1 Thursday, 7 October 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody. Before the witness
6 will be brought in, I would like to raise one matter. On the 7th of
7 July, the Chamber issued the so-called 92 bis decision and we have heard
8 that the Prosecution had some problems with a list of witnesses and to
9 categorise them. Last week on the 28th of September, the Chamber sent an
10 e-mail it to the parties with some guidance how to arrange that. We
11 would like to get an update during today's hearing, not at the moment.
12 Perhaps you can provide us with the status of your compliance with this
13 7th July decision. Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, good morning, Mr. President, and everyone.
15 Your Honours. Yes, Ms. Stewart tells me that we'll be uploading many of
16 the witnesses by next week or if not all. All 92 bis with cross will be
17 uploaded next week in e-court. And I will talk to Mr. Thayer about any
18 other details or issues related to that and get updated. He has been
19 sick so I haven't been able to talk to him, but I don't know if he's in
20 today or not.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this update. That is appreciated.
22 The Chamber was told that there is another procedural matter the
23 Prosecution wants to raise.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. Last night when we
25 accelerated to the two witnesses today, I realised that the Prosecution
1 needed to ask you to give the warnings, the 90(E) warning, so I sent an
2 e-mail to the Court Officer and to Mr. Gajic last night. I don't know if
3 you got that. But as you'll recall, the 90(E) is where there may be some
4 indication a witness is involved or close to the events, and what we are
5 asking is that you let both of them know that they have a right under
6 90(E) to object to making statements which might incriminate them, but
7 that if they do object, the Court may compel them to answer the
8 questions, but -- and in that event, those compelled statements cannot be
9 used against them. I think it's been awhile since we've done that, but
10 that I wanted to ask you if you could do. You will see that -- and you
11 know from the record that these witnesses were very closely involved in
12 these events.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for this recommendation.
14 Indeed, one of the witnesses was told accordingly in the Popovic case, as
15 I saw it in the transcript, and we -- I think we should proceed in that
17 Are there any other matters to raise? This is not the case, then
18 the witness should be brought in, please.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please read aloud the affirmation to
23 tell truth on the card which is shown to you now.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down. The Court
2 Officer will assist you. Are the earphones now situated in a proper
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is not the first time that you will testify in
6 this Tribunal. You've done it earlier, and you will perhaps recall that
7 the presiding judge in the Popovic case gave you some guidance and I
8 would like to do the same. In our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, we
9 have a Rule 90 with a paragraph (E), and I would like to read it for your
10 information. It is said in this paragraph:
11 "The witness may object to making any statement which might tend
12 to incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness
13 to answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be
14 used as evidence in a subsequent Prosecution against the witness for any
15 offence other than false testimony."
16 I think you were already told about these regulations. We were
17 told that you were present at some stages in the events we are dealing
18 with here in the Tribunal, so that you should be aware of your right to
19 reject answers to some questions if this answer could incriminate
20 yourself. Did you understand that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The Prosecution has some
23 questions for you. Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 WITNESS: OSTOJA STANISIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examination by Mr. McCloskey:
3 Q. Good morning. Could you first tell us your name?
4 A. Ostoja Stanisic.
5 Q. And do you recall testifying in the Popovic case back in 16 and
6 17th of May, 2007?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And have you had a chance in the last two days to listen to your
9 complete testimony in that case?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And if you were asked the same questions today or in the next
12 days here, would your answers be the same as they were in the Popovic
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Thank you.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: In that case, Mr. President, I would like to
17 offer P1074 into evidence. That is the transcript of the witness in the
18 Popovic case.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I can note for the record that the associated
21 exhibits admitted through this witness I would like to also offer. They
22 should be on the sheet, but I can go over them briefly as P1075 through
23 P1079, and then P00011, P1080, P1081, P1082, P1083 through P1087. Those
24 are all the exhibits that I would offer that came in through this witness
25 in the Popovic case.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: All these documents will be received.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: And now I'll read the summary.
3 Mr. Stanisic was born in December 1951 in Fojnica. He served his
4 compulsory military service with the JNA between 1977 and 1978 in the
5 infantry branch of the school for reserve officers. Upon completion of
6 his training, he was given the rank of sergeant. After his compulsory
7 military service, he returned to Fojnica where he remained part of the
8 reserved armed forces in the position of the security organ.
9 In May 1992, he was mobilised into the armed forces of Republika
10 Srpska as a captain. Mr. Stanisic remained in the Republika Srpska armed
11 forces or VRS through 1995.
12 In July 1995, Mr. Stanisic was the commander of the 6th Infantry
13 Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, known as the Petkovci Battalion, which
14 was headquartered in the village of Petkovci. On the morning of 14 July,
15 1995, Mr. Stanisic was at the battalion forward command post when he
16 received two calls over the radio from the Zvornik Brigade deputy
17 commander and Chief of Staff, Dragan Obrenovic. Obrenovic ordered
18 Stanisic to send 40 of his men to the Zvornik Brigade command to join the
19 units that had been deployed in Snagovo.
20 Mr. Stanisic reported to the Zvornik Brigade headquarters at the
21 Standard Barracks with those men sometime before noon that day. He then
22 returned to the forward command post around 1300, 1400 hours where he had
23 a briefing with his company commanders. He returned to the battalion
24 command post at the old school in Petkovci at around 1700 or 1800 hours
25 that afternoon.
1 When Mr. Stanisic returned to the battalion command post in
2 Petkovci, his deputy, Marko Milosevic, told him that the Zvornik Brigade
3 duty officer, Dragan Jokic, had radioed from brigade command to say that
4 captured Muslim prisoners were supposed to arrive at the new school in
5 Petkovci to be exchanged. By the time Stanisic had returned to the
6 battalion command post, the prisoners had already arrived at the new
7 school in Petkovci.
8 Jokic called again and spoke to Stanisic directly. He asked
9 Stanisic to find Colonel Beara, who was supposed to have been located
10 somewhere around the new school in Petkovci. Stanisic testified that the
11 duty officer told him that "Colonel Beara was supposed to be notified
12 that he should report to the command." Stanisic asked, "Where, what
13 command?" And the duty officer said, "Well, he knows well which command
14 he's suppose today report to."
15 Stanisic went to -- sent, excuse me, Stanisic sent Milosevic to
16 find Colonel Beara. About half an hour later, Milosevic returned and
17 reported back to Stanisic that he had found Beara with Zvornik Brigade
18 assistant commander for security, Drago Nikolic, near the new Petkovci
19 school. Milosevic informed Beara that he should report to his command.
20 Milosevic also reported having seen buses and trucks at the school as
21 well as some military police and soldiers.
22 Stanisic notified the person on duty in the brigade command that
23 Beara had received the message.
24 During the afternoon -- and this is the 15 July -- excuse me,
25 during the afternoon of the 14 July, Stanisic heard isolated shots or
1 bursts of fire coming from the school. That night he stayed at the
2 battalion command post at the old Petkovci school. He heard short bursts
3 of fire into the night.
4 The next morning, Stanisic was at the forward command post of the
5 battalion where he received a call that villagers from Petkovci had come
6 to his command complaining about the visibility and stench of corpses and
7 requested a truck to remove the bodies near the new school and to clean
8 the area.
9 Stanisic released a truck to remove bodies and to clean the
10 school on the morning of 15 July.
11 Stanisic saw Zvornik Brigade deputy commander Dragan Obrenovic on
12 the morning of 16 July on the left wing of the battalion's defence line.
13 Stanisic stated that he told Obrenovic that he was angry at having to
14 provide a lorry from the battalion for the civilians to remove the bodies
15 and clean the school.
16 Stanisic denied any knowledge that hundreds of prisoners were
17 transported from the new school at Petkovci to the dam near Petkovci on
18 the night of 15 July. He also denied any knowledge that large numbers of
19 prisoners were buried at the dam near Petkovci during the day on 15 July.
20 If I could ask a few questions to highlight some of those points.
21 Could we bring up P1083.
22 Q. And as that's coming up, Mr. Stanisic, could you tell us at the
23 time did you know the position of Colonel Beara?
24 A. I knew that he was the security organ.
25 Q. And did you know which division, whether it be brigade, corps, or
1 Main Staff or some other that he was the security organ from?
2 A. Security organ attached to the General Staff.
3 Q. And we have heard from your testimony that your deputy Marko
4 Milosevic reported back to you that he did make this report to
5 Colonel Beara and he saw Drago Nikolic with him. Can you tell us who
6 Drago Nikolic was at the time on 14 July?
7 A. Drago Nikolic was the security organ in the brigade. He was the
8 chief of security in the Zvornik Brigade.
9 Q. Okay. Let's look at this document P1083, and is that your
10 handwriting in blue on it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And do you remember creating this exhibit in court in the Popovic
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what is -- generally what area is shown in this photograph?
16 A. The village Petkovci and marked with a red circle and number 2 is
17 the new school. Marked with number 1 is the old school where the
18 battalion command was and houses which were inhabited are encircled with
19 a blue pen. And it is indicated where the dam should be, the direction.
20 Q. And can you tell us roughly how many kilometres the dam, the
21 plateau of the dam is from the -- well, the new school at Petkovci? Just
23 A. Perhaps up to 2 kilometres or between 2 and 3.
24 Q. And roughly how long would it take to drive a truck from this
25 little village of Petkovci over to that plateau of the dam?
1 A. Well, around 5 to 10 minutes. It depends.
2 Q. And can you tell us again roughly where the front line was for
3 your particular battalion? I mean, roughly how many kilometres up in
4 those hills was it from the village of Petkovci?
5 A. The right wing of the defence was perhaps a kilometre away from
6 the village, and the left wing was further away, maybe up to 2 or 3
7 kilometres because it stretched along a hill. It was 2 or 3 kilometres
8 away from Petkovci.
9 Q. And in those days when the Muslims from Srebrenica came through
10 the Zvornik Brigade lines and there was fighting, roughly 14, 15, 16
11 July, did your battalion pick up any Muslim corpses and -- from the
12 combat and do anything with them?
13 A. As for my defence sector, that is the defence sector of the
14 6th Battalion, we did not have any wounded Muslims or any Muslims who
15 were killed. We were fighting at a distance from the direction of Nezuk,
16 that was the 2nd Corps from Tuzla, and from the direction of Motovska
17 Kosa, that was in depth in our territory and there were only -- there was
18 only fire in the direction of Muslims, that is to say the column, until
19 the moment when a truce was signed. We were firing with all the weapons
20 and equipment that we had because I had to defend the front line. But we
21 did not have any direct contact with the Muslim manpower and in this
22 area, no Muslims were killed or taken prisoners.
23 Q. And can you tell us what Zvornik battalion bore the brunt of that
24 Muslim column where they actually had to deal with them?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did you receive the interpretation of the last
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: I can try again.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please, try again.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY:
5 Q. Can you tell us if you know, what Zvornik Brigade battalion had
6 to do the most fighting with the Muslim column as it came from their
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It appears that there is a problem with the
9 interpretation. I would like to ask Mr. Tolimir and Mr. Gajic, did you
10 receive proper translation of the last portion?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I stop hearing the
12 sound occasionally and I can't hear anything.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we should change the earphones and use
14 another set. Sir, do you receive proper interpretation now?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, please continue.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY:
18 Q. Can you tell us which Zvornik Brigade battalion had to deal with
19 the Muslim column as it approached from the rear? If you folks didn't
20 have to deal with them so much, which battalion did, if you know?
21 A. The adjacent battalion to the left wing from me, that was the 4th
22 Battalion, and the Muslim forces had practically passed through the line
23 held by the 4th Battalion and attacked the command as well. Some
24 soldiers got killed and were wounded on our side or were burned, and they
25 managed to make a break-through across and through the line that was held
1 by the 4th Battalion.
2 Q. And when you say "they managed to break through," you are talking
3 about who?
4 A. About the Muslims.
5 Q. All right. And we'll be talking to the commander of the 4th
6 Battalion soon enough.
7 Sir, we've heard from your prior testimony that villagers -- you
8 have said that villagers complained to you about corpses. Where were
9 those corpses that they complained about?
10 A. The bodies were near houses and near the school building. There
11 was population inhabiting the area nearby and it was in that area that
12 they found the bodies.
13 Q. You've talked about two schools, the old school and the new
14 school. Which school or perhaps both or where were the bodies found?
15 A. The new school.
16 Q. And roughly how many bodies, to your knowledge?
17 A. Believe me, I don't know the exact number, was it two or three
18 corpses, I don't know.
19 Q. And if -- how do you explain their deaths if there were -- you
20 did not retrieve any battle casualties from the Muslims?
21 A. Well, probably since they had been transported there and placed
22 there, they must have been killed by those who brought them there.
23 Q. And who brought them there, to your knowledge?
24 A. According to what I learned from my deputy Mr. Milosevic who had
25 told me that he had informed Colonel Beara, he saw trucks and buses
1 there, and he saw soldiers with white belts, presumably since it was the
2 military police who normally had these white belts, one could assume that
3 they were members of the military police. Which unit is something that
4 we didn't know.
5 Q. Now, as you've told us, Mr. Milosevic told Beara to report. Did
6 Colonel Beara come by your battalion headquarters to make any
7 communications to report to anyone that day or any other day?
8 A. Nobody came to the battalion command. Nobody came to the command
9 on that day, and later on I was up at the combat positions and I had no
10 way of knowing if anybody had come to the command or not. It was
11 practically abandoned, in other words. There was only the logistics
12 platoon present there, as well as the guards. My entire command
13 personnel, as well as some of the auxiliary personnel were up on the
14 defence line manning these positions. I had to compensate for the 40 men
15 that I lost because I had to send them to Lieutenant-Colonel Obrenovic,
16 the chief.
17 Q. Now, you've testified that this message that Colonel Beara was
18 coming -- came from the brigade duty officer. Where was the brigade duty
19 officer calling from when he made this report to you and Mr. Milosevic?
20 A. The brigade duty officer was supposed to be at the brigade
21 command within the Standard facility in Zvornik.
22 Q. And had Colonel Beara gone back to that brigade command from
23 Petkovci, roughly how long would it have taken him to drive from Petkovci
24 to the Standard Barracks in Zvornik?
25 A. Well, approximately 20 minutes. Between 10 and 20 minutes. It
1 all depends on the speed at which you drive.
2 Q. It was a hard asphalt road the entire way, or was there gravel?
3 A. The entire road was asphalted.
4 Q. And once present at the Zvornik Brigade, would he have had the
5 ability or would anyone have had the ability to communicate from the
6 Zvornik Brigade headquarters to the headquarters of the Main Staff at
7 Crni Rijeka or Han Pijesak?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's go to P1085. There should be an
10 English version and a B/C/S version and we need to flip it around so we
11 can read it. And I think the -- it needs -- that's it. And if we could
12 focus, well, first on the first page so we can see the number of the
14 Q. It's a TAM 75.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I'm sorry, we need to get the complete
16 document because I need the vehicle number which is just off to the
17 right. Sorry, you can keep that page up on the B/C/S, but we need the
18 page on the right on the English -- there we go. Okay.
19 Q. We can now see that this is registration number M-5329. What is
20 a TAM 75?
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you for switching it. We did now need to
22 switch to the second page.
23 Q. But can you tell us what a TAM 75 is?
24 A. It's a lorry with the carrying capacity of 2.5 tonnes and it
25 has a -- it's covered in tarp with a wooden frame.
1 Q. And if there are -- are there sometimes benches in the back that
2 soldiers can sit in?
3 A. Yes. We normally use these vehicles to transport troops to
4 positions. There were inhabited settlements nearby and they were
5 soldiers. I could use these vehicles to transport my men in an emergency
6 or for regular shifts of soldiers, depending on the situation in the
8 Q. How many soldiers could you really push together in the back of a
9 TAM 75 if you needed to?
10 A. With weapons and full gear, perhaps 15 to 20 men.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to the next page in both
12 English and B/C/S, if we could. And let's first blow up the handwritten
13 B/C/S. We are looking for 15 July.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We can't see the date properly. It should be
15 moved a little bit to the right. The other way around, please. Yes.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's pretty good.
17 Q. I'm looking for that first entry on 15 July, it says
18 "Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci." Now, when it says "Brana" what is that a
19 reference to?
20 A. Brana is the dam, the only one that was there with the red
21 sludge, and it's the aluminium and you have the alkaline waste there.
22 Q. And what was this TAM 75 doing going to the dam that day from the
23 village of Petkovci and back again?
24 A. Well, probably since the villagers were looking to obtain a lorry
25 given that there were corpses there, they drove them over to where that
1 red sludge was. That is my opinion.
2 Q. So you don't know?
3 A. That's what they said, that they were corpses, so they -- I mean,
4 transported the corpses to the dam.
5 Q. And what happened to the corpses at the dam, as far as you know?
6 A. Believe me when I say that I don't know what happened next. I
7 wasn't there. I only returned to brigade command -- or rather the
8 battalion command on the 16th or the 17th when the line was reformed,
9 when the situation calmed down, and once the Muslims had already gone out
10 of the Srebrenica area through the open corridor.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's move this over from right to left so that
13 we get the right side of both things so we can see more information on
14 this sheet. Okay. Right there. That's good. Now -- right there.
15 Q. We see here that under one of the boxes it's "journeys" and
16 "people," and if we look at this particular entry,
17 Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci, I think if we could get your help and start over
18 to the left and just slowly move to the right so we can try to keep track
19 of where it is. So if we start at Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci and just
20 slowly go over, and we'll see that -- okay, right there we have four
21 journeys and 1 plus 8 people. So if there's four journeys back and forth
22 to Petkovci, is that what that means?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And when it says 1 plus 8 people, what does that mean?
25 A. It should stand for driver plus the number of passengers driven.
1 In this case, one would be the driver and eight would be the number of
3 Q. So those four trips with eight people, that's 32 passengers. Who
4 were those 32 passengers?
5 A. Here, well this -- believe me when I tell you that it's
6 inexplicable. Four would be shifts or trips, so would you perhaps have
7 eight men in each of the shifts or the trips, or was it a different
8 arrangement. I don't think that anyone can explain this other than the
9 person who wrote it. Well, look here below, you have 1 plus 6, so that
10 would mean one trip where six people were taken somewhere, but as for
11 this other number, I don't think I can clarify it.
12 Q. Yes. Well, we know Parlog, that was probably the front line and
13 that was probably taking soldiers to the front line to help the fighting,
14 wasn't it?
15 A. That's possible too.
16 Q. The dam was just a few kilometres from your headquarters, was
17 there any fighting going on at the dam on the 14th and 15th?
18 A. No. There was no fighting. The soldiers from my battalion had
19 no purpose there because they had no orders that would take them there.
20 I told you already that all the personnel that I had at my disposal, even
21 those who were resting at the time, were called up by me and were
22 deployed to the positions. Next to the dam you have the village of
23 Djulici where men from Bircani were stationed who were also members of my
24 unit so 1 plus 8, I don't know what it means. They would also be taken
25 to the front lines.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to one more document, it's P1090.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we leave this document, Judge Mindua want
3 to put a question to the witness.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, my apologies,
5 Mr. Prosecutor.
6 Witness, I'm still dealing with the same document, P1085. And
7 I'm still dealing with the same entry. We have talked about the figure 1
8 and 8, but on the left-hand side, I see "out of service." What exactly
9 was out of service? I'm just wondering. Could this be the actual meter
10 or was it the vehicle itself? What was out of service? The Prosecutor
11 might help you in answering the question, but then we have the figure 35,
12 this has not been explained either, so there are two questions, the
13 figure 35 and the mention of out of service. This will help us to better
14 understand this document. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't find it. Oh, yes,
16 "starting at," this meant that the counter of the number of kilometres
17 travelled was out of service or wasn't working properly and that would
18 tell you the number of kilometres travelled. In other words, the driver
19 was unable to establish by looking at the counter what the status of
20 kilometres travelled was. Rather, he had to write down an estimate of
21 the kilometres travelled and we needed this to have proper records kept.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. And as for figure 35
23 on the right-hand side, it is actually linked to what it says next to it,
24 namely "out of service," it's because the odometer wasn't working and
25 therefore the driver felt that they had driven 35 kilometres in this
1 instance, is that what you are saying here?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I
4 understand better now.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The document that we
7 have on the left-hand side, which is the original, is not consistent with
8 or does not correspond to the one on the right-hand side because it
9 states that the metre -- the kilometre count was out of order and yet we
10 have the number of kilometres stated there. What does this mean?
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, I would like to invite you to
12 dwell on that a little bit further to understand fully this document.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know what he is talking about. They are
14 the same and --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No. There's indeed a problem. We see on the
16 right-hand side kilometre counter starting at 350.193 kilometres and this
17 is at least illegible on the left-hand side, the original B/C/S version.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll look into that, that's a translation error.
19 I don't understand that. That's a good point.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It seems, if that is true, it seems to be a very
21 old car, but it could be understandable that the kilometre counter is not
22 moving, but this is all speculation. Do you have any idea, witness,
23 about this kilometre number on the left-hand side? We can't see
24 something, only "kilometre" but perhaps Mr. McCloskey has the original
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: We'll get the original document, but I'm
2 confident that that is a decent scan of it. There are many, many of
3 these documents, they come in a big stack and the translators may have
4 interspersed one for the other and we'll get to the bottom of that.
5 That's a good point and we'll try to find out where that is coming from.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the column number 9, Judge Mindua was putting
7 a question to that. For me it's not clear yet. In the headline in the
8 translation it is said "archived TKM/PKM expression unknown." It is
9 column number 9. Sorry, I misread. It is "achieved," not "archived."
10 That was my mistake. Please carry on, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. Yes, Mr. Stanisic, if you could help us with that column number
13 9. We see a sideways Cyrillic writing, can you read that for us in your
14 language and tell us what it means, if you know?
15 A. Believe me, I know little of such logs. What I do know is that
16 all these numbers that we have there, 30, 50, and so on, that they stand
17 for the amount of kilometres travelled on that day.
18 Q. And I understand that, but can you read out the word, I'm sure
19 you can read the word that's at the top of number 9 and the initials
21 A. "Achieved TKM/PKM." Well, TKM, I don't know what it stands for.
22 And PKM might be -- no, I don't know, really. I can't clarify this for
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And if we could go to the first page of the
1 document in both languages. If we go to the right side of each document,
2 thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need the first page in B/C/S as well. It's
4 coming up.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY:
6 Q. And we can see here that they are -- someone is accounting --
7 looks like they are accounting for fuel in this; is that correct?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you answer the question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't realise it was addressed
10 to me. Yes.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY:
12 Q. And can you tell us, tell the Chamber how important a commodity
13 fuel was at the time?
14 A. Well, fuel was very important. Practically as much as gold.
15 There were shortages everywhere so it was highly valued.
16 Q. And how important was keeping track of the fuel and the
17 kilometres used in relation to that fuel?
18 A. As we were supplied by the brigade, they approximately knew or
19 actually they knew the kilometres and judging by these vehicle logs, they
20 would approve the amount of fuel, judging by the number of kilometres.
21 That was how they decided how much fuel to approve for our use. There
22 may have been just 5 or 6 litres of fuel in a vehicle, just so that it
23 could reach Standard, and if it needed to go anywhere further from
24 Standard then it would be filled up with fuel in accordance with the
25 number of kilometres as stated on the vehicle log. It depended on what
1 the destination was. If the distance was greater, there would be more
2 fuel assigned. If it was shorter, then it would be less fuel.
3 Q. All right. Thank you.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 1090.
5 Q. And this is another vehicle log. And our last log P1085 was for
6 vehicle M-5329 and we should see -- if we could go to the first page,
7 that this is M-5300. And this is a TAM 80. Can you tell us what the
8 difference is between a TAM 75 which was the last vehicle and a TAM 80
9 which is this vehicle?
10 A. Well, both vehicles were almost identical. Perhaps TAM 80 was a
11 later model. It also had one plus two cab and it also had the bed which
12 was like a box with tarpaulin. There weren't any great differences
13 between the two. Its capacity was also up to 2.5 tonnes.
14 Q. All right. Well, let's look at this one a bit like we did the
15 last one.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: So let's go to the next page in both languages.
17 In the B/C/S let's -- I think there should be a page before this one.
18 There you go. And could we -- let's blow this up. And let's go to
19 this -- the section that the General pointed out that was a problem on
20 the other one. Can we go to -- all right, let's -- we'll start right
21 where this is.
22 Q. And again I want us to look at 15 July, and I think we can see it
23 down there. Again it says "Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci." And this one has
24 0900 to 1100 hours. And let's go slowly to the right so we can see what
25 else it says. Okay let's stop there. We do see a word this time in
1 section 5 and it says "starting at." And then I think it's handwritten
2 "not working." Is that correct in section 5?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then we see in the first line it says again "not working,"
5 and then we see the little hash-marks that go all the way down it. Do
6 those little hash-marks mean not working all the way down for each of
7 these days?
8 A. Yes. The odometer in the vehicle was not working, device that
9 counts the number of kilometres travelled.
10 Q. So this truck's was broken as well; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: So let's slowly go across at
13 Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci, left to the right, please. We see six journeys.
14 Okay, that's fine. Okay. And stop right there.
15 Q. And we see this time 1 plus 5 and then for kilometres 48. So is
16 your explanation for this any different than the last one; 1 is the
17 driver, 5 is the passengers?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And this one is 6 -- 6 journeys, unlike the last one that was 4,
20 and so we have a total of 48 kilometres, which is a few more than the
21 last one. So is that -- does that reflect your understanding of this
22 document like the last one?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So that would mean that there's 30 people taken to the dam in six
25 journeys on the morning of the 15th of July. Let me just ask you, do you
1 know if those people were in the back were alive or dead?
2 A. As I said earlier, I don't know. I cannot interpret whether five
3 men were transported during each of the trips, but I would go back to the
4 15th of July here where it says Petkovci-Srebrenica. Can we just move
5 the document a little bit so as to show that. A little bit more, please.
6 The 15th of July, so it's one in the same date.
7 Here we can see the 15th of July and that the vehicle left for
8 Srebrenica on the 15th of July at 8.00 in the morning and returned at
9 1000 hours. And then on the same day it also took the trip
10 Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci. During my previous testimony, I also said that
11 this is impossible because I know that this vehicle left for Srebrenica
12 at 8.00 in the morning on the 15th. It left for Srebrenica and returned
13 on the 16th. So it spent the night in Srebrenica and only returned on
14 the following day, so this vehicle log is not clear to me at all. And
15 these trips recorded here, it is impossible that a vehicle should go from
16 Petkovci to Srebrenica and return in two hours because this is an old
17 vehicle, a TAM, which can go perhaps up to 60 or 70 kilometres per hour
18 and not any faster. There were already combat activities going on along
19 this axis so that some barricades were put up, the military police
20 controlled the road, and what I learned from the driver, the vehicle
21 returned via Serbia because it couldn't return along the same route which
22 it took from Srebrenica to Zvornik because the Muslim forces were already
23 on some sections of the road and it was not safe to drive.
24 This is why I find this vehicle log completely illogical. For a
25 vehicle to go from 8.00 to 10.00 to Srebrenica and then on the same day
1 from 10.00 and later in two hours that it should drive there and return,
2 you couldn't do that even in peacetime and if you had a good vehicle.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask you a question, perhaps you have an
4 explanation for my following observation. On the 15th of July, you were
5 discussing the entry Petkovci-Srebrenica. There's no mention of
6 returning back to Petkovci. The next entry it is Petkovci-Brana-Petkovci
7 and if you compare that with the other entries, there's always return to
8 Petkovci, not with this entry you were referring to. Do you have an
9 explanation for that? Perhaps it was a one-way trip without a return at
10 that day or what could be the explanation for that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know the vehicle left
12 for Petkovci and then from Petkovci to Srebrenica. It returned on the
13 following day. Now, why the driver did not write down the return, I
14 don't know. Only the driver could be asked this question or whoever was
15 driving this vehicle. Why what is recorded is just the one-way trip.
16 But I'm 100 per cent sure that the vehicle left at 8.00 in the morning
17 and that it returned on the following day, and I stand by that.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: How do you know that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know because I approved for this
20 vehicle to leave. It was a soldier of mine, a platoon commander who was
21 killed in Srebrenica because he was sent there with the tactical group.
22 I sent 20 soldiers there and he was their commander and he was killed and
23 he could not be found immediately. At the insistence of his brother, I
24 approved for the vehicle with a few soldiers to go there and try to look
25 for him. They didn't find them then but only several days later. This
1 is why I know that the vehicle left for Srebrenica because it had to do
2 with a soldier who had disappeared, it was this commander of a platoon, a
3 commander who was leading 20 men with the tactical group which
4 participated in combat around Srebrenica.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honours, I might give you the original. You
6 can see -- it may help in your questioning or my questioning, there's
7 different colour ink on these days in different handwriting Cyrillic
8 versus Latin. And so if you want to get into those details, I have this
9 which I think you may be interested in seeing. It's the original for
10 this, the one that he is talking about. And if the witness could see it
11 too, it may help him.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps --
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't know. [Overlapping speakers].
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to see the original. That would be
15 helpful, yes. Judge Mindua has a question.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. Witness, perhaps
17 you may help me understand things better. On the document we see that
18 there are Cyrillic writings. Could we look on the right-hand side of the
19 document. Could we move it a bit more, there we go. A bit more. There
20 we go, thank you.
21 Witness, the last column of this document is dealing with the
22 kilometres, and I would like you to read out what it says on top so that
23 we have a translation. What does it say above this column so that we
24 have a translation in our respective languages? What is the heading just
25 above column number 10, there are three lines, three headings. Could you
1 please tell us what it says?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kilometres, party position. Is
3 this what you have in mind?
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please move it a little bit further in both
5 languages. Go ahead. Please continue moving. Yes, thank you. And in
6 B/C/S as well. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. I see that it tallies
8 more or less. Thank you very much. Thanks.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I could ask him about the
11 various -- to examine that, the various handwritings, the inks and all,
12 we might as well ask him, maybe he will be able to help us, maybe not,
13 but it should probably be on the ELMO so we can see what he is talking
15 Q. And, Mr. Stanisic, if you could go to that area you pointed out,
16 the trip to Srebrenica, and the trip to Brana where there is that one
17 hour time glitch that you've pointed out, and you'll note --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think we are going to have to blow it up a bit
19 and let's get to the 15th.
20 Q. And we can -- if we look at the two entries on the 15th, the one
21 that's in Cyrillic, it says Petkovci-Srebrenica, and the one below that
22 is in Latin, and I imagine if we go over and see the signature on the end
23 of it, there may be -- it's going to be hard to tell exactly who is who
24 in looking at it like this, but how would you explain that one person
25 is -- one is writing in Cyrillic and one is Latin, and you can look at
1 the whole document. Can you make out the signatures?
2 A. Here is my signature, Stanisic it says. And below that, whether
3 it's Milan, Milan ... it could be a Milan but I can't see here. One of
4 the signatures is mine.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you look at the original document. The
6 Court Officer will show you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there it is. Stanisic. And
8 this other one seems to be Milan. Milan something. Or Milutin. It
9 could be Milutin as well.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY:
11 Q. Okay. Just to clear it up, Stanisic has been signed for the trip
12 to Srebrenica that's 130 kilometres, which would reflect, that's back and
13 forth to Srebrenica, isn't it, 130?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think there's a mistake, Mr. McCloskey. This
16 is the one line above. Stanisic is at the line 64 kilometres.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. It's the Srebrenica one that I'm curious
18 about because the Srebrenica one is the same one for the dam and so it's
19 those two in red. Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. The two in red is where I wanted you to look. The 130 and 48,
21 whose signature is that? Is it different or the same?
22 A. Believe me I'm not a handwriting expert, but in my view they are
23 similar. It seems to be someone Milan.
24 Q. Well, you've told us how important fuel is and we see the
25 commander's signature on this, so I'm sure it was someone important,
1 wasn't it? Can you tell us who that was that signed it?
2 A. It's possible that the assistant commander for logistics signed
3 it because he was keeping the records in terms of logistics. Milan
4 Stanisic. And there was also -- he was also -- there was also a
5 commander of the logistics platoon, Milan Peric, and also a technical
6 service clerk and traffic service clerk, Milutin. So any of these three
7 could have signed these travel orders. Milan Stanisic, Milan Eric who
8 unfortunately got killed after the war, and Milutin Acimovic. So these
9 are three persons. And I signed in the absence of the assistant
10 commander for logistics, my assistant, I signed the travel order so that
11 the vehicle could go to Srebrenica.
12 Q. Okay. Just one last thing, let's go to the other end of the
13 document and look at the original because we can see in those two
14 entries, the Srebrenica in Cyrillic entry and the Brana entry, that -- go
15 all the way to the other end, please. There we go. We can see that
16 there's different colours -- different coloured ink from the dates that's
17 written to the actual times. Do you have any explanation why it is that
18 black ink would have been used for the date, 15-7, and then we see blue
19 written in for the times?
20 A. Believe me, I can't. I know that the drivers would enter
21 something. Whether it was perhaps the driver who entered the time and
22 the trip that was made and then the signature was -- it depends on the
23 ball-point pen that they had. Not every driver had the same ball-point
24 pen, he could have borrowed it from somebody else, or it hadn't been
25 issued to him, it would depend which ball-point pen he would got hold of,
1 then he would use it to sign this. Otherwise, I really don't have any
2 other explanation as to why this would be in various colour. Probably
3 depended on the pen they could get hold of. The one they had, they would
4 sign with it and that was all.
5 Q. Is it possible that -- when I was a truck driver, you were
6 supposed to write in your time at the time it happened, but truck drivers
7 don't always do that and they have to come back and fill it in correctly.
8 So is it possible this is filled in after the original time by a truck
9 driver that forgot or by somebody else to make the document tally so it
10 could go to logistics without getting you in trouble?
11 A. Everything is possible. As for overseeing the records kept, I
12 did not pay much attention to that as a commander. My assistant was in
13 charge of it. The commander could not see to everything. As a
14 commander, my role had to do with combat readiness and the rest. Others
15 had to take care of their respective fields, assistant commander for
16 logistics was one, assistant commander for morale was second, et cetera.
17 They all had their own respective fields like security, et cetera.
18 Q. One last question. This Trial Chamber has heard that many of the
19 Muslims at that school on these days were killed at the school and then
20 their bodies transported to the dam and buried. They've also heard that
21 hundreds of Muslims from that school were transported alive to the Brana,
22 to the dam close by, and murdered. As the commander of that battalion,
23 what, if anything, do you know about those -- that -- those facts?
24 A. As far as the transportation of the Muslims was concerned from
25 the school building to the dam, I really don't know who transported them
1 or when. I was manning the positions in the area of responsibility of my
2 battalion at the forward command post. I took care to maintain the line
3 and to maintain the adequate level of combat readiness, to have enough
4 ammunition and men. That was my main preoccupation since at the time
5 there was fighting going on, there were attacks against us. I was unable
6 to know what was going on at the school because my lines were as many as
7 3 or 4 kilometres away from the school. It all depended on which wing of
8 defence I attended to.
9 My forward command post was located right in the middle of the
10 defence line, so I really don't know who transported hundreds of people
11 from the school to the red sludge dam and when.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Before we break, I would
14 like to ask Mr. Tolimir or Mr. Gajic if you have had the opportunity to
15 see the original log-book which was on the ELMO? Mr. Gajic.
16 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] We haven't had an opportunity so
17 far, but we can do so over the break.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think that would be appreciated.
19 Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, and we have the original for the other one
21 as well.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: P1085. I thank you.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to mention that the last -- the
25 document on the ELMO now, that is P1090, is not tendered yet by the
1 Prosecution. It was not on the list you mentioned this morning, and I
2 would like to mention that the documents P1077 and 1078 have no
3 translation yet, therefore those will be only marked for identification
4 pending translation. And I would like to point out that the document
5 P00011 was not admitted through this witness, Stanisic in the Popovic
6 case, but through witness Ljubo Bojanovic on the 29th of November, 2009.
7 I leave it for the moment like it is and we must have our first break
8 now. The Court Officer will assist you during the break. We adjourn and
9 resume five minutes past 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In the meantime during the break, we got a
13 request for moving the tomorrow sitting to the morning because there is
14 an urgent need for a courtroom in the afternoon, there's no courtroom
15 available for another Chamber. The Chamber agreed and we are very
16 optimistic that the parties would agree to that as well.
17 Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I was -- I am scheduled for a
19 doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, but I'm sure you will welcome
20 Mr. Vanderpuye in my place and I'm sure he will welcome the last-minute
21 assignment, so we'll be able to do that.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Very nice formulation, he will welcome the
23 last-minute assignment. Thank you very much for your understanding.
24 Could you tell us something about the documents I mentioned -- sorry, I
25 didn't see that.
1 Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Greetings to everyone and may this day in the court and the final
4 judgement reflect God's will and not mine.
5 I would like to say something on the change of schedule for
6 tomorrow. I am not opposed to you proceeding as you deem fit, but I do
7 oppose to it if it affects the preparation of the Defence. We need to
8 spend 18 hours perhaps preparing witnesses, but if I have to spend all
9 that time preparing, you will understand that I will only go back to my
10 quarters at 8.00 in the evening and will have to be here again at 8.00 in
11 the morning, so just when you make these changes please bear in mind
12 these difficulties that the Defence has to contend with.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think this is a very important
14 point you made and we always try to be aware of that and to give you the
15 chance to prepare properly. We are sitting today in the morning so that
16 the afternoon would be free for your preparation. If that is too heavy
17 burden, then you should say it and we have to try to make -- to find
18 another arrangement, but you know we have only three courtrooms, at the
19 moment only two courtroom, one courtroom is not working, and that is a
20 big problem for all the Trial Chambers at the moment. We always try to
21 acknowledge your position, but if you could agree for tomorrow's session,
22 we would be very pleased.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I do
24 agree to tomorrow's change of session. However, my legal assistant and I
25 cannot be in contact after 8.00 in the evening. I can even perhaps give
1 him a phone call, but he is unable to come and see me in the detention.
2 The only thing I can do after those hours is sleep. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for your understanding and we will bear
4 in mind your position for all future scheduling purposes.
5 Mr. McCloskey, before the break I mentioned that you haven't
6 tendered P1090 yet, and the Chamber would appreciate to have the original
7 documents, P1090 and P1085, we have seen on the ELMO with a different
8 colour of the entries. In e-court we have only black and white, so there
9 was a discussion about the colour and therefore it would be appreciated
10 if we could have that as well. What is your position on that?
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: We've got a good scanner that we can scan in
12 colour on this document and so that it will be clearer for you and then
13 we'll bring those into e-court. That shouldn't be a problem.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your request for leave is granted to change this
15 document from black and white to the coloured version.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. And just to clear up the other points
17 you mentioned, P1090 which is what I was apparently using, is the same as
18 the document that we entered into evidence P1084 with the addition of two
19 more pages. Apparently the 20 -- right at the end of the month was not
20 on the document that went into evidence, and so we just would -- I think
21 we would offer 1090 into evidence so we have the complete document as
22 well as the two pages that were useful. So I would offer 1090, the
23 complete four-page version into evidence.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received with this number.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: And we also -- this P0011, Ms. Stewart checked
1 that and confirmed that it actually came in through the Defence, 5DP00327
2 through this witness in the Popovic trial, so Ms. Stewart says we are
3 correct in that regard so it should be in that section. Our records
4 indicate that this witness's name is on this document.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. We will check that if the record
6 reflects that properly and we already made the decision to admit that
7 document into evidence.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we turn to the Defence, Mr. Tolimir will
10 examine you in cross-examination. Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May I
12 again greet everyone present as well as the witness. And may this day in
13 court and the final judgement reflect God's will.
14 I do acknowledge what the Prosecutor stated to him in the
15 beginning and the witness is free to indicate whenever he does not wish
16 to answer any of my questions. I know that he took part in the fighting
17 and that I cannot insist on matters that were defined as sensitive as
18 such in his chief.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Since we speak the same language, we should both
21 be mindful of the need to make a slight pause before speaking for the
22 sake of interpreters.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now call up 11593, lines 23
24 through 25. And that's again page 11594, lines 2 and on.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In the Popovic case in response to the Prosecutor's question
2 about your military career, you stated and I quote:
3 "In the beginning I worked as a security organ for awhile for the
4 6th Battalion when the attack on Gladjansko Brdo started. From that
5 moment on I was assistant battalion commander or in fact battalion
7 Can you tell us the date when the attack on Gladjansko Brdo
8 started so that we may place it within a time-period?
9 A. General, sir, the battalion was established early on in 1992 and
10 it was the 6th Infantry Battalion. We are talking 1992. I was assigned
11 to the battalion as a security organ. On the 6th of November, the
12 battalion came under an attack from Muslim units led by Naser Oric. The
13 area which the battalion defended was at Gladjansko Brdo. That was when
14 we sustained casualties, we had quite a few people taken prisoner or gone
15 missing. After the fall, the commander was removed and I was appointed
16 the commander of the 6th Battalion which bore this title at the time.
17 I suppose that you are confused by the title of the battalion,
18 namely its number, number 6. Over time, there were constant
19 transformations within the brigade and so at one point the 6th Battalion
20 was renamed the 5th Battalion. At the time I had already been
21 re-assigned to a new battalion that was established as a new
22 6th Battalion. For instance, what was formerly the 3rd Battalion was
23 renamed the 2nd Battalion. This was the transformation that took place
24 whereby the battalion names changed. So what was the 6th Battalion in
25 1992 was not the battalion that held the positions at the Sapna river and
1 Baljkovica river later on. So that's why you might be confused by the
2 fact that there is mention of these two different 6th Battalions.
3 Q. Thank you. So it was in November 1992 that you were assigned to
4 the position of the battalion commander; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You've mentioned the attack by the forces led by Naser Oric. Can
7 you tell us if you took part in the fighting at the time?
8 A. As a security organ or security officer, since quite a few
9 individuals had abandoned their positions along the line, as I conducted
10 the review, I requested for the manpower levels to be filled up. I was
11 ordered by an officer, I can't remember who, to come to the Standard
12 Barracks where I would be given two buses in order to collect the men who
13 were assigned to that battalion in order to man it. However, in the
14 morning hours of the 6th of November, an attack was launched on
15 Gladjansko Brdo. Instead of setting out to gather these men, I had to go
16 to the command post, but by that time the whole front line and the post
17 had fallen. What I did instead was to participate in the pullout of the
18 units that were under my command. In sum, that was the activity I took
19 part in at the time.
20 Q. Thank you. Since you participated in the pullout of these units,
21 as you've just told us, and in addressing the results of the attack
22 thereafter, can you tell us what the losses were that your units
23 sustained in that attack on Gladjansko Brdo?
24 A. We withdrew to what were formerly our positions near Zvornik and
25 the battalion was practically in disarray. Many of the companies lost
1 its members through desertion, et cetera, and roughly 120 men were either
2 killed or gone missing from the Zvornik Battalion. Out of my battalion,
3 roughly 40 men were gone, six went missing and the rest were killed.
4 Q. Thank you. The six individuals who went missing, were they
5 subsequently found or were they later on listed as killed?
6 A. Out of the six missing, two were found but four are still
7 considered missing, that's at least to the best of my knowledge.
8 Q. Did you sustain any losses after the attack, that's to say when
9 you've already lost your positions, or were these losses inflicted on
10 your unit in combat?
11 A. As far as those killed are concerned, there were those who were
12 killed in combat and there were also those who were taken prisoner and
13 subsequently executed. They were tied to tree trunks with wire, at least
14 that's how we found them. By that time I was busy reforming the
15 battalion and gathering all the survivors. We went out of the area of
16 combat to do so. In various ditches and elsewhere people were found tied
17 up to trees with barbed wire, et cetera.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm not going to ask you about that because that's
19 something that you heard of, and I'll be asking these questions of those
20 who were eye-witnesses. Tell us, were you appointed the battalion
21 commander right away on the 6th?
22 A. It was in the night between the 7th or the 8th, I don't know,
23 that the brigade commander summoned me to the headquarters and told me
24 that he would appoint me the battalion commander, in spite of the fact
25 that I told him that there were active-duty officers there who would
1 perhaps have been a better choice. He insisted that I should be the man
2 and the appointment came two or three days later.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. I performed the duty of battalion commander for perhaps a month
5 or a month and a half when a new commander was appointed, I believe it
6 was Nikolic, I don't know his first name, and Major Strbac. They were my
7 successors. That was when I was appointed battalion assistant commander
8 and then when it came to this latter day 6th commander, that I became the
9 battalion commander again once the actual battalion commander was
10 wounded. So I was basically there to patch up all the holes.
11 Q. Thank you. We were able to see that it was during this one night
12 that you stopped being the security officer and became a battalion
13 commander. Did the brigade commander have the absolute right to appoint
14 you to whatever position he saw fit, or did he need anyone's approval in
16 A. Well, believe me when I tell you that I don't know. He summoned
17 me and told me that I was to be the battalion commander. Now, did he
18 have to have somebody's approval, did he receive it? I don't know. I
19 only know that he called me to him and informed me that as of such and
20 such a date, I don't know which, I would be the commander of the 6th
22 Q. Thank you. I apologise to the interpreters.
23 After that, after this event on Gladjansko Brdo, were you ever
24 sent back, once you were appointed as commander were you ever sent back
25 to your duty in security organs?
1 A. No, I was never returned to the duty of security officer.
2 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber whether the
3 commander when holding meetings before you were relieved from your post,
4 did he have the right to order you just like any other officer who was
5 part of the commanding officers within the brigade? Thank you.
6 A. I apologise, General, can you please repeat the question.
7 Q. Thank you. I'll repeat the question.
8 Your brigade commander, could he issue orders to you just as he
9 did to all the other commanding officers from the brigade command? Thank
11 A. Yes, to me as a battalion commander he could.
12 Q. Thank you. Could he issue any order to you that had to do with
13 battalion activities?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: I may be wrong, but I thought the General was
18 asking the witness if his commander could order him as a security officer
19 to do things and I may be -- because that's the way it first was
20 translated to me, and then it got turned into could his commander order
21 him as the commander of the battalion, and it's two different things so
22 I'm not sure which one the General meant and it may have been
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please clarify that, Mr. Tolimir.
25 Perhaps you put the question again. But the answer was quite clear, I
1 think. The answer was "yes, to me as a battalion commander he could."
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: But my point was I think he asked as a security
4 officer could your commander order you, I think that was the question,
5 and -- but that's what confused me because the answer was as a battalion
6 commander my commander could order me. So that was my confusion on the
7 issue because I thought it was the other way around, the question.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We will
10 ask the question again and let the witness answer and then we can draw
11 the conclusions so that I wouldn't be doing that.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. As a member of your brigade, could your brigade commander issue
14 orders to you just as he could to all other members, and I mean orders
15 that had do with combat activities that the brigade was involved in?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. I think that the answer is clear. Let us clarify
18 anyway. Does that mean that the brigade commander is authorised to issue
19 orders to all his subordinates who are within the composition of the
20 brigade and who are lower than him in terms of rank and position? Thank
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. Let us be even more precise. Does the brigade
24 commander have the right to issue orders to security organs so that it
25 wouldn't be imputed -- we didn't ask everything, now I'm asking you this,
1 so my question is whether the brigade commander has the right to issue
2 orders to security organs? Thank you.
3 A. Yes, whatever the commander personally thinks that the security
4 organ can do, that he can.
5 Q. Thank you. Does the brigade commander evaluate the work of all
6 commanding officers in the brigade and also issues commandments and gives
7 praise and so on?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Was your work monitored while you were brigade
10 commander and while you were the security organ? Did command organs
11 monitor your work and did they have the right to control it and monitor
12 it in the sense of -- but you should answer the way you find fit? Thank
14 A. When I was the battalion commander, the brigade commander had
15 every possible authority to monitor me, control my work, request me to
16 send all kinds of reports, so he had full control of me. As for the
17 security organs, he could also do that in terms of relations within the
18 brigade. He could exert some sort of monitoring over me and the security
19 organs in the brigade. As you know, the security organs are commanded
20 both horizontally and vertically.
21 Q. Thank you. But this command only relates to the part of the
22 duties which you discharge as part of the brigade command, as an officer
23 during war time?
24 A. Yes, only within the brigade, that is to say within my battalion.
25 I was supposed to submit certain reports, combat reports, and so on. All
1 the activities that I was carrying out should have been monitored by the
2 commander through his subordinates, that is to say, through his
3 assistants and the chiefs and so on.
4 Q. Thank you. The security organs who were superior to you within
5 the brigade or outside the brigade, if there were such organs within the
6 brigade, could they point out to you in the professional sense what was
7 the work that you should do in the brigade and the manpower within the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's important in that question to know if he is
13 referring to Mr. Stanisic as a battalion commander or as the security
14 officer. It was left general and we need to know whether or not it has
15 to do with either of those two. You can't tell from the question and
16 answer, but he has been talking about both, so it needs to be clear which
17 one he is talking about.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you, you have heard what the Prosecutor has said, I will
21 ask you the question and you should answer it. The superior security
22 organ, I'm not sure at which level you had it, was it authorised to
23 provide you with guide-lines as to how you should do some work that your
24 brigade or battalion was charged with, and I mean in professional terms
25 did they do that? Thank you.
1 A. I will put myself in the position of a security organ now, right?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. My superior specifically, that was Drago Nikolic, provided me
4 with guide-lines and instructions as to what I should do and where the
5 focus of my work should be within the battalion. At the same time, the
6 battalion commander, I'm talking of myself as the security organ now, I
7 was subordinated also to the battalion commander, and from him I could
8 also receive orders and I did. For example, a certain number of soldiers
9 had deserted from the front line so Stanisic please find the police, go
10 to such and such villages, these are the addresses, go there with the
11 police, take them into custody and so on. So that was my work as the
12 security organ in the battalion.
13 So, I apologise, but let me clarify what were the security organs
14 in a battalion actually doing and what was I doing personally while I was
15 the security organ, and of course if some tasks were issued to me or some
16 guide-lines by the chief of security, whether there were any attempts at
17 theft or anything, that was the kind of duties that I had to perform as a
18 security organ in relation to the chief of security and the battalion
20 I believe that now I have answered and explained this as much as
21 I know. I'm not an active-duty officer, so I'm not sure if I said
22 everything, but I do know what I was doing. That's it.
23 Q. Thank you. Awhile ago you said that your superior along the line
24 of security organs would provide you with guide-lines on how to perform a
25 task such as return these soldiers to their unit, but who would issue the
1 order that they should return to the units, the commander or somebody
3 A. The battalion commander.
4 Q. So the security organ could provide with you guide-lines as to
5 how to perform this task as best as possible; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did the battalion commander have the authority to decide
8 eventually how one of the tasks would be carried out, whether somebody
9 would be taken into custody or released or not and so on and so forth?
10 A. Well, the battalion commander on the basis of the list of company
11 commanders who sent him these lists, how many people were missing from
12 each company, the battalion commander would then call the security organ,
13 provide him with a list, and say please take these men into custody.
14 That was it.
15 Q. Thank you. If there are any questions by anyone else, we'll ask
16 you these questions. I'm trying to ask the questions directly so that
17 everyone would understand your role. Thank you.
18 Now, please, while you had the role of battalion commander and
19 were on the defence line against Nezuk. I will now focus on this group
20 of questions because I think we have clarified your role while you were
21 the security organ and were performing these task. That was in 1992?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now we are moving to the period of 1995 while you were performing
24 the role as a battalion commander and were charged with defence tasks.
25 As I said, I will not ask you about things that you said you didn't know
1 during examination-in-chief. I will ask you what you do know and what
2 you can answer, so if you can answer, just do so, please.
3 Can you tell me what was the number of the battalion you were in?
4 Thank you.
5 A. The 6th Infantry Battalion.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. You're welcome.
8 Q. Can you please tell us where this 6th Infantry Battalion of yours
9 was located at the moment when the Muslims tried to break through from
10 your rear and through your defence line in the direction of the Muslim
11 forces which were facing your defence lines? Did you understand the
12 question? Thank you.
13 A. Yes, the defence sector of the 6th Battalion, to right it was the
14 right bank of the Sapna river, Petrova Strana, and on the left 2 to 300
15 metres from the Baljkovica stream or river. In terms of depth, the
16 village of Kitovnice and Grbovci village. That was in depth. And the
17 command post was the old school in Petkovci and the forward command post
18 on Petrova Strana.
19 Q. Thank you. In order to have a complete answer for those of us
20 who are not soldiers, can you just please tell us whether, as you said,
21 the defence sector of the 6th Battalion was the right bank of the Sapna
22 river, and on the left?
23 A. The Baljkovica river.
24 Q. Was that the defence sector, just to clarify that? What is the
25 difference between the zone of responsibility and the defence sector,
1 just to make it clear for all the participants in this trial. Can you
2 draw the distinction between the defence sector and the zone of
3 responsibility. Thank you.
4 A. The defence sector is something I'm not really familiar with. I
5 know that the battalion has its sector, its the sector of defence, and
6 the brigade has a zone, that is to say the zone of responsibility. So
7 the brigade has a zone of responsibility and the battalion has a sector,
8 whether the zone of responsibility and the sector are one in the same ...
9 Q. All right. Thank you. Can you now please explain what's the
10 difference between these two, the defence sector and the zone of
11 responsibility of a defence sector?
12 A. The defence sector is at the battalion level. The battalion
13 defence -- can you hear me? A certain territory. And it's a small area.
14 I have mentioned the kilometres, it's 2 to 3 kilometres wide and 3 to 5
15 kilometres deep. And the brigade's zone of responsibility is a wider
16 area and it comprises, specifically in case of the Zvornik Brigade, it
17 was adjacent to the Bijeljina Brigade on one side and on the Sekovici
18 Brigade on the other. So it's a more general term. It includes the
19 forward front line and also the depth of territory. It includes the free
20 territory. That's as much as I know.
21 Q. Thank you. In order to translate this into language that's clear
22 to everyone who's not a soldier, does that include the spaces in between
23 and the surfaces that cannot be -- that can be defended by fire, and that
24 are in range and so on? Thank you.
25 A. For a battalion, for example, the defence sector of the
1 battalion, the forward front line, then the reserve positions, and in
2 depth, and of course the right and the left wings, so that would be as
3 far as a battalion is concerned.
4 Q. Thank you. Thank you. I apologise to the interpreters. Let us
5 say this clearly. If you can answer with a yes or a no. What you just
6 told us now, is it how the soldiers would be physically deployed, to the
7 left, to the right, and in depth? Thank you.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. I apologise for interrupting you. Please continue
10 with your answer if you remember. If not, I can ask you another
11 question. Because you defined for us what a sector is, now you should
12 tell us what --
13 A. A zone of responsibility?
14 Q. Precisely. Thank you.
15 A. It's the same. The forward defence line which is defended by
16 battalions, specifically within the Zvornik Brigade there were six
17 battalions, so the entire forward defence line and then in depth the zone
18 of responsibility of each battalion, and the entire free territory, the
19 free territory which is understood. There are no combat activities
20 there, but it is also part of the brigade zone of responsibility as far
21 as I know.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now call up P94. Thank you.
24 Page 5.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have had on the screen the
1 Popovic transcript. It was asked and called up on page 34, lines 21 and
2 22, and this is just for the sake of the record, P1074. It was not
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Page 5, please. Thank
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What we see is a map where your defence line should be shown now,
8 the one that was to be breached by the column moving in the direction of
9 Tuzla. You -- and the line of attack against your positions from the
10 direction of Tuzla where, as you related to us, the stretch of the
11 defence line held by the adjacent battalion was breached. Can you please
12 mark for us with a circle where your positions were and then mark them
13 with 2.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter observes that we didn't hear
15 what Mr. Tolimir said should be marked with number 1.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we blow that up so we have the Zvornik zone
18 up there so we can read the different villages. It will make much more
19 sense to everyone if we don't need, I think for that question, I'm sure
20 the General agrees, Srebrenica and all. If they could blow it up,
21 focusing on the Orahovac, Petkovci front line area, that's what the
22 question had to do with, and right now I can't even read the villages.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see anything here.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: A little bit too much. I think this could be
25 appropriate. Mr. Tolimir, is that a better version? Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. McCloskey. And
2 thank you, Your Honour.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
4 Q. Do you see where it reads "Nezuk" just below Orahovac?
5 A. Yes, I can see just at the top there.
6 Q. Please draw an arrow in whatever colour you wish from Nezuk
7 toward the territory held by your adjacent battalion which would mark the
8 direction of the movement of the column?
9 A. You mean of the 2nd Corps of the BH Army. So from Nezuk.
10 Q. Right. That's great. You can use one colour to mark the lines
11 indicating the BH Army, and a different colour for the VRS. Can you
12 perhaps erase it. Yes. Can you draw the defence line first and then the
13 rest. Thank you.
14 A. General, sir, it's a bit difficult to draw my defence line on
15 this map because the only thing we see here is Petkovci and Nezuk. So
16 judging -- well, I don't even see the Sapna river here. If we could have
17 that map or a map which would have more details plotted into it.
18 Q. Do you see Petkovci?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Do you see Nezuk?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Was there a defence line there?
23 A. Oh that's right, good. So that could be the 6th Infantry
24 Battalion but quite approximately.
25 Q. Could you also mark the depth as well as the -- can you draw for
1 us the stronghold symbol which would indicate the depth?
2 A. Can you believe it that I forgot what the symbol was?
3 Q. Right. Can you just draw a dot for the depth and then connect it
4 with lines to the flanks?
5 A. Well, the village of Kitovnice is not here, nor is the village of
6 Grbovci, so I can't get my bearings here.
7 Q. I understand. Can you please draw a line between the two ends
8 which stand for the defence line? Thank you.
9 A. Is this what you had in mind?
10 Q. Oh go ahead. My apologies.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry, an exhibit where the witness repeatedly
13 says he can't get his bearings and asks for a better map, it doesn't seem
14 to be of much value and there are much better maps out there, so I'm not
15 sure what is the value of -- after what the witness has said, we are
16 now -- he is just now doing what he's told and that's not very helpful, I
17 don't think. So if we could have a map that he's requested, it may be
18 more useful for the General, and --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If that is possible, I think everybody would
20 agree to that. On the other hand, we have this map with the markings and
21 the communication between Mr. Tolimir and the witness. You should do
22 what you find appropriate for your case. Please carry on.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We'll be
24 grateful to Mr. McCloskey if we can find that particular area on a map.
25 We will then ask the witness to draw the line that was breached and the
1 point where it was breached to the best of his recollection.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now, while we are waiting for the Prosecutor to find this, can
4 you answer the following questions: In the area that we can see now on
5 this map, were any defence lines breached from the direction of Nezuk and
6 in the direction of Kozluk?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So the line was intact?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And was the line breached in your right or left neighbour?
11 A. No, because it had been agreed that two corridors would be made
12 for the column to get out of the area.
13 Q. Fine. And just keep in mind the need to make a marking of it as
14 well. You wrote the 6th Infantry Battalion here and when you will be
15 making that other marking, please indicate for us the title of the
16 battalion that was manning those positions. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So, Mr. McCloskey will now after
18 you a map. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: We do have the Zvornik Brigade map that was
21 drafted by the Zvornik Brigade of this area that has some of the things
22 written in on it. It's P105 --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Overlapping speakers].
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I don't know if -- I'm sure the General knows
25 that map. I don't know if that would be appropriate for him, but it is a
1 military map with the front lines written in for the Muslim and the Serb
2 forces as well as the battalions noted, and I think we can blow it up so
3 we roughly can get this area.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, I would like to ask Mr. Tolimir,
5 Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering this map on the screen with the map
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, no. I'm not in view of
8 the fact that Mr. McCloskey has offered to give us another map, and the
9 witness will, of course, make the markings as he sees fit and not as I
10 would want him to.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Nobody will understand the whole discussion we
12 have had already related to this map, but it's up to you.
13 Mr. McCloskey, could you please repeat the number.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. It's P105. The only issue
15 there is many of the things that the General is asking the witness to put
16 in have been previously marked by the Zvornik Brigade people. So as long
17 as he knows that, and doesn't have a problem with that, then this would
18 be a good map. The map he has been using is too scale and it's an
19 excellent map for simple things, but when you get into the kind of detail
20 that we are talking about, I think the military map may make more sense,
21 especially given that the witness has asked for it. And I don't recall
22 us bringing this map up before, and I hope it blows up so that it can be
23 read. Some of them blow up better than others.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If we leave this map, the markings will be lost.
25 It must be very clear. And if Mr. Tolimir is not tendering it, then we
1 will lose it. Is that your intention?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. It makes no difference
3 to me, but I wanted us to have very precise information and I thank
4 Mr. McCloskey. So the witness will answer my questions and I am not
5 opposed to the witness stating where certain things are located on the
6 map. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document P105 we should have on the screen.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now call up 65
9 ter 33 --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 355.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is the map I mentioned, and if they could
12 focus on the centre of it, that will be the area that the General just
13 had up. I would say a little bit more. Well, it's difficult to
14 obviously read, but I think they can bring it up more.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. There's a map in front of you. Do you recognise the sector where
18 you organised the defence of your battalion? Thank you. So do you
19 recognise the sector that the 6th Battalion was in charge of?
20 A. Give me a moment, please.
21 Q. Can these markings help you, 1 PB?
22 A. There. Should I mark it?
23 THE INTERPRETER: The accused didn't switch his microphone on.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't get my bearings on this.
25 Can you please.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already drawn the line but
3 I've perhaps made it too short. Approximately that's it. The right and
4 left wings.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
6 Q. And if you could also mark the depth?
7 A. There it is.
8 Q. But we don't see a thing here. I don't see a thing on this map
9 that we are looking at. I don't see your lines. Perhaps you should be
10 given a colour that differs from the ones we have on the map already.
11 Thank you. I see it now.
12 Can you now indicate for us the attack against you from the
13 direction of Nezuk, and can you please use a different colour if you have
14 one. Draw an arrow to indicate the attack from Nezuk.
15 A. I don't see any place names on this map at all.
16 Q. Well, you see "BH Army" written there?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Do you see where it says "operations group 4"?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you see the blue line?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you see the red line? The red defence line? Do you see it?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Those are most likely the forces of your brigade, are they not,
25 yes or no?
1 A. The red line indicates our brigade forces, and the blue line
2 indicates the Muslim forces.
3 Q. Well, now that you see the blue line, can you draw an arrow and
4 can you also indicate where it breached your defence line?
5 A. It breached the line here to the left, the positions manned by
6 the 4th Battalion. Should I use a different colour?
7 Q. No, red is fine. But can you please cross through the line, or
8 rather, can you first draw a boundary between the area covered by your
9 battalion and the area covered by that other battalion?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. So what I want you to do is draw a demarcation line between the
12 area covered by your battalion and that of the other?
13 A. General, sir, I forgot.
14 Q. Then just draw a line.
15 A. I can't really make this out at all.
16 Q. Where there was -- where you opened up your lines for them to
17 pass, can you use the colour blue to indicate that? Thank you.
18 A. We should erase this. Do you see it? This is where the trenches
19 were opened.
20 Q. Thank you. Since these are arrows, or rather, you don't have to
21 mark them as arrows, just can you write below the title of the battalion
22 which defended this line?
23 A. It was the 4th Battalion.
24 Q. Yes, but we need to have it noted in your hand.
25 A. Very well. Is it fine?
1 Q. Yes. Can you now mark in blue what was the direction from which
2 the column breaking through in the direction of Nezuk from Srebrenica
3 came to your rear?
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you please mark the beginning and write "from Srebrenica."
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: In order to be able to really see where
11 Srebrenica is, we need the bottom of the map because I'm sure the General
12 understands that --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey, this is not possible, we can't
14 move it, we will lose all markings.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: But the markings you are getting are not going to
16 have any value because the witness cannot see Srebrenica is my point.
17 So -- and I'm sure the General understands this mark that he's just made
18 is of no value.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness has written "Srebrenica."
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you. Can you just write above the word Srebrenica, the
22 "column from Srebrenica" so we will know that it was the column coming
23 from Srebrenica. Thank you.
24 A. [Marks]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: --
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you also add the conjunction "from," from Srebrenica, the
3 column from Srebrenica. And can you add "e-n-i-c-a" in Srebrenica, can
4 you write it, please.
5 A. Well, when I try to write it down, it just slips away, this
6 colour. I cannot erase it.
7 Q. You don't have to. Okay. Just put a full stop, then, so that we
8 will know that you shortened the word. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. McCloskey.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can the record reflect that that blue line is
11 coming from the town of Zvornik.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The maps are really bad. There are
13 no place names anywhere. It's difficult on the top of one's head to
14 determine the sides and the direction of movement.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Thank you. Can you also draw in red the defence sector of your
18 adjacent unit, the 4th Battalion, just as you drew your defence sector
19 for the 6th Battalion, can you now mark it in red for the 4th Battalion,
20 just as you drew the one for your own battalion, but just draw it in a
21 separate place?
22 A. General, it's very difficult for me in this map to determine the
23 defence sector of the 4th Battalion.
24 Q. Well, can you at least determine the front line of the
25 4th Battalion vertically as these lines are running now but where you
1 believe it was? You can do it in red because that's the defence.
2 A. [Marks]
3 Q. That's the blue colour. Excuse me, but that's blue. The blue
4 can remain, but can you please draw the line in red as well so that we
5 could see where they pass through.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Can you draw it vertically in relation to the defence line. Do
8 you see the red line?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Well, I suppose they were defending themselves from the blues?
11 A. The operations group 4.
12 Q. Why did you draw them in one line? Draw the front line. Thank
14 A. Do you mean -- well, you asked me to mark the defence sector.
15 Q. You see the 4th Battalion, then the 7th [as interpreted]
16 Battalion, that's it, just draw that, please. Yes, that's what I mean.
17 And this is where they passed through, where you marked it; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. That's right. Can you now continue this line of the column
20 coming from Srebrenica in a blue dotted line, can you use the blue dotted
21 line, blue, is it the colour blue?
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. Thank you. This is sufficient for us to see where the location
24 is. It's not so much necessary for myself, but Mr. McCloskey asked for
25 that. This is the sector then.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would tender this into evidence
2 because it wasn't easy for the witness to draw it.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This marked map will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: The markings, Your Honour, made on P00105 in red
5 and blue by the witness will be assigned Exhibit D00124.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. On page 11609 in lines 21 to 24, you described the events in the
10 morning of the 15th of July, and you say the following. I will quote it
11 and if you do not agree, then tell us:
12 "In the morning" --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, for the sake of the record, are we
14 referring to the Popovic transcript?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, I apologise, I forgot
16 to note that thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is P1074 [Realtime transcript read in error
18 "P1274"]. Please carry on.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You then said the following:
21 "In the morning, the 4th Company, which was on the left wing of
22 my battalion, resisted the attack, a strong attack carried out by the
23 Muslim forces from the direction of Nezuk."
24 Is that what you just drew on the map?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I will continue quoting what you said. "At the time the trench
2 was hit." Was the trench part of the territory covered by your
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you have any losses at that place?
6 A. Not in that trench. There were just slightly wounded.
7 Q. How many?
8 A. One.
9 Q. Just to clarify the event, on page 11610, lines 3 to 7, you said
10 the following, I quote:
11 "The attack did not begin on the 15th. The attack started on the
12 11th and it was continued on the 12th, so it started on the 11th and was
13 continued on the 12th. These were attacks launched by the 2nd Brigade of
14 the Muslim forces so that they came from the Muslim side, from the front.
15 It was not an attack from behind."
16 So this is my question: Are you talking about the attack from
17 the direction of Nezuk? Thank you.
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a correction for the record, in line 7 on
20 page 59, it is recorded P1274, it should be P1074. Please carry on.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So the attack came from the Muslim side from Nezuk. Was that a
24 part of the territory that was under the control of the army of the
25 Federation of BiH?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Was it a part of the territory that was to the
3 opposite side from the Srebrenica enclave?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us how fierce was the attack on your
6 left neighbour, the adjacent unit to your left? Thank you.
7 A. Well, there were occasional attacks, some lasted for about an
8 hour and then there would be a lull and then there would be another
9 attack launched. So that it was occasional, not for longer periods. In
11 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us what weapons they used in the
13 A. They were shelling us with mortars and also fired from infantry
14 weapons, and the trench was hit by a hand-held launcher, the RV.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us whether the 3rd Battalion also
16 used similar -- was hit by similar weapons, I mean the 4th Battalion to
17 your left?
18 A. Yes. They were also hit by mortar fire, artillery. They even
19 had a tank above Nezuk and also infantry weapons were fired.
20 Q. Thank you. Did it look it to you as classic fighting of two
21 warring parties which are entrenched? Thank you.
22 A. Yes. Because there were frequently these skirmishes as we called
24 Q. Was there an attempt to break through your defence line and that
25 held by your neighbour from the direction of Nezuk?
1 A. Yes, they had started the attack but they were repelled and they
2 withdrew. So when they hit my trench, they hit it from a short distance.
3 There were some movements of their troops from Nezuk.
4 Q. Thank you. Did your units move in a counter-attack? Thank you.
5 A. No, we were just holding our positions along the defence line.
6 Q. Thank you. How long did it it last in terms of days or hours?
7 A. It's difficult to remember that now, but the fighting lasted for
8 several days in intervals. Sometimes it would be in the morning or in
9 the afternoon, or during the night. It was never one in the same time.
10 They were even shelling Petkovci all the way down.
11 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that the Muslim forces which were
12 attacking from Nezuk also attacked in depth of the territory that you
13 were defending?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you sustain any losses from these attacks, mainly your
16 neighbours to your left and your right, from the same brigade?
17 A. As far as I know there were no civilian casualties.
18 Q. Thank you. Were there any losses among the troops which were
19 defending the line and trying to prevent the Muslims from breaking
20 through your defence line?
21 A. Yes, I also had losses. I had two soldiers who were killed, and
22 in the 4th Battalion I think they had between seven and ten soldiers who
23 got killed, as far as I can remember and as far as I know.
24 Q. Thank you. We'll show you later on what the losses were. I am
25 just asking you if there were any?
1 A. Yes, they were.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please show P1078. It
4 is a document originating from the BiH Army. It is an order to attack
5 issued by the command of the 245th Mountain Brigade Kalesija on the 13th
6 of July, 1995. Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Here you can see their order now. It's a document by the BiH
9 Army issued by the command of the 245th Brigade. It has its number, it
10 was issued on the 13th of July, and it was approved by the commander of
11 the 24th Division of ground forces, Brigadier Salih Malkac. Can you see
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, there are two exhibits which have
15 not a translation yet. Please carry on.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I will read it now because we have no translation so that the
19 Trial Chamber could follow it. Item one where it says "aggressor," this
20 is how they are referring to the VRS, the aggressor.
21 "In the activities carried out so far with the use of all weapons
22 available, the enemy attempted to take control of the Srebrenica
23 settlement from the direction of the south with the intension to continue
24 to the direction of Potocari and surround our forces from the 28th
25 Division of the ground forces."
1 We'll now have a look at the second paragraph, I mean what's
2 under item 2:
3 "The units which make up the 28th Division of the ground forces
4 decided to break through from the encirclement of the enemy line along
5 the axis Srebrenica-Konjevic Polje-Cerska-Kamenica-Crni Vrh-Baljkovica,
6 and Crni Vrh-Sprecanska Dolina, as well as the axis
7 Srebrenica-Suceska-Zepa-Ruzina Voda-Debelo Brdo, and link up with the
8 forces in the Kladanj and Baljkovica Nezuk sectors."
9 I think it's clearer to you now than to us, because you were a
10 participant in these events. Can one see from this that as early as on
11 the 13th, the column had left Srebrenica and started to break through in
12 the direction of Nezuk as this document says? Thank you.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Are they talking about breaking through the encirclement in
15 Srebrenica here, yes or no? Thank you. Breaking through the defence
16 lines of the VRS?
17 A. According to this order, they are.
18 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what does it mean to break through
19 an encirclement? Thank you.
20 A. Well, according to my estimate, the units which are encircled by
21 the opposing army, if they are surrounded on all sides or if it's a sort
22 of half circle, then they first try to break through the defence line,
23 and then they want to move through free territory in order to link up
24 with their own units.
25 Q. Thank you. Does that imply that they need to break through the
1 encirclement which is around them in Srebrenica and also the line which
2 you are holding before Kladanj? Does it mean that they have to break
3 through two times, yes or no?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you now tell us, please, is this a simple
6 operation or a complex operation in your opinion?
7 A. A complex operation.
8 Q. Is this something that armed or unarmed forces can carry out?
9 A. Only armed forces.
10 Q. As a participant in these events, was it your opinion that these
11 forces had the manpower and weapons available to carry out such an
13 A. Well, I don't know what sort of assets they had. What I do know
14 is that they opened infantry fire upon my positions.
15 Q. I'm referring to the forces coming from the direction of
16 Srebrenica, did they fire upon your positions as well?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. In addition to this sort of fire, did these forces
19 attack your troops with anything else, and you will know what I have in
20 mind, I don't want to suggest anything to you?
21 A. As far as I am concerned, and my forces, they had the support
22 from Nezuk and the 2nd Corps, they had their artillery support enabling
23 them to break through our lines. Now, as for them, whether they had
24 mortars, and I mean the forces attempting to break through, that I don't
1 Q. The forces breaking through, did they in addition to opening fire
2 from their weapons resort to any other actions such as taking prisoners,
3 et cetera?
4 A. Yes. Certain soldiers and officers were captured. The command
5 of the 4th Infantry Battalion was set on fire complete with the members
6 of the command who were killed and were subsequently set on fire within
7 the HQ.
8 Q. Do you know the names of the individuals who were set on fire
10 A. Well, I am very bad with memorising names, but I know that there
11 was a member of the command who was from Celopek and who was among them.
12 I can't recall the others.
13 Q. Can you remember how many individuals were set on fire within the
15 A. I don't know if there were two or three of them. I'm guessing.
16 I don't know. I don't want to speculate. But I know for a fact that
17 they found their charred bodies. That I know.
18 Q. The forces breaking out of Srebrenica, did they attack your
19 positions, seize weapons, and such-like?
20 A. Yes. During their attack, they seized a Praga and self-propelled
21 weapons, and they even got hold of certain vehicles, a jeep, I believe,
22 and took them across the river in the direction of Nezuk.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the losses in assets sustained by
24 your unit, and I'm referring to tanks, self-propelled weapons?
25 A. Well, I'm not sure if it was two self-propelled weapons and one
1 Praga that were set on fire, some mortars. I know that some mortars were
2 destroyed, a Praga, and some self-propelled guns.
3 Q. Were these assets then used to open fire on your units?
4 A. Yes. From Motovska Kosa fire was opened upon our units, both the
5 6th and the 4th Infantry Battalions and this fire came from
6 self-propelled guns.
7 Q. And these self-propelled guns --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I thought you should finish this set of questions
9 related to each other, but we are running out of time. We need our
10 second break. Is that acceptable for you? Then we will continue after
11 the break. We will resume five minutes past 1.00.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.06 p.m.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, yes, please proceed.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Could we
16 please show P839 in e-court. This is an interim combat report from the
17 Drina Corps command and this witness has probably seen it in the Popovic
18 case as well.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Let me not ask you about losses, you said you only had two, and
21 we'll see here what the brigade commander says because this was the zone
22 of the 2nd Battalion.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise, I did not say the
24 correct number. It's P835.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Because you said that you could not guess, let me not ask you but
2 rather let me show you what the brigade commander says, and then after
3 that I will ask you a question or maybe ask you for your opinion. Thank
5 You can see the document here. Do you refer possible read it or
6 if you are already familiar with the document, perhaps I can just ask you
7 a few questions. Are you familiar with it or should we read out a
8 section of the contents? Well, yes, let's read a part of the document.
9 First of all, I will point out to you that it's the document of the
10 commander of the Zvornik Brigade, strictly confidential number 06-229,
11 dated the 18th of July, 1995, and it is entitled "Interim Combat Report."
12 The brigade commander sent it to the Drina Corps. To make sure of the
13 date, we'll read the first two lines of the first paragraph only:
14 "On the 17th of July, 1995, the enemy carried out offensive, low
15 intensity combat activities in the 7th Infantry Battalion area of defence
16 with occasional artillery fire on the right wing of the brigade's zone of
17 responsibility." Thank you.
18 In the second paragraph, it says:
19 "Parts of the routed forces from Srebrenica organised in small
20 formations, continued attempts at getting through the brigade zone in the
21 direction of Tuzla."
22 He then mentions the area where the breakthrough was attempted by
23 these units. And towards the end of the second paragraph in the last
24 sentence, he says -- in the penultimate sentence, actually:
25 "Allegedly, another of their brigades did not manage to pull out.
1 According to our information, enemy forces retreated brigade by brigade
2 and in a fairly organised manner."
3 Further on, he discusses the losses:
4 "The enemy sustained serious losses and dozens have been
5 captured. In fighting with our forces, they showed the utmost
6 impudence," and so on and so forth, that's the third paragraph, and he
7 expects further attacks.
8 And then he discusses his own forces. I'm not going to read this
9 out to you because you are familiar with that. And eventually he is
10 talking about the losses he sustained, it's on page 3, the first
11 paragraph. There it is, we can see it, the brigade is continuing to
12 control the territory in the zone of Zlatan, Voda, Lisane, Caparde, and
13 the front line Petkovci, Baljkovica, Memici. Are you familiar with these
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Then under item 3, he says:
17 "In combat activities with Muslim forces in Srebrenica, Zepa, and
18 with parts that remained behind, as well as with forces of the 24th and
19 25th Infantry Division of the 2nd Corps of the so-called BiH Army, the
20 3rd" -- no, that's the Zvornik Brigade, "the Zvornik Infantry Brigade
21 sustained the following losses: Dead 27; seriously wounded, 24; slightly
22 wounded, 72; conscripts injured, 13 conscripts; and missing 13
23 conscripts. Total 149 conscripts."
24 So these are the total losses in the brigade and it is followed
25 by the losses throughout the war which I wouldn't present to you now, but
1 rather I wish to ask you a few questions based on what I just read out to
3 This is my question: Did your brigade sustain the greatest
4 losses here of all combats or was it any different? Thank you.
5 A. General, sir, do you mean only during these events or do you mean
6 during the entire war?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I mean did your brigade during the entire war in a period of
10 several days, such as this week, during which this attack lasted between
11 the 11th or 12th until the 17th, did it ever sustain more losses during a
12 period of seven days in combat then it did during this break-through at
13 this period? Have you understood my question?
14 A. Yes. As I said, we had big losses on the 6th of November, 1992,
15 and these were the second greatest losses which were caused by the
16 break-through of the Muslim forces coming from Srebrenica, as far as I
18 Q. Thank you. Were you expecting this sort of an attack and were
19 you able to prepare for it or not because you were the battalion
21 A. Well, we did receive an order which said that it was possible
22 that the enemy forces coming from the direction of Srebrenica might make
23 a break-through on the Baljkovica axis and that referred to us.
24 Baljkovica, Memici, Sprecanska Polje, and that we should take all
25 measures to organise ourselves; that is to say, to raise the level of
1 combat readiness to the highest possible level.
2 Q. Thank you. Was it a surprise for the entire brigade that it
3 should be attacked both from the front and from the rear?
4 A. I don't know. I couldn't probably -- I cannot answer this
5 question. I'm not competent enough to say whether the brigade was
6 surprised. It was to be expected that they would attack us from the
7 direction of the front, if they had also began moving towards us from the
9 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that you fortified the defence lines
10 and that in spite of that you still sustained some losses because of the
11 fierceness of this attack which was directed at you both from the
12 direction of the front and from the rear?
13 A. Yes, the lines were fortified as much as the circumstances
14 allowed. That means that all security measures were taken. We tried to
15 engage all available manpower, whoever was on leave was sent back to the
16 front in order to defend the line, because behind us were inhabited
17 village, Kitovnice, Grbavica, and we were afraid that a break-through
18 might ensue and then civilians would be targeted.
19 Q. Thank you. Is that telling us about the scale of the attack
20 which was conducted both from the front and from your rear and also its
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. In the brigade's defence zone, in addition to the
24 joint battalion command, were there any civilian settlements in depth
25 that you were defending at the forward front line which were attacked?
1 A. I am not aware of that and there were not such cases in my
2 defence sector.
3 Q. And how about the defence zone of the entire brigade, were there
4 any villages which perished because of the attacks of the column which
5 was moving from the direction of Srebrenica?
6 A. As far as I know, there weren't any.
7 Q. Thank you. Did anyone get killed in the village of Baljkovica
8 where the break-through happened? Are you aware of that?
9 A. Well, we already said that the command of the 4th Battalion was
10 accommodated in Baljkovica and there were some soldiers who were killed
11 there, some members of the battalion command and also soldiers who were
12 not members of the command but soldiers who were holding defence
13 positions. It also happened in Snagovo where Mr. Obrenovic was up there.
14 During the defence of the neighbouring villages, there were men from my
15 unit who had been killed because I had to send 40 soldiers up there.
16 There was one who got killed. That was up there in the Snagovo sector.
17 Q. Thank you. The Prosecutor asked you whether you contacted
18 Obrenovic and whether that had to do with engaging these 40 men. Was it
19 that or did Obrenovic have some other request?
20 A. Yes, yes. That was the issue at hand. Obrenovic requested me to
21 send 40 men and I drove them to Standard, so it has to do with these men
22 who were supposed to fill in the positions in the villages around
23 Snagovo, Crni Vrh and so on.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you participate in the clearing up of the
25 battle-field and did you hear whether there was any mopping up operations
1 or clearing up operations in the battle-field after the -- these forces
2 had passed through it?
3 A. No, I didn't participate, nor did I hear that mop-up operations
4 were conducted. As I said, I was up there at the battalion all the time
5 and after the break-through there was a lot to be organised about,
6 repairing the lines, digging new trenches and connecting trenches and so
7 on and so forth. So as for the mopping up and clearing up the terrain, I
8 was not informed about that. As battalion commanders, we were not
9 informed of this.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you don't have any direct
11 knowledge of this, then I do not wish to ask you about that.
12 Thank you for all the answers which you provided during my
13 cross-examinations to the questions I asked you. Thank you for coming
14 here to testify. I wish you happy return home. As for myself, I have
15 finished my cross-examination and I wish to thank the presiding judge,
16 the witness, and everyone else.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
19 Mr. McCloskey, I was told that there's still doubt if the
20 document P00011 was really admitted in the Popovic trial through this
21 witness. The information I received was different but to resolve this
22 problem, I think nobody will have an objection if you use this document
23 during your re-examination to clarify the situation. It seems to be a
24 very short document. Your re-examination, please.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Let's, if we can put that document up on
1 the screen.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And to make it clear, if this creates additional
3 question by Mr. Tolimir, we will let him ask, of course.
4 Re-examination by Mr. McCloskey:
5 Q. All right. If you could just take a moment to look at that and
6 we see that this is an interim report from the Chief of Staff,
7 Dragan Obrenovic, to the command of the Drina Corps, and he is discussing
8 the Muslim forces coming up from the south to the north towards his
9 units. Does this have anything to do with the additional troops that
10 you've testified that Major Obrenovic ordered you to provide, as far as
11 you know?
12 A. Yes. Those are the 40 men who were supposed to go to the Snagovo
13 sector where they would be attached to Major Obrenovic's men.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'd offer this document into evidence.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will again be received.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Make sure it's in for good.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have it.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY:
22 Q. And just you've mentioned that Obrenovic was at Snagovo. Can you
23 tell us where Snagovo is in relation to Zvornik? Is it north or south of
25 A. To the south-west of Zvornik.
1 Q. And we know that Petkovci is to the --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you mentioned up there in Snagovo. Can you explain to the
4 Court why you would have used the term "up there in Snagovo" for a place
5 that was south?
6 A. Compared to Zvornik, Snagovo overlooks it. It's a hilly area.
7 That's why I say up there, because it's on an elevation. That's why we
8 refer to it as up there.
9 Q. All right. And there's another term that you and the General
10 used that got translated as cleaning up or clearing up the terrain. The
11 term in Serbian is "asanacija." Can you tell us what you mean by the
12 term "asanacija" when you -- after a battle, what is "asanacija"?
13 A. As far as I know, "asanacija" refers to the removal of dead
14 bodies where these are recovered, and the removal means that they are
15 taken away and buried. Now, the clearing or cleaning up of terrain can
16 mean a number of things. We can say that we are embarking on a clean-up
17 operation. Again it will depend on what is being done. There might be
18 straggling enemy forces that need to be dealt with, whereas "asanacija"
19 or sanitisation would mean the removal of dead bodies or if any chemical
20 warfare agents were used, the terrain needs to be cleaned of them.
21 That's my opinion of course, it should be up to specialists or experts to
22 speak about it.
23 Q. All right.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we go to P835. It's the 18 July interim
25 combat report that the General asked you about. And could we go to page
1 2. Let's try page 3 of the B/C/S and page 2 of the English, excuse me
2 for just taking a look at this. I need really the next page. I don't
3 need this page blown up. If we could go to the next page in English. I
4 am sorry, no, this is this part. I need the part at the bottom. Sorry
5 about that. The part at the bottom. Number 4.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should be on the next page in B/C/S.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, please. Page 5 in the B/C/S, I'm told.
8 Q. Right. And after the losses that the General had you talk about,
9 we go down farther and we get to paragraph 4 which he entitles "The
10 Situation in the Territory." And Commander Pandurevic says that:
11 "During the last 10 days or so the municipality of Zvornik has
12 been swamped with Srebrenica Turks. It is inconceivable to me that
13 someone brought in 3.000 Turks of military age and placed them in schools
14 in the municipality, in addition to the 7.000 or so who have fled into
15 the forests."
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Can we continue so we can see the whole thing.
17 Q. "This created an extremely complex situation and the possibility
18 of the total occupation of Zvornik in conjunction with the forces at the
19 front. These actions have stirred up great discontent among the people
20 and the general opinion is that Zvornik is to pay the price for the
21 taking of Srebrenica."
22 Now, do you know, is -- you've already testified that many
23 prisoners, Muslims, were taken to the school right outside your
24 battalion; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Are those Muslims part of what Commander Pandurevic is talking
2 about in this report?
3 A. They probably are.
4 Q. And the stirring up of the population that he refers to because
5 of these activities, is that, in your view, similar to the locals from
6 Petkovci that were upset about the bodies at the school?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And finally you stated that security organs went both
9 horizontally and vertically in terms of their command. Can you explain
10 what you meant by that briefly?
11 A. Security organs had their chain of command in the following way:
12 For instance, the chief of the Zvornik Brigade controlled the various
13 security officers in units. At the same time, the battalion commander
14 had them under his command, so these officers could at once receive
15 orders, guide-lines, and instructions from both their security chief and
16 unit commander.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you. I've nothing further.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Mr. Tolimir, Mr. McCloskey has used an additional document. Have
20 you any question in relation to that document?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We don't
22 have any problem with that. Whatever the Prosecutor uses in his attempt
23 to prove culpability is fine with us.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
25 Questioned by the Court:
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, I would like to take you back to one part of
2 your testimony this morning. That is page 11, lines 10 through 21. You
3 were asked by Mr. McCloskey:
4 "Sir, we have heard from your prior testimony that villagers, you
5 have said that villagers complained to you about corpses. Where were
6 those corpses that they complained about?"
7 And you answered:
8 "The bodies were near houses and near the school building. There
9 was population inhabiting the area nearby and it was in that area that
10 they found the bodies."
11 And then you were asked roughly how many bodies to your
12 knowledge, and you said "two or three corpses."
13 I would like to know, have you personally seen these bodies?
14 A. No, I didn't see them. I heard stories. I wasn't there myself.
15 As I said, I was manning the combat line. I heard stories about a number
16 of corpses and the effort to remove them. Nothing more.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What is this source of your knowledge? You said
18 you heard stories, who told you these stories?
19 A. Well, listen, after these events transpired, everything, all
20 sorts of stories could be heard wherever a group of people socialised.
21 On every occasion one could hear novelties about it, some of the things I
22 learned only once I've come here to testify in the trial. And about some
23 things I knew nothing at that point about what was going on in the
24 Zvornik municipality.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what do you know about the complaints of the
1 villagers, about the stench and other occurrences?
2 A. I've already said that I received a call from a communications
3 officer from Petkovci who told me that they were looking to obtain a
4 lorry in order to drive the corpses away. Nothing more. I told the men
5 to provide them with a lorry. Now, how they did it and how many bodies
6 there were, I only know what I learned subsequently, that there were two
7 or three bodies, but nothing more. I don't know where they were buried
8 and by whom.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When you received this call by this officer, what
10 did he tell you exactly? This is quite an unusual call, we need a lorry
11 for removing bodies. What exactly did he tell you?
12 A. Listen, it's not that he was an officer by rank. He was just a
13 soldier, operating the operations -- the communications system. Just as
14 I had one such soldier up at my forward command post. And he told me,
15 look, some villagers have come to see us and they are looking to get a
16 lorry so that they could remove those dead bodies. So I was talking to
17 that person operating the communications devices and I gave my
18 instructions to deal with this matter, and it was only two or three days
19 later that I returned from the forward command post. There was an attack
20 on the 16th and the column passed through on the 17th, so we spent all
21 that time up in the area where the battalion had its defence line.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did the villagers use the lorry for transporting
23 the bodies?
24 A. Well, they probably did. If this is what the log states, then
25 that's how it was. How many trips they did is not something that I can
1 observe from the log, and I didn't have access to that information. I'm
2 telling you that I was at the positions. On the 16th my deputy commander
3 was wounded when there was fighting going on, as was on the 15th, and on
4 the 17th, the corridor was opened. So I was present at the combat lines
5 all that time and didn't know the details surrounding the use of the
6 vehicle, who organised transportation, et cetera. But did I not issue
7 explicit orders for the lorry to be used for a purpose. I only
8 instructed them that they should -- I approved the request, I granted
9 them the request, that the vehicle could be placed at their disposal.
10 But I didn't know anything else of the story.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You gave your approval to hand over the lorry to
12 the villagers to remove the bodies, did I understand you correctly?
13 A. Since they were requesting a lorry, I approved or granted their
14 request. That was the message I transmitted to them and that was in my
15 mind the end of the story.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm curious if that is a normal procedure, to
17 hand over a lorry to villagers? It was a lorry of the army, if I
18 understood you correctly, or not?
19 A. It belonged to the army. However, there were quite a few cases
20 where approval was given -- well, you say villagers, but they were
21 practically all members of the army because they all belonged to a
22 battalion, so approvals were granted whenever they needed lorries for the
23 transportation of firewood or for moving houses. Such were the times
24 where we were compelled by the circumstances to accommodate such requests
25 coming from villagers where they concerned firewood or anything else that
1 they needed.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for your answers.
3 Mr. McCloskey.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I have one very simple question
5 that will clarify, I think, something that you've asked about the
6 document that he could help us with, if I could just should take just a
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, go ahead.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we put P1084 back on the screen.
10 And this should be the log for the TAM 80, and the first page as
11 we saw, as we'll soon see, describes the TAM 80 and the number of it.
12 That's what we want on the left, but the right in English needs to be the
13 first page. Sorry, it is. It's just the right side of the one so we can
14 read it. Thank you.
15 Further examination by Mr. McCloskey:
16 And we see now that there's a section called "rank, first name
17 and last name of driver/user." That's in a box. Do see where they --
18 that's printed on the form?
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That was a question for you.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY:
21 Q. Do you see where it says driver /user printed on the form? It's
22 right there.
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. And under driver/user, we have Dragomir Topalovic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And was Dragomir a member of your battalion?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what was his job?
4 A. He was a driver assigned to a logistics platoon. In other words,
5 he was a lorry driver.
6 Q. And Vlado Josic, the next name, was he a member of your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And what was his job?
10 A. He was also a soldier and he was a courier of mine. If the
11 driver was unavailable and if a lorry needed to be taken somewhere, he
12 would be used as a driver.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: And for the record, P1085, the other vehicle, the
15 other TAM 75, has the same two people on it, Dragomir Topalovic and Vlado
16 Josic for your information, because it's -- I think we are done. Thank
17 you very much. Nothing further.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 Would you like to put an additional question to this document,
20 Mr. Tolimir?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
23 no additional questions because I did take notice of all the various
24 points and inconsistencies discussed by the witness and the Prosecutor.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you will be pleased that this concludes your
2 examination. You are now free to return to your normal activities. The
3 Chamber would like to thank you for your attendance here and the
4 assistance you were able to give us. Thank you very much.
5 We adjourn now and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Friday, the 8th day of October,
11 2010, at 9.00 a.m.