1 Tuesday, 18 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.26 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is Case Number
8 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Before we start, I would like to
10 inform the parties that the B/C/S version of the written decision of the
11 Appeals Chamber on the matters of assignment of the counsel is available.
12 And the registrar has already given a copy to Mr. Blagojevic. If there's
13 any problems on the part of Mr. Blagojevic, he could consult with his
14 counsel, Mr. Karnavas, as well as the counsel in the registrar.
15 The second issue is that on Thursday, 20th November we will only
16 be sitting for two sittings and we stop at 12.00 sharp. Well, I think we
17 could start.
18 Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 WITNESS: RICHARD JOHN BUTLER [Resumed]
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
22 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Butler.
23 A. Good afternoon, sir.
24 Q. I want to switch the topics a little bit now -- actually we're
25 more or less on the same topic about your analysis. And I understand from
1 your testimony that you have, indeed, rethought your position on one of
2 the intercepts that I believe was generated on the 12th of July, an
3 intercept that had -- that was between a certain general and a certain
4 Jankovic. Do you recall that?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's --
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think that's the 13th of July.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. And I've just been handed a note by
9 my co-counsel.
10 Q. Now, as I understand it, at the time that you testified during the
11 Krstic trial, you did not have certain materials that became available
12 after the Krstic trial, which in effect provided you with sufficient
13 information for you to make a different conclusion. Is that correct?
14 A. In that specific intercept, it was not until after the conclusion
15 of the Krstic trial. So in that respect, you're correct.
16 Q. And, in fact, as I understand it, you or the Prosecutors were able
17 to interview the individual -- or one of the individuals on the intercept.
18 Is that correct?
19 A. I believe we interviewed both of the individuals, however I think
20 if memory serves me correctly, the individual I believe we're talking
21 about who is a protected witness was the only one that issue was addressed
22 to. I do not believe it was addressed to the other person.
23 Q. Okay. Now -- and it's your opinion -- so now we're pretty clear
24 on this intercept at least.
25 Now, I just want to walk you through what you said during Krstic,
1 and then we're going to go through the intercept itself and discuss it,
3 So, if we could go to page 4.849 of the Krstic trial which was
4 Wednesday, 28 June 2002. And if I could have Mr. Usher assist us here,
5 we have something for the ELMO. It's fairly short. And I'll be reading
6 all the way basically into the first line of 4.850. If you could just
7 look at it first. If you look at the top of the page, you'll see it does
8 mention your name, but if you want to give it a quick glance.
9 A. No, I'm familiar with this.
10 Q. The questions begins: "All right. Let's go now. Exhibit 449."
11 And Mr. McCloskey says:
12 Q. Excuse me, 450. That is a July 13th conversation.
13 Now we've come over on to the early morning of the 13th, 7.00 a.m. What
14 can you tell us about this conversation?"
15 A. This conversation occurs again early morning hours of
16 13 July. The correspondent X is looking for whom I believe the first
17 indication of the name Nikolic, a Captain First Class Momir Nikolic, the
18 chief of intelligence and security for the Bratunac Light Infantry
20 Q. Why do you think that? Nikolic is a fairly common
22 A. Again, going into the aspect of the rest of the
23 conversation, we now that Captain First Class Nikolic is, in fact,
24 involved in dealing with the aspects of Muslim people in Potocari on both
25 the 12th and the 13th. Additionally, he's specifically dealing with
1 issues of Muslim wounded males in Bratunac on the 13th.
2 Q. Now, how about the reference to the other people
4 A. Jankovic, I believe when we look at it in context
5 with other material, the individual referred to is Colonel
6 Radislav Jankovic, the chief or a member of the intelligence
7 administration of the VRS Main Staff. We make that conclusion -- I make
8 that conclusion insomuch as we have his involvement on the meetings with
9 the 11th and the 12th, and we have other messages and orders by him
10 showing his dealing with the actual movement of the population from
11 Potocari out through to Kladanj. So we know that Colonel Jankovic is
12 extremely well involved in this.
13 Q. I note in the middle of the page on this conversation
14 that he is introduced as: "Here's police commander Jankovic." Would that
15 be a MUP guy and not the Main Staff Jankovic?
16 A. It's a possibility, yes, sir.
17 Now, do you recall being asked those questions and do you recall
18 giving those answers?
19 A. Yes, sir, I do.
20 Q. Okay. And so it would appear that at least you're certain about
21 one positive identification of one of the individuals that is being
22 mentioned, and that is Momir Nikolic. Correct?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. All right. And in fact you give his rank as captain first class,
25 though you may not be aware that there's only two classes and the first
1 class is actually captain and the second class in their system is first
2 class. Anyway, so we have one positive identification. Now -- and then
3 there's a matter of who these other two gentlemen are, the ones that are
5 Now, I want to focus on the individual who is named Jankovic.
6 You've indicated that you believe this is the same Colonel Jankovic from
7 the Main Staff. Correct?
8 A. At that time, yes, sir.
9 Q. Now, I believe we've handed you and you have handy the intercept
10 itself, what has been marked as Prosecution Exhibit 166/A, I guess. If
11 you could look at it very quickly.
12 A. Do you want it on the ELMO, sir?
13 Q. You could put it on the ELMO, if you wish. And that is the
14 intercept that we're discussing. Right?
15 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
16 Q. Okay. Now, if we flip to the second page, there's a question:
17 "Where is Nikolic?" Correct?
18 A. That is correct, yes, sir.
19 Q. And the gentleman indicates that he went home at half past 3.00.
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Now, let me stop you here. At this point in time, it's clear that
23 there is a conversation being placed to the command post of the
24 Bratunac Brigade, is it not?
25 A. That is correct, sir.
1 Q. Okay. And would it be correct that this conversation now is
2 taking place between someone at the operations -- duty operations officer
3 and whoever else is calling him at the time?
4 A. I don't know whether it's the duty operations officer or some
5 other correspondent in the Bratunac Brigade headquarters. So I couldn't
6 say that, because it's not identified as such.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. But, yes, certainly within the confines of the Bratunac Brigade
10 Q. All right. And -- so you -- from this, you couldn't draw a
11 conclusion or a supposition as to the possibilities of where this call
12 would actually be to?
13 A. There are a number of different options I would understand, the
14 duty operations centre. I suspect that the assistant commander for
15 security has his own phone line and a few other. I don't know the answer
16 to that. Like I said, I don't know that we need to go any further.
17 Certainly it's within the confines of the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
18 Q. All right. And from this intercept, it would appear that Nikolic
19 isn't there because he's decided to go home and this person is filling in
20 for him. Does it not?
21 A. Yes, sir. In that respect, certainly the individual knows where
22 Nikolic went.
23 Q. Okay. And so it would appear that Nikolic had left approximately
24 3.30 in the morning, because it said he left -- this takes place around
25 7.00 in the morning. And if we work our way backwards, it would appear
1 that this individual -- that Nikolic left approximately 3.30 in the
2 morning. Correct?
3 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. It testifies he went home, so yes.
6 Q. He went home. So it would be safe to say, would it not -- or one
7 of the possibilities is that this person is manning the phones in lieu of
8 or instead of Momir Nikolic?
9 A. Yes, sir, that's a possibility.
10 Q. All right. And so if this were a conversation being placed to the
11 operational duty officer, because obviously a lot of information is being
12 asked at this time, it would appear then, would it not, that a captain
13 from the brigade has left at 3.30 in the morning, and someone from the
14 Main Staff, a colonel, is filling in for him. Correct?
15 A. I wouldn't and I don't believe in my initial analysis I used the
16 phrase "filling in for him". But certainly as part of my initial analysis
17 on this, I did attribute that it was Colonel Jankovic and he was
18 physically there, not filling in for him.
19 Q. Okay. And now, is that because you knew at the time that Jankovic
20 was sharing offices with Nikolic, and therefore you automatically assumed
21 that the conversation was or the call had been placed directly to
22 Nikolic's office?
23 A. No, sir. The information at the time indicated that Jankovic, at
24 least within the context of leadership within the VRS was a distinctive
25 name with respect to Srebrenica 1995. In that particular issue, I
1 understood, and at the time I learned later there was another Jankovic,
2 the only Jankovic I knew was that of Colonel Radislav Jankovic.
3 Q. All right. Now, assuming -- but let me ask you this: So you
4 never entertained the thought in your analysis that this conversation
5 could have been to the duty officer at the time?
6 A. I don't believe that at the time that issue came up. With respect
7 to who the -- where the context of the correspondents or the
8 correspondents were, whether it was the duty officer or not, I don't
9 believe that entered into the equation at the time.
10 Q. In other words, you didn't think about that to say, "Well, maybe
11 it's from the operation, they're calling in because they're trying to
12 figure out what's going on." Right?
13 A. Well, it is a possibility, but since in this particular intercept
14 it doesn't identify either through voice compromise or some other piece of
15 information identify whether it was the duty officer or the operations
16 centre, it was not an issue that I wanted to speculate on. It wasn't of
17 relevance with respect to the Krstic trial to my knowledge, whether it
18 came into the duty officer or whether it was just within the broader
19 confines of the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
20 Q. All right. Now, had you been to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters
22 A. No, sir, I've never been to the Bratunac Brigade headquarters.
23 Q. Were you aware physically where Mr. Nikolic's, Captain Nikolic's,
24 office was, either on the ground floor or the first floor? We would call
25 it the second floor in the States?
1 A. I'm not sure of the specifics. I would have to go back and review
2 Captain Nikolic's first interview with the OTP. I don't recall that the
3 actual physical layout was discussed in that first interview.
4 Q. In fact, in that first interview, if my memory serves me correct,
5 there was no discussion with respect to this particular intercept, which
6 mentions his name?
7 A. No, sir, there was not, to my knowledge.
8 Q. And that interview took place, as I believe, back in 1999, the
9 first interview?
10 A. December 1999, yes, sir.
11 Q. Okay. And so -- but you would agree with me that one possibility
12 of this phone call, since they're asking for information, would have been
13 to the duty operation officer, because after all that's where all of the
14 data is coming in, and this is 7.00 in the morning?
15 A. Yes, sir. That's a valid interpretation.
16 Q. Okay. And if that's a valid interpretation, it would be sort of
17 unreasonable to assume that a captain would have a colonel from the Main
18 Staff come in and fill in for him?
19 A. Certainly as the duty officer, I believe that is unreasonable.
20 Q. Okay. Because -- I mean, in fact it doesn't make any sense?
21 A. You would think that that particular colonel would have better
22 things to do than fill in as the duty officer for a subordinate brigade,
23 yes, sir.
24 Q. Militarily, under the rules, it can't happen?
25 A. Yeah, I don't think it can happen under their rules.
1 Q. In fact, even if it could happen, Nikolic would have to call his
2 command, Colonel Blagojevic, in order to get permission for this to occur?
3 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
4 Q. In fact, there is one instance where you talked about the other
5 Nikolic, Dragan Nikolic, how that happened in Zvornik?
6 A. Yes, sir. That is correct, sir.
7 Q. Okay. All right. Well, one of the questions that is being asked
8 is: Who is up there? He says they're "up there" with respect to the boss
9 in this particular intercept. Do you see that?
10 A. That is correct, sir.
11 Q. Okay. Did you give that any thought?
12 A. In the context of believing that the correspondent was
13 Colonel Jankovic, my assessment at the time on that was that the commander
14 in question was General Mladic. I can go the next step now, knowing that
15 it is, in fact, another Jankovic, in that respect the commander that they
16 would be talking about should be Colonel Blagojevic.
17 Q. Assuming that up there means physically up there?
18 A. It does indicate in the next one with the men from up there.
19 Q. Right. Okay. Now, you're given another chance to speculate, if I
20 can use that word, or provide us with another possibility, and you're
21 asked: Well, could it be -- the question is posed, somewhat leading in
22 nature, but never mind. I note in the middle of the page on this
23 conversation that he's introduced as: "He's police commander Jankovic."
24 Correct? That would be on, I believe, the first page.
25 A. Yes, sir, I've got it.
1 Q. Okay. And then the -- it goes on and this is the leading part,
2 which I would have objected to. "Would that be a MUP guy and not a
3 Main Staff Jankovic?" In other words giving you an opportunity now to
4 make a choice.
5 And you say: "It is a possibility, yes, sir." In other words, a
6 possibility that a MUP now, somebody in the MUP would be there, manning
7 the phones or answering a phone where one would expect to find
8 Momir Nikolic on that particular day. Correct?
9 A. I don't take it as such. I believe that the context of the
10 question was the identification of police commander Jankovic, would that
11 be an individual with the MUP and not the Main Staff Jankovic. I don't
12 believe I took it to the next part of your conclusion, which was that it
13 would be logical to assume that a MUP guy is answering the phone for
14 Nikolic. I just left it at the point where are we talking about an
15 individual from the VRS or are we talking about an individual who could be
16 from the MUP.
17 Q. Correct. But this call is being placed to the Bratunac Brigade
18 headquarters someplace, and it would appear from the -- it would appear
19 from the question that you're being asked whether that person is sitting
20 in, giving information about Nikolic, and that person happens to be a
21 commander of MUP. That's how I read it. How do you read it?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misconstruction of the
23 answers, that's a misconstruction of the testimony. There needs to be a
24 factual basis of some sort to a question that's asked.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: How do you --
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY:
3 Q. How do you read this question posed to you by the Prosecutor?
4 A. As I explained, the way that I read this question is that: Is the
5 identification of police commander Jankovic an individual who is a MUP
6 person or is an army - or a Main Staff in this case - person.
7 Q. And you say it's a possibility, yes?
8 A. That is correct, sir.
9 Q. And I'm trying to ask, because obviously that was something that
10 was expected -- this was a question expected of you to answer. How is it
11 that you thought that MUP, a commander of MUP, would be answering a phone
12 in the Bratunac Brigade headquarters where one would find Momir Nikolic?
13 What led you to that conclusion to say yes, that's a possibility? Because
14 you could have gone on and said, that's a possibility, but I rule it out
15 and here are the reasons why.
16 A. I raise the issue that it was a possibility because, particularly,
17 trying to do the analysis on the basis of intercepts and other
18 information, I'm not there. It is a possibility and it's not one that I'm
19 prepared or at the time I was prepared to exclude. So I hold open the
20 fact that there is an alternative possibility.
21 Q. Is there a reason why when you interviewed Momir Nikolic when you
22 had him, that -- do you know whether -- why he was never asked that
24 A. Yes, sir, I do.
25 Q. Why he was never asked to discuss this intercept?
1 A. With respect to his first interview, I don't think I'll be going
2 out on a limb by saying that he was being very economical with the truth,
3 and, in fact, most of the information he provided in that first interview
4 was information we came back and determined to be patently false.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. So given the fact my understanding of the way the situation was,
7 given the fact that he was just being completely untruthful, the decision
8 was, basically we'll take the information we have at the interview and
9 move from there.
10 Q. So you weren't interested in maybe asking him who could this
11 Jankovic be that said you left three and a half hours earlier on July
12 13th, that you were just totally disinterested in?
13 A. No, sir, I was extremely interested. However, the practical
14 reality at the time was we weren't going to get very many truthful answers
15 out of him.
16 Q. You did ask him about the 65th Protection Regiment, right?
17 A. Yes, sir, and if I recall correctly he knew almost nothing about
19 Q. He gave an explanation at trial that he had forgotten about it.
20 Under oath, that was his testimony. He couldn't remember the number.
21 A. He couldn't remember a lot of things at that December interview
22 that he should have remembered and, of course, from my perspective that
23 was an indication that certainly at that December 1999 interview he was
24 being very untruthful with us.
25 Q. All right. Okay. I'll move on to something else. And in this
1 area, let's go to a chapter of our discussion. I want to go over your
2 participation in the questioning process of witnesses. As I recall, you
3 testified back on -- it was the first day, November 10th, 2003. You were
4 asked about an -- it's on page 4.237. You were asked if you were present
5 during the interviews. And you gave a particular answer. If you could
6 look at that. And if you find it, it should be 4.237, and I believe it
7 goes on to 4.238.
8 You were asked on line -- I believe it starts with line 13: "At
9 the time of the investigation did you sit in on any interviews of
11 And your answer was: "I sat in during investigation in numerous
12 interviews, and on those interviews where I was not able to go because of
13 other commitments, I read the interviews after they were finished. So I
14 have access to all of that information."
15 The next question: "Why were you actually present during
16 interviews of various people?"
17 And this is the aspect that I'm going to be focusing on, answer,
18 line 20: "Well, certainly during the early days of the investigation and
19 the initial interviews that we started conducting in 1998, as the military
20 analyst, logically I was the person who had the broadest background as to
21 the military context of the individual and the questions that would be
22 asked. Most of these interviews were, in fact, of VRS military officers.
23 So it was pretty much, you know, a logical conclusion that I would be the
24 person in there to be able to assist investigators and the lawyers who
25 were present as a component of preparing for and in the interview to
1 determine not how accurate the individual is speaking, but to ensure that
2 on follow-on questions, we can get complete answers with respect to
3 military issues."
4 Do you recall being asked those questions and giving those
6 A. Yes, sir, I do.
7 Q. Okay. Now, from reading your answer, it would appear to me that
8 you were there as an asset for the investigators and the Prosecutors,
9 because you had the military background. Correct?
10 A. That is correct, sir.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's inappropriate for the lawyer to interject his
14 own personal viewpoint in the questions. That is something that is not
15 ever relevant and is not necessary. The question can be phrased in the
16 same exact way, but it's not appropriate for it to be made personal like
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, I think the testimony of that
19 witness during that trial is quite clear. There's proper foundation for
20 the lawyer to ask this question. But on the other hand, Mr. Karnavas, I
21 hope you sometimes just read the transcript word by word.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
23 Q. Mr. Butler, were you there strictly to provide assistance to
24 Prosecutors, like Peter McCloskey who was there, asking questions of
1 A. I provided assistance before and during the interviews, and in
2 some instances I actually asked questions of the interviewees.
3 Q. What was your function at the time? Investigator? Interrogator?
4 Analyst? What was it?
5 A. Analyst.
6 Q. All right. So you weren't there to investigate?
7 A. I am not a credentialed investigator, no, sir.
8 Q. That wasn't my question. My question was: Were you there to
9 investigate? Yes or no?
10 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, analysis is a function of investigation. I
11 mean --
12 Q. So what is the answer then?
13 A. I was there as part of the investigative process. And in that, I
14 analysed, and as part of my questioning, I assume that that will qualify
15 as investigate.
16 Q. Okay. So you were there to investigate as well as analyse?
17 A. If the two can be split apart, yes, sir.
18 Q. All right. Now, your role as a questioner, was that strictly
19 related to military aspects or would you jump in on occasion to ask
20 questions that you thought might be relevant in other aspects of the
21 investigative case?
22 A. To be fair, Mr. Karnavas, there have been a lot of those. My
23 general practice was that I would interject if there was a
24 military-related follow-on question or a contextual one. However, I
25 certainly won't rule out the possibility that I may have interjected as to
1 another aspect of the case. If you have specifics that would be helpful,
2 but it's been a lot of years and a lot of interviews, sir.
3 Q. But there have been cases where -- instances I should say,
4 instances where you were quite active in asking the questions?
5 A. There are -- have been one or two interviews where I was quite
6 active, yes, sir.
7 Q. Now, again, I just want to make sure I understand it, were you
8 trying to focus on the military aspects, getting -- trying to get
9 information from the witnesses, so then you could as an independent,
10 objective analyst, and not as an investigator for the Prosecution team,
11 get information to analyse it and provide us with an objective viewpoint.
12 What was it?
13 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, I'm not independent, per se. I work for and
14 am a member of the Office of the Prosecutor and I am integrated into the
15 investigative team. The reports that I write and the conclusions that I
16 try to make, I believe are as fair and balanced as possible. But I'm not
17 going to sit up here and say that I'm an independent outsider, obviously
18 I'm not.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. It would be almost impossible for me, considering that we're
21 talking about a military-related war crime issue, for me, on one hand, to
22 say that I could focus strictly on the military analytical aspects or
23 dissecting the Drina Corps, and on the other hand not have to deal with
24 some of the criminal-related linkage that ties back to the military. It's
25 an impossible and strictly artificial difference.
1 Q. All right. But I guess my question is -- goes more towards your
2 intense association with that particular team as you travelled around
3 acting as an investigator as well as an analyst, to what extent that might
4 have affected your objectivity as an analyst. That's -- do you think that
5 that might have in some way skewed your objectivity?
6 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, I like to think that it does not; however, I
7 am human. It may very well have had an impact on some aspects of it. I
8 try very hard as a component of my report, over 670 footnote citations, as
9 a way of trying to prevent that. Also as part of the process, I have
10 access to a number of other military analysts who work on different cases
11 and different issues, and I am very active with them in discussing a lot
12 of these issues looking for alternative points of view, strictly as an
13 exercise to prevent any form of bias from creeping into my analysis. So
14 while I cannot say I'm perfect, I try to take and I actively work to take
15 steps to reduce bias, even though it exists.
16 Q. And all those people, by the way, that you consult, they're like
17 you working for the Prosecution, non-independent, members of their team
18 working to solve cases that the Prosecutors for whom they work with and
19 for are interested in achieving a result of guilt?
20 A. We are certainly not independent as the analysts. We work to
21 solve cases for the Prosecutor, that's correct. We're -- certainly the
22 analysts are less concerned with the issue of achieving innocence and
23 guilt and are more concerned with the issue of being as factually and
24 contextually accurate as possible. As I indicated yesterday, that is --
25 as analysts, we believe that is what the Office of the Prosecutor wants
1 from us. We try to do that as much as we possibly can. And where the
2 contextual facts lay out, whether they prove innocence or guilt is an
3 issue we tend to leave for the Court.
4 Q. Well, just for the record, I just want to touch on a couple of
5 interviews, portions of interviews, where you've interjected yourself.
6 And maybe you could tell us what was the purpose behind those questions or
7 whatever they -- the sections refer to. So I'm going to -- I would like
8 to show you a transcript that has been marked -- will be marked for
9 identification purposes as D81/1. And if you could get it handy.
10 A. You have me at a disadvantage, sir.
11 Q. I'm sorry. Okay. If we could --
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm --
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we get a copy. This is the first time we've
15 heard of anything along these lines.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I thought that we distributed sufficient
17 copies, but obviously ...
18 Q. Okay. If you could just look at the front page first of all, and
19 it notes that this was an interview taken on 1st December 2001. Correct?
20 A. I believe so, yes, sir.
21 Q. And then it designates the individual's name. Correct?
22 A. That is correct, sir.
23 Q. Okay. Now, if you flip to page -- well, that's the problem.
24 These are not paginated, but I guess we did it by hand. Page 66. This is
25 how we received them, though there may be an updated version of them.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Okay. And there it clearly denotes, does it not, that you are
3 going on record. Towards the bottom of the page, at the end of the page
4 it says: "Richard Butler: Okay, for the record my name is
5 Richard Butler."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. And then you said that you have a couple of questions pertaining
9 to going over some of the information you've already given the
10 investigators and the team this morning. Do you see that?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Now, if you go to the next page towards the middle of it, you ask
13 a question, and I'll read it and follow along -- it's page 67 --
14 A. I don't want to put this on the ELMO because I'm not sure of the
15 status of the individual.
16 Q. And I think everybody has copies and that's why I agree. You
17 indicate --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a matter of procedure, I think the procedure
21 has been established that there should be a question. If there's a
22 document or something where he can be impeached, he can be impeached. If
23 there's a document to refresh his recollection. But this merely just
24 reading out things for comment is really not an appropriate part of common
25 law adversarial procedure. And it could go on forever. And if it
1 just -- that's why the witness is here. Just reading transcripts forever,
2 you know, is just not proper.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I would like to respond to that. First, it's a
4 technique that I see quite often used by the Prosecution in the Milosevic
5 case. So it is used. Secondly, we are not in the common law
6 jurisdiction. Thirdly, even if we were in one, it would be permitted for
7 me to read and then discuss, because obviously I have to get the gentleman
8 to read it and we have to get it on the record, especially in light of the
9 Court's ruling that all these documents don't come in.
10 Thirdly, the gentleman indicated that he was there. He stated his
11 position of what he was doing and how he was doing it. I'm now going to
12 point to -- not to every question, because we do have a list of 19
13 individuals that he's questioned. We've even broken it down. I'm going
14 to go through two witnesses to give the Court an impression of the
15 gentleman's participation and how he was questioning people. So I think
16 it's relevant to the issue. It goes to the issue of bias. I'm not saying
17 that the man is biased, but it's just something that will need to be
18 considered by the Court.
19 And lastly, I would like to say that last week I exercised an
20 enormous amount of restraint, even though I should have been objecting
21 because of the Court's ruling. Now I feel I'm being sabotaged by the
22 Prosecution jumping up and down and objecting for no reason. So I would
23 like to have some consistency. This is proper. We've done it before and
24 I don't intend to read large portions, but I think the gentleman should be
25 given an opportunity to comment for the record.
1 And again, at some point, I will be arguing at the close of this
2 trial that perhaps his testimony and his reports should be viewed with a
3 pinch of salt. That's all. This goes to his character for bias and it
4 was an issue that was raised by the Prosecution on direct. They asked the
5 question: Were you there?
6 When they asked the question, and that's why I read it into the
7 record again to refresh his memory, it would appear that he was just
8 sitting there providing some mere guidance, perhaps with the occasional
9 question. I'm trying to show that is not true, accurate, and complete.
10 They opened the door. I'm merely trying to close it now.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I quite understand your objections
12 and the -- as for the point you are going to make, I think it's the
13 conclusion that the Bench should draw on whether this witness is biased or
14 not. Of course you could show your case to the Bench. And here we are
15 talking about a procedural matter. I think since everybody has got this
16 document and we could read it by ourselves, and if you have questions,
17 just ask the question. And if a certain part is particularly important to
18 your case, you may read it out for the record. But do not read so many
19 paragraphs, the whole page. I hope you could put your question up to the
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I can, Your Honour. And, see, I'm trying to
22 readjust to your earlier reading. If we could have, for instance, a
23 modified ruling from your -- from the initial ruling that we had from the
24 Bench, in that I would at least be able to introduce the pages from which
25 the testimony was taken as opposed to the entire document, fine.
1 Otherwise, if I just ask the question, these documents don't go into the
2 record, there is no record then from which the Court can discern. It
3 becomes very difficult. And so that's why if I can have it as an exhibit,
4 just the relevant portions that are asked, then I don't need to read. So
5 I'm trying to abide by the Court's ruling and at the same time make my
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, you could, but try to reduce the parts to as
8 little as possible.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying, Your Honour. It's not easy sometimes.
10 Very well. Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Now, if we could go to page 67 and just -- here you ask a question
12 and I just want to read the relevant -- the question itself.
13 You say: "I have to tell you, considering the events that were
14 occurring, and they were of such magnitude and size that everyone," and I
15 underscore you say, "everyone in Bratunac was aware of what was going on.
16 I find it difficult to believe that a captain assigned to the logistics
17 branch of the Bratunac Brigade, at a time when the brigade was fully
18 mobilised and when people's work obligations were being called and then
19 they were being mobilised, would be spending his days picking
21 Now, my question to you is what was the purpose of telling him
22 that everybody knew in Bratunac? Was that -- just if you could answer
23 that question.
24 A. To my knowledge, Mr. Karnavas, in the context of what we were
25 talking about, everyone in Bratunac knew that Srebrenica had fallen and
1 that there were tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in Potocari.
2 Q. But I guess the form of the question, are you there trying to get
3 information or are you there trying to browbeat him like an interrogator,
4 you know -- and as I understand it, the military does have professional
5 interrogators, within the context of your particular field, which is
7 A. Yes, sir they do, and no, sir, I am not one of them.
8 Q. Okay. And I'm not suggesting that you are. But would you not
9 agree with me that there in that particular question, you're trying to
10 somehow intimidate the individual?
11 A. No, sir. I believe that if you go to the previous question and
12 put the two in context, I'm making it clear that given his prior statement
13 to the investigator and one of my other analysts, that I do not believe
14 that he has associated himself with the entire time of picking
16 Q. Okay. So that was a conclusion that you had reached at that time?
17 A. Based on the information that was told to me by the investigator
18 and the analyst who sat in at the first part of that interview, yes, sir.
19 Q. And they had information that he had not been out picking
21 A. The information that we had was that he was a rostered member of
22 the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Given the circumstances that were occurring at the time, we
25 found - and in my opinion, I found - an argument that he was, in fact, not
1 performing any military duty and picking raspberries as somewhere beyond
3 Q. But at the same time you've already indicated to us that one of
4 the tasks for the military police was to go around rounding up people that
5 were leaving their posts when they were supposed to be serving their duty.
7 A. That is correct but it does not normally apply to captains in the
8 logistics branch. Officers have a less frequent instance of going absent
9 without official leave than do conscripts.
10 Q. Was he a reservist or an academy graduate?
11 A. He was a reservist like almost all the other Bratunac Brigade
13 Q. Would he have been in that position if he was in the JNA,
14 because -- and I mention this only because we're going to be getting to
15 it, but you seem to be implying that they more or less wholesale adopted
16 the JNA doctrine and by virtue of doing so implemented it accordingly.
17 A. I've lost your question on which issue we're talking about --
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object to relevance, whether this guy
19 is the kind of officer that might be out picking raspberries, I don't see
20 the relevance any further.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas, we don't see the relevance here.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I do want to put the Court on notice, I will be
23 objecting, in spite the Court's instructions, if it's allowed for the
24 Prosecution to just object whenever they wish. I think their objections
25 are designed only to obstruct, and I say this with all due candour.
1 JUDGE LIU: No, Mr. Karnavas. I think the Bench would decide what
2 kind of nature the objection is. It's not your responsibility.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
4 Q. Now -- so it's your conclusion, you had concluded on the spot that
5 this reservist, captain, could not have been out picking raspberries?
6 A. I believe that my conclusion was that I found it difficult to
8 Q. All right. Did you ask him where he was picking raspberries?
9 A. I would have to go back and look at the entire remainder of the
10 interview to know the specific questions, and there are another 24 pages,
11 I believe, 23 pages, so it would take a while. I don't know exactly what
12 questions I asked him.
13 Q. Do you know whether it was raspberry season?
14 A. I am informed it was raspberry season, yes, sir.
15 Q. And were these not also -- were these not also citizen soldiers,
16 including these reservist officers, serving in and around the areas where
17 they lived?
18 A. Yes, sir, they were.
19 Q. All right. And were these not also hard times for these people
20 that were living there during these war conditions?
21 A. I assume that they were difficult times for them, yes.
22 Q. And isn't it a fact in that region if you go to it, one of the
23 staples is the agricultural -- the agriculture. Correct?
24 A. That is correct, sir.
25 Q. Okay. Now, if you could go to page 80. Again, the top of the
1 page. Again, just a vignette here. We're not going to go through the
2 entire interview. "Do you know" - here is you making a statement, it
3 would appear - "Do you know that in late September and in early October,
4 the forces of the Bratunac Brigade, some of them from the rear services
5 branch, no doubt some of them from the engineering equipment in Vihor dug
6 up the mass graves in Glogova at night, after night and transferred the
7 trucks to graves in Zeleni Jadar. And every night trucks filled with
8 decomposing bodies were passed through the town where everyone could smell
10 Now, my question is: Here you say, I want to highlight, "no
11 doubt". Again, you seem to be injecting your opinion into the question,
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And we -- was this a military question? Did this have to do with
16 A. Well, looking in the context, as a logistics officer, which he
17 was, and the inference that the rear services branches would have been
18 involved in that in a similar manner that they were in Zvornik, I consider
19 this to be a military question.
20 Q. And a question one that the Prosecutor who was there would have
21 been incapable of formulating or conceiving in their mind, and therefore a
22 military analyst of your expertise was necessary at the time?
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. That's argumentative.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: It goes to what he indicated on direct. He was
1 only there as support.
2 Q. Would you agree with me that this is a little bit more than
3 support? More like intimidation?
4 A. With respect to whether or not the investigator or other analysts
5 who were involved in the beginning of the interview had already asked that
6 question, I don't know. But my goal behind that question was that we had
7 already received from a number of individuals the issue that there was a
8 general awareness within the town of Bratunac about the reburial
9 operation. A number of witnesses had indicated that at night they could
10 smell the bodies going by, and that as a member of the rear services of
11 the Bratunac Brigade, that the issue that he had no awareness of this,
12 again, I didn't think was credible.
13 Q. All right, but my question is: Why was it necessary for Analyst
14 Butler to ask the question and not the investigator or whoever was
16 A. I don't know that he didn't ask the question earlier. I asked the
17 question because, again as I noted, he indicated that the rear services
18 company, to his knowledge, did not have any activity with respect to that.
19 And I believe that the information that we have indicates that there were
20 at least some elements that would have been involved.
21 Q. So you had already formed a conclusion and now you're trying to
22 verify this conclusion. And when you were getting nowhere, you were
23 giving him information, letting him know that everybody knew, more or less
24 trying to break him down and sort of give you what you thought the
25 information that he had?
1 A. I was asked the question from a point of view that trying to get a
2 truthful answer.
3 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. If we could go to just one more
4 interview. And this is a short one. I think one reference only, one
5 vignette. What has been marked D80/1 for identification purposes.
6 If you could look at it and as we can see, this is dated 2nd
7 December 2001. Do you agree with me?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Okay. And in fact it's the first page also notes the gentleman's
10 name that is being interviewed?
11 A. Yes, sir. And I would appreciate if you would not mention that
12 name. I know that this individual has had some problems. I'm just
13 raising the issue now. I'm sorry.
14 Q. Thank you for your guidance. And it would appear that he's being
15 interviewed in Banja Luka. Correct?
16 A. That is correct, sir, yes.
17 Q. And just from the first page, I just want to point out that we see
18 your name?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. And I take it from your earlier answer or your earlier remark, you
21 have a vivid recollection of this particular interview or interviewing the
23 A. Yes, sir, I do.
24 Q. Okay. Now, if we could -- let me have one moment.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I need one moment to find the page, Your Honour. I
1 have an unpaginated version. I don't know how ...
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we could have an early break, and
3 during the break you could try to organise your documents.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I would appreciate that. And I truly apologise for
5 taking up the Court's time in this fashion.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume until 5 minutes to 4.00
7 --- Recess taken at 3.27 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 3.59 p.m.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. You found that page?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, I did. And I apologise again, Your Honour.
11 If I could direct everyone's attention to page 34 to what has been marked
12 for identification purposes as D80.
13 Q. Have you found it, Mr. Butler?
14 A. 34, yes, I have.
15 Q. And it starts with your name, does it not?
16 A. Yes, sir, it does.
17 Q. I'm going to read and then we're going to have to have a little
18 discussion. You state here: "I understand your position and I understand
19 the threat that you are under. I understand your decision. And hopefully
20 in time, as the situation changes and as you see the situation change you
21 can again come forward with information that we can use to prosecute the
22 guilty and keep the innocent from being caught up in that process.
23 Everyone knows what happened in Eastern Bosnia in July of 1995. You are a
24 military officer. You know what it takes to move thousands of people from
25 one location to another. You know how many soldiers are needed to guard
1 these people. You know how many bulldozers and engineers that are
2 required to bury the bodies. It's not anything that happened by magic.
3 You know this. The officers of the Drina Corps know this. The officers
4 of the Zvornik Brigade, the Bratunac Brigade, the protection battalion of
5 the 65th Battalion Regiment, Milici, Vlasenica, everyone knows this, and
6 everyone knows that at the end of the day, there are very few people who
7 are responsible for doing this, that a lot of people had parts in it,
8 whether by choice or whether they are forced to. We are not looking for
9 people who are forced to leave -- we are not looking for people who were
10 forced to have a role. Drazen Erdemovic was forced to shoot people at
11 Branjevo Form. His friends later put a bullet in him, but he told of his
12 role there. He doesn't go away from life. In many ways, he's seen as a
13 victim, just as the victim who he shot. There are a lot of awful -- there
14 are an awful lot of Drazen Erdemovics who were forced to do things; the
15 difference is that Drazen Erdemovic is now living a new life somewhere.
16 And the hundreds who were forced to do things are not and will not. And
17 we'll just leave it at that."
18 Now, where is the question in this portion that I read?
19 A. There isn't one in that portion, sir.
20 Q. Well, I thought you were there, based on your testimony --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could we have the microphone for the witness,
23 THE WITNESS: My apologies. Can you ask the question again, sir,
24 I don't think they caught it for the record.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. Thank you. My question was: Where is the question in the
3 A. My answer was: There is no question there, sir.
4 Q. Okay. And as I understand your testimony earlier was you were
5 there to assist the Prosecutors and the investigators in the event they
6 needed, you know, some military expertise that they could rely on you to
7 provide them with that information in order to ask the proper questions.
9 A. That is correct, sir.
10 Q. All right. And yet here we see no question, do we?
11 A. Not in that particular passage that you just read, no, sir.
12 Q. In fact, you're not only making a statement, but you're drawing
13 some conclusions, are you not?
14 A. In this respect, yes, I am.
15 Q. All right. For instance, you're telling him: "Everyone knows
16 what happened in Eastern Bosnia in July of 1995." Right?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Now, that's a conclusion that you had reached that everyone, and I
19 take it you're speaking everyone in what, all Serbs, everyone in Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina, or everyone in the world? Which one is it?
21 A. Oh, I think I'll keep that one limited to everyone in
22 Eastern Podrinje.
23 Q. Okay. And that was, I take it, a conclusion that you had reached
24 at that time?
25 A. Well, I have failed to meet anyone yet who had not heard of
1 Srebrenica and wasn't aware of the background and the events that
2 occurred. So I didn't I was reaching very far on that one.
3 Q. Okay. So I guess this is only limited to what that they had heard
4 that something had happened, not to the events, the actual details of the
5 events. Is that what you're saying?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Now you go on further down and then you say, you know this the
8 officers, you say the Drina Corps, the Zvornik Brigade, Bratunac Brigade,
9 Protection Battalion of the 65th Milici and so on and so forth. And you
10 say: "Everyone knows at the end of the day that there were very few
11 people who were responsible."
12 Now, was this your opinion at this time that all these folks knew
13 about what was going on and knew of all the details?
14 A. In this particular case and before I get into the context behind
15 this particular passage, I prefer to do it in private session, given the
16 sensitivities involved. In this particular respect, I was trying to, with
17 this particular individual who had received and to my knowledge as
18 recently six months ago, continues to receive threats, this was one of the
19 issues -- one of the issues was that he was very fearful about saying
20 anything or cooperating or even talking with the Office of the Prosecutor.
21 As I say, I can go into more the context of the details of this, but I
22 prefer to do that in private session.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Can we go into private session, Your Honour, for
24 this answer?
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, is it necessary to go into the very details of
1 this issue? I don't think that the answer of this witness is contrary to
2 your question.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I stand corrected. You're absolutely
4 right, Your Honour.
5 Q. It would appear here during some sort of -- they're using some
6 psychology to motivate this person to come forward and also you're using
7 the name of Drazen Erdemovic as a good example. Correct?
8 A. I would -- I don't know if I'm using psychology, but certainly in
9 this particular instance I used Drazen Erdemovic as an individual who came
10 forward and testified as to his role in the massacres.
11 Q. But you're also explaining your conclusion, you're telling this
12 individual that everybody knows everything, basically, from all of these
13 brigades in the corps. Isn't that the purpose of it?
14 A. Yes, sir. I believe that in this respect, most of the local
15 population knows a great deal about the individuals who or who were not
16 involved. And as I indicated in that passage that you read, one of the
17 goals that we have is to not catch people up in the investigative process
18 who have no role. And as I expect you know from travelling and being in
19 Bratunac, any mere association with the Office of the Prosecutor in that
20 respect carries with it a significant threat for reprisal.
21 Q. And then you tell him that basically Erdemovic, who got
22 approximately a month for each innocent life that he took as a reward for
23 coming forward is, in your eyes, a victim, just like the victims that he
24 took -- he snuffed lives of. Right?
25 A. In this particular context where Drazen Erdemovic is a low-ranking
1 soldier whom - and he'll testify to this, so I'm not going to put words in
2 his mouth, I presume - was put in a position where if he did not execute
3 individuals, he himself would be killed, he may very well be a victim.
4 That is an unfortunate lot in life for being a soldier.
5 Q. This is an individual who said, okay, then he executed over a
6 hundred and then supposedly found the courage to tell the same person who
7 had told him, "take the line if you don't execute," "I throw my hands up,
8 I'm through executing for the day," correct, and I'm paraphrasing, but
9 that is in essence his testimony?
10 A. That is, in essence, I believe. And again, that's a morality
11 judgement on his part, not mine.
12 Q. In other words, it took over a hundred lives for him to
13 take -- before he decided that he had enough and, in fact, nothing
14 happened to him?
15 A. I believe that he was shot a week later.
16 Q. In Bijeljina, over other matters.
17 A. I don't know that it was unrelated, sir.
18 Q. Very well. Okay, well. Just a couple of questions on this. Were
19 you acting as Butler the analyst here, the military analyst here or was it
20 Butler the interrogator, or Butler the investigator, or what was your role
21 and function at this juncture at this interview?
22 A. Well, in this specific interview, this is actually rather a
23 completely different role for me. As you will note in the context of the
24 entire interview, the individual when he came forward and started
25 discussing his military background, it became very clear to me because of
1 my association with other military analysts on other cases, that his
2 background would make him an important witness with respect to at least
3 two and perhaps three other cases. Obviously, Mr. Bursik the investigator
4 was with me the whole time. Clearly Mr. Bursik, focussing on Srebrenica,
5 does not know a lot of the contextual issues behind those other
6 investigations. In that respect, I played a leading role in this
7 interview, not only to elicit the information with respect to those that
8 would be of use to those other investigations, but also the fact that the
9 individual I was talking to was a professional military officer who was
10 very fearful for certain circumstances with his family. So like I said,
11 this is rather an anomaly as to how active I am in an interview. However,
12 under the circumstances I think I conducted myself appropriately.
13 Q. Mr. Butler, were you there -- were you not there to interview a
14 witness for Srebrenica? Yes or no.
15 A. He was summonsed for his role in Srebrenica, yes, sir.
16 Q. Okay. And so this conversation and this interview has nothing to
17 do with other cases that you claim today, but rather the focus of the
18 interview was his knowledge and/or possible involvement in Srebrenica.
20 A. I think if you read the first 17 pages of the interview, you'll
21 find out that that's not correct.
22 Q. The passage that I read has nothing to do with trying to elicit
23 information from someone; instead it's you imparting information.
25 A. Yes, sir, it is.
1 Q. And one of the things you were trying to do in your role -- as
2 your role, I guess, as an analyst, was to flip, to use a common term, to
3 flip a witness; in other words, make him your own. Correct? Not that
4 there's anything wrong with that, but that's what you were trying to do?
5 A. I don't know that that would be the phraseology of what I was
6 doing, however very clearly what I was attempting to do is to make the
7 individual understand that within the context of what the investigation
8 was looking for, that his information was of value, even though I agree
9 with his perception that he wasn't there at the commission of the crimes
10 and had left the area before.
11 What we were looking for in this context was that because he had
12 ties to that city, the information we were trying to elicit from him was
13 with respect to what information he had heard as well as what information
14 he knew people weren't involved in these things. So in this respect, it
15 wasn't firsthand information; what it was, we were looking for information
16 that he might be able to use to give us further investigative leads.
17 Q. But the bottom line after that long-winded explanation is you
18 wanted to make him your own witness?
19 A. I wanted to certainly get him to cooperate with the Office of the
21 Q. So he would become a cooperating witness?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Okay. All right. And I take it at that point he wasn't
24 cooperating enough to provide you the sort of information or to go into
25 the details that you and the others wanted him to provide you. Right?
1 A. No, sir. Like I said, in the greater context, there's more to the
2 story with respect to beyond this interview. And that's what I don't want
3 to get into in public session.
4 Q. Just one last question. Was the investigator that was with you
5 there at the time Mr. Bursik, isn't he a trained investigator?
6 A. Yes, sir, he is. And he's a fine one.
7 Q. And there's nothing in the statement that you made that he could
8 not make, since he was there to investigate and you were there to provide
9 backup military analytical information to the Prosecution team. Right?
10 A. Again, I disagree. And if you would go back to the beginning of
11 the statement, most of the information discussed in the first 18 pages
12 were areas that are well beyond the scope of the investigation that he's
13 involved in.
14 Q. Mr. Butler, my question was right to that statement that you made.
15 So don't go off the reservation. Stay with me on this statement, on this
16 particular statement, the one that you made, the one where you're trying
17 to flip him over and make him a cooperating Prosecution witness. That
18 statement could have been made by the investigator and not by the analyst.
19 It has nothing to do with military information that someone of your
20 calibre need to have. Right?
21 A. No, sir. I trust that Mr. Bursik could have made that statement.
22 Q. All right. Now, before we leave the issue of statements,
23 questioning statements, were you present when General Zivanovic was
24 interviewed by the Prosecution?
25 A. No, sir, I was not.
1 Q. And that would have been back on July 2nd, 2001.
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. That you were not or --
4 A. That I was not present, but your day is correct, I believe.
5 Q. My day is correct but at one point your name pops up, that's why?
6 A. That's unsurprising --
7 Q. That's unsurprising or surprising?
8 A. My name tends to pop up frequently in a number of interviews with
9 VRS officers concerning this. My public testimony has gotten around.
10 Q. I see. Well, were you aware, since we're on the gentleman, were
11 you aware that he had indicated to Peter McCloskey, who was there as part
12 of the team, to interview -- he had suggested that he should interview
13 Colonel Blagojevic. Were you aware of that?
14 A. I would have been aware -- when I first read the statement it
15 would have been approximately the first week of August is when it was
16 transcribed. That particular comment that we should interview
17 Colonel Blagojevic doesn't ring a bell. I trust it's there, but it just
18 doesn't ring a bell.
19 Q. Well, let me ask you this, since you were part of this military
20 analytical team trying to piece all the pieces together, at least in this
21 particular case Nikolic was interviewed, Obrenovic was interviewed,
22 Mr. Jokic was interviewed, and yet OTP and you, as part of that team,
23 never made any efforts to interview Colonel Blagojevic. Is there
24 particular reason?
25 A. That is correct.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, that is a misstatement of the facts.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: It is not a misstatement of the facts.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think counsel wants to go into that
4 situation. We would love to talk to your client and this is --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: He never --
6 JUDGE LIU: Do not talk to each other. Do not talk to each other.
7 I think we have to cool down. I understand that there is some disputes on
8 this issue. And I give the floor to Mr. McCloskey first.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think what Mr. Karnavas means to be getting at
10 is, if he can tie it to a time frame, he may be okay. But these general
11 comments that the Prosecution has never been interested in Blagojevic is
12 more what my objection is about.
13 JUDGE LIU: Okay.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I will be more than happy to give them a time
15 frame. Before -- let me back up, let me lay a little foundation.
16 Q. Before Mr. Nikolic was arrested, he was interviewed, was he not?
17 A. Yes, sir, he was.
18 Q. He was invited. He came. You interviewed him. Off he went. And
19 then at some later point he was arrested. Correct?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And if my memory serves me correct, he was supposed to come back
22 again to be interviewed as a suspect. The first time was only as a
23 witness and then he had -- he was unavailable. Are you aware of that --
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. There's no foundation for that
25 statement and I don't believe that's correct.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm asking the gentleman; he can verify it, yea or
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this man has to have a factual basis
4 for his questions, he can't just go on a fishing on facts that especially
5 affect people that are about to be sentenced.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well. Well.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll go on to the next question.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please move on.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Were you interested in interviewing Nikolic again, before he was
11 arrested; yes or no?
12 A. I know that the investigation was interested in interviewing him
13 again, yes, sir.
14 Q. Do you know whether he was ever invited back or whether he was
15 ever invited or being tracked down to be invited to come back, to give a
16 second interview, this time as a suspect and not as a witness, as he was
17 interviewed the first time?
18 A. I believe he was tracked down, summonsed through the
19 Republika Srpska, yes, sir.
20 Q. Okay. And that was before or after his arrest?
21 A. It was before, I believe.
22 Q. Okay. And did he show up for that summons?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. For the second interview?
25 A. I believe that -- well, I don't know -- I believe he showed up for
1 the second one as a suspect. I'm not sure. I don't know all the
2 mechanics about that, because I was working a separate case at the time.
3 So I'll trust that he did if that's the presumption that you make. I
4 don't know the details.
5 Q. I don't have a second interview statement, so I can only presume,
6 using your analytical techniques, that he didn't show up?
7 A. I don't know if he was summonsed again or not. I would have to
8 check with the investigation on that.
9 Q. Okay. Now, Colonel Obrenovic was summoned, was he not, to give a
11 A. He was summonsed, yes, sir.
12 Q. And he showed up?
13 A. After one delay, yes, sir.
14 Q. But he showed up?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And he gave a statement?
17 A. That is correct, sir.
18 Q. Was it one or two statements that he gave?
19 A. I believe he gave us a total of two statements, sir.
20 Q. Okay. And then the other gentleman involved in this case,
21 Major Jokic, he was summoned as well, was he not?
22 A. Yes, sir, he was.
23 Q. And he came?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. Colonel Blagojevic was never summoned, was he?
1 A. No, sir, he was not.
2 Q. He was just arrested?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That is a misstatement of the facts.
4 It's --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I would like to know what the facts are,
6 Your Honour. What are the facts? He was never summoned.
7 JUDGE LIU: Let us hear. The witness is going to tell us.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. He was never summoned, was he?
10 A. No, sir.
11 Q. If he was not summoned, he cannot come forward to give a
12 statement, can he?
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, the answer is actually fairly straightforward on
14 this one. At the same time that General Krstic was indicted,
15 Colonel Blagojevic was indicted and Colonel Pandurevic was indicted. At
16 that time, and I believe it continues, it is the policy of the Office of
17 the Prosecutor not to attempt to summons or interview people who are
18 indicted and who are wanted.
19 Further, at that time, despite the fact that we now know that
20 Colonel Blagojevic was in Banja Luka pretty much in plain sight, the
21 Office of the Prosecutor with respect to apprehension and SFOR, to my
22 knowledge, were not aware of that or did not put the pieces together. And
23 certainly we didn't put them together in the OTP. And I don't know when
24 SFOR put them together to locate Colonel Blagojevic. But that is the
25 short answer to the question.
1 Q. So the short answer also is that you indicted the man without
2 giving him the courtesy of an invitation to be questioned by someone like
3 you present, the military analyst, who was looking for as much information
4 in order to present an unbiased report. Correct?
5 A. Sir, just to clarify that, I didn't indict anybody --
6 Q. I didn't say that you did.
7 A. That's what it says on the thing. In that respect, neither was
8 General Krstic and neither was Colonel Pandurevic.
9 Q. Mr. Butler, what's your level of education?
10 A. Sir, I am a college graduate. Thank you for asking.
11 Q. Did you ask -- did you hear my question --
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. -- And were you able to understand it?
14 A. If you allow me to continue, I can explain it.
15 Q. I don't need an explanation, I need a direct answer from you.
16 Okay? So could you please --
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is completely argumentive. I know it's night
20 court and that tempers get frayed, but this is not helpful.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I am demonstrating the witness is being flip with
22 the Court. He may think that he's the star here but he needs to answer
23 the questions directly. He knows how to, there's no cultural divide here,
24 Your Honour; we're from the same culture and he understands me and I
25 understand him.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, first of all I believe that this
2 question is one of the most direct to the witness. He answered your
3 question with a very short answer, yes or no or correct, which is much to
4 our satisfaction.
5 Secondly, we do not see your point. In most of jurisdictions, if
6 you arrest or indict somebody, do you have to give the courtesy to have an
7 interview with that person? I don't think so, so I fail to see your point
8 in your question.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: The point is, Your Honour, before they indicted
10 him, they made a decision that he was guilty, that's why they indicted
11 him. They could have given him the opportunity, like they gave others, to
12 give a statement. They chose not to. It goes to the bias how they have
13 already fixed in the targets, they made up their mind and they are
14 proceeding in a fashion how they are going to somehow get to their result,
15 irrespective of what the evidence may be. That is my point, Your Honour.
16 Before he was indicted if they thought he was a suspect, they could have
17 interviewed him. They chose not to. And this is the military analyst.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, this is your argument. I quite
19 understand your argument. But as the general practice of every
20 jurisdiction, I cannot completely agree with your argument at this point.
21 But this is another matter. And I understand your point. I understand
22 your point.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Shall we move on?
25 MR. KARNAVAS: We'll move on. That was my last point.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can have one second, Your Honour.
3 Q. Now, let's talk about zones of responsibility, something that's
4 more pleasant, perhaps more familiar. Now, in looking at your -- the two
5 volumes or the two reports that you presented, the narratives, you tend to
6 use at times zone of operation --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Kindly give the interpreters a few moments to
8 catch up, please. Thank you.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I guess I'll proceed at this point.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't hear another voice.
12 Q. I notice that in your narratives, you sort of use sometimes area,
13 zone of operation, zone of responsibility, and first, I guess, I wanted to
14 talk about that. When you used those terms, are you exact each and every
15 time in your narratives? In other words, do you mean one thing when you
16 say "area of responsibility" or "zone of responsibility" or "zone of
17 operation"? Do they all mean the same thing?
18 A. In this particular respect when I use the phrase "area of
19 responsibility" or "zone of responsibility," that means the same thing.
20 And area of operations is -- I differentiate. So an area of operations is
21 something more specific than a zone of responsibility or an area of
23 Q. Okay. So -- all right. Now, as I understand it, as I understand
24 your testimony, is it your opinion that the brigades have a zone of
25 responsibility. Correct?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. All right. And I take it that is an opinion that has been formed
3 by you based on your study of the rules and regulations as they existed at
4 the time of July 1995. Correct?
5 A. It is based on the documents as well as the general formulation of
6 interviews that we've had with various individuals within the structure of
7 the VRS. So that's what I base this on.
8 Q. Now, the individuals that you questioned, were they all suspects,
9 witnesses, folks that you were trying to track down, or were they
10 independent, you know, someone who is outside of the Srebrenica question
11 and you were trying to get them to help you out on the application and
12 interpretation of the rules?
13 A. The individuals in question were those people who were summonsed
14 as witnesses or suspects with respect to team 6. I understand that to
15 broaden the context out, I've also had access to the interviews of
16 individuals that are VRS officers in other geographic regions.
17 Q. Wanted for other or being questioned for other --
18 A. They are being questioned in connection with other activities,
19 yes, sir.
20 Q. Let me rephrase it a little bit. Did you ever go outside to get
21 an independent analyst, someone with, say, your like background, from the
22 former Yugoslavia, be it from whatever nation or nationality, to help you
23 interpret these rules?
24 A. I don't believe that we did that, no, sir.
25 Q. Now, the question was not to "we" but it was to you. Did you --
1 no, no. Please let me ask the question, because we is -- we is a lot.
2 I'm asking you, Mr. Butler. Did Mr. Butler as the military analyst that
3 was preparing this narrative for Srebrenica, did he, in his official
4 capacity or even unofficial capacity, meet with someone from the former
5 Yugoslavia who might be an expert on the JNA in order to go through, read,
6 and analyse the rules?
7 A. No, sir.
8 Q. Okay. So basically, you had the rules, which obviously we can all
9 read, you had your own background as a military analyst of, you know,
10 analysing other armies and other places, such as in the Warsaw, for
11 instance, the Warsaw Pact, those armies. And then, of course, we have the
12 documents in this case. And then you were getting information from
13 officers who were being called by the Office of the Prosecution to give
14 information about Srebrenica. Correct?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. And would it be fair to say that some of those officers, if not
17 all of them, might have had a slight anxiety when they received the
18 invitation to meet with the Office of the Prosecution to be questioned
19 officially about an event which the whole world has characterised as a
20 monumental atrocity?
21 A. I take it that may well have been the case in some instances.
22 Q. I take it that one can conclude that perhaps not knowing, even
23 though they may have been characterised as a witness or a suspect, they
24 wouldn't necessarily know whether one day they would be in the dock
25 themselves. Correct?
1 A. I suspect in some cases that may be correct.
2 Q. And would it also be correct that some of those people from whom
3 you were trying to get information in order to understand and learn the
4 mechanics of the VRS may have had reasons, for instance, to minimise
5 their roles?
6 A. With respect to the --
7 Q. With respect to anything.
8 A. Well, I don't want to leave it that broad. With respect to
9 noncriminal activities, in many cases they were particularly willing to
10 discuss those issues.
11 Q. And do you feel sufficiently confident that all of those
12 individuals were providing you accurate information with respect to the
13 application of the rules?
14 A. In the particular respect to the applicability of the rules of the
15 former JNA, I'm comfortable with what the witnesses have said is an
16 accurate and relatively complete description of that. And I believe that
17 it, in fact, was relatively well confirmed, even by the Defence witness in
18 the Krstic case who -- the Defence expert in the Krstic case who also
19 acknowledged that those were the regulations in play. So I believe I'm on
20 a firm foundation here.
21 Q. Well, I'm not asking whether the regulations were in place. I
22 think there we can pretty much agree on. There's another opportunity
23 where we agree. But I'm saying how these regulations were interpreted and
24 applied in the field in Bosnia and Herzegovina or in this area in 1995.
25 That's what I'm talking about.
1 A. Yes, sir. I mean, clearly there were going to be deviations from
2 those regulations as they were applied 12 to 13 years later, and that is
3 why I look at the documents as valuable, as being able to follow those
4 deviations where essentially the lessons from combat are learned and
6 Q. But my question again -- I just want to nail this point down
7 before we go any further, and it's not a trick question. In interviewing
8 these witnesses and suspects that had been summoned by OTP to give
9 evidence regarding Srebrenica, who by your own admission had something to
10 be nervous about, not knowing whether one day they would be indicted, were
11 you sufficiently confident that the information they would give you on the
12 applicability of the rules was correct?
13 A. Again, not initially, but through time I became very confident.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, in general is not true that superior
15 military commanders use various control measures in order to make the most
16 effective use of the subordinate units in combat operations?
17 A. As a general principle or are we focusing on the former JNA rules?
18 Q. We're focusing in general. We're going to go from the very
20 A. That's fair, yes, sir.
21 Q. Would you say that applied to the JNA?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. And that would apply to the VRS as well?
24 A. Those principles were applicable in the VRS as well, sir.
25 Q. In fact, there are some principles, in fact, that more or less all
1 organised armies apply. Correct?
2 A. Yes, sir. There are some that are known as universal principles.
3 Q. And the army is a fairly structured organisation?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Because that's the only way it can function. Right?
6 A. Effectively, yes, sir.
7 Q. And so that's why you have rules and regulations so that those who
8 are in the business of implementing those rules and regulations know
9 exactly what it is that they need to implement and how to implement?
10 A. Essentially it defines the scope of their confidence and the means
11 by which they implement them, yes, sir.
12 Q. Very loosely, and I know there is a whole philosophy and a whole
13 science behind that, very loosely when you wrap up all of that, it's
14 considered doctrine, military doctrine. I don't need the whole academic
15 spiel, I'm just saying loosely, but go ahead.
16 A. A doctrine is a broader philosophy. And in the context of the
17 former JNA a doctrine would be All People's Defence. In this particular
18 instance what we're talking about is the regulatory basis by which that is
19 followed. Doctrine and regulations are not interchangeable terms. The
20 regulatory basis exists to allow the doctrine to be implemented.
21 Sometimes those terms get mixed up so I just want to clarify.
22 Q. When you say "All People's Defence," that would be what you would
23 consider the doctrine for the former Yugoslavia?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Okay. And I take it that would apply to Bosnia and Herzegovina at
1 this particular time frame?
2 A. The -- well, for -- I assume for 1995 with respect to the VRS,
3 they were implementing the JNA basis of the regulations. Whether or not
4 on a broader level they were encompassing all the principles of All
5 People's Defence, I don't know. But certainly where they could use it in
6 the conduct of their military campaigns and in the content -- conduct of
7 their general military strategy, they did so. It was all they had.
8 Q. And I take it you're familiar with the All People's Defence?
9 A. At a very broad level. Not at the specific, sir.
10 Q. Did you know of its applicability prior to the war in 1992?
11 A. Not in detail, sir. No, sir.
12 Q. Well, I guess we'll skip that part of the discussion.
13 Now, getting back to my initial question, don't such control
14 measures constrain the geographical positions of the subordinate units,
15 that is the control measures that are put in place?
16 A. They generally define the boundaries and limits or axes of advance
17 of subordinate units. Again it depends on what echelon we're talking
18 about, but yes, as a general rule, the superior formation defines the area
19 of operations or the axis of advance or the limits of boundaries for
20 subordinate units.
21 Q. Okay, and so that would apply to the VRS at this point in time?
22 A. That is correct, sir.
23 Q. Okay. And these control measures, just to name a few, would they
24 not include the sectors, various zones, face lines, limits of advance?
25 A. I think you're mixing terminology in some cases. I think the
1 control measures itself are orders and directives which lay out the
2 various boundaries and borders. So maybe the terminology is my mistake on
3 this one. I consider a control measure is the actual order that
4 delineates what those are. Those actual borders and definitions
5 themselves are what's found in them.
6 Q. Okay. I wasn't referring to one particular order. But I'm saying
7 when they're trying to -- I mean, you have so many resources at your
8 disposal and now I would assume one of the responsibilities of a commander
9 is to determine how to best use those resources, you know, given the
10 situation that's occurring at any given moment. Correct?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Now, in this particular case, we know that the VRS, the
13 Main Staff, had at some point established the Drina Corps. Correct?
14 A. That is correct, sir.
15 Q. And that did not exist prior to 1992, that particular corps?
16 A. The Drina Corps was formed in November 1992. It did not exist as
17 a former JNA function or it did not exist from a JNA unit prior to that.
18 Q. Okay. So for a period of time, the -- that area had territorial
19 defences, the TOs, providing some of the security measures for their
20 residents. Correct?
21 A. Yes, sir. For the most part the units that were formed or the
22 units that were existing in 1992 and which were brought into the Drina
23 Corps had their basis in former TO units that were essentially based or
24 supported by their parent municipalities.
25 Q. All right. So there was no -- all right. Now -- and the TOs, the
1 Territorial Defence, that was part of the All People's Defence, was it
3 A. The Territorial Defence was a part of that. I mean, it was a
4 two-tiered structure. It was the JNA as the active force --
5 Q. The military.
6 A. The military and the TO, or the Territorial Defence, as the force
7 that would be mobilised on the basis of conflict to assist and take part
8 in the activity with the JNA depending on the external threat.
9 Q. Okay. And one was located outside the cities and one was for the
11 A. I'm not sure how it works Bosnia-wide, but with respect to just
12 the Drina Corps, my analysis indicates that they were generally based on a
13 municipal level is how they were organised from the May/June 1992 time
15 Q. But it would be fair to say that JNA, for instance, they would be
16 the professional military, and then the Territorial Defence would be more
18 A. I would say that the JNA was the professional military and that
19 the Territorial Defence, in fact, was the individuals who had served their
20 active duty allocations. And under the doctrine of All People's Defence
21 you were in the reserves until 65, those were where many of those people
22 were. A lot of them also served in the JNA when they came off reserve
23 duty. So it is two complementary branches of the armed forces.
24 Q. Right. And I take it the TOs did have some professional staff at
25 the top, you know, with the commander of the local TO or was he a
1 reservist as well?
2 A. Again, my limited understanding of the circumstances as it existed
3 Bosnia-wide, I know that in Eastern Bosnia there were, in fact, JNA
4 officers, and I believe it was a common practice that JNA active duty
5 officers would serve rotations in the TO in many of the positions of
6 leadership, not only on the TO staff but in some of the units.
7 Q. All right. Now, I take it those serving in the JNA that were
8 holding certain positions had to be trained military officers, as opposed
9 to just nontrained?
10 A. Yes, sir. They were professionally and educated military
12 Q. And I take it there were some guidelines that designated at what
13 particular rank somebody would hold a particular position?
14 A. Well, they changed over times through the late 1980s as the
15 country started to fall apart in the civil war, to my knowledge until the
16 JNA essentially disbanded, they tried as much as they could to maintain
17 the qualities of professionalism in its officer ranks over who was in
18 command and at what position. So they did try to adhere to that as much
19 as possible under the circumstances.
20 Q. Okay. And I take it the advancement process was pretty regimented
21 as well, was it not?
22 A. That is my understanding, sir.
23 Q. Now, I believe you have indicated that the doctrine from the JNA
24 was more or less transferred over or absorbed by or taken over, whatever
25 word you choose, by the VRS?
1 A. Again, not necessarily the broader doctrine, but the combat
2 regulations, the regulatory basis of the JNA was adopted for the most part
3 by the VRS.
4 Q. All right. But as I understand your testimony correctly, and
5 we'll get into it a little bit more in detail, it's my understanding that
6 it is your opinion that the VRS more or less worked or operated like the
7 JNA. Correct?
8 A. No, sir. What I said was, and as a component of my testimony, it
9 was that the VRS adopted the regulations of the former JNA. I did not
10 ever say that it worked more or less like the JNA. The VRS only equates
11 to the JNA with respect to a nucleus of professional officers and that
12 they're following the same operating regulations.
13 Q. All right. And is it your testimony that they were indeed
14 following the operating regulations, the methodologies that go with it?
15 A. As much as they -- as much as it was practical under the
16 circumstances, and I believe it was very much as much as they could.
17 There were very few deviations that I could determine.
18 Q. Well, that's where I want to pin you down a little bit, if you
19 don't mind, because I want to know, I want to be certain. Are you saying
20 there was some deviations, in other words by and large, for the most part,
21 not only had they adopted but they were also applying these methodologies?
22 Is that what you're trying to tell us?
23 A. With respect to the combat regulations, the organisation of
24 formations, the methodologies used in the command and staff process, the
25 VRS, not only did they adopt the ones of the former JNA, but as the JNA
1 dissolved in May of 1992, the VJ was formed. As the VJ modified some of
2 those the VRS tried to remain in step as much as possible with that as
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. Obviously, given the circumstances on the ground at the time,
6 there was not going to be full compliance on all issues. But as a general
7 rule, they followed the former JNA methodologies as much as practicable.
8 Q. Okay. So I take it if we were to go into the regulations that
9 they were applying and that they had taken over from the JNA, we would be
10 able to find, for instance, the term "zone of responsibility" for the
12 A. I believe that term either area or zone of responsibility will be
13 found in the 1983 command and staff regulations.
14 Q. Okay. Now -- but in the rules setting up the brigade, is that in
15 the rules?
16 A. In the brigade rules, you're not going to generally find that,
17 because as a context by which most brigades were designed to fight in the
18 JNA, certainly in 1984, brigades were not generally given a zone of
19 operations or an area of operations, they were normally given something
20 more limited with respect to a frontage, and axis of advance. With
21 respect to brigades, normally within the context of the 1984 regulations,
22 TO units which were given rear service-based operations, counter
23 insurgency, or types of rear missions like that, those units could be
24 given an area of responsibility. But for the actual combat operations,
25 you didn't normally see that at brigade level.
1 Q. Well, under the rules, if you know, what sort of zones were they
3 A. Generally envisioned for the manoeuvre brigades under the 1984
4 rules, they were derived on a larger military context where a brigade
5 would not necessarily be fighting alone. It was envisioned it would fight
6 as either part of a parent division or when divisions went away and were
7 replaced by a brigade corps structure that they would fight in context
8 with a larger corps formation. So in that context, it was geared towards
9 a more conventional setting.
10 Q. All right. Well, let me go a little more specific and maybe you
11 can help us out here. In the JNA doctrine, can we consider such things as
12 zone of operation, the area of operation, zone of responsibility as
13 control measures?
14 A. I believe that they are some form of control measure, yes, sir.
15 Q. Okay. And if you could tell us, according to the brigade rules
16 what is the mission of an infantry brigade as you understand it to be?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a time frame, which decade, which war? Are
18 we talking VRS or JNA here?
19 MR. KARNAVAS: This is totally uncalled for by the Prosecutor.
20 I'm dealing with an expert; those are the issues that we dealt with last
21 week. Now we're getting flip and irrelevant comments from the Prosecutor.
22 JUDGE LIU: No, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: The gentleman understands what I'm talking about,
24 Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: I think the problem of your question is too broad.
1 You may ask a specific question which is relevant to our case. Of course,
2 there is a lot of questions that we could put to this witness, but what we
3 want to hear is the most relevant part.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: But, Your Honour, I refer -- I understand. That's
5 why I referred to the brigade rules.
6 Q. Now, sir, were the brigade rules in effect during this period of
7 time that we're talking about, that is July 1995?
8 A. For the most part, they were applied, yes, sir.
9 Q. When you say "for the most part," do you mean that they had
10 discarded some parts?
11 A. Well, with respect to not necessarily discarding, however there
12 are going to be some discrepancies, like, for example, 1984, the role and
13 function of a political officer was envisioned and integrated into the
14 brigade, and obviously you don't have those in 1995.
15 Q. That would be an addition?
16 A. No, that would be -- they rerolled that function to the assistant
17 commander for morale, legal, and religious.
18 Q. Okay, so for the most part --
19 A. In this respect one of the things I note with the 1984 regulations
20 is most of the discussion in that is with respect to traditional brigade
21 level military functions, attack, defence, delay, withdraw, and the
22 various types of operations that a brigade conducts in what I would call
23 either a high-, medium-, or low-intensity environment. So in that
24 respect, the regulations lay out those types of functions and activities.
25 Q. All right. Now, during this period, 1995, are you able to tell us
1 what was the mission of the infantry brigades, and of course we're going
2 to be talking about the Drina Corps, so if you could explain that to us,
3 as you understand it to be and in light of the rules that were in place
4 for them to be guided by.
5 A. With respect to 1995 in the zone of the Drina Corps, most of the
6 brigades were organised as either light or infantry brigades. There was
7 only one brigade which was organised, notionally at best, as a motorised
8 brigade. Most of the brigades in the Drina Corps zone at that time, their
9 primary mission was defensive in nature. In most cases, particularly
10 around Gorazde, Zepa, and Srebrenica, most of the defences, as well as
11 some of the other areas, were what we could call static defence, just
12 literally manning established defensive positions and repelling any
13 offensive moves by the enemy.
14 Q. So if I understand you correct, at this point in time prior to the
15 attack on Srebrenica, the Bratunac Brigade is in a static position?
16 A. Their primary mission would be static defence around the
17 Srebrenica enclave or their portion of it.
18 Q. Okay. And is that a zone of defence that you -- would you
19 characterise the way it was formed or the way the battalions were laid
20 out, would that be a zone of defence, a zone of responsibility, what would
21 you call that?
22 A. There are two perhaps complementary definitions. Within
23 the -- the Bratunac Brigade had an established zone of responsibility.
24 Each of its battalions had a designated defence line. The two were not
25 overlapping. For example, the zone of the Bratunac Brigade was not
1 completely and solely defended by units subordinate to the Bratunac
2 Brigade. There were other formations from other brigades that were
3 performing some defensive functions in there.
4 Q. By that what do you mean?
5 A. Within the zone of -- that had been established by the Drina Corps
6 for what the brigade's area of responsibility was, there were elements of
7 I believe one battalion of the Milici Brigade, and I believe almost half
8 of the Skelani Separate Battalion would be operating in areas that are
9 covered as supposedly part of the Bratunac Brigade zone from that 1992 map
11 Q. So -- I mean, I want to make sure that I understand you correctly.
12 Are you saying these other brigades are functioning within the zone of
13 responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. Elements of outside units were, yes, sir.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. Not full brigades, but elements of outside units.
17 Q. And this is why they were still under their own commands?
18 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
19 Q. If I understand you, within one zone of responsibility you can
20 have overlapping elements of brigades working?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Okay. So I take it if they were in the Bratunac Brigade zone of
23 responsibility, commander of the Bratunac Brigade could give them orders
24 as well?
25 A. No, sir.
1 Q. Well, they're in his zone. Why can't he say: I think you guys
2 ought to move over to this location as opposed to being where you are.
3 We've got incoming, why don't you be the shield, take the brunt of the
4 fighting? It's his zone.
5 A. Those same control measures that in many respects delineate unit
6 orders, also delineate and articulate what the chain of command is going
7 to be. The fact that units of the Zvornik Infantry Brigade, the Birac
8 Infantry Brigade, the Romanija Brigade were operating in the
9 Bratunac Brigade zone as part of Krivaja 95, certainly it's never been my
10 position that they are de facto under the Bratunac Brigade because they
11 are operating in his zone. That would not be a policy that the VRS itself
12 followed either.
13 Q. To be sure I understand you correctly, because I hadn't gotten to
14 the attack on Srebrenica, maybe you're a little ahead of me. What I want
15 to know is whether they were operating within the zone prior to this order
16 of Krivaja 95?
17 A. My understanding is that certainly Tactical Group Pribicevac had
18 been operating in and around that zone since the establishment of the safe
19 area, and it was disbanded sometime in mid-June 1995. And I believe that
20 from the map positions of one battalion of the Milici Brigade, they
21 were -- had defensive positions in a zone that was identified as part of
22 the Bratunac Brigade and they maintained those for several years as well.
23 Q. All right. Just to make sure -- I'm trying to get a handle on all
24 of these facts here, so help me out. We're talking about something
25 different than, say, the 4th Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade which
1 was -- which originated from Zvornik but had been attached to and
2 presumably under the direction of the Bratunac Brigade. We're talking
3 about two different concepts here?
4 A. Yes, sir. For example, with one battalion of the Milici Brigade
5 operating in the Bratunac zone, my understanding of their system, and
6 again I have no data that says otherwise, that battalion would still be
7 under the command of the Milici Brigade. So it is different in that
8 respect. The 4th Battalion was physically placed under the command of the
9 Bratunac Brigade, but in this particular battalion of the Milici Brigade,
10 they were not put under Colonel Blagojevic's or his predecessor's command.
11 Q. Now, you said: "My understanding of their system." You just
12 piqued my interest a little bit. What system are we talking about?
13 A. The general practice that they used or the VRS used when they
14 resubordinated units from one brigade or one area of the country to
15 another for a particular series of circumstances.
16 Q. All right. But if I understand you correctly, based on what you
17 just told us, because now you're interjecting the word "resubordinated"
18 units. So if I understand you correctly, these units that were there, as
19 you've indicated, were still under the command of their brigades, yet they
20 are operating in somebody else's backyard, somebody else's zone of
21 responsibility. So they were not subordinated, they were not attached,
22 but you're saying "resubordinated". Now, are you suggesting that they
23 were resubordinated to the Bratunac Brigade at that period?
24 A. I am saying that the 4th Battalion was resubordinated -- the
25 phrase that I don't like to use is attached because it's a Western phrase
1 that doesn't have a common parallel in the JNA doctrine to my knowledge.
2 But the 4th battalion was, in fact, resubordinated from the Drina -- from
3 the Zvornik Brigade. And in that respect, they're under the command of
4 the Bratunac Brigade commander.
5 Q. Okay. I'm with you there.
6 A. But with respect to other formations --
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Without formal resubordination, certainly a unit of the
9 Milici Brigade would not be.
10 Q. All right. And that's what I'm trying to understand here.
11 Because you said "in their system" and then you interjected
12 "resubordination". Earlier you told us they were operating on their own,
13 hence they're not resubordinated. They're on their own under their own
14 command operating in another brigade's zone of responsibility. So my
15 question was, and it's a simple one: When you say "their system," what
16 system? Because the follow-up question gives you a clue on where I'm
17 going. Where are those rules so I could look at them?
18 A. The issue with resubordinations -- is that what we're talking
20 Q. No, no, we're not talking about that. I thought we covered that,
21 because they're not resubordinated. We're going to have a whole
22 discussion on resubordination; we'll get to that. I just want to
23 know -- okay. We know about the 4th Battalion. They came from the
24 Zvornik, they were attached -- resubordinated is the correct term of art
25 to the Bratunac Brigade. They're under now the command of the
1 Bratunac Brigade. Okay. We understand that. There may have been some
2 deviations, in fact, even with that, but never mind --
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to the testimony, Your Honour. There's
4 no question here and --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm trying to --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think Mr. Karnavas is just trying to explain
7 what's in his mind, what his question means.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. So now we're not talking about resubordination. Now I'm trying to
10 focus you on this very narrow aspect of your testimony where you said
11 that - and you've said it repeatedly here - that other units from other
12 brigades were operating in the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac
13 Brigade, while at the same time being under the control and direction of
14 their own command, which means their own brigade. Okay. Now, that's what
15 you said. So my -- then I asked you -- because you said "their system."
16 So my question is: What system are you referring to? Are we talking
17 about regulations? Are we talking about orders? Are we talking about
18 rules? And again, we're talking about pre-Srebrenica, because I don't
19 want to mix the two.
20 A. In this context, and now I understand your question, the basis is
21 the 1983 command and staff regulations and the various documents which
22 reflect the practical applications of those during the course of the war
23 from 1992 to just before Srebrenica, since you don't want to go there yet,
24 where there will be a number of orders and documents which again define
25 those command relationships.
1 Q. Okay. Now, I know in Srebrenica we have Krivaja 95, we have
2 directive 7.1, we have a battle plan or battle order, however we want to
3 call it, from the corps from the brigades, and then the brigades have
4 their own orders as to what everybody will do. But prior to Srebrenica,
5 are you telling us now that there are specific command and staff
6 regulations that allow -- and here I'm reading 1983 command and staff
7 regulations, that allow for units of one brigade to be operating in the
8 zone of responsibility - we're going to cover that - the zone of
9 responsibility of another brigade while still maintaining their command of
10 the brigade?
11 A. The 1983 command and staff regulations do not envision that as a
12 normal practice. The normal practice is that when a battalion or other
13 formation goes into that brigade, it is, in fact, resubordinated to it.
14 The practices that I'm referring to are the ones that we see in the
15 context of the practical series of orders that come out of the context of
16 the VRS orders from 1992 to 1995 where there are instances where units are
17 sent to operate in other areas and zones of responsibility and are not put
18 under the command of the parent brigade.
19 Q. And is -- are these are -- in these instances, is there battle
20 activity going on or are they in a static defence, as you indicated,
22 A. From the course of 1992 to 1995, it was situation-dependant. In
23 some cases, they may well have been conducting offensive operations.
24 Certainly with respect to the Drina Corps by mid-1994, most of the
25 operations were defensive in nature, although, there were limited
1 operations with respect to the enclave at Gorazde that continued to the
2 end of December 1994.
3 Q. But I take it, based on your answer, if we went back to the 1983
4 regulations that you've just indicated that us, we would not be able to
5 find anything in there, would we, that would say that one unit from one
6 brigade could be operating independently on its own in another brigade's
7 zone of responsibility?
8 A. In that context, I don't think you'd find anything, because it was
9 not envisioned in 1983 that that would be a circumstance.
10 Q. And could we say that at least if that was happening on the
11 ground, that was, for all intents and purposes, a deviation from the JNA
13 A. Certainly. It was a -- it was one of the things that even the JNA
14 recognises, the fact that practical combat experience over the time was
15 going to cause the rules to change. That's why many of the rules are
16 annotated as provisional to allow them to come into their final form on
17 the basis of other experience.
18 Q. I'm just trying to figure this out. Because You've told us they
19 took the regulations, you see, and they're implementing these regulations,
20 all right?
21 A. As much as practicable.
22 Q. As much as practicable. But this -- you read my next question.
23 Is this a minor deviation or would you call this a medium or major
25 A. It's circumstance-dependant. I don't know that I could throw a
1 broad category out there.
2 Q. But you did give us sort of a broad statement that they, the JNA
3 more or less adopted the organisational structure and the operating
4 methodologies of the VRS. In fact, I find it here in your narration.
5 This is what you say. Here we come at a juncture where it would seem to
6 me, I'm not a military man, but it would seem to me having a unit operate
7 independently in somebody else's zone of responsibility could be of a
8 major concern, such as fratricides, one troop where they get friendly fire
9 or, for instance, one -- the commander of that zone might not wish to have
10 those operating in his zone, may try to give them direction or throw them
12 So my question is: Is this a minor deviation which would conform
13 with your analysis that is in your narrative or is this something that,
14 because of the circumstances, is a major deviation, but they just didn't
15 get around to formalising it in their own regulations because of the war?
16 A. I don't believe that -- within the context of the examples that
17 you've given I'm not even sure within that context it even qualifies as a
18 deviation. Certainly within the context of the JNA rules, there are
19 provisions where select units will operate in another unit's area or zone
20 and reconnaissance units may well fall into that in many cases. And all
21 of the things that you've mentioned, friendly fire, fratricide, the fact
22 that a commander might not know are all valid concerns, and those are
23 concerns that are presumably addressed by the superior command when they
24 direct those orders.
25 The general practice, certainly during the VRS in the war, because
1 we did ask this type of question to many of these officers, was that
2 particularly in the case of some specialised reconnaissance units,
3 they would be aware that the units would be operating in zone, but they
4 wouldn't necessarily be aware what their specific missions were. They
5 would just be informed that these units would be operating in a zone
6 during this time, in this geographical area. And again as part of the
7 control measures issues, all of those are defined by superior command, all
8 within the parameters that you have listed.
9 Q. Okay. Just one last question. I think we're about time for a
10 break. That leads me to think now that if they're in somebody else's zone
11 of responsibility and the commander of that zone of responsibility - we
12 haven't tied that down yet, that issue of zone - but it would seem that me
13 that that commander could not be held responsible for the activities and
14 the conduct of those who are operating in his zone of responsibility of
15 whom he has no control over?
16 A. That's absolutely fair, sir. I believe that is exactly the
17 context of what I've noted. The geographic proximity in a zone is not a
18 measure of command. Command and command relationships are defined by the
19 superior. The fact that a unit from one formation or brigade is located
20 in the zone of operations of another brigade is certainly not a de facto
21 link of command. I don't believe I've ever said it was.
22 Q. We're just having a conversation, Mr. Butler. There's no
23 accusations being launched.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Could we have a break, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. Now it's time to have a break and resume
1 at 10 minutes to 6.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 5.51 p.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. Okay. Mr. Butler, if we could just kind of finish up this little
7 topic before we go on. I take it from your answers that, and correct me
8 if I'm wrong, based on what we were discussing earlier, if I could pose a
9 hypothetical, that Colonel Obrenovic, for example, when he was a
10 lieutenant colonel at the time, or he might have been a major. Obrenovic,
11 for example, within his zone of responsibility he would not have been able
12 unilaterally to remove a unit from the corps or the Main Staff that was in
13 and/or operating within his zone if such a unit had not been subordinated
14 or resubordinated to the Bratunac Brigade. Correct?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: I --
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: You mean the Zvornik Brigade --
18 MR. KARNAVAS: The Zvornik Brigade, yes.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm using a neutral party as an example.
21 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure if the subordination or resubordination
22 issue is the key trigger on that hypothetical. I believe it's more along
23 the lines of the purposes and what the superior command has designated
24 that unit to be there. I don't -- it's an odd situation. Would he be
25 able to force a unit out that wasn't subordinated to him. If it was
1 subordinated to him, why would he force it out? I don't know if it works
2 that way. The key phrase on this particular one is going to go back to:
3 What would be the purpose by which the superior command designated the
4 unit to be there? So whether it's subordinate or not to Obrenovic, I'm
5 not sure that that matters.
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. I agree with you. I thought I would just throw that in. So the
8 answer is he would not be able to throw a unit out of his zone of
9 responsibility if that unit was there as a result of an order by the corps
10 or the Main Staff. Correct?
11 A. If the unit was there by the direction of the superior command, in
12 this case corps or Main Staff, no, Colonel Obrenovic would not be able to,
13 to use your words, throw it out or direct it to leave.
14 Q. Or remove them.
15 A. His obligation in that respect would be he would have to go back
16 to the superior command that put them there, either the corps or Main
17 Staff, and either requested that they be withdrawn or whatever.
18 Q. He could not order them around either?
19 A. Again, without knowing the issue of the specifics of their
20 presence there, as directed by the superior command, I don't know the
21 answer to that.
22 Q. Well -- okay. Maybe my hypothetical was too wide. In this
23 instance, the Zvornik Brigade and the commander at the time, which would
24 have been, say, Mr. Obrenovic. He does not have any particular orders
25 himself, but there is a unit that is placed within his zone of
1 responsibility by the Main Staff or the Drina Corps. So my question is,
2 or rather, I'm stating and I'm asking you to verify it and validate it.
3 In that hypothetical, Mr. Obrenovic would not be able to give those units
4 directions, be it to leave the zone of responsibility or carry out a
5 particular task. He could not engage them in any way, could he?
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection as to relevancy to the Zvornik Brigade
9 and if this is meant to be something in particular to the
10 Bratunac Brigade, I have no objection to a hypothetical based on
11 particular facts that we can see in our case, otherwise it's left to
12 speculate what he's really talking about.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think you have made your point
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Is it necessary for --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I take it if the President and the Trial Bench is
18 satisfied that the point has been made, I'll move on, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. Now -- that leaves me with fewer questions. But just one minor
22 clarification, I guess. I had asked you earlier about deviation of
23 doctrine from the JNA to the VRS. And I said, well, was this a minor
24 deviation or would it have been a minor deviation. And I believe -- well,
25 I wasn't quite sure what your answer is. But I thought we could revisit
1 what you testified in the Krstic case with respect to this issue. So if
2 we could have Mr. Usher help us out here and if I could show you page
3 5.284 of your testimony dated 19 July 2000. And it's line 4 --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have copies of this.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I beg your pardon.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Are we going to get copies? I think that would be
7 the general courtesy.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I will put it on the ELMO so everybody could see,
9 Your Honour. Otherwise, I would have to copy -- I don't mind copying the
10 one page, but I don't want to be responsible for copying the entire
11 transcript. I think we can follow along. It's only six lines.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let's put it on the ELMO so that everybody could
14 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. In the future I'll make copies for
16 Q. You're asked a question:
17 Q. The doctrine of the Army of Republika Srpska, did it
18 differ from the doctrine of the former JNA?
19 A. My analysis of the doctrine as it evolved from 1992,
20 when the VRS formed out of the remnants of the JNA in Bosnia, through 1995
21 indicates that there were no major substantive changes with regard to
22 command and control and organisational structure.
23 Now, clearly there were probably a number of minor
24 changes that occurred as a result of the learned experience from combat in
25 the prior three years.
1 Do you recall being asked that question and do you recall giving
2 that answer?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. And I take it you would agree with me, would you not, that command
5 and control, for instance, the words that you are using here, which are a
6 term of art, are part of doctrine, are they not?
7 A. They are part of both the broader doctrine and they are part of
8 the more specified regulatory basis.
9 Q. Okay. And that would -- your answer would apply equally to the
10 terms that you use, "organisational structure"?
11 A. The only change in organisational structures, to my knowledge,
12 occurred sometime in mid-1994 when the -- some units of the VRS were
13 starting to adopt the brigade structure that the VJ was adopting at that
14 time. But within the basis of the larger organisational structure, they
15 tried to remain as faithful to that as possible.
16 Q. Okay. But I guess my question, and I raised it inartfully, the
17 concept of organisational structure is also part of doctrine?
18 A. In a broader sense, yes, sir, because how you train your personnel
19 and what equipment there is available or how you manufacture that
20 equipment in the larger doctrinal sense revolves around the structure, the
21 organisational structure, you intend on filling. So that is, I think, the
22 relationship there.
23 Q. Okay. Now, getting back to my earlier question, if you could, is
24 it your testimony that giving the brigades a zone of responsibility, was
25 that a minor change?
1 A. I believe in the context, it qualifies as one of those changes
2 that were made as a basis of the combat experience from 1992.
3 Q. Okay. Now, I guess my question was fairly specific. Would you
4 consider that a minor change, a medium-sized, major? What would you
5 consider it, in light of what is being tasked now to the brigades,
6 assuming that we are to accept your narrative that the brigades were given
7 a zone of responsibility, albeit it is not found in the regulations, in
8 the rules?
9 A. I didn't say that it wasn't generally found in the rules. I said
10 that with respect to the TO units, there are mentions where for those type
11 of rear security operations you will find designated areas or zones of
12 operations. But answering your larger question, within the fundamental
13 context of command and control and applications of combat activities, I
14 don't believe that the fact that brigades, for support and infrastructure,
15 were being tied to municipalities which corresponded with zones of
16 operation was a major change, certainly not in combat doctrine.
17 Q. Okay. But just to make sure that I understand, are you suggesting
18 that in the brigade rules there is a term that the brigades are assigned
19 zones of responsibility? Is that your understanding? I'm talking about
21 A. My understanding is in the context of the discussions with respect
22 to light infantry brigades, which under the JNA structure at the time were
23 normally found in TOs, that there will be references there that they can
24 be given a zone.
25 Q. Okay. Now -- we're going to get to that. But, you see, I use
1 zone of responsibility, and then we're going to talk about your definition
2 of that. And I want a very clear answer.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. This is argumentative. It's just
4 simple argument.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
6 Mr. Karnavas, just put your question.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. In the rules, will we find, be it for light brigade or regular
9 brigade, will we find in the rules such a thing as a brigade having a zone
10 of responsibility, especially in the context in which you have used it in
11 this courtroom?
12 A. No, you won't find that in the brigade rules within the context of
13 a zone corresponding to a municipality boundary. So in this context you
14 won't find that phrase specifically articulated.
15 Q. Okay. Will you find in the rules a zone that more or less fits
16 your definition of what a zone of responsibility is, but just lacks the
17 word "responsibility"? In other words, we could read it, we could
18 understand it, it's just not articulated there, the word
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, but do you mean all the rules or are
21 you still on the brigade rules?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I understand the tactics, I know them
23 well --
24 JUDGE LIU: No. I think it's a reasonable question --
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we're talking about the same rules,
1 the brigade rules, we're on the brigade.
2 JUDGE LIU: That's enough. Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS:
4 Q. So staying with me on the brigade rules, I haven't switched off.
5 Are you with me?
6 A. I am with you, sir.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, on these rules, will we find some language
8 that would give these brigades a zone that would include the definition of
9 a zone of responsibility that you have given?
10 A. I don't think you will find a direct correlation. I think it will
11 be an indirect one with respect to the brigade rear area definitions in
12 that context.
13 Q. Well, but in your context, sir -- maybe we should look at what
14 your context is. Maybe you could tell us again, and I have what you said,
15 and maybe if there's any discrepancy, we can talk about it.
16 So in your -- what is your understanding that a zone of
17 responsibility is for a brigade?
18 A. With respect to the brigade rules or with how we see it in VRS?
19 Q. No, how you see it. Because you already said they're not in the
21 A. With respect to the VRS, one of the phenomenon that occurs that
22 1992, since many, if not most, of the brigades, certainly the light
23 infantry ones, the genesis of those units, or the nucleus, are TO
24 organisations that existed in May of 1992 in each municipality. And what
25 occurred over time as these TO organisations were amalgamated into
1 brigades and then later the army, what you saw within the general context
2 of the VRS and Drina Corps specifically was that a brigade would generally
3 be given a zone of responsibility that in many cases corresponded roughly
4 to the existing boundaries of the municipality.
5 In that respect, it wasn't necessarily command and control-related
6 functions. Certainly in 1992 the primary motivator behind much of that,
7 and in 1993, was that the municipal organisations had a very large role in
8 providing support, personnel, and even in some cases some military
9 equipment to that unit. So the trend that we see from 1992 on is that
10 there will be this association between the brigade and the municipality
11 which the bulk of its troops come from. Hence, even the names, why you
12 have a Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, a Vlasenica Light Infantry
13 Brigade, the association with their parent municipality. That is the
14 context by which I understand these zones of responsibility were organised
15 in the beginning.
16 Q. Okay. Now, is that understanding based on the rules or is it
17 based on your discussions with the interviews of the people that were
18 interviewed, suspects and witnesses, documents, regulations? What is this
19 understanding based on?
20 A. This particular understanding for the VRS in 1992 is based upon
21 the documents, interviews, the map graphics, those things that we have
22 which specifically designate the zones as well as the interviews and
23 discussions with these officers who explained how they formed in the first
24 place and why.
25 Q. All right. So we have the rules, and by your own admission - and
1 we can go through them together - they don't give a zone of responsibility
2 to a brigade. Correct?
3 A. It's not envisioned as such in the 1984 rules, correct.
4 Q. It's not in the rules, is it?
5 A. Mr. Karnavas, as I said, I believe it's there indirectly. With
6 respect to light brigades and rear areas, it does not specifically say it
8 Q. Now, you say indirectly, indirectly if we were to look at the
9 particular segment which I'm sure you are going to point us out to, it
10 would correspond with a definition that you gave us that their zone of
11 responsibility or the area of responsibility would roughly correspond the
12 borders that were in the existence -- the rough municipality borders. Is
13 that correct?
14 A. No, sir.
15 Q. Okay. Well, that's my whole point.
16 A. Well, if you're specifically linking it to a municipality border,
17 then there's no reference as such.
18 Q. That's why I asked you what your definition was, your definition,
19 Butler's definition --
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's argumentive; he's telling him
21 why he's asking him questions. This goes no where but to further argument
22 and helps nothing.
23 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, just put your questions. That's simple
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. In the context of your definition, Butler's definition, can we
2 find such a definition, either it be direct or indirect, in the rules?
3 A. As I said, linking it to municipality borders, there's no such
5 Q. All right. So the answer is no?
6 A. In that instance, no.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, now that you've told us a little bit about
8 the zone of responsibility, could you describe to us where it is, in the
9 rules at least, that we could look at to determine the responsibilities of
10 a brigade commander within the zone of responsibility that -- could you
11 help us out there.
12 A. The responsibilities of the brigade commander are delineated in
13 the regulations under the aspects of command. The identification of a
14 particular zone or area of responsibility is not listed in those
15 regulations insomuch as a formal zone. However, again going back to the
16 issues of the light infantry brigade and rear security type of operations,
17 my definition of what those jobs and functions are, you will have language
18 with respect to the issue of what a commander's roles and responsibility
20 Now, I would also say that with respect to the responsibilities of
21 the commander and the staff, you can't look at the 1984 regulations in
22 isolation, you have to read them in conjunction with the 1983 command and
23 staff regulations, which do discuss in a broader context these areas of
24 responsibility or zone of responsibility and what a commander is or is not
25 expected to be aware of occurring there.
1 Q. Okay. Hold it, hold it now. I'm a little confused. A commander
2 is -- we've already indicated and established that in the rules there's
3 nothing about a zone of responsibility --
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, but he's now -- Mr. Butler
5 has referred to another set of rules. If we can just be specific to the
6 rules, the record will be a lot clearer.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't asked a question, Your Honour, again if
8 we're going to engage in these tactics, I should be allowed to engage in
9 them as well, interrupting.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think we know what you are
11 talking about, so just put your question.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm attempting, Your Honour. I'm attempting.
13 Q. Where could I look to, Mr. Butler, concretely in writing to find
14 where it defines the responsibilities of a brigade commander for a zone of
15 responsibility of a brigade? Just tell me where.
16 A. As I've indicated, if you read the 1984 regulations and read the
17 1983 regulations, I believe the answer is there.
18 Q. Okay. Well --
19 A. I can pull page numbers, if you want, this evening, I would be
20 happy to do that.
21 Q. Well, I would be happy, because I would like to know exactly where
22 in the regulations itself it talks about responsibilities of a brigade
23 commander within a zone of -- within a zone of responsibility, not a zone
24 of operation, not a zone of defence, but a zone of responsibility. And I
25 take it it is your understanding that we will find concrete language that
1 says that a brigade commander has the following responsibilities when he
2 is the commander of this zone of responsibility?
3 A. No, sir. Now you've misconstrued it, because the brigade
4 commander is a commander of the brigade, he is not the commander of a zone
5 of responsibility. There's no such animal.
6 Q. Okay. Well, that's what I was trying to get at.
7 A. The responsibilities of a unit are listed in a zone. The
8 responsibilities of a commander are listed and you have to couple the two.
9 But what you've asked, like I said, there's no such animal in this
11 Q. But the 1984 rules do provide us some guidance as to what a
12 brigade is supposed to be doing. Correct?
13 A. The 1984 rules - let me just wait a second - define or are the
14 regulatory basis for the responsibilities of the brigade, the commander,
15 the command staff under various or in various wartime situations. So, I
16 mean, that's where you will find the guidance as to what the brigade and
17 by consequence the brigade commander and his staff are doing under various
19 Q. So if we were to look at the brigade rules, and maybe if you could
20 pull them out. Do you have them handy?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. I believe they have been marked for identification purposes as
23 P83. If we could look at -- I believe these are paragraphs, not rules, as
24 I've been told by the Prosecution. So if we could look at page 6 at the
25 bottom, that is marked as paragraph number 13, which is under topic 2,
1 assignment, zone of operation and grouping of forces. Do you have it,
3 A. Matter of fact, I even have it highlighted, apparently.
4 Q. We're thinking alike. Now, what does that state, sir? Does it
5 not state that a brigade is always assigned a zone of operation?
6 A. No, sir, it says "shall".
7 Q. Well "shall". Exactly, but what does "shall" mean? That's my
8 whole point, it must have, it "shall". Correct?
9 A. No. "Shall" is generally -- I'll take your point that "shall" in
10 this case is a mandatory issue, yes, sir.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please pause.
12 MR. KARNAVAS:
13 Q. Okay. So it says: "A brigade shall be assigned a zone of
14 operations in which to carry out its tasks," and then it lists the tasks.
15 Zone of attack, zone of defence, zone of march and such like.
16 Now, it would seem to me they are going from the general to the
17 specific. And the general is that they're assigned a zone of operation,
18 not a zone of responsibility, but a zone of operation. Would you agree
19 with me on that point?
20 A. Yes, sir. This is what the 1984 regulations specify.
21 Q. Okay. And that one of those zones within the zone of operation is
22 the zone of defence. Correct?
23 A. I must be missing it here. Zone of operations carries out combat
24 operations. I don't know if it specifies defence. I'm missing it.
25 Q. I'll read it again. It says: "A zone shall be assigned, a zone
1 of operations in which to carry out its tasks."
2 A. I see it. My apologies.
3 Q. "A zone of attack, a zone of defence." It would seem at least the
4 way it's written that under the umbrella of zone of operations comes the
5 zone of defence.
6 A. That's one of the functions that are conducted in zone, yes, sir.
7 I don't know if it's an umbrella, but yes, sir.
8 Q. All right. So -- now, what is a zone of operation in your
9 understanding of the rules?
10 A. Well, as it's listed on the ELMO, again it's what we've discussed
11 as control measures or a series of control measures, designated and where
12 the brigade -- where -- and again the designated space where the brigade
13 organises and carries out its combat operations.
14 Q. All right. Is that a geographical region?
15 A. It depends. It -- certainly the borders are normally fixed by
16 geographic markers, but if you have a situation where a brigade is
17 operating as part of a larger corps formation, that zone is going to be
18 designated by other operational factors. For example, in the attack, a
19 brigade may have a zone of operations or a front as narrow as 2 to 3
20 kilometres, where in the defence it may go up ideally to 10 to 15
21 kilometres. So it is situation-dependant.
22 Q. Okay. Now -- but as I understand it, earlier you testified, at
23 least with respect to the Bratunac Brigade it was a static defence. Now,
24 could we glean from that anything, that they had a zone of defence or that
25 their zone of operation was where they were located?
1 A. Their defensive lines, at least the length of them, would be the
2 distance and depth of its four battalions that were on line. As I've
3 noted before, certainly in the case of the Bratunac Brigade the available
4 forces were nowhere near enough to cover the entire zone that was
5 specified for them.
6 Q. Okay. Now, we say "zone," are we talking about --
7 A. I'm talking about that map graphic which indicated what their zone
8 of operations was.
9 Q. All right. Now, are you saying zone of operations, I want to stay
10 consistent. So I'm talking about the line of defence that they had.
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. So can we agree on a particular term. Is that the zone of
13 operation, because it does seem to have a particular length, a width, a
14 depth, you know, so much -- far forward, so far backwards.
15 A. In context again to recognise that it's not just the static line,
16 that there is depth forward and behind for the battalions.
17 Q. Okay. How much forward would it go?
18 A. Again, that's situation-dependant and those things are regulated
19 by the superior. There's no set formula to that, at least to my
21 Q. To your knowledge. And how far backwards?
22 A. Again, I believe this is -- there is actually a fixed distance,
23 depending on whether the battalion is in the attack or in the defence. I
24 believe it is in the regulations. I don't remember what it is offhand. I
25 believe there are some fixed criteria to use on that one.
1 Q. Okay. Now, as I understand your testimony correctly that the
2 Bratunac Brigade did not have enough manpower to cover its designated
3 tasks in operating that line and holding that line?
4 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
5 Q. Okay. And as I understand you, their responsibilities would have
6 been for a certain distance forward and a certain distance backward.
8 A. Yes, sir. As well as, of course, the linear distance of the line.
9 Q. Okay. Exactly. Now, if we take your definition of the zone of
10 responsibility, now we have a situation where a brigade which can hardly
11 line itself up to form this defensive static line, but now under your
12 definition they would also have to be responsible for a geographical
13 region the size of the municipality of Bratunac. Is that correct?
14 A. I'm not sure that the phrase "responsibility" is something that
15 I've used in context with that zone. It is its designated zone. I do not
16 have a document from the headquarters of the Drina Corps which articulates
17 the specific roles and responsibilities of a -- of the brigade in that
18 zone in its entirety, so I just don't know I can answer that question for
19 you. Certainly, I don't mean to imply and I hope I never have that the
20 Bratunac Brigade's limited forces at its disposal were somehow expected to
21 man a linear defence line across the entire zone it was given. Most VRS
22 formations could not do the same as well. I think it's an apples and
23 oranges type of issue.
24 Q. But we're not even talking just a linear line. We're also talking
25 the entire geographical region of the -- the boundaries of the
1 municipality, according to your definition.
2 A. I don't believe I have ever implied that there was a static
3 defence requirement for that. Certainly I wouldn't anticipate them having
4 to garrison that type of a line. I don't believe I've ever said that.
5 Q. No. But I'm not asking for them to be lined up throughout the
6 entire border, but what I'm saying is one of their tasks throughout that
7 period - and correct me if I'm wrong - was to be stationed and positioned
8 at a particular line where you had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Battalion.
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. And they had been there for years. Correct?
12 A. With minor deviations, that is correct.
13 Q. With minor deviations, but by and large the situation was
14 relatively stable, and I use the word "relatively" because there weren't
15 any major battle activities. Correct?
16 A. No, sir -- it's correct, yes. No major battle activities.
17 Q. Up until the time that we get to Srebrenica. Now -- so they were
18 there, but under your definition they would have to be responsible not
19 only for those current duties, which according to you they were
20 undermanned and under-resourced to maintain in a static situation, but
21 also they would have to be responsible for a geographic region the size of
22 the entire municipality, something which was not even envisaged in the
23 rules themselves. Correct?
24 A. Well again, Mr. Karnavas, not knowing what the Drina Corps command
25 envisioned in designating those zones, other than where we see the
1 municipality providing logistics support, I don't know that I can answer
2 the question. Certainly they were undermanned and under-resourced. I
3 believe that even in Colonel Blagojevic's report he says that on 4 July,
4 he makes that point to the Drina Corps. So in that respect -- certainly
5 those instances were not envisioned when the 1984 brigade rules were
7 Q. All right. Now, did you have an opportunity to review
8 Mr. Obrenovic's testimony when he testified here?
9 A. I reviewed it. I believe I have read the entire series of it
10 once. I haven't reviewed it in detail.
11 Q. All right. And -- okay. Now, if you may recall, and if you don't
12 it doesn't matter because we could help you out here. There were some
13 questions with respect to zone of operation and how it's defined to a
14 particular brigade from the corps and downwards. Do you recall my asking
15 a series of questions regarding that issue?
16 A. No, sir. That's not familiar to me. I may have read it and I'm
17 just not picking up on it, so if you could help me out.
18 Q. I will. If we could put on the ELMO the testimony. It's pages
19 2.716 and 2.717. If we could start with line 6 -- well, actually we could
20 start with line 11 and read a little bit less than we need to. But if you
21 look at line 8, I'm making a reference to paragraph 13 of the rules, of
22 the brigade rules. So line 11 I start with: "Now, the zone of operation
23 for the brigade is a ground space of limited width and depth, in which a
24 brigade organisations and carries out combat operations. Is that
1 His answer is: "Yes."
2 Do you agree with him on that?
3 A. That is straight out of the language of paragraph 13. That is
4 correct, sir.
6 Q. Who designates that ground space of limited, limited
7 width and depth? What designates that?
8 A. The corps command does.
9 Would you agree with him on that?
10 A. It is consistent with the corps command who designates those.
11 Q. So the answer is yes?
12 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. On what basis in that designated? I mean, what are
15 the criteria? I mean, if you know. That they would look at and say:
16 Okay, to the Bratunac Brigade, given the fact that they only have so many
17 soldiers and we need to cover this amount of territory, given that they
18 have this neighbor and that neighbor, with these sorts of resources. What
19 are the criteria?
20 A. Mr. Karnavas, as you probably know, I never worked in
21 a corps command, but I can use the experience gained from the brigade
22 command when designating regions for the battalion's defence, the brigade
23 command would then have in mind first of all the composition and combat
24 capabilities of the unit concerned, that is the battalion, and secondly,
25 the geographical characteristics of the terrain on which combat operations
1 are to take place; and third, the expected predicted enemy forces in the
2 ground space concerned, the communications, roads, obstacles, and similar
3 features. Perhaps the corps command would think along those lines. It's
4 an operational command. I've never worked there and I don't have any
5 experience in that respect.
6 And then I go on. Just for completeness I say: "I think that
7 covers it, and I think you might also throw in mission, because you've
8 indicated number of soldiers, equipment, the terrain, the enemy
9 disposition and capability, and I take it also the mission."
10 Would you agree with that?
11 A. Yes, sir. That is a very good example of the factors that a
12 superior command takes into account when designating that.
13 Q. Okay. And that's when designating a zone of operation. Correct?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. And you would agree with me that a zone of operation is more
16 narrowly defined geographically at least than a zone of responsibility
17 that you have given us the definition of to encompass the entire borders
18 of a municipality?
19 A. This definition is far more limited and reflects the straight
20 military definition of it.
21 Q. And it's consistent with the rules?
22 A. It is consistent with the rules, yes, sir.
23 Q. And I take it --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the interpreters.
25 MR. KARNAVAS:
1 Q. And I -- okay. So it's consistent with the rules and it would
2 seem to be that within this context of the rules that we then come to what
3 you've indicated to us, that if those were the responsibilities of the
4 Bratunac Brigade under its zone of operation and they were maxed out, then
5 surely we could only conclude that if we had your definition as to his
6 zone of responsibility, certainly within that context it would have been
7 virtually impossible to carry out his mission, whatever that may have
9 A. I would disagree only insomuch as, one, again not knowing the
10 mission; but two, while in isolation, it is a significant problem,
11 certainly for the Bratunac Brigade. I just have to go back and say that
12 these problems were consistent throughout all of the problems -- all of
13 the Drina Corps and for the larger part of the VRS as well. It is
14 certainly not an enviable situation that any military professional wants
15 to find themselves in.
16 Q. Okay. But we do know the mission of the Bratunac Brigade; it's
17 mission, as you've indicated, was to have a static defence on that
18 particular line because they were in essence facing the 28th Division that
19 was within the enclave under the protection of the UN. Correct?
20 A. Yes, sir. And in that aspect of their mission, they performed
22 Q. And the Zvornik as well, they had to worry about the 2nd Corps
23 facing them in that direction. Correct?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. So this was their mission, and that mission changed at some point
1 when Krivaja 95 came in and there was an order from the Drina Corps, I
2 believe it's dated the 2nd of July. Correct?
3 A. Yes, sir. The preparation order and the execute order are dated
4 the 2nd.
5 Q. Right. So at that point it would seem that a new mission is given
6 to this particular brigade as well as to the other units that ultimately
7 became involved in the attack on Srebrenica?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Okay. So now we do know their mission, and their mission, is it
10 not - and correct me if I'm wrong - relatively, the mission for the
11 Bratunac Brigade, relatively the same, even during the attack on
12 Srebrenica, albeit I believe it was the 3rd Battalion that played
13 a -- somewhat of a role and an offensive role. And I know I'm
14 generalising, but -- and we'll get to that, but if you could answer the
16 A. Again, generally speaking, that's correct. The specifics are
17 designated in the Bratunac Brigade plan of 5 July.
18 Q. Okay. And in fact -- and that order remains in effect for the
19 Bratunac Brigade, does it not, until after they received their next order.
20 And it would appear, at least from the documents that we have, that that
21 next order was received on the 13th. I believe it was one of your
22 exhibits. Correct?
23 A. Yes. In context, the written orders, there was the 5 July written
24 order, which designated or kicked off for the brigade Krivaja. There were
25 some supplemental orders, of course, the 10 July one with respect to
1 mobilisation. Then 13 July, you had Stupcana 95. So in that context with
2 written orders, that's pretty much the main operation orders.
3 Q. Okay. But can we agree on that for the most part, the Bratunac
4 Brigade from the 5th or 6th when the attack on Srebrenica occurred until
5 its fall on the 13th and going on all the way to the 13th, their position
6 or their orders remained more or less the same as they had received on the
7 2nd from the Drina Corps?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Misstatement of the facts. He may not have meant
11 to say the fall on the 13th.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: The fall on the 11th but all the way to the 13th.
13 THE WITNESS: That is the written orders that were received from
14 the superior.
15 Q. Okay. And the orders that they received -- in fact, on the 13th,
16 we see two separate orders, do we not, from two separate commanders of the
17 Drina Corps -- or orders written -- signed by two -- by two different
18 commanders, the one from General Zivanovic and a few hours later, I
19 believe, later in the evening it's around 2100 hours, we see another one
20 from General Krstic.
21 A. I think in rough context you're correct there. I think the last
22 order we see from General Zivanovic is approximately 1800 hours that day.
23 So that's the sequence. While he was the corps commander and then after
24 the changeover, the next order.
25 Q. And the -- we'll get to them if need be, but the latter order,
1 assuming that General Krstic has now taken command, would I be correct in
2 assuming that that order is indeed the one that's in effect for the
3 Bratunac Brigade and the other units? In other words, does that supersede
4 the previous order received four hours earlier, albeit it's basically the
5 same with some minor changes?
6 A. I'm not sure you can say "superseded". I believe the order that's
7 received from General Zivanovic in this context is the retransmission or
8 the forwarding of that order from the Main Staff with respect to securing
9 roads, mobilising personnel, guarding prisoners, things of that nature.
10 The order from General Krstic specifically articulates sweep operations
11 that are to commence on the morning of the 14th. So like I said, I
12 believe that they work in conjunction. I don't believe that one
13 supersedes the other.
14 Q. So that's your interpretation?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Now, when you say "sweep," and I know this is a habit you have,
17 you like that word, I prefer using the word "search," which is the more
18 correct one as I understand it, but I think we mean the same. Sweep and
19 search is a proper military activity that occurs after a battle, is it
20 not? Am I not correct?
21 A. I believe we're mixing terminology.
22 Q. That's why I want you to help me out here.
23 A. As I've defined it, my understanding of the JNA terminology in
24 this one, when they talk about what I refer as a sweep operation or what
25 they refer to as clearing the terrain, that is an operation that is
1 conducted when a unit moves down a designated axis in a context where
2 there are no enemy forces left behind.
3 A search operation, as you use the phrase, I don't believe it
4 means the same thing. A search operation can be very simply something
5 that is going over an old battlefield or an area looking for pieces of
6 information or collecting material, things like that. So I think in
7 context, I think sweep operation is the more accurate phrase that we're
9 Q. Okay. And then subsequent to the sweep operation, one would
10 expect if there has been battle in that area for asanacija to occur?
11 A. Generally once the area is secured, that would be an expectation,
12 yes, sir.
13 Q. Okay. And those two functions which go hand in glove after an
14 operation are proper military functions?
15 A. Yes, sir, they are.
16 Q. And that's what would be expected in this particular case after
17 the fall of Srebrenica. Correct?
18 A. In this respect, yes. Given the context of the combat operations
19 from the column, it would be a proper military function that the bodies of
20 dead Bosnian Muslim soldiers who were killed in combat would be, in
21 effect, removed from the battlefield and buried in some manner to prevent
23 Q. All right. And so what we do begin to see on the 14th is an
24 order, do we not, that was drafted by the commander of the Bratunac
25 Brigade that in essence begins to implement what is requested of him by
1 General Krstic. Correct?
2 A. Directed by General Krstic, not requested.
3 Q. I apologise. You're correct.
4 A. In this context he directs three units, the Milici Brigade, the
5 Bratunac Brigade, and the Skelani Battalion to sweep the area of the
6 former enclave and designated zones. And by definition of what we've been
7 talking about, those types of things would be included in that.
8 Q. And I take it you've had an opportunity to then look at the
9 Bratunac Brigade order carrying out the Krstic order?
10 A. Yes, sir. I believe I discussed that in detail on the Krstic
12 Q. And I take it you also had the opportunity to put the map to the
13 order, because that order, if my memory serves me correct, designates with
14 precision on the map where each battalion is supposed to sweep.
15 A. Yes, sir, that is correct. And again, I think we went through
16 that exercise in the Krstic trial where we actually put it on a map in
18 Q. Okay. And of course that was a proper military event, wasn't it?
19 A. It was a proper military order within the context, yes, sir.
20 Q. And carrying out that order was in no way criminal in any way?
21 A. I can't say that insomuch as I have no visibility on any potential
22 prisoners that may have been taken. The actual function of carrying out
23 that order is certainly not criminal, but I can't say the next step which
24 is that events that occurred pursuant to that may or may not have been
1 Q. All right. At that point in time, that is the morning of the
2 14th, the column was -- had left the Bratunac Brigade area, had it not?
3 A. By the 14th, the column, as I understand it in time, there was
4 still certainly in front of the 4th Battalion's area, there were still
5 sightings of members of the column, the back end of the column was still
6 in that area. But the bulk of the column was already further towards the
7 road - I don't have a map unfortunately - but towards Konjevic Polje.
8 Q. And you have no knowledge of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Battalion
9 engaging the column itself, attacking it?
10 A. In interviews that were conducted by the battalion commanders,
11 they indicate that they did not gain contact -- in those particular cases
12 they did not gain contact with the column, the 1st, the 2nd, and the 3rd.
13 Q. When you say "gain contact," I take it they didn't come into
15 A. No, sir. They didn't engage in active combat activity.
16 Q. Okay. If I'm correct, if my knowledge of the terrain is right,
17 you have the Bratunac Brigade on one side, you have the Milici Brigade on
18 the other, and there seemed to be some sort of a natural corridor, if I
19 can use that term, that was unmanned -- perhaps there were mines, it was
20 heavily mined, but you had no soldiers of the Bratunac Brigade or the
21 Milici Brigade in there, thus allowing them to go through this corridor
22 towards Zvornik. Correct?
23 A. In the context, there was a gap between the 4th Battalion of the
24 Bratunac Brigade and one of the battalions of the Milici Brigade that was
25 mined, but it was not garrisoned -- they did not have an actual unit there
1 to block the path. And this was the route that the column took.
2 Q. And no units were sent to block the path?
3 A. I'm not -- there is conflicting data on that. I don't have any
4 written orders which indicates that. However, there is some information
5 that a small unit may have been sent to try to get to that area which was
6 Ravni Buljin.
7 Q. But as you've indicated, there was no contact made. Correct?
8 A. Not by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions, post-14 July with respect
9 to that order. For the most part, they were sweeping the area of the
10 former enclave that had already been evacuated.
11 Q. And what about the 4th Battalion? Are you suggesting - I don't
12 know, I'm asking - that the 4th Battalion actually came into contact and
13 engaged the column?
14 A. They came into contact with the column, at least according to some
15 of the interviews of members from that battalion. Depending upon who you
16 talk to, the column, by mutual consent of the soldiers on the ground at
17 the time, was just allowed to pass. Or if you talk to the battalion
18 commander, they didn't see anything. But certainly the 4th Battalion did
19 butt up to part of the column but for whatever reason allowed them to pass
20 relatively unscathed.
21 Q. So in other words they did not attack the column?
22 A. No, sir.
23 Q. All right. And it's after they passed through that area that
24 they -- that there is contact between the column and the Zvornik Brigade,
25 and that's where we have casualties, I take it, by both sides. Correct?
1 A. The -- well, in time context, the head of the column was already
2 in the Zvornik Brigade area as early as the 13th of July. And by the 13th
3 of July, I mean certainly the back end of the column was still across from
4 the 1st and 4th Battalions. So I think it's an issue of timing on that
6 By the 14th, most of the column had already departed what was the
7 former enclave at that time. So I don't know that -- like I said, your
8 analysis with the Zvornik Brigade, the column was long enough that it was
9 engaged at both places at the same time, because parts of it got cut
10 off --
11 Q. Okay. I guess getting back, it's your understanding that the
12 4th Battalion did not engage the column?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to vague. He may still be talking about
14 after the 14th, because that was your original question. It's just not
15 clear in terms of time frame from your question.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
17 Q. What I'm trying to get to is that you have this column that is
18 relatively visible at some point, but they pass through the 3rd, the 2nd,
19 the 1st, and the 4th Battalion relatively unscathed, there is no contact,
20 even with the 4th Battalion. And there is only contact with the column
21 once -- with the Zvornik Brigade once they get into that area. Isn't that
23 A. Within context of time on the 14th; however, again our
24 understanding of the context of that is derived from discussions with
25 those members of the battalion. We don't have documents which either
1 confirm or deny that.
2 Q. All right. But at some point, the situation changes on the
3 ground, particularly as a column comes into contact with the
4 Zvornik Brigade. Correct?
5 A. It changes with context to Zvornik. I think if we're going to
6 stay in the Bratunac area, I believe where the situation changes in
7 context is that by the evening of the 13th of July the VRS defence along
8 the Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, Bratunac route has solidified to a point
9 where certainly during the day and even in the evening hours or periods of
10 darkness, the bulk of the column in numbers can't cross the road from the
11 Bratunac Brigade area to the Zvornik Brigade area in that context. So I
12 think with respect to Bratunac, that's where the situation changes when it
13 comes clear by 13 July that the column is not going to be allowed
14 completely out of the area.
15 Q. Now you said Bratunac Brigade area. Are we talking about a zone?
16 Are we talking about -- well, let me rephrase it. At this point on the
17 13th, is not the Bratunac Brigade battalions still remaining in their
18 positions where the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th were, are they still
19 not there?
20 A. In a general context, they are in and around that area. However,
21 as the Trial Chamber is aware, large elements of those battalions are also
22 roaming around Potocari those days as well and conducting more limited
23 operations in and around that area. So that -- for the 2nd Battalion and
24 the 3rd Battalion certainly they are a significant distance away from
25 their former defence lines.
1 Q. Now you said that: "The Trial Chamber is aware that large
2 elements of those battalions," now that really piqued my interest --
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, would you please keep your interest to tomorrow.
4 It's time to stop although you still have a few minutes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Let me just ask one question, Your Honour --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well --
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. Might I ask these large elements, can you give me a numerical
9 figure, and then we'll launch you into a discussion tomorrow about it.
10 But can we have a numerical figure about these large elements that the
11 Trial Chamber is aware of.
12 A. I don't have a number. My context of those large elements are the
13 numbers of troops that are seen in the various videos of Potocari on 12
14 and 13 July. I don't believe that -- say again?
15 Q. I'm sorry, go ahead. I have a follow-up.
16 A. I don't believe that in the context of any of the orders there are
17 numbers listed.
18 Q. When you say "troops," you know, are you saying soldiers?
19 A. I am saying soldiers who I believe the investigation and the Trial
20 Chamber have identified as members of the 2nd and 3rd Battalion of the
21 Bratunac Brigade in Potocari.
22 Q. All right. But when you say "troops," as opposed to soldiers, you
23 know, the video had soldiers, now you're talking troops.
24 A. I'm sorry.
25 Q. I'm conjuring up Afghanistan, Iraq, that's what I'm conjuring up.
1 So when you say"troops" --
2 A. I will be specific.
3 Q. Okay. Soldiers from the Bratunac Brigade in those videos.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I will reserve the rest of my cross on
6 this area for tomorrow.
7 JUDGE LIU: Of course. Of course. I have to remind the parties
8 that next Tuesday will be an UN holiday that we will not be sitting, and
9 it is our hope that we could finish the testimony of this witness by that
10 time. I understand this a very important witness. There are a lot of
11 questions to ask, but I also hope the Defence counsel could streamline
12 somehow overnight their cross-examination for tomorrow and take into
13 consideration the time limits that we are not going to hear the parties
14 about the 92 bis documents. And from the submissions from the parties, I
15 believe that this Bench is in the position to make a ruling on those 92
16 bis documents.
17 Having said that, I think the hearing is adjourned and we'll meet
18 tomorrow 9.00 in Courtroom III.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
20 at 7.02 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
21 the 19th day of November, 2003,
22 at 9.00 a.m.