Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12215

 1                           Monday, 4 April 2011

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.

 6     Welcome back.  We are hearing this week the Witness Nikolic, and I would

 7     like to state for the record his counsel is present,

 8     Ms. Virginia Lindsay.  Welcome to our hearings as well.

 9             If there are no procedural matters?  I don't think so.  The

10     witness should be brought in, please.

11             Mr. Thayer.

12             MR. THAYER:  Good afternoon, Mr. President.  I was just standing.

13                           [The witness entered court]

14             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Good afternoon, sir.  Welcome to the courtroom.

15     Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to

16     you now.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.  I solemnly declare

18     that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

19             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  Please sit down and make

20     yourself comfortable.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  You know your counsel, Ms. Lindsay, is present

23     here in the courtroom, as you are a person in detention normally in

24     another country and now transferred to the Tribunal.  We are now

25     commencing your examination.  Mr. Thayer is putting questions to you.

Page 12216

 1             Mr. Thayer.

 2             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Good afternoon to you

 3     again.  Good afternoon to Your Honours.  Good afternoon to the Defence.

 4     Good afternoon, everyone.

 5                           WITNESS:  MOMIR NIKOLIC

 6                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

 7                           Examination by Mr. Thayer:

 8        Q.   Good afternoon to you, sir.

 9        A.   Good afternoon.

10        Q.   Would you please state your name for the record.

11        A.   My name is Momir Nikolic.

12        Q.   Sir, we'll get into the details of your military service in a

13     little bit, but for now is it accurate to say that you served in the Army

14     of Republika Srpska as chief of intelligence and security affairs in the

15     Bratunac Brigade from late 1992 through the end of the war?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   And just to move things along a little bit, in May 2003 did you

18     plead guilty to Count 5 of the indictment against you, namely,

19     persecutions, a crime against humanity?

20        A.   Yes, I pleaded guilty.

21        Q.   And in that earlier Srebrenica case, were the other co-accused

22     named in your indictment Vidoje Blagojevic, the former Bratunac Brigade

23     commander; Dragan Obrenovic, the former Chief of Staff and deputy

24     commander of the Zvornik Brigade; and Dragan Jokic, the former chief of

25     engineering of the Zvornik Brigade?

Page 12217

 1        A.   Yes, the aforementioned officers from the Bratunac and Zvornik

 2     Brigade were in the same group together with me and we were all indicted

 3     together.

 4        Q.   And if you'll pardon me, sir, I'm just going to adjust this ELMO

 5     because it's in our way.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The court usher will assist you.  You are perfect

 7     in technical matters.  Thank you.

 8             MR. THAYER:  Sorry, Mr. President, I probably violated a union

 9     rule there.

10        Q.   Now, following your guilty plea, sir, you testified for eight

11     days in the Blagojevic trial in 2003; is that correct?

12             THE INTERPRETER:  Could counsel kindly speak into the microphone,

13     the left or the right.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.  I testified

15     in the Blagojevic case.

16             MR. THAYER:

17        Q.   And in 2009 you testified for another seven days in the Popovic

18     trial and a day in the Perisic trial.  Do you recall that, sir?

19        A.   Yes, I remember that.

20        Q.   And in addition to those cases before this institution, do you

21     recall also testifying one day each in the so-called Kravica warehouse

22     trial and the trial of Milorad Trbic in the State Court of Bosnia and

23     Herzegovina?

24        A.   Yes.  Before the state court I testified two times in two

25     different cases, the ones that you just mentioned.

Page 12218

 1        Q.   Okay.  And I won't reveal your current location, but you

 2     testified via videolink in those two cases; is that correct?

 3        A.   Yes, that's correct.

 4        Q.   Now, sir, you are currently serving a sentence of 20 years'

 5     imprisonment; is that correct?

 6        A.   Yes, that's correct.

 7        Q.   And in connection with the guilty plea, was there a signed plea

 8     agreement?

 9        A.   Yes, there was such an agreement.

10        Q.   Okay.  Let's just take a quick look at the agreement and a couple

11     of portions of it.  We won't spend too much time on it.

12             MR. THAYER:  If we could have 65 ter 7291, please, 65 ter 7291.

13     And if we could call it up twice in e-court that would be helpful because

14     the document itself contains a B/C/S translation.  So I will provide both

15     the English page number and the corresponding B/C/S page number.

16        Q.   Sir, in a moment you'll have a document appearing on your screen.

17             MR. THAYER:  And we will need page 40 and 41.  Okay.

18        Q.   Now, sir, the document that we have here has not been translated,

19     but we're not going to spend too much time on this first portion.  What

20     we have here is the cover page of your -- the joint motion for

21     consideration of amended plea agreement between Momir Nikolic and the

22     Office of the Prosecutor.

23             MR. THAYER:  If we could go to page 42, please.  And we'll need

24     to go to page 49 in the B/C/S.

25        Q.   I don't know if you can read that, sir.  Do you see what's headed

Page 12219

 1     "annex A" to the joint motion for consideration of plea agreement,

 2     amended plea agreement, do you have that in your -- on your screen?

 3        A.   Yes, I can see it.  However, it's a very, very bad copy.

 4        Q.   Yes.

 5             MR. THAYER:  If we can scroll down a little bit in the B/C/S,

 6     please.

 7             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  And enlarge it a bit further.

 8             MR. THAYER:  Just paragraph 2 actually, please.

 9        Q.   Again, we can see here that you pleaded guilty to Count 5 of the

10     amended joinder indictment, namely, persecutions.

11             MR. THAYER:  If we can go to the next page, please, in each

12     version and just blow up paragraph 4, please.

13             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  In B/C/S it could be enlarged a bit further.

14             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Just paragraph 4.

15        Q.   Sir, can you see paragraph 4 where it provides that in exchange

16     for your guilty plea to Count 5 and your complete co-operation with the

17     OTP as set forth in paragraphs 9 to 11, the Office of the Prosecutor

18     agreed to, number 1, recommend that the Trial Chamber impose a sentence

19     within the range of 15 to 20 years, and then 2, that the Prosecution

20     would move to dismiss the remaining counts.  Do you see those two

21     provisions and do you recall those, sir?

22        A.   Yes, I can see it.

23        Q.   Okay.

24             MR. THAYER:  And if we can go to page 45 in e-court and then that

25     will be page 52 in B/C/S, please.  And if we could focus on paragraph 9,

Page 12220

 1     please, scroll down just a little bit in the B/C/S so the witness can

 2     focus on that.

 3        Q.   Under the heading "co-operation by Momir Nikolic" can you read

 4     the paragraph number 9, sir?  Is it legible enough for you to read?

 5        A.   Yes, I can read it.

 6        Q.   And do you recall that this portion of the agreement required you

 7     to accept responsibility for your actions, provide truthful co-operation

 8     and testimony in trials before this institution; do you recall that, sir?

 9        A.   Yes, I remember that.

10        Q.   And again, if we look at paragraph 11 --

11             MR. THAYER:  And we'll have to go to the next page in B/C/S only,

12     please.

13        Q.   Can you see in paragraph 11, sir, that:

14             "It is understood and agreed by Momir Nikolic and the Prosecution

15     that all information and testimony provided by" you "must be absolutely

16     truthful.  And that this means that Momir Nikolic must neither minimise

17     his own actions nor fabricate someone else's involvement."

18             Do you see that and do you recall that part of your agreement,

19     sir?

20        A.   Yes, I see this document as well and I remember certain parts of

21     this agreement.  I remember what it contains in paragraph 11.

22        Q.   Thank you, sir.

23             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender 65 ter

24     7291.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It will be received.

Page 12221

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter number 7291 shall be

 2     assigned Exhibit P2157.  Thank you.

 3             MR. THAYER:

 4        Q.   Sir, prior to the entry of your plea agreement and in fact prior

 5     to the finalisation of your plea agreement with the Prosecution, did you

 6     falsely state that you were present at an execution site and that you in

 7     fact gave the order for it?  Do you remember making that false statement

 8     to the Prosecution during the course of the meetings in connection with

 9     whether or not you were going to plead guilty?

10        A.   Yes, I have already confirmed on a number of times that at a

11     certain moment I stated something that was not true related to my

12     involvement in the events in Kravica, and of course what I said at the

13     time was not true.

14        Q.   Now, as the Trial Chamber just heard a little while ago, you've

15     testified a number of times in a number of trials so I understand that

16     you've told other courts about this incident as well as the balance of

17     your testimony.  But this Trial Chamber hasn't heard your testimony and

18     you are here as a fully live witness.  So can you please just give the

19     Trial Chamber a little bit more detail, a better idea of exactly what

20     transpired when you told the Prosecution that lie and took credit for a

21     mass execution that you weren't involved with.

22        A.   Yes.  As many times as I've testified here in The Hague, I've

23     explained the situation which occurred related to me stating some things

24     that were false, related again to the incident in Kravica.  Of course

25     this is a new Trial Chamber so I'm going to be very brief and explain

Page 12222

 1     what actually happened.

 2             The negotiations between the OTP and myself had already been well

 3     advanced.  What I had to say in relation to my own involvement and the

 4     involvement of my unit and the involvement of others was something that I

 5     clearly stated.  However, at a certain point the representatives of the

 6     Prosecution clearly asked me whether I had taken part in the incident in

 7     Kravica.  And to be honest, I was afraid.  I knew that I wasn't present,

 8     I knew that I wasn't involved in it, but I was confused.

 9             Those interviews took place of over a very long time and at a

10     certain moment I was partially revolted by the situation, and on the

11     other hand I simply didn't know what to do and what to say.  So I said

12     what I said and I took that responsibility.  And then immediately after I

13     said it I realised what I had done.  I spoke to my lawyers.  My lawyers

14     definitely knew that I did not take part in that.  And then the following

15     day it was a public holiday in the Netherlands.  I think it was the

16     Queen's Day.  And immediately after that holiday, I told my lawyers that

17     I would want to tell the OTP that what I said was not true, that I would

18     like to apologise about it, and that I would also take any responsibility

19     for what I have stated falsely.

20             There are some other details related to this, but I don't want to

21     burden the Trial Chamber or to waste time here.  If you have any further

22     questions, if you need any further details, I'm prepared to answer all

23     your questions.  The essence of the matter is I have stated something

24     that was false related to my involvement in the Kravica incident.

25     Immediately after one day I apologised to the Prosecution and I accepted

Page 12223

 1     as a consequence of stating untruths to sign a true statement which will

 2     confirm that I have stated something that was not true in relation to

 3     that particular incident.  That's about it.

 4        Q.   And in fact, sir - and we won't need to take the time to put it

 5     up on e-court - but you refer to a signed statement which you made

 6     concerning this lie that you told.  Did that in fact become part of your

 7     plea agreement package that was filed with the Trial Chamber in your case

 8     so that they could see exactly what had happened?

 9        A.   Yes.  That is the statement.  The statement that I signed was

10     part of all the documents that were sent or submitted to the

11     Trial Chamber.  The Judges were aware and knew exactly what had happened

12     because this was stated in writing.

13        Q.   And, sir, do you understand how absolutely vital it is for you to

14     tell the complete truth before this Trial Chamber and not to minimise

15     your own conduct or exaggerate the conduct of anyone else?  Do you

16     understand how crucial that is?

17        A.   Of course I understand.  In all my hitherto testimony I tried to

18     be precise, of course within the boundaries of my intellectual abilities

19     and within the framework of what I know.  After the statement which I

20     signed, I tried in all later or subsequent contacts with the Prosecution

21     and in my testimony before the Tribunal to speak the truth.  And of

22     course it's absolutely clear to me - and I stated that in one of my

23     statements - that I at no point wish to minimise my participation in the

24     crime, while at the same time I also do not wish to bear responsibility

25     of others or take upon myself the level of responsibility that does not

Page 12224

 1     belong to me in view of my rank and the position that I was in.  And of

 2     course I'm going to try, in future testimonies also, to state all that I

 3     know, all that I saw, also in instances with my own participation and of

 4     course things that relate to my colleagues, officers from my unit, and

 5     officers from other commands about whom I know where they were and what

 6     they were doing.

 7        Q.   Now, sir, you pleaded guilty; correct?

 8        A.   Yes, I did.

 9        Q.   You accepted responsibility; is that correct?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   And in your prior testimony did you also express your remorse for

12     what happened in Srebrenica and to the Bosnian Muslim population of

13     Srebrenica?

14        A.   Yes.  When I testified -- actually, before the judgement was

15     passed down I expressed my remorse and I do that whenever I have the

16     opportunity to do that.

17        Q.   Well, sir, now is as good a time as any.

18        A.   Of course countless times - and I said that earlier also - I

19     expressed my regret about everything that had happened in Srebrenica.  Of

20     course I'm not only sorry but this is something that is troubling to me.

21     After everything that happened I would like to take this opportunity

22     again to apologise to all the victims.  And since I was -- since I was a

23     professor at school, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise

24     particularly to my students who were victims of that crime.

25        Q.   Mr. Nikolic, before you pleaded guilty and accepted

Page 12225

 1     responsibility and expressed your remorse, were you aware of any other

 2     Bosnian Serb army officer who had done that?

 3        A.   No.  I think I'm the first officer of the Army of Republika

 4     Srpska who simply understood that the -- who understood that the horrific

 5     crime that happened in Srebrenica is a horrific crime in which members of

 6     my army took part.  When I say "my army," I'm not thinking only about my

 7     own brigade.  And of course I think that in that horrific crime the

 8     things that I did in a way contributed to the events and everything that

 9     happened.  Of course I testified countless times and stated that my role

10     wasn't a crucial one, that I didn't plan anything, I didn't organise

11     anything, that I didn't command the units, but the position that I was in

12     meant that I carried out the orders that I received and that the

13     operation ended the way it ended.

14             I would be the happiest man alive had this never happened and had

15     I never been there, but I was there, I saw many things, and I'm

16     absolutely aware that a horrendous crime occurred there that cannot be

17     justified in any way.  And that is why as an officer of Republika Srpska,

18     I pleaded guilty and I genuinely do consider myself guilty, I feel

19     guilty, and I consider myself responsible for everything that happened

20     there.

21        Q.   Sir, I want to take a little bit of time and provide the

22     Trial Chamber with a little bit of personal history about yourself, your

23     education and your military background.  Can you tell the Trial Chamber

24     how old you are.

25        A.   I was born in 1955.  I'm now 56 years old.  I've entered my 57th

Page 12226

 1     year.  I was born in that area, in that part of Eastern Bosnia.  I was

 2     born in Bratunac.  I completed elementary and secondary school in

 3     Bratunac.  I completed the construction or engineering technical high

 4     school and then I went to serve my military term of duty the way it was

 5     served in the former Yugoslavia.  I served my military term of duty in

 6     Slovenia.  After serving my term of duty, I enrolled at the political

 7     sciences faculty and I completed the department of defence and security.

 8             After that I taught in school for a few years, and then sometime

 9     in 1986 or 1987 I moved into the municipal staff for Territorial Defence

10     where I worked as a deputy commander of the Municipal Staff for

11     intelligence affairs.  This is what I was doing when the war broke out.

12     That was my post.  I was in the TO staff when the war broke out.  And

13     then in late 1992 the Bratunac Brigade was formed.  After that, after a

14     break that I had because of attacks against me by certain paramilitary

15     formations in Bratunac, I was in Serbia for some five and a half or six

16     months.  I spent some of that time in the hospital.  After that I went

17     for rehabilitation and therapy.  After that I returned to the Bratunac

18     Brigade on the 19th of November, 1992, and some ten days after I returned

19     I was assigned the chief of the security intelligence organ of the

20     Bratunac Brigade.  So since then, since 1992 until the end of the war, I

21     was serving in the Bratunac Brigade.

22             In late 1996 I moved to the Ministry for Missing and Displaced

23     Persons, where later I became the co-ordinator of the Podrinje

24     municipality on -- in dealing with refugees and displaced persons.  I was

25     doing that for a year.  After that I became the director of a trading

Page 12227

 1     company, and then after nine months there the company was privatised and

 2     I was appointed as a director of another company.  After that second

 3     company became private I was unemployed and I was arrested on the 1st of

 4     April, 2002 -- yes.  Actually I was arrested on the 1st of April and

 5     transferred to The Hague on the 2nd of April, 2002.

 6        Q.   Let's go back and just fill in a couple of details, sir.  When

 7     you taught in Bratunac, can you tell the Trial Chamber exactly where you

 8     taught and which school, what was the name of the school, and what

 9     subject or subjects did you teach there?

10        A.   After I completed my university, I came to the high school

11     centre.  It's called Djuro Pucar Stari, it still bears the same name.

12     And I was teaching defence and self protection or security there.  This

13     was the subject for first- and second-year students while I was working

14     there, later things changed a little bit, but anyway my subject was

15     defence and self protection which was a regular subject in the then-high

16     school system.

17        Q.   And when you were serving as chief of intelligence and security

18     affairs in the Bratunac Brigade, what was your rank, sir?

19        A.   I had the rank of captain throughout my period of work in the

20     Bratunac Brigade.

21        Q.   And were you an active-duty officer, by that I mean a

22     professional officer, or were you a reserve officer?

23        A.   I was a reserve officer, a reserve captain.

24        Q.   Let's spend a little bit of time talking about the

25     Bratunac Brigade.  I think you alluded to this earlier, but to the best

Page 12228

 1     of your knowledge when was the Bratunac Brigade actually formed?

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, could you please switch off your

 3     right microphone because it's too near to the keyboard which is in use.

 4     Thank you.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I remember correctly I think I

 6     said that it was in late 1992, but I think the correct date is the 14th

 7     of November.  That was the day the brigade was formed.  You don't need to

 8     completely rely on my recollection of the date, but I think that that was

 9     it.

10             MR. THAYER:

11        Q.   And in July of 1995, who was the commander of the

12     Bratunac Brigade?

13        A.   The commander was Colonel Vidoje Blagojevic in July.

14        Q.   And how many battalions was the brigade divided into?

15        A.   It had three battalions.

16        Q.   And were there any independent units within the brigade in

17     addition to the three battalions?

18        A.   I don't know what you're thinking of precisely, but if you're

19     thinking of a battalion that was part of the Zvornik Brigade then yes.

20     If you're thinking of units that were part of the brigade, other units

21     meaning -- that was the artillery logistics units, reconnaissance units,

22     police, then it did include based on the establishment structure of a

23     light brigade, all of those units that were planned for according to the

24     establishment.

25        Q.   And that's what I had in mind, sir.  And you referred to another

Page 12229

 1     battalion.  Was there in fact another battalion that was, shall we say,

 2     affiliated with the Bratunac Brigade in addition to the three battalions

 3     that you described?

 4        A.   The translation is was there another battalion linked or

 5     connected with it.  For a certain time-period another battalion was

 6     formed and mobilised.  It has a provisional name, the workers' battalion

 7     or the work battalion, and it was established under an order by

 8     Commander Blagojevic at a time when it was necessary to engage all

 9     available forces for the Srebrenica operation.  So if you're thinking of

10     that battalion, the work battalion, that's its name.  It was manned by

11     conscripts that according to the war time assignments were deployed for

12     work duty at work organisations.  If you're thinking of a battalion that

13     was our neighbour battalion, then it was the Skelani Battalion which

14     actually was right next to the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the

15     Bratunac Brigade.

16        Q.   And who was the commander of that Skelani Battalion, sir?

17        A.   I think in all my testimony to date I recall a major.  I think

18     his name -- his last name is Petrovic, but this is not the Petrovic from

19     the 3rd Infantry Battalion from my brigade.  He had the same last name.

20     I think the last commander in any case was a major.  I don't have any

21     other information about their command because they switched.  Often

22     people remained there for a very short time, meaning when they got there,

23     when they saw what awaited them and what the situation was they would

24     leave very quickly.  But I think in May the commander of the Skelani

25     Battalion was this Major Petrovic.

Page 12230

 1        Q.   And where were the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade located?

 2        A.   The headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade were in Bratunac some

 3     500 metres away from the city centre.  They were located in the premises

 4     of the Kaolin Bratunac enterprise.

 5        Q.   And in that command or in those headquarters, can you tell the

 6     Trial Chamber which staff organs were present?

 7        A.   This was a large compound with different buildings.  So in those

 8     buildings and in a part of the compound the brigade commander was

 9     located, the chief of the brigade staff; then the deputies -- the

10     assistants of the brigade commander, assistants for logistics --

11     actually, what I'm saying now -- actually, I'm not sure whether the

12     commander for organisation and logistics was the commander of the Chief

13     of Staff or of the commander of the brigade.  This is something that I

14     don't remember anymore.  So the assistant for organisation, mobilisation,

15     and personnel affairs was there.  Part of the command -- and the command

16     had all the services, the traffic, the engineering, the medical corps,

17     the logistics, also my office was located in that building and I was the

18     chief of the security and intelligence affairs.  There was also the staff

19     HQ there.  It was a minor unit which was providing security or actually

20     it was doing all the things that were required by the actual command such

21     as procurement, supplies, and other things.

22             Also, outside of the compound in another part but that was also

23     part of the Kaolin Bratunac enterprise was where the military police was

24     located.  It was a kind of prefabricated building that was next to the

25     compound where they were located.

Page 12231

 1        Q.   All right.  And we will talk about the military police platoon in

 2     a little while.  Sticking with the headquarters, was there a

 3     communications centre in your headquarters of the brigade?

 4        A.   Yes, of course.  This is understood.

 5        Q.   And can you describe for the Trial Chamber just generally how did

 6     that communications centre operate?  For example, how were communications

 7     from superior or subordinate commands received and processed in the

 8     communications centre?

 9        A.   The communications centre was located in the same place where the

10     HQ and the other organs of the brigade were, in the same building.  The

11     communications centre itself operated more or less as follows.

12     Everything that was being sent from the brigade command would go to the

13     communications centre.  It would be encrypted there.  It would either be

14     sent encrypted or just plain text.  And it would be information about the

15     situation in the brigade, different information, as well as daily

16     activities in the brigade.  All of this was mostly sent in the form of a

17     daily combat report to the superior command.  My superior command --

18     well, not my superior command but the Bratunac Brigade superior command

19     was the Drina Corps command.  And everything that was new in the brigade

20     and everything that was happening would be sent as a daily report at the

21     end of the day to the corps command.  The procedure was the same in all

22     the communications centres.  There were operatives in the centre who once

23     you brought them the text or information that you wanted to dispatch, you

24     would hand it to them, they would type it, dispatch it, and after that

25     usually they would return the written copy of the text that you had

Page 12232

 1     provided to them in handwriting as well as the copy of the text that they

 2     had sent to the superior command.

 3             The practice in the Bratunac Brigade was as follows.  The

 4     commander of the Bratunac Brigade trusted his assistants and other than

 5     special or exceptional information, he did not ask us to inform him each

 6     time that we sent some data or some information.  He didn't ask us to

 7     submit to him what we were going to send.

 8             The next thing that I want to say is that we as assistants,

 9     again, after we sent out the information each time when we reported would

10     orally inform our commander about our activities within our sector and

11     the things that we had reported about to the superior command.  When the

12     situation was reversed, namely, when we received orders or any kind of

13     document from the superior command then that would arrive at the

14     communications centre and the complete document would then be taken from

15     the communications centre to the desk.  Perhaps this information arrived

16     via post, not necessarily through the communications centre.

17             So everything that would arrive in the course of the day, also

18     from the superior commands, would go to the desk of the commander.  If

19     the commander was absent, he would be replaced by the Chief of Staff and

20     the commander or the Chief of Staff would look at all the documents, all

21     the instructions, all the orders that had arrived, and they would initial

22     and pass them on to the relevant persons.  All the assistants, for

23     example, had their own codes.  For example, I had 03, logistics was 04,

24     operations was 06, and so on and so forth.  The commander would look at

25     the information, he would initial it, and then send it to whoever was

Page 12233

 1     supposed to receive it.  And then also at the end of the day this would

 2     be dispatched to protocol.  The person in charge of the protocol would

 3     distribute the documents according to what was written in the document

 4     itself by the commander.  This is how the communications centre

 5     functioned in principle.

 6             I just want to add this.  There are exceptions everywhere.

 7     Sometimes there are exceptions in the communications centre as well, but

 8     for the most part this was the procedure in the Bratunac Brigade, the way

 9     I just tried to explain to you.

10        Q.   And just to follow-up on one thing you said, sir.  You mentioned

11     communications that were outgoing from the brigade, some which might be

12     open text, others which were encrypted, and that that would be done by an

13     operative within the communications centre.  How about with respect to

14     communications which were being received by the communications centre

15     from let's say, for example, a superior command that were encrypted, what

16     would happen then?

17        A.   All orders that arrived at the communications centre would be

18     decoded and converted into an open text.  There was a specific person who

19     was taking care of that.  I myself am not very versatile in these

20     matters, but in principle I know that every order that came from a

21     superior command was converted into a clear, transparent, and open text.

22     So it did not remain encoded, which allowed for a completely normal

23     communication, if that's what you had in mind.

24        Q.   Now, in addition to the communications centre, was there an

25     operations room in addition to that communications centre or were they

Page 12234

 1     the same thing in your brigade?

 2        A.   I more or less understand what you are referring to.  The brigade

 3     had its communications centre, as I just explained.  For example, in my

 4     brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, we also had an operations centre which

 5     provided daily operations duty, and now I'm talking exclusively about the

 6     Bratunac Brigade.  In our operations centre, there was no communications

 7     system, there were no communication devices that would allow those who

 8     were sending something from the superior command to send it to the

 9     communications centre.  Anything going out from the operations centre

10     could only have been done by phone.  There was an unscrambled telephone

11     in the communications centre and there was also scrambled telephones.  So

12     from the communications centre this information can be passed on by

13     telephone as well; however, all the information including orders could

14     have been conveyed to the centre by telephone.

15             As far as written orders were concerned, they were sent either by

16     post or through the system that was established there for that purpose.

17        Q.   Okay.  And I think we'll hear a little bit more about both the

18     communications centre and the operations centre or operations room during

19     the course of your testimony.  You referred to daily reports which were

20     submitted by the Brigade to the Drina Corps.  Can you tell the

21     Trial Chamber whether that was, number one, required every day?

22        A.   If you're referring to the reports sent by a brigade, then you

23     are right.  That was done on a daily basis.  A brigade was obliged

24     pursuant to the corps orders to send daily reports to the corps command.

25     And as far as I know our brigade complied with that in an orderly

Page 12235

 1     fashion.  If you are inquiring about my sector, based on an agreement

 2     with my superiors in the area of professional expertise, we undertook an

 3     obligation to convey intelligence information or the information

 4     collected by my sector once a day, two times a day, or maybe even more

 5     because we wanted to inform the corps command about any changes in the

 6     situation that might affect the combat-readiness of our unit.  If we

 7     didn't have such information, of course I was not obliged to write a

 8     daily report just to keep up with the appearances.  I provided reports

 9     only when I had something specific to say and if this information was

10     relevant for my superior command.

11             So as I said, we sometimes sent two or three information and

12     reports and sometimes we didn't send any at all.  Therefore, since there

13     is an item within every regular combat report that deals with security

14     issues, I would usually just put one sentence to the effect that with

15     respect to the previous report there are no new developments.  And this

16     is what I did in terms of fulfilling my obligations towards my superior

17     command.

18        Q.   And when we refer to the daily combat report that went up to the

19     Drina Corps from the Bratunac Brigade, who would typically sign off on

20     the daily combat report, the regular combat report that went to the

21     Drina Corps?

22        A.   A regular combat report should and must be signed by the brigade

23     commander.  However, it sometimes happened that the brigade commander was

24     away and then that would be done by the Chief of Staff.  Again, I'm

25     talking about my brigade and the practice that we pursued was that the

Page 12236

 1     duty operations officer would, again depending on the content of

 2     information that has to be sent to the corps command, if this information

 3     is critical and important, then we did our best to show it to the -- our

 4     commander or the Chief of Staff.  However, if these were regular daily

 5     combat reports and that contained no crucial information or any reference

 6     to any changes to the previous situation, then the duty operations

 7     officer would just add the word "for" and he himself would sign the

 8     report on behalf of the brigade command and then he would send it to the

 9     communications centre for them to type it and then pass it on towards the

10     superior command.

11        Q.   And just so we're clear, in your language the word is "za" for

12     "for," is that correct, that we've seen so much of in this trial?

13        A.   Yes, you're right.

14        Q.   Okay.  Now, you've referred in your last couple of answers to

15     reporting through the command chain through the commander of the

16     Bratunac Brigade as well as reporting obligations that you had to your

17     professional superior officers in the security and intelligence line as

18     we refer to it.  In July of 1995 was the Bratunac Brigade an infantry

19     brigade or was it a light infantry brigade?

20        A.   In July 1995 it was a light infantry brigade.

21        Q.   And did that have any implications for your position as opposed

22     to in an infantry brigade?

23        A.   A light infantry brigade had incorporated the functions of

24     security and intelligence affairs in one personality.  It is my duty to

25     tell you that I'm aware of the fact that sometime in April or May - I

Page 12237

 1     don't know exactly - that these two functions were separated.  We in

 2     Bratunac had a rather specific situation.  The chief to be was first on

 3     the ground in Trnovo and then after that he attended some kind of course.

 4     So regardless of the fact that in that particular period of 1995 these

 5     two functions were separated, in the Bratunac Brigade nothing was changed

 6     in 1995 in terms that I was chief of the security and intelligence organ

 7     in the Bratunac Brigade.  Later on when another officer came and assumed

 8     these duties, this question was no longer relevant for me.

 9        Q.   And do you recall approximately when this other officer came and

10     assumed those duties?  Month and year is fine if you can remember, sir.

11        A.   Yes, 1995, but he was in Trnovo while Srebrenica operation was in

12     progress.  Therefore, I cannot tell you anything more precise.  I can't

13     give you any more details.  And I also don't remember his name.

14        Q.   Well, during the period of let's say July of 1995 and the months

15     leading up to July of 1995, day in and day out in the Bratunac Brigade

16     who was exercising the duties and functions of chief of intelligence and

17     security affairs?

18        A.   Before July and after July, that is to say before, during, and

19     after the operation, all the way until I left the brigade it was I who

20     discharged the duties of the chief of intelligence and security.

21        Q.   Can you give the Trial Chamber an idea of what your duties,

22     responsibilities, and tasks were in your role as, first, chief of

23     intelligence affairs in the brigade?

24        A.   I'll try to explain this in two or three sentences, because

25     basically all my responsibilities are described in the rules of service

Page 12238

 1     that pertain to intelligence and security and the work of security

 2     organs.  These rules generally described what my rights and obligations

 3     were in the course of discharging these duties.  So let me say about two

 4     sentences or three.  The intelligence part of my duties, as far as I

 5     understood it, was the one that was the most important one that I was

 6     supposed to deliver.  80 -- or 85 per cent of all the activities have to

 7     do with intelligence and the rest, let's say 15 per cent, had to do with

 8     the activities that concerned command and staff affairs of my brigade.

 9             So I was not professionally involved in security.  I was not an

10     authorised security officer.  I did not have a proper ID and I didn't

11     have any powers that stem from that.  I was mostly focused on

12     intelligence tasks which involved collection of intelligence data about

13     the enemy, about their activities, about their intentions, about their

14     movement, and everything else that could greatly affect not the

15     combat-readiness but rather the security of my unit and other troops who

16     were within my units.

17             So I said as far as the security activities were concerned, they

18     mainly concerned the protection of one's own units, its weaponry and

19     equipment, from incursions by sabotage or terrorist groups or the

20     incursion of these groups into the rear areas of the territory controlled

21     by my brigade.  And this is basically what I was doing.  As for the other

22     tasks that were within the purview of a security organ who is working,

23     for example, in an infantry brigade are quite different from the issues

24     of security that I dealt with.  That is perhaps the reason why I behaved

25     in such a manner.  Maybe I did not understand it properly, but nobody

Page 12239

 1     objected to that because this is how I perceived this function.

 2        Q.   You referred to yourself as not being an authorised security

 3     officer.  What did you mean by that, sir?

 4        A.   This is what I meant, of course according to what I know.

 5     Authorised security organs had a functional duty of chief of security.

 6     Authorised security organs also had official identification papers.  This

 7     is how this was called in my country, and of course I had an opportunity

 8     to see this ID card and this ID card contains the duties of security

 9     officer according to the rules of service.  For example, he was entitled

10     to make arrests, to make searches.  But, as I said, I was never

11     performing these kind of duties and I wasn't permitted to do so because I

12     did not have this kind of official ID that would entitle me to become

13     involved in the security operations and matters.  In our brigade in order

14     for us to be able to deal with these kind of problems we had a different

15     solution and that solution was a lawyer, a professional, and he was the

16     one who dealt with the legal aspect of affairs relating to criminal

17     reports and filing criminal reports and that is what he did.

18        Q.   And what was his name, sir?

19        A.   His name was Zlatan Celanovic and he was part of the organ for

20     religious affairs and moral guidance only as a matter of form, but

21     practically he was within the military police platoon and his authorities

22     derived from the authorities conveyed by the brigade commander.  So he

23     did not operate only during the Blagojevic era, he also continued to do

24     that when Slavko Ognjenovic became the commander, or maybe he did it even

25     before.  Anyway, he was always involved in these kind of matters until he

Page 12240

 1     was demobilised.

 2        Q.   Now, you referred to the, if I'm doing my math right, about 15

 3     per cent of your time was spent devoted to security affairs and you

 4     referred to the security of your unit.  Can you tell the Trial Chamber a

 5     little bit about what does that mean?  When you refer to the security

 6     unit, what does that entail in terms of your duties and responsibilities

 7     in terms of chief of security affairs?

 8        A.   A while ago I told you that these activities referred to command

 9     staff affairs concerning security.  That means providing security for the

10     brigade command, providing security and preventing the leakage of secret

11     information from the communications centre, and basically all other

12     activities that affected the command and the staff of the brigade and

13     their security of the brigade that I was a member of.

14             If I may add, and I said that in my previous testimonies, I am

15     not a security expert at all.  I was mainly involved in my brigade in

16     things that would contribute to the protection of the brigade and its

17     units, and I undertook measures that would prevent putting the unit in

18     danger or preventing any risk to the weaponry and equipment and other

19     things that pertained to the unit and the area where it was deployed.  So

20     this was mainly my duty.

21        Q.   And where did counter-intelligence fit into this scheme?

22        A.   That was within the remit of my sector and it normally does.  And

23     of course certain steps were taken with regard to these issues too, but

24     unlike me the people who are trained in this particular domain know these

25     things better than I do.

Page 12241

 1        Q.   And in your experience what is counter-intelligence and did you

 2     ever deal with any incidents that you would characterise as

 3     counter-intelligence that you would recall?

 4        A.   Well, I really cannot remember at the moment any particular

 5     activities in which I was involved that could be qualified as

 6     counter-intelligence activities.  I really don't know.  I can't recall.

 7     Maybe something would help me jog my memory, but anyway I don't know.

 8        Q.   And can you tell us again what is counter-intelligence and does

 9     it fall under your intelligence hat or does it fall under your security

10     hat?

11        A.   As far as I understand it, this has to do with security affairs.

12     Certain security assessments need to be made.  For example, with the

13     potential intentions, with the degree of risk to which the unit or the

14     area is exposed, et cetera.  So as I said, I'm not an expert.  This is

15     how I understand it and I am reluctant to get involved in any deeper

16     explanations.

17             So within this scope of activities, I took all the measures that

18     I deemed important for preventing any surprises or any incursions by

19     sabotage and terrorist groups, the smuggling of fire-arms, illicit

20     contacts between the soldiers on the lines, all other smuggling of

21     contraband, et cetera.  So whether you can call that counter-intelligence

22     offices, I think you can, but I -- as I said, I don't know.

23             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I see we are at the appointed time.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Indeed, we must have our first break now.  We

25     will resume quarter past 4.00.

Page 12242

 1                           --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.

 2                           --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.

 3             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, Mr. Thayer, please continue.

 4             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 5        Q.   Good afternoon again, sir.

 6        A.   Good afternoon.

 7        Q.   You've spoken about your reporting obligations to your superiors

 8     along the professional or expert line.  Were there members of the

 9     Bratunac Brigade's subordinate units who also had intelligence and

10     security duties?  I'm referring to the battalions, obviously.  Within

11     those battalions, were there Bratunac Brigade members who discharged

12     intelligence and security duties?

13        A.   Yes.  All three infantry battalions that belonged to the

14     Bratunac Brigade had assistant commanders for intelligence and security

15     affairs within those battalions.

16        Q.   And what were their duties, sir?

17        A.   Well, I don't want to repeat myself.  More or less it was

18     everything that I did at the level of the brigade.  Those assistant

19     commanders did the same thing at the level of the battalion within the

20     zone of responsibility of the battalion.

21        Q.   And would they submit reports to you, whether oral or in writing,

22     or would they report to somebody else with respect to intelligence and

23     security matters?

24        A.   The practice in my brigade -- or actually it wasn't just the

25     practice, we had an obligation to do that.  Intelligence and security

Page 12243

 1     organs in the battalion followed the same principle that I followed

 2     vis-a-vis my obligation towards the Drina Corps.  So based on this

 3     principle they would send similar written reports to the Bratunac Brigade

 4     command, specifically to me within my sector for intelligence and

 5     security work.  And maybe if I can add one more sentence.  Following the

 6     same principle, if there was some important information that couldn't

 7     wait or that requested urgent action, then as far as the intelligence and

 8     security organs in battalion were concerned, they would always report to

 9     me.  Of course it goes without saying that they would have to inform

10     about it their own commander.

11        Q.   Now, the Trial Chamber has heard testimony about on the one hand

12     the command lines that we spoke about a little bit earlier running

13     through the commander of the brigade as opposed to the professional or

14     expert lines which in your case would run through the security and

15     intelligence organs, both up and down through the subordinate and

16     superior commands.  Can you tell the Trial Chamber who was your immediate

17     superior?  To whom did you directly report?

18        A.   In the command and control chain, my immediate and direct

19     superior was Vidoje Blagojevic, the brigade commander.

20        Q.   And who was your first superior officer when it came to matters

21     of professional management and expertise in the field of security and the

22     area of security matters?

23        A.   My immediate superior along the professional or expert line was

24     the chief of the intelligence and security department in the Drina Corps

25     command.

Page 12244

 1        Q.   And in July 1995 who was that, sir?

 2        A.   Performing the duty of the chief of security, and if I'm not

 3     mistaken about this, but I'm not 100 per cent sure, chief of security was

 4     Vujadin Popovic, while the chief of the intelligence sector was

 5     Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric.  That's what I thought at the time, and I

 6     also think this right now, that as head of that sector it was Vujadin

 7     Popovic who was performing those duties.

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness's microphones be adjusted in

 9     such a way that it's sort of pushed to the left a little bit more.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  The court usher should assist the witness with

11     the microphones, please.

12             I hope it's now better for the interpreters.

13             Please continue.

14             MR. THAYER:

15        Q.   And can you give the Trial Chamber an idea of the sources of

16     intelligence or security information that would flow to you, for example,

17     up from the battalion level.  What were some of the sources of that

18     information?

19        A.   As I already stated, every infantry battalion had assistant

20     commander for intelligence and security affairs.  Information collected

21     in the battalion were mostly directed towards what was going on in front

22     of the front end of the battalion.  Every battalion had its subordinate

23     units, companies and platoons, and within those subordinate units they

24     would have so-called observation posts.  Those posts were manned by the

25     observers from those subordinate units that comprised the battalion.  So

Page 12245

 1     information about what was going on in front of their own units was

 2     collected in this particular way, by observation.

 3             Further on, in the Bratunac Brigade they had the practice of

 4     engaging reconnaissance units to gather intelligence information about

 5     the enemy activity.  This means that those reconnaissance units would be

 6     sent into the depth of the territory to perform reconnaissance duties

 7     within the territory controlled by the enemy, that is the Muslim forces.

 8     General information of intelligence nature was also collected by

 9     interrogation of the captured persons and also by interrogation of the

10     persons who switched sides.  There were such people as well.

11             So now I'm talking mostly about intelligence information that is

12     important for the security of one's own unit and also information that

13     could point to the forthcoming plans of the opposing side, I mean the

14     Muslim side and their offensives or incursions of certain groups from

15     their side.  Such information would end up with the assistant commander

16     for intelligence and security affairs at the battalion level, and then at

17     the end of the day the assistant commander would forward this information

18     to me.  It was mostly them who would come because all those commands

19     except for the 3rd Battalion were actually quite close.  So they would

20     literally come to me and tell me about it.

21             Now, all this intelligence information that came into my hands

22     came along this professional or expert line.  Other information that

23     would -- that certainly of the same kind would also go along the command

24     and control line, which means that the assistant commander in the

25     battalion would tell that things to his commander and then the commander

Page 12246

 1     would, along the normal reporting line, inform the brigade commander

 2     about this, which means that in his daily report he would provide a more

 3     detailed intelligence information of the same kind that I just explained.

 4        Q.   Was there any priority in terms of to whom you yourself would

 5     report first when you had a -- for example, a piece of noteworthy

 6     intelligence information.  Would you typically inform your commander

 7     first?  Would you inform your professional expert superior officers

 8     first?  Or can you not answer the question in that fashion and answer it

 9     in some other way?  Was there any priority?  Was there any rule that you

10     followed with respect to whom you would first pass on this information?

11        A.   I can only answer this question by telling you how I used to do

12     these things.  Everything that I received as new intelligence or

13     everything that I planned to inform my superior command about, and

14     especially if it pertained to the units of my brigade which it usually

15     did, I would first of all report about all this to my commander usually

16     verbally.  Sometimes I didn't give any written reports to my own

17     commander.  And then immediately after that, if that was a relevant or

18     urgent information, I would sit down in my office and write a written

19     report to my superior command.  By that I mean my expert organ which was

20     the security and intelligence department within the corps.

21        Q.   And two related questions to follow-up on that, sir.  This may

22     sound very obvious to you, but what was the purpose of passing on this

23     information, reporting on this information, for example, intelligence

24     information, to your commander?

25        A.   Well, my commander has to have all the information of this kind,

Page 12247

 1     I mean here the intelligence.  That is the only way for him to make his

 2     decisions in a timely manner.  He has to know what is going on or what is

 3     about to happen in order for him to pre-empt such things by introducing

 4     measures which will eliminate surprises or losses.  So in order for him

 5     to make correct decisions about the future action, about the future

 6     behaviour, about the future engagement of forces, he absolutely has to

 7     have intelligence information, especially those related to the activities

 8     and intentions of the opposing side.

 9        Q.   And the second related question is, again, what was the purpose

10     of sending this type of information up your professional or expert line

11     to Mr. Popovic or Mr. Kosoric?

12        A.   I can answer in the following way.  The corps command does not

13     have just one brigade.  The zone of the responsibility of the corps

14     command is much wider than the zone of responsibility of the brigade.

15     The zone of responsibility of the corps is comprised by the various zones

16     of responsibility of the units which comprise the corps.  So the corps

17     commander can only make his decisions at the corps level, which is a

18     higher level, if the corps command receives information from all the

19     units which comprise the corps.  So if the intelligence department

20     receives information during the day from my brigade, from Zvornik

21     Brigade, from Visegrad Brigade, then they are going to have a sufficient

22     fund of information on which they can base correct decisions about future

23     actions in which areas the corps command will have to put a special

24     emphasis on their actions.

25             So to put simply, based on the information that will reach the

Page 12248

 1     corps commander through the security and intelligence department of the

 2     corps, the commander will be able to make relevant, informed decisions

 3     about what will have to be done on that day or in some future period.

 4        Q.   And based on your work in the brigade and your experience in the

 5     war as chief of intelligence and security affairs, how did the reporting

 6     along the professional line, the expert line, proceed from the corps

 7     level up?  Did it proceed in the same fashion that you've described from

 8     your battalions, to you, and then up to the corps, or did it proceed in

 9     some other fashion?

10        A.   I can only speculate about how it was done on those higher

11     levels.  I can tell you that according to everything I know the reporting

12     would have to follow the same pattern up to the very top; whether in

13     actual fact it was like that, I wouldn't know.

14        Q.   Let's talk a little bit about the military police platoon of the

15     Bratunac Brigade.  You told us it was in a separate building from the

16     main command headquarters of the brigade.  In July of 1995, who was the

17     commander of the military police platoon?

18        A.   The commander of the military police platoon in July 1995 was

19     Mirko Jankovic.

20        Q.   And who was Mr. Jankovic's direct superior officer?

21        A.   When speaking about the command aspect, the immediate superior to

22     Mirko Jankovic was the Bratunac Brigade commander, Vidoje Blagojevic.

23     When we talk about the professional line, the immediate superior of the

24     military police platoon was I in 1995.

25        Q.   If you would, can you describe for the Trial Chamber the

Page 12249

 1     relationships between Commander Blagojevic and the military police

 2     platoon and your relationship to the military police platoon.  You've

 3     described the command line versus your expertise line.  Can you tell the

 4     Trial Chamber what that means and how that actually operated in your

 5     experience on the ground?

 6        A.   What I want to say here is the following.  The military police

 7     platoon is commanded directly by the officer of the unit or the

 8     institution within which the military police platoon is situated;

 9     specifically, in the Bratunac Brigade the military police platoon was

10     directly commanded and controlled by the commander Vidoje Blagojevic.

11     This as far as the command aspect.  Vidoje Blagojevic in this particular

12     case is the officer who makes all the decisions related to the use of the

13     military police platoon.

14             Now, speaking about the professional aspect, the officer who is

15     the immediate superior of the military police platoon but only in the

16     professional aspect is the chief of the security and intelligence organ

17     of the brigade, and I was on that position in 1995.  It was my duty to

18     ensure that the military police platoon was always ready for combat,

19     trained, and equipped and ready to perform police and other combat

20     assignments.  As for the engagement of the military police platoon and

21     issuing orders about the use of the military police platoon, this was

22     within the express jurisdiction of the commander.  The chief of security

23     or, more precisely, the chief of intelligence and security organ is the

24     person who proposes the use of the military police platoon to the

25     commander.  So he says what he thinks about this use and how the military

Page 12250

 1     police platoon could be used in the most efficient and relevant manner.

 2             The commander does not have the duty to accept this proposal by

 3     the chief of the intelligence and security organ.  So he doesn't have to

 4     but he could if he wanted to accept everything proposed by the chief of

 5     intel and security sector.  He can also disagree with everything proposed

 6     and say, "This is what I actually decided."

 7             Once the commander announces his actual decision, all other

 8     discussion stops here, all proposals become irrelevant.  Whatever the

 9     commander decides, regardless of whether the proposal was accepted in its

10     entirety or just in part or not at all, he issues his decision.  And

11     after this decision is issued, I as the chief of the intelligence and

12     security organ had the duty to enact whatever the commander decided.  It

13     means that it was my duty to ensure that the police carries out this

14     particular decision in the best possible way.

15             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  May I at this point in time put a question to the

16     witness.

17             To put it in non-military terms, would it be correct if I

18     describe this in the following way.  The chief of intelligence and

19     security is responsible to prepare the military police for any action,

20     the equipment, and the staff, and make proposals to the commander of the

21     brigade; and the commander then is responsible to take decisions and to

22     issue orders.  Is that correct?

23             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I understood from your

24     question regarding the preparation of the police, the preparation and the

25     training of the police is an ongoing assignment, meaning that the chief

Page 12251

 1     for intelligence and security has an ongoing duty to maintain full

 2     combat-readiness among the police, meaning that the police should always

 3     be ready to carry out military police jobs primarily and other military

 4     tasks that are commanded by the commander.  That is the preparation of

 5     the police.

 6             If he so decides or if he says -- the commander can say that he

 7     would like to use the police in a combat assignment.  I as the chief of

 8     police [as interpreted] - and this is how I used to do it - I tried --

 9     actually, I did suggest to my commander what would be the best way in my

10     view to use the police in the implementation of that particular military

11     assignment.  And after my explanation or my proposal the commander can

12     simply accept everything that I stated, saying, "Yes, the police will be

13     engaged in such and such an assignment in such and such a way."  But the

14     commander can also say, "Following my proposal that, for example,

15     Mr. Nikolic, thank you for your proposal but I have decided to use the

16     police in that way."

17             When the commander decides to use the police force in a specific

18     way, I have to respect that and I have to make sure within my remit that

19     the commander's order is executed in the way that he planned.  That would

20     be the job of the intelligence and security chief in this professional

21     aspect of managing the military police.  All orders, all decisions along

22     the command line go at the -- from the level of the commander of the

23     military police to the brigade commander.  The brigade commander is the

24     one who issues final orders to the police commander and not to the

25     intelligence and security chief.

Page 12252

 1             Once a decision is made, the order goes directly to the commander

 2     of the military police who commands the unit and carries out the task as

 3     ordered by the commander.  This is how I did it in my unit.  I don't know

 4     whether this is correct or not -- well, actually I think that this is all

 5     in keeping with the rules on the use of the military police.  Command and

 6     control thus of the military police is regulated under Article 12 and

 7     then the following one defines the professional control of the military

 8     police.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much --

10             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So Articles 12 and 13 relating to

11     the military police.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  There is one point remaining unclear for me at

13     least.  You said you as the chief of security and intelligence were

14     making proposals to the command of the brigade, and the commander would

15     issue orders not back to you but directly to the military police.  Is

16     that correct?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that he issued the orders to

18     the komandir of the military police, not to me.  Thus, that is the

19     classic command and control of subordinate units.  The immediate direct

20     command over the police is in the hands of the police commander, but in

21     the chain of command the direct control and command of the police lies

22     with the superior officer of the unit that it is a part of.  And this is

23     defined in the rules of service of the military police Article 12.  That

24     is where it is specifically defined who commands the military police.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

Page 12253

 1             Mr. Thayer.

 2             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 3        Q.   And, sir, when you just referred to the immediate direct command

 4     over the police is in the hands of the police commander, who are you

 5     referring to there?

 6        A.   I'm referring to the military police commander, Mirko Jankovic.

 7        Q.   Now, did Commander Blagojevic have the right, the authority, to

 8     accept part of one of your proposals and reject others?

 9        A.   It's the discretionary right of the commander to accept or reject

10     proposals.  So yes, he did have the right to accept it or not to accept

11     it.

12        Q.   And in your experience with Commander Blagojevic, were there on

13     occasion proposals that you would make that he would accept in part and

14     reject in part?

15        A.   Rarely but it did happen.

16             MR. THAYER:  Now, just so we have a clean record, at page 36,

17     line 25, and at page 37, line 1, Mr. President, there's a reference to --

18     we have in the transcript that the witness referred to himself as the

19     chief of police.  The answer is:

20             "I as the chief of police - and this is how I used to do it - I

21     tried -- actually, I did suggest to my commander what would be the best

22     way in my view to use the police."

23             I don't know whether we've got a slip of the tongue or just a

24     translation issue or something else, but I just wanted to clarify with

25     the witness whether he intended to refer to himself as the chief of

Page 12254

 1     police or something else in the answer.

 2             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.  If it's in the transcript it

 3     could have been a slip of the tongue.  It's me, I as the head of the

 4     intelligence and security organ.  This is probably what I said or perhaps

 5     I made a mistake, but what I meant to say was I as the chief of the

 6     intelligence and security organ not as the chief of police.

 7             MR. THAYER:

 8        Q.   Now, the brigade's military police platoon, was it further

 9     divided into subunits?

10        A.   You said "detachment."  I heard "detachment."  It's not a

11     detachment.  The Bratunac Brigade had a platoon of the military police.

12     I apologise.  The military police platoon numbered some 30 men.  It was a

13     classic organisation and there were three squads in one platoon.

14        Q.   And the three squads in this platoon that you just told us about,

15     what were their duties, sir, day-to-day?

16        A.   They were engaged mostly on shifts on the bridge, on the Drina.

17     Then they had the check-point at Zuti Most, the Yellow Bridge, then they

18     had their regular police duties.  They had regular duty hours at the

19     reception area before you would enter the brigade premises.  And they

20     also carried out regular military police assignments such as bringing in

21     military conscripts that had left the unit wilfully and similar tasks

22     which they performed as part of their regular daily activities.  Oh, and

23     I forgot one thing.  They were also responsible for personal security for

24     senior officers, the commander, and some other officers, for example, the

25     brigade commander when these officials or officers were touring the units

Page 12255

 1     in the field.  In other words, they were constantly executing military

 2     police assignments which at that time were occurring on a daily basis.

 3        Q.   And with respect to responsibilities that may not have occurred

 4     every day or as frequently as these regular duties did, did the military

 5     police platoon have anything to do with prisoners of war or refugees?

 6        A.   Yes.  I can give you a general answer.  All prisoners of war

 7     captured by the Bratunac Brigade and who were brought to the

 8     Bratunac Brigade were under the jurisdiction of the military police.

 9        Q.   And were you aware of any responsibilities towards refugees that

10     fell under your intelligence and security remit?

11        A.   Talking about prisoners of war, if I understood your question

12     correctly, the duties of the intelligence and security organ and of the

13     police was -- were to take care of the prisoners of war.  Other than the

14     duties that I mentioned above of the military police, they were also

15     engaged on escorting military -- prisoners of war when this was required.

16        Q.   Okay.  In connection with your work as chief of intelligence and

17     security affairs, did you use any particular rules or instructions?

18        A.   You mean professional literature or rules covering intelligence

19     and security duties?  If that's what you're thinking of, then I used

20     books or instructions and rule books dating from the Yugoslav People's

21     Army.  These are mostly books dealing with intelligence support during

22     combat.  The one that I'm referring to is from 1977 [as interpreted].  I

23     used also the rules of military police and also the rules of the security

24     organ.  I think that's what it's called now or something like that.  In

25     any case, all the rules that I used were rules that were used in the

Page 12256

 1     former JNA and we adopted them in the VRS.

 2        Q.   Okay.  Let's take a quick look at a couple of them.

 3             MR. THAYER:  If we could have 65 ter 390.  I think this may also

 4     be D00203.

 5             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Gajic.

 6             MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to greet

 7     everybody.  On page 41, line 15, the year is 1977.  I think that the

 8     witness said another year actually ten years later.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, would you please clarify that.

10             MR. THAYER:

11        Q.   Sir, the book that you referred to dealing with intelligence

12     support during combat, what year do you recall that being published?

13        A.   1987.

14             MR. THAYER:  And I thank the Defence for that intervention.

15             And in the English if we could advance -- there we go.

16        Q.   Sir, on the screen we've got a cover of a book.  Do you recognise

17     what this is?

18        A.   Yes.  This is the rules of service of security organs in the

19     armed forces.  And when I was talking about that earlier I said that I

20     used this rule.

21        Q.   Okay.  Let's move on to another document, and this is P01297.

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, are you tendering the document on the

23     screen?  No?

24             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I believe that's already an exhibit.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Oh, yes.

Page 12257

 1             MR. THAYER:  I think it's --

 2             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  It's a Defence exhibit.

 3             MR. THAYER:  It's a Defence exhibit.

 4             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much, yes.

 5             MR. THAYER:  And if we could just go a couple more pages in the

 6     original, please.  And one more.  And we'll need to advance in the

 7     English as well.  It's going to be page -- there we go.  If we could go

 8     one more page in the English -- I'm sorry, and one more in the English.

 9     It's going to be page -- actually page 2 in the English and if we could

10     also rotate the page in the B/C/S when you get a chance, please.  Thank

11     you.

12        Q.   Sir, we've got a cover that's being blown up for you right now of

13     another document.  Do you recognise what this is?

14        A.   Yes.  This is rules of service of the military police.

15     Your Honours, I would just like to say a word about what you asked me

16     about.  On the basis of this rule - which is the one that I used during

17     the war - and in this rule of the military police is where what I was

18     talking about earlier about command and control of the military police

19     and the expert professional part of command and control of the military

20     police is contained in this particular rules of service and this is what

21     I was working under.

22             MR. THAYER:  And actually, if we go to page 10 in the English

23     we'll be looking at paragraphs 12 and 13, and in B/C/S that's page 9.

24        Q.   Sir, you just referred the Trial Chamber's attention to these

25     instructions, and we are now looking at paragraphs 12 and 13 of chapter 2

Page 12258

 1     under the heading "Command and Control of the Military Police."

 2     Paragraph 12 states that:

 3             "The officer in charge of the military unit and institution

 4     within whose establishment the military police unit is placed or to which

 5     it is attached commands and controls the military police."

 6             Now, to tie this in to what you were talking about before, in

 7     paragraph 12 who are we talking about, sir?

 8        A.   Paragraph 12 specifically means Commander Blagojevic and the

 9     Bratunac Brigade.  Thus, Commander Blagojevic is the person who commands

10     and controls the military police, the military police platoon, because

11     that platoon is part of the Bratunac Brigade.

12        Q.   And if we look at paragraph 13 it states:

13             "With respect to speciality, the officer in charge of the

14     security body of the unit or institution within whose establishment the

15     military police unit is placed or to which it is attached controls the

16     military police.  He makes suggestions to the officer in charge of the

17     military unit or institution on the use of military police units and is

18     responsible for the combat-readiness of the military police unit and the

19     performance of their tasks."

20             So in this paragraph, paragraph 13, in your brigade who does this

21     refer to?

22        A.   Paragraph 13, professional control of the military police

23     platoon, that refers to me.

24        Q.   Okay.

25             MR. THAYER:  Now if we could go to page 15 in the English,

Page 12259

 1     please, and I think this will be page 13 in the B/C/S.  And -- sorry, my

 2     mistake.  We need to go back because I want to catch the heading of this

 3     chapter and that's at page 12 of the English and page 11 of the B/C/S.

 4     My apologies.

 5        Q.   Sir, I just want to take you to the heading of this particular

 6     chapter.  We're going to look at a paragraph, specifically paragraph 25

 7     of this chapter in a moment, but just for the record I wanted to put this

 8     chapter heading up.  We can see it's chapter 3, "The Jurisdiction and

 9     Tasks of the Military Police."  And then at number 2, if you can see

10     number 2 --

11             MR. THAYER:  We'll have to go down, we'll go to the next page, I

12     think, in B/C/S, unless it's right at the bottom or if we can scroll

13     over maybe -- oh, it's a double page.  Yeah, if we can scroll over to the

14     right in the B/C/S I think we'll catch it.  There we go.  Thank you.

15        Q.   We can see number 2 is headed "The Tasks of the Military Police."

16     Do you see that, sir?

17        A.   Yes, I do.

18             MR. THAYER:  Okay.  Now if we could go to page 15 in the English

19     and page 13 in the B/C/S, please.  And we'll need to focus on paragraph

20     25.

21        Q.   We can see that:

22             "In addition to the tasks from items 22 to 24 of this rule, in

23     war time the military police also execute the following tasks ..."

24             And then we can see letters A through I.  If we could focus for a

25     moment on paragraph 25(f).  Sir, do you see subparagraph (f)?

Page 12260

 1        A.   Yes, I do.

 2        Q.   Can you tell us what this refers to and how it falls under your

 3     remit as chief of intelligence and security affairs?

 4        A.   Well, I'm not quite sure.  It says taking part in directing the

 5     movement of refugees.  In principle, yes, that was one of the tasks of

 6     the military police platoon, whereas the chief of intelligence and

 7     security organ in the course of preparation of documents and proposing

 8     measures to the commander suggests in which areas refugees and other

 9     persons should be rounded up.  That is something that I know for sure,

10     and I know that that was how it was done and that that was according to

11     the rules.

12        Q.   Okay.  And how about the second part of subparagraph (f) that

13     refers to "... and uncover any members of enemy units who have

14     infiltrated the refugees ..."

15             How would that general task of the military police platoon fall

16     under your role and responsibilities?  What interest would you have in

17     that?  What role or responsibility would you have with respect to

18     "uncovering members of enemy units who have infiltrated the refugees"?

19        A.   Well, I don't know.  Let me tell you this.  It seems to me this

20     issue in the context that you put it is a hypothetical question.  If

21     you're asking me about specific dates, then we can speak about that.  But

22     as it is, I can say that it is possible and what is stated here is

23     definitely one of the tasks of the military police when directing the

24     refugees.  As for the latter part of this statement relating to enemy

25     formations infiltrating refugees, in theory that is possible.  However, I

Page 12261

 1     think that infiltration by military personnel of refugee groups, I'm not

 2     quite sure that these things are happening in reality.

 3             A person who is fit for military service and is a soldier can be

 4     among refugees, it's all right.  But a soldier with a rifle -- well, it's

 5     not quite clear to me why should such a person merge with the civilians

 6     who are going to be escorted by the military police and what was he

 7     supposed to do.  So if we are talking about able-bodied men amongst

 8     civilians that is something which is quite normal and that is something

 9     that I myself witnessed in the aftermath of the fall of Srebrenica.

10        Q.   Okay.  And we'll talk about what happened to able-bodied men as

11     you saw them after the fall of Srebrenica.  Let's focus for a moment if

12     we could on (h), subparagraph (h).  What can you tell us about this

13     paragraph in terms of how the military police platoon operated?

14        A.   The military police of course takes part in securing POWs and POW

15     camps as well as other facilities for temporary detention of prisoners.

16     The military police is only one of the segments or units or structures

17     that in these specific cases would take part in securing the prisoners

18     after the Srebrenica operation.  So the role and the obligation of the

19     intelligence and security organ is quite clear, as is the role of the

20     police when it comes to physical security of the prisoners and the

21     facilities in which they are detained.

22        Q.   Okay.  Let's look at one more paragraph in these instructions,

23     sir.

24             MR. THAYER:  If we could go to page 21 of the English, and this

25     will be page 19 of the B/C/S.  And we'll be focusing on paragraph 54 if

Page 12262

 1     we could.

 2        Q.   Sir, do you see part 4 under the heading or the heading "Escort

 3     Service" in paragraph 54 under that heading?

 4        A.   Yes, I do.

 5        Q.   Okay.  And if you could also just read paragraph 55 to yourself

 6     and then we'll turn the page in both versions.

 7             MR. THAYER:  And if we could turn in the English we'll pick up

 8     paragraphs 55 through 57.

 9        Q.   And just let us know when you're ready to turn, sir.

10        A.   [In English] It's okay.

11        Q.   Okay.

12             MR. THAYER:  If we could turn in both versions, please.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have read it.

14             MR. THAYER:

15        Q.   And can you tell us what this is about and how it relates to the

16     activities of the military police platoon of the Bratunac Brigade in your

17     experience.

18        A.   Well, these two articles clearly show who is escorting whom and

19     under whose orders.  It demonstrates these kind of relations.  In this

20     specific case if we talk about the military police, after

21     Operation Srebrenica escorted the captured Muslims or those who

22     surrendered and placed them under the jurisdiction of the military

23     police.  They also had an opportunity to escort soldiers, members of the

24     Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that had been captured by the

25     Bratunac Brigade; and roughly speaking, those were the activities

Page 12263

 1     relating to the prisoners.  If it at all could be classified under this

 2     heading, they were also in charge of escorting and securing convoys that

 3     were travelling from Bratunac to Zvornik.  So this is the widest context

 4     into which I can put everything that is stated here.

 5        Q.   Okay.  And if we look at paragraph 57, sir, it states that:

 6             "The military police may also, upon a special order, escort

 7     prisoners of war."

 8             And just picking up with what you were saying a moment ago with

 9     respect to what the military police platoon of the Bratunac Brigade was

10     engaged in following the fall of Srebrenica, do you recall whether there

11     in fact was a special order; and if so, who did the order come from?  Or

12     was there not a special order to your recollection?

13        A.   Well, I don't know if I can call it a special order when it comes

14     to escorting POWs in the period after the fall of Srebrenica.  In my

15     opinion, that was an ongoing task that the military police platoon had at

16     all times.  The order to escort certain Muslim prisoners would be issued

17     by the unit the part of which the military police was.  And this order

18     would specifically be carried out by the commander of the military police

19     platoon.  What I know is that the locations where the prisoners would be

20     taken were determined by the corps command.  So after the

21     Bratunac Brigade inquired about the location where the prisoners would be

22     transferred, the brigade command would receive orders from the corps

23     command and then the brigade commander would issue a command to the

24     military police platoon commander who would carry it out.  If you would

25     like to know what my role was on behalf of the brigade, I received a

Page 12264

 1     certain number of prisoners who were brought to the Bratunac Brigade HQ

 2     and I take -- took care of all the legal aspects of this process in terms

 3     of documents and papers.  So the military police was involved in

 4     escorting the prisoners of war in this way as I just described.

 5        Q.   Okay.  And we will definitely talk a lot more about what happened

 6     to the men who were separated in Potocari and the men who were captured

 7     along the road and brought to Bratunac and then taken up to Zvornik.  So

 8     we'll have plenty of time to talk about that as well as other prisoners

 9     who were taken following the fall of Srebrenica.

10             MR. THAYER:  I think we're done with this document,

11     Mr. President, and I see it's already an Exhibit P01297.

12        Q.   Now, sir, you mentioned if I recall correctly that the battalions

13     of the Bratunac Brigade had reconnaissance platoons within them?

14        A.   I am not sure that they had reconnaissance platoons.  I may have

15     said reconnaissance units, but as per establishment battalions have

16     reconnaissance squads.  So that's strictly as per establishment and also

17     that was the situation on the ground realistically.  Only one battalion

18     had a reconnaissance platoon and that was the 2nd Infantry Battalion, but

19     at the same time this platoon operated both as a reconnaissance unit and

20     as a sort of intervention unit as they used to call it.

21        Q.   And professionally speaking in terms of expert management, who

22     would fulfil that role with respect to these reconnaissance units within

23     these battalions in the Bratunac Brigade?  Who would provide the

24     professional or expert management of those units?

25        A.   If you're asking me about the expert management at the level of

Page 12265

 1     the battalion, my answer would be that that would be done by the

 2     assistant commander for intelligence and security of the battalion.  I'm

 3     sorry, I don't know if you asked me about the brigade or the battalion.

 4     I didn't hear you properly.

 5        Q.   No, I think you understood me well, Mr. Nikolic.

 6        A.   Very well.

 7        Q.   And can you tell the Trial Chamber why the reconnaissance units

 8     would be placed under the expert management of the assistant commander

 9     for intelligence and security of the battalion?

10        A.   Well, quite simply for practical reasons.  The assistant

11     commander after the battalion commander is the second most responsible

12     officer when it comes to the collection of intelligence and all other

13     information pertaining to the area of responsibility of the battalion.

14     In my earlier evidence I told you that one of the ways of collecting

15     intelligence was by engaging reconnaissance units, whether it be in the

16     area forward or even behind enemy lines.  So that was the most compelling

17     interests to do this, which is to have the reconnaissance squad directly

18     connected to the intelligence and security organ and that is how it

19     functions when it comes to my -- how it functioned when it comes to my

20     brigade.

21             If you allow me, Your Honours, I'd like to add just one thing in

22     order to fully clarify the relationship between the reconnaissance squad

23     and the rest of it.  In units the functions of intelligence and security

24     are separated.  The reconnaissance unit is directly subordinated to the

25     intelligence chief, whereas the military police is under the security

Page 12266

 1     chief.  However, in my unit where all these -- where all these two

 2     functions were combined, the reconnaissance and the military police were

 3     directly linked to the chief for security and intelligence, whereas in

 4     the battalion it was directly subordinated to the assistant battalion

 5     commander for intelligence and security.  I think that would shed some

 6     more light on this issue.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Nikolic, let's turn to a slightly different topic for

 8     a couple of minutes.  I want to discuss another role or set of

 9     responsibilities that you had in the Bratunac Brigade and that had to do

10     with your contacts with UNPROFOR.  Can you describe for the Trial Chamber

11     what additional duties you had when it came to UNPROFOR, and particularly

12     the DutchBat peacekeepers who were there.

13        A.   I'll do my best.  So in addition to regular duties within the

14     purview of the intelligence and security chief, by virtue of an order

15     issued by the Drina Corps command I was designated to act as a liaison

16     officer between the Bratunac Brigade and in most cases members of

17     UNPROFOR, but not only UNPROFOR, that included all other international

18     organisations that were present in the enclave.  I am specifically

19     referring to MOs, Doctors Without Borders, and other organisations and of

20     course when we talk about UNPROFOR I liaised with members of the Dutch

21     Battalion.

22        Q.   And, sir, when you refer to the MOs, I take it you're referring

23     to the United Nations military observers?

24        A.   Yes, yes, that's what I am talking about.

25             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Mr. Thayer, you only need one microphone.

Page 12267

 1             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I'll keep that in mind.

 2        Q.   And, sir, did you have counterparts in the neighbouring VRS units

 3     who performed this same liaison function as you were?

 4        A.   Yes.  The neighbouring brigade was the Milic Brigade and the

 5     officer -- the Chief of Staff of the Milic Brigade, Sargic --

 6             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreters didn't hear the first name.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- was the liaison officer.

 8     Another neighbouring unit of the Bratunac Brigade was the Independent

 9     Skelani Battalion, and in the area of Pribicevac where the command of the

10     3rd Infantry Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade is, and also the HQ of the

11     Independent Skelani Battalion, there was the so-called forward command

12     post -- no, I'm sorry, I meant the Pribicevac tactical group made up

13     of - according to my information - Colonel Vukota Vukovic and his driver.

14     That was the whole tactical group.  Colonel Vukovic was an officer in

15     charge of maintaining contacts according, again, to what I know with the

16     other side on behalf of General Milovanovic [as interpreted].  However,

17     all his contacts - I am talking about Colonel Vukovic - dealt exclusively

18     with the Skelani Battalion and the Pribicevac area.

19             Now, to summarise, in the group were Colonel Vukovic Vukota,

20     Major Sargic, and Captain Vukovic, and we were in charge of liaison and

21     we all had our problems that we had to resolve in our respective areas.

22             MR. THAYER:

23        Q.   Okay.  I'm just noticing at page 53, line 7, sir, what we have

24     here on the screen on our transcript is you saying that Colonel Vukovic

25     was an officer in charge of maintaining contacts according, again, to

Page 12268

 1     what I know with the other side on behalf of General Milovanovic.  I just

 2     want to make sure that that's what you meant to say.

 3        A.   I think I said General Zivanovic.

 4        Q.   Okay.  I just wanted to make that clear for the record.

 5             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I think we're at the afternoon break.

 6             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Yes, we must have our second break now and we'll

 7     resume quarter past 6.00.

 8                           --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.

 9                           --- On resuming at 6.18 p.m.

10             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Please continue, Mr. Thayer.

11             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

12        Q.   Good afternoon again, sir.  We left off discussing your role as a

13     liaison officer with DutchBat and the other international organisations.

14     Focusing on DutchBat for a moment, please give the Trial Chamber an idea

15     of the types of topics that were raised at meetings which you had with

16     DutchBat representatives.

17        A.   I can only speak in principle about it and tell you the topics in

18     general.  The DutchBat, or rather, the representatives of the DutchBat

19     and I spoke mostly about the problems that occurred within and without

20     the enclave including the separation lines between the two opposing

21     sides.  Furthermore, we often spoke about their demands and the problems

22     they were facing.  We spent most time trying to solve the problems

23     arising from the incidents between the two opposing sides.  Specifically

24     one of the biggest problems in this period while the DutchBat was present

25     in the enclave were the problems related to establishing peace and order

Page 12269

 1     on the separation line and preventing incidents such as ambushes,

 2     excursions from the enclave, sniping of the enclave and the population

 3     within, as well as various ambushes, raids, and similar problems that

 4     were related to the separation line and the situation in the enclave and

 5     around it.  So speaking in principle, this is it.  If you have some

 6     specific questions, I can of course elucidate.

 7        Q.   And when you refer to ambushes, excursions from the enclave, and

 8     raids, what are you referring to, sir?

 9        A.   I'm going to speak now only about the separation line where the

10     units of my brigade were engaged, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Infantry Battalion,

11     and later on in a certain phase a battalion from the Zvornik Brigade.  So

12     this separation line - I'm guessing now - but it was at least 20, 25, and

13     even maybe 30 kilometres long.  The part covered by the battalions from

14     my brigade and later on, of course, the Zvornik Brigade.  And on such a

15     long line always, or rather, not always but very often you had incidents.

16     Somebody would approach the line from the enclave, go towards the Serbian

17     positions, open fire, sniper fire, and kill Serbian soldiers.

18             Also on the other side - and I'm still talking about the zone of

19     responsibility of my brigade - the Serbian Army had direct contact with

20     certain settlements, including Potocari and other villages.  And there

21     were also -- there was also sniper activities, activity from the position

22     of my brigade which would end up in wounding of certain people.  A large

23     number of this sniping activity was random and wanton without any

24     specific target, which means that the targets were not only those people

25     who had to be targets, people who carried arms, but also civilians who

Page 12270

 1     were tending their fields or maybe working around their houses.  And in

 2     all these situations, regardless of the motive, the representatives of

 3     the Dutch Battalion and I would meet and then try to resolve those issues

 4     so that those incidents would be minimised.

 5        Q.   And do you recall any of the DutchBat representatives complaining

 6     to you about raids that were bigger than, as you said, perhaps one Muslim

 7     soldier getting near a line and sniping somebody?  Do you -- did you ever

 8     complain -- pardon me.  Did DutchBat ever complain to you -- or -- sorry.

 9     Did you ever complain to DutchBat about larger groups of Muslim fighters

10     leaving the enclave to target Serb targets outside the enclave?  You

11     spoke about cases where perhaps one Muslim soldier would engage in

12     sniping close to the line.  Do you recall any occasions when you

13     complained to DutchBat about larger groups conducting raids or ambushes?

14        A.   I can answer in affirmative.  I complained every time when I had

15     a reason to do so.  I can quote individual cases right now.  I remember

16     some of them but not all of them of course.  But of course whenever there

17     was reason to complain, I requested the DutchBat to discuss those

18     problems so that we could try to find a way to prevent similar

19     occurrences, and there were cases like that indeed.

20        Q.   You made reference in your earlier answer to the

21     Zvornik Battalion.  Can you just tell us what you were referring to when

22     you mentioned the Zvornik Battalion?

23        A.   I was referring to the battalion which was engaged during a

24     certain period of time around the enclave.  I'm not sure about the exact

25     time-period.  I don't know the date on which this battalion arrived.  I

Page 12271

 1     can only assume on whose orders it arrived.  I don't remember the

 2     details.  I know that they were engaged on a segment that was in a

 3     military sense rather unregulated.  I'm talking here about the space

 4     between the Bratunac and the Milici Brigade.  In that space between those

 5     two brigades, there was a certain area that was left uncovered.  And of

 6     course that was before the Srebrenica operation when the

 7     Zvornik Battalion was engaged in this area and it remained there until

 8     the very end of the operation until the fall of Srebrenica.

 9        Q.   And where were the soldiers from in the Zvornik Battalion?

10        A.   I really don't know where they were from, but if they belonged to

11     the Zvornik Brigade, then I can only assume that this battalion was

12     manned by the personnel from the Zvornik municipality.  I assume that

13     they were military conscripts from that municipality.

14        Q.   And when they operated in this space, were they resubordinated to

15     the Bratunac Brigade?

16        A.   Yes, they were in command sense and in the logistics sense.  They

17     were resubordinated to the Bratunac Brigade.  I know that they attended

18     the briefings and I know that their logistics support was provided from

19     the logistics base of the Bratunac Brigade.

20        Q.   Okay.  During your contacts with the DutchBat representatives,

21     did you make known to them what your position and function was in the

22     Bratunac Brigade, that is, chief of intelligence and security affairs?

23        A.   No, not really.  I never told them what my function was.

24     Sometimes we would joke together about it.  They would try to guess what

25     my function was and I never told them what my real function was.  They

Page 12272

 1     thought that I was the Chief of Staff of the Bratunac Brigade and I

 2     didn't deny it and I also didn't confirm it.

 3        Q.   And -- sorry, please continue.

 4        A.   However, at the same time they didn't tell me their functions.

 5     They were not honest with me.  I found that out only later.  I didn't

 6     know exactly what they were doing.

 7        Q.   And what was the reason that you didn't confirm or deny what your

 8     true function was in your brigade?

 9        A.   Well, I don't know.  To be honest, I don't know that even now.  I

10     simply thought that there was no need and no reason to brief each other

11     what exactly we do in our own units.  I simply thought that to be honest

12     that it would be easier to perform my work and easier to maintain those

13     contacts if that was a little secret.  It wasn't anything special really.

14     I wouldn't be able to tell you even now why it was like that.

15        Q.   I want to turn your attention now to the attitude of the

16     Bratunac Brigade command prior to 1995 towards the Muslim population in

17     Srebrenica.

18             MR. THAYER:  Before I do that, though, I would just invite the

19     Trial Chamber before I move into this new area we've covered obviously a

20     lot of background, various issues concerning formation, duties,

21     responsibilities, and if any members, Mr. President, of the Trial Chamber

22     have any questions perhaps now is a good time.  If not, I'll just keep

23     moving.

24             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  At that point in time there are no questions by

25     the Chamber.  Please continue.

Page 12273

 1             MR. THAYER:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 2        Q.   Now, sir, prior to 1995 were you personally aware of any

 3     statements by the Bratunac Brigade commander pertaining to the Muslim

 4     population in the Srebrenica enclave and what the objectives of the

 5     brigade would be towards the population?  And I'm referring here to

 6     Commander Ognjenovic.

 7        A.   Yes.  The interpretation that I received was whether I was aware

 8     of the statements, but since you mentioned Commander Ognjenovic I'm going

 9     to tell you that it is not about a statement but about information, a

10     memo, wrote by Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic and that relates to the

11     issues that you refer to in your question.  Of course I am aware of that

12     information.

13        Q.   Please tell the Trial Chamber about that.

14        A.   This is a memo entitled information dating from 1994 written by

15     my then-Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic.  As far as I can

16     remember, in this information he wrote an opinion about the situation in

17     this area and among his views and positions there was also his view about

18     the inhabitants of the enclave.  He says that everything that could

19     ensure that the life becomes unbearable there should be done.  I'm now

20     paraphrasing.  I cannot give you an exact quote.  He basically said that

21     the life in the enclave should become unbearable so that the Muslims

22     would leave the enclave because of that situation.

23             Now, I don't know exactly on whose request and on the basis of

24     what this information was written; however, I do know that

25     Commander Ognjenovic drafted in a more detailed way this information

Page 12274

 1     together with the members of the command of the Bratunac Brigade,

 2     including the battalion commanders who attended that meeting.  That means

 3     that all people present at the meeting were briefed about the contents of

 4     this information.  And then after that Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic

 5     issued an order stating that every battalion commander should brief all

 6     other officers in the battalion on the contents of this information.

 7             After that, the company commanders should brief all the soldiers

 8     in the battalions which were stationed at the separation line.  As far as

 9     I know - and I know this for sure - all members of the Bratunac Brigade,

10     which means all the officers and all the soldiers, were briefed about the

11     contents of this information which had been written before that in the

12     Bratunac Brigade command.

13        Q.   Well, let's take a look at this document, sir.

14             MR. THAYER:  And it's 65 ter 2364.  And if we could have

15     paragraph 1 in both versions blown up just a little bit, please.  Thank

16     you.

17        Q.   Sir, do you see a document on your screen?

18        A.   Yes, I can see it.

19        Q.   And can you read it okay?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Can you tell us what this is on the screen?

22        A.   Based on what I can see in front of me, I think this is the

23     information that I described earlier.  This is the information dating

24     from 1994 which was intended for the members of the Bratunac Brigade

25     because here in the subject line you can see -- in the heading you can

Page 12275

 1     see the brigade name.

 2        Q.   And we can see that it's dated the 4th of July, 1994, and

 3     there's -- on the right it says "Jedinici" and something is written in

 4     there.  Can you tell us what that means, sir?

 5        A.   Yes.  This is the 3rd Infantry Battalion.  This is the

 6     abbreviation for it.

 7        Q.   Now, if we look at paragraph 1 it starts out by saying:

 8             "During his recent visit to our Corps Command, the Commander of

 9     the VRS General Staff Main Staff indicated that he would soon visit some

10     of the Corps units, including the Bratunac Brigade ..."

11             And this reference to the corps command, what is that, sir, the

12     corps command?

13        A.   The corps command is the first superior command for the

14     Bratunac Brigade, if that's what you're asking.  It is of course superior

15     to all the units within the corps.

16        Q.   And in July of 1994, do you recall where the Drina Corps command

17     was located?

18        A.   In Vlasenica as far as I know.

19        Q.   And in July of 1994, who was the commander of the VRS Main Staff?

20        A.   The commander of the VRS Main Staff was General Ratko Mladic.

21        Q.   Now, we see in paragraph 1, and I quote:

22             "This piece of information binds all units and brigade members to

23     carry out all the preparations in commands and units regarding

24     combat-readiness and to place it at the level our brigade is renowned

25     for."

Page 12276

 1             Can you tell the Trial Chamber what this is referring to, this

 2     passage here at paragraph 1?

 3        A.   I can comment on what I can see here.  The meeting was probably

 4     in the command of the Drina Corps and the commander of the Main Staff was

 5     present.  I assume if I understood it correctly what you read out, he was

 6     supposed to visit, among others, the Bratunac Brigade as well.  So all

 7     units are here ordered to keep the state of combat-readiness at the high

 8     level so that the commander would find a proper situation when he comes

 9     to visit.

10             MR. THAYER:  Now if we could go to page 2 in both the English and

11     the B/C/S, please.  And we'll need to scroll down in the English but we

12     can keep the B/C/S where it is.

13        Q.   Now, sir, do you see in the original document where

14     Colonel Ognjenovic writes:

15             "We have won the war in the Podrinje but we have not beaten the

16     Muslims."

17             MR. THAYER:  And we need to go to the next page in the English

18     only.

19        Q.    "We have won the war in Podrinje but we have not beaten the

20     Muslims completely, which is what we must do in the next period.  We must

21     attain our final goal" --

22             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Please scroll in the other direction again.  We

23     need the top of the page.  Thank you.

24             MR. THAYER:

25        Q.   "We must attain our final goal - an entirely Serbian Podrinje.

Page 12277

 1     The enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde must be defeated

 2     militarily.

 3             "We must continue to arm, train, discipline, and prepare the

 4     Republika Srpska Army for the execution of this crucial task - the

 5     expulsion of Muslims from the Srebrenica enclave."

 6             Now, let me just stop there, sir, as -- the language that I just

 7     read out in this report, that describes what sounds like military action

 8     and as you stood as an officer of the VRS in 1994 and 1995 was there

 9     anything wrong with trying to vanquish enemy forces?

10        A.   I as an officer of the VRS see nothing wrong with militarily

11     defeating the opposing side or as we called them the enemy side.  This is

12     a publicly declared military goal, and I can say as a soldier that there

13     is nothing in dispute about it.

14        Q.   Now, Colonel Ognjenovic continues in this document and it's on

15     the same page in the original, the next paragraph he writes:

16             "There will be no retreat when it comes to the Srebrenica

17     enclave, we must advance.  The enemy's life has to be made unbearable and

18     their temporary stay in the enclave impossible so that they leave the

19     enclave en masse as soon as possible, realising that they cannot survive

20     there."

21             Tell the Trial Chamber, sir, what this message is that's being

22     communicated by Colonel Ognjenovic to the members of the

23     Bratunac Brigade.

24        A.   You know, I could go on commenting this information for three

25     days.  I could give you comments on every word, every sentence.  And in

Page 12278

 1     part I would agree with it and in some other part I would be absolutely

 2     opposed to what is written here if I didn't know what happened later with

 3     the Srebrenica enclave.  However, since I do know what happened, since I

 4     know what problems I had because of this information, that is why I can

 5     openly say that I do not agree at all with a single word that we can find

 6     here that relates to the Srebrenica enclave and the activities that have

 7     to be performed.

 8             Why do I disagree?  The reason is simple.  During this period

 9     there was insistence on trust and co-operation with the DutchBat and the

10     Dutch forces which were forces for the protection of the enclave.  And

11     our obligation - by that I mean the obligation that our Serbian side had

12     taken upon ourselves -- and I would always talk about this obligation

13     when I would come to meetings - was that there should be no change of the

14     borders of the enclave, that there should be no attacks, that there

15     should be no combat activities, that neither UNPROFOR nor the Muslims

16     should be taunted, and I always insisted on that.

17             On the other hand, you have a person who is my superior, my

18     commander, and he writes a written document in which he requests that

19     everything that I use to solve with the DutchBat has to be denigrated and

20     he gives a green light to do everything that was forbidden in relation to

21     the enclave.  And you see that the goal is to make the life of the people

22     in the enclave unbearable so that they would leave it as soon as

23     possible.

24             Now, I could understand and support Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic

25     if he was talking about making the life of the enemy soldiers unbearable,

Page 12279

 1     if he was trying to do this in a military way.  However, here this is

 2     obviously about the whole situation -- whole population of Srebrenica.

 3     This means that no distinction was made between the civilians in the

 4     enclave and others, and everything that was done also had negative

 5     consequences for the civilians.  And that's the problem with this

 6     information.  Here we can see that the violence was legalised, the

 7     breaches of the cease-fire were legalised, everything that was the reason

 8     for the presence of UNPROFOR was legalised.  All those things that I used

 9     to discuss in the meetings.

10             And I have to say to the Trial Chamber so that they would know,

11     the person who wrote this, he's a politician.  Before the war he never

12     had any command, believe me.  In my opinion, this is a political

13     pamphlet, vulgar, and arrogant, and this was sent to all the units.  But

14     this cannot be justified.  For me he was my commander at the time and

15     there is no justification for saying things like that simply because he

16     never held a command before.

17        Q.   Let's go to page 6 and I'll ask you a few more questions about

18     this document, sir.

19             MR. THAYER:  And that's page 3 in the B/C/S.  I see we're at page

20     6 already in the English.  Thank you.  If we can focus on the very bottom

21     paragraph in the B/C/S.

22        Q.   We can see just above Colonel Ognjenovic's signature and the

23     stamp of the brigade it says:

24             "Circulate this report among all Brigade members and have them

25     sign for it.  Review the report in companies, morale assistants are to

Page 12280

 1     introduce it in battalions while the Assistant for Morale, Religious, and

 2     Legal Affairs is charged with introducing it in the Brigade Command and

 3     Staff units, at the same time he will be held responsible for the

 4     accurate interpretation of this report at the Brigade level."

 5             Can you tell us how this language from Colonel Ognjenovic was

 6     treated.  What was done pursuant to this language?

 7        A.   If you're referring to the last paragraph, everything that is

 8     stated here and ordered here was implemented.  Commander Ognjenovic wrote

 9     this information, then it was read out and debated at the meeting of the

10     brigade commander with the brigade command and battalion commanders in

11     more detail.  That was followed by the assistant commander for morale and

12     religious affairs preparing a copy each for battalion commanders.  So the

13     battalion commanders had this information and they reviewed it and

14     analysed it in their respective companies.

15        Q.   Was the distribution of this report to the battalions and the

16     subordinate units treated as something that was optional, sir?

17        A.   Well, I wouldn't say that.  Each information or each order that

18     comes from a commander cannot be optional.  That's how I understand it,

19     and what I read from this is that this is an order issued by the

20     commander about what is to be done with this information.  As far as I

21     know, it was mandatory for this to be analysed both at the level of the

22     commands and the level of all the units and that is what was actually

23     done.  I am not telling you anything off the top of my head.  I know

24     exactly that this information reached the battalions and that they became

25     familiarised with it.  The consequence of this information was total lack

Page 12281

 1     of discipline along the separation line, the intensification of sniping

 2     and other incidents happened as a result of this information.  I used to

 3     say that this information was just an alibi for the subsequent

 4     intensification of sniping fire and all other incidents that happened.

 5             MR. THAYER:  Mr. President, I note that we're just a couple

 6     minutes away from the end of the day.  I have a new topic.  In the

 7     meantime, though, I'd like to tender this exhibit and it's 2364, 65 ter

 8     2364.

 9             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  I would like to ask the witness the following.

10             We see here the name of Mr. Slavko Ognjenovic who signed this

11     document.  You said he was a politician if I understood you correctly,

12     but we can see here that he was lieutenant-colonel.  Was he also a

13     military man or can you help me to understand this, please?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.  I may have created a

15     confusion here.  Of course Lieutenant-Colonel Ognjenovic was an

16     active-duty military person.  He was a brigade commander.  However,

17     before he came to the Bratunac Brigade he worked as a lecturer I think in

18     the centre in Rajlovac.  And according to what I know, he taught

19     political subjects such as Marxism and things like that.  So that was the

20     reason why I described him as a politician rather than as a commander.

21     One should make distinction between the people who used to be in command

22     in peace time of battalions, companies, and other units and those who

23     were indeed professional soldiers but did not hold any position of

24     command of any unit before the war.  And that is what I meant when I said

25     this.

Page 12282

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.  That was indeed helpful.

 2     Do you recall when Mr. Ognjenovic was appointed commander of the

 3     Bratunac Brigade?

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know.  That was

 5     within the remit of the personnel service.  He was appointed commander on

 6     two occasions, so I really wouldn't like to try and guess.  I really

 7     don't know.

 8             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you very much.

 9             This document will be received as an exhibit.

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, 65 ter document 02364 shall be

11     assigned Exhibit P2158.  Thank you, Your Honours.

12             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  Thank you.

13             Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.

14             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you.  Maybe I just refer to the person you

15     described as a politician rather than a commander.  Do you know if he was

16     a trained soldier, military?

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that goes without saying.

18     All active-duty personnel, military personnel, including the things that

19     I know, I can say that Commander Slavko Ognjenovic was a military man who

20     had finished the military academy.  Of course he undergone certain

21     training courses.  However, I don't know what his speciality was and

22     whether there was any subject that he particularly studied at the

23     academy, whether he was focused or whether he majored in infantry or

24     artillery or communications systems or whatever.  I really don't know.

25             JUDGE NYAMBE:  Thank you for your answer.

Page 12283

 1             JUDGE FLUEGGE:  We have to adjourn for the day and we will resume

 2     tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this courtroom.

 3                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.,

 4                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 5th day of

 5                           April, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.