Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 26464

 1                            Wednesday, 1 October 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The witness entered court]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

 6             JUDGE AGIUS:  So good afternoon everybody, and good afternoon to

 7     you, Madam Registrar.  Could you call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good afternoon Your Honours.  Good afternoon,

 9     everyone.  This is case IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin

10     Popovic, et al.

11             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, ma'am.  For the record, all the accused

12     are present.  Prosecution is represented only by -- today only by

13     Mr. Thayer, I understand Mr. McCloskey won't be with us today and

14     tomorrow but possibly on Friday.

15             Amongst the Defence teams I notice the absence of Mr. Nikolic and

16     Mr. Josse and Mr. Haynes, am I right?  And Mr. Petrusic is not here as

17     well.  Okay.

18             Good afternoon, to you, Mr. Gavric.

19             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

20             JUDGE AGIUS:  And as presiding judge, I welcome you to this

21     Tribunal.  You've been summoned by the Nikolic Defence team as one of the

22     witnesses.  Our rules require that before you start giving evidence, you

23     make a solemn declaration that you will be testifying the truth in the

24     course of your evidence.  Madam usher has already given you the text of

25     the solemn declaration, please read it out aloud and that will be your

Page 26465

 1     solemn undertaking with us.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

 3     speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

 4             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, Mr. Gavric, please make yourself

 5     comfortable.  Take a seat.

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Bourgon will be putting some questions to you.

 8     He will then be followed by others on cross-examination.  Mr. Bourgon.

 9                           WITNESS:  MICO GAVRIC

10                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

11                           Examination by Mr. Bourgon:

12        Q.   Good afternoon Mr. President.  Good afternoon judges, good

13     afternoon colleagues.  Good afternoon, sir.

14        A.   Good afternoon.

15        Q.   For the record, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Stephane

16     Bourgon, along with my colleagues Ms. Jelena Nikolic and Ms. Marie-Claude

17     Fournie we represent Drago Nikolic in these proceedings.  Before we begin

18     I would like to remind you of two things.  The first one is I would have

19     quite a few questions to ask you today, and I want to make sure if you do

20     not understand any of my questions that you do not hesitate to stop me so

21     I can take that question over again.  Do you understand that?

22        A.   Yes, I do.

23        Q.   And the second thing is I would ask simply to cooperate with the

24     interpreters and allow them to do their work, that you always wait until

25     I finish my question before you provide me with any answer.  You

Page 26466

 1     understand that?

 2        A.   I do.

 3        Q.   Then we are ready to begin.

 4             Please state your name in full for the record?

 5        A.   Mico Gavric.

 6        Q.   What is your date of birth, and how old are you?

 7        A.   I was born on the 15th of September 1957.  I'm 51 years old.

 8        Q.   And where were you born, sir?

 9        A.   The village of Obradici, Bratunac municipality.

10        Q.   Sir, before the war, what was your occupation?

11        A.   I was a mining technician.

12        Q.   Did you work in any specific place?

13        A.   Yes, I did.  I worked in the zinc mine called Sase in Srebrenica.

14        Q.   And today, sir, what is your occupation?

15        A.   I am a private entrepreneur.

16        Q.   And which area do you work, area means what type of work is your

17     business in?

18        A.   I live in Bratunac where my company is.  I do wood processing.

19        Q.   And do you have any employees in your company, and if so, how

20     many?

21        A.   Yes, I do.  There are 35 permanently employed people, and 15

22     contractors.

23        Q.   And, sir, did you before the war have any service in the JNA?

24        A.   Yes, I did.

25        Q.   Can you share with us where and what you did in the JNA before

Page 26467

 1     the war?

 2        A.   I completed the reserve officer's school.  My specialty is ground

 3     artillery.

 4        Q.   And how long were you at the -- you said the reserve officer's

 5     school, how long were you in that school?

 6        A.   Seven months.

 7        Q.   And following this seven months, did you continue serving with

 8     the JNA, or was that it?

 9        A.   Upon completion of the course after seven months, I was first

10     sent to the 3rd Guard's Regiment of the 1st army.  I taught firing and

11     targeting for seven months at the reserve officer's school in Pozarevac.

12        Q.   I'm not sure that you did mention this, but what year was this?

13        A.   I began serving the term in 1978 and returned home on the 2nd of

14     November 1979.

15        Q.   Thank you.  Now, I understand that during the war you were

16     mobilised in the VRS; is that correct?

17        A.   Yes, it is.

18        Q.   And also, I think this is not in dispute, that you were a member

19     of the Bratunac Brigade?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   And what did you do in the Bratunac Brigade?

22        A.   From the 14th of November 1992 when the brigade was formed, I was

23     appointed chief of artillery in the Bratunac Brigade.

24        Q.   And did you continue in that same position until the end of the

25     war?

Page 26468

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   And, sir, what was your rank in July of 1995?

 3        A.   Captain.

 4        Q.   And did you wear actually rank insignias on your uniform?

 5        A.   I frequently did, but on occasion I did not.

 6        Q.   Can you share with us what occasions or in which occasions you

 7     would not wear your rank?

 8        A.   If we were to be engaged in combat, especially during the night,

 9     it was then that I did not wear any insignia.

10        Q.   Sir, who was your commander in July of 1995?

11        A.   Colonel Blagojevic.

12        Q.   Sir, before I start to ask you some specific questions about the

13     events which took place in the war, I'd like to ask you this:  Is this

14     the first time that you testified before this Tribunal?

15        A.   No.

16        Q.   In what case or cases have you testified before?

17        A.   The Colonel Blagojevic and Lieutenant Jokic case.

18        Q.   Who called you to testify at that time?

19        A.   I believe the attorney's name was Karnavas.

20        Q.   Was that with the Prosecution or the Defence?

21        A.   As far as I know, he was a member of Defence.

22        Q.   And prior to your testimony in that case, did you have the

23     opportunity to meet with the Prosecution?

24        A.   Yes, I did.

25        Q.   And when was that, if you remember?

Page 26469

 1        A.   I believe it was on the 27th or the 28th of November 2001 in

 2     Banja Luka.

 3        Q.   Do you recall if this interview was recorded?

 4        A.   As far as I recall, it was recorded.

 5        Q.   And did the Prosecution ever indicate that they were interested

 6     in calling you as a witness?

 7        A.   I was there in the capacity of a witness.  I don't know what

 8     their future intentions may have been.

 9        Q.   Maybe, sir, my question was not precise.  Did the Prosecution

10     ever indicate to you that they would like to call you as a witness in a

11     trial?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   And when you met with the Prosecution, do you remember what they

14     were interested in from you, what information they wished to discuss with

15     you?

16        A.   When I met with the Prosecution, they were interested in the

17     period of July 1995, and Srebrenica in particular.

18        Q.   And, sir, in the end, did you ever testify for the Prosecution?

19        A.   I did not.  It was cancelled at the last moment.

20        Q.   Can you explain us, did you take any steps or were you about to

21     testify or when was it that this was cancelled?

22        A.   As far as I can remember, it was probably in February 2004 in the

23     Major Obrenovic case.  I was called.  I handed over my passport and a

24     visa was supposed to be issued.  I was scheduled to fly in two day's

25     time.  However, at the last moment, around 3.50 in the afternoon, I

Page 26470

 1     received a phone call from the Prosecutor's Office, I presume.  I was

 2     told that I no longer needed to appear and that Major Obrenovic had

 3     reached an agreement with the Tribunal.

 4        Q.   I'd like now to move on and to focus on the days following the

 5     fall of Srebrenica in July of 1995.  Sir, do you remember this period in

 6     general?

 7        A.   Yes, I do.

 8        Q.   And shortly after the fall of Srebrenica, do you recall having to

 9     go to the Zvornik area for an assignment?

10        A.   Yes, I do.

11        Q.   And do you remember what was -- on what date you went to the

12     Zvornik area?

13        A.   Yes, I do.  It was between the 14th and the 15th of July 1995.

14        Q.   And, sir, how do you remember this date with so much precision?

15        A.   For the first time during my service, it happened that I had to

16     refuse an order to my brigade commander.  That was one thing.  Another

17     thing was that I was supposed to go to a certain area with my soldiers

18     and on our way there, we would have been put in danger.  I was supposed

19     to go there with a unit that had been trained in artillery rather than in

20     infantry weapons.

21        Q.   So, sir, can you share with us what happened when you received

22     this assignment from, I believe you received it from your commander?

23        A.   Yes.  On the 14th around midnight, military police came.  I was

24     resting at my family home.  They told me that I was supposed to go to the

25     command on the brigade commander's orders, Colonel Blagojevic.  I got

Page 26471

 1     ready quickly and arrived at the brigade command to the duty operation

 2     officer's room.  I encountered Lieutenant-Colonel Blagojevic there as

 3     well as Major Dragan Trisic.  He told me that he was ordered to send a

 4     unit to the area of Zvornik to the Zvornik Brigade for assistance.  He

 5     decided that it was my unit that was to be sent.  I flatly refused.  I

 6     said that my unit was not intended for infantry combat.  I also said that

 7     my unit had been trained to engage in combat by using artillery pieces

 8     alone.  He did not show much understanding, but I wouldn't budge.  It was

 9     a difficult conversation.

10             At a certain point, Dragan Trisic moved away and then returned

11     trying to exert some more pressure, and I said yes, I will go, but I want

12     a written order.  He said well, I can't and then I said, I can't go.  It

13     took a while and at a later point I said, I will go but I want to know

14     when my replacement will come.  He said, I guarantee that you will be

15     replaced tomorrow before noon.  He wanted to know why I was refusing to

16     go, and I said, I can't go there with my unit at this hour, especially

17     knowing that there were large enemy soldier groups breaking through along

18     that axis and that there is always a good chance of us being attacked on

19     our way there.

20             That was one thing.  Another thing, I was supposed to go to a

21     unit the area of which I was not familiar with.  I don't know who was to

22     my left and to my right.  There were also many other reasons due to which

23     I refused to get into that.

24        Q.   In the end, sir, did you finally accept the task from your

25     commander, and did you get that written order?

Page 26472

 1        A.   Not in writing.  I did accept to go, following the brigade

 2     commander's explanation that he was to send the replacements by tomorrow

 3     12.00.

 4        Q.   Sir, did your commander inform you who he had received the order

 5     from to send a unit to the Zvornik area?

 6        A.   Yes, from a superior command.  I presume the corps command.

 7        Q.   And, sir, is it normal in the military to ask for a written

 8     order, as you did?

 9        A.   It is not customary, but I had good reasons and arguments on my

10     side.  There was this chance of us being ambushed along the way.  I might

11     survive it, but then I would have to go back to a community, to an

12     environment alive, whereas the rest would have been dead.  That was my

13     reason.

14        Q.   So, sir, what steps did you take in order to execute or to

15     perform this task?

16        A.   When I accepted the order, I called my unit commanders and

17     ordered that a number of people should be left behind to secure firing

18     positions.  The rest of the soldiers were to pick up their equipment and

19     personal weapons and show up in front of the brigade command in order to

20     go on a mission.

21        Q.   And what happened then, sir?

22        A.   In a very short time my officers brought the howitzer and

23     122-millimetre cannon crews, they were in front of the brigade command

24     and a bus awaited us there.

25        Q.   What kind of bus was this, sir?

Page 26473

 1        A.   It was a civilian bus for passenger traffic.

 2        Q.   What time was it when you boarded the bus to be on your way

 3     towards Zvornik?

 4        A.   I think around 12.30.

 5        Q.   Did your men keep their weapons with them while they were on the

 6     bus?

 7        A.   Yes, they did.  When we boarded the bus, I told them that they

 8     should have their weapons loaded because we can be easily ambushed.

 9        Q.   So, sir, did anything particular happen on the way or on the road

10     between Bratunac and Zvornik?

11        A.   On our way from Bratunac towards Zvornik, some 2 kilometres from

12     Bratunac, a part of our unit awaited us.  It was the B1 cannon battery

13     crew.  They boarded the bus as well and we continued towards Zvornik.

14        Q.   And, sir, how many men did you take with you all together, if you

15     remember?

16        A.   Around 40 men.

17        Q.   And at what time did you arrive at the Zvornik Brigade?

18        A.   Around 1.30.

19        Q.   Sir, had you been to the Zvornik Brigade before?

20        A.   No, I had not.

21        Q.   And, sir, what happened when you arrived at the Zvornik Brigade?

22     Can you describe exactly what happened when you arrived?

23        A.   We arrived in front of the command building of the Zvornik

24     Brigade.  We parked the bus.  I got off and went to the military police

25     reception office where there were two MPs.

Page 26474

 1        Q.   And did you introduce yourself, or what did you do with these

 2     MPs?

 3        A.   Yes, I did.  I introduced myself and that I was to report to the

 4     Zvornik Brigade command.  At that point one of the MPs picked up the

 5     phone.  Having completed that conversation, he told me that we were to go

 6     together to see the duty officer.

 7        Q.   Sir, at this point I would like to show you a picture.  If I can

 8     have in e-court, please, 3D501.  I would ask you, sir, to look at the

 9     picture that will appear in front of you, and to tell me if you recognise

10     what is in this picture.

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   And what is it?

13        A.   This is the former command of the Zvornik Brigade.

14        Q.   Sir --

15        A.   To be more precise, the perimeter of the Zvornik Brigade.

16        Q.   Sir, do you see on this picture the place where you went in where

17     you met those two military policemen?

18        A.   Yes.  I can see the reception office on the right-hand side.  I

19     believe that a lady's figure is depicted there in this photo.

20        Q.   Now, I will now ask the court usher to provide you with a pen so

21     that you can mark this picture.  This is a special kind of pen, sir, that

22     allows you to make markings on the screen in front of you.  What I would

23     like you to do is to write the number 1 where you went in to see those

24     two military policemen.

25        A.   [Marks].

Page 26475

 1        Q.   And, sir, can you sign at the bottom of this picture, and write

 2     the date, please.

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Thank you.  We won't be needing this picture anymore.  If we can

 5     save it in e-court, please.

 6             Sir, before I showed you this picture, you said that one of the

 7     military policemen told you that we were to go together to see the duty

 8     officer.  Describe to us what happened.

 9        A.   When the MP told me that he was to escort me, we went together to

10     see the duty officer at the command of the Zvornik Brigade.

11        Q.   So where did he take you?

12        A.   He took me to the first floor in the building to the right from

13     the reception office, and he took me to the first office on the

14     right-hand side where the office of the duty officer was.

15        Q.   And who did you meet there, sir?

16        A.   As I entered the room, I found duty officer or his deputy there,

17     and it is only logical that it was his deputy.

18        Q.   And why would that be, sir?

19             JUDGE AGIUS:  Exactly.  It's not clear.  He needs to clarify

20     this.

21             MR. BOURGON:

22        Q.   Sir, you heard the comment from the Presiding Judge.  The

23     question is, was it the duty officer or the deputy duty officer, and how

24     did you figure that out, if you did?

25        A.   It would be logical that the assistant duty officer is on duty

Page 26476

 1     after midnight, and before midnight it would be the duty officer.  That

 2     is a rule that was applied everywhere in the former JNA.

 3        Q.   And did the person you meet who was on duty introduce himself?

 4             JUDGE AGIUS:  Mr. Bourgon, it's still not clear.  The previous

 5     question which I found unclear was, "And who did you meet there," and he

 6     answered, "As I entered the room I found duty officer or his deputy

 7     there, and it's only logical that it was his deputy."

 8             Now, having heard him reply to your second question, it's

 9     important that one ties it up to the time frame when he went into this

10     office.  But then, if you read his answer, at least as we have it in the

11     transcript, it would mean that it would have been the duty officer -- he

12     says it is would be logical that the assistant duty officer is on duty

13     after midnight and before midnight it would be the duty officer.  So this

14     time it was before midnight, I take it, not after midnight.  It was after

15     midnight?

16             MR. BOURGON:  I will clarify, Mr. President.

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  If it was after midnight then it would be the duty

18     officer and not his deputy.  This is how one reads his answer to your

19     second question.

20             MR. BOURGON:  I thank you for your comments, Mr. President, and

21     I'll clarify this, yes.

22             JUDGE AGIUS:  If you just clarify if with the witness.  That's

23     all.

24             MR. BOURGON:

25        Q.   Sir, in that room where you went in, how many persons were there?

Page 26477

 1        A.   There was just one officer or commissioned officer in that room.

 2     I did not see him wearing any insignia on his uniform.

 3        Q.   And did you confirm whether it was the duty officer or the deputy

 4     duty officer?

 5        A.   This was the room where duty officer was on duty until 2400

 6     hours, and after 2400 hours until the following morning, it was the

 7     assistant duty officer who would be on duty in that same room.

 8        Q.   Thank you, sir.  But did you establish who was there?  Do you

 9     know for a fact if it was the duty officer or the assistant duty officer?

10        A.   I can only assume that it was the deputy, judging by my previous

11     experience, but I can't be sure of that because the person did not

12     introduce himself to me as either the duty officer or his assistant.

13        Q.   And did that person give you his name?

14        A.   I suppose he did, but as you will understand, none of us will

15     really retain the name of the person when we first hear it.

16        Q.   And what did he military policeman who was with you, what did he

17     do at that time?

18        A.   The MP returned immediately.  I suppose that he went back to his

19     duty post.

20        Q.   And what did you tell the person on duty?

21        A.   I introduced myself, and I told him that I had arrived on the

22     order of Colonel Blagojevic and that I was supposed to report to the

23     commander of the Zvornik Brigade.

24        Q.   And what was his answer?

25        A.   He told me that Major Obrenovic was asleep.

Page 26478

 1        Q.   And how did you react to that, sir?

 2        A.   I told him that I was supposed to report to the brigade commander

 3     and that he should be informed of my arrival because I had arrived on the

 4     order of my superior officer.

 5        Q.   And what happened next?

 6        A.   He left the office and did not return for the next five minutes.

 7        Q.   And when he returned, sir, did he tell you anything?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   What did he say?

10        A.   He said that I should take my unit into the compound and to

11     billet them in one of the rooms and to be at ready until further notice.

12        Q.   Sir, did you know at that time who was acting as the commander of

13     the Zvornik Brigade?

14        A.   I knew it at the time because Colonel Blagojevic had told me that

15     it would be Obrenovic down there when I arrived there.

16        Q.   And did you know personally Obrenovic?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Did you know which position he held?

19        A.   I know that he was their Chief of Staff on the eve of Operation

20     Srebrenica.

21        Q.   And did your commander tell you any reason why he sent you to the

22     Chief of Staff?

23        A.   He told me that we were to expect a major onslaught of the Muslim

24     forces from Tuzla and that we were supposed to go there and assist the

25     units in Zvornik.

Page 26479

 1        Q.   I apologise, sir, my question was not clear.  You said two things

 2     in your testimony that I would like to clarify.  You said that you had

 3     been -- that you wanted to see the commander of the brigade, but you said

 4     that Colonel Blagojevic sent you to see Obrenovic who you know to be the

 5     Chief of Staff.  How do you reconcile the two?

 6        A.   I suppose you did not understand me well.  I said that I'm

 7     supposed to report to the brigade commander because it is only logical

 8     that if my officer had ordered me to report to the brigade commander,

 9     that's who I was supposed to report to.  However, at the time I was aware

10     of the operation in Srebrenica and I was aware of the fact that the

11     commander was engaged in Srebrenica and I also knew that Obrenovic by

12     establishment was acting as the brigade commander at the time.

13        Q.   Sir, did you know Dragan Obrenovic personally, I mean, what he

14     looked like physically?

15        A.   He was somewhat taller than me and he was dark.

16        Q.   Could you have recognised him if you saw him?

17        A.   Yes.  I heard that he had been a good commander in the Posavina

18     theatre in Croatia and I knew him from several situations.

19        Q.   Sir, based on the information you obtained that night, where did

20     you think that Obrenovic was at the time?

21        A.   I could conclude from various pieces of information that

22     Obrenovic was in his office, probably resting.

23        Q.   And, sir, did you find it unusual that he did not get up to greet

24     you?

25        A.   I did not find it unusual.  It was his free estimate when he

Page 26480

 1     could rest, as far as I could see it.  And if the situation had been

 2     different, if we had to be engaged immediately, I'm sure that he would

 3     have gotten up and he would have issued orders himself.

 4        Q.   So what did you do after this encounter with the person on duty?

 5        A.   The gentleman told me to go back to the reception office, to take

 6     my men and to take them to certain buildings and to give them some time

 7     to rest, but also to be prepared for action.

 8        Q.   So tell us where you went at that time and exactly what you did.

 9        A.   I returned towards the reception office where I was awaited by

10     the same MP who took me to the duty officer.  He made it possible for the

11     bus to enter the compound, and when the bus entered the compound, I

12     ordered my soldiers to take their personal gear and weapons and together

13     we headed for one of the rooms after the same MP who was leading us

14     there.  We were billeted in a room that looked like a storage with a big

15     door.  This is where we stayed until further notice.

16        Q.   Sir, in your last answer you say that the military policeman made

17     it possible for the bus to enter the compound.  How did he do this?

18        A.   As I was walking towards the MP, I'm sure that the duty officer

19     had called the MP and ordered him to lift the barrier for the bus to

20     enter the compound, and I'm sure also that he had told him where to

21     billet us.

22        Q.   And, sir, once the bus entered the compound, where did it go

23     inside the compound for your men to exit the bus?

24        A.   We entered through the main gate, past the reception office.

25        Q.   And how far inside the compound did you go before your men exited

Page 26481

 1     the bus?

 2        A.   I don't understand your question.

 3        Q.   I am sorry, I'll try to clarify.  Once the bus goes in the

 4     barracks, where did it go inside the barracks before the men got off the

 5     bus?

 6        A.   There's so much room in front of the reception space that a bus

 7     can turn around without much manoeuvring.

 8        Q.   Now, it's my turn not to understand.

 9             JUDGE AGIUS:  Is it important?

10             MR. BOURGON:  I think so, Mr. President.  I think that we need to

11     know where the men left the bus.

12             JUDGE AGIUS:  Right.  If it is important, proceed.  Otherwise,

13     let's move to your next question.

14             MR. BOURGON:

15        Q.   Did the bus drive far inside before the men left the bus?  That's

16     all I want to know, sir.

17        A.   When the bus entered the compound and when it was in, it stopped

18     and we exited.  I'm talking about 10 to 15 metres, the length of the bus.

19     And as soon as we got off, we continued walking towards the room where we

20     would be billeted.

21        Q.   Thank you, sir.  What did you tell your men as they exited the

22     bus, if anything?

23        A.   I told them that we would be taken to a room where we would rest,

24     that we should remain at ready and that we would be probably be engaged

25     if the situation so required.

Page 26482

 1        Q.   And once the bus was empty, where did it go?

 2        A.   The bus went back to Bratunac.

 3        Q.   And, sir, what did your men do during that night?

 4        A.   Most slept in the room, and some left the room and remained

 5     outside.  They were talking, smoking, chatting.

 6        Q.   And you personally, what did you do during that night?

 7        A.   I was sitting in front of the room where the rest of my troops

 8     were resting.  I was with the group that was chatting and smoking.

 9        Q.   And, sir, did you sleep at all that night?

10        A.   No.

11        Q.   And did you see any vehicles coming in or out of the brigade

12     during the night?

13        A.   No.

14        Q.   And did you see any other buses anywhere else in the barracks

15     compound that night?

16        A.   No.

17        Q.   And did you see any prisoners that night?

18        A.   No.

19        Q.   And during the time you spent at the Zvornik Brigade, did you

20     meet with anyone else, and if so, when and who?

21        A.   In the morning around half past 8.00, a group of my soldiers

22     together with me went towards the reception room.  I encountered a

23     soldier who wore military overall.  He was well groomed, nicely dressed.

24        Q.   And what did this man tell you, if anything?

25        A.   That soldier told me to give him my men to accompany him on a

Page 26483

 1     mission of his.

 2        Q.   And did you accept?

 3        A.   No.

 4        Q.   And why not?  And how did this take place?

 5        A.   I answered him that he couldn't have my soldiers because I was

 6     responsible for them and I did not have the approval of the commander to

 7     lend my troops to anybody else.  We engaged in a somewhat serious

 8     exchange of arguments which could have turned into an incident at any

 9     moment.  And at one point Drago Nikolic appeared on the left-hand side.

10     I believe that he was the security officer in that Zvornik Brigade.  And

11     Dusko Nikolic was also with him.  He was a military policeman in the

12     Zvornik Brigade.  He was a colleague of mine, the latter was.

13        Q.   And did they take part in that discussion you had with this man?

14        A.   Yes, both sided up with me.  Dule was very harsh and gave the man

15     a piece of his mind, so the man realised that he had made a mistake.

16        Q.   So what did this man do following this heated discussion that you

17     described?

18        A.   I don't know where he went next.  Dule, Drago, and I remained

19     there.  We actually turned towards the reception room, and there we

20     talked, we reminisced on our experiences and Dule took out a pistol, 7.62

21     that had he confiscated on a mountain from the Muslim army.  We had a few

22     laughs, we talked about our former experiences because the three of us

23     went to elementary school together.

24        Q.   And, sir, this young man and well groomed that you met and that

25     you had this discussion with, do you know who he was, or did you know at

Page 26484

 1     the time who he was, sorry?

 2        A.   No.

 3        Q.   And did you later confirm who he was?

 4        A.   I only assumed that this was the notorious Lukic but I can't be

 5     sure of that because nobody referred to him by his name or address him,

 6     so I can only suppose that that was the man.

 7        Q.   Was this man wearing a rank at the time?

 8        A.   No.  I have already told you that he wore an overall without any

 9     insignia on it.  I couldn't see any.

10        Q.   And did Drago Nikolic or Dusa Nikolic tell you who he was at the

11     time?

12        A.   Had they known, I'm sure that they would have told me or at least

13     they would have addressed him by his name, or at least Dule would have

14     while he had the heated exchange with him.

15        Q.   And, sir, did it appear to you that Dusa Nikolic or Drago Nikolic

16     in fact issued an order to this man?

17        A.   No.

18        Q.   And what time was it, sir, when all this happened?

19        A.   I believe that it could have been any time between half past 8.00

20     and 9.00 or maybe to be even more precise, it was around 20 to 9.00.

21        Q.   And sir, you mentioned that Dusan Nikolic was a schoolmate of

22     yours.  What else did you know about Dusan Nikolic?

23        A.   I knew everything.  We went to school in Kravica together,

24     together with Dragan Nikolic, we completed elementary education together.

25     Dule then enrolled in the construction school then went to reside in

Page 26485

 1     Sarajevo.  There he married, he had a wife and two children.  As the

 2     operations started in 1992 he returned to his home town, actually to

 3     Zvornik, and that's how he joined the Zvornik Brigade.

 4        Q.   How about Drago Nikolic, how much did you know Drago Nikolic at

 5     the time?

 6        A.   We knew each other because we went to elementary school together

 7     for eight years.  After that Drago completed the military secondary

 8     school in Sarajevo.  There he remained working, and we would often see

 9     each other at gatherings.

10        Q.   And did you notice that morning how Drago Nikolic was dressed?

11        A.   You mean in the Zvornik Brigade?

12        Q.   During when you saw him that morning.

13        A.   Yes, he was well dressed, nicely groomed, clean shaved.  He

14     always made sure that he was nicely dressed and well groomed and that was

15     the case that morning as well.

16        Q.   And, sir, was your unit given an assignment at the Zvornik

17     Brigade that morning?

18        A.   No, it was not.

19        Q.   So what happened?

20        A.   We did not receive any assignment.

21        Q.   So what did you do, and what happened?

22        A.   Around 10.30 I was by the gate.  Major Dragan Eskic appeared.  He

23     was the personnel officer at the Bratunac Brigade.  He was followed by

24     Zoran Kovacevic.  Major Eskic approached and said that Colonel Blagojevic

25     sent replacements.  I welcomed that news and I accepted the replacements.

Page 26486

 1        Q.   So what did you do -- what did you and your troops do at that

 2     time?

 3        A.   I returned immediately to the room where some of the soldiers

 4     were.  I ordered that they pick up their weapons and equipment and start

 5     boarding the bus.

 6        Q.   And where did you go with the bus?

 7        A.   Once on the bus we went towards Bratunac.

 8        Q.   Now, before leaving with your men to Bratunac, did you speak to

 9     Obrenovic before leaving?

10        A.   I did not, no.

11        Q.   Did you return to see the duty officer?

12        A.   There was no need.  Since the replacements came, I believe that

13     the person in charge of them was supposed to go to see him and receive

14     his orders, and I was supposed to return to my brigade commander.

15        Q.   Now, sir, if that morning you had received a tasking from the

16     Zvornik Brigade, what would you have expected to happen?  How would this

17     have taken place?

18        A.   Had there been any need for us in the area of responsibility of

19     the Zvornik Brigade, I would have been summoned to the brigade command.

20     There the commander would be supposed to issue oral orders and

21     assignments, and then I would have to be taken to the area of

22     responsibility of the unit that I was supposed to assist.

23        Q.   And what kind of information would you expect to have received in

24     such a briefing, based on your experience?

25        A.   I would certainly be seen by the brigade commander.  He would

Page 26487

 1     issue the tasks and orders personally.  He would tell me what we were

 2     supposed to do in that direction, and from what direction we could expect

 3     the enemy to appear.  He would also probably choose an officer who would

 4     escort me to the area of responsibility of any of the battalions of the

 5     Zvornik Brigade.

 6        Q.   Now, sir, going back to just the time before you left, did you

 7     speak with those two men who came from the Bratunac Brigade?  I'm talking

 8     about the two men you spoke with, I think you mentioned the names Eskic

 9     and Kovacevic?

10        A.   We spoke briefly, as I said.  I talked to Major Eskic who told me

11     that he brought another unit that was supposed to replace my unit on

12     Colonel Blagojevic's orders.

13        Q.   And did you see how many men were with them?

14        A.   I did not.

15        Q.   What time did you arrive in Bratunac on that day?

16        A.   I think around 12.00 or 12.30.

17        Q.   And what happened once you returned to Bratunac?  Were you given

18     another assignment?

19        A.   When I returned to the Bratunac Brigade command, I dismissed my

20     troops.  They went home.  I reported to the brigade command and I found

21     Colonel Blagojevic there.  We greeted each other and I can say that we

22     were both happy.  He was happy because I had gone to fulfill the task,

23     and I was happy because he made good on his promise.

24        Q.   Sir, what was your next military assignment given to you by your

25     commander, and when was that?

Page 26488

 1        A.   On the 17th of July, it was Monday, my commander set out towards

 2     Zepa.  He told me that I should remain in the AOR of the brigade, and

 3     that I should go to the area of Sandici.

 4        Q.   And what were you supposed to do in the area of Sandici?

 5        A.   In the area, there was a task I had to carry out.  The 3rd

 6     Infantry Battalion Commander Zekic and the Workers Battalion had been

 7     ordered to go to the area to search the terrain between Sandici,

 8     Kamenica, Krajinovici and Mratinci towards Konjevic Polje to the west.

 9        Q.   What were you searching the terrain for?

10        A.   We had to search the terrain because some units were along the

11     road securing the road for regular traffic.  Therefore, we had to search

12     the rest of the terrain for any enemy soldiers left behind so that they

13     would be removed.

14        Q.   And did you have any information that soldiers, enemy soldiers

15     were left in that area?

16        A.   There certainly was some information to that regard because we

17     would not have been ordered to search the terrain otherwise.

18        Q.   And, sir, at what time did you set out to perform this task?

19        A.   Between 12.00 and 12.30.  I had been given a task to link Jevic

20     who was the head of the MPs, and Zekic who was in charge of the 3rd

21     Battalion the area, I was supposed to serve as a link between them.

22        Q.   Sir, just to be sure, you say between 12.00 and 12.30, is that

23     around noon?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   And if you recall, how many men participated in this search?

Page 26489

 1        A.   In total around 300 people.

 2        Q.   And how long were you busy completing this task?

 3        A.   One afternoon.

 4        Q.   And do you recall who was in overall command of this search?

 5        A.   The operation, as I said, included Zekic who was commander of the

 6     3rd Battalion.  He was responsible for his unit.  Jevic was responsible

 7     for the police force.

 8        Q.   And who were you responsible for?

 9             JUDGE AGIUS:  One moment.  Mr. Thayer.

10             MR. THAYER:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  Just to clarify the

11     record, there was a reference on my LiveNote at page 26, it's gone now,

12     probably about line 10 or so to Jevic being in charge of the military

13     police and just so we have it clear on the record that may have been what

14     he said but I'm confident my friends from the Borovcanin team would like

15     this clarified as well, if that's indeed what he said or he said

16     something else so there's no confusion.

17             JUDGE AGIUS:  Let's correct in the transcript where you refer to

18     page 26, line 10 because what you are referring to page 25, lines 20 and

19     21 presumably.  That's where we have --

20             MR. THAYER:  That's it, Mr. President.

21             JUDGE AGIUS:  -- "I had been given a task to link Jevic who was

22     the head of the MPs, and Zekic who was in charge of the 3rd," whatever it

23     is, the area.  So, Mr. Bourgon, will you look into that, please, and

24     clarify with the witness, thank you.

25             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Will do.

Page 26490

 1        Q.   Sir, did you understand, and can you clarify?

 2        A.   Yes.  There was an error interpretation.  Dusko Jevic was in

 3     charge of the police.  Not the military police.

 4             JUDGE AGIUS:  Thank you, Mr. Thayer, and thank you, Mr. Gavric.

 5             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, sir.

 6        Q.   Moving on, sir, while you were performing this search, what was

 7     your role?  That was my next question before my colleague stood up.  What

 8     was your role in that search?

 9        A.   My role was to serve as a link between Dusko Jevic, that is the

10     police force, and our battalion and its commander Zekic.  They were

11     supposed to meet up, whereas the left flank of our battalion was next to

12     a battalion of the military brigade, probably, because we were doing the

13     search simultaneously.  This is the area that I hale from in Bratunac

14     municipality.

15        Q.   Sir, do you recall seeing anything unusual while this search was

16     conducted?

17        A.   Yes, I do.

18        Q.   Can you describe for the Trial Chamber exactly what you saw?

19        A.   As we were deploying our units from Sandici and the asphalt road

20     there to the south, we set off for Bratinci.  It was the start point of

21     the search.  When we arrived in the area of Kamenica, we noticed a large

22     group of corpses.  The site was horrific.  It smelled awfully.  There

23     were so many of them that you could move from one corpse to another

24     without ever touching the ground, there were that many dead bodies.

25        Q.   Sir, who were those dead bodies?

Page 26491

 1        A.   A great many of them was -- were in military uniform.  I suppose

 2     they were members of the 28th Division.  Some of them wore civilian

 3     clothes, as it was their custom to change into civilian clothes

 4     frequently.

 5        Q.   Sir, did you see any dead bodies of women or children?

 6        A.   I did not see any children or women.

 7        Q.   And, sir, do you know how these people died?

 8        A.   On the spot, you can see everything.  Many of them had killed

 9     themselves by activating hand grenades.  Some of them killed themselves

10     with their weapons.  Some of them took out their belts and hanged

11     themselves from the trees.  It was gruesome to watch.

12        Q.   You say there were so many of them.  Can you give us an estimate

13     of how many bodies were lying there in the field that you saw?

14        A.   It is in the part that I covered, I saw several hundred dead

15     people, for sure.

16        Q.   To your knowledge, sir, were there any ambush operations

17     conducted in that area by the VRS?

18        A.   I don't know precisely what the answer would be, but judging by

19     the stories I heard later, I arrived at a different conclusion that I can

20     share with you later, if you want me to.

21        Q.   What I'd like to know from you is, you said that some people

22     killed themselves by activating hand grenades and some killed themselves.

23     Did they all kill themselves or were there other reasons for them, for

24     these bodies to be lying there?

25        A.   There must have been clashes inside the group as well.  According

Page 26492

 1     to the information we have, some of them had wanted to surrender, whereas

 2     the others had not.  You could see that some were shot from firearms.

 3        Q.   Thank you.  I'll leave it at that.  Sir, when you?

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Bourgon, just a second.  Mr. Gavric, what you

 5     saw at the time was just dead bodies?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  How could you know that they killed themselves by

 8     activating grenades?

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you see a person lying on the

10     ground with his or her lower part of the lower body completely blown off

11     or up then it means that that person put a hand grenade underneath and

12     activated it.  On the other hand, if you see somebody with a bullet hole

13     in their skull, in the temporal area, that indicates that it was a

14     suicide.

15             JUDGE KWON:  They would have been killed by the hand grenade that

16     was thrown by the enemy or the opponent?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would have been really super

18     to get 20 metres away from a group which counted 15 to 20.000 and to

19     throw a hand grenade in such a situation.  But you could see the dead

20     bodies and you could see the ground they had covered, not a single blade

21     of grass had remained there, and you could clearly see the area that they

22     were moving through.

23             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you, Mr. Bourgon.

24             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, Judge.

25        Q.   Sir, moving on, did you capture some prisoners during this

Page 26493

 1     search?

 2        A.   Yes, I did.

 3        Q.   Can you describe -- do you remember approximately how many

 4     prisoners you captured?

 5        A.   Precisely 38 people.  Three of whom were under-age children.

 6        Q.   And what did you do with these prisoners?

 7        A.   Dusko Jevic took the prisoners to the area of Konjevic Polje.  As

 8     for the three minors, I put them in my vehicle and took them to the

 9     Bratunac Brigade command.

10        Q.   So beginning with the prisoners that you gave to Dusko Jevic, to

11     your knowledge what happened to these prisoners after?

12        A.   I don't know.  The next day I had to go to Sokolac on private

13     business and I went through Konjevic Polje.  In front of a former store,

14     I saw a group of people picking up paper and litter in front of those

15     buildings that were there, and I recognised them as the prisoners of the

16     previous day.

17        Q.   And moving on to the three minors that you referred to do you

18     know what happened to them?

19        A.    Yes, I do.  Upon arrival in Bratunac, I took the three children

20     to the military police premises.  I ordered them to give food to the

21     children, to bathe them, and to treat them properly.  It was rather

22     difficult because the children would not be left behind and they were

23     holding on to my pants.  I suppose that while we were in the field, they

24     felt protected by me.  It was a difficult situation and it would be too

25     much for me to tell you all the details of what it was like.

Page 26494

 1        Q.   Sir, do you know if those three minors are still alive today?

 2        A.   Yes, I do.  I handed them over and they were exchanged for nine

 3     policemen who had been captured near Zvornik.  I think they haled from

 4     Doboj.  In 2001 or 2002, I saw them in Tuzla.  I had wanted to meet some

 5     of those children there and it was made possible for me to do by Naser

 6     Oric.

 7        Q.   And did Naser Oric ever tell you who these three minors were?

 8        A.   When we met at the Tuzla hotel and had lunch, we discussed the

 9     topic.  He laughed and he said, the two boys, the twins told you they

10     were from Karacici.  They did not want to tell you that they were my

11     cousins, because they were afraid of being killed.  And I told him well,

12     who would be such a person to be able to kill a child.

13        Q.   Thank you, sir.  Just one last question before I move to my next

14     topic.  I'd just like to come back to those bodies that you saw, those

15     hundreds of bodies.  You mentioned that many committed suicides and you

16     were asked questions by Judge Kwon concerning the grenades.  But do you

17     know really how they died, all of these people, or you just notice how

18     some of them died?

19        A.   I'll explain.  When the children surrendered they got on to the

20     road between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje.  They were playing, saying that

21     it was nice to move along a road which was not mined.  I asked them many

22     a question about how they survived, had they survived the trip and they

23     told me everything.  They said that they ate wild pears, that someone

24     killed a sow, that is how they survived.  They also told us of the

25     suicides or people killing each other.  They said that at certain points

Page 26495

 1     some would get depressed and such a person would simply take out his

 2     rifle and spent all of his ammunition before being killed, spraying

 3     bullets and killing everyone near.  They also had some bombs which I

 4     never saw, and they were explaining that as well.  They also said that

 5     many people stepped on landmines.  That is what they were telling us.

 6     They also said that they were fired at by artillery.

 7        Q.   Thank you, sir.  I now move to a different topic which is the

 8     days preceding the fall of Srebrenica.  And my first question is how

 9     close is Bratunac to Srebrenica?

10        A.   10 kilometres.

11        Q.   And sir, what was the involvement of the Bratunac Brigade in the

12     events leading to the fall of Srebrenica in July 1995?  What was the task

13     given to the Bratunac Brigade?

14        A.   The main task of the Bratunac Brigade was to defend the town of

15     Bratunac.

16        Q.   Did any component of the Bratunac Brigade take part in the combat

17     operations on Srebrenica?

18        A.   Yes, it did.

19        Q.   Which one, if any?

20        A.   The red beret platoon.  I know that they were along the axis

21     including checkpoint 789.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's note:  879.

23             MR. BOURGON:

24        Q.   Sir, do you remember what was the code name for the fighting that

25     was directed toward Srebrenica in mid-July?

Page 26496

 1        A.   As far as I can recall, I believe it was called Krivaja.

 2        Q.   Sir, at that specific moment were you the chief of artillery of

 3     the Bratunac Brigade?

 4        A.   Yes, I was.

 5        Q.   And within a brigade such as the Bratunac Brigade, to whom does

 6     the chief of artillery report?

 7        A.   The chief of artillery is a staff officer responsible to the

 8     brigade commander.  In my case, that would be Colonel Blagojevic.

 9        Q.   And, sir, can you share with us, what is the role and the duties

10     of the chief of artillery in the brigade?  What is it that did you at the

11     time?

12        A.   The main task of the artillery chief is to assist in the

13     preparation of orders in the field of artillery to the brigade commander.

14     All the other chiefs do the same concerning their types of weaponry.

15     Such a person also needs to control the firing and targeting if in the

16     field.

17        Q.   And, sir, who exercises command over the artillery resources of

18     the brigade?

19        A.   The artillery officers are commanded by the chief of artillery,

20     who in turn is commanded by the brigade commander.  Some of the artillery

21     officers also include officers of the different batteries.

22        Q.   And, sir, when we hear that the artillery supports the

23     battalions, what is the role of the chief of artillery in that respect?

24        A.   Battalion commanders in this case could require artillery support

25     from the chief of artillery, and in this case it was me.

Page 26497

 1        Q.   So just for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, what do we mean by

 2     requesting support from the chief of artillery?  In practical terms what

 3     does that mean?

 4        A.   If one of the units on their axis faced an enemy attack or

 5     noticed enemy movements, then the commander of that unit, or in this

 6     case, the commander of that battalion, could request for me to provide

 7     him with artillery support on the wing where such movements were noticed

 8     or where such an attack was encountered, and this type of fire is known

 9     as preventive fire.

10        Q.   Thank you, sir.  One last question, Mr. President, maybe we can

11     go for the break is, what were exactly the artillery resources or assets

12     of the Bratunac Brigade?

13        A.   The Bratunac Brigade had a mixed artillery group consisting of a

14     battery of cannons B17, 60 millimetres consisting of five tools, two 105

15     howitzers and 1 to 2-millimetre cannons.

16             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you.  Mr. President, I think we can stop for

17     the break.

18             JUDGE AGIUS:  Okay.  We'll have the break.

19                           --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.

20                           --- On resuming at 4.14 p.m.

21             JUDGE KWON:  Since Judge Agius has to attend an official meeting

22     this afternoon, so we'll be herein carry on sitting pursuant to Rule 15

23     bis.  Mr. Bourgon.

24             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25        Q.   Sir, when we left off before the break, you told us what were the

Page 26498

 1     resources in terms of artillery which the Bratunac Brigade had.

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   My next question has to do with the fighting which was led

 4     towards Srebrenica.  When did you initially receive orders to take part

 5     in the events leading to the fall of Srebrenica?

 6        A.   On the 6th of July 1995.

 7        Q.   And how did you receive your orders on that occasion?

 8        A.   It was a written order by the brigade commander.

 9        Q.   And what was the task given to the artillery of the Bratunac

10     Brigade?

11        A.   The task given to the artillery group was to defend the town of

12     Bratunac together with the units of the 1st and the 2nd Infantry

13     battalions.

14        Q.   And where were the guns of the Bratunac Brigade located?

15        A.   The brigade artillery group took up three firing position.  One

16     was by B1 cannons, northwest of the town of Bratunac in the sector of

17     Repovac village.  The howitzer platoon 105 millimetres was by the

18     brickworks, in the brickworks sector which was north, northwest 1.500

19     metres from the town.  The 1 to 2 millimetre cannon platoon was north of

20     the town 2 kilometres away from the town in the Ravne sector.

21        Q.   Sir, when the guns of the Bratunac Brigade were firing, where

22     were you physically?

23        A.   My position was at the artillery observation point, the

24     checkpoint 438 at the advance positions of the Defence of the town at the

25     artillery observation post.

Page 26499

 1        Q.   Sir, who selected the place where the artillery observation post

 2     would be, and what factors do you use when you choose this location?

 3        A.   In keeping with the rules of service, the chief of artillery is

 4     the one who selects and proposes to the commander the observation post of

 5     the artillery, and the commander either accepts that or not under what

 6     conditions.  Several criteria are used.  The observation post should be a

 7     dominant position as close as possible to the forward defence line in

 8     order to be able to observe the artillery fire and forward defence lines.

 9        Q.   So when the guns are firing, the chief of artillery, is he

10     located with the guns or elsewhere?

11        A.   No.  The chief of artillery was at the Koalin hill observation

12     post at checkpoint 438, and the firing positions were some 3 to 5

13     kilometres backwards from the forward firing -- defence positions which

14     is according to the rules.

15        Q.   And if the chief of artillery must relay the orders of the

16     brigade commander to fire, how do you communicate with the guns?

17        A.   You communicate by wire connection, this is the best way if at

18     all possible, and we did have those conditions, and we also used radio

19     communication as required so we used both types of connections.

20        Q.   Sir, to your knowledge --

21             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Thayer.

22             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Again just to clear up

23     the record, there's a reference to the observation post hill, which I

24     presume we'll be referring to on more than one occasion.  And I think the

25     witness stated that, but we probably should have it spelled correctly in

Page 26500

 1     the record since it tends to get misspelled in other places as well.  So

 2     if we could have that clarification for the hill at checkpoint 438, I'm

 3     sure the witness can spell it for us, if we could have that

 4     clarification, please, Mr. President.

 5             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.  If you could take up the matter.

 6             MR. BOURGON:

 7        Q.   I'm not sure I understand exactly what my colleague is looking

 8     for but I think that the witness can confirm where the artillery

 9     observation post of the Bratunac Brigade was.

10             MR. THAYER:  Page 36, line 4 on my LiveNote.  I think we can all

11     agree what it is, I'm happy to put it on the record, but I'd just as soon

12     hear it from the witness and spell it.

13             MR. BOURGON:

14        Q.   So where is that location, sir?

15        A.   This was elevation 438, midway between the left wing of the 1st

16     Bratunac Battalion and the second wing of the -- and the right wing of

17     the Bratunac Brigade defence and it was the forward defence line of the

18     town, so you end up with a triangle with the observation post in its

19     centre.

20             MR. THAYER:  I believe he referred to a particular hill name,

21     begins with a K.

22             THE WITNESS:  [Interpretation] Kaolin hill.

23             JUDGE KWON:  Thank you.

24             THE WITNESS:  [Interpretation] Kaolin Hill, K-a-o-l-i-n, hill.

25             MR. BOURGON:

Page 26501

 1        Q.   Thank you, sir.  Sir, to the best of your recollection when

 2     exactly did Srebrenica fall, on what day?

 3        A.   On the 11th of December [sic] 1995.

 4        Q.   Is there an interpretation mistake, I'm not sure.  Did you say

 5     December?

 6        A.   I apologise, 11th of July 1995.

 7        Q.   Sir, during the period when you initially received your orders,

 8     that is 6 July as you mentioned earlier, and the 10th of July 1995, were

 9     the guns of the Bratunac Brigade fired?

10        A.   The 122 millimetres M31/37 opened fire on the village of Studenac

11     on the north slopes of Gradac hill.  This is the place which was once

12     inhabited by Serbs and which was then torched, and it was some 3

13     kilometres in front of the observation post as the crow flies.

14        Q.   Sir, did this take place -- on which day did this take place?  I

15     was referring to the period from the 6th to the 10th of July, so on which

16     day did this take place?

17        A.   This took place on the 11th of December [sic].  I apologise, 11th

18     of July.  I do it every time, I mixed up my months and I apologise.

19        Q.   Thank you, sir.  So I'll say my question over again.  From the

20     6th to the 10th of July, which of the guns the Bratunac Brigade fired, if

21     any?

22        A.   Between the 6th and the 10th of July, including the 10th of July,

23     we did not open artillery fire.  I said that it only happened on the

24     11th.  I may have misunderstood your question, sir.

25        Q.   Thank you.  On the 11th of July, you mentioned that there was the

Page 26502

 1     122-millimetre gun which opened fire on the village of Studenac.  Now,

 2     did any other guns of the Bratunac fire on the 11th of July?

 3        A.   At that moment, no.  But after that the 105-millimetre howitzers

 4     did open fire.

 5        Q.   Sir, you also mentioned that this -- when there was firing, you

 6     mentioned that you fired on that village, which was once inhabited by

 7     Serbs.  Why would you fire on this village?

 8        A.   Six months prior to the operation we had moved the firing

 9     positions of our 122-millimetre cannons.  The battery commander had to

10     correct his aim and it just so happened that I thought that they had

11     failed to do that, and I had reports from the field that our units had

12     been advancing towards Srebrenica, and I expected at any moment the

13     Muslim forces could engage in a counterattack.  And in order to be

14     absolutely sure about the aim of these tools, I ordered the elements to

15     be checked and it turned out eventually that I had been right all the

16     time about the aim.

17        Q.   Sir, on the record, we get the word "tools," about the aim of

18     these tools.  Are you referring to the aim of the guns?

19        A.   Guns, the artillery pieces.  Whenever you need to change your

20     firing position, you have to rectify and coordinate your aim according to

21     the rules of artillery fire.

22        Q.   And is that the type of fire that you did on the 11th of July?

23        A.   Yes, that's the type of fire which had been ordered.  I was not

24     happy with the aim and that's why I ordered the pieces to be checked, and

25     once the fire was corrected and as soon as that was done, we were able to

Page 26503

 1     hit our imaginary target in the village of Studenac.

 2             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Zivanovic.

 3             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry to interrupt my colleague, but I found that

 4     some words of the witness's are not translated despite he told it three

 5     times.  He used the B/C/S word "nisanske sprave," and it was translated

 6     as "aim".

 7             JUDGE KWON:  The correct translation of which should be what,

 8     Mr. Zivanovic?

 9             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  It is aiming equipment or aiming tool or

10     something like that.  Not aim.

11             JUDGE KWON:  So your observation is noted and will be --

12             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  [Microphone not activated].

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone for the counsel, please.

14             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Sorry.  It is a part of artillery piece.

15             JUDGE KWON:  We'll bear that in mind in hearing the evidence or

16     reading the transcript later on.  Thank you.  Please carry on.

17             MR. BOURGON:  I thank you my colleague for his observation.

18        Q.   Sir, do you recall when the population of Srebrenica left to go

19     to Potocari?

20        A.   On the 11th of July around 1200 hours I received a report from

21     the elevation 73, also known as Caus about a large group of the

22     population gathering in the vicinity of the gas station in Srebrenica

23     below the hospital.

24        Q.   Sir, did the guns of the Bratunac Brigade fire on the population

25     as it was moving towards Potocari?

Page 26504

 1        A.   No.

 2        Q.   And did the guns of the Bratunac Brigade fire close to these

 3     people?

 4             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the answer.  Could

 5     the witness please repeat.

 6             MR. BOURGON:

 7        Q.   Could you say your answer over again?

 8        A.   If you were asking me whether the guns opened fire close to these

 9     people, my answer was no.

10        Q.   What is the closest to these people that the guns of the Bratunac

11     Brigade were fired, if at all?

12        A.   Fire was not open anywhere close to them, but sometime later, and

13     I can tell you about that, it was 2 to 2.5 kilometre east from the route

14     along the which the population moved.

15        Q.   Sir, if it had been the intention of the Bratunac Brigade to fire

16     the guns at the civilian population, technically was this possible?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   What would have been the result if the Bratunac Brigade had

19     intended to fire its guns at the civilian population?

20        A.   It would have been a massacre.  It was a large group of people,

21     between 40.000 and 50.000 people moved along that road.

22        Q.   Sir, to your knowledge did the guns of the Bratunac Brigade fire

23     in or around the UNPROFOR compound in Potocari where the civilians were?

24        A.   No.

25        Q.   And did the guns of the Bratunac Brigade fire on the enemy at any

Page 26505

 1     time on 11 July onwards?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   When was that?

 4        A.   Around 3.00 in the afternoon.

 5        Q.   Where did the guns of the Bratunac Brigade fire, and why?

 6        A.   We noticed below elevation 877, the so-called Divljakinje

 7     [phoen], some of the Muslim forces that were engaged in defence and

 8     that's when we opened fire on those enemy units.

 9        Q.   Sir, at this point I'd like to show you a document.  If I could

10     have in e-court, please, 5D1107.  Sir, a document will appear on the

11     screen before you.  Looking at the first page I would like to know if you

12     recognise this document.

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   And what is it?

15        A.   It is an order by the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.

16        Q.   And is this the order that you were referring to concerning what

17     happened in Srebrenica later on?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   Now, I will go through these pages on the screen in front of you.

20     I would like to know if you can see in these documents the tasks that

21     were issued to you or that were issued to the artillery of the Bratunac

22     Brigade.  If we can have the second page on the screen.  If I can now go

23     to the third page.  And finally on the fourth page.  I'll show you also

24     the next page, I thought that was the last one, but if we can go to page

25     5 also.  Sir, looking at this document, have you seen so far the tasks

Page 26506

 1     issued to the artillery of the Bratunac Brigade?

 2        A.   I believe that on the page that I have in front of me, there's no

 3     bullet point 6.  It should be bullet point 6 specifying those.

 4        Q.   If we can go one page back on this document towards the end.  So

 5     what is this paragraph 6?

 6        A.   Yes.  These are the tasks of the brigade artillery group of the

 7     Bratunac Brigade of howitzers and other artillery pieces.

 8        Q.   If we can move to the next page at the top.  So we see that

 9     paragraph 6 is continuing at the top of the other page, is this also

10     related to the tasks issued to the artillery of the Bratunac Brigade?

11        A.   This was Lancer [phoen] 128 millimetre and these were also tasks

12     of the Bratunac Brigade.  If you are referring to bullet point 6.2.

13        Q.   Indeed, sir, I'd like to draw your attention to 6.2 where it

14     says, and I will read that in English:  "At 0300 hours on 6 July 1995,"

15     I'm not sure if it's a correct translation but it says, "it will fire

16     four projectiles (50 kilogram air bombs) on the Potocari sector, (the

17     school the 11th March factory, the Gracic hill at elevation 377, and Kula

18     and Orici).  My question is, did the Bratunac Brigade fire these four

19     projectiles?

20        A.   No.

21        Q.   So why does it appear in this order and it was not done by the

22     Bratunac artillery?

23        A.   This was just an idea, a plan, but this doesn't mean that

24     everything that is planned has to be implemented in the field.

25        Q.   I would like now to show you a new document.  If I can have in

Page 26507

 1     e-court please, P3358 [Realtime transcript read in error "P3588"].  I

 2     would like you to take a look at this document that will appear on the

 3     screen before you and to tell me if you recognise this document.

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   Who drafted this document, and what is it?

 6        A.   I drafted the document and I sent it to the command of the Drina

 7     Corps, and in the document you can see why I sent it.

 8        Q.   Sir, according to this document, it says that fire was opened on

 9     Srebrenica at 1907 hours.  Was that the reason for sending the document?

10        A.   No, this document was not sent because of that.  The reason was

11     the fact that our artillery piece broke down, we had to inform the

12     command who were supposed to send us a repairman to try and deal with the

13     problem on the spot.

14        Q.   I'd like to move to another document.  If I can have in e-court

15     now document P3359.  Sir, I'll show you a second document.  Do you

16     recognise this document?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Is this document related to the first one or the one that we just

19     looked at?

20        A.   Yes.  Yes.

21        Q.   Sir, once again here it says in paragraph one that the guns of

22     the Bratunac Brigade fired on Srebrenica.  Do you recall why the guns

23     fired on Srebrenica on that day?

24        A.   On that day from the area of Budak fire was opened on our firing

25     positions.  We also noticed an enemy tank that had opened the fire.  Then

Page 26508

 1     we received an order to destroy that tank.  We used anti-tank --

 2     anti-armour ammunition which has a stronger recoil than other ammunition,

 3     and as we were doing that one of the howitzers got stuck and three of my

 4     men were injured.

 5        Q.   Sir, it says here that the two shells fell or near the domavija

 6     feature.  Do you know what is the domavija feature?

 7        A.   I know the facility.  It is a former hotel which I believe housed

 8     the command of the 28th Division or one of their battalions.

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Carry on, Mr. Bourgon.

10             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, Mr. President.

11        Q.   Sir, do you know who Colonel Lazic is?

12        A.   I know Colonel Lazic only as a person who was from the Drina

13     Corps command.  He was on duty there.

14        Q.   To your knowledge, sir, did this Colonel have the authority to

15     order you to fire the guns of the Bratunac Brigade?

16        A.   He arrived with an order, he had been ordered by someone from the

17     corps that the artillery be used.  That is for certain.

18        Q.   I'd like to move to a final document, sir.  If I can have in

19     e-court P2884, and I discussed this with my colleague previously,

20     Mr. President, I would like to give the witness the paper version because

21     this document is actually a map, and I would like to give him the paper

22     version that was issued to us by the Prosecution.  And in e-court, this

23     is 2884.  I only have a few questions and the witness just taking a

24     glance at the document will be sufficient.

25        A.   You can go ahead.

Page 26509

 1        Q.   Sir, do you recall I showed you this document during proofing?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   And sir, do you recognise what this document is?

 4        A.   This is engagement plan of the corps artillery.

 5        Q.   For what operation?

 6        A.   The Susica operation.  That was the code name for the Srebrenica

 7     operation.

 8        Q.   Now, are you familiar with the plans that were prepared at the

 9     corps level or higher concerning operation Susica?

10        A.   I was not familiar with it since it was on a higher level than

11     that that I was at.

12        Q.   Are you familiar with the type of information included in such an

13     artillery firing plan?

14        A.   I can interpret the plan.  It was my job to do so, and I

15     understand it well.

16        Q.   Thank you, we won't need this document anymore.  Sir, if on such

17     an artillery firing plan an UNPROFOR observation post was identified with

18     a number, does that mean that you intended to fire the guns on the

19     UNPROFOR observation post?

20        A.   No, and you can't find it in the Colonel Blagojevic's order

21     either.

22        Q.   So why are certain locations identified on the artillery firing

23     plan?  Why do we identify locations on such a plan?

24        A.   If there are favourable conditions that enable firing, we first

25     must devise a plan of fire with all the features and locations

Page 26510

 1     represented that otherwise would be included on the map.  Then distances

 2     are measured as well as angles needed to load the artillery pieces

 3     properly.  The numbers and facilities marked may not be targets of such

 4     firing.  They are simply there to enable the crew to react rapidly

 5     against the enemy and that we can quickly move from one object to another

 6     should the enemy move quickly.  And also it is done to avoid any

 7     collateral damage that could result from us not having prepared the

 8     locations correctly when opening fire.

 9        Q.   Thank you, sir.  How many times did you meet with me before your

10     testimony today?

11        A.   Twice in Bratunac and once in The Hague.

12        Q.   Sir, did anyone from the Defence ask you to sign a statement

13     before your testimony here today?

14        A.   No.

15        Q.   And, sir, what kind of questions did I ask you when we met in

16     Bratunac?  What was I interested in?

17        A.   You were interested in what my orders were to go to Zvornik, who

18     met there.  You also wanted to know about the number of victims in the

19     area of Konjevic Polje in Sandici and what was the situation like during

20     the operation in Srebrenica on the 16th.

21        Q.   Sir, did I or anyone from the Defence team of Drago Nikolic tried

22     to influence your testimony in any way?

23        A.   No.  You could have tried but ...

24        Q.   But what?

25        A.   There would be no effect.  We would probably go our own separate

Page 26511

 1     ways.

 2             MR. BOURGON:  Just one minute, Mr. President.  I want to check my

 3     questions.

 4                           [Defence counsel confer]

 5             MR. BOURGON:

 6        Q.   Just one thing I forgot to ask you, sir, earlier on.  We spoke

 7     about Dusan Nikolic.  Do you know what happened to Dusan Nikolic in July

 8     of 1995?

 9        A.   On the 16th of July, Dule Nikolic was killed in action.  I

10     received that information soon.  I believe I was in town.  A few days

11     ago, I discussed those details with my brother who was the physician on

12     duty in the Zvornik Brigade that day.  He saw Drago Nikolic between 1.30

13     and 2.00 in front of the hospital.  Drago told him that Dule had been

14     killed.

15             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, sir.  I have no further questions.

16     Thank you, Mr. President.

17             JUDGE KWON:  Just for the record, Mr. Bourgon, if you could

18     indicate the 65 ter number of the draft allegedly drafted by the witness,

19     you said it's P3588, but I couldn't locate the document with that number.

20             MR. BOURGON:  Not sure I understand your question, Mr. President.

21     The draft.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Actually not sent.  The document we just now sent.

23             MR. BOURGON:  Oh, the first document which was drafted by the

24     document [sic], the number I have is P3358.

25             JUDGE KWON:  3358, yes.  The transcript said it's 3588.  Okay.

Page 26512

 1     That's corrected.  Would any of the Defence team cross-examine this

 2     witness?  Yes, Mr. Borovcanin's Defence.

 3             MR. LAZAREVIC:  Yes, thank you, Your Honour, we will have a brief

 4     cross-examination.  I don't believe it will last more than 15 to 20

 5     minutes.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Just for information, we'll break at 5.25 and we'll

 7     have a 20-minute break and we'll adjourn at quarter to 7.00 today.

 8                           Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:

 9        Q.   Thank you, Your Honour.  I will try to accomplish my task by that

10     time.  I mean by 5.25 of course.

11             [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Gavric.

12        A.   Good afternoon.

13        Q.   My name is Aleksandar Lazarevic.  I'm Mr. Ljubomir Borovcanin's

14     attorney representing him before this Tribunal and I will have a few

15     questions on his behalf.  I also want to go through a number of documents

16     with you.  Should any of the questions I put to you be unclear to you,

17     please tell me and I will reformulate it.  I also wanted to warn you that

18     you should pause between your answer and my question.  Otherwise, there

19     will be an overlap since we speak the same language.

20        A.   I understand.

21        Q.   Thank you.  During your testimony today you said that you

22     participated in the search of terrain on the 17th of July 1995.  You also

23     said that during that operation together with the units of the Bratunac

24     Brigade, there was a unit commanded by Dusko Jevic as well taking part in

25     it.  Do you remember that?

Page 26513

 1        A.   Yes, I do.

 2        Q.   What was your starting point on the 17th of July, from where did

 3     you go to Sandici when the operation began?

 4        A.   We left in the front of the Bratunac Brigade command.  I had two

 5     MP escorts and a driver.

 6        Q.   When did you arrive at that location?

 7        A.   It was at 12.15 exactly.

 8        Q.   Did you know that that morning when you set out there was a

 9     meeting in the Bratunac Brigade, to be more precise, at that meeting

10     tasks were stipulated for the units which were to take part in the

11     search?

12        A.   I did not attend the meeting, but Commander Blagojevic briefed me

13     and told me that some units from the military brigade and some of the

14     units from Bratunac Brigade will take part, plus another MUP unit.  Those

15     were the units that were supposed to take part in the search operation in

16     the area of Bratunac municipality.

17        Q.   But my question was this:  You did not attend the very meeting?

18        A.   No, I did not.

19        Q.   Do you know whether the meeting was attending by Dusko Jevic as

20     well and did he receive any tasks from the Bratunac Brigade command?

21        A.   I truly don't know.

22        Q.   Do you know that one day previously on the 16th of July 1995 in

23     the evening there was another meeting between Dusko Jevic and Momir

24     Nikolic in which Jevic was notified that his units were supposed to take

25     part in the search?

Page 26514

 1        A.   As of the 15th when I arrived at the Bratunac Brigade command I

 2     was on leave until the 17th when Colonel Blagojevic answered his

 3     questions.

 4        Q.   Therefore your answer is that you don't know?

 5        A.   That is correct.

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Thayer.

 7             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I'm sorry to do this again, but

 8     there's another passage at page 49, line 24.  There's a reference to

 9     commander Blagojevic briefed me and told me that some units from the

10     military brigade and some of the units from Bratunac Brigade will take

11     part plus another MUP unit.  I'm not sure again if that's a translation

12     issue or what he said, but I think we can benefit from clarifying that

13     before we go too further along.  It just doesn't make sense the way it's

14     sitting on the transcript now.

15             MR. LAZAREVIC:  I think.

16             JUDGE KWON:  Military brigade.

17             MR. LAZAREVIC:  Maybe I can assist my colleague.  I believe -- of

18     course, I don't want to put words in witness's mouth, but he said

19     literally Milici Brigade.

20             JUDGE KWON:  Can you confirm that, Mr. Gavric.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat.  According to the

22     oral orders I received at 12.00 from the Bratunac Brigade commander, I

23     was supposed to go to the area of Sandici where my task would be to link

24     up Dusko Jevic who headed the police force and our 3rd Battalion.  On the

25     left flank of our unit of the 3rd Battalion, there will be units from the

Page 26515

 1     Milici Brigade.

 2             MR. LAZAREVIC:

 3        Q.   [Interpretation] thank you, Mr. Gavric.  I believe this clarifies

 4     the misunderstanding.  Today you were discussing Dusko Jevic's unit

 5     referring to it as a MUP unit.  I wanted to clarify one thing.  I read

 6     the transcript of your testimony in the Blagojevic case and I came across

 7     a piece of information you stated whereby you said that the entire unit

 8     was formed of deserters who fled Bosnia and left for Serbia.  Can you

 9     verify that piece of information?

10        A.   Those were Serbian deserters collected all over Serbia.  They

11     were taken there and they were referred to as special police, but I

12     wonder what sort of special police it was when these were all deserters.

13        Q.   Concerning the search operation, you will agree, of course, that

14     it usually follows after the end of combat and that the goal of such an

15     operation is to locate and neutralise any remaining enemy soldiers, is

16     that so?

17        A.   When I was talking about it, I said that it was our task in the

18     field to search it so that it would be clear of enemy forces.  And also,

19     we were supposed to relieve the units which were securing the road

20     between Konjevic Polje, Bratunac and Sarajevo.

21        Q.   And of course, it's a fully legitimate military operation?

22        A.   It is the ending part of an operation.  In any country if there

23     are terrorists in a given area, certain units are sent in to search the

24     terrain, what else?

25        Q.   Today you talked about a number of soldiers, members of the BiH

Page 26516

 1     army who surrendered and the children that you took away.  Reading the

 2     Blagojevic transcript, I noticed something that I wanted to clarify with

 3     you.

 4             When you were on the road, as you said in the Blagojevic case,

 5     did you use a phone or some other means of communication to call Nikolic?

 6        A.   I called from Pervane where the captured soldiers were.  I

 7     reported to him and asked him what to do.  He told me this:  The people

 8     who surrendered should be handed over to Dusko Jevic so that he could

 9     take them to Konjevic Polje and they would be further transported to

10     Bijeljina presumably, that was the order I received.

11        Q.   We have a correction for the transcript.  It is page 52, line 17.

12     We were talking about Momir Nikolic?

13        A.   Yes, the chief of security of the Bratunac Brigade, Momir

14     Nikolic.

15        Q.   You received the order from Momir Nikolic?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   He was the person you informed about the existence of the

18     prisoners?

19        A.   Yes, when I called the switchboard Momir Nikolic replied, I asked

20     him what to do and he said, "You should hand them over to Dusko Jevic,

21     you, however, are supposed to go back to Bratunac and we'll dispatch a

22     bus."

23        Q.   Very well.  Let us now turn to some documents.  The first one is

24     4DB00251.  Could we please have it in e-court.  It is 4DP00251.

25     Mr. Gavric, can you see the document?

Page 26517

 1        A.   I can.

 2        Q.   In the upper left corner it says command of the 1st Bratunac

 3     Light Infantry Brigade.  The date is 14th of July 1995.  It says search

 4     of terrain, order.  Now that you have the document before you, to cut

 5     things short, I will only have a few questions for you, which I hope you

 6     can confirm.  This is an order concerning a terrain search which is based

 7     on a Drina Corps command order dated the 13th of July 1995; is that

 8     correct?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   In items 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this order, you can see the tasks for

11     each of the infantry battalions of the Bratunac Brigade concerning the

12     search, is that so?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   On the 14th of July 1995, the Bratunac Brigade had already

15     ordered its battalions to search the terrain, is that so?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Thank you.  I will -- I would like to move to another document.

18     It is P121.

19             Mr. Gavric, if I remember correctly, you have had occasion to see

20     this document during the Blagojevic case testimony, is that so?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   The author of the document is Colonel Ignjat Milanovic.

23        A.   Unfortunately he is deceased.

24        Q.   What was Colonel Ignjat Milanovic's position in July 1995?

25        A.   I didn't understand the question.

Page 26518

 1        Q.   I'll repeat.  What was the position, the function of Colonel

 2     Ignjat Milanovic in 1995, in July?

 3        A.   I'm not sure.  I think he commanded the Milici Brigade.  I'm not

 4     certain though.  I know that he was our Chief of Staff, then he left and

 5     I don't know what his subsequent position was.

 6        Q.   Very well.  We can also see from the document that it was drafted

 7     on the 15th of July 1995 in Bratunac.  Can you tell me who it was sent

 8     to?

 9        A.   I didn't understand.  The 15th of July?

10        Q.   Yes, 1995.

11        A.   Well, this must have been sent to the commander of the Bratunac

12     Brigade.

13        Q.   Under proposal it says, "The command, the corps IKM, the Drina

14     Corps command."

15        A.   Yes, yes, to the attention of the commander.  It was Krstic who

16     was the corps commander at the IKM.

17        Q.   That is precisely what I wanted to ask you about.  On the first

18     page of the document, if you can see, we find that Colonel Milanovic was

19     touring the lines on General Krstic's orders and that according to his

20     information there were large enemy groups in the field east of the

21     Bratunac-Konjevic Polje Road and that the Bratunac Brigade is searching

22     the terrain and that it is about to break out to the lines mentioned

23     here.  Is that so?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   Please move to the next page.  Around the middle of the page it

Page 26519

 1     says "proposal" and it is underlined.

 2        A.   I see it.

 3        Q.   Can you tell me what it says?

 4        A.   It says, "To authorize the commander of the 1st Bratunac Light

 5     Brigade, as commander of all forces participating in searching the

 6     terrain and that are engaged in blocking the enemy and carrying out the

 7     'asanacija' of the field next to the road mentioned," and I don't see the

 8     rest.

 9        Q.   And in control?

10        A.   Yes, "And in control of the Kasaba-Drinjaca road because we have

11     no one to appoint from the KDK.  If you agree with the proposal --"

12        Q.   Very well.  I believe that you read out the part that I find

13     important.

14        A.   All right.

15        Q.   Very well.  This proposal by Colonel Milanovic that was sent to

16     the command of the Drina Corps for the commander of the 1st Bratunac

17     Light Infantry Military Brigade be appointed the commander of the overall

18     mission of the scouring of the terrain, was this proposal adopted?

19        A.   I don't know whether it was adopted, I only know about this order

20     but I apologise, I remember that Stojanovic, Captain Stojanovic actually

21     was appointed chief of staff in Milici, and Milanovic was transferred

22     for -- to a new duty in the Drina Corps.  I apologise.  I've just

23     remembered.  You have jogged my memory.

24        Q.   Very well, let's move on to is different document which is P254.

25     While we are waiting for the document it seems that we again have an

Page 26520

 1     omission in the transcript.  You said that Ignjat Milanovic was

 2     transferred to the Drina Corps, is that correct?

 3        A.   Yes, that's correct.  Nastic was the commander of the Milici

 4     Brigade and Stojanovic was the chief of staff.  Now I know, you've jogged

 5     my memory.

 6        Q.   This is a document which is a daily combat report dated 15 July

 7     1995 sent by the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, is that correct?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   Under item one it says, "Strong enemy forces in front of the

10     forward positions of the 4th Infantry Battalion on the brigade's right

11     flank are carrying out combat activities and regrouping in the direction

12     of Konjevic Polje and further on," is that correct?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Further on we are reading under item 2 which reads, "Our forces

15     are still searching the terrain in accordance with your strictly

16     confidential order number 01/4-157/5 dated 13 July 1995."  Is that

17     correct.

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   It transpires from the document that the Bratunac Brigade on the

20     15th of July continues to search the terrain; is that correct?

21        A.   Yes, it transpires from this document that the commander of the

22     Bratunac Brigade carried out the order.  If we are looking at the orders

23     and the combat reports, this is what transpired.

24        Q.   And now let's look at another document, the number is P255.

25             Mr. Gavric, this is something that you will agree with and

Page 26521

 1     confirm that this is a daily combat report sent on the 16th of July 1995

 2     sent by the 1st Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade to the commander of the

 3     Drina Corps; is that correct?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   Let's now pay attention to the bottom part of the document.  I'm

 6     going to read that part to you.  I believe we will be able to go faster.

 7        A.   I agree.

 8        Q.   It says here:  "The commander in the brigade in the course of the

 9     day carried out the inspection of all units which are blocking the enemy

10     withdrawal," and it says in brackets, (the 1st Milici Light Infantry

11     Brigade units of the 65th Protection Motorised Regiment, parts of the

12     MUP, and the 5th Engineering Battalion) defined their tasks and organised

13     their joint action and communications."

14             Can you confirm that this is indeed what it says in the document.

15        A.   Yes.

16        Q.   In other words, on the 16th of July 1995, the commander of the

17     brigade was one who went into the field, issued orders and organised

18     cooperation of all the units, at least this is what transpires from this

19     combat report, wouldn't that be correct?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   And obviously all the units mentioned here are duty-bound to

22     carry out the orders of the commander of the operation?

23        A.   Of course.

24        Q.   And let me just ask you this, what we have just seen now is

25     actually in keeping with the proposal by Colonel Milanovic that we had an

Page 26522

 1     occasion to see awhile ago, and by which the commander of the Bratunac

 2     Brigade was proposed as the commander of the overall operation of the

 3     searching the terrain?

 4        A.   Yes, this is what Colonel Milanovic drafted.

 5             MR. LAZAREVIC:  [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Gavric, I have no

 6     further questions for you.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are more than welcome.

 8             JUDGE KWON:  Any other Defence team?  Yes, Mr. Krgovic.

 9             MR. KRGOVIC:  [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe this would be

10     a good time for the next break and maybe I could start after the break.

11             JUDGE KWON:  Point taken.  We'll break for 20 minutes.

12                           --- Recess taken at 5.23 p.m.

13                           --- On resuming at 5.43 p.m.

14             JUDGE KWON:  Yes, Mr. Krgovic.

15                           Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:

16        Q.   [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.  Good afternoon,

17     Mr. Gavric, my name is Dragan Krgovic.

18        A.   Good afternoon.

19        Q.   And I appear on behalf of General Gvero and on his behalf I'm

20     going to ask you a few questions relative to your earlier testimony

21     today.  Since the two of us speak the same language I would kindly ask

22     you to make a break before giving your answer to allow the interpreters

23     to interpret our words correctly and to avoid any overlapping.

24        A.   I understand.

25        Q.   Mr. Gavric, in your testimony and in answering my learned friend

Page 26523

 1     Bourgon's questions, you said that from the 6th of July 1995 up to the

 2     11th, as far as I understood you, in the evening were armed positions

 3     together with your unit?

 4        A.   No.  From the 6th to the 10th I was at the observation post and

 5     my units were between 3 and 5 kilometres behind me.

 6        Q.   In other words, between the 6th and the 10th you were at the

 7     observation post?

 8        A.   Yes, inclusive of the 11th.

 9        Q.   Where was the observation post that you were referring to?

10        A.   Our observation post was on Kaolin hill at elevation 438, and

11     commands a view of Potocari.

12        Q.   All that time between the 6th and the 11th you were at that

13     observation post, weren't you?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   And from that observation post you could observe the UN base in

16     Potocari?

17        A.   Yes, I could see all of it.

18        Q.   And you could also observe Srebrenica, the area around the gas

19     station and the hospital?

20        A.   I could see the entrance into Srebrenica, the area around the

21     football pitch, and the area east of the football pitch.  I could also

22     see the entrance into Srebrenica, and people at elevation 773 could also

23     observe the gas station and some buildings close to the hospital.

24        Q.   As far as I could understand your answers provided to

25     Mr. Bourgon, your unit throughout all that time did not have an order to

Page 26524

 1     open fire and they did not open fire on Srebrenica or the area around

 2     Potocari and I'm referring to the base.

 3        A.   None of the units including mine had an order to open fire on the

 4     UNPROFOR base.

 5        Q.   And what about the town of Srebrenica?

 6        A.   As for the town of Srebrenica, we never opened fire on it and our

 7     firing positions did not allow us to target Srebrenica due to the very

 8     high surrounding hills.  I'm talking about the town of Srebrenica here.

 9        Q.   From your observation post you could actually see if anybody else

10     shelled the base and Srebrenica, you could observe the UN base in

11     Srebrenica and the other observation post had a good view of the area

12     around the gas station and hospital?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Throughout all this time, did you ever receive a report from your

15     observation post or did you personally see that the base was shelled or

16     that the area around the base was shelled?

17        A.   No, I did not observe any shelling of either the base or the area

18     surrounding the base.

19        Q.   You personally never issued an order or opened fire?

20        A.   On the base, no.

21        Q.   Mr. Gavric, before this Trial Chamber we heard a testimony and we

22     also saw some reports about hundreds and thousands of shells that

23     allegedly fell on Srebrenica and the environs of Srebrenica and the area

24     around the UN base.  Would that tally with the truth and would that

25     confirm what you know?

Page 26525

 1        A.   I can't confirm that because I have no knowledge of that.

 2        Q.   We have to clarify something, are you saying that you personally

 3     did not see or participate in the firing of hundreds and thousands of

 4     shells on Srebrenica and on the base during that period in between the

 5     6th and the 11th?

 6        A.   In order to fire hundreds or even thousands of shells, you would

 7     need time.  Nobody had that time.

 8        Q.   And later on, did you have an opportunity to observe the area

 9     after the end of the Operation Srebrenica, and did you enter Srebrenica?

10        A.   I personally didn't enter Srebrenica for the next six months.

11     Many friends of mine did and I can share the information that I have with

12     you.

13        Q.   Can you tell us something about the situation in Srebrenica, what

14     did they found in Srebrenica, would that confirm the fact that hundreds

15     and thousands of shells had been shelled -- fired?

16        A.   They say that there was a lot of fire wood, that there was some

17     traces of shrapnel and infantry ammunition on the buildings.  If so many

18     shells had fell on -- fallen on Srebrenica, then you could not have

19     entered it.  It would have looked like Vukovar, it would have been

20     completely destroyed and it wasn't.

21        Q.   Mr. Gavric, before this Trial Chamber, we have seen reports sent

22     by DutchBat to its command, and these reports allege that during those

23     days when you were above the base in Potocari, dozens of shells fell

24     around the base and that some even hit the base or the perimeter of the

25     base, and that the hospital in Srebrenica and its environment also

Page 26526

 1     suffered from shelling by dozens of shells.  What would you have to say

 2     to that, is that correct?

 3        A.   I can claim with full responsibility that no shells fell in the

 4     base or around the base in Potocari.  As for the hospital this is the

 5     first time I hear it from you that hospital was hit by artillery

 6     ammunition.  It was well sheltered, and I don't see how any artillery

 7     weapons could have targeted the hospital.

 8             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Gavric, if you could put a pause between the

 9     question and answer.  So just wait a little bit more before you start

10     answering.  Mr. Krgovic.

11             MR. KRGOVIC:

12        Q.   In the reports that you sent to your superior command you

13     obviously submitted combat reports and you stated that there was no

14     shelling and these reports had been sent upwards along the chain of

15     command and you stated that you did not use any weapons against the

16     UNPROFOR base and against civilians, would that be correct?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   Mr. Gavric, my client, amongst other things, is charged with

19     talking to UN representatives and provided them with false reports about

20     the situation on the ground when he said that UNPROFOR members and

21     civilians had not been targeted.  This information was based on the

22     combat reports that arrived from the field.  His statements that I have

23     just quoted, would they correspond to what you saw and what you know from

24     the field, i.e., that there was no shelling of the UNPROFOR positions and

25     that there was no attack on the civilian population or the town of

Page 26527

 1     Srebrenica?

 2        A.   I repeat, in the area of Potocari where I was stationed, actually

 3     what I could see from the base, I can guarantee there was no such thing.

 4     As for Zeleni Jadar and djoko [phoen] brdo areas, if such things had

 5     happened then UNPROFOR soldiers would not have sought protection of our

 6     army from the Muslim forces because a soldier of DutchBat had been killed

 7     there as far as I know.

 8        Q.   In other words, when my client claimed that UNPROFOR and the

 9     civilian population were not targeted by the units of the Army of

10     Republika Srpska, he was telling the truth, would you agree with that?

11        A.   Of course.  No normal person would have targeted a civilian

12     population and there was no need and nobody did or could indeed order

13     that UNPROFOR soldiers should be targeted.

14             MR. KRGOVIC:  Thank you very much, Mr. Gavric, I have no further

15     questions for you.

16             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Sarapa, do you have any questions.

17             MR. SARAPA:  No questions.

18             JUDGE KWON:  Then it's you, Mr. Thayer.

19                           Cross-examination by Mr. Thayer:

20        Q.   Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon to you and Your

21     Honours.  Good afternoon, everyone.

22             Good evening, sir.  My name is Nelson Thayer, I'll be asking you

23     some questions on behalf of the Prosecution.

24        A.   Good evening.  Yes, please go ahead.

25        Q.   You testified in the Blagojevic case and I think you more or less

Page 26528

 1     affirmed it today that you were personally and directly subordinated to

 2     Colonel Blagojevic when you were serving as chief of artillery; correct?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Now, I want to spend a little bit of time going over the

 5     documents which you were shown concerning the shelling of Srebrenica in

 6     May, specifically 25 May 1995.  Okay?

 7        A.   Yes, of course, yes.

 8        Q.   Just so you know, I'm going to spend sometime with you for the

 9     remainder of today and through tomorrow just proceeding as

10     chronologically as I can.  Just so you know how things are going to

11     happen.  I don't intend to jump around.  I just want to kind of follow

12     through your activities during this period of time.  Okay?

13        A.   Yes, of course.

14        Q.   Now, in the Blagojevic case, and this was at transcript page

15     8556, you testified that at that time your recollection was that from the

16     17th of April 1993 until the 11th of July 1995, the Bratunac Brigade did

17     not fire at all in the direction of the enclave.  You were then shown the

18     two orders that we looked at earlier today, and you tried to explain as

19     best as you could what you recalled being the reason for you firing those

20     shells on the 25th of May.  Do you recall that, sir?

21        A.   I do, but those were not orders but combat reports sent to the

22     command of the Drina Corps.  That's the first thing.  Second of all, it

23     is true that in the Blagojevic case, I could not remember the period in

24     May.  I could only remember it when I saw the document and then I

25     apologized both to the Trial Chamber and everybody else.  I did not do it

Page 26529

 1     on purpose.  I just omitted that.  It just escaped my memory.

 2        Q.   And I understand that I don't believe you had been shown those

 3     documents by any party prior to your testimony in Blagojevic; correct?

 4        A.   When I arrived here, I wasn't told that by Mr. Karnavas.  It was

 5     on cross-examination on the part of the Prosecution that I saw that

 6     document, and it -- now it jogs my memory, but it's been a long time.

 7        Q.   Let's look quickly at these two documents again.  If we could

 8     have P03358, please.  You see the document again, sir?

 9        A.   I do.

10        Q.   Now, you correctly referred to this as a report, and it's an

11     urgent report; right?

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   And we can see at the bottom where it says submitted at 2010

14     hours.  Do you see that, sir?

15        A.   I do, yes.  8 hours and 10 minutes p.m.

16        Q.   And does this confirm then, that this was actually sent to the

17     corps?

18        A.   Yes, it should have been sent to the corps.  We were not the ones

19     to send it.  It was sent to the communications centre who was supposed to

20     forward it to the corps command.

21        Q.   And based on your recollection of those days, did that howitzer

22     ever get repaired, pursuant to your notification to the corps that you

23     needed an urgent repair?

24        A.   That howitzer was irreparable.  That is to say, it was supposed

25     to be sent back to the factory because the back section had been

Page 26530

 1     destroyed.

 2        Q.   And was that determination made based on the contact that you had

 3     with the corps, to your recollection?

 4        A.   As far as I recall, some people arrived and they stated that it

 5     had to be towed away for repair.  It was taken away and was not returned

 6     until the end of the war.  At least not to me.

 7        Q.   Let's put up P03359, please.  If we could scroll up just a little

 8     bit on the B/C/S on the original, please.  And here again, sir, can you

 9     see that this indicates that this was sent the 2110 hours?

10        A.   Yes, 2110.

11        Q.   Now, in the Blagojevic case, let me just read to you your

12     recollection at the time of why these shells were fired, and then I'm

13     going to ask you some questions.  At page 8558 you say:  "It says that on

14     the 25th I can guarantee now as to what was fired at in a certain

15     locality.  I'm trying together rewind the film in my mind, but this

16     document isn't clear to me.  It appears that I signed it.  I know that

17     there was back recoil and I had some people injured.  Now, as far as I

18     can remember, I can't believe that it was in 1995, although, yes, indeed

19     it does say 1995, an enemy tank did fire at us from the front of the

20     Muslim defence lines, from the first Muslim defence lines, and probably

21     99 percent certainty we probably did respond.  Now, the anti-armour and

22     anti-armour projectile was used to try to destroy the tank.  Well, I

23     suppose I wrote this, but I really don't remember that that was in 1995

24     at all.  I really can't remember that."

25             Then you were asked a follow-up question:  "All right.  Well, you

Page 26531

 1     wrote it and it's dated 1995, so I think it's safe to say that that is

 2     what happened in 1995; right?" And your answer was:  "Judging by the

 3     date, yes, but judging by my recollections, no.  I remember that people

 4     were injured and I remember that this back section became stuck and so

 5     on.  When I think about it now and turn my mind back to those days, I

 6     remember that we were fired at from the Budak defence lines by an enemy

 7     tank on my fire positions because there was a group that had been

 8     filtered in, a group of their reconnaissance men.  And when we saw this

 9     fire, we did target the tank, but I really don't remember that that was

10     in 1995.  And if it says we opened fire, then I suppose we did."

11             Now, let me just ask you one question, have you had a chance to

12     search your memory since 2004, has anything jogged your memory and has

13     your memory changed at all since you gave those answers back in 2004

14     about this event?

15        A.   To tell you honestly, even today those details are not clear in

16     my mind's eye.  There were many things that happened and it is difficult

17     for me to recall exactly.  I know that three soldiers were injured, they

18     were seriously injured, and that a part of the cartridge fell out,

19     destroying completely the back section.  I know that it was towed away

20     for repair and I know we were informed from the observation post that we

21     were being targeted from Budak.  We tried to use that to target back.  I

22     guess either the piece was too old by that time or our charge was too

23     strong.

24        Q.   Okay.  Now, sir, when you say Budak, that's sort of a general

25     area.  Can you tell the Trial Chamber based on your recollection where

Page 26532

 1     was that tank located?  Can you give us some reference point as to where

 2     precisely as best as you can remember that tank was actually located at

 3     the time that we are talking about?

 4        A.   I can go by the observers report.  I was not observing that place

 5     since I was not in a position to do so.  It is close to Potocari, close

 6     to the settlement of Potocari.  It is a pine forest they used putting the

 7     tank in that area at the frontlines of Srebrenica defence.

 8        Q.   And can you be more specific as to what location in your

 9     recollection actually received or was the target of the tank fire?

10        A.   I don't know how well I can explain the area.  I can indicate it

11     on the map.  I don't know whether you are familiar with that area.  If

12     you knew it as well as I do, you would be able to understand easily.  It

13     is the forward line of defence where they had certain pieces dug in.

14     They frequently used that part to have the tank or some artillery pieces

15     there.

16        Q.   Okay.  But my question was, sir, what did the tank fire on?  You

17     said that you responded to tank fire.  My question is, can you help the

18     Trial Chamber, give a reference point, something to let them know where

19     this tank was firing at or what received the fire?  That's all I'm

20     asking.

21        A.   Yes.  I think in the Blagojevic case, which should be in the

22     transcript, that I said that our firing position was targeted.  They

23     missed and the shell fell at a distance from where our position was.

24        Q.   And when you say "our firing position," can you be more specific

25     as to what that means?  What firing position?

Page 26533

 1        A.   The firing position of our 105 howitzer.

 2        Q.   And, again, that was located where?

 3        A.   The firing position?  It was located in the brickworks area.

 4        Q.   Now, I take it that this was something that had to be responded

 5     to quickly?  You've got a tank, it's a mobile target, it has fired at

 6     your firing position and if you are trying to target it, as you said, you

 7     can't wait all day in order to fire at it.  I see you are shaking your

 8     head.  Please explain.

 9        A.   When a tank is moving it can open fire, but it can also fire from

10     a stationary position.  The tank had been dug in and they were short of

11     fuel.  Therefore, the tank did not change position, at least to my

12     knowledge.

13        Q.   So, are you telling us then that it's essentially a sitting duck

14     once it's fired, if it's dug in, it can't get itself out quickly?

15        A.   In any case, if there was an embankment, and they probably had

16     one, they would still need time to turn the engine on and leave it.

17        Q.   Now, when you say you are targeting the tank, when you testified

18     that you actually targeted the tank, do you recall whether you were

19     successful in taking out either the tank or its position where it was dug

20     in?  Do you recall?

21        A.   I cannot confirm that.  All I know is that no more fire was

22     opened at us from that position.

23        Q.   Now, you just had a chance to look at those two reports, your

24     original report, and the interim combat from Colonel Blagojevic.  Can you

25     explain why the report clearly states that you targeted downtown

Page 26534

 1     Srebrenica?

 2        A.   I don't know personally, but I think that in the report it is

 3     stated -- well, I know that we did not open fire at downtown Srebrenica.

 4     As for how many projectiles were fired from our position, well, I think

 5     it was four at the most.  Once the cannon was no longer in operation and

 6     the people had been injured, we halted the task.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Well, let's take a look at P03559 again then, sir.  You

 8     see the document in front of you on the screen?

 9             JUDGE KWON:  3359.

10             MR. THAYER:  3359, Mr. President.  Sorry if I misspoke.

11        Q.   Now, the report is clear and simple, sir, is it not, that in

12     paragraph 1 it says:  "Pursuant to Colonel Lazic's verbal order we fired

13     two times two projectiles, in total four, if there was any question, from

14     howitzer 105 millimetre on the Srebrenica town.  Projectiles were fired

15     at 1907 hours.  Artillery observers from Pribicevac reported that two

16     projectiles fell in the vicinity of the domavija building.  The other two

17     projectiles were not observed, but they definitely fell on Srebrenica."

18     My question, sir, is you --

19             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Bourgon.

20             MR. BOURGON:  I'm not sure, Mr. President, my colleague is

21     reading from the document or doing some editing the document as he reads

22     along like "definitely fell on Srebrenica" and things like that.  I don't

23     see this on the document unless we don't have the same document.

24             MR. THAYER:  Well, I'm looking at the English translation that

25     I've got here.

Page 26535

 1             JUDGE KWON:  Probably there may be some different versions of the

 2     English interpretation.  Let's move on.

 3             MR. THAYER:

 4        Q.   This is the version that was shown to you, sir, during the

 5     Blagojevic trial.  I'm looking at it right now.  You've testified that

 6     tank was over near Potocari.  I ask you again, it's clear that these

 7     shells were intended for Srebrenica town.  Tell the Trial Chamber why in

 8     response to the tank fire from Potocari you target a hotel and Srebrenica

 9     town.

10        A.   First of all, from my firing positions no one could target the

11     Domavija Hotel.  It was in front of trig point 1113.  No artillery piece,

12     save for a mortar, could target that building from my direction.  I

13     seriously doubt the accuracy of that report.  I would like to see a

14     person who can hit domavija across that high -- over that high hill from

15     the position where I was.

16        Q.   So your explanation, sir, is this report has got it wrong; right?

17        A.   I claim that we practically speaking could not hit that.  It's

18     simply not done.  There is a factor, a group of angles that you have to

19     calculate artillery use, and the end angle was simply not something we

20     could achieve given that we had no mortars.

21        Q.   Now, you testified earlier today that Colonel Lazic arrived with

22     an order, and I just wants to clarify that with you.  Is it your

23     testimony that he arrived in person with an order?

24        A.   Colonel Lazic came personally to the brigade command.  That is

25     why I was trying to remember how that tallied with his arrival.  It is

Page 26536

 1     certain that on that day when my report was drafted, there was a report

 2     sent to the brigade command, and I presume he arrived there personally

 3     conveying someone else's order from the corps command.  Either that, or

 4     in the meantime, he was in contact with someone from the corps, but I had

 5     no insight in that.

 6        Q.   And explain to us, please, why the Drina Corps operations chief

 7     needs to hand deliver an order to your brigade to permit you to open fire

 8     on a target that has been directly targeting your fire position?

 9        A.   I can't explain that to you, who ordered and why.  In terms of

10     subordination, well, I don't know what his tasks were at the corps so

11     that he would be able to say that he is going to order it.  It's either

12     that or he was there on some other business, I don't know.

13        Q.   Now, is it your testimony, sir, as former chief of artillery,

14     that you needed authorisation from the corps to fire on a target that had

15     opened fire on your firing position in such a circumstance?  You did not

16     have the authorisation on your own to take that action?  I just want to

17     clarify that.

18        A.   No, no.  It was a protected area.  Which one of us could do

19     something that was prohibited, and for me, that was the law.  I respected

20     it.

21        Q.   Is your testimony, sir, then to this Trial Chamber that the

22     shells that you fired on 25 May 1995 were fired pursuant to an illegal

23     order?

24        A.   If someone has the right to kill you without you responding,

25     that's a different thing.  In this case someone higher up probably

Page 26537

 1     decided that we can respond, having been provoked.

 2        Q.   Tell us, sir, how much time elapsed between the tank firing on

 3     your firing position and Colonel Lazic's arrival to the Bratunac Brigade

 4     with this order that he is hand delivering?

 5        A.   I can't say.  As I said, I recall it poorly.  I remember the best

 6     that my men were injured on that occasion, that is all.

 7        Q.   Was it minutes, hours, can you help us at all?

 8        A.   Whatever I told you would not be correct.

 9        Q.   Now, when Colonel Lazic hand delivered this order, sir, where did

10     he take it?

11             JUDGE KWON:  Wait a minute, Mr. Gavric.  Mr. Bourgon?

12             MR. BOURGON:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I don't like to

13     interrupt my colleague but it's the third time that he suggests that

14     there was a hand delivery of a document, but he put a question to the

15     witness earlier on concerning whether the document -- there was in fact a

16     hand delivered order --

17             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, may we have the witness remove his

18     earphones, please.

19             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Gavric.  Mr. Gavric, do you understand English?

20             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't, but I understood the

21     gentleman's question about Mr. Lazic's orders.  I didn't see it and if

22     they have one in writing, I'd like to see it.

23             JUDGE KWON:  If you could remove your headphone for the moment.

24     I don't remember whose turn it is to speak, Mr. Bourgon.

25             MR. BOURGON:  Very quickly, Mr. President, I don't want to take

Page 26538

 1     too much time.  On page 72 my colleague asked a question at lines 4 to 6

 2     and he says, it is your testimony that he arrive in person with an order.

 3     And then the witness answered that there was no written order to his

 4     recollection.  And the content of his answer is there.  So I would just

 5     like that in future questions not to again come back and always suggest

 6     to the witness, again the written order, the written order, the carried

 7     written order.  He had a response from the witness and then he can move

 8     on from there using the information that the witness provided to him.

 9     That's all I'm saying.  I don't want to take too much time, but it would

10     be more fair to the witness to at least put the right words that he

11     himself answered.  Thank you, Mr. President.

12             JUDGE KWON:  It's cross-examination but did he refer to written

13     order, Mr. Thayer?

14             MR. THAYER:  Frankly, Your Honour, I thought he had.  I thought

15     he had testified about arriving at the Brigade with an order.  Now, if

16     that was just a verbal order, then fine, we can clarify that.  My

17     understanding or the implication I drew was that it was a written order,

18     and in my questions to him he didn't correct me that it wasn't a written

19     order, it was an oral order, so ... now, I'd be happy to try to clarify

20     that with him and I certainly do intend to given what we have here in the

21     reports.

22             JUDGE KWON:  Okay.  Let's do that and move on.  Thank you.

23             MR. THAYER:

24        Q.   Sir, you testified earlier today about the first time that you

25     disobeyed an order, and that you had sought a written order in connection

Page 26539

 1     with that order.  You've just told us that firing on the Srebrenica town,

 2     the safe area, was something that you thought was in violation of the

 3     law, and that you needed higher authority in order to respond.  It's your

 4     testimony, is it not, that you sought that authority from the Drina

 5     Corps?

 6        A.   What authority?

 7        Q.   The authority to respond by firing at the safe area.

 8        A.   I didn't seek it.  There was a person from the Drina Corps there.

 9     It says it was Colonel Lazic.  What I shared with you is my opinion, I

10     did not receive a written document.

11        Q.   Now, you testified that Colonel Lazic arrived with his order.

12     What did he tell you about the order?  And I understand now you are

13     telling us it's an oral order; right?

14        A.   You are asking me about something and I can only tell you this,

15     my commander was there.  I didn't talk with Colonel Lazic.  It was

16     Colonel Blagojevic that was in a position to talk to Colonel Lazic, not

17     myself.

18        Q.   Colonel Blagojevic was in command at this time, what was his

19     position in May 1995, May 25th?

20        A.   It so happened that he was there on that day.

21        Q.   In what capacity?

22        A.   He was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade.

23        Q.   And what discussion did you have with Colonel Blagojevic about

24     the need to secure authorisation from a higher command to fire on the

25     safe area in violation of the law?

Page 26540

 1        A.   I did not discuss that with him.  If a report arrived, the

 2     brigade commander was put in the picture and that's all that I can tell

 3     you.

 4             JUDGE KWON:  Ms. Nikolic.

 5             MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just an intervention

 6     on the translation.  Page 76, line 4, the witness did not say that

 7     Blagojevic was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, but that rather on

 8     that day he was given the duty and accepted the duty of the commander of

 9     the Bratunac Brigade.

10             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Thayer, you better ask the question again or --

11             MR. THAYER:  I will, Mr. President.

12             JUDGE KWON:  -- are you happy with the explanation of

13     Ms. Nikolic.

14             MR. THAYER:  Absolutely.  I understand what happened on the 25th

15     of May, Mr. President.

16        Q.   Now, sir --

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's why Colonel Lazic arrived.

18     Now, I just realised when I rewound the whole film, he probably arrived

19     to actually hand over the duties in the Bratunac Brigade on that day.

20             MR. THAYER:

21        Q.   Right.  Okay.  So we all know that on this day Colonel Blagojevic

22     assumed command of the brigade; right?

23        A.   Now we know, yes.

24        Q.   Well, you didn't just find that out today, did you?  Or did you?

25        A.   I cannot answer questions that were never put to me.  I was never

Page 26541

 1     asked when, on what day people assumed their duties, but I just realised

 2     that Colonel Blagojevic arrived on that day and assumed duties as the

 3     commander of the Bratunac Brigade, so you can say that the cookie just

 4     crumbled, that the penny just dropped.

 5        Q.   Now, sir, let's go back to what you told us a little while ago.

 6     Your recollection was that because you believed you were being called

 7     upon to break the law and fire on a safe area, you needed authorisation

 8     from your higher command.  Now --

 9             JUDGE KWON:  Just a second.  Ms. Fauveau.

10             MS. FAUVEAU:  [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I please ask

11     the witness to remove his headset so that I can ask a question.

12             JUDGE KWON:  Yes.

13             MS. FAUVEAU:  [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness never

14     said what my colleague just repeated, that is, that the witness didn't

15     want to do something that was not allowed by the law.  What he said is

16     that it was something that was not allowed, that such was the law, that

17     it could have been prohibited by an order, by an order from the staff

18     command, for example, so that accordingly he could not fire on the zone

19     without an order from the high command.  I think my colleague should

20     first clarify this point.

21             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I'll just read what the answer was to

22     my question.  My question was:  "Now, is it your testimony, sir, as

23     former chief of artillery that you needed authorization from the corps to

24     fire on a target."

25             JUDGE KWON:  Reference?

Page 26542

 1             MR. THAYER:  This is page 72, line 21, Mr. President.  I'll start

 2     over.  "Now, is it your testimony, sir, as former chief of artillery that

 3     you needed authorization from the corps to fire on a target that had

 4     opened fire on your firing position in such a circumstance?  You did not

 5     have the authorisation on your own to take that action?  I just want to

 6     clarify that."  And the witness's answer was:  "No, no, it was a

 7     protected area, which one of us could do something that was prohibited,

 8     and for me that was the law.  I respected it."

 9             I think it's quite clear what his response was, Mr. President,

10     and that's why he explained that he was getting authorisation from a

11     higher command.  I'm simply following up on what this witness said quite

12     unexpectedly, I would add, in the course of answering my question.

13             JUDGE KWON:  Could you give me the reference again.

14             MS. FAUVEAU:  [Interpretation] It is page 73, line 1.

15     Mr. President, with all due respect, for me it is not clear, was he

16     prohibited by the law or by an order from the superior command.

17             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Bourgon.

18             MR. BOURGON:  Mr. President, all that needs to be said is that my

19     witness [sic] is trying to put the words in the witness mouth that he was

20     given and illegal order and the witness did not say that, Mr. President.

21     The witness did not say that he received an illegal order.  And I support

22     the objection from my colleague representing Mr. Miletic, but also this

23     has to be read in context what the witness said later on, and he said if

24     someone has the right to kill you without your responding that's a

25     different thing.  In this case, someone higher up probably decided that

Page 26543

 1     we can respond because we had been provoked.  That puts that into context

 2     and there was never any idea from the witness to say that he was issued

 3     an illegal order so that's what we just say my colleague simply should

 4     not put these words in the questions or ask him to clarify.  Thank you.

 5                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 6             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Thayer, it is our understanding that the witness

 7     said truly that it would be illegal to shell the protected area and said,

 8     he said it's the law, but we are not sure whether the order he received

 9     was such that he should target the protected area or so.  If you could

10     clarify with that, and then proceed from there.

11             MR. THAYER:  And that's what I'm trying to --

12             JUDGE KWON:  Could we do it in some efficient way.  We have only

13     five minutes.

14             MR. THAYER:

15        Q.   Sir, you've testified that you believed that you were in no

16     position to authorise firing into the safe area on your own; correct?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   And that is because, as you said, you believed that that would be

19     in violation of the law had you done that; correct?

20        A.   I myself was not in a position to make such a decision.  It was

21     not my call.

22        Q.   Now, can you help the Trial Chamber by recalling what steps were

23     taken within the brigade, within the Bratunac Brigade, to make that

24     decision at a higher level?  Who was involved, who had the discussions,

25     and what were the discussions?

Page 26544

 1        A.   I never attended those meetings.  I never participated in that

 2     decision-making process.

 3        Q.   Well, tell us what you know about it, sir.  We understand you

 4     might not have been there, but this was your firing position that had

 5     been fired upon.  This was a decision that you've told the Chamber was

 6     something that you could not and did not want to make by yourself, so

 7     surely you must know what the discussions were even if you weren't there,

 8     who talked to whom in order to obtain authorisation to fire into the safe

 9     area of Srebrenica?

10        A.   You read both reports, both Blagojevic and I say that Colonel

11     Lazic was the man who was there, and that's the long and the short of it.

12     I don't know anything else.

13        Q.   Well, can you explain that, please.  You testified that Lazic was

14     there, what does that mean?

15        A.   I believe that on that day Colonel Lazic came on behalf of the

16     command of the Drina Corps and carried out the changeover of the brigade

17     commanders.  What was said, where it was said, what discussions took

18     place, I really don't know.

19             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Gavric, did you ever receive an order either

20     from Colonel Blagojevic or from Colonel Lazic to fire a shell on the town

21     of Srebrenica?

22             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I personally don't remember whether

23     I received an order to convey an order, whether it was ordered directly

24     by Colonel Blagojevic or somebody else.  I really can't remember.  I

25     really don't know.

Page 26545

 1             JUDGE KWON:  Shall we leave it at that and adjourn for today.

 2             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 3             JUDGE KWON:  Mr. Gavric, we'll continue to hear your evidence

 4     tomorrow afternoon, so in the meantime, you are not to discuss your

 5     evidence with anybody.  Do you understand that?

 6             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

 7             JUDGE KWON:  Quarter past 2.00 tomorrow afternoon.

 8                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

 9                           6.45 p.m. to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day

10                           of October 2008, at 2.15 p.m.