1 Thursday, 3 February 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody, especially to you,
6 Mr. Elderkin, the first time we see you in the courtroom this year, and
7 we wish you a happy and successful year.
8 I think the next witness is ready. We go into closed session for
9 a moment to enable the witness to enter the courtroom.
10 [Closed session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Good morning, sir. Welcome to the Tribunal.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on
5 the card which is shown to you now.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-016
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sits down.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: As you know, there are still protective measures
13 in place for you. You will be addressed by a pseudonym and nobody will
14 recognise you on the screen because of face distortion.
15 Mr. Elderkin has questions for you and is commencing his
16 examination-in-chief. Mr. Elderkin.
17 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you.
18 Examination by Mr. Elderkin:
19 Q. And witness, good morning to you. As you know, my name is Rupert
20 Elderkin and I will be asking you a few questions this morning. If there
21 is anything that I ask you that is unclear, please let me know and I will
22 try to rephrase my question.
23 MR. ELDERKIN: Can I ask first to have 65 ter number 7167 on the
24 screen? And this shouldn't be broadcast.
25 Q. Sir, without telling us your name, are you the person named on
1 the screen?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. ELDERKIN: And, Your Honours, I request that the pseudonym
5 sheet be admitted now under seal.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
8 Exhibit P1761 and admitted under seal, thank you.
9 MR. ELDERKIN:
10 Q. Sir, do you recall having testified here in The Hague in the
11 Krstic trial in April 2000?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was your testimony truthful?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And have you had the opportunity to review your testimony in the
16 past few days?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Having reviewed your testimony, does it fairly and accurately
19 reflect what you would say if you were to be examined here today and
20 asked the same questions?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, I move to have the witness's
23 testimony from the Krstic trial admitted, and that's 65 ter number 1553.
24 And in addition, 65 ter numbers 1207 and 1227 were admitted through the
25 witness in the Krstic trial, and I'd also ask for their admission now.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please clarify, the transcript of the 14th of
2 April, that was in the Popovic case or in the Krstic trial?
3 MR. ELDERKIN: It was in the Krstic trial, Your Honour. The
4 witness last testified before this Tribunal in Krstic and his testimony
5 was subsequently admitted in Popovic and also I think in Blagojevic.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And they are all public documents?
7 MR. ELDERKIN: And the transcript is a public document, indeed,
8 Your Honour.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1553 shall be
11 assigned Exhibit P1762. 65 ter document 1207 shall be assigned
12 Exhibit P1763. 65 ter document 1227 shall be assigned Exhibit P1764.
13 Thank you.
14 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours for the record, one additional
15 exhibit was used with the witness during his Krstic testimony, and that
16 has already been admitted in this trial as Exhibit P262. I'd like now to
17 read a summary of the witness's Krstic testimony.
18 The witness is a Muslim by faith. On the 11th of July 1995, he
19 was living with his family in the village of Suceska in Srebrenica. That
20 day, his family went to Potocari but he went to Jaglici as he was afraid
21 of being killed by Serb soldiers. There were around 10 to 15.000 people
22 at Jaglici who decided to head for Tuzla. The witness set off on the
23 afternoon of the 12th of July. He spent the night in the woods and was
24 captured near Nova Kasaba at around 7.00 a.m. on the 13th of July.
25 He was taken to the elementary school in Kasaba which was being
1 used as a barracks. Around 2.00 p.m., the captured Muslims at the school
2 were taken to a nearby football pitch. There were around 1.500 to 2.000
3 men sitting in rows surrounded by armed Serb soldiers. While the witness
4 was at the football pitch, more Muslim men were arriving from the
5 direction of Konjevic Polje. The Serb soldiers said that General Mladic
6 would come and he arrived and made a speech saying that the men would all
7 be exchanged. Mladic also ordered the soldiers to make a list of the
9 While Mladic was present, the soldiers killed a prisoner. After
10 the list was made, Mladic left towards Konjevic Polje.
11 In the late afternoon, buses came and drove the prisoners towards
12 Bratunac. Near Sandici, the witness saw a group of men surrounded by
13 Serb soldiers. Further on, near Kravica, the witness saw a building with
14 four or five dead bodies at the central entrance and he heard shooting
15 from behind the building. The bus stopped for the night in Bratunac.
16 The witness heard shooting throughout the night and four or five people
17 were taken off the bus and never came back.
18 The next day, 14th of July, the prisoners remained on the bus.
19 They were not given any water and people were fainting because of the
20 heat. A soldier arrived and told the prisoners they were going to be
21 exchanged. The bus drove north to Pilica. At the school there, the
22 soldiers ordered the prisoners into the school gymnasium which was
23 already crowded. The witness volunteered to get water. While he was
24 outside, he heard a bus approaching and then there was the sound of
25 people crying for help, then shooting and the guard ordered the men
1 getting water back into the gym.
2 Two or three men died during the night from lack of air in the
3 overcrowded gym.
4 On the 15th of July, Serb soldiers robbed the men in the gym and
5 threatened to kill them if they did not hand over 10.000 German marks but
6 they did not have the money. During the night, the 15th of July, men
7 were taken out of the gym and some didn't come back.
8 On the morning of the 16th of July, a Serb soldier said, "Let all
9 the young men leave the gym. One by one, because they will be
10 exchanged." The witness's hands were tied, then he went outside and got
11 on to a bus. The bus drove to a meadow where there were many dead
12 bodies. The soldiers took groups of men from the buses and shot them.
13 As the witness was getting off the bus, the Serb soldiers asked if anyone
14 had any relatives abroad so that they could send money for exchange. And
15 some people spoke up and were singled out.
16 The witness was taken to the meadow with the bodies. Serb
17 soldiers there opened fire with automatic rifles and a machine-gun. Then
18 there was an order to shoot people individually. The witness was shot in
19 the back but was only scratched. The soldiers asked if anyone was
20 wounded and said they would be bandaged. Those who spoke up were
21 finished off. More groups of prisoners were brought to the meadow and
22 were killed.
23 That evening, a vehicle arrived and unloaded more bodies at the
24 site. The witness spent the night in the killing field and the next day
25 hid under a bridge. From his hiding place, he heard the sounds of
1 machines working all day. He met an older man and they escaped together.
2 They met a third man but he eventually got lost. The witness and the
3 older man turned themselves in when they became exhausted. They were
4 given food and drink and were taken to Karakaj in a minibus. The witness
5 was taken on to the Batkovic camp and he was finally released on the 26th
6 of December of 1995.
7 Your Honours that concludes my summary and I have some further
8 questions for the witness.
9 If I may ask for the first question to be in private session.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
11 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
5 MR. ELDERKIN:
6 Q. Sir, in your testimony in the Krstic case, as I've referred to
7 just now in the summary, you referred to the enemy soldiers as Serb
8 soldiers. Can you be more specific about where these soldiers were from?
9 A. From Bosnia, they were Bosnians.
10 Q. So members of the Bosnian Serb army?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I'd like to ask you a few questions about Batkovic camp, please.
13 In your prior testimony, you said that you were taken from Karakaj to the
14 Batkovic camp. Where is the camp, if you know?
15 A. In Bijeljina.
16 Q. And I'd like to show you a map, please, and see if you can
17 confirm the general location to help us in this courtroom with our
19 MR. ELDERKIN: If I could have Exhibit P104, which is the
20 Prosecution's map book, and at page 10 in e-court of that exhibit,
22 If we could perhaps zoom in on the top two-thirds of the map, if
23 possible, so cutting off just below the red circle. That's great, thank
25 Sir, on this map we can see a portion of Eastern Bosnia in very
1 simplified form, and I think we can just see at the bottom right-hand
2 corner Bratunac, and then following up the river to the north, Zvornik
3 and onwards to Bijeljina. Right at the top there is a red triangle
4 marked as Batkovic camp. Does that location correspond roughly with
5 where you believe Batkovic camp to be?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Sir, do you recall around what date you arrived at Batkovic camp?
8 A. The 26th.
9 Q. And of which month, please?
10 A. July 1995.
11 Q. And what happened when you arrived at the camp?
12 A. The Red Cross was there already, and I was immediately registered
13 with them.
14 MR. ELDERKIN: Can I ask, please, to see 65 ter number 2686?
15 Sir, this is an aerial photograph that we are looking at. Do you
16 recognise any of the buildings as the buildings you knew at Batkovic
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I'd like to ask you, if I may, that the witness could mark this
21 MR. ELDERKIN: And could we have an assistant to set up the magic
22 pen, please?
23 Q. Sir, the pen you're being given can be used to mark on the
24 screen, and in a moment I'll ask you to mark some of the locations, if
25 you recall them. If you make a mistake, then that can be erased.
1 Now, first of all, where were you registered by the Red Cross
2 when you arrived?
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Sir, you've drawn a red circle on the screen. Could you mark a
5 number 1 next to that, please?
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. And was there some kind of facility where the Red Cross
8 registered you or was this simply in the open air?
9 A. Well, it was a sort of a small tent.
10 Q. Can you see on this picture the place where you were imprisoned?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you mark that, please, with an X?
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And perhaps put the number 2 next to it, just to be sure.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Sir, during the time you were at Batkovic camp, were there any
17 other prisoners held with you in the building you've just marked?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And during your time in the camp, how many prisoners were held in
20 that building?
21 A. I think about 200 prisoners. I'm not sure.
22 Q. Were these other prisoners already at the camp when you arrived?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did any more prisoners continue to arrive after you came to the
1 A. Yes, two or three of them.
2 Q. And while you were at the camp, did you find out where the other
3 prisoners were from?
4 A. I think two of them were brought from Serbia.
5 Q. Were they Serbs?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Who were they?
8 A. Muslims.
9 Q. And of the 200 prisoners, were those Muslims or Serbs or a
10 mixture? Can you explain?
11 A. Muslims.
12 Q. Muslims from which area?
13 A. Srebrenica.
14 Q. Did you learn where these other Muslims from Srebrenica had been
15 taken prisoner before they had been brought to the Batkovic camp?
16 A. Well, I think that they used to be in the woods.
17 Q. Had any of those prisoners been brought to the camp directly from
18 Srebrenica or Potocari just after the Srebrenica enclave had been
19 captured by the Bosnian Serb forces?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Now, sir, you've marked the building at the bottom of the
22 picture. Do you know what the other buildings in this picture were used
24 A. I'm not sure.
25 Q. For example, were you taken to any separate building to eat or to
2 A. No.
3 Q. And while you were at the camp, did you find out whether there
4 were any prisoners in the other buildings we can see on this picture?
5 A. No.
6 Q. When did you finally leave Batkovic camp?
7 A. On the 26th of December 1995.
8 Q. Sir, I don't have any further questions for you.
9 MR. ELDERKIN: But I'd like to ask for this image to be tendered
10 as an exhibit marked in court. I don't know if Your Honours would like
11 any further information to be placed on the image by the witness or
12 whether it's sufficient with the markings he has.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This aerial photograph with the markings will be
14 received as an exhibit.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
16 Exhibit P1765. Thank you.
17 MR. ELDERKIN:
18 Q. Thank you very much, witness.
19 MR. ELDERKIN: And Your Honours, I have no further questions at
20 this time.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Elderkin.
22 Sir, now the accused, Mr. Tolimir, is commencing his
23 cross-examination. Mr. Tolimir.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
1 there be peace in this house. May God's will be done in these
2 proceedings and not mine.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Good morning to the witness. I wish him a pleasant stay here and
5 a safe journey home.
6 Since it's going to be difficult for me to gauge which of the
7 details the witness does not want to go public with, we would kindly ask
8 the witness and his legal counsel to pay attention to that and to caution
9 me as soon as such a moment may arise. And since we speak the same
10 language -- oh, I apologise.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
12 MR. ELDERKIN: I do apologise as well and simply for the record
13 I'd like to make clear that the Prosecution is not the witness's legal
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this comment, otherwise I would
16 have done that. Please continue, Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Elderkin.
18 I apologise. I spoke automatically, without thinking. May the witness
19 speak slowly and mind the need for a break between question and answer.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since what we are saying is going to be interpreted, please mind
22 the cursor that you can see on the screen, and as soon as you see it
23 stop, then start answering the question. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we call up 1D558 in e-court,
25 please? It is the witness's statement given to the OTP on the 23rd of
1 May 1996. Thank you.
2 We can see the statement now.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. My question has to do with your statement. In the first
5 paragraph of your statement, which can be found on the next page --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- just for a moment, this should not be
7 broadcast. Please continue.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And especially, perhaps Mr. Tolimir just
4 misspoke. I don't see it any more. I heard something about the location
5 where the witness is living now. But this can't be in public session.
6 We will redact that part.
7 Please continue, Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Please, you tell me what it is that you can say in public in
11 answer to my question rather than me making that choice for you. Please
12 state your mind in that respect whenever I put a question to you. Thank
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
15 MR. ELDERKIN: I'd ask that we go into private session right now,
16 please, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
18 [Private session]
11 Page 9365 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you tell us who your commander was at a time when you were in
16 the army until 1993? Can you tell us, if need be, in private session?
17 A. Zulfo was.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us why was UNPROFOR banned from going
19 into certain areas within the area of your brigade, if you know? Thank
21 A. I know that they were -- there was no ban. They were free to go
22 wherever they wanted to.
23 Q. So there was no area where movement was restricted?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Tell us: In the area of responsibility and deployment of your
1 brigade, was any -- were any weapons or ammunition manufactured?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the ties between the Srebrenica
4 area and Zepa area across the territory held by your unit?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Did you participate in any of the actions under the
7 command of the commander you just named?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you leave Srebrenica in order to carry out any military
10 actions until 1993?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Which platoon were you a part of in -- up until 1993, or if you
13 can tell us what the name of that unit was, if need be in private
15 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
16 Q. Thank you. Was your brigade organised in squads, companies,
17 platoons? Thank you.
18 A. I'm not sure.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you go to man the lines of your own initiative or
20 was it on the orders of your commander?
21 A. Well, we would normally go to man the lines in the evenings.
22 Q. Thank you. After 1993, did any of you go to man the lines or to
23 attend to any tasks that the unit might have had?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did the Ministry of the Interior guard the boundaries of the
1 demilitarised zone of Srebrenica or not?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Do you know who it was that the international forces of UNPROFOR
4 were separating along the boundaries of the zone? Thank you.
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Do you know Mr. Ramiz Becirovic?
7 A. I did hear of him.
8 Q. Do you know him or did you only hear of him?
9 A. I only heard of him.
10 Q. Can you tell us if he was a member of the units stationed at
11 Suceska? Was he a commander of the Territorial Defence there?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have D120 shown now? D120,
15 page 6 in Serbian and 10 in English. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you please indicate for the
17 record which document it is we are looking at?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We are looking at a document which
19 was made at a time when he was a soldier in Srebrenica. It's a guide to
20 Srebrenica, listing what the activities or duties of each of the units
21 there was. We've already looked at the document. It was a contribution
22 to a chronicle produced by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was
23 that army which provided the information contained in this guide. So I'd
24 like the witness to go through the document so that we may see the extent
25 of his knowledge since he didn't know anything of the information
1 I sought earlier.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I understand your position. On the
3 other hand, this witness hasn't seen this in court and we just start at
4 page 6, so it is necessary to explain what is about you are talking --
5 asking the witness. Please continue.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I need another clarification. I was told this
10 document is under seal, it should not be broadcast. And if there is
11 still a reason that this document is under seal, you should be aware of
12 that during your examination. Go ahead, please.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I've
14 already stated for the record, but let me repeat that it was a
15 contribution to a chronicle issued by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 containing information about its units, and I'm going to ask the witness
17 about the unit he was a member of.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 A. Well, I don't know anything about any of this.
20 Q. Thank you. This is my question: Do you see before you the roman
21 numeral 3, and below it, the title, which reads, and it's page 9 in
22 English, "Full Establishment of the Unit." So do you see here a mention
23 of the unit you were a member of?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Perhaps you misunderstood my question. Does it not say beneath,
1 three numbers and then the name of a brigade? Was this not the brigade
2 you belonged to?
3 A. I don't know. I don't remember.
4 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell us what was the base of your
5 brigade? What was the name of your brigade?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. And what was the name of your unit that was stationed in that
8 location you mentioned which I will not name here? Thank you.
9 A. It was Territorial Defence. It was no unit. It was just --
10 Q. Thank you. Were you a member of that unit as of the 1st of May
11 1992? Thank you.
12 A. Which unit?
13 Q. The one whose name I can see below the roman numeral 3?
14 A. I don't remember.
15 Q. Can you remember anything at all about the unit you belonged to
16 at a time you were a soldier of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992?
17 Thank you.
18 A. No.
19 Q. Thank you. Do you remember any operation carried out by your
20 unit in 1992 and 1993? Thank you.
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did your unit take part in any action or operation, in any
23 combat? Thank you.
24 A. No.
25 Q. Does that mean that you only guarded your homes and went to join
1 the unit as called up? Or did you just go to the units on your own?
2 A. Well, we just guarded the homes.
3 Q. And while you were on the lines -- my apologies to the
4 interpreter. While you were manning the lines, can you tell me something
5 about what your typical day would look like? Thank you.
6 A. Well, you would spend the whole day in the trench, and that's
7 what it looked like. What else can I tell you?
8 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber of any activity
9 or any mission of your unit or anything that you can recall while you
10 were within the unit, even if you can tell us an anecdote or a story?
11 A. Well, as I've already told you, we just held the line, and that's
12 about it.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you read what it said under the roman numeral 3 a
14 moment ago, while you were looking at the screen?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Well, could you recognise anything there, any activity, any
17 person or any operation that is mentioned here as something that was
18 carried out by the BH Army while you were a member of one of its units?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Throughout that period between 1992 through May 1993, were you a
21 soldier? Were you wounded? Were you ill? Did you for any reason --
22 were you for any reason absent from within the unit?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Is there any reason why you're refusing to answer my questions,
25 why you're refusing to say anything about your unit? Because we need it
1 for the record and for the Trial Chamber, and perhaps you can tell us
2 just the name of your commander, komandir, or can you tell us anything
3 about the resupplies of the unit or anything of that sort?
4 A. What do you mean resupply?
5 Q. Well, can you tell us --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
7 MR. ELDERKIN: I would object to characterising the witness as
8 refusing to answer the question. As far as I can see from the
9 transcript, he's answered every single question he's been asked. In
10 particular, also General Tolimir referred to the text he had on the
11 screen and asked the witness whether he had a chance to read what was
12 beneath the roman numeral, although he only directed his question to
13 concern the first couple of lines after that roman numeral. If it's
14 important for the witness to read the entire page, he should be given
15 that opportunity because there is a fair amount of detail in there, but
16 as I say, it's not -- I think it's objectionable for General Tolimir to
17 characterise the witness as being a difficult witness who is refusing to
18 answer. He certainly isn't doing that.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We note that the witness was answering questions,
20 however in a very short manner, and it is up to the Chamber to give
21 weight to the kind of questions and answers. But indeed, the text below
22 number 3 is a very long text, and if you want to put details to the
23 witness, Mr. Tolimir, you should draw his attention to a specific part of
25 Please continue.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, and I would
2 like to thank you Mr. Elderkin for making this remark regarding my
3 questioning. I have no further questions for the witness about this text
4 and it is not my intention to ask him to study this document. He has
5 better things to do. Now I will move on to some other issues and perhaps
6 then he can answer my questions. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please see 1D565 in
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. This is a statement provided by you, Mr. Witness, on the 20th of
11 July 1996, to the state commission for gathering facts on war crimes.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, this document -- a document with
13 this number is not in your list and perhaps you misspoke. Please check
14 that again.
15 Mr. Elderkin?
16 MR. ELDERKIN: Furthermore, if the document does show up on the
17 list and it is what General Tolimir described it as, it shouldn't be
18 broadcast obviously.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My apologies to e-court.
20 I misquoted the number. I should have asked for 1D562 rather than 1D565.
21 So could we please pull up 1D562? Thank you. And, again, let me
22 repeat (redacted)
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document should not be broadcast. Please
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you see this document, witness?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is this document indeed a statement that you provided to the
7 bodies which we can see in the heading, in the upper left-hand corner?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Why didn't you mention in this statement that you were a member
10 of the army?
11 A. [No verbal response]
12 Q. Thank you. Have you had occasion to read through this statement
13 during your earlier testimonies or earlier preparations for the
15 A. No.
16 Q. Have you ever seen it after you've provided it?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Would you need to read it before I can put some questions to you?
19 Because I'd like to go through this statement of yours. Thank you.
20 A. Well, I don't think it's necessary for me to read it through
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have a problem again. You are overlapping,
23 both speakers, and it's difficult for the interpreters to catch
24 everything. Mr. Elderkin?
25 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, given the reference to the exact
1 date of the statement and to whom it was given, which is as far as I just
2 saw page 24 lines 1 to 2 in LiveNote, I'd ask for that information to be
3 redacted. I don't know if this document is available elsewhere publicly
4 and could be more easily linked to the witness's identity as a result.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is this document under seal? Is it a
6 confidential document?
7 MR. ELDERKIN: If it were to be admitted, I would ask for it to
8 be under seal, but I don't know where else it exist, whether -- for
9 example, in the country where it was originally taken, for example, it
10 might be accessible publicly.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will redact these lines.
12 Please go ahead, Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I don't
14 know if I'm permitted to mention place names or should I just skip over
15 it and would you then admit this document in view of the fact that
16 everything will be redacted? In other words, I don't know how to put
17 questions to this witness if he's unwilling to read it.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've already said that I was
19 a member of the army and what I did while I was its member and there is
20 nothing else I can add, and the statement that I provided was brief.
21 I did not provide the full statement.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Very well. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I don't see a reason to say that the
25 witness is not willing to read this document. It is still under
1 discussion and you asked the Chamber how to proceed. I think if there is
2 a link between the witness, in person, and a specific place, then we
3 altogether should be very careful with that. On the other hand, it's no
4 problem to mention certain locations like Srebrenica because everybody
5 knows that we are dealing with events in Srebrenica.
6 So we should decide case by case.
7 Please go ahead.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I only
9 said this because the witness said that he hadn't read this statement,
10 either during the proofing for this testimony or for the earlier
11 testimonies, and that he hadn't read it since he actually made the
12 statement. So I've asked him whether it was necessary for him to read it
13 now, to refresh his memory, but since he said that it wasn't, could we
14 then see the next page of this statement, please? That's page 2.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I ask the witness, do you recall this
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A little bit.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But you recall that you have given this statement
19 at an earlier time, years ago?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, years ago.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
22 Please continue, Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, would you please take a look at the second paragraph on
1 page 2 of this statement? And I'm referring to the Serbian version,
2 where you say that in a village, and I won't mention the name of the
4 "I saw a large number of assembled soldiers and civilians.
5 I think that there may have been about 15.000 people there. I arrived
6 there on the 15th [as interpreted] of July 1995, and on the evening of
7 that day, part of the soldiers and civilians went towards Kamenica
9 My apologies, would you please redact this.
10 Well, they went in the direction that you mention here?
11 So my question based on this is what soldiers are you referring
12 to here and which civilians are you referring to? Who was going,
13 whatever you are saying that they were going in this statement?
14 A. Well, the civilians were from Srebrenica. As for soldiers, I
15 don't know what soldiers these were. I can't remember that part.
16 Q. Thank you. But are these your words? Can you recall that?
17 A. I'm not sure.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
19 MR. ELDERKIN: Just one correction. I see at page 27, line 9 a
20 reference to the 15th of July, which I think should be the 11th of July
21 as it appears in the statement.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's correct. Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Witness, can you tell me whether there is a possibility that this
2 statement was actually compiled after you provided it and just trying to
3 recapture your words?
4 A. Well, I'm not sure.
5 Q. Are you sure of any portion of the text that you had occasion to
6 read so far, that these were in fact your words?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you tell us, please, whether, when you provided the
9 statement, you signed, you placed your signature on each page of the text
10 that was typed out after you've given the statement?
11 A. I'm not even sure of that.
12 Q. Thank you. Please look at the bottom of this statement.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We need the bottom of both pages, especially in
14 B/C/S, full to the bottom. Yes, thank you.
15 Witness, can you see a handwritten name? Is it yours?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you recall having signed this document?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I did not hear the
21 witness's answer. Could he please repeat it? You asked him whether he
22 had signed this document and he said that he hadn't.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did sign it.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Oh, you did, thank you. So does that mean that what is contained
1 therein are, in fact, your words?
2 A. Well, most probably but I can't recall every detail. I can't
3 recall mentioning all of these details.
4 Q. Thank you. Did you state before investigating organs that there
5 had been an order for all able-bodied men from your town to go to the
6 place which was mentioned a moment ago, Jaglici, and that civilians were
7 supposed to go to Potocari? Was this your statement?
8 A. Well, I heard that from other people, and we did go to Jaglici.
9 So there was an instruction to go to Jaglici, whereas women and children
10 were supposed to go to Potocari.
11 Q. Thank you. Could we now please see 1D558 in e-court? And
12 perhaps we can hear from the witness whether he can recall this document
13 at least.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the document,
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Yes.
17 I would like to tender it, because we will also revisit this document if
18 the witness mentions any of the events that are contained therein. Thank
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal and the next
21 document should not be broadcast.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D562 shall be
23 assigned Exhibit D151, admitted under seal. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In front of us we have your statement given under -- oh, no, it's
2 your birthday -- no. You gave the statement on the 23rd of May 1996.
3 This statement was given to the International Criminal Tribunal for the
4 Prosecution of persons. My question is: Did you talk to the
5 investigators of the ICTY on the 23rd of May 1996?
6 A. Yes, I did. I don't remember the exact date.
7 Q. Thank you. Take a look at the second page of your statement.
8 Thank you. Now, if we take a look at the second paragraph on the screen,
9 fourth line, where you say:
10 "There was an order that all able-bodied men should go to Jaglici
11 and women and children to go to Potocari."
12 My question is as follows: Did you state this while you were
13 giving this statement to the investigators of ICTY?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell us who gave this order? What authorities gave this
17 A. I don't know that. I already told you that I heard from other
18 people that there was such an order, who gave it, I don't know.
19 Q. Yes, but here in the statement you didn't say that you heard it
20 from others. Here you simply said the order came for all able-bodied men
21 to go to Jaglici and line up and women and children to go to Potocari.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Who gave this order?
24 A. I heard it from other people.
25 Q. So did you obey what you heard from other people?
1 A. Of course.
2 Q. So was that a normal way of issuing orders, people tell that to
3 other people?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you didn't have a normal system of disseminating information
6 via couriers and others?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Well, we had many people from your place who would say, well,
9 that a courier arrived and then informed them about what to do. Is that
10 something that also happened in your village?
11 A. I don't remember that. I simply said what I remember.
12 Q. If an order came that all able-bodied men should go to Jaglici,
13 does that mean that this order was issued by the military organs in
15 A. I don't know. It's possible. I heard it from others. I did not
16 hear it from some military personnel.
17 Q. Thank you. And when you arrived to that place where you were
18 ordered to come and line up, did somebody speak to you then?
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you arrive there with your arms or without it?
21 A. Without the arms.
22 Q. Does that mean that everybody was unarmed?
23 A. As far as I could see around me, nobody was armed. Whether
24 everybody was unarmed, that I cannot tell.
25 Q. Did you see any commander, maybe a commander from your unit or
1 any other commander?
2 A. I don't remember.
3 Q. Did you go there individually, on foot, from your village or did
4 you go with other men who comprised your unit?
5 A. I went with two or three other men. It wasn't an organised
7 Q. Thank you. Did you have a family that went to Potocari in line
8 with this oral order?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Does that mean that you received the order to go where you went
11 and the women received the order to go where they went?
12 A. Well, I don't know how you could interpret that but that's what
13 was told to us. Women to Potocari; men to Jaglici. That's what I heard
14 and that's what was done.
15 Q. So if something would happen to one of those who obeyed the order
16 to go where the men were ordered to go, does that mean that such a person
17 would have a right to request some compensation because it was a military
18 task to go there?
19 A. What kind of military task?
20 Q. But who can issue such an order? Can such an order be issued by
21 somebody who is not authorised to give it, or can such an order be given
22 only by a person authorised to issue such orders?
23 A. I don't know who can issue orders. We were simply trying to save
24 our skins at the time. We simply wanted to hide in the woods.
25 Q. Thank you. I asked you already, and I'm asking you once again,
1 are you willing to answer my questions or not? It's not about me.
2 I don't need that. We are talking here about the Trial Chamber. They
3 have to see what happened. You don't have to feel obligated towards me.
4 A. I am answering the questions to the best of my ability.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To be very clear, you need these answers, as
7 everybody else, like the Prosecution and the Chamber. This is the reason
8 why the witness is here.
9 Mr. Elderkin?
10 MR. ELDERKIN: Again, I'd say the question is objectionable.
11 I can't see any basis on which to accuse the witness of not giving an
12 answer. He seems to have, again, given a clear answer in some detail and
13 that can be followed up by further questions, if necessary, but to
14 suggest again that he's trying not to answer is unfair on the witness and
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't want to repeat my comment on that.
17 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Elderkin. Thank
19 you, Your Honour.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you now look in the middle of the statement? 23rd row of the
22 second paragraph. Maybe we could somehow mark it on the screen for the
23 witness. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I suggest that you read this sentence so that
25 everybody can pick out what you are referring to.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It goes as
3 "At least 200 people were killed by the ambush and they were left
4 in that location."
5 Maybe we could mark that part in e-court.
6 And as I said, it's the 23rd line. Yeah, it's here:
7 "At least 200 people were killed by the ambush. And they were
8 left in that location. We took the wounded with us and began walking
9 again for about half an hour. Then we were surrounded by Serbs again.
10 They had come amongst us, taking people and killing them."
11 Can we mark this part of the statement in e-court so that the
12 witness can see exactly what my question is about?
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, now you see the cursor and the screen.
14 This is the part Mr. Tolimir is referring to.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we maybe now put the cursor at
17 the beginning of the sentence, "At least 200 people were killed." So --
18 yes, exactly, so that the witness can see it. Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So now the cursor is exactly at the beginning of this sentence.
21 A. Yes, I can see it.
22 Q. Can you say anything more about this event when 200 people were
23 killed and left to lie there? Where exactly that happened, for instance?
24 A. Yes, I can.
25 Q. Go ahead.
1 A. We went through the woods and arrived to the village of Kamenica.
2 We sat down in order to rest. However, Serbian soldiers ambushed us,
3 surrounded us, and started shooting from various weapons, and that's
4 where they killed those people. There were some wounded, we took them
5 with us. However, they surrounded us again and shelled us. So the
6 wounded were left where they were because everybody simply ran wherever
7 they could into the woods.
8 You want to know something else?
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether you know those
10 people, were they later buried? That location, was it somehow marked by
11 anybody, maybe some international organs? Were you maybe later taken to
12 that location? Can you tell us what was done with those victims? Where
13 are they?
14 A. I know nothing about it.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, can we go back to 1D562?
17 That's the statement by this witness.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is now D151 under seal and should not be
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have page 2 of
21 this statement? It describes similar events, so I want to see whether
22 the witness will be able to remember these events now, when he takes a
23 look at the statement given to the organs of the Federation of
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now can you take a look at the third paragraph, which begins
2 with, "As we made our way..." When you read this paragraph, let me know
3 and then I'm going to pose my question. Thank you.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. My question is as follows: Where did you see these
6 300 killed and a large number of wounded people, was it on the same axis?
7 And what is the distance between this spot and the first spot that you
9 A. I think that all this was generally speaking from Jaglici all the
10 way down there, that there were about 300 killed people.
11 Q. Thank you. However, for these proceedings, it would be very
12 important if you could tell us whether everything happened in one
13 location or they were killed all the way along the road because if you
14 look here, you said:
15 "The Chetniks surrounded us and opened fire on us, killing over
16 300 people and wounding a large number. We were in disarray as both
17 soldiers and civilians fled wherever they could, while the wounded were
18 left behind on the path."
19 So here in this statement, you say very precisely that it was on
20 some sort of path. So can you tell us, where exactly did that happen,
21 where exactly were 300 people killed?
22 A. I said when we went through the words from Jaglici towards
23 Kamenica and then there was about 200 people and then also down there
24 when they shelled us near Pobudje.
25 Q. Does that mean that 500 people were killed?
1 A. No, no, no. No, in total around 300 people.
2 Q. After this event that you describe here in the third paragraph,
3 did you see any other place where there were killings and casualties?
4 A. No, I don't remember.
5 Q. Thank you. In the last sentence of this paragraph, the third
6 paragraph, you say:
7 "We were in disarray as both soldiers and civilians fled wherever
8 they could, while the wounded were left behind on the path."
9 Can you tell us what soldiers were they? Did you see any
10 soldiers there? What soldiers were running away? Thank you.
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. Thank you. Were they maybe the soldiers of the army of the
13 Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the same place where you were
15 A. It's possible. I'm not sure.
16 Q. Now, can you take a look at the second paragraph, right above,
17 where in the second sentence -- no, actually in the first sentence, you
19 "When I came to such and such village, I saw a large number of
20 assembled soldiers and civilians. I think there may have been about
21 15.000 people."
22 My question is as follows: Can you remember now whether there,
23 at the assembly place, you saw any soldier -- soldiers of the Federation
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. No. I saw people. There were some people in camouflage
1 uniforms. But I didn't see anybody wearing -- bearing any arms. That's
2 what I meant when I said that there were soldiers.
3 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that you saw some people in uniform
4 but you didn't see any weapons?
5 A. Yes, but I don't know exactly how many.
6 Q. After the VRS entered Srebrenica, did your army withdraw from
7 that place?
8 A. What army?
9 Q. The army that had been in Srebrenica?
10 A. How could an army be there if it was a save zone?
11 Q. I'm simply asking you and you should answer.
12 A. No. I don't know.
13 Q. All right. You yourself said that there was a large number of
14 soldiers and civilians. Can we take a look at another document? Maybe
15 it would -- it should remind you that there were some soldiers.
16 A. I said that I saw people in camouflage uniforms. I don't know
17 how many of them, and I did not see any weapons.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Can we now take a look
19 at 1D373?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, before we move to another document,
21 we must have our first break now. But before we break, I would like ask
22 the witness only one question: What was your rank in the Army of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina as a soldier?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't have any rank.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You were a simple soldier?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 Mr. Tolimir?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, may I ask that the witness
5 be given his statements? Because we will continue discussing those after
6 the break. It would be a good thing for him to have a look at it, at all
7 the statements, over the break, unless he has them.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think -- Mr. Elderkin?
9 MR. ELDERKIN: I'm afraid it may take the entire break to call up
10 the statements all in B/C/S and hand them to the witness. I do have some
11 copies in English. I know the witness does have some fluency in English,
12 but I would imagine if the questioning will be in B/C/S it would be
13 preferable for all concerned that he review them in that language.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it possible to print the B/C/S version and to
15 give it to the witness? I was told by the registrar that this is
17 Mr. Tolimir?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. If
19 necessary, we can provide the copies that the OTP gave us. It takes only
20 a couple of minutes to have them copied and that would facilitate the
21 work for all of us. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the most practical way is that the
23 registrar print it and give it to the witness, but you should tell us
24 which documents you will use during the further examination. Tell us
25 just the numbers and the registrar will provide the witness with the
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 1D558, 1D559, and what we have on our screens, D561. So if those
4 three documents could be copied and given to the witness over the break.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin?
7 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, that's quite some reading to get
8 through during the break. I don't know how the witness is feeling, but
9 it's been going quite fast this morning and perhaps the break could be
10 extended slightly so he has time to both read and also relax slightly.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think is a good recommendation. We will have
12 our first break now and resume 15 minutes past 11. Thank you very much.
13 And during the break, the Chamber would be -- would appreciate if you
14 could read these statements in your own language. Thank you very much.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to give notice that the next break
18 will be a little earlier than usual, quarter past 12, because
19 I personally have another commitment. I have to take part in a meeting
20 and therefore the last session of today will be pursuant to Rule 15 bis,
21 without my presence.
22 Sir, did you have the opportunity to read through the documents
23 in your language you were provided with?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Tolimir, please continue your cross-examination.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Presiding Judge.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, have you been given the three statements you gave to the
5 BH authorities and the ICTY?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Are they authentic statements in terms of their contents? Is
8 that what you said? And do they all contain your signature?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Well, can you tell us which of the statements is not authentic in
11 terms of what you were saying at the time?
12 A. Well, when I said no, I didn't mean that they weren't authentic.
13 I meant that not all of them had my signature.
14 Q. Can you tell us which one doesn't have your signature?
15 A. 1D561 and 1D558.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can 1D558 be shown in e-court to
17 see whether it has a signature?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think again, the three statements shouldn't be
19 broadcast. We see in the -- to shorten the procedure in the B/C/S
20 version we don't see a signature, but in the English translation we see a
21 handwriting on the bottom of the page, but we have to state again the
22 witness was provided with the B/C/S versions of the three statements.
23 Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. As we can see, the statements you gave about the events which
2 transpired during the attempt to break out of Srebrenica in the direction
3 of Tuzla, they have been signed, have they not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And are they authentic?
6 A. Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I tender these three statements
8 which are authentic according to the witness, be admitted -- I wish to
9 tender them into evidence. That's 1D558, 1D559.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 1D558 and 1D559 will be admitted into evidence
11 under seal.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, these documents shall be assigned
13 the following exhibits numbers, 65 ter document 1D558 shall be assigned
14 Exhibit D152, admitted under seal. 65 ter document 1D559 shall be
15 assigned Exhibit D153, admitted under seal. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The last question put to you was by Their Honours concerning your
21 rank and your answer was that you were just an ordinary soldier. Before
22 that, I asked you if you had seen any soldiers and your answer was that
23 you only saw people in uniform but without any weapons.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we -- can we now have 1D373
25 shown? There we will see what the commander of the army has to say about
1 whether there were any armed soldiers in the column. This is 1D373. The
2 heading states, "Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, BH Army, 3rd Corps
3 command," et cetera and it's a report on the situation in Srebrenica.
4 So, in other words, it's a document issued by the 3rd Corps, and can we
5 turn to the next page, please?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should state that the date is the 16th of July
7 1995. There is no translation yet, English translation. We have only
8 the B/C/S version on the screen.
9 Mr. Tolimir.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That's
11 right. The document was written on the 16th, precisely at a time when
12 there was a breakthrough which was on the earlier day, and on the 16th,
13 the corridor was opened, as stated by the witness who was here yesterday.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, this document was produced and you will see this at the
16 bottom where we have another heading, again stating the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Main Staff of the army, the date is the 16th of
18 July 1995, and it states: "Report on the Situation in Srebrenica."
19 So what this means is that the document, the heading of which we
20 were quoting a moment ago, was basically compiled on the basis of this
21 here document; that's to say, a document issued by the Main Staff.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now go to page 4 so that the
23 witness may see the signature block?
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You can see that the document was signed by the commander of the
1 army, General Rasim Delic, and we have here the certification of
2 transcription of the copy.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we go back to page 3 now?
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I will read out a portion of the document issued by Rasim Delic.
6 And let me tell you that there is nothing for you to hide because this is
7 a document that was given to us by the OTP.
8 A. I have nothing to hide.
9 Q. Since you said that you didn't see any soldiers in the column,
10 this is what Delic says. Let's read from item 3, page 3, item 3 at the
11 bottom of the page. It's been marked for you there. And I'm quoting:
12 "The units of the 28th Division --"
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Page 3,
15 item 3 of the order issued by Rasim Delic on the 16th, or, rather, it's a
16 reports on the situation in Srebrenica:
17 "The units of the 28th Division of the ground forces have been
18 pulling out of Srebrenica, or rather have been fighting their way out of
19 Srebrenica. The units of the 28th Division had remained compact. They
20 have been successful in their activities on the temporarily occupied
21 territory. They have been inflicting great losses on the aggressor.
22 They have so far captured eight Chetniks alive. The units of the
23 28th Division have linked up with the units of the 2nd Corps. They
24 continue fighting jointly on the temporarily occupied territory. These
25 units are expected to fully link up soon. The activities aim at taking
1 advantage of the success achieved in the breakthrough."
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. This report was signed by General Rasim Delic, who was Chief of
4 the General Staff of the BH Army at the time. Army General Rasim Delic.
5 He says, in item 3, that a breakthrough took place, that there
6 were units deployed to the territory of Republika Srpska, and that they
7 are successful in their fighting, et cetera. So my question is: What
8 were they fighting with, if the only thing you saw was soldiers in
10 A. Well, what I'd like to know is where this fighting was taking
12 Q. Thank you. I can tell you that the fighting was taking place in
13 the sector of Baljkovica, this is something that several witnesses
14 testified to. Here, there are two commanders, the commander of the
15 corps, brigadier Sackim -- Sakib Mahmuljin, the commander of the
16 3rd Corps reports on this in his document and attaches to his report a
17 report written by the army General Rasim Delic. I've told you -- I've
18 read just now what it is that they said. I cannot provide you with any
19 further information. I'm not allowed to under the rules. So I'm going
20 to ask you this, and then Their Honours will be the ones to say whether
21 there was fighting. Could there have been civilians as part of the
22 forces attempting a breakthrough?
23 A. Well, let me tell you this: There may have been armed
24 individuals among them but I didn't see them. I was leaving the area on
25 the following day, and I was captured already on the 13th, so I really
1 have no knowledge about it.
2 Q. Can you tell us in which part of the column were you as you set
3 out from Jaglici? Were you at the head or at the rear?
4 A. At the rear.
5 Q. At the rear?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell us who was securing the rear of the column? Was it
8 the BH Army?
9 A. I didn't see anyone securing it.
10 Q. Do you know if the Mountain Battalion was at the rear of the
11 column protecting the column moving from Srebrenica in the direction of
13 A. No.
14 Q. Can you tell us, did you see any senior officers, as you set out
15 from Jaglici, anyone whom you knew to have been commanding or senior
17 A. No.
18 Q. Can you tell us, did you see your commander, Zulfo in Jaglici?
19 A. No, I think he had gone earlier on, he had left earlier on.
20 Q. Very well. I will not be asking you things you know nothing
21 about. I read this out to you so that you would learn that there were
22 others who had other sort of information, but there is no need for us to
23 debate the issue. Let's move to another topic you are willing to
24 discuss. You say that over 300 civilians and soldiers were killed, along
25 the way as you came upon an ambush. Can you tell us how you came upon
1 the ambush and what happened?
2 A. As I set out from Jaglici on the following day, I don't know at
3 which time, the Serbian soldiers started opening fire on us from the
4 surrounding hills. We went through a wooded area, a great many people
5 were killed by gunfire. As we reached the village of Kamenica, we
6 stopped there for -- to get a minute's rest, but all of a sudden we came
7 under fire. There were a lot of people killed on this occasion. We took
8 along all the wounded. Then shelling and gunfire started again. At that
9 point we dispersed, fleeing for our lives.
10 Q. Thank you. So the location where there were these many people
11 wounded or killed was Kamenica?
12 A. Yes, from Jaglici all the way to Kamenica and on to Kasaba.
13 Q. Did the column come under fire in Kamenica for the first time or
14 was it already under fire in Jaglici?
15 A. It was in Jaglici that we first came under fire.
16 Q. Thank you. In your statement which we will look at now.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is D51 now, can we have it
18 shown, you've signed it -- I'm sorry, it's D151. Thank you, Aleksandar.
19 We can see page 2 of the statement.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Let's look at the third paragraph that I just referred to where
22 you said that there were over 300 people killed. And then, in paragraph
23 4, you go on to say:
24 "I was in a group of ten of us, including so and so, and we set
25 out from Srebrenica to Kamenica. On the way there we came across a
1 civilian," and that's where you were taken prisoner by the Chetniks.
2 Now, did I quote your words accurately?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is there anything you would like to add to this? What happened
5 to you? What became of you when you were captured? Where were you
7 A. We tried to cross the road but we were surrounded by the Serbian
8 soldiers and taken prisoner there. One of us had a pistol on him, which
9 was seized from him. They took a rucksack that we had, and then they
10 took us to the school building in Kasaba. We had to put our hands behind
11 our heads and that's how we got there.
12 Q. Did you spend the night in the school building in Kasaba and were
13 you detained there? Were you told that you were going to be kept as
15 A. Yes, but we didn't spend the night there.
16 Q. Very well. What happened next? Can you tell Their Honours?
17 A. At that point, we were taken back to the football pitch there,
18 where there was a crowd of prisoners already. There were quite a few
19 Serbian soldiers. The captives were told to sit in rows. Serbian
20 soldiers surrounded the pitch. There were two APCs up there on the road.
21 Mladic arrived too. He addressed us. He told us that there is a hundred
22 defence lines between there and Tuzla and that not even a bird would be
23 able to pass through.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now let us take a look at your statement,
25 1D558, where you speak about this, and at the very start you say -- or,
1 rather, at the beginning of page 2, you mention this event, so I will put
2 a question to you while allowing you to just take a look, to jog your
3 memory, to take a look at this statement.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, we should not publish this
5 because there is information on this page pointing to the identity of the
6 witness. So we have page 1 of the statement before us.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. We can see here the portion where you mention Mladic. That's in
9 the last three lines.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll this
11 statement up so the witness can see that portion? Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Now, witness, can you see in line 3 from the bottom, where you
14 say, and that's on the next page in the English version:
15 "Other people arrived as well, including some wounded people who
16 were then treated by the Serbs. Some of these men were separated and put
17 in a separate group on the pitch. We all sat there. And after about an
18 hour of my arrival General Ratko Mladic arrived."
19 So my question is do you recall if that was in the morning or the
20 afternoon of that day?
21 A. It was in the afternoon.
22 Q. Thank you. Well, I'm asking you this because you say at one
23 point here, at 1400 hours, so this could have been at around 1500 hours
24 or 3.00 p.m.; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now show the witness the
2 following page of the statement so that the witness can read parts of his
3 own statement?
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Here we have it where you talk about Mladic arriving, that he
6 came in a jeep:
7 "... and I believe that he was dressed in a uniform. I knew that
8 it was Mladic because I recognised him but also because we had been told
9 that he would come."
10 My question is this: Who had told you that General Mladic would
12 A. Well, the Serbian soldiers there.
13 Q. Thank you. Let me quote your statement further:
14 "I was some 10 to 15 metres away from him when he gave a speech
15 standing by the side of the pitch. He spoke without a megaphone, just
16 normally, as it was very quiet. He stated that he was General Mladic and
17 that we would all be exchanged. And that there were hundreds of Serb
18 lines between here -- between us and Tuzla and that not even a bird could
19 get through the lines. He said we would be organised into groups to
20 collect all the bodies from the hills and then we would be taken to
21 Bratunac to have lunch there," and so on and so forth, and then that you
22 would be taken for an exchange. End of quote.
23 So this is something that you mention in your statement. Is what
24 I've read out consistent with what you said earlier?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, after all these years, can you actually remember whether it
2 was indeed General Mladic who came there and whether he addressed you?
3 A. I think so. I think it was.
4 Q. Thank you. Does this reflect the actual events? In line 6,
5 after this paragraph, there is an indication there where it says:
6 "And then he elected five of his men to compile lists of our
7 names, first and last names. This took about an hour."
8 Now, my question is this: Was a roster actually made, was a list
9 compiled while you were waiting on that soccer pitch?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did all of this indicate that you would indeed be exchanged?
12 A. Well, that's what we thought.
13 Q. Thank you. Was there a camera filming this, your assemblage
14 there at the football pitch and the address by General Mladic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Later on, were you taken in the direction which Mladic had
17 mentioned in his speech? Were you taken to Potocari for lunch and -- to
18 Bratunac for lunch and then on?
19 A. Well, unfortunately we were taken to Bratunac but we weren't
20 given any lunch.
21 Q. Thank you. Unfortunately or, rather, you did not speak about
22 this at length in the other statement but you did arrive in the end --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's request: Could the accused
24 please repeat the question?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters didn't
1 catch the whole of the last question. Please repeat the question.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. My question was whether you had actually arrived in Batkovic, as
5 Mladic had indicated, where then you were exchanged in December 1995,
6 could you please answer the question?
7 A. Well, I did manage to get there because I managed to escape the
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe this is now
11 on record and I will now proceed.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, on the way to Bratunac, did the soldiers still keep
14 telling you that you would be exchanged once you got to Bratunac?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it possible that someone had actually changed the order issued
17 by the chief -- by the Commander-in-Chief, and that you would be
18 exchanged once you reached Bratunac?
19 A. I don't know anything about that.
20 Q. Thank you. You were only exchanged in December of that year and
21 we know what you went through. Could you now tell us, please, something
22 about a question that was put to you by the Prosecutor? He questioned
23 you at length about your detention at Batkovic. Would you please tell
24 us: Were you registered by the ICRS as soon as you arrived at Batkovic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Was this organised by the prison authorities who held
2 you there?
3 A. I don't know anything about that.
4 Q. Thank you. Well, do you know who it is who can organise the way
5 work is being done and the way the prisoners are treated at a detention
7 A. I don't.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us why you were taken to these sites
9 that you had survived? As you said, the execution sites. And you
10 mentioned the areas that were completely voided of Muslim populations,
11 where everyone had fled. And why then were you taken to the areas that
12 were settled, where there were also UNPROFOR members and so on? So can
13 you tell us, have you given that any consideration? Why would that be
15 A. Well, I think you are better placed to know the answer to that
17 Q. Well, thank you, but I keep wondering why you were taken through
18 all this whole ordeal, taken to Zvornik and so on, where you would have
19 to actually go through crossroads where there were in place all these
20 international -- members of the international community and so on, while
21 they could take you to other places where you could be accommodated and
23 A. Well, I don't know the answer.
24 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you a few questions about one
25 of your statements, or testimonies. What would you prefer, that I put
1 these questions to you in open session or in private session?
2 A. Well, I don't know what you're referring to.
3 Q. Well, I would like to ask you about a trial that wasn't conducted
4 before this Tribunal but in another country. Now, I don't want to go
5 into further details. Perhaps the Prosecutor can tell us and assist you
6 with whether it should be in open session or in private session. Thank
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we should go into private session,
9 referring to -- I'm referring to the discussion we had yesterday.
10 Mr. Elderkin?
11 MR. ELDERKIN: That's exactly the position of the Prosecution,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn to private session.
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 9405-9407 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 Mr. Tolimir, on page 56, lines 15 to 16, you said, as the witness
6 stated, that he didn't know the answers to the questions that are put to
7 him. I don't think that this is a correct comment. He didn't know many
8 answers to many of your questions, but he answered some of your
9 questions. Just to make it a little bit more specific.
10 The document 1D556 will be received under seal. I misspoke
11 again. 566, yes.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Document 65 ter number 1D566 shall be admitted
13 into evidence and assigned Exhibit D154 under seal, if I'm correct.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, that should be under seal because there
15 would be a link to the name of the witness.
16 The document 1D373, I would like to ask the Defence, Mr. Tolimir,
17 are you tendering that as well? This is not a statement of this witness
18 but a different document you used with the witness.
19 Mr. Gajic?
20 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, we move for this
21 document to be admitted.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be marked for identification pending
24 Mr. Tolimir?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would
1 just like to say why I said what I said, if you permit me.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are dealing with the document. You may do it
3 a moment later. 1D373 will be marked for identification pending
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter document 1D373 shall be
6 assigned Exhibit D155, marked for identification. Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
8 Mr. Tolimir?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. A moment
10 ago you commented on what I just said. To my last question, page 56,
11 line 3, the witness answered:
12 "I know nothing about this."
13 And then I said that I was not going to ask him anything more
14 simply because he said that he didn't know anything more about it. Thank
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I take it that that was perhaps a problem of
17 interpretation. The singular and the plural, the question and the
18 questions. I think we have clarified the situation.
19 Yes. I'm reminded that there is another document, 1D561. What
20 about this? Yes, you were tendering that as well? I see that should be
21 admitted and will be admitted as well.
22 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's a document from the
23 Prosecution, so we do not move to have it admitted, and we also did not
24 use it during the cross-examination. So we do not move for it to be
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This is a clear position.
2 Mr. Elderkin, do you have re-examination?
3 MR. ELDERKIN: Briefly, yes, and certainly I'll be finished
4 before quarter past the hour, if I may. Could I go into private session
5 at the beginning, please?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
7 MR. ELDERKIN: I'd ask to see --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
9 [Private session]
11 Page 9411 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
8 MR. ELDERKIN:
9 Q. Sir, General Tolimir has represented in his questioning on,
10 I think, around page 52 and onwards, that there were reasons why the
11 Bosnian Serbs who had captured you would not want to take you up to
12 Zvornik if they wanted to execute the men they had captured. In fact,
13 your answer just now, you referred to the fact that there were
14 international personnel including, for example the DutchBat peacekeepers,
15 perhaps other NGOs present around the Bratunac area but not around the
16 Zvornik area. Does that correctly represent your understanding of where
17 there were international personnel around the time you were captured?
18 A. I understood that he asked me whether they were in Srebrenica.
19 That's the question that I answered.
20 Q. After the time you were captured on the 13th of July, was your
21 treatment by the Bosnian Serb soldiers who had captured you such that
22 they were treating you in a way where you expected to be exchanged?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'd like to ask a little additional detail. Were you provided
25 food at any point after your capture, before you were taken from
1 Nova Kasaba to Bratunac, then to Pilica?
2 A. Once, in Pilica.
3 Q. And were you provided with sufficient water throughout those
4 three days?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Were the conditions in which you were kept from the time of your
7 capture until the 16th of July humane conditions in your view?
8 A. No.
9 Q. In your prior testimony, you referred to the list of names being
10 prepared while General Mladic was present at Nova Kasaba on the 13th of
11 July. Apart from that time when your name was taken, were you
12 interviewed during the time of your capture until the 16th of July?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Was your name taken on any other occasion during that period?
15 A. No, not until the camp.
16 Q. And you said that the Red Cross registered you on arrival at the
17 camp. Had you been registered by the Red Cross at any time from your
18 capture on the 13th of July until you arrived at the camp?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you very much, witness.
21 MR. ELDERKIN: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Elderkin.
23 Judge Nyambe has a question.
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: I just wonder if you can clarify some detail for
1 me. From the time when you were captured up to the time when you
2 surrendered to the Red Cross, how long were you in incarceration or in
3 detention or in prison?
4 A. You are talking about the camp?
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: I'm talking about from the time when you were
6 captured up to the time when you surrendered to the Red Cross, I don't
7 know whether it was at the camp or another type of place.
8 A. Yes. It was from the 13th to the 26th.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Of July?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you will be pleased to hear that this
13 concludes your examination. You are now free to return to your normal
14 activities and your home. The Chamber would like to thank you that you
15 were able to come to The Hague again and to help us finding out the
16 truth. Thank you very much and the court usher will assist you to leave
17 the courtroom. But, please, wait a moment, stay there. We will leave
18 the courtroom first and then your security will be acknowledged. Thank
19 you very much again.
20 We break now and resume -- do you want to have the floor,
21 Mr. Elderkin?
22 MR. ELDERKIN: A matter of seconds, simply the question about
23 P252 from the beginning of the day, that should, indeed, please be under
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: D252?
1 MR. ELDERKIN: P, I understand P252. It was referred to as an
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, indeed, that should be under seal. Thank
4 you very much. We break now and the Chamber will resume at quarter to
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
9 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session. As
10 you know, our president Judge Fluegge cannot be with us for this session.
11 So according to Rule 15 bis, the Trial Chamber can have this hearing
12 according to the rule. I will have the privilege of chairing this last
14 Madam Prosecutor, is the next witness ready?
15 MS. HASAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. The next witness is
16 ready. And just -- this witness will be requiring a Rule 90(E) caution.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I know that the Trial Chamber had
18 decided to hear this witness as a viva voce witness and not turn him into
19 a 92 bis witness; is that it?
20 MS. HASAN: That's correct. He will be -- he is a viva voce
21 witness given the Chamber's ruling on that, but what I was referring to
22 was a Rule 90 caution in the event he gets asked a question that is --
23 that may incriminate, may be incriminating.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. I understood that perfectly.
25 I also know that this witness had not been granted any protective
1 measures. Is that the case? No pseudonym, no voice distortion or face
2 distortion; right?
3 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour. This matter came up just recently.
4 It seems that the Registry record didn't show that there were any
5 protective measures, but the last time he testified in Popovic, right
6 before he testified, there was an oral decision that he be granted face
7 distortion. And that -- I can give you the reference for that decision.
8 That was in page 14616 of the Popovic case, on the 3rd of September 2007.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, if I understood
12 you correctly, you would like these measures to be maintained by this
13 Trial Chamber, is that it? You want the same protective measures?
14 MS. HASAN: My understanding, Your Honour, is that given the
15 order of the Court in Popovic, the measures still apply to this witness.
16 The witness has indicated that he still wants these measures in place.
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. The Trial
18 Chamber is satisfied and the measures will be granted.
19 I'm asking the Registry first to move into private session and
20 then to escort the witness into the courtroom.
21 [Closed session]
5 [Open session]
6 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, registrar. Once again,
8 good afternoon, witness.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Could you please read the solemn
11 declaration that the usher is going to show to you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: MILE SIMANIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please sit down.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, the Rules of Procedure
19 and Evidence of this Tribunal provide for a number of rights as far as
20 witnesses are concerned. And in your case, I wish to read out loud
21 Rule 90(E) of our rules which might be useful for you.
22 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
23 incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to
24 answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used
25 as evidence in a subsequent Prosecution against the witness for any
1 offence other than false testimony."
2 Have you understood this?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I have. I'm not a lawyer
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
6 Madam Prosecutor has questions to put to you, for her
7 examination-in-chief, and then the floor will be to the Defence, given to
8 the Defence. Ms. Prosecutor, you have the floor.
9 MS. HASAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Examination by Ms. Hasan:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir, just as a preliminary matter, we are working
12 with three languages in this courtroom, so I'm going to try to speak very
13 slowly and I'd ask that you speak slowly too and wait before -- wait
14 between me asking the question and you answering the question so that the
15 interpreters can do their job. And if I ask you any question that you
16 don't understand, please let me know and I will do my best to rephrase it
17 so that you do understand it. As you know, my name is Abeer Hasan, and I
18 will proceed with my questions. For the record, what is your name?
19 A. My name is Mile Simanic.
20 Q. And what is your place and date of birth?
21 A. 9th of April 1956, the village of Gacici, Sekovici municipality.
22 Q. And can you tell us where you resided in 1995?
23 A. In 1995, I used to live in Vlasenica.
24 Q. And, sir, what do you do for a living?
25 A. I'm still a civil engineer.
1 Q. And could you briefly tell us about the education you received?
2 A. You mean how I received it? During my whole education?
3 Q. No. If you could tell us the degrees you received.
4 A. I'm a civil engineer. I work in this profession for a number of
5 years. Actually, ever since I graduated at the Sarajevo University.
6 Q. And when did you obtain your engineering degree at Sarajevo
8 A. In 1981.
9 Q. And before the war, were you working as a construction engineer?
10 A. Yes, yes. I also worked at that time as a civil engineer or
11 construction engineer in Vlasenica.
12 Q. And generally speaking, can you give us an idea of the kinds of
13 projects you worked on?
14 A. I used to work in a company called Local Authority for Roads and
15 Infrastructure of the Vlasenica Municipality. I worked mostly on the low
16 level construction project and also on building of some facilities and
17 objects. The finance would come from the local authorities. I was the
18 supervisor of the projects, which means that sometimes I had to put some
19 corrections into the plans. And also in that same company that I already
20 mentioned, I would supervise the work of other organs. This is a local
21 authority organ and the abbreviation that we used in B/C/S is SIZ, S-I-Z.
22 That's really the shortest way to explain that part of my work.
23 Q. And were you engaged in the army at any time?
24 A. I served in the JNA in 1977 and 1978.
25 Q. And where were you based or was this your compulsory service for
1 the JNA?
2 A. Yes. That was part of my compulsory service.
3 Q. And then were you mobilised when the war broke out?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And where were you assigned?
6 A. You mean in the early days of the hostilities or latterly?
7 Q. No, when the war broke out, around 1992.
8 A. When the war broke out, I was mobilised and assigned to the
9 Territorial Defence of Vlasenica. Our unit was stationed in hotel
10 Panorama in Vlasenica.
11 Q. And if we can now turn to 1995, what was your rank at that time?
12 A. At the time I held the rank of major, of the reserve force, that
14 Q. And what unit were you engaged in?
15 A. I was engaged in the 5th Engineers Battalion.
16 Q. And this 5th Engineer Battalion, which corps was it subordinated
18 A. It was subordinated to the Drina Corps.
19 Q. And can you tell us how many people made up the 5th Engineering
21 A. A bit over a hundred. I can't give you the exact figure. 110,
22 120, roughly.
23 Q. And can you -- so that we understand a little bit more about this
24 5th Engineering Battalion, can you tell us what its function was?
25 A. Its task was to serve whatever needs the corps had in terms of
1 engineering works. We received all our orders from the corps and the
2 unit could not be otherwise engaged, if it did not have an order to that
3 effect from its superior command which was that of the Drina Corps.
4 I was charged with construction works within the unit. I was engaged in
5 road works, bridge repairs, development of a passive reflector that was
6 needed for the telecommunications system in Vlasenica. We were also
7 working on the water supply system, and there was also an overhead power
8 line, high voltage power line in Vlasenica, for which we had to develop a
9 project. This is what I was engaged in. However, the unit also dealt
10 with mine clearance, laying minefields, and other activities that were
11 more closely related to the military purpose of the unit.
12 I would also like to add the following. My commander and
13 I divided up the work across the unit in such a way that I was charged
14 with whatever construction works there were, which was my specialty
15 anyhow, and the commander, who was an active serviceman, was occupied
16 with the military activities and activities that I wasn't specifically
17 trained for.
18 Q. Sir, you referred to the unit, and in your reference to the unit,
19 are you talking about the 5th Engineering Battalion?
20 A. Yes, yes. 5th Engineering Battalion.
21 Q. And you mentioned that the unit dealt with mine clearance and
22 laying minefields. Was the battalion also involved in clearing
24 A. I did mention that. Perhaps it wasn't interpreted. I said that
25 we laid minefields and cleared areas of mines. It depended on the orders
2 Q. What about setting ambushes? Did your battalion -- was your
3 battalion engaged in that?
4 A. A battalion -- the battalion was not a combat unit. It was a
5 service-providing unit, which had to serve the needs for engineering work
6 within the corps. The makeup of the unit was such that most of its
7 members came from the profession of builders who, before the war, used to
8 work in various military posts. The majority of them were of an advanced
9 age. That's why we chose to focus predominantly on engineering or
10 construction works for the purposes of the corps.
11 Q. Sir, you mentioned that the battalion was involved in laying of
12 mines. There were members of the 5th Engineering Battalion who had
13 expertise in the laying of mines, is that -- is that correct?
14 A. You're right. One company, which can only figuratively speaking
15 be called a company, it was called the Company of Pioneers and it
16 numbered some 15 to 20 men. Ten of them were Pioneers, which meant
17 people trained for laying mines and de-mining.
18 Q. And just returning to the question I asked you before, were any
19 members of this battalion involved in setting ambushes?
20 A. We weren't setting ambushes anywhere outside of our barracks in
21 Konjevic Polje. If you were referring to a document which says that we
22 had been setting ambushes, this meant that we would have more men
23 deployed at night in the stretches between the various guard posts, as
24 well as around the minefields that had been laid around the barracks
25 itself. Outside of the barracks, we didn't have any sort of
1 interventions in terms of setting ambushes or any other military
3 Excuse me, I have to add that we were a small unit, in terms of
4 our strength. We spent most of the time out in the field. Thus, we
5 would secure the barracks by dint of the two minefields on both sides of
6 the road from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac and the guard posts which had
7 been designated previously.
8 So, in terms of this sort of activity, we only were charged with
9 providing security to the barracks itself.
10 Q. Let's go back to the formation of the 5th Engineering Battalion.
11 Who was the commander of the battalion?
12 A. Milenko Avramovic was battalion commander.
13 Q. And what was his rank?
14 A. Captain First Class.
15 Q. In 1995, what was his rank? Was it Captain First Class?
16 A. In 1995, he was Captain First Class. At a later date, he was
17 given the rank of Major. I don't know when this was.
18 Q. And you have briefly spoken about his role in the battalion. But
19 can you tell me what his role was as the commander of the battalion? Can
20 you give me a little bit more details on that? What were his duties, his
22 A. Well, as its commander, he was in command of the battalion. I've
23 already told you that we had, the two of us, divided up the work because
24 he would not have been able to deal with the work-load on his own. He
25 wasn't too happy about attending various construction sites, so he left
1 the entire construction business to me. When I wasn't able to attend to
2 everything because we had some of these sites that were pretty remote, he
3 would give me a hand in checking some of the construction sites that
4 I was unable to go to. And the way we divided up the work was that he
5 would be dealing with the military activities of de-mining and the rest
6 I mentioned.
7 Q. Was it that commander's duty to know where his units were
8 positioned and what they were engaged in, the materials, the assets of
9 the battalion, was that something that fell within his responsibility?
10 A. Well, he was supposed to know. Whenever something was done, it
11 was the result of an order issued by the higher level command. So
12 everybody had to know what was being done at which time.
13 Q. So would the whole battalion be informed of orders that would
14 come from the Drina Corps?
15 A. No. By no means. Only those who were directly involved. Once
16 an order is issued by the corps, a more detailed order is issued
17 detailing who would be doing what, and then it's copied to the relevant
18 individuals. Once the work is complete, a report is drawn up about it
19 and sent to the superior command.
20 Q. And would your commander know of all the orders coming down from
21 the Drina Corps command?
22 A. Well, I don't know if he was aware of all the orders.
23 Q. Was it his duty to know?
24 A. You know, I was a reserve officer. It wasn't my line of work.
25 I suppose it was his duty, but I don't know what else to tell you.
1 Q. Sir, what was your title or what was your role in the
2 5th Engineering Battalion?
3 A. My title was deputy commander of the 5th Engineering Battalion.
4 Q. And sir, when you were engaged in that role, did you wear a
5 military uniform?
6 A. Yes, I wore a military uniform.
7 Q. If the commander of the 5th Engineering Battalion was not
8 present, would -- who would take over his responsibilities and duties?
9 A. Well, most probably his deputy. If the deputy is absent as well,
10 then the duty officer of the unit would take over.
11 Q. And, sir, when you refer to his deputy, who are you referring to?
12 A. Well, I was his deputy.
13 Q. Did you have the authority to issue orders to your units within
14 the 5th Engineering Battalion?
15 A. I didn't have a power to issue orders independently. The unit
16 could be engaged solely on the basis of an order from the superior
17 command, at least that's what I was told, that there had to be an order
18 on the basis of which an order can be given directly to the unit.
19 Q. And in the absence of your commander, would you be responsible
20 for relaying an order from the Drina Corps command to the appropriate
21 companies or units within the battalion?
22 A. If I received an order, it was my duty to implement it, and
23 I could not have done it in any other way but by relaying it to the units
24 that would be appropriate to implement it.
25 Q. Sir, does the name Carina mean anything to you?
1 A. Carina?
2 Q. Carina.
3 A. I don't know what you mean. Do you mean the name or customs?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes: It means customs.
5 MS. HASAN:
6 Q. What was the 5th Engineering Battalion's code name in 1995?
7 A. For the purposes of communication, you mean?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Well, it changed. I don't know. You've caught me up short
10 there. I think it was one of the code names of the battalion, but it
11 would be the signalmen who would know that. Let me add this: We had a
12 field telephone line, induction lines, as it were, which was out of order
13 for most of the time. It was more out of working order than in working
14 order. Because it was a line that stretched on the ground, and there
15 were frequently times when the lines weren't working.
16 Q. Okay, sir. The battalion, the 5th Engineering Battalion, where
17 were its headquarters in July of 1995?
18 A. Officially, the command of the 5th Engineering Battalion was in
19 Milici, next to a sports field. However, because of shortage of space,
20 we were relocated to Konjevic Polje. It was supposed to be a location
21 solely for the storage of machinery and other assets such -- including
22 supplies. Eventually, a house that had been wrecked was repaired and the
23 command was housed there.
24 Q. Can you tell us what type of machinery the 5th Engineering
25 Battalion had?
1 A. Well, we had some old machines. Would you want me to list them
3 Q. Yes, please.
4 A. First we had a loader.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the make of it.
6 A. It was very old and it needed a lot of repairing before it could
7 be made fully operational. We also had a bulldozer, TG110, which we used
8 for digging up roads where the soil was very hard. It was also an old
9 one, though admittedly a bit better than the loader. But it was the sort
10 of bulldozer that had the lowest strength of the possible bulldozers you
11 could have. We also had a military machine, it was a tractor, KN, that
12 was its designation. It had a loading spoon on the front and a small
13 spoon for -- or a like a backhoe that would be used for digging ditches.
14 Its strength wasn't great but it could be used for small-scale works.
15 Next, we had two small trucks, namely FAPs 13. Furthermore, we
16 had five trailers. They were anyway never used, they were never even
17 switched on. They just were parked there. Maybe they were dredges. We
18 also had some pontoons or rafters, we actually had four rafting points,
19 like -- or actually they were more like river ferries. We had four
20 places, ferry points, but only three rafters, which I don't believe were
21 ever operational, at least during the time I was there, because an
22 embargo was in place between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. Thank you, and sir, you mentioned that you had a loader, and you
24 noted that the interpreter hadn't picked up the type, which is correct.
25 Could you please tell us what type of loader that was?
1 A. The designation of this loader was ULT. I don't remember the
3 Q. Thank you. And the ferry points that you mentioned, where were
4 those located?
5 A. Well, they were the pontoon points on Drina, Petrica, Fakovici,
6 Bosansko. Also Sopotnik was in our books as a ferry or pontoon point but
7 there was no pontoon in there.
8 Q. And you also mentioned that the battalion had certain materials.
9 Can you tell us what materials you had?
10 A. No, we didn't have any materials, building materials. In the
11 military parlance, materiel, we only used to have explosives and mines.
12 Q. So the storage that was set up in Konjevic Polje, at the command,
13 that storage contained mines and explosives?
14 A. Yes, yes. Mines, explosives, fuses. It was stored in two
15 buildings that had been rebuilt for that purpose and hence it became
17 Q. And did you have -- in Konjevic Polje, at the command, did you
18 have offices for the battalion?
19 A. I already mentioned the fact that we had rebuilt a house into our
20 command. So we had offices and dormitories there. In those other houses
21 where the logistics platoon was situated they used the one building for
22 their own accommodation. This logistics platoon mostly spent its time in
23 Konjevic Polje.
24 Q. And was the battalion equipped with a kitchen?
25 A. Well, I just told you that the logistics platoon was there, and
1 the kitchen was definitely part of that logistics platoon. It was behind
2 the school. There was a thermo power plant, and we had rebuilt it so
3 that then we had on one side a kitchen and a classroom and on the other
4 side the dining-room and another classroom. We used it as the
6 MS. HASAN: May we have P444 displayed on the screen, please?
7 Q. Sir, do you see on this photograph the building where the
8 5th Engineering Battalion offices were housed?
9 A. You can't see it here. You can't see this building.
10 Q. You mentioned that it was attached to a school. Do you see the
11 school in this photograph?
12 A. No, I can't see it here.
13 MS. HASAN: Can we just enlarge that photograph so that we get a
14 closer view of the building?
15 Q. Sir, do you recognise this intersection?
16 A. As far as I can see, this is the intersection in Konjevic Polje.
17 Q. And with this enlargement, do you see the school to which the
18 office was attached to?
19 A. The offices were not attached to the school. There was some
20 distance between the school and the offices but I can't see it here, no,
21 not in this photo. That house is not in this photo.
22 Q. Were any of these buildings used by the battalion?
23 A. No, no. None of these buildings, the buildings that you can see
24 in this photo.
25 Q. Sir, can you tell us, this intersection that you recognise, can
1 you tell me what -- where this road leads to?
2 A. I can. But how can I orient you on this picture? I don't know
4 Q. Well --
5 A. Okay. I'm going to simply refer to left and right and maybe it
6 will be enough for you to find your bearings in the picture.
7 Q. Let's try that.
8 A. So this road here that goes towards the right side of the
9 picture, that's the road between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac. And this
10 road with lots of curves, if I may say that, that's the Zvornik-Vlasenica
11 road. Shall I repeat it with the -- with this pencil?
12 Q. Yes, please, if you could.
13 A. So this here, this is the Konjevic Polje-Bratunac road. And this
14 here, this is the Konjevic Polje-Zvornik road. This part here, that's
15 the road going from Konjevic Polje to Milici and Vlasenica.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Mr. Gajic, please?
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I apologise for the
18 interruption but I have a suggestion. Maybe in order to have a clearer
19 transcript, the witness should actually put some markings on the photo,
20 because this way we are going to be left with a transcript which is not
21 going to be entirely understandable.
22 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] You're absolutely right, but in
23 order to do so, we should give the pen to the witness so that he can
24 write on the picture.
25 Mr. Usher, could you please make sure that the witness does have
1 the pen?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, when I was moving the pencil,
3 I could see it. What, should I do it again? All right. I'll repeat it.
4 This road here that I have just marked, this is the road between Konjevic
5 Polje and Bratunac.
6 MS. HASAN:
7 Q. If I could briefly interrupt you, could you put perhaps KB to
8 indicate that that's the road from Konjevic Polje to Bratunac?
9 A. You mean K-B?
10 Q. Correct.
11 A. [Marks]
12 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. Please put K/B with the
13 direction of the arrow. Then we will see towards which direction the
14 road is heading.
15 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
16 MS. HASAN:
17 Q. Thank you. Now can you do the same with the other road and tell
18 us where that road leads?
19 A. So using the same system of designation, I'm going to put K-Z,
20 Konjevic Polje-Zvornik.
21 Q. And can you -- sorry, were you going to --
22 A. Should I also mark the third segment of the road?
23 Q. Yes, please.
24 A. [Marks]
25 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Konjevic Polje-Milici road.
2 MS. HASAN:
3 Q. Sir, can you tell us, relative to the -- you said this picture
4 doesn't capture the school which had -- which was used by the battalion
5 or some attachment to it. Can you tell us where that is relative to
6 these roads?
7 A. The building of the elementary school and the place that we used,
8 and I have to emphasise that in that school we only used that one small
9 classroom which was slightly set apart from the rest of the school, it is
10 further away in the direction of Bratunac. I don't know the scale of
11 this photo but approximately from this intersection, the school is about
12 600 or 700 metres away. That's the first of our facilities, and the last
13 of our facilities on that road is maybe a kilometre away.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MS. HASAN: Your Honour, I note the time.
16 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] You're absolutely right,
17 Madam Prosecutor. I was just waiting for the witness to stop talking.
18 So we've reached the end of our hearing today, and we shall resume on
19 Monday, 7th of February, at 9.00.
20 Sir, we haven't finished with your testimony, so we shall resume
21 with you on Monday, and I would like to remind you that you are this
22 Tribunal's witness and therefore you cannot speak about the proceedings
23 with anyone, and you are not -- you cannot speak about it with the Office
24 of the Prosecutor.
25 I would like to thank all the parties, as well as all the people
1 who have assisted us during this hearing.
2 Mr. Registrar, I think that we have to go into private session so
3 that the witness can leave the room.
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Madam Prosecutor, would you like -- do you have
6 anything to tell us about this document?
7 MS. HASAN: Yes, Your Honour. I understand that we cannot keep
8 these markings to the next session, so I'd like to tender this now as the
9 next exhibit.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] The document is admitted.
11 Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. This document shall be
13 assigned Exhibit P1766. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Well,
15 I would like to thank once more all the parties and all the people who
16 have helped us in this courtroom and outside the courtroom. The hearing
17 is adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Monday, the 7th day of February
20 2011, at 9.00 a.m.