1 Monday, 28 July 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning to you, Madam Registrar, and good
6 morning, everybody.
7 Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 I notice the absence and I want to record the absence of the
12 accused Borovcanin. Today, all the other accused are present.
13 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I would just like to inform the Trial
15 Chamber that Mr. Borovcanin is not feeling well. He got ill yesterday,
16 and he couldn't come to the trial for today. The waiver is on its way,
17 and he is not objecting to -- for the proceedings to continue without his
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you. I take your assurance on that.
20 From the Defence teams, I notice the absence of Ms. Tapuskovic,
21 Mr. Ostojic, Mr. Bourgon and Mr. Haynes.
22 Mr. Nikolic, is Mr. Ostojic having problems? He was to be back
23 by Monday. By today, in other words.
24 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I am expecting him to arrive
25 in the course of the day.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 For the Prosecution, appearing today is Mr. McCloskey,
3 accompanied by Mr. Nicholls.
4 All right. I understand there are some preliminaries.
5 Yes, Mr. Gosnell.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, Mr. President.
7 Good morning.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
9 MR. GOSNELL: As you know, a motion was filed on Friday by the
10 Prosecution requesting that a certain number of Beara witnesses be barred
11 from testifying until additional information had been provided in respect
12 of some of them, and also that disclosure of any prior statements under
13 67(A)(ii) be affected.
14 Now, we rise this morning --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Gosnell. Sorry for interrupting
16 you like this. It's not in my style. But we haven't got a clue as to
17 the motion or its filing, so --
18 MR. GOSNELL: I apologise.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it that you are better informed than we are.
20 MR. GOSNELL: I apologise, Mr. President. I know the Prosecution
21 was burning the midnight
22 copy. And I understand it's in the process of being filed, so I
23 understand why it hasn't reached the Bench as yet.
24 In substance, they object -- they filed a motion that they
25 indicated orally they would be filing, and one of the grounds for their
1 objection to a certain number of the witnesses is failure by the Beara
2 Defence to disclose all prior statements, as they are obliged to do under
3 Rule 67(A)(ii).
4 Now, the reason why we're concerned with this motion and the
5 reason why we support it in respect of two of the witnesses is that two
6 of these witnesses do concern our client. They are very critical
7 witnesses, potentially, and they may be able to give information that is
8 adverse to our client. We don't know yet, because the information in the
9 65 ter disclosure does not appear adverse, but we have reason to believe,
10 based upon some previous statements, that the Prosecution may exploit
11 some of those previous statements to elicit information that might be
13 Now, Mr. President, yesterday a proofing note was sent around
14 from the Beara Defence, making reference to a number of statements given
15 by Mr. Jovanovic, and during a proofing session with my colleague,
16 Mr. Jovanovic indicated he had testified before a state court. We don't
17 have that transcript, and it was never disclosed by the Beara Defence.
18 We understand as well that that transcript is never disclosed to the
20 Now, this is a serious deficiency and causes us very serious
21 prejudice, in light of the fact, Mr. President, that we need to make our
22 choice as to how and whether to cross-examine this witness, without
23 having any idea as to what prior statements this witness has and whether
24 they have been given to the Prosecution, and whether they're going to be
25 used by the Prosecution, and how.
1 So, Mr. President, that puts us in a very difficult situation.
2 We're flying blind in a storm. We don't know what's coming up, and we
3 ought to have that information. And so we respectfully request, as the
4 Prosecution did, that the testimony of these witnesses be adjourned,
5 delayed, barred, until such time as we have that information.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 Mr. Nikolic, do you wish to comment?
9 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as regards the
10 testimony of Miladin Jovanovic, we talked to him on Saturday and
11 yesterday afternoon, and it turned out, on that occasion, that he stated
12 that he had testified before the BH Court. But in our conversation later
13 on, it was ascertained that we only have his statement that he gave to
14 the investigative organs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, so we don't have this
15 statement that he allegedly gave to a BH Court.
16 As we went on in our conversation with him, we realised that he
17 doesn't really distinguish between various organs such as the
18 investigative organs, the court, and the state agency for investigations,
19 so we don't have this testimony. We don't know where he testified,
20 before what court. The only thing we do have is the statement that he
21 gave to the investigative organs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 In principle, I am not opposed to the delay of his testimony if
23 we were in a position to actually locate those statements and disclose
24 them, because that would be in line with the right of all the accused to
25 the fair trial. This statement, his statement, was given -- was first
1 envisaged to be given under Rule 92 bis, but later on when the
2 Prosecution opposed it, he was called as a live witness.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
4 Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Nicholls, I don't know who is taking this up.
5 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, Mr. President, most of this Mr. Nicholls
7 will be able to talk to you about. Mr. Jovanovic is my witness. This
8 does have to do with what I said the other day. This is having a
9 knock-on effect to the other Defence teams, and my witness is
10 Mr. Jovanovic that's coming up.
11 We have found the audio of the state court that we have. We're
12 not sure whether we have provided it to anyone at this point. We
13 normally, even though it's not our witness, we try to get this material
14 out to the Defence, for obvious reasons, and I'm not sure we did or not.
15 We're -- we do have an audio of this guy's state court testimony. We
16 don't have a transcript of it.
17 And as for any other details regarding the motion, Mr. Nicholls
18 can refer to that.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In which proceedings did he testify?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: This person is always talked about being at the
21 Kravica warehouse, and as everybody is aware, there's a big Kravica trial
22 going on in the state court, and so when we were hustling to find
23 materials for these people, we did get an audio from the state court.
24 I'm not sure when we got it, I'm not sure if we turned it over or not.
25 But he's -- this is a public trial and everyone has equal access to these
1 folks. We happened to get it, and we're not sure we gave it to the
2 folks. I would trust my colleagues. If they'd got it, they would have
3 known they'd got it. But we do have this audio. But as for the motion
4 and the rest of the week, Mr. Nicholls can speak to that, or I can answer
5 any other questions that you may have.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And my understanding is that
7 Mr. Jovanovic was supposed to testify immediately after the next witness.
8 The next witness is Pereula?
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's correct.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. All right. There are solutions to this
11 problem, in any case. I mean, we could proceed on the basis of what we
12 have, and he will be recalled, if necessary, later on if there are facts
13 or issues arising from undisclosed hitherto documents. All right. But
14 let me -- yes, Mr. Nicholls.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Just for your information, Your Honours, I believe
16 the situation is the same for the following witness, Vasovic also a
17 witness who will talk about events at the Kravica warehouse, who also
18 testified in the Kravica trial in the state court. Same situation, we
19 have found that we have the audio of that testimony. We don't have a
21 JUDGE AGIUS: But that guy's name was not brought up by
22 Mr. Gosnell, so I would imagine that the situation is not the same.
23 Mr. Gosnell.
24 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, the reason why I didn't actually
25 make reference to Mr. Vasovic is that we're not sure, frankly. We don't
1 know whether there's another statement out there or transcript out there.
2 We have no idea. We do know that in respect of Mr. Jovanovic. And I'm
3 pleased to hear from my friend that in fact we now know there is a
4 transcript of his testimony. So in that sense, Mr. President, yes, the
5 same issue does arise.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
7 Yes, Mr. Nicholls, thank you.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honour, a little more information for
12 We did disclose the audio of Perica Vasovic, and I'm still
13 looking for the other witness. I wouldn't be surprised if it had
14 been routinely, that is, disclosed when it comes in.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: When did you disclose it; do you know?
16 MR. NICHOLLS: In March of this year.
17 The -- and, you know, and again this is just a problem and effect
18 of the trickle of information we're getting of who's going to say what
19 and when, and I think that's laid out in our motion.
20 I also, when my friend Mr. Gosnell spoke, wanted to tell Your
21 Honours that in our motion we had collectively listed our witnesses for
22 whom we were asking relief. However, my -- our plan today was to stand
23 up and be ready to go ahead with Vasovic and Jovanovic, based on what
24 we've been doing and working and looking at all the information we have.
25 We do not have transcripts of the audio, but we do have the audio of
1 Vasovic, which was disclosed.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
3 Anyway, let's start now. We need to discuss a little bit further
4 amongst ourselves. Let's start with Pereula's testimony, and then we'll
5 come back to you later on.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Good morning, Mr. Pereula.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to give
10 evidence, being summoned --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: -- as a witness by the Defence team of Colonel
13 Beara. Before you do so, you are required to enter a solemn declaration
14 that you will be testifying the truth. The text is being forwarded to
15 you now by Madam Usher. Please read it aloud, and that will be your
16 solemn undertaking with us.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: SPIRO PEREULA
20 [The witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
22 Mr. Nikolic for the Beara Defence team will go first. He will
23 then be followed on cross-examination by others.
24 Mr. Nikolic.
25 MR. NIKOLIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Nikolic:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Pereula.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. We've met, but let us do this officially. Let me first introduce
5 myself and then make a couple of introductory remarks in order to
6 facilitate your testimony.
7 So my name is Predrag Nikolic, and I am Defence counsel in
8 Ljubisa Beara's Defence team. I will now ask you to make a pause before
9 answering, because you have to bear in mind that our conversation is
10 being interpreted and we have to give enough time for the interpreters to
11 do their job. If you don't do that, this will result in chaos and the
12 transcript will not be accurate.
13 A. I understand.
14 Q. Now, could you please introduce yourself to the Court, your full
15 name, date, and place of birth?
16 A. I'm Spiro Pereula. I was born on the 10th of November, 1941. My
17 father's name is Stevo, mother's name is Bozana. I was born in Brozolica
18 [phoen], Rogatica municipality.
19 Q. Could you please tell me about your education, and what
20 qualifications do you have?
21 A. Well, I graduated from the Teachers' High School and then the
22 Teaching Academy
23 I completed in Sarajevo
24 army in Bileca. That was the Reserve Officers' School. That was 1962
25 and 1963. I started in 1962, and this extended into 1963.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you now explain to me briefly your career?
2 What kind of jobs did you have until the war broke out?
3 A. Are you referring to military service or general?
4 Q. In general.
5 A. Well, first of all, I taught in the Rogatica municipality. I was
6 a teacher, because they paid for my education, so I had to work. And
7 then in 1963 and in 1964, I worked in Zepa, again as a teacher.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Pereula and Mr. Nikolic, please slow down. You
9 are already going pretty fast. Thank you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand. Do I have to repeat
11 my answer?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I paid back my debt to the
14 Rogatica municipality, I moved to Sarajevo, where I worked for seven
15 years as a teacher in the Dositej Obradovic High School.
16 On the 1st of April, 1976, I transferred to the city staff of the
17 Territorial Defence, and then in 1977 I went to Pancevo, where I attended
18 a course for security officers. After completing that course and after I
19 returned to Sarajevo
20 Staff in Sarajevo
21 there until 1982, when I was transferred to the Republican Staff of the
22 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was appointed the
23 assistant chief of security in the Republican Staff of the Territorial
24 Defence. At that time, it was Colonel Nikola Andjelic. He was the chief
25 of security.
1 Q. Thank you. When the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 where were you?
3 A. Well, in 1992, I was in Sarajevo
4 the Territorial Defence Republican Staff. When the war broke out, I and
5 all the other members of Serb, Muslim, Croat ethnicity joined their
6 ethnic group, so I went to the Main Staff sometime in May 1992. That was
7 in Han Pijesak.
8 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you please tell me, were you deployed in the Main Staff and
10 what were your duties there?
11 A. When I arrived at the Main Staff in Han Pijesak, I was deployed
12 as the desk officer for security at the Security Administration, which
13 was part of the Intelligence and Security Section. That was the
14 beginning, and that's when the army was formed, the army of Republika
15 Srpska, including the security service as part of that organisation.
16 It was primarily my job to man the units or to provide the
17 security organs in the units, to train these security organs, and also I
18 dealt with additional counter-intelligence tasks.
19 Q. You were deployed to the Main Staff Security Administration?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you please tell us about the administration's organisation
22 and who was at the head?
23 A. At the time in May, when I arrived at the Main Staff of the army
24 of Republika Srpska, by establishment this was the sector for security
25 and intelligence, assignments comprising two administrations, the
1 Security Administration and the Intelligence Administration. At the head
2 of the sector for the intelligence and security jobs was a colonel at the
3 time, and now his rank is that of general, Zdravko Tolimir. At the same
4 time, he headed, at this initial period, the Security Administration,
5 while the chief of the intelligence section was Colonel Petar Salapura.
6 Q. How long were you at the Security Administration of the
7 Main Staff?
8 A. I was there until November 1993.
9 Q. And during that period, was Colonel Ljubisa Beara there at the
10 Security Administration?
11 A. Yes. Warship Captain Ljubisa Beara to the Main Staff of the army
12 of Republika Srpska at Han Pijesak, came there in November 1992.
13 Q. And what were his duties at that time?
14 A. Since Beara was trained as a security person and had a lot of
15 professional experience, he was appointed chief -- or actually at the
16 time, I'm not exactly sure, he was the assistant of the chief of the
17 Sector for Intelligence and Security department, in charge of security
18 and intelligence, so he was actually heading the intelligence sector of
19 the army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. When you say that he was qualified or that he was trained for
21 this, does that mean that you knew him from before?
22 A. No, no. I met Colonel Beara when he came to the Main Staff, but
23 I heard, primarily from Colonel Zdravko Tolimir, that he had been in the
24 security organ in the JNA, in the navy at that time in Split. And since
25 I also had a lot of experience in security assignments, in contacts and
1 at meetings and while receiving assignments from Mr. Ljubisa Beara, I
2 sensed that he had a lot of skill and a good sense for organising the
3 assignments, and he issued the assignments to me in an expert and
4 professional way.
5 I have to emphasise here that in all of our meetings,
6 Mr. Ljubisa Beara was always warning us, his subordinates, and drawing
7 our attention that while we carried out our assignments, primarily
8 counter-intelligence ones, we had to adhere to the rules of the security
9 organs, the methods and the means of work, as well as all the regulations
10 in the army and in international conventions.
11 Q. Mr. Pereula, I can see that you did cooperate with Ljubisa Beara.
12 Was he your superior?
13 A. Yes. While I was in Crna Rijeka, the Security Administration
14 there, he was my superior officer.
15 Q. Can you please tell me, what was the attitude of Officer Beara,
16 not only towards you but towards all his subordinate officers, according
17 to what you know?
18 A. I already said that in meetings of the Security Administration,
19 he had a very professional attitude, issued specific and precise
20 assignments to us, and he had the same attitude towards the subordinate
21 security organs, primarily his immediate subordinates at the level of the
22 corps and then further down, lower-ranking units at the -- in relation to
23 the security chiefs in the corps.
24 During the period that I was in Crna Rijeka, I myself did not
25 have any objections, nor did I hear any from anyone else, in relation to
1 his work and the assignments that he issued to us.
2 Q. Mr. Pereula, when you came to the Main Staff, you said that
3 Colonel Tolimir was at the head of that sector. During the time that
4 Colonel Beara came, was Colonel Tolimir -- just wait, please -- was
5 Colonel Tolimir the person in charge of that sector at that time also?
6 A. Yes. During the time that I was in Crna Rijeka, there was the
7 Sector for Intelligence/Security Affairs, and General Tolimir was at the
8 head of that sector, and Mr. Ljubisa Beara was at the head of the
9 Security Administration.
10 I have to emphasise here that before you actually asked me about
11 my duties and assignments before Mr. Ljubisa Beara came, I was engaged on
12 jobs to interrogate prisoners of war. I think this was in May 1992, when
13 we had such people. So I interrogated --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We have a problem here.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry to interrupt. I'm going to object to
17 non-responsive. I didn't object before. The question was:
18 "At this time, was Tolimir in charge of the sector at the time?"
19 And the witness answered that question and is now going on to
20 another topic. The previous question was:
21 "Did you know Colonel Beara from before?"
22 And the witness then went on to another topic. So no disrespect
23 to the witness, but if we could keep it question-answer, question-answer.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But I can't quite understand your
25 point, but at the same time he must have remembered something additional
1 that he wished to tell us. So I wouldn't attach too much importance to
2 it, not to diminish your concerns. I mean, I don't mean that, but there
3 is a difference between one case of non-responsive answers and another.
4 Mr. Nikolic, in the meantime, Mr. Pereula, you should try to
5 answer the questions that are put to you. In addition to that, you would
6 like to add something, will you please tell us first so that we authorise
7 you to go beyond what was being asked -- what's being asked of you. All
9 THE INTERPRETER: I didn't understand what the witness said.
10 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Well, we would just kindly ask you to respond to our questions
12 precisely and we in that way we will cover everything more quickly.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At the level of the VRS, how was the security service organised,
15 or, rather, the security organs?
16 A. I already said at the level of the Main Staff, by establishment,
17 there was a security and intelligence sector as part of which there were
18 two administrations, the Security and the Intelligence Administration.
19 At the level of the corps, there were sections for security, and
20 at the level of the brigades, we had the security organs, and --
21 Q. Please, can you tell me now what the relationship was of these
22 security organs in the lower units, vis a vis the security organs at the
23 Main Staff?
24 A. Well, the order was known. The security organs at the levels of
25 brigades, battalions and lower were directly subordinated to the security
1 chiefs in the corps, and the chiefs of security in the corps were
2 directly subordinated to the Security Administration, along the
3 professional line. Otherwise, the security organs reported for their
4 work to the commanders of their units.
5 At the Main Staff level to the chief of staff at the corps level
6 to the corps commander, at the brigade level to the brigade commanders.
7 Only in the professional sense, when they performed counter-intelligence
8 assignments, the superior officers guided the security organs at the
9 level of the Main Staff, the corps, down to the brigades.
10 Q. In view of your answers and how you moved in the service, we can
11 see that even before the war, you worked in the security organ, so I
12 assume that you are familiar with the pre-war organisation of these
13 bodies. So can you please explain, what does it mean that they were
14 subordinated along the professional line?
15 A. It means that in counter-intelligence work, the organs performing
16 such assignments received instructions and were trained to go to their
17 superior security officer. But in order to execute the complete
18 assignments, the unit commander knew about this, whether it was a
19 brigade, corps, the Main Staff, and so on and so forth. So purely
20 professional assignments, in terms of how to actually carry out that
21 task. The security organs were, in this sense, guided by the superior
22 security organs, but as a whole all the security organs as well as other
23 command organs were subordinated to the commanders.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pereula, how long were you at the Main Staff
25 security organ?
1 A. I said that I was there until November 1993, when I was
2 transferred to the Defence Ministry, where the Defence Minister issued an
3 order to appoint me as the security organ at Pale. The minister at the
4 time was General Kovacevic.
5 Q. Can you please describe your duties that you were carrying out at
6 the Defence Ministry of Republika Srpska?
7 A. When I came to the Defence Ministry, my first assignment was to
8 organise the security service at the defence ministries. Since these
9 ministries did not have the adequate personnel -- security personnel.
10 The security organs were at the level of the Defence ministry. Then we
11 had the local or district ministries, and then the local ministry Defence
12 sectors, such as Banja Luka and some other places.
13 At the same time, I worked on their professional training and
14 counter-intelligence protection of members of the Defence Ministry.
15 Also, the Defence Ministry was in charge of wartime industries at
16 the time, so it was also my job to provide security for these facilities.
17 And of course we also had security organs located in some of these
18 industrial facilities, in the factories such as Orao and so on.
19 Q. Mr. Pereula, I'm going to ask you to wait before you give your
20 answer in order for everything to proceed smoothly.
21 You told us what your duties at the Ministry were. Can you
22 please tell us if there was any cooperation between the Ministry and the
23 Main Staff and the security organs? And if so, at which levels did this
24 cooperation proceed?
25 A. Cooperation between the Defence Ministry and the Main Staff
1 functioned in all segments, including the security service. However, the
2 security organs of the Defence Ministry were autonomous in relation to
3 the security organs of the Main Staff of the VRS. But when we're talking
4 about exchange of information, operative information, there was mutual
6 At the time, the Defence Ministry, among other things, had as its
7 main assignment and the security of the army of Republika Srpska, and in
8 that sense the security organs played their role, their particular role,
9 especially if we keep in mind the wartime industries, the defence
11 Q. Let us go back to your previous answer, when you spoke about
12 those defence industry plants. You said that you cooperated with the
13 security organs deployed in those defence industry plants. What plants
14 are we talking about?
15 A. Well, the defence industry plants were primarily Pretis in
16 Vogosca, Orao in Rajlovac, the repair and maintenance facility in
17 Hadzici. There was a plant in Doboj and Kosmos.
18 Q. What was the relationship between the Ministry and those plants ?
19 Did they have any contacts at all?
20 A. Well, the cooperation of security organs at the level of the
21 Defence ministries and the security organs in the Republika Srpska army
22 was at the highest level when it came to defence industry, because in the
23 areas of responsibility of the units where those plants were located, the
24 JNA security organs that obtained some intelligence, this is where
25 operational exchange of information was carried out, at the level of the
1 Defence Ministry and the VRS Main Staff.
2 Q. Could you tell me whether, in this period while you were at the
3 Defence Ministry, did you have direct cooperation with Colonel Beara?
4 A. Yes. I worked with him to the extent that was necessary to
5 exchange operational information and intelligence obtained by the
6 security service in the Ministry of Defence and the security service at
7 the Main
8 duty-bound to provide information directly to the Ministry of Defence.
9 What they did was they forwarded this information up the chain of command
10 to the Main Staff, and then at the level of the Defence Ministry and the
11 Main Staff, this information was exchanged.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Pereula, we are now going to deal with another
14 Did you have any knowledge -- were you involved at all in
15 anything that had to do with prisoners of war?
16 A. Well, this is what I wanted to say. While I was at the
17 Main Staff, because there was a lack of security organs because the
18 Main Staff -- the staffing level at the Main Staff was maybe 20 to
19 30 per cent of establishment levels, this is why I was involved in
20 questioning prisoners of war.
21 So in 1992, sometime in May, in Han Pijesak, I interrogated
22 Mr. Meho Agic, the commander of the Rogatica Brigade. He had been
23 captured at Bragolamin [phoen] by the VRS troops. This interrogation
24 took place in the Han Pijesak police station, in the office of the police
25 commander. And this man was questioned about the developments, in terms
1 of war, the strength, goals, and objectives of this unit.
2 After the interview, Mr. Meho Agic remained in the police station
3 in Han Pijesak for maybe two days or so, and then he was transferred to
4 Kula, to the prison there. It's in Eastern Sarajevo. And he was later
5 on exchanged, and nowadays he lives in Sarajevo.
6 Q. But do tell me, later on in 1995 until the end of the war, were
7 you involved in the work of the joint commission that was set up to
8 interrogate prisoners of war?
9 A. Yes. In May, the Republika Srpska government convened a meeting
10 that was chaired by the judicial organs, and this meeting was attended by
11 the security organs from the Republika Srpska army, from the MUP. And
12 the objective was to make a decision tasking all the units with gathering
13 information about crimes against humanity and against international law,
14 and submitting them to the judiciary. And in line with this, after the
15 army of Republika Srpska entered Zepa, I was involved in the work of a
16 commission that was supposed to interrogate the prisoners of war from the
17 BH Army, the Zepa Brigade.
18 Q. Just a moment, please. I will have to interrupt you. We don't
19 want to rush this.
20 Who set up this commission to interrogate prisoners of war?
21 A. Well, I don't know that. But at the level of the Defence
22 Ministry and the Main Staff, an agreement was reached to set up this
23 commission, and the Ministry of Defence received a request to -- because
24 there were not enough security organs in the Main Staff, to second one of
25 the security organs to that commission. And Mr. Milan Ninkovic, he was
1 the minister at the time, he approved my involvement in this commission.
2 Q. Could you please tell us, who were the other people on the
4 A. Well, as far as I can recall, I was there on behalf of the
5 Ministry of Defence. There was a representative of the Republika Srpska
6 Army, I think it was Lieutenant Maksimovic, representatives of the
7 Interior Ministry. I remember it was Vojnovic, whose first name I can't
8 recall, and there was another man from the MUP, again whose name I can't
9 recall, but you can get this information from the orders. There was a
10 representative of the Public Prosecutors' Office, Mr. Borovcanin, and a
11 representative of the Court.
12 Q. When I asked who was there on the commission, I asked a general
13 question, a representation of what organs, but thank you for the details
14 that you've given us.
15 When did this commission start working? What was its objective?
16 Could you please clarify this a little for all of us, how this commission
18 A. Well, on the orders of the Defence Minister, I became a member of
19 this commission. And since I was the ranking officer there and I had
20 experience in the security service, I was designated as the coordinator
21 of the commission.
22 We went to Foca, and we were headquartered in this hotel in Foca,
23 Zelengora or whatever its name is. But at any rate, what really matters
24 is that we were in the hotel. And in the prison, we were given premises
25 from the warden to actually do our job, in operational terms; in other
1 words, to interrogate those prisoners of war. There were 30 to 40 of
2 them, if I can recall this correctly, and we organised a meeting. We did
3 the work plan. There were four -- or, rather, three operatives who
4 actually did that, and I was the coordinator. I interrogated two of the
5 prisoners at that meeting, the first meeting. I relayed the instructions
6 and the orders of Mr. Ljubisa Beara, who drew our attention to the fact
7 that when working with prisoners of war, we should comply with the Rules
8 of Service of the Security Service, the Law on the Army and international
9 conventions. And once this plan was in place, we actually started doing
10 our job. The operational tasks I can't remember now, but it was about
11 seven days. It took us about seven days or thereabouts.
12 After the prisoners were interrogated --
13 Q. I will ask you not to go so fast. We have already been warned
14 that your answers must be responsive, so that's what I'm asking you now,
15 to be responsive in your answers. Let us backtrack a little bit.
16 Were judicial organs represented there? Did they provide any
17 instructions about how this was to proceed, the procedure?
18 A. The representatives of the Public Prosecutors' Office and from
19 the Court were present there. I already indicated that Mr. Borovcanin
20 was there, representing the Prosecutors' Office, and I think there was a
21 Mr. Supic there, but I can't really confirm that, representing the
22 Courts, and they participated in our work there. They assisted us when
23 we did the summary reports based on the interrogation, indicating what
24 elements -- what acts might constitute crimes, criminal offences.
25 Q. How long did this interrogation last?
1 A. Well, I've already indicated the interrogations lasted for seven
2 days. I'm sure about that, but -- perhaps longer, but I can't really
3 tell you that. You can check that in the relevant documents.
4 Q. Who were those prisoners of war?
5 A. Those were prisoners of war, BH Army troops, the Zepa Brigade.
6 That's what I'm calling it now. I think it had a different designation,
7 whether it was the 1st Brigade, the 1st Drina Brigade. But at any rate,
8 those were members of the Zepa Brigade.
9 And in the course of the interrogations, I already indicated that
10 I interrogated two of those prisoners, well, it's been a long time so I
11 only remember that one that I interrogated was blonde, aged about 25,
12 short, and in his statement he said -- well, it was our objective to
13 determine, although we did have some operational intelligence from
14 before, that until Zepa was demilitarised, this unit had perpetrated
15 crimes against the civilian population and prisoners of war from the
16 ranks of the Republika Srpska army in the border areas of the Zepa
17 municipality, such as the village of Borovine
18 was our basic objective in interrogation of those prisoners of war to
19 determine who actually did that or to confirm what we already knew, so as
20 regards the perpetrators of those crimes.
21 Q. Please, what specifically did you do once you did the analysis,
22 you carried out the interrogations? You said that you did this analysis?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could you please give us a summary of the most salient points
25 from the point of view of the security organs that you had the intention
1 of learning or that you actually learned. So what were those prisoners,
2 who were they, where they had come from, how were they captured, and what
3 you learned from the interrogations?
4 A. Yes. After the interrogations were completed, we had a meeting
5 where we did the summary report, and on the basis of this summary report,
6 we drafted the criminal report. And this criminal report was then handed
7 in to the Prosecutors' Office. But what you just asked me about, the
8 objectives that we had and the facts that we ascertained, as I've already
9 indicated, our goal was to determine what members of the Zepa Brigade of
10 the BH Army had committed crimes in those border areas of the Zepa
11 municipality, such as the village of Borovine
12 the members of the Borovine family, and the capturing of the Republika
13 Srpska army soldiers, for instance an officer by the name of Milosevic,
14 and we had indications that he had been wounded at the Batura mountain
15 and that he had been captured, and he's still missing. His remains have
16 never been found, and his family doesn't know about his fate.
17 So in the course of the interrogations that I did, this prisoner
18 of war stated that before the VRS entered Zepa, this brigade had set up
19 some groups that were tasked with carrying out terrorist acts, attacking
20 the Republika Srpska army facilities. There was a sabotage company in
21 the Zepa Brigade, and it was tasked with carrying out sabotage action
22 against Han Kran. And this man was part of this unit, their commander
23 was wounded and -- in that action. Once the action was completed they
24 returned to Zepa. In the meantime, the VRS entered Srebrenica, and the
25 whole brigade, together with the command, it was at Travna Planina
1 [phoen] near Zepa. I'm not sure about the location, but I think it's
2 Travna Planina. They held a meeting to determine what they should do.
3 So the entire Command, that's what this prisoner of war told me,
4 participated in this meeting. The whole brigade was there, and they had
5 a number of proposals and one of the proposals was to fight the VRS.
6 Another proposal was to try to break through the areas between the units
7 of the VRS towards Tuzla
8 crossing of the Drina
9 was the group that was captured, about 30 or 40 of them to move towards
10 Rudo and to cross into Serbia
11 The chief of the Zepa Brigade, Ramo Cardakovic, he was in a
12 wheelchair, he was disabled, he proposed, in accordance to what this
13 witness told me, that they should do a forced crossing of the Drina River
14 into Serbia
15 This is what this prisoner of war told me. And he didn't know what
16 happened later, but he knew that his group managed to cross the Drina
17 and then somewhere near Rudo in Republika Srpska, they were captured by
18 Republika Srpska troops and were brought to the penitentiary and
19 correctional facility, the prison in Foca.
20 Q. What you've just told us, this is your information that you
21 reached by interrogating this prisoner; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Please, what was the period in which he said all of these things
24 that you just referred to now?
25 A. Actually, he was talking about the period starting from June
2 Q. And when were they captured?
3 A. I don't know the date, but they were captured after a few days
4 after the VRS entered Zepa. They managed to cross the Drina and to move
5 towards Rudo. And that's where the units of the VRS -- I cannot remember
6 the exact place that he mentioned. Probably it's there in the documents,
7 exactly how they were captured.
8 Q. Any explanations provided by this prisoner about the way they
9 tried to get out, was that before the fall of Zepa?
10 A. Yes, yes, before the fall of Zepa, because this group, headed by
11 the brigade commander, were in favour of resisting by -- with weapons the
12 army of Republika Srpska, and the one that tried to cross into Zepa was
13 led by the police station commander. I can't remember his name. He's
14 from Han Pijesak, and then he moved to Zepa, and he was the commander of
15 the police station in Zepa.
16 All of this was before the army of Republika Srpska entered Zepa.
17 Q. Let us go back now to this main idea. You acquired information
18 about the fact that crimes were carried out, and their perpetrators.
19 Which event is this specifically relate to?
20 A. Yes, yes. Well, specifically, let's start in order.
21 A young soldier of the JNA who was captured in the beginning by
22 the Zepa forces was mistreated and led through Zepa with the words "Here
23 we captured a Chetnik." The name is -- no, I can't remember the name
24 exactly, but it's written there exactly which member of the B&H Army did
25 this, and it's true this soldier was later exchanged and returned to the
1 JNA. This is one thing.
2 Another thing, we got information about which persons burned the
3 village of Borovine and committed a crime there against the civilian
4 population. It's been a long time since then, I cannot recall all the
5 names, but it's documented.
6 It was also confirmed that Officer Milosevic was wounded in a
7 personnel carrier and that he was captured in such a state, and this
8 prisoner knows who was the commander of which section and he mentioned
9 that. However, he doesn't know then what happened with this officer of
10 ours later. So, as I said, his body has not been found to this very day.
11 Q. And then you obtained information that the perpetrators were
12 actually suspected to be in the prison in Foca?
13 A. Yes, yes. By questioning and making a summary report, and by
14 citing in the criminal charges, we included a small number of people from
15 that group that was in the Foca penitentiary. But according to what they
16 said, the bulk of those B&H members of the Zepa Brigade crossed into
19 Q. Very well. At the end of this whole procedure, what happened?
20 A. I said that. At the end of the procedure, we conducted an
21 analysis, we drafted a report, we put together a charge sheet, and we
22 passed that on to the Prosecutors' Office. As for what the Prosecutors'
23 Office did after that, I personally don't know. This was not part of the
24 security organ's job. But according to some information, these prisoners
25 that we interrogated in the Foca penitentiary were -- they stayed in
1 prison after we left, but later I got some information that all of those
2 persons were exchanged.
3 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Pereula. I have no
4 further questions.
5 Your Honours, I have completed this part of the examination.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
7 Mr. Zivanovic, do you have a cross-examination?
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I have no questions for this witness,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 Ms. Nikolic.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have no
13 questions for this witness.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 Mr. Lazarevic.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I indicated that I will have no
17 cross-examination, but in order to avoid any misunderstanding, because
18 there was some mention of the name Borovcanin, can I just be allowed?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough, because although he was mentioned as
22 coming from a different --
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But go ahead, go ahead.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
1 Q. Mr. Pereula, I'm Aleksandar Lazarevic, and I represent Ljubomir
2 Borovcanin with my colleagues before this Tribunal. Unfortunately, he's
3 not here today, he's sick, but I would like on his behalf to put a couple
4 of questions to you.
5 In order we can clarify, since you mentioned the last name
6 Borovcanin during your testimony and you also did not mention the name?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you perhaps recall the name of this gentleman, Mr. Borovcanin,
9 that you referred to?
10 A. I cannot recall the name exactly, but I can describe him. He was
11 short build with dark hair.
12 Q. Perhaps I can help you, in a way.
13 Can we put on the e-court 2D 526. This is an exhibit that was
14 used previously.
15 A. I know reliably that this person, Borovcanin, whose first name I
16 cannot recall, worked in the Military Prosecutors' Office of the
17 Main Staff of the VRS, and that is that person.
18 Q. All right. So when you talked about the Prosecution and the
19 Court, you were thinking about the military court?
20 A. Yes, the bodies involved here were the Military Court and the
21 Military Prosecutors' Office.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the question.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I apologise since we overlapped, your answer and my question.
25 What I did was suggest to you in this document, what it says is that --
1 it says that: "President of the Court, Luka Borovcanin," in the military
2 court and tribunal in Bijeljina. Is that you referred to?
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. So what we establish is that we were talking about Luka
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you very much.
8 I have no further questions.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic.
10 Madame Fauveau, you're still not cross-examining this witness?
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic. You had asked for ten minutes.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
16 Q. Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Mr. Pereula.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. My name is Dragan Krgovic, and I'm defending General Gvero and
19 I'm going to put to you some questions to you in relation to your
20 testimony today.
21 You mentioned that you are from the Rogatica sector. Did you
22 have any opportunity to go to Zepa during your duties in the area?
23 A. Yes. I said that as a teacher, before the war, I worked in Zepa,
24 and during the war, when Zepa was declared a demilitarised -- or, rather,
25 a safe zone, I, representing the Main Staff, was part of a commission to
1 monitor -- or at the time the UNPROFOR, the army of Republika Srpska, and
2 the B&H Army reached a decision to form commissions representing the VRS,
3 the B&H Army and the UNPROFOR to monitor the hand-over of weapons or,
4 rather, to carry out the demilitarisation of that area. So in that
5 sense, I went to Zepa to carry out these assignments, and our route was
6 Sokolac, Rogatica, Borike, Sjeversko, Boksanica, Zepa. Well, this is
7 actually my route, my old route that I used to take before the war.
8 Q. Did you have the opportunity to see when the check-points were
9 set up of the UNPROFOR and the army of Republika Srpska? What I'm
10 specifically interested in is if there were any check-points between
11 Rogatica and Zepa on the road, on that section of the road.
12 A. When Zepa was declared a safe zone, then -- well, there's 40
13 kilometres from Rogatica to Zepa. At the time, that section from
14 Boksanica -- or better said from Sjeversko to Rogatica, was a free zone
15 of Republika Srpska, where the population moved around freely and there
16 was no need to set up any kind of check-point. There was a check-point
17 at Boksanica which was set up by the Ukrainian Battalion, and it was an
18 area of separation between the army of Republika Srpska and the B&H Army,
19 regardless of the fact that Zepa was a safe zone. There was no
20 check-point between Rogatica and Zepa, except Boksanica.
21 Q. So in view of the configuration of the terrain, how much time do
22 you need to drive from Rogatica to Zepa in a vehicle?
23 A. I said that the distance was some 40 kilometres. Before the war,
24 it would take me at least an hour and a half by bus. Now I hear that the
25 road has been repaired and asphalt has been placed from Brezova Ravan to
1 Zepa, so it could be shorter.
2 Q. You mean after the war?
3 A. Yes, yes, after the war, after the signing of the Dayton Accords,
4 this was done.
5 Q. At the end, you explained your duties at the Defence Ministry.
6 Did you have an opportunity in your work to go to the Main Staff or to
7 Han Pijesak?
8 A. Yes, I did. First of all, I said that there was cooperation
9 between the Defence Ministry and the Main Staff, as a whole, and between
10 certain organs such as the security service, which cooperated in the
11 exchange of information with the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka, so that I
12 would go to Crna Rijeka after I went to the Defence Ministry or, rather,
13 Han Pijesak.
14 Q. In 1995, this is what I'm interested in, did you see
15 General Gvero?
16 A. Well, look. When General Gvero came to the Main Staff, we met at
17 the Main Staff in Crna Rijeka, and it just happened that my son was in
18 the traffic section and he would drive General Gvero. He was his driver
19 until 1993, when he went to assume other duties, my son. So Mr. Gvero,
20 General Gvero, and I knew each other very well. I would often go to
21 Bijeljina, to the Ministry -- Defence Ministry section there, the
22 Municipal Defence Ministry as well, and I had to go through Han Pijesak.
23 So on my way back from Bijeljina, I would stay at a motel, Gora in Han
24 Pijesak, where the logistics section was headed by the late
25 General Djukic.
1 And in 1995, in early May, I was returning from Bijeljina, and I
2 dropped by at the hotel, and the chief of the traffic sector, Kerkes,
3 said, "General Gvero is here, too. You can visit him," because he knew
4 that we were like that, we were good friends. And I said, "Where is he?"
5 And he said he was on the second floor of the hotel, and I went up there
6 to see Mr. Gvero. We had some coffee and we had a kind of private chat.
7 We said hello. And that's how I found out that Mr. Gvero -- that his
8 office was transferred to the Gora Hotel in Han Pijesak, whereas before
9 it was in Crna Rijeka.
10 Q. And after that period in 1995, did you visit General Gvero at
11 this hotel?
12 A. Well, as I said, every time I went. I mean, there was no special
13 visit. When I was travelling on official business, I would drop by. If
14 I had any reason, then I would go and see him. And we would just drink
15 coffee mostly, things like that.
16 Q. Mr. Pereula, do you perhaps remember the car that your son was
17 driving when he was driving General Gvero?
18 A. Well, I really don't remember the kind of vehicle, but the
19 traffic people would know that, transportation people would know that,
20 because they mostly allocated vehicles and drivers, who would be driving
21 whom. So I'm not really able to answer this question.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Pereula.
23 I have no further questions for this witness, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
25 Mr. Sarapa, do you have any questions of this witness? You had
1 requested ten minutes.
2 MR. SARAPA: No, we don't, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
4 Which brings us to you, Mr. Nicholls. Incidentally, I should
5 have done this in the beginning of the sitting, but I had assumed you had
6 been informed, too. The sitting schedule for today, up to and inclusive
7 of Wednesday, will be from 9.00 to 10.40, so we've got another 10 minutes
8 to go, and then we'll have a break, starting again at 11.10 up to 12.50,
9 then a lunch break of one hour, and then resuming at 13.50 up to 3.30 in
10 the afternoon. All right.
11 So, Mr. Nicholls, do you wish to start now or do you wish to
12 have -- I suggest you start and then we stop in ten minutes' time.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine, Your Honour, thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
16 Q. Good morning, sir.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. My name is Julian Nicholls. I'm one of the prosecutors, and I'll
19 be asking you questions. All right?
20 A. Fine.
21 Q. First of all, can you just tell me -- I hadn't known before now
22 about your son driving General Gvero. How long did he do that for? When
23 did he start driving him and when did he stop having that duty?
24 A. Well, upon General Gvero's arrival in the Main Staff in 1992,
25 that's when it started, until November 1993, when my son, pursuant to the
1 law that was in force at the time in Republika Srpska, he was granted
2 leave to continue his studies. So he went to Novi Sad to continue his
3 studies. So that was from 1992 until 1993. Until November, rather.
4 Q. And after that, did he have that duty again later, to drive
5 Mr. Gvero?
6 A. No, no, he never went back.
7 Q. Okay, thank you. You described today the cooperation between the
8 Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff on important security matters.
9 Well, I'm assuming these are one of the most important matters. Could
10 you just describe what topics you should share information on? What were
11 some of the more important types topics that you would coordinate with
12 security of the Main Staff?
13 A. For the most part, this was operational information obtained
14 through counter-intelligence work, and this information pertained, as
15 I've already indicated -- the defence industry was located in the areas
16 of responsibility of certain VRS units, and they had their organs in
17 place, so they would obtain some operational information, operational
18 intelligence, regarding the defence industry. So this was the
19 information -- some of the information that I obtained from the
20 Main Staff.
21 The Ministry of Defence organs, when they obtained some
22 information regarding the VRS, we would give this information to them.
23 So this was done in professional terms. This was a
24 professionally-speaking normal counter-intelligence work.
25 Q. Thank you. And if I understood you correctly, you went to the
1 MOD in November 1993, was it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Where, physically, was your office in Pale?
4 A. It was in the Ministry of Defence. That was in the Famos company
5 premises, in their administration building.
6 Q. Thank you. And I'm sure it varied, but from 1993, November 1993,
7 when you started there, through 1994 and into 1995, how often would you
8 make that trip to Crna Rijeka or to Han Pijesak to meet with the
9 Main Staff about security matters?
10 A. Well, I didn't go there often. When it was necessary. When I
11 obtained some information from my security organs, and if they were
12 within the purview of the Main Staff and if it was necessary to have
13 face-to-face discussions, then I would go, but otherwise this was also
14 done orally by way of information. But when those were some subtle
15 issues, I would go down there, but it was not that often.
16 Q. And the transcript says "subtle issues." Is that sensitive
17 issues or things that needed to be done -- talked about face to face?
18 A. Yes, yes. This was counter-intelligence work that required some
19 discussions and some arrangements to be put in place to do perhaps some
20 work together.
21 Q. All right. And you say "rarely or not often." I know it's a
22 while ago, but can you just give me an idea? You know, once a month,
23 once every two months, once a week, how often you had these face-to-face
24 discussions with the Main Staff security?
25 A. Well, on the average, it might have been once every two months.
1 Q. All right. Now, other than these face-to-face meetings for the
2 more sensitive issues, you said information was exchanged orally. How
3 else would you exchange professionally information with the Main Staff
4 during 1993, 1994, 1995? Is that over a radio, telephone, encrypted
5 messages? I'd like you to describe the communication with the
6 Main Staff, please.
7 A. Well, all communications went through the Command, through the
8 headquarters, so the security service also used that route. But there
9 were also written reports that were mailed, or, rather, couriers went
10 around distributing mail. The security service did not have their own
11 designated communications system that would go separately from the
12 command system.
13 Q. Now, thank you. If you can just keep talking me through this.
14 When you get reports from the Main Staff, what happens with those
15 reports? What did you -- you know, obviously you read them, but then
16 what do you do with those reports?
17 A. If the reports were of counter-intelligence nature, well, and
18 reports in general, I would go through it until I obtained the
19 information. All the information from -- that came from the Main Staff,
20 I then informed the Defence Minister so he was kept abreast. The
21 Minister also knew of the information that I was sending to the
22 Main Staff.
23 Q. Now, who was your immediate superior, the person you reported to?
24 Was it directly to the Minister or was there anybody in between you and
25 the Minister in the chain of that reporting?
1 A. No, no, it was the Minister and myself. So I submitted those
2 reports, and I told him about this intelligence directly.
3 Q. And let's take July 1995, June/July 1995. How often did you meet
4 with the Minister of Defence and brief him on these reports?
5 A. Well, I think that this period was the period when there was the
6 least exchange of information between the Defence Ministry and the
7 Main Staff, so I think that in June I did not receive any information
8 from the Main Staff, and I did not relay this information to the Minister
9 at all.
10 Q. In July, when there was the operations in Srebrenica and Zepa?
11 A. The same. The Ministry of Defence was kept out of the loop as
12 regards those events, except to the extent that other organs had to do
13 it. But other than that, the security service did not have any need to
14 get involved.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stop here. We'll resume at 11.00 -- at 10
16 minutes past 11.00. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.41 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.14 a.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, Witness, just a few more questions on this topic about the
22 cooperation and exchange of information between the MOD and the
23 Main Staff.
24 You say that June and July was the time of least information
25 exchanged. The Ministry of Defence was kept out of the loop as regards
1 these events. Why is that? Why, during these major operations, there's
2 no exchange of security information?
3 A. First, I am not aware if these were major pieces of information
4 or not, but in any case the information that reached me from the field,
5 from my subordinate security organs, did not indicate the need to pass
6 this information to the Main Staff. I assume that something like that
7 was also in the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, that there
8 was no need. I mean, I don't know what information was available to
9 them, but there was no need to pass the information on to the Defence
11 Q. Well, just for -- a thought that occurs to me off the top of my
12 head. There was this order in May to set up a commission to investigate
13 war crimes; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you chaired and took a large part in that commission;
17 A. No, no, no, we misunderstood each other. In May, I wasn't --
18 well, this was organised as part of the government, and the presiding
19 role was played by the judicial organs, and this was in May. I wasn't
20 chairing that commission. I was chairing the commission that was in
21 charge of interrogating the prisoners of war in the Foca penitentiary in
22 1995, after the VRS entered Zepa.
23 Q. Exactly. So knowing that the VRS was going to enter Zepa,
24 knowing that there would likely be prisoners to be interrogated, wouldn't
25 you need some kind of information exchange at the time just to -- just to
1 be ready and to know the situation on the ground for these
3 A. First of all, I didn't know that the VRS would enter Zepa. This
4 was not a part of my duties or within the ambit of the Defence Ministry.
5 I didn't know that there would be arrests of prisoners of war. I mean,
6 this happened after they entered. And before, I didn't have the
7 information, I didn't know, and I did not take part in such activities.
8 Q. What about Srebrenica; did you have advanced knowledge? Did the
9 Ministry of Defence know about that in advance?
10 A. No, no.
11 Q. Are you --
12 A. No, no. I had more contacts with Zepa, because as I said, when
13 it was declared a safe zone, I was in a commission representing the army
14 of Republika Srpska to effect the demilitarisation, and there was a
15 different team that went to Srebrenica. So I'm really not that familiar
16 with that side of it.
17 Q. Okay. And so you didn't go to Zepa in July 1995, yourself?
18 A. No.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues]...
20 A. No, no, no.
21 Q. And you have no knowledge of which check-points may have been set
22 up, moved, during that time?
23 A. Before the VRS entered Zepa, I knew that because I had friends
24 and relatives in Borike and specifically in Sjeversko, which is two
25 kilometres away from the Boksanica check-point, I went to see Mr. Sretan
1 Mitrovic, we were friends, and since I'm from Rogatica and I was in
2 Rogatica in 1995, and even before 1995 the VRS entered, I went up there
3 and I never saw check-points in that route. After the VRS entered Zepa,
4 I didn't go along that route anymore.
5 Q. Now, going back to June/July 1995, can you tell us again the name
6 of the Minister of Defence at that time?
7 A. Mr. Milan Ninkovic.
8 Q. And what was Kovacevic's position at that time, as you recall?
9 A. I don't know which Kovacevic you mean. There were two of them.
10 Q. I believe his name was Momcilo, the one you referenced before.
11 A. I don't remember mentioning him in that context, but I do know
12 Momcilo Kovacevic. He worked in the Defence Ministry on mobilisation and
13 organisational issues.
14 Q. Now, you said that the -- and I don't want to go through this,
15 the Court's seen it several times, even recently, but you are aware that
16 the Main Staff sent a document to the Ministry of Defence during -- after
17 the fall of Srebrenica, requesting that buses be mobilised and
18 immediately sent to Bratunac. You know about that, don't you?
19 A. No, no, I didn't know that. That didn't go through the security
20 service. And I responsibly state that I was not aware of that.
21 Q. All right. So there were contacts between the Main Staff and the
22 Ministry of Defence that you were not aware of, if they were outside of
23 security; correct?
24 A. Perhaps, perhaps.
25 Q. Well, let's just look at the order quickly to show you.
1 2899, please.
2 And you know Petar Skrbic; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And here he's writing very urgently to the Ministry of Defence,
5 requesting buses immediately, 50 buses, to be sent to the Bratunac sports
6 stadium on 12 July; correct?
7 A. Yes, that's what it states here, but I wasn't aware of that and
8 I'm not aware of this order. And it was outside of my scope of duties,
9 and it was probably the other department, whoever was acting from that
10 department. That particular aspect was not part of my regular duties.
11 Q. Right. And then you're also not aware that Momcilo Kovacevic,
12 that same day, responding to that order, sent an order for the immediate
13 mobilisation of buses to go to Bratunac. That's 65 ter number 13.
14 You're not aware of that either; right?
15 A. No. No, no, I didn't, no.
16 Q. What other departments would have been aware of that need to
17 mobilise buses in order to move people from Srebrenica, in the Ministry
18 of Defence?
19 A. Well, I cannot answer this. But, in any case, no sector or organ
20 could have done that alone, if it was done, without the Defence Ministry,
21 without the Minister of Defence.
22 Q. Right. Well, let's just, in that case, put this up to show you.
23 Number 13, please.
24 Can you read that, sir?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, is that what you're talking about, this order -- this
2 immediate, very urgent order, is signed "For," "Za," "Momcilo Kovacevic,"
3 and that would have gone through the Minister of Defence; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay, thank you. Now, as somebody who's been there since
6 November 1993, at the top of the Security Department of the Ministry of
7 Defence, why is it that you don't know what other departments would be
8 involved in assisting in the Srebrenica operation, just as we've seen
9 with these two documents? You have no knowledge of where the rest of the
10 departments worked in your ministry?
11 A. Each department functioned separately and carried out its
12 assignments with the consent of the Minister of Defence, so the Minister
13 was aware of what each sector was doing, the sector for security, for
14 mobilisation and organisation. I wasn't included in all of that. I
15 didn't have to know all of these aspects, if that was the case.
16 Q. How did you learn that Srebrenica had fallen, or was liberated,
17 depending on your terminology?
18 A. Simply, to tell you the truth, I actually learned about it
19 through the media.
20 Q. Okay. And I almost asked that as a leading question. You're
21 another one of the high-ranking officials who learned about the fall of
22 Srebrenica on TV or in the paper; is that -- you're sticking by that?
23 You're in the Ministry of Defence, watching TV --
24 A. Absolutely.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues]... okay. Now, let's go to the
1 investigation of war crimes.
2 You investigated war crimes against Serb civilians; correct? You
3 told us about that.
4 A. I didn't investigate just war criminals who committed crimes
5 against Serb civilians, but as part of the work in our town and the
6 agreement at the level of the government, all crimes were investigated,
7 regardless of whether they were committed by members of the army of
8 Republika Srpska or of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This just
9 exceptionally a case that I investigated involving members of the army of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, when the army of Republika Srpska entered
11 Zepa. This was an exception. Otherwise, the service's assignment was to
12 investigate any person, including members of the army of Republika
13 Srpska, suspected of committing crimes against humanity or committing
14 violations of international law.
15 Q. Right. And it's the duty, you know, of every officer in the VRS
16 to report war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against civilians,
17 that he becomes aware of; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And when did you first start investigating war crimes committed
20 by any party, regardless of the ethnicity of the victim, whether they
21 were a Muslim, a Croat, or a Serb? When did you start this work?
22 A. I already mentioned the example, that I interrogated my first
23 prisoner of war in Han Pijesak, Mr. Meho Agic, who was a member of the
24 brigade. But as far as the Main Staff is concerned, I also dealt with
25 personnel issues in the security organ and the issues of training, and if
1 needed I was engaged on these particular tasks. And we have this Meho
2 Agic, that's the example I referred to, who had been brought to
3 Han Pijesak, and he was in the 1st Rogatica Brigade.
4 Then we have also this instance that I described when it was
5 agreed that I should be part of the team interrogating prisoners of war.
6 Q. Okay. Now, this Meho Agic, you knew him before the war, didn't
8 A. Yes. He was a member of the Staff of the Territorial Defence of
9 the municipality of Rogatica
10 Q. And before the war started, you were on relatively good terms
11 with him?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, speaking of war crimes, crimes against humanity, massacres
14 of civilians, tell me about the most serious crimes committed by the VRS
15 during the war that were investigated, that you know about. Let's just
16 start with 1992. Who was prosecuted for killing Muslim civilians in
18 You can't name one; right?
19 A. Yes, yes, I cannot remember. And after all, when I was in the
20 Main Staff, I was a desk officer, after all, and I was less involved in
21 such cases.
22 Q. Sir, I understand, but my point is you said that it wasn't just
23 ABiH soldiers who were investigated, it was also VRS members, and I'd
24 like to know if you remember --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. -- if you can point me to a single prosecution of a VRS soldier
2 for committing crimes against Muslim civilians during the war period.
3 Think about Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc, Zvornik, Bratunac?
4 A. As for Prijedor and that part of the Republika Srpska territory,
5 since I'm not from that area, I didn't go much there and I'm not really
6 that familiar with it, but otherwise I cannot give a specific answer to
7 that question because I don't know. I'm not familiar with that. And
8 when I said that we conducted investigations or that we were trying to
9 find all the perpetrators of such crimes, this was the order from our
10 superior officers. This is how I understood it, and this is how we were
11 doing it.
12 As for the fact that I didn't have a specific case, I said that I
13 wasn't engaged on it that much. I was a member of the Defence Ministry,
14 and the circumstances were -- or actually my duties were actually quite
15 different compared to assignments like that.
16 And in 1992 --
17 Q. All right. You can finish your answer if you have something else
18 to say. I didn't mean to cut you off.
19 A. The year 1992, up until 1993, was the beginning of the war. We
20 were just in the process of being formed, so that it was impossible to
21 find out things like that.
22 Q. And what about Visegrad; is there any prosecutions there for
23 crimes committed by VRS soldiers, ever? If you don't know, say you don't
24 know. It's okay.
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now -- and one of the things you talked about at length was this
2 soldier, Milosevic, who'd gone missing and his body wasn't found. That
3 was a priority for you, wasn't it, trying to get that information?
4 A. Yes, it was a senior officer of the army of Republika Srpska, and
5 we had reliable information that he was wounded and captured. However,
6 we didn't manage to get information about what happened to the body.
7 I think in the transcript of the interrogation of this witness or this
8 prisoner, it's known what happened to him during the interrogation and
9 what he said, but we don't know later what happened to him.
10 Q. Right. And you agree with me, don't you, that it's a terrible
11 thing for surviving family members not to know where the remains of their
12 loved ones lie or what happened to them?
13 A. Absolutely, regardless of the side that is involved.
14 Q. Let me switch topics now a bit.
15 You know General Miletic; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you knew him in 1993?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And in June 1993, there was a Main Staff IKM in Rogatica?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that was also at the HQ of the 1st Podrinje Brigade, Light
22 Infantry Brigade, correct, in Rogatica?
23 A. I think that it was the forward command post of the Drina Corps.
24 Q. But there's an IKM for the Main Staff in Rogatica, correct, in
25 1993, in June?
1 A. No. It was the forward command post of the Drina Corps, and some
2 of the senior officers were then seconded to that command post.
3 Q. Okay. Well, we'll look at some documents about that in a minute.
4 Now, the Brigade commander in Rogatica was Ratko Kusic; correct?
5 A. Yes, Ratko Kusic.
6 Q. Security chief Zoran Carkic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And Miletic, in June 1993, was in Rogatica; correct? Some of the
9 time, at least?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you communicated with him there?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. Could we have 2742 up, please.
14 Q. Now, sir, this is a VRS Main Staff combat order --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't understand what the witness
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Pereula, the interpreters didn't catch what you
18 just stated in reply to Mr. Nicholls' question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That I was present at the forward
20 command post.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: No, we'll get to it. I don't know if my friend
22 had an objection.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know, because I don't know what he
24 answered, anyway.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: It wasn't actually an objection. The only thing
1 is that we still haven't received a list of documents that the
2 Prosecution intends to use. But I was informed by my assistant that we
3 have just received it a moment ago, so that was it. I didn't have any
4 objections at all.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Longer than a moment ago, but --
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I think it was a while ago.
7 Q. In any event, if you could look at this, sir, you can see that
8 it's a 1st May 1993 VRS Main Staff combat order, and it's titled:
9 "Combat Order for the Liberation of Zepa and Gorazde." Do you see that?
10 Would you like a hard copy, sir, paper copy? Just let me know if
11 you have trouble reading it. You can look at it as long as you want, but
12 just let me know if you have trouble reading it.
13 A. Yes, I can now peruse this the way it is.
14 Q. Okay. So this is the 1st of May, 1993, combat order for the
15 liberation of Zepa and Gorazde. You see that?
16 A. The 1st of May, 1993, yes.
17 Q. And if we go to page 2 of the English and stay on page 1 of the
18 B/C/S, we can see at the end of paragraph 1, as it states in the title,
19 that this order concerns the Muslim enclaves, among others, in
20 Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, and it states that: "Considering the
21 military defeats in Kamenica, Cerska and Konjevic Polje, and expecting
22 the fall of Zepa within a short period of time," and it goes on to
23 discuss the Muslim strategy. At the bottom of the next paragraph which
24 begins: "Therefore ... ," the order states that the VRS needs to expect
25 sabotage and terrorist attacks in the region of Grebka and the
1 establishment of a corridor from Trnovo to Gorazde.
2 Do you see all that? I'm just trying to put all this in context
3 for you.
4 A. No, I'm not familiar with this.
5 Q. I didn't ask you whether you were familiar with it. I'm just
6 asking you if you can see that now, what this order was about.
7 A. I can see it.
8 Q. Okay. Now, if we go to page 6 of the English and page 4 of the
9 B/C/S, at point number 2 -- I don't think we have it there in B/C/S yet
10 for the witness -- yes, point number 2, there we see the task:
11 "The RS army has been tasked with the following: To mop up fully
12 Sredoje, Gornje Podrinje."
13 And then offensive actions: "To crush and destroy Muslim armed
14 formations in the border area of Zepa and Gorazde, and to enable the
15 Muslim civilian population to move out (transfer) to other territories,
16 central part of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina, or to recognise the rule
17 of Republika Srpska and in that manner create conditions for the return
18 of the Serbian population to the left and right bank of the Drina River
19 So that's -- so you see that, that's the task to be assigned?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay. If we can go to the next page of the
22 English, page 7, which is page 5 of the B/C/S. We go down to the
23 paragraph below the paragraph marked point 4. We can see that part --
24 the objective of the objection, one of the paragraph starts, is
25 coordinated action on part of the Foca Tactical Group.
1 And if we go to page 8 now in the English, which should be page 5
2 of the B/C/S as well, towards the bottom, we have:
3 "The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska shall coordinate
4 the operation from the IKM post in Rogatica. Colonel Dragan Ilic shall
5 be responsible for merging, planning, linking, and RIK of the forces
6 engaged in the liberation of Gorazde, and Colonel Radivoje Miletic of the
7 forces engaged in the liberation of Zepa."
8 And, finally, if we can go to the last page of both documents, at
9 the bottom of the page, sir, you'll see that this combat order was
10 drafted by Colonel Miletic. Do you see that.
11 A. It says here the deputy commander, General Major Milovanovic.
12 That's what I see.
13 Q. Yes. Maybe we need to go one page down. I'm sorry, page 9.
14 A. On the left-hand side it says: "Drafted by."
15 Q. Right. Thank you. Now I want to go through a few documents,
16 sir, following on from this, and see if it helps refresh your memory of
17 what was going on at that time in 1993.
18 The first one is 3565, and while we're waiting for it, I'll read
19 out this document. Thank you.
20 This document is from the 14th of June, 1993. It's from the
21 forward command post. It says: "Main Staff, VRS, Rogatica. Extremely
22 urgent." It's from Colonel Miletic. It's to be delivered to the Drina
23 Corps IKM, I can't pronounce it properly, Cajnice, and it's for you to
24 report to Rogatica; correct?
25 A. I really can't remember. But if that's what is written in here,
1 then it must be correct.
2 Q. Right. And there's -- there's nothing tricky here. I'm just
3 trying to establish, as you can see, that there was this IKM in Rogatica,
4 and Miletic was sending you a message at that time on the 14th.
5 Can we go to 3566. And this is a couple of days earlier, the
6 12th of June, 1993. This is from you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it's to the Tactical Group, Foca, intelligence officer, and
11 at the 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, Colonel Miletic personally;
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And as we can see, what you're doing here is reporting about one
15 of the problems we saw in the combat order, is that the Muslim forces are
16 trying to slip weapons into Gorazde, correct, which is something that
17 would be of concern?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Just a couple more. 3568, please. We were at 12th June. We're
20 back to 14th of June 1993.
21 Again, it's from you to the Tactical Group, Foca, to the Podrinje
22 Brigade in Rogatica and to Miletic. Take a moment to read this. And,
23 again, here it's about Muslim units in this area are called "Grebka,"
24 which was also saw was a problem in the combat order; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. 3567, please. A similar document, 13th of June 1993. It's from
2 you again at Drina Corps IKM, Cajnice, to the VRS Main Staff, to the 1st
3 Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade and again to Colonel Miletic. You can
4 see that again; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And, again, this concerns the situation of the Muslim forces in
7 Gorazde; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let's look at what you're proposing here:
10 "Muslim forces in Gorazde have been placed in a very unfavorable
11 position. Soldiers and citizens are in a state of panic. We decided to
12 use our propaganda more in order to carry out further combat activities
13 and realise our goal (liberation of Gorazde) as successfully as
15 And that goal is the same goal we saw in the combat order,
16 correct, the liberation of Gorazde?
17 A. Well, this is subject to debate. There was combat, and the Serb
18 forces before that had been defeated in Gorazde.
19 Q. Okay. But it may be subject to debate, but it's not too
20 complicated, is it ? The combat order we just looked at, and I don't
21 want to bring it up again, is a combat order for the liberation of
22 Gorazde, and you're saying that this proposal is to realise "our goal,"
23 the liberation of Gorazde, and that's one month later; right?
24 A. Well, that may be the terminology, the terminology may be to that
25 effect, but there was combat, and let me repeat that before the army of
1 Republika Srpska had been defeated in Gorazde, we can go over that, and
2 then we mounted a counter-attack. This is where combat took place, and
3 this is where I sent this information to the forward command post.
4 Q. Yes, about the liberation of Gorazde; right?
5 A. No, no, no.
6 Q. Okay. What do you mean here --
7 A. First of all, what I had in mind was to liberate the territory
8 where we had been and from which we had been moved by the BiH forces, to
9 be more precise, the Gorazde Division.
10 Q. This is part of, as it said in the combat order, allowing Serbs
11 to return to the Podrinje region and have that region as theirs; correct?
12 A. Yes, that's correct. That's where we were, and we had been
13 expelled from there, we had been moved from there.
14 Q. Okay. Now, here is your suggestion:
15 "To this end, we have composed a manifest which we intend to air
16 on Radio Foca, Visegrad and Rudo, as well as on megaphone, which will be
17 transmitted from a moving vehicle for greater efficiency. Please provide
18 one armoured vehicle with a mounted megaphone from the direction of the
19 1st Romanija Brigade from which the following text will be broadcasted."
20 So this is an element of propaganda in order to help you achieve
21 your goal. This is the text that you suggested should be broadcast:
22 "Muslims from Gorazde, you have realised that both the world and
23 Alija have left you high and dry. Allah himself will help you if you
24 listen to us. We offer you salvation, because we are the only ones who
25 can save you. Break up from those who have driven you to death for
1 months and take the road to salvation. Head towards Kopaci and
2 Ustipraca. There we guarantee you life and final relief. There we offer
3 you shelter and final deliverance and then a road of your choice. It is
4 far away from the hell Alija took you to. Hoist the white flag and be on
5 your way. We're waiting for you in Ustipraca. You don't have much
7 Now, that is a message, I suggest to you, first of all -- wait
8 for the question. First of all, it's directed to the Muslims of Gorazde,
9 isn't it? That doesn't say "soldiers."
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Second, that message says "get out now." That message says "you
12 don't have much time." That's basically a message any reasonable person
13 reading it would think "leave or else"; correct?
14 A. No. When it comes to combat, in any case, everybody knows that
15 propaganda is also used as a means towards a goal in combat. Some terms
16 and expressions that are used here may be at the moment when they were
17 used. In any case, one did not have in mind moving out the entire
18 population of Gorazde, and I repeat that the environs of Gorazde at the
19 time, the territory under the Serb forces, had been abandoned and we were
20 given the task to return those territories. And when it comes to the
21 terminology, obviously, when it comes to propaganda, you also used things
22 that you didn't really have in mind as your goal.
23 So I believe that this was just pure propaganda. We did not
24 mention soldiers. This is an omission on our part. This is a --
25 something that could not be done in the situation of combat. You could
1 not think of any single term, any single expression. This was just
2 propaganda that was used as means in combat. Both sides did that. But
3 it was not our goal to expel the civilian population from Gorazde, and
4 indeed this never happened.
5 Q. But you read that message, a reasonable Muslim civilian in
6 Gorazde would be frightened by that message and would hear, "There we
7 guarantee, away from here, there we guarantee you life." That means
8 Gorazde, "we're not going to guarantee your life." It says, "Hoist a
9 white flag and be on your way." And it says: "You don't have much
11 Now, for just a normal person in Gorazde, who's not in the
12 military, isn't going to dissect this in a military manner, isn't going
13 to say, Oh that's just propaganda. That's a threat, isn't it?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Just a moment. Madame Fauveau.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Objections with regard to this
16 issue. The Prosecution should first establish whether the message was
17 read or not to the Muslim population in Gorazde.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to reply to that?
19 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour. I'm pursuing my
20 cross-examination. This was a proposal made by the witness, that's where
21 I am at the moment.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, one moment.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. NICHOLLS: I mean, Your Honours, I'm going there, I'm going
25 to ask this question. I'm trying to do this in my own way.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go ahead, go ahead.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, my colleague has essentially put the
3 question to you.
4 Q. What was the response to Colonel Miletic from your proposal to
5 broadcast this message to the Muslims of Gorazde?
6 A. I think that this message never reached the Muslim forces or the
7 Muslim population in Gorazde, because we did not have the means to take
8 that avenue. We could not air our message. We could not throw out
9 leaflets from an aircraft or a helicopter. We did not have that. So I
10 believe that this never reached Muslim forces. I believe that this was
11 just something that we had prepared to do in order to possibly intimidate
12 the fighters of the Gorazde units that were in their positions. And I
13 personally believe -- I don't know whether you have at your disposal any
14 document showing that the population of Gorazde never received this
15 message in any shape or form.
16 Q. All right. Well, and I'm going to move on from this in a minute,
17 but you certainly had control of the airwaves, the airwaves or radio
18 stations, in Foca, Visegrad and Rudo; correct? There were radio stations
19 that could broadcast there; correct?
20 A. I personally did not use them, and I am not aware of that. It
21 may well be true, but I don't know.
22 Q. It may well be true because you suggested it in this proposal,
23 and I take it that as a security officer, you don't suggest proposals
24 that you know are impossible. You don't say, "I think we should do
25 this," when in fact you know it's impossible. You don't say, "Let's use
1 Foca radio station," when you can't use Foca radio station; correct?
2 A. I really can't remember, as I sit here. It's very difficult for
3 me to rewind and tell you how it all transpired. But I believe that at
4 the time, these means did not function so as to be able to convey all the
5 information to the civilian population in this particular way, to the
6 Muslim population in Gorazde, I mean.
7 Q. And just so we're clear, it was beyond the means of the
8 Main Staff of the VRS to provide one armoured combat vehicle with a
9 megaphone on it; that was something that couldn't be done?
10 A. We did not have that at our disposal, or at least I don't know
11 that we had it at our disposal.
12 Q. Now, I'm moving on to another topic. You talked about
13 interviewing Meho or Mehmed Hajric at the SUP in Han Pijesak in 1992. Do
14 you remember that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You admitted to me earlier that you'd known him in Rogatica
17 before this unfortunate war; correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Now, do you recall, when you interviewed him, that when he was
20 brought to you, that he had a head wound?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Do you recall, when he was brought to you, that he complained to
23 you -- you interviewed him twice. I should say that.
24 A. No, he just wanted me to find him a blanket and give it to him,
25 because he was cold in the cellar.
1 When he was first brought to Han Pijesak, I was not the one who
2 established the initial contact with him. It was probably the MUP. I
3 only saw him later on. He never complained of any wounds on his body,
4 nor did I notice any.
5 Q. Okay. Because that's interesting, because what he says is that
6 he complained -- that he asked for a blanket, just as you said, and also
7 that he complained about being beaten to you; not that you beat him. You
8 treated him fine, but he complained to you that he was beaten in between
9 his interrogations with you. You don't remember that?
10 A. No. Even eyeball-to-eyeball with Meho, I could tell him that he
11 never complained about that to me. He was thirsty, I gave him water. I
12 offered him cigarettes. Not mine, mind you, they were his own cigarettes
13 that I located somewhere and I offered them to him. But he never
14 complained about being beaten, and I never noticed anything on his body,
15 although we spent a rather lengthy time talking, maybe an hour, an hour
16 and a half.
17 Q. And do you remember ever, you know, hearing about prisoners being
18 beaten when they were in VRS custody?
19 A. I don't remember, no.
20 Q. No. And if you would, you would have reported it, wouldn't you,
21 and there would have been a prosecution?
22 A. I would have condemned that, yes.
23 Q. Now, you're from Rogatica?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. There was a prison where prisoners of war were kept in Rogatica
1 in July 1995; right?
2 Are you telling me you don't know about Rasadnik? Let me help
3 you remember, I might have pronounced it wrong.
4 You have heard about it? We didn't get your answer.
5 A. Rasadnik, you're saying? Rasadnik? Yes.
6 Q. There was a farm there that was used as a prison in 1995;
8 A. It is possible.
9 Q. Okay. You're from Rogatica. You were a security officer.
10 You're at the top of the MOD. You know about check-points from going
11 home and talking to your neighbours and friends. Is it possible or was
12 there a prison farm in Rogatica in July 1995, or you don't remember?
13 A. There was a prison. I heard of that.
14 Q. Okay. Did you ever interview prisoners there?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Now, there were prisoners from Zepa held there?
17 A. This was not in my jurisdiction, and I did not get information
18 about that from the superior command and I did not interrogate such
19 prisoners in Rogatica. These prisoners were probably previously captured
20 from Zepa or other places when I was -- while I was at the Ministry of
21 Defence, so this was not part of my duties. There was no need for me to
22 interrogate those prisoners.
23 Q. Let me just give you a little background. These prisoners from
24 Zepa, some of them, many of them, were men from Zepa, Muslims, who'd been
25 removed from buses during the convoy removing them from Kladanj in July
1 1995. Now, you're interviewing prisoners in Foca to get information
2 about war crimes; correct?
3 A. Yes, yes. In Foca, yes.
4 Q. Prisoners are being interviewed in Rogatica about Zepa and about
5 war crimes and about intelligence. Isn't it important to put that
6 information together? Don't you need to know what's going on, what these
7 prisoners are saying, if you're going to interview your prisoners
9 A. First of all, I wasn't the person working on the coordination of
10 these prisoners. Upon request of the Main Staff, I would go to Foca.
11 There were no requests arriving at the Ministry of Defence to engage
12 security organs on interrogations of prisoners in Zepa who happened to be
13 in Rogatica, so I never went there and I never did any interrogations
15 Q. Were you aware that prisoners, Muslim prisoners held in Rogatica,
16 have reported being beaten? Did that ever reach your ears?
17 A. No. I must explain.
18 I was born in Rogatica. In 1968, I came to Sarajevo, and I
19 described my advancement in the service. I had no connections with
20 Rogatica, other than having the TO duties, and it was my duty to visit
21 the TO staff. So I was there officially during the war. I actually went
22 to Rogatica very little.
23 Q. Okay. So if I tell you that Muslims from Zepa held there, Mehmed
24 Hajric, Amir Imamovic, men who were leaders in the community in Zepa,
25 that they were beaten in that prison and then their bodies were found in
1 mass graves, that's -- is this the first time you're hearing it, from me
3 A. I'm hearing it from you for the first time, definitely.
4 Q. Now, about how many prisoners was it that were available to be
5 interrogated in Foca? It might have been 149?
6 A. No, no, there were 30 to 40 prisoners in Foca which we
7 interviewed. I don't remember if it was 30 or 40, but that was the
8 figure, approximately. Over 100 persons are on the charge list, and
9 these are mostly people who were in Serbia
10 with the chief, Cardakovic, and we couldn't get to them. I already said
12 Q. And these were members of the Zepa Brigade, and it was important
13 to interview them to find out about crimes they had committed; correct?
14 A. I don't know who you're thinking of. Which prisoners, the ones
15 in Rogatica or the ones in Foca?
16 Q. Foca. I'm talking about Foca now.
17 A. Yes, they were prisoners, through which we were supposed to find
18 out who committed the crimes --
19 Q. And it's important to document --
20 A. -- against members of the army of Republika Srpska and the
21 civilian population, because these had occurred. Borovine -- Borovine
22 were burned and people were killed, and it was necessary to find out who
23 did this.
24 Q. Yeah. Now, what about the 28th Division out of Srebrenica? They
25 also -- also, you've heard about excursions out of the Srebrenica enclave
1 and crimes being committed by the 28th Division; right?
2 A. I can say that I cannot say anything specific about Srebrenica.
3 I was not present there in any capacity, not as a security person or a
4 member of any commission, so that all of that is totally unfamiliar to
6 Q. Listen to the question carefully, if you can. I'm asking you if
7 you'd heard, not if you were there, not if you took part in a commission,
8 if you heard about the 28th Division committing crimes against Serb
10 A. That, yes, yes. Kravica -- there would be other villages, too,
11 around Bratunac, around Srebrenica. Yes, I heard that.
12 Q. Serious crimes?
13 A. I didn't get the translation.
14 Q. Serious crimes, in your opinion?
15 A. Serious crimes, yes.
16 Q. Okay. Well, this commission is set up, and these investigations
17 are set up in order to document/investigate these crimes. There's
18 overwhelming evidence in this case about thousands and thousands of
19 Muslim men, after the fall of Srebrenica, being held in schools all over
20 Zvornik municipality.
21 A. I'm not aware of that.
22 Q. You're not aware of that?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Have you ever heard that, not just -- I mean, have you ever heard
25 that in the media, anywhere?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You're not aware of any commission set up to go to Zvornik and
3 interview Muslim prisoners, are you, to see if they had committed crimes?
4 A. I'm not aware of any of that, definitely.
5 Q. Now, what was your job, what were your duties, in 1997?
6 A. In 1997, I was in Han Pijesak, Crna Rijeka, within the staff unit
7 of the General Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, to secure the
8 General Staff command post and the infrastructure in that area.
9 Q. Right. And you worked as a personnel officer at army post 74 --
10 A. Yes, I wasn't working as a security organ at the time, but I was
11 working as a personnel officer, yes.
12 Q. From 1997 until the end of December 2001; correct?
13 A. Yes, when I retired.
14 Q. And part of your job there had to do with paying VRS salaries;
16 A. To pay salaries to members of that unit.
17 Q. And you entered data as part of that job to make sure that
18 salaries were paid to members of that VRS unit in Han Pijesak; correct?
19 A. Yes, correct.
20 Q. And there was a salary differential in place then, where VRS
21 officers got paid a differential if they were to make the pay
22 commensurate to the JNA; correct? Some officers received a salary
23 differential, and you were one of them; correct?
24 A. Yes, correct, but I think that it was a little bit different.
25 I think the salary was higher at the time in the army of Republika Srpska
1 than in the JNA, so that was the differential that was paid to the senior
3 Q. You said it better than I did. That's exactly right. And one of
4 those serious officers that was getting paid there at the time you were
5 there was Ratko Mladic; correct? He was on the list that you were
7 A. Correct, but -- may I add something?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. At the time in 1997 -- 1996-1997, we received lists, salary
10 lists, from Banja Luka, and we entered data for it. And General Mladic
11 was on the lists, but at the time there was no document, either from the
12 International Community or from any organ of Republika Srpska, to stop
13 paying salaries to any officer, including General Ratko Mladic, and this
14 is why the salaries were paid.
15 Q. Well, you knew he was an indicted fugitive at that point, didn't
16 you, or is that something new you're learning today for the first time,
17 that Ratko Mladic has an indictment against him from this Tribunal?
18 A. I found out later that there was an indictment at the time. From
19 what I know, General Mladic was not in hiding. He lived legally in
21 Q. So when you were there from 1997 to 2000, you didn't know he was
22 indicted, when he was getting these payments?
23 A. In 1997, no. Later, I didn't issue the payments, but I knew that
24 there had been an indictment issued. But as I said, the principle of
25 subordination is well known, and certain officers cannot decide on their
1 own if they are going to pay a salary to someone and to someone else not.
2 And I repeat again, at that time there was no documentation issued either
3 from the International Community or the authorities of Republika Srpska
4 government, and at that time, and I'm speaking about 1997, I was not in a
5 position to decide about that on my own.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: No further questions right now, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 Is there re-examination, Mr. Nikolic?
9 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, a brief one.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Nikolic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Pereula, let's begin from this last item,
13 the payment of salary to General Mladic. Can you please describe how
14 this was done, and what was your role in this?
15 A. I already explained that we were the General Staff staff unit,
16 and our main assignment was to provide security for the post where the
17 General Staff headquarters was. Then we received lists from Banja Luka
18 to pay out salaries. We would just enter the workdays and what was
19 necessary for the work list to enter. Once we filled that in, we would
20 return these lists to Banja Luka, and that is how the salaries were paid
22 Q. Thank you. When we're talking about finding the perpetrators of
23 crimes, including very serious crimes, did the security organs of the
24 Main Staff primarily work on that, and which organs actually primarily
25 worked on this?
1 A. To discover crimes, well, according to the law, any senior
2 officer that obtains information that a crime was committed is obliged to
3 report this to the relevant authorities. And the security organs, as
4 part of their duties, were supposed to investigate or find out if such
5 crimes had been committed.
6 Q. You said the security organs. At which level?
7 A. Just repeat your question.
8 Q. From what level, from lower-ranking units or from the Main Staff?
9 A. You mean to find out if crimes had been committed? Well, all the
10 organs had the task at the level from the lowest-ranking unit all the way
11 to the top-ranking unit, but as I said, when uncovering such acts, and I
12 cannot remember specifically, some time has passed since then, the
13 security organs are instructed on the methods and the means of operation,
14 and an organ could perhaps independently apply one method, perhaps an
15 informative talk, but all the other methods had to be approved by the
16 commander, and approval of the methods to be used would go from -- would
17 be issued by the commander, and then from higher up, from the staff.
18 Q. When we're talking about this procedure, where does this
19 information go to, who is it handed over to?
20 A. Once we got this information, this information would be passed on
21 to the military prosecutor.
22 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
23 further questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
25 Judge Kwon, do you have any questions? Judge Stole?
1 Mr. Pereula, we haven't got any further questions for you. Our
2 staff will assist you and organise your return journey back home. On
3 behalf of the Tribunal, I wish to thank you for having come over to give
4 testimony, and I also wish you a safe journey back home.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic, do you have any documents?
8 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No documents, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Krgovic?
10 MR. KRGOVIC: We don't have any documents, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Nicholls? Mr. Lazarevic -- but
12 Mr. Lazarevic asked a simple question on Borovcanin and --
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't want to tender. I believe it's already
14 in evidence.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, okay. I was taking it for granted that you
16 didn't have any.
17 Okay. Mr. Nicholls.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: One moment, Your Honour. Sorry.
19 Yes, Your Honours, some of the ones I used were already in, and I
20 wanted to try to get that straight. So it would be 3565, 3567, 3568.
21 I think that's it, Your Honours. And 66, sorry.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 Any objections? Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
24 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No objections.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 So that's it. Yes, of course they are admitted, and let's go to
2 the next witness.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we wait one second before we bring that
4 witness in?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I am -- and I haven't had a chance
8 to talk to my colleague about this, I apologise. But I am told there is
9 an order that this next witness, Mr. Jovanovic, that he has been -- is a
10 92 ter witness, which we welcome. But I see a time estimate of 1.5 to 2
11 hours, so if we could just clarify that. We are hoping we have ten or
12 fifteen minutes of -- as a normal 92 ter witness.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Let's deal with this first.
14 Mr. Nikolic.
15 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that the
16 Prosecution objected to 92 bis statements of these witnesses, then we can
17 now hear them as 92 ter witnesses. We were not aware of that at first,
18 when we planned this much time in order to hear the testimony of these
19 witnesses. So, in any case, the examination-in-chief will really not
20 take that long.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but how long will it take?
22 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I believe that I will need about 30
23 minutes for the examination-in-chief.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you.
25 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's hard to say if this is a 92 ter witness,
2 where a statement is going in, why 30 minutes is needed, but --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll see. In any case, there is something which
4 is more important.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Anyway, yes, Mr. McCloskey, I see you
7 standing again.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I don't know if this is an old witness
9 list -- exhibit list, but there's many, many exhibits on this.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, as we heard this morning, the Prosecution
11 has, indeed, filed a motion, which is called: "Prosecution's
12 Supplemental Motion to Require the Beara Defence Team to Adhere to
13 Rule 65 ter, Rule 67(A)(ii), and the Trial Chamber's 27th May 2008
15 We have discussed this preliminarily, of course, also taking into
16 consideration the submissions that were made earlier by Mr. Gosnell,
17 Mr. Nikolic, and Mr. McCloskey, and, Mr. Nikolic, we require a definitive
18 reply from the Beara team, Defence team, by Wednesday - that's the day
19 after tomorrow - depending of course on outcome of -- on the reply and
20 the outcome of any discussions there might be between you and your
21 colleagues and also the Prosecution, of course.
22 We have -- we intend to hand down a decision by the end of the
23 week. In the meantime, two witnesses are already at least in the
24 pipeline, in relation to whom some concerns were raised, and our
25 intention is to go along, but hear submissions as they may arise if any
1 one of you encounters problems, and after hearing what you have to say,
2 will take a decision separately on these two witnesses.
3 So I'm saying, I'm limiting myself to these two witnesses,
4 because we only heard some concerns being aired or being made in relation
5 to them and not to others. If there are others, too, of course by the
6 time and until we hand down our decision, we will act more or less in the
7 same way.
8 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President.
10 As Mr. Nicholls had said, we are not making any -- we're ready to
11 go with these witnesses this week.
12 And what I had stated before about an exhibit list, I was looking
13 at my exhibit list. We don't have an exhibit list from the Defence, so
14 that may not be a problem at all. I apologise.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic doesn't seem surprised.
16 Do you have --
17 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, we don't, not for these
18 witnesses, no, we don't have any -- any documents.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's bring in the first one.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Jovanovic.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You are --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: -- the next witness summoned by the Beara Defence
1 team in this case. But before you start giving evidence, sir, you need
2 to make a solemn declaration pursuant to our Rules, a solemn declaration
3 that you will be testifying the truth. Madam Usher, standing next to
4 you, is going to hand you the text of this solemn declaration. Go ahead,
5 read it, and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: MILADIN JOVANOVIC
9 [The witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
11 Mr. Nikolic will go first. He will then be followed, upon
12 cross-examination, by others.
13 Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
14 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Examination by Mr. Nikolic:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Jovanovic.
17 A. Good afternoon.
18 Q. Before we start putting questions, I would like to introduce
19 myself, although we did meet already. I'm Predrag Nikolic, representing
20 Mr. Beara in his Defence team.
21 Before you start replying and until you introduce yourself, a few
22 useful pieces of advice so that this conversation of ours can be
23 translated. It's necessary for you always to wait after I complete
24 putting my question before beginning your answer so that the interpreters
25 could translate that. Did we understand each other?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Would you please now state your name for the record?
3 A. My name is Miladin Jovanovic. I was born on the 16th of October,
4 1952, in Bratunac, where I currently reside. I'm married. I have two
6 Q. What about your educational background, and what about your
8 A. I graduated from the School of Electrical Engineering in Tuzla,
9 and I'm currently the chief of electrical distribution for the area of
10 Bratunac and Srebrenica.
11 Q. In the course of the war, where were you, between 1992 and 1995?
12 A. Between 1992 and sometime the end of my [as interpreted] 1993, I
13 was the general manager of the electrical distribution company in
14 Bratunac, and after that, up until the end of the war, I was militarily
15 engaged as a foot soldier.
16 Q. And what unit were you assigned to?
17 A. I was assigned to artillery, and I belonged to the Special
18 Purposes Unit of rocket-launcher crews.
19 Q. Where was it deployed?
20 A. This unit was deployed in the suburbs of Bratunac on the road
21 towards Ljubovija in the construction material depot called Javar [phoen]
23 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, you provided a statement to our investigator
24 concerning the events surrounding combat activities around Srebrenica.
25 Tell me, please, where were you around that time?
1 A. At that time, I was in my military unit, and I've already told
2 you that it was in the suburbs on the Bratunac-Ljubovija road. And on
3 that particular day, I was scheduled to be on duty in my unit.
4 Q. Did you know Jovan [Realtime transcript read in error "Drago"]
6 A. I knew Jovan Nikolic. I had known him for a long time. He
7 resided in the same town for a long time. He was a politician. He was
8 the president of the Socialist Alliance, he was the principal of the
9 school in Bratunac, and on that particular day he was the general manager
10 of the farming cooperative in Bratunac.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. Ms. Nikolic.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, transcript, page 73,
13 line 4, can we repeat the name of the person that the witness is
14 currently testifying about in order to clarify the transcript?
15 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Transcript 73, line 4, your answer is recorded as
17 "Drago Nikolic." I asked you whether you knew Jovan Nikolic.
18 A. Yes, we're talking about Jovan Nikolic.
19 Q. Thank you. So on the eve of the events in Srebrenica that we're
20 talking about, he was the general manager of the farming cooperative,
21 wasn't he?
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. Around that time, did you have any communication with him, and
24 what was the occasion if you did?
25 A. Nothing special happened around that time. We did not have any
1 special contacts. The farming cooperative bordered on the premises where
2 I was billeted together with my unit, and whenever I saw him, we would
3 just exchange greetings, we would just exchange a few general comments,
4 nothing special.
5 Q. Around that time, did he ask for any favours from you?
6 A. Look, he was the general manager of the cooperative, and I've
7 just told you that just an iron fence separated our two facilities, and
8 on that evening when the incident in Kravica took place, Jovan Nikolic
9 came to me and asked me whether I could take him to Kravica. That may
10 have been around 2200 hours that evening.
11 Q. Did you take him to Kravica then?
12 A. Yes. That's what I said in my statement. I took Mr. Jovan
13 Nikolic and two other men, Perica Vasovic and Mr. Eric, whose first name
14 I can't remember at the moment, to Kravica that night. We stayed in
15 Kravica between 15 and 20 minutes. I can't be sure of the time, exactly.
16 Q. And then Jovan Nikolic and the persons that you've just
17 mentioned, Perica Vasovic and the third person, did they come to you
18 together, asking you for a ride, or did you just pick them up on the way?
19 A. Jovan Nikolic came to ask me --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nikolic, we have a specific, special procedure
21 when it comes to Rule 92 ter, and it is certainly not the one that you
22 have chosen. Basically, you need to refer the witness to his written
23 statement, the one that you would have circulated under that Rule, under
24 92 ter, which for all intents and purposes, basically, the
25 examination-in-chief, and then ask him whether he attests that that
1 written statement or evidence, that the transcript of that evidence,
2 reflects accurately his declaration and what he would say if he were to
3 be examined on the same issues and matters now.
4 And then depending, of course, on his answer, you fill in any
5 blanks that there are, you clarify any issues that may still remain
6 undealt with in the statement, and there we are very flexible. We've
7 been very flexible with the Prosecution, when it's been the case, and we
8 have no intention of not being flexible -- equally flexible with you all,
9 but we have to follow the procedure. In other words, you can't adopt a
10 92 ter procedure, and then pretending that that does not exist, and
11 putting all the questions that you would have put to the witness if there
12 had not been this either 92 bis or 92 ter.
13 In the meantime, I'll give you time to organise yourself. It's
14 time for a break, and I think it's an hour's break. Correct? It's an
15 hour's break, and then we have ...
16 --- Recess taken at 12.49 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.57 p.m.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 Now, Mr. Nikolic, I suppose you got the message, so we should be
20 able to conclude. And please do go straight to what is required by the
21 third paragraph of 92 ter.
22 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. This is exactly
23 what I intend to do.
24 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, you provided a statement to our investigator,
25 Milan Stanic; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you remember when that was?
3 A. I don't.
4 Q. It says in the statement that it was in April 2007.
5 A. That's possible.
6 Q. In the statement, did you speak about your departure for Kravica?
7 This is what we tackled just before the break.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues]... this statement,
10 you still have to ask him using -- I mean, doing it the way the
11 Prosecution was instructed by us to go about it, whether the witness
12 attests, or confirms, in other words, that the statement you just
13 referred him to - if he needs to see it, we give it to him - accurately
14 reflects his declaration and what he would say if he were to be examined
15 on exactly the same issues today. You need to clear that hurdle first,
16 and then go to supplementing or clarifying anything that is necessary,
17 but not beyond that.
18 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, we have just heard that you signed the statement.
20 If you were to speak about the same things today, would you say the same
21 thing and would you sign them?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm going to show you the statement and ask you to confirm
24 whether the signature on the statement is indeed yours.
25 Could you please be so kind and provide the statement to the
2 A. This is my signature.
3 Q. Thank you. The questions that you were asked in the statement,
4 would you provide the same answers to them today?
5 A. Yes, I would.
6 Q. And the part that refers to your arrival in Kravica, would that
7 be the same?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And also the part that refers to the conversation that took place
10 in your car on your return from Kravica?
11 A. Well, I'm faced with a dilemma here. This is not so much about
12 the statement as it is about my true recollection, as it was at the time.
13 Kravica, as a case, was a very difficult case. Those were the
14 days that I would gladly erase from my memory, if I could. When it comes
15 to the Kravica case, there are lots of rumours and stories going around
16 in Bratunac at the time, starting with somebody saying that a soldier was
17 strangled with bare hands by the detainees. There was also a story that
18 he was killed from a rifle, another one according to which he had been
19 run over. This all created a chaos in my head, and I sit here, I really
20 can't remember what I heard at what specific period of time.
21 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Jovanovic. When I asked you whether you would
22 adhere to your statement and whether you would provide the same answers
23 about the conversations that you -- conversation that you had in your
24 car, let me tell you that in your statement, you confirmed that you did
25 not say anything.
1 A. I would still adhere to that as I sit here today.
2 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
3 further questions.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So we come to the conclusion of Mr. Nikolic.
5 Mr. Zivanovic.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nikolic, can I have the 65 ter number of the
8 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Just bear with me for a moment,
10 I apologise. I'm not sure about the number. Would I please be
11 allowed to provide this to you a bit later? I don't want to make any
12 mistakes that would need to be corrected later.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'll not cross-examine this witness, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 Ms. Nikolic.
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Likewise, no questions.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
19 Mr. Lazarevic.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. It seems that my
21 cross-examination will not last as long as I indicated. I mean, it's
22 significantly reduced by the examination-in-chief.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Jovanovic. Just for the
1 record, my name is Aleksandar Lazarevic. I represent Mr. Ljubomir
2 Borovcanin, together with my colleagues, Ms. Cmeric and
3 Christopher Gosnell. We represent Mr. Borovcanin, and in his illness, on
4 his behalf I would like to ask you a few questions that concern your
5 statement and your testimony.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Can, in the meantime, we have -- is it in the
7 statement as it is in e-court already or not?
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go ahead, and then we'll see if we need
10 to intervene.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour. It is my understanding
12 that it is P3595 in the e-court.
13 [Interpretation] I would like to call up document number P1536
14 [Realtime transcript read in error "P1356"] in e-court. This is a photo,
15 an aerial photo. 1563 is the number. I apologise. There seems to be a
16 mistake in the record.
17 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, do you recognise the facility that you see in this
18 aerial photo?
19 A. Yes, I can. This is the farming cooperative in Kravica.
20 Q. Thank you very much. And now I would like to ask the assistance
21 of the usher. I would like to have the witness mark certain things in
22 the photo.
23 As it is, you draw the pen across the screen, you will make a
24 mark, just to let you know how it's done.
25 First of all, could you please place an arrow by the road, and
1 put a letter "B" next to it to denote the direction that you have to take
2 to go to Bratunac.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Thank you. And now if I understood your testimony correctly, and
5 if I understood the statement you provided to the Beara team correctly,
6 together with the other persons whom you have mentioned, you took a car,
7 in the evening in Bratunac, and you arrived in the farming cooperative in
8 Kravica. Could you please mark, in this photo, the direction from which
9 you came and the route that you took in order to get there?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you very much. For the record, let us just say that the
12 dotted line represents the road that the witness took together with the
13 others to arrive at his destination.
14 If we look at this aerial photo and your markings on it, we can
15 see that on the way from Bratunac, you turned left and then right, and
16 that is where the entrance into the farming compound at Kravica is
17 located; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And let me ask you this: If you take a car and if you want to
20 enter the compound of the Kravica farming cooperative, is this the only
21 way to do it? Is there some other side gate through which you can take
22 your car in?
23 A. No, there's no such thing. This is the only way you can enter
24 the compound by car.
25 Q. Around the entire compound, there is a fence, isn't there?
1 A. Yes, there is an iron fence which fences the compound off.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Could you now put your initials and today's
3 date in the right lower corner of this photo?
4 A. [Marks] What is the date today, please? 28th. [Marks]
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
6 And now I would like to display the document again, another clean
7 copy of document number 1563 without the witness's markings on it.
8 Q. Here, you have the same photo again, and I would like to ask you
9 to mark the place where the car stopped on that night, on the 13th.
10 Could you please give us the exact position of the place where your car
12 A. I have just one question. Do you want me to mark the place that
13 I reached or where I left the car when I returned?
14 Q. Both. First, can you mark the place where you stopped the car?
15 A. Then it would be number 1 [Marks].
16 Q. Very well, then, thank you.
17 A. And then there is also a place number 2 [marks].
18 Q. In order for us to be able to understand what you're talking
19 about, let us put it this way: First you stopped at location number 1.
20 Then you made a U-turn or you turned around within the compound, and you
21 returned to place number 2, and this is where you parked your car; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Could you also put your initials and
25 today's date in the bottom right corner.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. At the moment when you arrived -- this document can be saved, but
3 I would like the witness to be able to see it still.
4 At the moment when you arrived at the place that you marked "1,"
5 according to your testimony or, rather, according to your statement, you
6 heard an order for all -- for the lights to be turned down?
7 A. The order was, "Turn off your light and go back."
8 Q. And you complied with the order. You turned around in your car.
9 Then you returned to place number 2?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Your passengers who were in the car on that evening, Eric, Jovo
12 Nikolic and Perica Vasovic, where did they leave the car? Did they leave
13 the car in place number 1 or place number 2?
14 A. In place number 1.
15 Q. This means that they got out of the car, you double-parked, then
16 you heard the order for lights to be dimmed and for you to return --
17 A. And that's when I returned.
18 Q. Thank you very much. I believe that this explains quite a bit of
19 things. And let me now ask you this: When you were there, did Jovo
20 Nikolic carry anything in his hands? Did he have anything in his hands?
21 A. No, he didn't. As far as I can remember, he didn't have
23 Q. And while you were sitting in the car, although the photo
24 illustrates that pretty well, you could not see what the three of them
25 were doing?
1 A. I could not see that. There was no line of vision, first of all.
2 And, second of all, it was already night. It must have been around
3 10.00, half past 10.00 in the evening by then.
4 Q. And let me ask you something else. Did you get out of the car at
5 all or did you remain sitting in the car?
6 A. I did not get out of the car at all.
7 Q. While you were sitting in the car, did you hear a loud argument,
8 a quarrel? Could you maybe discern the voices of Jovan Nikolic of -- or
9 any other of your passengers or somebody else? Do you remember that?
10 A. I heard some swear words, which I cannot repeat because I can't
11 remember, but I remember that there was some swearing going on. But I
12 did not understand everything well. I don't know, there must have been
13 also an element of fear present.
14 Q. And approximately how long did you remain sitting in your car
15 before your passengers returned?
16 A. I believe some 15 minutes or so.
17 Q. Did the three of them get to the car?
18 A. Yes, they did.
19 Q. Did you get out of the car at all when you see them approaching,
20 or did you remain sitting and they got into the car?
21 A. They just got in. I never left the car, never got out, myself.
22 Q. While you were in the car, waiting for your passengers, did you
23 hear any shots, any shots fired?
24 A. Yes, I did hear shots coming from various directions. It was
25 night, so it was very hard for me to tell where those shots came from.
1 It's pretty much enclosed with the hills. There was a lot of echo, so
2 it's not very easy for me to tell where the shots came from. My feeling
3 was that there were shots coming from all over the place.
4 Q. So you can't tell us precisely whether the shots came from the
5 hills, from the direction of the hangar, or from east or south?
6 A. No, I can't. It was night, it was very quiet, so the hills were
7 resounding and it was impossible to tell.
8 Q. And can you please tell us whether those shots came from various
9 directions or just from one direction?
10 A. My opinion is that they came from all over the place, from
11 different directions.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I would like us to deal with just one more
14 You gave the statement, but let us clarify this. Did you see any
15 persons in uniform or any other persons within the compounds of the
16 Kravica farming co-op?
17 A. I did not see anyone, except for this shadow of this man who
18 ordered me to turn my car back and to go back where I came from, and I
19 didn't see anyone else.
20 Q. When you say "shadow," a silhouette, does that mean that you
21 cannot tell -- that you cannot tell us any details about what kind of
22 clothes that person was wearing, what age that person was?
23 A. I couldn't say that. I told you it was at night, it was at 2200
24 hours, 2230, it was dark. And also I was a driver. I was there to
25 operate the vehicle.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Today, in answer to questions asked by
2 Mr. Nikolic, who also examined you, you said that from July 1995 until
3 now, there have been many stories, rumours, about what had happened, how
4 it had happened, and I assume that even today this is a topic that crops
5 up in conversation among the people there in Bratunac. Am I correct?
6 A. In those ten days or so, that was the burning issue in the town,
7 the key topic.
8 Q. And even after those events, people talked about it, and they
9 indeed talk about it today?
10 A. Yes, people talk about it to this day, because it was a specific
11 day, a key day that remained in the memories of the people there, and
12 nobody can forget that.
13 Q. As you've already told us, those stories are different stories?
14 A. Well, you know what people are like. When a story is recycled
15 twice or three times, everybody embellishes on it. Details are added all
16 the time. Everybody adds their own little thing. So there were various
17 versions of it.
18 Q. Thank you. Let me just ask you one more question.
19 As far as I can recall, the first time that you gave your
20 statement was in 2005.
21 A. Yes, in Sarajevo
22 Q. So that's ten years from the time of the events; is that right?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Do you think that this fact that we mentioned a little while ago,
25 that there were so many different stories, that you heard different
1 versions, and that people were talking about over this period of ten
2 years, do you think that this fact may have influenced or, indeed, did
3 influence your testimony, the statement that you gave, in which you
4 detailed what you remember?
5 A. Well, those stories could not affect the key elements of the
6 story, the essence of the story, but they did create this chaos in my
7 brain, because I can no longer tell when I learned some of the -- some
8 specific piece of information. Because of this deluge of information, I
9 cannot tell you whether I heard something on the 13th, the 14th, the
10 15th, the 25th and so on, because this was talked about at the time and
11 it is still talked about.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
13 Mr. Jovanovic. I don't have any further questions for you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Madame Fauveau.
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
18 MR. JOSSE: The same, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sarapa. Thank you, Mr. Josse.
20 MR. SARAPA: [Interpretation] No questions.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Sarapa. Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I apologise. Maybe I should have
23 raised this while still on my feet.
24 But bearing in mind that we have just received this witness's
25 testimony in the State Court in Bosnia
1 only received an audiotape and we didn't have time to listen to these
2 tapes, I would like to ask the Trial Chamber to reserve the right for
3 some additional cross or something once my learned colleague finishes.
4 Just that would allow us to familiarise ourselves with the content of
5 this statement.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
7 What do you have to say to that, Mr. Nikolic?
8 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No objections.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And the Prosecution?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 Now, it has come to you, Mr. McCloskey. Cross-examination.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. McCloskey.
15 THE WITNESS:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Jovanovic. My name's Peter McCloskey. I'm
17 with the Office of the Prosecutor and I'll have a few questions for you.
18 The first thing I want to do is if we can get up the 92 ter
19 statement on -- I believe we're going to have to use the ELMO. It should
20 be 3595, but I'm told it's not in e-court. And it's only in English, so
21 if we could just put the first page of that on the ELMO.
22 And, sir, I'm sorry that this is just for the English audience.
23 I will -- if we could just put the first page up there, and if we
24 could -- yeah, that should do it right there.
25 I'll read slowly to you the section that I want to ask you about.
1 It's basically the section where you get to the warehouse. You say:
2 "The director of the cooperative at the time was Jovan Nikolic. He came
3 to me that evening and asked me to give him a ride to the Kravica
4 cooperative, which was an extension of the Bratunac cooperative. Jovan
5 had information that something strange was happening at the Kravica
6 cooperative. I took him to Kravica. With us in the car were Perica
7 Vasovic and the late Miso Eric. I drove up to the cooperative compound.
8 They exited from the car. I turned around and parked the vehicle behind
9 the building in the compound. I remained in the car and did not go out.
10 About 15 minutes later, Jovan, Perica, and Miso returned to the car, and
11 we all went back to Bratunac. While waiting in the car, I heard gunshots
12 coming from everywhere. When they came back to the car, Jovan, Perica
13 and Miso did not make any particular comments. We were all frightened by
14 that frequent gunfire and sought to get away as soon as possible."
15 Okay. Does that remind you of the statement that you were asked
16 about by Mr. Nikolic that you agreed to?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. Now I want to take you to another statement you made.
19 This is 65 ter 3592, and let me give you a Serbian copy of that report,
20 because it's a report dated 21 September 2005 from Bosnia
22 Agency, War Crimes Investigations Centre. Can we give that to you? I've
23 made some blue marks on it just to show you the part I'm going to ask you
25 Perhaps counsel wants to see where I made some marks. The top
1 mark was a mistake. Ignore that one. The underlines was the ones I'm
2 meaning to talk about.
3 So, sir, do you recall giving a statement in Bosnia to the State
4 War Crimes Investigators back on 21 September 2005?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Well, let's go to page 5 of that statement in the English.
7 It's page 3 in the B/C/S, but the witness has the page in front of him,
8 and I underlined the section where you get to the warehouse and I want to
9 read that out to you now and ask you some questions.
10 Basically, in the middle of the page in the English, and it's
11 about two-thirds of the way down the page in the Serbian, you say: "I
12 remained in the vehicle while my three passengers went to the
13 administrative building of the cooperative, which is on the right-hand
14 side from the entrance to the premises. While I was sitting in the
15 vehicle, I heard bursts of gunfire and individual shots from infantry
16 weapons coming from everywhere, and from the direction of the hangar,
17 human screaming, cries and swearing could be heard. I found it quite
18 gruesome. We stayed there for approximately half an hour, when Djole and
19 Perica got into the vehicle, and then we returned together to Bratunac,
20 where I dropped off Djole and Perica in front of the residential building
21 Lamela, where Djole lived then and where he lives today.
22 "I returned to my regular activities in the unit, that is to say,
23 to my duty. I cannot recall whether Miso Eric came back with us. I
24 learnt, from the conversation in the car that night on our way back to
25 Kravica from Djole, that a group of captured Muslims from the area of
1 Srebrenica was in the hangar. He did not say how many were there, but he
2 did say that this group was guarded by special police from Skelani and
3 that they had problems guarding them because they were not kept in an
4 enclosed area. Djole also said that one of the members of the special
5 unit was strangled by Muslim prisoners that day and that members of the
6 special unit were asking their command to send a rotation of troops or
7 reinforcement because they were too exhausted to endure it physically."
8 Do you stand by the information in that statement to the BiH that
9 I just read?
10 A. I tried to explain a little while ago the discrepancy between the
11 statement that was given in Sarajevo
12 last time, my last statement, and I say the same thing. I am no longer
13 certain. I know that I had this information in my head, but I don't
14 know -- I can't determine the timeline as to where and when I got
15 specific pieces of information.
16 The fact is that I do have this piece of information that a
17 soldier was killed, and I have this piece of information that chaos
18 ensued. I gave you various versions of it. They were different
19 versions, how this unrest occurred and how this soldier was killed, but
20 to this day, after all those statements, no matter how hard I try to
21 actually remember, I can no longer be certain when, on what day, at what
22 time, I actually heard it.
23 Q. Well, that wasn't my question. My question was: Having looked
24 at this statement that you gave in 2005, when this would have been
25 fresher in your memory, do you stand by that statement?
1 A. Well, I've tried to explain to you that I cannot stand by that
2 statement, because I am no longer certain whether I heard that on that
3 night or at some other time.
4 Q. Do you remember being asked pretty much a very similar question
5 by the State Court Prosecutor a few months ago, whether you stood by that
6 statement? This was in a trial, the Kravica trial at the State Court.
7 A. Well, I said that Kravica is something that is quite striking,
8 something really gruesome. This is not something that you can forget.
9 But the timeline, the chronology, please believe me when I say that I
10 cannot say when I learnt of this or that.
11 Q. Sir, I just ask you if you remember testifying in Sarajevo in the
12 State Court case.
13 A. Well, I said that I remember that. I remember that I was in
15 Q. When was that?
16 A. 2005. I don't know the exact date, but you can see it here.
17 It's --
18 Q. Sir, I'm talking about your testimony on the 4th of July, 2006.
19 A. Well, yes, that's when I testified as a witness in Sarajevo
20 that's when I provided the statement, but I am not sure whether at that
21 time I was right.
22 Q. I understand that. Do you know Ljubisa Borovcanin?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And how do you know him?
25 A. Ljubisa Borovcanin worked in the Bratunac SUP before the war, and
1 I personally knew him.
2 Q. Well, he was in the Bratunac police station during the war, was
3 he not?
4 A. Not all the time, but for a while, yes.
5 Q. Was he there during the famous Muslim attack on the village of
7 A. I don't know that, because I was just a rank-and-file soldier,
8 and I didn't know who was assigned where.
9 Q. I didn't ask you who was assigned where. I just -- do you
10 remember that Mr. Borovcanin was a police officer in Bratunac at that
12 A. I don't think so.
13 Q. What was his position when he was there, that you recall? He
14 wasn't just a regular police officer, was he?
15 A. He was the police commander, the police commander.
16 Q. All right. Now, let me go over a little bit in this statement
17 just briefly to see how you're -- what you can help us with.
18 In this statement you gave in 2005, you said that from the
19 direction of the hangar, you could hear human screaming, cries. Is that
21 A. That's true, yes. I heard those inarticulate screams, cries,
23 Q. Okay. And then you say: "I learned from the conversation in the
24 car that night on our way back to Kravica, from Djole, that a group of
25 captured Muslims from the area of Srebrenica was in the hangar. He did
1 not say how many were there, but he did say that this group was guarded
2 by special police from Skelani."
3 Do you remember Djole telling you that these Muslims were guarded
4 by special police from Skelani?
5 A. I do know that these people were guarded by a group from Skelani,
6 because the man, the soldier, who was killed was from Skelani. So, this is
7 just a logical piece of information, that a group of soldiers from Skelani
8 guarded those people, because this man who was killed was from Skelani.
9 Q. That's correct. But in this statement, you tell the police that
10 Djole provided that information to you when you were coming back from the
11 car, that the guys guarding these Muslims were special police from
12 Skelani. It's nothing about anybody getting -- nothing about a
13 particular guy from Skelani getting killed.
14 A. Well, I am really trying to explain to you that I'm not in a
15 position to confirm, with 100 per cent certainty, whether I heard this
16 information that evening or some other day.
17 Q. You trust that information, that these -- it was people from
18 Skelani that were guarding these Muslims, from the special police?
19 A. I didn't say that they were members of the special police;
20 I know that people from Skelani guarded them, because if the man who
21 was killed was from Skelani then it is only logical that men from Skelani
22 had provided security and guarded those people in OKI Kravica.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Re-examination, Mr. Nikolic?
25 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Kwon?
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't need any additional cross-examination,
3 just to inform the Trial Chamber.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Judge Kwon? Judge Prost? Judge Stole?
5 So we've come to the end of your testimony, Mr. Jovanovic. Our
6 staff will help you to arrange the return journey back home. On behalf
7 of the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come over, and we
8 also wish you a safe journey back home.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
11 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I owe you the document's number on
12 65 ter list. The statement is 2D554. That's the statement that this
13 witness provided to us.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you so much.
15 I take it you don't have any other documents, apart from the
16 statement, Mr. Nikolic.
17 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, we don't.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So the statement is, of course, in the
19 records, being admitted.
20 Mr. Lazarevic.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours. I have two documents to
22 tender. One is 4DIC208 and 4DIC209, and these are photographs of the
23 Kravica warehouse marked by the witness.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And I take it there are no objections
25 by either Mr. Nikolic or anyone else, for that matter.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: No objection.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection?
3 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] No objections.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues]... so admitted.
5 Mr. McCloskey, do you have any documents?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. I would offer that 21
7 September 2005 interview/statement of the witness. While I did read in
8 the part that I was most interested in there, there's just another half
9 page that really puts it in more context. So I think it may be helpful
10 to the Court to have that other half to three quarters of a page, just so
11 you can see the whole thing, especially in light of the fact that we're
12 dealing with a 92 ter statement, and this, I think, will be helpful in
13 looking at that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object to this. It wouldn't be in the line of
16 previous decisions by this Trial Chamber and rulings. Relevant parts of
17 these statements have been read out to the witness. Whatever
18 Mr. McCloskey wanted to put to the witness is already -- is already
19 contained in the transcript. We have a date. We have a body to which
20 this statement was given, we have everything, so there is absolutely no
21 need for this statement to be tendered into evidence.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But what's the problem with half a page that would
23 help put the part that was read in more context? What's the problem with
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, frankly, I don't -- I obviously got the
1 incriminating part in, so I think this is just context, and this is a
2 statement of the -- of the witness.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, yes, if this is the case, just to give
5 context to what Mr. McCloskey read out, then it's -- then I have no
6 problem with this. But what I would like just not to make some sort of
7 precedent out of this situation, to tender something which is --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- couldn't be evidence. This was only for the
10 impeachment purpose, my understanding is that this is what Mr. McCloskey
11 used just to challenge the credibility of the witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think we -- that particular adversarial
15 piece, I think you should be able to look at this for whatever value you
16 want to give it. We don't -- something this simple, on the statement of
17 the own witness, is something that you should give it whatever value you
18 want, be it impeachment, or substance, or whatever else.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any further comments on the Prosecution
20 motion? All right. So that piece that was read, together with the rest
21 that Mr. McCloskey will indicate to the parties and to our Registrar --
22 I think -- you don't want the whole statement to be admitted, do you?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's really a two-page statement, and so
24 that's -- it pretty much amounts to the whole statement.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Overlapping speakers] ... The whole statement, we
1 are not admitting it in substitution of his evidence, in any case. All
2 right. Well, I didn't know because ...
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that is admitted, with this
5 understanding: that obviously it's not being admitted as a substitution
6 of the witness's viva voce evidence today.
7 Anything else in relation to this witness? Nothing.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we will get a transcript of the --
9 of the --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Testimony.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- testimony, and it may be relevant, the parts
12 that I asked him about. Right now, I'm going on kind of notes of
13 listening to the audio, and we may provide you some answers on that
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, but we need to have this clear.
16 Mr. Lazarevic was clear enough and asked to have his right reserved in
17 case he needs to call the witness for further cross-examination. Do you
18 want to do the same?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, I would follow their lead on it. I don't
20 think, from what I know, that that will be necessary, but I think the
21 transcript will just provide you with some more information on what this
22 person has said.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I think I clearly indicated that I
25 will not require any additional cross, so we are through with this
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 Let's bring in the next witness.
4 Mr. Ostojic, in the beginning of today's sitting, about 20
5 minutes were dedicated to a problem that Mr. Gosnell, sitting right
6 behind you, raised. And in it you all had the comfort of Mr. McCloskey
7 from the Prosecution side, that the testimony of this last witness and
8 the one who was about to testify, testimony in the Kravica trial in
10 the sense that they didn't know whether they would be in a position to
11 cross-examine these two witnesses today. So far, we have managed to
12 plough ahead.
13 The same position applies in relation to this witness. If we
14 need to postpone cross-examination, we will do so.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: So good afternoon, Mr. Vasovic.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal. You're about to
19 start giving evidence, and before you do so, our Rules require that you
20 make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth.
21 Please read that in a way that we can hear you, and that will be
22 your solemn undertaking with us.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: PERICA VASOVIC
1 [The witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please make yourself comfortable.
3 You've been summoned as a Defence witness by Colonel Beara or by
4 his Defence team, so they will go first, and then cross-examination by
5 others will follow.
6 Mr. Nikolic, I take it.
7 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. This time, I'll stick
8 to the procedure.
9 Examination by Mr. Nikolic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Vasovic.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. Let me introduce myself. My name is Predrag Nikolic. I
13 represent Ljubisa Beara together with the rest of the Defence team.
14 Before we start with the examination-in-chief, could you please state
15 your name for the record, and can you also give your date of birth, the
16 place of birth, and your father's name. And before that, let me just
17 instruct you to make a pause between my question and your answer to allow
18 the interpreters to do their job properly.
19 A. Perica Vasovic. My father's name, Dragomir. My mother's name is
20 Dasinka [phoen]. I was born in 1961, in Srbica, in Serbia.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. You're welcome.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, you provided a statement to our investigator about
24 the events surrounding Kravica. Do you remember that, and when was it?
25 A. Yes, I provided a statement. I don't know exactly when.
1 Q. In that statement, you spoke about your departure on the 13th of
2 July to the facilities of the farming cooperative in Kravica. You stated
3 who you went with on that evening, and you also provided a statement
4 about what happened that night.
5 Also in your statement, you spoke about the circumstances of your
6 second departure to Kravica on the following day, on the 14th of July.
7 Amongst other things, you also said that you knew Colonel Beara and that
8 you were aware of the circumstances of you seeing him in Bratunac or not.
9 Was I able to sum up your statement?
10 A. Yes, you were able to sum up my statement pretty correctly.
11 Q. I'm now going to show your statement. I'm going to ask the usher
12 to help us with that, and I am going to ask you whether the statement
13 contains your signature.
14 A. This is my signature. It's correct.
15 Q. Thank you. Before I move on, let me just clarify one ambiguity
16 in translation.
17 When I mentioned Colonel Beara, just for clarification, could you
18 please tell us what you said to our investigator about Colonel Beara?
19 A. When it comes to Colonel Beara, I said that I knew Colonel Beara,
20 although I didn't know him personally. I remember, when he came to
21 Bratunac, a soldier, a member of the Bratunac Brigade, pointed him out to
23 Q. When did you see him?
24 A. It was in 1994. I can't remember the exact date. It was just a
25 chance sighting of him.
1 Q. And did you see him after that in Bratunac in that period during
2 combat around Srebrenica?
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 Q. Mr. Vasovic, with regard to everything that I said, is this your
5 statement, and if you were asked the same things today, would your
6 answers be identical?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
9 further questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
11 The 65 ter number of this 92 ter statement, please.
12 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Bear with
13 me, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 Mr. Zivanovic.
17 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No questions for this witness.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I'll ask the Registrar not to pay you any fees,
19 because you haven't been putting any cross-examination to these
21 Ms. Nikolic.
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. No questions,
23 Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, Your Honour, I do have cross-examination
1 for this witness. However, I don't believe I'll be ready to do so right
2 now, bearing in mind all the circumstances. We were relying on some
3 estimation, both by the Defence team of Mr. Nikolic, also to the
4 Prosecution. Our estimation was also a bit bigger than we initially
5 thought, and particularly having in light the existence of the audiotape
6 for this witness that we would like to listen to, I would like to
7 postpone my cross-examination for tomorrow just to be prepared, and I can
8 assure the Trial Chamber it will be a very brief one.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I want to clarify one thing.
10 This audiotape, as I understood -- I may have understood
11 Mr. McCloskey earlier on, but it seems that this was handed to you way
12 back in March.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Correct?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: You are correct, sir.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I usually am, but ...
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour.
18 We were provided with literally thousands and thousands of
19 various materials from the Prosecution, and in particular -- I am
20 speaking this very frankly. In particular when it's about audiotapes,
21 which are a time-consuming job listening to it, I must say that I didn't
22 pay attention to this very fact. Even Mr. Nicholls couldn't say that
23 from the top of his head whether it was disclosed or not and when it was
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's mull about it. I'll -- we'll
1 tell you what we're going to do.
2 Ms. Fauveau.
3 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse.
5 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm very concerned, Your Honour, about your
6 comments to Mr. Zivanovic, because if he's in that particular position
7 what about team? We've got no questions at all.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 Mr. Sarapa.
10 MR. SARAPA: No questions.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: There are two options, option is we stop here 30
12 minutes before our timed finish, or else we make an exception; you go
13 first this time and then Mr. Lazarevic will cross-examine the witness
14 tomorrow, if you have got nothing against it.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: I am reluctant to do that, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Why?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, because I would like to be able to keep the
18 current order and see what comes out on my friend's cross and be able to
19 deal with it.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: With reluctance, the three of us -- the four of us,
22 sorry, we at this point prefer to adjourn, and you will continue going
23 first tomorrow, Mr. Lazarevic.
24 The other concern that we have is that this gentleman was
25 scheduled to testify tomorrow, in any case, but he was the only witness
1 on schedule tomorrow. Then there is the next one, who needs to be ready,
2 because we're definitely going to finish with this witness during the
3 first session tomorrow, even before it ends. So the next witness,
4 Mr. Mirkovic, needs to be present as well so that we start with his
6 Is he also 92 ter?
7 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't believe he is, Your Honour, and he will be
8 ready and will have him present here. I understand that he flew in or
9 was in flying this morning. I just haven't had confirmation that he's
10 arrived, but he was supposed to be here approximately at 10.30.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And then we are left with the last one, who is
12 summoned by three of you, Radovanovic. There is a great possibility that
13 we could finish Thursday, if not before, but we have got until Friday.
14 And believe me, some of us have really made a sacrifice to be here until
15 Friday so that we carry on.
16 Is there a possibility of getting at least another witness for
17 this week?
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Regrettably, there is not, Mr. President. We
19 estimated as best as we could, with the estimates of the Prosecution and
20 the co-accused, and we had some problem in switching a witness that we
21 thought we can bring in, but we were unable to because of two weeks ago
22 we had those three days and there was a miss, so we had to place
23 Dr. Komar in his stead and he was not able to readjust his schedule, and
24 we were only able to bring these five witnesses for this week.
25 And I understand obviously we mis-estimated the time for two of
1 them, because they were 92 ter witnesses as opposed to live viva voce
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but the thing is -- and this is why we've been
4 exercising a lot of restraint, Mr. Ostojic. The decision that these two
5 witnesses -- in the meantime, I think we can get the witness to leave the
7 Mr. Vasovic, we will continue with you tomorrow morning.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry. Could the witness just be advised, as
10 you sometimes do, that he shouldn't be communicating with others.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, correct, especially since I also mentioned
12 other names.
13 Mr. Vasovic, we have a very strict and important rule here. When
14 a witness doesn't finish his testimony during a particular sitting and is
15 to continue subsequently, we need to inform him that he is bound not to
16 engage into any conversation with anyone in relation to the subject
17 matter of his testimony. So that's an obligation that you have. Between
18 now and tomorrow, you must not discuss these matters with anyone.
19 Is that clear?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, coming back to you, Mr. Ostojic, as I said, we
24 have been very, very patient. The decision to convert these two
25 witnesses, Milan Jovanovic and Perica Vasovic, into 92 ter witnesses was
1 taken way back on the 8th of July, so, if anything, you had ample notice
2 that there was no way you were going to take an hour and a half with each
3 of these two witnesses on direct. Putting down an hour and a half here
4 has most definitely misled you and misled everyone else into thinking
5 that one could spend one day, that's today, the other one would spend
6 another day, two in one day and one in another day. And the result is
7 that we are going to remain exposed with time which we should -- we would
8 have otherwise usefully made use of.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, Your Honours, I most sincerely
10 apologise. I think there was clearly a miscommunication, mostly on my
11 part, that the number was carried over for an hour and a half.
12 I think reasonably, if we look at the calculations, and I'm not
13 trying to shift any of the responsibility of the time estimates, but when
14 we looked at them, there was an adequate amount of time, even if you
15 subtract an hour from the two witnesses, given it may take 15 to half an
16 hour, and obviously it took less, to put the witness on pursuant to
17 92 ter. We did not at any time, nor do we ever, mislead or try to
18 mislead the Court or our learned friends. We most sincerely apologise
19 for that. It was on my instructions, I think, a misinterpretation, and
20 we carried those estimates from our prior disclosures.
21 At that time, we were contemplating, quite candidly, if we were
22 just going to convert the witness back to a viva voce as opposed to a
23 92 ter, although the Court had ruled it would accept a statement in that
24 vein. It did get lost in some communication and translation. We did try
25 to have two additional witnesses, specifically Mr. Savkic, who we asked
1 to be pursuant through a videolink. The Court was quite clear in their
2 position, as was the Prosecution. I think our recent filing, or
3 soon-to-be-filed filing, we were withdrawing from that statement based on
4 his health, so we have been in contact with him.
5 The other witness, Mr. Srdjan Trivkovic, who we believe, with all
6 due respect, the Prosecution felt that he was a witness for 92 and 93,
7 I think we clarified that point with them. He is a fact witness, he is
8 an academic historian. We are providing them with a supplemental 65 ter
9 list to identify specifically the two to four areas that he will cover.
10 He was in Pale with Dr. Karadzic at that time. The recent developments
11 there has caused some communication problem with him. I have met with
12 him and I have spoken to him. He was unable this week to testify because
13 of plans that he made. We had had him scheduled for last week. Last
14 week, he came to The Hague
15 because we felt her schedule was -- and I'm sorry to have to say this
16 publicly -- was a priority, given that she was going to Rwanda soon and
17 had several conferences that she was required and needed to attend.
18 So as we tried to juggle that, we could not juggle Mr. Trivkovic
19 until later this week, and I regret to inform you that that's why we took
20 him off the list for this week, and he will be coming later in our case.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's leave it at that. We'll continue
22 tomorrow morning. Thank you.
23 One moment.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: In view of this and also other things that are
1 coming up, tomorrow we'll have a normal session, not like today. In
2 other words, we'll finish at quarter to 2:00.
3 All right, thank you.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.17 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of July,
6 2008, at 9.00 a.m.