DID YOU KNOW?  -- Three years before the 1995 Srebrenica Genocide, Serbs torched Bosniak villages and killed at least 3,166 Bosniaks around Srebrenica. In 1993, the UN described the besieged situation in Srebrenica as a "slow-motion process of genocide." In July 1995, Serbs forcibly expelled 25,000 Bosniaks, brutally raped many women and girls, and systematically killed 8,000+ men and boys (DNA confirmed).

25 September, 2009


[Reading time: 12-18 minutes. Highly recommended read]
Original Report: "At around 8.30 hours, columns of [Bosniak] civilians and soldiers with pack animals were noticed from Udrc and Rasevo towards 13 Konjevic Polje. The columns were hit with every available means." - March 2nd, 1993.

Edited/Falsified Report: "At about 8.30 hours in the zone of responsibility of the Zvornik Brigade, a column of soldiers and pack animals was seen moving from Mount Urdc and Rasevo village in the direction of Konjevic Polje village. Fire was opened on the column." - March 2nd, 1993.
From 1992-1995, militarized Serb villages and hamlets around Srebrenica had been used as bases to launch deadly attack on surrounding Bosniak villages and the enclave of Srebrenica. Serb forces never demilitarized. They deliberately targeted Bosnian Muslim women, men, children, and the elderly in attacks on and around Srebrenica. In 1992, Serbs burned more than 400 Muslim villages around Srebrenica and in the region of Birac (region of Podrinje north of Srebrenica). Attempting to present actions of the Bosnian Serb Army as legitimate, Serb forces deliberately falsified military reports and then submitted altered copies to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

The following is an example of how the Bosnian Serb Army edited/forged military reports to hide the fact that Serbs deliberately targeted and killed Bosniak civilians in/and around Srebrenica from 1992-1995. (Source: Popovic et al. trial transcripts with Prosecutor Peter McCloskey (photo) conducting cross-examination of a defence witness)

6 Q. Let's look at 65 ter 4236. March 2nd, 1993, another of your
7 reports to the corps.
8 Number one says:
"In the course of the night and the morning, the enemy did not
display fiercer activities apart from occasional breach of silence at
some parts of the front-line. At around 8.30 hours, columns of civilians
and soldiers with pack animals were noticed from Udrc and Rasevo towards
13 Konjevic Polje. The columns were hit with every available means."
14 So this column of civilians and soldiers and pack animals, when
15 you say "every available means," you must mean artillery.
16 A. Already in the end of February, and early in March and
17 throughout -- sorry, early in February and almost all the way through
18 March, a large number of armed people dressed as civilians were trying to
19 break through towards Tuzla and there was no great difference by that
20 time between those in civilian clothes and those in uniform. That column
21 was observable from a great distance, over 2 kilometres because there was
22 a canyon in between of the Drinjaca River so the battalion in Drinjaca
23 could see them.
24 They had infantry weapons and they had mortars of 60- and
25 82-millimetres. Whether they fired mortars at them or not, I don't know,

Page 32110

1 but a mixed column of this composition, under the regulations and the
2 international humanitarian law, I repeat, is a legitimate military
3 target.
Q. Well, if they were soldiers dressed as civilians, you're right.
But this doesn't say that. This says "civilians and soldiers." You want
to just edit it to throw in civilians -- soldiers dressed as civilians?
7 A. That also is a possibility, able-bodied men. If the man next to
8 one of them is killed, he will take his rifle and continue fighting.
9 We can look up international humanitarian law and see what
10 military target is defined as and we'll see all of what I'm talking
11 about.
Q. One more document. 65 ter 4258, March 2nd, 1993. So it's the
same day.
This is the -- you can keep that one if it may be helpful,
General. This is the Drina Corps report to the Main Staff. We see in
the B/C/S page 1 and English page 1, basically the repetition of what you
had reported.
"At about 8.30 hours in the zone of responsibility of the
Zvornik Brigade, a column of soldiers and pack animals was seen moving
from Mount Urdc and Rasevo village in the direction of Konjevic Polje
village. Fire was opened on the column." There's been an editing job by
the corps, hasn't there?
23 A. Yes, that's what we read here. But at that time when people went
24 with pack animals, they went to fetch equipment and weapons from Kalesija
25 and another place and brought them to Cerska.

Page 32113

3 Q. Yesterday we ended with 65 ter 4236, which I don't think we need
4 to put up on the screen. We saw a reference in that March 2nd Zvornik
5 regular combat report to:
"At around 8.30 hours, columns of civilians and soldiers with
pack animals were noticed from Udrc and Rasevo towards Konjevic Polje.
The columns were hit with every available means."
I think we talked about that a bit. But now going on to
65 ter 4258, which is the daily combat report of the corps and to the
Main Staff. And if we can go down and it's in paragraph 1, the second
paragraph of the-- entitled, "The enemy." We see the same phrase going
up to the Main Staff, but it has left out the part about civilians. Were
you told by the corps not to shell civilians? Or fire upon civilians as
a result of this?
16 A. I don't know why the corps worded this document as they did.
17 This was a column moving from Tuzla towards Konjevic Polje with pack
18 animals, and obviously, they were carrying the ammunition and weapons for
19 the forces deployed in the area of Konjevic Polje. And that was one of
20 the reasons why fire was opened. We never had an order to fire on
21 civilians. And it was quite clear that we were expected only to target
22 military facilities. And this column was a legitimate military target.
Q. My question was, General, we see that they've left out civilians
in their report. Did the corps tell you to stop firing at civilians?
25 A. As I said, they did not tell me either to shoot at civilians or

Page 32114

1 not to shoot at civilians. What we did here, we opened fire at this
2 particular column.
Q. Did they tell you not to put in your reports that you were firing
at civilians?
5 A. No. Since they didn't tell me either to open fire or not to open
6 fire, therefore, I was not told to put -- what to put in my report.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 4243.
Q. And this is a daily combat report of a colleague of yours,
Lieutenant-Colonel Andric. It's dated 2 March. And he is describing the
situation as he is involved in these activities, and we see in
paragraph 2, as he is describing the movement of the forces that the
village of Gobalji has been burnt and tomorrow the plan is to do
Paljevine. So were you and Andric going down as -- after fighting the
Muslims, were you burning these villages?
16 A. No. Villages were not being burned along the axis of my action,
17 and by the way, I'm not familiar with the area where Mr. Andric was
18 carrying out actions. Paljevine is a feature and I think you can see it
19 in the map behind my back. It was on the axis of Andric's forces. As
20 for the other village of Gobalji, I think that this was a mixed village
21 and that it had already been burned. Whether that happened during a
22 fighting or at some other time, I really don't know.
23 Q. So you were open to the reality that Andric's forces just burnt
24 that village?
25 A. I wasn't aware of that fact. It was an entirely different axis

Page 32115

1 of attack. We just even couldn't see each other.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 4259.
Q. This, again, is a Drina Corps report, the same day as Andric's
report. I want to direct your attention to paragraph number 2 of this
report of the Main Staff. Where it basically repeats what Andric has
said but instead of saying the village was burnt, it says:
"Part of the forces of the brigade liberated the village of
Gobalji at the frontline in the area of Cerska."
So now we see, as in your previous document, the editing going
10 on. Can we conclude that "liberated" in this particular document
11 actually means "burnt"?

Page 32116

Q. So General, we can conclude from looking at this Drina Corps
report that when the Drina Corps says that this village has been
liberated, it really means burnt; correct?
4 A. No, I cannot draw such a conclusion as you did. I know that
5 there was a lot of fighting along this axis. There was a battalion from
6 the Krajina Corps that between 15 and 20 soldiers died in the fighting.
7 Some villages and some houses could have been burnt as a result of
8 fighting.
9 I know that on the slopes of Cerska, which was predominantly
10 Muslim, there were yet some Serbian villages. The village that was
11 mentioned later on in the secondary passage was the Serbian village, it
12 was not burnt at the time but it was deserted. We chose axis of our
13 attacks along the lines where the Serbian villages were situated because
14 it was easier for us to advance in that way.
Q. But you agree with me the Drina Corps has removed the term
16 "burnt" and replaced it with "liberated"?
17 A. They may have had a consultation with Andric and maybe his
18 statement referred to this part of the Serbian village that had been
19 burnt but I really don't know what actually transpired there.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to 65 ter 4244.
Q. This is another report from your colleague Andric, dated
2 March 1993, to the Drina Corps and what I'd like to draw your attention
to is near the bottom at the English. It's B/C/S page 1. And he points
out that -- and says:
"In the course of the day, special units of the 1st Birac Brigade

Page 32117

took and destroyed the village of Gobalji thus freeing up the left flank
of the main forces and the attack on Cerska. At the entry into the
village, our soldiers found weapons and other military equipment, as well
as food and cattle, which the enemy left behind when fleeing from our
forces. If the Zvornik Brigade continues the attack towards the
above-mentioned facilities, Udrc will not be a threat anymore to a single
8 So we can conclude from this that you and Andric are working on
9 the same operation in the similar vicinity; correct?
10 A. Well, if you look at the map behind me, you can see that Udrc is
11 a feature at high elevation and covered in wood. It is a dominant
12 feature. If we manage to capture it, we would have a tactical advantage.
13 Andric and I did act together as part 1 operation, however, we were not
14 close in combat. In his first part of the report, he said that he would
15 be compelled to withdraw into his zone unless the forces of the
16 Zvornik Brigade do not accelerate their actions.
Q. So the answer is yes?
18 A. Yes, we acted together in this operation, that's what I said.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 4245.
20 Q. This is March 4th, a couple of days later. This is a report from
21 you in your name. It appears to say, we are not sure, Major Pandurevic,
22 have you been promoted at this point or is ...
23 A. No, I was promoted on the 7th of January irrespective of any
24 combat operations.
Q. All right. Well, let's -- looking at this, it's on the front

Page 32118

page, and that the computer may be as good a view of this as the actual
document. It's a little bigger, in fact. What I call your attention to
is you describe the activities, and then you say under paragraph 1:
"Activity in the direction of Konjevic Polje, Duge Njive," and
some other villages, "and Glodi have been taken and facilities in Glodi
Now Glodi was a Muslim town with a mosque. Did your units burn
Glodi like it says here, the facilities in Glodi?
9 A. As far as I know, back in November or even October, the entire
10 area of Kamenica including Glodi was under the control of the Army of
11 Republika Srpska. However, on the 6th and 7th November, the whole area
12 including Bosansko Brdo fell and this village is located there. At the
13 time when I was there, I didn't see any mosque and I honestly don't know
14 which facilities they are referring to as being burnt. It might have
15 been houses but it might have been some fortifications for housing firing
16 positions.
17 Q. General, did you say you are not sure what "they" are referring
18 to?
19 A. I'm not quite sure what you are referring to now. Maybe the
20 translation was ...
21 Q. The translation we got, General, is that after I asked you that
22 question, you said, "I'm not sure what facilities they are referring to."
23 But I can go on.
24 You wrote this report or you -- went out under your name;
25 correct?

Page 32119

1 A. Yes, but when you'll speak about facility in military terms, that
2 involves firing positions and cover. Whereas a house is a house. That's
3 how it is called. When it is called in military terms, it's a facility.
4 It could be a bunker, a shelter, and there were such facilities in
5 Glodjansko Brdo and Glodi.
Q. What did you burn in Glodi?
A. I'm tell you can that houses in Glodi were not burned. This
village was empty. You mentioned a mosque. I didn't see any mosque
9 there.
MR. McCLOSKEY: Let's go to the next document, 65 ter 4260.
Q. This again is the Drina Corps report to the Main Staff on the
same day and it we can see down it begins at page 1 in the B/C/S and it's
at the bottom of page 1 in the English, but then -- it's at the bottom of
page 1 in English. And it says:
"Parts of the Zvornik Brigade liberated Duge Njive and Glodi."
So again we see the term "burnt" left out. And my questions are the
same, did the Drina Corps tell you not to burn or did they tell you not
18 to say that you'd burned?
19 A. My answer is the same as to your previous question. My report
20 says that facilities were burnt. It doesn't say specifically the houses
21 or the village. Here it says liberated. When we launched an attack and
22 took some facilities, we used to call it liberations and that is what the
23 Muslims did as well. They said that they liberated Kravica and we said
24 that we -- they said that they liberated Kravica and we said that we
25 liberated Konjevic Polje. Even now if you walk through this village, you

Page 32120

1 can see that the houses had not been burned.
Q. So you didn't burn any houses in this operation ever?
3 A. Unless there was fire coming from certain fortified buildings
4 they might have been burned or set on fire by fire from weapons, and in
5 that context, I do not rule out the possibility of any house being
6 actually burned.
7 Q. Accidental burning, you are talking about.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Let's go to 65 ter 4247.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have amended or -- my answer.
10 I didn't say accidently. In fighting, if you have a building or a
11 facility from which fire is coming, then you target it deliberately.
Q. Of course. Okay. This is another report dated a few days later,
March 10th, 1993, from -- I think you can see that from the original, I
hope. And this is in your name. And you talk about the -- what has been
happening in most of this. And we know you've had a chance to study
this. Well, I can ask you that. Have you had a chance to study this
document before I just handed it to you?
A. I had a CD or a DVD with all these reports, so I probably have
read it, but not recently.
Q. Well, it says at the bottom -- you say at the bottom:
"We propose that houses should not be torched when taking control
of Konjevic Polje, but that they be inhabited by people from Tuzla and
other areas."
25 A. Yes, that's what it says.


Page 32121

1 Q. What people from Tuzla?
2 A. Well, the Serbs, Serbian refugees who wanted to leave Tuzla.
3 Q. So we can --
4 A. All those who are already in Zvornik.
5 Q. So we can conclude from this that prior to your report, houses
6 were being torched and wasted?
7 A. I repeat that on my axis of action, they were not. But when I
8 emerged at these positions quoted here, I noticed that from the direction
9 of Cerska, there was smoke and there was burning, and that's why I made
10 this timely proposition to the corps command before we moved towards
11 Konjevic Polje to do this or, rather, not to do this, because there were
12 troops who followed from behind and did torch.


Page 32122

Q. So then the previous references to -- that Andric made to burning
things and that you made to burning facilities which got left out of the
Drina Corps reports, we should just ignore that and we should put this

Page 32123

burning on local Serbs, is that what you are telling the Court?
A. Whether the soldiers are responsible under the command of an
officer, in this case Andric, or the responsibility lies on local Serbs,
I don't know. Maybe both are responsible. But one thing is true, both
5 things happened.

Page 32124

Q. The part I want to draw your attention to is -- it begins a few
lines down:
7 "The first report of an attack by the BSA [Bosnian Serb Army] on the village of
Konjevic Polje came through at 1124 hours. Shelling and reports of the
attack failed to disperse the hundreds of civilians that had surrounded
the BritBat party. At 1412 hours, OC B SQN 9/12 stated that he was
reconsidering his options and at 1424 hours requested that
Major Pandurevic (the local BSA commander at Zvornik) be urged to stop
the shelling as civilians were being caught in the fire. At 1450A hours,
one round landed killing 2 civilians and injuring three children under
the age of 6, two of which lost their legs. At 1530 hours, word was
received from BH C Kiseljak that the BSA was in the process of checking
fire. The request for a safe route out of BritBat was also being
"At 1545 hours, information came through that the Spartan was
being towed by the Foden and that the Sultan and the Land Rover were
about 300 metres apart and still surrounded by civilians. At 1619 hours,
the Foden received an indirect hit with shrapnel going through its
radiator. At 1642 hours, another round landed in the group of civilians
by the Foden, killing 10. No BritBat injuries. It was also decided at
25 this time to abandon the Foden and Spartan and move north towards

Page 32125

Zvornik. Because of the frequency change, at 1700 hours coms with C B
SQN were lost. It was assumed that the group was still moving.
"At 1905 hours, it was reported that OC B SQN was in conference
with the BiH. This was assumed to be the edge of what remains of the
Cerska pocket. Permission was granted to carry on and word has passed to
Major Pandurevic that the BritBat group would shortly be approaching the
BSA lines."
8 Do you recall this incident where this --
9 A. What is the date here?
10 Q. It's dated 13 March 1993. Reporting on the 12th.
11 A. I don't remember these details. The artillery of the
12 Zvornik Brigade could not observe its own fire from the positions where
13 it was and we never fired randomly. We never did that. From what
14 direction this fire came and whether it came from the direction it says
15 here, I don't know, but I know this gentleman was interested in me
16 because he was supposed to come to Zvornik and come close to our
17 positions. And I remember one group of military observers, among them a
18 British officer, one Russian officer, and one other officer, Australian
19 or a Belorussian, I'm not sure. They went to that area and returned
20 awhile later.
21 And as for artillery fire by us at Konjevic Polje, it was never
22 random. We never fired without observing, and we were simply unable to
23 observe that location. So I'm not aware of these details.
Q. I would suggest to you this was not random artillery. This was
25 deliberately designed to drop these artillery rounds right on the crowd.


Page 32128

13 Q. So somebody else did this. But you must take credit or
14 responsibility for the term "bitangi" coming out of your official reports
15 to your superiors; correct?
16 A. Yes, I'm responsible for the reports, especially if I was
17 directly involved in their drafting. If I said to the operations duty
18 officer what to write, using certain words and he put them in the way he
19 saw fit, then this report might have gone out in this shape if I hadn't
20 looked through it.
21 Q. Now, you heard when I asked Mr. Jevdjevic what happened to all
22 the mosques in this area, and when I asked him who destroyed them. Do
23 you remember what he said? I think he said idiots.
24 A. I don't remember if that's what he said. I agree.
25 Q. Who destroyed the mosques in these areas that you liberated

Page 32129

1 pursuant to this operation?
2 A. On the axis of action of the Zvornik Brigade the only mosque we
3 encountered was the one in Konjevic Polje and after the liberation of
4 Konjevic Polje, the mosque remained intact. It stood as before but
5 several days later, somebody destroyed it.
6 Q. Who?
7 A. I don't know.


Page 32132

MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Let's go to 65 ter 4286. Excuse me, let
me cancel that. Let's go to 65 ter 4288.
Q. Now, this, we can see, is dated 24 February 1994, from the
Drina Corps, entitled "Removal of the remains of the destroyed mosque in
Konjevic Polje." Order. And it is to the Zvornik Brigade and it orders
you to:
"To use mechanical equipment of the engineering company of your
brigade to start immediately with of the removal of the remains of the
destroyed mosque in Konjevic Polje. The remains of the mosque are to be
dumped at the closest site for disposal of waste material."

To read more:
First part: www.icty.org/x/cases/popovic/trans/en/090225IT.htm
Second Part: www.icty.org/x/cases/popovic/trans/en/090226ED.htm
Plus: Read hundreds of thousands transcript pages at: www.icty.org