1 Monday, 17 May 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody.
6 We have, as can you see, we have, again, lost one Judge.
7 Judge Mindua is in Geneva
8 couldn't make it to be here in time. There are many problems today,
9 therefore, I think the Chamber has decided to have the hearing today
10 again pursuant to Rule 15 bis. Our apologies for the late start. There
11 were many technical problems. I hope we will be able to -- yes, now it
12 works hopefully.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, I greet everybody.
15 May God's peace reign in this house. I didn't have the interpretation,
16 so perhaps we can see what's going on.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could the Court Usher check if it is -- there's
19 The interpretation now valid. Oh, this is now fixed as well.
20 Finally we got it.
21 Mr. McCloskey, is the next witness available?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honour. Yes,
23 he is. And if I could just add a couple of housekeeping matters. You
24 may recall that with Mr. Janc and Mr. Vanderpuye there were some
25 translations we didn't have or some documents we didn't have translations
1 for. We now have P179 and P188 to ICM
2 P179 and P180 these were two ICMP reports related to the DNA ID
3 project. We now have uploaded the English translation, so I would offer
4 them into evidence now, pursuant to our practice.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, they will be an exhibit.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the -- you'd asked last week to get a -- some
7 statement from the US
8 do have a letter that they allowed to be admitted in the last trial and
9 allowed it to be admitted in this trial. We have uploaded that into
10 e-court and given it a 65 ter number, 6277, and I can offer that into
11 evidence as -- as well. It's -- it's fairly self-explanatory, as it
12 relates to what is off limits for questioning regarding aerial imaginary
13 and it talks a bit about some facts that were related to the Popovic case
14 which really don't affect us in any significant way, but you'll see from
15 that letter the guts of what is off limits in the US's mind on Rule 70.
16 So I would offer that into evidence as well, but I think we can
17 get it up on the screen so you can take a look at it.
18 Oh, and with me today you'll notice we have a new lawyer,
19 Caitlin Chittenden, who is -- who has been working with us for quite a
20 while now.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, welcome to this trial. And
22 fruitful co-operation.
23 Does the Defence, Mr. Tolimir, wants to comment on this document.
24 [Defence counsel confer]
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Defence would reply
1 to what Mr. McCloskey has said in writing, if the Trial Chamber permits.
2 Thank you.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could blow the letter up so we can see
4 paragraph 3. Now I think the part that I know is significant to the
5 United States
6 screen. It says:
7 "The Unites States made clear, however, that the OTP was not
8 authorised to discuss in the courtroom proceedings, any information
9 relating to the technical or analytical sources, methods or capabilities
10 of the systems, organisations or personnel used to collect analyse or
11 produce these imagery-derived products."
12 That particular paragraph has -- was -- has always come with
13 these products from the inception of our receipt of them. And that's the
14 guts of it.
15 This letter also points out that the US is open to take requests
16 from the Defence as well, as I've said before.
17 And so I would offer this exhibit into evidence at this time.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is there a B/C/S translation available?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Oh. I would offer this as being MFI, because
20 there is not, and we were -- we will be working on that.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document will be marked for identification,
22 and the Defence may comment on that, if that is appreciated.
23 Thank you very much.
24 First the number, yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 6277 will be P214, marked for
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, as you are aware,
3 Mr. Erdemovic is the next witness. He is a 92 ter witness with face
4 distortion. We do have his Popovic transcript and we do have the revised
5 transcript for use in this case, and Ms. Stewart continues to work on
6 finding all the revised transcripts she can for the other witnesses.
7 There aren't always revised transcripts but she should be able to get to
8 the bottom of it soon, and we will try to keep up with the witnesses that
9 are coming.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are talking about face distortion. Is there
11 no voice distortion?
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, there is, you're absolutely correct, and I
13 see the voice distortion microphone so we will be careful. I will
14 remember to try to turn off the microphone after speaking.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And these protective measures will be in place
16 also at this trial.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And with that, we are -- we're ready to bring in
18 the witness.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If the witness might be brought in.
20 For a short moment, we have to wait so that the witness can be
21 brought in, in a protected way.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Erdemovic. There are face
24 and voice distortion in place as protective measures for you, as you will
25 be aware. Would you now please read aloud the affirmation shown on the
1 card to you now.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: DRAZEN ERDEMOVIC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
7 Mr. McCloskey for the Prosecution has, I believe, some questions
8 for you.
9 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Erdemovic.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. And do you have -- do you recall having testified in the
13 Prosecutor versus Popovic et al on the 4th and 7th of May, 2007?
14 A. I testified in a lot of cases, so I probably testified in that
15 one as well.
16 Q. Okay. And that was the case where I was asking you questions and
17 there were several accused sitting up against the back wall. Do you
18 remember that one a couple of years ago now?
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please switch off your microphone when the
20 witness answers.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY:
23 Q. Okay. And have you had an opportunity to review the testimony
24 before coming to court today?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And having reviewed it, does it fairly and accurately reflect
2 what would you say [sic] today if you were asked the same questions?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I would like to offer that
6 transcript into evidence. It is 65 ter 6250.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: And --
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P215.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, there's a series of exhibits
11 that I would like to enter into evidence with that transcript, that go
12 with it as they were mentioned in it. And I can go over those now, as
13 you wish.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you going use some of them with this witness
15 during your examination-in-chief?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: No. I have the list of the ones I was not going
17 to use.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that the list we received yesterday, or this
19 morning? I'm not sure.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe it is. Yes. Though there may be a --
21 one or two on it that I was going refer to, but -- that I would subtract
22 from it, but, otherwise, it is the same list.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should go through the list, and we will
24 receive these documents and we have it then on the transcript.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Understood. The first is 65 ter 788. That's an
1 aerial image of Branjevo State Farm dated 17 July, that the witness spoke
2 of in his previous testimony.
3 Should I wait for the number --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- to be assigned?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, I think that is for the sake of the
7 transcript, for the record, much better.
8 It will be received.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P216, Your Honour.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: And the next one is 1350. That's a photo of the
11 headquarters and barracks of the 1st Zvornik Brigade.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P217.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: 1351, another photo of the Zvornik Brigade.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: As well.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P218.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: 2027 is under seal but I will -- because it
18 always has, but I don't believe there is any reason for it to be under
19 seal and I will look into removing that at this point.
20 And we also found, we do not have a B/C/S translation for that,
21 so this just needs to be MFI
22 the Prosecution and Mr. Erdemovic and presented to the trial court under
23 which he plead guilty several years ago.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be marked for identification.
25 THE REGISTRAR: It will be P219, marked for identification.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: 2028. These are insignia indicating different
2 ranks, major, lieutenant, lieutenant-colonel, colonel, that was shown to
3 the witness during the proofing session.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as well.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P220.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: 3385, another photo of the Zvornik Brigade
7 headquarters that was marked by the witness.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, this one as well.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P221.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: 3386. This is a video still of a man wearing a
11 bandanna on the road there Potocari that the witness had earlier
12 identified as being present at the Branjevo farm.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, this one too.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P222.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: 3387. This is an aerial imagine of the Branjevo
16 farm of 17 July. This one was marked by the witness.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P223.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6241 is a video still of the man wearing a
20 bandana but farther on in the video standing in front of refugees that
21 was identified by the witness.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P224.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6242 is another video still of a man wearing a
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P225.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6243 is a video still of 10th Sabotage Detachment
4 members, Zivanovic, Mladic, Cico and taken from the Srebrenica trial
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received as well.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P226.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Then there's 6244, video stills of 10th soldiers
9 named Zoran, and I believe nickname Maljic, Franc Kos, and this is
10 also -- this was taken from a video as well.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P227.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6245, another video still of another
14 10th Sabotage Detachment member, Zoran Stupar, identified by the witness,
15 from the Srebrenica trial video.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P228.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6246, another video still of a person named Cico
19 that the witness identified from the Srebrenica trial video.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P229.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6247, another still of someone the witness
23 identified as a member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, known to him as
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P230.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: 6248, another video still of 10th
3 Sabotage Detachment members, Buljo, Milorad Pelemis identified by the
4 witness taken from the Srebrenica trial video.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received as well.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P231.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Lastly, 6249, another video still, 10th Sabotage
8 member, Popovic, Sabanovic, and Dragan which was from that same video and
9 identified by the witness prior.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P232.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Now I have a summary of this witness's testimony
13 which I would now read for the record, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please proceed.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Drazen Erdemovic was born in Tuzla in 1971 and is
16 of Bosnian Croat decent. Did his mandatory compulsory military service
17 with the JNA military police from December 1990 until the end of
18 March 1992. He then served for a short time in the ABiH, the Muslim
19 army, at Mount Majevica
20 the Bosnian Croatian army, and served there from October 1992 until
21 November 1993, when he left and went to the Republika Srpska.
22 In April 1994, Mr. Erdemovic joined the VRS and became a member
23 of the newly formed -- of a newly formed special unit which was renamed
24 the 10th Sabotage Detachment in October 1994. Colonel Petar Salapura of
25 the Main Staff was in charge of the unit, and the unit itself was
1 commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Milorad Pelemis. A Major Pecanac also played
2 a role in the unit, but Mr. Erdemovic was not aware of his position or
3 exact role.
4 In July 1995, the unit consisted of two platoons, about 30
5 members each, one located in Vlasenica, and the other in Bijeljina.
6 Mr. Erdemovic was a member of the Bijeljina Platoon.
7 On the afternoon of 10 July, Mr. Erdemovic, together with 30 to
8 40 other members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, travelled from
9 Bratunac, towards Srebrenica to take part in the attack on the enclave.
10 They spent the night at an elevation above Srebrenica. On the morning of
11 11 July, Erdemovic and his unit descended into Srebrenica town. Their
12 commander, Pelemis, told the members of the unit they would be joined by
13 other units, including the Drina Wolves, and units from Bratunac and
14 Milici. Pelemis told his unit to expect strong resistance when entering
15 Srebrenica. Pelemis also told the unit, and I quote from Mr. Erdemovic's
16 previous testimony:
17 "That we were not to shoot at civilians in any case and that we
18 were to direct them in front of us towards the stadium."
19 From the Popovic testimony, 10944, lines 11 and 12.
20 Mr. Erdemovic mentioned some of the members of his units present
21 at Srebrenica on 11 July, including his commander, Milorad Pelemis;
22 Bijeljina platoon commander, Franc Kos; and members Stanko Savanovic and
23 Dragan Koljivrat; and Vlasenica platoon commander, Lule; and members
24 Velimir Popovic and Zoran, nickname Maljic, and others.
25 When Erdemovic and others reached the centre of Srebrenica town
1 that afternoon near the mosque, an able bodied Muslim man surrendered to
2 them. Pelemis ordered Zoran, nicknamed Maljic from the Vlasenica
3 platoon, to kill this men. Erdemovic saw Zoran carry out this order by
4 slitting the man's throat.
5 Erdemovic and his units stayed in Srebrenica that night. The
6 next day, on 12 July, they returned to Vlasenica where they had learned
7 that Pelemis had overturned an armed personnel carrier near the Vlasenica
8 base in Dragasevac. This killing, 10th Sabotage Detachment soldier,
9 Dragan Koljivrat, from the Bijeljina platoon.
10 On 13 July, Mr. Erdemovic and six to seven other members of the
11 10th Sabotage Detachment travelled across Bosnia to Trebinje, near
13 almost all day on the 13th. The funeral was held on the 14th and the
14 group travelled back to Vlasenica during the night of the 14 July,
15 arriving in Vlasenica on the morning of 15 July.
16 On the morning of 16 July, Erdemovic and seven other members of
17 the 10th Sabotage Detachment commanded by Brano Gojkovic, departed from
18 their base in Dragasevac for Zvornik. At the Zvornik brigade barracks, a
19 tall, corpulent lieutenant-colonel with greyish hair in a VRS uniform
20 came out of the barracks accompanied by two members of the Drina Corps
21 military police. The lieutenant-colonel and the two MPs got into an
22 olive-green-grey Opel Kadett car and led Erdemovic's group to a farm near
23 the town of Pilica
24 The lieutenant-colonel went in side an office at the farm and
25 then came out and spoke with Brano Gojkovic. At that time, Gojkovic
1 announced that buses carrying civilians from Srebrenica would start
2 arriving in a few minutes and they were to be killed. Soon thereafter,
3 the lieutenant-colonel and two military policemen got back into the Opel
4 Kadett, and as they were about to drive away from the area, the first
5 busses with Muslim prisoners arrived.
6 The first group of approximately ten prisoners was taken off a
7 bus, blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs. They were
8 marched off some 100, 200 metres. Once the prisoners were in position,
9 with their backs to their executioners, Brano Gojkovic gave the order to
10 shoot. Mr. Erdemovic, along with the other seven members of the
11 10th Sabotage Detachment, opened fire on the prisoners with automatic
13 A second group of prisoners then followed, and Mr. Erdemovic and
14 the other members of his unit executed them as well. The executions
15 continued in this way from approximately 1000 hours until about 15 or
16 1600 hours with 15 to 20 bus loads of prisoners ultimately being
17 executed. Mr. Erdemovic estimated that between 1.000 and 1200 people
18 were executed at the farm that day.
19 Early in the afternoon that day, eight to ten soldiers in VRS
20 uniform arrived in a tam truck to the farm. Mr. Erdemovic believed that
21 these men this come from Bratunac, because among other reasons, two
22 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment had recognised some of them as
24 As the executions progressed, these soldiers kicked, punched, and
25 cursed the prisoners. They also beat them with riffle butts and metal
2 Finally, the lieutenant-colonel came back to the farm as the last
3 bus load of Muslims were being executed. The lieutenant-colonel told the
4 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment unit that there were some 500
5 prisoners at the Pilica cultural centre who also needed to be executed.
6 Mr. Erdemovic, as well as some other members of his squad, his
7 colleagues, refused this order. Instead, members of the unit from
8 Bratunac left the farm with the lieutenant-colonel. Mr. Erdemovic and
9 the others were instructed to meet the lieutenant-colonel in a coffee bar
10 in Pilica.
11 When Erdemovic and others arrived at the coffee bar across the
12 road from the Pilica cultural centre, he could see several dead bodies in
13 front of the centre. Mr. Erdemovic heard gun-fire and explosions coming
14 from the culture centre. At this time, Mr. Erdemovic saw vehicles
15 passing by normally and people walking about.
16 Mr. Erdemovic sat in the coffee bar with the lieutenant-colonel
17 and two other members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, Brano Gojkovic and
18 Franc Kos
19 Bratunac came into the cafe and reported to the lieutenant-colonel that
20 "everything had been finished."
21 On January 14th, 1998, Mr. Erdemovic plead guilty to the charge
22 of a violation of the laws or customs of war for his involvement in the
23 participation in the summary execution of Muslim men from Srebrenica on
24 16 July 1995
25 Prosecution had entered into a Plea Agreement, wherein Mr. Erdemovic
1 agreed to plead guilty to a violation of laws and customs of war and the
2 Prosecution agreed to move to dismiss the alternative count of a
3 violation of crimes against humanity.
4 In the Plea Agreement, Mr. Erdemovic acknowledged the nature of
5 the offence he was pleading guilty to, as well as the possible punishment
6 he could face, including life imprisonment. He also acknowledged that he
7 understood that the Trial Chamber was not bound by anything in the
8 agreement between himself and the Prosecution and that sentencing was
9 within the sole discretion of the Trial Chamber. Among other items set
10 forth in the Plea Agreement, the Prosecution reported that Mr. Erdemovic
11 had, up until then, provided considerable assistance to the Prosecution
12 within the meaning of Rule 101(B)(ii) and agreed to address the
13 Trial Chamber to a sentencing hearing and recommend seven years as the
14 appropriate sentence.
15 Mr. Erdemovic also agreed to continue to co-operate with the
16 Prosecution and testify truthfully before the Tribunal if so requested by
17 the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 On 5 March 1998
19 five years imprisonment for the violation of the laws or customs of war.
20 You see that in paragraph 23 of the Sentencing Judgement, dated 5
21 March 1998.
22 Mr. Erdemovic has testified in the Rule 61 hearing against
23 Karadzic and Mladic, back in, I believe, 1996, in the case OTP versus
24 General Krstic, OTP versus Slobodan Milosevic, OTP versus Popovic et al,
25 and, most recently, in OTP versus Perisic. His prior testimony was
1 accepted in evidence in OTP versus Blagojevic and Jokic, pursuant to
2 92 bis.
3 Q. Now, that's -- that's a lot. It's in the testimony, so I will
4 just ask you some questions to clarify a few issues.
5 Can you very briefly describe how it was, Mr. Erdemovic, that
6 you -- well, you did your mandatory service in the JNA as described. We
7 understand that. But how is it that you then became a member of, first,
8 the BiH army, then the HVO, and then finally the VRS, throughout the
9 wartime period?
10 A. The -- I joined the BH army in 1992, because the conflict had
11 erupted in Bosnia
12 not stay there long. I was a scout on mortars and a few months later, in
14 friend who was in the military police, I decided to join the military
15 police so that I would avoid going to the front line.
16 While I was with the military police at the HVO, I helped some
17 Serb civilian who had remained in the Tuzla area and wanted to leave and
18 cross over to the side that was under the control of the -- of the
19 Republika Srpska army. I can't recall exactly what month it was. I
20 believe in October or a little earlier. We were captured on
21 Mount Majevica
22 questioned about why we were helping Serb civilians and circumstances
24 An individual whom I had helped before I was arrested, whom I had
25 helped cross over into Republika Srpska, promised me that he would help
1 me if I crossed over to the area which was under the control of the
2 Republika Srpska army and that they would help me move abroad to
4 territory that was under the control of the Republika Srpska army.
5 However, that person did not keep his promise, so I had to remain in
6 Republika Srpska and so I decided to join a unit in Bijeljina, which
7 consisted of Croats, a Muslim, and a Slovene.
8 Q. At some point were you living in Serbia and had to leave around
9 this time?
10 A. When I crossed over to Republika Srpska in the month of November,
11 there were some individuals who recognised me who were from the Tuzla
12 area, and they threatened me. So I decided to cross over to the Federal
13 Republic of Yugoslavia
15 military police and the civilian police arrested able-bodied individuals
16 and sent them back to joined Republika Srpska army.
17 Q. And so when did you first become a member of the
18 10th Sabotage Detachment of the VRS?
19 A. In April 1994.
20 Q. And you have said in your previous statement that the
21 10th Sabotage was part of the Main Staff and that Colonel Salapura was in
22 charge of it. Can you just briefly tell us how you knew that
23 Colonel Salapura was in charge of the -- this Main Staff unit that you
24 were part of, the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
25 A. As I've already said, in the beginning, the unit consisted of
1 five to six
3 Prior to an operation that was to be conducted in the Tuzla
4 this person, from whom I later learned that he was Colonel -- this
5 colonel and that he was Salapura, Petar Salapura. I learned that later
6 on from the intelligence staff of the VRS.
7 Q. And do you know if he was in that role in 1995?
8 A. Yes. I think that in early 1995, he came to the barracks -- or,
9 rather, when this unit was in a -- in a small composition, they sent us
10 to join a unit and because -- and as the unit grew, we were in the
11 Bijeljina barracks so that, in 1995, early 1995, I saw this person again,
12 Colonel Petar Salapura.
13 Q. When you say you saw him, is that it? You just saw him? Any
14 idea of who he was, what he was there for, was there anything reliable
15 about him, or did you just see him?
16 A. No. I knew that he was in charge of our unit. I knew this from
17 before, when our unit was still small. I recall that day, because I was
18 in charge of an operation, a mission in Tuzla. I was the commanding
19 officer of that group, and I decided not to carry out that mission
20 because I -- I felt, and I thought, that civilians might be endangered.
21 And when we returned, because I was the commanding officer of this group,
22 I was asked to explain why I did not allow this mission to go on and that
23 is when I got to know Colonel Salapura even better and -- because he told
24 me that I was lying, referring to what I had put down in the report.
25 Q. What was your rank at the time you were in charge of this mission
1 to Tuzla
2 A. I was a sergeant.
3 Q. Okay. And "vodnik," can that be interpreted as corporal
4 sometimes, do you know, as you understand English now?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, I know you say this in your testimony, but because you have
7 brought it up, can you give us a very brief description of what the
8 sabotage unit's job was. What kind of work did you do? I don't need at
9 this point specific missions, but just the kind of missions you're
10 talking about.
11 A. The type of missions we had was to try and move behind enemy
12 lines unobserved, to collect data about enemy weapons and anything that
13 related to the military. Blowing up and setting up explosives to sites
14 where the enemy had their weapons, weapons depots, and so on.
15 Q. You've also mentioned in your testimony and some of your
16 statements the name Pecanac. What do you know about him and his
17 connections, if anything, in the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
18 A. I didn't know much about him. He came occasionally. For
19 instance, when we conducted reconnaissance missions in Srebrenica, he
20 made an appearances, and then on our way back from Srebrenica, that -- on
21 that night, on the 12th, when our commander had the accident in his
22 vehicle, and Dragan Koljivrat was killed in the accident, he was there
23 then. I didn't know much about him. I knew that he was a major, that he
24 was called Pecanac. That's how people addressed him. And nothing else.
25 He just came there from time to time and he did some work for our unit.
1 Q. You've mentioned in your testimony, in statements, about a -- an
2 operation that you went on through a tunnel to Srebrenica. And can you
3 just briefly describe when you think that was and what that operation
5 A. I cannot remember exactly when this operation was carried out. I
6 think it was in earlier 1995 or thereabout. It has to be in earlier
8 We entered through a tunnel, an underground tunnel, that
9 connected a place near Bratunac and came out at the other end, in
10 Srebrenica. That mission was supposed to alert the military and the
11 population, the people in Srebrenica, it was a sort of reconnaissance
13 [In English] Sorry, I can't find the word in my language.
14 Q. And what did -- what did the unit do once it went through the
16 A. [Interpretation] We came into Srebrenica at midnight. We fired a
17 few flares or a few missiles, rockets. We had small-arms, and this
18 lasted all in all about ten minutes, and then we returned via the same
19 way under the -- through the tunnel, to the area which was under the
20 control of VRS.
21 Q. Did you co-ordinate or connect with any members of the
22 Bratunac Brigade, before, during, or after this mission?
23 A. I think that there were two men there - I don't know if they were
24 from the Bratunac Brigade, I think so - who knew about the tunnel. And I
25 think that one of the people who actually led us through the tunnel had
1 worked at the mine, so he knew exactly which tunnel would come out at the
2 Srebrenica end.
3 Q. You said that rockets were fired. Can you describe to us what
4 kind of weapon this was?
5 A. These were former JNA Zoljas.
6 [In English] I'm struggling for words.
7 Q. A Zolja, is that, like, what in English we would call
8 rocket-propelled grenades, a shoulder-fired grenade weapons?
9 A. [Interpretation] Yes, these Zoljas were fired from the shoulder.
10 Q. Now, you've estimated that that day at Branjevo farm the group
11 killed between 1000 and 1200 people. How did you get that estimate?
12 A. I arrived at the figure - and I don't know if it is correct - but
13 by counting the buses. I didn't actually count them, but I assessed it
14 was -- it stayed with me that it could have been about that number.
15 Q. And going now to Pilica village as you were at this cafe. Can
16 you describe what if anything was going on in the town while this --
17 while you were across the street from the Pilica cultural centre, both
18 the normal and abnormal.
19 A. Between the cultural centre and the cafe there was a civilian
20 check-point manned by the civilian police, Republika Srpska civilian
21 police, vehicles drove through normally. But not far from there, one
22 could hear shots and shells being fired.
23 Q. And were there any people or vehicles on the street that you
25 A. Yes. Civilian vehicles went through those check-points.
1 Everything seemed normal.
2 Q. And what, if anything, did you conclude was going on at the
3 cultural centre?
4 A. Before they left the farm, this colonel came and he said there
5 were 500 people in the Pilica culture hall and that they should also be
6 shot, and I and some people from my unit refused that and we stayed
7 behind. But the persons who were -- were talking, some people from my
8 unit, from Bratunac, they already left. We hadn't even left the farm
9 when you could hear the shots and the hand-grenades exploding. We could
10 hear that. They were coming from the direction of the Pilica Dom.
11 Q. Do you recall your unit receiving any training in the FRY -- what
12 would have been the FRY prior to July 1995?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you briefly describe, you know, when that was and the kind of
15 training you got. Very briefly.
16 A. I think this was in late 1994 or early 1995. Perhaps it was in
17 December 1994. I cannot remember. The training was actually such that
18 they went to the army barracks in Pancevo. This was the Army of
20 different kinds of weapons, to place explosives, and so on.
21 Q. Did you go do that training in the FRY?
22 A. No.
23 Q. I'd like to show you a document. It's number 2074. This is a
24 document I showed you on Sunday, and both versions should come up. I
25 hope you can read one of them. It's a document --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is now an exhibit, as I suppose, you could
2 perhaps indicate which P number we have for that.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I -- this is not one of the ones I mentioned to
4 you because --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Oh, my mistake. Okay.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could blow up the -- the Serbo-Croatian
7 one, the one that we see now. I think for much of our purposes that
8 language helps.
9 Q. We see that this is dated the 10th of July, 1995. It's from the
10 Command of the 10th Sabotage Detachment. It's an order that Franc Kos,
11 leader group -- is -- are any of those men familiar, those names that
12 are listed in this order?
13 A. Yes. Franc Kos
14 Dragan Koljivrat, Zoran, Stanko Sovanovic,
15 Stipan, Zoran -- Stupar, Zoran; Lulis [phoen], Goran; Vlastimir Golijan.
16 These are all the people from my unit.
17 Q. Can we drop down in the English a bit so we can see who signs off
18 in on this.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, it's the next page in English.
20 Q. And we -- we see that this has been signed by Franc Kos for
21 Milorad Pelemis.
22 Have you ever -- did you see this -- this order back then, in
23 July 1995?
24 A. No.
25 Q. It doesn't say precisely what you're to do. But given the date
1 of this, 10 July, and the route that it takes, does this order have
2 anything to do with the operation that you were involved in, in
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And we see that next to your name it says, "Sergeant."
6 And you have, over the years, and in your statements and
7 testimonies, talked about your authority. Were you a sergeant at the
8 time, as this notes?
9 A. No. At the time, actually, before then, like I said, I already
10 had a conflict with 2nd Lieutenant Milorad Pelemis, and I also had a
11 conflict with Colonel Salapura, because they -- because I didn't want to
12 do what they wanted me to do.
13 Q. Can you describe that.
14 A. I already mentioned a few minutes ago that I refused to carry out
15 an order by Salapura, because I was at this location where the assignment
16 was to have been carried out. And I decided that the civilian population
17 would have been endangered and harmed and that is why, as I said already,
18 wrote a report and they said that these were lies, and so on.
19 Also, at a -- during an action before where I was the commander
20 of that group, I decided to release one person that we had captured at
21 the Majevica mountain. That person was here to testify about how I had
22 decided to release them, and that is why Pelemis always objected to that.
23 He -- he -- he always held that against me.
24 Q. Okay. And you recall we showed you that document yesterday, and
25 Mr. Janc, the investigator whom you met, made a brief note that said
1 after showing that document to you that:
2 "Erdemovic confirmed that he was a sergeant at the time of the
3 group and, at the time, but that -- having a group leader. But having
4 had a dispute with Petar Salapura, he was not a leader anymore."
5 So just to clarify, is -- were you -- is this document correct:
6 Were you a sergeant at the time like indicates in this proofing note?
7 A. No. Like I already said, at that point in time, I was just a
8 regular soldier. Pelemis told me that I was not going to be the group
9 leader anymore and that I would have a rank no longer. This was much
10 before the Srebrenica events unfolded. This was in early 1995.
11 So to my mind, I know that he told me that, and I know that I
12 wasn't a sergeant or a corporal.
13 Q. All right. And in the fall of 1995, do you remember that there
14 was some kind of awards ceremony at Dragasevac, the Vlasenica
16 A. Yes. Yes, in Dragasevac. That was when -- this was in late
17 1995. I was, again, given the rank of corporal or Sergeant, and -- I
18 don't know how to explain this.
19 I was like a first class sabotage officer, seconds class sabotage
20 officer, depending on how many actions you had taken part in, and then
21 would you given this kind of title, sabotage officer, first class
22 sabotage officer, second class; I can't really remember.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I would like to offer 2074
24 into evidence. I had forgotten to do that.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P233, Your Honours.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. And Mr. Erdemovic, have you seen over the years, and actually
4 yesterday as well in my office, a portions of a video of that ceremony?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And can you be seen, yourself, at some point in the -- during the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a short and edited clip of -- of the
11 video that we have of a more complete version, but we have a short clip
12 I'd like to show the witness and just ask him to identify himself and
13 perhaps another person or two.
14 And it's 1378.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. McCLOSKEY:
17 Q. Can you read the Cyrillic date on that? I don't know how well
18 you are with Cyrillic, but ...
19 I don't think we have to worry about the date. I see it now, so
20 don't worry about it. Let's just continue to play it.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, it will be not be broadcast out of
22 this courtroom, because if the -- the witness is shown on this video.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. The first parts of it are
24 fine, and Ms. Stewart will tell me, and I think -- I hope that way will
25 work. There is this last segment that we can keep from the public. But
1 I think we can catch it.
2 So the first part is fine publicly, if that's okay.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The person in the middle is
6 General Krstic. To his right is commander of our unit, the
7 10th Sabotage Detachment, Mr. Pelemis.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY:
9 Q. And who's the person with the moustache that is reading
11 A. That was in our -- that person was in our unit. He was in charge
12 of paperwork and reading out orders. His name is Savo.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this still can be seen at 20.3 on the
14 counter, for the record.
15 If we can continue to play, and I'll stop it if I need to ask
17 [Video-clip played]
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. So is that you that they referred to getting some kind of a
21 A. Yes, yes. This was in late 1995.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. We saw -- yeah, in a kind of
24 subtitle, this is, I think, a translation of what is said, or is it not?
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, it is, Mr. President. This is the -- it's
1 being played in a software called Sanction, and it's a particular kind of
2 subtitling of the transcript that will go in with the video as part of
3 the record. And I should note that the reference that he just made about
4 his name and sergeant was at 57.2 in that -- on that video.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this part should not be broadcast, I suppose.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're not quite there yet.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We heard the name of this witness already.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: His name is fine, Mr. President, being public.
9 It's -- it is kinds of a strange situation, a unique situation, I should
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay, we can continue to play it.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is General Krstic.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And that is at 1.12.7 on the counter.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, General Krstic.
18 The person in the middle is Milorad Pelemis. He is pointing to
19 the ...
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. Okay. We're at 2.13.4, and right before that we saw
22 General Krstic. And now this person in the middle is Pelemis, is that
23 right, that's pointing down on the table?
24 A. Yes.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the commander of our unit,
2 Milorad Pelemis.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY:
4 Q. And that's 2.22.9.
5 And up until now, have you recognised anybody else besides the
6 people that you have pointed out as you've watched it?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's continue.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 [Video-clip played]
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is a different scene of -- of --
14 Q. And who are these guys and what is this?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this is what can't be broadcast.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am there on this image. I'm the
17 third person from the left.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY:
19 Q. Okay. I'm sorry, I probably confused the issue.
20 Can you tell us what this is, this -- with everybody sitting at
21 the table. Who are these people, and does it have anything to do with
22 the formal ceremony we just saw?
23 A. Yes. This happened afterwards, in the Vlasenica cultural hall,
24 after this ceremony.
25 Q. And who are the people around you? I don't need names. Just
1 generally who are all these people?
2 A. These are people from my unit.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's just play it out.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay.
8 Q. As I read in the summary, you have told -- always reported that
9 upon entering the centre of Srebrenica near a mosque, Pelemis ordered the
10 murder of a Muslim, a military-aged man, that came up to your group. And
11 I showed you some video yesterday.
12 I want to show you -- for the first time, I want to show you some
13 video now and ask you about it.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And this can be broadcast, and it's 5497.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this is the person
18 that Pelemis ordered, Zoran Maljic, to kill, this is somebody living in
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's continue to play the video and see if
21 there's anything that you may recognise in it.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I can conclude, this is
24 the centre of Srebrenica town. I'd never been to Srebrenica before then.
25 So this is the mosque, and that would be the person there.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's just finish up this segment.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I would like to offer the
4 exhibit of the ceremony, which is 1378, into evidence, and that one
5 segment where he identified himself should be under seal.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering them as separate exhibits? One
7 public, one under seal?
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it would be best if we could get two
10 clips, the public and the private, and that way we stay more private.
11 And Ms. Stewart will help us so we can get it right.
12 And the --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment.
14 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Both portions of this video will be received as
17 separate exhibits. The second one, under seal.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The public version of 65 ter 1378 will be
19 Exhibit P234. The -- the second version of 1378 will be Exhibit P235,
20 under seal.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I would offer this short clip
22 of the centre of town as 5497 into evidence, and I'll -- there is more
23 video related to that that will come in later. But I think since he has
24 spoke of this section, we should get this section in now.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That is appreciated to identify correctly which
1 portion we have seen.
2 This will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P236.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
6 I think this is a convenient time for a break. And after the
7 break, you may cross-examine the witness, Mr. Tolimir.
8 We must have our first break now on technical reasons, and the
9 Court Officer will assist you during the break.
10 We will resume quarter past 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We had left that we have a full Bench now this
14 afternoon. Now we will continue the hearing with the cross-examination
15 by Mr. Tolimir.
16 Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. And
18 again I would wish a good afternoon to everyone in the courtroom, and may
19 God's peace reign in this house, and I wish that this trial proceedings
20 end with God's help and not according to my wishes.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
22 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to address the witness now and
23 please have understanding from my asking questions to you that may
24 sometimes related to issues that have you already testified about in
25 other cases, and I hope it won't be too difficult to answer those
1 questions for the transcript of these proceedings. Thank you.
2 And also would you please make a pause and answer my question
3 only after I say "thank you" at the end of my question to enable the
4 interpreters to do their jobs.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to remind you that
7 during the answer of the witness, you should switch off your microphone.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can use the other microphone.
10 Otherwise, we will have this, yeah, disturbance.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I will switch on the
12 other microphone. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. On page 10928, lines 20 through 24, you confirmed, that on the
15 5th of March of 1988 [as interpreted] you were sentenced to five years
16 imprisonment and that you have served your sentence.
17 Could you now please tell us for the transcript how many years
18 you were -- how many years you served in prison, including the years when
19 you were in remand at the Tribunal's detention unit. Thank you.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1998 you were
21 sentenced to five years imprisonment.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please answer the question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot recall exactly how many
25 years I was imprisoned. I think over three years. I was sentenced to
1 five years, but because I served my prison term in Norway, under the
2 Norwegian laws, I was released after a certain period elapsed. I can't
3 recall exactly how much sooner that was. But I think that I served some
4 three-plus years.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. You said here that you were a member of the JNA, and
7 then a member of the BH army, and then in the HVO, and then, finally, in
8 the VRS.
9 Could you please tell us for the transcript whether all of this
10 happened between 1991 and 1995 and if you can, please tell us what army
11 you served in what periods. Thank you.
12 A. Well, as you said, in 1991, I was in the regular JNA army and my
13 service there ended, if I remember correctly, in March 1992.
14 I don't know exactly when I joined the BH army, but I didn't stay
15 there long. This was in the course of 1992, in any case. And three
16 months later because I think I was in the BH army for three months, three
17 months later, I joined the military police of the Croatian defence
18 council was established in Tuzla
19 territory under the control of the VRS but I did not join the VRS
20 immediately, it only happens some five months later or so, sometime in
21 April 1994. So I joined the VRS in April 1994.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us what units you serve in the
23 JNA and where were you deployed. We need this in order to understand why
24 you were assigned to a Sabotage Unit.
25 A. In the JNA, I served in Slavonia
1 First I was in Belgrade
2 transferred to the Slavonia
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us for the transcript, please, how long
4 you served in the military police and also how long you served in the
5 units that saw some fighting in Vukovar?
6 A. In 1991 through 1992, March. I believe March 1992.
7 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, were you assigned to these police
8 units where you served in the BH army and the HVO because you had some
9 experience in police units, and you had undergone military training and
10 you also had some combat experience notice war itself. Thank you.
11 A. As I've already said, in the BH army, I was a scout, a mortar
12 unit scout, and I decided to joined military police, the HVO military
13 police, because the duties of the military police, within the HVO,
14 included providing security for the command, the garrison, and I did not
15 have to be assigned to the front line as other soldiers did.
16 Q. Thank you. In Vukovar, were you in infantry or guards units or
17 military police units? And were you assigned to military police jobs and
18 assignments or combat.
19 A. Well, for a while, we provided security or guards duty for the
20 command, and after that, we were assigned to the front line as soldiers
21 on the front line.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you complete your military service before or
23 after the Vukovar fighting? Thank you.
24 A. What do you mean "as a soldier"?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ...
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I was told that it is better that
3 you have the microphone directly to your head and not to the side. Thank
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise for wasting
6 the Court's time and having to repeat this question.
7 Q. But please just tell us briefly, did you complete your military
8 service in Vukovar and did this happen after the operations in Slavonia
9 ended? Thank you?
10 A. Yes. I completed my full year of service, which was the regular
11 term, and then because the state of war was declared, we were extended by
12 three months. Each of us had to stay for three extra months.
13 Q. Thank you. You've said already that you reported when received
14 call-up papers from the BH army that you went to the Territorial Defence
15 and that you joined the army then. Can you just confirm this? Is that
16 what you did? Thank you.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. On page 1029, pages 20 through 24 in the Popovic
19 transcript, you confirmed that on the 5th of March, 1998, you were
20 sentenced to five years in prison and that you served your prison
22 Could you tell us, for the transcript, please, whether your
23 Plea Agreement had any impact on the length of your service and on the
24 terms that you served, and did you serve the full term? And could you
25 tell us how all of that happened? Thank you.
1 A. I don't know exactly how to answer your question, but I will do
2 my best.
3 The Plea Agreement meant the following: The Prosecution proposed
4 a seven-year sentence, but it was also -- the possibility was also open
5 that I would be sentenced to a life sentence, and it was really up to the
6 Trial Chamber to make that decision as to what my prison term would be.
7 At least that was what I was explained and what was told to me by my
8 Defence counsel, Mr. Jovan Babic. That's what I can remember.
9 Q. Thank you. We understood. The Defence council had a role to
10 play there, that is undisputed.
11 Now tell us, please, said that you were taken prisoner while you
12 were in the HVO. You didn't tell us who you were taken prisoner by. The
13 BH army or the VRS. Thank you.
14 A. Yes. I was taken prisoner by the HVO because I helped Serb
15 population move from the area of Tuzla
16 Q. Thank you. Could you please just tell us why the Serb population
17 was leaving Tuzla
19 A. Well, how can I explain this to you?
20 I think that they wanted to cross over to the area that was in
21 Republika Srpska because they were people of Serb ethnicity and perhaps
22 they felt safer there.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know of any instances where these people felt
24 unsafe or whether they were harassed or in some other way mistreated, why
25 they would want to leave there and leave everything behind for a place
1 where they had nothing? Thank you.
2 A. Well, I can say that some people were arrested in Tuzla because
3 they were of Serb ethnicity. I didn't really know why people were being
4 arrested or not. I wasn't privy to that.
5 Q. Thank you. Perhaps the Trial Chamber and I will have a better
6 understanding of what you are telling us if you tell us how it was that
7 you organised this transfer of the population from the BH army to the
8 territory which was under the control of the VRS. Thank you.
9 A. The area of responsibility -- the HVO area of responsibility,
10 which was on Mount Majevica
11 with. I knew where the trenches were and everything else.
12 And as for the Serb population that I helped move over to
13 Bijeljina, most ever these people were people whom I knew who were from
14 my circles. They were my neighbours from the Donje Travinje [phoen], and
15 I didn't really know people who were from other areas in Tuzla. I helped
16 those people who were my neighbours, as it were, whom I knew.
17 Q. Thank you. Will I correct in saying that, in fact, the HVO unit
18 was actually a buffer zone between the BH army territory and the VRS
19 territory and that you actually transferred and helped people cross over
20 from one area to the other through their territory? Thank you.
21 A. Well, how can I put this? The unit, or the area that was under
22 the Croatian Defence Council was actually a unit from the BH army on
23 Mount Majevica
24 Council, I think because most of the villages in that area were Croatian
1 Q. Thank you. Just tell us this: Did this unit of yours, the HVO
2 unit, was it on the border-line with -- did it have a direct border with
3 the -- with the Republika Srpska and was the line -- the demarkation
4 line, as it were, there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. That is clear.
7 Now, could you tell us, please, whether you were in any way
8 rewarded for transferring these people from one territory to the other,
9 did you get any kind of remuneration?
10 A. Well the reward that I got, and we're talking about 20 to 30
11 people, the -- in order to get to the area, we had to go through several
12 check-points, and there was a shortage of fuel in Tuzla at the time, so I
13 got the fuel from them. That was the only reward that I got.
14 Q. Thank you. So there was no reward, no remuneration, no profits,
15 just the cost of the fuel; am I correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us, please - I will now move onto another area -
18 when you left for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and you said in the
19 Popovic transcript that, in 1994, on page 10933, lines --
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the line numbers.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You say the following and yet there, in early 1990 --
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the year.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. "... they began mobilisation, so that I was unable to return to
1 Republika Srpska."
2 Is this what you said and have I quoted your words correctly?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you please clarify something here, both for me and for the
5 Trial Chamber and perhaps for your own sake, why would you, as a Croat,
6 be mobilised in Belgrade
7 where would you fight for the Serbian army? Did you have some other
8 documents or -- with you or -- could you clarify that, please.
9 A. Well, I was not in Belgrade
10 friend, and the only documents that I had on me was my old ID, the IDs
11 that we all had while Yugoslavia
12 the ID, the name of my father and the place and date of my birth. There
13 was nothing else on that ID. There was no indication as to my ethnicity,
14 whether I was Croatian or Serbian.
15 Q. Thank you. You've made that clear. So, in other words, you were
16 sent based on your ID and then when you realised that would you have to
17 join the fighting, you decided to return to the unit where you were
18 before; correct? Thank you.
19 A. I did not understand this question about the unit.
20 Q. Were you a member of some unit of the Army of Republika Srpska
21 before 1994? Thank you.
22 A. No.
23 Q. Have you been in Serbia
24 that you would be mobilised, did you go then back to Republika Srpska?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. As for the Sabotage Detachment, did you report into it because it
2 was of mixed composition, it had several Croats and Muslims; or were you
3 assigned to go to that because that was the place you would be assigned
4 on the basis of military archives or your military speciality? Thank
6 A. I returned to Republika Srpska and I went, once again, to my
7 wife, who was Serbian. She had some relatives there in Bijeljina, so we
8 went to the military department in Bijeljina, and that was when I learned
9 that it would be the best for me to join that unit. And that was what I
11 Q. Thank you. So you went to the unit voluntarily. You were not
12 forced to join it nor were you assigned to it because of your earlier
13 deserts [as interpreted]?
14 A. Yes, I joined it of my own free will.
15 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor mentioned here, and so did you, that
16 an agreement was signed between you and the Prosecution.
17 My question is whether you were promised anything on that
18 occasion in terms of the change of your place of residence, the length of
19 your sentence, the change of your identity, and so on? Thank you.
20 A. As I already said, the OTP proposed a length of sentence of seven
21 years. However, the length of sentence did not depend on me or on the
22 Prosecutor. The Court was to decide how many years I would be sentenced
24 As for the next question, that is to say, my transfer to another
25 country, the Prosecutor never discussed that with me. It was afterwards
1 when I had already been sentenced and when I was in Norway, it was
2 decided that, because of my name and because of everything that happened,
3 it would be good if I changed that, and if the country in which I would
4 spend my later life would not be public [as interpreted]. As far as I
5 remember, I never discussed that with the Prosecution.
6 Q. Thank you. So the length of sentence was determined by the Trial
7 Chamber rather than by the OTP. Did I understand that properly or not?
8 Thank you.
9 A. Yes. I know that the OTP proposed seven years whereas I was
10 sentenced to five years. It means to me that the Judges were the ones
11 who decided about the length of sentence.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us now why did you sign an
13 agreement saying that you would confess your guilt and you agreed to
14 testify in all cases to which the OTP invited you to testify, and you
15 testified in almost all the cases. Did that affected the length of
16 sentence in any way or not? Thank you.
17 A. Even before this agreement, I stated when I testified in my own
18 case, and when I was to declare whether I was guilty or not, I agreed to
19 testify in other cases. In these cases, your name and names of others
20 were not mentioned. Only the names of Karadzic and Mladic were
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you for the explanation.
23 So it was not a part of the obligation when you reached an
24 agreement with the OTP that you should testify in -- in other cases, in
25 my case now, or in the Karadzic case or eventually possibly in the Mladic
1 case or whoever would appear before this Court.
2 Is that so or not? Thank you.
3 A. As I said before, I said even before we reached an agreement that
4 I would testify in other cases. Your name, of course, was not mentioned,
5 and many names of persons in whose cases I testified were not mentioned.
6 But in this agreement, I obliged myself to testify in all cases in which
7 I was invited to testify.
8 Q. I think I have understood you.
9 Did you have any personal problems or personal motives in
10 connection any other people? Because you said here that you were in a
11 conflict with some of your superiors. Or was it only in -- because the
12 Prosecution asked you about some specific persons? Thank you.
13 A. To be frank, in case of Milorad Pelemis, I said immediately that
14 I wished to testify against him and also Salapura.
15 As for you and some other persons against whom I did testify, I
16 have no reasons whatsoever. Let me explain. First of all, I have never
17 seen you before.
18 Q. Thank you. I have understood what you said.
19 We have heard that did you have certain problems with Pelemis and
20 Gojkovic and there were even problems when you had to carry out the
21 orders, that was why you were replaced or stripped of your rank, as you
22 said here.
23 Did I quote that correctly from the previous transcripts, or
24 should I refer to the transcripts? You even said that in the statements
25 which you gave in Yugoslavia
1 would not like to waste time and pull up these statements. But did I
2 quote your words correctly or not? Thank you?
3 A. Yes. Let me just explain.
4 I know for certain that Pelemis sent me to that farm on that
5 particular day. Therefore, I still feel within me, this, I don't like
6 this person.
7 Q. Thank you. I have understood. You had personal problems and
8 personal conflicts.
9 Was it also based on the material conditions of your life in
10 Bijeljina or not? Thank you.
11 A. I did not understand the last question. You have asked me
12 several questions.
13 Q. Thank you, I'm sorry. As soon as the interpreters interpret
14 this, I will ask you a clear question.
15 Did your conflict with your superior result from a personal
16 conflict with them; or was it also caused by your material situation in
17 which you were living in Bijeljina? Thank you.
18 A. My disagreements with Pelemis, as far as I could see this person,
19 he was not interested in anyone. He didn't care for anyone, he didn't
20 favour anyone. I think that he just wanted to achieve what he wished.
21 Q. Thank you. For example, in Novi Sad, you told the district court
22 in Novi Sad
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps we could show it on the
24 screen but there is nothing contentious about the contents.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I will read it to you:
2 "In early February, 1995, I signed agreement as a professional
3 soldier and I started to undergo training. And I was assigned commander
4 of the 1st Sabotage Detachment."
5 My question is: When you were assigned and given a rank, and you
6 became the commander of Sabotage Detachment in February 1995, did you get
7 more points for your salary. So was that one of the reasons why you were
8 not properly treated by others or not?
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. Let me repeat the question so that it would be clearer.
11 In the second part you say that they stripped you of your rank.
12 Now the question is: Were they allowed to strip you of your rank? Only
13 the person who awarded you the rank could strip you of the rank. They
14 probably didn't award you the rank. So when they stripped you of your
15 rank, did they also take away the income which you earned in the army and
16 which helped you to sustain yourself and your family? Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: He is basing his question on a quote from a
19 document, I think -- if we could allow the witness, especially because it
20 is on the screen, it is probably on the witness's screen, could he see
21 the section that he's talking about.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you give, perhaps, a clearer reference,
23 Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is 1D133. I made
25 the reference, but I said that I could just quote this to the witness so
1 that he could read it too. And as for the stripping him of his rank, it
2 is the transcript from the Popovic case, page 10963.
3 So if the witness has a need to read it, or the Trial Chamber,
4 then you might read both documents. For the sake of being economical and
5 saving time, I wanted just to read it out to the witness because this
6 question was not so important. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is an important statement. All questions
9 are important. This is not on the accused's list of exhibits, yet it's
10 the first thing he brings up. I would appreciate a complete list. If I
11 don't have it, I would like us to get one, please. But, again, if he is
12 quoting the -- the -- a portion of this, I think I would request the
13 Court that the witness be allowed to see it.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber would appreciate that as well.
15 Mr. Gajic.
16 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
17 As far as I know, the list has been submitted to the Registry and
18 to the Trial Chamber and to the OTP. We submitted the first list several
19 days ago. And this morning, we just added two or three documents, two of
20 which are already in e-court as these are Prosecution documents. But we
21 just pulled out several pages. This is why we did today. Otherwise
22 everything has been submitted, and everything functions perfectly on our
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, indeed, Mr. Gajic. We have received
25 the Defence list of potential exhibits for this witness, and there is
1 mentioning of 1D133. And if I'm not mistaken, we have that on the screen
2 before us.
3 But perhaps you need another page of this document. And if
4 there's an English translation, we would appreciate to see that.
5 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was told there was no English translation. Are
7 you referring to the first page of this document, Mr. Tolimir, or another
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I meant to
10 refer to page 4 in B/C/S, but it is not so important because the witness
11 and I have understood each other. But for your reference, it's page 4 in
12 B/C/S, just so you can see that I quoted correctly from the document, and
13 as the Prosecutor said it was important for him. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's a long text on page 4. Which part are you
15 referring to?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please have a look at the line
17 which begins with numbers 60 to 70 in B/C/S. First it says:
18 "60 to 70 men and then the 1st of February, 1995, I signed a
19 professional military agreement."
20 And then: "We began our training but I got the rank of sergeant
21 and I was assigned commander of the 1st Sabotage Group. I signed this
22 agreement with the Serbian army."
23 I have quoted this and the witness has understood what I said.
24 It is page 4, 23rd -- line 23, from the top of the page in B/C/S. Thank
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you -- you saw it.
2 Mr. McCloskey.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. This is the reason why I wanted him to see
4 it. The question sounded like he was the commander of the entire
5 Sabotage Unit, and now it is clear that he was in command of a small
7 And if I could ask when these statements are given if they could
8 send it to our Case Manager. I don't always see every e-mail an hour or
9 two before I come to court, which apparently I was on the list, but
10 Ms. Stewart wasn't and that would be helpful. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that.
12 Mr. Erdemovic, do you want to comment on this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did sign a contract with the
14 Army of Republika Srpska. I was a sergeant. I was awarded the rank of
15 Sergeant. At the time I was the commander of one group in the
16 Bijeljina Platoon, but after that, I also said in the same text that
17 conflicts arose between Pelemis and myself. I said that earlier when I
18 was questioned by the Prosecution that conflicts arose because they told
19 me that I was lying to them when I said that certain actions could not be
20 carried out, and so on and so forth.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic. You have seen that I quoted your words
23 literally. Now I will quote what you said in further text. It's on page
24 10933 from the Popovic case. You said in lines 8 to 12.
25 In answer to the Prosecutor's question you say, when he asked
2 "What was your rank and position at the time in the unit?"
3 And you say, on lines 8 through 12:
4 "Before that, I was a lance corporal in the VRS army in the
5 10th Sabotage Unit, but because I had a clash with Pelemis who was the
6 unit commander, he stripped me of my rank and I was, in fact, a commander
7 of a group in the Bijeljina Platoon but I was a mere private."
8 Have I quoted your words correctly and is this what you stated in
9 the Popovic case, in answer to the Prosecutor's question? Thank you.
10 A. If I said that, that I was a lance corporal, that's an error, and
11 I apologise. I was a sergeant, and the contract between me and the VRS
12 was shown here in The Hague
13 it was that I became a sergeant, and all the other details. I don't know
14 where that contract is, but I had occasion to see it here before.
15 Q. Thank you. That's exactly as you said. That's in Prosecutor
16 65 ter 01378. And it states there that you were a reserve infantry
17 sergeant and not a mere private; is that correct?
18 A. Where is it stated? Can you please clarify what document you're
19 referring to? I don't have it before me.
20 Q. That's the Prosecution document, 65 ter number 03 -- 01378.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could it please be shown to the
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. This document was shown, actually, it's a video-clip - we've seen
25 it today - on the occasion of the celebration of the 10th Sabotage Unit.
1 This is shown on minutes 4.38 through 4.48 of that video-clip. Thank
3 A. Yes. We could see that on the video-clip. That was toward the
4 end of 1995, but I can't recall exactly what month.
5 Q. So am I right in saying that you could not be stripped of the
6 rank of sergeant because here it says that you were a sergeant. Am I
7 correct or not? Thank you.
8 A. As I've explained before, I know that I did sign the contract
9 which states that I am a sergeant. I believe this was in February; I'm
10 not sure of the exact date. But if you say so, that's probably correct.
11 But because of the conflict that I had with Pelemis, and anyone
12 can confirm this, any member of my unit, Pelemis said to me that I was no
13 longer a group commander, that from then onwards, I was to be a mere
14 private, and I believe this was in April 1995, which is when I was
15 stripped of the rank and demoted and became a private, and I did not
16 command any other unit.
17 The ceremony, the celebration that we saw at the end of 1995, at
18 this ceremony it was decided again that I was reinstated as a sergeant.
19 Why? I really can't explain.
20 Q. Thank you. Could you please just answer this: Did you stop
21 receiving a salary, according to the contract where you were appointed as
22 a sergeant. Can you just tell us that? Did you stop receiving that
23 salary. That's all I want to know. Thank you.
24 A. If I can remember this correctly, but this was 15 or 16 years
25 ago, but as far as I can recall, all privates and I, as a sergeant, we
1 all had the same pay. I believe that the platoon -- from the platoon
2 commander and higher, the pay was somewhat higher. But I can't really
3 say with certainty.
4 Q. Thank you. Now tell me this: When it was proclaimed again that
5 you were -- when you were reinstated as a sergeant, did you accept that
6 or did Pelemis strip you of that rank again? Thank you.
7 A. At this time I had just returned from Belgrade after surgery,
8 after I was wounded. I think this was in October, sometime in October.
9 I was told that I had to go to Vlasenica for the units celebration, and I
10 had no idea that this was going to be read out about me. I knew that if
11 you spent a certain time in a certain unit, depending on how many
12 missions you participated in, you would be assigned a class. So I was
13 then -- I was then said -- I was then promoted to sabotage officer, first
14 class or second class.
15 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us who was it who could propose
16 you for promotion or for a rank? Would that have to be someone from your
17 unit or someone from a superior units to yours? Thank you.
18 A. I can't really answer that question. I don't know.
19 Q. Thank you. As a squad leader within that platoon, did you
20 propose anyone for promotion, or did your sergeant propose people for
21 propose? Do you recall? Who would it be who would actually propose
22 someone for promotion, if you can recall? Thank you.
23 A. Well, as far as I knew it would all depend on how a mission was
24 accomplished, and also on the number of missions you participated in,
25 whether they were successful and what your conduct was in the mission,
1 whether you had accomplished it or not and stuff like that. How would
2 I -- how would I know?
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, Mr. Tolimir, I had to stop your next
4 question because the translation was not finished yet.
5 Now proceed, please, and pause between -- after the answer of the
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, in order to complete this picture relating to
10 ranks and so on, could you please tell us, were you a private or not, or,
11 rather, were you a sergeant or not, as we could see in that video-clip or
12 not, although it is not really relevant?
13 A. Well, you're absolutely right. It was really of no relevance to
14 me whether I was a sergeant or not. But if that's what it said there in
15 the video-clip, then I was a sergeant.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic. We will now move on to another group
17 of issues. And again this has to do with your relationship with certain
19 Now I would like do talk about Brano Gojkovic. You mentioned
20 that person in your statement and also during your evidence in the
21 Popovic case where you said that you were not on good terms with him. Am
22 I correct or not in saying that?
23 A. Well, I wasn't on good terms but I wasn't -- I didn't have a bad
24 relationship with Brano Gojkovic either. I did not -- I was not in the
25 same platoon. I was in Vlasenica, he was in Bijeljina.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: I was in Bijeljina,
2 he was in Vlasenica.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And we didn't really see each other
4 very often.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. Was he of a higher rank than you were or not? Could
7 you please tell me?
8 A. I don't know exactly. But I think he was a private.
9 Q. Thank you. So in the military chain of command he was mere
10 private, whereas you were a non-commissioned officer. Thank you.
11 Could you now just tell us one more thing: Who was
12 Mr. Kremenovic, and what can you tell us about this person, Kremenovic,
13 and what his role was in your unit? Thank you.
14 A. Radoslav Kremenovic was a lieutenant. He was deputy commander of
15 our unit, and as you could see there, Lieutenant-Colonel [as interpreted]
16 Milorad Pelemis was the commander and the lieutenant was his deputy. So
17 these individuals who had ranks in our unit, they could actually command
18 to a person of higher rank and this person, as I've already said was the
19 deputy in our unit and that person was a very pleasant, easy going
20 individual you could talk to and explain your problems, and so on.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, line 22, says -- sorry now I've lost
23 it, but it referred to Pelemis as a lieutenant-colonel. That should be
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was a second lieutenant.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, which page and which line?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Perhaps it got fixed. It said Pelemis was a
4 lieutenant-colonel and I just wanted it corrected. I don't see that
5 anymore. So maybe it got fixed.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You raised too early. Not patient enough. Thank
8 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And thank you, Mr. Erdemovic. You have just explained this
12 perfectly because this Kremenovic was a lieutenant, and Pelemis was the
13 second lieutenant; so here we had a situation where a second lieutenant
14 was a commander to a lieutenant, correct? Is that what situation was?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, please, whether Kremenovic was
17 arrested at the same time when you were? Thank you.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Tell us, please, did he have any role in your transfer to
20 The Hague
21 released and sent back; or was he -- did he come to The Hague as an
22 accused? Thank you.
23 A. I don't know how it was that Kremenovic came The Hague and under
24 what conditions, whether he was an accused or a witness, I can't really
25 describe. But after Kremenovic and I were arrested in his house, I can't
1 remember in what town it was in Serbia
2 further contacts with Kremenovic. And my Defence counsel had no
3 information about him of that type.
4 Q. Thank you. It was mentioned that he, too, was brought to
5 The Hague
6 that he, too, was brought to The Hague; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it was true. Kremenovic, too, came to The Hague.
8 Q. Thank you. Was he in charge of your platoon and was he in
9 Srebrenica with you, or was someone else the platoon commander? Thank
11 A. As I already described, he was a deputy commander of our unit.
12 He was not in Srebrenica. They were on some other mission.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, who was in charge of your unit there
14 Srebrenica then? Thank you.
15 A. Franc Kos
16 Q. Thank you. Did he have a rank at the time or was he a private?
17 Thank you.
18 A. I think that he was the second lieutenant. I think he was given
19 this rank of second lieutenant, but I can't really be quite certain.
20 Q. Thank you. Was Brano Gojkovic of a higher rank compared to him
21 or not?
22 A. No.
23 Q. The reason I'm asking this is that in your statement you say at
24 one point that Gojkovic issued orders. Does that mean that he issued
25 orders to Kos
1 Thank you.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, that is suggesting that this occurred at
5 Srebrenica, and he has mixed up the two incidents at the farm and
6 Srebrenica. If he could be clear so that the witness understands what he
7 is talking about.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you clarify that?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 I asked the witness whether Kos
11 superior when they were at the farm or not, because the witness said that
12 he had issued orders there to Kos
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything that happened at the
15 Branjevo farm, Brano and Aleksander Cvetkovic they were the organisers of
16 those events.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Q. Let's clarify one more thing. We have 1D132. Could we please
19 see that. This is from the Popovic case when Mr. Todorovic testified,
20 who will also appear in this case. In the transcript on page 14041,
21 lines 16 through 24, I quote the OTP witness, Todorovic:
22 "I know that Mr. Gojkovic did not have orders, that did he not
23 have a rank, that he could not issue commands, that he should not command
24 any member of the Sabotage Unit."
25 And then he says again in the question. I quote:
1 "Well, do you know who was in the group that went to the farm
3 He says:
4 "It was Franc Kos who was a second lieutenant, and had he not
5 been there, this would have been done by Drazen Erdemovic who would
6 signed that document."
7 And now, in view of this, my question is the following: Did I
8 quote this correctly and could you read this in the transcript, seeing
9 that you know English and speak English?
10 A. I don't really understand what equipment you're talking about.
11 Q. Well, these are Todorovic's words. I just quoted what he said.
12 He was saying about this Gojkovic person, that he had issued equipment to
13 soldiers and not to issue orders. And you said:
14 "I know that did he not have" -- he said, "I know that he did not
15 have a rank, that he could not issue orders to any members of the
16 sabotage group."
17 And then you say:
18 "All right. Well, do you know who was in charge of that group
19 who had left?"
20 And you said Franc Kos, who was the sergeant, and who signed off
21 on the equipment, and if he hadn't been there, then that paper would have
22 been signed by Drazen Erdemovic.
23 Is this what you said? I just want you to confirm because I
24 don't want the Trial Chamber to think that you said things that weren't
25 -- that I said things that weren't in the transcript.
1 A. I understand what was recorded in the transcript.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have many problems. The first is I didn't
3 understand who was testifying in this transcript. The second is if you
4 read something out, you should slow down. It is very complicated for the
5 record and for the interpreters.
6 Could you please again indicate who is testifying in this
7 transcript we have on the screen?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 I asked that page 1 -- or actually 1D132 be pulled up on the
10 monitors. This is the testimony of Dragan Todorovic who will appear as a
11 witness in this trial as well. And he mentioned all three individuals
12 here and their hierarchy, and I mentioned the relevant portions of his
13 transcript -- of his testimony in the case, on page 14041 in the
14 transcript, line 16 through 24, and I said what he said. That he knew
15 that Gojkovic could not issue any orders --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Thank you, you answered my question.
17 Now we see it on the screen, beginning from line 16.
18 Mr. McCloskey.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I think that clears it up.
20 Dragan Todorovic is a member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment. The
21 reference was that Mr. Erdemovic was saying this. That is what confused
22 everyone. And as long as it is clear that this is the testimony of
23 Dragan Todorovic, I think Mr. Erdemovic should be able to answer the
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, could you help us with an answer?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not familiar with this name
2 Dragan Todorovic. Was he in the 10th Sabotage Detachment or not?
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. I'm not entitled to tell you anything that would
5 suggest the answer to you. If you know something, fine; if you don't,
6 just say so. He was just an OTP witness, and the Prosecution knows who
7 and what he was. I'm just asking you if it is possible that there could
8 be such a confusion. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I would object to him instructing the
11 witness on what he can and it cannot say. And also the -- I think the
12 law is clear he may ask a leading question where he is suggesting an
13 answer to the witness, so --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey I'm -- I don't agree with you. He
15 was -- it was an open question and the witness is capable to answer that
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: I agree.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If there is something unclear, you should deal
21 with that in re-examination.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: My objection was based on him talking to the
23 witness and saying what he could or could not say to him, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He -- no, I don't agree, Mr. McCloskey. He said
25 to him, If you don't know then just say I don't know.
1 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
3 apologise that I told the witness that I couldn't tell him because I'm
4 not the one who can provide information. I am the one who is asking
5 questions. That is all. I did not wish to say anything else and I did
6 not wish to involve the witness into anything that would induce him to
7 say one thing or another.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic. It is sufficient for me that you said
10 you do not know Mr. Dragan Todorovic. I have no need to ask you anything
11 else about him.
12 We shall move on to the next set of questions.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I just was not looking at you
14 because I tried to figure out what was the correct question of
15 Mr. Tolimir.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I understand I am -- I am -- I just want to
17 clear up one area of law, and we, perhaps, don't need to do in front of
18 the witness, but Mr. Tolimir perhaps he should get an instruction later
19 that he does have the right, as a cross-examiner, to put information to
20 the witness. And he should know that because it is a fundamental right
21 that he has, and I don't know if that was reflected in his knowledge or
22 that was just a comment he made. But he -- he perhaps -- Your Honours
23 will want to instruct him that he can say, It is our position, based on
24 the evidence, that you were a sergeant. He can provide information.
25 That is a fundamental right he has in asking leading questions to a
1 witness, and I just want to make sure that he know this is early in the
2 case, and I apologise for interrupting.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. McCloskey. Perhaps I
4 misunderstood you. And, therefore, I'm -- I appreciate your explanation,
5 that clarifies the situation.
6 And I think Mr. Tolimir knows about his rights and will be able
7 to deal with this.
8 Carry on, please.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, I wish to apologise to you. I did not want to ask
12 any further questions because I received an answer. I do not expect any
13 cunning answers from you. I expect frank answers, and this is why I
14 asked a frank question. So thank you.
15 My next question is this: Did you voluntarily go on mission on
16 the 15th of July 1995, did you volunteer for that or were you assigned to
17 do that? Please tell us how that happened.
18 A. Our unit was accommodated in the barracks in Bijeljina as I said.
19 You mentioned the contract that we signed in February of 1995. I cannot
20 see it in front of me, but I know that I signed the contract. I don't
21 remember the exact date.
22 We had a normal working day, from 8.00 a.m. till 5.00 p.m.
23 had to go to the barracks and spend the whole day there. And, of course,
24 when there was an action, then we had to be on alert 24 hours, and it was
25 like that with those who were appointed as duty officers and duty
1 personnel on a particular day, then it was the same with them.
2 On that day, on the 10th of July, 1995, we arrived to the
3 barracks just on any other normal day. We were then told to go home and
4 take a uniform that we should change into uniform and come back in half
5 an hour because we would be going into action. They did not tell us
6 particularly what action that would be, but I remember that I went home
7 and took some personal hygiene items and I returned to the barracks.
8 Not long after that, we set off in the direction of Zvornik.
9 Q. Yes. Please explain that to us in your own words.
10 Let me not interrupt you. The question was: How did you come to
11 go to Srebrenica. So explain everything that you think is necessary.
12 Thank you.
13 A. As I already said, when we came to the barracks in the morning,
14 Franc Kos
15 extra uniform because we would go into action. He did not tell us at the
16 time where the action would take place. That's what I can say, that we
17 were issued such an order on that day in the morning that we would be
18 going into action.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to interrupt you very shortly. We
21 had two different dates on the records. Page 60 line 14 in your
22 question, you were referring to the 15th of July, 1995. And I would like
23 to know from the -- if the witness could indicate, is he talking about
24 the 15th or the 10th of July, as indicated on line 25 of the same page.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was on the 10th of July.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Please carry on.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for
4 pointing out the error in transcript. It is possible that I said the
5 15th of July instead of 10th of July.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Let me quote once again this Mr. Todorovic, who was an OTP
8 witness. And he was a sort of company commander in your platoon. And
9 the document is page 2, and the page of transcript is 14041, line 25.
10 And page of transcript 14042, where asked by Prosecutor McCloskey -- this
11 is the question, I'm quoting:
12 "You noticed that Drazen Erdemovic joined this group later. Can
13 you tell us something more about it? What were the circumstances under
14 which Erdemovic was a member of the group?"
15 And Witness Todorovic answers:
16 "Well, he did not want to stay on his own at the base. The
17 Intervention Platoon had already left. Some of the units were having
18 free time, and they were on furlough. Instead of going to Bijeljina on
19 his own, he joined the group that left the base."
20 I apologise to interpreters. I will mention again the last
22 "Well, he didn't want to stay on his own in the base. The
23 Intervention Squad had already left. Some of the troops were on
24 furlough. Instead of going to Bijeljina on his own, he joined the group
25 that left the base."
1 And my question is this: Mr. Erdemovic, can you please comment
2 on the statement of this Todorovic, whom you say you don't know, and
3 whether it is truthful or not? Thank you.
4 A. I don't understand what is discussed here, what was the event,
5 what base? Which base? And let me say that, again, the name
6 Dragan Todorovic means nothing to me.
7 Q. Well, in this transcript, there was talk of the 15th of July. So
8 that was after the funeral when you were supposed to go to Srebrenica
9 again. Is that true or not? I have assisted you now because I have told
10 you that the date here was the 15th of July when you were supposed to go
11 there again. Thank you.
12 A. I really do not understand what this is about.
13 Q. Thank you. That was a Prosecution witness, and what he said
14 probably served some other purpose in another case.
15 So did you go with your unit to Srebrenica simultaneously or not?
16 Thank you.
17 A. Well, he issued the order when you can see my name and the names
18 of other persons from my unit, the Bijeljina Platoon. You can see that
19 we all went together, because the order was issued to everyone, and we
20 all left together on that day. I don't understand what this person, this
21 Dragan Todorovic is talking about here.
22 Q. Thank you. I do not wish to be tiresome with Dragan Todorovic.
23 Just tell me, did you go to Srebrenica together with everyone else, or
24 did you come later? This is the only thing that I'm interested in.
25 Thank you.
1 A. Yes. I went together with everyone else on a bus that morning.
2 Q. Thank you. In an interview given by your commander, Misa, from
3 the 10th Sabotage Detachment, in November 1955 [as interpreted] on
4 page 7, paragraph 2, that was the weekly "Nin," this is what he says.
5 I'm quoting and I will ask you if this is true or not, what he says there
6 and you remember well, so please see.
7 In November 1995, that is 1D119 so that you and others could
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could Mr. Tolimir be clear on who Misa is so
11 everyone knows who Misa is.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 I said your commander Misa. I think that it is known who the
14 commander was and Mr. Erdemovic said already who the commander of his
15 unit was. So I said, did you read -- I'm quoting part of the interview
16 which Mr. Pelemis gave to the weekly "Nin." The document is 1D119 on
17 page 7, paragraph 2. Could you please pull that up on it's screen and
18 for Mr. McCloskey, the answer is that it was Misa Pelemis who was the
20 Thank you.
21 Thank you I will now quote. In English it is page 7,
22 paragraph 2, "In November --" I'm quoting from his interview. "In
23 November 1995 --"
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Wait a moment, please. You should indicate for
25 the witness which part of this interview and the newspaper you are
1 referring to.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have said page 7, paragraph 2, it
3 givens with the words: "In November 1995 ..."
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you please indicate where in this article in
5 B/C/S, the witness can find it and then it could be zoomed in.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My assistants will see where it is
7 because the font is very small. So they will tell you what line it is.
8 And in the English version, it's page 7, paragraph 2. Page 7,
9 paragraph 2. I cannot read English, so ...
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Tolimir, but the article was
11 not from 1995 but from 2005, from what I can see here.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, the article was
13 published in 2005, but it talks about 1995 and I'm quoting him. He says:
14 "In November 1995, I sent a letter to the Main Command that the
15 man is to be sent to a psychiatric ward."
16 In B/C/S, it is the second page and the third column:
17 "He had shown before," and then there's something that is not
18 clear, "most probably because of the actions he had had. The average was
19 two or three actions and he had already had six, seven actions. He
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. My question is this: Do you know that this is what your
23 commander said about you in the press, and is it true or not? Thank you.
24 A. This is not true, but, on the other hand, I would not be
25 surprised by anything coming from this person.
1 Q. Thank you. Thank you for your answer.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need our second break. I was waiting for a
3 convenient time, but now it's at the latest point. We must have our
4 second break now.
5 And we will resume at quarter past 6.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.19 p.m.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We apologise for the late return. We were
9 occupied by another commitment.
10 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We will now move to a different group of questions. I would
14 kindly ask you to tell me the following: Before the attack on
15 Srebrenica, before the arrival in Srebrenica before combat operations,
16 did you receive an order informing that you should not fire into
17 civilians, not set houses on fire, and so on. We've used up a lot of
18 time. I don't want to quote everything now. But please tell me this.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who issued the order to you?
21 A. Commander of our unit, Pelemis, Milorad Pelemis.
22 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, what exactly did Pelemis tell you as
23 the commander and did you abide by that while in combat in Srebrenica and
24 around Srebrenica?
25 A. Yes. Commander Pelemis told us we shouldn't shoot at civilians,
1 that we should call civilians to leave their homes and that we should
2 directly them to walk in front of us towards the football stadium.
3 Q. All right. And did you act in accordance with that during
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In order to be fully fair to Pelemis, I will quote his
7 transcript. Lines 17 to 19, page 10345.
8 Page 10945 and lines 17 to 19 as well. I'm quoting:
9 "As I have said, we should not shoot without reason. We should
10 call upon people to leave their homes. He told us not shoot at
11 civilians. We were told that we can expect great resistance and that we
12 were the first unit to enter the town."
13 I apologise the interpreters. I wanted to conclude this as
14 quickly as possible.
15 My question is: Is it true what I have just read? Is that how
16 he said it to you?
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I must confess, I'm lost. I don't
19 know which page. We have two different references here. Could you
20 indicate again the page number of which transcript.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Transcript 10945, lines 17 to 19.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now have 1D119 which is
25 the interview given by Pelemis as commander of the
1 10th Sabotage Detachment, on the 22nd of September, 2005, for the weekly
2 "Nin" from Belgrade
3 can see it on the screen now:
4 "I have to say that there were no hints for what was going to
5 follow later and Erdemovic confirmed that. I lined up all my people and
6 I explained to them that none of them should set any houses on fire. All
7 civilians and war prisoners need to be kept safe at the centre of
8 Srebrenica at the sports stadium there."
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. My question is: Is it true that Pelemis said this, is it true
11 that he lined you up and told you what I have just read out to you now?
12 Thank you.
13 A. Yes, along those lines.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic. Since we are skipping over some
15 questions so as not to keep you here tomorrow, tell me, please, were
16 there any NATO strikes against you at Srebrenica while you were there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know whether they hit any of the targets? Are you aware
19 of any such instances?
20 A. As far as I know, when we were at the entrance into town, when we
21 were in a suburb, as I learned later, they did hit the area close to the
22 house where the command of the Drina Wolves were and Deliko [phoen] was
24 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, when was Pelemis injured and when
25 was your colleague killed, the one whose funeral you attended?
1 A. On the 12th of July of 1995.
2 Q. Did you receive an order on the 12th of July telling you that you
3 had leave until the 21st of July?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please see 1D119, the
5 penultimate paragraph. Perhaps this would help the witness give his
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page and column in the B/C/S?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D119, page 2, penultimate
10 Mr. Pelemis said:
11 "On the 12th, in the morning, we were given an order informing us
12 that we were on leave until the 21st of July."
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have that on the screen, I think. We
14 have the right document but perhaps not the right paragraph.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Serbian version needs to be
16 moved so that we see the entire page. This is 1D119, page 2, penultimate
17 paragraph, where it says and I'm quoting:
18 "On the 12th, in the morning, we were given an order informing us
19 that we were on leave until the 21st of July.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Is that correct?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Tell us, please, until what time --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... [Microphone
25 not activated] we have the right document but ...
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now move the document to
2 the left so that we can see the Serbian version. And it's page 4 in the
4 All right. We can see it now here in the first column, third
5 bullet reads, I'm quoting:
6 "On the 12th, in the morning, at about 10.00, 11.00, we received
7 an order that we were on leave until the 21st of July. About 3.00 or
8 4.00 p.m.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, what I just read out, is it true and were you really on
12 leave after your friend was killed so that you could attend his funeral?
13 A. I wasn't on leave. I was designated to go and attend the funeral
14 in Trebinje.
15 Q. All right. Well, that's what I said. You were on leave in the
16 sense that you didn't have to participate in combat operations, so you
17 went to the funeral and when did you come back?
18 A. Which came in the morning on the 15th.
19 Q. In this interview your commander says that he was injured and
20 that he was on sick-leave and on treatment. Is that true?
21 A. When exactly was he on sick-leave?
22 Q. After that event and -- during the funeral -- or, rather, did he
23 attend the funeral with you?
24 A. No. He did not attend the funeral. And on the 16th in the
25 morning, he was present at Dragasevac, at the headquarters of the
1 Vlasenica Platoon.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Prosecution showed two
4 documents here. One is the document they showed for an earlier witness,
5 008690096 in e-court. And it's 4037 on the OTP 65 ter list.
6 Could we pull that document on the screen, please.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the last document,
8 the interview?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Could that be admitted into evidence, please.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I would object to that, Mr. President, as a
13 violation of the rules required by 92 bis and the other rules. And it's
14 a newspaper interview so its reliability to the Court shouldn't be much.
15 And this person is available and perhaps could be called as witness. He
16 may be available, but I know he is alive and well.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will deal with that later, not to waste the
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I simply
20 wanted to tender into evidence the document that I put to the witness
21 here, and this document speaks about his unit and the events in which he
22 participated, and it's up to the Court to decide whether it will be
23 admitted or not.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will deal with that later. We have now the
25 document you were asking for on the screen, and please continue and put
1 questions to the witness.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, I will now read out from a document which was OTP
5 65 ter 4037.
6 Please listen to this, and I will put my question later:
7 "The President of Republika Srpska was informed of successful
8 combat operations around Srebrenica by units of the Drina Corps and that
9 they have achieved results which enable them to take the very town of
11 That's the first paragraph. You see that here, don't you:
12 "The President of Republika Srpska is satisfied with the results
13 of combat operations around Srebrenica and has agreed with the
14 continuation of operations for the takeover of Srebrenica, disarming all
15 Muslim terrorist gangs and complete demilitarisation of the Srebrenica
17 That's the second paragraph.
18 The third paragraph, you can follow it on the screen:
19 "The President of Republika Srpska ordered that combat operations
20 be continued, that full protection be ensured to UNPROFOR members and the
21 Muslim civilian population and that they be guaranteed safety in the
22 event that they cross over to the territory of Republika Srpska."
23 That's the third paragraph.
24 I thank the interpreters.
25 I'm now reading the fourth paragraph:
1 "In accordance with the order of the President of the Republika
2 Srpska ... issuing an order to all combat units participating in combat
3 operations around Srebrenica to ensure maximum protection and safety to
4 all UNPROFOR members and the civilian Muslim population. ... order the
5 subordinate units to refrain from destroying civilian targets unless they
6 are forced to do so by strong enemy resistance. Forbid torching of
7 residential buildings and treat ... civilian population and war prisoners
8 in accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12th August, 1949."
9 Signed by assistant commander, Major-General Zdravko Tolimir.
10 Thank you.
11 I have read out this order and now tell me, please, were similar
12 orders forwarded to you, namely that you should abide by the instructions
13 issued by the Main Staff that no action be taken against civilians, that
14 no houses be set on fire and that you act in accordance with the
16 A. Yes. As I have said to you, the commander of our unit,
17 Milorad Pelemis told us not to shoot at civilians and to direct them to
18 go to the football pitch, which was in front of us, in Srebrenica. I
19 don't remember him mentioning the Geneva Conventions, but the rest was
20 along those lines.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, 4037 is this document
23 on the OTP 65 ter list, and I tender it into evidence.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D41, Your Honour.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Earlier while you were examined by the Prosecutor, we saw a
3 document which was an order of the 10th Sabotage Detachment containing a
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is 04239 --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't catch the rest.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. This is
8 Exhibit P00233. All right, we have it on the screen.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. It says here:
11 "Pursuant the order dated 10th of July."
12 So this order that you received by Pelemis, was it written based
13 on this other order, that I have just mentioned or was based on some
14 other order?
15 A. Well, I don't really know. I didn't see this order until last
16 year, I think. But judging by the date, I think this is an order to the
17 officers in Bijeljina, in the barracks, who were to be deployed from
18 Bijeljina to Vlasenica and Bratunac.
19 Q. Thank you. This is the first time that I see this order myself
20 because it was only admitted into evidence today.
21 But I just asked you whether it was based on this order that you
22 received your orders and instructions on how to comport yourself.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've just been told by my
24 assistant, my legal assistant, that was this was already -- that this
25 document has already been admitted into evidence. Thank you.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now we're going move on to the events at the Branjevo farm.
4 You said - and we have it on the transcript - that between 1.000
5 and 1500 -- or 1200 people were killed there, and that this is your free
7 Did I quote you correctly or not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Was this estimate just approximate or do you allow
10 for this figure to be either smaller or larger?
11 A. I can't really say that this is the correct figure. I don't
12 think it is bigger. It is possible that it is a smaller number but I
13 can't really tell how many persons exactly were involved.
14 Q. Thank you. You said during the examination-in-chief that you
15 refused to go to Zvornik or, to be more precise, to Pilica, where you
16 were to kill some people at the cultural centre; is that correct?
17 A. Yes. A few people from my unit and I, myself, refused. We said
18 that we didn't want to abide by that order.
19 Q. Thank you. But you said also during the examination-in-chief
20 that you were at a cafe near the cultural hall or culture centre in
21 Pilica; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Later on you said that you heard some shooting and that some 500
24 people were killed on that occasion, which is something that was being
25 said while you were later on in Branjevo when you refused to participate
1 in these events; is that correct?
2 A. Well, I did not mention the 500 people. That figure, 500
3 individuals. It was mentioned by the lieutenant-colonel. And as for the
4 shots and the hand-grenades explosions, I did hear that while we were
5 still on the farm. We hadn't left the farm yet.
6 Q. Thank you. So you weren't an eye-witness to these events. You
7 just mentioned, in fact, that you heard the blasts, the explosions; am I
8 correct or not?
9 A. Well, afterwards when we left the cafe, when we left the farm,
10 we could see, because there was a regiment of the police, that there
11 were -- we could see some bodies outside the cultural hall.
12 Q. Thank you. Did you -- could you, yourself, make an estimate of
13 how many bodies there were, or did you just say that, based on the words
14 of that person?
15 A. Well, I just repeated what this person in Branjevo said.
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic, for your answers and for
17 your evidence and thank you for coming to testify before this
18 Trial Chamber today. I apologise for putting some questions that I
19 wanted clarified for the benefit of the Trial Chamber and this trial. I
20 thank you again, and I wish you a safe journey home to where you reside
21 now. I don't want to mentioned name of that place. And I also would
22 like to thank the interpreters for bearing with us because we were trying
23 to finish with your testimony as fast as we could so that you could leave
24 today because that was what you said your desire was.
25 Thank you. I have completed my cross-examination.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir, especially for
2 your kind words.
3 I think we should today mark the document 1D119 for
4 identification, and we will come back to that for a decision.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D42 marked for
6 identification, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. And something else you used, the
8 document 1D00133, do you tender that?
9 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Mr. McCloskey, do you have re-examination.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just two questions, two or three questions,
13 Mr. President, and would you like to us write any motions or any support
14 for my objection to that one document or not?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it is it not necessary to have written
16 submissions. I just wanted to postpone the decision.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
19 Q. Mr. Erdemovic, General Tolimir, on pages 71 and 72, reiterated
20 Lieutenant Pelemis's admonition to the unit not to fire on any civilians.
21 Yet you have testified that when a man in civilian clothes claiming he
22 was civilian came into your group, Pelemis ordered that he be killed.
23 How do you account for that difference?
24 A. Well, I am not the one to explain that to you. I can't explain
25 why he made that decision, why he took that decision. I don't know. But
1 I also stated here that he had told us not to fire at civilians and then
2 some -- an hour or an hour and a half later, he ordered Maljic to slit
3 that man's throat. I cannot explain it.
4 Q. Was that throat-cutting filmed by the 10th Sabotage Detachment?
5 A. I don't really know that it was filmed by the
6 10th Sabotage Detachment, but I saw for the first time when you showed it
7 to me yesterday and asked me whether there was the person involved and
8 whether that was the place where this man was killed, I told you that I
9 couldn't really tell, because -- but -- because I saw the mosque there, I
10 said that I knew that there's a great chance that that was that person.
11 Now, who filmed that, I really don't know.
12 Q. Did Kremenovic have a film of that person having his throat cut?
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 A. I can't remember precisely, but I think he did mention something
15 but I can't speculate.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Erdemovic.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this was not
19 something that I questioned the witness about during my
20 cross-examination. I apologise to Mr. McCloskey, but I would appreciate
21 if he would confine his questions to the cross-examination. I apologise
22 to the witness and thank him for his answers, but he cannot speak about
23 things he didn't see.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, could you give us a reference.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, Mr. President. It was very clear to
2 me, and I believe everyone in the courtroom, that General Tolimir was
3 trying to count on Pelemis's order not to kill civilians as some sort of
4 justification or some sort of defence that this didn't happen.
5 As an officer of the court, I have reason to believe that -- and
6 you've seen the evidence that he, in fact, ordered the murder of a man.
7 And I have -- as an officer of the court, evidence that this was
8 videotaped and kept by commanders of the 10th Sabotage Detachment as late
9 as 1996 and that it was something that they had a record of indicating it
10 would be something that they were proud of and wanted to keep for
12 So this idea that there was a real order not to -- not kill
13 people is totally undercut by their taking and holding this video of
14 something being killed.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 Mr. Tolimir, do you want to put a question to this topic to the
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness clearly stated during
19 the re-direct that he wasn't sure that that was the same person but that
20 he saw the mosque, and based on that, he judged that perhaps this image
21 actually related to that incident but he said that he couldn't tell that
22 this was -- he didn't know whether this was actually videotaped by the
23 10th Sabotage Detachment.
24 So I just pointed out what the witness had said, and I don't
25 think that the witness should now be led to say things that he hadn't
1 said before, and he said that he had seen it for the first time
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Then I take it you don't want to put
4 another question to the witness.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
7 JUDGE NYAMBE: Mr. McCloskey, can you direct us to today's
8 transcript in cross-examination --
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE NYAMBE: It's okay, Mr. McCloskey. I withdraw my attempt
11 to have you point at the record where that issue was raised.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Your Honour. I can assure
13 Your Honours, I do not deliberately ever go outside the scope of
14 cross-examination. If I do wish to do so, I will ask you to reopen my
15 re-direct, and I think you'll find that that is the reputation of this
16 trial team and my directions are strict to all my trial team members.
17 And I would like it if I could continue this witness to stay over till
18 tomorrow so I can show him the documents that I'm referring to about this
19 tape to help refresh his recollection, or in the very least, since there
20 appears to be some question regarding the Prosecution on this, that I am
21 able to show that material to you so that you understand I do have a
22 reason to believe there is another tape, and I'm not talking about the
23 piece of tape that we played, that was taped from the 12th of July.
24 There was talk and statements of another tape that actually showed this
25 killing, and I'm -- could show that to help refresh this witness's
1 recollection, to clear up this matter.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I think nobody is challenging the
3 reputation of the Prosecution's team. Absolutely not. But sometimes we
4 have to -- a discussion about on the rules of on re-examination. And
5 therefore -- and perhaps you understood Judge Nyambe, she withdraw --
6 withdrew the -- the question she wanted to put to you. And, therefore, I
7 think we are at the end of the questioning of this witness. The Chamber
8 has no more questions for the witness, and I think perhaps Mr. Tolimir
9 has an additional question.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I was
11 just about to say that in my cross-examination I never mentioned the
12 event that Mr. McCloskey is now referring to. I just mentioned -- I
13 asked the witness about the order issued by Mr. Pelemis, and I asked the
14 witness whether Pelemis had said this in that sheltered area where they
15 were, and there was nothing in the transcript where I mentioned anything
16 or tried in any way to impute anything to Mr. McCloskey or anyone else,
17 and least of all to the witness, because the witness told us everything
18 he knew about this.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, one answer of the witness to your
21 question dealt with this order and the reality. I don't want to go into
22 further details. And I think we are at a stage now to -- not to continue
23 a discussion about this topic.
24 We will find in -- in future occasions enough reasons for
25 discussing the scope of cross and re-examination. I'm sure we will find
1 a way to deal with it in the proper way.
2 Mr. Erdemovic, will you be pleased to hear that this concludes
3 your evidence and the questioning for you. The Chamber would like to
4 thank you, that you were able to attend this trial and to come to
5 The Hague
6 Thank you very much again. The Court Officer will help you out.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are there any matters to raise? I think,
9 especially, what is about the trial tomorrow and is there a witness
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I apologise for being a little
12 sensitive and cranky at the end of the evening, and, Your Honour Nyambe,
13 I apologise.
14 Tomorrow we have spoken to Mr. Gajic, and we have Mr. Janc
15 available for his continuing cross-examination, and I'm told that it may
16 take some time so it should take the full day tomorrow.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This seems to be convenient for you as well,
18 Mr. Tolimir.
19 Then we will have Mr. Janc as the next witness tomorrow.
20 Thank you very much. We adjourn now and resume tomorrow in the
21 afternoon, 2.15 p.m.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.
24 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 18th day of May,
25 2010, at 2.15 p.m.