1 Wednesday, 8 June 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
6 The witness should be brought in, please.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome back to the
9 courtroom. Please sit down.
10 May I remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth still
12 WITNESS: LJUBOMIR MITROVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir is continuing his cross-examination.
15 The Court Usher, I think, will assist you with the earphones. I hope you
16 will not lose them. Thank you.
17 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I greet
19 everyone. Let there be peace to this house and I hope that this day of
20 trial as well as all of the proceedings may finish in accordance with
21 God's will rather than as I wish.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, in e-court we had document number
24 5800; 65 ter 5800. Thank you.
25 The Presiding Judge asked whether we would tender it or not.
1 Before I tendered it, we will now look at the last page of this document
2 so that you can see the signature. It was Manojlo Milovanovic, and we
3 will also read the last sentence of this paragraph. I quote the last
5 "You shall give permission to cross the front line only to those
6 commissions for exchange of prisoners of war that announce their activity
7 to the VRS Main Staff through the central commission of the exchange of
8 prisoners of war with the consent and approval of the command of the
9 chief of the VRS who are responsible for approving crossing the front
11 Was everyone aware that the Main Staff commander was supposed to
12 approve the crossing of the front lines at the request of the corps?
13 A. Yes, that was the procedure.
14 Q. Thank you. On page 21, line 25, Mr. Thayer asked you what was
15 the role of the Main Staff in organising and carrying out the exchange.
16 My question is this: If the Main Staff had to approve of any
17 activity, did it have to receive a request for such activities from the
18 corps and all other elements that had been agreed on?
19 A. We always did it that way on our side. We would send proposals
20 and we would wait for approval. Without approval, we didn't go to carry
21 out the exchange.
22 Q. Thank you. Was it safer for the commission when it had
23 guarantees of both staffs to cross the front line rather than cross the
24 front line when they didn't have such an approval?
25 A. We never thought about that, whether it was safer or not, but we
1 observed the orders. We were trying to have lull at the front lines so
2 it was up to the corps. They were one across the other, and they had to
3 agree among themselves and they had to create a lull on the front lines,
4 so we did not have much illusions about that.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic. While reading a document, 03978,
6 Mr. Thayer quoted the following to you; item 1 of this document on the
7 exchange of prisoners says:
8 "We agree that members of the commissions for the exchange of
9 POWs from the Drina Corps and the Eastern Bosnia Corps should establish
10 contact at the front line with representatives for the exchange of POWs
11 from the 2nd Muslim Corps."
12 Did I write here, because I signed this document, that I approved
13 this or that we approved it? We agree? Does it mean that the Main Staff
14 agreed or that an individual agreed?
15 A. In the zone of responsibility of the Drina Corps, in a place
16 called Memici, we held two or three meetings with the commission of the
17 Drina Corps, and from the other side was the commission from the Tuzla
18 canton, that is to say, the 2nd Corps of the BH Army. But we didn't
19 manage to achieve anything.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, the document 65 ter 3978 is now
22 Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 I would tender this document into evidence, and then I would call
25 up another one in e-court. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to ask Mr. Mitrovic: Did you see
2 this document signed by General Milovanovic before today or before
3 yesterday at any time?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If it was addressed to the
5 Eastern Bosnia Corps, then it is probable that I have seen it.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The document --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I am familiar with it.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The document will be received as an
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we go back, please, to the document
12 65 ter 5800.
13 My question I put to you, sir, was in relation to this document
14 of the 29th of September, 1993, from the Main Staff of the Army of the
15 Republika Srpska, to the Central Commission for Exchange of Prisoners of
16 War and Civilians and to the command of the Drina Corps.
17 Have you ever seen this before? Especially at the relevant time,
18 when you were involved in these matters.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not remember having seen it
20 because it's a document from 1993, the 29th ... I would have to have a
21 look at it to try and refresh my memory.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We dealt with this document already yesterday and
23 we have seen it.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I am familiar with it.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Again, this document will
2 be received as an exhibit.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 5800 shall be
4 assigned Exhibit P2272. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why a P document and not at D document?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Apologies, Your Honour, D278. Exhibit D278.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. At the moment, we are in
10 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Can we please show document Exhibit 7325 in e-court. Thank you.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, yesterday, on page 34, line 19 of the transcript,
15 you said the following:
16 "It was agreed in Geneva, between Alija Izetbegovic,
17 Radovan Karadzic, and Tudjman, all for all, except those who had been
18 criminally prosecuted. The Muslims and the Croats prosecuted everyone
19 and the Serbs didn't," and so on.
20 Do you remember that you said that yesterday during the
22 A. Yes, I did say so yesterday. I did not have this document in my
23 hands, but as soon as I was appointed in mid-March 1993, I was informed
24 about that, and certain measures were taken in connection with this.
25 Q. Thank you. You also said yesterday when talking about this, that
1 the Croats and the Muslims always said that those you requested from the
2 list were being criminally prosecuted; is that correct? Thank you.
3 A. No. All our prisoners, unless an exchange was quickly carried
4 out, were criminally prosecuted. It was a rare occasion that someone was
5 not criminally prosecuted. Later on, this did not create any possible --
6 any great difficulties for exchange, if we had anyone to exchange, but
7 early on, it was, because the rule was that those who were criminally
8 prosecuted could not be exchanged.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mitrovic, you can see here in front of you a
10 document from the Main Staff, which is addressed to the Ministry of
11 Justice of Republika Srpska, the Ministry of the Interior, and the
12 security department of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, the Drina Corps, and
13 the Herzegovina Corps, as well as to the security department of the
14 Eastern Bosnia Corps for information.
15 In it, Colonel Beara also proposes to set up teams which would
16 investigate criminal responsibility. We'll look at paragraph 4 now. And
17 this is what he says. I quote: "Security" --
18 It's the second page in English; I apologise.
19 "The security organs of the brigades should immediately send
20 precise detainee lists to the security administration of the Main Staff
21 of the VRS with general background information and a brief note on
22 information relating to crimes against the Serbian people. We also ask
23 the organs of the state security department of the Ministry of Interior
24 of Republika Srpska to do the same. Also, for every detainee, it should
25 be mentioned if a criminal report has been filed against him and, if so,
1 to which organ of justice; that is to say, to what extent have the crimes
2 committed against the Serbian people have been documented, allowing for a
3 criminal report to be submitted."
4 This is my question: Were you also requested to provide such
5 information from the centres where prisoners were being held; and did you
6 know that information about those who had committed crimes against the
7 Serbian people were collected on the basis of this document?
8 A. As we had but few prisoners, and that was in 1995, we had no
9 instances of prisoners being interviewed and criminal reports filed.
10 However, whoever happened to find themselves in Batkovici -- these were
11 not war crimes. But we did the same as the other side did. We did file
12 criminal reports. So formally, they were prosecuted, just so that it
13 wouldn't happen that we cannot receive anyone and that we had to release
15 It is it probable that units from other corps did this, because,
16 before a person or, rather, a detainee, was sent to the Batkovici
17 collection centre, if that happened, he was interviewed, statements were
18 taken, and the measures that could be taken, in accordance with the law,
19 were, indeed, taken so that there was no need to interview such persons
20 in Batkovici again.
21 Q. Thank you. The document says "for your information."
22 I mean the Eastern Bosnia Corps.
23 Tell me, did Milenko Todorovic or other security organs inform
24 you that all those who had committed crimes against the Serbian people
25 should be criminally prosecuted?
1 A. Yes, they did inform us. Only we did not have such instances.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would tender this document into
4 evidence so that we could move to the next one. Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could I please see the last page of it.
6 It is signed by Colonel Beara. Thank you.
7 Mr. Tolimir, you indicated that this is 65 ter 7325. With this
8 number, it is not included in the documents to be used during your
9 cross-examination. Does this document have another number? I never know
10 if this is the only number. If not, it will be received, but I would
11 like to remind you to include all documents into your list so -- in order
12 to enable the Prosecution to prepare the re-examination.
13 Mr. Gajic.
14 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is our mistake.
15 Initially, we intended to use this document with another witness but it
16 turned out that this one was more favourable. It was a decision we made
17 just prior, immediately prior to this session.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I would like to receive the
19 document number, the D number, by the Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter 7325 shall be assigned
21 Exhibit D279. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, go ahead, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, on page 2, line 6, Mr. Thayer asked you to say
1 something about the command structure of the Eastern Bosnia Corps and
2 whether you dealt with exchanges of both prisoners and bodies.
3 A. Yes, I recall that.
4 Q. Let us look at video footage, which mentions both the corpses and
5 those killed ...
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please look at 12 minutes,
7 9 seconds, and proceed to 12 minutes 30 seconds.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, is this P991? You should please
9 always indicate the number of the document.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is 1D801.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 1D801 is a surrogate sheet, but not a video,
12 according to your list of documents.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, you -- I was informed by the Registrar
15 that the sheet doesn't indicate precisely which part of the video
16 would -- would be part of this document.
17 Mr. Gajic.
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will use only
19 certain segments of the footage with this witness. It is our intention,
20 though, that to have the entire video footage tendered into evidence.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: My problem was a different one. You just
22 mentioned here a surrogate sheet with a specific number but without
23 indication what it refers to.
24 But go ahead and show us the video, please.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I apologise.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, did you hear a moment ago what the person in
6 uniform said when discussing things with those also present in the
8 A. I couldn't hear it.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please go back to
10 12 minutes, 9 seconds, to try again.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Try and listen carefully.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, when you speak, you should switch on
15 your microphone. But I would like to state that you stopped at
16 12 minutes, 37 seconds.
17 The problem is, we don't -- and the Registry didn't receive a
18 transcript of this footage, and there's no translation in English. And
19 the Registry didn't receive a CD of this footage.
20 I just noted that for the record.
21 Please go ahead.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Could I read out what the people on the footage are saying?
24 These are usually simple sentences and short.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would be more helpful if you asked the witness
1 what he understood, because the witness is here to testify.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is why I asked him what he was
3 able to hear. And now he is about to tell us which will be interpreted
4 in the absence of a transcript.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, can you tell us what the people in the footage were
7 discussing? Could you hear some of the questions and some answers?
8 A. The question put was what their assessment was of how many of
9 their people were killed from Srebrenica, when crossing over. I don't
10 know whether this was already in free territory.
11 In any case, the answer provided by another person, another
12 fighter, was that he believed there were between 2- and 3.000 killed en
13 route from Srebrenica. That's how I understood the question and the
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic. Your understanding is the same as mine.
16 This is actually when they managed to reach Nezuk following their
17 route through RS territory.
18 My question is this: After the events in Srebrenica, did the
19 Muslim Commission ask to receive the bodies of those who were killed
20 during the break-through and in the area of the corridor?
21 A. No, they did not.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us next look at 17 minutes to
24 17 minutes, 57 seconds.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We stopped at
2 17 minutes, 56 seconds.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, could you hear the conversation between the two
5 people, given the fact that they were moving, walking all along?
6 A. Well, I believe a question was put on how many of their people
7 were killed, and the answer provided was between 2- and 3.000.
8 I just wanted to ask you this: It is an area of Srebrenica and
9 the area of the Drina Corps. Perhaps it would be better to put these
10 questions to the witnesses who will testify about that area.
11 You also asked me whether the other side asked to receive the
12 bodies of their killed fighters. I would also say that someone from the
13 Drina Corps would be better placed to answer that. They could have asked
14 me to obtain those bodies, but ultimately it was only the Drina Corps who
15 could provide the bodies.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic. You are the only commission chairman
17 brought here as a Prosecution witness. If it is difficult for you to
18 answer these questions, I can only tell you that it is even more
19 difficult for me to defend myself from these accusations. I am sorry to
20 put you on the spot when I ask you about these people's conversation.
21 But, yesterday during examination-in-chief, you said that there were
22 killings amongst themselves. And when you were asked about it, you said
23 that you only knew that there were such cases but that you had no
24 detailed knowledge.
25 Do you recall that?
1 A. Of course. I don't know. It was in the media. They reported
2 that there were mutual killings. As for any assessments I didn't pay
3 attention to those. It was not in the area of responsibility of my
4 corps, and I couldn't offer any contribution. That's why I only listened
5 to it or read it very briefly.
6 In any case, it was present in the RS media, as well as in the
7 Federation. Articles were written about that.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic, for this answer.
9 Let us move on with the footage to see what we can hear at
10 19 minutes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we play that part, please.
12 [Video-clip played]
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, since we don't have a translation, can you tell us
16 what you could make out of what the wounded person on the stretcher was
18 A. I understood partially, and I don't even know who it refers to.
19 He mentioned someone with four bullet belts across the chest and an M84
20 machine-gun, which is the latest model.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, I stopped you. You are
22 overlapping again. Please wait until the translation has stopped. It is
23 very difficult for the interpreters and the court recorder.
24 You stopped at 19 minutes, 50 seconds, if I'm not mistaken.
25 We're now back at the beginning of this part. I think at 18:59, that was
1 the beginning of this footage, and it stopped at 19:50. You always
2 should indicate where you stop, Mr. Tolimir.
3 Please carry on.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We stopped at 19 minutes,
6 47 seconds.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Mitrovic, can you recall what these people were discussing?
9 A. It's not a problem to recall what I could hear, but my hearing is
10 not that well. And I can't understand them; that's the real problem.
11 Q. [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only heard the latest part, and
14 there seems to be a pass they crossed, but I couldn't make out the rest.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Since the footage and the sound is not good enough,
17 let us move to 33 minutes, 2 seconds. We won't replay this part because
18 the witness cannot understand.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you also please turn the
20 volume up to make it easier for the witness who can't hear that well.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Court Usher just did it.
22 Please carry on.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We stopped at
25 33 minutes, 49 seconds.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Could you make out any of what the collocutors were saying?
3 A. Yes, I could. One would conclude that these are members of the
4 Army of BiH. They were discussing what the situation was like in their
5 ranks following the break-through, or during the break-through. They
6 said that one of them activated a hand-grenade, killing himself, and
7 wounding other ten people.
8 Another person fired a burst of gun-fire; another one killed
9 himself with a handgun. This is what I could understand from what they
10 were saying.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic. Does this confirm what you said,
12 namely, that you heard that sometimes they killed one another or that
13 there were suicides? What you heard in the media and in the public, is
14 it confirmed by what is said here in this film?
15 A. Yes, one could hear that in the media, but I would like to
16 testify about what I personally experienced and saw, because that is the
17 truth. And as for the media, sometimes they might show things
18 differently, whatever it was. This is why I never liked to take
19 representatives of the media to negotiations with me, because I was
20 afraid that they might add something that was never said.
21 Q. Thank you. I won't press you to say anything. I'm just asking
22 you about what you said.
23 My question is this: Considering that you have now seen sections
24 from video footage, one part which you understood, the other which you
25 didn't, did you understand that during the movements of these columns
1 there were casualties on various locations about these persons speak
2 [as interpreted]? Were you requested to retrieve bodies of those who had
3 been killed from any location?
4 A. My commission never received such requests to collect bodies from
5 any location, in this case from around the time of the fall of
6 Srebrenica. We were never requested to do that.
7 Q. Thank you. And do you know whether the Joint Commission meetings
8 which you attended, the Drina Corps or any other who was present during
9 the exchanges with you, was ever requested to do that?
10 A. From the time around Srebrenica, the meetings of the
11 Drina Corps Commission and the Eastern Bosnia Corps Commission did not
12 have any more meetings with the commission from the Tuzla canton or the
13 2nd Corps of the BH Army. We had separate meetings, and the
14 1st Krajina Corps also did. But we had no contacts with others, nor did
15 anyone request any meetings.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at D269.
17 And then we won't look at any more documents dealing with Srebrenica.
18 Thank you.
19 So in e-court, we need to see D269. Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We can see, and you are familiar with this, as you were an organ
22 of the state security, it is a note from the Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ministry of the Interior, State Security Service, the
24 state security department and sector, Tuzla.
25 It is it an Official Note on an interview about a person. I'm
1 not going to read the person [as interpreted] because this is
2 confidential information.
3 The person told them how it was on the way through the corridor
4 and where are the locations, where those who had lost their lives can be
6 This is my question: There were similar notes. As a former
7 organ of the State Security Service, can you tell us what is the
8 credibility of such an Official Note, when a statement is taken from a
9 person by an organ of the State Security Service?
10 A. It is important in the sense that, if there is anything
11 incriminating or if there are any grounds to suspect that someone
12 committed a crime, then it changes into a statement, and the person is
13 criminally prosecuted. This is most often the initial document. The
14 Official Notes are the first documents that are produced. And then the
15 superior officer who is in charge decides what should be done; are any
16 activities to be undertaken in connection with this Official Note.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mitrovic.
18 Do state security organs have to write the truth about what such
19 persons tell them; and is it equally credible as a statement given to
20 public security; or does it have a greater degree of credibility?
21 A. A document which is formed in the state security, until it
22 becomes final and valid, has to be checked so that, always, whether a
23 person was security checked or not, as a rule, around three sources were
24 important and had to be interviewed so that something that is written
25 would be considered correct, and that was this peacetime, when I worked
2 Q. Thank you. Would it then be logical that in wartime more than
3 three sources were checked, or two, or that through another source what
4 they say should be checked and only then would be considered credible,
5 just as in peacetime?
6 A. Well, let me tell you, a note as a note is just the initial
7 document. It is taken as someone speaks. Checks are not waited for in
8 order to draft it. And something may be done in connection with it. A
9 superior officer signs it, and perhaps certain activities need to be
10 carried out. It was like that at the time when I worked there. But in
11 wartime, it's possible that things were organised differently, just like
12 everything else was different than in peacetime.
13 Q. Thank you. Just tell us whether, when taking such notes, the
14 state security organ who is making the note and taking the statement from
15 a person is responsible for its accuracy?
16 A. No. They are not to be held responsible. Their duty is to note
17 what is being said. It is true that an interview is conducted before a
18 note is made, and, of course, the operative, or the superior officer who
19 is conducting the interview, has to estimate the person, the validity of
20 the information, for his own sake and for possible criminal prosecution.
21 And so that he wouldn't write all kinds of things that are of no use and
22 cannot be used in the usual manner. So what is noted down is what the
23 person who is interviewed says, and then later on it is checked.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please see page 2 of this
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. As you said that at least three sources were necessary to confirm
4 what is said, we'll now look at what this notes contains.
5 Line 13 from above, where there's the number of 10.000 and
6 underlined in black. And then around the middle it begins in line 13, I
8 "The source emphasises that on that occasion about 1.000 soldiers
9 and civilians from the column were killed. After they committed this
10 crime, the Chetniks called for surrender or negotiations. As the source
11 emphasises on that occasion, Ejub Golic shouted back to the Chetniks
12 requesting them to stop shelling, after which they stopped shelling the
13 columns of soldiers and civilians."
14 Can you follow?
15 "Once the shelling stopped, the 284th Brigade gathered from the
16 surrounding woods and continued on its way to the free territory,
17 whereas, other brigades remained in the woods after the 284th Brigade had
19 If another several persons said the one and the same thing and
20 they were interviewed in various state security centres that 1.000
21 soldiers were killed where Ejub Golic negotiated with the Chetniks, if
22 there were five persons who gave such statements in five different
23 centres [as interpreted]?
24 A. If various persons talk about one and the same event, and if the
25 information is matching, then it is to be expected that this is the
1 truth. But this is one location and one incident. It shouldn't turn out
2 that only 1.000 perished in the area.
3 Q. Thank you. Due to the length of this document, I did not want to
4 read out the entire note to you.
5 The Trial Chamber has already heard this. The statements of all
6 these five witnesses have been presented to the Trial Chamber. You said
7 that it is sufficient if three witnesses confirm one and the same event,
8 which took place in the same place, and here we have five. As the place
9 mentioned here, as you can see in line 8, is 8 kilometres, he says
10 exactly after they passed another 8 kilometres, then there were
11 roll-calls according to brigades. So he says exactly where the location
12 was where Ejub Golic, about whom you have heard in the film a little
13 while ago, when the other one said he needs to be awarded the rank of
14 general because he managed to break through and so on.
15 Can you tell us now whether you ever heard that anyone received
16 requests from the Muslims through the ICRC or someone else, that these
17 1.000 bodies should be collected from this location and transported to
18 the territory of the Federation.
19 A. We had intensive talks with the other side, that is to say, with
20 the commission of the Tuzla canton, but about those who were imprisoned.
21 As for those who were dead, they never mentioned those from this
22 event until the moment when the commission was disbanded. They probably
23 knew that we couldn't do anything about it, because this was the zone of
24 responsibility of the Drina Corps, rather than the Eastern Bosnia Corps.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I've some problem with this kind of
1 questions. It was a rather compact and confusing question. I couldn't
2 follow, especially because we don't have an English translation. We saw
3 the figure of 8 kilometres at a certain line, but that was all. You made
4 a misstatement or you just misspoke, I have no idea, that in the 13th
5 line from above, there -- that there would be the number of 10.000 and
6 underlined in black. I only see the number of thousand, as you later
7 quoted from this document. This is all in -- on page 18, lines 23 to
8 page 19, line 5.
9 This is really a way, putting an information to the witness,
10 which bears the risk of confusing the witness, especially we don't know
11 anything about this note, as you call it, we have on the screen. The
12 document doesn't contain a date. We don't know the source. We don't
13 know anything. And the witness was not testifying about this document
14 but only about his general knowledge, how to receive information about
15 the truth at certain locations.
16 You put to the witness the name of Mr. Gajub [sic], I think, if
17 I'm not mistake. I have no idea which person you are referring to.
18 Perhaps you leave the document as it is and just put one question after
19 the other to the witness. It is much more helpful to understand the
20 position of the witness.
21 Thank you, please carry on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It is
23 true that I misspoke when I said the number. These were 1.000 soldiers,
24 and five such statements were presented to another witness, where 1.000
25 soldiers in this location are mentioned as having died. It's mentioned
1 in the video footage that they were killed in an ambush, and I'm asking
2 him whether the Muslim side ever asked that these bodies be brought out
3 of there. I wanted to hear what happened with the bodies, because
4 Mr. Thayer asked him whether he dealt with the exchange of the bodies of
5 those who had been killed. It's on page 2, line 6.
6 But then I won't ask anything else about this, either this
7 witness or anyone else because it is already part of the evidence. And I
8 have no further questions for this witness.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I wish to thank Mr. Witness on the answers he provided. I
11 apologise for having to ask you about some things that I asked you about
12 and that you felt uncomfortable answering about some issues. I told you
13 that I also feel uncomfortable to have to defend myself from accusations.
14 But that's the situation, you're a witness; I'm the accused.
15 So thank you. I wish you a happy return home. God bless you,
16 and I hope you will enjoy your retirement. Thank you, and I wish you a
17 happy return home.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Defence has no
19 further questions for this witness. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I would like to state for
21 the record that I didn't stop you with your cross-examination. I wanted
22 to give you some guidance to improve your cross-examinations so that we
23 are able to understand better the position of the witness. That was the
24 only purposes of my intervention. My last words were "please carry on."
25 So there should be no misunderstanding. I didn't stop you at
1 all. You stand by that, that you are finishing your cross-examination?
2 Is that correct, Mr. Tolimir?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That's
4 correct, I have finished my examination. And I wish the witness happy
5 return home. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 Judge Nyambe has a question.
8 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, I just want to clarify one more thing with
9 the witness.
10 Did you receive any requests from the Bosnian side, or any other
11 side, for that matter -- I need to rephrase this question.
12 Yeah, did you receive any request for bodies to be picked along
13 the line of the column that has been shown in the video footage? Or were
14 such bodies reported to your commission? Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On a number of occasions, we tried
16 to get the bodies of those who were killed from the column, but we did
17 not achieve this. While I was in the army, we never managed to get a
18 single body of a single JNA soldier. Only much later, another commission
19 received the mortal remains in an exchange, and they were buried in the
20 area of the Tuzla cemetery, if I'm not mistaken.
21 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Mindua has a question.
24 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Mitrovic, amongst the
25 Muslim prisoners that you exchanged, did you count among them injured
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
4 Now, when we talk about these injured people, were there any
5 people who may have injured themselves while they were trying to escape?
6 Would they have injured themselves either with a hand-grenade or with a
7 weapon, for instance?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether there were
9 such individuals because I did not interview them. They were probably
10 interviewed where the unit was located, from the area of the Drina Corps
11 that they were brought from. I talked to them all about what the
12 Tuzla Commission requested from their personal information, to the unit
13 that they served in, down to the details, which brigade, which company,
14 which platoon, and so on, because the Tuzla Commission wanted to be
15 convinced and to be able to check whether they were really all soldiers
16 of Naser Oric's unit. So that was only the segment that I was in charge
17 of. I went one day to Batkovic. I placed a desk in the middle of the
18 hall, and one by one, I asked them and I asked them to tell me the truth
19 because the exchange commission from the Tuzla canton was asking me to do
20 that, and I didn't ask them anything else apart from this.
21 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Mitrovic.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: At this point in time, I would like to ask the
23 Defence, Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Gajic, how you want to deal with these footages
24 we have seen during cross-examination.
25 My suggestions would be that you upload them as a separate
1 document in e-court, with a transcript and a translation into English and
2 with a CD. If are you going to tender this part of the -- I think, trial
3 video, we would mark it for identification.
4 Mr. Gajic.
5 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, for the time being, I
6 would ask for this to be marked for identification. And the transcript
7 of this video footage is being produced. We will use it again with other
8 witnesses, and we will also try to put subtitles on to the entire video
9 footage. Unfortunately, Defence does not have such good technical
10 abilities as the Prosecution, but we'll do our best to achieve this, as
11 soon as possible.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The parts of the video we
13 have seen in court today will be marked for identification.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D801 shall be
15 assigned Exhibit D280, marked for identification. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And, again, pending translation, and providing
17 the other information we asked for. Thank you.
18 Mr. Thayer, your re-examination, please.
19 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I shouldn't be too long.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mitrovic.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. I want to go back to a couple of issues which were raised on
24 cross-examination, very specific issues, and to some extent, they overlap
25 with the two questions from the Honourable Judges that you just heard.
1 Let me first focus on the issue of any wounded or injured Muslim
2 prisoners who arrived at the Batkovic camp in July of 1995. You
3 testified - and this is at page 15.175, just for the record, yesterday --
4 you testified that the chief of security, Colonel Todorovic, informed you
5 that a group of 20 wounded men from Srebrenica had arrived.
6 Do you recall that testimony, sir?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. I want to show you two documents in succession very
9 quickly and ask you some questions about these wounded.
10 MR. THAYER: If we could have P2185 in e-court, please.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast; it's under seal.
12 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Sir, what we have before us is a document dated the 18th of July,
14 1995. It's a list of persons to be transferred under guard and it
15 indicates the 3rd Battalion of the Eastern Bosnia Corps military police
16 being involved and that this happened at about 4.00 p.m. on the 18th of
17 July. We can see that there are 22 names here. And just for the
18 purposes of looking at the next document, I just want to note and put
19 this in your mind.
20 If we look at number 4, we have the name of a person whose last
21 name begins with A; I won't put it in the record.
22 At number 9, another person with the last name A.
23 Number 10, another person with the last name of -- beginning
24 with A.
25 12, same thing.
1 And 19, same thing. All persons whose last name begins with A.
2 I just want to see if you can see that in this document, sir,
3 before I move to the next document.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. THAYER: May we have D228 in e-court. And I believe this is
7 also under seal, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should not be broadcast.
9 MR. THAYER:
10 Q. Sir, you were shown this document yesterday by General Tolimir.
11 MR. THAYER: If we could go to the next page in both versions,
13 Q. This is a list of Muslims exchanged from the Batkovic collection
14 centre. And it's roughly organised alphabetically, and I think we noted
15 yesterday that there were 171 prisoners listed on this chart.
16 Sir, if you could just like at numbers 1 through 5. We can see
17 that those first five individuals are the same individuals we just saw on
18 the list of prisoners who were escorted by the Eastern Bosnia Corps
19 military police, all names beginning -- last names beginning with A.
20 Can you see that, sir?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. Okay.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly move away from the
24 microphones. We pick up the B/C/S coming from the headphones. Thank
1 MR. THAYER:
2 Q. Now, if we can scroll towards the right in both versions, please.
3 There's a column and it's headed: "Date of arrival at Batkovic." Do you
4 see that column, sir? And it lists various dates.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And can you see that for those first five individuals, their date
7 of arrival is all 18 July 1995. Do you see that?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. And, sir, how does that date of 18 July correspond with your
10 recollection of when this group of 20 wounded who you testified about
11 arrived at the Batkovic camp?
12 A. I don't recall when that group arrived. I do recall what I was
13 told, though. But I didn't have time to go to either Batkovic or to the
14 corps. I had to work under some extraordinary circumstances because of
15 the requests and demands made by the parents of those missing. I don't
16 know whether they all arrived on the same day, but I do remember that on
17 a certain day they told me that there were 20 wounded from Srebrenica who
18 had arrived and that I could go on with an exchange. I said that I
19 couldn't because I needed at least the number of our captured soldiers to
20 have them exchanged.
21 I don't know if all 20 of them arrived at the same time. I
22 didn't check.
23 Q. Okay. Well, I don't think there will be any dispute, and we
24 don't need to take the time now to do it. But if you recall the list of
25 wounded who we just saw a moment ago being escorted by the
1 Eastern Bosnia Corps military police, every one of those names appears on
2 the list you're looking at now and is recorded as having arrived on the
3 18th of July, 1995. And we could go and compare every one, but you can
4 take my word for it, and I don't think there will be any dispute from the
5 Defence that that is the case --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I would propose that we put the two
7 documents in B/C/S side by side so that you have the names of these five
8 individuals in both documents, and the witness can compare them.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. If we could do that,
11 Q. And, again, my question, sir, is: We can go through both of
12 these lists, and I can tell you that all 22 prisoners on this list on the
13 right are recorded on the Batkovic list on the left as having arrived on
14 the 18th of July, 1995.
15 Does that help your recollection at all about what date you were
16 told that those 20 wounded arrived, that you talked about?
17 A. I wasn't told when they were coming. I was just told that 20
18 wounded had arrived and that there were no more. I was also told that I
19 could have them exchanged with Tuzla.
20 I can't recall the date, and I don't know whether they arrived on
21 the same day I was informed about them.
22 Q. Okay. Just one last question with respect to the list on the
24 MR. THAYER: And we can get rid of the list on the right, please.
25 And we'll need to scroll to the right on the list on the left so we can
1 pick up the column that's headed: "Date of departure from Batkovic."
2 Q. Now, sir, do you see the column that's headed "date of departure
3 from Batkovic"?
4 A. Yes, I can see it.
5 Q. If we look down that column, we see a number of entries for
6 12 September 1995. We see one at the second entry, and then the fourth,
7 and fifth entries, and so on, if you just look down that column.
8 Do you see those references to 12 September 1995?
9 A. I see them.
10 Q. Now, you testified yesterday that your recollection is that some
11 or perhaps all - I can't remember whether you specified - of the Lisace
12 prisoners were exchanged on the 29th of September, 1995. My question to
13 you is: This date here that indicates that these prisoners left on the
14 12th of September, 1995, does that suggest that they were exchanged on
15 the 12th of September, 1995, or that they simply left the camp on the
16 12th of -- 12th of September, 1995, and were exchanged later; or can you
17 not tell? That's my first question. I guess I'm just asking you to
18 explain, if you would.
19 A. Yes. If you recall, yesterday I mentioned that the
20 1st Krajina Corps asked for all prisoners from the area of Srebrenica to
21 be transferred to the prison in Kotorsko, near Doboj, i.e., to the area
22 of responsibility of the 1st Krajina Corps. I don't need to repeat what
23 the problems arose -- that arose from it.
24 In any case, we came up with a solution which was that we gave
25 them between 40 and 50 prisoners, to have those exchanged in addition to
1 a number of their captured Muslims, in order to have them exchanged for
2 the people from Vijenac.
3 In any case, that exchange did not occur. This was the date they
4 left Batkovic but they were not exchanged with the other side, and they
5 awaited the next one, a joint exchange, on the 24th of December.
6 So those from Lisace were exchanged, and these people remained in
8 Q. Okay. Now, you were asked a number of questions by
9 General Tolimir about whether your commission had ever received any
10 requests from the Muslim side to locate the bodies of Muslims who died
11 during the break-through along the column route through Baljkovica. And
12 the Honourable Judge Nyambe asked a somewhat similar question about
13 whether you had received again a request regarding bodies killed -- or
14 bodies of people killed along the column. I understand from your several
15 answers on that topic that you never received - that is, your commission
16 never received - any requests, because those -- such a request would have
17 had to go through the Drina Corps POW Exchange Commission.
18 Do I understand your answers correctly? And, if not, please let
19 us know.
20 A. I never received a request. We couldn't even expect one. They
21 could have sent it to the Drina Corps Commission, given the good working
22 relation between them, to see whether anything could be done. But they
23 were probably aware that it would be very difficult to do anything.
24 Hence, they didn't ask me or they didn't look for those killed in the
25 area of Srebrenica.
1 Q. And just to be clear, the route of the column leading from the
2 area of Srebrenica up through Baljkovica, does any of that route lie in
3 the area of responsibility of the Eastern Bosnia Corps?
4 A. No, it does not.
5 Q. Now, in connection with your work on the POW commission for --
6 for the Eastern Bosnia Corps, does the name, does the surname Novakovic
7 mean anything to you?
8 A. There's someone who is a politician. Then there's another one in
9 the army. There's some doctors and ambassadors who have that last name.
10 You'll have to be more specific.
11 Q. Okay. Then I'll be more specific.
12 Pardon me. Does the name Slavko Novakovic mean anything to you?
13 A. It doesn't ring a bell.
14 Q. Okay. I'll move along, then, to my last question.
15 MR. THAYER: In fact, Mr. President, I think I -- I can stop
16 here. I think I don't have any further questions in re-examination.
17 Q. And thank you again, Mr. Mitrovic.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Mitrovic, you will be pleased to hear that
21 this concludes your examination here in this trial. The Chamber would
22 like to thank you that you were able to come to The Hague again and to
23 provide us with your knowledge and recollection. You're now free to
24 return to your normal life and your normal activities. Thank you very
25 much again.
1 I think it is a convenient time to have our first break now, and
2 then we will continue with the next witness after the break.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We resume at ten minutes past 4.00.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before the next witness is being brought in, I
9 would like to come back to an issue raised on the 25th of May this year.
10 The Chamber made an order regarding the part of the session at
11 which two videos were discussed. These are P2242 and P2228.
12 The Chamber ordered that the status of this part of the session
13 be changed from private to public. I should like to clarify that this
14 order should be understood as applying to the audio and video recordings
15 as well as the transcript.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Vanderpuye.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: That is correct. Your understanding is correct.
19 It should apply both to the transcript and to the exhibits themselves.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And to the audio and video recordings.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: That's right, Mr. President.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is the next witness ready to go?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: The next witness is ready to go, Mr. President.
24 However, I do have an application that I'd like to make with respect to
25 this witness. And I think it might be appropriate to go into private
1 session, just initially.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
3 [Private session]
11 Page 15282 redacted. Private session.
12 [Closed session]
11 Pages 15284-15290 redacted. Closed session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session. Thank
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, would you please stand for a moment.
18 Would you please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is
19 shown to you now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: ZORAN MALINIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
25 On the request of the Prosecution, I have to caution you. We
1 have in our Rules of Procedure and Evidence the Rule 90(E), which I would
2 like to read out to you. I quote:
3 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
4 incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to
5 answer the question. Testimony compelled in this way shall not be used
6 as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
7 offence other than false testimony."
8 Sir, did you understand what I was just reading out to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Vanderpuye, for the Prosecution, is now putting questions to
12 you during his examination-in-chief.
13 Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to
15 you, Your Honours, and good afternoon, everyone.
16 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
17 Q. Good afternoon to you, Witness.
18 I do have to ask you to state your name for the record. So if
19 you would, please, just give us your name.
20 A. Zoran Malinic.
21 Q. Sir, do you recall being interviewed by members of the Office of
22 the Prosecutor on the 14th of December, 2005?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did that interview take place in Belgrade?
25 A. Yes, it took place at the ICTY office in Belgrade.
1 Q. To your knowledge, was the interview tape-recorded?
2 A. I know that it was audio-recorded.
3 Q. And before testifying here today, have you had an opportunity to
4 read the transcript of that interview?
5 A. During the interview with the investigators at the ICTY office in
6 Belgrade, I was told that I would receive the transcript and the
7 audio-recording several days later. However, I only received the
8 transcript last Tuesday, when someone from your office came to my door
9 and handed this over to me. Also, yesterday, during conversation with
10 you, you gave me the transcript, to read it, and state any objections I
11 may have, which I did.
12 Q. And in terms of the -- your examination of the transcript, did
13 you find any substantive errors, as opposed to what you might consider
14 technical errors in the transcript. In other words, does it basically
15 say what you said?
16 A. Essentially it does. We removed some errors yesterday, but they
17 were mostly technical by nature, and the interpreter told me that the
18 transcript in English is correct and that there were some errors in
19 translation into the Serbian language, and that this fact - that there
20 was a translation - accounted for the difference.
21 Q. And just before we get started, let me ask you: Do you stand by
22 what you said during that December 2005 interview?
23 A. On 14th of December, 2005, the interview was conducted
24 practically ten and a half years after the events about which I gave my
25 statement, or, rather, six or five and a half years before today's date.
1 Many information appeared in the media in the meantime so that sometimes
2 I wonder whether I said certain things in accordance with my recollection
3 or under the impression of the stories about the period which were
4 broadcast in the media. Therefore, 100 per cent certainty concerning
5 certain events and certain conversations, primarily the conversations,
6 whether I talked to certain persons or not, is something that I cannot
7 provide. I cannot say with 100 percent certainty whether something
8 happened or not.
9 Q. All right. Can you say with 100 percent certainty that what
10 appears in the transcript substantively is what you said during the
11 course of the interview?
12 A. Yes. With 100 per cent certainty, what I said and stated in
13 2005, when I was interviewed at the ICTY office, is what appears in the
15 Q. Let me just ask: Having read the transcript as recently as
16 yesterday, is there anything in the transcript that you read
17 substantively that you said to yourself, This is incorrect, or this is
18 wrong, what I said then?
19 A. Substantively, no. What the transcript contains is what I said
20 in 2005.
21 Q. All right. A little earlier you were asked some questions about
22 your background and I just want to follow up with that a little bit.
23 You indicated that you are engaged in some business now. Can you
24 tell us, just for the record, because we have some of this, basically
25 what you do these days, as a business?
1 A. These days, or, rather, in the last two to three years, I do
2 video production. That includes filming and video editing.
3 Q. You indicated that you were a retired military officer; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did you retire?
6 A. I retired in 2002. I didn't do that, but I was retired.
7 Q. From what unit did you retire in 2002?
8 A. May I ask you just one question, if it is not a problem? As I
9 received approval from the state to talk about the period from
10 December 1995, or, rather, until December 1995, and I'm not sure if I
11 would have to bear any consequences if I talk about the later period.
12 Namely, I was provided with this waiver to state something that is
13 otherwise secret. I am not a legal professional, and, therefore, I'm
14 asking you whether my answers concerning my career after 1995 and
15 everything else that happened after that year, would entail any
16 consequences on me from the state I live in and whose citizen I am.
17 Q. Well, as you know I'm not a lawyer from Serbia, so I can't answer
18 that question definitively. I can, however, request from the
19 Trial Chamber to go into private session, which may resolve your
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 15296 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 I'd like to greet Mr. Malinic and wish him a pleasant stay here.
16 If Mr. Vanderpuye is interested in what he did after the war,
17 then he should go into closed session, if he really wants to know what
18 the man did. And then in open session, he should put only those
19 questions which include the period up to the end of the war.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think that was the common understanding.
21 Mr. Vanderpuye, go ahead, please.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Sir, can you give us a brief chronology of your military career.
24 For example, did you start your military career by completing a mandatory
25 service? What training and education that you got up until, let's say,
1 we'll go through 1995, and then we can end there and pick up.
2 A. I completed elementary school in Sarajevo. In 1986, I continued
3 my education at the military high school Bratstvo and Jedinstvo in
4 Belgrade. I completed that in 1980 when I joined the land forces academy
5 in Belgrade. I completed the first two years following general courses,
6 following which I specialised in infantry. I continued this part of my
7 education in Sarajevo, where the third and fourth year of the Military
8 Academy could be attended at the centre of military schools. I completed
9 the Military Academy in 1984 as the first -- as the fourth in my class.
10 Following that, I was sent to serve in Zagreb, in the
11 140th Infantry Regiment. I was appointed commander of the support
12 platoon. I remained in the regiment for a month and a half, following
13 which, I was moved to the sabotage detachment of the 5th Army. I
14 remained there until 1987. Then I was transferred to the duty of
15 commander of the motorised company in the 140th Infantry Brigade. It was
16 in the Marshal Tito Barracks. It was basically transformed from the
17 140th Infantry Regiment to the 140th Motorised Brigade. I remained there
18 until 1989 when I was appointed commander of the military police
19 battalion in Varazdin. I remained in that position until June 1991.
20 In that month, I was appointed assistant commander for morale in
21 the same MP battalion. I stayed in Varazdin until September 1991 when
22 the conflict began. On that occasion, together with a group of five
23 officers and seven soldiers, I was captured in the Trinaesti Maj Barracks
24 by the ZNG forces. My capture lasted for five to seven days when we were
25 transferred to the territory of Slovenia without any documents, which
1 were taken away during combat.
2 I went to Sarajevo via Klagenfurt in Austria and then later on to
3 Belgrade. I reported in Belgrade in October 1991. I was then assigned
4 to the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment which at the time was in Slunj.
5 It's a military training ground close to the town of Slunj in the
6 territory of Croatia.
7 From Slunj, we were transferred, or relocated, rather, first to
8 Banja Luka and then to Kiseljak, where we arrived in late 1991.
9 In March, the command and the protection regiment moved from
10 Kiseljak to Butile near Sarajevo. During that period of 1992, I was
11 without specific duty between October of the previous year and
12 February of that year. I had no official appointment, since no order to
13 that effect came my way.
14 In March 1992, I was appointed deputy commander of the
15 Sabotage Detachment of the 5th Army, where I remained until the 8th or
16 9th of May -- or, rather, until the end of May 1992. The
17 Sabotage Detachment was a unit which suffered many casualties in
18 Sarajevo. A part of the unit was stationed in the military hospital to
19 provide security. When they tried to reach the command post on the 2nd
20 of May, they were ambushed by the forces of the Muslim army, or,
21 paramilitary units, because their army did not exist at the time. Seven
22 soldiers and five officers were killed in that event, and there were a
23 number of wounded. An officer remained in the hospital who was in charge
24 of the communications department. He was the sole survive. Out of the
25 group which managed -- which tried to reach the 1st Army command, only a
1 platoon leader and three soldiers survived.
2 On the 8th of May, 1992, we received an order for the remainder
3 of the 65th [Realtime transcript read in error "56th"]
4 Protection Regiment, that is to say, those who had not been captured or
5 killed, to relocate to Han Pijesak, i.e., to the command post of the VRS.
6 On the 8th of May, we arrived in Crna Rijeka, where we stayed until 1997.
7 Between 1992, as of July of that year, I believe, actually, at
8 that time, since there were very few soldiers and officers left, I was
9 appointed MP battalion commander. I remained in that position until 1996
10 or early 1997.
11 Q. All right. First, I think we may have a translation or
12 transcription error which is at page 51, line 14. There is a reference
13 there to the 56th Motorised Protection Regiment. Can you tell us did you
14 say that, or did you mean the 65th Protection Regiment?
15 A. 65th Motorised Protection Regiment.
16 Q. I thank you for clarifying that. I'm going to ask you a little
17 bit about that unit. But, first, let me ask you: Do you now -- or did
18 you know General Tolimir during the period of time that you served with
19 the VRS?
20 A. I met General Tolimir in May 1992 upon our arrival in
21 Crna Rijeka. The 65th Protection Regiment was the first unit to arrive
22 in Crna Rijeka. The officers who later comprised the Main Staff arrived
23 later. I think we met in mid-May 1992. I had not known him before that.
24 Q. All right. And how would you characterise, if you can, briefly,
25 your professional relationship with General Tolimir?
1 A. My duty was that of the MP battalion commander. In certain
2 intervals I also performed the duty of the regiment commander. Those
3 intervals were very short. They are not that important.
4 As I said, I met General Tolimir in May 1992. I treated him as
5 my superior officer from a superior command, because the commander of the
6 Main Staff was the immediate superior to the 65th Protection Regiment. I
7 treated him with full respect, as an officer of a senior command. He
8 treated me as an officer who was at the helm of the MP battalion, which
9 was a unit intended to provide immediate security for the Main Staff and
10 the rear command post of the Main Staff of the VRS.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
12 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, page 53, line 16, I
13 think there is a word extra. It says "my superior officer." I don't
14 think the witness said "superior," or at least I didn't hear it in the
15 Serbian language.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, it says "my superior officer." It is
17 recorded like that. What is the problem?
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I think the witness only said [In
19 English] "officer from superior command."
20 [Interpretation] And not "my superior officer, from my superior
21 command." In military parlance, I think there is a difference.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Malinic, can you help us? You treated
23 General Tolimir as your superior. What is your -- what was your correct
24 answer? Please repeat that.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I treated
1 General Tolimir as someone who was an officer from a superior command.
2 He was a member of the Main Staff. I said that the immediate superior of
3 the 65th Protection Regiment was the commander of the Main Staff,
4 General Ratko Mladic. General Tolimir was a member of the superior
5 command and not my superior.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification.
7 Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. What was General Tolimir's position during the time you served as
10 the commander of the military police battalion of the
11 65th Protection Regiment?
12 A. General Tolimir performed the duty of assistant commander for
13 security and intelligence, at least to my knowledge.
14 Q. You mentioned that he was a member of the Main Staff. What was
15 the nature of the 65th -- the relationship of the
16 65th Motorised Protection Regiment to the Main Staff of the VRS, in 1995,
17 so that we can be a little bit more specific.
18 A. As of 1992, when the VRS was established, the Main Staff had the
19 same relationship to their regiment; that is to say, the relationship
20 between the two instances was the same as in 1995. It was a unit of the
21 Main Staff whose basic task was to physically secure the command post, as
22 well as to secure the rear command post of the Main Staff, and to provide
23 security to their personnel in movement or when still. By saying this, I
24 have in mind those members of the Main Staff who were entitled to such
1 Q. About how many people, how many soldiers made up the
2 65th Protection Regiment in 1995?
3 A. In 1995, the protection regiment was comprised of the units of
4 the command of the regiment, the logistics company, the protection
5 battalion, which was formed, I believe, in 1994, which had a role to
6 provide security in the general area of the command post, then the
7 military police battalion, which was the only unit that was in operation
8 as of 1992.
9 Next, there was the sabotage detachment of the
10 65th Protection Regiment. As for the number of people and staffing
11 levels on our lists, that is something I can't say with any certainty. I
12 can only speak of the battalion of the military police, not of the entire
13 regiment. Whatever I said might be wrong in that respect.
14 Q. All right. I'm not looking for a figure to quote you on, but I
15 just want the Trial Chamber to have a sense of how big or small the
16 regiment was.
17 So can you approximate how many people were in the regiment or
19 A. Let's say approximately 700 people, including all the units. But
20 that is based on the lists and the number of people on those lists.
21 This also included those soldiers who had been wounded or were on
22 sick-leave or who were being treated, as well as those soldiers who were
23 incapable of taking up their duties but were still members of the
24 regiment so that they could exercise certain rights as members of the
25 VRS. We couldn't simply delete them from the list of the regiment.
1 Although, in real terms, they were unable to participate in any combat
3 Q. All right. And the units that you listed for us before, are
4 these all of the units that comprised the 65th Protection Regiment in
5 1995? That is, you have listed the command, logistics, the protection
6 battalion, the military police battalion, and the sabotage detachment.
7 Are these all the units that comprised the regiment in July of 1995, to
8 be specific?
9 A. I think I forgot to say that there was an anti-aircraft battalion
10 as part of the 65th Protection Regiment. I think this includes all the
11 units that were part of the regiment.
12 Q. Under whose command was the regiment - direct command - was the
13 regiment in July 1995?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
15 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there seems to be
16 another problem with military terminology, namely, page 56, lines 17 and
17 18. There's a mention of "battalion" -- sorry. No, line 21, line 22,
18 "anti-aircraft battalion." I think the witness said "division."
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Artillery battalion is
20 what in the Serbian language is "protu avionski divizion."
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, you may follow up with it or it
22 should be checked later.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think it can probably be checked later. It's
24 not that critical.
25 Q. Okay. I think I just asked you whose direct command the regiment
1 was under in July 1995?
2 A. The regiment was under the command of -- well, not in 1995, but
3 as of 1992, it was under direct command of the commander of the
4 Main Staff of the VRS, General Mladic.
5 The immediate superior to the 65th Protection Regiment was
6 General Mladic, Commander of the Main Staff.
7 Q. Who was the commander of the regiment in July 1995?
8 A. In July 1995, the commander of the 65th Protection Regiment was,
9 I think, Lieutenant-Colonel, or Colonel, Milomir Savcic.
10 Q. You mentioned in one of your answers the command of the regiment.
11 Can you tell us who the members of the command of the regiment were in
12 July 1995, aside from Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic?
13 A. The Chief of Staff of the regiment was Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Jovo Jazic. The chief of the training and education department was
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Vojislav Sarovic. The assistant commander for
16 logistics was Captain Slijepcevic, first name Predrag. The chief of the
17 security organ, I think, was Captain Ruskic, although I'm not certain. I
18 think he was the chief of the security organ of the regiment at the time.
19 I think that's it, as the regiment command goes in 1995.
20 Q. Okay. Now you were the commander of the military police
21 battalion in July 1995; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And what relationship, if any, did you have with the superior
24 organ for security in the Main Staff?
25 A. The Main Staff security organ was a specialised organ which
1 managed the work of the military police unit in the professional sense.
2 They were in charge of the professional and expert side. They provided
3 guide-lines to the military police battalion. As far as I can remember,
4 the Main Staff security organ did not have a chief in charge of military
5 police at the time. In July 1995, Lieutenant-Colonel Keserovic was
6 appointed to that position, and until that time, he had discharged the
7 duty of commander of the military police battalion in Banja Luka.
8 Q. Did your unit - the military police battalion of the
9 65th Protection Regiment - have contact with the security organ of the
10 Main Staff?
11 A. My unit did have contacts with the security organ of the
12 Main Staff from the time when the Main Staff was set up. That is to say,
13 from 1992.
14 Q. And what was the nature of the contact that your unit had with
15 the Main Staff security organ in 1995? For example, whom did you have
16 contact with, about what matters you had contact, that sort of thing.
17 A. The military police battalion, according to the rules of service
18 pertaining to military police, had to secure the rear command post to
19 provide protection to persons whether they are stationary or moving, but
20 in wartime, a military police battalion, in other words, that was in a
21 period between 1992 and the end of the war, the proper use of military
22 police was not observed, primarily because the use of the military police
23 battalion, or, actually, the military police battalion was used for -- to
24 carry out combat operations and discharge other duties and tasks which
25 were not prescribed by the instructions on the work of military police
1 and the rules of service for military police.
2 The nature of the contacts with the security organs of the
3 Main Staff was such that the security organs influenced the command,
4 which made decisions, primarily the Main Staff command, on the use of the
5 military police battalion.
6 If I may add, the military police battalion was used many times
7 as a unit which had to carry out offensive or defensive combat
8 operations, which was not the proper use of this unit. And as the
9 commander of the military police battalion, I requested from the
10 Main Staff security organs, considering this, that such tasks, which were
11 not part of the normal use of military police, should be reduced to a
12 minimum, and that was mainly the nature of our contacts.
13 On the other hand, security organs were charged as professional
14 organs of the military police. They were in charge of equipping military
15 police with equipment needed for carrying out military police tasks.
16 They were the only ones who were in charge of supplies. This was part of
17 the description of duties of those security organs.
18 I would also add that we contacted security organs on receiving
19 tasks that were military police tasks by character, primarily suppressing
20 certain groups which were out of control. These were units in the field.
21 And by order of the Main Staff, or the commander of the regiment, we were
22 sent to carry out such tasks.
23 That was when we had the closest cooperation with security
25 Q. Okay. Part of my question was: Whom did you deal with? Did you
1 deal with the assistant commander for security and intelligence,
2 General Tolimir, at the Main Staff level? Did you deal with
3 Colonel Beara at the Main Staff level? Did you deal with
4 General Keserovic - now-General Keserovic - at that level? Or all three?
5 A. As for General Tolimir, we had most contacts with him in the
6 first period; that is to say, from the arrival of the Main Staff to the
7 command post, from 1992, May 1992, up until November 1992, I think. As
8 far as I remember, I think that he was the only security organ at the
9 time who was at the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska.
10 Colonel Beara, to my recollection, only arrived later, in late
11 1992. It was only then in late 1992 that I personally met Colonel Beara.
12 Further contacts connected with the work of military police were mainly
13 with Colonel Beara. It was only at the time of Mr. Beara, or, rather,
14 Colonel Beara's absence, because I think very few people worked in the
15 security department of the Main Staff, and from this point in time, I
16 cannot remember who else, in addition to Colonel Beara, was working for
17 the Main Staff security department.
18 Colonel Keserovic, who is today a general, I had my first contact
19 with him in July 1995. I had the pleasure of meeting him then, and I had
20 heard about him earlier because he was the commander of the military
21 police battalion in the 1st Corps; that is to say, in Banja Luka. I
22 think that before that, he was also a commander -- he was the commander
23 of the military police battalion in Bijeljina, but we had no chance to
24 meet personally.
25 Q. As the commander of the military police battalion in July 1995,
1 from whom did you receive your orders?
2 A. The military police battalion received orders from the command of
3 the 65th Protection Regiment Command. I think it was
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic, or he was perhaps a colonel at the time. I
5 cannot remember. So it was the command of the
6 65th Motorised Protection Regiment that issued our orders to us.
7 Q. Did you receive orders from the command of the Main Staff
9 A. In 1995, the battalion was in several locations. One group from
10 the MP battalion was securing the command post and the rear command post,
11 which was reinforced in late June 1995, when the Muslim forces from Zepa
12 attacked the command post. So one part of the unit was there.
13 Another part of the unit was in the Sarajevo sector, where it was
14 resubordinated to the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. That part
15 of the unit was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Sarovic. He was one of
16 the officers from the regiment who was there. First name Vojislav. This
17 part of the unit received their tasks from the command of the
18 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. I think that they had a forward command post in
19 the Trnovo sector.
20 A third part of the military police battalion was in Kasaba,
21 where, after the fighting on Treskavica in June 1995, and where we had
22 sustained great losses, it was an offensive launched by the Muslim forces
23 on Sarajevo, and I was there with a part of the unit. In the period
24 between the 17th and the 20th of June, that part of the unit, which was
25 led by me, sustained losses. More than one-third of the unit was no
1 longer fit for fighting. I think that we had more than 100 wounded and
2 number of dead soldiers. It was the Muslim offensive, which had begun on
3 15th of June, and the location where we were in the Treskavica mountain
4 sector, there it began on the 17th of June.
5 In Kasaba, at the time, there were around 20 soldiers and
6 officers, if we can call this the third part of the military police
7 battalion, which was in the territory of Nova Kasaba.
8 Q. Okay.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it is the time for the second break.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would just like to clarify one thing, if I
13 could --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: One question.
16 Q. My question to you, Mr. Malinic, was whether you received orders
17 from the command of the Main Staff. And you have mentioned a unit that
18 was under the command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, I believe, a unit
19 that was in Treskavica, and another unit that was in Kasaba. But,
20 really, I'd just like to know did you receive orders from the command of
21 the Main Staff? And that's -- if you received them directly. I'd just
22 like to know if you can answer that with a yes or a no, since we're at
23 the time for the break.
24 A. I gave you the explanation because you asked me whether I was
25 receiving orders from the Main Staff. I wanted to describe to you the
1 situation that the military police battalion was in during the months of
2 June and July. The battalion was split into several groups, and as the
3 commander of the battalion, I was unable to command the whole battalion.
4 Orders for carrying out operations were something that I received from
5 the command of the Protection Regiment primarily from Lieutenant-Colonel,
6 or Colonel, Savcic, or in case of his absence, from the Chief of Staff,
7 Jovo Jazic.
8 That's it.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I could have expected that there is no yes or no
11 to this question.
12 We must have our second break now, and we will resume quarter
13 past 6.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 6.17 p.m.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, please continue.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Is everything okay there, Mr. Malinic?
19 A. Yes, it's okay. I was just thinking about your question during
20 the break. I would note several exceptions which existed when it came to
21 issuing certain orders. I primarily mean that, on several occasions, I
22 went to receive the tasks directly from the Main Staff commander with
23 Lieutenant-Colonel, or Colonel, Savcic. So I was present on these
24 occasions when we were directly given our tasks.
25 Primarily this happened in cases when I was the main commander
1 responsible for carrying out certain tasks. In these cases, I received
2 orders directly from the commander of the Main Staff.
3 I just wanted to make this correction to what I said earlier.
4 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
5 Let me just direct your attention to the 13th of July, 1995. Can
6 you tell us where you were in the early morning of that day?
7 A. On the 13th of July, 1995, I was in the barracks in Nova Kasaba.
8 That is a school which was used as a school before the war. During the
9 war, or, more precisely, in late 1993, it was turned into a facility or
10 barracks for the accommodation of the members of the military police
11 battalion of the 65th Motorised Protection Regiment.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have in e-court, please, P1157.
13 Q. Do you recognise this photograph, or this location, rather?
14 A. Can you just -- I see a road and several vehicles. Can you
15 somehow make the background lighter? Because I can just see some white
17 Q. Yes. Sir, we've had this problem typically with the monitor that
18 you have in front of you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Court Usher can assist the witness. It's the
20 question of the angle.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yeah, if he stands up, he might be able to see
22 it better, but there are ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is the school building.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE:
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: I appreciate that.
2 Q. In the morning of the 13th -- of 13 July 1995, about how many
3 soldiers were garrisoned at that school or billeted there?
4 A. On the 13th of July, 1995, around 20 soldiers with their
5 officers, so counting them as well, were stationed at the school, or
7 Q. I take it these were -- these soldiers were members of your
8 battalion, of your unit.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you at some point that day receive or capture Muslim
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And when did you first come into contact with these prisoners?
14 A. I came into contact with these prisoners for the first time
15 during the morning. We were informed by - I'm not sure whether it was a
16 woman or a man -- who came to the gate of the barracks, it's at the
17 entrance at the side of the road, and said that he or she was coming from
18 Konjevic Polje, and that many soldiers were crossing the road between
19 Konjevic Polje and Nova Kasaba.
20 I then sent group [as interpreted] to see what this was about,
21 and after a short while, they returned with several soldiers they had
22 imprisoned. And these soldiers were Muslims by ethnicity.
23 Q. You say "several soldiers." Can you approximate how many
24 soldiers or individuals they returned with, after you'd sent them on the
1 A. I think there were three prisoners. And that they reported to me
2 that many members of the Muslim army were crossing the road from the
3 direction of the woods.
4 Q. What did you do with these several soldiers that were brought
5 back by your men?
6 A. We accommodated them in a building next to the barracks, which
7 was not a detention unit or a prison. It was a building which we used to
8 repair motor vehicles, because there was a canal on the floor
9 [as interpreted] of the building. It was made by the owner and it was
10 probably prepared to become a car mechanics shop. It was a building
11 which was outside the parameter of the barracks because the school itself
12 was surrounded by a fence. This was a privately owned house, which was
13 not a part of the school complex before the war.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
15 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, I just need a clarification. At page 66,
16 line 10, Mr. Vanderpuye asked you:
17 "You say 'several soldiers.' Can you approximate how many
18 soldiers or individuals they returned with after you had sent them on the
20 And your answer was:
21 "I think there were three prisoners."
22 In the next question, again, Mr. Vanderpuye says:
23 "What did you do with these several soldiers."
24 Can you clarify? Were there three soldiers, prisoners, or
25 several? Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that there were three, but
2 whether this is a correct number, it's hard to tell because so much time
3 has passed. I think there were three. The group sent to see what the
4 situation was, was a group of three soldiers. This is why I estimate
5 that the number of prisoners was not bigger than three.
6 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I add another question to the same matter.
8 You mentioned the three prisoners first, then you added:
9 "And that they reported to me that many members of the Muslim
10 army were crossing the road from the direction the woods."
11 What is that about -- I really don't understand that sentence
12 about "... many members of the Muslim army."
13 How did you get to know that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The first information that units of
15 the Muslim army were crossing the road was given to us by the person who
16 was passing along that morning, along the road between Konjevic Polje and
17 Nova Kasaba and who stopped to inform us about this.
18 The next information that this was a large number of soldiers was
19 something I heard from the commander of the group which took these
20 soldiers prisoners. So the information that there were many of Muslim
21 army members is something I received from two sources. The first one was
22 the person who reported this to us that morning, and the next time it was
23 reported to me was by the commander of the group who had taken these
24 three soldiers prisoner and brought them to the barracks.
25 When I mentioned from the direction of the woods, that there was
1 this column moving from there, it would be much easier if I could show
2 you on a map where the area is. And when I say "from the woods," it is
3 because when they crossed the road, it was an open space then, leading to
4 the hills. This is why I mentioned "the woods."
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
6 Mr. Vanderpuye, please carry on.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Q. When you received these several prisoners, did you notify anyone
9 concerning that, concerning what was going on?
10 A. Of course. The first contact I made about this was with the
11 command of the 65th Protection Regiment, located in Crna Rijeka. After
12 that, I also informed the police in Milici. I wanted to inform them
13 about a situation which existed in the territory of their municipality.
14 Q. Did you learn anything from the Milici police or from the command
15 of the regiment concerning what was going on? In other words, did they
16 tell you that they knew about the situation, that they didn't know about
17 the situation?
18 A. From this point in time, I cannot exactly say what they said.
19 But my reaction was to inform them, the command of the regiment
20 primarily, about the numbers, the number of men who were in the barracks
21 in Nova Kasaba. I also requested from the command of the regiment to
22 send a part of my unit which was performing the role of reinforcing
23 security for the command. I wanted them to be sent over and help me.
24 And I contacted the police so that they would be aware of the situation
25 in their territory and so that they could also provide me with some
1 assistance, if they could. I think that they did not have any
2 information about the situation on the ground and this came as surprise
3 to both the command and the soldiers in this territory.
4 Q. In terms of the command - if you can recall - in Crna Rijeka, who
5 did you speak to?
6 A. I think at the time in the regiment command, it was
7 Lieutenant-Colonel, or Colonel, Jovo Jazic. He was the Chief of Staff of
8 the regiment. Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Milomir Savcic was absent
9 from the command post.
10 Q. Do you know where Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic was at that time?
11 A. My information was that he went to execute a task with a part of
12 the unit in the direction of Zepa.
13 Q. Did you speak to Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic that morning?
14 A. There is a great possibility that I did. If, indeed, we spoke,
15 he probably called me because I simply didn't know at what number he
16 could be reached and whether there were any possibilities to get in
18 When I say that there is a great possibility, I mean to say that
19 it is most likely that we did speak. If I were to put it in terms of
20 percentages, I'd say there is an 80 per cent chance we did speak.
21 Q. All right. I'll accept that. Given that probability that you
22 spoke, what would you have spoken about, or what did you speak about?
23 A. If we spoke, we probably discussed the situation in the field in
24 the area of Nova Kasaba.
25 Q. Where -- do you know where he was specifically at the time that
1 you would have spoken to him?
2 A. I don't know where he was exactly. I wasn't familiar with his
3 task or his axis or what location was included as part of that task of
4 his in the direction of Zepa.
5 Q. After you spoke to Colonel Jazic, or, rather, let me rephrase
6 this. Did you speak to Colonel Jazic or to Lieutenant-Colonel Savcic on
7 more than one occasion on the morning of 13 July 1995?
8 A. I can't say with 100 per cent certainty that I did. But it would
9 have been normal for me to speak to both Jazic and Savcic on a few
11 Q. You said that you'd asked for reinforcements. Did you -- did you
12 receive reinforcements that morning or at some point during the day?
13 A. Yes, I did receive reinforcements. Lieutenant-Colonel Jazic sent
14 an APC company, or, rather, part of that company, headed by their
15 commander, Zoran Benak, Lieutenant.
16 In addition to that, the Main Staff sent a platoon from the
17 communications regiment, which was located in Crna Rijeka as well, and
18 which was under direct command from the Main Staff.
19 Q. When you refer to the communications regiment, are you referring
20 to the 67th Communications Regiment?
21 A. Yes. I had in mind the 67th Communications Regiment. I think it
22 was the only communications regiment in the VRS, to my knowledge.
23 Q. And this platoon from the communications regiment, did this
24 consist of soldiers that were engaged in, or trained in, communications
25 matters, or was this a combat unit from that regiment?
1 A. I think the 67th Communications Regiment did not have a combat
2 unit in its ranks. These people were soldiers who were primarily trained
3 in communications.
4 Q. When you received this platoon, what did you assign them to do?
5 A. The communications platoon which came as a reinforcement was
6 subordinated to me, in terms of command. Together with their officers,
7 they were deployed along the blockade line in the field, along the route
8 taken by the Muslim forces when executing their break-through.
9 Q. Did you deploy this unit together with the unit -- the APC unit
10 that Benak came with?
11 A. The APC unit was not deployed along the blockade line. It was
12 only the soldiers from that company who came there with their commander
13 that were deployed.
14 The APCs themselves, of which there were two, I think, were part
15 of a group that we established once they arrived. The group was tasked
16 to be in the area covered by the MP battalion, that is to say, the area
17 that was sealed off, to intervene in case there was a successful attempt
18 at break through in the area where we were. In other words, the APCs,
19 the vehicles themselves, were not part of the blockade line. We had a
20 contingency plan, that is to say, there was an intervention group which
21 was to be used to intervene, if needed, along the route of break through
22 by the Muslim forces. Of course, with those two APCs, there were also a
23 number of personnel from that APC company.
24 Q. How many soldiers came with that unit? Just to make it specific:
25 How many came with that unit, together with Benak?
1 A. I don't think I can be specific as to any number, but anywhere
2 between 40 and 50 soldiers who had arrived with Lieutenant Benak.
3 Q. Around what time did these units arrive, the 67th
4 Communications Regiment platoon and the unit that arrived with Benak?
5 A. I think it was before 9.00. That's when they arrived. Or maybe
6 even earlier. Only once Benak was already there the part of the
7 communications regiment that was sent arrived.
8 Q. Around what time did that unit arrive? That's the communications
9 regiment platoon.
10 A. The communications regiment platoon, I think an hour or two
11 following Benak.
12 Q. Did you continue to receive or capture prisoners?
13 A. I can see Jovo Jazic -- no, it's gone now. Since Benak arrived
14 with his unit, we began expanding the blockade line towards the part of
15 the route where the Muslim forces attempted break-through. Actually, it
16 was not an attempt because up to that point, they moved unhindered
17 without any resistance. It was our basic task to close the gap and to
18 prevent any further advancement of the Muslim forces towards the area
19 they intended to use for their passage. It took place gradually. And as
20 we were expanding the line, we managed to capture a certain number of
21 Muslims as part of that process.
22 Q. Let me show you P663.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: It should be P663B.
24 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: It's under seal, Mr. President, and so shouldn't
1 be broadcast.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE:
4 Q. What I'm showing you, sir, is a radio intercept that was captured
5 by the 2nd Corps. And it's dated 13 July 1995. The time indicated here
6 is 10.15 a.m., and it indicates participants Beara, Lucic, and Zoka.
7 I know you have seen this before; is that right?
8 A. Yes, I have seen this intercept earlier. Yesterday, the last
9 time; and the first time was when I was in the Belgrade office.
10 Q. You can see at the very beginning of this intercept it says.
11 "Beara speaking."
13 "Hello, Signor Lucic, how are you?"
14 Can you tell us, did you have an individual by the name of Lucic
15 who was a member of your command, that is, the command of the military
16 police battalion of the regiment?
17 A. Yes, we did. Lucic, or Captain Lucic, was my deputy.
18 Q. Was Captain Lucic - your deputy - present at Nova Kasaba on the
19 13th of July, 1995?
20 A. As per establishment of the MP battalion, Lucic had been assigned
21 to the position of deputy commander. Before that, he had been the
22 commander of a military police company.
23 On the 13th of July, he was on leave, I believe. Since he lived
24 nearby with his family, once we realised what the situation we were in
25 was, all the officers and soldiers were urgently summoned to the
1 barracks. I think Captain Lucic returned from his leave that very
2 morning. We called him to come back. That is how he came to be in the
3 area of the Nova Kasaba Barracks on the 13th of July, 1995.
4 Q. All right. If we look a little bit further down here, we can see
5 here - pardon me - that Beara says:
6 "Do you hear me? Do you know that 400 balijas have shown up in
7 Konjevic Polje?"
8 And what's marked as attributed to Lucic says:
9 "I know."
10 Now, Konjevic Polje was approximately how far from the area where
11 your battalion was garrisoned, or the school that you showed us just a
12 moment ago?
13 A. I think it was 5 -- 4 or 5 kilometres away.
14 Q. If we go through this conversation, you can see that Lucic and
15 Beara exchange some information regarding the circumstances of the
16 prisoners. And Beara says:
17 "They have been rounded up, disarmed, everything?"
18 And then we don't see an answer from Lucic.
19 And Beara says:
20 "Excellent, excellent, great. And there is someone to guard
22 And Lucic says:
23 "There is ..."
24 If we go to the -- I think we're on the same page. We'll have to
25 go to the next page in English. And we can see that the conversation
1 then turns to the group that Lucic is talking about, and he says just
2 before this:
3 "Over here, there's this huge group."
4 Sorry, we'll have to go back a page in the English, to the bottom
5 of the page. He says:
6 "Here we have over here there's this huge group."
7 And Beara says at the very bottom of the page, he says:
8 "Well, you can also, those 20, so that the forces are not
9 dispersed. Shove them all on the playground, who gives a fuck about
11 And then if we go to the next page, Beara says:
12 "They're locked up, right?"
13 And then follows with:
14 "Do you have enough room over there?"
15 What I first want to ask you is: Where Beara refers to these 400
16 balijas, is he referring to the Muslims, prisoners, in Konjevic Polje?
17 Is that how you understand it?
18 A. I understand it this way. Colonel Beara asked Lucic if he knew
19 that 400 balijas came out in Konjevic Polje. Lucic responded by saying,
20 I do.
21 I am not sure whether Captain Lucic could have information about
22 what was going on in Konjevic Polje because the road between Nova Kasaba
23 and Konjevic Polje was cut off. And I don't think we had any means of
24 communication, either by radio or telephone with Konjevic Polje to
25 receive any kind of information. An engineering battalion was stationed
1 in Konjevic Polje from the Drina Corps.
2 In this conversation, I don't see a possibility of Captain Lucic
3 providing this information or confirming that he was aware of the 400
4 Muslims who came out in Konjevic Polje. I don't know how he could have
5 gotten hold of that information.
6 Q. All right. Further on in this conversation, you will see that
7 Beara starts to speak to someone by the name of Zoka. Is that you?
8 A. It probably is.
9 Q. Before that, he refers to putting these people on the playground.
10 Can you tell the Trial Chamber what the playground is that Beara
11 is referring to in this conversation?
12 A. It's a soccer pitch next to the road as one enters Nova Kasaba
13 from the direction of Konjevic Polje. It's a soccer pitch without any
14 stands. There's just a grass field and a couple of small buildings that
15 were probably used as changing rooms and a building for the referees
16 during a match. It is some 300 metres away from the school.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I know we are just about out of
18 time. I can pick this up tomorrow, if you like, or I can finish this one
19 exhibit, however you want to proceed.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think you should continue tomorrow morning with
21 this exhibit and with your examination-in-chief.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. We must adjourn for the
24 day, and we will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this courtroom
25 number III.
1 You should be reminded that no contact with either party about
2 the content of your testimony is allowed.
3 Thank you very much. We adjourn.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of June,
6 2011, at 9.00 a.m.