name Omer, name, Mujo;
24 municipality of residence, Srebrenica; municipality of birth, Vlasenica;
25 and then we have the year of birth, since we lack the data concerning the
1 day and month of birth. These is the information from Brunborg's list.
2 According to Brunborg and Urdal, this is how the matching was done.
3 Let me just state here that the part of the matching that has to
4 do with the automatic computer processing is something that we repeated,
5 we did, re-did, that's to say. So then we have the name, father's name,
6 municipality of residence, well, in this case my apologies because the
7 municipality of residence was taken over from the census. Then we have
8 the municipality of birth, and the year of birth, once we have this
9 individual, it is -- matches are attempted to be found in the census
10 based on these keys. If there is no match, then this individual is the
11 subject of searches according to the 71 criteria we mentioned.
12 This is how the procedure goes. We take the most rigorous
13 criterion and then we go down to the least rigorous criterion, thus the
14 individual is tracked down according to one of the criteria. Let's take
15 criterion number 42, which is the lease rigorous criterion and I've
16 chosen it now deliberately. The identification elements are, initials,
17 that's to say the first letter of the name, father's name, the first
18 letter of the surname, year of birth, but a relaxed year of birth, which
19 means that what is sought is an interval of plus/minus three years around
20 the year of birth that is found in the list of missing persons.
21 Q. In order to make this more easier for us to understand, you
22 should firstly speak more slowly and secondly, please tell us, you've
23 taken this example of Mirsad Salihovic?
24 A. No, no, I took this other example, Omer Hadzic but it doesn't
1 Q. Very well. Hadzic, Mujo, father's name Omer, from Srebrenica.
2 If we take this individual, how would this individual be matched
3 according to this 42nd key or which ever other key you use and what sort
4 of datum would be sought?
5 A. Since such an individual was not found in the census, not with
6 the identical elements we have in the list of missing persons, that is,
7 we found an individual with the family name Hadzic, father's name Omer,
8 first name Mujo, municipality of birth Vlasenica, and year of birth 1928,
9 71 criteria were applied, each one of them being a certain reduction of
10 the identification elements so that, for instance, the individual can be
11 found among a group of individuals who stand out according to, for
12 instance, criterion 42 or any other criterion.
13 But let's take criterion 42 for the sake of an illustration.
14 This would mean that such an individual could be found among individuals
15 whose name is -- whose name starts with the letter H, so the initial
16 letter of their last name -- or, rather, of their first name, let's say,
17 would match the initial of Mujo's first name and whose initial letter of
18 the family name is H, and thus is a match with Hadzic, whose father's
19 name according to this criterion matches the father's name of the
20 individual from the list, and whose year of birth, with the possible
21 range of plus-minus three years corresponds to 1928. So these could be
22 individuals born in 1928 -- rather 1926, 27 or 29 or 1930. So this would
23 be the criterion based on which a group of individuals would be selected
24 and which would constitute a given match with the individual who is the
25 subject of that search.
1 Q. Let us clarify this. The piece of data you receive from the
2 census, for instance, under the 71 keys, should that individual always
3 have a full name, name and last name, or are initials enough?
4 A. In the list of missing persons, all the individuals have their
5 first and last name, father's name, perhaps I'm not -- I'm not quite sure
6 but let's say most of them have the municipality of birth cited and the
7 year of birth as well, although a good many of them don't have a full
8 date of birth cited in the list. For this reason, I'm directing your
9 attention to the table in paragraph 26 where we have just an illustration
10 of 22 individuals from that list. The table does not really serve the
11 purpose of my explanation here. It just serves to show how the list of
12 missing persons looked like.
13 Q. In applying these 71 keys, when you use certain keys and don't
14 use others, does this mean that you increase or decrease possibilities of
15 finding the father's name, first name, last name, of the person, of the
16 individual, on the list?
17 A. Yes, of course. The possibility you get is that from a very wide
18 circle of individuals from the census, you select a number of individuals
19 who match the individuals in the list of missing persons. Let's look at
20 illustration 1, which gives the numbers of groups which, according to
21 these rules, may be used to search for individuals from the list of
22 missing persons.
23 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, we will get to that later. Let us take it in the
24 proper order in the way you put it in your report.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Slow down, both of you, please, Mr. Kovacevic, and
1 counsel. It's very -- please, all you need to do is allow a short pause
2 between question and answer but you're moving a little bit too fast.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up document 1D1129.
5 Q. Mr. Kovacevic, appearing on your screen will be your report
6 uploaded in e-court. Let's turn to the page where you describe the
7 application of the 71 criteria. That's page 6 of the B/C/S version and
8 page 5 of the English version, the table continues on page 6. Let us be
9 quite specific, Mr. Kovacevic.
10 This table, the first vertical column is where you entered the
11 numbers of the criteria applied by Mr. Brunborg; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So in that column, you did not enter the parameters contained in
14 each of the criteria?
15 A. No, because that's something that exists already in writing.
16 Q. Thank you. The table we see on our screens now contains figures
17 that were the result of what sort of work and research done on your part?
18 A. We repeated the process of matching as was previously done by
19 Brunborg and Urdal for the purposes of identifying persons from the list
20 of missing persons with corresponding persons from the census.
21 Q. In addition to the total of five columns, one of which has the
22 heading, "Rule," and the remaining four contain reference documents you
23 used for comparison; is that right?
24 A. No. These were not reference documents. These were -- you mean
25 the contents of the columns? Let's take column 2, which says, "1991
1 census all matches." Refers to the numbers of matches found in the
2 census in respect of all the matches of all the persons from the missing
3 list according to specific rules. Under rule 1, there were 522 such
5 In the second row -- in the second column, a reduction was made
6 of the number of matches in such a way that every person from the census
7 which was matched to the list of missing was kept by eliminating the
8 duplicates. So we have 522 persons from the census were found with
9 corresponding matches in the list of missing persons, but, for instance,
10 under rule 16, the total number of matches from the list of missing
11 persons and the census list was 1750, but this number has 1736 different
12 individuals from the census. In some other cases, the difference
13 increases and the difference increases evidently as the reduction
14 entailed by the rule increases, or depending on how rigorous the rule
15 applied is.
16 The third column also shows the result of the matches made --
17 Q. Can we pause there, Mr. Kovacevic, to first of all explain the
18 two columns which evidently refer only to the census, because the third
19 and fourth columns relate to the lists of voters. Can you explain why,
20 according to the matches and comparisons you made, when rule 1 was
21 applied, the number of matches found according to all the parameters
22 found was identical to the number in the second column where only one
23 match was made?
24 A. Matches were made only once -- or matching was made only once in
25 both columns. The first column -- and I'm referring to this column
1 saying, "1991 census all matches," that column contains the total number
2 of matches from the census and the list of missing persons, regardless of
3 the fact whether one person is -- appears several times among the
5 Now, the second column reduces that number to only the number --
6 the number of different persons, without any duplicates. In the case of
7 the application of rule 1, the number is the same and that's because
8 rule 1 is the most rigorous one. There could have been some duplicates
9 but apparently there were none.
10 Q. Can you please explain the occurrence of a situation in which one
11 person from the list of Helge Brunborg is matched with several other
12 persons on the census?
13 A. It's really simple. If the rule is not strict enough, for
14 example rules 41, 42 and some others are not, and if it only calls for
15 the matching of the initials of the first and last name and the year of
16 birth, within an interval of plus/minus three years, then any given
17 person from the list of missing will yield a larger number of matches
18 from the census, which will match in all the details.
19 Q. Now, you've given us an example featuring only the initials or
20 the year of birth plus/minus three years. Is this the same example that
21 you explained a couple of minutes ago and said that the matching was done
22 in the same way?
23 A. Yes. That's the same example although there are some other
24 examples of the sort. There is actually a number of such examples here.
25 Q. And now tell me whether the same principle, i.e., the application
1 of the 71 criteria, was used and applied to another type of list, or was
2 it only used to match the lists with the census? Did Helge Brunborg do
4 A. When it comes to establishing the trustworthiness of the
5 consolidated list of missing that we are talking about all this time, the
6 71 criteria were used only in matching the list of missing and the
7 census. It was not used, for example, to do the matching between the
8 list of missing and the list of voters.
9 Q. Do you have an explanation why this wasn't done by
10 Helge Brunborg? Why weren't the 71 criteria applied on the list of
11 voters also?
12 A. The explanation provided by Brunborg in his report was that the
13 list of voters do not contain the name of father. However, in a large
14 number of cases, the name of father could have been transported from the
15 census based on the established pairs, i.e. the persons who were
16 identified in the list of missing in the census. We, on our part, did
17 that, and I can tell you something about that later. I can only guess or
18 speculate based on what we did.
19 We did the matching between the list of missing and the list of
20 voters, and we had a large number of individuals who appeared and who
21 were identified by the application of these rules and who could be
22 matched with the persons in the list of missing. But then we would have
23 found ourselves in a situation where we would have to explain the reasons
24 and explanations as to why none of these persons were accepted as
25 matching persons in the list of missing, unlike in the case of comparison
1 with the census where almost every individual on the list of missing
2 could be found in the census, not all of them but a large majority of
4 Q. When you carried out your matching process, you said that you
5 were able to find a few individuals could not be matched. Tell me, when
6 you performed your matching between the list of missing and the census,
7 how many such cases were there that no match could be found?
8 A. There were 57 such cases altogether. In other words, 57
9 individuals from the list of missing could not be matched with the census
10 or to the conservative criteria or the broadened criteria.
11 Q. Does this mean that irrespective of the strictness of the
12 criteria that were applied, such persons could not be matched with
13 anybody from the census?
14 A. We cannot say with any degree of reliability that none of the 57
15 persons existed in any groups of individuals that were established for
16 the purpose of matching according to the set of criteria or whether all
17 the individuals were rejected as possible paths for the given person
18 based on all the 71 criteria.
19 Q. In your report, you state that during the process of matching,
20 there was another problem, which was the location match when comparison
21 was carried out with the census. What do you mean by the term "identical
23 A. In Brunborg and Urdal's report, the matching with the census is
24 described, and it says in one place that a match was rejected if the
25 location was not identical, i.e., when the location did not match.
1 Q. Are you talking about paragraph 9 of your report?
2 A. Precisely. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Yes. It
3 says, and I quote, "And the meaning is the same, match between the
4 missing persons list and the list of voters was rejected if the locations
5 were not identical and the term, location, is not explained but only two
6 possibilities may be allowed. One is the place of birth, and the other
7 is the place of residence as recorded on the list of voters which could
8 also be identified with the place from which the person went missing in
9 the list of missing because in the strictest sense of the word, the place
10 of residence does -- is not identical to the place from which the person
11 went missing or disappeared.
12 Q. Could you please explain the -- how the data should look like in
13 order to yield a perfect match?
14 A. For example, if a person in the list of missing persons matches a
15 person in the census according to the following criteria: The first
16 name, the family name, the father's name, the date of birth, or perhaps
17 the place of birth, and the only difference may be the place of
18 disappearance in the list of missing as compared to the place of
19 residence in the list of census. This would be a sufficient criteria to
20 consider that there is no match, i.e., that the person in the list of
21 missing does not have a match in the census.
22 Q. You've just told us that matching with the list of voters implies
23 that the person is still living at the moment when the list was compiled.
24 Does this mean that such a matching process cannot lead to a conclusion
25 that the person whom you try to match is still alive?
1 A. This is a criterion which eliminates the possibility that the
2 person from the list of missing is present on the list of voters, i.e.,
3 alive in 1997 or 1998.
4 Q. Let's go back to the document that we currently have on the
5 screen, and can we please look at the third and fourth columns? And
6 could you try and explain for us the figures that appear in these two
8 A. Once the father's name has been transported from the census into
9 the list of voters, by using a key that we called the identification
10 number or the JMBG as a specific personal identifier, so the father's
11 name was transported from the census, from the missing person list to the
12 list of voters, then we did the matching procedure following Brunborg's
13 rules between the list of missing persons and the list of voters. This
14 is the part of the automatic procedure that was not done by Brunborg and
15 Urdal with an explanation that the fathers's name was missing from the
16 list of voters.
17 Q. I apologise. How did you resolve that problem?
18 A. I just explained, and let me repeat: We used the unique
19 identifier, which we called the citizens number, we transported the name
20 of father from the missing person's list to the list of voters. So that
21 a very large number of individuals in the list of voters received the
22 father's name according to the census where the father's name exists.
23 Q. Can we now go back to the text of your report? Let's go to
24 paragraph 5, which is on page 1 in B/C/S version and on page 2 in the
25 English version of the report. You say in this paragraph that the data
1 in the list is not complete and you mention a unique identifier?
2 A. A unique identifier.
3 Q. What is it? What is the unique identifier?
4 A. A unique identifier is a combination of elements, identifying
5 elements, which allows for unique matches to be found for certain
6 individuals who are mentioned on various lists. There are two unique
7 identifiers in the case at hand. One I've already mentioned and that's
8 the personal identification number held by every citizen and to be found
9 in all the ID documents, such as identity card, passport, driver's
10 licence and so on. Where this particular unique identifier does not
11 exist, the other unique identifier is a combination of the following
12 elements: Name, last name, father's name, date of birth, place of birth,
13 and the sex. Where we have all these elements in respect of an
14 individual, it is impossible to find a match for two persons who would
15 have all these different elements met.
16 Q. Can you tell us why is the element of sex important in that
18 A. That particular aspect of the unique identifier -- or rather the
19 particular aspect of the unique identifier is that it must point to one
20 person only. It is important in view of the fact that back in our parts,
21 there are names that -- first names that can be both names for women and
22 men. For instance, Sava
23 that's why it's important to have the element of gender in that.
24 Q. If these two individuals are different, they have to have two
25 different personal identification numbers; is that right?
1 A. Personal identification numbers are designated always for one
2 person and in such a way that they can designate one person and one
3 person alone.
4 Q. We still have eight minutes left before we adjourn for the day.
5 Let me draw your attention to paragraph 6 of your report, which is page 2
6 of the Serbian version, and page 2 of the English version, where you
7 mention the fact that there are -- that there is no information about the
8 last place of residence, both in the ICRC list and in the PHR lists.
9 What is the significance of this, that these lists --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Should also contain
11 the last place of residence in addition to everything else.
12 A. That particular piece of information about the last place of
13 residence or the last place of permanent residence is something that --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter isn't sure if the witness said
15 that it misses from the list or is on the list.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation]... of both the ICRC and PHR and
17 consequently did not find its way in the consolidated Brunborg-Urdal list
18 and it's very important if you want to match the census against the list
19 of voters because voters' lists contain as a rule that bit of information
20 as does the census.
21 Q. Can I stop you there, sir, because we have a problem in the
22 interpretation. Can you please repeat your answer to my question?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: He only needs to repeat, to clear a part of it, to
24 clarify. In giving your answer to the previous question, Mr. Kovacevic,
25 were you referring to when someone is missing from the list or to someone
1 who is on the list of the ICRC and PHR?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was referring to the persons that
3 are on the lists, either those of the ICRC or PHR's lists or on the
4 Brunborg consolidated list.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That's clear enough now. I think you can move to
6 your next question, please. Thank you.
7 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. In your report, table 1 referred to the lists of voters from 1997
9 and 1998. Tell us what do you know, if anything at all, about the lists
10 of voters in Bosnia-Herzegovina toward the very end of these events in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the aftermath of the war there?
12 A. In addition to the voters lists used by Urdal and Brunborg, from
13 the elections back in 1997 and 1998, I know that there were elections
14 held in 1996. To tell you the truth, I don't know whether they were
15 parliamentary or local elections. At any rate there had to have existed
16 lists of voters in 1996 as well. This begs the question of why those
17 lists were not taken into consideration as well, since they were closer
18 to the time period of these events.
19 Q. Do you have any explanation for the fact that these lists were
20 not used?
21 A. No, I don't.
22 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have finished
23 one area and since we only have two to three minutes left, I should
24 perhaps leave my next topic for tomorrow.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Madam. That's exactly what we
1 will do.
2 Mr. Kovacevic, you will need to return tomorrow for the
3 continuation of your testimony. I'm not that sure that we will finish
4 tomorrow but we will do our best.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, one important rule that applies to
7 you as a witness who has still not finished his testimony, it's important
8 that between now and when you resume your testimony tomorrow, you do not
9 communicate with anyone on the subject matter of your testimony. Is that
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for informing me. It's
12 quite clear.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So we'll reconvene tomorrow morning at
14 9 -- no, tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow afternoon, there is no chance of
15 moving it to the morning any of these three days, no?
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Tomorrow afternoon, at 2.15. Thank you.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.
19 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day June,
20 2008, at 2.15 p.m.