WITNESS ‘TRIES TO WEASEL OUT’ OF SREBRENICA EVENTS
Milenko Jevdjevic, former commander of a signals battalion in the Drina Corps, claims that he left the Srebrenica-Bratunac area on 11, not 12 July 1995. The prosecution argues he is not telling the truth because he ‘is desperately trying to weasel out’ in a bid to show he didn’t know about the separation of the Muslim men from women and children in Potocari and their detention in Bratunac
Prosecutor Hasan continued today the cross-examination of former Drina Corps signals battalion commander Milenko Jevdjevic. The prosecutor called additional evidence to contest the witness’s claim that he attended the meeting of the ranking Corps officers with Ratko Mladic in the late evening of 11 July, not on 12 July 1995. The witness alleged that he left the Drina Corps forward command post in Pribicevac in the evening of 11 July 1995 after Srebrenica was captured. Then, the witness claimed, he passed through Potocari, attended the meeting in Bratunac, and continued to Vlasenica. The next day Jevdjevic set up a communications center for the attack on Zepa.
The prosecutor presented a transcript of the conversation intercepted by the BH Army surveillance service. According to the document Jevdjevic reports at 6:50pm that he disconnected the communications center in the Pribicevac forward command post and moved to the Bratunac military barracks, where a meeting with Mladic was held. The witness contends that those events took place on 11 July 1995. His claim was contradicted by another conversation of two Bosnian Serb servicemen, intercepted that same day at 10pm. The two VRS servicemen ask each other ‘have you seen the boss [Mladic ]on TV among all those bulas [Muslim women] in Potocari?’.Jevdjevic didn’t contest the fact that Mladic was filmed talking to Muslim women in Potocari on 12 July 1995, but he nevertheless stuck to his claim that he left the Srebrenica area the day before.
‘You are desperately trying to weasel out’, the prosecutor put it to the witness, ‘to show that you went to Zepa on 11 July 1995 and to thus deny that on your way through Potocari on 12 July 1995 you saw men being separated from women and children there, and a large number of detainees in Bratunac’. Jevdjevic dismissed the suggestion saying ‘I am as certain that I went towards Vlasenica and Zepa on 11 July 1995 as I am certain that I walked through this door to testify in this courtroom'.
In the examination-in-chief, the witness argued that the BH Army soldiers did not have accurate information about the communications between the Drina Corps and its superior commands and subordinated units. Jevdjevic thus suggested that the intercepts, primarily those pertaining to the Srebrenica operation,admitted into evidence at Mladic’s trial weren’t authentic. This prompted the prosecutor to show several intercepted conversations from that period, noting that they corresponded with the actual events on the ground.
The Drina Corps commander Radislav Krstic and the Zvornik Brigade chief of staff Dragan Obrenovic took part in an intercepted conversation on 2 August 1995.
The prosecutor quoted portions of the conversation.
KRSTIC: Are you working down there?
OBRENOVIC: Of course we’re working.
OBRENOVIC: We’ve managed to catch a few more, either at gunpoint or in the minefields.
KRSTIC: Kill them all. God damn it.
OBRENOVIC: Everything, everything is going according to plan. Yes.
KRSTIC: Don't leave a single one alive.
KRSTIC: Don't leave a single one alive!
OBRENOVIĆ: Everything is going to plan.
KRSTIC: Way to go, Chief. The Turks are probably listening to us. Let them eavesdrop all they want, motherfuckers.
Interestingly, Obrenovic asked Krstic if he could speak to Jevdjevic and Krstic told him he could. Asked if that was him, the witness said at the end of the cross-examination today, ‘Yes, I am Jevdjevic’. The witness will complete his evidence tomorrow.
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