1 Wednesday, 19 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Mr. Court Deputy.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, 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.
10 Well, Mr. Karnavas.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 WITNESS: RICHARD JOHN BUTLER [Resumed]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Butler.
15 A. Sir.
16 Q. I believe we left off yesterday at a juncture where you had made a
17 comment which had piqued my interest, but before we get to that, I want to
18 revert to an earlier line of questioning and try to deconstruct, if it is
19 possible, your answer. And so -- and this is with respect to the zone of
20 responsibility. I will be referring to page 52 from the -- from
21 yesterday's testimony, and I have copies. There's one available for the
22 ELMO as well as one for you. And in fact there are two sets of copies,
23 but anyway, if you could just briefly look at it at starts with page 54,
24 it goes on to page 55 and then page 56.
25 Now, I want to focus your attention and start with page 54. I'm
1 just going to ask the question -- we won't go through the entire portion
2 of it, but I believe I ask you -- I'm trying to pin you down and I'm
3 asking you about the rules, whether they were adopted. Do you see that
4 portion, around line 15?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. And then your answer is: "With respect to the combat regulations,
7 the organisation of formation, the methodologies used in the command and
8 staff process, the VRS, not only did they adopt the ones of the former
9 JNA, but as the JNA dissolved in May of 1992, the VJ was formed. As the
10 VJ modified some of those, the VRS tried to remain as much in step with
11 that as well."
12 Okay. You see that. Now, if you flip on to the next page, and
13 this is where I am really interested in. I ask you to -- the question:
14 "Okay. So I take it if we were to go into the regulations that we were
15 applying -- that they were applying and that that had taken over the JNA,
16 we would be able to find, for instance, the term 'zone of responsibility'
17 for the brigades."
18 And your answer is: "I believe that term either area or zone of
19 responsibility will be found in the 1983 command and staff regulations."
20 Do you recall being asked that question and giving that answer?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Okay. Now, in fact I believe overnight you were going to look
23 into the manual of those particular regulations to look for the term "zone
24 of responsibility." Correct?
25 A. I looked in the 1984 manual. I didn't know this was a specific
1 question on tap for me to research.
2 Q. Okay. All right. And then we're going to deconstruct that
3 question as well as the next one. The next one is -- goes as follows:
4 "Okay. Now, in the rules setting up the brigade, is it that in
5 the" -- "is that in the rules?"
6 Answer, and here's your entire answer and then we're going to
7 deconstruct it. "In the brigade rules, you are not going to generally
8 find that because as a context by which most brigades were designed to
9 fight in the JNA, certainly in 1984, brigades were not generally given a
10 zone of operations or a zone of operations -- or an area of operations,
11 they were given something more limited with respect to a frontage, an axis
12 of advance. With respect to brigades, normally within the context of the
13 1984 regulations, TO units," and I suspect you're referring to -- you're
14 going to tell us what that means, "which were given rear service-based
15 operations, counter-insurgency or types of rear missions like that, those
16 units could be given an area of responsibility. But for the actual combat
17 operations, you didn't see that at brigade level."
18 Next question: "Well, under the rules, if you know, what sort of
19 zones were they given?"
20 Answer: "Generally envisaged for the manoeuvre brigades under the
21 1984 rules, they were derived on a larger military context where a brigade
22 would not necessarily be fighting alone. It was envisaged -- it would
23 fight as either part of a parent division or when divisions went away were
24 replaced by a brigade corps structure, that they would fight in context
25 with a larger corps formation. So in that context, it was geared toward a
1 more conventional setting."
2 Now, I take it you recall making that statement?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. Okay. Now, for the purposes of deconstructing this, I would like
5 to show you a cleaner version which I have underlined for the convenience
6 of everybody, and I would like to have this marked for identification
7 purposes. This is --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe it would be D83.
9 Q. If you could just look at it very briefly to see whether it
10 comports with what we just read, but I'm going to go through it line by
11 line in some respects to see if we can make sense of this answer.
12 A. I assume this is the page you want on the ELMO, sir?
13 Q. Yes. Yes. Okay. Now, if we go with the first question your
14 answer -- I say. I don't want to repeat it, but I'm asking for a zone of
15 responsibility. You say: "I believe that the term either area or zone of
16 responsibility will be found in the 1983 command and staff regulations."
17 Now, do you -- can you tell us a little bit about what those
18 regulations are all about.
19 A. The 1983 command and staff regulations are a series of regulations
20 which define the aspects of military command within the former JNA. They
21 define command, they define command relationships, they define staff
22 relationships, they talk about in some great detail the command and staff
23 and how it interfaces in various forms of combat operations to include
24 offence, defence. So it's a very useful document with respect to
25 fundamentally understanding the roles and responsibilities of a commander,
1 command, staff, and how that all interrelates within the military
2 decision-making process.
3 Q. All right. Okay. Now, this manual, however, which pretty much is
4 a guidebook for commanders on how to command, does not articulate zones of
5 responsibility, areas of operations, that's not the purpose of this, is
7 A. Mr. Karnavas, I believe that in the context there it's discussed
8 as being part of some of the control measures that will be made available.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. Again, I will go back and research that and try to find the
11 specific notations. It wasn't something I did last night.
12 Q. Okay. Well, maybe you can do that during the break, but now that
13 you mention control measures, yesterday we were talking about control
14 measures and I posed a question which was: The zones of defence, zones of
15 operation, were those not control measures? And I believe your answer was
17 A. That is correct, sir.
18 Q. Okay. And so if we're trying to locate control measures, would we
19 not then go to the rules, because that's where they are, in there.
20 A. In the 1984 brigade rules, it defines the normative control
21 measures for brigades, yes, sir.
22 Q. What do you mean by normative? Let's keep it plain?
23 A. Very simply what it means is it defines the control measures that
24 are used under ideal circumstances. Clearly like all forms of combat
25 situations those need to be modified on the ground on the basis of the
1 dictates of terrain, on the dictates of enemy situation and things of that
2 nature. But for by and large the general purposes, those regulations
3 define those various types of control measures under most circumstances.
4 Q. All right. Then you go on, because I'm trying to get to my
5 answer, because I've asked you about zones of responsibility. Now the
6 question comes again: "But in the rules setting up in the brigade, is
7 that in the rules?"
8 Now we're talking about the brigade rules of 1984. And here's
9 your answer and we're going to go step by step.
10 "In the brigade rules," we'll stick with one at a time, "you're
11 not going to generally find that."
12 Let's stop there. When you say "generally," I take it if we're
13 not going to find it generally we're certainly not going to find it
14 specifically. Correct?
15 A. Well, sir, I disagree. The document which you showed me yesterday
16 which was paragraph 13 specifically mentioned that phrase area of
17 responsibility --
18 Q. Excuse me, I'm talking about a zone of responsibility --
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. He's interrupting the
20 witness and this matter, as far as I can see, has been gone through over
21 and over again yesterday now we're going through what he went over and
22 over again yesterday and this is potentially endless.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think the answer in this transcript
25 says area or zone of responsibility will be defined.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: And it's true that this issue has been gone over
3 yesterday, unless you have some specific point to make.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I do, Your Honour, and the specific point that I'm
5 making is we didn't receive an answer yesterday. And he just indicated
6 The point where I showed him where he says area of responsibility, perhaps
7 he can show us where is that in paragraph 13.
8 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, area of operations. I misspoke on this
10 MR. KARNAVAS:
11 Q. You see. There we go. I want to focus on zone of responsibility,
12 because that is a term that you've used. Now -- and that is my question.
13 So getting back to it, you say: "Not going to generally find it." And my
14 question was: If it's generally not there, certainly specifically it
15 would not be there. Correct?
16 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, I agree and I believe --
17 Q. Is the answer yes --
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. It's an interruption, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: You have to be very patient. Let the witness finish
21 his testimony.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour, I'm trying to get him home
23 on time, but at this rate, I dare say - and I'm very serious about
24 this - you asked me to streamline, but based on what I saw last night and
25 what I have, I need two weeks with this gentleman. I'm very serious. And
1 so if I'm going to get nonresponsive responses, I will take my time. I
2 have no problem with that.
3 Q. So the answer to my question is yes. Specifically, it's not in
4 there. Correct?
5 A. In this particular context in these regulations, I don't believe
6 the phrase "zone of responsibility" is in there.
7 Q. What do you mean in this context, is the word "zone of
8 responsibility" in there? Yes or no?
9 A. Mr. Karnavas, it isn't in there and as we've discussed I used
10 those phrases interchangeably.
11 Q. Well, we do have a zone of operations, though, don't we?
12 A. There are areas and zones of operations.
13 Q. And that is not in a general sense, that's in a specific sense in
14 the rules. Correct?
15 A. The area of operations and the zone of operations are specific in
16 the rules and they are different.
17 Q. All right. So the answer again to my question is yes?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Okay. Now, when you say "generally," define that word "generally"
20 so that at least I have a general understanding of what you mean.
21 A. Mr. Karnavas, as I've indicated with looking at the former JNA
22 regulations and their applicability down the line to the VRS, I also take
23 into account the fact that I've been reading military documents from the
24 VRS for five years where these issues are discussed. So, again, I can't
25 do my analysis and I don't do my analysis by specifically looking at one
1 document or one regulation, I lay it out in the general context. And as
2 we have discussed, while these are the baseline regulations and that they
3 were followed as much as practicable by the VRS, the VRS did migrate from
4 them based on the situation on the ground.
5 Q. Right.
6 A. So when I use the phrase "generally," I'm using it as a way to
7 indicate the broader context of all the documents I've reviewed.
8 Q. Then you go: "Because as a context by which," I guess that's the
9 general that you're talking about, generally and now it's the general
10 context. "As a context by which" -- I'm on number 2; we'll do number 2 and
11 3 together. "As a context by which most brigades were designed to fight
12 in the JNA."
13 Now, what are you talking about when you say "context" and "most
14 brigades" and who are those "most brigades," because I have a rule on
16 A. As you will note from the brigade rules, and under the larger
17 context of All People's Defence, the general strategy of that, given the
18 fact that in the larger context they had NATO on one side and the
19 Warsaw Alliance on the other. Their broader strategy was that the active
20 forces of the JNA would defend the perimeters of the country as much as
21 possible and that the brigades that were formed under the TO when they
22 were mobilised as such would be the next component of the armed forces and
23 would conduct whatever guerilla or insurgency war against an occupying
24 force. When I talk about"most brigades" in this context, the JNA
25 recognised that the circumstances how a regular infantry brigade or a
1 mechanised brigade or an armoured brigade or even a naval infantry
2 brigade would fight versus how a light infantry brigade in an occupied
3 territory would fight would be different. So that's what I'm referring
5 Q. Now, you said "occupied territory". First of all, let's get clear
6 on one thing. Territorial Defence, they're not a part of the JNA, are
8 A. They're a part of the armed forces, but they're not specifically a
9 part of the JNA in this context.
10 Q. They're not under the JNA?
11 A. Under the 1984 context, no, sir. I mean, at that time. At a
12 point in time further during the war, some elements do become and I didn't
13 want to get into that --
14 Q. We're talking about the 1984 --
15 A. In 1984, it's a separate concept.
16 Q. Okay. And were talking about the Territorial Defence kicking in
17 when the land is occupied; correct?
18 A. That would be correct, sir.
19 Q. Okay. And that means when enemy troops are in Belgrade, for
20 instance, and now you're going to do what the Iraqis are doing to the
21 allied forces in Baghdad. They're fighting within. And that's where the
22 Territorial Defence kicks in. Isn't that a fact?
23 A. That is how it was designed, yes, sir. But it's not quite that
25 Q. Well --
1 A. I mean, it is a more flowing process because, as indicated in the
2 brigade roles, they also envision, in some cases, other regular JNA
3 formations would be part and parcel to that general resistance programme.
4 Q. We're going to get to that, we're going to get to that. But these
5 brigade rules were designed for brigades in the JNA. Correct?
6 A. They were designed for brigades within the JNA. However, I'm not
7 sure how you can differentiate that insomuch as the officers and soldiers,
8 as we discussed yesterday, who were the TO were in fact members who served
9 in the JNA and their officers were active JNA. There's not two different
10 sets of doctrine on this one, or manuals. It is one set of combat
11 regulations designed for the broader context.
12 Q. Okay. All right. You would agree --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down, thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. You would agree there was no occupation going on at this point in
17 A. In 1984?
18 Q. Yes?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. And what about in 1995? Was Bratunac occupied by the Muslim
21 forces, the 2nd Corps?
22 A. In 1995 --
23 Q. Just answer the question.
24 A. Well, I believe that they would consider some portions of the
25 Bratunac municipality that were occupied.
1 Q. Okay. All right.
2 A. That was ultimately when they established -- when the VRS
3 established and gave that zone of responsibility to the Bratunac Brigade
4 in November 1992, if you look at that on a map and look at the part that
5 they actually controlled, I believe the VRS indicates that they probably
6 controlled less than a quarter of that territory and it was still given to
7 the Bratunac Brigade as their zone.
8 Q. We're going to get to the map. But then you go on and you say:
9 "Certainly in 1994 brigades were -- 5, not generally given a zone of
10 operation or area of area of operation." So now we have the new rules in
11 1984. Correct?
12 A. I'm sorry. You said 1994.
13 Q. 1984, okay?
14 A. The 1984 rules, yes, sir.
15 Q. Now the new rules come in?
16 A. I assume they're new rules. I have not seen an earlier set.
17 Q. Well, we're dealing about these rules --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down. It is impossible to follow.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. KARNAVAS:
21 Q. We're talking about these rules. Correct?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. So you're stating here that the brigades were not generally given
24 a zone of operation or an area of operation. Correct?
25 A. No --
1 Q. That's what you said?
2 A. What --
3 Q. Is that what you said? Yes or no.
4 A. They were not -- I did say that.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, if you look at the rules, and I believe we
6 looked at them yesterday, and in fact, I said that they should always have
7 a zone of operation, and you quarrelled with me a little bit because you
8 said it says shall. Do you recall that?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour. Reminding of quarrels
11 yesterday really is not a question. We're stuck in 1984 in a Orwellian
12 nightmare. If we could get on to something relevant.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm impeaching his witness, that's what I'm doing.
14 And if he doesn't like it he should just prep his witness differently.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, as you understand we still remember very
16 clearly the debate yesterday about that rule. So there's no need to
17 revisit it at this moment, just move on.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I want to pin him down. I want to pin
19 him down on this, because he says one thing, we go to the rules. He said
20 "zone" today that are in the rules -- or area and it wasn't -- area of
21 responsibility and it's not in.
22 JUDGE LIU: I don't think there's any dispute about that "shall,"
23 because we discuss it already.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Now that we all know that the rule says shall, you agree with me
1 that this is incorrect when you say not generally given a zone of
3 A. Clearly, I misspoke. Yes, sir.
4 Q. You just didn't misspeak, you were absolutely 100 per cent wrong.
5 A. I was absolutely 100 per cent wrong, sir, in that respect.
6 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you for that admission. Now, in fact, as
7 I understand it they're even supposed to have a line of defence, a zone of
8 defence. I think if we go to paragraph on page 126 of the rules,
9 paragraph 483.
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Now, it's amazing how clear it is, how direct. "A brigade is
12 always assigned a defence zone." It says that right there. Right?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Now -- and yesterday, as you will recall when we were talking
15 about zone of operations, I told you based on the way it was formulated in
16 paragraph 3, zone of defence was inclusive in zone of operation?
17 A. It's a normal practice with that respect that in any mission a
18 commander is going to plan to have to transition into defence, yes, sir.
19 Q. Okay. Now, let's move on. Then you say -- okay, you said:
20 "They were not generally given a zone of operation or an area of
21 operation, they were given something more limited with respect to a
22 frontage and axis of advance."
23 Now, it seems to me that what you're saying here is not only were
24 they not given a zone of responsibility, not only were they not given a
25 zone of operation, but they were given something even much lesser than
1 that, which at least from your description sounds something more like a
2 zone of defence?
3 A. I believe in this context where I'm referring to those specific
4 axes, I believe that those are found with respect to offensive operations,
5 not defensive ones.
6 Q. Come again?
7 A. When I make the observation where we're talking about a specific
8 axes that a unit is given, in those general respects, those are more
9 associated with offensive operations.
10 Q. Okay. And --
11 A. While I guess it is technically possible for a unit to defend
12 along an axis, it's usually not couched as such.
13 Q. And then yesterday I asked you about -- remember when we were
14 talking about the zone of defences and zone of operation, that it would
15 have to be so far forward and so far back, do you recall that?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Do you recall your answer when you said it all depends on mission?
18 A. It depends on mission, terrain and other variables.
19 Q. And I asked you if there were any other rules dictating that?
20 A. Yes, sir, I believe I referred back to this very portion, the
21 defence zone.
22 Q. But, if we go back to paragraph 484, it would appear that we do
23 have some guidance in these very rules --
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. -- guiding the brigade commander, right? And in fact they're
1 fairly specific; between 10 to 15 kilometres, and on mountainous grounds
2 it would be 20 kilometres wide. Correct?
3 A. That is the width, yes, sir.
4 Q. So the rules do indeed envisage and point out, specify, the -- how
5 far forward, how far back these zones would be. Correct?
6 A. That is correct. And again as we discussed yesterday, they even
7 go into the brigade rear area and give the guidelines or the normal
8 establishment of what the brigade rear area would be.
9 Q. And the rear area doesn't go all the way to the boundaries of the
10 municipality, and in this case it would be the Drina river?
11 A. Well, as I would note again in this particular document where it
12 discusses that rear, it bases the rear on the depth required in order to
13 properly set your fire support and properly set your logistics. That is
14 normally envisioned within the brigade regulations. And I read it last
15 night as I believe roughly 8 to 10 or 15 to 20 kilometres from the forward
16 line of defence. So again how they are modified with respect to practical
17 reality --
18 Q. If you don't mind, Mr. Butler, if you want to put something on the
19 ELMO, you can ask us or ask permission, but I believe I'm doing cross,
20 it's not direct. I run the show when I'm doing cross, not you. Now if
21 you want to put something on the ELMO for instructional purposes, please
22 tell us what you're referring to.
23 A. Well, what this was paragraph 498, which discusses the logistics
24 of support forces --
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. -- and notes where the depth of the brigade zone is. And the
2 point that I'm trying to illustrate on this one is clearly that it is
3 beyond 15 kilometres from the forward defence line to the Drina river, so
4 again the dictates of terrain and national boundaries play an important
5 role in defining all of these lines. It's just not rote from the book.
6 Q. Now -- but, again if we refer back to the Bratunac Brigade, it was
7 your testimony that they were in a defensive or a static posture, and one
8 would assume, would they not, that while they were there for all those
9 years they had a certain amount of forward ground that they had to be
10 responsible for and a certain amount of ground in the back. Correct?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. And that would still remain more or less the same, given
13 the -- their involvement in the attack on Srebrenica as specified of what
14 their involvement would be by the preparatory order handed down to them by
15 the Drina Corps. Correct?
16 A. Yes, sir. That rear zone should not have changed.
17 Q. Okay. Moving along, you say with respect to brigades: "Normally
18 in the context of the 1984 regulations," and I take it you're speaking
19 about these rules, "TO units," Territorial Defence units, "which were
20 given rear operations bases, counter-insurgency, or types of rear missions
21 like that, those units would be given an area of responsibility." Now,
22 that's your answer, correct?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. That's when All People's Defence kicks in?
25 A. I don't believe I know the answer to whether it specifically kicks
1 in or how that works. It was envisioned under these rules that active JNA
2 forces and TO forces would be operating in at least an integrated manner.
3 Q. When their land was occupied by enemy forces?
4 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, I would also presume that in the event for
5 whatever reason the JNA elected to take offensive operations, it would
6 have been prudent to have used the TO to provide the same rear area
7 security. So I don't think it's exclusive to an occupation.
8 Q. The TOs, were they not designed as a means of the people,
9 All People's Defence, the people themselves, that they would mount a
10 resistance from within if they were occupied?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Okay. So it's not about an offensive operation, it's about a
13 defensive operation. Correct?
14 A. I would disagree. I would say it's an integrated operation
15 between the JNA and TO, regardless of the circumstances.
16 Q. Okay. All right. And then you go on and you say: "But for the
17 actual combat operations, you didn't see that at the brigade level."
18 What didn't you see at the brigade level? That I don't
20 A. Discussing it -- wait a second.
21 Q. You may want to refer to your earlier --
22 A. Well, discussing it in the context that I brought out today,
23 it -- because again it was envisioned that the active components of the
24 JNA would engage as much as possible with -- in conventional combat where
25 the TO units, which were rather ill-suited for that, would be involved in
1 more traditional military functions with respect to rear area operations
2 and rear area security. So that is why I envisioned or that is why, you
3 know, when I say I envisioned that, it wasn't a context where I didn't
4 want to imply that they were going to use standard infantry brigades to
5 conduct rear area operations when they had other forces available.
6 Q. Okay. Well, next question. I'm still trying to get an answer to
7 my initial question which was on zone of responsibility. We talked about
8 everything but that. Then we go on: "Well, under the rules, if you know,
9 what sort of zones were they given?"
10 And your answer: "Generally," that pops up again, "generally
11 envisage for the two," number two I have, "manoeuvre brigades under the
12 1984 rules."
13 Now, were the 1984 rules different, do they differentiate between
14 manoeuvre brigades and non-manoeuvre brigades?
15 A. Maybe that's a phraseology on my part. When I refer to manoeuvre
16 brigades, I am referring to the armoured or the mechanised infantry,
17 motorised types of brigades, even the light one that has motorised
18 support, as opposed to the light infantry brigade that we see with a more
19 static environment or a more static position. So that's where I use the
20 phrase "manoeuvre". Again, I apologise if that's confusing. It is a
21 take-off on some of the VRS terminology where they use the phrase
22 "manoeuvre brigades".
23 Q. These rules, sir, these rules don't make any distinction and in
24 fact when we talk even about light infantry brigades, we're really talking
25 about the size and the structure and the resources that they have. But as
1 far as what they're -- when we're talking about zones of operation and
2 zones of defence, really these rules apply to all the brigades, do they
4 A. The general principles and the rules do apply to all the brigades,
5 yes, sir.
6 Q. And they make no distinctions of such a thing as manoeuvre brigade
7 that you injected into the conversation yesterday, which may sound
8 esoteric, it may sound lofty, but at the end of the day when we pin you
9 down, it really doesn't make any difference whether we use that word or
10 don't use it at all. Correct?
11 A. I would disagree because the regulation do delineate that -- it is
12 envisioned that some units, the light infantry brigades as an example,
13 would not normally have many of the same offensive functions that other
14 formations are expected to have, such as the motorised or mechanised
15 infantry. So that's the differential that I'm trying to make. Because of
16 the organisation of the brigade, there are expectations that it is more
17 suited for one mission as opposed to another.
18 Q. But I'm going back to the zone. This whole conversation is taking
19 place around the zone, the zone of responsibility, that you injected
20 into -- you're sticking with that phrase. So with respect to zones,
21 manoeuvre or non-manoeuvre has no meaning in this context, does it?
22 A. In this context it would not be a differential because JNA forces,
23 if they were assigned an area of operations in occupied territory would be
24 expected to operate as other forces would whether they be JNA or TO.
25 JUDGE LIU: I hope that the counsel and the witness could look at
1 the screen. When the transcript is finished, you may ask or answer the
2 question, otherwise you give a very difficult time to the interpreters.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour. I apologise.
4 Q. Now, moving along, you say, and I'll start again: "Generally
5 envisage for the manoeuvre brigades under the 1984 rules, they were
6 derived on a larger military context where." "Derived on a larger
7 military context," what does that mean?
8 A. Well, if you complete the sentence, I think it's explanatory. It
9 indicates that as envisioned under the brigade rules as well as the corps
10 rules, the brigades are envisioned to fight as part of a larger entity.
11 Q. Okay. But doesn't -- okay. So we read -- we'll complete the
12 sentence. "Derived on a larger military context where a brigade would not
13 necessarily be fighting alone."
14 Well, help me out here, why would a brigade be fighting alone?
15 It's part of a corps, is it not?
16 A. Yes, sir, but referring back to these regulations, there are
17 references where it is envisioned that a brigade that was isolated behind
18 enemy lines or in occupied territory might have to conduct independent
20 Q. But what does that have to do with a zone of responsibility?
21 Nothing, correct?
22 A. It has to do with an area of operations, but nothing with the zone
23 of responsibility, and again as I've noted, that's not probably not the
24 best term to use.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. Certainly with respect to the 1984 regulations.
2 Q. But you would agree with me, would you not, that that first
3 sentence of that answer doesn't help us and doesn't answer the question
4 that I was asking?
5 A. No, sir. I disagree because I think in the context, certainly the
6 context that I understood the question, when we're talking about setting
7 up axis and unit frontages, those are relevant issues.
8 Q. Okay. Very well. Then you go on the next sentence, number 6:
9 "It was envisaged it would fight as either a," that's my part, "a part of
10 a parent division or when divisions went away and were replaced by a
11 brigade corps structure, that they would fight in context with a larger
12 corps formation."
13 Again, what are you trying to say with respect to a zone? How
14 does that help us define whether the rules here designate a zone of
15 responsibility, a term which is not found in the rules?
16 A. I would revert back to my prior answer, again taking in context
17 with -- that a brigade and the control measures placed on that brigade are
18 not going to be done in isolation, they're going to be done in the context
19 of part of a larger whole, be it a division or be it a corps.
20 Q. Well, again, I just -- I'm having a hard time understanding your
21 English, maybe. But how does this sentence, even with the earlier
22 sentence, how does that answer my question which says: "Well, under the
23 rules, if you know, what sort of zones were they given?"
24 And I originally started with the zone of responsibility.
25 A. Well, sir, again in the context that we've been discussing it, I'm
1 looking at it along the variable issue of depending on the brigade's
2 mission and depending on the other forces available. Now, again, we've
3 already discussed that that's probably not the best phrase to use and
4 certainly doesn't exist in the regulation. So I said, when I'm using that
5 phrase, I'm using it in that context. We can use the more appropriate
6 phrase zone of operations, and I believe the answer slips right in there.
7 Q. Okay. But if we go to the zone of operations, then we go to the
8 definition in the rules and then we have some guidance. And then when
9 we're discussing the zone of operations, at least we can be on the same
10 wavelength, the same channel of communications. Correct?
11 A. Well, sir, in this respect the rules do outline those, yes, sir.
12 Q. Okay. Whereas if we're talking about zones of responsibility,
13 especially in your context in the description that you have given, which
14 encompassed the geographical border of municipalities, more or less, then
15 we run into trouble, don't we, because we have no guidance, at least in
16 the rules. I'm just sticking with the rules right now?
17 A. Specific to the rules, you are correct. And as I noted yesterday,
18 specific to the issues of the establishment of the zones in the
19 Drina Corps, that I do not have a Drina Corps document which specifically
20 articulates what's supposed to be envisioned in those zones of
22 Q. Okay. So then you finally say: "So in that context, it was
23 geared toward a more conventional setting."
24 Now, again forgive me, but I'm desperately trying to figure out
25 what you're saying here, because I ask about what a zone is and then I ask
1 you under the rules what the zones are, and then you give this answer
2 which seems to be a non sequitur.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Improper question. He's taking a piece of a
6 question out of the context of a whole day's of cross-examination and he's
7 calling it non sequitur or whatever, and entering into his own personal
8 comments on it. This is not cross-examination. I don't know what it is,
9 but I can tell you it's -- objection to the form of the question.
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, if you don't understand the answer by
11 this witness from yesterday, just put your question there.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm asking him to work with me to help me out.
13 He's working with me. I'm desperately trying to figure this one out.
14 Q. Could you help us out when you say: "So, in that context," I take
15 it when you say "that context," we're talking about the earlier context?
16 A. I'm talking about the 1984 regulation context.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. And to answer the rest of the question, where I say:
19 "conventional setting," when you look at the 1984 brigade rules, they are
20 clearly designed for more, in a military parlance, conventional military
21 operations, attack, defence, those types of issues. While there is some
22 language which reflects what we would consider unconventional warfare
23 operations or resistance operations, that is what I mean when I say the
24 phrase conventional setting, what would normally be referred to as
25 medium-intensity combat.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. I think we can move on to another segment. Let
2 me clarify that. While we're still on zone of responsibility, I thought I
3 would direct all of our attention to page 5 of your narrative, your
4 revised narrative.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: And I have to apologise to the interpreters for
6 speaking too fast. I tend to be a little hyper in the morning -- but in
7 the evening as well, so ...
8 I believe this has been marked for identification purposes as
10 Q. Do you have it, sir?
11 A. Yes, sir, it's up on the ELMO.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, if we look at it, we're not going to go through
13 the entire narrative. I'd love to, I don't have a week or two, but just a
14 little vignette. If we look at paragraph 2.3.
15 A. I believe this is the command report and not the narrative, sir.
16 Q. All right. I apologise.
17 A. I don't know if you tagged an exhibit number to it, that's why I
18 raise it.
19 Q. Sorry about that. It's the command report. We make mistakes as
20 well. Do you have it?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. Okay. If we look at --
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me, the command report's 357, just for your
25 MR. KARNAVAS: 357, okay.
1 Q. If we look at 2.3, we see here, and I'll just read it, it's short:
2 "Moreover, with respect to organising collaboration within the brigade
3 zone of operations," and then it ends again with "within the zone of
5 Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. It would appear here that you're using the correct terminology,
8 phraseology, whatever we want to call it. Correct?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And in fact you even footnote it. Now, if we go to 2.4,
11 immediately below, I don't need to read it, but at the last it ends, the
12 sentence ends with: "Zone of responsibility." And we have a footnote
13 again. Now, if you could go to the footnote and get it handy so you have
14 it readily available.
15 A. I have it, sir.
16 Q. Now I'll read the sentence and see what we can make of it. "He
17 continues to remain individually responsible and accountable for the
18 planning and conduct of military operations within his designated zone of
20 Question: Are you making a distinction between zone of operation,
21 a term which is found and grounded well within the rules, and zone of
22 responsibility here?
23 A. In this particular instance, I believe since I'm phrasing it with
24 this designated, I'm using it as the context of zone of operations, that
25 would probably be the more accurate phrase to use on that one.
1 Q. May I ask you what motivated you to put zone of responsibility,
2 because when we hear this zone of responsibility, we envisage something
3 much larger than zone of operation.
4 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, the context of that is that in the VRS, zones
5 of responsibility existed.
6 Q. All right.
7 A. And ultimately we are talking about a brigade commander in the
9 Q. Okay. Now, let's look at the footnote and see if the footnote
10 corresponds to the body, because I would assume that the footnote --
11 A. Do you want me to put the paragraph up on the ELMO?
12 Q. You can put it up, you can certainly put it up, 115.
13 Now, do you see anywhere there zone of responsibility?
14 A. No, sir. Most of it's just related to the brigade commander's
15 exclusive rights for command.
16 Q. All right. So if one were to read this and not check the
17 footnote, as many people tend to do, unless they have a fetish with
18 footnotes, they would find that this is a clear misrepresentation, isn't
20 A. I don't believe so, sir. And again, you could read the entire
21 paragraph, and I've copied it verbatim in paragraph 2.1.
22 Q. Well, we're going to stick with this.
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. We're going to stick with this.
25 A. So again while I'm tying that particular representation of a
1 commander's responsibility, again I'm also noting the fact that in 1995
2 within the brigade structure, it did expand. And while I'm not
3 deliberately trying to misrepresent anything, I recognise under your
4 argument I could have done a more accurate job in citing it, and I should
5 have cited some of the specific zone of responsibility documents to that.
6 Q. Using your own analytical skills, your analysis and synthesis, one
7 might get the impression or a logical conclusion could be reached that you
8 were trying to pull a fast one on this one, couldn't they? I'm not saying
9 that you were, but they could reach the conclusion based on the same
10 skills of analysis and synthesis that you have done in this particular
12 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, just to prevent that very thing, that is why I
13 work hard as possible to take direct lifts from the regulations where
14 possible. I understand given my own Western military background, that
15 there are going to be times when I may inaccurately paraphrase the
16 difference between a JNA regulation and a Western one. That is why I
17 generally adopt the practice. I trust that there is nothing nefarious
18 involved in that, but I will leave, of course, that up to the Court.
19 Q. I'm not suggesting that. It may be a Freudian slip. Maybe you
20 just want to wish that there is a zone of responsibility for a brigade
21 commander and by putting it in, somehow we will all believe by reading
22 this, unless we go to the footnote, that somehow in what is cited as an
23 authority, zone of responsibility is indeed designated to a brigade
24 commander. Correct?
25 A. Well, in the context of the VRS, it is, sir.
1 Q. Well, please point the text to me. You have cited 115.
2 A. Like I said, in this context it was not properly cited, and I
3 should have used some VRS citation. But again it wasn't my desire to do
4 that insomuch as I didn't think zone of responsibility was the optimum
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I think both of you are getting
7 excited again. Just look at the screen, and if the transcript is
8 finished, then begin your question or answer.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Why did you deliberately chose to inject a term, because this is
11 the first time that we see it in this document when immediately above it
12 you used the correct term, zone of operation. Why?
13 A. Because I noted it was an improper use of phraseology on my part.
14 I should not have done that. I should have used the proper term. And if
15 I was going to use the term "zone of responsibility," I should have done a
16 better job of citing a document to that.
17 Q. And which document might you have cited that says that a brigade
18 commander has a zone of responsibility?
19 A. There are a number of VRS documents.
20 Q. Cite them, please, the ones that say that a brigade commander is
21 assigned a zone of responsibility in the context in which you have
22 indicated to us, that is, that it corresponds with the borders of a
24 A. Well, sir, the first document that I would use, and I was looking
25 at it yesterday, would be the map reference from the VRS Drina Corps.
1 Q. Okay. Let's stick with that one. Just a few questions on that.
2 A. Are we going to that map, sir?
3 Q. Well, we don't actually have to physically get it. Military folks
4 like maps, but I don't feel comfortable when I'm around them.
5 A. You don't have to call them field artillery, sir.
6 Q. Well, that map, when was that generated?
7 A. I believe that map was generated sometime in late 1992/early 1993,
8 because as I recall the corps commander is still identified as
9 Colonel Zivanovic and not General Zivanovic, and in mid-1993, he was
10 promoted to General Major, so that's what I use to make that analysis.
11 Q. Okay. Well, he had been a colonel for quite some time, had he
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. Butler has obviously said he's more
15 comfortable dealing with the map, if he's going to get particular
16 questions about it --
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't got to the map yet. I'm entitled to do
18 my cross the way I want to. I haven't asked him to fetch the map yet.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we are not military experts, but
20 if there's a map there, it would be of great help to us.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour. I'm not trying to avoid
22 getting to the map. But I was asking some preparatory questions.
23 JUDGE LIU: But if it helps, get the map.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: If the gentleman feels more comfortable with the
25 map, far be it of me to deprive him of that comfort.
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, he has made this massive thing all
2 morning that there is no evidence of zone of responsibility. When
3 Mr. Butler cites the first document to that map, he won't even let Mr.
4 Butler get it.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: No, I said --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think I have made a ruling on this issue. We
7 are not going to debate it any more. Just put the map on the ELMO.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: We have the map, Your Honour. Nobody's trying to
9 hide the ball on this side of the table.
10 JUDGE LIU: No. I'm not blaming you on that.
11 MR. KARNAVAS:
12 Q. Now, before we get to the map, can I ask you a few questions that
13 aren't related directly to the locations, the coordinates on the map?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. Would that be okay with you?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Now, you say getting back that you had indicated that you made a
18 reference that you thought this was created sometime in
19 late 1992/beginning 1993, because as a frame of reference you used
20 Colonel Zivanovic, his rank, as a point of departure?
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. Because had he said, since, major general, then we would know at
23 least when he had been appointed. We could say somewhere between this
24 period and that period. Correct?
25 A. That is correct, sir.
1 Q. Okay. Now, at some point he became a general. Right?
2 A. I believe he became a general major in mid-1993.
3 Q. All right. And at this point he was the commander of the
4 Drina Corps while he was still a colonel?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. All right. Now, I take it nothing changed with respect to the
7 Drina Corps from 1992 to 1995?
8 A. In that respect, sir, one of the things -- obviously safe areas
9 were installed, there were some changes in the border, but with respect to
10 the Bratunac Brigade issue, one of the most useful documents that I went
11 back to track that was the history of the Bratunac Brigade, which was
12 drafted by the Bratunac Brigade, which defines a lot of those issues.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. So with respect to these issues, there don't appear to be
15 substantive changes until after the fall of Srebrenica.
16 Q. All right. Now, my question was about the Drina Corps. And then
17 you went on about the Bratunac Brigade. So if we could just go step by
18 step on this. All right.
19 Now, I asked you if things happen with respect to the Drina Corps
20 between 1992 and 1995, and you said something about safe areas. What are
21 you referring to safe areas? What is that about?
22 A. Well, with respect to the Drina Corps in their zone, the UN
23 established three safe areas that were either all or in part of the
24 Drina Corps zone.
25 Q. Okay. Now, here I notice -- you're not using the words zone of
1 responsibility, a term which I believe you will find in the rules
2 concerning the corps. Is there a particular reason why you're refraining
3 from using that term, the correct term, zone of responsibility, or the
4 complete term?
5 A. No, sir. I believe you're correct. It is in the corps rules and
6 that would be the appropriate term to use.
7 Q. Okay. And in fact, as I understand it, a corps has a geographical
8 region as their zone?
9 A. That was the broader JNA practice and it was the VRS practice as
11 Q. So the Drina Corps would also have, if we could look on the map we
12 could see exactly what section of the RS was their particular designated
13 zone that they were responsible for. Correct?
14 A. That is correct, sir.
15 Q. And within that zone, you had various brigades situated in various
16 places, strategic places, depending on what was happening at any
17 particular time during the conflict?
18 A. That is correct, sir.
19 Q. And with respect to the Drina Corps, we know, at least with
20 respect to two brigades, and you're going to fill us in on some of the
21 others, they had lines that dated back from 1992 all the way to the
22 conflict. Correct?
23 A. I believe if you're referring from May of 1992 to the beginning --
24 Q. To the attack on Srebrenica.
25 A. The lines that the Drina Corps had when they were formed in 1992,
1 in some parts, were essentially the lines that they had adopted from the
2 old units that were operating in that area before.
3 Q. Now, did the line for the Bratunac Brigade change at all when
4 Srebrenica was declared a safe zone?
5 A. If I recall correctly, there were some minor changes in the lines
6 back and forth. I believe that the VRS had actually advanced a lot closer
7 to the town and some of the other areas, and as a result of the
8 designation of the safe area, that some VRS forces had to withdraw to
9 other locations outside of the established boundaries. I'm not sure how
10 significant those movements were, but I do believe that they were much
11 closer than the boundaries of the safe area were delineated.
12 Q. Was there any point in time between 1992 and 1993 where ground was
13 lost by both sides, some gained, eventually they lost it, do you
14 understand what I'm talking about, with respect to Srebrenica and
16 A. With respect to Srebrenica and Bratunac, 1992 and 1993 was the
17 most fluid part of that conflict. And it was also the period where the
18 brigade suffered the most intense casualties. At one point in 1992, in
19 the end -- by the beginning of 1993, the only territory that was held by
20 the Bratunac Brigade was a small area around the town of Bratunac itself,
21 because of the operations of -- at that time it was known as Operation
22 Group 8, the Bosnian Muslims. By a few months later they managed to, with
23 help from other units of the Drina Corps and the VRS, they greatly
24 increased their territory. So it's almost on a day-by-day basis during
25 that period in question that the lines are changing.
1 Q. All right. So if I understand you correctly, at some point the
2 Muslim army, the 28th Division, or whatever they might have been called at
3 that point, had advanced or had taken land, and then at some point they
4 lost it and they had to retreat towards Srebrenica. Correct?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. So at one point they were the advancing force and at another point
7 they were the retreating force?
8 A. That is correct, sir.
9 Q. And then the UN came in and set up the enclave?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Now, you said that this map was designed or marked at the end of
12 1992/beginning of 1993. Is there a particular reason why you chose
13 towards the end of 1992 and not the middle or the beginning?
14 A. The fact that the map is designated by General Zivanovic on the
15 left-hand corner, and knowing that General Zivanovic did not - sorry, at
16 this time Colonel Zivanovic, my mistake - did not become commander of the
17 Drina Corps until 1992, that's why I caveat that line as with respect to
18 this map from November 1992 to approximately mid-1993. That was my
20 Q. So at least we have a ballpark figure. So in -- when this map was
21 drawn, what about the other brigades in the Drina Corps that were located
22 at or near that area? Where were -- had they been formed?
23 A. The Zvornik Infantry Brigade had been formed -- if we take
24 November 1992 as a point in time, the Infantry Brigade or the Zvornik
25 Infantry Brigade was organised as a light infantry brigade and it had been
1 formed. The unit called the Vlasenica Brigade did not exist as such, it
2 was more of an amalgamation of the Vlasenica and Milici units. It may
3 have been called a brigade structure. I believe they called it the
4 Vlasenica Brigade. It later broke into two separate units. The
5 Birac Brigade existed in the Sekovici area. The 2nd Romanija Brigade was
6 withdrawn from the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and reassigned to the
7 Drina Corps. And in the south there were essentially five light infantry
8 brigades in the areas between Rogatica, Visegrad, and the Gorazde area.
9 So in that context, the brigades roughly existed as light infantry
10 brigades, and then the Drina Corps tied them all together.
11 Q. Now, when you say "at this time," are we talking about --
12 A. November 1992, sir.
13 Q. I wasn't sure whether - and I apologise - whether you said
14 anything about the Milici Brigade. Had that been formed by that point in
16 A. I don't believe -- I'll just -- wait a second. The Milici Brigade
17 at that time, I believe, was still an integrated part of the
18 Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, before we get to the map, because
21 we're going to -- that's a whole separate line of questioning, we can
22 break here if it's convenient.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.13 a.m.
25 *** Kindly slow down for the record***
1 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: You see a sentence there in the transcript, "kindly
5 slow down for the record".
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I didn't notice it, but I do notice it now.
7 Again, my apologies to the interpreters.
8 Q. Okay, Mr. Butler, now we're in your terrain with the map. So I
9 understand that this is the map that you believe is one of the pieces that
10 demonstrates to you that there was indeed a zone of responsibility in a
11 geographical sense for the light infantry brigade of Bratunac. Is that
13 A. Yes, sir. In the sense that it's associated with that brigade.
14 Q. Okay. Now, I left off by asking you whether the Milici Brigade
15 had been formed at this point in time and you seemed to be somewhat
16 uncertain. Correct?
17 A. I actually did check that over the break because I didn't want to
18 misspeak on this issue, and as it turns out, as the way that the units
19 were being organised, the Milici Brigade did not exist, per se, as an
20 independent entity, certainly during the production of this map. The
21 Vlasenica Brigade also generally didn't exist; it was incorporated into
22 the larger unit known as the Birac Brigade. And sometime in March of
23 1993, according to the documents that I have, is the first time that I see
24 a reference to a Vlasenica/Milici Brigade.
25 Q. And are those documents post-advancement of General Zivanovic; in
1 other words, from colonel to general?
2 A. I do not believe so, sir, I believe he would still be a colonel at
3 this time.
4 Q. Okay. Now, I take it once those brigades were formed, they would
5 be given in your parlance, not mine, a zone of responsibility. Correct?
6 I mean just in the theoretical, in the general sense, in the context of
7 what we've been speaking of.
8 A. That is the practice that existed within the VRS at the time, yes,
10 Q. Okay. So -- and I take it if this map was generated prior to
11 those brigades being formed, using military logic, a term which I believe
12 you have used before, that this map should be modified, should it not?
13 A. With respect to additional zones being created, there is the
14 possibility that the map would be modified to reflect that, yes, sir.
15 Q. Okay. Because now we have additional brigades that will have
16 their own zones of responsibility, by your terms, and I guess my question
17 would be: Could you point those out to us on this particular map, where
18 their zones of responsibility would be with respect to the area that's
19 darkened, which I assume, which I assume, is what you believe that the
20 Bratunac Brigade zone of responsibility was at the time of the attack on
22 A. On this particular map -- I guess I'll go from this side.
23 Representing to the west of the Bratunac Brigade zone, this is, if my
24 Cyrillic is correct on this one, I believe is the Birac -- or
25 Bircanska Brigade.
1 Q. Okay. You're correct on that.
2 A. This particular piece is the Zvornik Brigade.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. And to the south, Separate Battalion Skelani.
5 Q. Okay. Might I ask, does the Office of the Prosecution have this
6 map blown up or is this the only one that we have?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I believe Mr. McCloskey is signalling me, but I
8 can't read --
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: 369 --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, he wishes for me to designate that we're now
12 looking at what has been marked as P369.
13 THE WITNESS: I believe what we have -- there is no blow-up. This
14 is actually a colour reproduction in scale.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. Okay. Well, before looking -- we don't actually have to see it at
17 this point, but if we look at it could you tell us exactly -- would you be
18 able to mark on it so we can visualise where their zones, not lines of
19 defence or zones of operations, but where their zones of responsibility
20 would be, these newly created brigades that came into existence subsequent
21 to the making of this map by Colonel Zivanovic back in 1992, perhaps early
23 A. To be precise, there is a document from the Milici Brigade which
24 is their semi-annual combat report which defines that. And I'd have to
25 dovetail that with the map. I don't want to make just rough
1 representations, if I don't have to on this particular instance.
2 Q. Well, let me just ask --
3 A. I don't believe - to finish the question though - I don't believe
4 that there were substantive changes with respect to the zone of the Milici
5 Brigade when it was incorporated. And I believe that, for the most part,
6 it may have carved off a kilometre. I guess maybe I should put the map
8 Q. Pointing at P369.
9 A. I'm not sure whether it used the same western, south-western
10 boundary as the boundary for theirs or not. I mean, that is something
11 that we do have the information and we can correspond it on the map. But
12 roughly speaking, the Milici Brigade would have had -- they would have
13 been put in this area right here and this would have been their designated
14 zone. So the answer is I can overlay it at a point in time; we do have
15 the data to do that.
16 Q. You can leave it like that for now. Well, I mean, you were keen
17 on designating a zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade. I would
18 assume that at some point you sat down, being a military expert and
19 knowing how to read maps, you must have looked at it and tried to pinpoint
20 the coordinates to see where the one zone of responsibility ended and
21 where the other one began. Was that done?
22 A. In that respect where I pinpointed and overlaid the coordinates, I
23 did not do that with respect to the Milici Brigade. The documents I used
24 to do that was the war history of the Bratunac Brigade which identifies
25 those points, because I did do the effort to look and see if those lines
1 had changed over time.
2 Q. Okay. But again I hate to be picky about this, but with respect
3 to the map, because you have a map and you say this map is one of the
4 pieces of documents that you relied on in coming up with this term "zone
5 of responsibility," which is not in the rules. And of course it does say
6 zone of responsibility on top of the map, does it not? I mean, I don't
7 know if you know Srpski.
8 A. Not well. I've got the "zona" part.
9 Q. If I were to tell you that that actually said "zone of
10 responsibility," you wouldn't fight me on that, would you?
11 A. I assume that's correct.
12 Q. So you knew at this point, at least -- during your research you
13 learned that when this map was prepared, two brigades did not exist, which
14 would fit well into this map and they would -- these brigades bordered, if
15 I could use that term loosely, where the Bratunac Brigade would have been
16 located, if indeed this was their zone of responsibility.
17 So my question again is: Did you ever plot it out on the map to
18 see whether the zones overlap with respect to this map, since again we
19 don't have a fixed time when this map was drawn and we know that there was
20 a lot of events going on between 1992 and 1995?
21 A. No, sir. Given the fact that the Bratunac data didn't indicate a
22 change, I did not dovetail it with the Milici data to see if there was an
23 overlap in the zones.
24 Q. You say that the Bratunac Brigade did not indicate a change.
25 Well, are you suggesting that once two other battalions -- brigades were
1 formed that would not have in any way changed the situation for the
2 Bratunac Brigade with respect to what their zones of operations would have
3 been? You see, I'm using my term "operations," as opposed to the global
4 term "responsibility."
5 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, I expected, had it changed, it would have been
6 reflected in the Bratunac Brigade records which show those.
7 Q. All right. What -- you're a careful analyst and you told us you
8 want to go -- you want to look at all the available data, so you would try
9 to collate the data to see whether it fits neatly together, because
10 sometimes you have pieces missing. So in this instance may I ask why,
11 given that you had several years to work on this, why you never looked at
12 the Milici Brigade coordinates on the map to see if there was an overlay,
13 sort of a Venn diagram, if you recall that from our school years and
14 geometry, in which case had they overlapped it would appear that two zones
15 of responsibility or two brigades are sharing their own zone of
16 responsibility. Do you follow what I'm talking about?
17 A. I think I have the thrust of the question.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. And the answer is because, as I've indicated before, I don't
20 view - and it's not reflected as a result of documents - that the zone of
21 responsibility of a unit is a crucial issue with respect to command and
22 control of subordinate formations. The VRS in their documents, and my
23 analysis of those, does not tie with respect to military units command and
24 control of those units just because they happen to be in a zone at a point
25 in time. So with respect, until the issue came up several days ago, where
1 apparently that was a point of contention, the absolute boundaries with
2 respect to these areas -- or these zones of -- or zone of responsibility,
3 given my prior knowledge that this zone was designated with respect to the
4 more broader issues of support, recruitment and everything else, I don't
5 believe that the physical designation of a zone is this, is a key issue
6 with respect to a commander and his role in subordinate formations.
7 Q. Okay. All right. We don't have time to deconstruct this entire
8 answer. Perhaps maybe tomorrow, but for right now the answer to my
9 question is: You didn't think it was necessary to check whether the
10 Milici Brigade and the Skelani Brigade, when they were formed, whether
11 their zones of responsibility overlapped this designated area, which would
12 then give us some indication that perhaps things might have changed as a
13 result of the passage of time and the development of the JNA -- of the VRS
14 and the Drina Corps in particular.
15 A. No, sir. With respect to my analysis, I didn't believe it was
17 Q. Okay. All right. So hypothetically speaking, if we were to learn
18 if -- that the Milici Brigade and the Skelani Brigade zone of
19 responsibility, a term that you use, in the context in which you have put
20 it, which is not in the rules, would seem to overlap part of this area
21 that is designated as a zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade,
22 that would not give you any sense of discomfort as an analyst?
23 A. With respect to the establishment of command and control, it
24 wouldn't. As an analyst, on a more broad level of understanding the
25 context, it would be an interesting fact to know.
1 Q. Okay. Now when you say "command and control," I take it because
2 of our conversation yesterday that if within this designated area you have
3 other units, be they from the Milici, Skelani, or the TG 1 unit that led
4 the attack on Srebrenica, if they're operating within this geographical
5 sphere, that the commander of the Bratunac Brigade, since he has no
6 command and control over those units, he could not be held responsible for
7 any of their acts?
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, it would be an improper objection at
9 this point in time, and if so, I would like the witness to exit the
10 courtroom. I don't want any -- it's a proper question. It deals with the
11 map. It's in a different context, and there's no reason to object. The
12 question was very specific.
13 JUDGE LIU: Could I say a few words?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, of course, always.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, your question, I believe, is
16 proper, but the last part of that problem has some problems. This witness
17 is a military expert and is not a legal expert. There may be some
18 interpretations about the word "responsibility" for any of their acts.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
20 JUDGE LIU: If you could rephrase it, I would be very
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I will do that, with that point, Your Honour --
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, let me hear Mr. McCloskey.
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think you'll mind, Mr. Karnavas.
25 Mr. Butler has spoken, as you're aware of, responsibility in the
1 military sense and discussed those regulations. So my point is the same
2 as Your Honour's, if it's to the military responsibility, that's a fair
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Point taken.
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: To the legal responsibility, I think we have
6 others --
7 MR. KARNAVAS: I can see --
8 JUDGE LIU: I think Mr. Karnavas already gets the gist.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I throw my hands up, I concede.
10 Q. You use the military term "command and control". Correct? So in
11 that context if other units are there in this geographical sphere, the
12 commander of the Bratunac Brigade would not have any command and control
13 over them, would he, unless they were attached or resubordinate -- well, I
14 believe you say resubordinated is attached or subordinated to the Bratunac
15 Brigade. Is that correct?
16 A. Roughly speaking, unless the superior put them directly in an
17 order put them under his command and control, that he would not have
18 command and control over them. That is correct, sir.
19 Q. All right. Now, in your earlier answer you gave us a gem, what I
20 would call, and I want to develop that a little bit. Because I think that
21 you indicated about resources, that the brigade could draw resources from.
22 Might you have been saying that from this geographical region, keeping in
23 mind your earlier answer about the TOs, Territorial Defence, that the
24 Bratunac Brigade as it would be formed would draw from this geographical
25 region its manpower, its resources, in order to have a significant number
1 or an adequate number of soldiers in order to form its brigade and its
2 battalions. Might that -- might I be in the same -- on the same
3 wavelength with you on that?
4 A. Yes, sir. In that respect, I mean, I believe I discussed that
6 Q. Okay. Now, could you point to us on the map where the zone of
7 defence would be of the Bratunac Brigade as we all know it to have been
8 for all those years, for 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995. And again we're
9 referring to P369.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Vague. That, it's Mr. Butler has
12 already testified, that 1992 to 1995 constantly changed. I don't think
13 Mr. Karnavas wants to hear all of that. I think I know what he wants and
14 that's not a problem. If he can be more specific.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I was --
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I agree with this objection, Mr. Karnavas. You
17 have to be more specific.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, I was expecting the answer from
19 the witness. It was a question designed to provoke the witness into
20 saying I can't do that and I was going to walk him through. There are
21 many different ways of cross-examining, but very well.
22 Q. In 1992 when it was initially formed, the Bratunac Brigade, where
23 would the zone of operation would have been? Can you look at the map and
24 give us a general description, and I know that things change. We've got
25 the safe zones being created, but initially -- at least when this map was
1 formed, where would their zone of operation have been?
2 A. I trust you're referring to where their defence line was.
3 Q. Well, you read my mind, because that's within the zone of
4 operation, but thank you. See, we're connecting now. Yes.
5 A. Okay. You want the defence line.
6 Q. The defence line. And since we're referring to a map, and it's
7 P369, if you could, and being a military man, give us sort of like
8 coordinates, so we have it on record, we know east, west, south, north,
9 those sorts of things. You don't have to give us the trig points, but if
10 you want to, go for it.
11 A. Very roughly speaking, and it did change over time, just to
12 orient, this is Bratunac. This is approximately, roughly, I think every 2
13 kilometres here for each grid square, so roughly about 6 kilometres to the
14 west of the road you have what's known as the Kravica village complex.
15 There are a couple of other key features to the south which would include
16 the Sase mine complex up here in this area. And roughly speaking, in
17 November 1992 the defence lines were very compressed at that point. From
18 this region, it basically encompassed the large Bosnian Serb village
19 complex of Kravica, Bratunac, and the Sase mine facilities up here.
20 Q. For the record you've moved your pointer --
21 A. Essentially from the Drina river, although it wasn't a cohesive
22 defence, because it didn't have constant manning, but the main defensive
23 positions were around the Serbian villages of Kravica, the Bosnian Serb
24 villages, down the road toward the town of Bratunac. And then towards the
25 south to encompass the Sase mine area. And that's my understanding
1 roughly. And the big change in that of course occurred in early January
2 1993 when the Kravica village complex was taken by the Bosnian Muslims and
3 that created a significant shortening of the line.
4 Q. Okay. Now, you read my next question. If you could show us what
5 that line would have been. In other words, after the loss of territory or
6 the gain of territory by the Muslim armed forces.
7 A. I believe at that time, and again I refer back to the Bratunac war
8 history for the detailed specifics of that. It would have been
9 almost -- at that time they lost the Kravica village complex, they were
10 also pushed off the Sase mine complex. So by January of 1993, the defence
11 lines were very much incorporated simply around holding the town of
13 Q. Okay. So they had lost that much territory. Now, at some
14 point -- and when you say the Kravica, we're talking about the massacre at
15 the village over there, right, I think it was the Orthodox Christmas?
16 A. Yes, sir, we're talking about the Orthodox Christmas attack. I
17 think it's January 6th --
18 Q. 6th, 7th.
19 A. 1993.
20 Q. Correct. Now, at some point, the VRS was able to gain territory
21 and then we have a period of relative calm as far as where the lines are
22 drawn. Correct?
23 A. Yes, sir. The VRS, as part of their larger counter-offensive,
24 starting in this area roughly late February or early March regains almost
25 all of this territory and is compressing the OG8 and the Bosnian Muslim
1 armed forces into the area of Srebrenica. And of course that was the
2 genesis of the creation of the safe area. And once the borders of that
3 were loosely defined, at that point in time things remained on a more
4 static footage, at least with respect to that particular part of the
5 Bratunac Brigade's lines.
6 Q. Okay. And then finally, were there -- we're now here at this
7 static period. What were the lines immediately prior to the attack on
8 Srebrenica for the Bratunac Brigade, the defence lines, the zone of
10 A. The defence lines.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. The 3rd Battalion roughly from the Pribicevac area along this
13 series of ridges here to roughly Kos Mountain. From Kos, the
14 2nd Battalion were crossed over and had responsibility for both the east
15 side and the west side of the Bratunac to Potocari highway. Further up
16 the road in the area known as - and I want to pronounce it
17 correctly - Magasici. Along the outer rim, the northern rim of the
18 Srebrenica border, you had the 1st Infantry Battalion. And then from
19 Kajici area, you had the 4th Infantry Battalion which ran out again
20 towards the northern side of the rim of the enclave.
21 This is the area, in the Ravni Buljin area here, where we
22 discussed the issue of where the gap was. And then you started seeing
23 units of the Milici Brigade on this ridge and in this area right here --
24 Q. Would you please, when you say ridge area, just for the
25 record -- just so we have a notation.
1 A. In July of 1995, it would be in this very -- they establish a
2 command post in the village of Brazinski [phoen] and on this ridge here,
3 you'll see a note that says Ravni Buljin. And up on the ridge just to the
4 west of it, they established defence lines.
5 Q. I'll slow down a little bit. It would seem at least from what
6 you're pointing at the defensive lines of the Milici Brigade at that
7 period of time were in this marked area on this map that is attributed
8 back as early as 1992 as the zone of responsibility for the
9 Bratunac Brigade. Isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes, sir, that is.
11 Q. Okay. So we have at least by your estimation some units in that
12 zone. Now, could we -- since that is part of their defence zone and since
13 we have this map which would reflect not only the Bratunac Brigade
14 defence, defence line or zone of operation, but also in the larger sense,
15 the zone of responsibility in your context, might we conclude that the
16 Milici's zone of responsibility in your context would be overlapping
17 somewhat into this area, given that their zone of defence is already in
19 A. Yes, sir. The Milici Brigade was directed to put a unit in there
20 to try and plug that hole and in fact, did so.
21 Q. But does your zone of responsibility in your sense, would it not,
22 if we use military logic, extend into that designated area, which you hold
23 to be the zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. So we do have as somewhat similar as a Venn diagram one zone of
1 responsibility superimposed on to another?
2 A. In this case, I mean the most accurate way to put it is you have
3 one unit operating in the zone of another. Now, whether zones changed or
4 not, again as a component of my analysis, it didn't appear to be relevant
5 at the time.
6 Q. Okay. Do you think it's relevant now?
7 A. With respect to my understanding of the criminal acts that had
8 occurred and the responsibility of Colonel Blagojevic, up until 15 July
9 when there's an order that specifically indicates he takes command of
10 that, I don't think it's relevant before that.
11 Q. Maybe it's because I didn't get much sleep last night, you know
12 the fog of war from last night. But my question is: Do you think it's
13 relevant for this trial right now, for the period that we're discussing,
14 not for that period back then. Do you think it would have been relevant
15 for you to know, since you appear to at least acknowledge that the
16 Milici Brigade is operating -- has a defence line within the designated
17 zone of responsibility, which you attribute to the Bratunac Brigade.
18 So my question is: Do you think it would be relevant to know
19 whether the Milici Brigade's zone of responsibility is superimposed, goes
20 into, part of the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade, as
21 designated on this map which you are relying on? Do you think it's
22 relevant? Yes, no, I'll even take a maybe.
23 A. I don't believe it is, sir.
24 Q. Okay. All right. Fair enough. What about the Skelani Brigade,
25 where are they located, the battalion?
1 A. Again, if I can orient to the map, this is Srebrenica. This is
2 Zeleni Jadar. This is the designated zone for the Skelani Separate
3 Battalion, however their forces for the most part, as it was a rather
4 small unit, were in July of 1995 ran up the road. And then at the
5 intersection of Zeleni Jadar down towards the Jasenova area where they
6 linked up with the Milici Brigade. So in this respect they had a rather
7 small zone, and again some of it may very well have encroached into the
8 zone identified as the Bratunac Brigade.
9 Q. Now, you say --
10 A. Or maybe the accurate phrase is defence line.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. Because you threw me off there, and I don't
12 want to discriminate the Milici Brigade, they only have a defence line and
13 Skelani Battalion has the zone. So you're saying that their defence
14 line -- are you saying might or did, in fact, go into the zone of
15 responsibility, as you know it to be, of the Bratunac Brigade?
16 A. I believe it did go into the zone once the UN checkpoint at OP
17 Echo was taken. So I believe they moved up at that point.
18 Q. You corrected yourself when you said they had a line of defence.
19 Did they also have a zone of responsibility in addition to the line of
21 A. As indicated in this map, there is a partial boundary. That is
22 all the information that I have with respect to that battalion.
23 Q. Okay. But this map is with respect to what was -- I mean, if we
24 are to accept the dates that it was drawn in 1992 to 1993, and I think
25 we're pretty solid on that, you've indicated that things have changed,
1 both on the battlefield but also with the development of the Drina Corps.
2 In 1995, did the situation change and do you know how on the ground,
3 geographically speaking?
4 A. No, sir, I don't have any information from the Skelani Battalion
5 which would lead me to have information one way or another.
6 Q. So the answer to my question is you don't know?
7 A. That is correct, sir.
8 Q. Okay. So they very well could be operating like the
9 Milici Brigade well into, or somewhat into this designated zone of
10 responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade?
11 A. Yes, sir, I believe that is the case.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down a bit and perhaps speak
13 into the microphone. Thank you.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. All right. The fact that you don't know, is that again because
16 you thought it was unimportant?
17 A. No, sir. With respect to, as I've indicated, the Bratunac Brigade
18 records do not indicate a change and I do not have documents from Skelani
19 that would allow me to research that from their point of view. So I just
20 don't have the data is, I believe, the answer to that.
21 Q. Okay. So putting it slightly differently, you did make efforts,
22 you did make efforts to try to figure out to what extent the
23 Skelani Battalion was operating within the zone of responsibility of the
24 Bratunac Brigade as you have designated to be, based on this map?
25 A. I made efforts to understand what the Skelani Battalion was doing
1 in July of 1995 with respect to laying it on this map, no. But with
2 respect to the operation, yes, sir.
3 Q. Okay. But -- well, before July 1995, before the attack, did you
4 make any efforts, sir, to try to find out how or where the
5 Skelani Battalion was located and whether they were operating within -- to
6 what extent, I should say, within the zone of responsibility of the
7 Bratunac Brigade?
8 A. No, sir.
9 Q. Okay. Might I conclude that perhaps those efforts weren't made
10 because you didn't think it was a significant or a relevant issue in this
12 A. That is correct, sir.
13 Q. Okay. Now, was that based on a -- was that a military -- from a
14 military standpoint or from a legal standpoint? And I do understand that
15 you're not a lawyer, but you talked about crimes that occurred in 1995, so
16 I assume that you have some general gist of what this case is all about as
17 far as the legal nature is concerned.
18 A. Given the fact that -- and again, I think I can combine the two on
19 this one, given the fact that we are dealing with the issue of superior
20 command responsibility and given the fact that most of the information
21 that I have, one, on the basis of JNA rules, and two, on the basis of VRS
22 documents, are very clear with respect to the issues of subordination and
23 how they're done within the units, of military units. Again as I note, I
24 didn't see it as a relevant issue, because to my knowledge where the
25 structure of the indictment on the issues of superior responsibility
1 reflect those units with respect to those under the command or control of
2 the accused. So that is the light in which I looked at it with respect to
3 the relevancy.
4 Q. And if I understand you correctly, it is at least your perception
5 or your understanding that if certain criminal acts occur in this area
6 that you attribute as a zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade,
7 and if those acts, those criminal acts, are done by units other than the
8 Bratunac Brigade, albeit in their zone of responsibility, the
9 Bratunac Brigade is not responsible?
10 A. In respect to the issue of command, yes. In respect to the issue
11 of superior responsibility, I believe that I would default back to the
12 articles 21 and 22 of the SFRY rules of the application of the law of land
13 warfare, which broaden it out to the context that for the issue of
14 superior responsibility, if an officer who finds out in his units or in
15 other units. So in a technical issue of command, no. In the broader
16 issue of superior responsibility, yes.
17 Q. Okay. And I guess, given your understanding of the law and
18 through the use of your military logic, you thought on your own that it
19 was unimportant to see whether this map was correct or not, because I
20 would assume that it would not make military logic to have two, possibly
21 three, zones of responsibility in the same area? In other words, the same
22 area, you have three different -- or two brigades and one battalion
23 sharing it as a zone of their responsibility. That would not make
24 military logic, would it?
25 A. I'm sorry. I'm confused by your question. Let me just break it
1 down for a second here, please.
2 Q. All right. I'm rephrase it.
3 A. Please.
4 Q. It is based on your understanding of the law as you indicated and
5 your reliance on it, that you decided that it was unimportant to determine
6 where the battalion -- the Milici Battalion -- Milici Brigade and the
7 Skelani Battalion were operating within the zone of responsibility of the
8 Bratunac Brigade. That question was unimportant to you. Correct?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, if we could just clarify. Are we
11 speaking of law in terms of the JNA rules or international law or the law
12 of the indictment? There's been a lot of potential law being mentioned.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Based --
14 JUDGE LIU: Well --
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase it, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you have to rephrase it because it's still
17 difficult for us to understand.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll break it down. Okay.
19 Q. You were given a task to analyse and synthesise the information
20 available to you with respect to what exactly happened in Srebrenica
21 during the time in question. Correct?
22 A. That is correct, sir.
23 Q. And part of that analysis and synthesis was to determine who
24 should be held responsible for and, as a result, who should be prosecuted
25 for the crimes that occurred in and around Srebrenica back in July 1995.
2 A. In a broader sense, yes, sir.
3 Q. In a broader sense. Well, that was basically the whole sense of
4 the investigation that was done by the Office of the Prosecution, to bring
5 to justice those who would be responsible. Correct?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. Now, part of your analysis in trying to figure out how the JNA
8 worked -- the VRS worked was to go to their rules and regulations as well
9 as the legislation that they had adopted specifically as it related to the
10 military and its behaviour. Correct?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. And in doing so, you came across legislation which we -- I think
13 we can all agree meets the standard that is expected under international
15 A. The standard of what, sir?
16 Q. Well, the standard of behaviour for soldiers in the field.
17 A. Yes, sir, I believe those regulations are in compliance with the
18 greater body of laws of war.
19 Q. Okay. And if I understand your answers earlier, you've
20 indicated -- you know, you use the terms "command and control," and that
21 term would be military, would it not?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. And then you made references to command responsibility or superior
24 responsibility, and that concept is part military but also an aspect of it
25 with respect to -- in a legal sense. Am I correct?
1 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
2 Q. In other words, in order to understand whether a commander is
3 responsible, one of the things you need to look at is the command and
4 control aspect. Correct?
5 A. That is correct, sir.
6 Q. And based on that, you would then try to determine whether you
7 could fix responsibility on a commander based on his actions or his
8 failures to act, given the circumstances. Correct?
9 A. That is correct, sir.
10 Q. Now, in part of your analysis and synthesis you have indicated
11 that the Bratunac Brigade had a zone of responsibility, have you not?
12 A. That is correct, sir.
13 Q. And that zone of responsibility you have indicated, though you
14 have not been able to show us anywhere in the rules where that concept
15 exists with respect to brigades specifically --
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour, to the argumentative
17 nature of the question.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll rephrase. I'll rephrase. Not a problem. Not
19 a problem.
20 Q. Now, now have determined that the zone of responsibility of the
21 Bratunac Brigade is based on some documents and not grounded in the
22 regulations or the rules as such. Correct?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Okay. And in part -- in making that assessment, that the
25 Bratunac Brigade had a zone of responsibility, you're relying on certain
1 documents, such as this map. Correct?
2 A. That is correct, sir.
3 Q. A map that you determined was created by Colonel Zivanovic back at
4 the end of 1992, perhaps as early -- at the beginning of 1993. Correct?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. You've also indicated that from 1992 or towards the -- from 1992
7 to 1995 when Srebrenica is attacked, the situation is, to use your term,
8 is fluid or was fluid for a certain period of time. Correct?
9 A. From -- with respect to the Drina Corps, from November 1992 to May
10 of 1993, yes, sir.
11 Q. And when you use the term "fluid," you meant with respect to the
12 borders, between the RS and the Muslim-held territory. Correct?
13 A. No, sir. What I mean fluid is the various military operations and
14 defence lines that occurred with respect to Bratunac, Skelani, and the
15 general area.
16 Q. Okay. And it was during this period in 1993 when in this area, if
17 we look at this map which purports to reflect the zone of responsibility
18 of the Bratunac Brigade, there is the creation of the safe area of
19 Srebrenica. Correct?
20 A. That is correct, sir.
21 Q. All right. And so that might we say is somewhat of a significant
22 development with respect to the lay of the land as it is reflected on this
23 particular map.
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Okay. We've also indicated that at some point there was a
1 stablisation between the VRS and the 28th Division which occurred as a
2 result of the UN coming in, establishing the safe zone, separating in
3 essence the two armies, the VRS and the 2nd Corps -- or unit of the
4 2nd Corps, which was the 28th Division, located in and armed within the
5 enclave of Srebrenica. Correct?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. All right. Now -- and at some point during that stabilisation
8 process -- I should say at some point after the establishment of this map
9 we also know that we have one brigade being formed, which is the
10 Milici Brigade and also we have some development -- some further
11 development in the establishment of the Skelani Battalion. Correct?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. Okay. And we do know, at least from your testimony, that both the
14 brigade and the battalion were operating in what purports to be from this
15 map the zone of responsibility attributed to the Bratunac Brigade.
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. Okay. Now -- and it would seem to me -- well, it would seem
19 through use of military logic that if the Bratunac Brigade has a line of
20 defence which is within the context of a zone of operation as well as, as
21 well as, a zone of responsibility encompassing a fairly large geographical
22 region, that if we use that logic, at least for the Milici Brigade, we
23 would also have to conclude, would we not, that the Milici Brigade also
24 has a zone of responsibility in addition to its line of defence, which is
25 part of its zone of operation?
1 A. I would conclude that the Milici Brigade has a zone of
2 responsibility and that they are operating in it, yes, sir.
3 Q. Okay. And if they're operating, if the Milici Brigade is
4 operating within its zone of responsibility, axiomatically, we could
5 conclude that if they are within this designated area which you purport to
6 the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade, their zone of
7 responsibility would be inside this part of the map that is highlighted as
8 a zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade. Correct?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. Okay. So now we have two zones of responsibility in this area
11 that this map which was drafted in 1992 purports to be the zone - and I
12 should add the word sole zone - of responsibility for the
13 Bratunac Brigade. I'm taking a bit of a liberty, because I don't see
14 any -- when it says zone of responsibility, it doesn't say, and others.
15 A. Okay. In that respect, yes, sir, okay.
16 Q. Okay. And of course would you -- and I'm asking you to go out on
17 a limb on this one, but down here we have the Skelani Battalion. Do they
18 have a zone of responsibility in the sense as you have described what a
19 zone of responsibility is for a brigade, if you know?
20 A. I can't say exactly. However, given that it was the practice, I
21 think it would be fair to conclude that they did.
22 Q. Okay. So -- again, using military logic, if they too have a zone
23 and if they too are operating within this designated area, which you
24 purport to be the zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade, the
25 Skelani Battalion's zone of responsibility would also be inclusive,
1 inclusive, into this section of the map where they're located and
2 operating. Correct?
3 A. Oh, again, sir, their defence lines would be. Whether that
4 results in a formal changing of a zone of responsibility, I don't know the
5 answer to that.
6 Q. All right. Well, I skipped a beat, because I covered that with
7 the Milici. So let me go back, throw that one in --
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, that subject has been gone into four
10 or five times. I don't think it takes us anywhere to go through it six
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I want a very clear record on this one and it's
13 only a couple of questions.
14 Q. Now, we indicated that -- initially I indicated that you have a
15 line of defence which is part of a zone of operation, which you have told
16 us is within a zone of responsibility. And the answers were yes, yes,
18 So then we concluded, did we not, through military logic, of
19 course, that the same would apply to the Milici Brigade. So then I asked
20 you about the battalion, because you see now there is a distinction
21 between brigade and battalion. So my question now is: If we are using
22 military logic, if their line of defence is inside where the
23 Bratunac Brigade's zone of responsibility is, according to this map, and
24 if their line of defence would be inclusive within their zone of
25 responsibility which you believe they must have, then it stands to follow,
1 and this one we can use Aristotelian logic, we don't even need to use
2 military logic. It would stand to reason, would it not, that their zone
3 of responsibility would be within this area which you have designated as
4 the zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade. Correct?
5 A. I'm not sure that that's a technically accurate logic trail. And
6 perhaps the best way to explain it is to put it in a broader context.
7 During the course of the war, many battalions from many formations were
8 pulled from their parent units and sent to man defence lines in the zones
9 of responsibilities of other brigades. When they manned those defence
10 lines, clearly they are given a responsibility for the terrain in front of
11 them and other military responsibilities. I don't believe that the next
12 step in that logic train is that you can then conclude that the parent
13 unit no longer -- not the parent unit, the unit whose zone they are
14 operating in is suddenly absolved of all broader responsibility. These
15 lines are designated by the superior command, not by the brigades
17 Q. Okay.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour --
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't asked a question yet.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. McCLOSKEY: At this point I don't understand the further
22 relevance of this. We don't have any crime scenes that I'm aware in this
23 area of Milici/Bratunac that's being spoken of. It's Mr. Karnavas's duty
24 to put his position to Mr. Butler on this point so we can find out where
25 he's going. I think he's going there, but at this point it seems to be
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas --
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't asked a question.
4 JUDGE LIU: We have already spent a lot of time on that issue and
5 at least the witness answered the question twice. I think that's the most
6 we can get.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: In my defence, Your Honour, I was moving on. I
8 hadn't formed a question.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, move on, please.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I was pre-emptively struck.
11 JUDGE LIU: These are unnecessary comments, Mr. Karnavas.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, if Mr. Karnavas has a point with
14 this zone of responsibility thing, he's required to make it to Mr. Butler
15 so that Mr. Butler can now explain it so we don't have to bring Mr. Butler
16 back from the United States to explain the point Mr. Karnavas is getting
17 to. I still don't understand the point because the crime scenes are in
18 Bratunac, they're in Potocari, they're in Kravica, they're in
19 Konjevic Polje. None of these areas have we really talked about yet, and
20 he has a duty to get to his point. I think he's going to, he usually
21 does. But that is the basis of my objection.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I wasn't aware that I need to send a telegram to
23 the Prosecution. In any event, Your Honour --
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: The law requires him to, Your Honour. It is a
25 British rule, but it's designed so that the person being cross-examined
1 can explain the point that the person is trying to make. I don't remember
2 the rule number, but I can get it for the Trial Chamber.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, anyway, Mr. Karnavas, please move on.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. When are we breaking, Your Honour, just
5 to --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll break at 12.00 sharp. But if you need we
7 could have an early break.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: I would prefer at this point, Your Honour, because
9 I have a slight migraine and if we could take a break and let me regroup
10 for the final segment for today and we can come back earlier, of course.
11 I'm not trying to delay. I'm willing to go forward, but I would
12 appreciate if we could break and not chop up my next segment.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course. I think this request is reasonable
14 and we are very flexible and we'll resume at 20 past 12.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.51 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.20 p.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas. Your next segment.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. Before we get to that, Your Honour,
19 yesterday I misspoke when I mentioned that the brigade rules were D83. In
20 fact, they are -- they were introduced as D82 for identification purposes.
21 So if the record could reflect that and be corrected, we could most
22 appreciate it and I apologise to -- for that error.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. Now, Mr. Butler, if we could pick up where we left off last night
1 where my interests had been piqued a little bit. Now, yesterday as I
2 understand it, you made this observation with respect to what the
3 Trial Chamber knows about large numbers of troops from the
4 Bratunac Brigade being in Potocari. Do you recall making a statement to
5 that effect?
6 A. I believe the exact phrase was significant. I didn't quantify
8 Q. Significant. Well, significant, though, in a sense does mean
9 many, does it not, as opposed to few?
10 A. It also means in another sense a broader cross-section of the
11 unit. So it has, for me, two meanings in that respect.
12 Q. Is that based on military logic or is that based on the Webster's
13 dictionary on the English language?
14 A. Based on how I've always used the phrase, sir, sorry.
15 Q. Very well. Now, if we could look at your narrative, which I
16 believe has been marked for identification purposes as P358, if you could
17 just get it out handy first. Just have it handy there. And I'm going to
18 be referring to pages 82 and -- I'm sorry, 42 and 44. And we do have an
19 extra copy for the ELMO in the event we failed to provide sufficient
20 numbers of copies.
21 Now, just get it open --
22 A. Which pages, sir?
23 Q. It's page 42 to start with. This way you can follow along. Now,
24 before I ask you the pertinent questions, with respect to this document, a
25 little foundation. I take it that in doing your narrative you did, in
1 fact, include those whom you believed were in Potocari on the days in
2 question. Correct?
3 A. When I did my narrative, I included the names of key individuals
4 who were identified at the time by either witnesses or by video evidence
5 who were noted in Potocari on either 12 or 13 July, 1995.
6 Q. Okay. Now, you use the words "key individuals," please explain,
7 what do you mean by key?
8 A. In this respect, key individuals, and given that the context of
9 the very first piece of this, all we really had was the video and
10 identifications that we're making off the video. So in this regard, I did
11 not include everybody and I'm aware the investigation has identified a
12 much more significant number of individuals from selections of these
13 units, particularly, I believe, the 2nd Battalion who were in Potocari.
14 So that is what this was limited to at the time.
15 Q. All right. Now, did the OTP identify these individuals prior to
16 revising your narrative or subsequent to?
17 A. I believe that a number of them were identified before I had
18 revised my narrative, yes, sir.
19 Q. I take it those who were identified prior to the revision of the
20 narrative were included in the narrative?
21 A. No, sir, I did not, because I understood that it was the intent
22 that that witness-based material would be tendered through other means.
23 So, again in keeping with my role of trying to focus on documents and
24 intercepts as much as possible, I did not do that in that respect.
25 Q. All right. That was a choice that you made or was the choice one
1 that was made for you or was it a coordinated choice between you and the
3 A. I don't know whether it was considered coordinated, but the trial
4 team is well aware of my reluctance to use witness-based evidence as a
5 component of my own analytical reports, particularly given the fact that
6 witnesses may or may not testify here before the Trial Chamber. And of
7 course they're subject to cross-examination. So in that respect, they're
8 well aware of that practice that not only I, but most of the military
9 analysts, have. And when they structure their exhibit lists, they do so
10 knowing that some of this information will have to be brought in through
12 Q. I'm not sure I understood the answer to my question. My question
13 was whether it was a decision that you made solely and independently. Was
14 it one that you got your marching orders from the Prosecution, or was it
15 one where you sat down and decided, okay, let's leave it with the names
16 that you've already put in of key witnesses or the key members of the
17 Bratunac Brigade and the others, let's deal with them through another
19 A. In that respect, I believe it was a coordinated approach, because
20 I just didn't want to remove anything that had been in the prior narrative
21 and I knew there was additional information that would come in through
23 Q. Well, we're not talking about removing. We're talking about
24 adding. So you could have added those names if you had chosen to.
1 A. I could have added those names, but then again I'm unable to place
2 considerable weight behind them unless the witness himself comes forward
3 and testifies as such.
4 Q. Okay. When you say "weight," are you suggesting that simply
5 because they were present they had -- you cannot make any sense of their
6 mere presence, and therefore, unless you have something much more
7 tangible, only then would you put that information into your report, into
8 your narrative?
9 A. No, sir. With this respect what I mean is that as an analyst, I
10 don't know this individual by sight. Some of them, obviously, I do, but
11 most of them, of course, I will not. My making a conclusion that a
12 particular witness has correctly identified a person is meaningless unless
13 the witness himself testifies that that's the proper identification.
14 Q. Of all the people that you've listed in your report, in your
15 narrative, the key members of the Bratunac Brigade, were they all
16 interviewed by the Office of the Prosecution? Yes, no, I don't know.
17 A. I expect that some were not. I mean, certainly everyone wasn't.
18 Q. So the answer is I don't know?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. But closer to no, not everyone?
21 A. The answer is I don't know. I mean, certainly we didn't interview
23 Q. Okay. And was that because of an inability to locate those
24 witnesses or perhaps a shortage of funds of the OTP, shortage of time,
25 resources, or just plain, for lack of a better term, disinterest?
1 A. I don't know how to answer this question in a short answer, sir.
2 Q. You can go for one of your long ones. I don't care.
3 A. The answer changes over time. Certainly from the very beginning
4 we were interested in interviewing the Bosnian Serb army or VRS officers.
5 It was not until, to my knowledge, December of 1999 where the Office of
6 the Prosecutor, working through summonses with the government of Srpska,
7 was ever in a position to have these individuals available for interview.
8 We had no mechanism, to my knowledge, prior to that to go out and find
9 these individuals and have them show up at a location and be interviewed.
10 Particularly with the first series of interviews, they went successfully
11 with compliance, insomuch as they were senior officers, many were still
12 serving in the VRS and the Republika Srpska made them available for
14 As we continued to develop the situation over time and over years,
15 and we started getting down to the lower-level individuals in both the
16 Zvornik and the Bratunac Light Infantry Brigade, a number of these people
17 were being summonsed and not showing up for interviews or we were being
18 informed that individuals were no longer in the territory. Certainly as
19 we get into the latter years of the investigation, there will be other
20 investigative priorities and budget constraints that didn't exist in the
21 early years. So the answer tends to change over time as to why we did not
22 get out and interview everybody.
23 Q. All right. Now, given your answer that you just gave us, who
24 among the folks that you summoned that you have included in your narrative
25 as being from the Bratunac Brigade, which one of those were summoned and
1 failed to appear at the appropriate time and place, if you know?
2 A. I don't know offhand, sir.
3 Q. All right. Which of them were you unable to locate, if you know?
4 A. Those records are maintained up in -- with the investigation. I
5 don't know the answer offhand, sir.
6 Q. And which of them had left the area, the vicinity, where one would
7 find them, that is the Bratunac/Srebrenica location. Which of them had
8 left the vicinity?
9 A. Again, sir, while that information is available, I don't know it
10 off the top of my head.
11 Q. Okay. You've indicated that you only included the key personnel.
12 How many exactly did you include in your report, in your narrative?
13 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. That's a misstatement. He did not say
14 he only included the key personnel. That is not correct.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
17 Q. Mr. Butler, feel free whenever you want to jump in and correct me.
18 Mr. McCloskey shouldn't have to do that. You can do that, too.
19 Now, if we look at -- I think I might be able to direct you to
20 5.11 and 5.12 on page 42 and then again, I believe, 5.21 and 5.22 on page
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. With --
25 Q. If you could look at those relevant portions on page 42 and page
1 44, you might be able to give us a ballpark figure of the significant
2 numbers you talked about.
3 A. With respect to Mr. Zoran Kovacevic --
4 Q. I don't know need to know specific names, just listen to the
5 question. It's pretty fundamental.
6 A. Okay.
7 Q. How many?
8 A. In this respect, one, two, and then I believe three, four, five,
9 six, seven, eight.
10 Q. Okay. And the -- and forgive me, I don't mean it to sound in a
11 pejorative sense, but in the Butler lexicon, would that be a significant
13 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, the number eight is not a significant number
14 unless you're talking of a population group of ten.
15 Q. All right. In the context in which we're talking, to use another
16 one of your phrases, and in your own lexicon, would eight be a significant
18 A. Within the broader context of the Bratunac Brigade, while the
19 number eight would not be a significant number, I will again go back to
20 some of these individuals are in leadership positions, which would
21 increase their significance.
22 Q. We're going to get to that.
23 A. But numerically the answer is no.
24 Q. We're going to go step by step. So let me direct you, please. So
25 the answer is: Eight is not a significant number, but in your opinion
1 these are key individuals. Correct?
2 A. Some of them are, sir.
3 Q. Some of them are. And I take it that because some of them are
4 "key individuals," you give that a significance?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Okay. And the reason you give it a significance because it is
7 your belief, perhaps maybe even understanding, that because of their
8 position, one, they must have been ordered to go there. Correct? That's
9 one possibility.
10 A. That is a possibility, sir, yes.
11 Q. Two, because of their position, obviously they might or they must
12 have or might have or would have, pick any three, brought with them
13 subordinate members of their unit. Correct?
14 A. Yes, sir, that's a possibility.
15 Q. That's a possibility. And so given their position, you gave
16 them -- you termed them to be key -- at least worthy enough, worthy
17 enough, to be memorialised in your narrative. Correct?
18 A. With respect to the initial version of the narrative, it was less
19 memorialised, and everyone who we were properly able to identify at the
21 Q. All right.
22 A. Certainly this list has expanded in numbers over the years of the
24 Q. All right. Might I be able to pry out of you the exact number?
25 A. I don't think I've ever counted up the exact number with respect
1 to identifications of numbers of the Bratunac Brigade.
2 Q. Well, again, I mean I have to fall back on your lexicon. You said
3 significant. Obviously there must be a threshold where you go from not
4 significant, almost significant, to significant. Where is the threshold?
5 Where is that line? What number do we get to?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection to vagueness. Significant to what?
8 This is critical. There has been significance in terms of larger numbers
9 to smaller numbers, which doesn't have much meaning for this case.
10 There's tremendous kinds of significance. So I don't know what the
11 question means and I don't think there's any way Mr. Butler -- Mr. Butler
12 may guess or Mr. Butler may have his opinion what he means, but without
13 more specificity, it's very difficult to say what kind of significance
14 he's talking about.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, we also fail to see your point in
16 asking these kind of questions. Would you please ask some questions
17 around that key numbers.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, I don't mean to be
19 disrespectful, but if I might respond. We've listened to a great deal of
20 testimony on direct. Terms have been thrown out and obviously I was not
21 permitted to object in a fashion and means in which I'm used to objecting,
22 in keeping with the Court's ruling, which I respected although I must say
23 I was having a hard time maintaining my equilibrium sitting here. So now
24 that I have the opportunity to hear the gentleman use such words as "the
25 Trial Chamber well knows" and uses "significant," these are buzz words.
1 So now I'm trying to use his own words, because what I'm trying to
2 demonstrate is part of his lexicon is gobbledygook. Part of his lexicon
3 cannot be defined. So, in his own mind, when he says "significant," what
4 is it? Because he may have a different meaning in his mind than the one
5 that we may have. And I would like to know at what point does the number
6 rise to the level where we can call it significant. Of course
7 Mr. McCloskey has objected but we all know what we're talking about.
8 Within, to quote Mr. Butler, "the broader context".
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, maybe that's not the problem of the numbers,
10 maybe it's about, you know, those people are affiliated too.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I didn't get that, too.
12 JUDGE LIU: Maybe that is the unit those numbers are affiliated
13 to. Let us hear the witness. He will tell us about the using of the
14 words of the witness.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. So help us out here a little bit here, Mr. Butler. When you use
17 the word "significant," in the greater context of what was happening in
18 Potocari on the morning or throughout the day of the 12th and 13th of
19 July, 1995, how do you come up with this description of "significant"?
20 Help us out. What do you mean by that?
21 A. I think I can straighten that out very quickly, sir.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. With respect to interviews that have been conducted by the Office
24 of the Prosecution, we know, for example -- and I'll use this
25 specifically, Zoran Kovacevic, the 4th Company commander indicated that
1 his company with him was in Potocari, that they were directed by their
2 battalion commander to come off of their defensive positions, move into
3 Potocari, and in his interview later he says he met his battalion
4 commander, or at that time it was acting commander and they were moved
5 back to the wood line. We interviewed the battalion commander who
6 acknowledges the presence of Zoran Kovacevic, although he notes that he
7 didn't know that at the time. And in being shown pictures of individuals,
8 he identifies out of a number of soldiers seen on that video groups of
9 soldiers that correspond to -- and I believe he specifically identifies
10 them as members of the 3rd Infantry Company of the 2nd Battalion. So in
11 that context right there, there are at least the significant elements, in
12 the case of the 4th Company, the full company of that battalion in
14 Going back to my narrative report, you have an identification of
15 Zoran Milosavljevic who is the commander of the intervention platoon of
16 that battalion. So you're now approaching the threshold where you have
17 almost half the battalion is in Potocari on that day, during the morning
18 and early afternoon hours. You have in other respects members of the
19 3rd Battalion identified that day, although in limited numbers. You have
20 the assistant commander for rear services, Major Trisic, who in an
21 interview with the OTP acknowledged that he was there that day with the
22 rear services unit because they had been directed to provide bread to the
23 Bosnian Muslim people in Potocari.
24 You have the assistant commander for security and intelligence,
25 Momir Nikolic. So I mean, that in my mind is the threshold of
2 Q. Okay. Now, you say half of a battalion was there. That is your
3 understanding and belief that half of the battalion, half of the 4th
4 Battalion was in Potocari on that day.
5 A. No, sir. Half of the 2nd Battalion.
6 Q. The 2nd Battalion --
7 A. The 4th Company, the 3rd Company --
8 Q. The entire companies were there?
9 A. According to the company commander of the 4th Company, his entire
10 company was there. According to the video footage, it is my belief that
11 the bulk of the 3rd Company, given the fact that a company in that time
12 frame numbered between 50 and 60 people, I believe I can say the bulk of
13 them were there.
14 Q. When you say the bulk of them --
15 A. Like I say, I have not counted the actual numbers of soldiers who
16 walked by, sir.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Can counsel and the witness please pause between
18 question and answer.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. So, numerically, give us a figure. I mean, you seem to have a
21 ballpark understanding of what portions of which units were there, the
22 implication being that they were there doing something. Correct?
23 A. They were there doing something. I would say if you're asking for
24 a ballpark figure, perhaps 90 to 120-ish. I think that's a low-end
25 figure, but I want to be conservative on this one.
1 Q. And it's your understanding that they were there under orders?
2 A. Mr. Kovacevic, the company commander, said that he was there under
4 Q. What did his commander say?
5 A. His commander said that he had no knowledge of that.
6 Q. Which means that he would not have been under orders?
7 A. It means that there's a conflict.
8 Q. Well, one is saying, I know -- you see, you tend to -- when it
9 benefits the Prosecutor -- I understand you're a member of their team, you
10 like it --
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, this is very argumentative.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. So his commander denies giving him any orders. Correct?
15 A. That is correct, sir.
16 Q. Which of the two do you tend to believe, that he was or he was not
17 given orders?
18 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, I believe that both of them are probably
19 misrepresenting certain aspects of their interviews.
20 Q. Is that because they're members of the VRS and you would expect
21 all of them to just lie?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection, Your Honour, that is uncalled for and
23 if this starts up again.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: He said "misrepresentations," he's jumping to a
25 conclusion. What is the basis for him stating that both are
1 misrepresenting the truth
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, This is a serious subject. Mr.
3 Karnavas has repeatedly accused me personally of vilifying Serbs. This
4 has affected my reputation in this community. I can handle that. We
5 don't need this to be connected to Mr. Butler, without some proof that he
6 is a racist.
7 JUDGE LIU: Do not argue with each other in this courtroom,
8 Mr. Karnavas. I think I have warned you many times. Just get to your
9 question to this witness.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
11 Q. What is your basis, other than the fact that they are members of
12 the VRS, what is your basis in believing that both of them are
13 misrepresenting the truth?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. There has been no foundation. He said
15 other than the VRS, that is not a fact. That's not proven, and that's
16 just his addition. And I'm sorry to objecting but this is something I
17 will not stand for.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are not going to discuss this issue.
19 Mr. Karnavas, just ask that simple and plain question. I think
20 that question is relevant, but do not unnecessarily offend anybody in this
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, there's no -- no one's trying to
23 offend anyone. They are members of the VRS. That is a fact.
24 JUDGE LIU: If it is a fact, everyone knows it. There's no need
25 for you to stress it.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
2 Q. What is the basis for you stating or believing that they're both
3 misrepresenting the truth?
4 A. Well, let's just keep it narrowed down to the specific issue of 12
5 July, if we shall. I mean -- because when I said misrepresenting the
6 truth on their entire interviews, it's the entirety of the interview.
7 With respect to 12 July, the video evidence that we have tends to
8 corroborate the issue that the commander of the 4th Battalion -- I'm
9 sorry, the commander of the 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion was in
10 Potocari at the time.
11 The identification by that company commander that he received
12 orders from his battalion commander personally tends to correspond with
13 the known fact that the local battalions or certainly the companies did
14 not have adequate means of radio communications, and that orders would
15 have to be passed either over the radio telephone or in person.
16 So in this respect, I mean I believe that Zoran Kovacevic's
17 account of the events that put him in Potocari is probably more accurate
18 in the context of other information I know.
19 Q. So you're saying the other gentleman, his commander is lying?
20 A. I believe he's being untruthful. I don't think he's being fully
22 Q. On that point?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. And that is that he did not order those men over there?
25 A. When he was questioned on that issue -- when he was questioned on
1 that issue, he said it was possible they were ordered by the deputy
2 commander of the battalion.
3 Q. My question was: He stated that he did not order them. I'm not
4 talking about the deputy commander, I'm talking about him. Right?
5 A. Yes, sir, that's right.
6 Q. Now, you seem to be implying that this man is lying about that.
7 A. I am saying that I don't believe he is fully truthful with that
8 respect, yes, sir.
9 Q. And of course if you had believed him versus the other, it might
10 not be so rosy for the Prosecutor, would it?
11 A. Well, Mr. Karnavas, this is precisely why I don't include this
12 information in my reports.
13 Q. Well, you included the name, didn't you?
14 A. I only included the name because it's footnoted to a piece of
15 video evidence. This name was included in my initial version of the
16 narrative long before we had the opportunity to interview this individual.
17 Q. Did you interview other members, as many as you could, to tell
18 which of the two were telling the truth?
19 A. We did interview other members, but I believe in this context
20 those are the only two individuals with respect to that issue that were
21 interviewed. I don't believe the investigation has gone out and attempted
22 to talk to other soldiers further down the line on that.
23 Q. What about the deputy commander, since that was a possibility?
24 A. I checked that, and his name -- we don't have an interview from
25 him. So I don't know whether he has been summoned for
1 investigation -- for interview or not. So I don't know the answer to
3 Q. Okay. But nonetheless you made a conclusion that one is telling
4 the truth and one is not telling the truth?
5 A. Yes, sir. You've asked me for that conclusion and I've made it.
6 Q. Of course. And now of course the person who told the truth
7 according to you, if he had gone there on his own without orders and he's
8 seen on video, might he be somewhat fearful that he could end up at
9 The Hague or be prosecuted because there he is on video and therefore
10 would have a reason to perhaps fabricate that he was there on orders by
11 his commander. Might that be a possibility within the greater context of
12 what is happening on that day and then later on and over here?
13 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
14 Q. Okay. We can move on to another topic.
15 If we could now draw your attention to P543, which is the
16 preparatory order that was drafted by the Drina Corps for July 2, 1995. I
17 thought we could discuss that a little bit.
18 A. P543?
19 Q. P543, I believe that's the one I have here. It's the Drina Corps
20 July 2, preparatory order, the order for active combat activities. I
21 think you know what I'm talking about.
22 A. I know what you're talking about, but that's a higher number than
23 I associated it with.
24 Q. I might be wrong, but I have it at the bottom.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: We have an additional one for the ELMO, so you
1 don't have to --
2 A. I'll need it, sir, apparently I don't have it.
3 Q. Well, we thought ahead. I take it that over the years you've had
4 a chance to look at this and analyse it quite a bit, have you not?
5 A. Yes, sir. I'm sorry, this is the actual order. This is not the
6 preparatory order.
7 Q. Maybe I misspoke. The order for Krivaja 95. Now, you've had a
8 chance to look at this, have you not?
9 A. Yes, sir, I'm familiar with it.
10 Q. Okay. Now, I know you touched on this a little bit, but I would
11 like to focus your attention on the first paragraph, if you could, at
12 least the first portion of the first paragraph number 1 where -- first why
13 don't you read it to yourself and then maybe perhaps we could -- real
14 quickly and then we could focus in on it.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Okay. Now, in reading this paragraph it seems to be stating that
17 the VRS is expecting an attack from the Muslim army. Is that correct?
18 A. It notes not only are they expecting, but in the broader context
19 they are still dealing with historical attacks, so yes, sir.
20 Q. Now, when you say "historical attacks," what do you mean by that?
21 A. As I think I've pointed out in my narrative, consistent with the
22 ABiH 2 Corps offensive, or the Sarajevo offensive, the 28th Division was
23 instructed to carry out a series of attacks out of the enclave, in order
24 to keep forces tied down. So that's what I mean, in this context they had
25 already received attacks and were anticipating more of them.
1 Q. So I take it, just to stay on that, I take it that if those folks
2 from the 28th Division that were going and killing innocent Serbs in their
3 villages and committing war crimes, then the commanders all the way up to
4 the height of the BiH government in Sarajevo would have been responsible
5 for those atrocities?
6 A. In this respect, and I know that there's a related case to this
7 going on or shortly going on, but certainly if they were killing civilians
8 in that context as opposed to straight military activities, there should
9 be a chain of accountability, yes, sir.
10 Q. Which would go all the way to the top of -- it would have gone all
11 the way to the top of Alija Izetbegovic?
12 A. Presumably, yes, sir. He, as the president, and again my
13 knowledge of the ABiH military structure is not as detailed, but as the
14 president, if he's functioning as the supreme commander, it would be a
15 responsibility that would ultimately would rest at his lap.
16 Q. Okay. So -- but overall, correct me if I'm wrong, and you
17 probably know better than I do, by this period of the events that are
18 happening in Bosnia in general, the Muslim and Croatian armies are
19 becoming stronger and stronger. Correct?
20 A. Yes, sir, they are.
21 Q. And in fact, as I understand it, and you've indicated this, the
22 Muslim army, numerically speaking at least, numerically speaking was much
23 larger than the VRS?
24 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
25 Q. And it would appear, and I think you've touched on this, that one
1 of the objectives -- I guess by serendipity by having these enclaves
2 there, allowed the 28th Division, hiding under the protection of the UN,
3 to go into these attacks, occasional attacks, thus requiring the VRS, in
4 particular the Drina, the Drina Corps, to more or less have permanent
5 defensive lines. Correct?
6 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
7 Q. And by doing so, at least they could pin down almost an entire
8 corps and perhaps more just for that purpose. Correct?
9 A. In context with the Zepa and Gorazde safe areas, they did in fact
10 pin down almost all of the Drina Corps.
11 Q. And of course, if there was something happening in the Sarajevo
12 area that the Muslim army wanted to engage in an attack, they could
13 easily, and they would I believe, have the 28th Division mount a little
14 attack into the VRS territory, the area over there, thus engaging the
15 Drina Corps so as to make sure that no reinforcements could get to the
16 Sarajevo area, thus permitting the Muslims to have the advantage.
18 A. Yes. And in fact that was the practice and the goal of -- the
19 goal that was behind it, the prevent the VRS and specifically the
20 Drina Corps from being able to send sizeable reinforcements.
21 Q. And would appear from this particular section that they're almost
22 forecasting that there is imminent threat ahead of us?
23 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
24 Q. And that they expect a two-frontal attack at some point?
25 A. Yes, sir -- or at least -- yeah, as part of an operation to cut
1 the corps in half, so yes, sir, in conjunction with the other forces.
2 Q. And just to make sure that I'm on the right wavelength, what do I
3 mean by that? Can you explain to me what I just meant when I said
4 two-frontal attack. I'm not asking you to be clairvoyant.
5 A. I believe what you're getting to is the situation where military
6 forces operating out of Zepa and Srebrenica, moving in one direction
7 towards the larger line of the BiH and the ABiH 2 Corps forces moving out
8 in the other direction towards those, in effect a movement to pinch or cut
9 the corps in half. And the practical aspect of that is it looked very
10 much like the military events that were occurring on 14 and 15 July is
11 probably the best way in context to say that.
12 Q. And if that were to occur, I guess, and they were able to as the
13 Muslim forces would have been going in their various directions, they
14 would have been cleansing the area, or at least pushing the Serb
15 population out of that area, thus expanding their territory which would
16 have been Muslim-held. Correct?
17 A. For the purpose of had it been their intent to actually link up
18 the lines and hold territory, that that would have been in effect what
19 they did in 1992 and early 1993.
20 Q. Okay. And so it would appear, would it not that this Krivaja 95,
21 when it was drafted and in the way it was drafted and its purpose was in
22 essence to stage, to mount, a pre-emptive strike. Correct?
23 A. As its written, I believe that's the language that they used.
24 Q. Yeah. It's like President George Bush thinking that Iraq has
25 chemical weapons, he pre-emptively strikes to make sure nothing happens.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, that comment is totally irrelevant.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I was trying to put it into the context --
4 JUDGE LIU: Don't try that. Don't try that. I don't want these
5 proceedings more complicated.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. I'm not trying to complicate the situation,
7 Your Honour.
8 Q. But I guess what I'm trying to get through that example and
9 perhaps it wasn't artfully stated, it would seem to me that pre-emptively
10 striking, especially when you believe you are going to be attacked, and
11 secondly when you are at a disadvantage, is militarily correct, is it not?
12 A. It is certainly a sound military strategy, yes, sir.
13 Q. Okay. So we can agree at least that the attack on Srebrenica,
14 pre-emptive as it may have been, was, at least in the mind of the VRS,
15 which you seem to be confirming at least on what was happening on the
16 grounds, a means of avoiding an attack that was about to happen?
17 A. That is a perspective that they followed and it's a valid one.
18 Yes, sir.
19 Q. And had they not been on the offensive at one point, they would
20 have found themselves on the defensive. Correct?
21 A. Well, in fact, they were on the defensive for the period up to
22 that operation. But again, given the context of the larger events that
23 occur later that July and in August, the situation for as bad as it was
24 for the VRS probably would have been even worse, had they not have
25 launched this operation. They would have not been able to pull any of the
1 manpower out of the Drina Corps at that time. So certainly they
2 understood the ramifications, the senior planners of the VRS, when they
3 put this together and what it would mean and it did have that effect.
4 Q. And just to add another piece to the puzzle, as I understand it in
5 addition to the Muslim army being numerically larger or having the
6 advantage, at around this time also or building up to this time, quite a
7 bit of weapons and military hardware was coming into their position from
8 various foreign entities. Correct?
9 A. I understand that particularly with respect to Srebrenica that
10 there were weapons being smuggled in, yes, sir.
11 Q. Okay. And just as an aside, but perhaps it might be relevant, we
12 know that the 28th Division in Srebrenica was relatively large, at least
13 numerically speaking, and when I say "large," I'm giving it the figure of
14 somewhere between five to six, maybe even larger, maybe even slightly
15 smaller. But 5 to 6.000 soldiers. Is that correct?
16 A. That number is consistent with numbers that I've seen. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Were there Mujahedin working in Srebrenica at the time, if you are
18 aware of that?
19 A. I do not believe we have any evidence that says that.
20 Q. Okay. But Mujahedin were operating in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
21 we're talking about foreign fighters coming in and assisting the Muslim
22 army. Correct?
23 A. Yes, sir, they were.
24 Q. Okay. Now, can you give us an estimation how large the Muslim
25 army was on the other side where the Zvornik Brigade was located, in other
1 words, from the Tuzla area.
2 A. I can give you a rough context insomuch as they were facing the
3 24th Infantry Division, which had a number of brigades. I know we have
4 some of the documents, but I have not researched that in detail. But
5 without using something from my lexicon, I can say they were significantly
7 Q. Okay. All right. And what about resource-wise, did they
8 have -- numbers is one thing, but they obviously need weapons. So
9 weapon-wise, how were they in that department?
10 A. Well, in a broader context, they also had less weaponry than the
11 VRS did. However, by early 1995, certainly with respect to weapons that
12 were coming into Tuzla, and in many respects those being forwarded to the
13 units of the 2nd Corps, their ability with respect to the VRS with weapons
14 was improving. I'm not sure that it ever reaches parity, but certainly
15 with respect to the overall VRS it was improving on a weekly basis.
16 Q. And were they receiving these resources, this military
17 hardware -- or I should say were they not receiving this military hardware
18 or some of it from foreign entities that were assisting in smuggling into
19 their territory?
20 A. Yes, sir, I understand that there were a number of foreign parties
21 that were involved in that practice.
22 Q. And could you give us the names of some of those foreign parties.
23 A. Well, in this respect, my source of information for this would be
24 the book written by Mr. Cees Wiebes, since I have no firsthand knowledge
25 of this. However, he indicates in his book that the United States was one
1 of the parties which, in fact, supplied weapons to ABiH 2 Corps, not
2 specifically but to the Bosnian Muslim government beginning in January of
3 1995 through a series of supposedly clandestine flights to Tuzla airfield
4 where these weapons were offloaded.
5 Q. And then some of those weapons were being flown in to Srebrenica,
6 which was a safe zone protected by the United Nations. Correct?
7 A. Again, it is my understanding from both the book by Mr. Wiebes and
8 the UN report, that on select helicopter flights, they were smuggling
9 weapons and other military equipment into Srebrenica.
10 Q. By the way, this gentleman in his book, that is the one that's
11 written on intelligence -- his title escapes me, but I believe it's
12 intelligence --
13 A. Yes, sir, I know which one you're talking about. Yes.
14 Q. And it derives from -- he's a Dutch fellow that's in Amsterdam I
15 believe and he derives a lot of his material from the report on Srebrenica
16 that was done by the Dutch government. Is that correct? And other
17 resources as well.
18 A. Yes, sir, I believe it is. It is well documented there.
19 Q. Okay. Now -- and you are aware, just to get back to the flights
20 into Srebrenica, that there was some witnesses who testified that there
21 were downing of at least one helicopter?
22 A. Yes, I know from the VRS documents that the Drina Corps made an
23 active attempt to bring down helicopters that were flying in and I
24 understand that at least one was taken down.
25 Q. And we know that there was a region known as the Bandera triangle
1 in the Srebrenica safe area, do we not, you've heard of that?
2 A. Yes, sir. I believe I discussed that area in my direct
4 Q. And that was an area that was within the enclave where the UN were
5 supposed to protect and monitor to make sure that it was demilitarised,
6 was it not?
7 A. It was -- the practical reality was that the 28th Infantry
8 Division forces would not permit the UN to freely move in that area.
9 Q. In other words, it made sure they had no or as little access as
10 possible to that area. Correct?
11 A. Yes, sir. That is correct.
12 Q. And in fact you know, as we all know from the testimony that has
13 come before this Court, that at some point the members of the
14 28th Division held hostage the DutchBat for two or three or four days, I
15 believe, because they dared to do their UN duties and venture into that
16 area where presumably illegal activity, at least under the UN mandate, was
17 occurring, that is, storing weapons. Correct?
18 A. Yes, sir. In respect to they did hold members of Dutch Battalion
19 hostage. I'm not sure of all of the other things. I assume the answer
20 would be yes, but I don't know for a fact.
21 Q. Okay. Now, getting back to this order, if we were to look
22 at -- does this order mandate a role for the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. I believe that it does specifically, and I'll come to the
24 paragraph here. I believe it's on page 4 of the English language
1 Q. Okay. We're not going to get to it just yet.
2 A. I'm sorry.
3 Q. But this order is rather specific as to who is going to be
4 involved. Correct?
5 A. Insomuch as --
6 Q. The units.
7 A. The units, yes, sir.
8 Q. And it gives them some guidance as to the level of their
9 involvement. Correct?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. And is there anything in this order with respect to potential
12 capture of war prisoners?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Okay. And where might we find that?
15 A. That would be in paragraph 10, which is page 7 of the English
16 language translation.
17 Q. Okay. And if we could -- if you could be so kind, you're pretty
18 handy with that ELMO there. All right. Now, what does it say about war
20 A. The security organs -- I'm sorry, the first one. "Security organs
21 and military police will indicate the areas for gathering and securing
22 prisoners of war and war booty."
23 Q. Let me stop you right there. So this order gives the task to the
24 security organ. Am I correct?
25 A. And the military police, yes, sir.
1 Q. Now, is that the security organ of the Drina Corps or is it the
2 security organ of the various units that are going to be engaged in this
4 A. In this respect, I would read this as the security organs, it says
5 plural, and military police. So there are two ways to look at it. I
6 mean, my initial view is that it is a specified task to all of the units
7 of the Drina Corps in this case. So security organs and military police
8 will indicate the areas. I mean, again, because it's plural, I believe
9 that this is to all of the units that are involved.
10 Q. Okay. Now, what does -- does that mean that it would be up to the
11 security organ to decide and have the ultimate say-so?
12 A. No, sir, I don't believe so.
13 Q. What exactly does that mean, at least to your understanding?
14 A. In this respect what it means is that the commander is designating
15 the security organs and military police as a function will indicate these
17 Q. All right. For instance, as an example, during the attack on
18 Srebrenica if, for instance, the Bratunac Brigade were to come up
19 with -- capture any prisoners of war, they would be the responsibility of
20 the commander of the Bratunac Brigade?
21 A. That is correct, sir.
22 Q. All right. And not the security organ of the Bratunac Brigade?
23 A. If the commander designates that responsibility to the security
24 organ, then it would become their responsibility, yes, sir, in that
1 Q. That's a delegation of duty but not of authority or
3 A. It's a delegation of authority, not of responsibility yes, sir.
4 Q. I think we can all agree that a commander can never delegate his
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. He's the commander and that's it. Okay. Now -- so your
8 understanding is that it's the security organs, plural. What role does
9 the security organ of the Drina Corps play vis-a-vis the security organs
10 of the various battalions or units that are involved in this operation?
11 A. In this respect, and again I don't have the full answer to this,
12 so in this respect what I believe the guidance is to provide technical
13 assistance or the professional support to the subordinate security
14 branches, which might include such functions as detailing the availability
15 or lack of availability of the corps military police battalion to engage
16 in such operations. It might engage in identifying a corps-designated
17 site, which all of the brigades will be required to forward their
18 prisoners to. It might designate those things within its purview that
19 would be of the general use and direction for the entire corps. So those
20 the types of functions that come to mind, sir.
21 Q. Okay. Now, if we could just move to the section with respect to
22 the tasks that are ordered of the Bratunac Brigade. And again, I'm going
23 to be asking you to comment on their involvement in the greater context of
24 the attack. If you could put it into that greater context, as I think you
25 tend to do anyway, but just in case I'm not clear. Do you have it?
1 A. Yeah. You want it on the ELMO, sir?
2 Q. If you could put it on the ELMO and direct our attentions so just
3 for the record, so we have it, again we're referring to P543/A --
4 A. I'm sorry. The Bratunac Brigade order?
5 Q. No. The section -- we're going to get to that order, too. So
6 keep that handy. The section within this order, 2 July 1995, what mission
7 is given to the Bratunac Brigade. That's what I meant.
8 A. That would be page 4 of the English language.
9 Q. Okay. Now, you've read this, and I take it you studied it,
10 analysed it, and probably synthesised it in the greater context of this
11 entire order. So concretely and as clearly as possible, could you tell us
12 what exactly is going to be the role of the Bratunac Brigade.
13 A. As envisioned by the Drina Corps, the Bratunac Brigade was to have
14 or at least part of the forces were to have an offensive role to play, a
15 very active role in the operation with respect to capturing a specific
16 feature, preventing the intervention of enemy reserve forces from Potocari
17 and Srebrenica. So it had an offensive flavour that the brigade was
18 expected to take some significant offensive operations in order to ensure
19 that the 28th Infantry Division could not withdraw forces from one end of
20 the enclave and redeploy them against what would be the main attack.
21 Q. Okay. Well, let's talk about the main flavour of this order.
22 What is the main favour for the Bratunac Brigade, offensive or defensive?
23 A. Well, again in this respect it says part of the forces. And in
24 this particular instance it notes that the 1st Infantry Battalion is to
25 join in the attack and coordinate with the execution of the tasks. So
1 given that -- and I'd again have to go back to a map, I think we're
2 looking at an order that the general flavour is offensive in nature, as
3 opposed to defensive.
4 Q. Have you looked at those points on the map to see how much actual
5 territory we're speaking of this offensive flavour?
6 A. I'd have to go back and look at the map. It's been a while.
7 Q. Well, before going back to the map, you should be able, having
8 spent almost six years on this case, to know whether it was a lot of
9 territory that they were supposed to gain, a little bit of territory. I
10 suspect that you would be able to help us out on this without having to
11 refer to the actual map. It's something that you must have done as part
12 of your analysis and synthesis.
13 A. Mr. Karnavas, I just want to be as clear as possible. I don't
14 believe that, again I don't want to use a broad phrase. I don't believe
15 that there -- it's a significant -- but again looking at this, we're at
16 the role where their primary function is to capture features, less with
17 respect to capturing the features, but to take the actions required to
18 ensure that reserve forces of the 28th Division are not deployed from
19 Potocari. So I mean --
20 Q. I've got to deconstruct that one. You started with significant
21 and then you went in a different direction. As clearly as possible, is it
22 your understanding that the Bratunac Brigade, given its size and its
23 location, was asked to go on the offensive primarily, or was it just a
24 part of their mandate? Which of the two?
25 A. It was -- obviously it was a part. It was not a full offensive,
1 and it was, like I said, envisioned in the larger scheme to be a secondary
3 Q. Okay. They were supposed to join in?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. All right. Now -- and you cannot tell us today, as you sit here
6 and without looking at the map, how forward they were supposed to advance,
7 how much terrain they were supposed to gain in this attack?
8 A. No, sir, I'd have to look at a map for that.
9 Q. And could you tell us at least, whether from your memory, what the
10 terrain would have been like, the terrain that they were designated to
11 capture or attack? Do you know what the -- how -- its features. Was it
12 level? Was it hilly? Was it wooded? Do you know any of it?
13 A. Generally speaking, to the west of the Bratunac Brigade --
14 Bratunac to Potocari road, it is very hilly terrain. It is wooded. It is
15 mined. Going to the east of that road, the terrain is extremely hilly,
16 very vertical, and would be very difficult -- it's a very difficult task
17 to launch operations in that terrain. Again, I'd prefer to go off a map
18 on this one.
19 Q. All right. I take it at one point you did go on the map and you
20 did plot it out, and if so we would find it on that well-documented and
21 highly footnoted narrative of yours, wouldn't we?
22 A. No, sir. Because for the purpose of my narrative --
23 Q. That would be enough. I think we understood each other --
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. If he's going to be criticised for not
25 having something in his report I think he should be allowed to explain --
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. Butler, please.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: -- as he was starting to do.
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, do not speak while the Prosecution is
4 making an objection. I think that's the -- you have to show some
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree with you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: And I would like to Prosecutor not to interrupt me.
9 JUDGE LIU: This is his right. He has the right to stand up, to
11 MR. KARNAVAS: He has to let me finish first.
12 JUDGE LIU: He said that he will let the witness finish first.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise. I truly apologise.
14 Q. Mr. Butler, again please accept my apologies. Give us a full,
15 complete, thorough answer as to why you probably or why you didn't put
16 this into your report and leave it at that, either the narrative or the
17 other one, the first one and the revised versions.
18 A. It was an economy measure insomuch as while I would have been
19 fascinated to go through all the dynamics of the day-to-day operation,
20 given the fact that the purpose of the report has to do with the linkage
21 to known crime scenes, it was not something, while I would have been very
22 personally interested in doing, didn't appear to have any relevance with
23 respect to a day-to-day accounting of a military operation, which by all
24 accounts was conducted in the confines of the law of war. That's why it
25 never really made it in there from that perspective.
1 Q. All right. Fair enough. If I understand you in my parlance, from
2 your point of view the attack on Srebrenica was not in violation of any
3 international law that you're aware of?
4 A. I understand that there were some portions of the attack, that
5 there are questions as to whether they may or may not have been lawful
6 under some technical things. For example, some sporadic shelling
8 Q. But the attack itself. I'm not talking about the manner in which
9 the attack was carried out. The attack itself on Srebrenica.
10 A. No, sir, I agree. And I don't believe it's ever been implied that
11 it's charged as such.
12 Q. I just want to make sure we are clear on that. Did you by any
13 chance in your analysis and synthesis determine whether the
14 Bratunac Brigade effectively carried out the orders as they are described
15 in this particular order, that is, the July 2nd order that was issued or
16 signed by Major General Zivanovic?
17 A. No, sir. With respect to particularly the operations of the
18 1st Battalion, how the operation unfolded with respect to Bratunac was not
19 carried out that way.
20 Q. Okay. Now, it wasn't carried -- so -- just to make sure that I'm
21 clear. The Bratunac Brigade did not carry out the order or carry out
22 their tasks as they were ordered pursuant to this particular document,
23 which is an order from the commander of the Drina Corps?
24 A. No, sir. I mean, clearly somewhere down the line, and again it's
25 reflected in the July 5 document, there was a modification in the role
1 that the Bratunac Brigade was to play in this.
2 Q. Okay. Well, let's look to that one then. I believe it has been
3 marked for identification purposes as P406. Is that the one that we're
4 talking about, Mr. Butler?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Okay. Now, if you could, as plainly as possible, tell us how did
7 this order from July 5, 1995, by the brigade commander of the
8 Bratunac Brigade, how this order deviated from the order that had been
9 given to him from his commander of the Drina Corps.
10 A. Very broadly it puts -- instead of having some of the other
11 battalions launching larger operations, it limits the offensive tasks to
12 the 3rd Infantry Battalion -- and I want to get to the right paragraph on
13 this one.
14 Q. Just give us the general.
15 A. It limits the offensive tasks of the 3rd Infantry Battalion to
16 carry out a secondary -- or an attack along the secondary axis in order to
17 support the main effort.
18 Q. Okay. Now, just in plain, ordinary, pedestrian English, what
19 exactly are you telling us? We have the one order and then we have the
20 other order. Are you saying that rather than put his forces on the
21 offensive, he placed them on the defensive, more or less is that what
22 you're saying?
23 A. No, sir. What I'm saying is that somewhere between the 2nd and
24 the 5th, there was a refinement in the mission of the Bratunac Brigade, in
25 part based on their combat capabilities to conduct that mission.
1 Q. And how did this change -- we know that there's a change. I guess
2 what I'm trying to get at, did this order become more aggressive in a
3 sense for the Bratunac Brigade that they were going to be a more active
4 participant, or were they going to be a more passive participant? Which
5 of the two?
6 A. Well, I think with those two choices, it's more of a passive
8 Q. Okay. Well, would you like to characterise it in another fashion?
9 A. Well, with respect to, again, the objectives of some of the
10 battalions on the northern portion, rather than actively seeking to take
11 terrain features, they were just to conduct activities to hold the enemy
12 in place.
13 Q. In other words, remain static and if they came into contact do
14 something, otherwise just stay put?
15 A. Not quite that simple, because there are obviously other ways to
16 hold the enemy in place, fixing them through fire support, limited
17 movements out of the line. So I mean, it's not straight static defence,
18 and again as reflected in the tasks, the battalions did do some fire
19 support-related functions in order to fix the enemy.
20 Q. But they didn't advance to gain ground?
21 A. No, sir, other than the units of the 3rd Battalion during the
22 course of the conduct of the attack, the other battalions did not advance
23 to gain ground.
24 Q. And even the 3rd Battalion, is it not a fact, didn't do a whole
25 lot either in reality during those days?
1 A. Yes, sir, it was, perhaps, a company or a two-company size that
2 was actually conducting that secondary attack.
3 Q. Okay. Just for comparison purposes, and I think this will be the
4 last -- if we could make this the last segment, because I want to go into
5 detail on this order. But if we were to compare this order for the
6 Bratunac Brigade that was drafted by the commander based on the tasks
7 given to him from the Drina Corps commander on July 2nd, if we were to
8 compare this one from the one, say, from the Zvornik Brigade drafted by, I
9 believe it was, Colonel Pandurevic or lieutenant colonel, I believe he
10 might have been at that point. And in fact, I believe the date on that
11 one is the same date as the order itself, 2nd July 1995. Would it not be
12 fair to say that Pandurevic in his order gave himself a greater role than
13 was envisaged by his commander in his order of July 2nd?
14 A. I'm not sure whether he gave himself a greater role in that
15 respect. I would actually have to look at those two documents. I don't
16 think I've analysed them in that respect. It could be something I could
17 look at.
18 Q. With respect to the formation of what he's supposed to take with
19 him from Zvornik to lead the attack, that might clue you in a little bit.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, we're at a point where I would prefer
21 if we could break. We have a couple minutes left, but if it's possible.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll break now and we'll resume at 9.00 in the
23 same courtroom tomorrow.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
25 at 1.42 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
1 the 20th day of November, 2003,
2 at 9.00 a.m.