"You needed to give him [the prosecutor] something he did not have, right?" said Michael Karnavas, defending. "You wanted to limit your time of imprisonment to 20 years, that was part of the arrangement, yes? Quid pro quo?"
Nikolic admitted he had lied, "I did not tell the truth when I said that. Afterwards I said I had made a mistake, I had lied.
"I apologise. All I can do is confess and say that discussing the crime is a very difficult situation to be in."
"I think we should call it for what it is, a bald faced lie," said Karnavas.
"I'm still a little bit confused," the American lawyer continued. "How is it that you thought by admitting to one of the most horrendous executions in this area, that this would help you in getting the kind of sentence that you are hoping and praying for?"
"I wanted the agreement to succeed," responded Nikolic. His original statement to prosecutors included testimony that while at Kravica, he had observed the involvement of another war crimes suspect, former army officer Ljubomir Borovcanin, in the killing.
He has now told the court that although he was not present, he was certain that Borovcanin had been there.
"You implicated Borovcanin in your falsehood in order to make your story more convincing, so that the prosecutor would buy it?" said Karnavas. "You needed to give him [the prosecutor] some more facts to sweeten the deal - that's why you provided false information about Kravica?"
He went on to ask Nikolic whether he had lied so as to make his story impressive enough for prosecutors to offer him a plea-bargain deal. "Your lawyers had a laundry list of factors that the prosecutor was expected to agree to," said Karnavas.